The Chappell Family Website and blog were created more than a decade ago. The domain was set up to utilize what was at the time a new Google feature that’s now called Workplaces. Everybody in the family was given their own “@chappells.us” account they could log into for email (on the Gmail platform) and other features, as well as logins to this blog so they could post and share information, stories, pictures, and whatever with the family. I was interested in what the others were doing, for one thing, and also thought it would help to bond familial relationships which were, at the time, strained in certain respects. This was all before the advent of Facebook, so maybe it was 15 or even 20 years ago. In any case, nobody but the website’s creator used it or even visited it. During conversations in which family members were participants, there would be questions posed about family matters from which it was evident the questioner and questionees had never visited the website, where the information sought had been readily available for years. This would spawn certain emotions in the site’s creator, who always bit his tongue rather than respond with any remark that might smack of self-promotion. Of course, when Facebook came along everybody hopped onto it with their own individual pages. The Chappells creator briefly considered setting up a family Facebook page to complement the family website, but the notion was easily dispatched as having no more potential for interest than the website.
One of these days I’ll be gone. I’m soon to be 70, have type 2 diabetes, have had two heart attacks, have a cancerous blood marker that’s “smoldering”, and other ailments. Within a year after that happens the website’s hosting account will expire for want of anybody interested in renewing it, the domain registration will likewise expire, and the Chappell Family Website will be history. I suppose it may be preserved to some extent on the Internet Wayback Machine, should anybody ever care to look for it, which seems unlikely. So, one might ask, has it all been a wasted effort? Nah. I’ll save it on a CD or something before I die and give it to the kids, along with the old-fashioned family photo albums. Then I’ll die and it will all be of no further interest to me. Maybe it was never justified as anything other than a personal project of interest only to me. If so, I found the effort, and the product of it, to be personally satisfying. The generation of personally satisfying accomplishments is one of the reasons for living, isn’t it?
The TV was on and although I wasn’t watching I heard somebody say January 21 is National Squirrel Day. What? Did I hear right? I looked up, but whatever the context was, it was gone. National Squirrel Day? Surely not. They’re rodents, basically rats with a bushy tail. Google-time! Lo and behold, it’s true; although, actually, it’s not just National Squirrel Day, it’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day. You can buy calendars and other squirrel memorabilia to show your appreciation. I suppose I’d admit the little critters impress me with their ability to run up and down tree trunks and jump from limb to limb and scurry along twigs that I can’t imagine would support their weight, slight as it may be. But I don’t much appreciate hearing them scurrying around on the roof of the house, leaving me wondering if they’ve found a way into the attic. And don’t get me started about how they scamper into the street and stop right in front of my car and then they start one way and suddenly reverse and stop again and then, well, it’s just amazing I haven’t killed a few. Yeah, okay, sometimes they’re kind of fun to watch, the way they’re at home in a tree the way otters are at home in a river; or the way cockroaches are at home under the kitchen sink. But, Squirrel Appreciation Day? Seriously?
Yeah, I know, I should write something about Christmas and New Year, but I ain’t got time right now. I really need to use my time more efficiently. This was supposed to be something technology was going to do for us. But, as I often lament, technology (computers, in particular) seems to rob me of more time than it saves me. Which is why I particularly enjoyed this cartoon.