Wasted Effort

December 28, 2020

Family Matters, Memory Lane, Rants

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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?

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I’ve seen these hundreds, nay, thousands of times on websites, but only recently did the truly ominous implication strike me so bluntly. It’s like the ultimate personal surrender, the terminal consignment of self, the final relinquishment of free will. You either SUBMIT or you don’t, there are no options, there’s no in-between. There’s often small print at the bottom that says something similar to this one. As is well known, understood, and expected, nobody clicks off to some other page to read whatever it is before they SUBMIT. Maybe you should think about it. I’m going to. Even so, there’s still no guarantee that what one is about to SUBMIT to will have anything to do with one’s expectations. Just remember, once you SUBMIT, THAT’S IT. Have you ever seen an UN-SUBMIT button afterwards? I didn’t think so.

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Signs of the Apocalypse

November 5, 2020

General

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(1) First there was the election on Tuesday. Or, perhaps I should say, the attempted election. Because nobody got elected and, two days later, still nobody is elected. In itself that wouldn’t be especially significant. What’s scary is that each side has shown little to no respect for the proportion of the electorate represented by the other side, both showing unprecedented motivation to get out and vote according to their conscience. One side still refers to the other as thieves, one side still refers to the other as rubes. They may use different words, but the attitude and, more importantly, the lack of respect, for the other side has not changed despite each side’s showing of the intensity and importance of their beliefs and philosophies. In particular, half the country, most of the media, and all of those schooled in “fine arts” and it’s lesser school, “entertainment”, appears set to persist in treating the other half as misguided misogynistic racist red-necked un-enlightened un-sophisticated rubes. A small percentage may fit that description, the vast majority do not but are, rather, driven by perhaps old-fashioned but nevertheless fundamental and legitimate principles of conscience and morality. Their candidate may have been an unfortunate champion, but their principles are due equal respect to those espoused by the other side. Until such respect is manifested, on both sides, the Apocalypse can be seen poised on the horizon.

(2) Second, when we woke up this morning there was no electricity. They got it restored in about three hours. Not a major inconvenience. It happens two or three times a year.

(3) This afternoon the water stopped without warning. After calling the city and negotiating through the automated switchboard, we were informed there had been a water main break in the neighborhood. This was a relief, inasmuch as it didn’t fall upon us to call a plumber for repairs at our expense. But the anticipated restoration will be near bedtime tonight. So, all activities requiring water in the home will be on hold for several hours. Not a major inconvenience, except maybe with respect to toilets. In contrast to loss of electricity, loss of water hasn’t happened in years. In fact, we can’t remember it ever happening before.

None of the above by itself would necessarily signal calamity, except maybe #1 though I tended to be mostly entertained by the situation despite the survival of the country being at stake. I figure we all lose whichever way it goes. But, to then suffer loss of both electricity and water the same day, I think the coincidence of signs makes it quite evident. The Apocalypse is more than poised, it is nigh.



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