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July, 2008

Who Would've Thought?

by Valerie

On April 21, 2000, we published the first online issue of our family newsletter, larvalbug bytes. We had previously issued it either mailed out (remember snail mail, where you actually put a stamp on an envelope and stick it in the box?) or sent by e-mail as a Word document. I, for one, never thought about how long we might keep performing this monthly ritual. It was just something that Larry and I found rather amusing and so we simply did it. With this, our July, 2008, issue, we have now completed 100 online documents, without skipping a single month.

We love celebrations. In fact, we feted the 5th anniversary online issue of larvalbug bytes back in April, 2005. At that time we created a little timeline to commemorate our endeavor so far. The exact reason for continuing this newsletter is still a mystery to us. We get very little feedback, so that obviously cannot be a major incentive. My best guess is that it is just a creative outlet, like painting or flower arranging. It is a harmless pastime that helps keep us mildly entertained during our insignificant time here on this planet. Both Larry and I tend to hold interests for a long time, so when something suits us both, we are unlikely to quickly dismiss it and move on to some other activity. This publication is something that we create together and is one of our few shared enterprises. Counting both our prior publication, "Bull," as well as the early snail mail versions of larvalbug bytes, we have been in the monthly family newsletter business since 1996, roughly 12 years.

In spite of many other ongoing activities, from book discussion group meetings to nature field trips to investment management to music performances, when the middle of the month approaches, we both realize it is time to get into the web publishing mode. I often find that I cannot think up a subject for an essay, or an idea for an opening graphic, until that subjective deadline approaches. Is this a vestige of habits built up through many early school years? Who knows? It just seems a natural part of our life routines now. And it's not nearly as onerous as those academic research papers on subjects in which I had no interest at all.

Everyone needs hobbies, projects, and activities they enjoy. There's only so much fulfillment one gets out of a paycheck, although it is certainly quite a lot, and then it's time to play. Nobody will ever give us money to write, but that doesn't stop us from doing it. There are few things better that people can do than find avocations that give them pleasure and then pursue them for years on end.

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