Do walruses retire? If so, might one volunteer to anchor a blog theme?
Our walrus came along for the ride as a symbol for this blog theme; more staid walruses might have chosen not to.
This blog’s theme began with a list of requirements:
- The theme must cover a broad variety of interests like those we enjoy in retirement.
- The theme should arouse interest with recognition or curiosity in a casual Web surfer.
- The theme needed a visual symbol of some sort as a blog brand.
- The theme must be a good hook for humor.
- The theme should be unusual, surprising, and maybe even a little weird.
- The theme needed to tie into a relevant domain name.
The search for a retirement theme began slowly, then jelled fast.
We need enough time to consolidate information before beginning to build the finished product.
Our creativity does not perform upon demand; too much time pressure kills it off. For example, we took a counterpoint class in college. The homework was music, composed subject to strict rules. We had to ask the professor to issue the homework assignments earlier than normal so we had time to get the work done.
Recent news articles have discussed creativity, in many cases, as enhanced by actions a person takes. Our technique is to immerse oneself in information surrounding a topic, perhaps even without knowing what the final product will be. We expect to thrash about somewhat, what with trips down blind alleys and being surprised at ideas that are flat-out wrong. Then we begin to write snippets of fact and opinion as they occur to us. We once used 3″ by 5″ index cards for research citations as well as our snippets. Modern word processing makes things much different, although not necessarily better. In due time, the snippets lead to becoming documents, which are then re-written again and again until it’s time to publish.
And then: right there, naked and unafraid in the public domain, was Lewis Carroll‘s poem: The Walrus and the Carpenter!
Let’s check off the requirements:
Broad variety of interests: “Shoes and ships and sealing-wax…” outlines many possibilities, and we don’t limit the blog to nineteenth-century nouns.
- Recognition or curiosity in the casual Web researcher: Most English-speaking kids know about Alice and her trip Through the Looking Glass.
- Visual symbol: Walruses can be portrayed in many ways, from true-to-life images to appealing cartoons.
- Humorous: Walrus appearance lends itself to humor because its apparent clumsiness differs so much from what it can actually do.
- Surprising, unusual, weird: Who could have dreamed up a Tooth-Walker on his own? Those walruses whose long upper canine teeth allowed them to haul out through holes in the ice thrived to have larger families…and here they are! The walrus’ tooth adaptation rivals the electro-sensitive bill of the Duckbill platypus as an unusual way to handle a needed function!
- Relevant: The old and the unfit walruses probably get eaten before they get a chance to enjoy retirement. We just made it fit. (The “rrr” in rrretired.com could be taken for a walrus growl, but that is not why we used them. We needed them to build our unique domain name.)
Trying on the theme: does it fit well?
In a nutshell, yes. Folks seem to like the cartoon that brands this blog. The theme is expansive and forgiving: We have not yet wanted to write about a topic that did not attach to one or more theme hooks.
As to the biology of the food web, ageing mammals, walrus cognition, walrus culture, mammalian adaptation to unique niches, techniques for photographing the walrus, the crushing hazard immature individuals face during stampedes, climate change effects on the walrus, and a myriad of other interesting topics:
I’ll get to them when I can. Choosing and deferring projects is one of the delights of our retirement!