The Last Newsletter of the Milennium

December, 1999

 

 

Greetings Time Travelers!

It's the end of an era! But it's NOT the end of the century.(The 21st century starts 1/1/2001, not 1/1/2000) But whether you go by the Julian Calendar, Georgian Calendar, fiscal, Jewish, Mayan or Marie Callander-- we're going to close out the time with a look back at the history of the whirled-- our very own Read and Delete newsletter! 

IN THE BEGINNING 
The roots of the R&D go back as far as February, 1989 -- when I was posting letters to a BBS using a Commodore 64 computer and a 600 baud modem. My first data storage device was a 360k 5 1/4" floppy drive, (can you say slow?) Back then we were all excited to be able to load and run our computer programs on the same day! A lot of phone charges were run up during some pretty lengthy debates in those days, all "green screen", interlaced and NLQ (near letter quality).

CRAWLING OUT ON THE WEB
October 14, 1994-- The day I invented--- excuse me, "found" the Internet. I logged onto CompuServe (where they've given you a number, and taken away your name) for the first time, and was known to all as "75251,2571" Pretty neat, huh? NOT! At this point "the rag" (my first newsletter) went cyber. The first topic? Why O.J. of course! SHOCKING COINCIDENTAL TRIVIA: Did you know that the apartment I lived in at that time was only a block away from the hotel that O.J. stayed in the night of the murders? Yikes! We burnt up a lot of bandwidth with editorial comment on the trial. OUR VERDICT: A man may be innocent until proven guilty, but a celebrity is innocent until proven bankrupt. 
I wrote a lot of silliness in those days. The Clinton Health Scare plan, The Amish Web Page and Build Your Own Bill Gates, to name a few topics. I wonder how many readers remember our "Generation X" children's books? Some of them were: 'Curious George on the Internet', 'Madeline 90210', 'The Little Engine that was Genetically Predisposed', and the "lost" Dr. Seuss book, "The Cat in the Hat Comes out of the Closet." I guess I had too much time on my hands back then.

WE'RE MOVIN' ON UP
On April 19,1996, Wendy and I bought a piece of the American Debt, and moved from Chicagoland to Naperworld. That was the big topic for the year, with the Aurora flood issue (17 inches of rain fell in only 24 hours) and the "Newbie's Guide to Being Owned by Your Home" as part of it. 
In the three years since-- every month we've managed to cover some diverse material such as: diversity, garage sales, sailboats, camping trips, cholesterol, income tax, gambling, Thanksgiving dinner and finding a cup 'o coffee. In the middle of all of this we changed ISPs and went to Maloney.net. The move was not an "ego trip", but a way to make it easy to remember my e-mail address. (it was that "75251,2571" thing--CompuServe---Oy!) We did some serious stuff as well: "Vote Your Conscience In", the Lemak tragedy and others. 
You folks may be wondering why I've been using the word 'we' so much in this letter. It is because I consider all of you as part of this endeavor. Nearly every week something strikes me as either funny, strange or outrageous- so I have to comment to you on it. And what I write is original. My best material comes from my looking at my own life in a comic way --- sort of a "schnook on a hook" thing. I love to hear from every one of youse guys. By the way, have you ever wondered how the Read and Delete newsletter got its name? I'll tell you anyway. One of my friends e-mailed me to tell me that old copies of the newsletters were "clogging up" his ISP mail server. I wrote back, saying that he didn't have to save them on the server, just 'read and delete' them. The words seemed to leap off the monitor and into my face (boy did that hurt!). And that's the story, so there.
You folks also may be wondering why I keep writing this stuff month after month. I'll let you in on the secret. It's the most fun I've ever had in my life (outside of marriage, that is). I'm a comic at heart. Believe it or not, it's even more fun than doing stand-up for 20 minutes in front of 400 people. The funny part about this is that for the last two years I've been too chicken to try out for a newspaper column. Maybe next year. Who knows? If this newsletter's distribution keeps going up, It may be a newspaper someday. 


Gotta go, The doomsday clock just fell off the wall.

Neil