Unearthing a Time Capsule

I’ve been blogging for over ten years now, but I’ve been sharing my opinion for longer than that.

In the late 1990s, I had a little email newsletter called “The Cynic Express(d)” which I sent out to a couple dozen people. I’d started it back when I was on America Online and fished out a list of people who had “cynic” in their profiles (I was spamming before spamming was cool, then uncool). I made a Web page to store and serve up these emails (and, as I mention often, I thought “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if I could just type the content in and have a database back-end serve up the content in the Web page?” thus inventing the blog except for the part where I put effort into inventing the blog). Instead, I hand-coded (hand-copied and pasted) each page as an HTML file. And when I redesigned the site, I’d have to hand-edit all the pages.

I moved off of AOL at some point and onto Postnet, which is the ISP that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran back in the day. At which point I hand-edited all the files and changed the URLs. (Frankly, I’ve never gotten relative URLs to work just right, so I’ve always relied on absolute URLs.)

At any rate, I have adjusted the URLs again and have made the site available again just as it was in 1999: Presenting, again, The Cynic Express(d) (Later, the Cynic Express(ed):

The site also includes a couple of book reviews and the columns I wrote for the Marquette Tribune (my college news paper) in 1991-1992.

Going back over them, I’m nostalgic for the times and anecdotes I cover in them. I’m also startled a bit about how much I’m going on about the same things that I do today. Government health care makes an appearance, of course, and Ellen Degeneres… Remember her sitcom was cancelled fifteen years ago. The real question I leave you with is… Why has Ellen Degeneres not aged in fifteen years?

UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Ms. K. Unfortunately, my old AOL pages seem to have eluded the Wayback Machine. But I’ve got them collecting dust on my current hard drive ready for exhumation in due time.

Hey, VftP readers, you’ve already heard me pitch my novel John Donnelly’s Gold and The Courtship of Barbara Holt, hey? They’re available for the Kindle at .99 or in paperback. I gotta keep flogging them if I want to get to the milestones of 100 copies and 6 copies respectively. Thanks!

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