New Year...New Century...New Millennium...
I had just turned 47 on December 12, 1999, and I had been online at home for a few months after being online in public places such as our library.
Over Labor Day Weekend of 1998, I had -- thanks to my "adopted" kid brother, Mark, -- come to realize that one could explore Cyberspace without even having to own a computer. With help from various people, I had become more and more Internet savvy.
It's hard to believe that I've been online for over 22 years -- and I have many stories to share about this.
As 1999 was coming to a close, there was more than a little concern about what was going to happen when the year started beginning with two instead of one.
It was predicted by several people that this might kill the Internet because the people who had first started making Cyberspace available to everyday people hadn't gotten things completely updated to where a transition into the new year/century/millennium would run smoothly. In fact, they predicted that it would run anything BUT smoothly.
Those of us who had met over the Internet began to exchange addresses so that we wouldn't lose track of each other should the Internet not survive.
Then, there were some (professed) "people-in-the-know" who took things a step further when they realized how many of the things we took for granted were now, in one or more ways, depending on computers in order to operate properly.
Would there be black-outs? Would our vehicles even operate? What would happen to important records that were now stored online instead of in traditional folders and filing cabinets? Would medical equipment malfunction or cease to work altogether?
And what if 2000 brought in a horrific version of the end of the world -- such as some malfunction causing our weapons of mass-destruction to rise from their silos and head towards their targets!?!
My folks and I started out on our New-Year's-Eve-To-New-Year's-Day tradition of leaving home in one year and returning in another year.
Usually, we would start out earlier in the evening and begin looking at Christmas lights in and around Anderson. Then, we would drive towards Indianapolis to do the same there. This was a great time to call people who were friends but were long-distance calls from home and be able to talk to them for only a quarter per call.
We generally saw the new year in while down in Indy. Close to the time that the new year would be coming in, we'd turn on the radio and listen for the countdown.
However, we decided to play it safe this time around and stay in Anderson until after the new year came in, as we didn't want to chance having our car stall out in the boonies somewhere.
If the predictions were true, we wanted to be in Anderson when it happened.
We were driving through what was then the place where most of the DelcoRemy plants were when -- right before it became 2000 -- the lights in the parking lot shut off for a split-second and came back on again.
We listened to the radio that was announcing that 2000 had arrived -- and, shortly after that, we were heading towards Indianapolis.
In 2000, I was told about a place called Epinions in search of writers who could review products in an exciting way -- and they were paying cash for this, too.
The cash amounts weren't huge, but they added up into significant pin money.
Some product reviews paid higher amounts of cash, but those weren't the ones where my expertise was.
We could also write opinions and stories/poems/etc.
I even had my first online romance (I've had two of those altogether) with someone who was a fellow Epinionator.
Towards the end of 2000, Epinions talked about shutting the site down for awhile and making some changes.
During that time, most of the Epinionators began to branch out and write in different places while waiting for Epinions to re-open.
There were some who were doubting that there would even be a re-opening, but there was.
One place we migrated to was a site out of Australia called Written-By-Me.
I wrote for them for over a year, but the founders of the site got to the place where they couldn't afford to maintain it and were asking us to copy and save anything we wanted to keep from there.
It was then that my goddaughter told me about a place that was (at that time) called Stories.com.
On February 27, 2002, I became a member -- and I haven't regretted it for one moment.
Epinions eventually sold to another company that changed its format completely, and our stories vanished completely -- even though we now have somebody who is in the process of trying to dig-up archives of some of the things we wrote.
I actually managed to save some of what I wrote before everything vanished with various things now being posted here at WdC.
On Monday, September 9, 2013, I joined the ranks of the homeless for awhile and, even after that, I wasn't connected to the Internet at home until December 12, 2016.
During this time, I had allowed my premium membership to lapse.
I had assumed that I would pretty much be starting out with only a few items in my portfolio as I hadn't had a paid membership for so long.
The ScaryMaster and The StoryMistress were (and, of course, still are) a caring couple, but I didn't think they'd be able to store everything I'd written when I'd had an unpaid for and inactive account for so long.
Was I EVER surprised that everything I'd ever written was restored after I'd reactivated my paid membership!!!
At this time, I'm playing a lot of catch-up here st WdC, and this place just keeps getting better and better!!!
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