B ack in high school, I was a drama department A/V geek. I was working in the lightbooth after school one day while our current production was rehearsing on stage, and I heard our teacher, Mr. Hinshaw, tell the class that they needed to have "crisper diction". Except that the way he said it was more like a direct address: "Crisper diction... is what is needed here", or something like that. I don't remember the exact phrase, only that it felt like "crisper diction" was being used as a name, a person's name, and I thought, huh, that would make a great character nick to use in SCA or RenFaire or something. I envisioned a sort of cape-wearing, rapier-wielding, generally swashbuckling type.

How I became "The Elder Dan":

trs80_graveIn high school, one of my best friends was also named Dan. It was surprisingly difficult to differentiate between us in conversation. We were both drama department A/V lightbooth geeks. We were both Air Force brats. Both our fathers had been stationed at Ellsworth in South Dakota prior to being transferred to Castle in California. He had been stationed in the Phillipines briefly and I had family in the Phillipines, so Manila came up in our conversations periodically. The list went on.

The one difference between us was that I was class of '88 and he was class of '89, so I became Dan the Elder and he became Dan the Younger.

We also named everything else in the entire drama department "Dan" as well. The primary follow-spot became Dan the Brighter; the fern hanging in the lightbooth was Dan the Greener. The entire drama department *was* "Dan".

It got even worse when we both went to UCSC, of course. "Have you seen Dan?" "Which Dan?" "The Dan from Merced." "Which Dan from Merced?" Especially since we were both Crownies and we both hung around Performing Arts all the time (him for theater, me for music).

Fortunately, we had already solved this problem once, and applied it quite successfully to the situation. The Younger Dan was account candela@b.