Ididn't start geeking on ucscb until December of my freshman year. Down in the bowels of Communications some lady handed me a sheet of paper that asked for a few choices for account names. I had no idea that I was, in effect, creating a new identity, but I had some inkling that an account name ought to be a reflection of its owner.

I decided that I wanted an account name that be instantly noticable, somewhat dangerous, maybe a little mysterious, and that was something totally different than who I really was.

I picked excon, which seemed to do the trick - it certainly got people's attention.

Shortly before that fateful little trip, I had taken part in the Lockheed protests and been arrested for, well, jaywalking. I spent three days in county jail (for this same jaywalking charge), during which time we were strip searched, shackled and a variety of other mildly entertaining activities (all of which I thought would be good for way more cool points than they ever were). I picked j29 as my second option, which was my arrest number (and being the arrogant brat that I was, I refused to give them any other name until the actual arraignment), but it seemed to lack the danger and mystery of excon.

Excon was a wonderful identity cloak. I could be all sorts of things that I wasn't really, and that name had a lot to do with how I spent my first (and only) year attending ucsc. Famous forays into Elfland, a multi-forum spanning fight with grechen, party antics - excon was quite a character.

Shades, batman and robby came later. I was a chameleon, so each year after excon I got a different account name. Shades came naturally, as I always wore a pair of black shades - day or night. Add shadyway, a forum that I ran for awhile with no appreciable reason except that you couldn't use capital letters, and the nickname was solidified.

Batman happened because the movie Batman came out, and I was enthralled by the movie and everything to do with batman. I vividly remember tripping in San Jose with a few others (who will remain nameless, but they might remember this, too), when we watched the movie and then the orange glow that lingers around San Jose during the wee hours of the morning.

The last one, robby, is pretty obvious, given that it is my name. I think that, for some odd reason, I had decided that I just wanted to simply be myself and not to be defined by an online personality or be a chameleon anymore - as if changing a name would actually accomplish that.

After robby, I did one of my patented disappearing acts from the geek scene (and soonafter from Santa Cruz), and that, as they say, is that.