W hen I was 15 or so, and lacking any sort of real geek culture, my brother Sean (Tristram) suggested I start using icb to stay in touch with him, and the few other geeks I had met. I thought it a fine idea, anything to keep me away from my calculus studies and stoners who kept inundating my kitchen.

A few weeks before, I signed up for some online service. I can't really rememeber what it was. In any case, it didn't allow me the chance to choose my own account name.

Several hours after sending in vital personal information, I was greeted with an email greeting me to their site and the account name SHABBIL.

Shabbil?! I don't know! No one can tell me what it means. Not Merriam- Webster, no yiddish dictionary, not, and least of all, that silly silly company that assigned it to me.

So fast forward one month. Sean says 'get resort account.' i say ok. He puts me in touch with a grouchy guy named BANSHEE, who sends me cryptic and *rude* email demanding an account name or no account for me! I had no idea what to choose, and as we all know, it seems like a very important decision; i panicked. i told him Shabbil.

And thus I was born

. Laika is just in remembrance of the cute DEAD space dog. But I had to wrestle with some russian guy, who's real name I forget, maybe it was Poohbear - so i could use Laika for myself.