'll cover my three login names. They correspond roughly to three separate times in my geek-development.
The first login I chose was "yyz". In junior high and high school, I was a rabid Rush fan. I'm not necessarily proud of this, but by the time I got to college, they were still my favorite band (and I had just seen them on the power windows tour---I had 3rd row seats in San Diego).
I vaguely remember that some other rush-related login was already taken. If that's even true, I don't remember what the original was. So, by choosing this login, I was clinging to my status as a musician. I guess I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that.
After a while at UCSC, I quit my band (I was in 5:15) and started to get more serious about school. (This only lasted a year or so, but no matter.) I wanted some distance from the hard rock thing, and therefore a new login. I had noticed (not that I like this language at all) that the word "pascal" was very close to "rascal". Also, "rascal" was something that my father called my brother and me while we were growing up, so it had an added sentimental value. So, I went by "rascal" on ucscb between about '89 and '91. Oh: another bonus about this is that it had six characters, which was the same number of characters in "falcon". I imagine that I'm like quite a few santa cruz geeks when I say that Jon Luini has been a big influence on me.
Finally, when I made it out into the working world, I wasn't able to hang on to "rascal" (because Digital Equipment Corp. was way to serious for that kind of crap) so I was dubbed "steves".
I still use this login name for most of my official addresses. (I have steves @acm.org, @freedom.net, @lazy-s-ranch.com &c.) Amusingly enough, the company that I just joined last september has three guys named Steve S. (We have a few extra Steves running around as well. In fact, there was a while there where ten percent of employees were named Steve.)
So, I'm now email@example.com (which is a mouthful).
once I was logged into ucscb, and I got a talk/chat request from some fella named "lerxst" at ucb. (Rush fans will get the reference, but I actually didn't when he contacted me.) I was working with a fellow student on a project (probably on a wy50 in the communications printer output room). The fellow student was one Teala Spitzbarth (or however she spells her last name) who, last time I checked, was working at SCO(W).
Anyhow, I answered the guy's chat request, and over my shoulder Teala was saying, "why did he pick you?" So, I asked him, and he typed back, "Rush, dude!" (Naturally, Teala thought he was lame. I suppose she thought that I was lame too. Whatever.)
By the time I got back into icb, I had been through a lot of years of work, and was looking to re-contact people that I knew at ucsc who were still around. So, Jon gave me a login on klinzhai, and for that I chose "rascal", and to be egalitarian I was using "yyz" as my icb nick (and frequently as an mtrek ship name as well).
So, the reason that I kept the old logins after so many years being out of touch relates back to this book that I read in college called _Fup_. This is a wonderful little book, and I recommend it to all comers. But, to explain myself, I'll give you a wee spoiler about it. There's a character in the book of Native American descent. His name is "Johnny Seven Moons". He says that his name was just "Seven Moons" but he wanted to spice it up. He thought the "Johnny" was sexy and very now.
But by the time the reader meets him, he thinks it's kinda lame, but he keeps it around to remind himself that you can't go changing things like this frivolously. On the net, of course, that's utterly false. Nevertheless, I like the concept and so decided to keep my old nick "yyz" even though I wouldn't want someone to pigeonhole me like that now. (My handwritten signature also has a treble clef instead of the first S. I'm still doing this lame thing because of Johnny Seven Moons as well.)
Another story (interesting? dunno.) related to "yyz" was the fact that my account was compromised in '87 or something like that. (I think I was spoofed, and not cracked.) Apparently, my login and password appeared on a BBS (or newsgroup?) and some guy who happened to be a friend of a friend grabbed it.
So this guy (one Jimmy Lang of San Diego) decided he would use my account simply because he was one of the biggest Rush fans in the universe. (He had some relationship with the National Midnight Star for a while. Dunno what kind.) Coincidentally, Jimmy's friends with the brother of an ex-girlfriend from San Diego, so uh, small world, I guess. But, this isn't how I found out.
I changed my password eventually (just for the heck of it), and I started getting mail from somebody who was fabricating the From: header asking me to change the password back. (And, it wasn't just anonymous, it was "The God Father". Do all phone phreaks have the same extra-melodramatic sensibilities?) This aroused my suspicions, and I eventually found a bunch of files and other crap in my account. *sigh*
For a while I felt violated and strangely DIRTY, but now it's just kinda funny.