Monday, November 27, 2006


Why that?

I've been wondering for a while why "Tydwbleach," who posts here often (and is from my deep, not-so-dark past) goes by that name on the internet. Laundry fixation? Random name generator? Industrial accident?

Please describe how you came up with your online handle. I'll go first-- I picked Osler's Razor as a play on Occam's razor, a logic principle which I often refer to in class. The description below is swiped from Wikipedia:

Occam's razor (also spelled Ockham's razor) is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar William of Ockham. Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating, or "shaving off," those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. In short, when given two equally valid explanations for a phenomenon, one should embrace the less complicated formulation.

This is often paraphrased as "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one." In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest hypothetical entities. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood.

After starting the blog, I found that the name wasn't original. As it turns out, in 1983 Nobel prize winner Peter Medawar wrote a very good essay called "Osler's Razor," linking Occam's principle to my partial namesake, Sir William Osler. Didn't know my middle name was William did you? (Or that I steal my stuff from people with Nobel prizes).

The picture above shows me on a camping trip with Nobel winner Peter Medawar. Oh, wait, that's my Dad, Spike. Sorry.

Anyways, please share the genesis of your own nickname in the comments section below.

Its such a STUPID story

I was moving to California from Michigan. My best friend Diane told me to get an AOL account... I do not see the use of it anymore, ( yet still I have it - for sentiment's sake I suppose) but I did it. This was in 1998. AOL was the KING of the Internet back then... or at least in Michigan it was. hahah.
Her idea was that I could access it from both Michigan before the move AND CA after I moved. Also, back then she said that after I moved she was going to miss me a lot and we could save money on the phone bills by Instant Messaging on AOL, something I had never heard of. Today you can get an IM thingy for free on Yahoo or other places - even AOL but back then, you could not. AOL had some kind of monopoly on IM'ing. I guess the guy who invented IMs - according to a book about Silicon Valley I once read called... Oh I forget the title... Something about being NAKED in the title... LIke "I went to the office naked" or something like this... It was an interesting book...) the inventor wanted a way to communicate without email or something? or the phone? I don't know... I have a bad memory for things like this...

ANYWAY SO I was convinced to get an AOL account. Then came the really weird part. I have to think of a NAME. Diane told me I should not use my real name. I should think of a name and since I could have more than one "screen name" I should pick a few. I had to think of all of these names.

I had a tremendously hard time coming up with any that made any sense, or were not taken and it was all very weird. I mean I did not want something like CATLVR or like you know CHEESEHEAD or just I mean people had the stupidest names...

Diane told me to just think of ANYTHING and I looked around and I saw a box of - you guessed it - Tide With Bleach. It was my favorite smell, or one of the smells that reminded me always of home. I was moving away from home, forever pretty much, so I decided to be Tide With Bleach. Then came the problem of the spelling of it. You could not, bak then use any characters except letters and no punctuation like a slash or a question mark or anything. AOL would not let me do TIDEWITHBLEACH - too long. Tidew/Bleach? No. Tiedwithbleach - too long too weird. I had just about given up on stupid AOL when Diane did this one: TYDWBLEACH It worked. Ok then I had other screen names but in AOL WORLD you ahve to do everything with your MAIN screen name and I had made TYD my MAIN screen name. SO unless I close my AOL account I am stuck with it. I cannot close my AOL account because I am just used to it now. ALso I have given that email address to a ton of people My alumni association a lot of shopping things.. and have had it for like 9 years so closing it now would be a big hassle. My husband hates AOL and calls it AO HELL, and I know its limitations... there are MANY. However, I keep it open just because...

I know people think that name is weird and I also do not really have any reason to want to be anonymous. I am the mom of a toddler, I live in the 'burbs, I drive a gigantic bulbous "mini" van - (an oxymoron in my opinion, because anything that seats EIGHT should not be called MINI) so its not like I am secret agent... or one of those pervs on DATELINE that get lured to that house with the really nice countertops and 35 hidden cameras.. HOW exactly do those guys keep getting CAUGHT?? It is amazing I mean I have never even watched an entire one of those episodes of DATELINE BUT You would think after the first 200 pervs get caught there that maybe you know the PERV NETWORK would like wise up a little... But thank Goodness they don't

I have nothing to hide.. except my OWN hideous countertops that we are getting ready to replace.

My "real' name is Liz. Liz, With Bleach Alternative.
Um. What?
Oh yeah, I'm The Medievalist because I'm a huge Monty Python fan. And I go to Kalamazoo, Michigan each year to the medieval round-up and log-rolling championship. Great fun.
Osler asks and he shall receive.

My name was going to be Harrison, but my mother didn’t want people calling me Harry. My name was going to be John, but my mother didn’t like the urinal connotation; so I became a Jonathan.

I tacked on the last name as a safety precaution. The way I see it, with my full name attached to everything I write, I’ll be less inclined to write things that will get me in trouble later on.
So, in your view, Swanburg, has that worked?
I from Orzostan. In Orzostan, many food made gooder with parts of cat. I make special good food with liver of the cat. So when guy make AOL, I use name CATLVR.
In 1978, when I was only seven years old, I was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer that afflicted my left orbital lobe. After several examinations, it was determined that the only way to address the condition was to remove that part of my brain. A team of surgeons at the Mayo Clinic successfully completed the operation, and I am still grateful for their work and skill. In keeping with the practices of that time, they filled in the gap within my skull with a specially crafted medical-grade Wisconsin cheddar.

Anyways, when I signed up for AOL, my snotty little brother jumped on and made my name "cheesehead." It still mades me cry a little when I read it, because it reminds me of the years of mental anguish I have been through related to this surgery and its aftermath.
Watch Emperor's New Groove there is a scene where they start to speak squirrel.
He asked... I answered....
I should have just used the REAL reason.. I DO, in fact, have a laundry fixation.
I really don't know, but it sounded cool
Squeeky-- I have wondered about that. In Spongebob Squarepants, there is a squirrel character ("Sandy") who is from Waco. She speaks English though. How else would a sponge be able to understand you?

Tyd-- I need to watch more Dateline.
My screen name is based on the name of a minor character, P'Tang P'Tang, who shows up in the Terry Pratchett novel, "Small Gods." I went with ptungptung because I thought the real name sounded too dirty.

P'tang is the god of a country near Omnia. He has 51 worshippers and is very stupid. He often manifests himself in the form of a newt. His worshippers tend are a very very simple people.

I really can't explain why I liked him so much.
See, this is useful. I thought "tydwbleach" was a Darrell Waltrip fan. Ol' DW won a whole bunch of NASCAR Winston Cup races while running in a car sponsored by Tide. Really.

And I figured GED3 was proud of the fact that he got his General Equivalency Degree on the 3rd try. I was disappointed to find that it was his initials.

As for my handle, "Iplawguy," I have in the past referred to myself as a "Person of IP Law," or "Lawyerman," or "the Law Doctor," or even "Doctor of IP Law," but those all sounded lame and/or pretentious. So I did the same thing our host did, I ripped off an idea. In this case his. The word "guy" is of course French in origin, and knowing that he is indeed a Francophile, I thought he'd be flattered.
Yeah, that worked, Le guy de IP Law. But... don't you go to France a lot? Or Quebec or Suriname or one of those Frenchy places?
Mais oui. Je suis un Francophile aussi. Je suis tres populare avec les Canadiens dans Quebec et Montreal et avec les Parisiens
I choose this screen name so I can be mysterious...chicks dig mysterious guys
I'm a clerk...I'm in East Texas...Not too creative, but ged3 was already taken dang it.
A Waco Farmer is a ripoff of John Dickenson's letters from "A Pennsylvania Farmer."

FYI: He wasn't much of a farmer either.
I'm very proud of myself to have gotten the Terry Pratchett and the Emperor's New Groove references before the explanations.

Lady Bird is not a reference to LBJ's wife, although people do occasionally think that. It was actually my favorite nickname from high school. Only one person every called me that, but it was still my favorite, so I kept it. Wow. That's a really boring story, now that I tell it.
Poseur is perhaps the ultimate insult old punks can spit at one another. So its just a self-deprecating moniker.

And I own a Billy Joel album. Which is pretty damning evidence of my poseur-dom.
I’ve been plagued with the name “Misty” for almost 27 years now. My foster parents named me Joy, which my adoptive parents said, “didn’t fit me.”

Over the years, I’ve been associated with a trashy cigarette brand, a black stallion in a children’s book, a Clint Eastwood movie I have yet to see, a type of weather and a fictional prostitute on the video game Grand Theft Auto. During my high school job, I also had a customer say that his favorite stripper at a near by strip joint was named Misty. (I guess it was a compliment??) Plus, it does not help that I am a back-woods huckleberry from Okla. (as my law school classmates call me). I often ask my parents why I got stuck with such a quasi-white trash, prostitute-sounding, cheesy name and not a dramatic, deep name. They simply look at me and say, “well, it fit you.” Sigh….
I think mistykeene takes the cake.

haha misty, that's great!
I didn't know you spelled "Lindley," the middle name, with an 'e' for most of my childhood.

Wait a minute... you didn't know how to spell your own name? That would be a problem.
I'm still confused by "RG" who claims to be "Ladybird." That's even worse than misspelling.
"Avacadojer" comes from my wife's love of avocados and the interesting (?) idea that in French, lawyer and avocado are the same word (avocat).

As for ALICO Dreams--I grew up in Waco with the story of the 1953 tornado (second only to Galveston's 1906 hurricane as the deadliest storm in Texas history) and how buildings on all four sides of the ALICO building were leveled, but the ALICO withstood the storm. Law school is a long storm and I hope to still be standing when it's done. Inspirational, huh?
Poseur - At one point I owned every Billy Joel album ever made, including the rare "Kohuept (Live in Leningrad)" album. And Turnstiles, and The Nylon Curtain, and Stormfront, Cold Spring Harbor, Streetlife Serenade, etc, etc, into infinity. Ridiculous? Maybe. I have moved past that, and am now on my way to collecting every Bon Jovi album ever made, including Richie Sambora's solo album that no one knows about.

I have very little in my life, clearly.

IPLawGuy - I typically sign RG, my initials (sorry, no awesome story there), but my handle on my blog and my title is ladybird. Or I'm really a split personality, and one of those is the evil twin.

And I totally agree that Misty's story wins.
I too misspelled my middle name till around the age of 10. Until that time I was of the strong belief Harrison only had one R.

I never really had cause to write or spell my middle name so the problem went unnoticed for about a decade.
My name is Micah because it's my name. (Actually, my name is Doyce McBlogdensongonflarg. If you believed that, give me your area code and I will direct you to the nearest mental institution.)
-Micah 8^)
I really am a pirate.
I like Harry Potter and apple products. Hope that explains itself.
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