People keep asking me about my nick, so I figure I’ll give a short history of it.

When I was a kid, I read a book called, if I recall correctly, The Blue Nowhere. The antagonist was a computer hacker who went by Phate, and I thought that was the coolest. That was my first handle, and my forum signatures had shit like “Phate, it seems, has a sense of humor” in them. In my defense, I was a kid. When Phate was taken, I’d go by Phayt, or Phay7e, or something like that. That was the username I played a whole lot of IRC mafia under.

Later I decided I needed an alt. I don’t remember quite why, but I’m sure there was skullduggery involved. Probably I was trying to join a community I was already a part of to try on a new persona and reputation, I liked doing stuff like that as a kid. And I knew that this time, I wanted to choose the username myself, and I wanted it to be meaningful. I decided on TheSkeward – “the” is a bit pretentious, I’d not have included that now, but whatever. The idea is that a steward is someone who takes care of things, and so a ‘skeward’ would be someone who watches over things that are crooked, or maybe someone who makes sure that things are just a little bit askew. Plus, it kind of sounds like “the skewered”, as though I’m being stabbed, which I thought was amusing.

It’s been over a decade – closer to two, actually – since then, and the name’s grown on me, or maybe, in some way, I’ve grown into the name. I find that much of my life has been spent in one or another of those modes – taking care of people who are just a bit off, or taking care to ensure that situations aren’t allowed to take themselves too seriously.

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