A Conversation for Talking Point: Happy Birthday to Us!

How h2g2 changed my life

Post 1


The story is touching, cheesy and kitschy... And it is true. A true story about how hootoo changed my life. It realy did, in a way that I could not have foreseen. That means something, too, as I am the kind of person who likes to daydream and phantasize. When that change did come, it was nothing like I would have expected - or phantasized.

Also, the story, once you think about it, is short.

A true and short and touching story.

Well, here goes. Without hootoo, I would (probably) not be a married man now.

How is that for a line to get you hooked? Okay, guys, gentlemen and MEN, if you feel *that* way about it, you can go now, but leave the ladies reading.

So, how did I end up married thanks to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth Edition? It has to do with names. What's in a name, right? Or, to do the literal German translation, names are just sound and smoke. Also, names are required on this wonderful, world-changing site.

When I first read about h2g2 in a newspaper back in spring, 2000, I figured I should just have a look at it. This being in the day when the internet was slow and expensive when accessing it on a 28k dialup modem, I had my look at hootoo, back then in classic goo, only, on a computer at my university. Which only goes to show how important it is to go and get a proper education. Tell that to your kids, okay?

After seeing and liking and reading and liking some more for about a week, I decided to join. But, and here is the sound-and-smoke deal, I needed a name. What kind of name should I choose? Well, being the kind of person I was (and am) who likes to play around with words a bit, I figured what I wanted was an anagram of my real life name.

A boring lecture and the university later I had come up with Yelbakk Sinjan. Taking only the Yelbakk part, I signed up.

Fast forward this to 2005. Some things happened inbetween, other things failed to happen. Hootoo disappeared for a while and came back once the BBC had joined the party. Moderation was introduced and in most cases most moderately used. I got kicked out for a day or so due to some technical misunderstandings which included apparently broken links and whatnot. Alabaster was introduced and I went back to classic goo. Brunel was introduced and I liked it. Yay for brunel. And for classic goo. And for alabaster. And for hootoo for making me think of that Yelbakk moniker. It had become my name of choice for entering any website that required a name. In a way, Yelbakk is who I am.

Yelbakk is not, and this is important, the name of a river in Mongolia. However, there is a river there, up near the Siberian, i.e. Russian border, whose name sounds somewhat similar. You probably do not know that. For a very long time, neither did I.

Until, on a totally different website, I was asked by a member there if my name was supposed to be that river. You do get spam on other websites - not on hootoo, I hasten to add. (Phew, close call, that.) Most times you would not reply to strange questions posed to you on some website. But my name? A river? In Mongolia? Was that not the country where some one million inhabitants lived on one million square kilometers, most of which are desert? I was intrigued.

What ensued was a lengthy exchange with the member who had asked me said intriguing question. What also ensued was us getting to know each other, meeting each other in real life, falling in love, getting married.

Which is how hootoo changed my life. Without it, I would never have thought about going for that anagram. Without that anagram, I would not have been mistaken for Mongolian waterways. Without that mix-up, I would not have met the Lady of the Mice, would not have fallen in love like that, would not have married her.

So thank you and happy birthday to all of us.


How h2g2 changed my life

Post 2

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I think I've discovered a need for another new smiley.


How h2g2 changed my life

Post 3

loonycat - run out of fizz

What a wonderful story smiley - cupidsmiley - rose

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