I changed my handle on the blog from “ECRBlogger” to “Sparky.”
This means the majority all of the posts on the blog are now authored by Sparky.
I don’t like to talk about myself alot but I am going to force myself to do so in this post because I think it is important to develop this identity to move the blog forward.
I never liked the alias “ECRBlogger” because I thought is was way too generic. I wanted to change my alias to something that has an identity and a personality.
I chose “Sparky” for a number of personal reasons. First, my professional background (my day job) is in electrical engineering. At the moment I design microchips for a defense contractor. I have a BS in electrical engineering and went to grad school for computer engineering.
The understanding of electricity, electronics and computers has been a big part of my life and “Sparky” seems to fit well now that I am becoming an expert on electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
Why the lightning bolt avatar? First, I love watching natural beauty of electrical storms. This is also a funny story. I chose the lightning bolt for my avatar because I was toying with changing my alias to “lightning bolt” or something egotistical like that considering the following funny story from my early days on my first job:
After college I was working in a computer lab on my first job. I was working with another new guy pulling cables to move a rack full of computer equipment to another part of the lab.
In the process of moving it from one part of the lab to another, a cable with a metal switch on it got wedged into air holes on a power supply. When we energized the power strip the metal switch shorted out the power supply shooting sparks out of the front of rack destroying the power supply!
They guy who ran the lab was very amused by the whole thing and was very gracious and forgiving except for one thing. He said, “from this day forward we are going to call you (pointing to my friend) ‘thunder bolt’ and we’re going to call you (point to me) ‘lightning’!”
So for the next few weeks we were known as “thunder bolt” and “lightning” and a few other variations on that theme including “Sparky.”
While that didn’t last too long the comments and jeers for the next few weeks humbled me as well as started to define my personality.
This turns out to be quite a coincidence because if I dig a little deeper into my past, back to my high school years, one truly finds an frighteningly fateful origin of “Sparky” as a nickname. If this isn’t fate, I don’t know what is:
For a high school project in probably my junior year of high school we were directed to choose our own groups and given several options for a creative project in an economics class. We chose the “produce and shoot an infomercial” option.
I got together with my best friends from high school, including my brother (the camera guy) and other people that weren’t even in the class. Hilarity ensued.
The first thing we had to do was come up with a new and innovative product. Since it was at a time when nicotine patches and gum came out (or were at least advertised heavily) we decided to make fun of it and came up with the idea of a nicotine cookie.
We called it the “Nico-Cookie.”
Next, we came up with a script (sort-of) that included aliases for all of us. For reasons unknown to me, it was decided that I would be referred to as “Sparky,” the inventor of the Nico-Cookie and Ron Popeil equivalent for those of you who remember the “inventor” of spray-on-hair for male-pattern-baldness.
I didn’t really like the nickname, “Sparky,” but I thought it was endearing when coming for the girls in our group so I went with it.
Our infomercial was a hit and had everyone that knew us, especially family, rolling with laughter.
A few months ago my parents found this video and sent me a copy. I am toying with the idea of actually posting it on the site so everyone can see what I am talking about and the whole world can laugh at me.
I thought this was a good time to change my alias and form a stronger identity on the blog as I become more active in the internet community in hopes I can attract some more traffic. So, look for me, “Sparky” as I post at other blogs, face-book, twitter etc. about electronic cigarettes.
While Sparky is not unique and still somewhat generic it is the best I can come up with and folks should know it is me if it is used in conjunction with anything related to electronic cigarettes.
I hope everyone appreciates the stories and got a kick out of the origin of “Sparky.”
Post comments if you would like to see that video from high school and MAYBE I will post it.