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What's in a name?

Rialtus... such and odd, unique name. So much so that, of the 114 responses from a Google web search (link), only two do not directly refer to me in some fashion. Ah vanity... thy name is Rialtus.

So how did I get such a unique name? What does it mean? How does this relate to the price of a lawnmower at Sears? I hear your pleadings for answers, good friends. All of them will be answered, if only you are willing to click and learn...

Ahem... now that I got that out of my system... Picture it -- Knecht household, 1991. A young man of 18-19 years is allowed finally to hook up the new 386 computer that he just bought with his own money to the 2400 baud modem that his father had but never used. After a quick purchase of the software at the local Target, he goes online with the Prodigy online service. (Remember those days, where you had to buy the software just to use their service?)

Anyway, (changing narratives) off to Prodigy I went, and floundered around, looking for a home. I was a big Star Trek: The Next Generation fan, and found myself on the Star Trek board quite a bit. Think of a Usenet hierarchy, but with sensors that made us type in things like d@mn. While some time had past, conversation was still going on to a degree about the season premier "Best of Both Worlds, Part II." For those of you that don't know what I'm talking about, this was the conclusion of a two-part episode that saw the Borg abducting Captain Picard, and the efforts of the Enterprise crew to get him back. The kicker here is that the Borg named the newly-borgized Picard Locutus.

Well, some smart aleck came up with a thought that the Borg shown in ST:TNG were an extreme faction. He figured that most of the other Borgs look at them as the redneck cousins that they don't want to admit to. Going on that, he made a new group called the Borg Club. It was a loose grouping of people who had a wicked sense of humor. For example, the group goal was to "assimilate pizza, pasta, and Pepsi (oh my!)." There was a Borg Blues Club, and of course you could get other refreshments at the Jiffy Cube. Well, one of the other things of note was that all Borgs had to have names ending in -us, or something that sounded like that. You know, just like Locutus! Some people chose names based on their interests (Jason was a LAN admin, who chose Novellus). Some went for a variation of their name (which was not the best of choices for Marian who tacked on a us and because Marianus). Some just went (Allofus, Rubberus Checkus, Clueless, etc.). But the two people who I first saw and made an impression on me were Richard Feldman and Kym Taborn. They named themselves based on the cities they lived in, Chatsworthus and Oxnardus respectively. So, in my joining of the club, I borrowed from them and named myself after the cities I was raised in -- Rialto, CA. And thus was my first use of the name Rialtus.

Over time, we had a Borg Invasion, where a few people from around the nation flew out to LA for a week of frolicking and fun. We laid rampant waste on the Prodigy ST board, and had a Cola War, which prompted the group goal to change to "assimilate pizza, pasta, and beverage of your choice (oh my!)" Times changed, people came and went, and the cost of Prodigy went up. (Sears was part owner of Prodigy, and wasn't making enough money on lawnmowers apparently.) Most of us bailed to GEnie, where the basic club, in essence, died. At the time, however, I was just starting to find this wonderful thing called the Internet and, specifically, Usenet. All of my posts used my Rialtus name. The name had officially "stuck" to the point that, so much so that, upon meeting him for the first time at GSC 3 in Chicago, Aaron Solomon said "Oh hi Rialtus. What's up?". Not Carl mind you... Rialtus. Since then, I've had many an email address that started with rialtus@... let's see, lightside.com, primenet.com, earthlink.net, hotmail.com, yahoo.com, etc... But when search engines came to the net, I did a vanity check and found out that there were no anything using the name Rialtus. I was ... unique? Okay, well then... I gotta stick with this name!

Since then, I have found out that rialtus@aol.com is used by someone who is not me. Apparently, in Canada, RIALTUS is a trademark acronym for some long thing in French having to do with the church, and this is their email. Upon finding that out, I made an effort to get the rialtus.com domain registered to me, which I have now had for many years (though is currently FUBAR). And yes, my license plate is RIALTUS as well, courtesy of my fiancee Jen on Christmas 2000.

I've lost touch with basically all the Borg club members. I ran into Chatsworthus (now just Chats) at a taping of Pictionary of all things. He had a friend that was working on the show, and I was there to be an audience member/cheering section for one of Aaron Solomon's friends that was on the show. Just found Don Teal online the other day. Still haven't heard anything from Kate von Mayr (T'Caer). Yes, for those of you that know the story, this was the club that brought myself and the now named Psycho-Bitch from Hell (K'Sar) together. Candice Woolen (Sheltius) has moved along nicely with her life as of the last time I talked with her some years back. Swannox, BEAST, Tricius, Rubberus Checkus, Q2, Marianus, Smorgus (of Borg... get it?), Lindaswedacious, TeaBorg, T'Caer... not a word. If any of you did a vanity check and found your name here, drop me a line (link) and let me know who and how you are.

*sigh* So much has changed in my life in 11 years...

yub yub,


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2002 03:18 pm (UTC)
Imagine I've used the thumbus-up icon...
Very cool story and an excellent, well-suited choice of name!
Sep. 16th, 2002 06:24 pm (UTC)
Did you mean: rituals?
Jun. 10th, 2004 02:38 pm (UTC)
you may not have heard a word from us, but we have heard from you.

have a day
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )