Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Ned by any other name

I guess this is as good a place to start as any. For the record, no, my name is not actually Ned Thomas. It's Adam.

I was dubbed "Ned" in high school. My best friend was over at my house one day and happened to see an email from the drummer for the band I was in at the time. Fatefully, said drummer's name was also Adam, and his email happened to be adamned@whateverdomainitwas.com. To which my best friend immediately said "Who the hell is Adam Ned?" and then immediately decided that was my new name. Over the course of time, the "Adam" part dropped off and everyone just referred to me as Ned. Hell, in the liner notes for every album I've done vocals on I've only been credited as Ned. I'm even thinking it'll need to go on my tombstone/urn if I want people to actually know it's me in there.

Meanwhile, the "Thomas" comes from my granddad. He grew up in a one room shack in the North Carolina mountains too poor to afford the spare time to go to school. He joined the navy before he actually knew how to read and the day after he married my grandmother (who was the one who later taught him how to read). 40 years of service later he retired having been through everything from building houses in the Philippines to loading bombs during the Cuban missile crisis to being a lead mechanic for Air Force One. I have a Chinese to English dictionary that supposedly belonged to Richard Nixon from that last bit. He settled the family back down in good ole' NC where he built their house and spent the rest of his working years building housing developments. He was married to my grandmother for over 50 years (I forget exactly how long) until she died. Roughly nine years after that, he passed away after putting up a long fight with Parkinson's disease. For my entire life, I've looked up to him and considered him a hero, and I've always been proud as hell that my middle name was his first and I like to show it off.

The name "Ned Thomas" was born long before I ever undocked in New Eden for the first time. I first used  it as a pseudonym for sending short stories in to sci-fi rags. Anytime I've ever needed to come up with a handle for myself it's the first thing I've turned to. The name represents two very important things to me, namely friends and family (see what I did there?). So when I first logged into Eve and needed a name, Ned Thomas was just the obvious choice to use. It probably has a lot to do with why I've never started an actual alt account. And also a big reason why I just have no interest in trying to split the real life me from the me that throws snowballs in space.

So there ya go. I yam what I yam and I sweet potato what I sweet potato.

....that last line was terrible. Pretend I ended it with a witty dick joke.

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