Today I decided it'd be a nice feature to include a "cast of characters" reference program for you, my regular readers. This is because I get a lot of emails and IMs asking, "Who is such-and-such?" So I figure if I put it all together in one place, it'd save you all the trouble of having to track me down.
I wonder if I should give the cast a silly name, like Howard Stern has the Wack Pack. I supposed I could have the Cherky Pack, but that doesn't really rise to the level of quality you folks expect.
At first, I decided to post a picture of each person with their eyes blocked out Dirty Deeds style, and I snuck around work all day taking surprise photos of all my coworkers. But later, I figured people might get mad if I took pictures of them at work and then posted them. So I decided to simply post random pictures of cars for each person until that person gives me permission to post their blacked out photo.
I don't expect all that many to give me permission.
These are in alphabetical order, in case you feel the need to get all petty and hurt that someone came before you.
Bozzetto. Until very recently, Bozzetto was referred to as "CJ", which is his blog alias over at CJ's Blah. It's also his real life alias, making it no fun at all. Bozzetto and I go way back to the first project I worked on at The Company that wasn't cancelled (about 1996) back in Santa Clarabelle. But he fled town for Fort TomCollins right after that. It took another seven or so years for me to get run out of Santa Clarabelle.
The alias "Bozzetto", which is Italian for "crappy little design study," comes from this post over at Thoughts in the USA. Poor CJ was the only person with no real nickname, so I had to help him out a bit.
BrainkyP. BrainkyP is a fellow who is one of the three people on this list who are former bosses of mine back in Santa Clarabelle. He used to be a good kid, but he decided to dedicate himself to management about 4 years ago and became a complete management toady. I worked for him for a total of maybe six months, and he has the distinction of being the manager who officially drove me out of the state so he could replace me with my lower-paid and more easily controlled understudy. BrainkyP is most famous for having a very large head in the literal, not figurative, sense. Oddly, his head is smaller than JohnnyB's, but JohnnyB is much larger overall which tends to mask the size of his head. He has the distinction of being the first person ever run out of Santa Clarabelle to Ft. TomCollins, and then being the first person to come running back.
The name BrainkyP comes from the classic method we used to use back in Santa Clarabelle of taking someone's first name with a "y" on the end and the first initial of their last name and using that as a nickname, provided that the first initial of the last name ended with the "eeee" vowel sound. (As an aside, if your name didn't fit this format, you could swap around first and last names to try to make it fit. Hence, "CherkyB".) This is a slight twist on that as we had a wacky British dude in the group for a number of years who used to mispronounce BrainkyP's first name as "Brainco," so the "i" got added.
Cavitation. You may also know him as "Rob" from Cavagnaro Blogger. He is kind of a coworker of mine out here in Ft. TomCollins, though we don't quite exactly work on the same project. He also originates from Santa Clarabelle, though I did not know him when he was there. We mostly gravitated towards one another through the natural pull of being malcontents.
I suppose we could have called him "RobbyC", but it doesn't really fit. I named him Cavitation as it is loosely like Cavagnaro, and it also refers to the way a high-powered rifle bullet kills you. A much cooler definition than problems boats have with their propellers.
Ellie (aka The Sister). Ellie is The Mrs.'s sweet little sister. She lives back in Barfalo because she never quite managed to break the apron strings from Manly Lesbian, their mother. Ellie shows up a lot more frequently in the blog than you'd expect given that we never see her, but she's a more frequent commenter. Ellie had a nasty breakup with a boyfriend who used his secret blogs to pick up chicks to cheat on her with, the story of which has now led The Mrs. to obsess about every time any woman leaves a comment on any of my blogs. Especially some woman The Mrs. has never heard of. I, however, used my now-defunct super-secret blog to post things too stupid to post on any of my regular blogs that I just had to get out nonetheless. Definitely no chick-picking-up going on over there. As part of her rebound, Ellie decided to see if blogging would be cathartic. It wasn't. Her blog made it just 4 days and six posts, which is like some kind of record. Spankolio made it only six posts as well, but he at least took 6 weeks to do it. Ellie is currently obsessing about her eBay rating and her new(ish) boyfriend "The Locksmith".
Ellie gets her name from taking part of her first name and pretending that's her real name.
The Hamburgler. A coworker I met in Ft. TomCollins. He's one of the few who got run out of Zena Folsom, CA, not Santa Clarabelle. Most people never leave Zena Folsom. Mainly because the majority of people there are in prison. He's a regular at Fat Camp, where he gets extremely drunk on about a half a beer and starts to provoke me. He is generally the best entertainment Fat Camp has going for it, so if he can't make it, we usually cancel.
He is called "The Hamburgler" because his last name means "a bent or curved implement, piece, appendage, etc." No wait. Wrong definition. His last name means "a dishonest person, esp. a sharper, swindler, or thief." I didn't think "Nixon" was a very good nickname, so I named him after the next-most-famous swindler.
JohnnyB. The second person on the list with the honor of being my former boss, though the only one of the three I was only on loan to, JohnnyB is the famous poet-in-residence at The JohnnyB. Sometimes, we all get confused and refer to him as "The JohnnyB," but this is technically incorrect. JohnnyB remains back in Santa Clarabelle, where they have yet to run him out of town despite years of trying. He is most famous for his French Canadian Lumberjack impression, which is dead-nuts on. So much so that we often forget he is actually just an Anglo Canadian Lumberjack.
JohnnyB got his nickname name through the first name with a "y" plus first initial of last name method.
Manly Lesbian, aka Fat Moother, aka Fat Moother-in-Law. Manly Lesbian is the latest fake name of CherkyB's mother-in-law. She likes to make up new names every time she leaves a comment. She is neither manly nor a lesbian, as far as anyone knows. After burying all her husbands and many of her boyfriends, all without much in-depth investigation from the authorities, she has settled into a life of spinsterhood with her cats. Manly Lesbian raised her older daughter from a young age to expect to some day be the bride of CherkyB, and this remains one of her most controversial acts.
Manly Lesbian is the only person on the list today who gave herself her own nickname. Generally, that is against the rules, but CherkyB has learned that no good ever comes of nitpicking the mother-in-law.
MoodyT. MoodyT, like BrainkyP, was run out of Santa Clarabelle to Ft. TomCollins at one of the earliest possible times, though he has never looked back. I knew him back in Santa Clarabelle, though, oddly, he did not know me. A regular at Fat Camp, he serves as our moderator, frequently stepping in when the discussion between The Hamburgler and Me, CherkyB gets too heated. His favorite drink is something called, "I'll have what he just ordered." He enjoys snowboarding and mountain biking, and if you're interested, ladies, he's still single.
MoodyT is the only person on this list who was named by CJ. It's a fairly recent name which was bestowed upon him on account of he can be a bit moody. Prior to that, he was known by the standard first name with a "y" and last initial.
MoustachioP. Another California ex-pat who got run out of either Santa Clarabelle or Zena Folsom, depending on whose version of the story you remember. Prior to my arrival in Ft. TomCollins, MoustachioP was the resident angry guy. However, MoodyT spent all the time between when I accepted the Ft. TomCollins offer and when I arrived telling everyone that didn't know me that, "He's a lot like MoustachioP, only without the sunny disposition."
MoustachioP got his nickname because he has a mustache and his last name begins with "P", and it has kind of a mafia strongman feel to it.
NavieA-B. As of this writing, the only one on the list whom I have never met. You may know her as "Nava" from Thoughts in the USA. NavieA-B is the long-suffering wife of JohnnyB, which is how she came to be known to Me, CherkyB. She is an artist whose two favorite pass-times are artsy-fartsy things and pointing out the silly things her husband does. NavieA-B, being Israeli, can kill you with her bare hands. Only one hand if you're a scrawny electrical engineer like half the people on this list. So try not to poke fun at her art by doing anything like saying that the definition of a "bozzetto" is "crappy little design study." [Update: NavieA-B is claiming to not know how to kill you with her bare hands. Only with a rifle. Go ahead and poke fun of her art.]
NavieA-B got her nickname through the standard method, only with an "ie" instead of a "y" because she's a woman, and with an "A-B" since she has one of those wacky hyphenated last names.
Rico. Yet another person who fled California for Ft. TomCollins, Rico is a bit of an enigma. As a fat camp regular, he spends much of his time policing other people's discussions for chances to utter his favorite saying, "Don't be a racist, man. It's not cool." He gets very defensive if someone says the same thing to him.
Rico got his name due to the unusual circumstances that through various machinations of marriage and the legal system, he ended up with a very East-coast white bread first name and a very Mexican last name. So he got a kinda East coasty Mexicany nickname.
StinkyJ. The last of my former bosses back in Santa Clarabelle on the list, he is the one I also worked for for the least amount of time. He is perhaps most famous for giving pep talks to teams about how great things are looking right before The Company decides to cancel a project or lay half of the team off. It's quite a joke now such that pep talks are generally requested when we've gotten wind of a major disruption. His famous, "Maybe you can go run some simulations for Harry," speech is often credited with sealing the deal for my move to Ft. TomCollins, though it was not actually responsible for it. It was the heavy recruitment by Tinfoil and MoodyT that did it. Those lying bastards.
StinkyJ gets his nickname because for years they used to call him "Stick Boy" and then just "Stick," and someone else at work morphed that into "Stinky," and his first name begins with "J". So StickyJ it is.
Tinfoil. A fellow who people used to curse continuously back in Santa Clarabelle when I was working for JohnnyB. For years I only knew him as, "F-ing Rxyz Ryxz...." But it turns out he has an infectious enthusiasm for his work, like he really cares, and on occasion this even rubs off on me. It's a bizarre thing and doesn't last long, but there it is. He recruited me to Ft. TomCollins primarily to kill a particular feature in a particular design, and, as fate would have it, my entire career now rests upon me successfully delivering this feature. Not kidding on that. My entire career rests on making happen the thing I was recruited to kill. Tinfoil is a bit of a farm-boy rube, but in a good way. I learned the other day that he owns his own skid loader, and I'm trying to figure out exactly the right bribe to get him to teach me how to drive it. I figure beer will probably work.
He got the nickname "Tinfoil" because his initials are RJR, which makes you think of R J Reynolds, which makes you think of Reynolds Wrap, which makes you think of tinfoil. It's a good name cuz when he starts to act all kooky we can make tinfoil hat jokes.
El Torito. El Torito, like CJ, also worked on my first not-canceled project at The Company. For them, it was their first project. For me, my second. So we go way back. He, also like CJ, fled Santa Clarabelle for the refuge of Ft. TomCollins right after that project. Though, to be fair, The Company was backing up dump trucks full of cash to anyone who was willing to move at that time. He now sits diagonally across the hall from my cube, so I can rain abuse down upon him at virtually any time. He and BrainkyP have a longstanding feud because of a party where BrainkyP got drunk and danced on El Torito's pool table, knocking the slates all out of alignment. That was about six years ago, and El Torito has steadfastly refused to get the pool table fixed since then, just on principle. So he no longer plays pool. I started a collection to pay for the slate realignment, but people lost interest after I collected about $2.
El Torito gets his name because his first name sounds like "Ferdinand" which makes you think of Ferdinand the Bull, and the bull is "el toro" in Spanish, which in turn makes you think of the chain of Mexican restaurants called El Torito.
WoodyWoody. Of all the people in the cast, WoodyWoody is the one who gives me hope. Hope that I'll live at least another 5 years despite very little upkeep. And, as I always say, even false hope is better than no hope at all. WoodyWoody works for The Company back in Santa Clarabelle. He and I worked closely on a big gigantic mess on a particular project for a number of months a couple projects ago, and we discovered the similarities in our outlooks on life and recreational hobbies, though he is steadfastly a Tanqueray man while I tend more towards Bombay Sapphire.
WoodyWoody gets his name from the fact that his real last name sounds a lot like "WoodyWoody" if you say it quickly.