Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Origin of the Name

Last night I had a great experience meeting bloggers. You might think, what? What a geek? Well, blogging is hip in it's own way. My blog is where I can talk about things I do and like and think and whatever else.

Heather Whittaker hosted a blog party at a restaurant in metro-Atlanta. Heather had a popular following as does her husband Carlos and we had probably 50 people sign up for dinner and socialization.

Stephanie Lee, wife of Third Day guitarist Brad Lee helped Heather coordinate a lot of the evening and as Heather lost her voice this week, Stephanie did most of the emceeing for the night.

So we were all hanging around chatting and eating and having fun but I kept getting asked what is the meaning of Valtool's Box (the name not the blog itself) and I have realized it is not something I have ever explained. so here it goes.

in the late 80's I was a big fan of a pop singer named Debbie Gibson. Her radio popularity fell off in the early 90's but I continued to buy her recordings and in the early days of the internet there were the usenet news groups. That's where i met a number of other Debbie Gibson fans including Mike McNamara.

Mike and I knew each other online and met in person in July '96 at a Gibson-organized fan convention in New York. Mike was then a student at the University of Florida and I was between degrees at UCF. We got to be friends and made a couple of road trips to FSU for football and other events. Mike was one of my groomsmen when Amy and I married in 2001.

In those early days of the Internet, long before AIM, facebook and myspace there was a MOO. A Moo was a site we could log into and interact with other people, setting up our own "rooms" and people could come and visit you or you could meet in common spaces like a coffee shop.

In '94 I went to London and saw Les Miserables and chose Valjean as a screen name for the MOO. McNamara had an account there as did another guy from the Gibson fan base named Rob Polinsky. During the '96 election, Mike and Rob decided to create their own virtual political party which was dedicated to 80's pop music, sports, trivia, buffalo wings and beer. They named this the Tool Party and adapted their screen names to represent the party. MacDaddy became MacTool, Poman became PoTool and Valjean became Valtool.

Rob and Mike were the President and Vice-president nominees. I was the party press secretary and social planner. So since '96, holy cow 12 years ago now, i have been called Valtool. When i was looking for a blog name i wanted to incorporate Valtool. well, where do you store your tools and tool-related things? a toolbox right? So Valtool's box was born.


me said...

thanks for the comment...the shawl in question? it was mine when i was a child...i am a child of the 70's and my grandma made it. glad you were able to identify it!

thanks for stopping by.

FRIGGA said...

Hmmm.... very interesting. Plus a political party dedicated to beer (among other things) you've definitely go tmy interest with that! :)

So, did you meet the Third Day guitarist? When I was heavily involved in the church (in high school) I used to love that band and even went to a concert once. That party would've been worth it just for that (yes, I am a geek who gets excited about meeting vaguely famous people). :-0