Who I am:

By day I am a mild mannered IT guy from Sydney, Australia.  By night I am Bastard Sheep: #nopants advocate, agnostic atheist, skeptic and hobbyist photographer.

Unlike the vast majority of my friends, I’m also a fan of various sports including but not limited to Rugby Union (Wallabies in International, Waratahs in Super15, Gordon Highlanders in Shute Shield), Hockey (LA Kings in NHL, Sydney Bears in AIHL, Penrith Phantoms / Sydney Bears in IHNSW), UCI World Tour cycling (favour Australian riders but no preferred teams), Cricket (Australia in Tests & ODI’s, dislike T20 and don’t follow other levels), and occasionally watch MotoGP, F1GP, V8 Supercars, and WRC, all with no preferred driver/rider.

What to find here:

As with most people I occasionally find a little something burning up inside me, something that I need to get out, and hence this blog was born.  It’s my little land of venting.

I cannot promise what is posted here will be well thought out and concise.  In fact, it’s probably more true to say the opposite.  Regardless, all opinions and words are purely that of my own and in no way shape or form represent anybody else or any other entity whether they be my employer or other groups I associate with.

Why “Bastard Sheep”:

In the mid-90’s prior to my family getting internet access my brother and I used to dial up to BBS’s (Bulletin Board Systems) instead.  These offered much the same functionality as the internet but with smaller more local communities and ASCII rather than image-rich pages.  There was online chat (similar to IRC), pages (Direct Messages), file download sections, forums, newsgroups, games (dungeons) and more.

Most forum software didn’t allow the variety of personalisation people are used to today, they remembered little more than ones name.  If you wanted your own signoff or signature, you had to type it in manually or set up a keyboard shortcut to enter it for you.

My brother and I had our own computers but shared the dial-up modem.  One day I decided I couldn’t be bothered crawling around under the desk and moving the modem to my computer to call a BBS so instead jumped on my brother’s computer.

Upon entering the forums I would read a message, hit ‘r’ to reply, look down at the keys as I typed up my response (I was still learning to touch type), hit my signoff macro, ‘/s’ to save and look up to read the next message.  Repeat this a few times – read looking up, ‘r’, look down and type, macro, ‘/s’, look up and read.

On one message, I looked up a little earlier than usual and something caught my eye.  My signoff wasn’t quite right.  “Isn’t it meant to be in colours?”, I thought.  I stopped the search for new messages and went in to a subforum I had just posted in.  Upon finding the message I just posted, the panicked realisation set in.  This was my brother’s computer, not mine.  That function key wasn’t my signoff macro.  So what was it?

I had just signed off 10-15 forum posts as “bastard sheep”.

Before I could compose myself and start searching for these posts to correct the error, a few pages (direct messages) came through on my screen.  It was too late, others on the BBS had already seen this.

From that day on I have been affectionately known as Bastard Sheep.  Fortunately most of the people online to see this I considered friends, in fact the plush sheep you see in my avatar was actually a little something I received from these very same people a few months later on my birthday.

I never did get a decent explanation from my brother as to why he had that macro set to “bastard sheep”, though.

Real name?:

I go by Byorgen Druffeldroff, but most people call me “Sheepie”.  When I started going online in the BBS days it was drilled in to me to always use a pseudonym – always protect your real identity as you never know if the person on the other end is who they say they are, or in the slightest bit trustworthy.

These days things have changed and it is becoming quite rare for people to use pseudonyms, which to be honest really is quite stupid.  Due to the prevalence of businesses, recruiters, and professional groups to search for peoples names in google, facebook and other social networking sites I have kept the pseudonym going. Due to the fact I cover topics which can be quite touchy and do get people extremely passionate such as theism/atheism, healthcare, wellbeing and politics, I have kept the pseudonym going.

I have friends who used the name on the ID in their wallet (ie, their wallet name), only to find those they were currently engaged in a mere debate with, naming a child of the friend which had NEVER mentioned online, let alone in the debate.  They’ve also had people they’re debating with mention the kid’s school and the time the school got out.

This is terrifying intrustion and threatening to the persons family and their wellbeing, which is another reason I kept the pseudonym going. I do not wish to put my own or my families & friends’ personal safety at risk due to some overzealous person I’m simply engaged in a debate with taking things too far.

With a “real”/wallet name, all they need is a rough idea of location and a phonebook.  Then, all personal space and personal safety of ones self and ones family is at risk.

This is why I use a pseudonym.  It is my nym.  It is my name. It is legally accountable (I can be taken to court under it). It is used in real life. It is persistent. It is no more anonymous, fake, or alternate than someone who has “Michael” on their ID choosing to go by “Mike”.

This is my blog, my twitter stream etc and they are my personal life, not my professional. My personal life is irrelevant to my professional, and vice versa. You will not find any crossover here.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi there!

    I came across your site by accident, and I’m very pleased I did – I think we must be cousins or something ;-)

    I’m also glad to see we have a lot in common…..

    “Agnostic Atheist, Skeptic, consumer of fine wines and coffees.”

    …except I’m more of an Atheist and I’d add chocolate to that list.

    I’ll be a regular visitor from now on. :-D

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