How This Site Got Its Admittedly Dumb Name

I just got an email reminder that this domain name is going to be auto-renewed tomorrow. This will be the 19th renewal, yikes.

I know what you might be saying: “Andrew, this domain is 19 years old? You’re so young, when did you register it, were you 5 years old?” The answer is yes.

Sometimes, people ask me why the domain name is “Be Nice To Bears”. It seems like a name that has some sort of meaning, like maybe I got mauled by a bear once, or I’m really into wildlife causes, or something like that. But no, I have not been mauled by a bear yet, but I’ll tell you where the name came from.

I don’t have the greatest memory, but when I do remember something from the distant past, I always remember where I was. In the case of this domain name, I was leaving work at this Internet company in Toronto where I did tech support. I had been thinking for a day or two about buying a domain name, but I didn’t know what to get. Then, as I was waiting for the elevator to come, the phrase “Be nice to bears” came into my head randomly. I remember thinking something like “Haha that’s dumb, I’ll use that”, and I registered it once I got home.

And that’s it. For 19 years after that, I’ve owned this domain, and had all sorts of different things hosted on it. I’ve paid hundreds of dollars in domain renewal fees, not to mention various hosting costs, and all because of just some really weird little electrical impulse that made me think of bears. I bet that I had just heard someone say something a day earlier like “I guess it’d be nice if this system could bear the load” or something, and those words were just sticking in the back of my brain.

Sometimes I think it’s weird that the most random, tiny things can really make big impacts, but I also think that maybe I’m just mentally stupid. For instance, the actual reason that I’ve been updating this blog this year is because of 1 stupid joke I made on Twitter. I wrote that tweet, then a few minutes later I thought “that tweet wasn’t very good, it doesn’t make sense unless I start blogging”, and so I changed some DNS settings, installed Wordpress and wrote a post. I guess that doesn’t prove anything about random, tiny things, because most people are huge spazzes that would do that.