When I first moved to San Francisco, a friend took me wine tasting in Sonoma. We ended up at a restaurant for dinner – called All Seasons Cafe, in Calistoga. At the front of the restaurant was a large flat bronze sculpture of a goat. Next to the goat, on a small hand-written card, was the polite message reminding diners of a (then new?) Californian law – “this is a non-smoking goat.”

My friend was obsessed with anything that could be mis-appropriated as a band-name. “Burnt toast”, “coughing fit”, “jackass driver” – any phrase could be taken out of context and used. And so “Non-smoking goat” was next in his list.

Except that I’m a writer, and I couldn’t go for the passive voice – it had to be “Smoking Goat.” Because of the argument that ensued, we both left that weekend with the phrase “Smoking Goat” stuck in our heads.

When I got back to work, I renamed my computer “The Smoking Goat Experience.” What I didn’t realize was that that was the name that showed up on the network -so every time someone went to copy files or change a printer, they would see that name.

And the rest – is just the intentional and careful building of an online identity. 😉


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