names

I’m Max Rible Kaehn; my bachelor name was Max Rible, and I took the last name of my wife, Mara, when we got married in 2003. Having a man take his wife’s last name appears to be completely normal in Silicon Valley; not a single person batted an eyelash when I brought in the paperwork. (If you’re filling in your database fields, the middle name is “Rible” and the surname is “Kaehn”; the name is not double-barreled unhyphenated.)

My most common online handle is Slothman. I acquired that moniker back when Mara and I were first dating, and the cartoon version of The Tick was playing. Mara is an ambitious woman with an MBA and the gumption to work long hours, while I have turned motivated laziness into a career, so we occasionally clash on these differences. She eventually decided that we were arch-enemies: she is Obsessivewoman, Champion of Hard Work, and I am Slothman, Defender of Laziness.

I’m not the only Slothman in the world, though, so occasionally I run into collisions on various online services. My next fallback name is Catslaugh; whether I’m laughing like a cat or silly enough to make a cat laugh is for you to decide.

Since I’m not even the only Catslaugh on the Internet, I racked my brain for a more unique handle, and recalled a notion I had come up with when developing ideas for fantasy role-playing games: the mithril tabby— a notion inspired by my younger Maine Coon cat, Yeti, who is a silver tabby, and the fictional, magical metal mithril invented by Tolkien and popularized in numerous role-playing games, both dice-and-paper and computer. Finding absolutely no hits on Google, I nabbed the domain name.