I’ve been messing around with HTML and the web since about 1995, and have had web sites on and off. In the past, I’ve had a couple of personal sites (most of which took more time and work to make, and none of which I like nearly as much as the current form of this site, which is now, after several version over the years, based on WordPress). I used to have various forms of web sites for my following on a MUD I used to play.
Early 1998, I started to get an indefinable desire to register a domain name of my own. Perhaps I wanted my own “digital identity” or something. I can’t really describe why I decided to, but I popped the $70 and registered this domain, yggdrasil.net (back in 1998, registering domains was a much more costly and involved process than it is now). It was about my third choice or so thematically (I tried probably 50 variations on domains, however, before deciding on this one). A couple of months later, I chose and signed up a hosting service (I originally used Hiway Technologies - they were reliable, but pricey. yggdrasil.net was hosted by JavaPie for a while, who seemed to be cheap, reliable, and they had very responsive support techs. A couple of more hosts served along the years, and currently, I use Site5 as my web hosting provider), and moved my MUD pages to their servers, added a few things to them since I now had access to CGI . . . and didn’t do much else. I intended to finally make another “home page” or something of my own, but I kept putting it off. Finally, I just sat down one Friday night, and in about 4-5 hours put together the site layout, made most of the graphics, and yggdrasil.net became a reality. While a lot of things have changed over the years, I still am fond of the basic original layout for the site, and I’ve spent entirely too much time trying to replicate the original layout with a WordPress theme.
A lot of people have been asking “What the heck does this yggdrasil thing stand for or mean anyhow?” Well, my answer is sort of twofold. Yggdrasil is the name of the Tree of Life, or World Tree, in Norse Mythology. The Midgaard Serpent coils around – and eats – Yggdrasil, as it makes its way from Midgaard to Odgaard. When Ragnarok comes, Thor is supposedly fated to battle the serpent, and he kills the serpent, but not before taking fatal wounds, and dying from its bite (or it may be from its poison). This is a rough and loose explanation of these myths – if I’m off on details, don’t flame me for them. The basic idea is there.
The second part of why I chose yggdrasil.net as my domain, I owe to Chris Preiser (a great friend of mine from Phoenix). Chris introduced me to Anime, with Oh! My Goddess and Record of Lodoss Wars. Those two OAV series hooked me on Anime, and hard. In Oh! My Goddess (or Ah! Megami-sama in the Japanese) there are three goddesses – Belldandy, Urd, and Skuld – who are some of the primary characters. These names are based on more Norse Mythology – that of the Three Norns, which are basically the Norse equivalents of the Greco-Roman Fates. Anyway, in the Anime, Urd and Skuld tend to Yggdrasil – the deific, magical computer that is the earth and heaven’s support system.
That just struck something deep in me, and I liked it a lot. I’m practically obsessive about Oh! My Goddess as fantastic Anime. I named my Computer’s Network name Yggdrasil, and my Hard Drives at the time I created this site were named Yggdrasil (C:), Belldandy (D:), Urd (E:), and Skuld (F:). I had to name them something, and the other “cool” idea I’d seen was already used by a friend (He named his drives after sections of Babylon 5). So, to come to the point, when it came time to choose a domain name, yggdrasil seemed a natural to me. Deciding to make the site name all lowercase was just to be different.
My Gaming Name (ZealotOnAStick)
During probably the Third week or so of the Starcraft beta, there was a day where I was just getting beaten – and not just losing, but getting slaughtered – every game I seemed to play. It was getting ridiculous, I could just not do anything right that day. I remarked in chat that I was getting tired of getting skewered, and this idea just formed. I logged out and created a new name – ZealotOnAStick – since I decided I might as well have fun at getting skewered. Everyone who saw the name just seemed to think it was great, so it sort of grew on me as time went on.
I hand-code my HTML. I don’t use WYSIWYG editors. I DO use a program called “WebEdit Pro” which is basically a glorified text editor which has handy shortcuts for inserting common HTML tags. All the graphics on my site with the exception of the cool neon-glow bar below and link buttons for other sites are designed by me. That’s a remarkable feat, as I suck with graphics. A lot of this is going to change soon, though, as I’m working on a site redesign to move entirely towards CSS and php. <– This is old, old news. I’m still not a fan of WYSIWYG editors, but my coding these days is in UltraEdit and Visual Studio. Also, WordPress and other FOSS have saved me a lot of trouble of trying to code things myself.
Got a question about this site you’d like to have explained? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.