Oh seriously, ANOTHER Bill Bickel? [OT]

IBB, the Seattle real estate agent, has appropriated my Gmail address. Now South Dakota’s Bill Bickel is using my Yahoo mail address.

So I know all about the Dodge van he and his wife Courtney own, paid for by his mother Laurie.

This would make him at least the fifth Bill Bickel to use either my Gmail or Yahoo address. This is getting beyond ridiculous.


  1. The problem is that it’s probably “Bill Tom Bickel” or “Bill Theodore Bickel” or even “James William Bickel”. Some folks go by their middle name.

  2. Kedamono, that just means there’s a lot more of “me” than it appears, right?

    I know of about a dozen people who go by “Bill Bickel”: no idea how many Williams and Wills there are, let alone Bill Toms who go by “Tom.”

    It happens, by the way, that not a single one of the Bill Bickels I know of is even distantly related to me.

  3. Maybe it’s not them but their idiot friends who just can’t conceive that bill.bicke@yahoo.com *wouldn’t* be their friends e-mail address.

    Or not. Trying to conceive of idiots is enough to give a guy the cold robbies.

  4. Oh, fickles! I honestly did not expect a posted email address would render without some form of verification.

    Which means I just made things worse.

    And that I’m a bit of an idiot myself.

    But… come on. *Anyone* can post *anything* that looks like a valid email address and it has to be an email address of *somebody*.

  5. @ Bill – Do either of the counterfeit “Bills” actually give out your address in their own correspondence, or it is a case of them using (for instance) “billbickel1@…”, and their respondents simply forget to type the “1”?

  6. @Kilby: As I recall, IBB has occasionally CCed himself and sent stuff to our Bill.

  7. “Getting” beyond ridiculous? There are other Carl Finks but none of them have confused my email address with their own.

  8. Bill Bickel – There Can Be Only One.

    Let me redo the edge on my broadsword, then send me all the information you have on these pathetic imitations.

    And then – fire and fury.

    I mean, anything for a righteous dude who faithfully supports the March of Dimes.

    SIsters and brothers, rally to my quest!

  9. I have a very common first and last name, and have only once suffered from crossed emails. A former professor at the University I work at shared names with me; his email address was last name_first initial@ wahterever,edu whereas mine is first intiial_last name@whaterver.edu. There was never many misaddressed emails except at the beginning of the semester when students where asking to get seated in his classes and at the end of the semester when I got to read some of the most interesting excuses as to why they did so poorly on their finals.

  10. Don’t get too comfy in that squishy mini-van. I’m pretty sure I know “Laurie”, and that sweet ride comes with MAJOR strings attached. It’s a good thing your sub-wife Courtney is SOOOOO hot…..

  11. My last name is fairly common among Norwegians, Vietnamese, and I think no other eths. My own ancestry is Norwegian, but thanks to the name I’ve gotten on some “honor your Vietnamese heritage by buying this tacky crap” mailing lists over the years.

    But somehow I’ve avoided being a victim of comparable email mix-ups. Which is a bit surprising, since when I ego-Google my name, the two individuals who show up most frequently are (a) me and (b) a guy I’ve never met who, whoever, lives in the same metro area that I do, worked at a profession with some aspects (researching and publishing) overlapping my own, and retired about the same time that I did. At least I’m *pretty* sure that the other guy with my name isn’t me acting out a split personality thing while I thought I was sleeping (if only because I don’t sleep that soundly).

  12. There can be consolation prizes, though. I have a Biblical first name that’s quite common for American women, and a Germanic last name that’s quite common for Ashkenazi Jews. Living in Manhattan as I do, I’ve come across evidence of a number of myself, and one saved me a bunch of money when I was young and uninsured; the pharmacist simply refused to believe I was not the version of me who had insurance on file with them. As God is my witness I explained the situation to her, but she insisted on giving me my meds free regardless. I guess what I’m saying is, look on the bright side, there’s always identity theft!

  13. I have a GMail guy who uses my gmail address, and, like Bill, know far more about him and his life than I want to. I’ve occasionally had the opportunity to cancel appointments he’s made, but so far have managed to resist.

    There’s also a conference I go to twice a year. At one point there were three of us attending. I know this because I checked in and had hotel voicemail (this was before cellphones). I played it: strange female voice saying “Call me when you get in, honey”. Shrug, delete, go to dinner. On return, three more voicemails in ascending order of stridency: “Why haven’t you called me?” “Are you ok?” “I’m really worried…”

    At that point, I called the hotel operator and asked, “How many Phil Smiths do you have staying here?” and she checked and said “Three.” “Well, please call the other two and tell ’em to call their wives!”

  14. My identity theft opportunities have included stealing one Bill Bickel’s Netflix account and another’s bank account. It would be simple: just go to the log-in page and ask them to send a new password to the e-mail address they have on record.

  15. I’d argue it doesn’t even count as identity theft when people are actively shoving their identities at you. Let’s call it identity acceptance. “Your Honor, it was obviously very important to these men that I represent myself as them.”

  16. A couple of decades ago, I went to work at Intel, and was added to the email directory.

    The way it worked was that as you typed in characters, it predictably matched names in the directory, so you didn’t have to type in the whole thing (or necessarily know how to spell someone’s name. So, before I got there, if you wanted to send mail to, say, Jennifer Pollock, you would start by typing in her last name and enough of her first name to get a match, which was just the initial J, and the system would match that to the first email account that matched that pattern, which was hers.
    Then, my email was put in the directory, and pollockj matched my name instead, because James comes alphabetically before Jennifer. I don’t know what exactly she did, but I got a bunch of lunch invitations my first couple of weeks… and some meeting reminders.

  17. My actual last name is reasonably uncommon. As I understand it, all with that name in the US are directly related by blood or marriage, originating from my great-grandfather and his brother. However, it’s still a fair number of folk as we’re apparently a prolific lot.

    For a long time, the the only one with the first name Brian I ever found online was myself. Those were mostly old usenet posts from when I was at WUSTL. The newsreader (trn) was configured to put your full name on the posts. There are “forums” that just scrape up old usenet threads and present them as topics on the forum (with ads of course).

    I have a nephew with the same first and last name, different middle. He’s getting old enough to have his own online footprint to a small degree. His email is completely different and with a different service. Not that people his age use email much.

  18. If your name is Jim Smith, there are so many people with your name that they founded the Jim Smith Society, http://www.jimsmithsociety.com/ with annual conventions and everything. Imagine “Phone call for Jim Smith” in THAT hotel!

  19. I was lucky and picked my email name way back in ’86 and so far, I’ve only met one other person who uses “Kedamono” as a username. When I do run into him, I have to change my username to “Kedamono1st”. 🙂

  20. Like Brian, all (or at least most) with my surname are related to me – some very very distantly, though (the original McGaffey reportedly came to the New World in 1630 or so). There is a woman, about my age, with my first and last names (not sure about middle) who lives in the town where my sister lived and I lived with her for a year. Oddly enough, we never ran into each other (nor did she run into my sister, to my knowledge), but when I was working temp at a clinic I confirmed some of her appointments (but never actually spoke to her). I suspect that she is jjmcgaffey on a few sites where I haven’t already gotten it – I’ve had to add a number or be jennmcgaffey a few places.

    My dad has a gmail address that’s his first initial, Mom’s first initial, our surname. Someone else, who is presumably distantly related but no one knows how, has a gmail address that’s Dad’s first and middle initials and our surname. Various members of the family, including me, have sent emails to him by accident – he’s quite nice about saying “I don’t think this was intended for me”. We don’t do it often, though – maybe once or twice a year, familywide. Oddly enough, he apparently went to the same university I did, though not at the same time (at least, LinkedIn suggests him as a fellow student as well as for sharing my dad as a link).

  21. My weirdest same-name experience was back in the early days of the Internet when I wanted to register bickel.com. It turns out somebody had registered it earlier that same day.

    Which would have been odd enough, but it had been registered by somebody with my father’s name (he’d passed away twenty-odd years earlier).

    Which would have been only a minor coincidence if my father’s name hadn’t been Benno.

    Not only did this Benno Bickel beat me to the registration by a few hours, but he lives in Vienna, where my father was born.

    My cousin (from the maternal side of my family), who’s a genealogist,did some preliminary checking and tells me the likelihood that we’re related is practically nil.

  22. Back in the olden times, when Internet service was dialup, I was early enough to get my first initial and last name as a username and therefore email address. No numbers needed. I kept an account with my dialup ISP even after moving to broadband service, just so I could keep using the same email address.
    Finally, the dialup ISP stopped offering service and even shut down their mail servers, and I had to go find another after using the same one for about a dozen years.
    Now I don’t have an ISP. Frontier wanted to keep billing me for months after I sold my house and disconnected service. They even mailed the bills to my new mailing address. As of the last time I opened an envelope they mailed me, they were threatening me that if I didn’t make a payment soon, they might have to disconnect my service…

  23. And right now, of course, there are several Bill Bickels who are convinced THEY were quick enough to get their names (without numbers) as their e-mail addresses.

  24. Today we were picking up prescriptions. I gave the employee husband’s name and birthdate. Normally mine also shows up with his info as the accounts are linked. Mine did not show up. I gave her my name and stopped a second or two – she asked for my birthdate. (We are regulars there) and said to her “I am guessing that I am the only Meryl A… that you have. I found another one once in California online, but I am not sure she exists as she did not answer my email.” She laughed as she asked again for my birthdate.

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