Opening an old thread, because I never had a chance to respond.....
Bear Up North:
In 1977 or 1978 (brain cells not remembering exactly) I was up north with a pack of friends. It was mid-February, we were in a little tourist town on Lake Superior (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), it was well below zero, there was tons of snow, and we were....shocker.....drinking.
About midnight we slowed on the beverages and everybody bought a shrimp basket......you know, the deep-fried little guys you buy in a bar after you have had eight (8) kazillion drinks. My friend Marcia was kidding me about eating the dep-fried tails, too. Being the showoff that the inebriated side of me is I grabbed a handful of the tails from my depleted basket and we walked out of that bar.
We were walking down the middle of the road, heading to the next bar. As we were doing this I was throwing the tails high in the air and catching them in my mouth. I had a snowmobile suit on that made me look like the Michelin Man. Marcia yelled out, "Hey look.....it's a dancing bear!"
The name stuck. I have been Bear to hundreds of people (in a non-work world). Many of the guys that I played basketball with for over twenty (20) years never did know my real name....just know me as "Bear". (Although some figured it out because my ex-wife married a guy I played basketball with all thsoe years.)
This has hidden meaning.....twofold. It is often used to describe the Upper Peninsula of Michgan (where I plant to retire). The U.P. (Locals will call say, "Da YooPe, eh?") It is also the direction I plan on going when I retire, mapwise.
There's that direction thing again.
That's my story. I use Bear Up North on the Cyburbia site. I have some variations that I use in my e-mail and in conversations with some friends.