OK, I realize that you are almost certainly not sitting around wondering why on Earth you would want to spend your time talking to a shy, elderly computer geek with delusions of wisdom. And you probably aren't wondering exactly what a reference to Cordwainer Smith is doing in my user profile, either. But just in case you did want to know, here's a little background information that might help, as well as illuminate the possibly obscure relationship between the two.
A long time ago in a Usenet group called
before I became the Mandelbear, I originally referred myself as "the
Medium-Sized Teddybear". It was a deliberate reference to a character,
the Middle-Sized Bear, in the story Mark Elf by Cordwainer Smith. You'll find the relevant chapter, "Conversation with the Middle-Sized Bear", here.
Back in late 1990, I quoted the relevant section in a post, and I will do so again here, though you'll find it well worth your while to read the entire chapter, if not the whole story.( You can skip this if you've read the story. )
Back half a decade ago I quoted that same passage in this post, with a bit of the Usenet post for context.
Oddly enough, I really can become the Middle-Sized Bear: comfortable and comforting to be around. Not all the time, of course, but often enough to occasionally make a difference for somebody. I'm not entirely sure what it is that I do, or how I do it. It may have something to do with being comfortable with silence. In any event, there it is.