I play/write under the pseudonym JoazBanbeck. I'm rather active in the Southern California go scene, appearing without warning at various go clubs. I live and work in San Diego and my wife lives in LA, so I travel frequently between the two..... 2019 UPDATE: We moved back down down to northern San Diego county.
Back in 1989 I learned how to commit go from Forrest Curo, the guy who started the SanDiegoGoClub. ( Thanks, Forrest! )
I learned the game rapidly, partly because I had played serious chess before and was able to transplant some concepts and skills. Also, advice from John 'Sid' Sidorovich helped a lot. ( Thanks, Sid! ) BTW, If anyone knows how to contact Sid, please let me know. Last I heard, he was in Santa Cruz.
The SanDiegoGoClub had very few people above 1Dan, so I stalled for years at about 1Dan myself. Playing go became a social activity, and I met lots of fine people there.
Around about 2006 I noticed that I had not increased in rank in 5 or 6 years, so I decided to get serious about the game. I've attended the 2008, 2009, and 2010 USGoCongresses, and a handful of local tournaments, particularly the CotsenGoTournament. The sole effect of this has been an increase in frequent flyer miles. My rank has not changed.
My most successful venture to improve - or at least alter - the go world has been the invention of Malkovich Games on GoDiscussions. More recent attempts are a Malkovich version of BigBrotherGo, FwiffoDonation, and helping bring the 2011 USGoCongress to southern California.
Other minor attempts are offering misleading advice in the 'Game Analysis' sub-forum on L19, and perusing the pages of SL for inane feminine pronouns to correct.
I'm an amateur writer. Some of my efforts can be seen here http://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=2834 and here: http://www.lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=3036
My one claim to fame is that I am the first person to ever play a takeout double in a game of go.
I tend to hang out at Lifein19x19.com, visiting almost daily. A PM there is the easiest way to contact me.