A piece of the solution is that a group of friends of mine are running a small server as a co-op, and would be glad to let me have an account on it in return for an appropriate share of the collocation fees. The one remaining point is that they've set it up so that each person is using their own domain name for email addresses -- and, besides, it would be just as problematic to have my "permanent" email address tied to "my-friends-coop.net" as it is to have it tied to stanford.edu.
So. The question that this leads to, of course, is "What shall I choose for a domain name?" This is what I've got so far:
|droplet.net||A nice echo of my current server's name, droplet.stanford.edu||Taken by a holding company. No doubt too expensive to buy.|
|whorls.net||Similar to droplet, in being a single fluid-mechanics-related word. Echoes the "Big whorls have little whorls" poem about turbulence. Is one word, relatively short.||Doesn't really resonate with me. (Would probably grow on me, though.)|
|dropletfield.net||Contains droplet. Has echoes of my current research/career interests, and sounds nicely sciency.||Is a bit long, particularly if I add third-level names to it.|
|myfirstisp.net||Is very cute. Is also true.||Is very cute.|
|zq0.net||Is as short as I can get in an available domain name. Has a rather euphonious sound to it.||Signifies nothing.|
|dpdx.net||Short. Also means something; dp/dx is a pressure gradient.||Possibly odd to have math in one's domain name.|
|unicornsoup.net||Is somewhat more lighthearted, less "engineeringish". The sound of the name is pleasant.||What does it mean? Does it involve harm to unicorns?|
|lunavax.net||Nice sf-ish echo of kremvax||The server isn't really a Vax. And the lifetime-wear properties of the joke may not be as good as one would desire.|
|oortvax.net||Possibly a nicer name than lunavax, and the word boundary is easier to spot.||Same possibility of the joke wearing thin.|
|cutename.net||Very meta. Also possibly funny.||Excessively meta. Also likely to wear thin.|
|tincansandstring.net||Another cute name...||...which I am unlikely to really want.|
I think that's all the ideas that I've had lately. Thoughts, additions, comments?