42Reading, United Kingdom
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My self-summary
This has to be the most difficult thing about this entire site. I've answered hundreds of questions, fed in all kinds of personal information into the machine, spent ages wracking my brains trying to figure out whether to answer 'Yes' or 'No' to a question where the actual answer is 'It Depends', but now you want me to actually talk about myself? With no guidelines? Umm...

Well, I'm 33, I'm male, and I'm working in Reading (one of the least interesting cities in the world) as a computer programmer. But I like to think I'm not as geeky as that makes me sound. I grew up in Scotland, went to school and university there, and then emigrated to England after graduating; I still think that landscapes with no mountains on the horizon look funny. (When I'm up north I keep finding myself climbing mountains.)

I read a huge amount; mostly science fiction but that's because I find it's the most reliable way of finding the kind books that I like. I have about 3000 books in storage. When I get bored I find myself signing up for some random thing or other; I have now have a PADI scuba diving certificate, have learned basic German badly (memo: must get round to signing up for part 2 of that course), have been to Egypt on an adventure holiday with Explore, have produced three unfinished novels for a writing contest type thing, and am currently trying to learn to paraglide. This is harder than it looks. Every time I book a day, it rains. So far I've already driven one paragliding school out of business.

I will admit to having a strong attraction to computers and all things technical, particularly retrocomputing (that art of doing things with archaic technology). Modern machines are dull. They are, I'm afraid, one of the Six Things I (probably) Couldn't Do Without, so read there for more information.

I consider myself to be averagely fit, and do make an effort to keep in shape --- currently I'm running 15 miles a week. It's very dull. I hate competitive sports of any description, which means that actually finding something interesting that involves exercise is suprisingly hard; one of the few sports I actually have a talent for is skiing, and you can't do that in Reading. (Got any suggestions?)

I am quiet, interested, and literary
What I’m doing with my life
I'm currently refurbishing my house, while living in it. This is pretty ghastly. So far I've been living for over a year in a house that doesn't actually have a living room, or a spare room, or anywhere for guests to stay, or anywhere for guests to sit... but hopefully it should be done reasonably soon.

Update: I now have a living room! Also, spare room, bathroom, real carpet, pictures on the walls, etc. Of course, I also have huge great piles of DIY equipment all over the place and nowhere to put anything, but at least I'm getting somewhere.
I’m really good at
Technical things. Working with my hands. Not getting round to doing things. Listening, apparently (I keen getting surprised when people tell me I'm easy to talk to). Walking. Sitting still. Basking in the attention of someone who likes me. Worrying about whether people like me or not. Appreciating music. (I'd love to say 'making music', but none of the many instruments I play badly count as 'really good at'... my best so-called instrument is my voice, with is decent but untrained.)
The first things people usually notice about me

If I ever meet me for the first time, I'll tell you...
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Books. Difficult. There are so many... a random list of some authors I like: Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, Lois McMaster Bujold, Richard Adams, Tove Jansson, Tolkien, Mercedes Lackey (a bit of a guilty secret, there), Roger Zelazny, Iain Banks (both with and without the 'M'), Neal Stephenson (his non-SF is superb, and people don't come across it much)...

TV and movies. I like things that are fun, tell a good story, fantastical, pretty, off-beat, twisted... I like The Matrix, but Dark City did it beter. I think the original Hellraiser is great. I love Star Wars, except for the last three, which I pretend don't exist. I keep wondering why they went straight from Highlander to Highlander 3 without a 2. I thought Notting Hill was lovely, and superbly done. I think The Story of the Weeping Camel is one of the best movies I've ever seen. I'm still pissed that Firefly got cancelled. I wish more people had heard of the Earthworm Jim cartoon, which ranks up their with Sam and Max and Freakazoid in the weirdness ranking. HUGBEES! I think Disney nearly redeemed themselves with Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor's New Groove. I still don't know what Serial Experiments Lain was all about, but Read or Die is great, and I love nearly everything that Studio Ghibli and Pixar have ever produced --- although I found Grave of the Fireflies deeply traumatic and never want to see it again. Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Video Blog.

Music. I have firm tastes; I like it all. Mostly. I can usually find something to like about most music, whether it's classical (so deep and rich), electronic trance (I love its pure, intellectual abstraction), rap (you can do amazing things by moving syllables on and off the beat), jazz (the sheer musicianship is staggering), opera (still want to see The Ring Cycle live), country & western (perfect for long-distance driving), ambient (pure mood), heavy metal (whoa! energy!), prog rock (all-round fun)... I will admit to having a certain amount of difficulty with modern R&B, though. I have a large and wacky collection of obscure music I pulled off the internet, ranging from Coil to Nightwish to Ookla the Mok to Urban Trad to Bjorne Lynne to game remixes to Kahvi to They Might Be Giants to Rammstein to The Waterboys to Enya to Enigma...
Six things I could never do without
1. Books. I have 3000 books in my house, and I've read them all at least once. Words, language and writing are very important to me. (Using complete sentences online is a big turn-on. Txters r bg trn off.)

2. Friends and family. It's the people in someone's life that give it shape. I don't have very many true friends, but the ones I have are very close. The ultimate tragedy, to me, is someone who dies, and nobody cares.

3. Computers. Sigh. That sounds so geeky. Nevertheless, I love the things. Computers are the ultimate art objects. Computer programs are sculptures made up of pure mathematics and logic; they can be beautiful in their own right, but they also do things, wonderful things. Computers amplify the human brain, complementing its weaknesses and reinforcing its strengths. Computers are now only in their infancy, only marginally better than the abacuses that preceded them, but if we can only give them time, they will change humanity beyond all recognition. (And a good thing, too.)

(That doesn't mean to say that it's not nice to get away from them every so often, though.)

4. Work.

I don't mean this in the workaholic, go-to-the-office-and-get-a-paycheque kind of way. I mean it in the sense that I always have to have some goal in sight; I need to be creative. At home I have all kinds of little projects on the go. They rarely reach fruition, but that's not the point. I want to be doing something. Sitting on the sofa all day and watching TV is depressing (although I'll admit it sometimes happens).

5. Hmm.

I'll add more here when I think of it.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I wish my neighbours wouldn't have sex quite so loudly.

Update: they've moved out! Hurray!

Now I wish the hedgehogs or rats or whatever it is that make loud rustling sounds outside my window in the middle of the night wouldn't do *that* quite so loudly.
You should message me if
...you want to talk to me. It's not very hard. I like talking to people, I like people wanting to talk to me, so if you have something to say, say it...
The two of us