What am I?

I'm an engineer and a geek.
If you think engineers are all covered in oil and grease then I'm not that sort of engineer.
If you think geeks are all smelly, long-haired weirdos then I'm not that sort of geek.

I've always had an engineering bent.  Since the earliest time that I can remember, I've always been interested in how things work.  I remember playing with batteries and bulbs, magnets and electromagnets when I was very young.  Then there were Lego and Meccano and early electronics sets.
At 13, I got my first computer - a Sinclair ZX Spectrum - and I learnt to program - something I've been doing ever since.  I persued both electronics and computing at college.
If it's scientific or technological then I'm probably interested in it.  I also like science fiction - probably because of the endless possibilities that it offers.

In many respects, I'm a typical engineer so if you've read the chapter on "Engineers, Scientists, Programmers, and Other Odd People" in Scott Adams' book "The Dilbert Principle", then you'll have a pretty good idea of what I'm like.  You know, the sort of guy who still wonders what it'll take to turn the TV remote control into a death ray.  I'm blessed/cursed with the disease of good engineers - honesty.  That's why, at work, we're generally kept away from customers.  Never ask an engineer if your bum looks big in this unless you really really want to know their opinion!
 A director at my old company always seemed to get annoyed in project meetings because I would be pedantic and worry about the fine detail.  Well I make no apologies for that.  If it's pedantic to use precise language when describing a technical endeavour then I'm guilty as charged.  I worry about the fine detail because projects can live or die on the fine detail.  If I know precisely what you mean then there won't be any confusion.  How many times have you heard, "that wasn't what I meant"?
 It doesn't mean I'm cold and heartless.  Sure I'm pretty reserved and a bit chilly on the outside if I don't know you but that's mainly nerves.  I'm a lot warmer on the inside.  I'm also a big cat lover or rather a big small cat lover.  We currently have two and they often came to visit/help/hinder me when I was working from home in my garage/office.  Sophie has a serious condition now.  She nearly died but for now, the drugs do work and she's living a full, happy life unlike some of the birds and mice she's been catching.  Here's hoping that Miss Sophie and her brother Hector have many more good years left.

22 November 2007:  Hector fell ill with his lungs filling with fluid.  He rallied after excellent treatment but he had heart disease and threw some blood clots that blocked the blood supply to two of his legs.  There was only one kind course of action.  We all miss him terribly.

HectorHector   SophieSophie

As for my status, well I'm single but I would like to meet a good woman, fall in love, get married, have a couple of children(well, not personally but I think you catch my drift) and grow old and wrinkly together.  It's an old, traditional idea but just because something is old doesn't necessarily make it rubbish.  There's nothing wrong with a bit of romance in my book either.  It is said that geeks make good lovers because they tend to be inquisitive and want to find out how things work - usually by hands-on, trial and error techniques.  Yes, it's true - we like to press all the buttons just to see what happens. :-)