Faoileag's Nest

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Personal info

I'm in my mid-fifties, I'm not conspiciously tall and my weight varies around 16 stone (aiming for 15).

a picture of me in a wintry landscape with the Zugspitze invisible in the background

By profession I'm an electrical engineer but I prefer to work as a software engineer / developer which I think is far more interesting. And the chances of getting a nasty electrical jolt are greatly reduced.

In my job I work with C++, but have also worked with Perl, Javascript and C#. Privately I mostly work with Common Lisp right now, together with Perl and Javascript in case of dynamic web pages.

My hobbies include driving the car around (I consider 200 car miles on a sunday a nice day out in the country), hillwalking (say, after the first 100 miles), reading and cooking (I just love good food and drink). And coding, of course. And occasionally I write.

About the nick

Faoileag is the scottish gaelic (yes, there is a difference) word for seagull. Really! It's pronounced "f-whale-ig".

At least that's what an irish fellow told me when I asked in a chat room.
By now I've got some other sources as well, and the pronounciation recepies in the gaelic-for-beginners books I've collected over the years hint at something like "f-eu-lig" (where the eu resembles a sound like in the french word for flower, "fleur").

That's two different ways to pronounce my chosen alias, but do I worry? Heck no. You can't use it as a word anyway (at least not outside a gaelic speaking community), so I have to spell it out ten times out of ten. Or hand out business cards.

But I still do want to learn the language. It's quite high on the list of languages I do want to learn, although currently all I'm doing is a bit of Italian and even that not regularly. And anyway, I think learning Gaelic is better done on a holiday course. Ah well, sometime in the future, maybe.

Why have I chosen such a complicated nick? Well, when I started with this internet thingy back in '96 with AOL, I needed a screenname. Something nice and unusual.
So I thumped the small "Gaelic Learners Handbook" I happened to have and came upon the section with all the animal names. I've always liked seagulls, so I decided that the gaelic word for seagull would be fine. And there you are.

Seagulls for me represent the sea: little harbour towns, the smells of salt and seaweed... I just love it. That said: I have been living in a harbour town for some 28 years and it did not resonate with the seagulls' sad cries (when I arrived back in 1988, the first thing I found out was that the trees behind my appartment were home to a large colony of crows. So much for clichès :-) ) (That's not to say that there hadn't been any seagulls in Flensburg - there were quite a few. But if you wanted to hear their shrieking cries you had to go to that bit of coastline that's adjacent to the sewage works).

I'm currently still looking for the "perfect" (i.e. most up to the clichè) place, although some scottish ones come close... Ullapool for example, or Stromness on Orkney. And I'm dreaming of a nice house, close to the water, and not more than, say, two miles from the nearest pub that has some real ale on tap. McEwans if possible. But I'm not that picky (remember, I live in Germany. And that's Terra Incognita on CAMRA's map of Europe).

Unfortunately, since so far the luck of winning the national lottery has eluded me, I still have to work for a living and there's usually a shortage of computer-related jobs in the towns / villages I prefer (I currently work in southern Bavaria, pretty far from any sea). But I don't give up hope.

And sometimes I travel to Scotland, usually for two weeks in October when all the other tourists have gone home.

Some absolutely archaic info

Here's some more information about me, presented in the concise form of the geek code:

Version: 3.1
GCS$ d-(---)@ s+: a+>++ C@ USL+ P+(---) L++>++++ E--- W++ N+ o++ K? w-- O- M? ?V? PS+(++) PE+ Y !PGP t 5? X R tv b++(+++) DI++(++++) D-(---) G++ e++ h r y+

If you don't know what the geek code is all about you can still find out more about it at The Generator for The Code of the Geeks v3.1.