I'm an all-around IT guy with a good sense of humor and a love for good conversation. I'm originally from DC. When I was 3, I moved to central Texas with my family, finished HS in 2000, then moved to Dallas for university. After graduating from university in 2004, I decided I'd make a big change in my life, and moved to Hawaii.
Well, that worked out well in one way (I started a business here, an underground data center.) That said, I don't like living here. It's far too expensive and I don't really fit well with the "laid back" lifestyle, so I'm planning to move back to Dallas or Austin (or some other larger city with low cost of living!) I'll keep the business, luckily, can run it remotely. :) I do work, as well, to keep my days occupied. Right now I'm working for the State of Hawaii, maintaining/modifying/etc their financial management information system. Don't gag - COBOL! It's funny, the system is nearly a full decade older than I am.
I recently (the past year or so) started to cook. I made a huge lifestyle change. I was a smoker, drank regularily (much more than I should), did not eat vegetables (almost a strict carnivour, except for the staples such as potatoes), etc. Well, I quit smoking, I only drink socially, and even then much small amounts, and I'm eating salad every day! I feel a lot better, both physically and mentally. Cooking is one of the ways I've started to spend my "free time" that used to be taken up by my vices. It relaxes me, and as a bonus - it's much healthier than the alternatives here.
Why is it, that in America, if you want a relatively inexpensive meal, your only choice is fast food (death) or cooking? There's no inbetween, restaurants will charge you an arm and a leg, fast food is a few pennies. I miss the cafes in Europe. Oh well, now i cook!
I love traveling, I've been pretty much everywhere in Europe, from Germany to Italy to Russia to Romania and so forth. I normally spend a few weeks to a month, and since I travel alone I always have a blast going out and meeting new people. I've got friends all over now! ;) This is my other hobby, other than cooking. It's slowed down a bit though, since I work and generally a month off at a time is frowned upon. :p
I came here to learn the "secrets" of culinary art. I've been cooking primarily Italian food (my fav.) but I am trying to expand my abilities to other ethnic foods. I've got a bunch of great books, but sometimes I have questions that only another human/cook can answer. Google doesn't always cut it! See my post in the beef forums, for an example. ;)
Well, before you all pass out/fall asleep/pass away, I better end this post! I look forward to interacting with you all, this seems like a really wonderful community, and I know I will learn volumes of new things. I'm quite excited, you see!