1. You and ingiechan are both Geekfest veterans. Yet you haven't been to a 'fest in a long time. Why is that?
Personally, I find that the context of a Geekfest doesn't appeal much to me anymore. Just hanging out and goofing off is not something I want to do for a whole day -- and it seems to me that that has been the focus of most Geekfests. I'd rather go do something active/focussed with a smaller group of people. (So if you ever feel like accompanying us on a geocaching trip, for instance...)
2. What exactly is it that you love so much about geocaching?
I spend most of my life sitting down, in front of computer monitors. I'm not a very active person. I tend to be busy with mental things, instead of physical things. As such, geocaching is certainly a break in the trend with me.
I do love being in a forest, but I need a reason to be there. I don't care for walking the same paths all the time, because then I feel like I am wasting my time. And frankly, most Dutch forests aren't that inspiring anyway.
But walking around with a plan and a direction, that's a different story. You follow a route that someone created, with the idea to give you a good walk along all the best spots. Finding the cache at the end is a bonus (and if we can't find it, we'll come back later when we're better prepared!), but to me the fun is in the walk.
Also, the fact that it is a whole secret world: 'normal' people simply walk on by because they don't know something's hidden there, but those who are in on the game know where to look! The feeling of belonging to an exclusive incrowd is pretty neat too.
3. What is your favourite Western (as in, non-anime) movie?
Hm, tough one. There are movies I like a lot, but it's not like I have a single favourite movie that I watch and re-watch over and over again.
The Matrix is high on the list, but the third movie kind of spoiled my taste for the whole trilogy. Star Wars episodes IV to VI, obviously, but that is more because of the sense of adventure the movies had than that they're good movies.
I think I'll go with Ghostbusters. No matter how many times you watch it, it's still funny. Great comedy acting, great quotes, goofy situations... "It smells like barbequed dog hair... Oh, sorry Venkman!"
4. I remember reading once that you don't read fiction (or not a lot, at least). Did you read more when you were younger? If so, why did you stop? If not, why?
Oh yes, I did read a lot. When I was about eight years old, my teacher let me read funny books -- I used to laugh out loud. So when I had finished the book, other kids would want to read it too, to know what was so funny about it. The teacher used me as a means to get more kids to read.
In highschool, I devoured books. Sure, there were the reading lists to take care of, but I also read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy -- most of it quite pulpy, but fun none the less.
During my student time, I managed to collect the whole Judge Dee series in second hand book stores, and I was a member of the public library as well.
In '98, I got a full-time job that required me to commute, and I travelled by train. This gave me two hours of reading time, and I finished many a book on my way to work.
I think the tipping point was in 2000, when I started to commute by car. I made very, very long days, and poured a lot of energy into the job (which is documented elsewhere). I think that the energy drain was so profound that I couldn't bring myself to simply sit down and read a book.
These days, I prefer more mentally stimulating tasks, like learning a new programming trick, or wokring with electronics, or figuring out how to work with PVC tubing. I still read now and then, but it's unlikely that I will ever get to my previous levels.
5. Is there a specific skill that you would still like to master?
A specific skill? A single specific skill? That's hard to answer, because there are so many things that I would love to be able to do.
I'd love to become really proficient with electronics. I get by, but it's not like the more complex circuits spring forth from my mind fully formed. I'd love to be able to work metal and wood into beautiful and functional shapes. I'd love to speak Japanese and Icelandic. And there are many more things that I would love to be able to do.