Bio

All the usual stuff about Eric Hortop.
Born
Barrie Memorial Hospital, Ormstown, QC, 9th of August 1980. In a hurry (2 hours of labour or thereabouts), but later than the docs had me scheduled. That makes me a metal monkey or a Leo, depending on your preferred flavour of soothsaying. Had I been on time, I would've been a Cancer...
Now at
Living, working and studying in Montreal: living downtown with three roommates, working as a researcher and computer problem-solver, studying mathematics, arts and communications. Liking it. More details available from the résumé.
In between
Spent early childhood in NDG neighbourhood of Montréal, late childhood and teenage years in Ormstown. Enjoyed school for the most part, represented Ormstown Elementary in basketball, and Math Olympics; did student government, drama and Intellectual Olympics at high school. Had a stable home life in the countryside with animals, space to run around and a seven kilmetre ride to the nearest dépanneur (thirteen when I wasn’t old enough to go on the main roads). My post-secondary years were in Montréal at Dawson and Concordia, with a stint in the Ottawa-Hull area (yes, Mr. Landry, Hull!) as a co-op student at Statistics Canada, in the Census Research and Geography Methods units.
Parents, siblings
Two of each. Son of pædiatrician / gentleman farmer John Hortop and nurse / journalist / horticulturalist / force of nature Lynne Stockwell. Older brother of Owen and Chantal.
Interests and hobbies
Computers, discrete mathematics, geometry, probability, politics, art, cycling as a way of life, music appreciation, books, cooking, people, D&D, Scrabble, typogrpahy and printing, in no particular order.
Drugs of choice
Coffee, beer (Fin du Monde, Brutopia, St. Ambroise), Irish whiskey, chocolate, J.K. Rowling, Macs, lactic acid.
Drugs of less choice
Reactine, Chlor-tripolon for allergies; occasional topical steroids for crispy skin.
Choice of drugs
Legalize ’em, find better uses for our law enforcement resources (like traffic control and keeping people from shooting people) and break the gangs’ drug-related income.
Music
Listened, more than made. Some favourites, in alphabetical order:
  • Barenaked Ladies,
  • Beck,
  • Edie Brickell,
  • Dixie Chicks,
  • eels,
  • L7,
  • Leonard Cohen,
  • Propellerheads,
  • Radiohead,
  • Trent Reznor
  • and Violent Femmes.
Subscribed, regular or semi-regular paper reading
Canadian Geographic, Harper's, Hour Magazine, Maisonneuve, The Walrus.
Religious standpoint
Fossil-thumping, disestablishmentarian, dogmatic agnostic. I don’t know because nobody can, and I’ll trust Occam’s razor as a tool to make un-disastrous decisions based on what my puny mortal brain can filter from this beautifully complicated world. Iffy on whether evangelism is a bad thing, certain that one doesn’t need a celestial referee for there to be right and wrong. Been there and in some sense done that with conservative Christianity. It may feel right for Larry Wall (and he seems to have turned out really quite OK), but it doesn’t seem so for me.
Crusades on the go
Web standards, apostrophes, bicycle friendliness.
What I’ll be when I grow up
Someone who thinks, tinkers and explains for a living.
What I’ve thought I’d be when I grow up
Astronaut, engineer, teacher, programmer, researcher, technical writer, science journalist, propagandist (copy, web design, PR), academic, cook/caterer, politician (provincial, federal or World Dictator), survey methodologist…
Things I've crossed off the list
Astronaut, engineer
Geek code
Got one. That should be enough for most of you, but if you want details:
-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.12
GCS/CC/FA/M/TW d-@ s+:- a- C++()$ UB>+++ 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+>+++
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
PGP, GPG, etc.
See and parse geek code.
Height, weight, etc.
1,85m; 80 kg, reddish brown hair, brownish brown eyes, fair skin which freckles and might even tan a bit in the summer. Here's a photo of me looking rather relaxed and satisfied (May 2003):
mug shot of Eric in front of a hedge, 12kb
photo: Jake W. Morrissey