Greetings from the heart of Europe and welcome to my personal webpage! I am currently located in the European Union, member state Poland, a large central European country now experiencing dynamic economic growth and transformation. My home is in the bucolic village of Siemiechów (population 1,873), in the outer eastern Carpathian Foothills approximately 305 meters above sea level, 32 kilometers south from the medieval city of Tarnów. About 40 kilometers further south is the ancient trading city of Nowy Sącz, containing the second largest market square in the country. This is the heart of the former historical Austrian province of "Galicia" ("Galicja" or "Halychyna") nestled within the Carpathian mountains. The Carpathian mountains are a range of mountains forming an arc of roughly 1,500 km across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the largest mountain range in Europe (though not necessarily the highest). They provide a habitat for over one third of all European plant species including an interesting diversity of flora and fauna. In essence it is nature's paradise - unspoiled and green. Two beautiful protected parks which were established in 1995 are located adjacent to Siemiechów for the nature and hiking enthusiast. To the south is the Ciężkowicko-Rożnowski Landscape Park, covering an area of 24,130 hectares, and to the east is the Pasma Brzanki Landscape Park, covering an area of 18,867 hectares. Dotting this beautiful region are numerous old castles, delightful wooden architectural constructions, an interesting variety of road side chapels, the mighty Dunajec river, pristine Lake Rożnowskie, and many historical cities, towns, villages, and monuments.
Born in Manhattan, New York City on January 12, 1964, I am a dual citizen of both the U.S.A. and the European Union. :-) My primary residence in the U.S.A. is in East Pittston, Maine, near the small city of Gardiner on the Kennebec river. Staten Island, New York, is a secondary home where I lived for most of my life. I worked as a Senior Accountant in Manhattan at various investment banks for several years. Educational credentials include a BS in Accounting from the College of Staten Island - City University of New York (1987), an MBA in Finance from the University at Buffalo - State University of New York (1991), and passing the CPA examination in New York State. I have an extensive background using both commercial and open source operating systems coupled with a wide variety of office, graphics, and database related software. The C++ programming language, macros, and scripting have been utilized during my accounting and finance task automation projects. When it comes to operating systems, the Linux structure is a favorite of mine.
Why the temporary leave of absence from my residency and career in the USA? In each one of us, basic human instinct and curiosity guides us to seek something new and different within ourselves and outside our native surroundings. Seldom does an individual enjoy being in one constant place, engulfed with the feeling of monotony and a singular culture. Rather, challenge, the desire to learn, the urge to experience a different culture, attempting new tasks that we normally aren't accustomed to performing, and to ultimately gain life experience in making us feel whole, are more than enough reason to initiate such a move. This type of experience provides valuable self enhancement and something to remember for a lifetime. We live only once and must make the most of it, to maximize our view of the world we reside in. Imagine converting your lifestyle for a period of time from being a professional Accountant to that of a farmer? This causes one to view the life cycle in a fully multi-dimensional manner, and makes one appreciate the more simple things that most of us take for granted. Here in this small village in central Europe, I have learned a new language, culture, interpersonal skills, farming methods and construction techniques. Crops have been planted and harvested, and my new home, barn, and shed have risen from scratch. This is not work requiring only the mind, but the hands and agility as well. More importantly, it is thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable. It creates the experience of combining the tasks of the average layman and the formally educated professional. Everyone should consider doing it at one time or another.
So, reading this you may think that since my home is in some obscure farming village in the middle of Europe, I don't have the modern luxuries of New York City. Think again. Would you believe my internet connection is via radio / antenna, and is faster and more affordable than what was available in the U.S.A.? Of course, we have cell phones, satellite television, and everything else you can imagine. The simple life here is not a hinderance for technology. It only enhances the necessity for it. Not far away are restaurants, pubs, museums, cinema, dance clubs, pizzerias, and every other cultural delight one can possibly handle. This village alone boasts a popular ski resort, horse riding, agro-tourism and eco-tourism. What more can you ask for? Did I hear women? Sure, some of the most attractive in all of Europe (the world?)...and no kidding!
In my spare time, a popular hobby is tinkering with my newly founded, free open source computer operating system, Arch Linux. It is an advanced Linux based multi-architecture system with a customizable kernel which is more stable, faster, and secure than any other OS I have ever used. It surpasses Microsoft and Apple, and is revolutionary! You have the option of choosing from several different graphical user interfaces including KDE (Screenshot of my desktop), Gnome, Xfce and more. Built into the kernel are three of the most secure firewalls one can ever use, with IPTables being the top choice. The efficient EXT4 file system never requires defragmenting! Compiling and executing C or C++ code is another feature included in the sytem. It is excellent for either a server or desktop, with 1,000's of applications available for it...for free. Some examples of applications I frequently run are: Open Office, Xchat, Gphoto2, Pidgin Chat, GIMP, KEdit, GNUcash accounting system, Gnumeric, Abiword, Mplayer, Amarok, Inkscape, and Mozilla Firefox to browse the net. Remember, it's all open source and free. An important note is that Arch Linux requires minimal system resources (hard drive, memory, and CPU) to run and will operate very well on even older computer systems. A 486 or better processor, at least 128 MB of RAM and 400 MB of free hard drive space is needed for the most minimal installation on an i386 computer with a decent GUI. No need to trash your old pc. Amazing, isn't it? So why do most large firms and corporations not utilize such a great OS? Could it be that it's a well kept secret, lack of knowledge of its availability, the fear of converting to something new, or just perhaps bad politics? Just imagine the financial savings a typical large company would incur by implementing such an advanced system and its software for desktop and server purposes. The savings could run from the thousands to the millions of $ license fees required folks! Arch Linux!
A project which has kept me very busy in Europe from 2002 - 2008 was the construction and transition of my small farm into a guest house named "Biała Brzoza" (White Birch). This name was chosen due to the large frequency of Birch trees in my surrounding forests. The guest house and farm are associated with agro-tourism / eco-tourism, the latest trends in the hospitality and tourism sector. Being located only 80 kilometers south-east of the cultural city of Kraków is an added attraction. "Biała Brzoza" contains 4 bedrooms for guests, a shared bathroom and kitchen, facilities for cooking and eating, hot and cold water, and high speed internet access. In the former barn is going to be a hall for dancing, exhibitions, lectures and a cafe for food and drink. “Biała Brzoza” is especially a great place for history and genealogy buffs, who often visit this region to research their family tree or the history of Europe. My guest house activities ensure that I meticulously keep up to date with my accounting, financial, and information technology skills, utilizing local accounting law and all of the latest computer software applications and operating systems. There is much more work to be done!
Hobbies? I enjoy: riding my mountain bike, hiking, swimming, jogging, Scrabble, Chess, camping, Arch Linux OS, C++ programming, travelling, dancing, campfires, photography, Poker & Blackjack (would like to learn Bridge), interesting conversation, good films, reading, programming, genealogy, browsing the net, joking, culture, history, geography, architecture, world news and politics, music, Chopin, cooking, relaxing walks, and living life.
Want to contact me personally? Send an e-mail or join the Undernet Server on any IRC client and enter the #EuroCafe channel to chat key is required to join so make sure you contact me for it. If you wish to contribute to the channel’s growth and traffic and want to become a channel operator ("op"), please let me know. Hope to hear or chat with you soon. Thanks for visiting!
Latest contact Information:
Eugene J. Markow
Siemiechów 47
Gm. Gromnik
Pow. Tarnowski
Woj. Małopolskie
Chat: IRC Undernet Server - #EuroCafe Channel (Key Required)
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Last Updated Monday, September 15, 2009 in Siemiechów, Poland, European Union