I used to call myself a hacker all the time. That was before the term was usurped by a different breed of people. Maybe I should back up and explain.
If you read Steven Levy's book, Hackers, it paints a picture of people who love and understand the technology they use. These are people who can "hack" together a solution to a problem with a soldering iron and a few paper clips. People who modify operating systems because they don't like the way they work. People who follow the "hacker ethic" that information should be free.
If that's a hacker, that's me.