Fun, farms and friendships: Part I.


This is the story of two neighbors brought together by their adjacent farms, their love of wiki and their generous spirit. Jadeacres (James) and ThatwouldBme (Shell) live on neighboring farms in Ontario, Canada and have found that their shared values have brought together their families, their farms and even themselves – by working together on WikiAnswers. This week we’re presenting Part I of their story; stay tuned for the next installment in a week.

To begin the story, we must first begin with Jadeacres: The rainbow (literally!) of badges on his bio page is only part of what can attest to his dedicated activity on WikiAnswers  for over a year now.  He supervises eleven categories and works on the Community Outreach program, Vandal Patrol and Mentoring program. He’s also a recent winner of the How-To AnswerThon (second place).

But enough introduction; Jadeacres has plenty to say and says it well:

How did you originally hear about WikiAnswers?

I came across WikiAnswers long ago… We were living in an area where dial-up internet was super slow. I was searching for information under the Crohns Disease category. I was soon to undergo a Methotrexate treatment and was looking for answers. I remember thinking, what a great concept, ask everybody, get multiple answers and narrow down the facts from the fiction. However, the internet connection was so infuriatingly slow that I gave up. I actually returned in November 2007 once we got high-speed and signed in looking for an answer to a chicken question.

Explain your username.

When my wife Deborah and I bought the farm we had not thought of naming it. Our neighbours – Galad and Shell – are aging hippies and artists and we were searching through some pinewood slabs to use as woodworking projects when Galad suggested we both make signs for our two properties. They came up with Snugglefoot Hollow for theirs. Deborah and I took a few hours and put our two first names together – James and Deb, blending the concept of the old TV show Green Acres into JADE and it fit. She is the “city girl” living in the country and I am the country guy making a dream of farming come true.

What motivates you to volunteer your time to the WikiAnswers community?

I truly believe that the only way to make life better is through education. The sharing of knowledge and experience is, after all, what education is all about. Even a question well-answered often leads to more questions. Answers from a single source can lead you down a narrow path. We should explore the many paths to reach understanding. As I get older, I want to share my experiences in life – and what a perfect forum WikiAnswers is for that!

What are your areas of expertise?

I grew up as the oldest child of a military officer. He instilled a strong work ethic into all his children. My dad taught us that any job worth doing was a job worth doing well. We traveled throughout the world moving every three years. You learn to adapt to different societies, make and lose friends very quickly.

Change became part of my life and I craved change even after I started making my own way in the world. I tried my hand at many jobs. Cooking was my first real passion, it allowed the artists soul in me a way of expression. I was also very good at interacting with people so I tried food sales. I have built cottages, installed fireplaces. Worked security, done first aid at a steel mill, been a hunting guide, taught outdoor survival skills, search and rescue. I eventually decided I wanted to be a police officer like my dad but medical issues prevented that so I did what I thought was the next best thing, At twenty four years old I learned to scuba dive, within a year I was teaching it to others and focusing my own training on specialized diving skills. Through my various community services, I became known to various law enforcement agencies and was offered a position as a contract instructor. I taught basic diving, underwater search and victim recovery, evidence preservation and several other specialized diving courses.

I did much of this diving in my “spare” time and worked several jobs to provide for my family. I ended my career as a supervisor for a distillery sales team. I retired earlier than expected, as my struggle with Crohns Disease finally became a priority. Jadeacres was purchased soon afterward and I set my skills to renovating, expanding the farm and raising chickens.

What is your favorite WikiAnswers feature?

I love the whole concept. The idea that, any individual can ask “the world” a question and get many perspectives on an answer is exciting. Having knowledgeable Supervisors sorting the trash and managing a collective sober second opinion is wonderful.

What has been your funniest question/experience on WikiAnswers?

I guess the questions that really can have no answers – at least not factual ones. I love letting go and making up a story because you just know it is some child, probably given a “homework” assignment by a teacher wanting them to use their brain at digging up an answer and expand their literary skills. The idea that my humorous answer may end up being marked in a class is just hilarious. For example: Who decided to eat chicken eggs first?

Share a random fact (or two) about yourself.

Random fact #1:

My wife Deborah puts it best: on the outside I can appear unshaken and uncaring. Years of bringing closure to families who lost loved ones to drowning accidents, my personal fight with disease and death and my views on life and mortality all give me a somewhat different perspective on how we live and treat others. I have a low tolerance for those who are cruel to children and animals. Not too far under that hard shell is a human being who wants to make the world a better place.

Random fact #2:

The following was one of my first entries as a Supervisor and it gave me a chance to use one of my own poems. It was funny as both An8thg and Zanbabe messaged me when I posted the poem that I needed the permission of the author to use it. LOL! I have been writing poetry since I was in grade school in the 60’s. This one was written after the passing of my Deborah’s Siamese cat Max… Originally titled, ‘For Max’: Is there a dog heaven? Our vet asked permission to use it years ago and now has it printed on a card sent out to clients who lose a pet.

Stay tuned for next week, when we explore the second half of the JadeacresThatwouldBme duo.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

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