If you’re a movie buff like I am, you’ll no doubt remember the outrageously funny flick Men in Black and Agents J and K. It is one of my all-time favorite movies and it happens to be one of this week’s featured contributor’s favorites as well. In fact, he even paid tribute to the film when first registering to use WikiAnswers. JayKay gave us the history behind his user name explaining, “It is simply the pronunciation of my initials, as well as a small nod to one of my favorite movies – Men in Black.” This is one contributor that definitely rates a 10.0 on our Awesome Wiki-O-Meter.
Are you a Floating or Category Supervisor?
I supervise Coins and Paper Money.
What other accomplishments do you have on WikiAnswers?
I’m a Gold Contributor with over 1000 Trust Points.
Would you care to tell us about your family?
I’m married with two adult daughters.
Do you have any pets?
Many years ago I had a pug dog, then a couple of cats. For about 15 years we raised gerbils but stopped last winter because we weren’t able to devote as much time to them as we should to be good “gerbil parents.”
Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?
I’ve lived most of my life in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. We chose to stay here to be near other family members, to have access to good school districts and many cultural activities. The cost of living is lower than some other areas, but it’s still easy to go to New York or Washington if we want.
Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?
I grew up about 20 miles from where we now live and have very fond memories of being able to bicycle to most of the places I wanted to visit or take the local trolley into Philadelphia when we visited “the big city”. My favorite times, though, were the summers when we’d stay at my grandparents’ house on the New Jersey shore. When you’re six, a month seems to last forever.
What educational information would you like to share?
I attended three local colleges and universities. My undergraduate degree is in mathematics with minors in languages, economics and philosophy. Strange enough? I also have a master’s degree in math and did additional studies post-master’s.
What are some of your past and/or present occupations?
I taught college math and physics for 10 years; then I used that economics minor to go into the financial industry where I write software for a major bank in the northeast US.
What is/are your key area(s) of knowledge, interests or expertise?
My wiki area is numismatics; I started collecting when I was about 8 years old and it just took off from there. What fascinated me was that there were so many different kinds of coins and paper money and many of them had stories behind them. It’s both a challenge and a thrill because you never really stop learning. I also have a very strong interest in old jazz (1930s and 1940s), primarily because not only did my parents play a lot of old records but also the father of my best friend in high school had been a trumpeter with some of the big-name dance bands and had an enormous collection of recordings. Again, there’s the same thread of collecting and learning. (You might see my user name attached to more than a few answers in the Jazz thread, too.)
Do you have any collections or hobbies?
Numismatics, of course; collecting jazz and classical music; carpentry.
What are a few random facts about yourself?
As a teenager, I went camping as far north as James Bay, Ontario. I crossed the Atlantic on the QE2. Also hosted a college radio show for 3 1/2 years, featuring both classical and jazz.
Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?
Speak near-fluent French; have done voices and accents for radio (Dracula, Jimmy Stewart, even Sir Winston Churchill)
What accomplishments are you proud of?
Having raised two daughters whose abilities exceed my own in many areas.
What are your special goals or dreams?
To be healthy into my retirement (assuming the economy turns around, of course!) and once again travel to many of the places I visited when I was younger. I’d also like to get back into model railroading, which I pursued until I was in graduate school. If my Indian friends are right and my soul gets another chance in this world, I’d like to come back as a musician and play tenor sax in a dance band!
How would you describe yourself or personality?
Not really a “type A”, but maybe “A-minus”. My work as a financial software developer requires me to “get it right the first time”, which carries over into other aspects of my life. I take pride in my work and apply that same sense to my contributions to WA. On the other hand, I always try to keep some degree of perspective because unlike, say a doctor or airline pilot, no one’s lives depend on my skills.
What brought you to WikiAnswers?
I just stumbled on the site when I was researching some numismatic information for a co-worker who inherited a large coin collection.
What keeps you coming back to WikiAnswers?
The feeling that I am contributing something to a large number of people and helping them learn, and that I am respected for the knowledge that I’ve built up over the years.
What is your favorite WikiAnswers activity?
Two, actually. First is answering a question where I have to go out and do some of my own research rather than just quoting a stock response. The second is finding a gentle way to humorously respond to those posters who’ve gotten all tangled up in their attempts to describe a coin or bill, such as the people who ask about “a dime dated 1658” or “Confederate money from WW2”.