Meet Woodman66: Spirit of Adventure in the Canadian Wilderness

Woodman66 at Kamloops
Woodman66 at Kamloops

Woodman66 has been on since 2008! He has helped plenty of visitors to our site for almost five years now. He gives his expert advice in the categories of Home Electricity and Electrical Wiring, quite valuable for those brave Do It Yourselfers who make their own repairs and installations! He has truly earned his 2493 trust points. But that’s not all. Woodman66 also participates regularly in our AnswerThons, and he has many badges that highlight his knowledge and contributions. Though he lives in a remote area of British Columbia, Canada, he remains connected to our community. There is much to say about Woodman66, so read on to learn more.

What is your first name? My first name is David but most people just call me Dave.

What is your occupation? 

I am a journeyman electrician and I have been an electrical A class contractor for 41 years.

What is your username and how did it come about? 

My user name is Woodman66. The wood part came from my last name, then, I am a man and I started answering questions when I was 66 years of age.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?British Columbia                      

I live in Princeton, British Columbia, Canada. It’s a small town of 2500 people, with a surrounding area of 3500 people and not a traffic light in sight. I am one of the 3500 people living 5 kilometers from the town center.

What is special about living in your area?

There are no neighbors! My wife and I live on a 120 acre parcel that is located 5 kilometers from the town of Princeton, and what we have here is perfectly suited to our way of living.

Morning view from the deck of Woodman66's house.
Morning view from the deck of Woodman66’s house

Your location is remote, but you also seem to be connected to the world.

Yes, we have all of the amenities of the 21st century: wireless Internet and a TV signal by way of satellite.

What enticed you to join our community?

All my electrical life I have been asked questions regarding electrical installations or how electrical equipment operates. The Answers wiki format allows me to reach people that I don’t know and help them understand the often misunderstood world of electrical installations.

LEO SignIf you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

My zodiac sign is a Leo so there is no question as to what animal I would be. It was pre-ordained by the stars.

What is your favorite thing to do on

I distribute information to DIY electricians to try and keep them safe when doing their electrical installations. Most people will do it anyways, so I try to give them the best expert information that I can.

What life accomplishments are you proud of?

One of my accomplishments was to obtain my private pilot’s license when I turned 42. I have been flying ever since. 

That is a great accomplishment. Where do you fly?

I incorporate my flying into my work as an electrical contractor. In British Columbia, with all of the winding roads, it is easier to fly over the mountains than to drive between them. My wife and I have flown to Niagara Falls twice since 1984. I originally lived there and we go back to see relatives. I take small side trips to other local airports on weekends. Our trips to different airport restaurants are laughingly known as ‘going for a $100.00 hamburger and coffee.’

What is your favorite type of music?  

 I like the blues and the golden oldies.

What is your favorite song?

My favorite song is Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits.

Do you remember where you were when you first heard the song and what was going on around you?

Sultans of Swing came out in 1979. I first heard it on my drive home from work. I liked the lyrics because they told a story, and I especially like the guitar solo. At the same time, I remember the Canadian conversion from the imperial measurement system to the metric system was going on. To get used to the new temperature readings, we started out simply memorizing: 0 was freezing, 10 was cool, 20 was warm, 30 was hot and 40 was very hot. Funny how the Fahrenheit scale sounds so strange to us today. The other big thing that happened in 1979 was the Iranian hostage crisis. The Canadian Embassy was instrumental in saving the lives of six Americans that year. This is the story of the film, Argo. There is a lot more information about that historical event that the Canadian CBC has published

Do you view the glass ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’?  Why?

The glass is half full. Being an optimist, I like to think that things will always get better. Being negative will bring you and everyone around you down. That is not a good way of going through life.

What do you find most challenging as an Supervisor

I really want to help people get projects done correctly and safely when it comes to electricity. It takes effort to deliver that correctly, though I wouldn’t call it a challenge as much as I would call it my mission on the site.

Triumph TR6

What are your special interests?

In the summertime my wife and I tour Canada in our 1975 Triumph TR6.

Your summer trips sound interesting. What was your favorite road trip?

Each road trip is an adventure in itself. When we tour, the only rule is of course, the top must be down. Meeting new people from other small towns and locating eating establishments that the locals recommend is part of the adventure.

Where will you go this summer?

Thermal Hot Springs in Radium
Thermal Hot Springs in Radium

We are planning to go to the Kootenays, in eastern British Columbia. Small towns like Radium and Fairmont all have thermal hot springs and after a few hours of wind blown driving, these towns will be the places where we spend the night. 

What is your favorite quote and why?

Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx

It is by Groucho Marx when asked if he would become a member of a club, “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”  As for why this quote, you would have to know me personally.

Check out some of Woodman66’s Q&A on the site:

Should solid copper or stranded copper be used with the pressure terminals of a duplex receptacle?

What are the procedures to synchronize generators in parallel?

How do you wire an air compressor?

Is your baseboard heater using power when a single pole thermostat is set to low?

Meet Jam499: Great Mom, Sister and NASCAR fan!

Jam499 and her son!
Jam499 and her son!

Jam499 has been on for less than a year, yet she is already a Gold Contributor with over 77,000 contributions. She is active in the Community Outreach Program as a WikiGuide and on Vandal Patrol as a Senior Generalist. Her favorite categories range from Grammar and Parts of Speech to rock bands like Guns N’ Roses and Pink Floyd – quite a combo. She is proud to be from Rhode Island and loves NASCAR.  Her tastes and interests are diverse, but the center of her universe is her son!  Read more and get to know Jam499.

What is your first name?  My first name is Jody.

What is your occupation?  

My youngest sister has developmental delays, and I work with her providing direct care. I also manage the staff and coordinate her day program.

What is your username and how did it come about?  

My username is Jam499. I needed something that I would remember, so I went with my initials and the month and year of my son’s birth.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?  

I live in Rhode Island and have for most of my life. I am proud to call “The Biggest Little State in the Union” home.

How did you discover

I was researching a grammar topic, and I found the answer on

What enticed you to join our community? 

After finding the answer that I was looking for, I started poking my nose around some of the English Language categories. I was very impressed by the dedicated group of contributors and Supervisors, as well as the quality of the answers. I suppose it was the community itself that enticed me to join.

What is your favorite thing to do on

I like doing all of it. I have a short attention span, so when I get bored, I move on to something else.

What life accomplishments are you proud of? 

My son.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?  

The Mentoring Program was a wonderfully challenging experience for me. I had an amazing mentor in Wildrosebeef, and she stood by me through all the ups and downs. I am quite proud of being a Mentoring Program Graduate.

What is your favorite type of music?  

I love many genres of music, but rock really does it for me. My favorite bands are Tool and Pink Floyd.

You can only pick one:  banjo, butterfly, or babbling brook. Which would you choose and why? 

Definitely a butterfly. It’s my only tattoo, and I have a slight obsession with symmetry. If I were a butterfly, I could fly to the babbling brook and listen to the man playing his banjo.

What do you find most challenging as an Supervisor

The biggest challenge is to not lose my cool when dealing with someone insistent on arguing with me.

What are your special interests, hobbies, or collections? 

I am a die-hard NASCAR fan. I enjoy spending my Sunday afternoons on the edge of my couch screaming at the television. I’ve had the great pleasure of going to numerous races in New Hampshire, as well. There isn’t anything quite like being up against the fence and watching those cars come off Turn 2, on the brink of disaster!

What is your inspiration in life?  

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee!

You have two pets. Tell us about some of their antics!


There’s no shortage of personality in my pets. I wouldn’t have it any other way either.

My dog’s name is Shadow. She’s a bit rambunctious, and her previous owner couldn’t handle her. She was a little over a year old when I took her in, and she’s four now. Since becoming a dog owner, I’ve noticed a serious drop in the sock population. The funniest thing I have ever seen is my dog tiptoeing across the kitchen floor to sneak up on the cat.Jam's cat

My cat’s name is Pretty Kitty. A family member asked me to watch her for the weekend, and I decided against giving her back. That was eight years ago. In addition to my cat hiding in cupboards and walking on top of doors, she steals my make-up brushes and hair ties. She has this amusing version of hide-and-seek/peek-a-boo that she plays. I crawl around on the floor and ask, “Where’s the Pretty Kitty?” and she jumps out of wherever she’s hiding and swats at me a few times. She knocks ornaments off the Christmas tree and blames the dog, and she somehow manages to deposit cat litter in the dog’s water bowl several times a day.

Check out some of Jam499’s Q&A:

What comes after a direct object?

How do you know if a linking verb is a predicate adjective or noun?


This weekend: Spring Answerthon!

Spring Answerthon 2013How many questions can you answer in 48 hours? Take the challenge and find out. The Spring AnswerThon is coming this weekend, April 20-21. We’ve got $2,000 in Amazon gift cards to award 28 winners! Winners who participate with a Facebook-connect account will receive a bonus gift card and five lucky registrants will be chosen at random to win a gift card just for participating!

Click here to sign up. Good luck!

p.s. Answerthons have been an tradition since 2008. Check out our past winners here.

Meet Prioktan918: Master StoryTeller and Seeker of Knowledge

Prioktan918 is a storyteller by nature and many will enjoy his interview for the sheer pleasure of reading a well-told story. He has broad knowledge, eclectic taste, and he specializes in the Middle East. Thanks to his attention, we now have organized categories for Middle Eastern History and related topics. He calls his sense of humor horrible, yet he is quite amusing. Though he is currently busy studying law, he still finds time to devote to and we are lucky to have him! Since January of 2012, he has more than 120,000 contributions, making him a Platinum Contributor. He has already passed through the Special Project Assistant (SPA) Program and he is a Mentoring Program Graduate. Read more and get to know this intellectual and imaginative young man who will one day be a great lawyer and most likely, more than that!

What is your first name?  Richard.

What is your occupation?

I used to be a paralegal working in defense of liability insurers and reinsurers. Currently, I am at law school, studying to become a lawyer.

What is your username and how did it come about?

It is Prioktan918. The “918” is a personal thing. “Prioktan” comes from an exchange between my brother and me when we were younger. My brother used to have this imaginary friend “Johnny” who lived on Pluto and I would sit down and ask him very critical questions of Johnny and his surroundings. After asking all these questions, I began to imagine a world on Pluto populated with numerous different people. They were all led by a singularly gifted woman named Prioktan who made a valiant last stand against the invading and colonizing forces of Earth in the 2600s. In the “Internet Age” when every useful username is used, Prioktan has just the set of characters to avoid causing problems in making a username or email address. It has proven relatively successful. Perhaps, eventually, more people will learn about Prioktan, if I ever finish writing her story.

Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?

I come from everywhere, really. I lived the majority of my life in New York City and its environs, but I have also lived in Washington DC, London, Seville, Fez, and Tel Aviv: four continents, six cities, bloody nightmare. Each of those cities is special in its own way, but the general effect was to make me a Post-American, as my friends like to say. I am American, but I do not let that define my personality or outlook.

How did you discover

I was eating lunch at work one day and I figured that I could contribute to the overall good of the world by clarifying a few issues or answering a few questions. So, I registered and answered. What was nice was that as opposed to Wikipedia, I did not have to cite my information, meaning that I could address issues without painstakingly writing a research essay. So, I just kept at it, especially when it came to categories that I knew well, such as the Middle East, and that had few major contributors.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?Ditto Pokemon

I was always enamored with the Pokémon “Ditto”, which is something like an animal. What I found interesting was that Ditto did not have a persona or identity, save when it stole one by copying another form. It was whatever it wished itself to be and had no remnant of itself when it copied. It creates this interesting question of whether a person’s will can truly exist outside of the manifest experience of living that life. I would find the experiment of being a Ditto to be a wonderful and exciting conundrum.

What is your favorite thing to do on

I enjoy answering a “why” question that seeks real analysis or exposes strongly held feelings. More often than not, people have serious questions that they cannot address with anyone in their life. This could be because communities are insular, or it could be because there is a stigma against asking certain questions of certain people. I feel that if I can clarify something that bothers or confuses someone, perhaps, that person might be able to pay it forward.

If you were inviting someone to join, what reason(s) would you give that person to become a part of our community?

I am not a salesman. When I ask people to contribute, I ask them from the perspective that they have expertise in a subject and they should share it with those less knowledgeable. I have not been that successful as my friends are busier than I am.

What accomplishments on are you proud of?

I am proud of having organized the Middle Eastern History Category, as well as submitting category requests for the Caliphate and Kurdistan categories that now exist. Prior to my arrival on, the Middle East area was a mess; it is much tidier now.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you?

A friend from the UK was visiting me in Morocco (while I lived in Fez), so I told him to meet me at the Casablanca train station. It was around midnight, and he had not slept for nearly 36 hours as a result of finishing finals. He arrived, barely lucid and completely exasperated. We boarded a 0:45 train to Tangier which takes about six hours. We packed into a train car (like in the Harry Potter movies) and because the hour was so late, we had the car to ourselves. I took watch and my friend went to sleep. At around 2:30, we were in the Sidi Qasem Junction where the train had to hold for about twenty minutes while the track was switched. A man then came  hobbling into our car and slurred out, “I…I…I…like…I don’t have a ticket. Is that OK?” I responded to him in French that I didn’t care and he should be fine. He proceeded to fall to the ground in a crumpled heap and clawed his way under the banquet. Just then a train conductor passed by the outside of the car and saw the drunken man’s legs peering out from under the banquet. He yanked the drunken man out from under the banquet, readjusted his grip so that he could haul the man upright, rotated the man 180 degrees and slammed him against the far side wall, before dragging the man out of the train altogether. The noise of the man colliding with the far side of the wall woke my good friend whose eyes widened immensely. I turned to him and said, “Welcome to Morocco, you should pay for your tickets here.”

What is your favorite type of music?  

I like music from the eastern Mediterranean, such as modern Greek (Paparizou and similar), modern Turkish (Tarkan and similar), Arab Pop (Ajram, Diab, and similar), and Israeli (Haza and similar).

Who is your favorite poet?  What is your favorite poem and why?

My favorite poem is Canción de Jinete (Song of the Rider) by Federico García Lorca. It’s the story of a patrolman who knows that he lacks the supplies to make it safely to Córdoba, which was his original destination. To me it represents the meaning of true heroism. In most films and literature, heroes die ceremonious deaths and are pined for, if they must die at all. In reality, many heroes give their lives without accolades, rotting namelessly in prison cells, dying without a hope that what little good they tried to achieve will progress to anything, and most importantly, they die without ceremony and without climactic cause. Lorca portrays this singular un-mourned loss in a way that makes us care about him, too. Additionally, it serves as a mirror to Lorca’s own life since he was killed by Fascist tyrants in 1936 for the crime of being gay. He was given no ceremony nor blessing in Spain for nearly forty years afterwards, dying as namelessly as the Rider.

What makes you unique?

I am absurdly honest and blunt.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

Assuming that the wish-giver was not intentionally duplicitous and would grant the wishes as intended, as opposed to the common trope in literature where the wish granting agent grants the wish in a way that the wisher does not wish to receive the wish:

  • World Peace – A realistic peace that allows people to actually embrace each other and realize their rights and freedoms to self-determination. This does not require that people cease to argue, but it does demand a mental shift across the world that violence and hatred are not viable ways to do this.
  • Super-Teleport – I would like to be able to teleport myself, and anything I carry, to any point in the universe at any point in time. Additionally I would be able to teleport into works of both fiction and non-fiction with any “story” content in which I could acquire attributes of that world or even take over characters and play the story out differently. Any death caused by being outside of normal time would just revert me back to where I made the original jump from with the memories of everything that happened – like waking from a nightmare.
  • Investment in Space Colonization – I would like governments around the world to invest in building a space elevator and start building space colonies to reduce the strain on our planet as well as colonizing the moon and Mars. I wouldn’t wish that these things already existed but that there was the will the world-over to see these missions through.

Do you view the glass ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’?  Why?

I don’t waste my time with the glass. I evaluate the problem, pick the best viable solution and execute it by rationally evaluating all component parts and actors. Optimism and pessimism both distort a person’s ability to think critically.

What do you find most challenging as an Supervisor?

It is most challenging to deal with irrational or problematic contributors who I need to reprimand for their conduct.

What do you find most challenging as an contributor?

It can be a challenge to understand what the questions are that are being asked when people form their questions vaguely.

What is your favorite quote and why?

Tao PeopleContext: In 1890 in southern Tanganyika (current Tanzania), the German commander Hermann von Wissman was fighting against the Yao People, ruled by Chief Macemba. When Wissman demanded subordination by Macemba, the African ruler replied by way of a letter written in Kiswahili:

Translation of the Quote: I have listened to your words but can find no reason why I should obey you—I would rather die first… I look for some reason why I should obey you and find not the smallest. If it should be friendship that you desire, then I am ready for it, today and always; but not to be your slave, that I cannot be. If it should be war you desire, then I am ready, but never to be your slave. I do not fall at your feet, for you are God’s creature just as I am. I am sultan here in my land. You are sultan there in yours. Yet listen, I do not say to you that you should obey me; for I know that you are a free man. As for me, I will not come to you, and if you are strong enough, then come and fetch me. ~ Macemba

Reason: It’s my favorite quote because it shows Macemba’s willingness not to capitulate merely because defeat is inevitable. A person should be willing to defend everything they hold dear instead of forfeiting it for mere survival. A mind without a heart would make us no different than computers or animals.

Where is one place in the world you would love to visit and why?

I would like to visit Iran and Iraq to see where my family came from.

Do you have any special talents?

I can speak in a voice resembling Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks completely naturally. (It is not my natural voice, though; that would be a curse, not a talent.)

What is one quirky or interesting random fact about you that most people may not know?

I have a horrible sense of humor. Some people get it, but most do not.