Say Hello and introduce yourself... where are you from and what are your interests?
I was born in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and moved to Fort Erie, Ontario (across the Niagara River from Buffalo, NY) four years ago to get as close as possible to my then-fiancée-now-wife, who lives in Pennsylvania. (We're currently working on the process to get her into Canada as a Landed Immigrant.)
I have a bunch of interests, the most useful of which is probably designing T-shirts. (People will almost invariably smile, laugh, and/or make comments when I wear one of my designs in public, but most of them have never sold a single copy to anyone besides me.)
Do you have any tips to share?
I have a really easy time sourcing from my parents' generation back another generation or two, because the Canadian censuses are freely available up to 1911 (grumble grumble has locked up the 1921 census), and the BC Archives have free BMD records from colonial times up to 1903 for births, 1938 for marriages, and 1993 for deaths. But further back than my grandparents, I end up in other jurisdictions, which, I am learning, are much less helpful for researchers. (I suppose governments have to make up their deficits somehow, but demanding outrageous fees to see records seems a bit, well, mean-spirited.)
How can we improve WikiTree?
Well, I only learned this week that I'm supposed to be using genetic, not adoptive family links. No doubt there was a great deal of discussion about this which I haven't found and read yet, but I was kind of shocked, not to mention disappointed, to find out that WikiTree doesn't consider all of my family to be, well, family.
Just about the only thing that I liked about (grumble grumble) was that it could take, and differentiate, between the two. I get it that some people want to trace their family trees for medical reasons (way too many of my ancestors seem to have had heart problems, for example), but, darn it, my sisters are my sisters, even if we don't share any genes (or at least, not that I know of), at least as far as I'm concerned. Actually, adoption has been extremely common in my family, and my family tree would be pretty bare if I had to excise everybody who was grafted into it.
What do you enjoy most about WikiTree?
No "bait and switch" offers to show me new matches, historical records, or whatever as long as I cough up a pile o' dough, only to find out that the supposed matches aren't even the same person. (Or if it is the same person, it's a record in a family tree on a different web site, so it's not like we can link together and share the way people can on here.) I really, really, really hate it when other sites keep doing that.
(I suppose I might not mind so much if I had piles of money to throw around, but I don't. And part of my deal with my sweetie is that I'm only allowed to do this as long as I don't let it become an obsession. And the line between "hobby" and "obsession" is whether I spend any money on it.)
How do you spend your time when not online?
Ha! I'm a helpdesk tech in real life, so if I'm not online, I'm probably sleeping.
What's the weather like in your neck-of-the-woods today?
After the first genuine heat wave of the summer, the temperature has moderated slightly, so now I can get to sleep before midnight.
Do you have a unique pet?
When I was in school, I had a tank of fish, most of which kept disappearing, except for one who was getting suspiciously large, so I dubbed him, "Animal: the goldfish that ate Wolfville".
Any great recipes to share?
Here's my party piece:
Cous cous da Mia Nigerien
500 g (1 lb) stewing beef, cut into cubes
2-3 red onions, cut into pieces
2-3 large tomatoes
1 red pepper, cut into pieces
1 green pepper, cut into pieces
30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 ml (2 tsp) Harissa* hot sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) chili powder
5 ml (1 tsp) paprika
Brown beef and onions at high heat in large frying pan. Blend tomatoes for a few seconds to get an even consistency (some lumps are fine.) Add tomatoes, peppers to dish and stir. Turn down heat to simmer. Add in spices, and simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The consistency should be similar to a thick spaghetti sauce when it's ready to serve. If you get the spicing just right, the overall effect will be somehow sweet, rather than just hot. Serve with cous cous prepared according to directions. Since cous cous cooks so quickly, you should only add the cous cous to the boiling water about 5 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Can use powdered garlic, ginger, but will need more to get the same effect. Can use large can of stewed tomatoes instead of fresh. Put stewed tomatoes into a separate bowl and mash up with a potato masher before adding to frying pan.
* The Harissa is key. It never tastes quite right without it. If you can't find it in your local deli/foreign food store, Amazon has it.