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|September 2014 marks my ten-year anniversary as a Wikipedia editor. My first edit was timestamped on September 21, 2004. I've had a lot of fun editing and look forward to the next ten years of editing!|
Languages and projects
Recognition from other editors
Slambo is an Administrator on the English language Wikipedia. He has been contributing to Wikimedia projects since September 2004. The greatest majority of his edits have to do with rail transport, especially articles about rail transport in the United States. He is very interested in writing articles to an encyclopedic style, ensuring that they are well referenced and of high quality.
Who am I
In May 2010, I finished a degree in professional photography from Madison Area Technical College. I intend to work full-time as a commercial photographer. My portfolio shows some of my recent work.
For many years I was employed as a Software Engineer for a local retail company where I maintained and updated the company's point of sale application. I programmed in a UNIX environment with open source tools and techniques. Most of my programming work was in C/C++, but I've also worked with php, perl and various shell scripting languages.
I'm very active in the local division of the NMRA, the South Central Wisconsin Division; I have served on the Division's Board of Directors, and I currently fulfill the role of Model Contest Chairman for the Division. As of April 2006, I have joined the Board of Directors for NMRA's Midwest Region as a Director-at-large; I was re-elected to the Region's Board of Directors in 2008, and I also serve at the region level as Model Contest Co-Chairman. I'm also very active in the Capitol City NGineers displaying NTrak modules at model railroad shows around Wisconsin and northern Illinois. I'm also the webmaster for The Rip Track where I report on and discuss railroad news events, and where I also plan to put up reviews of model railroad products and howto articles periodically. In Summer 2009, I started a podcast to further distribute some of the research that I've been doing in railroad history and model railroading. Production on the podcast has slowed as I concentrated my efforts on my recent career change.
What am I doing here
Well, I'm editing and adding information, of course. When I have time, I like to add new information that relates to one of my specialties. I have a bunch of data that I've collected on these subjects and I will be adding pages and data as I have time.
In my early days editing here, I often hit the Special:Randompage link to see what it comes up with; I then read the page that is displayed to see if there was anything I could add to it. Usually my random page edits were just linkifying dates and some strings or adding categories and correcting grammar and typos. So far, the random page function hasn't shown me anything that I know a lot about, so my edits there are minor, if at all.
As of March 30, 2005, I am an administrator on Wikipedia. In May 2005, following a suggestion on the Trains project talk page, I created the Trains portal and volunteered to keep it updated as the portal maintainer. Since then, I've tried to make at least one edit per day to the portal's content (usually this is updating the "Did you know..." box).
Editing the portal has led to an effort to assess all rail transport related articles for quality and importance within rail transport history worldwide. This has led to a large number of edits to quite a few more topics in rail transport than I would have otherwise read about. I've learned quite a lot and continue to learn, and I hope my contributions here are seen as worthwhile by the greater Wikipedia community.
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What are my specialties
Trains and railroads
Almost everything I do in my free time has something to do with railroads and model railroading. I intend my primary focus here to be adding and updating historical railroad information. The pages that I've created and/or significantly expanded will be listed on User:Slambo/Trains (although this might not be updated as frequently as I would like). Also, images that I've created and uploaded will be listed on User:Slambo/Gallery.
I have created and expanded four articles that have reached featured status: Franklin B. Gowen, John Bull (locomotive), Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works and Pioneer Zephyr. I am also the lead editor of the Featured Wikipedia Trains portal. Several more articles that I created and expanded have reached Good article quality, including Scott Special, California Southern Railroad and railway post office.
There is still a very large number of articles to write and update related to railroading. I am regularly going through the WikiProject Trains todolist adding and updating material. Also, for another source of subjects on which to write, I am working through the list of America's most noteworthy railroaders, according to John H. White, Jr., adding and updating material as appropriate.
As for expanding these and other pages that I create, please take a look at the articles' talk pages for some ideas I've had for the articles' expansion. If I can get to it and add the information, I'll update the talk page appropriately.
Lately, I've taken to sorting stubs from Category:Rail transport stubs into appropriate subcategories. With all of the stub sorting that I've done, I guess that qualifies me for participation in Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting.
I've also found that many editors are adding links to common railroad names that are acuatlly disambiguation pages here on Wikipedia. The link repair that I was tracking here on a subpage is now an official project task and is listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Trains/Todo/Disambig.
At the National Model Railroad Association's 2007 national convention in Detroit, I presented a clinic titled "Researching railroad history on the internet" where I discussed how to find and cite useful references as well as the efforts of WikiProject Trains and how to contribute to the project and Portal:Trains. I also presented a second clinic on prototype and model railroad photography where I discussed issues of composition, lighting and technique rather than equipment and subject matter.
Jazz music and novelty recordings
I'm a big fan of jazz music from before 1940, and I'm learning more and more about the artists and the music as I read the liner notes in the CD reissues that I purchase. While most of the music in my jazz collection is on CD, I do purchase 78 RPM records from local antique stores, mail bid auctions and online sources to further enhance my collection.
Also, since the 1980s, I've been collecting comedy/novelty recordings. While I was in college in California (at the University of California, Riverside), I was the host of Slambo's Car of Idiots on the campus radio station, KUCR. On my radio show, I shared a portion of my comedy/novelty recording collection. I briefly hosted the show at the University of California, Santa Barbara campus station, KCSB, when I lived in that city for two years. The weekly show hasn't resurfaced on the radio airwaves, but I've been volunteering at WORT during pledge drives, and I'm working toward getting on the air again. On the evening of December 5, 2005, I hosted an abbreviated (one hour) version of my show on WORT's Access Hour; after my show, I went through some training to become a substitute DJ. I hosted a second Access Hour show on June 12, 2006; the theme of this show was What I'm doing on my summer vacation, featuring songs/stories/sketches about camping, fishing, hanging out and taking care of those projects that you've been putting off until summer. My last (so far) Access Hour show aired on April 2, 2007, and was mostly comprised of songs and stories featuring silly noises and nonsense phrases.
While I have yet to significantly update or add any artist pages here, it's not entirely out of the question.
Linux and open source
For about a decade, I used various flavors of Linux on a regular basis. I used kubuntu Linux as my primary desktop environment both at home and at work. The only real reason for keeping any other operating system around on my hard drives is to play computer games, and there are enough games that I enjoy (like Trainz and The Sims 2) that I ran dual boot systems at home (the name of the alternate operating system that I use is left as an exercise for the reader). I enjoy contributing to open source projects, so Wikipedia's goals fit very nicely with what I like. I've started a couple of projects but none has gotten very far.
I was a contributing author to Using KDE, Special Edition (1999; now out of print) from Que Publishing. I haven't done much more paid work, but I wrote a lot of documentation for my projects at work.
I have recently rediscovered my postage stamp collection, so I am once again active in philately. The majority of my collection is a worldwide hodgepodge of material, but I'm working on building an album of worldwide train and railroad stamps, and another based on the date March 4 in any year. For the latter, I started a blog to further explore the collecting topic; the blog is entitled Stamps Marching Forth. I am a member of the American Philatelic Society as well as the American Topical Association. As of August 1, 2011, I am the webmaster for the American Topical Association. I am interested in trading 1:1 worldwide; send me an email if you want to trade.
In the 2000s, I revived my own family history research. The majority of family lines that I'm researching lead through British American colonies, back to the founding of a few of them. I am maintaining a blog, entitled Finding the Flock, where I publish some of my research findings. I also participate as an indexer for FamilySearch and an editor on the FamilySearch Wiki.
- My first edit is timestamped September 21, 2004, 13:45:06. Sure, time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
- As of July 24, 2005, I rank at 131 in main namespace edits and 112 in all namespaces edits on the top 1000 Wikipedians by number of edits.
- I'm moving up in the world. As of November 29, 2005, my rank is 113 in the article namespace, and 85 (woo hoo! I'm in the top 100!) in all namespace edits.
- Moving up again. As of December 11, 2005, my rank is 98 in the article namespace and 70 in all namespace edits.
- Splitting the difference this time. As of March 11, 2006, I rank 100 in the main article namespace, but 60 in all namespace edits.
- Hey, another edit count ranking page, this one is the List of administrators by edit count (a list which has since been deleted); as of May 26, 2006, I'm ranked 53rd.
- Woohoo! Both ranking lists are updated as of September 23, 2006. I'm up to 32 among all Wikipedians (but the list isn't split between main and all namespaces any more) and 29 among admins. W00t!
- Jeez, I've been busy. My rank as of November 30, 2006, among all Wikipedians is now all the way up to 22, and among Admins is up to 19; and this is without doing RC patrol! I'll get into the top ten yet!
- Doh! I move down the list a little this time to 30th among all Wikipedians (the Admin list is still dated November 30, 2006). Time to get moving again...
- Wow, either those other editors are really putting in an effort or I'm just not pushing "Save page" as often; as of November 1, 2007, I move down two steps to 32.
- Okay, so I'm clearly not editing as frequently as I used to, but I'm still in the top 100. As of December 30, 2009, my rank is now 81.
- As of September 23, 2005, my edit count on en.wikipedia.org is almost 19,000.
The whole userbox thing
Yes, I have several Userboxes on this page; however, take a look at what each of them says. The userboxes that I've included here don't give the reader an overall view of my own beliefs, many of which are in the minority view. I've stayed out of the larger debate about userbox topics mostly because I don't see as much of a need to declare my own political or religious views here. In general terms, I see userboxes as helpful tools to quickly disseminate information in a concise format that might not be listed elsewhere on the page. However, I dislike that some Wikipedians seem to be using userboxes solely as a way to induce (sometimes quite heated) debate about the topics discussed within them. In doing so and in participating in those debates, the users involved seem to stop making productive edits to any articles, even those that they have a declared interest in. This is the main reason why I don't mention any of my own political or religious views on this page; I don't want to get into such debates, I want to research and write about the topics that interest me and in doing so to learn more about them myself. I do hold strong political and religious beliefs, I just don't see a need to declare them here because I don't want to be distracted from my own reason for participating in the project.
- Okay, there is one that could be considered as declaring a semi-political view. Which userbox I'm referring to is left as an exercise for the reader (no, it's not the one about my diet, that's due to a medical condition).