George Jones

I feel tears welling up. Goodbye George Jones.

I always knew the day would come. I had been dreading it a lot lately.

On Friday morning, just as I was leaving for work, my brother Tony texted me the news. I went to my computer, did a google search and listened to "He Stopped Loving Her Today", the saddest country song of all time. I listened to it a couple of times and just cried. That song was one of my mom's favorites.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the rumbling majestic voice of George Jones. I love rock, I love pop, but I really love country music, especially the classic stuff from the 50s and 60s. I grew up listening to Willie and Waylon, as well as Kenny Rogers and The Oak Ridge Boys, depending on what mood I was in. I was always in the mood for George Jones.

I have never been this sad about the death of a celebrity. I don't fully understand it, but, at times, it feels as if I've lost a close personal friend.

I never had the chance to meet the Possum, but I did get to see him in concert. Twice, in fact. Twice in one week. I shared George Jones with my Auntie Kelly, which made those two concerts even more meaningful.

The concerts were amazing! I have great memories of those shows, and of this picture that I snapped at Konocti the last time I saw him in concert in 2002. I was standing a foot or two in front of him and he was smiling right at me. Wow.


George Jones had a unique vocal style. There will never be another like him. Now I wonder, who's going to fill his shoes?

Thanks for the memories. Thanks for the melodies.

Yabba dabba doo, the king is gone and so are you.

Rest in peace George Glenn Jones.


Goodbye Steve Jobs

Last week, Steve Jobs, the most prolific CEO of my lifetime, died. I can't describe how I felt when I learned of his death. I had never felt this sad from the death of someone I did not know personally.

As my oldest daughter told me so eloquently: in 30 years, we'll all remember where we were when we heard the news. Just like when Princess Diana or Michael Jackson died, and just like our parents remember so clearly when Elvis, John F. Kennedy, and John Lennon died.

Steve Jobs, through the company he co-founded, had a huge effect on my life and my family. We bought our first iPod nearly eight years ago and shortly after, learned about podcasts, something that certainly changed the direction and quality of my life.

Then came the Macs, iPhones, the iPad, the Apple TV.

Apple and Steve Jobs didn't just create products, but built an eco-system where we could truly get the most of the things we love. I am able to listen to more music, record more of my own music, and stay connected with my friends and family. The things we can do with our iPad and Apple TV still seem right out of the Jetsons!

As a corporate leader, his drive was famous. My friends and family that have worked at Apple have all told of Steve's influence. His attention to detail and expectation of perfection is something I admire, both as a consumer and a manager.

Thank you Steve, for the iPod, the Mac, the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple TV, and for encouraging us to think different.


 See all my posts tagged with 'Apple'


Goodbye Auntie

After her battle with cancer, our beloved Auntie Kelly (Jodi Johnson) passed away early this morning. Dawn and I got to see her and say our goodbyes last night. I held her hand, kissed her face and told her how much she meant to me. Although she was not coherent, she knew I was there and opened her eyes when I spoke. I have so many memories of Auntie Kelly and will find a way to share some of them here soon. I will always look back at her last few years with great love and admiration of her strength and devotion to her family.

Auntie, you will forever be in our hearts. We love you!

Thank you Uncle Dennis, for taking such great care of Kelly over the last few years. Your passion and love for your bride has always been an inspiration for me and taught me much about love and marriage. You are a gracious man, Uncle D.

021702 PossumII
021702 PossumII

February 2002 - at the George Jones concert


March 2002 - at the "Family Pizza place"

Stockton Record Obituary

Kelly, Jodi, Jo Retta, Joy, Auntie 12/25/1948 - 8/1/2007

Goodbye Mr. Serna

We got the news on Tuesday that we lost a dear family friend. Jim Serna had passed away. I have known Jim and his family ever since I can remember and will always remember him as a dedicated husband, father and grandfather. Some of our greatest memories of Jim come from the several recent Extravaganzas that we attended (especially the "in case of emergency, break glass" shirt he wore back in 2004 - I have no idea why that stands out to me but it does). Jim, and his family, were also so very gracious to my family after losing my Mom and Ty and I will always be grateful for that.

Our thoughts and love go out to Patti and the rest of their wonderful family. Jim will be missed a great deal.

js_extravaganza_02 Extravaganza 2002 - Georgetown

And All I Have To Do Is.... Act Naturally

Today started as any other March 25th would start... crank up the Elton John tunes! In case you didn't know this about me, I am a huge Elton fan. Today is Sir Elton's birthday (and Aretha Franklin's and Danika Patrick's)... which means I will listen to Elton music for most of the day. Picture 4

I can't bring up my taste in music without mentioning that I am also a huge honky-tonk and classic country fan (the Possum reigns!) and have been a crazy Kiss fan since I was very young.

Picture 3

Today also brings sad news in the music world. Buck Owens passed away at his home in Bakersfield this morning. Bakersfield, as a city, has a crappy reputation up here in Nor Cal, but as a "sound", Bakersfield is awesome! Dawn and I actually got to sing Happy Birthday to Buck years ago. Well actually, Dawn and I and thousands of others at a Garth Brooks concert. It was a few days after Buck's birthday and Garth asked everyone to be quiet while he called him from a cell phone on stage. Then, 17,000 of us joined Garth and his band in wishing Buck a happy birthday. What a great memory!

Sir Elton, Happy Birthday!

Long live Bakersfield!

Remembering 9/11

Okay, I have rarely used our site to air a gripe and most visitors would say that I avoid confrontation but now I would like to get on my soapbox.The anniversary of 9/11 is coming soon and there has been a lot of talk and hype about how we will mark - not celebrate - the day.  The History Channel is running a special for which the advertisement says, “A year we will always mark as September to September” – very poignant and very true.  The attention to this date, in my opinion, is well deserved.  The plethora of e-mails I get everyday suggesting what to do on that day, however, is not. September 11, 2001 – my “day that will live in infamy”, certainly changed my perceptions, my feelings, my patriotism and so many aspects of my life.  Nearly everyone I know agrees that the events of that day had a profound impact on his or her life. Since the last week in June I have received a ton of e-mails asking me to do a variety of things on September 11th, such as:

Drive with my headlights on during the day Light a candle Honk my horn at a certain time Wear all red, white and blue Carry a flag all day Sit on my porch all night Walk to work Don't buy gas I am not suggesting that any of these things are crazy; I think a lot of us are searching for a way to commemorate 9/11 – after all, we Americans sure are infatuated with dates, aren’t we?  I would, however, like to make my own suggestions for crazy, off-the-wall things to do on this fast-approaching September 11th.  Brace yourself, these are definitely radical ideas, but I am going to risk my reputation and just go for it!

Volunteer at a local senior center Hug your kids real, real tight Get to know your neighbors Buy lunch for a stranger Send your wife flowers Write your Senator Register to vote Learn CPR Okay folks, I am sure you now understand my perspective, but just in case you missed it… I’ll explain it.  On 9/11/01 our nation, our way of life, was attacked by a bunch of idiots who hate America and what we stand for.  I think that the best way to honor our country is to keep living life in honor of those that died protecting our lifestyle and those that perished last year. Solidarity will not be gained by everyone doing the exact same thing at the exact same thing but, in fact, just the opposite. Well, to commemorate that horrible Tuesday last year I would like to take this opportunity to say that in the last year I have seen some great examples of patriotism and have seen some genuine jack-asses. From the overpass flag-wavers and the sudden outburst of our national anthem to impatient airline passengers, that's what this country is all about.  So, what ever you do... be original!

A Tribute to USA

A Tribute to USA

September 11, 2001, 6:28 AM, PST, the alarm clock wakes me up with the sound of a commercial on the radio. I instantly hit the snooze button and fall back asleep.  At 6:35 the alarm goes off again.  My radio is always set to 104.1 FM, the central valley home of the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show, a lively comedic morning radio program.  I could tell right away that something wasn’t right. 

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A Tribute to Ty Osborn

A Tribute to Ty "T-BONE" Osborn Ty C. Osborn 10/27/1978 - 1/4/2001


It seems I was still dealing with the shock of losing my Mother when I received the phone call from my Aunt.  I was at home, on the computer, getting ready to go to work.  She said that she was sorry for calling me with bad news but that she just learned that Ty had taken his own life the night before.

Ty was like a little brother to me.  Mike and I would babysit him when he was little (which was no easy task.)  Ty was allergic to everything when he was young.  He had to eat bran cereal with apple juice instead of milk. He couldn't eat candy or drink soda but Mike and I would sometimes sneak him goodies when we would take him to the movies.  In fact, we took him to see E.T. shortly after it opened.

Ty was agenius as far as I was concerned.  At a very young age he was hacking into phone systems and computers.  When he was 9 or 10 he got me into the world of BBS (the true predecessor of the 'net.)  He used to sysop a cool board and would spend time on mine as well.  Wow, it's amazing that we used to think that was so high-tech.

Ty worked at Pac-West Telecomm.  His Mom knew the owner but he didn't get a golden ticket in.  He started there when he about 15 or 16 and when I worked there in the call center.  He started off doing meaningless tasks for the pc techs and cleaning the switch room.  He had moved up quite a bit in the years he was there but I can't think of his title... too high-tech for my brain.

Ty's parents decided on celebrating his life with a ceremony and get-together at Steamboat Slough Beach.  It was a nice gathering and the LaRues were very generous to his parents.

I miss Ty and think about him all the time.  I always thought we would grow old together and he would be the CEO of some company by the time he was 30. He was a good kid and I miss him very much.


If you wish to support a charity in Ty's honor. you can make a donation to: Caring Christmas Tree P.O. Box 95 Linden, CA 95236 This year-round migrant labor support program is something in which Ty and his family has participated for the past 15 years.  Your contribution to this program would mean a lot to the family