I was shocked and saddened to learn that a former co-blogger, Buck, had died. (He was relatively young; it was due to natural causes; I'm omitting other details for privacy's sake.)
Buck was very good with computers, and that's how he earned his living. He also did all the web design over at Blue Herald, which he revamped several times (the site's mostly dormant now, and has one of his simpler designs up currently, but you can see his old posts). He came up with some really cool custom coding behind the scenes to make all the bloggers' lives easier. I'd occasionally ask him questions about how to do some coding trick. (He showed me how to do the custom blockquotes here at VS, and how to design this post. He was also a big help for managing Right-Wing Cartoon Watch over at BH.) Sometimes he'd pass on a few links for me to read, sometimes he'd just code it himself and pass it on. Buck was generous to a fault, and you quickly learned that if you asked him for assistance, you had to preface it with something like, Hey Buck, this is really minor and please don't kill yourself, but I was wondering about… because he was liable to drop everything to help. Buck was always helping his fellow bloggers, or neighbors, or members of his large, extended family. He was wired that way.
He had an interesting perspective, being a liberal in the Bible Belt, owning guns but for reasonable gun laws, live-and-let-live at heart, but irked by the political insanity of the day, and intolerance especially. Most of all, he was a nice guy. I'll miss his presence in comment threads and e-mail exchanges, his silly, goofy and sometimes raunchy sense of humor, teasing him about his affection for 80s hair bands, his passionate and principled outbursts, and most of all his essential, irrepressible decency. He was just a really good guy. He deserved a longer life. Condolences to all his family and friends who knew him in real life. Those of us fortunate to get to know him online are grateful we did. He will be missed.