Re: Biohazard Memorial Thread


Most of my interaction with biohazard was at the Other Place, where I especially loved his running commentary on his own cats, the portraits he volunteered to take of shelter cats seeking adoption, his records of the hummingbirds outside his window, thoughts on growing long hair during the pandemic, and memories of people he had lost. He and I chatted a fair bit on messaging apps, and one thing I particularly appreciated about those conversations was how we could talk about death, and about what it's like to lose many people who are very close to you, and then keep finding life meaningful. I believe I have learned from him, more than anyone else, how to think about old age.

We never met in person, but biohazard's loss is a palpable and profound one for me. I miss him already, and have donated to The Amanda Foundation's cats and kittens fund in his name.

Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 8:10 AM
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I wish I'd known he was there. He e-mailed me his name but I'm not a Facebook person. For him, a I would have followed along.

Posted by: Boatoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 8:30 AM
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I was very reassured, when I was getting divorced, by his and DE's happy second act after middle-aged divorce. That meant a lot to me.

And I also loved the steady supply of cat pictures on FB, as well as his grumpy cross-generational perspective. I'll miss having him around.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 8:54 AM
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Oh no! I was just thinking of him and DE last week. Even with these parasocial relationships, it's so sad when someone is gone.

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 9:33 AM
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I can only echo the sentiments above. We never came within five thousand miles of one another, but I shall his absence as a gaping hole in the world.
Wherever he and DE are, I'm sure El Jefe will find a twig nearby.

Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 9:49 AM
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You know something that just occurred to me? I just called Biohazard grumpy, and I'm sure I saw a 'curmudgeonly' someplace. And it's not that that's wrong, but he was very open about showing that he thought well of people -- it was super clear that he was very fond of this place and of a whole lot of the people he met here. Managing to show that fondness while maintaining the grumpy persona was a neat ability.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 10:25 AM
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I liked them both: found DE's thought elegant and funny, found him sharp and bright. I admired their love for each other. I don't know enough about them to truly say but from my distance, it looked like they both lived their lives well. Hope they thought so.

Never knew either on Facebook.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 10:34 AM
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I always enjoyed biohazard, and am sorry he's gone.

Note to people not on FB -- BG, Megan, NickS, others: you should just assume that your favorite Unfogged alums are there.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:06 AM
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Surely you are not encouraging us to get on Facebook at this late date. I've made it this far without succumbing.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:16 AM
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Thank your for this thread. I have fond, but slightly distant memories of both of them (Megan's comment captures my feelings quite well).

assume that your favorite Unfogged alums are [on FB]

That almost makes it tempting.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:17 AM
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There are a lot of Unfogged alums active on FB, but I don't know if that would make it worthwhile to join at this point because it largely sucks otherwise. There are a fair number who are active on Twitter instead.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:38 AM
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Twitter isn't going to be completely ruined for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:39 AM
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Just mostly.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:40 AM
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A sad day. I donated to the Amanda Foundation at work to get the company match.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:51 AM
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6: I think it's that he looked grumpy in pictures? His actual personality, insofar as I experienced it online, seemed more "wry" than "grumpy."

Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 11:53 AM
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I am on twitter, but it isn't a fully anonymous account. I suppose a I could create a BG account. I do have a Facebook account. I just never check it.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 12:49 PM
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Thanks for this thread. Like J, Robot, we exchanged messages periodically over the years, although the one time I was in the same location, it was in COVID era and meeting for coffee seemed ill-advised. I think he played up curmudgeonliness and irascibility in the way some of the very best folks do - with a light touch and a sense of genuine good humor.

He was a lovely man, whip-smart and very kind. I appreciated his generosity in sharing his life and experiences. My very favorite thing about him was his endless curiosity. He embodied "never too old to learn." He was highly adaptable, willing to adjust speech habits or incorporate new information to be kinder/more inclusive/move with the world. Sort of the opposite of standing athwart etc. It was a wonderful example of how to grow old without becoming set in one's ways and retreating to comfortable spaces.

My favorite little chat (VSOOBC, of course), was when he posted a B&W photo of himself as a young man in an electronics workshop, wearing thick black glasses (early-to-mid-60s). I had a very similar photo of my father from a few years later, working in an electronics workshop, same glasses and short-sleeved plaid collared shirt, so I sent it on to him. His response, "I know that guy! I was that guy!" He was so tickled that there was another version walking around.

I'm going to miss him a lot, but I'm taking comfort in assuming (not that I was that close to be told of some serious malady) he wasn't ill, and he didn't live longer than he wanted. He had a horror of long, slow declines, often discussed here, so this seems like exactly how he'd have wanted to go.

Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 1:53 PM
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He connected to be other-place friends some time last year, and I had to ask who he was here - I could tell that this was the source of the connection but couldn't identify him by real name before that. Not so many people reach out do that, so I was pleased by the sociability, and enjoyed what I saw. He was a charming and irascible character.

Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-11-22 6:43 PM
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Some very moving tributes here

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-22 6:59 AM
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I am very sad. I wish I had taken the opportunity to drop by and visit him and the cats when I had been in California recently. I owe his brother a condolence call but have been procrastinating.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-12-22 8:13 AM
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He and I chatted now and again after Roberta died about the weird space you're left in after such experiences. It was surprisingly helpful to talk with somebody who was completely uninterested in sugarcoating anything. I am going to miss him very much.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-12-22 9:34 AM
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As usual I didn't do a good job of cognitively connecting persona here with persona in other place, and now I kinda feel like I have lost two internet friends. I don't think he was curmudgeonly so much as very honest and transparent about things that made him cranky, many of which were both reasonable and not particularly age-related. He also made tremendous expressions of joy and appreciation.

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-12-22 10:07 AM
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I only knew him from here and that was plenty enough to miss him and remember him fondly.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-12-22 6:15 PM
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