Last year I put about 30,000 miles on my vehicle doing service calls, contract work, and other such computer jobs. I get in the Vue or my van, take off and away I go. To be honest, I haven't read a weather forecast since my radio days that ended in 2000, except for once on KIA when I did some advertising there and we were horsing around in the studio. I hear the forecasts and sometimes take their advice, but this year I really haven't, just due to the mild winter we've had.
Wednesday my heart sank when I heard the news about a fellow tech and business owner in Hampton who was killed in a traffic fatality between Hampton and Latimer on an icy Highway 3. Joel Eddy lost his life Wednesday in what would seem to me, on any other day, a routine drive to Hampton heading to his office. I'm saddened, as this is quite a loss for Franklin County and Northern Iowa.
Joel and I were competitors and there were times we really didn't see eye to eye, but we had a couple of things in common -- service to our customers and the knowledge we gained on our own to serve those customers in the best ways that we could. Joel was a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), no small accomplishment, that's for sure. He was pretty much at ground zero for Internet providers in our area when things started to take off in the mid 90's. He was a pioneer in Iowa in the WIRELESS Internet realm. He had technology that was ahead of the times in that field -- by YEARS -- ahead of what is available now with handheld devices and Internet access.
Joel will be missed. Since his office is 3 blocks from my home, I drive by it daily. His white pickup with ladder was his trademark, while on nice days, I'd see the bikes out on the side of the building. If we needed parts, many times, we'd check with each other first. I remember a good conversation with him at the high school last year, when all the kids got the laptops to use -- naturally, he was trying to see if there was a way around the security in the laptops for more functionality. He was always thinking, that's for sure.
He was a good business man and a great husband and father. Joel's death at age 53 certainly put a lot of things into perspective for me as I was driving around on Wednesday, that's for sure.
Life... is too damned short!