We met through blogging. I had posted some extreme remarks about some outrageous event being hosted in the Faculty of Arts at UWO; his wife saw my posting, and she sent it on to him for his amusement. He started following my blog and making the odd comment. From there we struck up a correspondence and began our blog about curling before we had ever met each other.
The curling blog was fun for a few years. Even more fun was working together to cover the Scott Tournament of Hearts when it was in London, including doing play-by-play of one of the morning draws on the radio. Alan was a thoughtful, fun-loving guy. You put those two characteristics together, and you have a person who is fun and interesting to be around.
We continued our curling reporting when the Brier was held in London in 2011, and then at the World Championships out in Regina that same year.
Alan had been a math prof at Waterloo, but left academia to work for IBM. He enjoyed teaching but didn't enjoy the meaningless research that was expected of him. After many years at IBM, he retired, but was still active in ongoing industry standard-setting conferences.
Through Alan, we met his sister, Rondi, and his wife Melitta. Rondi and I have continued to correspond off and on, and we always enjoyed getting together with Alan and Melitta once or twice a year.
Alan was younger than me. His sudden death has stunned and saddened me.