For those who knew him, Bubba the Rules Cat (aka, Richard Halsey) was one of the more interesting folks in the rulebase space. I worked on a couple of projects with him; Ericsson for 18 months and GMAC Insurance for another five or six. Whatever the subject of conversation during the day, Bubba rarely watched TV and would spend the evening hours researching arkane and little-know facts and technology. The next morning he had several sites for our consideration. He was one of the very best researchers that I have had the privilege of knowing. And he had a low tolerance for fools and bad products.
Bubba was 68 years old. He was born June 14, 1942 and died "suddenly" on January 17, 2009. He loved his mother and his wife, Wanda with a deep affection. He spent six years in the Air Force with tours in Germany and South Africa and attended the University of Central Florida.
In his local community he was called "The Mayor of Vizcaya" - maybe due to his efforts in organizing a home owners association and he was later elected the president of that group. The HOA put a plaque in his honor at the base of a pear tree that he planted there.
I remember when we were working in St. Louis and staying at the same motel he got up early every morning, ate breakfast, went outside to smoke and feed the birds. He told me that his mother always wanted to come back as a bird so if she made it he was going to be sure and bring her breakfast every morning.
Bubba wanted to be cremated and buried next to his mother so when he died Wanda did just that. They had a memorial service in Pensacola and then his brother, Jim, took his ashes to New Jersey for another service and to be buried there.
Quite a guy. He lived a full life. He and I used to chat at least once a month about various and sundry things and I will sorely miss those calls. I do know that the last few years (he retired for all practical purposes a few years ago) were probably the happiest that I have known him to be. He quit smoking about the time he retired but he still had his two (or sometimes three) Cuba Libras every day - one at lunch, a nap, a long walk on the beach, and then a couple of more. He had a specific method for making them using only the best rum and only smooth-skinned limes. They really were quite good.
So - Bon Voyage Richard. We'll miss you. But I'm looking forward to seeing you again one day. :-)