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I'm saddened to report that my cousin Doug passed away early this morning, losing a lengthy battle with cancer. It should provide some small amount of comfort to friends and family to know that he no longer has to suffer any pain.

I found out through a call from my sister shortly before my flight left Albuquerque. It is being able to keep in better contact with my loved ones that prompted my purchase of the Blackberry in the first place. I can now honestly say that the cost was justified.

As I sit in the Cincinnati airport, I'm beginning to make tentative plans to attend this Saturday's funeral. I feel very close to Doug. I last saw him a little under two years ago when.we attended one of Bruce Soringsteen's holiday shows in the Asbury Park Convention Center. He had been a long-time fan who had seen Soringsteen often playing in small bars & clubs while living at the Jersey Shore in the early 70's.

Once I get to London tomorrow morning, I'll see what sort of flights, rental car, and hotel room I can find. Since Doug spent so many years as a New Jersey State Trooper (he was Master-At-Arms for some time), he will be receiving full honors.

My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone else in the family.

Sent via BlackBerry from Cingular Wireless