Replace User and Reboot

July 17, 2011

Paul Jones, or Yabba, with a Smile and a DahliaIronically, that was the title of one of my friend Paul’s last posts before he died. Somewhere, Paul is laughing over the irony.

Like many people, I only knew Paul Jones (dba “Yabba”) online. No matter. He was a brilliant, witty writer — reading his emails was a joy. I looked forward to them. We were sympatico. And how could you not love this smile?

Look at the size of that dahlia! Among other things, Paul won at least three national awards for his dahlias. To tell the truth, I’d never paid that much attention to dahlias, until I saw pictures of his. Good Lord, Paul loved dahlias and dahlias loved Paul.


Paul died the morning of July 6th. At age 44, he had a brain aneurysm and poof! Just like blowing out a match, his golden flickering light was gone. He leaves behind his pregnant girlfriend, a child who will never know his or her father, a grieving family, and his many, many virtual friends in cyberspace. As one of my sisters said recently about a loss: “another goodbye.” It has been a year of goodbyes, some expected, some unexpected.

Paul loathed Facebook and all that it stood for, but hopefully he’d have a good laugh or be flattered that so many of us have joined the Friends Of Paul Jones (Yabba) R.I.P. group. Someday, future Yabba, as I like to think of his child, may want to browse the page.

Paul Jones, or Yabba, in a Dahlia Greenhouse



Yabs, thanks again for all of your help. I do wish we’d gotten a chance to compare and contrast various greenhouses. Yours were certainly much larger than anything I had planned, but I know your advice about which small commercial greenhouse would best suit my needs would have been invaluable. Maybe I’ll find my answers in the posts at Allotment Vegetable Growing. It was one of several gardening sites where Paul hung out, including the Chilis Galore and Growing Potatoes forums. I’ve been promised some of the chile pepper seeds. Paul Jones was an unusual combination of a programmer and a gardener. He could look at a page of code and instantly see what others had spent hours trying to find — the source of a coding error. He had a real talent for it.

Paul Jones, or Yabba, as a Child


Yabs, thank you also for toiling relentlessly in an effort to get fruits and vegetables to display (with rotating images) on client Dana Slatkin’s website. You even forgave me for sending the multi-gigabyte, infamous “” file containing all of the client’s numerous images. I figured you’d tease me forever about that one. (Were you a saint?!!!) And you’d get a kick out of hearing that our clueless music festival client of last fall actually had the cajones to cheerfully write me while Cherie was visiting. As if nothing were wrong, clueless client emailed seeking assistance with his Google Analytics account. Really. I ignored his first email, hoping against hope that he’d take that as a “no.”. A few hours later, an identical email appeared. And also one from his boss. I wrote his boss and said we hadn’t worked on the account in over six months and, besides, I had houseguests. Priorities, you know. I think the festival owner is annoyed with me. Do I care? No. I know you wouldn’t care, either. We’d have had a good laugh over that one.

Paul’s favorite charity was The Woodland Trust. Founded in 1972, it’s the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. Plant a tree in Yabba’s memory.

If I could be in the U.K. on Monday for his services, I’d wear my authentic 1970s hippie chick dress and would be humming this song:

Bob on, mate. Thank you for sharing so freely and cheerfully with all of us. Read another heartfelt post about Yabba.

Copyright © 2011

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