Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

The LA Times ran a pre-obituary on Bob Hope yesterday.

It's a long-standing tradition for news organizations to have -- prepared and waiting -- obituaries for famous old-timers like Hope. When a duffer finally kick off, the editor just pulls out the file, changes a few dates and runs the story. Simple. Economic, too. And ghoulish, of course, but we're not going to think about that.

But everybody does it, so there's not much news value in each individual obituary -- they all sort of get clumped up together and, a few hours after the fact, nobody remembers one from another from another.

The Times, though, has beaten everybody to the punch. The Mike Downey column for Sunday, June 4, was an obituary, in fact and deed, if you ignore the fact that Bob Hope isn't dead yet.

Oh, sure, it could be labeled a "tribute," too -- it said nice things about the man, and told funny old stories -- but tributes are supposed to appear when someone is being honored, or has a birthday, or is Grand Marshalling the Rose Parade. Not when they're lying in the hospital after an extended illness.

For all of Downey's good intentions -- and there were plenty, I'm sure -- the article was nothing but morbid, and more than a little creepy. Bob Hope isn't dead yet. Let's give him that long, at least, before we start with the eulogies.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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