I hear it all the time, "James, you are weird for always reading the obituaries." And I always says, "Yeah, but when you read this one, you'll say the same thing I did...dang, I wish I'd met this guy.!"

And it is always true. Here's some excerpts from Brian Alexander's obituary. He died just a little while ago, he was 37, and from Oakdale, Minnesota.

Brian was a renaissance man. You could often find him drawing, painting, woodworking, quoting movies, building computers, getting philosophical with George Carlin, playing Legos, watching Xena the Warrior Princess, listening to Irish Punk Rock and Golden Oldies, playing tennis and hockey. Brian knew everything about hockey. Brian was a goalie - the sanest ones, and you could tell on the tennis court when people would rip balls right at his face. He'd calmly volley the ball, tap the net twice, and prepare for the next point.

Brian went to NDSU - Go Bison. Majored in electrical engineering, and almost got his masters, but then learned he had to defend a thesis in front of others. So now his wife has to pay for his almost degree. He did get a second major...that is a Major of Chernobyl at Tailgators in Fargo.

I spent many a night at Tailgators (The Gate!). I walked about four blocks to get there (and usually five or six to get home...), and the Chernobyl wings are super hot. ps - The Gate's pizza rolls? Literally a pizza rolled up and sliced.

Brian loved his "fruity drinks" and had a Sex on the Beach or something ending with "-tini" in his hand. He then developed a more sophisticated palate and moved on to Strongbow or a Sailor Jerry's with Coke.

Cancer came into his life and when things got tough, he's quote The Lord of the Rings, "You give hope to men. I keep none for myself."

...He is preceded in death by "The Van," a big rusty piece of crap that he drove around in high school.

He leaves behind a wife, his parents, family members, and now, the people reading his obituary thinking, "Dang, I wish I'd met this guy."

Memorials for the Princeton, MNYouth Hockey Association in memory of Brian Alexander would be appreciated.