Wednesday, December 06, 2006

James Kim, R.I.P.

For the past week I've been closely following the story of James Kim and his family, who disappeared on their way home to San Francisco after celebrating Thanksgiving in Oregon. The family got stuck in snow on Oregon back roads and it was 9 days before they were found on Monday. Miraculously James' wife Kati, and their two young daughters, were found alive and in very good condition. James though had set out on his own a few days before that to seek help and didn't make it, his body just recovered this afternoon. More details on the story can be found here and of course elsewhere on the web.

This story touched me as I've been watching James for many many years on TV and on podcasts that I frequent. He used to be a "lab rat" (product tester) back at TechTV, and a frequent and favorite guest on "The Screen Savers", a tech show that we all watched regularly. Since then he has been an editor and regular contributor to, and I'd not only read his stuff there but see him regularly on the CNET tips vidcast that my TiVo downloads every week.

James always touched me as I recall on "The Screen Savers" when his first daughter was born, and how happy and proud he was. He would frequently use his daughter as a subject when testing new digital cameras, for instance. I found myself emotionally invested in this story, and I'm very saddened that he didn't make it... but praise the Tiki his family survived, as difficult as this must be for them! The saddest thought I have of this is James died alone, without knowing that his family was found safe.

Godspeed, James Kim. You were a true hero to your family. And to me.