Ok, now that I’ve had some time to research the whole story and reach out to family, I know a little more about the situation.
Details of Brandon’s death are private by family request; I respect that. If you knew Brandon and want to discuss privately, let me know (comments or email).
Suffice to say it was sudden, and unexpected, and accidental.
Which leads me to the status of blog and web site hosting.
I host quite a number of blogs – some locally at moronosphere.com, and others at other sites. All these lived on Brandon’s server, which is hosted at digitalocean.com. This is aside from Brandon’s other businesses and hosting, which I have nothing to do with directly.
For those I host, or have hosted, the status at this time is this: The vendor has kindly allowed four months free ride while we sort out ownership and access. This means we have four months in which to find alternate hosting, if needed.
Meanwhile, I’m working with Brandon’s next of kin, and with the extremely kind folks at Digital Ocean, to assume control of Brandon’s server.
I do not yet know if this will succeed; I’m hopeful, but it’s not a done deal. If I do, I’ll keep it for at least a year, and help as I can to restore access, and help people copy data elsewhere. I may keep it after, if things work out well and the pricing makes sense; I may not. We’ll revisit that later.
If I do not succeed in getting control of teh machine, we have 4 months to copy blog content, and then the old server will go away, and my adventure in blog hosting with it.
Either way, moronosphere.com will survive, and (if desired) any hosted blogs with it (Ray’s blog, for example).
My profound thanks to Brian Dawson, Brandon’s cousin, for support in this effort.