After 40 years as a computer programmer and game developer—and the passing of his wife of 47 years—Rick has retired and is now living in Ye Olde Folks Home, where he still tinkers with tech and likes to write these amusing and/or thoughtful tales about his storied life.

An Embarrassing Moment
In Memoriam: Betty Edwards-Vessel
A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing
Who Would Jesus Stab?
The Eggshell Incident
First Chapel Service at Ye Olde Folks Home
A Yearly Ritual at Menards
“Mr. Loftus, the Town Hero”
The FCAL Project
Pepe Le Pew Finds New Lodgings
In Memoriam: Dale Lear
Bingo Bedlam at Ye Olde Folks Home
There’s a Shortage of Perfect Movies…
One Day at the DMV
A Visitor from Microsoft
“He Who Should Not Be Named”
Downton… Abbey?
This Home is a Liver-Free Zone
My 9/11 Rememberances
My Yearly Pumpkin Spice Rant
Done In By Baker’s Square
My Eulogy for Alice
“Dear Rikki…”
A Clean, Well-lighted Place for Books
Memories of my First Computer
A Little Excitement at the Staff Meeting
The Tale of Mrs. Butler
Sun, Sand, and a Margarita
“Thou Shalt Not Steal”
Troubleshooting at Ye Olde Folks Home
Stories of my Mother
I’ve Heard Angels Sing
Elevator Mishap at the Eye Clinic
One Day at Fair, Isaac
Saturday Morning Cartoons
A Sprig of Parsley
Fun With Recruitment Ads
Leave Her to Heaven
“Squirrel!”
Bring me Dave Bringle!
Beware! The Oldsters Are Coming!
Life Among the Progressives
A Family Ritual While Watching Masterpiece
The Unforgettable General Oppy
“Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here”
A Dubious Plan Gone Awry
The Singing Christmas Tree!
One Day in the Hospital Lab
The Legend of the Broken Timer
Nelson’s Fruit Stand
This One Time in Glee Club…
Star Trek References for the Win
Family Psalm, Stuck in Lodi
Vacation in Branson
Clyde and Ruth Revisited
COVID Policies During my Wife’s Fatal Illness
I Guess I’m the Shadow IT Department Now
The Tale of Clyde and Ruth
My Garden of Gethsemane Story
We Might Get a Virus!

Vacation in Branson

I have returned from a wonderful four-day vacation visiting old family friends Dan and Carol in Missouri, which means I got a grand tour of the attractions in Branson, including the SIX show, the Ripley’s museum, and the Silver Dollar City amusement park.

I’ve mentioned before how Alice was a Christmas fanatic. Last year I was not at all in the mood for such activities, but since Silver Dollar City has been retooled for the holiday season with seven million Xmas lights, I got tossed into the deep end.

Ho ho ho!

I was mostly okay, but a few of the songs sung by the performers explicitly addressed the loss of a loved one and how difficult that can make this season. That was kind of a challenge:

🎵 Gathered ’round the table, so much to be thankful for 🎵
🎵 It’s Christmas, oh, how I’ve missed this 🎵
🎵 But through the joy and laughter, you can feel the sadness 🎵
🎵 Because this Christmas 🎵
🎵 Everyone’s not with us 🎵
🎵 It’s the time of year 🎵
🎵 When happiness and cheer 🎵
🎵 Won’t be enough to get me through the night 🎵

I try to always keep tissues on me for the now rare occasions that I suddenly have difficulty keeping tears back. This was one such. Fortunately, the song then offered hope:

🎵 I need a Wonderful Counselor 🎵
🎵 The Mighty God, The Prince of Peace 🎵
🎵 Who’s strong enough to carry me 🎵
🎵 Immanuel, God with us 🎵
🎵 The One whose love will never end 🎵
🎵 Oh, Jesus, you can make this season wonderful 🎵

Yes, we are now in the Bible Belt, where belief is not a thing to be hidden under a bushel.

In the Silver Dollar Saloon, the “Christmas Cuties” girls joyously dance with their skirts lifted high to expose their underpinnings, while the bar does a bustling business.

But take a closer look: those undergarments are chaste pantaloons, the most potent concoction at the bar is a root beer float, and the program ends with the winsome lasses joyfully proclaiming that the true spirit of Christmas is the joy of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

Well, that took an unexpected but not unwelcome turn. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Minneapolis anymore!