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.

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!

The Legend of the Broken Timer

It’s time to tell my brother’s favorite family memory… the broken timer! It’s a treasured story that he dramatically acts out for his children and anyone else who wants to listen to a good yarn. Much merriment is had by all.

When I was a young’un, I was pretty good at repairing things. One day my Mom showed me a broken kitchen timer that had split into several pieces.

No problem, I could just glue it back together. But my Mom didn’t want me working with glue in the house, so I went to an outbuilding on our rambling farm to do the work.

One problem: It was nighttime, so it was dark out there. I was deathly afraid of the dark at the time.

So I ran out there, my heart thumping, to where I could snap on the lights, do my glue job, then after the glue had set, snap off the lights and run back to the house with the repaired item in my trembling hands.

I gratefully entered the lighted kitchen of the farm house, not knowing that my brother David was lying in wait behind the refrigerator.

As I walked past, he jumped out with an enthusiastic “Boo!!

At this point my brother pantomimes how my entire body contorted and spasmed as if I had been hit with a taser, to the delighted laughter of his audience.

I’m fairly sure his depiction is accurate. While I’m no longer afraid of the dark, my kids learned early on to be very careful not to startle me when approaching me from behind: my reaction is something to behold.

My arms flailed every which way as the timer flew from my hands in a graceful arc to be dashed into pieces against the wall.

So I needed to go back out to fix it again. And again I came in, and again darling brother was there to do his “Boo!!” thing, and the timer was dashed to pieces once again.

At this point Mom told him in no uncertain terms to knock it off.

Yeah, right.

While I glued the timer back together for the third time, Dave positioned himself behind the refrigerator once again.

“You will never know the joy I felt hiding behind that door trying to be quiet,” he told me recently. “It was one of my better performances, I have to admit.”

And of course, the third time was just like the previous two, and my Mom decided we were done and disgustedly tossed what was left of the timer in the trash.