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.

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
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!

A Family Ritual While Watching Masterpiece


That’s what Alice and I would shout out in unison every time we watched Downton Abbey, All Creatures Great and Small, Call the Midwife, or any other Masterpiece show on PBS, as the show would open with a credits screen showing who had donated money to the program.

Darlene Marcos Shiley was always the very first in the list. We figured she had to have more money than God to have gotten that top slot, and I’m afraid there was more than a little bit of class envy as we would derisively catcall her as her name appeared in the opening credits before every episode with trumpets blaring.

After which one of us would guiltily admit, “We are terrible people.”

“Yes we are,” the other would agree, as we both settled in with a happy sigh to watch our beloved shows.

Darlene, the widow of a man who made his fortune inventing medical devices such as heart valves, has given 10 million to PBS so we heartless Philistines could enjoy those shows. Yes, I still feel guilty, and justly so, but even now I can’t watch a Masterpiece show without my ritual interjection of “Darlene!!!