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 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 Tale of Mrs. Butler

Just tonight I realized I may never have told the tale of Mrs. Butler. This will not do.

Long ago, a common ditty sung by schoolchildren on the playground at Cotati Elementary School in Cotati, CA, to the tune of a well-known radio jingle, was:

“Channel 91, Butler’s got the runs, gonna get a gun, shoot her in the buns.”

Channel 91 was a reference to the popular radio station KEWB, 910 on the AM dial.

And the Mrs. Butler thus mocked was the meanest teacher in the school, who terrified us at recess by cracking down mercilessly on any roughhousing or tomfoolery she might run across. We all got very alert when we saw her approaching, and woe to the child that crossed her.

One day my teacher had startling news: I was being transferred to a different class… the class that was taught by… Mrs. Butler. I was to report to her classroom the very next day.

This was the most dreary of news, and I dejectedly slumped home at the end of the day.

“Mom, the worst thing ever has happened. I’ve been sent to Mrs. Butler’s class,” I moaned in despair.

“You have?” she responded, clapping her hands together in glee and doing a little dance. “That’s wonderful!

I looked at her like she had three heads, with a golden crown on each one.

It happened that Mrs. Butler’s class was the advanced class, which would explain my mother’s delight.

To my surprise, her class turned out to be a wonderful experience, with self-paced lessons on a variety of interesting subjects.

And I was equally shocked to learn that Mrs. Butler actually was a nice person; she just didn’t put up with any nonsense from her students, which actually worked in my favor when she caught some of them trying to bully me.