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.

My Yearly Pumpkin Spice Rant

Some things happen every year, just like clockwork.

Every August 9th everyone debates the dropping of bombs on Nagasaki.

I think it would make much more sense to celebrate my birthday which happens to be on that day, or perhaps the resignation of Richard Nixon if you must get political. But nobody listens to me.

Similarly, the beginning of fall is the start of the big pumpkin spice latte controversy.

Yes, once upon a time there was no pumpkin in a pumpkin spice latte. Some people thought that was a bit sketchy since it seemed like false advertising.

Starbucks was shamed into adding a smidgen of pumpkin puree to the drink in 2015 because of all the hullabaloo, but y’all need to stand down. It’s a pumpkin spice latte, not a pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin spice (originally called pumpkin pie spice) is a blend of various spices used to flavor pumpkin pie because, frankly, pumpkins are a little bland and need a bit of added excitement.

In short, pumpkin spice is a spice… that is used to flavor pumpkin… which itself contains no pumpkin. Got that?

Is a pumpkin spice latte good for you? Maybe not; it’s chock full of sugar and chemical punch, but it sure tastes good.

Everything in moderation, am I right?