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 9/11 Rememberances

Everyone is posting their rememberances about 9/11 today, so I guess it’s time to post mine, as mundane as they might be.

22 years ago I had just been laid off from my job. I had been lured away from a lucrative position at West Publishing to join a little dot com.

The salary was 80% of what it had been at West, but there were promises of huge bonuses and stock options in the near future.

Big mistake. The scrappy little company fizzled out after six months, none of those promises materialized, and now my salary was 0% of what it had been previously.

I woke up and was doing a little early morning websurfing over breakfast, jotting down notes to use when updating my resume, when I saw the huge headline on the Drudge Report website: AMERICA UNDER ATTACK!!

“Yeah, right,” I muttered under my breath. Typical clickbait, right?

I clicked on the headline at the top of the page in Armageddon type… then turned on the TV and discovered it was for real. I stayed glued to the TV for the rest of the day, my heart in my throat.

When the first tower fell, I thought it was just the facing falling off… then the debris cloud faded away to show… nothing.

I thought about all the lives that had been cut short in that instant, and growled, “Someone’s gonna die.”

One of my European friends likes to wryly call this day Terrormas… it’s his sick little joke… but you know what? I’ll take it. This is the day we honor those who run into burning buildings and towards the gunfire.

After that, job listings dropped off catastrophically as the country and the economy adjusted to the new reality. It was around two years before I found employment again.