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!

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.