Rick Ryckeley's blog

Bug school

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The first day of school is tougher on some than others. Whether you look forward to this day or dread its dawning depends on where you stand in the pecking order of society.
For the next week, parents will pull kids from one back-to-school sale to the next, trying their best not to lose tempers with offspring who are anything but attentive to the task at hand.

But if we search our memories, our real memories, we’ll remember what it was like and how we too felt on that first day of school. Welcome, dear reader, to the first day at Bug School. Read More»

A random series of events

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Some believe there is no such thing as a random event, that all things happen for a reason. Others believe we’re just down here lumbering along with no more control over what happens to us than we have control over the wind. What do I believe? Read More»

The $1,000 tomato

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If you live in Georgia, then you must have a garden. And if you have a garden, then you must grow tomatoes. It’s the law.

At least that’s what The Wife told me when she asked where her homegrown tomatoes were. Those would be the ones I didn’t plant in the spring like everyone else. Now, in the heat of July, I’m out planting tomato plants.

But that’s the end of the story; the beginning actually starts a long time ago – in the backyard of 110 Flamingo Street. Read More»

Double dog dare ya

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Something had gone horribly wrong. Blood was everywhere, Twin Brother Mark lay in a crumpled mass at the bottom of hill, and Mom was frantic. From the wail of the sirens, the ambulance was once again closing in on 110 Flamingo Street. This would be the third time in less than a month emergency medical crews had descended upon our backyard for a mishap, but it was by far the worst. Read More»

Watermelon rules

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Sometimes in life those things touted as advancements really aren’t: Betamax VCRs, 3-D movies, and all the so-called “improvements” in watermelons over the past 40 years.
On this Independence Day, it’s only fitting that the defenseless watermelon is finally given its independence — independence from any and all tampering. And it’s important that the youth of today be instructed in the rules. Yes, dear reader, the giant sweet melon has rules. Read More»

Beware the roundabouts

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Rotaries are where four streets intersect and merge into a circle. Motorists drive round and round, just guessing which one has the right of way and trying to figure out how to exit. Some believe this to be the origin of the word roundabout.

Until now, this type of motoring nightmare has been limited to European countries, British television, and inebriated college students after any home football victory. Mostly this novelty has been laughed at by Americans, but not anymore. There’s one being constructed in our fair county, and downtown is ground zero. Read More»

A concrete relationship

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The concrete looked nothing like it was supposed to. The huge, gray pile of dust had the consistency of a cornbread mix gone horribly wrong: no eggs, no crackling, and not enough buttermilk. “That’s too much water,” I protested. Sweat had beaded up on my arms and forehead during the first hour as we built the frame. By the end of the second hour, I had hauled twenty or so bags of sand and concrete mix across the church parking lot and started to combine the water, sand, and concrete. Read More»

True price of air conditioning

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The Wife just stood there. First she giggled; then she started to laugh. And for a change, the laughter wasn’t directed at me. Her mirth was in response to what I thought was a simple question.

“Where did the large black spot on the inside of the bedroom dresser drawer come from?” The answer she finally gave was so unique it had to be true. It was a tar ball stain. But that’s the end of the story. This is the beginning. Read More»

Bug eating

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The Wife ran to the kitchen yesterday morning. No it wasn’t for another cup of coffee. She was running to get me. Excitedly, she said, “You’ve got to see this; we have a bat on our front porch!”

“What’s he doing?” I answered.

“Well right now, he’s just hanging out.” Funny Wife I have. She showed me the little brown bat about two inches long, which had taken up residence under the cover of our front porch roof. I found this to also be some exciting news: finally something desirable has moved into our neighborhood. Read More»

Brain vs. Mouth

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There are some things in this world of which I really don’t understand. Why, whatever the age, children don’t listen to the more mature, wiser, parents. Why lessons always have to be learned the hard way. Can’t sometimes they be learned the easy way? And why everything that taste really good is full of calories and isn’t good for you.

These are truly important questions that have bewildered me for years. But what tops my list of befuddlement? In the epic battle between brains vs. mouth, why does mouth always win? I have listed but a few of my classic gaffs to illustrate the point. Read More»

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