Rick Ryckeley's blog

The ugly hat

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It was last century since a winter storm brought this town to its knees for more than just a day. Back in ’94 it went by several names.

Dubbed the snow storm of the century, or Snow Jam, it slowed traffic on all the major freeways to a crawl and kept motivated students from school for a few days, but it was nothing like the ice storm that hit us Sunday night.

I think it’s safe to say that, for those of us who didn’t know already, one inch of ice on the streets and this town shuts down. And this time it lasted for three glorious days. Read More»

Ways to save

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For the first article of the year, it seems only logical to write about something that’s on most people’s mind these days: saving money. Long ago, my dad told me, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend.”

Sound advice, but times are very different now from when we all lived at 110 Flamingo Street. I’ve updated his advice. It’s not what you spend, but what you save that’s important. Read More»

The Christmas Card

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Funny thing about life is that if you live long enough, you’ll have the chance to play each role. To better illustrate my point, we’ll use one of the many traditions of the season, the Christmas card.

Since it’s Christmas Eve, one would think great thought and timing went into this article. Nope, I just needed a break from writing all of those addresses. I finished mine in 10 minutes, but The Wife’s got lots and lots of friends and needed some help. Read More»

Three generations of elves

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As far back as I can remember, there has been an elf who has visited our house right around the holiday. Now I know most people believe Santa is the boss and does all the heavy lifting, but he’s just the figurehead. As with any multinational corporation, it’s the people behind the big guy that actually do all the work. And when you’re talking about Santa, there’s a lot of behind.

Growing up at 110 Flamingo Street, we really only saw Santa once. That’s when I was 5; it was the night he fell off our roof and Mom had to call the fire department. Read More»

Marriage's greatest trial

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A friend of mine just got married, and he was distressed that he and his wife already had a fight. Well, to be honest, she called it a fight; my buddy contends that it was just a disagreement. I guess you can say they’ve now had two fights ... I mean, disagreements.

As always when people move in together, there’s bound to be an adjustment period where both sides need to give in a little to make things work. He was upset that, after just two weeks, a disagreement had come between them in their wedded bliss. He asked me for my sage advice. Read More»

Every window a stage

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It could’ve been entitled “A Snapshot of Small Town America: A Short Film Suitable for All Ages.” Admission was free — free for all who had taken the time to sit, sip, and simply watch the show.

Sipping a vanilla chai and enjoying the ambiance the small town coffee shop had to offer, I sat and pondered how seemingly simple yet complex the world outside the picture window was. Having nothing better to do, I decided to watch for awhile.

First on the world stage outside the window, a middle-aged lady wearing a skin-tight shirt sauntered by announcing “Bringing Sexy Back.”

She wasn’t. Read More»

Thank you

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Last Friday our local hospital had one of the busiest days ever. Teams of skilled surgeons performed 68 operations that ranged from minor to life-saving. I know this because I spent all day waiting on my best friend. As events unfolded over the next 24 hours, she was to be on the receiving end of one of those life-saving operations. Read More»

Tales from the scale

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All of my life I’ve been able to eat anything I wanted, anytime I wanted, and as much as I wanted. Well, not any more. Just because I’ve reached middle age, all that is now out the window. Suddenly a little weight gain around the middle and bam-o! We have to go on a diet — the “we” being The Wife and me.

The Wife, she’s an expert when it comes to diets. Said she’s been on every diet there ever was, and the one that works the best doesn’t count calories, carbohydrates or fat content. It counts points. Read More»

You must have protection

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The following is going to make me sound like an out-of-touch old guy, but I’m fine with that. This story happened just as written, and for once, there has been no embellishment by yours truly.

One thing that just really gets my goat (now that’s an old guy term if I ever heard one) is buying something and having it not work once you get it home. Case in point – the $100 anti-virus computer program I bought last weekend. Read More»

Magic elixir of life

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I really never gave it much thought: Growing old, that is. Figured I didn’t have to. The way I saw it, I only had two options: Grow older or die.

If I died – well, I wouldn’t be worrying about getting older, now would I? And the longer I lived, the more obvious it became that I would eventually become old.

Since I didn’t die – a fact The Wife is very happy about – I’m faced with a conundrum: Why then are some people happy no matter how old they get and others are just downright miserable? What magic makes people happy and keeps them vibrant? Read More»

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