Rick Stiebel is the author of the irregular column, the Rickter Scale. (Black Press Media file photo)

Rick Stiebel is the author of the irregular column, the Rickter Scale. (Black Press Media file photo)

Rickter Scale: The Rickter rides again

Did you miss me?

‘How can I miss you when you won’t go away?’

It’s been roughly 570 days since the last Rickter Scale, give or take a week off for bad behaviour.

Even the harshest critics of my columns can’t say I didn’t fulfill the sentiment expressed in the song I poached the opening line from.

If you recognized it as a tune by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks from back in ‘69, you are a card-carrying member of the Stoned Age, an old address on memory lane that I visit from time to times gone by in this space.

If you’re one of the few frequent flyers with the Rickter Scale but curious enough to continue reading, here’s the deal. The column is your basic blank canvas without borders, a space where I get to share my rants, random thoughts, recollections, and opinions on whatever moves me enough to write about.

Rambles range from the deadly serious to thinly disguised attempts at humour, including anything and everything in between. Family, friends, politicians and celebrities have all woken up to discover with dismay, that they had a bullseye on their back, courtesy of the Rickter.

If it’s any consolations, the contents have gone through a rigorous approval process beginning with my unofficial editor in chief, Joan, better known by irregular readers as the Bride.

Once she has grudgingly given the OK, it’s sifted through thoroughly by the three wise women who sign my cheque, Katie, Cathy and Michelle, who all preferred I refrain from including their last names.

A couple of hundred columns into this, I’ve rattled more cages than I can recall, yet the wonder women who sign my paycheques have given me the green light to get back in the saddle again.

READ MORE: Rickter Scale

Although an irregular column is a journalist’s dream come true, it’s a freesponsiblity I take seriously. I’ve rankled some readers in the past and earned some scathing critiques. Fortunately, more than 20 years of work as a reporter has tempered my armour enough that the barbs don’t sting as much as they used to. Personal attacks that once made me cringe occasionally contain kernels of truth that I try to learn from.

So buckle up and hang on for the ride. If the musings make you laugh, cry, or consider another viewpoint, even for a fleeting moment, I’ll file it under fait accompli. Thanks again for getting to the bottom of this with me, and tolerating once again my illogical, lavish love of alliteration.

You can share your suggestions, compliments and criticism by emailing editor@goldstreamgazette.com, ‘cuz reining in runaway writers is just the many thankless tasks that editors perform with an objective, critical eye.

If you remind yourself before every read that this column is a reflection of the author’s opinions and not Black Press Media, it may make the contents a little more palatable and easier to digest.

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist. Columns are the opinion of the writer and do not represent the viewpoints of the paper or Black Press Media.

Rickter Scale