Husband & retiree. Former software developer, technical writer, & IT geek. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

Photo of the author, who got permission from his wife to use it, so long as he doesn’t mention her name directly.


I grew up in an upper-middle-class slash upper-class northern suburb of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. I was odd as a kid. However, I was with the same group of kids from kindergarten through eighth grade, so I avoided the mess that middle school can be for many odd kids. I wasn’t weird, I was just Jack, as far as my elementary school classmates were concerned. Then high school came along, and a huge school full of strangers, and suddenly I weird, and wrong, in so many of my choices and the way I talked about things and…

A guide to some of the things I’ve published on Medium and elsewhere.

Photo by author. Copyright ©2016 by Jack Herlocker.

Conversations with My Wife

Lessons & Observations

What do a park in Kentucky and a love-sick 20-something have in common?

Natural Bridge in Kentucky from a distance (all photos by author). You can almost see the people on it. It’s pretty big.

DEB: So you would be okay going on a ski lift on the Kentucky trip?

ME: Um, sure. Ski lift? Is there something about Kentucky I should know?

DEB: There’s a ski lift up to the top of the Kentucky Natural Bridge.¹ So we won’t have to climb up there with a pregnant woman and two people with gimp legs. But with your history…

“Boys, remember to be gentle with the ladies.”

Photo by Frame Harirak on Unsplash

“Gentlemen, these will be your female partners this class. Ladies, you will be playing badminton with these fine young men. I will leave you all to it. Boys, remember to be gentle with the ladies.” The boys' gym coach walked off to snag the next pair of girls for their first-ever co-ed high school PE class.

E looked through the badminton net to the other side of the court.

“After you, my dear Alphonse!” “After YOU, my dear Gaston!”

Photo by Vladimir Kudinov on Unsplash. Note the straw hats.

DEB: He’s not moving. Did you do high-beams?

ME: Yup. Lemme try again. And… what?

DEB: Obviously he wants you to…

“Who’s she calling old?!” “Us, Jackster. It’s fine, we are.”

Born Free Newsletter


Deb’s geraniums. The little bitty pellets are supposed to keep critters from nibbling, because we have a groundhog in the area. “But nobody eats geraniums,” you say? Uh huh. But our special groundhog nibbles a leaf, decides he doesn’t like it, spits it out, nibbles another… 😫


We went out into the Real World. Results were… interesting.

DEB: Thank you, honey!

ME: You’re welcome, Debster! For…?¹

DEB: This! Going on vacation for the first time in over a year. Going outside of your comfort zone and being out in the world. I know that’s not always easy for you.

Deb suggested the name “Bowfin Bungalow” — a bowfin is a kind of fish, don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either — and “Skipper Kory” is our friend’s nickname. He and his wife like to fish, so they decided why not go into business? [photo from website]

Women in subs, in space, and in love and married to each other; there’s a Venn Diagram in there somewhere

Submarine officer warfare badge, aka “dolphins.” I was in submarines at the beginning of my Navy career, but I never earned my dolphins. Still have a strong interest in subs and submariners, however. Source: Public Domain,

Did we meet cute? Depends on who is asking, apparently

Okay, sure we WERE cute, but did we MEET cute? (photo from December 2000)

“…the curse that befalls the unhallowed owner of Hellmaenn House. Know ye that your nights shall be full of terror!”

Photo by Celina Albertz on Unsplash

As the last chime of midnight faded away, the ghost appeared in the same spot as the night before. From where she sat, Ellie could see the flickering flames of the fireplace through the wraith’s phantasmal gown, but the phantom’s face, worn and etched with the years that had prevailed in it before her death, shown with an ethereal light that needed no additional illumination.

Which was good, because Ellie had turned off the bedroom lights just before 11:59 PM.

Meeting her gaze and peering intently, the ghost spoke with the same low-but-feminine voice that had sent shivers down Ellie’s…

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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