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.

Biography

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 was 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


We have special creatures in our backyard, and yes, “special” is a euphemism

We were sitting on our back porch, all windows open (on a nice morning with low humidity, which is a big deal this time of year in south central Pennsylvania) when Deb got up and walked over to take a closer look at our bird feeder area.¹

DEB: Honey, can you come here? We may have a problem.

I was afraid it was a problem with Scarface, a neighborhood kitty who disappeared after visiting last year, but has now returned to visit our backyard occasionally.

Scarface, caught on our security camera. “Does the poor cat have a scar?” you ask; no clue, but he DOES have a tiny little tag with his name and address on it. He likes me, does rubs and purrs if I’m outside, and asks to be let in if he sees me on our porch.

But no, it was one of our, um, special birds. …


No singing at lunch, and sandwich choices

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

This is yet another chapter in a series I “finished” last year, but my characters kept talking to me. Then Roz Warren convinced me into fill out the series into a book, so now I’m working on that. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been filling in gaps or adding to existing material, but this chapter felt like it could stand without the reader having just finished the one before.

Short summary of the story to date:

The series covers two academic over-achievers with limited social skills (aka “nerds”) in the last semester of their junior year in…


“In my own defense, I was left unsupervised”

Hey, did you know that you can buy hair color products that just spray on?¹ No more holding your head in the sink, or paying “I’m sorry, I don’t have that much on me, is there an ATM nearby?” at a salon for spot treatment? Apparently anybody can just walk in and get this stuff at Target.

I have the receipts to prove it.

ME: So, how bad is the damage?

DEB: You mean, what wonderful things did I do to my hair? Check it out:


“Who is Sharon?”

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This is yet another chapter in a series I “finished” last year, but my characters kept talking to me. Then Roz Warren convinced me into fill out the series into a book, so now I’m working on that. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been filling in gaps or adding to existing material, but this chapter felt like it could stand without the reader having just finished the one before.

If you do want to read the one before, it’s here:

Short summary of the story to date:

The series covers two academic over-achievers with limited social skills…


Thursday, September 2, 2021

The summer day
bright
with blue skies
deep shadows
no hint
no clue
that a candle has gone out
and we shall not see his light again


Naturally weird “In Five Words”

Mushroom from our yard. Looks just a TAD creepy, yes? (all photos by author)

funky fungi
frequently flourish
festively


“How do you feel about holding hands?” “In general, or with you in particular?”

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

This is yet another chapter in a series I “finished” last year, but my characters kept talking to me. Then Roz Warren convinced me into fill out the series into a book, so now I’m working on that. Most of what I’ve been doing lately has been filling in gaps or adding to existing material, but this chapter felt like it could stand without the reader having just finished the one before.

If you do want to read the one before, it’s here:

Short summary of the story to date:

The series covers two academic over-achievers with limited social skills…


Naturally weird “In Five Words”

Photo by author. No, that’s not a filter, the crazy bush really looks that way!

magically mellifluous
multicolored mixed-up
mum

We have a mum that we got last fall, which we planted just in time for the local deer to get autumn munchies. It was multi-colored, which we liked, but the problem with those is that it’s a one-time thing — the nursery uses tricks to make the flowers come out different shades, and when the mum dies off and grows back the next year it’s all monochrome when it blooms in the fall.

Or.

It comes back in yellow, bronze, pinky, off-white, and whateverthehell that color is near the top. In a nice compact ball, instead of all gangly like our other mums. And it started blooming in August.

Weird.

In response to Tre L. Loadholt’s five-word challenge:

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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