Sometimes we spontaneously burst into song. We’re not bad people, just bad singers.

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Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash. Sometimes you can find the most interesting photos with the odd keyword.

When I want to warm up something to body temperature, I stick it under my arm. Simple, easy, I just need to keep that arm against my side. Other people — one of whom married me — just sticks it under another part of her anatomy for the same purpose. Usually it’s a place-and-forget¹ kind of thing, until she needs to retrieve it.


Last night I walked into our main bedroom sink area, and as I did, Deb’s tube of lip goop (which needs to be body temperature to spread easily) falls on the floor.

ME: Honey, are you…

An odd couple? Or just a couple of odds?

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We got cool prism specs from my ex and her wife. And then posted this photo on Facebook because it gave us a chuckle.

I have taken to Apple’s Fitness+ “Mindful Cooldowns,” which are a way to bring a body down from a high heart rate, but also work on mindfulness. Kinda like their yoga routines (mostly the same coaches) but without the poses. Also shorter.

So I finish this MC routine and have breakfast with Deb. And I have a question for her.

ME: Do I have a particular unique gift, talent, or quality?

DEB: (look that says “What?”)

ME: Okay, so I was doing this mindfulness routine, and the coach said to visualize a glass. Half empty or half full.¹ Then think…


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So then I thought to find the time
By counting out the sands,
Or trying to glean the meaning
From a watch that had no hands…

A pretty wordpicture
With its broad strokes of frustration,
But it just isn’t right.

My watch&deskclock&wallclock&carclock
Are handless, immanuary.
Not even a finger or a hangnail,
Yet I can give you the time to the
(3… 2… 1… MARK)

We’ve digitalized our lives
So that we may digitalately
Mark the passing moments

We used to give Someone in trouble A hand; Now we…

Enjoying a wild, madcap weekend that was actually just a Thursday night, in honor of our marriage being old enough to buy booze

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Our room (Empire Room — all the room names are apple themed) at the Inn. Flowers on the table in the middle are from me; I always order flowers for Deb before we go somewhere for our anniversaries. (all photos by author)

Our family (Deb’s side) learned several years ago that we love B&Bs¹ for occasions special (anniversaries) and not (crashing at a local B&B after seeing a show at the theatre next county over, thereby only driving ten minutes late at night instead of forty). The last several Christmases they have given us gift certificates to B&Bs local and not-so-local, which is pretty cool.

So when we got a gift certificate for the Apple Bin Inn, a B&B a short drive away from the theatre where we had season tickets, we knew how we’d use it: we’d take in the April…

Life can be hard when you’re young and little

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“There’s NOOOO business like SNOOOOOW business…” One side of our enclosed porch gets a bit claustrophobic after heavy snows. (photos by author)

enjoying cold cold landscapes
from warm warm comfort
when a littlebird lands on the suet feeder

Perplexed by built-up snow
he pecks randomly
at icy buildup

“Where were you on the evening of Thursday the eleventh of January, 1996?” Turns out I can answer that! Kinda.

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So what was I doing on the evening of Thursday, 11 January 1996? Seeing a movie, apparently. (photo, stub, and hand by author)

Since I’m retired, I feel a certain moral obligation to help out at weekday funerals at our church (I staff the AV booth to handle the sound system, mic control, any videos the family wants to run, and video streaming so that others can see the service without having to actually risk themselves during the Trump Pandemic). I also (thanks to my Episcopal upbringing) feel that I should wear a suit, because That’s What You Wear To A Funeral, Dammit. (Unless it’s my funeral. Wear what you want to that one.)

On the positive side, I can now fit into…

Talking about stuff. Specifically, OUR stuff.

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Our front room (parlor) leading to our dining room. When this house was built in the early 1990s this would have been the living room, but really, we spend more time (by ourselves, with family, and with guests) in the family room (the one with the entertainment system) and our four-season porch (the one with the view of our backyard). Photos by author.

Deb’s Fitbit reminds her to be up and walking every hour. Unlike my Apple Watch, which just wants to make sure I’m standing up¹, Deb’s fitness tracker insists she actually move every hour. Thus Deb has developed the routine of walking around the ground floor of our house in a deliberate but not always predictable pattern until she gets her required steps registered. Sometimes while she walks she catches up on emails, sometimes she checks Facebook, sometimes she ponders things.

And then shares them.

DEB: Y’know, if we really wanted to make this house single-floor living, we could do it.

January 20, 2021, and the sound of guns

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Photo by George Martin on Unsplash

The fireworks boom and glare in the night
over the ground where hours before
spectators were cautioned officially

It’s okay! There will be cannon shooting blanks!
It’s okay! It’s our people!
It’s okay! It’s a good thing!
It’s okay! Just the traditional ceremony!
It’s okay! It’s not the white supremacists
not the neo-Nazis
not the Proud Boys
not the MAGA-hatted Trumpists trying to steal the election!

Not this time…

Not this time…

Not like 156 years and 192 days before
when insurrectionist gunfire could be heard from the Capital
until beaten back still miles away
and never did a CSA banner wave
in the house of the USA government

until zero years and 14 days before
when gunfire echoed as rioters and defenders died
until blood stained the floors
and CSA banners floated through hallways
in the house of the USA government

But it’s okay now! The bad…

The kids need arbitration from the original partners. “Because what could possibly go wrong with that?

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photo by author (my wife’s engagement ring and wedding ring, left; my wedding ring, right)

Jessica and Larry approached, and stood next to the table. Jessica looked at Beth and Kyle intently before explaining, “Okay, see, I think this would be a great opportunity for us to dance together, because most of these people here we either know really well or we’ll never see them again. But Larry says it’s not on the list, so we shouldn’t. And we agreed we’d do what you two think.” She paused and looked at Beth and Kyle again, crossing her arms. “So Mom, Kyle, what do you two think?”

Larry looked somewhat uncomfortable but with a stubborn expression…

Leaping to conclusions is not real exercise! (Right?)

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Deb’s office in retirement, in our four-season porch (photos by author)

I see Deb standing by the kitchen window after we’re done exercising but before breakfast, and she is clearly pondering.¹

ME: Whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout, Debster?

DEB: Trying to figure out how exercise will happen after I go back to work.

Deb is not actually coming out of retirement or anything. This is a part-time job with a local tax firm who needs additional capable bodies in February, March, and April. Deb worked for them last year, right after she took retirement from her university job.² It was cut short by the start of the Trump Pandemic lockdown in PA in…

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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