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

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…

Yes, I KNOW they can’t hear me when I yell at them on the TV. Not the point.

Photo by Bruna Araujo on Unsplash

ME: Do you ever feel sometimes, looking back on episodes in your life, like if you had been watching them on the screen you’d be shouting, “No no no, that’s a clue, don’t ignore it!” Or, “get out…

Home is…

Home is where…

Home is where?
Home is mine
Home is my place
Home is my bed, my furniture, my shelves, my books
Home is my walls, my artwork, my stuff
Home is my hole I go to
Home is my safe place

Home is…

Home is where…

Home is where she is
Home is ours

Why yes, we DO plan to go cruising with the Anti-Christ! Why do you ask?

ME: So Florida is suing the CDC to stop the rules that cruise lines have to follow before they can start taking on passengers from American ports. Or, more specifically from Florida’s point of view, Florida cruise terminals in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and other parts of the state.

DEB: That’s got to be millions of tourist dollars—

ME: Billions, it says here.

Hugs. And other things that have been absent lately.

DEB: Oh honey, thank you! Thank you so much!

ME: You’re welcome! For… what exactly? I didn’t even make dinner.

It’s dishwashing soap. (Oh, was I not supposed to mention that up front?)

Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash

CAUTION: Explicit normal products of everyday bodily functions mentioned below. Read at own risk.

Several years ago my wife came home with a suggestion: pour dishwashing liquid down the toilet before flushing. It had been suggested by someone at work when the office toilet had backed up; she tried it (the office kitchenette area had soap) and it worked!

We’ve been doing this for years now (to the point that we have dishwashing soap under the three bathroom sinks on a permanent basis as well as under the kitchen sink) and I have saved untold hours of effort in plunging…

Surprise flowers? Good! Surprise marriage proposals? Bad!

Aditi Balaji published a piece that cast a critical eye on surprise marriage proposals:

Aditi made many very good points (I agreed with them, in other words). For one thing, people entering into marriage should have discussed it they start picking out engagement rings. (Including things like: do we pick out an engagement ring? Or use the money for a down payment on a home?) Aditi and her partner decided on things like no engagement rings, what kind of place they’d move into, and how they’d merge their finances (they even did spreadsheets¹).

I’ve been married twice, but neither…

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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