Tag Archives: humor

Lost Wallet


Another short story (of panic) in this life.

This last weekend was fabulous. My husband and I spent Thursday through Monday at the beach. To make it even more astounding, an Atlas Rocket Launch and a partial eclipse made the whole thing a genuine celestial event. Wow, what a blast!

Tuesday found us home again, with all of the catch-up, clean-up, and errands that needed our full attention. With my to-do list in hand, I got in the car and checked that the appropriate payment methods were in my wallet…

Oh, shit.

My wallet insert, with three debit cards and my driver’s license, were nowhere to be found.

If you’ve ever lost your cards, I know you’re familiar with the panic. Lost? Where? How? Stolen!

One time I lost one of my bank cards, and the person who found it used it for gas immediately. But, the online banking service showed no unknown activity. So far.

And so it began. If you can relate, you’re familiar with the drill. The suitcases, my bag, the dirty clothes, coolers, garbage cans, and my car were searched two to three times each. No luck.

Tamping down the panic, I decided the insert had to be where we stayed at the beach. No one was there now, so I had to drive back there to look for it myself. The anxiety doubled since I didn’t have my license.

All of the fears and imaginings played across my mind as I drove. Identity theft. Robbery. Dealing with the banks to replace the cards. Dealing with the State to replace my license. Ugh!

Then, while driving within every legal parameter for forty miles into an eighty mile drive, a thought hit me so hard I gasped. I called my husband.

“Hey babe,” my voice sounded cooler than I felt. “Can you look in your car and see if my wallet insert is there?” We had driven separately to the beach, but we used his car to drive around town.

“Sure,” he says. “I’ll call you back.”

He knew of the situation. I felt certain he would look as soon as possible. But with an office gig, you never know how “soon” that might be. I kept driving toward the beach, heart in my throat, wild thoughts still bouncing around my brain.

A few more miles down the road and the phone rang. My husband’s caller ID didn’t get through the first tone.

When I answered, he said, “I hope you didn’t get too far.”

First, the sigh of relief. Then, the nervous laughter. Why did I not think to check his car?

While driving back home, I decided that all things must balance out. For now, I feel I’m still on the positive side of this one. Let’s hope it stays that way.  😉

Getting old sucks.



JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.



The sound of songbirds outside the window woke me just before seven. Realizing my hunger, I went downstairs to the kitchen and prepared my morning coffee. As it began to brew, I rummaged through the cabinets and fridge, looking for something to eat. However, nothing called to me before coffee. So, I went to the sliding glass door leading to the screened-in back porch. The morning was a lovely, late spring day in Florida. Sliding open the door, I leaned on the frame. Might as well enjoy the scenery while waiting.


I am exceedingly grateful that the porch is screened. Here in Florida, there are bloodsucking insects, stinging bugs, and other various wildlife which are thwarted by nothing more than a screen. Adding to that, all sorts of critters are lured to the property by the three fruit trees in the back yard. While I’m not a fan of squirrels, one made me laugh out loud as it hung upside down from a branch while eating a sapodilla it had just plucked from the tree for its own breakfast.


Under the shaded canopy of the larger tree sat an old birdbath. A dragonfly landed on the edge, bringing to my attention that the water level was low in the bowl and would need refilling. But it could wait until after I had my coffee. My mind wandered to the life of a dragonfly. I don’t know much about them at all, but a friend told me that they are believed to be a sign of good luck. I smiled. My stomach growled.


Then, the dragonfly took flight. It flew straight up with a suddenness that startled me, and then flashed toward the porch where it bounced against the screen. It backed up and flew a second time into the screen. Movement from the left caught my eye. A blue jay dropped from the top of the porch and banked with lightning speed around the corner, toward the bouncing dragonfly. The insect dove for the amaryllis, no doubt hoping to hide among the fronds, but not fast enough to keep the jay from having its in-flight breakfast.


With a loss of appetite, I closed the door.


Breakfast is for the birds.


Bathroom Bold


I was cleaning the toilet (ahem: lavatory) when the song Counting Stars, by One Republic popped into my head. Odd, but, what the hey. Since no one was around, I started singing out loud. You know, like people do when cleaning the, um, lavatory. Now, I’m not such a fan that I remember every single word, but I know enough to make a go of it.

So, there I am, scrubbing and singing, swishing and singing, flushing and singing.

Young, but I’m not that old.

Old, but I’m not that bold.


I now understood why that song came to me.

The lavatory (toilet, commode, whatever you prefer to call it) was manufactured by Kohler, the brand name clearly stamped into the ceramic.

In case you’ve somehow missed the tag line from this particular company, allow me to share…



I will never be able to hear Counting Stars again without thinking of a toilet. Dammit, marketing firms of the world. You’ve ruined another song for me.

For Geek’s Sake Podcast II


What a blast I had sitting in on a recording session with the crew (minus Al) at For Geek’s Sake. As a writer, I’ll take every opportunity to promote the current work. As I recall, should you choose to listen in, you might hear me make mention of that fact once. Okay, maybe twice. Fine. I’m pretty sure I maxed out at three. Well. Pretty sure.

The actual reason I was invited to come on was to discuss the philosophy of art ownership. Once a beloved character has been released into the world, who owns it? There are a few schools of thought on this one. Let’s use  Superman  as an example.

One, Superman belongs to the fans. He’s been around since 1933, and so has his fan fiction.

Two, Superman still belongs to the creators (the estate, in this case) Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster.

Three, Superman belongs to the corporate entities that last purchased the rights.

I won’t give any spoilers on what each opinion was, but I don’t think Producer Dan and my fellow guest Eddie hated me by the end of it. (Well, here’s hoping.)

And, if they didn’t know before hand, they now know I’m writing a mystery series titled McShane Mini-Mystery  and the first four ebooks are available on Amazon.



(Insert shameless self-promotion below:)

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.



The Snowflake Generation

The title is used as an insult to those who have newly achieved adulthood, and have the nerve to voice concern over the atrocities committed by their elders. It’s also popular to bring into account the “trophies for participation” which the snowflakes were given for showing up at any given function.


Here’s a condemnation to those who condemn. Do you know who encouraged those trophies? Their parents. Why, you might ask? Because those parents (my generation) suffered an uptick in divorces through the ’80’s and 90’s. Guilt-fueled presents were offered when the non-custodial parent came to visit. More gifts were given to those poor, unfortunate children of broken homes when that parent left, and the custodial parent refused to be one-upped.

To see a moment of unhappiness cross those kids faces was to rip the heart from the chest of a divorced parent.

So, those parents may have gone a tad overboard in trying to ease the suffering of their young ones. No, not me, but I’m sure my boys would have liked it if I had.

I would offer this piece of advice to those labeled snowflake.

My generation found the Vietnam war to be particularly offensive, and we let the establishment know. We were then called “flower children.” We embraced the title. My suggestion is for the new grown ups of today to do the same. Be the snowflake. Each of you. Share your outrage of the human condition in this our world of 2017. Join together in mutual frustration, and brainstorm how we can get to the other side of 2018 in one piece. Find your place and put your intellect, and your frozen hearts, together. Let the rest of the world know that the snowflakes have gathered, and Winter is Coming…

I dare you.


JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.


How to Cope with the Loss of your Candidate in 3 Easy Steps

How to Cope with the Loss of (Hillary/Donald/Gary/Jill/Evan) in 3 Easy Steps


Your heart raced when you first became interested in your candidate. We know it did. Maybe you did a little research to find out more before throwing your full support into that campaign. Everything the candidate said made perfect sense. Well, almost everything. Still. The best candidate for the President of the USA is your candidate. How could anyone NOT vote for (Hillary/Donald/Gary/Jill/Evan)?

On Wednesday the 9th you are hurt, confounded, distraught, and maybe even a little enraged.

We understand. But, what now?

You’ve come to the right blog. Here at “Life. One Short Story at a Time.” we’ve seen a few elections. As registered Independents, we’ve chosen our candidates carefully, and then poured donations of money, time, sweat, and tears into one campaign or another.

Oh well. Sometimes, it just wasn’t meant to be. Anyway, we are familiar with the sorrow of the loss, and want to help.

The first thing you’ll need to do is grab your wine, beer, liquor, or whatever you’d prefer. And don’t forget your shot glass. Also, you might need a pillow.

Without further ado, “How to cope with the loss of (Hillary/Donald/Gary/Jill/Evan) in 3 steps”

1)   It’s okay to be angry.

Life isn’t fair. From the moment we came into this world, this one lesson has been beaten over our heads. But when we’ve put this much of our heart into something so much bigger than ourselves, it just has to work. Sanity must win! But… it didn’t this time. At least, not for you and (Hillary/Donald/Gary/Jill/Evan).

When the urge to scream (or cry) comes on, go with it. Grab your pillow, bury your face in it, and scream your lungs out. Shout, curse, rant, rave. I only recommend the pillow should there be anyone else within ear shot. Trust me. It’s embarrassing. Then, when your throat is raw from the power you’ve unleashed, take a shot. This should soothe your sore throat, and your troubled soul. For a little while, anyway.

2)   Accept that the world is still turning.

No matter what you might have heard, the world did not, in fact, come to an end on November 8. Perhaps when the new President is sworn in on Friday, January 20, 2017, it might. But not now. So, every time you hear your candidates name from Election Day to Inauguration Day, take a shot. You might want to turn off the news for a while.

3)   Commiserate Together

Once you’ve accepted that the world is still turning, and your throat no longer hurts (too bad), go find those friends and family that were like-minded in their dedication to (Hillary/Donald/Gary/Jill/Evan). They must be as devastated as you in this time of merciless mourning. Call each other. Get together. Make it a party.

Each time someone says, “I can’t believe we didn’t win,” you all take a shot.


I hope this helped. If not, I’ll take the shot.



JL Mo is a mother of two, and Nana to four. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Author Page.

Thanks for reading.

The Day After Halloween


I am a HUGE Halloween fan. Always have been. But not so much the morning after.

Today is the day after Halloween and we now suffer the “day after syndrome.” It’s the day after dress up day for kids and grown-ups. It’s the day after the silliness of embracing childhood fears. It’s the day of reckoning. It’s the day after. It’s clean-up day.

In the year 2016, Halloween fell on a Monday. An awkward day of the week for any holiday, as everyone hates Monday.

Didn’t really matter. All of the parties and the festivities for the big day were held on the previous weekend. There were kid parties with candy, and adult parties with candy drinks. We’ve had quite enough candy by the time the damn day actually gets here. We certainly aren’t going door to door to get one more piece.

And on a Monday, no one really expects you to. Except, of course, your kids.

We decorate the house every year starting October 1. All the kids in the area know our place as the cat eyes house. Through the years, we’ve watched the number of trick or treaters rise and fall. Whether the holiday is on a Monday or a Friday makes a world of difference in the numbers as well.

This Monday saw a pound of candy leftover from the five and half pounds I’d bought. For my neighborhood, that’s a real thinning. I’ve bought more before and ended the evening handing out quarters because the candy was gone.

I want to believe the dwindling numbers are a balance. The holiday had gone through the roof in popularity, and now, it’s balancing out. Monday is just another weight on that scale.

But still, for me, the door to door experience is the biggest and most fun part of Halloween. The children are so adorable in their costumes, with parents nearby, beaming. And the teenagers are grateful I even opened the door. I have a chat and a laugh with all of them.

I remember when my kids were young and I got to help them with their costumes. Every year, without fail. Halloween meant trick or treating. Even on Mondays. Good times.

But then there’s the clean-up. If you’ve put a bunch of décor up around the outside of your house, November 1st comes with a stigma, doesn’t it? You’ll be the laughing stock of the neighborhood if you don’t pull it down by the end of All Saints. All of those Styrofoam gravestones in the garden, and the muslin ghosts dancing in the trees, all of that must come down the next day.

Looking at the chore being done as soon as you get home from work Tuesday is what’s laughable. Enjoy the day after!


Geek Street Station

Hey Everyone!

If you haven’t heard, I’m writing under a new pseudonym, “Grandma Geek” and loving it! I’ve been a geek for most of my life, so it seemed a natural.

There will be a launch party for the website I’m joining. The site will be called Geek Street Station, and it’s where you can get your geek on no matter what category geek you fall under.

If you’re in the Orlando area, please come by and say hi to JL Mo a/k/a Grandma Geek at the Geek Street Station Launch Party. There’s a ton of prizes to be won, and Epic Events will be on hand to keep the party going.


How well do you know your video game history?


As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been invited to be a guest writer for a new site for nerds called Geek Street Station. Grandma Geek will be my pseudonym. I’ll let you know when the site goes live. I’m rather excited that I get to school some young’uns on the fact that they did not invent the term ‘geek.’


Anyway, I wrote one article for them in a quiz form. It was so much fun, I thought I’d make another for my website. I learned a lot while doing the research, and found it pretty cool. Hope you like it too. I would LOVE to hear if you got them all right.



How well do you know your video game history? Take this quiz to find out. You won’t need pen and paper. Just keep a mental tally (you can only reach six). No worries about data mining. The test is fully contained here. So, don’t look at the paragraph following each question, until you’re ready for the answer.


Here we go…


Question 1)

What was the first two player video game?

  1. Pong
  2. Computer Space
  3. Spacewar!

You’re thinking to yourself, this is so easy. Who doesn’t know this one? Well, you’d be right if you chose 3) Spacewar! Give yourself a point if you knew a group of MIT students were bored and programmed a game so they could play the earliest digital version of “Bang! You’re dead!” Extra point if you knew it was in 1961.


Question 2)

What was the first coin-operated video game?

  1. Galaxy Game
  2. Computer Space
  3. Spacewar!

Well, of course, that has to Spacewar! Right? Wrong. Give yourself a point if you knew that 1) Galaxy Game was the first. But only by three months. In September of 1971 the first coin-operated video game was installed at Stanford University, California. Three months later, in November 1971, 1500 (one thousand five hundred) units of the second coin-operated game, Computer Space had been manufactured and was available for commercial use. Which leads us to Q3.


Question 3)

Two guys get the credit for the creation of Computer Space. They were…

  1. Nolan and Dabney
  2. Jobs and Wozniak
  3. Gates and Jobs


A trick question if ever there was one. If you said 1) Nolan and Dabney you get your point. Since Nolan went on to become Atari, you might also be asking yourself, “What happened to Dabney?” A lot of people my age wonder that same thing about Roebuck.


Question 4)

Which firm released the first computer hardware system that went on to support the first two player video game?

  1. Apple
  2. DEC
  3. Magnavox

One really wants to say Apple. If for no other reason than to honor Jobs. Unfortunately, one would be wrong. Give yourself a point if you said 2) DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation). Their Programmed Data Processor-1 (PDP-1) was first sold in 1960. Yeah, the year your grandma was born. The platform went on to be used to build the first two player video game. Which brings us to the final question.


Question 5)

In what year was the first online game played?

  1. 1963
  2. 1983
  3. 1993


Quick background. The internet, even in its archaic form, was actually around in 1963. It didn’t offer today’s Google or anything, but one could still exchange information while at UCLA with someone at Stanford. But, ’63 is the wrong answer. Give yourself a point if you chose 2) 1983. SuperSet a software firm, created a text-based game called Snipes, which featured the first true network play. The rest, as they say…


Tally up the points, boys and girls. Here’s the final scorecard.


0          Baby Geek. Aww… Ain’t you cute?

1          Wannabe Geek. Well, at least you know what a geek is. Sorta.

2          Geek in Training. Keep going. The world needs more geeks.

3          Second Class Geek. You go ahead and hold your head high.

4          Impressive Geek. Tell me true. Did Google help?

5          General Geek. Sir! Pleasure to have you read my little quiz. Sir!

And if you got that extra point you are, officially…

5          Geek Extraordinaire. The rest of the geek world bows to your knowledge.


If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out “History of Online Games”



List Verse – 15 Firsts In Video Game History