Monday, December 16, 2013

Amazon Kindle - Oh what a feeling! - Part Duex

Wow! What a roller coaster of emotions. Anyone who has uploaded their first book to Kindle must understand. I've been checking the status of sales, re-reading the manuscript, researching marketing tips, all of it. But then, one of my favorite author/reviewers sent me an email.

It had two pages of nits and typo fixes for the uploaded text. ARG!

There were some out-right, ridiculous errors and typos that completely escaped me. And they were things I'd changed and updated since the last time my professional editor saw it. So, it was all on me.

Oh well. They've been corrected and re-uploaded. McShane is, once again, "In Review" on Kindle. Once we go live, I'll post the new link here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Amazon Kindle - Oh what a feeling!

I did it! After angst, anxiety, mistakes and more, my story, McShane Mini-Mysery - Billionaire at the Bar is now live on Kindle.

When the Kindle email came through informing me McShane was now (finally!) available online, I read it aloud to my husband. Then he said, "Your mama would have been proud."

Yeah, I cried.

Here's the announcement I've been sending out...


McShane Mini-Mystery, Billionaire at the Bar is now live on Kindle.

When the love of her life is viciously slain, Sam discovers secrets her lover kept which will change her life, for better and worse, forever. But can she stay one step ahead of the killer?

Do you only have a brief time to read, but still would like to read a complete mystery? Are you disappointed to find most “Mini-Mysteries” out there are targeted for children? Then you need to buy a copy of “Billionaire at the Bar”, the first of the McShane series of mini-mysteries for adults. The McShane Mini-Mysteries is a complete set of short and satisfying stories that adults can enjoy.

Go to now to pick up your 99¢ copy of McShane Mini-Mystery, Billionaire at the Bar. 


So now, as I understand it, the real works begins. Yeah, like writing it was the 'easy' part. Nope, the hard part is marketing. Somehow, I have to let the world know this book is out there. Among the 300,000 books uploaded annually, my little tale will be drowned. 

Wish me luck!

Or, you could go buy a copy yourself. Thanks, :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

I Need a Drink - by Karen McDaniel

This was written by a friend of mine, and I could not keep all the laughs to myself! So, I had to share!


6 am, 20 degrees. 7 am, 20.1 degrees. 8 am, 20.3 degrees.
Start the dishwasher. It's leaking slightly. Curse, mop up. Discover mouse is looking at me with interest from next to the dishwasher bottom plate. Yell. Curse. Entertain mouse.
Husband comes down to see what is the fuss. Mouse runs across kitchen and into another part of the house. Husband chases. Mouse eludes. Mouse is somewhere laughing...
Dig out trap from last use. Discover dead mouse in it. Many days dead. Take mouse outside in 20 degree temp to dispose of. Stuck to trap. Pick up frosty stick and disengage. Curse. Entertain dog. Tell dog under no conditions is she to attempt mouse retrieval for morning snack.
Return to house, spend several minutes cleaning fur off mouse trap using hot water, toothpicks, and bathroom sink. Reset trap. Meanwhile husband has been working on dishwasher, leaves for work announcing it has stopped leaking.
I'm not sure who won this round, but I'm positive it wasn't me.
9:45 am 23.3 degrees. Dishwasher did NOT stop leaking, leak was redirected. Instead of a flood in the kitchen, I have wet sheetrock on the basement ceiling and puddles of water down there.
So the mouse wasn't taunting me... he was complaining to the landlord his apartment was flooded...
Hole cut in basement ceiling so the joist is drying out. Hole cut in wall so the sill plates are drying out.  Mouse nest cleaned out behind dishwasher, insulation repaired.
1:50 PM  32 degrees.  Heat wave.
And I've been reported to the Rodent Housing Authority.
Start pouring.  I'll let you know when to stop!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Florida Christmas Tree

For those of you going out to buy your live Christmas tree this week, allow this Floridian to offer a tip to eliminate any unwanted "guests" that might try to ride into your home.

First, find a pool. If you have one, great, if not, see if a neighbor or friend might let you use theirs. Leave your tree in its netted sheath, and drop into the pool. Leave it there for at least a day. This will run any ants, spiders, roaches, lizards, mice, etc from your tree and keep them from getting into your home. Bonus point: the tree gets super-hydrated, helping preserve its needles longer.

Wishing you a Merry (Florida) Christmas!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Best (and/or Worst) Pick up Lines I've ever heard

Best (and/or Worst) Pick up Lines I’ve ever heard

To start our weekend off right, I offer these pick up lines to all of you heading out for the evening trolling, uh, I mean, searching for love. The following are old ones, new ones, cheesy ones, and groaners. At least one should give you a good chuckle.

In no way, shape, or form do I recommend or condone the use of any of the following pick up lines. Unless, of course, they work, then in that case, it was all me.

Here we go, and good luck.


I lost my phone number. Can I borrow yours?


Hey, I got a question for you.  What do you call twelve Ford F150s at a rock quarry?
 I have no idea.
 A pick up line that actually works.


Him: Bond.  James Bond.
Her: Off.  Fuck off. 


You're absolutely gorgeous, and I'd like to think your inner beauty is even more so. I'd like the chance to find out.


Hello. My name is Elmer J. Fudd. Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht. (You have to be old enough to know where this line is from, what voice to say it in, and are speaking to someone who is old enough to understand the joke.)


What has 148 teeth and holds back the Incredible Hulk? 
 My zipper.


It's no use pretending to be a beautiful dumb blonde. I can tell you're a smart intelligent woman. (pause)
No, seriously, I'm a rocket scientist. I know these things.


Did you sit in a pile of sugar? ‘Cuz you have one sweet ass.


Let's talk about feelings. Emotions in beautiful women fascinate me. Right now I'm feeling very nervous. Say something to calm me down.


Even Nestle doesn’t make candy as sweet as you.


Bathsheba had nothing on you.


I was so caught up by your beauty, I ran into that wall over there. So I’m gonna need your name and number for insurance purposes.


I’m Mr. Right. Someone said you were looking for me?


I own a car wash. Let’s get dirty.


Is that a sonic screwdriver in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?


You don’t have health insurance, do you? Because you have got “fine” written all over you.


There’s something wrong with my cell phone. It doesn’t have your number in it.


If I were to ask you out on a date, would your answer be the same as the answer to this question?


Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see.


I’m writing a blog on the most beautiful things I’ve seen. Mind if I interview you?


Are you a weeping angel? Because I haven’t blinked since I first saw your face.


Do you have a band-aid? I scraped me knee falling for you.


Do you remember me? No? Oh that’s right! We’ve only met in my dreams!


Be careful out there, ladies and gentlemen. And remember…The author does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by the use of the previous suggestions, whether such loss, damage or disruption results from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shark Bait

Shark Bait

In case you didn’t know, I’m a Floridian. The ocean does not scare me. However, I hold a healthy respect for stingrays, jellyfish, man-o-war’s, the sharks, and any other creature that may deem me an in-between-meal snack.

One day this summer I found myself on a glass-bottom-boat tour in the Bahamas. The boat was older, privately owned, but still a sea-worthy vessel. The captain stopped the boat in forty foot, crystal clear waters. The first mate tells us the fish are plentiful and will come to the boat if we throw fish food overboard. Which he is selling for two dollars a cup. I smile and decline, as the others clamor for their wallets.

As a school of yellow tail snapper swarm beneath the hull and fight for the food thrown overboard, I catch a glimpse of something gliding by further below, probably thirty to forty feet further down. A man-eater. I think it’s a sand shark, but it’s hard to tell from the straight down angle through the double pane glass.

My first thought was the shark came to feed on the yellow tails. Then I became concerned for the dive boat off of our port bow. I wanted to talk to the captain so he could give warning. I found him on the upper deck, holding a line strung through a barracuda. I keep my concerns to myself and scurry back down to the lower deck. The Bahamian captain displayed a confidence handling the line. There was something about to take place that I did not want to miss, no matter how respectful I may be toward to the terrifying sea life.

The view to the bottom now shows not one, but three sharks, far below, gliding back and forth, as if keeping sentry. The intercom announces to the passengers the captain has a ‘treat’ for us, and we should all come to the starboard side to catch a glimpse of a great white.

Every one of us lined up, cameras ready. I found a spot on the starboard side with a view of the upper deck where the captain stood, all the way to the water surface below. I cued up the video.

The captain dropped the barracuda attached by a rope into the water. Within five seconds he had a bite. He and his first mate heaved the line to withdraw from the water a six-foot behemoth, holding the offered shark bait with row upon row of dagger shaped teeth.

They continued to pull this monster from another age up and out of the water, until the thing was within an arm’s reach of the crew on the upper deck. Literally. An arm’s reach. The Captain, still holding the line with one hand, reached out and pets the damn thing. He pets the snout, inches from those blades of teeth!

After the display, the crew lowered the rope the living nightmare held through the barracuda. When the tip of the shark’s tail touched the water’s surface, the jaws clamped shut, biting through the bait, and the beast fell back with a minimum of water displacement. Two thirds of the barracuda swung on the tether. The nervous passengers were asked over the intercom if we’d like to see the shark again.

A second lowering of the shark bait brought a fight amongst the monstrosities. Shark noses, eyes and jaws broke the surface in a frenzied froth. The shark that won the battle for the bloody remnants was pulled out of the water as the first had been. To say the six-footer was the behemoth was an overstatement. The second shark’s tail barely cleared the water as the Captain, from the upper deck, cooed and petted the living nightmare. Again, as the show came to an end, and the crew lowered the colossus to the surface, the moment the tail touched water the teeth of the ancient predator ripped through the barracuda and splashed back to the depths from which it rose.

Afterwards, I watched my video recording of the first shark. The angle, the lighting, the Captain, the shark, and even the barracuda were recorded perfectly from my spot on the starboard side. While not a great white, I’m pretty sure it was a thresher, but it could have been a sand shark. Gratitude is offered to my fellow passengers for screaming, scurrying from the rail, and staying out of my camera shot for the entire show. What did you think? The sharks would fly over the rail and eat you?

Well, then again...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ancient Antique Artifacts

A couple of years ago, I hired a temp staffer to help our secretary during a particularly busy period. He was a nice young man and seemed to know what he was doing. One day the secretary came to my office and told me he asked if we'd be willing to train him on the 'manual keyboard'. He didn't know what it was called. We both cracked up (behind my office door, of course).
In all fairness, when we told him it was a typewriter, he blushed and said "Oh, yeah. My grandmother has something like that."
It didn't make it any better.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dear Karma

Seen on a random post...

Dear Karma,

I have a list of people you missed. 

Boy, do I ever!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Overheard at a physical therapy office…

An elderly gentleman sat in the quiet waiting room and played a game on his tablet, when an elderly woman came out of the doctor’s office and stood next to him.

“Harry, I’m ready,” she said to him.

“I’m just finishing this level. Hold on.”

“Harry,” she said with a playful nudge.

“Okay.” A few more presses on the screen and he stood up kissed her cheek. Sympathy in his voice, he asked, “Did they hurt you?”

“A little.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I guess.” She started for the exit.

He held the door open for her and said, “Is there anything I can do?” and the door closed behind them.

After they left I stared at the closed door with a smile of gratitude for being allowed to share in that sweet, supportive moment. May we all be so blessed with a long life and a supportive mate.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Re-elect NO One

Did you vote for ObamaCare? Hmm...Neither did I. We were never given the opportunity. Whether for or against, up or down, is irrelevant. We don't get to say.

We don't get a voice."'WE THE PEOPLE" now do what we're told.

Here's an idea I'd love to spread.

Have signs/banners made declaring 'RE-ELECT NO ONE' and post them in our yards every election until each and every one of these bozo's (Dems and GOP's) are gone. Let's see how an entirely new Senate/Congress might work out.

Just a thought...are you with me?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Facebook vs Privacy

Facebook vs Privacy
by JL Mo

A friend on facebook posted a query asking how to make a page private. This got me to thinking; after all of the information regarding Snowden and the NSA, does anyone really believe there’s privacy?

Because, no. There is not.

You cannot make facebook, or any other website, totally private. It is digitally impossible. If it's on the net (fb, twitter, email, dropbox, flickr, whatever) it can be copied, pasted, shared by whoever has the ability to access it. And that is a lot of people.

Accept that first.

I’m not telling you to not put anything out there. There are moments you want to share with your closest friends. Or your sister. Or your brother. Or hell, even your mom.

Post those moments and let the whole world smile with you. Because that is a possible scenario.

But there are other moments you only want to share with your lover. Or your co-conspirator. Hard and fast Rule Number One, “If you don't want others to see it (parents, friends, good guys, bad guys) don't put it on the web!” Yes, that means your iPhone, too.

That being said, I’ll offer this small piece of advice for non-savvy facebook users. Look at the top right side of your fb screen, where the dark blue line is. There are tabs there. Among them, you'll see an icon that looks like a lock with stripes on one side. That's your Privacy Settings. Click that and the dropdown box will offer, “See More Settings” at the bottom of the list. Don’t glaze over yet, because here you will find a gold mine of useful tools.

Privacy Settings and Tools

Who can see my stuff?
Who can see your future posts?

Use Activity Log

Review all your posts and things you're tagged in
Limit Past Posts
Limit the audience for posts you've shared with friends of friends or Public?

Who can contact me?

Who can send you friend requests?
Whose messages do I want filtered into my Inbox?
Who can look me up?
Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?
Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?

Explore it. Use it. For a least a small level of security, check it every day. Set a timer to remind yourself if you must. Just Use It.

Then, enjoy sharing on facebook. Just accept the fact that someone else is always watching.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Rum Day

August 16, 2013 – National Rum Day

Today, of all days, we must try to set the record straight.

There is a current television commercial for a particular brand of rum that tells of how the Cuba Libre was first invented. The commercial purports an American solider brought Coke to the island of Cuba. A beautiful Cuban girl pours Bacardi into the bottle. Thrusting the bottle back into the hand of the soldier, she proclaims “Cuba Libre!”

This gives the impression, to anyone familiar with the island’s history, that the drink was created during the Spanish-American war.

It’s a nice story, but, um, there are a few problems with it.

The island didn’t see a Coke until 1900. Roosevelt’s troops left in 1898. 


No one knows for certain how the drink came to be, but the one thing (for me) is the lime. A rum and coke, is a rum and coke, is a rum and coke. But, the difference is the lime.

The proper recipe -

Cuba Libre

 1 part rum
2 parts soda
The juice from 1 wedge of a Key Lime

The Key Lime is non-negotiable. If you use a Persian lime, it is not a Cuba Libre. Persian Limes have a tart flavor, where key limes are almost sweet. It is a perfect compliment to a wonderful drink. It’s what makes the rum and coke a Cuba Libre.

So, raise a toast to a Free Cuba!

Happy Rum Day!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pedistrians in the Crosshairs

A post titled  Caught in a Set Up describes how the Orange County Sheriff office set up a no win situation that culminated in my being ticketed for failure to 'yield the right of way' to a pedestrian. I ended up paying a hefty fine for my negligence.

What is the latest scourge on the roadways of Central Florida? Pedestrians.

Are they a danger to traffic? Absolutely. Are they a danger to others? You betcha. Will they be fined for their crime? Okay, now the questions are just getting silly. Of course they will. This is Florida, after all.

But, what crime will these wanton souls disregarding our safety be charged with, you may ask.

Texting While Walking.

There will be a ban on Florida sidewalks as of October from people texting while walking, due to the flooding of the local ER's.

No. I'm not kidding. Read the Orlando Sentinel article here.

Big brother is alive and well, and watching over us. Protecting us. From ourselves. Just don't text about it while walking.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bank

Today at my bank login page I was instructed to go through (another) security setup. You know, for my protection. Again.

So, the end of the form reaches the “Security Questions”. The text reads, “We will only ask these questions if additional information is necessary to verify your identity. Are you ready for Question One?

“What is your greatest fear?”

OH. MY. GOD. I don’t give anyone that information. What makes The Bank think I would tell them?

Perhaps it’s a test for just how deep they can rob me of my privacy. Just how much information will I give away?

What did I answer? NUNYA

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fashion Statement

Has anyone else noticed the latest fashion statement presented on television and in the movies? It’s a unisex design of shirts tucked in the front and left out on the sides and back. 

My husband has labeled this as a Fashion Mullet! Business in the front, party in the back! 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Grandkid’s in Paradise

I’m finally a Nana! Woo-Hoo! But, there’s always a drawback, isn’t there? I live in Florida, and the kids are currently stationed in Hawaii with the military. I just returned from my visit and won’t see them again for another year. So, this one’s for them.

(To the tune of "Welcome to Paradise" by Green Day. Follow the original lyrics here)

Grandkid’s in Paradise
Lyrics by JL Mo

Grown children
can you hear me whining?
Hawaii’s far away
and I cannot go back
this sudden ache has left me trembling
cuz my first grandkid’s too far away to reach
on some Hawaiian beach

I have waited for too long
to reach this point in life
some call it old
I call it grand
but life takes some strange turns
and now it hurts to think about
Grandkid’s in Paradise

I love my home state here in Florida
I would not live another place on God’s green earth
but now you’re stationed in Hawaii
and to my first grandkid
you now have given birth
So tell me what that’s worth

I have waited for too long
to reach this point in life
some call it old
I call it grand
but life takes some strange turns
and now it hurts to think about
Grandkid’s in Paradise

Dear children
can you hear me laughing?
It’s been three whole years since
the two of you left home
But now your two became a threesome
Your child now in tow,
Promise you’ll never go
Promise you’ll never go

I have waited for too long
to reach this point in life
some call it old
I call it grand
but life takes some strange turns
and now it hurts to think about
Grandkid’s in Paradise

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Get a CLUE Or: A five-step solution to the Gay Marriage debate (in 500 words or less) - Republished

I am republishing this post (original post August 6, 2012) in celebration of - Supreme Court delivers wins for gay marriage movement

The court’s decision was a small step in the right direction. If you choose to read the article in the link above, you'll see how the court side-stepped major points. I still think the following is a better option.


Note: There are a few lines here you might find glib, but understand I wrote it with a (somewhat) humorous slant.

Get a CLUE
Or: A five-step solution to the Gay Marriage debate (in 500 words or less)

            I won’t bore you as to how we, as a people, arrived at this juncture. I’ll get straight to it. We have divined a smooth solution to the otherwise divided rocky road ‘marriage’ has become.
            On the side of heterosexuality are those who lay claim of the Divine ordination of one man, and one woman to constitute a marriage. They also legitimately point to scripture that strictly state the sin of homosexuality. It’s a religious thing. Check.
            On the side of homosexuality are the men and women who want the legal (federal) right to be acknowledged as a couple. However, since nothing is simple when it comes to legalities in today’s society, that acknowledgment would constitute incorporating the rights reserved strictly to heterosexuals when it comes to government-recognized relationships. For instance, ownership of property, insurance, wills, family titles, etc. It’s a legal thing. Check.
            So, how do we marry these two opposing forces? In the same manner all oppositions are resolved. Compromise.
            We submit our suggestion: Civil Licensed Union (with) Expiration, or CLUE.
            While it will not replace marriage as a religious institution, it will replace the legalities of a recognized union. If you get married without a CLUE, then yours won’t be a legal entity in the eyes of the law. Because marriage is a term coined from religious minds and, as everyone knows, the government stays out of our churches (that’s a debate for another time, people!). This is how a CLUE would be broken down in 500 words or less.

Civil Licensed Union (with) Expiration
Heretofore referenced as CLUE

1st        Two people meet and fall in love (or whatever). It doesn’t matter if they are man, woman, black, white, or green with purple polka dots. Two people of adult age and possessing the proper mental capacity to enter into a binding union, may. Sorry, this does exclude Martians, Saturnians, dogs, cats, livestock or any other non-human species. We do have to set standards.

2nd        Once their decision to get a CLUE is made, they must decide how long a CLUE they want. It would be offered in increments of one, two, five, eight, ten and twenty years. Of course the biggest leap would be the CLUE of a lifetime. Be aware, a CLUE cannot be annulled, discarded or otherwise dissolved prior to the expiration date. Period.

3rd        The couple must appear in person at the Clerk of the Circuit Court to complete the CLUE application and be witnessed by a government official. This document would replace the marriage license of old. The cost increases with the length of time desired. The shorter the time frame, the cheaper the license. Each applicant must complete his or her own addendum (CLUE-A and CLUE-B) to list every possession owned prior to the CLUE process. No duplications (shared possessions) shall be included.

4th        When the CLUE app is completed and approved, notarized, appropriate fees paid and submitted, the government will then recognize the CLUE these two people share. That recognition will come with every legal right now afforded ‘married’ individuals.

5th        The renewal of a CLUE must be made in the presence of the Clerk of the Circuit Court prior to its expiration date. Any possessions acquired during the previous CLUE must be added to the appropriate owner’s addendum. Once the renewal CLUE app is completed and approved, notarized, appropriate fees paid and submitted, the government will then continue to recognize the CLUE these two people share.

            But, what happens if a couple decide the CLUE was a bad decision? Maybe they thought they wanted to get a CLUE, but after six months of a year long CLUE, they want out?
            No problem. They simply do not renew their CLUE. They cannot be CLUE’d with another person until the expiration of their current (sorry, lifers) and any possession whose ownership was not listed in the addendum's and is in dispute must be sold and the profit split two ways. No divorce court, no settlement disputes, and no alimony. You had a CLUE and now it’s expired. Deal with it.
            Children are another addendum. If a child is conceived or adopted during a CLUE period, Addendum C (CLUE-C) must be completed. The signature of the child’s responsible parental units, agreeing to terms of custody and monetary support should the CLUE expire prior to the child becoming of legal age, will be filed immediately.


So concludes our proposal for “A five step solution to the Gay Marriage debate (in 500 words or less).”
            After all, marriage is a private club with specific membership requirements. Stop trying to sue your way into it. It’s time for the government to get a clue, so we can get a CLUE.

Another published short story

Woo Hooooo

I’ve just submitted my short story Quest Through the Ages for publication. It will be included in the Martin Ingham anthology, Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, which should be available for purchase in August of 2013. 

Thanks for all the support. I would not be here without you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Pun for Fun

I entered a pun contest. I submitted ten of my favorites, figuring at least one out of ten would win.

Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Seen on a random post. Had to share…

Dear Algebra,

Please stop asking us to find your X.
She’s never coming back, and don’t ask Y.

Your Students

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Star Trek: Into Darkness

I’m an old Trekkie. By that I mean I’ve been around long enough to remember being totally bummed to learn the network wasn’t going to renew Star Trek. Yea, the original.

Gene Roddenberry has made a small mint for the production companies of all of the versions since then. I believe they’ve made more than the GNP for many small nations. I know I’ve contributed my fair share (and then some) to the effort. From all the movies in theaters; the VCR’s, the DVD’s, the Blu-Rays. I own them all. I loved them all. That being said...

Star Trek: Into Darkness was fantastic. The writing, the directing, the acting, the special effects all of it was breathtaking. But, for me, there were too many concessions to us 'old trekkies'. The first Star Trek movie with Chris Pine established a new timeline, a whole new history. So much more could have been done with this. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Kahn. Benedict Cumberbatch is no Ricardo Montalban, but he did well enough. I'm just hoping they come with some new story lines of their own for the next five year missions.

But it could just be an old Trekkie’s hope. Good Luck, Mr. Abrams.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A fortune teller...

In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the Mystic delivered grave news:

"There's no easy way to tell you this, so I'll just be blunt. Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year."

Visibly shaken, Shirley stared at the woman's lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands.  She took a few deep breaths to compose herself and to stop her mind racing. She simply had to know.

She met the Fortune Teller's gaze, steadied her voice and asked,

"Will I be acquitted?"

Thanks for the joke, mishmont! I told you I was gonna steal it! Bwaahahahaha!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Red Light Attention Span

Have you noticed that the cars at the back of the line pay more attention to the traffic light than the cars at the front of the line?

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Joy of Coffee

 There is nothing in my life so soothing as the first sip of coffee in the morning.

No matter how stressful the day before me might be. It does not affect that first sip. Its satisfying warmth spreads through me. I stop to embrace the comforting sensation. I am awake.

The second sip holds no such charm. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll drink the first cup and have another, thank you very much.

I do love my coffee.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Temple Run (Or: I’d rather have an evil monkey on my back than signposts blocking my view.)

I haven’t posted to this blog for a while. Let me tell you why.

Temple Run 2. That’s why.

Guy Dangerous. Scarlett Fox. Barry Bones. Karma Lee. I’ve unlocked and played with them on a daily (OK, hourly) basis. The damn game is as addictive as they come. It is the follow up to the very popular Temple Run and Temple Run Brave. I’ve downloaded and played both until my eyes crossed. They are fabulous. I would like to thank the good people at Imangi Studios for helping me to lose hours and hours of productive work time.

And I’m not the only one, obviously. This game has enjoyed 50 million (yes Million) downloads in the first two weeks of it’s availability!

I play the game on my kindle fire. It has a wider screen than the average phone, but not as big as Apple’s ipad. Which is to say, I don’t own an ipad (yet, I’m still working on it). So, if you play this game on a kindle, and you’re past Level Seven, comment so I can pick your brain with a couple of questions of my own. For instance, are those green gems imbedded in the posts of the bridges we run past ever grabable? I mean, come on! What a tease.

I’ve also come up with a new philosophy for life. I’d rather have an evil monkey on my back than signposts blocking my view.

I searched online for some guidance on the how-to’s of the game. That’s when I discovered what is sure to be the curse of my existence for the next few months of my life.

Temple Run: Oz. Complete with flying monkeys.

Thanks Imangi. Thanks a lot. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a wizard to run.

Copied from the Imangi website

About Us

Imangi Studios was founded by husband and wife team Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova in 2008 with the goal of creating small fun games for everyone to enjoy. What started as a dream job for the couple has evolved into a successful business, with Keith and Natalia now working with a team of other talented game creators. In 2011, the studio developed the mega-hit Temple Run, which has been downloaded about a zillion times. Based in North Carolina, the self-funded, fully independent studio has also developed a number of other games including Harbor Master and Temple Run: Brave.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Super Speeder

Super Speeder

I live in Florida. If we want to drive to any other state, the most direct route touches our neighbor to the north, Georgia. In that state, as of January 1, 2010, a law was enacted dubbed “The Super Speeder Law”. The following is a true story as told to me by a friend, who had the misfortune to discover the outrageous law first hand.


I travel to the Carolinas on a regular basis, and I drive through Georgia to do it. One day, I’m cruising along I95, and in the median is parked a Darien City police officer. He drives out of the median and pulls me over. He tells me I was driving 85 mph, and I don’t argue. I wasn’t looking at the speedometer, honestly, so I’m not certain. Why a city cop should be handing out tickets on the interstate was a mystery, but one I wasn’t that intrigued by. I sign for the ticket and move on with my life. After returning to Florida, I mail the fine of $286.00 to the designated address, thinking that was the end of it.

Ah, but they aren’t done with me.

Two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from the State of Georgia informing me of an additional fine for my infraction. Because I “Pled Guilty” to driving 85 mph, I fall into a category called Super Speeder and charged an additional two hundred dollars! There was no proof of the speed driven, but there was no offer of a way to contest the charge, either. I was an out-of-state driver, ignorant of their local laws, and they had me by the balls.

This is a line from one of their websites, “...any high-risk drivers who make a habit of ignoring posted speed limits will be the first to feel the pinch of higher state fines (called fees) on their wallets...” So, shouldn’t this fine only be assessed after a second (or third) speeding ticket? And then, technically, it should only be for the citizens of Georgia, not out-of-state drivers, because we could not “make a habit” of speeding on the Georgia portion of an interstate.

Another website (Super Speeder Information) admits that a cop doesn’t have to tell you about the law. They inform you by mail, within thirty days after the penalty. So there’s a lie of omission. I didn’t know about the magical “85 mph” law that tacks an extra two hundred dollars on my fine. But, we all know that cops are allowed to lie, don’t we? Oh yeah, one more thing. My license will be suspended if I don’t pay.

“Surprise!” says the State of Georgia. “We can now legally screw you out of an additional two hundred dollars.”

Thanks for visiting Georgia! Ya’ll come on back, real soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Caught in a Set Up - Part 3 - No hope for the hopeless

This is part 3 of a 3-part true short story.
Part One can be found here Just the facts, ma'am
Part Two can be found here: WTF?

Are you worried about the government stealing your money in Washington? Fuggedaboutit! Look closer. It's as near as your downtown Clerk of the Court and County Sheriff’s office.

Part 3
No hope for the hopeless

            I went to my local tax collectors office, Form D6 in hand. I checked the number on the next tab. It was 83. I waited a second in the very crowded room to hear a clerk call “Number 46!” 
            I left.
            I went back a few hours later, and the room was still full. I took a tab numbered 26. I sat down and pulled out reading material I failed to bring earlier. The clerk called “Number 74!” The gentleman sitting next to me exclaimed, “I’m next!” I asked how long he’d been waiting with his number 75. He told me two hours.
            I left.
            My local tax collectors office opens at 8:30am. At 8:15, I joined the line of about twenty other souls currently enslaved to the bureaucracy of the County and the State. When the office opened, and I reached the door, I was handed number 24. I settled into my chair and waited.
Forty-five minutes later, my number was called. Keeping it as brief as possible, and trying to remain as calm as possible, I gave the woman my story and my Form D6.
            You must know that I had to ask.
            “Why is it the Orange County website offers all services online, only to require this form be presented in person?” I knew she couldn’t answer with anything other than a sigh and a feeble attempt at non-responsibility. She didn’t disappoint.
            “I don’t know, ma’am. I can only process the paperwork.”
            I looked away as she did just that. After a few keystrokes and shuffling of papers, she said, “Sixty dollars and twenty-five cents, please.”
            My neck popped as I jerked my head back to face her.
            “I beg your pardon?”
            “$60.25, please.”
            The file folder I carried contained all of the paperwork I had received and copies of those I’d printed out. Digging through them, I pulled out the document from the State of Florida saying the $60 would be due if I didn’t pay by the 29th.
            She said, “Six Dollars, ma’am. Not Sixty.”
            Still taken aback, but slightly relieved, I asked, “For what?”
            “The processing fee.”
            The look of strained patience was priceless. “You can choose not to pay,” she said, “otherwise, $6.25.”
            And do you know what I got for my six bucks? She scanned my Form D6, which I had printed at home, from their website, then she emailed it to the State! She even gave me the original back! That explains the forced attendance. To collect a processing fee for something I could have done at home!
            I paid $316.25 in total, plus interest on my credit card thank you very much “online service”. I left irritated, frustrated, and feeling violated by those I once trusted. Damn. I didn’t even get kissed.
            Where's the hope? The lawyers I had turned to for help became WM. By the way, I can’t help but feel their office didn’t bother to contact me to ask my side of the story because they must have an agreement of some sort with the court. Either that, or perhaps it was simply they got their $90, so why bother?
Yes, I’m bitter.
            As for the original infraction, my mother taught me to look both ways before crossing the street. Now I find she was wrong. I can cross the street anytime, with or without traffic, because the law is on my side. It will make me impenetrable to oncoming traffic.
            Would someone make sure this is on my gravestone…

Here lies JL Mo
She obeyed the law to death

Friday, January 25, 2013

Caught in a Set Up – Part 2 – WTF?

This is part 2 of a 3-part true short story.
Part One can be found here Just the facts, ma'am
Part Three can be found here: No Hope for the Hopeless

Are you worried about government stealing your money in Washington? Fuggedaboutit! Look closer. It's as near as your downtown Clerk of the Court and County Sheriff’s office.

Caught in a Set Up –
Part 2 – WTF?

            Flabbergasted. Stunned. Confused. Shocked. These and more passed over me quickly. The red-faced, sweating, overdressed-for-the-temperature officer remained straight-faced as he wrote the ticket.
            I gained my composure to ask, calmly, how I was supposed to stop for the 'pedestrian' and not cause a five-car pile up? He, too, remained composed as he explained the timing was such that the driver would have plenty of space to stop once the pedestrian stepped onto a crosswalk. Positively bug-eyed at the admission of the set up, I quizzed him on several other traffic rules and regulations. He failed the quiz. To his defense, he did admit that he and his fellow officers were here strictly for this duty. Ah, I thought. Trained for this one job. Entrapment.
            When I went home, I told my husband the full story. He laughed.
            Did he laugh at me for not yielding to a pedestrian? No.
            Did he laugh at me for receiving a ticket? No.
            Did he laugh at me for quizzing the officer? No.
            He laughed because I have always been a staunch supporter of the police. I’ve embraced the belief that the police are right. They are humans, and are doing a very difficult job. If you’ve received a ticket (I remember saying to him smugly), you deserved it.
            I allowed him his laugh. Then I hired The Ticket Clinic. Their advertisement guaranteed no points on your license, no matter the outcome. They would fight unjust citations. They would represent the accused with unwavering dedication. After you paid the $90.00, nonrefundable fee, of course.
            My interaction with The Ticket Clinic (henceforth referred to as Wasted Money, or WM) was frustrating, at best. Their rep requested all of the information on the first call I made. That was it. No further interaction until I called, three weeks later, to ask of the status. I was then told the court date was set for two weeks from that date. I asked if someone would be in touch with me. I was assured by WM that someone would.
Yeah, I should have seen it coming…
            Three weeks later I received a letter from WM stating I was Found Guilty.
            I called WM. After a bit of ‘research’ the guilty verdict was confirmed. The fine is now $230.00. Oh, and, points were assessed. Since their advertisement ‘guaranteed’ no points, they had to adjudicate. I asked if I should pay the fine now and was told by WM to wait until the adjudication was complete.
            Four weeks later I received a letter from WM saying the points and all record of the guilty verdict have been removed.
            The next day I received a letter from the state, informing me my driver’s license would be suspended in three weeks, the 29th of the month, for failure to pay the fine. According to this letter, I can pay the fine online.
            Fabulous. Upon checking the referenced website for Orange County, it showed my license as suspended. Not “going to be as of the 29th,” but suspended.
Again…fabulous. Thanks, WM.
The Orange County website touted the virtues of online service. Everything can be done online now, it declared. Just use a major credit card, and all will be processed online. So, I paid online. The site seemed rather adamant about printing a Form D6. It warned me, if I didn’t have a printer, I should wait and pay when I did. The website admonished me to print Form D6, because it cannot be obtained at any other time. So, I printed Form D6. Then, after paying, printing, and reviewing the next lines of instruction, I find I am required to present Form D6 to the Orange County tax collectors office. In person.
            WTF? That can’t be right. The state said my license isn’t suspended. They issue the damn things, so, that can’t be right.
            I waited five business days. I checked the website again. My payment has been applied. No balance due. But, if I do not hand-carry Form D6 to the Orange County Tax Collector’s office by the 29th, they get another $60.00! Yes. Sixty Dollars! Online my ass!
            But wait, it gets better…

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Caught in a Set Up - Part 1 Just the facts, Ma'am

This is part 1 of a 3-part true short story.
Part Two can be found here: WTF?
Part Three can be found here: No Hope for the Hopeless

Are you worried about government stealing your money in Washington? Fuggedaboutit! Look closer. It's as near as your downtown Clerk of the Court and County Sheriff’s office.

Caught in a Set Up
Just the facts, Ma’am

Part 1 of 3

            I’m driving the posted speed limit of forty-five mph on a road comprised of two lanes south, two lanes north, separated by a median. My car is in the inside lane, that is to say, driving alongside the median. Ahead, on both sides and in the median, are construction workers and police officers. A great deal of activity is taking place. I decrease my speed to thirty-five. The car behind me gets so close he’s practically sucking my exhaust pipe.
          A construction worker in the median to my left momentarily distracts me as he moves a large barricade. I look back to the road in time to see a blue-shirted man to my right step off the sidewalk into the lane next to mine! I gasp and raise my foot off of the accelerator, prepared to slam my brakes should he run in front of me. But the man stops and crosses his arms. Our eyes lock as I pass him. I'm cautious by nature, perhaps to a fault, but I’ve witnessed people run across the road before, ignoring oncoming traffic. Had he done so, I would have hit him. Either that, or one of the four cars traveling close behind my vehicle would have slammed into my rear end. Thankfully, he did not move.
            I breathed a sigh of relief. All of this took place in a matter of seconds. Ahead of me, a police officer waved me into a parking lot. Driving well below the speed limit, and under the impression there was a detour around the construction zone, I looked for other officers in the parking lot to direct us (me and the four vehicles following). We were sent into adjacent parking spaces.
            A police officer approached my window and, after reviewing my required identification documentation, informed me I had violated a law.

         I failed to yield to a pedestrian.

          Each of the vehicles following was being ticketed for the same infraction. The fine totaled One Hundred Sixty Dollars. Each. Orange County just made $800.00 in a matter of minutes.
            There will be a fight.

Part 1 of 3