Sunday, June 28, 2015

SUNDAY FUNNIES: THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER (2015 edition)

Sun tan oil & fur DON'T mix!
Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here.
We are approaching what some call the "dog days" of summer. July and August (February and March for the Southern Hemisphere) are usually when the hottest temperatures are recorded.
Of course with climate change, that specific time period might be further expanded, but for now, let's find some shade and keep cool while I tell some canine based jokes.
Ready?

Hot fun in the sun

Contrary to popular belief, sheepdogs do NOT "baa"!

Johnny taught his dog to sing. When they got their big break, the dog went on stage and just sat there quietly.
Later, Johnny asked what happened. The dog said, “I couldn't see the cue cards.”

What do you call a pooch that wakens too early in the morning?
Groggy.

Why did the Doberman marry the Golden Retriever?
He found her fetching.

What do you get when you cross Lassie with a Petunia?
A Collie Flower.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should keep your pets cool, indoors if possible, and make sure they have plenty of water.
AND PLEASE DON'T LEAVE US IN HOT CARS WHILE YOU INSIDE AN AIR CONDITIONED BUILDING!

"And to think, this is the RUNT of the litter!"



We leave you now with this classic from posts past, but have a great week everybody and be sure to come back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!—AtP.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: JUNE 20-27, 2015

IT'S MIXED RACE/DIVERSITY DAY IN BRAZIL.
IT'S INDEPENDENCE DAY IN DJIBOUTI.
IT'S ARMED FORCES DAY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
JULY 2015 WILL FEATURE A BLUE MOON!

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Two new cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
*The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome outbreak continues to plague South Korea.
*South Sudan has officially declared a cholera outbreak within the country.
*Pakistan is suffering a record heat wave, with over 1500 known deaths.
*Tonga has begun the 11 day coronation ceremony for King Tupou VI.
*Greece will hold a formal vote on a potential economic bailout deal July 5th.
*Wikileaks claims that the United States spied on France between 2006-2012.
*Simon Špilak won the 2015 Tour de Suisse in cycling.
*Scientists believe they have found evidence of a turtle ancestor existing over 240 million years ago.

TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*The first known use of a female suicide bomber by Boko Haram has been confirmed.
*ISIS/ISIL claims to be destroying the ancient city of Palmyra.
*Boko Haram attacked villages in Borno, Nigeria; leaving over 40 dead.
*ISIS/ISIL forces either led or are suspected of 5 different attacks across the Middle East June 26th.

PASSING PARADE...
*Actor/playwright/artist/poet Remo Remotti is no longer with us.
*Actor Tony Longo (too numerous to mention) has taken his last bow on life's stage.
*Composer James Horner (Titanic, Apollo 13) has passed away.
*Artist Don Featherstone, who created the plastic pink flamingo, is gone.
*Actress Laura Antonelli (Till Marriage Do Us Part, The Innocent) has taken her last bow on life's stage.
*Actor Dick Van Patten (Eight Is Enough, Spaceballs) has passed away.
*Actor Patrick Macnee (BBC's The Avengers) is no longer with us.
*Jazz musician Gunther Schuller has passed.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*Republicans are reeling after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of The Affordable Health Care Act (aka "Obama Care") in the second lawsuit against the measure; and then the next day declared same gender marriages constitutional.
*HOWEVER... the Republican Party has sworn to continue the fight against both measures, claiming that the GOP will "deliver the health care system that Americans truly need"; while some members went as far to suggest that the Court ruling on marriages should be ignored because "religious liberty" takes precedent over any law.
*While Congress has yet to successfully pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Senate has approved a motion to give President Barack Obama the authority to negotiate with the Asian-Pacific nations involved, and has received "fast track" authority from the House of Representatives.
*Louisiana Governor and new Republican Presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal's views on science, and the effects his opinions have on state laws, is being questioned.
ELSEWHERE...
*In the wake of the South Carolina tragedy, many are removing the Confederate flag they once proudly displayed; although political pundits are pointing out that debate over the Civil War emblem is distracting from the more pressing issue of gun control reform.
*Mylan, a Pittsburgh based pharmaceutical company, who bought a smaller firm in the Netherlands and transferred their corporate citizenship there to avoid paying American taxes, is now seeking help from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid being bought by an Israeli drug company.
*Jordan Spieth won the 2015 US Open of professional golf.
*The National Hockey League has formally started procedures to see if they can add additional teams.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: JUNE 27, 2015

"Hammer time!" (cheeky)
FUN FACT
The profile side of a hammer is called a cheek.

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CHANCE
Just like a regular TRIVIA TIME question, but there are only two possible answers, hence the even odds of getting it right. Ready?

YES or NO: Medically, is sternutation life threatening?


REBUS
Something familiar is represented in the image below.
Do you know what it is?

S(fun)U(fun)M(fun)M(fun)E(fun)R

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the June 20, 2015 Fathers' Day themed Puzzle Corner.

TRIVIA TIME
Who came up with the idea of Fathers' Day?
The truth of the matter? Nobody knows for sure.

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you find within the letters that spell FATHERS?
A, aft, ah, are, arf, art(s), as, ash, at, ate
Ear(s), earth, east, eat(s)
Fae, far, fare(s), fast, fat(s)
Ha, hare(s), has, hart(s), hat(s), he, hear(s), heart(s), her, heat(s)
Raft(s), rah, rat(s) ref(s), rest
Safe, safer, sat, sea, sear, seat, shaft, share, she, shear, star, stare
Tar(s), tea(s), tear(s), the

More than the 66 words listed above might be possible.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

SUNDAY FUNNIES: HAPPY FATHERS' DAY! (2015 edition)

"Hi ya, Pops!"
"Woof, Dad!"

Hello everybody! Today you have both Waxy Dragon AND Autumn the Puppy here. While June 21st is also the Summer Solstice, it's time to celebrate Fathers' Day.

Now then, let's talk about dads.

A Father should have plenty of imagination and playing skills, from either tossing a baseball around with their son to attending their little girl's latest tea party.

It is NOT about how many likes you can get for your latest selfie, although family photos are always nice to have.

They put in long hours both at work and at home, but do realize they must be there for their kid(s) as much as possible, and really do try their best on that.

A Father can answer any question, most of the time without having to look it up on Google!

A Father can always fight the powers of darkness by keeping all flashlights charged and the electric bill paid.

No matter how old that person is, their life starts anew upon becoming a Father.

But more importantly, it's the role you have within your child's life.
As long as you're there and doing the best you can, you will always hear those magical words:

AtP and WD.
The Sunday Funnies will return next weekend. Have a great week everybody!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

THE WEEK IN REVIEW: JUNE 14-20, 2015

JUNE 20th IS: WORLD REFUGEE DAY, INTERNATIONAL SURFING DAY, CHINA'S ANNUAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL, ARGENTINA'S FLAG DAY, AND NATIONAL ANTI-FAMINE DAY IN IRELAND.
JUNE 21st IS FATHERS' DAY IN AMERICA & OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.

AMONGST EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD THIS PAST WEEK...
*Although a rough draft was somehow leaked prematurely, Pope Francis this week released the Papal Encyclical (letter) Laudato si' (Praise Be To You) featuring the position that climate change IS man made and unnatural in nature, while calling for action to correct the problems and improve the environment.
*The International Criminal Court investigating the war in Darfur has yet to locate Sudan President Omar al-Bashir, who has already fled the country.
*The MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak continues in South Korea, with 164 confirmed cases and 24 dead.
*Japan will soon lower its voting age from 20 to 18.
*The United Nations has revealed that North Korea is fighting its worst water drought in 100 years.

TERRIBLE TERRORIST ACTIVITIES...
*A combined effort between Kurdish YPG forces and the Free Syria Army has resulted in capturing the ISIS/ISIL stronghold at Tell Abyad and freeing the town.
*A Boko Haram suicide squad attacked police headquarters and training centers in N'Djamena, Chad; with 23 dead and over 100 injured. Meanwhile, an attack on two villages in Niger has left 38 dead.

PASSING PARADE...
*The victims of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting: DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, State Senator Clementa Pinchkey, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.
*Author Hilary Masters (The Common Pasture, Elegy for Sam Emerson) is no longer with us.
*Blaze Starr, noted burlesque performer, has taken her final bow on life's stage.
*Sam McClain, noted soul/blues singer, has passed away.
*Jack Rollins, film producer (The Purple Rose of Cairo, Midnight in Paris) is gone.

WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
POLITICALLY...
*The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all artificial trans fatty acids be removed from food by 2018.
*Jeb Bush has officially declared his campaign to become the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee, now that he has legally raised all the campaign money he could as a private citizen before entering the race.
*It should come as no surprise to anyone that Donald Trump has announced his hopes to become the 2016 Republican Presidential nominee, but his campaign has already received some bad publicity between the accusation that actors were hired to fill out the crowd at the initial announcement and the fact that Neil Young has told Trump he cannot use any of Young's music, since Neil is a Democrat supporting Bernie Sanders. Trump has since denied the actors' claim, and said his campaign had licensed the music rights, but will not be using any more Neil Young tunes.
*Hawaii will raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 effective January 1, 2016.
*Alexander Hamilton will be replaced on the $10 bill by a woman, although who will have that honor hasn't been decided yet.
*Texas Governor George Abbot, still concerned about a potential hostile takeover of his state by American authorities, has decided to pull all Texas funds out of federal banks and redeposit it within a Texas state bank.
ELSEWHERE...
*A lone gunman opened fire in front of a Charleston, South Carolina church; killing 9 people (including a state Senator). Authorities have already declared it a racist hate crime, with the shooter in custody. While those who have lost loved ones mourn, the ongoing gun control debate between the National Rifle Association and citizens concerned about senseless violence like this flares up once more.
*Rachael Dolezal is no longer president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People after it was discovered she is actually white and not African American.
*The GAP, Inc. has announced the closing of 175 stores and the elimination of 250 corporate jobs as part of a financial restructuring plan.
*Office Depot (after already buying Office Max) has tentatively agreed to be purchased by Staples.
*Every Target Department store pharmacy will soon become part of CVS Health.
*NBC has confirmed that Brian Williams will return to active duty at some point this fall. While his specific role has yet to be decided, it will not be as an anchorman.
*The Golden State Warriors have defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 4 games to 2 to win the 2015 National Basketball Association Finals.
*The Chicago Blackhawks have defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4 games to 2 to win the 2015 Stanley Cup title of professional ice hockey.

For more news at any time, either scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen, or visit any other reputable news source.

THE PUZZLE CORNER: JUNE 20, 2015

FUN FACT
The average house fly lives for only one month at most, but boy; can they be a nuisance!

It's the Fathers' Day weekend here in the United States and other parts of the world, so today's Puzzle Corner salutes dear old Dad.


TRIVIA TIME
Who came up with the idea of Fathers' Day?

THE LETTER SHUFFLE
How many new words can you find within the letters that spell FATHERS?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open up THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of the June 13th, 2015 Puzzle Corner.

RHYME TIME: NEW PUZZLE!
We'll give you a clue to something, but no matter how long your answer is, every word within it must rhyme. Ready?

What frozen water costs.  = Ice Price.

THE 50/50 CHANCE
Just like a regular TRIVIA TIME question, but there are only two possible answers, hence the even odds of getting it right. Ready?

Ducks have 4 eyelids.
FALSE! They only have 3 (per eye).

Monday, June 15, 2015

A CHAT WITH AUTHOR LISA M. COLLINS

Today, THE FREE CHOICE E-ZINE chats with author Lisa M. Collins about her new book: the Kindle release of The House Bast Made, available at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZEDG0G6/
But first, who IS Lisa M. Collins?
Lisa M. Collins
LISA M. COLLINS: I've been pretty busy of late. I've been published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. I've done copy editing and research for Understanding Global Slavery by University of California Press. I'm currently an editor for Metahuman Press, a member of the Pen and Cape Society, and having stories coming up from Pro Se Productions and Mechanoid Press.

TFCE: So, what is The House Bast Made all about?
LISA: The novel is an adventure where a young archaeologist learns myths need not be fairy tales. The story finds our adventurer, REID CANNON, on an archeology dig near the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Reid and his crew discover friendship and doing the right thing is more important than professional gain. A prequel story is (tentatively) scheduled for inclusion in an anthology this fall, and I'm at work on Reid's next adventure, where he will be traveling to South America!

TFCE: So, it seems like your work currently resides in the genre of speculative fiction?
LISA: Yes, because in this genre I can write a love story, a mystery, a court drama, or anything really, and then add all the futuristic and fantastical elements that excite my imagination. The main thing I like about that freedom is my stories do not have to be bound to what society calls real life. I can be as audacious or daring as I want!

TFCE: What inspires you to write?
LISA: There are tons of books out there about real life or some snazzier version of real life. I read books, watch movies, and play video games to escape reality. I want to see new worlds, meet new types of people, to “boldly go where no one has gone before!” I want adventure and excitement, not day-to-day fiction based on everyday life. I know that there are other readers out there who feel the same way I do. I write for them. I write so that maybe for a few hours out of the day my readers can relax and feel the wonders of the universe—to see something new that sparks joy in their soul.

TFCE: Over time, have you noticed any influences on your writing style and technique?
LISA: I have been lucky as a writer to know many authors both indie and traditionally published. The advice and classes I’ve taken from these authors have helped me develop a style using action and succinctness. I’m not one to have filler to pad my word count. I would rather write a novella or short story with meaning and action than a novel full of pages people skim.

TFCE: What would be your dream project?
LISA: To receive a multi-book deal from TOR for my science fiction, because they are renowned world over as the most successful science fiction and fantasy publisher. For the last 20 years they have dominated Locus Awards as best SF publisher—to be published by TOR means a writer has reached the pinnacle of the genre.

TFCE: Where do you see yourself within the next few years?
LISA: In the next five years I plan to move from a part time writer to a full time author. I have a mission statement:
To take the reader on a thought provoking journey to new and distant worlds through my stories.
To improve my craft with each story. Books come first!
To create a large body of work that reaches a substantial percentage of readers.
To encourage other writers I meet along my path.

I was very fortunate to win a Sally A. Williams Writing Grant from the Arkansas Arts Council, which in turn led to my short story “The Tree of Life” being published in the fourth issue of Foothold magazine's 2013-2014 anthology. I hope to give back to the genre I love not only creatively, but supportively as well.

TFCE: I know what your contribution to Mechanoid Press is, for that anthology should be out by this fall. So, if you were a superhero, what would your superpower(s) be and why?
LISA: I would want teleportation akin to Marvel Comics' Nightcrawler. Why? No doorway or physical place would be off limits to me.

TFCE: Are there any other projects on the horizon you would like to promote?
LISA: I am a foodie… not a food snob… but I like the vittles. My favorite thing right now is roast chicken, which I make in a slow cooker. I have a great selection of recipes and directions on how to slow cook a whole chicken in my second cookbook. It is called Five Slow Cooker Recipes Every Southern Cook Should Master, and it is available on Amazon for Kindle along with books 1 & 3. http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-M.-Collins/e/B00PPV5QYO/ 

TFCE: Well, I'm afraid we're reaching the bottom of this post. It's been fun chatting with you Lisa.
LISA: Before I go, I would just like to take the opportunity to thank The Free Choice E-zine and Lee Houston Jr. for the opportunity to be on site today. I enjoyed hanging out with your readers and hope they will drop by my website or Amazon for a copy of THE HOUSE BAST MADE. I hope you all enjoy the story as much as I had fun writing Reid Cannon into existence.

Lisa M. Collins is all over the Internet. Amongst her links are:
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-M.-Collins/e/B00PPV5QYO/
Twitter http://twitter.com/coolvstar650 
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lisaauthor 
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisacollins
Pinterest http://pinterest.com/coolvstar650/ 
Google+ http://google.com/+LisaMCollins/posts Instagram http://instagram.com/coolvstar650
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/lisa-matthews-collins 
Pen and Cape Society: http://penandcapesociety.com/lisa-m-collins/ 
For exclusive content and specials check out her newsletter: http://wordpress.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=278e3f25f955d9e98afa61a9e&id=05f57a9e09
Wookiees for Cookies Racing Team https://wookieesforcookies.wordpress.com/ 
For Deep Fried Dixie Goodness follow Lisa as Tea and Cornbread https://twitter.com/teaandcornbread https://www.facebook.com/teaandcornbread 
And at the Tea and Cornbread blog http://teaandcornbread.wordpress.com/