Monday, September 29, 2008


For those that as of sundown this evening will be observing Rosh Hashanah and the forthcoming Yom Kippur, may the forthcoming year be even better than the last.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


As Americans ponder what course the nation will take in the coming months, Free Choice e-zine reader Roger Stegman sent me the following image to "give us some indication of where we might be at the moment."
If you would like to contribute to the Free Choice e-zine, just leave a comment here or e-mail me at

Meanwhile, here's Ms. Waxy Dragon with this week's travel themed "jokes".

If all the automobiles in this country were pink, would that make us a pink car nation?

If everyone has such trouble folding up a road map after they've used it, how do the publishers ever manage to fold it up to begin with?

If a spider owned a car would he take it out for a spin?

And finally: WHY do they call it rush hour when nothing moves that fast on the freeway?

See you next week folks for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


And now, let us kick back, relax, and contemplate this week's enigmas.

It sounds a lot worse than it is, but what is hexadectylism?

In honor of Paul Newman, can you name his movies that have been summarized differently than their actual titles?
1. A Bee attack
2. Departure
3. Award
4. Court Decision
5. Sunset

The answers will appear next week, just like the ones for the week of September 20th appear below.

In Post Office, one will find, alphabetically...
Aft, Cope(s), Copse, Fist, Foist, I, Ice, If, Is, It, It’s, Its, Off, Office(s), Oft, Opt(s), Optic(s), Poise, Post, Pot(s), Scoff, Scoop, Scoot, Scope, Sit, Soft, Spice, Spiff, Spite, Spoof, Spot, Staff, Stoic, Stoop, Stop, Stop, Tic(s), Tie(s), Tip(s), Tis, Top(s), and Topic(s).
Plural(s) are noted accordingly, and other words besides the 52 listed above are possible.

That Time And Relative Dimemsions In Space traveller Doctor Who has been to Castrovalva and explored the Pyramids of Mars, amongst a plethora of other adventures.

PAUL NEWMAN: 1925-2008

It is my sad duty to report that Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe winning actor Paul Newman passed away after a private fight against cancer.
The actor of stage of screen is remembered for such classic films as The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Slap Shot, amongst a host of others.
His motion picture debut was 1954's The Silver Chalice, while unfortunately his last was providing the narrtation for the documentary Dale in 2007.
But while the actor has also directed and/or produced a number of works over the course of his professional career, Newman is also widely known for his philanthropic work, establishing the Hole In The Wall Gang summer camps for seriously ill children, the Scott Newman Center for drug abuse prevention, and the Newman's Own organization, producing various food products that after taxes, donates the "profits" to various charities.
Paul Newman is survived by his wife of fifty years, actress Joanne Woodward and children.


The Internet search engine Google is celebrating its tenth anniversary!
Founded in 1998 by Stanford University students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the organization is known for their vast applications and services within the Communications industry, although some may be more familiar with their ever altering logo, depending upon events of the day.


There has been a lot happening of late on the political scene, so the following is a brief recap of events thus far.

Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday night, but bowed out of the taping, citing that it was more important to be in Washington as the discussion over the big bailout continues.
However, what was he doing talking live to Katie Curic on The CBS Evening News in the studio across the street from where The Late Show tapes at the same time he could not appear on Letterman's show?

Both McCain and Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama met Friday night in the first of three scheduled debates. But until late Friday afternoon, there was a strong possiblity that McCain, citing basically the same reason(s) for not appearing on the Letterman show, might not appear.
The candidates discussed foreign policy as it applies to America both domestically and internationally.
While some analysists feel that McCain was just parroting Obama, even to the point of copying his "America needs change" position, other pundits feel that Obama did not take command of the debate as he should have, and let McCain "run" things.
There are two more debates planned between Obama and McCain covering other issues, and one between the Vice-Presidential running mates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin scheduled for the month of October.

Meanwhile, discussions on the estimated 700 BILLION (United States) dollars bailout of financial institutions continues apace, with the finer details of such a measure the main points to be worked out.

While the Free Choice e-zine tries to stay neutral when covering situations such as this, comments are welcomed, regardless of political viewpoint(s), provided they follow the guidelines posted on the right hand side of our front page.
The staff and management of this e-zine urges everyone to be aware of the political scene and take stock of what is happening in the world around them.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I ain't lion.
Amongst all the stories to be reported since Hurricane Ike's passing is one about how a lioness took refuge with others in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Beach, Texas.
Michael Ray Kujawa was caught in the flooding as Ike came ashore and sought shelter with the lioness at the church.
Those already using the church for shelter from the storm gave Shackle the lioness a wide berth after locking her in the church's sanctuary. Despite her presence in the building, Shackles in turn miraclously did nothing to bother the humans around her. Kujawa theorizes that it was her fear of the hurricane that kept her docile during their stay.
But while the lioness has gone on to her temporary(?) new home, officials of an exotic animal exhibit at this time are still unable to account for their missing tiger.

Meanwhile, here is Ms. Waxy Dragon with some hopefully funny animal jokes.

Is it true animals are lousy dancers because they have two left feet?

When a duck charges a purchase, do they just put it on their bill?

And finally:
Why did the cowboy buy a dachshund?
Because somebody told him to get a long little doggie!


In Houston:
Area schools will hopefully reopen on Monday.
Phone service has been restored, the Houston Chronicle newspaper has resumed residential delivery, but most of the city and the surrounding area is still without electricity.

In Galveston:
Local residents expect to be let back on to the island this Wednesday: September 24th, but will be under a dusk to dawn curfew.
Although utilities have yet to be restored, one area hospital has managed to reopen.
Most residents who had beach front property will probably not be allowed to rebuild as the state will have to rezone the affected areas to adjust for the erosion caused by Hurricane Ike.

If you can: PLEASE give to the American Red Cross to help those less fortunate than yourself.


Another weekend and more conundrums....

Okay folks, let's play post office. No, not that way! Just contemplate how many words you can form just using the letters in the words POST OFFICE.

What famous adventurer has been to Castrovalva and explored the Pyramids of Mars?

The answers will appear at the bottom of next week's Puzzle Corner.
And now, here are the resolutions of last week's installment of this feature...

Group 1. {Lois Lane (and) Della Street}
Both surnames are travel routes.
Group 2. {Tommy by The Who (and) You Don't Mess Around With Jim by Jim Croce}
Both title characters have the surname Walker.

In 1967, THE MONKEES sold the most records, beating both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have been in contact with family and friends back in the Houston area, and the following are their first hand comments in regards to the current state of affairs in Texas.

Electrical power has yet to be restored to their residential area(s) and phone service, including cells, is sporadic.
Food retailers are just now starting to reopen, although there are limitations on both supplies and personnel, so long lines are expected at local grocery stores.
Local schools were tenatively scheduled to reopen Thursday, but as I post this report, there has been no official word of this occurring as scheduled, mostly due to the lack of electrical service.
Cleanup proceeds apace, with anything north of downtown Houston experiencing mostly broken windows, damage from fallen trees, and debris from street flooding.

The death toll from Hurricane Ike is standing at 51 as of 4pm Eastern Daylight Time September 17th, 2008. The majority of these lost are being attributed to those not heeding the evacuation warnings and staying within the affected areas, especially in Galveston and along the Texas coastline.

I have lived in Texas for the first 44 years of my young life, and I can tell everyone from first hand experience that a hurricane is nothing to take chances with.
The Gulf Coast has been "spared" so far this year, with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike not being as strong as predicted/feared when they made land fall; and the state of Texas itself has not been the target of a major storm for a mighty long time, which might be the reason a lot of people decided to hunker down in their personal residences and "ride the storm out".
However, as the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina and others have shown, this is NOT a good idea!

PLEASE! When warned to evacuate because of an approaching hurricane: DO SO!

News, Editorial Commentary, and a Public Service message courtsey of the Free Choice e-zine.


Dear Readers:
May I offer my humblest apologies for not being able to post this week's installment of the Sunday Funnies.
Unfortunately, because of Hurricane Ike, I have only recently been able to reestablish contact with the avid Internet user that posts as Ms. Waxy Dragon, amongst other avatars.
Everything is about as all right as can be on their end post hurricane, and the Sunday Funnies WILL return this coming weekend.
Until then...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The eye of the category 2 hurricane officially made landfall on Galveston Island in the wee hours of Saturday morning, before following a similar path taken by Hurricane Alicia in 1984 by moving up Interstate 45 northward and ravaging the mainland on its way to Houston, Texas.
According to friends and family that I finally managed to contact late this afternoon, they are still without regular phone service or electricity at this time although at least cell phone service has been restored. While Southwestern Bell had no immediate estimate on the restoration of land lines for phone calls, Reliant Energy was saying it could be as late as the end of September to restore electricity to everyone affected.
Severe street flood is common, especially in areas where the roads are now of lower elevations from redevelopment over the last decade. Water levels are expected to crest in most areas by Sunday with drainage proceeding accordingly.
Downtown Houston and other parts of the city report lots of broken window panes from damaged skyscrapers. There is not a current estimate available for the conclusion of cleanup operations.
Relief and rescue efforts are underway for those in need and President Bush has declared the affected areas a disaster area, paving the way for state and federal aid to become available.

More on this when details become available.


Another week has come and gone, and while our collective hearts go out to those in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, let's pause for a few moments of stress free conundrums.

The contents of each set have something in common. The question is: "What?"
Group 1. {Lois Lane (and) Della Street}
Group 2. {Tommy by The Who (and) You Don't Mess Around With Jim by Jim Croce}

In 1967, what musical act sold the most records?

The answers will appear next week in place of the results of our Puzzle Corner from September 6th, 2008.

Although more commonly known as the Peanuts theme, Vince Guaraldi's memorable tune is officially entitled "Linus and Lucy".

The two five letter words within the ten letter words are:
1. Vaudeville= Devil (and) Value
2. Receptacle= Cleat (and) Creep.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Hurrican Ike is currently a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds over 100mph.
Evacuations are already underway as forecasters fear Ike regaining category 3 status with a projected landfall currently estimated between Port Lavaca and Galveston Island sometime Saturday.
Regardless of its actual landfall site and time, the city of Houston and the surrounding area will be on the "dirty" side of the storm and is expecting fierce winds and rain. All schools are closed with a projected reopenning of Monday morning and except for emergency supply retailers and emergency services, most businesses are closed.

The Free Choice e-zine urges anyone currently or potentially along the hurricane's path to take ALL necessary precautions!

More on this situation as the story develops.


The scars are still relatively fresh for most with some direct link to that fateful morning seven years ago.
The fallen are remembered. The heroes honored, and in time hopefully ALL the villains involved will be punished.
While this is something that will never, and should never be fogotten, let us hope in time that the old adage about "time heals all wounds" proves true.

An Editorial Commentary...

Sunday, September 7, 2008


In this regular feature, the Free Choice e-zine presents stories featuring the lighter side of the news, if not human interest stories or commentary about something happenning within the realm of the comic strips, comic books, animation, or some other related media.
However, I unfortunately have no story of that nature to post this week, so we shall move on and give the rest of this missive to our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon who always concludes each column by telling a few (hopefully) funny jokes.

Hello everybody.Waxy Dragon Most people believe me to be one amongst many avatars of an avid Internet user. I am a three-year old baby dragon who loves chocolate. I just flew in to tell a few jokes and boy are my wings tired!
I love to fly. Being a dragon, think of all the money I save on airfare! And I'm always on time, unless I stop somewhere for a chocolate break, which is one reason why I'm no longer allowed in Hershey, Pennsylvania. *sigh* :(
Sometimes I wonder if “air traffic control” is just a game with no rules that nobody knows how to play, but the goal always seems to be keeping flights from arriving in time for passengers to make connecting flights.

I knew of an airline that was so bad at losing your luggage that they hung mistletoe over the baggage check-in area so you could kiss your luggage goodbye.

There once was a fashion designer who refused to fly because he thought the airline vehicles were plain.

Did you hear about the inexperienced pilot who wanted to go to flight school? If he ever finds the airport…

Well, that's it for this week folks.
Yeah, NOW you applaud.
I'll be back for next week's installment of The Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Hello and welcome to the first of your FREE CHOICE e-zine's existing features: the PUZZLE CORNER!
Every Saturday there will be a couple of conundrums posted to stretch your intelligence and give your brain a brief mental workout.
Although being unable to post interactive grids prevents us from presenting the more popular favorites such as crossword puzzles and sudokus, that doesn't mean we can't have some fun.
So without further adieu...

Everyone should be familiar with the Vince Guaraldi composition commonly known as the Peanuts theme. But what is the actual title of this song?

Within the following ten letter words are two five letter words. What are they?
1. Vaudeville
2. Receptacle

The answers will appear at the bottom of next week's THE PUZZLE CORNER.


A political analysis by Editor-In-Chief: News Lee Houston, Junior

On Thursday night, Senator John McCain officially accepted the Republican Party nomination to run for President of the United States with Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice-Presidential running mate.
During his acceptance speech, which was short on specifics, McCain said that he, not the Democratic Presidential candidate Barak Obama, was the instrument/symbol of (positive) change that this country needed for the future, while apparently distancing himself from the current administration by never once mentioning current President George W. Bush by name.
There were several times in his address when McCain referenced his past military service during the Viet Nam war. It should be noted that while the Republican candidate has every right to be proud of his service record, the day has arrived in this country that not every candidate for a (major) office has served within the United States military, and that depending upon the reason why, is not something that can be held against them.

A report on Barak Obama's acceptance speech can be found at our alternate site: and the Free Choice e-zine's next political analysis will be of the Vice Presidental candidates.
MEANWHILE: Don't forget to vote in regards to what editorial direction you feel the Free Choice should choose in this heated Presidential election year.
After all, this IS YOUR e-zine. I just "work" here.-lhjr.

Friday, September 5, 2008


The first hour of prime time television between three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) will be devoted to a simulcast of a heart felt celebrity driven plea to Stand Up To Cancer!
Cancer is a disease that affects at least one person in every family not only in the United States of America, but world wide.
I personally lost my own maternal grandmother to it.
I'm not going to stand on a soap box and shout to the crowd in hopes that someone might listen, for that has been done before as well. Although I am scratching my head wondering why just one lone hour amongst three networks. Why FOX, the CW, and others are not participating is beyond me.
But if you can, please give to this worth cause in hopes of eventually finding a cure.
There is enough disease, death, and destruction in this world as it is.

A public service announcement of The Free Choice e-zine. -