Sunday, November 30, 2008


On November 24th of this past week, the comic strip Gasoline Alley celebrated its 90th anniversary.
Under creator Frank King, the strip began on that date in 1918 as part of a Sunday feature in the Chicago Tribune called The Rectangle, a weekly collection of one panel cartoons. In time, Gasoline Alley became popular enough to stand on its own.
This award winning comic is noted for being the first to acknowledge the passage of time and aging its characters accordingly, although not every story sequence has dealt with cars or their maintance. King continued producing the strip until his assistant Bill Perry took over the Sunday edition and Dick Moores assumed responsiblity for the dailys in the 1950s. Moores' former assistant Jim Scancarelli has produced both editions since 1986.

And in honor of Gasoline Alley's anniversary, our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon, the 3 year old baby dragon avatar that is one amongst many of a very avid Internet surfer, has provided us some appropriately themed jokes.

Any time you see a young man open a car door for his girlfriend, either the car is new or the girlfriend is.

Where do dogs leave their cars? In the barking lot!

What happened when the frog’s car broke down? It got toad away!

When is a car not a car? When it turns into a garage.

Sign at car mechanic: Bring your car to us. You'll never go anywhere else!

And finally...
What kind of car does Luke Skywalker drive? A Toy-Yoda!

See you next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This may be a holiday weekend, but did you really think you could escape The Puzzle Corner?

What do the items in each of the following groups have in common?
1. {Teri Hatcher, Erica Durance}
2. {Rollie Bester, Patricia Marand}

This is a brand new feature joining our puzzle rotation!
Just study the image and see if you can figure out what it represents.
And of course, the answers will appear next weekend, just like the ones from November 22nd are now.

1. (Quote) + (Linen) = Ineloquent
2. (Offer) + (Heart) = Forefather

It sounds worse than it actually is, but Hexadectylism is just the scientific term for having extra fingers and/or toes.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The term comes not from some politically incorrect reference, but has acquired a double meaning over the years. Some believe it is derived from the fact that it is still well before dawn on the Friday after Thanksgiving when some stores open way before their normally scheduled hours in hopes of acquiring extra revenue from holiday shoppers. Others believe the designation is because this is the one day that is a guaranteed success for retailers. A chance to be "in the black", or profitable, from an accounting perspective.
Some stores are advertising that they will be open as early as 4 a.m., with potential customers already camped out on their doorsteps in hopes of getting some good bargains.
Yet those people are standing outside braving the late night/pre-dawn weather voluntarily. Imagine what time the employees scheduled to open that morning have to be there!
In any event, I wish those either brave or foolhardy enough to venture out the best of luck, but please remember to be polite to each other. There were some bad incidents reported last year concerning the abundance of customers versus the limited quantities of selected items at various retail locations.

As for myself, I will be warm and snug in my bed fast asleep.
I'll leave it up to you, the reader, to decide who is following the wiser course of action.


A safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers!
But amongst the food, sporting events, and planning the holiday shopping, please remember to at least take a moment to think about just what you are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The following is a news report with editorial commentary afterwards.

Because the Fox network and 4Kids Entertainment are unable to work out a contractual dispute about revenues stemming from how many stations are or are not carrying the current Saturday morning animated programming that 4KE provides, Fox has decided to end their business relationship with the children's entertainment supplier and cancel their Saturday morning programming affected January 2009.
While no replacement programming has been officially announced, a statement from the Fox network representative leaves most to believe that Saturday mornings will become a gigantic block of infomercials both on the national and local station level.

Now I have never hidden the fact that I am a fan of the animation genre. Granted, I am watching no where near as much as I used to in my much younger years because most people consider the art form "just for kids" and create such shows accordingly, but I seriously think that this development is a huge step in a growing trend that needs to be addressed.
The major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) used to program their entire Saturday morning air time block towards the younger viewers. Even before the content of these shows became more educational than adventurous, the networks still provided good wholesome entertainment.

But things have changed.
Now the Big Three, as they are collectively known, all present weekend editions of their daily morning news programs (Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and Today respectively) and allow the affiliates to present local versions of the same, before using the remaining airtime of Saturday mornings for children's programming.
And then they wonder why their ratings and ad revenues for this part of their overall schedule are not what they used to be.

Granted, there are now a lot more options (The WB/CW on Saturday mornings, Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network, etc.) for the younger viewers and their parents than there used to be, but just because other competitors have entered the competition doesn't mean that one should just quit playing.
NBC is now presenting children's programming from the Discovery Channel, while the other two re-air shows from the affiliated networks of their respective owners (CBS/Paramount: Nickelodeon of Viacom, ABC: Disney Channel).

Not only do children need educational programming and entertaining shows, they also need variety!
While no one can or should spend all their free time watching television, if the number of options when the viewers do want to watch dwindle down to just a select few who always show the same types of series over and over again, then children and their parents will tune out even more than they are now from "the Big Three" networks; and for an industry that lives and dies by audience ratings and ad revenues, that is certainly not a good thing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Today is momumental anniversary within the annals of the science-fiction genre. The longest running SF television program, Doctor Who, is 45 years old today.
But this historic anniversary almost never came to pass.
When originally scheduled to air on Saturday November 23rd, 1963; England's BBC Television seriously delayed broadcasting the first episode (part one to the first adventure: "An Unearthly Child", starring the late William Hartnell as the Doctor) because of all the news coverage surrounding the assassination of then President John F. Kennedy the day before.
But supporters of the program within the network's administration reshowed the first episode the following Saturday at its regular time, and the rest as they say, is history.
Yet because of this, some have linked the two events together even to the point of creating a non-canonical fan fiction whereupon the Doctor investigates the assassination. More information upon this subject can be found at:

But the story of what at first was apparently an eccentric grandfather who just happened to have invented a working, if not completely functional, time machine has grown to include vast cultures, numerous adventures, and a plausible explaination for other actors to assume the role, starting when William Hartnell took ill and had to step down.

For more information on the program itself, you can visit and while there, visit to take a closer look at the genesis of this great program.


This past week, the Disney Studios celebrated the 80th anniversary of Mickey Mouse starring within Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon complete with voices, sound effects, and music.
While a monumental event when it first debuted on November 18th, 1928; somehow over the years this cartoon has become designated as Mickey and Minne Mouse's "birth" day/anniversary premiere.
But it should be noted that two previous Mickey Mouse cartoons were produced and shown as silent features PRIOR to Steamboat Willie 's release.
Plane Crazy, with Mickey dreaming of being an aviator like Charles Lindbergh, was released on May 15th of that year and is the true first animated feature starring what has become the Disney Studios' spokes-character, while The Gallopin' Gaucho was released on August 7th, 1928. Both were later re-released after Steamboat Willie with soundtrack of their own.
Yet while how, let alone why, this mistake was made and persists over the decades since can be debated, there is no denying that Mickey and Company have certainly done their best to entertain numerous generations in the years since.

Meanwhile, here is our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon with this week's jokes...

Is Good Mousekeeping a cat's favorite magazine?

My uncle the genetics scientist tried crossing a mouse with an elephant, but all he got was something that left great big holes in the wall.

What is small, furry, and brilliant at sword fights? A mouseketeer!

And on that note... "M-I-C, see you real soon." Next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It was upon this date exactly 45 years ago that we lost then President John F. Kennedy to an assassin's bullet.
It does surprise me that even today, some speculation still remains as to whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin or the patsy in an even bigger scheme.
Unfortunately we may never know the final answer to this enigma to everyone's satisifaction, but the loss to the United States and the world at that time will never be forgotten.


Another weekend, and another chance to kick back and exercise our mental muscles a bit.

It sounds worse that it actually is, but what is hexadectylism?

Combine each of the words below to make a bigger word out of their letters.
1. (Quote) + (Linen) = ?
2. (Offer) + (Heart) = ?

The answers will appear at the bottom of next weekend's Puzzle Corner.
And now here are the ones from November 15th's conundrums.

What is at the beginning of eternity
The end of time and space
The beginning of every end
And at the end of every place?

The letter E!

All the letters within the subset {B, C, D, G, I, J, K, O, P, Q, R, T, U, V, Y} sound like words!

B= be, bee, Bea (a lady's name); C= sea, see; D= Dee (a lady's nickname); G= gee, as in gee whiz!; I= eye; J= Jay as in either blue jay or a man's name; K= Kay, a lady's name; O= oh; R= are; T= tea, tee; U= you; V= vee, a type of intersection; and Y as in why not?


Automakers are applying for financial assistance from the United States government akin to other recent bailouts that Congress has overseen.
Now I am not against saving them, along with other major industries, but you would think that the representatives who appeared before a Congressional committee earlier this week to state their case would have known better than to each fly to Washington in their individual private jets!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ANOTHER FALL by Nancy A. Hansen

Amongst the objectives of this e-zine is to bring you features that other news sources do not.
To that end, here is a poem written, submitted, and (c) by Nancy A. Hansen.


Come fall, come frost
When summer bows her head
To the inevitable
And the fading flowers
Adorning her dress
In every field and roadside
Looking tattered
And timeworn
In sepia tones
Wan and well-aged
They speak of endings
But to brighten my mood
The trees color up
Crimson and ocher
Scarlet and gold
Nut brown and raw sienna
One last fling
Before they drift down
To carpet the grass
In Persian splendor
Squirrels now hustle
Along stone walls
Cheek pouches bulging
With spring’s largesse
Now autumn’s harvest
And crickets chirp
Long into the dusk
My symphony for free
I will walk a ways
To feel the sun still
Warm on my back
Through a sweater
That keeps out the chill
While the wind stirs
Whirlwinds of leaves
Dancing down the road
Ahead of me
The promise of winter
Is in its bite
I care not
If the evenings are cold
And the daylight shorter
For the apples are sweet
And the pumpkins plump
And orange
On rotting vines
In all the fields
Fall is welcome
Here in the country
It is time for rest
And restlessness
As birds flock away
And deer bolt by
And geese cry in the night
In chevron flight
That the frost is coming
That the cold is near
How bitter, yet how sweet
Is this time of year
To savor
For one who
Loves the
Change of seasons

If you would like to submit a poem or something else for this e-zine to consider for publication, feel free to contact me at

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Would you believe...

That a town in Turkey is trying to sue the Dark Knight?
Mayor Hüseyin Kalkan of Batman, Turkey (yes, that is a real place, check it out for yourself here:,_Turkey) has started looking into the possibility of legal proceedings against Warner Brother Pictures and Christopher Nolan over "improper" use of the town's name between the recent movies Batman Begins and Batman: The Dark Knight.
Now personally, I am not an attorney, so someone more versed in the law than myself will have to decide whether or not the town's case has any merit; but even if I was not a long time comic book fan, I do wonder why such a long delay before investigating legal options? Is anyone involved with this situation unaware that Batman began within the pages of Detective Comics' 27th issue way back in 1938?

Meanwhile, our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon (one of many avatars for an avid Internet user) has provided us with some legal themed jokes this week.

What did the judge say when a skunk walked in to the courtroom? Odor in the court.

A man visiting a graveyard saw a tombstone that read: “Here lies John Smith, a lawyer and an honest man.” “How about that!” he exclaimed. “They’ve got three people buried in one grave.”

Why did the dog go to court? Because he got a barking ticket!

And finally...

A defendant appearing in court asked about the judge's odd behavior.
'Your honor, why do you keep leaping up and down?'
The judge said, 'Why do you think? It's a kangaroo court.'

See you next week for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


It's another weekend, and since bad weather is keeping most of us indoors anyway, here are some conundrums to keep you company.

What is at the beginning of eternity
The end of time and space
The beginning of every end
And at the end of every place?

The members of the following group all have something in common.
What is it?
{B, C, D, G, I, J, K, O, P, Q, R, T, U, V, Y}

The answers will be revealed next weekend, just like November 8th's are now.

On the TV show Punky Brewster, the title character's legal first name was Penelope.

Take the last name of a famous poet: John KEATS
and you also acquire a vampire killer: STAKE
a means of seizure: TAKES
a piece of sporting equipment: SKATE
and a hearty meal: STEAK

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today has been set aside to annually honor the men and woman who currently are or have served, and at times died, defending this country.
One day is definitely not enough, but the recognition bestowed upon them today has been more than well earned.
While some do not always agree with the circumstances of events that these brave people are sent into, there is no denying their courage and dedication to what they believe in not only on behalf of defending the United States of America, but everyone around the world who has ever felt the threat of evil's shadow being cast upon them.
The Free Choice e-zine takes this moment to not only remember and honor the men and women who have or are currently serving within the Armed Forces of the United States, but also those within the military units of the United Nations and its allies, defending those truths that we all hold dear: the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


DEAR READERS: Ms. Waxy Dragon is unavailable this weekend, so alas there will not be any Sunday Funnies tomorrow. Our most sincerest apologies for any inconvenience.

Meanwhile, it's a new weekend, and that means new puzzles, so let's get right to it!

The title character of this television series hated her legal first name and insisted on being called Punky Brewster instead. But what was her legal first name?

Start with:
1. A famous poet
Then rearrange the letters in his last name to also find:
2. A vampire killer
3. A means of seizure
4. A piece of sporting equipment, and
5. A hearty meal.

The answers will appear at the end of next week's Puzzle Corner like the answers for November 1st appear now.

Believe it or not, that rascally rabbit HAS had a bowl of Trix, twice!
As a result of campaigns concurrent with the 1976 and 1980 Presidential elections, kids got to vote on the issue of whether or not to grant the rabbit a bowl of Trix.
After winning in 1976, the rabbit greedily gulped down his bowl, but then was told any more bowls were depended upon the results of the next election, with the rabbit resuming his on going quest to acquire more the way he had in previous commercials up to that point in time.
But in 1980, the children of the day were nice enough to reward the rabbit with a second bowl of the cereal.
However the issue has not come up for another vote, and the rabbit has been unsuccessful in every commercial since to acquire more.
And for the record, the rabbit has NEVER been given a formal name!

In the sequence 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, ___?
The next number would be 34, for each number comes from adding the previous two together.
1 + 2 = 3
2 + 3 = 5
3 + 5 = 8
5 + 8 = 13
8 + 13 = 21, so 13 + 21 = 34.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The following is an editorial.

Dear Reader:

I’m sure everyone knows by now who won the 2008 Presidential Election.
But I have remained silent on the outcome not because I disagree with the results, but because I wanted the time to try and judge everyone’s initial reactions to Barack Obama being elected the 44th President of the United States as objectively as possible.

To say that there is mixed reaction would be an understatement.

While others have joked and speculated upon such events as the Inauguration parties and what breed the “first puppy” will be; President-elect Obama and his future Vice-President Joe Biden are already hard at work on the preparations necessary for the transition between administrations come January 2009, and are serious about addressing and trying to solve all the problems that this country faces.
Rahm Emanuel has already been selected as the future White House Chief of Staff, and other appointments and announcements can be followed at as they occur.
If you want to, you can even voice your opinion and suggestions about the future of this country at this website!
(As an aside, it must be noted that while it is doubtful that he is doing all the IT work himself, Barack Obama is definitely the most Internet savvy President elected to date.)

But the Republicans and their supporters?
I personally have overheard one lady comment that ‘Washington will look like Bagdad within six months!’ Meanwhile in the news: a volunteer teacher’s assistant at a Connecticut elementary school has already been censored for discussing the possibilities of Obama being assassinated with a group of second graders!
Do I really have to tell anyone how badly these comments make us look?

Let’s be serious here folks.
This election saw the highest voter turnout in decades. Barack Obama won over John McCain by 7.6million votes in the popular ballot, and 186 votes within the Electoral College that will meet in December to make these results official.
I could start pointing fingers as well as the next person as to who did what wrong, but it is time to move onward!

What I am afraid of most is that the Republicans in Congress come 2009 will repeat their actions of the Clinton administration and try to do their dangest to find some way to at least make the future President look bad if they cannot oust him from office outright.
That would be a serious waste of time in light of all that needs to be done.
All I am asking is for everyone to just actually give Obama the chance to do the job he was elected for in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship that everyone bemoaned the lack of over the months leading to this historic November election.

Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief: News of The Free Choice e-zine

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's up to you now Dear Readers.
The polls are open.
It's your right and Free Choice!

To GO VOTE intelligently.
To GO VOTE your conscious.
To GO VOTE for whoever you feel will lead this country the best.

A public service message of the Free Choice e-zine, who urges everyone to GO VOTE today!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Berekeley Breathed ended his Sunday feature Opus November 2nd so he can concentrate upon his growing literary career and other creative endeavors.
The weekly appearance of the penguin from Bloom County began November 23rd, 2003. Before that, he was the star of Outland, a Sunday only strip that ran from September 3rd, 1989 to March 26, 1995.
While the first weekly ended with Opus being reunited with his biological mother, the conclusion of yesterday's installment was actually at; with the Humane Society hosting a contest where readers could guess the final(?) fate of the beloved penguin in hopes of winning either a complete Opus book collection or $10,000 for their local animal shelter.
Unfortunately, repeated attempts to access Breathed's website at where the winners list can be found, have failed for whatever reason(s), thus the inadvertent delay in posting this week's Sunday Funnies.

Meanwhile, in Opus' honor, Ms. Waxy Dragon (one of many avatars used by an avid Internet Surfer, which is kind of funny when you think about it: one imaginary character joking about another!) has supplied some penguin themed jokes:

What’s black and white and goes round and around?
A Penguin in a revolving door.

Why don’t you see Penguins in Great Britain?
Because they’re afraid of Wales.

How do Penguins prefer their drinks?
On the rocks.

Is Seal a Penguin’s favorite pop star?

Do Penguins dislike rock music because they perfer sole?

Why are Penguins only invited to formal events?

What kind of fish do Penguins catch at night?

What do you call a Penguin in the desert?

And finally...

What is black, white, and red all over?
A sun burnt Penguin!

See you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies, Dear Reader.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Tonight those who were doing so end their observance of Daylight Savings Time by setting their clocks back one hour to resume Standard Time.
Don't forget to adjust your chronometers accordingly.

A public service message of the Free Choice e-zine.


The end of another week. The start of a new month. And more puzzles!
What more can you ask for Dear Reader?

Has that infamous Rabbit of the cereal commericals ever gotten to eat a bowl of Trix?

Can you name the next number in the following sequence?
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, __?

The answers will appear next week as we now present the answers for the final weekend of October's Puzzle corner.

Group 1. {oven, treat, unlce} = Dutch (Dutch oven, Dutch Treat, Dutch Uncle)
Group 2. {A. A. Fair}was another pen name of {Perry Mason} creator Earl Stanley Gardner.

A crook could find a good fence and an alibi this by rearranging the letters in the right words.