Saturday, February 28, 2009


It has certainly been a busy week.

Now that the stimulus package has been signed into law, the Obama administration is moving on to address other issues such as health care and the war in Iraq after the President addressed a joint session of Congress, and by proxy the nation Tuesday night.
Everyone (mostly Republicans for some reason) might not agree with everything he has said and done, but one cannot deny that President Barack Obama is addressing the issues facing this country while trying to keep his campaign promises.

The main winners of the the 81st Academy Awards Sunday night were:
Slumdog Millionaire for best picture and best director (Danny Boyle).
Sean Penn for best actor (Milk).
Kate Winslet for best actress (The Reader).
The late Heath Ledger for best supporting actor (Batman: The Dark Knight).
Penelope Cruz for best supporting actress (Vicky Cristina Barcelona).
Wall*E for best animated picture.

Meanwhile in sports:
Jim Calhoun, coach of the men's basketball team at the University of Connecticut, received his 800th career victory when the UConn Huskies beat Marquette 93-82 on February 25th.
Preseason baseball is underway between spring training camps in Florida and Arizona while the federal investigations and trials into steroid use are proceeding apace.

For more news and information at any time, check out the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Okay. As March prepares to roar in like a lion, let's take charge of finding the solutions to these puzzles.

With pre-season baseball under way, do you know if any team has been able to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the American League Championship Series?

Can you figure out the larger word from the clues below?

Follow the sandy path to be generous.

The answers will appear in next weekend's Puzzle Corner, like the ones from February 21st are now.

The original Star Trek television series is accredited with presenting the forerunners of what we know today as the cellphone and the personal computer.

While everyone listed were performers amongst the various versions of Star Trek, they also have the following in common.
Group 1: Mark Leonard guest starred on a fifth season episode of Mission: Impossible while Leonard Nimoy was portraying Paris. The actors even had several scenes together.
Group 2: Leonard Nimoy guest starred when William Shatner was portraying T. J. Hooker.
Group 3: Maria Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes were amongst the voice artists of Disney's Gargoyles.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Our resident comedienne would like to try her paw at puns this weekend, and since I have nothing to say or report as a proper lead in for this post, take it away Ms. Waxy Dragon...

Is a pessimist's blood type always b-negative?

When a clock is hungry, does it goes back four seconds?

A boiled egg for breakfast is hard to beat.

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

And finally, remember folks:
A bicycle can never stand on its own because it is two tired.

See you next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Well it's been quite a busy week in the United States government.
With the Stimulus Bill signed into law on Tuesday, President Barack Obama says middle and lower American workers should see a difference in the paychecks by April as the weekly income tax deductions are reduced.
Meanwhile the President is working to cut Federal spending and is looking into taxing the Upper/Wealthy class.

The NAACP is calling for the firing of the New York Post editorial cartoonist who drew a picture of a dead chimpanzee with the caption that someone else would have to write the next stimulus bill. In a possibly related story, the Connecticut woman who was severely mauled by a chimpanzee is now at an undisclosed hospital in Ohio getting more specialized treatment. No word on what her friends and family think of the NY Post editorial cartoon.

Mike Myers and his 2008 movie The Love Guru took home the top (dis)honors at the annual Razzies. The Raspberry awards given for the worst movies of the past year the night before the annual Oscar ceremony.
And Major League Baseball is looking into the latest steroid allegations as both the investigation surrounding Alex Rodriguez and the on going trial of Barry Bonds continue.

For more news at any time, just visit the In Other News... box at the bottom of the screen.


Since we had so much fun working with a theme last weekend, we are going to do it again.
But here's a hint: even if you get the answer to TRIVIA TIME right, that is not the answer to any of the COMMON BONDS.


What television program is accredited with presenting early models of the concepts we know today as the cell phone and the personal computer?

Each apparently diverse group has something in common. Do you know what?

Group 1. (Mark Leonard, Leonard Nimoy)
Group 2. (Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner)
Group 3. (Maria Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes)

The answers will appear next weekend. But for now, let's see how well all our love birds did guessing Cupid's serenaders from our Valentine's Day WHAT'S THAT SONG quiz. But if more than one person has recorded the tune, just the song title and the source are listed.

01. Dulcena from Man of La Mancha, the musical adaptation of Don Quixote.
02. As Time Goes By from Casablanca. "Here's looking at you, kid."
03. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman? by Bryan Adams from the movie Don Juan DeMarco.
04. I've Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher.
05. Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce.
06. Unforgettable by Nat King Cole with or without daughter Natalie.
07. My Girl by The Temptations.
08. Annie's Song by John Denver.
09. Rhythm Of My Heart by Rod Stewart. And finally...
10. Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers.

Hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day Y and we'll be back next weekend with more of The Puzzle Corner.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


As the Valentine's Day weekend concludes, our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon (a three year old baby dragon avatar amongst many of an avid Internet surfer) has decided to grace us with a few appropriate jokes for all you love birds.
Or at least, that's what she claims these are. ;-)

The girl asked her lover, "Darling, if we get engaged, will you give me a ring?"
"Sure," he replied. "What's your phone number?"

What happened when the two vampires met? It was love at first bite!

Is Pepe LePew proof that skunks are scent-imental? ^.^

Why did the cannibal break up with his girlfriend? She didn't suit his taste!

What do squirrels give for Valentine's Day? Forget-me-nuts.

And finally, from Waxy to her special loved one...
Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Olive who?
Olive you!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody! Y

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ah... love, sweet love. Y
It makes the world go round. It's all you need.
This week's Puzzle Corner is pretty straight forward. One massive game of WHAT'S THAT SONG?
But for this special day, all the lyrics are from love songs. Can you name them all?

01. "I have dreamed thee so long..."
02. "...and man must have his mate..."
03. "...when you feel yourself lying helpless in her arms..."
04. "They say our love won't pay the rent..."
05. "But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do..."
06. "That's why darling, it's incredible..."
07. "When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May..."
08. "You fill up my senses..."
09. "...with the words I love you rollin' off my tongue..."
10. "I need your love..."

So enjoy the weekend all you lovebirds. Our serenader's will reveal themselves next weekend.
Meanwhile, here are the answers from last week's quiz.

01. Don McLean's classic song American Pie, which spent four weeks at Number 1.
02. "The day the music died."
03. "The Winter Dance Party", a 24 venue tour of the Midwest in three weeks whose planners never fully worked out the logistics of traversing the country during bad winter weather.
04. The original passenger manifest was to be just Buddy Holly, wanting to get to the next venue early for a chance to rest and, believe it or not: do some laundry, chartered the plane for himself and the Crickets that could afford to buy a ticket.
Dion DiMucci of Dion and the Belmonts refused to buy a plane ticket because the air fare, back then $36, was what his parents paid for a month's rent on the family apartment when he was growing up.
Then Cricket Waylon Jennings (yes, the country music star) gave up his seat to an ill Big Bopper, who was hoping to arrive early at the next venue to get some much needed rest before the next show. But an ill fated choice of jokes over the matter with Buddy Holly haunted him for the rest of his life.
The other Cricket scheduled for the flight, Tommy Allsup, lost his seat in a coin toss to Ritchie Valens.
The remaining Crickets, unable to afford the cost of the plane ticket, stayed on the tour bus.


It has certainly been an interesting week.

Congress has finally passed the Economic Stimulus package and President Obama is expected to sign it into law by this coming Tuesday. Of course once again, the Republicans fought it every step of the way.

Meanwhile, the steroid issue is raging its ugly head once again in Major League Baseball, with Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees admitting that he used them between 2001-2003 while with the Texas Rangers. And court proceedings are moving apace in regards to the case involving Barry Bonds.

And Thursday was the 200th anniversary of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin's birthdays while the infamous Ford Theatre where Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth prepares to reopen after renovations.

For more information, check out the In Other News feature at the bottom of the screen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The following is an editorial.

While baseball is not the only sport that has had steroid/human growth hormone/drug problems over the years, it is the one that is most in the news of late.
With Congressional investigations, potential perjury charges for former witnesses, and who knows what else on the horizon, the steroid issue is once again casting a dark shadow upon what is supposed to be America's favorite past time.
Major League Baseball has had enough public relations problems with this issue. It is my humble opinion that it is time to get a lot tougher than they have been on the subject.

After Mark McGwire admitted to taking steroids during his pursuit of breaking Roger Maris' single season home run record, MLB authorities did nothing because the ones McGwire took were not "officially illegal" at the time. TOUGH! McGwire should have been stripped of the title!

Alex Rodriguez recently admitted to taking human growth hormone during his 2001-2003 seasons with the Texas Rangers. While this does not necessarily mean that he is still taking anything he shouldn't be, any titles/awards Rodriguez "earned" between 2001-2003 should be removed for the dishonor he has done them!

And do I really need to start on Barry Bonds? Given all the court issues sounding him at the moment, why didn't any MLB official administer a drug test while he was in pursuit of breaking Hank Aaron's all time career home run record? Were they afraid of the results?

Although it is not just baseball with image problems, sports figures are more in the public eye than one might first think. What kind of example is this for any potential student athlete thinking about a career in sports?

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE BASEBALL!
I watch as much as I can from the first pitch of preseason to the last out of the World Series.
But this sport cannot afford any more dents in its already tarnished armor.
And on a totally unrelated note, this was our 100th post at our new home on Blogger .com!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Dear Readers:

February is National Heart Health month. Kind of appropriate with Valentine's Day on the 14th.
I could post a lot of information and/or statistics surrounding cardiac care, but in this case I will get right to the point.

If you do not know the current state of your heart's health, HAVE IT CHECKED OUT!

Yours truly is over eight years beyond the initial onslaught of congestive heart failure and a year past the operation that saved me from an aortic aneurysm.
Granted, in the eyes of some I am not living as physically active a lifestyle as I once was, but I am still here!

I have been watching my sodium intake and my sugar levels, for although I am not diabetic, some heart patients do have a risk of becoming so. Diet, exercise, and prescriptions come with the territory, but let's be honest with each other. All the preceding situations may seem like hassles, but they beat the alternative!

So please, get your heart a physical! Y
After all, if I could find the guts to share the above...

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

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Sometimes folks, I honestly don't know where my mind wanders, but for those concerned: yes, it is big enough to be out on its own!
After I saw this image elsewhere on the Internet:
moose ice sculpture quickly wandered off and came back with the following.

Natasha: "Oh Boris, you are so clever!"
Boris: "I know."
Natasha: "New Freeze gun you built vorks very quickly."
Boris: "I know," he said, while actually blushing at the compliment.
Natasha: "Moose-sickle looks vonderful. But vhat makes you think this plan vill vork and ve get frozen squirrel-sickle too?"
Boris: "With our batting average, we've got to get lucky at least once during this series, don't we? But be quiet and hide. I think I hear squirrel zooming in now. Provided he does not know about our new nefarious plot soon we will have matching set of ice sculptures!"
Narrator: "Boris was right. Rocky was flying quickly onto the scene. But little did our fiendish duo know that Rocky was already on to their nefarious plot and knew exactly what to do to save his friend."
Natasha: "Boris. Did you hear vhat Narrator said?"
Boris: "Natasha. Be quiet. I'm trying to hear what the Narrator is saying."
Narrator: "Flying as fast as he could, our brave hero zooms around his frozen friend so fast that the heat friction melted all the ice, freeing the imprisoned moose, who runs as fast as he can, following his best pal to the tropics, where they will rest and warm up till our next episode."
Boris: "Drat! Drat! Drat!"
Natasha: "Boris, calm down."
Boris: "I can't Natasha. Not only does latest fiendish plan fail, but censors still will not let me say anything nastier than 'Drat" despite fact it's 2009!"
Natasha: "Boris. Please stop tantrum long enough to put freeze gun down. Boris, vatch vere you are pointing that thing! Boris, I--"
Narrator: "Too late. But don't worry folks, they will thaw out in time for our next episode. So be here next time for The Big Chill or There's No Business Like Snow Business."

Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris Badenov, and his femme fatale Natasha are all copyrighted by Jay Ward Productions and much beloved by this writer.

Meanwhile our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon, the three year old baby dragon avatar of an avid Internet user, is so busy laughing her head off at the above skit that she will be back next week with more Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


On February 3, 1959, a plane crash cut short the musical careers of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper: Giles Perry Richardson, Junior along with the life of pilot Roger Peterson. As music lovers observed the fiftieth anniversary of that tragedy, this week's Puzzle Corner is in tribute to them.

1. What is one of, if not the most, quickly recognizable tributes to these three lost musicians?
2. How is that plane crash often referred to as?
3. Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper were part of what music promotion at the time of the plane crash?
4. While any loss of life is tragic, the three musicians were not to be the original passengers. Who were?

The answers will appear in next week's Puzzle Corner. But for now, here are the results from last weekend.

The lyrics are from Sugar, Sugar. A 1969 release from The Archies. It was their biggest hit, but actually the third of five career (to date) releases, which does not make the group a one hit wonder as some people perceive them to be.

Reversal of Fortune


Unfortunately, I have been under the weather most of this week, so I did not get to report on some of these stories as deeply as I wanted to. But since our last review…

The Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which allegedly means six more weeks of winter before spring arrives. Gee, has anyone checked a calendar to confirm this?

The Obama administration is hopeful that the economic stimulus package will get approved within the foreseeable future, despite continuing Republican opposition to the idea.

Sadly, veteran actor of stage and screen James Whitmore passed away.

In sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers won against the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl 43. It was an interesting, but traditionally short half time show, this year by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but I wonder if the Boss kept his promise of “I’m going to Disneyworld!” afterwards?

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that Sports Illustrated can confirm that the New York Yankees were aware that Alex Rodriguez failed a drug test scanning for steroids in 2003.

As always, for more news anytime, just visit the In Other News... box at the bottom of the screen.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


This is something I wanted to post today, but did not feel that it warranted inclusion within a regular Sunday Funnies column.

These are not the best of times right now folks. I know that every generation can point to "their moment", whether it be the Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, the Oil Boom/Bust...
Well, I think the pattern is well established by now.
The point I am trying to make is that while we adults worry about the present and the future, so do our children.
Not just whether or not they will pass the next math test or what grade they will receive on their last homework assignment, but how the things that affect us adults will affect them.

Now unfortunately I do not have the rights to reprint it here, but if your local newspaper does not carry it amongst the other comic strips, I urge you to surf the web and find today's (February 1, 2009) installment of Baldo by Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos. Gracie asks her father about life and his answer is pretty heart felt.
It may not be the most realistic response to the question, but children have enough problems being children as it is without having to worry about the things we do.


This past week saw the fiftieth anniversary of Walt Disney Productions' Sleeping Beauty.
Originally released in theatres on January 29th, 1959, this was the last fairy tale based movie the studio animated until returning to the genre with 1989's The Little Mermaid.
Of course everyone knows the story of Princess Aurora, who was "cursed" by Maleficent after not receiving an invitation to the baby's christening and of the challenges that the inevitable arrival of the handsome prince must face to save her.
The original release of the film was in, for that period, state of the art stereo and visual formats, which more recent home entertainment releases have tried to reproduce.
And let's not forget that Aurora has since joined that pantheon of Princesses founded by Snow White, and has since gone on to include Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, and a plethora of others.

Now, here is our own little "princess", Ms. Waxy Dragon with some jokes.

What was Snow White's reply when finding out her pictures would be late?
"Some day my prints will come."

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful princess happened upon a frog as she sat near the shores of a pond by her castle home.
The frog hopped into the Princess' lap and said: "Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome Prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young Prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry..."
"Well," said the single princess, but before she could finish her thought, the frog added: "...and setup housekeeping in yon castle with my Mother, where you can prepare our meals, clean the clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so."
The dinner menu at the castle that night began with an appetizer of sauteed frogs legs.

See you next week with more Sunday Funnies.