Sunday, September 27, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
This weekend, I thought we'd take a break and just go over some classic material.
Anyone up for a few "Knock, Knock" jokes?

Knock, knock.
Who's There?
Ashe who?
Bless you!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Nobel who?
There is no bell, that's why I knocked!

Knock, knock.
Who's There?
Lettuce who?
Lettuce in and you'll find out!

Who's there?
Tank Who?
You're welcome!

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Hawaii who?
I'm fine. Hawaii you?

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you even going to open the door!

And I'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies.
Have a great week everyone!-wd.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


*Fall officially began with the autumnal equinox September 21st.
*The G20 summit is being held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania over the weekend of September 26 as representatives from the top 20 global economies discuss the current financial situations.
*Security and safety concerns may prevent the Guantanamo Bay prison from closing by its original projected date.
*The United Nations is questioning Iran's fledgling nuclear arms development.

In Entertainment news:
*The Emmys were handed out September 20th. Amongst the winners were Mad Men for best drama series and 30 Rock for best comedy series.
*The Beautiful Life on the CW network becomes the first causality of the 2009 season, being canceled after only two episodes.

In Sports:
*While the high school, college, and professional football seasons are getting under way in earnest, Major League Baseball is entering the last week of its regular season. The National League Central's Saint Louis Cardinals are the only team as of September 26th to confirm their play off position by winning their division; although the Los Angels Dodgers, Boston Red Sox (as the American League wild card), and the New York Yankees look highly probable at this point. The remainder of the playoff picture is unconfirmed at this point.
Depending upon the outcome of the final week, the post season competition is tentatively scheduled to begin October 6.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Everyone knows what to expect in these posts. so let's get right to it, shall we?

Who were the Mugwumps?

The following have something in common. What is it?
{Alien Nation, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea}

The answers will appear next weekend.
But now, let's look in THE ANSWER BOX for the results from September 19, 2009.

The fact that both Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch had animated versions of their respective series was the answer I was originally looking for. But it has been pointed out to me that actress Natalie Schafer starred on one (Gilligan's Island) and had a guest appearance on the other (The Brady Bunch) so that is acceptable too.

Get it in writing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Last Sunday, I gave Fido the forum to speak about the difficulties dogs encounter living with humans.
This weekend, Cleo speaks for the cats.

Now where should I begin? I could start about taking us to the vet. Don't get me wrong, if we're sick we definitely want medical treatment. But trying to squeeze us into those little boxes that are laughingly called 'Cat Carriers'? Don't you realize that maybe the reason we don't want to go in them first place is because we get claustrophobic being confined in such a small space!

Yet first and foremost, I must point out a glaring error of assumption humanity has been under for generations. One does not "own" a cat. One has the privilege of living with one of the finer specimens of the animal kingdom.
But what about when said "owner" comes home from work and does not want to spend time with us? A lot of you are more interested in the television or that funny device with all the buttons, although I must admit that if I ever find that mouse you claim to use with it, I'll be more than happy to show you what you are really supposed to do with that rodent!
Anyway, your faithful furry companion has been cooped up at home alone all day and it seems that the last thing on your mind is spending time with us! That is just wrong!

Then you have the nerve to complain about the stink in the litter box! You do remember I'm a cat, right? If you didn't want me to go in one specific place, either teach me how to use that porcelain object you do or else don't complain about having to clean my box!

And sometimes when you decide to pet us, but we are sound asleep at the time, so is it any wonder why we start hissing and growling about being woken up? I can tell you from first paw experience that my "owner" is never bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing in the morning.

Yet I have to stop and ask you folks one question straight out: what is it with all the gibberish you spout sometimes? Cats are an intelligent species, not new born babies. Don't you realize that all the "ga-ga goo-goo" baby talk is beneath both of us!

Thank you Cleo.
And we'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-wd

Saturday, September 19, 2009


With all the concerns abound about Health Care Reform, unemployment, the economy, and the ongoing military actions overseas; here's a brief look at some other events of the past week.

*A happy Rosh Hashanah for those who believe that today is the start of year 5770 year.
*After their flubs over the past weekend, some are now joking that Kanye West and Serena Williams have now embarked upon "The 2009 Apology Tour" together.
*The Guiding Light ended a 72 year run between radio and television September 18th as CBS canceled the long time soap opera. Reruns of The Price Is Right will be shown in that time slot for a couple of weeks until a new version of Let's Make A Deal, to be hosted by comedian Wayne Brady, is ready to premiere in October.
*The Emmy Awards will be presented tomorrow night.

Unfortunately this past, we have lost a couple of notable entertainers.
*Mary Travers, of the classic music trio Peter, Paul, and Mary; who sang on such hits as Puff the Magic Dragon and Blowin' In The Wind.
*Patrick Swayze, noted for acting in such memorable films as Dirty Dancing and Ghost.
*Henry Gibson, a comedic stalwart of (Dan) Rowan and (Dick) Martin's Laugh-In and most recently had a recurring role on Boston Legal.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Another weekend is upon us, and time for more fun.

The following have something in common. What is it?
{Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch}

What is suggested by the following image:


The solutions will appear next weekend. But for now, let's open THE ANSWER BOX (and I'm totally surprised it took me this long to come up with a decent name for this segment) to discover the correct responses to last week's brain teasers.

Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin worked for the United Network Command for Law Enforcement.
What the acronym for T.H.R.U.S.H. stood for was never officially explained in the series, but some of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. novels claimed it stood for Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.

Our color coded answer key reveals that there were seven states hiding in the grid.


Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine (the last letter of each line vertically), Ohio (parallel to Maine vertically), Oregon, and Utah.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The following is an editorial.

It has been over a week now since the televised coverage of President Barack Obama addressing a joint session of Congress as to what was and was not supposed to be in the Health Care Reform Act.
Yet the negative opposition/attack ads against such a bill are still running.
Granted, there are five different versions of a possible Reform Act floating around Capitol Hill at the moment, each with their own positives and negatives; and Congress needs to put its collective heads together to unify the positive aspects into one functional document to propose to the President.
I can understand the seriousness of the matter and everyone's concern that action not only be taken, but done correctly. Yet amongst those ads are ones that seem to be totally against the prospect of addressing Health Care Reform to begin with.
If you have legitimate concerns about this or any matter, then by all means you have the right to address your national representatives in a formal, polite manner just like everyone else.
But considering the cost of buying commercial time, let alone the expense of making these ads to begin with, and the more positive/beneficial things these funds could have been spent on...

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Hello Everybody. Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been using examples from the animal kingdom to take a (hopefully) humorous look at life.
This weekend, I have been asked to give equal time to the canines. So here, speaking on behalf of dogs everywhere, is Fido.

Woof! I mean greetings.
Now everyone says that a dog is a (wo)man's best friend, and on behalf of canines everywhere, we do thank you for the compliment and the kind thoughts. But living with people is not always easy.
Case in point:
Blaming weird smells in the house on us, claiming we've might have dragged something nasty in or rolled in something that is not nice. Now dogs have an excellent sense of smell, so I can tell you right now that although people do smell better than skunks, there are times when Limburger cheese smells better than some of you!
And what about when you yell at one of us for barking? We are dogs. If something is wrong or there is a situation that a canine should bring to your attention, what do you expect us to do: send a telegram?
Now granted, most humans do take good care of us dogs. But when we go for a walk, why won't you let us stop and smell all the things we want to check out? Exactly who's walk is this anyway?
And what about being asked to perform any trick that involves balancing food on our nose? Do you know how embarrassing that is?
But you really do not want to get me started about any hair cut that involves bows or ribbons. Not every dog is a female, and no canine should have to wear that stuff!
Which reminds me, about the slight of hand/fake fetch throw when you pretend to do something but don't? Some accomplishment. You managed to fool someone who trusts you! What's next? Going to apply for membership in Mensa?
Look, we both know the truth. You're just jealous. We both know who has better life here! After all, who goes to work practically everyday and who doesn't?

Okay. Thank you Fido. Sit. Stay.
We'll see you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


As stated in this week's installment of The Week In Review, this television series brings with it the major milestone anniversaries of several classic television series. So at least one conundrum each week of September 2009 will involve one of them.
To wit:

During the 1960s, spies were quite a fad within the various media. One of those features was The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; featuring Robert Vaughn and David McMCallum.
Your question is: What did U.N.C.L.E. and their rival organization T.H.R.U.S.H. stand for?

Some of the United States of America are hiding in the grid below. Can you find them?


The answers will appear during next weekend's Puzzle Corner. But for now, the results from last weekend.

The secret that actress Natalie Schafer successfully kept hidden until after her passing was that she was actually ten years older than anyone ever suspected her of being.

The letter's within LABOR DAY (A, A, B, D, L, O, R, Y) can be used to spell Ad, Baa, Bad, Badly, Bar, Bard, Bay, Bold, Dab, Do, La, Lab, Lad, Lob, Oar, Or, Ray, and Yard. Other words than the 18 listed are possible.


*This past week saw President Barack Obama address Congress about the Health Care Reform Act to set the record straight about what should and should not be in it, complete with heckler who is currently being criticized even by his own political party. Meanwhile, yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Both events were covered in more detail elsewhere within your Free Choice e-zine.
*The record for highest score in the arcade version of the classic video game Pac-Man has been tied for only the sixth time in recorded history. If a player successfully completes all 256 levels, eating every dot and bonus fruit while getting every ghost when they are vulnerable after consuming a power pellet, the ultimate score is 3,333,360; for a glitch in the original programming shuts the program down at that point.
*Michael Jordan was inducted into the National Basketball Association's Hall of Fame Friday night, while Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig's established hitting streak as a New York Yankee.
Next week, the new fall television season begins. So here is a brief look at television programs of the past that are celebrating milestone anniversaries this month.
The CGI-animated series Reboot is 15 years old, while the TV adaptation of the movie Alien Nation turns 20.
The TV version of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month and The Brady Bunch first aired 40 years ago this month while the following programs all celebrate their 45th anniversary this year: Daniel Boone, The Addams' Family, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Gilligan's Island (hence the question about actress Natalie Schafer answered in this week's Puzzle Corner), Johnny Quest, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; and The Munsters.
And believe it or not: Rocky and His Friends, including Bullwinkle J. Moose first appeared in 1959, as they celebrate their 55th anniversary this month.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 + 8

They say time heals all wounds.
However, they never say how much time is required to accomplish this miracle.
On this, the eighth anniversary of the greatest unnatural disaster upon native soil, America still pauses to mourn its losses, but it has moved on.
Although the lost lives can never be replaced, Life does continue; and here's hoping that our children, and every generation that comes after them never has to face that kind of ugliness ever again.

Lee Houston, Junior
September 11th, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The following is the first of two reports concerning the President’s address to Congress September 9th in regards to health care reform.

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate together) that was televised by all the major news covering networks except FOX, for reason(s) unknown to this reporter.

This was only the fifteenth time the President in office has spoken to a joint session of Congress outside of the required annual State of the Union address.
Over the course of the fifty minute speech; in plain, simple, and direct terms, Obama laid out the contents of the proposed Health Care Reform agenda for everyone present and the television audience to know.

While the full text of the speech can be found at and other official websites, the major points are covered below.

The only goal of the Health Care Reform Act is to try and improve the existing system.
That those with coverage are not dropped by “pre-existing conditions” and that the insurance companies “cannot lessen or drop your coverage during a medical crisis, let alone impose a spending cap on your care.”
The plan will also limit your co-pay and out of pocket expenses while securing more coverage for screening tests to hopefully catch potential problems early enough.

Health Care Reform will give citizens affordable options by “creating an open health care market,” for consumers always save whenever there is competition between businesses for any product and/or service.

There will be no penalties for not having insurance.
So health insurance will become akin to carrying basic coverage for your automobile, with waivers available for those who truly cannot afford to obtain insurance.
Yet is health insurance something anyone can afford to be without?

While this is where all the debate over the possibility of a government run health insurance company comes in, the President stressed that he “does not want the federal government to enter the health insurance industry”, but to be able to provide people who want insurance the chance to get minimum coverage at a price they can afford.
This would also ensure “a more level playing field with more open competition between insurance companies so people benefit” whereby, in conjunction with Objective # 2, there would be more affordable chances to obtain health insurance.
Obama also stressed he “Would make a ‘public option’ available only for those who cannot afford otherwise afford health insurance. But any public option must be financially sound and independently functional on its own, for no part of any Health Care Reform program will add to the Federal budget!”

There are “No Death Panels waiting to reduce the population amongst senior citizens”.
“It will not cover illegal aliens!”
“No funding for abortions!”

President Obama further stated that he “does not want to drive insurance companies out of business. Only to hold them financially and morally accountable.”
The President hopes for true health care reform without input from insurance company lobbyists or government bureaucrats.
Whatever version of the Reform Act is approved by Congress for the President’s consideration (and there are four at the moment, with a fifth due next week!) Obama is on the record that he “will not sign any measure that adds to the Federal deficit, for there have been too many incentives of past administration(s), like tax cuts for the wealthy, that were not financed in advance” that contributed to the deficit problems of today.
Obama is also hoping to address the issue of malpractice insurance at some point, so that “doctors can concentrate on practicing medicine again”.
The President stressed that he only wants to “remove the waste and excess from the existing system” to improve what works instead of trying to develop a new process from scratch and that he “will not touch the Medicare and Medicaid trust funds to pay for any health care reform, let alone allow them to become privatized voucher programs.”

Now for the big question that needs to be answered: Will there be a viable Health Care Reform Act for the President to consider within the next few months?
That is what I will look at in my next post.


The following is the second of two posts. While this installment is more of an editorial than the previous post that looked at the President’s speech before Congress about the Health Care Reform Act, the facts are as accurate as humanly possible.

There is no doubt that Health Care, as it stands at the moment, needs to be reformed.
But there is also no question as to the fact that Democrats and Republicans do not always get along.

Case in point:
First off, the infamous heckler from the President’s address to Congress.
When Obama announced that the Health Care Reform Act would not cover illegal aliens, someone shouted the publicly inappropriate response: "You lie!"
That someone has been identified as Republican Joe Wilson of South Carolina.
Now Mister Wilson has every personal right, whether right or wrong, not to agree with or believe the President.
But last night was neither the proper time, the proper place, nor the proper manner to do so.
Although Wilson has formally apologized to the President since then, at the moment, not even his fellow Republicans want to be associated with him.

Secondly, let’s look at the Republican response to the address to Congress.
It was delivered by Louisiana Representative Charles Boustam, MD. Himself a cardiovascular surgeon.
On one hand, he does acknowledge that there are problems with the current health care insurance system, and even cites some of the ones he has had first hand experience with.
Then he turns around and disagrees with a lot of President Obama’s points to the extent that I began to wonder if he even listened to the speech before commenting.

So what’s the solution?
Whereupon both sides actually cooperate together to face and attempt to solve a dilemma.
It is possible, although the last genuine instance of bi-partisanship was post 9-11, 2001.

Now I am not saying that one party is better than another.
But if anything is to be accomplished, whether it be Health Care Reform or anything else, both sides need to work together!
There are a lot of problems facing this country, let alone the world, so does how we got to this point matter right now?
What is important now is how the situations are going to be dealt with, for the solutions are going to determine what kind of a future this country is going to have.
And personally, I hope things start get a whole lot better than they are soon!
But the only way that is ever going to happen is for both sides to forget their differences and start working together.
THAT is true bi-partisanship!
And if any Republican (or Democrat or Independent) still does not get it, just remember: the people that elected you into office are the same ones that come the next election can also vote you out!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Recently, I had the honor of contributing Chapter 78 to the "Potato Moon" round robin parody that writer Peter David is moderating at his website

Modesty prevents me from bragging any further, but I hope you like it.
And if your wondering about this post talking about that post, as the title indicates: at least I'm honest about it. ;-)


Today is Labor Day.
President Grover Cleveland initiated the measure after the Pullman Strike in 1894 as a way of acknowledging all the hard working citizens who for the backbone of any nation: the workforce.
At least, those who actually have the day off may celebrate.
Some consider this the end of Summer, although that is still technically a few weeks away.
So whether it is for yourself or a paycheck, try not to work to hard.
And if possible, please contribute to the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon through your local outlets.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Hello Everybody! With this being a holiday weekend, our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon is off, so I thought we'd dip into the archives and look at some more classic Burma Shave poems, as seen along the highways and byways of the land from the late 1930s to the early 1960s.
For those who do not remember, each five line verse (with the last always bearing the company logo) either provided some kind of timely advice, usually driving tips, or promoted company products.
To wit:

A Man, A Miss
A car, a curve
He kissed the miss
And missed the curve.

Does your husband misbehave
Grunt and grumble
Rant and rave?
Shoot the brute some

Drinking drivers
Don't you know
Great bangs from little
Binges grow?

And last, but certainly not least, with school back in session, some timely advice:
At school zones
Heed instructions
Help to save
Our tax deductions.

See you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!--lhjr.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


*Tomorrow night begins the annual Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.
*This past week, critics threatened legal action when President Barack Obama announced he is planning an address to school children that could be picked up on line for those who wanted to see it. The "concerned citizens" argued that the situation would not allow for open debate and presented "a chance for the current administration to brainwash our kids about current policies" when in fact, the speech was only in regards to the merits of a good education and the benefits of staying in school. To placify the critics, the text of that speech, that will be made Tuesday, September 8th, is posted on line at
Makes one wonder about the education of the critics, doesn't it?
*The Walt Disney Corporation (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc) has made an offer to purchase Marvel Enterprises (Spider-man, the Hulk, etc) lock, stock, and comic book company. The offer still has to pass an anti-trust review before it can be voted upon by Marvel Enterprises' shareholders.
*The earthly remains of entertainer Michael Jackson were laid to rest this week while the investigation into his death continues.
*Charles Gibson has announced his retirement. Corespondent Diane Sawyer is scheduled to replace him as anchor of ABC World News Tonight in early 2010.
*The much anticipated Beatles edition of the video game Rock Band is scheduled to be released September 9, 2009 along with a totally remastered collection of every Beatles' group album. I wonder if it would be possible to acquire a DVD of just the music videos produced for the game?
*AND IN SPORTS, college football starts another season this weekend.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.


Although it is a holiday weekend, there is no rest for the weary, especially when it comes to puzzles.

In this modern age of celebrity gossip and tabloids, it is hard to keep a secret. Yet actress Natalie Schafer managed to keep hers until after her death in 1991.
What was it?

Thought I would give everyone a bit of a break so they can enjoy some of the weekend.
How many words can you make out of the term LABOR DAY?

The answers will be revealed next weekend. But for now, the results of August 29, 2009:

Double agent. (007 007... get it?)

Cartoonist Greg Evans and the Toronto Blue Jays both have a player between the team and the comic strip Lu Ann named Aaron Hill.