Thursday, December 31, 2009


Winter makes driving more difficult in the northern climates.
Party goers make driving more challenging everywhere.

Please be as bright as the blue moon that will be shining in the night sky and be aware of those around you if you are out and about this New Year's Eve.

A public service message of The Free Choice E-zine.


While others are compiling lists of the best and the worst covering not only this past year, but the preceding decade as well, The Free Choice E-zine continues its annual tradition of pausing to remember those who will not be welcoming in the new year with us.

Besides our family, friends, and loved ones; as well as those within law enforcement, medical services, and the military who lost their lives helping and/or protecting others; 2009 also suffered the loss of...

Gene Barry (Bat Masterson, the original film version of The War of the Worlds, Burke's Law), David Carradine (Kung Fu, Kill Bill), Karl Malden (The Streets of San Francisco, A Street Car Named Desire), Patrick McGoohan (Secret Agent, The Prisoner), Ricardo Montablan (Khan Noonien Singh on Star Trek, Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island), Ron Silver (Reversal of Fortune, Ali), Patrick Swayze (Ghost, Dirty Dancing), James Whitmore (The Asphalt Jungle, Tora! Tora! Tora!)

Beatrice Arthur (Maude, The Golden Girls), Farrah Fawcett (Charlie's Angels, The Burning Bed), Jennifer Jones (Love Is A Many Splendid Thing, Tender Is The Night), Brittany Murphy (voice of LuAnne on King of the Hill, Sin City), Natasha Richardson (The Handmaid's Tale)

Artist Andrew Wyeth

David Eddings (The Belgariad and other series), Phillip Jose Farmer (World of Tiers and Riverworld series), Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes), John Updike (the Rabbit series)

Director John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles)

Dom DeLuise (comedian, voice actor, chef)

Michael Jackson, Al Martino, Les Paul, Koko Taylor

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics

House of Representatives member Jack Kemp

Legendary Anchorman Walter Cronkite

And Senator Edward Kennedy, amongst others.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
I had a wonderful Christmas and I hope everyone else did too.
I got lots of toys that a little baby girl dragon deserves (although I was not always as good as I should have been) and now I'm here to spread a little holiday cheer by sharing some Christmas time jokes with you.

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Dexter who?
Dexter halls with boughs of holly!

What? You didn't think that was funny? Well, I admit it hasn't achieved the classic status of that great Pogo Possum Christmas tune by Walt Kelly: Deck Us All With Boston Charlie, but I think my joke was funnier than that Christmas parody tune that goes
Jingle Bells!
Batman smells!
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile
It broke a wheel
And the Joker got away, hey!

Let me try another.

What is Tarzan's favorite Christmas carol?
Jungle Bells!

Well, do I have you rolling on the floor laughing your heads off yet?
Okay, I have space for one more this weekend, so here's my big finish:

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
Mary who?
Mary Christmas everybody!

And I'll be back next weekend with a whole new year's worth of Sunday Funnies to start sharing with everyone!
Until then, take care.-wd.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


For those who begin the week long celebration of the principles of life (Unity, Self Determination, Responsibility, Cooperation, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith):


Christmas may technically be over, but I still have a few last minute gifts for all you puzzle lovers out there.
Let's see how well you were paying attention during the hustle and bustle of the past month.
Can you match the Narrating Host to their classic Rankin-Bass holiday special?
Note: Since not every narrator was actually a character within the story, some of them either appeared as "themselves" or did not actually appear on screen at all.

a. Fred Astaire
b. Shirley Booth
c. Jimmy Durante
d. Greer Garson
e. Andy Griffith
f. Buddy Hackett
g. Burl Ives
h. Roger Miller
i. Red Skelton
j. Jonathan Winters

01. Frosty The Snowman (1969)
02. Frosty Returns (1992)
03. Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976)
04. The Little Drummer Boy (1968)
05. Jack Frost (1979)
06. Nestor, the Long Earred Christmas Donkey (1977)
07. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
08. Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)
09. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1970)
10. The Year Without A Santa Claus (1974)

We'll unwrap the results next weekend. But now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX for last weekend's Puzzle Corner!

Noel, for there was No L decorating our Christmas tree.

So, who won when the brothers battled: Heat Miser or Snow Miser?
Actually, neither one did! Their Mother (Nature) negotiated a truce between them to prevent The Year Without A Santa Claus.


The Senate passed their version of a Health Care Reform Act before adjourning for their winter/holiday break. When Congress resumes activity, the House of Representatives edition will be merged into one bill to present President Barack Obama for consideration.
Meanwhile, those opposed to the entire concept are still continuing their attack ads, although the current crop is trying to urge Congress to scrap everything and start over! Now if they could just take all the money used to oppose Health Care Reform and use it to FIX Health Care to begin with...
For more, accurate information, just go to;; or any reputable news agency.

*Although no numbers have been posted yet from the 2009 Christmas season, retailers are now gearing up for the (hopeful) post-holiday sales.
*Despite the fact that the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka December 26, 2004 was a real disaster, International agencies are looking into what ever happened to the financial relief aid the country was supposed to receive. Some funds have gone missing outright while other accounts were spent on anything but who they were originally earmarked to help.
*Airline (in-flight) safety procedures are undergoing review by the FAA officials, who are looking at both domestic and foreign flights in and out of the United States in the wake of an alleged bombing attempt of a flight to Detroit from Nigeria.
*A small, private funeral service was conducted for actress Brittany Murphy Christmas Eve. Our condolences to her family.
*The College Bowl season is well under way. But some question the sponsorship which results in games like The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and The Advocare V100 Independence Bowl.

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

Friday, December 25, 2009


There is a lot that could be said about today.
The wish for Peace on Earth and Good Will to all.
The religious aspects of today versus the commercialism that is trying to take over.
The debate over the status of Santa Claus, who was once just a representative icon of Man's (hopeful) Good Will to their fellow beings and the misinterpretations that have evolved since.

But instead I will simply say the two words that seem to sum up the day best:


Monday, December 21, 2009


"Solstice" A poem by Nancy Hansen

Today the light grows shortest
And the darkest hours long
I think I'll light a candle
For the year is almost gone

Another season of promise
Another harvest past
And a whole new set of priorities
Replace the old at last

Some see this as a somber time
When winter winds do chill
But I see in dark the return of light
Because the sun still crests the hill

It's a matter of perspective
You can focus on the gloam
Or see the light that comes at night
When your loved ones are all home

And if you have no one to love
Nor a special little nook
There are plenty out there needing you
If you take the time to look

Give of yourself and you will see
What you offer, is what you reap
You can have warmth thrice returned to you
When the winter snows lie deep

For the solstice teaches patience
And to have a caring heart
The brightest lights shine from within
When the world is cold and dark

The Free Choice E-zine strives to bring you a variety of features for your reading pleasure. If you would like to contribute, just send an e-mail to our Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior at


An editorial.

Recently the B. Dalton's book retail chain shut down its store in Laredo, Texas as one of several that was closed due to its lack of profitability.
This was the last major book seller with an outlet within that city, which I find pretty amazing.
No Barnes and Noble? No Borders/Walden Books?
Nothing within a large metropolitan city of over 200,000 people that, besides supporting its own school district and community college system, is the home to Texas A & M International University and hosts a satellite campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center?

And it no longer has any book stores?

Do I really need to tell you what is wrong with that?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!

With Christmas fast approaching, I'm real busy around my dragon lair getting ready for the holiday: hanging the tree, stringing the tinsel, tossing the ornaments, setting the lights, or whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing with all this stuff.
But in any event, one thing I really look forward to is all the Christmas goodies!
Cakes, puddings, candy canes, cookies... Oh yummy! Yummy!
Yet it is a lot more fun to eat all the goodies than bake them, or so I thought until I saw these photos where one of our four legged friends decided to lend a paw and help out.

This puppy really got into its work!
Images supplied by reader Ann Lopez. And if you would like to contribute any images, jokes, etc.; just send them to our Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior at
Meanwhile, I'll see you next weekend with an extra special Christmas edition of the Sunday Funnies! - wd.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


News and editorial commentary.

*After much debate and negative attack (ads) from the various groups against the idea, the Senate has passed their version of a Health Care Reform bill to present to President Obama to consider signing into law. The exact contents/details are not completely known at this time.
*Meanwhile, Senator Joesph Lieberman came under scrutiny earlier this week when he backed out of supporting the proposition that Medicare coverage be extended to those between the ages of 55-64 because it would be a financial drain upon the program. The Free Choice e-zine applauds that, especially as a reminder that even the President has said that he will not sign any bill that endangers Medicare and/or Medicaid, or drastically increases the national debt. However: how come the gentleman from Connecticut did not offer a counter proposal to resolve that issue?
*And the idea of Health Care Reform has certainly had its detractors from Day One. The group mentioned in last weekend's news roundup has changed its parody image to avoid legal action from the Geico Insurance Company. But if you could take all the money that has been spent against Health Care Reform...

*Winter Storm Albert bears down on the New England area of the United States.
*The United Nations sponsored Climate Conference concluded in Copenhagen with the promise of financial aid to the poorer countries to help combat the effects of global warming and set new guidelines to try and curtail carbon emissions, there was no protocols established to enforce those guidelines.
*Disneyland has announced the scheduled return of the Captain Eo featurette, staring the late Michael Jackson, at their park in February 2010. Although it debuted in 1986, the attraction has not appeared in any Disney facility since 1998. No official word has been given for the planned return.

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


Although it's the last weekend before Christmas, that doesn't mean we're out of Yule themed puzzles!

What familiar word or phrase is symbolized by the image at the left?
When the brothers battled, who won: Heat Miser or Snow Miser?
We'll unwrap these gifts next weekend. But for now, let's take a peek into THE ANSWERS BOX for the results from last weekend's Puzzle Corner.
Professor Hinkle had to write an apology to Frosty the Snowman 100 ZILLION times before Santa Claus would consider ever giving him another Christmas present.
Out of the letters in the word FESTIVAL (a, e, f, i, l, s, t, v; not Festival of Lights) you can form: A, Ale, Alive, As, At, Ate, East, Eat(s), Evil(s), Fast, Feast, File(s), I, Isle, Is, It, Its (not it's, since there is no apostrophe in the word), Last, Late, Least, Life, Lift, List, Live(s), Safe, Sat, Save, Seal, Sit, Slate, Stifle, Tale(s), Tile(s), Vial(s), and Vile. Other words besides the 42 listed might be possible.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
This week, it's open mike time and I have a whole slew of jokes waiting to tell you.
I should know. I slayed them myself.

Now, I may be just a baby dragon, unless you're silly enough to believe that I'm just one of many avatars of an avid Internet user, but I do know a lot of stuff, like the fact that sometimes life can be confusing.

For example, why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
Of course, the parkway might have gotten its name from the fact that during rush hour nothing moves, which makes you wonder why they call it rush hour to begin with!

Now a lot of things are grown from seeds. Oranges, plants, apples, etc. But how come every time I plant bird seed nothing happens?

Of course, I will admit that I'm still trying to figure out mustard. It may come from mustard seeds, but I can never get any of those yellow jars to grow in my garden.

See if you understand this one.
A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
So why do they call computers on desks work stations?

But while I may be too young to start school yet, I am smart.
I do know the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
Knowledge is knowing that tomatoes are considered a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting tomatoes in a fruit salad.

And remember: you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish!

I'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies.-wd.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


*Despite a last minute filibustering attempt by Republicans, the Senate has officially passed an end of the year operating budget for the United States government.
*The Health Care Reform debate, and the anti-Health Care Reform attack ads, continue; including one that allegedly has lawyers representing the Geico Insurance Company looking into for potential copyright infringement violations.
*Iran has agreed (in principle) to the United Nations deal of swapping their enriched uranium for nuclear reactor ready fuel rods, but wants to do so on their own terms.
*I honestly don't know whether this is good news or bad news. But after recent hacking incidents, the Associate Press reports that while scientists investigating climate change/global warming had some reservations about revealing everything in light of wondering how the results would be accepted, they did NOT fake the evidence proving global warming!
*After numerous delays, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will have its maiden flight this coming Tuesday.
*Depending upon the weather in your area, this weekend concludes the annual Geminids meteor shower.
*The Bowl bids have been set as the NCAA teams prepare for the holiday game season.
*Tiger Woods is taking a sabbatical of indefinite length from golf to try and work on the personal and marriage aspects of his life, after news of (multiple?) mistress troubles stemming from his recent car crash. The Professional Golf Association wishes him well and looks forward to his return. Meanwhile, the Gillette Corporation has announced that they will be cutting back on Woods' services in promotional spots for their products.

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


Another weekend has arrived as we edge closer to the Christmas Holiday with Hanukkah (or however the spell checker on your word processing program approves the spelling) beginning at sundown last night, so let's get right to this weekend's puzzling gifts.

At the end of the classic holiday special Frosty the Snowman, just HOW many times did would be magician Professor Hinkle have to write an apology before Santa Claus would consider bringing him a Christmas gift?

This week, how many words can you make out of FESTIVAL (of Lights)?

The results will appear next weekend.
But for now, let's open THE ANSWERS BOX for the results of last weekend's puzzles.

Number 4 ("Please Christmas, don't be late") is actually a line from the holiday classic The Chipmunk Song.
All the others ARE actual holiday tunes!
1. Mele Kalikimaha (Hawaiian for Merry Christmas) was recorded by Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters in 1950.
2. Suzie Snowflake was recorded by Rosemary Clooney in 1951.
3. Christmas Time Is Here is actually the official title to the opening number of A Charlie Brown Christmas. (1966) AND
5. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas was recorded by Gayla Peevey in 1953.

Although always celebrated to some extent every year before that, Christmas was OFFICIALLY declared a holiday in the United States by then President Ulysses S. Grant just in time for the holiday season of 1870.

Friday, December 11, 2009


For those who celebrate the Festival of Lights, Happy Hanukkah.
(Or however your word processing program prefers to spell it.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
I'm sure by now everyone has (hopefully) finished up their Thanksgiving leftovers and are no longer being haunted by poultry-giests (turkey ghosts).
Anyway, the holiday season is upon us, and with that all kinds of wonderful Christmas specials.
Everything from the more modern productions like Shreck The Halls and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer to the more timeless classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty The Snowman.
I would like to say a few words about a special that is celebrating its 45th anniversary today: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Who could forget all those rein-dearing characters and moments like Rudolph trying to fit in, Hermey the would be Dentist, Yukon Cornelius, the Island of Misfit Toys, and of course Burl Ives as the voice of narrating Sam the Snowman and those wonderful songs "Silver and Gold" and "Holly Jolly Christmas".
Being just a baby dragon (unless you believe those tales about me being one of many avatars for an avid Internet user) I look forward to seeing Rudolph every year, both on TV and in the sky on Christmas Eve night.
Okay, I know I should be asleep then, but what kid doesn't have trouble falling asleep on Christmas Eve?

Anyway, that's all the space I have for this post. Please come back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


*President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan.
*Meanwhile, NATO has announced that another 7000 troops with be deployed by member countries soon.
*It has been revealed that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures bank accounts, is running at a deficit of over 8 billion dollars!
*American student Amanda Knox has been found guilty by an Italian Court for killing her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy. Knox and her boyfriend, Italian Raffaela Sulecitto (who was also found guilty) have each been sentenced to 25 years in jail.
*Crooked businessmen are not just an American commodity. Authorities investigating the possibility of hidden assets in the case of the Paramalat Dairy bankruptcy have discovered 19 art masterpieces secreted by Calisto Tanzi when it was feared that he would start selling the paintings before fleeing the country.

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


All right you Chipmunks. Ready to sing your song?
It's Christmas Time again.
And The Puzzle Corner will be doing its part to help celebrate the holiday.

First up. One of the songs listed below is NOT an actual Christmas tune. Can you name which one it is?
1. Mele Kalikimaha
2. Suzie Snowflake
3. Christmas Time Is Here
4. Please Christmas, Don't Be Late
5. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

Meanwhile, it's TRIVIA TIME.
Although it has been celebrated since the Pilgrims first landed on Plymouth Rock, when was Christmas officially declared a holiday in the United States?

We'll have the results next weekend. But for now, let's look into THE ANSWERS BOX for the meanings of last weekend's TV acronymns.

01. Mister D.A.>District Attorney
02. Today's F.B.I.>Federal Bureau of Investigation
03. C.S.I.>Crime Scene Investigation
04. NCIS>Naval Criminal Investigative Service
05. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.>United Network Command for Law and Enforcement
06. A.E.S. Hudson Street>Adult Emergency Service
07. CHiPs>California Highway Patrol
08. M*A*S*H>Mobile Army Surgical Hospital
09. ALF>Alien Life Form
10. C.P.O. Sharkey>Chief Petty Officer

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


In an address to the nation televised live from West Point Academy, President Barack Obama announced that he has approved the deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, starting after Christmas, to complete the on going mission against the Taliban and Al-Quida.
While the President has stated that he is not looking to conduct and endless war, he authorizes this action because the dangers represented by the Taliban and Al-Quida not only threaten national security, but global security as well.
Military action continues in that country in cooperation with forces from the United Nations since the September 11, 2001 attack in America and similar terrorist activities in London and elsewhere.