Tuesday, August 31, 2010


As the category four storm turns its attention to the Atlantic seaboard side of the United States of America, North Carolina officials are preparing to start a precautionary evacuation of some low lying coastal sections of that state beginning tomorrow morning.
Residents in the area are urged to heed the warnings and evacuate.
States further up the Atlantic sea board are keeping a watchful eye on the hurricane, but North Carolina is the only state that has announced any official plans as this news item is posted.

Further information can be found either here as news develops, or at:
*The National Weather Service website: www.noaa.gov
*The Weather Channel website: www.weather.com
*Or your favorite, reliable news service.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Now, as pointed out elsewhere in this forum, school will be starting up again soon if it hasn't already done so in your area.
So I thought I would pose some questions for all those young scholars to think about in the days ahead.

Q: The turtle took two chocolates to Texas to teach Thomas to tie his boots. How many T's in that?
A: There are 2 T's in THAT!

Q: What gets bigger and bigger as you take more away from it?
A: A hole!

Q: How many months have 28 days?
A: All of them!

Q: How many books can you put into an empty backpack?
A: One! After that it's not empty.

Q: "Which weighs more, a ton of feathers or a ton of bricks? "
A: "Neither, they both weigh a ton! "

Does your shirt have holes in it?
Then how did you put it on?

Q: Why are teachers like eye doctors?
A. Because they both look at pupils all day long!

Okay, I hope everybody enjoys the rest of their weekend and the week ahead, and we'll be back next time for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


*No new developments in the Gulf of Mexico, so presumably clean up and containment continue apace.

*Although the first hurricane of the 2010 season, Danielle looks like it will stay out in the Atlantic after skirting the island of Bermuda. International travellers are still to honor weather advisories.
*Meanwhile Tropical Storm Earl is under observation as it heads towards Puerto Rico and may become a hurricane by Monday.
*As the last U.S. combat troops prepare to pull out of Iraq Tuesday, the country has upped its internal terrorist alert.
*The Vincent Van Gogh painting "Poppy Flowers" is still missing after hopes for its recovery fell through.
*Astronomers have discovered a possible solar system around star HD 10180.

*Washington Nationals' rookie pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg has suffered an elbow injury that will not only keep him out for the rest of the season, but maybe the entire 2011 season as well as he faces the possibility of undergoing "Tommy John" surgery.
*Manager Lou Piniella has retired after a 50 year career in Major League Baseball.

And for those watching celebrities:
*The main TV Emmy awards are scheduled for presentation Sunday night.
*Lindsay Lohan is allegedly considering suing the state of California for "lost wages" occurred during her recent incarceration although she only served 22 out of the original 90 days.
*Paris Hilton was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada Friday night after police are supposed to have found cocaine in her car during a routine traffic stop.
*Tiger Woods is now officially single again after the divorce decree from ex-wife Elin Nordegren was granted.

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


Last weekend's Puzzle Corner sparked some interesting comments from readers, most sharing their own fond memories of watching Schoolhouse Rock! when they were younger.
So since a lot of schools will be back in session soon if they're not already, this weekend we present the SCHOOLHOUSE ROCKS! POP QUIZ!
Yes, I hear the groans in the background, but this will be fun.

1. When Schoolhouse Rocks! first debuted in 1973, they began with Multiplication Rock!, covering the table from "My Hero Zero" to "Little Twelvetoes". But what two numbers were skipped?
2. Multiplication Rock! lessons were quickly joined in the weekly rotation with Grammar Rock! What was the first lesson in that subject?
3. What group of lessons was added in 1975 in time for the bicentennial of the United States?
4. What subject started debuting lessons in 1979 amongst the existing topics?
5. Although the shortest subject because of the ever changing technology field, Computer Rocks! debuted in 1983 with what two recurring characters?
6. Sadly, the series went off the air for a while starting in 1985, but when it returned in the early 1990s, it gained a mascot to introduce the segment. Who was this character?
7. With the series revival, what new subject was introduced amongst the original episodes and new lessons in Grammar Rock! ?
8. Sadly, the series went off the air again in 1999 and has only been on DVD (and YouTube) since then. What new subject was covered in a straight to DVD release in 2009?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX for the results from our 19th Amendment quiz from last weekend's Puzzle Corner.

1. NO, the United States of America was NOT the first country to acknowledge a woman's right to vote.
2. New Zealand was in 1853, but they did not acknowledge ladies the eligibility to run for office until 1919. The 19th amendment does both.
3. Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States at the time when the 19th amendment became official, although he was personally against it.
4. 36 of the then 48 states had to approve the measure for it to officially become part of the Constitution. Illinois was the first to say "yes" on June 10, 1919.
5. Tennessee was the last state needed to make the amendment official. They said "yes" on August 18, 1920 and the measure officially part of the Constitution on August 26, 1920, making this past Thursday the 90th anniversary.
Connecticut adopted the measure on September 14, 1920.
Vermont did the same on February 8, 1921.
Delaware did to on March 5, 1923!
Virginia finally recognized the measure on February 21, 1952.
Alabama on September 8, 1953.
But Maryland remained silent on the matter until February 25, 1958!
Alaska and Hawaii accepted the United States Constitution as is when they both officially became states in 1959.
Yet Florida didn't formally acknowledge the 19th amendment until May 13, 1969!
Georgia finally followed suit on February 20, 1970 with Louisiana joining the party on June 11 of that year.
North Carolina adopted the measure on May 6, 1971, and Mississippi finally accepted the 19th amendment on March 22, 1984!

Connecticut, Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii I can understand. But the rest?
If any historians in the audience care to shed some light upon this subject, feel free to contact this e-zine with the information.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Hello Everybody. Autumn the Puppy here.
Well, I don't know how things have been for you this weekend, but it has been raining all day here at Casa Puppy, aka my doghouse.
I still don't get that old joke about it raining cats and dogs.
Every time I look outside, all I ever see is water and gloomy grey skies.
Any way, they (whoever that group is) also say that August is the dog days of summer. Why is that?
After all, I have a nice fur coat, so the last thing I want is several days in a row of ninety or even a hundred plus temperatures.
I certainly know the last thing my owners want is for me to shed all over their place while I try to keep cool.
I hope you folks do remember that when it is hot outside, if you can't bring or keep your pets indoors, to give them plenty of water and shade.
After all, the last thing you want is a hot dog in the literal sense of the word.
But with all this rain, being hot is the last thing I have to worry about right now.
Who knows, maybe there will be so much rain that my doghouse will drift out to sea.
I've always wondered about those sea dogs.
I've always longed for a life of adventure.
Could you picture me as a pirate?
If I was one though, I'm not sure about moving to Pittsburgh just to play baseball, and I think a buck an ear is a steep price for corn.
Yet I could see myself down by the beach.
All that sand to play and dig in...
Oh look! My owners finally decided I can't stay out here any more and are now swimming out to bring me in for the day!
Maybe I'll take and drive them crazy once I'm inside.
But right now I think my owner needs swimming lessons.
I can definitely teach them how to dog paddle!

Okay. Have a great week folks. Stay cool and dry wherever you are and we'll be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!--Atp.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Surprisingly, no new developments from the Gulf of Mexico this past week. Clean up efforts continue and the cap seems to be holding.

*Engineers are starting to add fuel to Iran's first nuclear power plant. The facility is a joint effort between Iran and Moscow that, because of the Russian involvement, will not be producing any nuclear weapons.
*It should come as no surprise to those following politics that although President Obama wants to oppose a recent Supreme Court ruling that grants corporations and unions bigger campaign donations, Congressional Republicans have stopped every instance thus far of trying to do so.
*Swedish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for questioning in regards to allegations of rape and molestation against unnamed females. Assange says the charges are false and in retaliation for him leaking information about the war in Afghanistan.
*Target and its retail sister Best Buy are the subjects of a nationwide boycott by the organization Moving On! after it was discovered in public records that the Minnesota based retail supports a gubernatorial candidate in that state who is opposed to same sex marriages and unions.

*Former pitcher Roger Clemens faces perjury charges for lying to a federal grand jury looking into the steroids/human growth hormone scandal in Major League Baseball.
*Brett Farve will be back for his 20th season in the National Football League, this year as starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

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


This week the United States celebrated the 90th anniversary of ratifying the 19th amendment to this country's constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
To celebrate, as "Sufferin' Till Suffrage" from Schoolhouse Rocks! (You don't remember it? Check out the clip below, courtsey of YouTube!) plays in the background, a brief quiz about the event.

1. Was the United States of America the first country in the world to grant women this right?
2. If your answer to the first question was no, then which country do you think was?
3. Who was President of the United States at the time the 19th amendment became law?
4. Which member of the United States was the first to pass the measure on the bill's route to become law?
5. Given the size of the United States at the time, which was the last state required to fully ratify the measure into law?

As that timely tune from a fondly remembered series ends, we'll reveal all next weekend. But now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and see the correct responses to last weekend's Puzzle Corner.

During the concert surrounding receiving the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music on PBS, Sir Paul McCartney teamed up with performer Stevie Wonder for a live performance of Ebony and Ivory, and in the end, got everyone present, including the President and Mrs. Obama, to join in the chorus of Hey Jude at the end of the song.

Although a corporate symbol since 1921, there has never been a real Betty Crocker.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


AtP: Hello Folks. You have both Autumn the Puppy
WD: AND Ms. Waxy Dragon here this weekend,
Together: Because it's Grrl Power time!
AtP: A little play on words there because we're trying to be hip.
WD: Speak for yourself lady, I AM HIP!
AtP: Was that a dog joke?
WD: No. What we're talking about is some comic news centered around female characters this weekend.
AtP: That's right, and sadly, we feel there isn't enough females in the four color spotlight as it is.
WD: Right. Sadly, Little Orphan Annie was canceled earlier this summer.
AtP: And with an unresolved cliffhanger!
WD: What's going to happen to Annie?
AtP: Annie? What about Sandy?
WD: Anyway, artist Cathy Guisewite has announced that she is ending her long running comic strip Cathy with the October 3, 2010 installment!
AtP: NO!
WD: Unfortunately, yes. Guisewite called the decision "agonizing" and "excruciating", but it was just time to move on.
AtP: To what?
WD: Ms. Guisewite wasn't sure what when she made the announcement, but does plan to stay creative somehow.
AtP: But October 3, 2010? That would put the strip a month shy of its 34th anniversary! Couldn't she at least wait until November of 2011 and go out with a bang on Cathy's 35th anniversary?
WD: It's not my call Autumn. But then again, what woman in her right mind actually admits her age?
AtP: Actually, our next honoree in this column does. Dora the Explorer is celebrating her tenth anniversary this month!
WD: Dora first began on Nick(elodeon) Junior in 2000 and has been entertaining and teaching children around the world ever since.
AtP: Dora, along with her pet monkey Boots, and trusty Backpack and Map, have been on too many adventures and quests to count, but are still going strong.
WD: And of course at least once every episode Dora has to tell Swiper the Fox that there's no swiping!
AtP: Of course, being a dog, if I ever encountered Swiper, there would be one less fox in the hen house.
WD: What are you talking about Autumn? We both know you've never seen a real fox outside of television.
AtP: Yeah, and it surprises me that there is a whole entertainment empire run by Fox too!
WD: I don't think that there is literally--
AtP: Why can't there be an all dog channel? Or a dog entertainment empire?
WD: Oh yeah? Well you canines have a lot more pull in the entertainment industry than us poor dragons. Most of the time we're cast as either the villains or comic relief.
AtP: Really?
WD: Yep. And for the record: Humans DO NOT taste crunchy and are good with ketchup!
AtP: Well, at any rate this is Autumn the Puppy
WD: And Waxy Dragon
Together: Saying at least one of us will be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


An Editorial.

From time to time there are news articles that make one stop and think about the shape of the world around you.
Instead of keeping these items within our WEEK IN REVIEW feature, The Free Choice E-zine has decided to (when necessary) start spotlighting these events and give them the more detailed focus they deserve.
To wit...

*Steven Slater
By now everyone has heard the story of how the former Jet Blue flight attendant told off an annoying passenger and quit his job. There has been plenty of commentary on both sides of the issue, from the common working stiffs who have established a Slater support page on Facebook to Donald Trump weighing in on Slater's actions setting a bad precedent that needs to be nipped in the bud.
Our opinion?
While we have all had annoying situations within our lives and The Free Choice E-zine can agree with Steven Slater's personal position, we cannot support his actual reaction to the situation, especially not the activation of the plane's emergency evacuation chute to leave sooner.
However: just because a person works for a living, that does not give the people he or she interacts with during the course of their day, whether they be fellow employees, customers, or management; the right to mistreat a person trying to do their job the best they can.

*Additional insurance for 9-11 responders?
In the hours and days that followed the fateful attack upon the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; fire fighters, police, medical personnel, and even the survivors of this event faced situations unparalleled in America's history.
Now, as a consequence of those days, these people have developed or are fighting medical problems that their normal health insurance is either incapable or unwilling to deal with.
But requests to legislatures for additional coverage have been denied thus far.
Our opinion?
Regardless of whether they were a victim or trying to help others, there is no question that these brave men and women performed acts of Herculean proportion during the hours and days that followed and are suffering additional health problems now.
Why this matter even has to be debated is beyond the belief of this E-zine's staff.

*A Mosque at Ground Zero?
There is a movement afoot in New York City to have a Mosque established near "Ground Zero", the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Those who want to open the facility hope to put the past aside and peacefully show that not everybody who practices that religion supports terrorist groups like those behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Meanwhile, you can imagine how others feel, especially those who lost loved ones during the inhuman attacks that fateful day.
Our opinion?
United States President Barack Obama has said: "A nation built upon religious freedom must allow it."
Our forefathers came here long ago and founded what is now the United States of America in hopes of finding the chance to practice the religion of their choice free from persecution.
Can we do no less to those seeking the same right today?

As usual, the above is just our collective opinions upon the subjects discussed. Yours may vary, and according to the First Amendment to this country's Constitution, you are entitled to them.
But if you care to share, comments can be left directly on this site or sent to our Editor-In-Chief at leehoustonjr@gmail.com


As has become our want the last few months, we begin with the latest on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
While the well is capped and the clean up efforts continue in earnest, some officials are arguing for drilling on the relief well to resume, saying that it is necessary to take the pressure off the existing well. British Petroleum believes the current cap will hold as is.

*Concerned citizens from around the world have made the Mexico based web site Blog del Narco very popular as it reveals the ins and outs and daily events of that country's continuing war on drugs.
*The unemployment rate in the United States remained unchanged in July 2010.
*President Barack Obama signed a bill so that the government might help individual states meet their internal operating budgets.
*Papua New Guinea's Presidential run-off election is scheduled to be held September 19 between 24 court approved candidates.
*Over a 1000 people are still unaccounted for in China after a recent mudslide.
*The Perseid meteor shower continues to dazzle star gazers.

In Entertainment news this week:
*The Doctor Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.
*Actress Patricia Neal (Hud, Breakfast at Tiffany's) passed away August 8 from lung cancer at age 84.

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


Let's kick back with a few easy conundrums this weekend.

For those who have noted the Beatles theme within the last couple of weeks here, that is because Sir Paul McCartney was recently presented the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music. So now that enough time has passed since PBS aired the taped ceremony, the question is: Who did Sir Paul team up with during the concert after being presented the honor?

Just like a regular trivia question, but there are only two possible answers, hence the even odds of getting it right. Ready?
True or False: There really is/was a Betty Crocker?

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

George Harrison was the former Beatle in The Travelling Wilburys. He was joined by Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, and Bob Dylan.

The Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees?
In all honesty, it's a question of how you look at it.
Both teams started playing baseball in 1901.
Although Boston has been their home since Day One, between 1901-1907 the team was known as the Red STOCKINGS. They did not officially become known as the BOSTON RED SOX until 1908, when club owners realized the longer name was difficult to put in newspaper headlines.
Meanwhile, the other team spent the first two years of their franchise history as the original Baltimore Orioles BEFORE moving to New York and becoming the Yankees in 1903!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!

Boy, sometimes it's hard to get good help around here.
Yesterday our esteemed Editor-In-Chief spent all day at the keyboard writing for something called Pro Se Productions and forgot to post my column!

*HMPH!* (Humans. Can't live with them. Can't live without them, and I don't care what those T-shirt say, you people don't taste crunchy even with ketchup!)

I kept bugging, I mean... reminding him about it every chance I got, but the only response I got was "I'll get to it later."

Well, hey buddy: IT'S LATER!

So now that he's away from the computer, I finally get a chance to take matters into my own hands, I mean-- paws, and post away.

The following is not the joke fest monologue I was going to post, but considering my recounting of the above, seems appropriate now.

Hope you enjoy it and hopefully we'll be back ON TIME next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!=wd.


Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

-Sauce unknown-

Saturday, August 7, 2010


*No new major developments in the Gulf of Mexico this week. Clean up efforts continue. British Petroleum is still working on well relief efforts and apparently still slow to honor damage claims, while environmentalists still worry about the Gulf's future.

*A ten person medical team from the International Assistance Mission was assassinated by a group of militants in Afghanistan.
*United States District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled the state of California's Proposition 8 (banning same gender marriages) unconstitutional. However while those who support that type of union rejoice, that specific coupling has yet to be declared legal. Challenges to the judicial decision have been filed and future court dates on the matter are pending.
*The United States Senate has confirmed Elena Kagan as the next (Associate) Justice of the Supreme Court.
*While results of the 2010 Census in America have yet to be revealed, the 2010 Census of Marine Life in the World's Oceans has confirmed the existence of 230,000 aquatic animals!

*Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on achieving his 600th career home run.

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


Ah, a lazy summer weekend.
Time to kick back and relax with a couple of brain teasers.

Which former Beatle helped establish The Travellin' Willburys?

Two of the oldest teams in the American League, let alone Major League Baseball, compete against each other again this weekend. But which team is older: The Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX, for the results of last weekend's Puzzle Corner.

Michael Crawford and John Lennon starred together in the 1967 film How I Won The War.

timberjustlake = Justin Timberlake

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Hello Everyone. Autumn the Puppy here!
Guess who's 70 years old this week?
That wascally wabbit Bugs Bunny!
He first started out his career as an then unknown bunny in Porky's Hare Hunt in 1938 and worked his way up until he got his first star billing (and could formally use his own name) in 1940's A Wild Hare, which also paired him for the first time against Elmer Fudd.
Bugs has gone on to entertain audiences as part of the Looney Tunes gang ever since. The whole group is due back in a NEW Looney Tunes program on the Cartoon Network this fall!

But just think, over seven decades now of mirth and mayhem and only one grey hare. That rabbit's influence can be traced all across the entertainment industry. He is still an inspiration for performers today, as can be seen by watching this LIVE staging of 1957's What's Opera, Doc?

I could gush on for hours and hours on end singing Bugs Bunny's praises, but I don't have the column space to do so. But I can tell a couple of jokes before I go!

What do you call a tanned rabbit?
A sunny bunny!

What do you call a group of rabbits marching backwards?
A receding hare line!

What do you get when you cross a flea with a rabbit?
A Bug's Bunny!

So here's to my favorite bunny! Hope you'll be entertaining us for many more decades to come Bugs!-AtP
(Video clip courtesy of YouTube)