Monday, January 31, 2011


Once again it's shameless plug time, as Pro Se Productions Presents Fantasy and Fear's fantastic third issue!
Underneath the cover by Jody Hughes and John Palmer IV illustrating Tommy Hancock's A Rub of the Lamp, you can find more pulse pounding pulp adventures within the title realms, including:
*The Meteor Terror by James Palmer
*Citadel of the New Moon by Kevin Rodgers
*Of Kin and Clan by Nancy A. Hansen, debuting her new character Roshanna the Huntress
*Sign of the Salamander, A Charles St. Cyprian Adventure by Joshua Reynolds
*Sherringford Bell looks for A Sign of the Fourth with Ken Janssens' help
*The concluding installment of The Brothers Jade novella by Don Thomas
*Desire of the Apprentice by C. W. Russette
*Sovereign City experiences The Day of the Silent Death with Derrick Ferguson
*Aaron Smith conducts both A Study In Shadows and a tour of The City of Nevermore
*And besides having a great time proofreading all these exciting tales as the magazine's editor, I get in on the fun by telling A Tavern Tale

As usual, copies are available in both E- or print formats from either Lulu at or Pro Se itself at


Sunday, January 30, 2011


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon flying back at you once again and I had such a good time last weekend telling some yummy food themed jokes that I've found plenty more to tell this weekend.

What do cheerleaders drink with their lunches?
Root Beer!

What did the crook accused of stealing coleslaw tell the police?
You don't have a shred of evidence against me!

What do bowlers like to have for lunch?
Spare ribs!

What kind of shoes do butchers (or maybe Lady Gaga) wear?
Meat Loafers.

What is the best day to grill anything?
FRY day.

Why did the avid Internet surfer have a pet canary with him at all times?
He liked to tweet after meals.

What did the sweet roll in love say to the glazed donut?
"Will you be my honey bun?"

What do snow people buy from butcher shops?
Cold cuts.

What salty snack lives in the Arctic Circle?

What dining accessory always sleeps after a meal?
The NAP-kins.

What do dancers drink with their meals?
Tap water!

What is made of bread and can do magic?
A sand Witch.

Where do astronauts eat all their meals?
In the launch room.

Why do math teachers make good meal guests?
They're great at counting calories.

Why was the quarterback a lousy dinner guest?
He would never pass anything! Not the salt. Not the pepper. Not the, well... you get the idea.

Well, that's all the room I have for this weekend folks.
Actually, I could probably squeeze a few more jokes in here, but for some reason I'm starting to get really hungry.
Anyway, have a great week and be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Amongst events happening around the world this past week...

*In an attempt to calm unrest and end in that country, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak named his first Vice President ever after 30 years in office alone. Omar Suleiman, his chief Intelligence Officer of the last two decades and long time confidant will assume the role to mixed reactions.
*Attempting to settle unrest in Tunisia, a supervisory council will oversee the interim government formed after President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali left the country.
*Civic unrest continues in Ireland over the state of the country and its government.
*Tasmania Premier David Bartlett has resigned his post to spend more time with his family. Deputy Premier Lara Giddings will assume the vacated office.
*Portugal voters reelected President Anibal Cavaco to another term in office.
*United States investigators have been unable to link American Soldier Bradley Manning to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Meanwhile, various investigations continue concerning the website's practice of making classified documents public.
*United States President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, calling for bipartisanship in order to tackle the challenges that face America. Whether or not he actually gets it from a divided Congress remains to be seen.

*Kim Clijsters won her fourth grand slam title at the Australian Open.
*This year's Super Bowl will feature a classic match up with the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
*Cyclist Lance Armstrong has officially retired from professional racing after honoring a commit to compete in an Australia event.

*Mattel is starting a new advertising campaign for Ken to woo Barbie, set to culminate in a "big event" on Valentine's Day 2011.
*Actor Charlie Sheen has voluntarily entered a rehab center for an unknown reason, putting filming of his sitcom Two and a Half Men on hiatus.
*The 83rd Academy Awards nominees were announced early Tuesday morning. Major contenders include The King's Speech, The Social Network, Inception, The Black Swan, and the remake of True Grit.

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


Today is INTERNATIONAL PUZZLE DAY! Let's celebrate!

What was Tim Matheson's first acting job? (Hint: Think television.)

The following groups each have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {Kokomo by the Beach Boys; Don't Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin}
02. {Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News, Double Back by ZZ Top}

We'll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of our TV THEME QUIZ from last weekend's Puzzle Corner.

01. The theme to The Greatest American Hero was officially entitled "Believe It Or Not" and sung by Joey Scarbury.
02. "The Unknown Stuntman " was sung by The Fall Guy's star Lee Majors.
03. Glenn Miller and Herbert Hoover were both mentioned by name in "Those Were The Days", the theme song to All In The Family.
04. "Suicide Is Painless" was the title to the theme from M*A*S*H.
05. Believe it or not, the most successful TV theme song (to date) has been the Bill Hayes version of The Ballad of Davy Crockett, spending a month at the top of the charts in 1955. Davy Crockett star Fess Parker's own rendition of the song only made it to # 6 around the same time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Editorial Analysis by The Free Choice E-zine's Editor-In-Chief Lee Houston, Junior

Last night on a nationwide broadcast, United States President Barack Obama gave the annual State of the Union address, outlining America's current status, along with his hopes and plans for at least the coming year, if not more long term goals as well.
As with the previous State of the Union addresses President Obama has delivered, no one can deny his skills as a public speaker.
Yet when push comes to shove, actions speak louder than words.
What Congress does, either independently between its two chambers (Representatives and Senators) or as one august body, is fully dependent upon COMPLETE bi-partisan cooperation between the Democrats and the Republicans.
While the two parties made a good show of it last night by sitting together as one Congress instead of divided amongst the parties, especially in light of recent events in Arizona, the REAL work begins in earnest today.
While the Democrats are not totally blameless of the goals incomplete in the last two years, the Republican Party has more than their fair share of responsibility too.
I do have to give them credit for actually keeping a campaign promise. Yet House Republicans uniting to pass a repeal of the Health Care Reform Act was just a waste of time and tax payer dollars.
The rebuttal to the State of the Union address, delivered by Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, does not show much promise for cooperation in the coming months, given all the party rhetoric as to what is allegedly wrong with this country and the reasons why. It just seemed to me like a chance to stir fears and doubts in the American public once again.
I truly and most sincerely hope I am wrong about my suspicion that the coming months will be nothing but more party rivalries.
For when that happens, it's this country and its citizens that suffer, and both have endured enough.

Amongst the topics discussed by President Obama last night were:
*Bi-partisanship sorely needed to steer this country towards the future.
*He will be presenting the annual budget within the next few weeks, including a freeze on spending over the next five years as long as it does not hurt existing programs. "Americans find ways to live within their means, and there is no reason why their government shouldn't." Federal employees are already in the midst of a two year pay freeze, and the military has promised to start looking into budget cuts within the various branches.
*End tax breaks to oil companies to hopefully develop alternate fuel sources and means of transportation, like electric cars.
*Improve the education system by stopping the current practice of "teaching to pass tests" and end 'No Child Left Behind', which created the current practice of teaching to past tests.
*Address the issue of illegal aliens.
*Improve the intra-structure of this country.
*American troops in Iran and Afghanistan will start coming home this July.
*Close the tax breaks and loopholes, especially for the rich, and restructure the tax code so it's easier/fairer to every tax payer.
*Reduce the deficit.
*"Wire this country", by improving the existing technology and access to it, allowing everyone on the information superhighway, aka the Internet.

Although there was not a whole lot of detail in regards to exactly how all of the above will be accomplished, especially making sure both the Democrats AND the Republicans cooperate with each other, that is not a new thing. Many a past State of the Union address has discussed ideas and goals, but not actual plan details that specific night.
Yet one thing notably absent Tuesday night, besides Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, was any mention of gun control. While there are a whole lot of nervous elected officials in the wake of recent events, I guess we will just have to wait and see what develops on that front.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here, finally back although the problem that kept me away for a while still hasn't been fixed to my liking.
LIFETIME supply of chocolate my hind foot!
For Christmas, I got this really big box that I thought was PART of a lifetime supply of Belgosian dark chocolate. But by January 12, the box was empty!
So I thought another box would be coming soon, but guess what?
That one box was it!
What was the Bubblehead who gave it to me, let alone the chocolate people, thinking?
For one thing, the chocolate people claim you were only supposed to eat ONE piece a day. Are they kidding?
Me and chocolate is like anyone else and oxygen. There is NO way you could ever eat just one piece of that great Belgosian dark chocolate a day!
Plus, do you know how long dragons live? I think there should be a LOT more chocolate coming my way, but right now I have to let my lawyer fight it out with the chocolate people and that Bubblehead.
Meanwhile, let me tell you some good food jokes.

What did the bread say to the margarine?
Don't try to butter me up!

Why did the student throw his lunch in the garbage?
It was nothing but junk food.

What kind of frankfurter shivers a lot?
A chili dog.

Why does the person in charge of the school never skip lunch?
It's their principal meal.

What do joggers do during their lunch hour?
They eat and run.

Well folks, I'm afraid that's all the space I have for this weekend.
Have a great week and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies! -wd.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The following is an editorial.

This past week marked the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy taking the oath of office to become the 35th President of the United States.
I have waited until now to post anything about the anniversary because frankly, I did not know what to say at first. I possess no negative thoughts about the man, but most of his life was lived before I was even born and I was but a wee infant during the last year and a half of his life.
It's easy to look back upon his life and times with awe. The Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the growing conflict in Viet Nam, the Peace Corps, the dream that became realized with the first human beings setting foot upon the surface of the moon.
So instead, I ask "What if?"
What if Kennedy was never assassinated? If such a dastardly deed was even still attempted in this dream scenario, it's nice to think that all the culprits would have been discovered and the conspiracy (if any) would be revealed.
But what if Kennedy not only finished serving his first term in office, but successfully won reelection for a second, making him President until whoever succeeded him took office in January 1969?
When would the Civil Rights issue have been resolved? It was definitely something Kennedy was concerned about, but never got to completely address himself.
Would America still have entered the Viet Nam war? Kennedy was hoping to find a peaceful solution to the situation in the early 1960s. Would he have succeeded?
Who would have been sworn in as the 36th President of the United States come January 1969? Would then Vice-President Lyndon Johnson have run? Would Kennedy's brother Robert still have sought that office in 1968? Or would Richard Nixon (or someone else) have ran and won?
Whatever the answer in this alternative history, John F. Kennedy still would not have been President when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon later that year, but he definitely would have been amongst the loudest cheering them on.
And what would Kennedy have done with his life after leaving office?
One can only wonder.
Obviously, events since November 22, 1963 definitely would have been vastly different under this scenario.
But in the end, sadly, all we can ask is "What if?"


Amongst the events happening around the world this past week...

*Catherine Ashton, the European Union's Foreign Policy Chief announced that no accords were reached between Iran and neighboring super powers. No formal date for future talks talks had been scheduled at press time.
*American President Barack Obama welcomed China's President Hu Jintao to the White House this week to discuss issues affecting both countries. Amongst the results of this diplomatic visit include a $45 billion dollar export deal.
*March 11 has been set as the date for general elections in Ireland, amidst growing concerns about the problems of that country and the recent resignation of several ministers.
*The (alleged) gunman in that tragic Arizona shooting has been formally indicted and awaits trial. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been safely transported to a medical facility in Texas to begin traversing the long road to rehabilitation that awaits her.
*American Samoa has officially banned smoking in enclosed public and private spaces.
*Former Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier faces charges of corruption, torture, crimes against humanity, and other offensives after returning to Haiti earlier this month.
*Steve Jobs has announced he is taking a medical leave of absence as CEO of Apple. A memo made the decision public. Tim Cook will handle the "day to day" activities while Jobs concentrates upon his health.
*Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps, has passed away at age 95.

*The Social Network, Glee, The Kids Are All Right, and Boardwalk Empire were amongst the big winners at the 68th annual Golden Globes this past Sunday night.
*Teresa Scanlan of Nebraska was crowned the 90th Miss America last Saturday night.
*Although critics complained such a move "removes competitive forces and will hurt consumers in the long run", the FCC and the United States Justice Department have given Comcast and NBC Universal permission to merge.

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


It's a winter's day, in a deep and dark January; and I'm in a musical mood.
So sing with me and find the key as we stay warm with a few mind teasers during this brief (American) TV musical quiz.

01. What was the actual title of the theme song to The Greatest American Hero?
02. Who sang "The Unknown Stuntman", the theme song to the TV series The Fall Guy?
03. What TV theme song includes reminisces about Glenn Miller and Herbert Hoover?
04. Although mostly played during the course of the series as an instrumental, what TV theme song was entitled "Suicide Is Painless"?
05. Based upon the Billboard charts of record sales and radio play, what was the most successful (American) TV theme song of all time (to date)?

Tune in next weekend, same Puzzle Corner time, same Puzzle Corner website, for the results.
Meanwhile, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX for the results of January 15's Puzzle Corner.

The musical duo of Kix and Ronnie are more commonly known by their last names: Brooks and Dunn.

So since there's a lot of shoveling involved with WINTER anyway, amongst the letters in that word you can find I, in, it, inter, net, new, nit, rein, rent, rite, ten, tin, tine, tire, win, wit, writ, (and) write. Other words besides the 18 listed might be possible.

Monday, January 17, 2011



Although he was cowardly assassinated in 1968, today is the 24th celebration of Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior Day here in the United States.
What can be said about the man now that has not already been said by others?
He strove for peace through peaceful means in troubled times, and in many ways, his hopes and dreams have come true, to an extent.
While harmony exists amongst most of the races here in America today, there are still places around the world that do not practice equality amongst their own people.
There are still those around the world that only judge a person by either how rich or poor they are.
Those who prefer to love members of their own gender instead of their opposite one still strive for their own version of equal rights, and anyone HIV positive or dying from AIDS still have to deal with the stigma of that disease, regardless what the source of their original infection was.
While Doctor King was focused upon just one specific issue at the time of his death, I like to feel that being the humanitarian he was, in time his attention would have turned to these other matters as they arose.
Who knows? Maybe someday, everyone will completely be judged by "the content of their character" instead of any other external factor(s) after all.

Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief: The Free Choice E-zine
MLK, JR DAY 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy back again. I'm standing outside my doghouse, or should I say igloo? Thanks to what was called "Winter Storm Benedict" in my neck of the woods last week, we got over 2 feet of snow within a 24 hour period. I spent a lot of time digging it out as much as you see in the photo on the left and am quite proud of my work.
Then again, I'm a dog. What am I supposed to do, grab a shovel like a human? What do you think these great four paws I have are for? Playing a complete game of bridge by myself?

For those expecting Ms. Waxy Dragon this weekend, she called and asked if I could do another Sunday because she is in the middle of legal negotiations with her lawyer. Someone gave her a "lifetime" supply of Belgosian Dark Chocolate as a present this past Christmas. A great present if you ask me. But the problem is, apparently by January 12, she at it all! That's a very short lifetime if you ask me. Granted, Waxy has a heck of a sweet tooth, but  you never want to see an angry dragon when she runs out of chocolate!
Anyway, after all the snow, as the sun tries to come out and melt what it can before the next snow storm arrives, you get icicles.
As you can see in the second picture, I think icicles can be beautiful under the right circumstances, but I'm glad my doghouse wasn't perched under the one in the picture on the left. Snoopy had to face that once in a classic Peanuts sequence by Charles Shultz, and that brave beagle didn't even use a stunt dog! Not this smart puppy! Maybe with the right contract I would consider it, but not without a stunt dog for the dangerous action scenes.
Since this photo was taken, that killer icicle has come crashing to the ground. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it made a tremendous noise upon landing.

Speaking of classic comic strips, if you happen to have access to the classic presentation of Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson, right now they are rerunning the famous sequence of "Calvin versus the Snow Goon(s)".
Granted, another fun time from the comics, but if I was going to get into a fight with any snow people, I would prefer to do it with the jolly group on the left.
Now since last weekend's Sunday Funnies, some of you fine folks have e-mailed me via our Editor-In-Chief (, wondering why I love winter so much?
Well, I was born late in the year, hence being named Autumn; so winter is the first season I can completely recall from my younger days. Of course, when you're a golden retriever with a nice, thick fur coat, winter seems perfect to you.
Now I do have my limitations though. I awoke Saturday morning to below freezing temperatures so I wisely stayed in yesterday. Drove my people nuts at times because they thought I hated being couped up, which I do. I definitely prefer the great outdoors, as long as the weather is at least bearable. Dogable?

But if I could be anywhere at the moment? (See below.)

Well, that's it for this weekend folks.
Take care, stay warm, and be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Amongst events around the world this past week...

*Senator Gabrielle Giffords is still hospitalized, although doctors deem her condition hopeful.
*Sarah Palin has come under criticism for having Giffords' congressional district, along with 19 others across the country, shown with target icons on a map representing "political enemies", displayed on her website. But an attempt at addressing the issue made it even more controversial when she called those that criticized her "blood libel".
*Memorial services were held for the six who lost their lives during that fateful shoot out last Saturday.
*The gunman is in jail awaiting trial.

*Julian Assange's lawyers fear assassination attempts against their client if the indicted WikiLeaks founder is extradited to the United States.
*Meanwhile, the website has kept its promise of financial help to the legal team of Bradley Manning, the United States' soldier accused of giving classified information to the website.

*Flooding in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil has claimed over 500 lives. Meanwhile, severe flooding problems have also affected areas of Australia.
*There is still civil unrest in Tunisia, despite the fact that President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has fled the country, vowed not to seek reelection; and a new presidential election will be held within the next 60 days. Acting president Fouad Mebazaa has declared a "state of emergency", and swears that country's soldiers are (allegedly) no longer using live ammunition against protesters.
*Former Republican House of Representatives leader Tom Delay was sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of money laundering. Delay's attorneys plan to appeal the conviction.
*A judge has ruled that there is enough valid evidence against Doctor Conrad Murray to face trial for manslaughter charges against the late Michael Jackson.
*Wikipedia is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.

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


Let's try to stay warm with some hot enigmas, shall we?

Kix and Ronnie are better known as what musical duo?

Since we've shoveled enough snow this season as it is, let's see how many words you can make out of the letters in WINTER.

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from January 8, 2011's Puzzle Corner.

SIDINE is actually INSIDE (sidINe), a good place to be this time of year.

01. {February, March} The first 28 days of March are in the same calendar positions as the first 28 of February, unless it's a leap year.
02. {January, July} These two months share the letters J, U, and Y.
True story: Back during ninth grade algebra, for some reason I could not come up with the obvious answer, so instead I wrote "Months with unique weather". My teacher liked that answer so much, he gave me an extra ten points.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
And as you can see, I've been having a great time digging in all the snow that has fallen at my place the last few days. Then again, I'm a dog. What else am I supposed to do with this stuff?
With four paws and a nice fur coat, I don't mind being out in this stuff.  But I know winter can be ruff for some of you folks.
Now, if you don't have to be out and about in this stuff, DON'T!
Winter driving is NOT for everyone.
Case in point, at left. Thankfully this is just a snowmobile crossing, but if this was a regular vehicle intersection...
Snow is fun to play in afterwards, but if you don't have four paws and a perchance for digging to begin with, it's not fun for Humans to shovel once all is said and done.
Of course, with it being winter, there will be plenty of opportunities to do that. Just think of it as temporary job security.
Can you imagine working at an outdoor cafe?
This time of year, about the only customers a place like that would get are penguins and polar bears.
Or this big fellow on the left. He looks jolly enough. Hopefully he's a heavy tipper. The guy looks like he could eat an avalanche. But then again, that's the problem with snow. You can eat a lot of it, and boy do I, but an hour later you'll just be hungry again. I'll give you folks a wonderful piece of advice though. If your snow is any color other than white, DON'T EAT IT! In any event, that's about all the space I have room for this week and... oh, you know what I mean. I'm going back inside now to warm up my paws and dry out my fur. I would love a good warm drink right now, but dogs aren't supposed to have chocolate (hot or cold) for some dumb reason. Probably because you humans and Waxy Dragon want to keep it all for yourselves. But I wonder if my people would mind warming me up a plate of hot dog food.
Take care and stay warm everyone! We'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies! (AtP)

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The following is an editorial.

From time to time, events happens that require more space than what our regular feature THE WEEK IN REVIEW allows coverage for, hence taking a closer look at specific events here.
Both items this time share the common theme: "Do The Right Thing", as we discuss editing Mark Twain and 'The Golden Voice'.

*New South Books is planning a new edition of Mark Twain's classics Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, replacing the offensive words of the original text with more sociably acceptable ones.
According to the company's website ( they will be reuniting the two novels under one volume, reinstating a passage that was originally intended for that book, but instead was used within Twain's Life On The Mississippi, and thus was omitted by the original publisher to avoid duplication.
And the offensive 'N' and 'I' words in regards to two characters will be replaced throughout, for they are now referred to as Slave Jim and Indian Joe within the text. The use of these offensive words has kept the books out of a lot of schools (and libraries?) over the years.

While there is no complaints about publishing the two novels together, which has been done before, one must wonder about the editing.
While the addition of the originally deleted passage is a minor quibble at best, the more major change in regards to the word substitution raises some issues and concerns.
Thankfully we live in more enlightened times, so those 'N' and 'I' words are no longer used. In the case of the latter, since it was the younger characters that used it most of the time, I always thought the 'I' word was just Twain being true to the personas of Tom and Huck at the time.
Surely a foreword before the first novel, or a footnote the first time each word appears, about the differences in society between then and now would be more appropriate than editing the novels outright.

This story has already gotten plenty of media attention, which in itself is a good thing, for people are talking about the issues and the books themselves.
Yet should such classics be edited? For in the end, that is basically what is going on. Mark Twain is no longer available to speak for himself, but by all accounts was against slavery, thus Tom and Huck trying to get Jim North to freedom.
I think readers are a lot more astute than the general public and "concerned citizens" give them credit for. While these books are not for the very young, those around the ages of the title characters within the stories and older will accept the original texts as a product of their times and recognize them as the literary classics they are today.

I personally left a comment on the New South website, but it has yet to be published. All the replies to their announcement appear to be from other sources covering their plans. Go figure.

*Ted Williams (no known relation to the famous American baseball player) became a video sensation after an interview the homeless man gave to a local Columbus, Ohio reporter was downloaded on to
Since then, Williams has been given several announcing job offers based upon "his golden voice" and was recently reunited with his 92 year old mother in New York.

While not every instance will have 'miraclous' or 'wonderful' results like this, it's nice to see that even in these troubled times, efforts are still being made to help those in need.

Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief: The Free Choice E-zine.


We are a full week into the new year, and amongst the events that have happened around the world...

*United States Investigators are seeking a court order to require Twitter to reveal all account information, including users' data and private messages, of WikiLeaks' account with the instant message company. Some feel similar actions may soon be pursued against the besieged company with Google and Facebook, if not already in progress.
*A series of package bombs, all sent from a singular postal zone, have been appearing across the Washington DC zone, comprised of the nation's capital and its surrounding areas. Authorities are confident of catching the culprit(s), but are not saying when or how.
*Although the main Health Care Reform Act is still under attack by Republicans, United States President Barack Obama has signed into law the 9/11 Emergency Workers Health Bill, granted those affected from their rescue efforts extended benefits.
*Ten year old Kathryn Gray of Canada has been accredited with discovering a supernova all by herself!
*Spain now has a country wide ban on smoking in bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.
*Andrew Wakefield's claim that autism is linked to the Measles, Mumps, Rubella vaccine has been declared false by the British Medical Journal.

For more news at any time, feel free to either scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.


It's another wintry weekend, so here are some more puzzles to keep the mind warm.

The image below represents something. Do you know what it is?


The following items have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {February, March}
02. {January, July}

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

NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
CSI stands for Crime Scene Investigation.

Out of the letters in NEW YEAR, once can spell: a, an, are, awe, ear, earn, near, ran, war, warn, way, we, wee, wear, were, yarn, (and) yawn. Other words besides the 17 listed might be possible.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The following is an editorial.

Dear Congress:

Congratulations on beginning the 112th session of that august body of American politics.
However, I must wonder where is that spirit of bi-partisanship that is supposed to be practiced.
Sure, everything was nice and friendly within the opening ceremonies yesterday, but since then...?
Your new Republican Speaker of the House (of Representatives) swears that his party will repeal the Health Care Reform Act, although with a Democratic Senate and White House, provided that measure does past the House, nothing else can be done on that agenda, even if you do have a valid argument (which I personally have yet to hear) for doing so.
Tackle the economy, the ecology, world peace, whatever...

Just remember: the folks that elected everyone in to Congress during the last election are the same voters than can oust you come 2012; and we ARE weary of all the bickering, grandstanding, party politics, and lack of progress on worthwhile achievements.

Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Okay, I freely admit that it's shameless plug time once again, but I wouldn't be doing these if I didn't think they were worth if, even if I wasn't personally involved.
This month, Peculiar Adventures third issue is now available from both Pro Se Productions ( and Lulu ( in either print or downloadable e-copy.
Behind the painted cover by David Burton of the Sovereign City cast, you will find more pulse pounding pulp adventure than you can shake a stick at. With stories of
Doc Daye and Lazarus Gray in Sovereign City by Tommy Hancock and Barry Reese respectively; along with:
Hairy Khetar and the Philosophers' Stones by Teel James Glenn, The Cerebus Clan must stop a "Prison Break" with Ken Janssens' help, a special preview of Bobby Nash's new book With Evil Intent, "Demolition" by Kevin Rodgers, "Razor Eater and the Rattle Bones" by Joshua Reynolds, Peculiar Oddfellow must face "The Gauntlet of Years" by Tommy Hancock; What Is The Fate Of Gary Wooten? by Fuller Bumpers and John Palmer IV; and in my own series Wylde World, the heroes must take "The First Steps" to escape death.
What more could a pulp fan, adventure lover, or avid reader want?
Available now from either of the websites listed above.


Last week during an episode of the syndicated game show Wheel of Fortune, the category was 'Before and After', with the puzzle answer being 'Belly Dancing With The Stars', compounding Belly Dancing with the television program Dancing With The Stars.
Now, with all the so called "reality" show concepts that the networks hope viewers might be interested in, I'm honestly surprised that none of them have considered this one yet.
Belly Dancing With The Stars.
If you could get enough willing contestants, I think this show might actually attract viewers. Don't you?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Hello peoples. My name is Merlin.
I'm a cat.
All the other peoples who work here have day off because it start of new year.
Since me all alone in Free Choice office, thought I'd share New Year's resolutions with everyone, although why cats have to make these, I don't know.
Cats are purrfect.
My humans will never let me eat pet hamster, and I am at peace with that. Besides, last one tasted terrible anyway.

I will not puff my entire body to twice its size for no reason after my humans have finished watching a horror movie, though I still think it funny.

I will not slurp fish food from the surface of the aquarium. Besides, fish food tastes awful. Me want fish, but they all swim to bottom when I come near. How fish can eat fish food is beyond meow.

I will not eat large numbers of assorted bugs in Spring and Summer, then come home and puke them up just so my humans can see that I'm getting plenty of roughage.

I will not use the bathtub to store live mice for late-night snacks.

I will not perch on any human's chest in middle of night and stare into their eyes until they wake up. But what else is there for me to do at night? I slept most of the day and still haven't figured out the TV remote control yet.

Me and the other kitties will not play "Herd of Thundering Wildebeests Stampeding Across Plains of Serengeti" while humans trying to sleep.

Screaming at can of food will not make it open itself. But if cats could work can opener, humans would be out of job.

I cannot leap through closed windows to catch birds outside. If I forget this and bonk my head on window and fall behind the couch in my attempt, I will not get up and do the same thing again. At least not until the next time.

I will not assume the patio door is open when I race outside to chase stuff.

I will not stick my paw into container on desk to see if there is something in it. If I do, I will not hiss and scratch when my human has to shave me to get the rubber cement out of my fur.

If I bite the cactus, it will bite back. But then again, it started fight.

When it rains, it will be raining on all sides of house. It is not necessary to check every door.

Bird feeder is for birds. Not a place for me to wait for dinner.
When humans are typing at computer, their forearms are *not* a hammock.

Computer and TV screens do not exist to back light my lovely tail.
Computer mouse is NOT edible.

If me want to be on TV, will wait for human to get video camera, not take the matter into my own paws.

Magic box in kitchen has food, but not all food for cats. We will not try to force magic box open when no one is around, no matter how close we cats are getting to achieving goal.

Sleeping at top of staircase in middle of night is not "being on sentry duty". Fall is a season, not a human sporting event.

Well, that all there is. Have good week peoples and be back soon for more Sunday Funnies. >^;^<

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The new year is just hours old. The annual Tournament of Roses Parade has concluded and the college bowl football games continue apace for sports fans.
But what else do we have in the days and weeks ahead?

*The United States Congress swears in a new assembly later this month, and the first thing the Republican majority of the House of Representatives vows it will do is get the Obama Health Care Reform Act repealed, provided it survives a federal court ruling that parts of the new law are unconstitutional because Congress "overstepped its boundaries" drafting it.
*The minimum hourly wage for the average worker will be rising slightly for American employees soon, much to the dismay of some employers.
*North and South Korea are still in contention with each other.
*Unrest in the Middle East still flares up at times.
*NASA's Messenger probe approaches its orbital objective of Mercury while the Space Shuttle prepares for its last mission before retiring.
*The planet Neptune will complete its FIRST (known) orbit around the Sun since being discovered in 1846.
*All United States troops are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of the year.

And of course, The Free Choice E-zine will be here for you dear readers.


As the world enters 2011, let's look back at some of the events that happened around the globe during the last week of 2010, including:

*Dilma Rousseff officially became Brazil's first female president January 1.
*Italy is poised to ban the use of plastic bags in that country.
*WikiLeaks executive Julian Assange is selling the rights to his autobiography to raise money for his legal fees to fight rape charges. Meanwhile, more classified documents have been released on a steady basis, much to the dismay of world governments.
*Buckingham Palace announced the birth of Queen Elizabeth II's first great grandchild, born to Peter and Autumn Phillips.

*The 122 presentation of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade has already kicked off 2011.
*2011 marks the 40th anniversary of the card game Uno! and the 30th anniversary of the video game hit Pac-man!
*Oprah Winfrey OWN cable network begins its broadcast history.

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


We have the start of 2011 upon us, so let's celebrate with some fresh games.

There are a lot of fans of both the NCIS and the CSI franchises on television. But do you know what the acronyms stand for?

Since there is one upon us, how many words can you make out of the letters in NEW YEAR?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's finish up some old business from 2010 and peek into THE ANSWERS BOX for the results of our Christmas specials narrators quiz.

Jimmy Durante was the unnamed host of Frosty The Snowman. (C-1)
Jonathan Winters was the unnamed narrator Frosty Returns. (J-2)
An otherwise unidentified Andy Griffith escorted us through Frosty's Winter Wonderland. (E-3)
Greer Garson narrated The Little Drummer Boy off screen. (D-4)
Buddy Hackett as Pardon-Me-Pete the Groundhog told the story of Jack Frost. (F-5)
Roger Miller as Spieltoe, a donkey belonging to Santa Claus, told the story of Nestor, the Long Earred Christmas Donkey. (H-6)
Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman related the story of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (G-7)
Red Skelton as Father Time told us of Rudolph's Shiny New Year. (I-8)
Fred Astaire portrayed S(pecial) D(elivery) Kluger, a postman, because Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. (A-9)
And Shirley Booth as Mrs. Claus told the story of The Year Without A Santa Claus. (B-10)