Sunday, January 29, 2012


Cat lover, but NOT ALF style
Hello Everybody. Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
Now long time readers of this e-zine know that I love cats.
No, not the way that furry Melmacian claimed to on TV.
I honestly think that, after dragons of course, cats are the most intelligent animal at least on this planet, if not in the whole universe.
Except for maybe these two characters.
The gray patterned one is named Merlin, because he's tricky.
The other is named Mischief for obvious reasons.
And don't let those innocent looking faces fool you.

Recently their owner, as if anyone can truly 'own' a cat, Nancy A. Hansen found these two fighting over the cordless phone she left sitting on her bed and decided to take a few quick pictures of them at play.
I added the funny captions.

"It's for you."
(Phone starts to ring)
Merlin: Who's disturbing my nap?
Mischief: Not me. Are you disturbing my nap?
Merlin: Not me. It's that thing.
Mischief: Well, you deal with it. I'm tired.
Merlin: Why me? You're closer to it.
Mischief: I don't want anyone to know I'm here. We're not supposed to be sleeping on the bed.
Merlin: We're cats. We sleep anywhere.
Mischief: True.

"You get it!"

(Phone still ringing)
Merlin: Are you going to answer it?
Mischief: No. Me don't want phone bill.
Merlin: Well, I don't want it either. You answer it.
Mischief: No, you.
Merlin: You answer it.
Mischief: You not boss of me.
Merlin: Am too. Was born before you in litter.
Mischief: That only make you older, not boss.

"Me TOP cat!

(Phone still ringing)
Merlin: You get it!
Mischief: No, you!

(Brief cat fight ensues)

The Winners

(Phone stops ringing)
Merlin: It stopped.
Mischief: Yeah.
Merlin: Guess we showed it who's boss.
Mischief: Yes, we did. Now back to nap?
Merlin: Okay.

Okay folks, it should be noted that no phone calls were missed during the making of this post and the cats in question were photographed only in peaceful play.
Otherwise these two and all their kin are quite adorable, although not every cat will admit that publicly. Some of them do have reputations to protect.

That's all for today. Have a great week and please be back here next time for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was first published on January 30, 1932, making this coming Monday the novel's 80th anniversary.
For those celebrating, January 31 is observed by Mad magazine as National Gorilla Suit Day.

Amongst events in the news around the world this past week...
*Croatian voters have approved the country's proposed accession to the European Union.
*President Barack Obama gave the 2012 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on American television Tuesday night. More in depth coverage of this event is elsewhere on The Free Choice E-zine.
*Arizona Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords has resigned her House of Representatives position to devote the time to complete medical rehabilitation after surviving an assassination attempt in 2011.
*The European Union imposed more sanctions against Iran's oil and banking industries because of that country's continued nuclear program.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria, Bahraini, and Somalia.
*Twitter has announced altering their system to allow country specific censoring of individual messages.
*The death toll in the Costa Concordia shipping disaster stands at 15 as the investigation continues.

*The 46th Super Bowl will be played between the NFC's New York Giants and the AFC's New England Patriots to determine 2012 National Football (non soccer version) League champion on February 5.
*Former Pennsylvania State University college football coach Joe Patterno passed away from lung cancer complications.
*New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has retired from playing Major League Baseball.

*The 2012 Academy Awards nominations were announced Tuesday and can be accessed at or on Wikipedia. The winners will be announced February 26 with Billy Crystal hosting the ceremony.

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


The weather's mixed around the world this weekend. So whether your in or out, here's some enigmas to keep you company.

Two distinct things or phrases share at least one word and can be combined to make something new. Based upon the clue below, do you know what it is?

The astronomers at the Royal Observatory in London, England were surprised to discover it was too late to go out and celebrate discovering a new constellation.

The items in each group have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {Roy, Jeff, Bob, George, Tom}
02. {Rogers, Jones, Blake, Dinkley}

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from January 21's Puzzle Corner.

What showed warned viewers during its theme song (at least in the English version)
"The writers quit. We have no script. Why bother to rehearse?"
It's time for Animaniacs!

What four letter word, when you keep the constants in place and only change the vowel, gives you an item and all the verb tenses of its use?
SONG, because you can SING, SANG, and SUNG.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Our resident poetress of the past, Nancy A. Hansen is taking the New Pulp Fantasy world by storm with her work. And to think, we knew her when. But while we have high hopes that she will contribute more poems when her busy schedule permits, The Free Choice E-zine is excited about and supports her latest endeavor.


Cover painting by David Russell
Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher in the New Pulp Movement, announced its latest release today!  A three story collection entitled ‘Tales of the Vagabond Bards’ written by Nancy Hansen is now available.   Hansen, a prolific author in Pulp Fantasy, follows up her first novel, “Fortune’s Pawn” with this trio of tales set in the same world as the novel, but looking at events through a different set of eyes.

According to Pro Se, “In a time of upheaval, where magick and religion often collide, those who keep the old ways are increasingly shunned and ridiculed. The Vagabond Bards, a dedicated group of musicians, singers, actors, poets, and teachers of the unwritten oral folklore of the Terran Worlds, are finding themselves coming under pressure to disband or face probable imprisonment—even death. For generations these roving men and women have spread throughout the population, dedicating their lives to educating and assisting their fellow Humans while recording and preserving their knowledge and experiences, making sure the tales and knowledge of the past are kept alive throughout the mostly illiterate masses. Sworn to Understand, Love, and Keep the Truth, they now face strong opposition from the upstart religion of Helios the Sun God, whose belief is sweeping the countryside whether the people like it or not, rewriting history and changing their views of the past in the most alarming manner. These are the tales of those heroic troubadours, who fight for justice not with weapons, but with words.”

This exciting collection of fantasy fiction from one of New Pulp’s brightest stars in the genre not only debuts a whole new cast of characters and tales from Nancy, but is also the first volume in Pro Se’s latest author focused imprint: Hansen’s Way! 

"There are times when it is mindboggling,” commented Hansen concerning all her work leading to her own imprint, “and I’m surprised I can keep the details straight. When I was approached about having my own imprint—which is an honor for anyone, let alone someone who previous to 2010 was an unknown writer—I immediately thought about all those short stories in the Terran World (the home of the Vagabond Bards, Fortune's Pawn, its forthcoming sequel Prophecy's Gambit, and other adventures to come) and bringing them in under one banner. I have 5 different series on the Terran World right now; each with its own unique setting and recurring characters, and there have been some crossover characters and settings between them. It just makes more sense to keep them under one flagship imprint than scattering them hither and yon in other publications.”

“Nancy is a hit,” stated Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Press, “both with the company and readers eager to follow her work. Fortune’s Pawn had a great showing not only as a debut novel, but as a fantasy work as well, and Nancy has so many stories bubbling and ready to boil over. Stories that appeal to all sorts of readers: New Pulp fans, fantasy followers, and more!  And now they can all easily find her work by following ‘Hansen’s Way.’”

Hansen’s Way is the latest Pro Se imprint.  Following the announcement mid-2010 of Reese Unlimited, the first Pro Se imprint, Hansen’s Way is the second Author Focused Imprint from the publisher.  “When an author,” Hancock commented, “presents us not only with a large, but solid body of work, such as the imaginative worlds of fantasy whirling around in Nancy’s mind, it makes sense to put them in a package.  Especially when the stories hit a vein with fans as Nancy’s obviously have.” 

“Tales of the Vagabond Bards” is available via Amazon as well as via Pro Se Pulp’s CreateSpace store ( in print and will be available via Smashwords and Amazon as an ebook within the next week!  With an excellent cover by David Russell and formatting for the print version by Sean Ali and for the ebook by Russ Anderson, this is truly a Pro Se Book to add to your collection!

For more information on this title or any Pro Se publication, email Hancock at and check out Pro Se at!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


President Obama
United States President Barack Obama fulfilled one of his commitments as President and delivered the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, January 24, 2012
Below is our coverage of the event, with editorial commentary afterwards between the bold, italicized headers.
(Official White House photo courtesy of Google Images)

In a year when the incumbent is running for reelection, each President starts off by listing the current and past achievements of their administration, and President Obama was no exception.
Then he went on to discuss his hopes and goals not only for the remainder of 2012, but beyond.

President Obama wants to continue (re)building the economy and the infrastructure of America, citing that Congress could take the money no longer being used for war and put half of it towards the national debt and the rest towards improving roads, etc.

To continue working upon the economy, the President went on to propose:
*No tax breaks for companies who outsource jobs.
*Overseas divisions of American based companies should be taxed fairly.
*Financial help for companies that are working in and for America.
*Start improving fair trade practices to "level the playing field".

President Obama then went on to discuss the possibility of establishing a national jobs training program, which led into his discussion of improving education.
*"Stop teaching to the tests!"
*Establishing an initiative for students to stay in high school until they graduate, or at least turn 18.
*Reorganize the student loan and fiance programs so attending college did not immediately result in assuming a mountain of debt upon receiving a diploma.

This led into a brief discussion as to college students who are technically not American citizens at risk of deportation and a desire to address that situation to prevent losing a valuable commodity in this country: our future.

The President then went on to discuss the job market, citing that there had been some improvement, but not as much as he wanted or there should be. "There should be equal pay for equal work", and vowed to support small businesses and start up companies, while saying that big companies should shoulder their responsibilities. "No bailouts, hand outs, or cop outs," and a desire to improve the tax codes and delete obsolete and outdated legislation from the books, like "farmers had to once prove they could contain a milk spill."

Barack Obama expressed the desire to see more clean energy development not only in regards to alternate fuels, but existing resources as well. "We do not need to choose between the environment and the economy."

He used the US Military at both the beginning and end of his speech as an example of how a diverse group of people could unite and accomplish many things, while also promising that the various branches of service would stay strong despite any possible budget cutbacks.

Then after the President concluded his State of the Union address, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana, gave the Republican rebuttal.

President Obama has plenty of hopes, dreams, and good ideas, but is the first to admit that things are not getting done the way they should be. Several times he called for bipartisan cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. Although neither side is totally innocent in regards to obstructions and rhetoric, the party that hopes to put a new person in the Oval Office come 2013 has the worser track record.

He made several statements to the affect of  "Send me the bill and I'll sign it!" although also made his position clear that he would not support any legislation that attempted to reset things back to the way they were before he became President.

The divisions between the "haves and have nots", more recently labeled as the "1% versus the 99%" were addressed, with President Obama expressing the desire to not only move the country forward, but to make things more equal for everyone. "A secretary should not have to pay more taxes than the CEO she works for."

As you can imagine, there were a lot of moments during the State of the Union address where the Democratic members of Congress in attendance applauded more than their Republican counterparts.

The only thing I will give the Governor of Indiana credit for was managing to deliver that speech with a straight face.
Mitch Daniels, and by default the Republican Party itself, conceded that a lot of the problems facing America were already in existence before Barack Obama won the election in 2008 and was sworn in as President in 2009, but never went on record to admit who was actually responsible.

He recalled a time when America was "able to send a pension check to retired millionaires" and the (Republican) desire to support (big) businesses in order to make this country great again.


Monday, January 23, 2012


Ms. Waxy Dragon here wishing everybody a Happy New Year!
What's that? Today's January 23?
I'm not late by the Lunar calendar.
Today starts the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Although with all that snow I see outside my window right now, Spring might be a little late.
Image courtesy of Google Images
The festivities are basically between now and the upcoming full moon, steep with traditions such as the welcoming of the deities on the first day, visiting with family on the second, and other events leading to the Lantern Festival on the last day.
I have extra reason to celebrate because 2012 is the Year of the Dragon!

Tradition holds that the lunar calendar cycle is based not only upon the phases of the moon, but the Chinese zodiac as well.
Those born (hatched?) during the Year of the Dragon are said to be extremely lucky. Other personality traits include being intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, artistic, generous, and loyal. That describes us dragons to a tee!
Famous people born during a dragon year include (alphabetically) Juilette Binoche, Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, Colin Farrell, Calista Flockhart, Courtney Love, Julie Ormond, Isabella Rossellini, Dinah Shore, and Reese Witherspoon.
But perhaps the person most associated with this is the late martial arts expert Bruce Lee, who was born in the 1940 dragon cycle and found fame first as an instructor, and then as a stunt coordinator-performer before going on to star as Kato in the 1960s television version of The Green Hornet and such feature films as Fists of Fury and The Way of the Dragon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


"Despite the fur coat, I'm still cold!"
Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here.
Ms. Waxy Dragon will be with us tomorrow to kick off the Chinese Lunar New Year since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.
Now one thing I've noticed about Humans is that you folks love your sports. Whether it's watching or actually participating in them, there is not a day that goes by without sports entering the picture at least once in any 24 hour period.
Right now professional football (not the soccer version) is working its way through the playoffs to determine the two teams that will compete in this year's Super Bowl. Basketball is bouncing at last professionally, and the warmer weather games like baseball and golf will be starting up soon enough.
Personally, I like the warmer weather games.
A warm Spring or Summer day. Fresh green grass to romp and play on. Aah...
Sure beats the winter stuff we've got right now.
So let's get right to it with some sports jokes.

Why did the football player want change for a dollar?
He needed a quarter back.

What is a golfer's favorite letter?

How is a baseball team like a pancake?
They both need a good batter.

Why did the golfer wear two pairs of pants?
In case he got a hole in one.

Despite the fact baseball already has Cardinals, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Marlins, (geez, that's a long list) what is actually the best animal to play baseball?
Bats. After all, both teams have plenty whenever they play.

Why did the football player quit after his team mistakenly made a touchdown at their own end zone?
Because they had achieved their goal.

And on that note, we'll wrap it up for now.
Take care everyone. Have a great week, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.-AtP.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Based upon the Lunar Calendar, the Chinese New Year begins Monday January 23.
United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to make the annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, January 24.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week...
*The American Internet blackout protesting the pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Properties Act (PIPA) got it strongest supporter Wednesday when US President Barack Obama said he would not sign them into law in their current versions, citing the protesters fears that the rights of legitimate Internet users would be curbed at the expense of protecting businesses. The measures have since been postponed indefinitely within their respective Congressional chambers.
*Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice has shut down the file storage site Megaupload as it investigates allegations of copyright infringement.
*As the Republican primary continues, there are only four contenders left. Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and front runner Mick Romney.
*Both Kodak and Hostess have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, although this is the second time for the Twinkees maker.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Yemen.
*Captain Fransceco Shenttino has admitted to navigation errors that led to the wreck of the Costa Condordia last weekend. There were 11 known dead and 20 people still unaccounted for at the time this was posted.
*According to a Universal Press International report, Kim Jong-nam predicts the regime of his biological half brother Kim Jong-un will fail unless North Korea's new leader makes some serious reform changes.
* Souvenirs from a 2011 meteor shower in Morocco have since been analyzed as coming from the planet Mars, most likely a result from an asteroid striking the red planet first before the debris drifted to Earth.

*Singer Etta James has past away.
*Poet John Burnside won the annual T. S. Elliot prize this year for his volume, Black Cat Bone.
*Priceline has announced that although William Shatner is still under contract as a company spokesman, they will be doing away with the Priceline Negotiator character in an upcoming commercial.
*Laura Kaeppeler of Wisconsin has won the 2012 Miss America title.
*This year marks the 100th anniversary of Universal Studios.

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


Another weekend is upon. The Internet is alive and well after the post SOPA and PIPA protest events. So let's have some fun.

What television program warned viewers during its theme song (at least in the English version):
"The Writers quit, we have no script, why bother to rehearse?"
HINT: While no longer in production, it has been released on DVD.

This involves a four letter word. By keeping the constants in place and only changing vowels, you have an item AND all the verb tenses of its use. Do you know what the words are?

We'll reveal all next weekend. Meanwhile, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of January 14's Puzzle Corner.

We were looking for "To the point", with the You Are Here arrow pointing to the 2.

01. {San Francisco, California, USA; Galveston, Texas, USA}
Both places have had songs sung about them. In this case, by Scott McKenzie and Glen Campbell, respectively.
02. {Dean Martin, Larry Gatlin}
Both have sang songs about Houston (Texas, USA).


On Wednesday, January 18, 2012;  many American Internet websites staged a "blackout" to protest the pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the United States House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Properties Act (PIPA) from the US Senate.

They did this NOT because they supported piracy and the theft of such ideas, but out of fear that the measures in their current forms would hamper the Internet freedoms and privacy that legitimate users now enjoy.

But apparently there were many different ways a website could participate.
The English/American version of Wikipedia went totally offline for the day, replacing the online encyclopedia with a message encouraging visitors to contact their Congressional representatives in regards to the matter.

Google physically blacked out their logo for the day, making the famous icon interactive with a similar message. Otherwise, all their services were still available, including Google Chrome and Blogger.

Other websites simply switched to a black background January 18th, with their own messages informing users of what was going on.

The only major Internet site that did not seem to participate was Facebook. While it is unknown whether or not they were supposed to, there was no sign or word of the event on their website that this e-zine could ever find.

The Free Choice E-zine itself was torn on the issue. Like many others, we are against online piracy and want our intellectual properties protected. But while we also feared just how far the acts might go if made into law, were uncertain at the time how to alter our visual presentations for the event.

Well, we've since figured it out, as evident by the formatting of this article and the editing to our previous post on the subject.

But was all of this for naught?

Apparently not.

United States President Barack Obama publicly announced that he would not support SOPA or PIPA in their current forms for the same reason many protested the pending acts: that good intentions would go too far and protect the businesses more than the legitimate, private users.

Work on both measures has now been suspended indefinitely within their respective Congressional chambers, although some feel that is only pending the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election this November.

But it is guaranteed that another blackout is not out of the question if necessary.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The following is an editorial.

As this is posted on the afternoon of January 17, 2012; there are several American based websites planning to go dark and voluntarily "blackout" themselves for the 24 hour period of January 18 to protest the possible future actions of the United States Congress.

That august body is considering the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Properties Act (PIPA) in the Senate.

While details are still sketchy at this time in regards to who will do what, all participants in this blackout will resume normal online operations January 19.
Those going dark for the day are concerned that if these two measures become law, they will damage the free and open access of the Internet.
The Free Choice E-zine itself is torn on this issue.

On one hand, we do want our Intellectual Properties protected and online piracy stopped. We certainly do not want the Internet to gain a more "Big Brother/1984" status, or lessen anyone's legitimate rights and uses.

Unfortunately, at this time we are unsure how to physically alter our presentation format to comply and participate in the "blackout".

(January 21 the format for this article was amended. See the above post for details.)
However Google, parent company to our host server Blogger, is planning to honor the blackout tomorrow.

Therefore, if you cannot access this website Wednesday, do not worry.


Take care everybody.
Lee Houston, Junior
Editor-In-Chief, The Free Choice E-zine

The above was an editorial.



Monday, January 16, 2012


Image courtesy of Google Images
Like many, he had a dream.

"...that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Yet unlike some, he chose not to pursue those lofty goals through violence, but instead sought resolution and change through more peaceful methods.

"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."

In a time where not everyone was treated equal, he tried to change the way not only individuals, but a nation and a world thought.

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior was assassinated on April 4, 1968. While he saw progress within his short lifetime, including passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he never considered his work finished.

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

Today we pause to celebrate the memory of the man and his efforts, and acknowledge that while the world is not perfect, it is far better than it once was.

"I believe that unarmed truth, and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Sit? Stay? When can I do what I want?
Hello Everyone. Autumn the Puppy here!
Ms. Waxy Dragon will be back January 23 to kick off the Chinese New Year because 2012 is, based upon the lunar calendar, the Year of the Dragon.
Meanwhile, although some of the courses were a bit ruff at times, I have already passed obedience school, but still wish I could attend a regular school like you Humans do.
It must be fun to learn new stuff every day.
But for some reason there are those who don't seem to think so.
In fact, let's see how well you do right now.
Class is in session. Time for a pop quiz.
No, not about Coke, Pepsi, or even your dads. I'm gonna post some questions, and we'll see how well you do.

01. When did Napoleon die?
No, the answer is not "In his last battle".
He actually died in exile on the island of Saint Helena in 1821.
Maybe I should try an easier one on you.

02. Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?
No, I'm afraid the answer is not Grant, because when you're entombed, your coffin lies above ground.
Now if I had asked "Who is entombed in Grant's Tomb?", then Grant would be the right answer, for if anyone else was in there, then it wouldn't be Grant's Tomb.
Let's try this again.

03. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
No, not "On the bottom".
It was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Let's see if I can find an even easier one.

04. How can you drop a raw egg on a concrete floor without breaking it?
Yes, that gentleman in the back who keeps frantically raising his hand.
What? Oh, the bathroom is out the back door, down the hall, and to the right.
Anyone else?
I'll repeat the question.

04. How can you drop a raw egg on a concrete floor without breaking it?
Yes, that lady in the brown dress.
"Any way you want to. Concrete floors are very hard to crack."

Okay. We have a winner! Class is dismissed. Take care, have a great week, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-AtP.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Doctor Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 16.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week included...
*The cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the coast of Tuscany earlier today. There are only three known fatalities at this time as rescue efforts continue. The ongoing investigation into the incident was focusing upon the ship's captain at last report.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Yemen.
*The latest election returns show incumbent Ma Ying-jeou retaining the Presidency in the Republic of China.
*Cancer survivors and current patients are lobbying Mattel toys to produce a bald Barbie doll to help ease the pain and suffering of young cancer patients.
*The Free Choice E-zine celebrated its 10,000th view on the Blogger server January 13th.

*Although the next primary is not until January 21 in South Carolina; a Federal judge has ruled that Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman have all failed to file their petitions to be placed on the Virginia Primary March 6 in time, and are not eligible for votes to determine the Republican Presidential candidate.
*Since last weekend, the initial field of 12 main candidates for the Republican Presidential Nomination have been reduced to Mitt Romney (who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire) and Ron Paul, along with Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, and Huntsman.

*The last episode of the ABC Network soap opera One Life To Live aired yesterday, January 13th, ending a 44 year run on the air. A new talk show is to debut Monday, leaving General Hospital as the only remaining soap opera on the network's daytime schedule.
*The 2012 Miss America pageant is to be held tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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


Another weekend is upon us, and puzzle fans know what that means!

Something familiar is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?


The items in each group have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {San Francisco, California, USA; Galveston, Texas, USA}
02. {Dean Martin, Larry Gatlin}

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from the January 7 Puzzle Corner.

Yes, there really was a Chef Boyardee! While a bit more stylized now, that is a picture of company founder Ettore Boiardi on every product.

The highest denomination of United States currency in production is the $100 bill.

Friday, January 13, 2012

OUR 10,000th VIEW!





Those who might believe in superstitions know what today is.
Triskaidekaphobia is simply the fear of the number 13.
FRIGGAtriskaidekaphobia is the specific fear of Friday the 13th.
And 2012 has THREE of them this year. January's, as well as encores in April and July, the most any calendar year physically can have.
A lot of buildings do not have thirteenth floors. Some even go as far as creating an empty space between the 12th and 14th floors to trap any potential bad luck.
A lot of places with numbered rooms like hotels and apartments do not designate a number 13, which is why most start with number 100.
The next time you are at a theater, if the seats are numbered, see if there is a 13th seat, or even a 13th row. Bet you cannot find either.
(c) NASA, courtesy of Google Images
No one knows for sure just how such superstitions came into being, for our great, great, ancestors were far less enlightened than we are today.
In truth, there is only one major instance where one can say the number 13 was unlucky.
Apollo 13, the SEVENTH planned mission to the moon, launched in April 1970, but due to an exploding oxygen tank, was forced to abort the journey and return home.
So is there truly anything to fear?
That is something every individual must decide for themselves, but if one let's fear control their lives, there would be a lot less accomplishments in the world today than there actually are.


SMILE! Life IS worth living!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Hello Everybody!
Ms. Waxy Dragon here, and let's all bid a great big welcome to 2012.
In a couple of week's by the Chinese calendar, it will be the Year Of The DRAGON!
And I'm not talking about the late Bruce Lee, although he made some great films over the course of his unfortunately short career.
But right now we have a new year in general to celebrate!

Have you ever wondered about how the years are arranged?
We have the Summer Olympics just once every four years.
Is that because years like 2012 are such great jumpers?
After all, they are LEAP years!

Did you hear about the crook who was caught trying to steal a calendar?
He got 12 months.

Why are calendars so popular?
Because they have so many dates!

Sometimes I wonder if the calendar is wrong. I mean, people complain enough as it is that there aren't enough days in the week to do everything they want or need to do. But when I look at a calendar. I only see seven in any given week. What happened to TWOS day?
And which one is supposed to be TO day? That always seems to be changing.

What is the short order cook's favorite day of the week?
FRY Day.

What is a dessert lover's favorite day of the week?

And on that note, have a great week and 2012 everybody. I'll be back to kick off the Year of the Dragon. Autumn the Puppy will be here next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Welcome to 2012! Amongst the events that have happened around the world within this first week of the new year include:

*United States President Barack Obama has proposed a plan for a leaner, more economically conscious military while maintaining US forces at their present levels.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria, Kenya,Yemen,  South Sudan, Nigeria, and Bahraini.
*Christopher Loeak has been elected President of the Marshall Islands.
*Mitt Romney is the Republican front runner for President of the United States in a field of 12 after the Iowa Caucus January 3, but none of the other candidates have dropped out of the race yet as all prepare for New Hampshire this coming Tuesday.
*North Korea's various media united New Year's Day to present a joint editorial calling for "human shields" to protect their newly appointed Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, who recently took the office his dead father held.
*NASA's GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) mission is underway in hopes of completely mapping Earth's moon and determining the composition of its interior.
*New Mexico has celebrated its centennial of being a member of the United States January 6.

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


Welcome back everybody! It's the first Puzzle Corner of 2012, so let's see how well everyone does. Ready?

This is just like a regular trivia question, only there are two possible answers, hence the even odds of getting it right. And our question is
True or False: There really is/was a Chef Boyardee?

In the news this past week, a man was arrested after trying to spend a counterfeit One Million (U.S.) Dollar bill. What is the actual highest denomination of United States currency produced today?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from December 31, 2011's Puzzle Corner on New Year's Eve concerning 2012.

What everyone will have in 2012 that they didn't have in 2011 is an extra day, for 2012 is a Leap Year.

Out of the letters in the word (New Year's) RESOLUTION, you can spell:
*Enlist, eon(s),
*I, in, into, intro(s) {short for introduction}, ion(s), ire(s), iron(s), is, it, its (no apostrophe available for it's),
*Lent, lest, let(s), lie(s), lien(s), lieu, line(s), lion(s), lo, loose, lore, lose, lost, lot(s), lotus, louse, lust,
*Net(s), nil, Nile, no, noon, nor, noose, nose, not, note(s),
*Oil(s), on, one(s), onto, or, ore(s), oust, out,
*Rein(s), rent(s), rest, return(s), rile(s), rise, role(s), roost, root(s), rose, rot(s),  rouse, roust, route(s), rule(s), ruin(s), rune(s), run(s), runt(s), rue(s), ruse, rust,
*Senior, Senor, sent, set, silent, silo, silt, sir, sire, sit, slit, slot, snot, snore, snort, Sol, sole, solo, solution, son, soon, soul, sour, steno, stern, stole, stone, stun, sue, suet, sun, suit, suitor, sure,
*ten(s), tenor(s), tern(s), tie(s), tile(s), tin(s), tine(s), tire(s), toil(s), ton(s), tone(s), to, too, tor(s), tore, torn, true, tune(s), turn(s),
*unit(s), unite(s), unlist, uno, unto, (and) us.
OTHER words besides the 174 listed above might be possible.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Since it was first forwarded to us by the author, The Free Choice E-zine has debated amongst the staff and management whether or not to post the following.
After serious consideration, we are presenting the original poem and accompanying e-mail verbatim with one notable exception: N* is replacing the original N word used since this is a family e-zine. We know the 'N' word's historical context, but hopefully Humanity has grown and become more enlightened since that word was first used.

"Dear friend,
 I wrote this poem yesterday morning at 6am and posted to SoundCloud and Tumblr.
 I was overwhelmed by how much support it received from various blogs, including:
 & literally thousands of individuals! So far it's been listened to nearly 8,000 times!
 Many thanks in advance for reading and please do share this poem far and wide!!

I Am Nobody's N* by Dean Atta

Rappers, when you use the word “N*”
Remember that’s one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard
So don’t tell me it’s a reclaimed word.

I am nobody’s N*
So please, let my ancestors rest in peace
Not turn in their graves in Jamaica plantations
Or the watery graves of the slave trade
Thrown overboard into middle passage
Just for insurance claims
They were chained up on a boat
As many as they could manage and stay afloat
Stripped of dignity and all hope
Awaiting their masters and European names
But the sick and the injured were dead weight to toss
And Lloyds of London would cover that cost.

I am nobody’s N*
So you can tell Weezy and Drake
That they made a mistake
I am nobody’s N* now
So you can tell Kanye and Jigga
I am not a N*… in Paris
I’m not a N* in London
I’m not a N* in New York
I’m not a N* in Kingston
I’m not a N* in Accra
Or a N* with attitude in Compton
Cos “I don’t wanna be called yo N*”

How were you raised on Public Enemy
And still became your own worst enemy?
You killed Hip Hop and resurrected headless zombies
That can’t think for themselves or see where they’re going
Or quench the blood lust because there’s no blood flowing
In their hearts, just in the streets
They don’t give a damn as long as they eating
Their hearts ain’t beating, they’re cold as ice (bling)
Because they would put money over everything
Money over self respect or self esteem
Or empowering the youth to follow their dreams
Stacking paper cos it’s great than love it’s seems
Call me “N*” cos you’re scared of what “brother” means

To know that we share something unspeakable
To know that as high as we rise we are not seen as equal
To know that racism is institutional thinking
And that “N*” is the last word you heard before a lynching.

Follow Dean Atta on Twitter - @DeanAtta  
(end of original e-mail)

The Free Choice E-zine will consider all submissions provided they follow the Rules of Polite Conduct posted in the left hand column on your screen.
To have your contribution considered for posting, just send it to

Monday, January 2, 2012


Now that the new year is upon us, let's take a moment to see what lies in the days ahead for 2012.

*Professional football is heading into its playoffs to determine the contestants for the 2012 Super Bowl February 5. Meanwhile other sports fans are happy that professional basketball has resumed at last, and there will also be professional hockey working its way towards the playoffs for the 2012 Stanley Cup and spring training for Major League Baseball's new season begins in late February.

*February 6 is the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth the Second.

*Yeosu, South Korea will be hosting the World Expo from May 27 to August 12.

*Sometime in August Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory is due to land on the red planet.

*The Summer Olympics will be July 27 to August 12 in London, England; with the 2012 Paralympics immediately afterwards at many of the same venues.

*There are several elections scheduled this year, including United States President Barack Obama running for reelection against a Republican candidate to be announced.

*Movies many are looking forward to are the first attempt at a live action adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter (of Mars) in March, The Avengers in May, and the big screen adaptation of the best selling book Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter debuts in June. The Amazing Spider-man will be battling Batman: The Dark Knight Rises for an audience in July, and part 1 (of 2) of Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit hits theaters in December.

The following joined the United States of America:
225 years ago in 1787: Delaware on December 7, Pennsylvania on December 12, and  New Jersey on December 18.
220 years ago, Kentucky on June 1, 1792.
200 years ago, Louisiana on April 30, 1812.
195 years ago, Mississippi on December 10, 1817.
175 years ago, Michigan on January 26, 1837.
145 years ago, Nebraska  on March 1, 1867.

*100 years ago in 1912
The Republic of China began on January 1
New Mexico became a member of the United States January 6, Arizona followed February 14
The RMS Titanic sank April 14
Fenway Park became home field for the Boston Red Sox April 20

*80 years ago in 1932:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was first published January 30
Goofy first appeared in "Mickey's Revue" on May 12
Alley Oop comic strip debuted on December 5
Radio City Music Hall in New York City first opened December 27

*75 years ago in 1937:
Petunia Pig debuted in "Porky's Romance" on April 3
Daffy Duck debuts in "Porky's Duck Hunt" on April 17

*70 years ago in 1942:
It was officially WORLD War 2 with the formal entry of the United States January 1
Barnaby comic strip began April 20
Bambi premiered on August 13
Tweety Bird debuted in "A Tale of Two Kitties" on November 21

*65 years ago in 1947
Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers April 1, just six days before the start of the baseball season.

*60 years ago in 1952:
Singin' In The Rain debuted on March 27
The Edsel made its mark in automotive history on September 4

*55 years ago in 1957
Russia started the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4

*50 years ago in 1962:
The USS Arizona World War 2 memorial was dedicated that Memorial Day
Movie version of The Music Man debuted on June 19
The Lucy Show debuted on October 1

*45 years ago in 1967
*Mannix debuted September 7
Yvonne Craig began as Batgirl on Batman TV series September 14

*40 years ago in 1972:
Kolchak The Night Stalker first appeared on television January 11
Magnavox Odyssey heralded what would become the video game age May 24
Atari releases what will become the first arcade game "Pong" November 29

*35 years ago in 1977:
The Star Wars franchise began with "A New Hope" on May 25

*30 years ago in 1982
The Sally Forth newspaper strip began on January 4

*20 years ago in 1987
Star Trek, The Next Generation began on September 28

*15 years ago in 1997
Buffy The Vampire Slayer debuted on March 10
Stargate SG-1 debuted on July 27

*PLUS: our illustrious Editor-In-Chief turns 50 March 5th, while The Free Choice E-zine will be celebrating both its 800th AND 900th posts, as well as its 10000th visitor this year since reestablishing itself here on Blogger. Unfortunately the records from our previous web server were lost when that company folded, so we sadly do not have accurate numbers on TFCEz's career record, but we are averaging over 600 page views a month on Blogger!


In any event, 2012 looks to be another banner year in world history and we hope you are with us for all 366 of them, for 2012 is also a leap year, which does thrill enthusiasts of the program Quantum Leap.

Sunday, January 1, 2012



Okay. Welcome to a brand new year everybody.
And it's traditional at this point in time to make what are known as New Year's Resolutions in regards to things you want to change, hopefully for the better.
Now granted a lot more promises are made instead of kept, but we thought it would be fun to see what is on everyone's mind at this point in time, so we privately contacted The Free Choice E-zine staff to see what promises they would be making, and hoping to at least attempt to keep this year.

More Creative Time
Lee Houston, Junior: Editor-In-Chief
My father always goes to bed before midnight on New Year's Eve. That way he can say he slept an entire year.
But in my case, I am hoping for more time to be creative because besides my responsibilities for The Free Choice E-zine, I also have a lot to do for Pro Se Press. I was just named editor for the monthly Pro Se Presents magazine. My second book Alpha, is due out this spring, plus I am working on the sequel to Hugh Monn, Private Detective and have a lot of short stories coming up for various Pulp Obscura projects that I can't even talk about yet.

"A BARKING lot!"
Autumn the Puppy
Well, Bugs Bunny once swore in a cartoon that he would never mix radish juice and carrot juice again. Considering that I don't drink either one, I think that is a resolution I'll be able to keep.
Meanwhile, the one thing I would like to do in 2012 is establish a Barking Lot.
Dogs have a right to bark, and I certainly do at least my fair share. But whenever I do speak, I'm always being told "Hush, puppy!"
It sure would be nice to have some place of my own where I could bark whenever I wanted to.

"It CAN'T involve chocolate?"
Waxy Dragon
I would love to resolve to eat more chocolate in 2012, but keep getting told I should cut back on my chocolate consumption because there's a risk of me getting out of shape.
But how can that happen? After all, round is a shape. And thankfully, I burn up the calories at least as fast as I consume them.
Anyway, I think the best New Year's Resolution I can make is to make no resolutions at all. That way no one is disappointed if I fail to keep them, especially myself.
And if I do manage to keep it, then I am definitely a dragon of my word.

And there you have it folks. What we would like to see most of all is more world peace, but this E-zine is not holding its collective breath waiting for that to happen.
In any event, HAPPY NEW YEAR and please be back with us next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!