Saturday, March 31, 2012


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week include:
*The much publicized $640+ million US Dollars Mega Millions jackpot was split between 3 winning tickets.
*Pope Benedict XVI made a formal visit to Cuba, urging openness in communication with other countries and religious freedom for its citizens.
*Macky Sall has been elected President of Senegal.
*Campbell Newman is the new Premier of Queensland, Australia.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria, Sabha, and Libya.

*United States President Barack Obama is hoping to get some work done while waiting to discover who his Republican challenger will be in the November elections, including trying to trim and balance the federal budget. But you can guess which side is against his proposal for increasing taxes upon millionaires?
*Meanwhile, although Mitt Romney is leading the race, the other three Republican Presidential nomination hopefuls Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum, have vowed to "stay in the race until the end", which would be the GOP national convention this summer to decide the Republican slate. Despite Romney's lead, none of the quartet have the necessary amount of delegates to secure the nomination.

*It is down to the final four teams within the men's and women's NCAA college basketball championships commonly known as "March Madness".
*Those previously penalized in the New Orleans Saints "bounty scandal" are appealing the National Football League's decision, in hopes of at least getting their respective sentences reduced, if not suspended outright.
*A group led by former basketball player turned businessman Magic Johnson has obtained ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team.
*Tiger Woods won the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational to achieve his first professional golf victory since 2009.

*You must remember this... Casablanca celebrates it 70th anniversary this year. While the film classic was originally released Thanksgiving of 1942, fans and movie buffs can soon expect the usual commemorative DVD collections.
*Movies in your future? Arnold Schwarzenegger might reunite with Danny Devito for a Twins sequel, adding Eddie Murphy to make it Triplets! Meanwhile, Will Farrell will reprise his title role for a new Anchorman movie.
*Pundits are wondering about the future of video game maker Sega, after the company has announced plans for layoffs and the postponement or outright cancellation of what would have been some of their upcoming releases for 2012. No word yet on how many people or what titles will actually be affected, but the announcement also warned that Sega will be posting a bigger company loss at the end of the first quarter for this year than originally projected.

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.


It may be the last day of March, but the Puzzle Barrel is far from empty!

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


What is the name of John Reid's horse?

We'll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from March 24's Puzzle Corner.

Q. Who physically prints the most money in the entire world?
A. Parker Brothers, for all the various editions of Monopoly!

01. {Tommy by The Who, You Don't Mess Around With Jim by Jim Croce}
Both title character's have the surname Walker.
02. {Superman's Lois Lane, Perry Mason's Della Street}
The surname of each lady is a travel route.
While many puzzle lovers guessed girlfriend, that is only true in Lois' case. A romantic relationship was sometimes hinted at, but never confirmed between Perry and Della.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Too much time on my paws
Hello everyone. Autumn the Puppy here.
Sitting outside guarding my people's property today. Okay, mostly I'm just laying by my dog house watching the world go by.
In any event, I've been contemplating some questions that I have yet to find the answers for. Maybe you folks know.

Why can't my vet find somewhere else to stick that thermometer?

Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream? What happens when it reaches that date? Does it turn good?

If you intentionally try to fail and succeed, which have you actually done?

If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry afterwards?

How is it possible to have a 'civil' war? Now there's a misnomer if ever I heard one!

What was the best thing to come along before sliced bread? Of course nothing has come along so great that it's better than oxygen.

How do they get deer to cross roads where the signs indicate they should? It looks to me like the people who place those signs should pick some safer places for the deer to cross!

If the police ever arrest a mime, do they still tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Why do they lock the restrooms at gas stations? Are they afraid someone will sneak in and clean them?

Well, I have a lot more questions to ponder, but I'm afraid I don't have the space to do so right now. So take care and please be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-AtP.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week include:
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Bahrain.
*King George Tupou V of Tonga has passed away from leukemia. His brother Lavaka is scheduled to assume the throne.
*In light of all the on going investigations concerning hacking into people's privacy and other charges, James Murdoch has announced the severing of all ties with the besieged British News Corp.
*The death of entertainer Whitney Houston has been ruled as cocaine use induced heart failure, resulting in an accidental drowning in her bathtub.

*Although Mitt Romney looks like the winner of the Missouri caucus and citizens of Louisiana will vote March 24, none of the candidates (Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul) have yet to acquire the amount of delegates required to secure the nomination to campaign against incumbent President Barack Obama in November.
*Meanwhile, comments by a campaign employee in relation to resetting Romney's message like one would an Etch-a-sketch whenever necessary when going against President Obama has drawn bi-partisan criticism from numerous sources, putting neither Romney nor the GOP in a favorable light.

*Head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for a year without pay, and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been banned from working in American football indefinitely in light of the New Orleans' Saints bounty scandal that encouraged players to intentionally injure players on other teams.

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. The weather is mixed around the world, and so are the puzzles. Ready?

Who physically prints the most money in the entire world?

The items in each group have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {Tommy by The Who, You Don't Mess Around With Jim by Jim Croce}
02. {Superman's Lois Lane, Perry Mason's Della Street}

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from the March 17 Puzzle Corner.

Within the letters of the word LEPRECHAUN, you can form the following words:

a, ace, ache, acne, ah, ale, an, ape, aper (another word for mimic), arc, arch, are
can, cane, cap, cape, caper, car, care, chap, cheap, cheep, cheer, clan, clap, clean, clear, creep, crepe, cruel,  cup, cur, cure, curl
each, ear, earl (the rank, not the formal name), earn, eel
ha, hale, hare, heal, heap, hear, heel, here
la, lace, lap, lean, learn, leech, leer
nap, nape, near, nuclear
pace, pal, pale, paler, pan, pane, par, pare, peach, pear, pearl, peel, pen, per, peer, place, plan, plane, plea, preach, prune, pure
race, ran, rap, reach, real, reap, reel, rule, run, rune
uncap, unclean, unclear, unreel, up

More than the 95 words listed above might be possible.


      ALL         = All aboard! (All on a board)

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Hello Everybody. Ms Waxy Dragon here.
I have been learning a lot in Dragon School, and one of my classes is Humans 101.
Now, I know what you're thinking, but for the record: today's dragons do NOT think Humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!
Just because some of our dumb ancestors thought that way doesn't mean today's dragons do so!
Anyway, in school we hear a lot of quotes Humans have made over the years, but some of them leave me scratching my head wondering if that person actually knew what they were talking about.

For example:
"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."--Benjamin Franklin
Well, I definitely understand healthy, and with a good night's sleep I do better in school, so I'll give Ben points for wise. But wealthy? The only time that has happened for me was after the Tooth Fairy visited.

"You can't have your cake and eat it too."
Whoever said that doesn't know me very well, do they?

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
If that's supposed to mean eat healthy, I'm all for it. Otherwise, have you tried using a court order?

"If the shoe fits, wear it."
But what if it isn't my shoe? Besides, dragons don't wear shoes!

"Hunger is the best sauce."
Really? Personally, I prefer chocolate.

"Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry, and you cry alone."
WHY? If you're crying, isn't that when you need a friend the most?

And on that note, have a great week everybody, and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-wd.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Ah. Happy Saint Patrick's Day me find lads and lassies.
'Tis a blessed day indeed to be celebrating, and don't ye worry none about not hailing from the Emerald Isle or being of Irish descent, for everyone is welcomed today.
Now I have the honor of telling The Free Choice E-zine's annual Saint Patrick's Day joke.

Who is Irish and likes to hang out in your backyard?
Patti O'Furniture.

Oh well, with that obligation out of me way, I'd like to briefly share a traditional Irish blessing with ye.

May the wind always be at your back.
May the road rise up to meet thee.
May your needs never meet lack.
May the sun always shine upon your window pane.
May a rainbow always follow the rain.
And may the hand of a friend always be within reach.



Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
The Girl Scouts of America celebrate their 100th anniversary this month.
March has been declared Women's History month.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this week...
*Despite the controversy raised by Rush Limbaugh's comments and personal attacks, Sandra Fluke vows she will NOT be silenced on advocating women's health and contraceptive issues.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Afghanistan.
*The Encyclopedia Britannica will now be available ONLY online, ending a 244 year print run.

*The Republican Party's image problems grow worse as a new bumper sticker urging voters not to reelect incumbent United States President Barack Obama comes under fire for using the catch phrase "Don't Re-N*g!" (Astute readers can guess the missing vowel that the * replaces, but since this is a family e-zine..). If that wasn't bad enough, the fine print underneath reads "Stop repeat offenders! DON'T reelect Obama!" The Yahoo! News report goes on to state it is uncertain whether or not the GOP is directly responsible for the offensive bumper sticker or if the company producing them is working independently in the mistaken belief that the bumper sticker will do the Republicans any good.
*With primary victories in Kansas, Alabama, and Mississippi this past week, Rick Santorum has pulled slightly ahead of Mitt Romney for first place in hopes of becoming the Republican candidate to run again President Obama in November. But the field is still tight with no clear winner as Newt Gingrich holds strong to third place with Ron Paul fourth. Some pundits suspect Paul to drop out before the end of the month, but that will not improve the GOP's situation by much.

*The NCAA college basketball tournament also known as March Madness is well underway. Thursday and Friday's competitions saw the Men and Women's divisions reduced from 64 to 32 teams. By the conclusion of Sunday's games, the field will be reduced to 16.
*Dallas Seavey commanded the winning sled in the 2012 Iditarod Dog Sled Race.

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.


Since today is St. Patrick's Day, let's start this weekend's Puzzle Corner with something appropriate.

How many words can you find within the letters of the word LEPRECHAUN.

Do you know what is represented by the image below?


We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from March 10's Puzzle Corner.

01. {C, D, I, L, M, V, X} = The letters used as Roman Numerals
02. {B, C, D, F, G, J, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z} = The letters NOT used within the native alphabet of Hawaii.

Question: Within his lifetime as the legendary Man of A Thousand Voices, what did Mel Blanc personally consider his greatest achievement?

Answer: Within the pages of That's Not All Folks, the biography he co-wrote with Phillip Bashe that was published in 1988, there are two aspects to this answer.
Personally: it was his family. Mel was married to his wife Estelle for 56 years at the time of his passing, with the union begetting one son: Noel.
Professionally: it was his ability to sing on key, in character.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


"It's as easy as..."
Today is March 14, 2012.
Happy PI Day!
PI Day?
March is the third month of the year, and today is the fourteenth.
An irrational number that cannot be fully expressed as a fraction, although most scientists and mathematicians prefer to write it as 22 over 7.
It is an unique number whose exact decimal representation cannot be completely calculated because it never ends nor repeats to a scientific conclusion. The number sequence representing PI, as seen in the second image, is derived from trying to divide 22 by 7.

"To infinity and other far away places!"

Okay. Maybe I should leave the humor to Autumn the Puppy and Ms. Waxy Dragon.
In any event, HAPPY PI DAY!

(Images courtesy of Google)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


"Hmm... 25 or 6 to 4?"
Did you wind up late to wherever you had to be this morning?
If so, either traffic was extremely bad or else you forgot to set your clocks ahead one hour before you went to bed last night as Daylight Saving Time began.
About roughly one third of the world advanced their clocks in order to help conserve electricity via less night time usage while giving businesses and consumers more time to hopefully do the things they want while enjoying what seems to be extra sunlight/
The event is mostly associated with Spring and Summer, with the warmer weather creating more opportunities for outdoor activities.
And for those who might complain about losing an hour of sleep because of this, don't worry, you'll get it back this fall when Daylight Saving Time ends in October.


I bark, therefore I am.
Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here.

Now I like to think that I'm pretty smart for your average puppy.
That's not hubris, just fact based on first hand evidence. After all, I did graduate top of my class at obedience school. Just because there are times when I choose not to obey doesn't mean I'm dumb.
Sometimes a dog just has to do what a dog has to do.

One time my owners bought a video from some advertiser that claimed it would allow you to test your canine's Intelligent Quotient, or IQ for short.
So, considering I didn't waste MY money on that, whose the smart one?

Need more proof?
People go to horse tracks to bet on the races there, but when was the last time you ever saw a horse at a stadium betting on the human races there?

I'm always sitting out in my yard thinking about stuff like this. After all, what else do I have to do? I have a dog license, but my owners won't let me drive their vehicle. I would like to see more of the world than just what's between the back door of my owners' place and my dog house, or between there and my veterinarian.

While I'm uncertain how my rear paws would ever reach the brake and gas pedals, the way I see it, I must not need insurance because I've never gotten any offers for coverage through the mail. I did get an offer for a credit card once in my name, but my owners threw it away.

I'm still wondering about that. On one hand, I have no money, so how would I ever repay any debt I ran up, which makes me wonder why anyone would send a credit card offer to a dog to begin with. On the other hand, it was addressed to me, and it's rare when I get any mail beyond Dog Fancy and vet appointment reminders.

When my owners' asleep, I do surf the Internet. Hey, it's not my fault they don't password protect their PCs. How do you think I know so much as it is? But you have to be careful on the web though. Too many clicks spoil the browse.

Well, unfortunately that's all the time and space I have for this week. And here I thought there were infinite quantities of both.
In any event, have a great week and please come back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-AtP

Saturday, March 10, 2012


For those participating, Daylight Saving Time begins overnight tonight.

Amongst events happening around the world this past week:
*Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of blocking "progress" in oil exploration and drilling, while the President countered that was not the most practical approach to the hope of lowering gasoline prices since at 20%, America is one of, if not the biggest fuel consumers in the world. The President went on to cite his continued support of developing alternate fuel sources for today's and future generations to use.
*Meanwhile, although there is still no clear winner in the Republican Primaries to determine who will face President Barack Obama in the general election this November; Mitt Romney is ahead, followed by Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. Every other contender who once contemplated or did compete for the position has since dropped out of the race.
*Vladimir Putin was won a third term as President of Russia.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Bahrain.
*Internationally acclaimed artist Jean Giruard, better known as Moebius, has passed away after a long illness.

*The collegiate basketball teams are competing their final round of tournament contests this weekend to determine who will enter the NCAA's final tournament of the season, also known as March Madness.

*Universal Studios is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
*The much anticipated John Carter movie is doing well its opening weekend, as fans rejoice that it is faithful to  the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs while explaining to those not in the know that more recent movies were inspired by Burroughs tales and not the other way around.

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 Quartet, circa late 1980s
Although The Free Choice E-zine does its best to be a responsible journalistic entity, this rumor was just too good to let pass unnoticed.

After the recent passing of Davy Jones (pictured in between Michael Nesmith at top, Micky Dolenz at bottom left, and Peter Tork at bottom right); Internet chatter has begun to pick up that the surviving Monkees are planning to briefly reunite to record a tribute song to their band mate; much like the surviving Beatles (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) did after the assassination of John Lennon in 1981.

Now we must stress that this is only a rumor!

There have been no solid details on when or if this will actually happen, although as a Monkees fan, I most sincerely hope this wishful thinking amongst fans becomes fact. Personally, I believe Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork would participate with the right song involved. The big question mark would be the reclusive Michael Nesmith, who has not been as active with the group over the last couple of decades in comparison to the other three. But for it to be a true Monkees tribute, all three should participate.

So what do Monkees fans and Free Choice E-zine readers think?

(Image courtesy of Google)


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

The items within each group below have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {C, D, I, L, M, V, X}
02. {B, C, D, F, G, J, Q, R, S, T, V, X, Y, Z}

Within his lifetime as the legendary Man of A Thousand Voices, what did Mel Blanc personally consider his greatest achievement?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX, and discover the results from the March 3 Puzzle Corner.

An aquatic musical instrument could be a water slide trombone.

01. First, take an ocean. SEA
02. Now, add a drink (T for tea) to create something everyone takes at least once a day. = SEAT
We did hint that the new word would not be as long as you might think.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Hello Everybody! You have both Autumn the Puppy AND Ms. Waxy Dragon here today with a very special surprise!

AUTUMN: Tomorrow, March 5, is the FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY of our illustrious Editor-In-Chief: Lee Houston, Junior.
WAXY: And we'd thought we'd surprise him by taking over The Free Choice E-zine's office computer to post this very special birthday edition of the Sunday Funnies.
AUTUMN: Now, Lee has been through a lot both good and bad within his first five decades of life. He's young enough not to remember the Beatles first run, yet is old enough to know they were more than just Paul McCartney's first back up group.
WAXY: The poor man has survived both congestive heart failure AND an aortic aneurysm! While both have sadly taken their physical toll upon his body and health, we are lucky to still be able to enjoy his friendship and creative spirit week after week through this E-zine.
AUTUMN: But then again, it wouldn't be the Sunday Funnies without some jokes. Ready Waxy?
WAXY: Are they funny?
AUTUMN: We'll see. Besides, that's never stopped us before. ANYWAY...

AUTUMN: Lee, turning 50 only means that you're at the initial stages of life.
WAXY: Yeah. MD., DR., and AARP.

AUTUMN: When you were younger, you were always taught to respect your elders.
WAXY: Yeah, but now that you're 50, who's left?

AUTUMN: Now that you're 50, will you still bother to buy green bananas?
WAXY: Will you now buy alphabet soup with larger letters? And the next time you hear "Snap, crackle, and pop" in the morning, it may not be your breakfast cereal!

AUTUMN: Serious-Lee, you're not old! Your chronologically gifted!
WAXY: Yeah. Jack Benny was 39 for how many years?
AUTUMN: Remember, the secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.
WAXY: You're as young as you feel!
AUTUMN: Age is just a number. It's all in your mind.
WAXY: And they say the mind is the second thing to go. Fortunately, you can't remember what the first thing is anymore.

AUTUMN: We joke because we love you! Now then, before we go, we've got one more surprise for you Lee.
Image courtesy of Google

WAXY: Our personal chef Edith has made you a birthday cake.
AUTUMN: Don't worry, it's sugar free.
WAXY: But remember, you can't have your cake and Edith too.
AUTUMN: Wait a second. Isn't that an old joke?
WAXY: Aren't they all?


Autumn the Puppy
Waxy Dragon


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week...

*The Republican Party gears up for what is known as "Super Tuesday" in the United States March 6, with still no definitive candidate to run against incumbent President Barack Obama in November. Mitt Romney won the Washington state Straw vote today, with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum in a very close tie for second and Newt Gingrich third.
*North Korea has agreed to stop uranium enrichment procedures in exchange for humanitarian aid.
*Civil unrest continues in Syria and Afghanistan.
*Nominees for the 2012 Nobel Prizes are being considered.
*For comments that he made earlier this week regarding the possible future of birth control being covered by health insurance that The Free Choice cannot repeat since this is a family e-zine, Rush Limbaugh is dramatically losing sponsors

*The annual Iditarod has begun in Alaska.
*The regional college basketball contests to determine who will participate in the annual "March Madness" of the NCAA are underway this weekend.
*Accusations have arisen that the New Orleans Saints of the National Football (non-soccer version) League may have put "bounties" on opposing teams for their player to intentionally injure.
*Matt Kenseth won the much delayed and accident plagued 2012 Daytona 500 auto race.

*Singer/actor Davy Jones, perhaps best known as a member of The Monkees, past away earlier this week from a heart attack at the age of 66.
*Amongst the winners at the 84th Academy Awards February 26 were The Artist for Best Picture, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Original Score, and Best Costume Design.
Meryl Streep's portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady won Best Performing Actress, Christopher Plummer won for Best Supporting Actor in Beginners and Octavia Spencer won for Best Supporting Actress in The Help.

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

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Another weekend is upon us, and while the weather might not be nice everywhere, the puzzles are!

Two different things, sharing at least one common word, can be combined to create a new item.
Can you name the new item from the clue below?

An aquatic musical instrument.

01. First, take an ocean.
02. Now, add a drink to create something everyone takes at least once a day.
HINT: The new word is NOT as long as you might think!

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's open the envelopes within THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results of our Annual Oscar Quiz from last weekend.

01. Although Peter O'Toole was nominated EIGHT times, he never won a Best Actor award!
02. What year was the very first Academy Awards ceremony held? 1929, celebrating the films of 1928.
03. Wings won Best Picture that year.
04. What three awards from that very first ceremony have NOT been presented since?
Best Engineering Effects, Best Title Writing (for the silent movies), and Best Unique and Artistic Quality of Production.
05. What was the very first musical to win the award for Best Picture? Broadway Melody in 1930.
06. Do you remember what movie won the award for Best Picture last year (2011)? The King's Speech.
07. 1960 was the first televised Academy Awards ceremony. But for whatever reason(s), telecasts were sporadic until 1973. They have been an annual event ever since.
08. Ben Hur won Best Picture during that first broadcast.