Carlson

John Carlson: They Say This Class Will Kill Ya

By John Carlson— These days, I think we’re all ready for some serious self-improvement. That’s why, having received a catalog explaining our new TV’s option to watch a channel called “The Great Courses Plus,” Nancy and I checked it out. Flicking through the available classes was an eye-opener. For example, there was one called “Baking Bread.” Was I interested? Nah, but at least I understood the concept, bread being what I’ve spent a lifetime spreading peanut butter on. Other classes…

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John Carlson: Life Spent Watching Football

By John Carlson— Many red-blooded American wives are gratefully anticipating the end of their annual football widowhood, if not for the return of their husbands’ company, then for the fact they’ll finally get back their television sets. You can’t blame them. It’s been a long row to hoe, proverbially, but they’ve toughed it out. Despite the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Nancy nor I have suffered a sniffle. Due to her diligence, we have maintained social distancing, masked up whenever we venture…


John Carlson: Waxing On About Karate

By John Carlson— Because Nancy and I have highly refined tastes in televised entertainment, we tend to be drawn to more upscale programming that features the very best in art, science and drama. You know, like “Cobra Kai.” OK, just kidding. “Cobra Kai” isn’t upscale. It’s more like way, way, way downscale, a Netflix karate show that’s a sequel to the movie “The Karate Kid.” Remember it? That was the one featuring Daniel-san as a high school punching bag, and…


John Carlson: Half-Bath Hits New Heights

By John Carlson— With the New Year here, Nancy has her mind set on updating the half-bathroom attached to my man cave. This means barring World War III, a tornado blowing down our house, or the Zombie Apocalypse annihilating mankind, no matter how much I object, it’s going to happen. Therefore, I might as well clam up and acclimate myself to the notion. Even I have to admit that, in terms of inconvenience, this is not going to be home…


John Carlson: Some Gifts For Christmas

By John Carlson— Today, countless people around the world received the best Christmas gift imaginable. It’s the realization that only six days remain before this disaster called 2020 is finis, behind us, flushed down history’s toilet … Good riddance! The new year can’t come fast enough. COVID-19 has been the main culprit in all this woe, of course, and we aren’t through with it yet. While never a coronavirus doubter, at times I’ve been more lax about following appropriate safety…


John Carlson: Squawking About Lab Meat

By John Carlson— Ever since learning about the stuff a couple weeks ago, I have been obsessed with lab-grown chicken. Have you read about it? It’s chicken … grown in a laboratory. And yeah, it’s just the meat, minus those pesky feathers, feet and beaks, along with the wattles and other icky chicken parts. How did they – “they” being the folks who have hopped aboard the laboratory chicken-growing bandwagon – accomplish this? As a guy who at the height…


John Carlson: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

By John Carlson— Being fitted with hearing aids a few weeks ago has introduced me to a whole new world of aural perception. Everything is amplified. For example, who knew flushing a toilet could sound like you were going over Niagara Falls in a barrel? And ripping open a bag of fresh pork rinds? Godzilla made less of a racket stomping through the heart of Tokyo’s Noodle District. This convinces me I needed hearing aids all along. For years Nancy…


John Carlson: The Good, The Bad And The…

By John Carlson— Some people have infestations of cockroaches, stink bugs or termites. Nancy and I? We have an infestation of slides. You know the kind … those stiff flat picture slides your father shot incessantly when you were a kid, as if he were a paparazzi and you were the subject of his latest photo essay, “Our Boy Blubberpuss.” Can’t say I ever cared for them. I spent way too many Sunday nights fidgeting in our darkened Baptist church,…


John Carlson: Experiencing Bob Ross

By John Carlson— It seems an unlikely room to have spawned a cultural icon. Partially bordered by heavy curtains, inside there are a couple old television cameras, big hulking ones bearing headsets and lengths of looped electrical cables. There is what can best be described as an industrial-sized easel, a tall ungainly looking thing, steadied below by a large brick. And there are some stacked paintings rendered in a style as comfortingly familiar as fresh apple pie. Oh, and one…


John Carlson: A Bird in the Hand…

By John Carlson— In response to yucky feelings brought about by the coronavirus, earlier this year Nancy and I pondered adopting a back-to-the-land lifestyle promising a tasty Thanksgiving Day payoff. Our plan: Raise our own turkeys. We were very excited about this, which isn’t surprising. After all, while we were never exactly back-to-the-land, mushroom-munching hippies, in 1982 we did subscribe to Mother Earth News for six whole issues. Our plans came to naught, though. With the failure to approve raising…