Carlson

John Carlson: New Car Goes Its Own Way

By: John Carlson— Cars these days. Go figure… That’s how I used to react to all the hype over self-driving cars. As a longtime motorist who fully enjoys being behind the wheel, I found the very idea of self-driving cars loathsome. Young, up-and-coming drivers? My sense was they would hate self-driving cars more than anyone. After all, when I was just getting my license I couldn’t wait to be the guy in charge, burning rubber, doing doughnuts and skidding in…

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John Carlson: Scrub-A-Dub-Dub, Stuck…

By: John Carlson— They say you can learn to do about anything these days by consulting a YouTube video, and it’s true. How to build a birdhouse. How to tune your lawn tractor. How to extract a naked guy who’s stuck in your bathtub. Yeah, that’s one, too. Not that Nancy and I have any experience with this, you understand. But it actually worked for a couple we know by the name of, um, Bubba and Booboo. You see, it…


John Carlson: Memories from Up North

By: John Carlson— It was writer Thomas Wolfe who coined the phrase, “You can’t go home again,” and maybe he was right. But as a recent mini-vacation reaffirmed for Nancy and me, trying to recapture good feelings from favorite days past is a worthy endeavor in itself. The two of us drove north into Michigan to the town of Onaway. It’s a quiet little burg near a beautiful body of water called Black Lake. I’ve probably spent week-long vacations up…


John Carlson: They’re Everywhere!!!

By: John Carlson— Holy flippin’ moly! That was all I could think the other day when I stumbled upon my iPhone’s trove of emojis. To preface this, I should note that I am not someone who is “with it” on modern technical advances such as light bulbs, channel changers or using those things that have come to be known as “devices.” Like, not long ago I wrote a post complaining about trying to use my iPhone’s camera to photograph a…


John Carlson: In Honor Of Working Folks

By: John Carlson— From the moment we began watching him, Nancy and I saw this fellow as nothing less than the Rudolph Nureyev of excavator operators. It was a few years back in the Village, where a block of businesses had been razed to make room for a huge new apartment complex. The two of us would grab our morning coffee across the street at The Cup and drink it outside, marveling as he put his excavator through its paces,…


John Carlson: Dang! That’s Great Jell-O!

By: John Carlson— The most enticing Jell-O dish I have ever seen was on the cover of a little cookbook called “Thinking Outside the Box,” given to me by the delightful Julie Kappel Maugherman. Pictured was a platter topped with an exquisitely molded crimson Jell-O. Suspended in the middle of that Jell-O was a White Castle slider. That’s right, a little hamburger. Inside the Jell-O. This was a molded mound of Jell-O that could make the heart of any White Castle…


John Carlson: With All Due Respect…

By: John Carlson— A small city of 10,000 people, Wapakoneta sits where Route 33 intersects busy I-75 in southwestern Ohio’s Auglaize County, a place marked by the same gas stations, convenience stores and burger joints as a million others. But pass it on the interstate, especially at night, and the moon-like structure that commands your attention hints why this place is anything but common. Neil Armstrong called it home. That huge full moon, which seems to be rising from the…


John Carlson: Lincoln, Feet and Corndogs

By: John Carlson— As a skinny, hairy, elastic-lipped life coach named Steven Tyler notes when singing the lyrics to “Amazing,” one of his band Aerosmith’s big hits, “… life’s a journey, not a destination.” Actually, maybe it’s both. So it was that Nancy and I journeyed to her family reunion recently in Springfield, Ill. My favorite part of the weekend? Without question it was getting to know Ben and Abby’s son Will, who was two weeks old at the time….


John Carlson: Westward WHOOOAAAA!!!

By: John Carlson— With our beloved Chevy Malibu pushing 183,000 miles on the odometer, and my automotive-maintenance skills amounting to what’s generally referred to as “diddly squat,” we’re going to be car shopping soon. We’ll probably be looking at smaller ones. Turns out sizable vehicles just aren’t a good fit for me anymore. Take my GMC Sierra pickup truck. With me standing only three-feet-six – OK, I’m actually a towering  five-feet-six, but who’s counting?  – I can barely see out…


John Carlson: A Model Upbringing

By: John Carlson— As a person known for being an energetic “go-getter,” I have very little spare time. OK, that’s not true. Actually, as a non-energetic retiree pretty much known for being a human lump, about 99.9 percent of my time is spare. But sometimes, when I am looking to fill that time with something besides recounting the lines between the bricks in our fireplace, I consider building a plastic model airplane. Then I hesitate. Is model-building even a thing…