Carlson

The classic, inviting lines of a McDonald’s Big Mac. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: What I learned at McDonald’s

By: John Carlson– Millennials don’t eat Big Macs. Disturbing news of this cultural disconnection came via The Wall Street Journal not long ago. When I was a high school kid earning $1.05 an hour working at my hometown McDonald’s, I’d have given anything for a Big Mac, but we had…


When leaves fall thickly, it’s time to fire up the tractor. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: It’s a Full Harvest …of Leaves

By: John Carlson— It’s a full harvest … of leaves A bumper crop of leaves has fallen on our lawn. There was a time I used to sweat out autumn, not wanting to leave the leaves lying out there for my neighbors to see, but also not wanting to bag…


Here’s a demonstration of the crass way to hold a fork. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Rethinking the Whole Cutlery Thing

By: John Carlson— Among the many effects of aging I seem to discover almost daily, one is the way arthritis in your hands affects your ability to properly hold cutlery. Take my spoon (please). Not that long ago, I could easily wield it in a manner that would warm the…


Beech Grove Cemetery is the final resting place for veterans of wars as far back as the Revolutionary War. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

John Carlson: It’s a Day to Honor Veterans

By: John Carlson— They lie row after row under grave markers in cemeteries like Beech Grove. Others are scattered among countless small burial grounds across the country, are laid to rest in solemn American cemeteries abroad, or lie by untold thousands at a sacred place called Arlington. America’s military veterans….


Our ‘robins’ await their morning feeding. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Nothing’s Finer Than ‘Feeding the Robins’

By: John Carlson— It’s my morning ritual, one Nan calls “feeding the robins.” These are hairy, foul-breathed, four-legged robins, however, with glide ratios any competent aeronautical engineer would measure at about 1:1, meaning they would soar through the sky like anvils. They are, in fact, dogs. Our dogs. In feeding…


A fake hummingbird flies from some ragged-looking zinnias. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Uh-Oh, Winter’s On The Way Again

By: John Carlson— One thing you don’t consider when you plant a “birds, bees and butterflies” garden as a joyful harbinger of spring and summer is, you’re also planting a sobering harbinger of fall and winter. Yeah, winter. This depressing thought struck me the other evening while sitting on my…


In All Stars as in life, four beats two. Photo by: John Gordon Carlson

John Carlson: Cool Shoes the Key to Stylish Geezers

By: John Carlson— Nan and I are often told we have adorable feet. Well, OK, maybe not “adorable,” per se. As a couple having reached senior-citizen status, after 65-plus years of hoofing it, our feet are more likely merely “normal” for our age, meaning bunged-up and weird looking. And while…


Take the bun, meat and condiments away from a breaded tenderloin and what have you got? An elephant ear. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: The Meat of the Matter

By: John Carlson— I don’t mean to go all intellectual on you, but regular readers of this column know I sometimes probe the bigger, more thought-provoking questions of our time. For example, have you ever noticed how much an elephant ear looks like a breaded tenderloin? No? Just think about…


A Fitbit Zip accurately tracks your exercise, no matter how little you do. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Using a Fitbit, Without Being a Bit Fit

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, in celebration of our 67th and 66th birthdays, which fall just two days apart, my wife, Nan, dragged me screaming and kicking into the Age of Fitbits, presenting us both with Zips. For the record, Zips aren’t the cool kind of Fitbits you strap…


Maggie was a loving dog with beautiful ears. Photo by: John Gordon Carlson

John Carlson: Saying Good-Bye to a Best Friend

By: John Carlson— One recent weekend, Nan and I traveled down to Nashville, Tenn., visiting our son and daughter-in-law. Normally these visits follow a standard script, involving some great dining and plenty of laughs. This visit was far more subdued, however, as the day before Johnny and Stephanie had been…


A dynamic haircut makes the man. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Snazzy Haircut Spurs “Oohs”

By: John Carlson— As a fashionable person who hates being stuck in a proverbial “rut,” I try to change up my hair style every 50 years or so. The last time was Wednesday. So I walk into this shop called Shaggy and Sheek and explain what I want to my…


A Kentucky Bourbon Brown Butter Cake and its best ingredient. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Husband is Crumby, But Cake is Great

By: John Carlson— So the other morning I’m trying to grab a few more winks of sleep when, from our kitchen, I hear my wife’s ear-piercing scream. “What?!?!” I holler. “My cake sank!!!” Nan hollers back. For a moment I am confused. Then I vaguely recall how she was getting…


As it turns out, practicing your ukulele helps. Photo by: John Carlson

John Carlson: “Trying” is Key to Making Ukulele Sing

By: John Carlson— Let’s face it, if there’s one thing all Americans agree on, it’s that nothing sounds better than ukulele music. That is total baloney, of course. If I am representative of Americans everywhere except, maybe, Hawaii – and I think I am – I spent decades avoiding the…


Who needs a toothpick when you’ve got a grasshopper leg? Photo by: John Gordon Carlson

John Carlson: A Hoppy, Er, Happy Taco-Eating Encounter

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, Nan and I were down visiting our son and daughter-in-law, Johnny and Stephanie, in Nashville, Tenn., when the subject of where to eat dinner came up. “There’s a new Mexican place just past the interstate that’s pretty good,” my kid said, and the next…


A red F marks that first dose of academic reality. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: Boyhood Tales of Bad Grades, Riding Double

By: John Carlson— Some people think the lawlessness rampant among American youth is a product of our crazy times, but it’s not. Way back when I was only 11 or 12, I got arrested – for riding double. Frankly, I don’t even know if “riding double” remains in our lexicon…