Carlson

John Carlson: Skiing to Heck And Back

By: John Carlson— The other day I was nursing a beer at The Fickle  Peach while watching a preliminary Winter Olympics qualifying event for the biathlon. You know the biathlon, right? It’s the event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting. The contestants scoot long distances over the snow with rifles slung from their shoulders. Upon reaching a series of targets, they stop skiing, aim their rifles and try to shoot bullseyes. I have never competed in a biathlon, but I…


Carlson: Addiction? No Butts About It

By: John Carlson— Opioid addiction is far more horrific, I know, but I’m always amazed by the addictive power of cigarettes, and what big business fighting that addiction has become. Kicking cigarettes was the hardest thing I ever did. I have a creeping feeling this was because I had my first smoke so young, maybe some weird chemical reaction knocked a screw loose between my ears or something. My buddy Dougie and I were six, maybe seven at the oldest,…


John Carlson: In Praise of Chicken Gizzards

By: John Carlson— Every now and then I get an overpowering urge to eat a food so deliciously down-home and wholesome, I just have to go out and chomp some. By that, of course, I mean chicken gizzards. No, no. Not livers. Can’t say I’ve ever been much of a chicken livers fan, though I know perfectly respectable people who love them, including some of America’s glitziest food junkies. But as with any dish, I always ask myself a simple…


John Carlson: For The Love of Groceries

By: John Carlson— Once I heard a story about a Russian visitor to the United States back in the Cold War days, a woman who was sure tales of our country’s abundance were merely government propaganda. Even while casually strolling through an American supermarket, she staunchly maintained her righteous sense of Soviet doubt and denial. It wasn’t until she wandered into the toilet paper aisle and saw 30 varieties of cottony soft two-ply and four-ply rolls – none of them…


John Carlson: Old Folks Sleep In The New Year

By: John Carlson— Come Sunday, like millions of other American geezers, Nancy and I will be celebrating a traditional New Year’s Eve for Oldsters. Yeah, I know. We’re pathetic. It wasn’t that long ago we would gather with our wild and crazy friends to ring in the New Year with peels of raucous laughter, spicy meat snacks and booze. Well, okay. Nancy would ring in the New Year with half a glass of white wine and a handful of Chex-Mix….


John Carlson: Muncie Has Christmas Angels

By: John Carlson— With Christmas rapidly approaching, I feel compelled to offer a belated but heartfelt “thank you” to Al Holdren and the scores of Secret Families volunteers, folks who selflessly give of their time and money to make this holiday a great one for others. The breadth of their effort to help the less fortunate is amazing, and humbling. I would suppose other communities share similar programs, but I don’t know. It may well be that Holdren’s uncommon effort…


John Carlson: Little Racer Packed a Punch

By: John Carlson— If you are under the misguided notion that playing football is the optimum way to suffer a brain-rattling concussion, you’ve probably never driven an Australian racing barstool. I, on the other hand, have. This was due to the largesse of the folks at Lear Unlimited over in Whitely some years back. To certain  people – like most women, I would imagine – the place probably seemed just an odd looking little out-of-the-way shop. But for men? Lear…


John Carlson: A New Cool Food Tool

By: John Carlson— If you’re like me, engaged in that never-ending fight against flab, you know how handy it can be to keep track of caloric intake by simply jotting down notes recording your food consumption. Feeling a little bloated, but can’t imagine why? Consulting your notes may remind you that, “Oh! No wonder! I forgot I drove through Taco Bell two hours ago for a Burrito Supreme, a Taco Supreme and three Chalupa Combos!” The problem is that this…


John Carlson: Too Late To Be A Troubadour

By: John Carlson— The other day I heard a terrible screeching, kind of like a cat in heat, that made my proverbial skin crawl. Then I realized it was me, singing. This amazed me, because there was a time when my voice was pretty good. Back in high school, for example, I considered joining the choir, but didn’t because I feared it would cut into the 10 minutes a week I devoted to studying. Later, even well into my adult…


John Carlson: Having A (Meat) Ball

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, my wife met my daughter down at Indy’s new IKEA store for some female bonding while shopping. Unfortunately, I was unable to join them there amongst the frantic bustling of the excited shopping hordes, mostly because I’d have rather been dead. I must say, however, that included in the load of crap … er … items Nancy hauled back home was one thing even I could use, it being a bag of frozen Swedish…