Chris Johnson

Staying home doesn’t fly for everyone, but it definitely does for me

Staying home doesn’t fly for everyone, but it definitely does for me

Random thoughts are liable to pop into my mind at any moment — when I’m watching a football game, when I’m driving, or when I’m supposed to be doing something important while driving, such as yielding. “Oops! Sorry. Was thinking about squirrels.” “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU! YOU’VE THREATENED MY FREEDOM TO USE THE RIGHT LANE!” “Well, again, my apologies. At least we didn’t have an accident. May blessings be upon you.” “MY TIRE TOOL’S GONNA BE UPON YOU!” “Before you do that, can I borrow your hat with the horns on it? I left my viking helmet at home.” […]

Images a dad can’t forget

Images a dad can’t forget

When our country is attacked, it’s hard to find words with the capacity to rationalize, comfort or heal. It’s difficult to speak when you’ve been punched in the gut. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was awakened by a call from the newsroom, telling me I needed to come to work immediately. I had the day off because I had my wisdom teeth cut out on Sept. 10 and then spent hours in the emergency room after fainting at dinner. I’d been looking forward to a leisurely Sept. 11. Unfortunately, any day that the first words out of your mouth are […]

Don’t stand between a guy and his grill

Don’t stand between a guy and his grill

Growing up in a small town, going to “the hardware store” meant traveling a couple of miles across the Flint River from little ol’ Oglethorpe, Ga., into the metropolis of Montezuma, Ga., population 5,000 or so back then. It might have cost a little more, but we knew the names of all the folks behind the counter. They knew what we were doing and exactly what materials we needed. Heck, they knew our pets’ names and whether we’d gone to church the previous Sunday. Times have changed, and I’m guilty like most city folks of instinctively going to the big […]

2021: The Year in Preview

2021: The Year in Preview

I’ve been doing my Year in Preview for a long time. Longer than there’ve been fishes in the ocean. Higher than any bird ever flew. Wait. Sorry. I’ve got some song stuck in my head. Damn you, Dan Fogelberg! That was the problem with 2020. I got COVID, and brain fog is one of the after-effects. Worse than that, I didn’t see it coming in my 2020 Year in Preview, the first one I’ve ever gotten even 1 percent wrong. That means that I’ve got to get my 2021 predictions absolutely perfect this time. I’ve got to improve my average […]

Forty-nine Christmases … and one unusual 50th one

Forty-nine Christmases … and one unusual 50th one

This year will be my 50th Christmas. I’m now at a point in my life where Christmas is very different, and not just because it’s the first one taking place during a pandemic when we have new traditions like wearing a festive mask or, for those who refuse to wear a mask or take reasonable precautions, picking out which grandparent you’re willing to do without next Christmas. “Don’t worry, Granny. The virus only kills old people.” “Well, I ain’t no spring chicken!” “Hush, and open your gift.” “Aww, just what I’ve always wanted — a do-it-yourself will kit.” “Oh, and […]

I’m ready for the COVID vaccine, microchip and all

I’m ready for the COVID vaccine, microchip and all

It looks like a COVID vaccine is finally on the way. Granted, there are millions of Americans who vow not to take it, nor allow their kids to take it. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that those are the same people who also don’t believe that the coronavirus is actually killing people, that climate change is real or that Donald Trump lost the election. (Yes, I know the election was “rigged” … against one guy. Overall, the GOP had an outstanding election nationwide except for that one little race upon which the Democrats and […]

Do I need a tin foil hat for the invasion?

Do I need a tin foil hat for the invasion?

My wife is very upset with me. No, that’s not really unusual. But this time it’s not because I left my shoes (OK, flip-flops) in the living room or because I didn’t make the bed nor attempt to reassemble its 37 pillows in proper order. This time its because when she brings up the metal monoliths that have been showing up in Utah, Romania, California, the Netherlands and the Isle of Wright off the coast of England and I can only imagine where else by the time I finish typing this post, I don’t respond with the same sense of […]

What’s on the radio over yonder way in the galaxy?

What’s on the radio over yonder way in the galaxy?

While most Americans were bogged down in all the drama of Election Day and its sequels — The Election Day Strikes Back and Return of the Election Day — NASA was trying to direct our attention to some developments of astronomical scale, literally.  It all started just before Halloween when NASA announced that SOFIA had confirmed there is water on the moon. I’m not sure whether the SOFIA is Vergara or Coppola, but kudos to the lady for finding it. Oh, wait. Turns out that SOFIA is an acronym for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. I guess that’s better […]