Chris Johnson

The glue that holds it together

The glue that holds it together

As I sat at the dinner table Thursday night with my wife and two grandsons — one almost 2 years old and the other 4 — I reflected on a long week of relatively minor issues, albeit a big pile of them. I let out the 56th long sigh of the week. On one side of the table, the 4-year-old was complaining that he had to eat food when he could be doing something more productive like playing at the park down the street. We usually cook the boys a decent meal with multiple vegetables, but the multitude of tiny […]

Scientists or Crazy Uncle Joe? Tough call

Scientists or Crazy Uncle Joe? Tough call

Last week I got my first dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine. I’m not yet 55 years old and I’m about as unessential as folks get, but I did have one of the health conditions that allowed me to get a shot — a condition my doctor refers to as “How are you still alive?” The official medical term for my condition, in Latin, is Nowayustillalivicus. It took a few calls before I found someone on the list of vaccination sites who actually had, you know, a vaccine. Fortunately, the Houston County Health Department came through and was very helpful. […]

Oprah Winfrey ain’t got a Q — but I do

Oprah Winfrey ain’t got a Q — but I do

Folks were riled up last week about accusations made by former royals Harry and Meghan during their sit-down with America’s queen, Oprah Winfrey. Many on the left felt sorry for Meghan and wondered which royal expressed idiotic concerns about what her baby’s skin color would be. Many on the right thought Meghan was just acting for attention, quit watching and spent the rest of the night playing with their MISTER POTATO HEAD. And then there were folks like me who are generally unimpressed with rich folks and royals and thought there were too many commercials. But Oprah did inspire me […]

What if a pandemic closed schools 40 years ago?

What if a pandemic closed schools 40 years ago?

I’ve had to quarantine a couple of times over the past 12 months. The first time was in the spring of 2020 when I had all kinds of COVID symptoms (as did my wife), but I couldn’t get a test to confirm it one way or the other because I didn’t look, you know, dead enough. We got charged hundreds of dollars to be told “never mind.” The second time was when my wife had contact with a science-denier who went out as usual without a mask around a bunch of like-minded folks. Sure enough, the science-denier brought it to […]

Snowflakes on both sides need to hold their taters

Snowflakes on both sides need to hold their taters

There are certain historic moments that no one can forget where they were when they heard the news. Last week we saw another such historic moment when Hasbro announced that it was dropping the “Mr.” and “Mrs.” from the Potato Head toy brand. Ultimately, they clarified that even though they were simply marketing the toy as “Potato Head,” the Mr. and Mrs. elements were not being removed. They were simply being less prevalent in the packaging. I’m pretty sure where I was when I heard the news — probably on the couch and probably watching Fox News because that’s the […]

Valentine’s Day gift is worth the weight

Valentine’s Day gift is worth the weight

A couple of weeks ago, I set out to find my wife something unique for Valentine’s Day. As the years go on, we get less and less interested in “stuff” and more interested in new experiences and making memories. I did get a few tiny “stuffs,” but the big gift wasn’t tiny at all. In fact, it was really big — about 10 feet long and more than 900 pounds. It’s a manatee. Yes, my wife is now the proud (at least I think she’s proud) adoptive mother of Margarito. I met Margarito, virtually, while researching Save the Manatee — […]

Rush-ed into the age of perpetual punditry and willfully ignorant bubble-thinking

Rush-ed into the age of perpetual punditry and willfully ignorant bubble-thinking

Whether you loved, hated or were completely indifferent about right-wing radio giant Rush Limbaugh, there is no denying he substantially impacted the media and political landscape of this country. And not in a positive way. Before you say, “I bet you never listened to his show,” save your money. I’m a multi-viewpoint consumer. There are about two of us left in America — me and some lady named Gladys from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, I think. Limbaugh said racist things — on multiple occasions. He mocked people with disabilities and AIDS. He convinced the wealthy that the poor had it […]

Caution: Old man rant about today’s music ahead

Caution: Old man rant about today’s music ahead

(Photo: The corner of my writing room — no guitar smashing allowed.) When I browse Sirius XM satellite radio, I keep finding myself on channels like 70 on 7, 80s on 8, The Beatles Channel, Classic Rewind, Willie’s Roadhouse, Soul Town and similar stations that play music from when I was younger — a vague period of about half a century — and the music before I was even me. Sometimes I chill out with some jazz, listen to sports talk, catch a little bit of what passes for national broadcast news these days — or say the heck with […]