Chris Johnson

Duh study you never needed

Duh study you never needed

Every now and then researchers come out with a new study that truly wows you and utterly changes the way you once thought — a paradigm shift, if you will and if you’re someone who doesn’t regurgitate at the sound of every overly used corporate buzzword from the past 25 years. This study, however, is not one of them. A study co-authored by Michigan State University’s Amber L. Pearson is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space. I believe the study was funded by a generous grant from the […]

Into the bargain bin: Books for a buck

Into the bargain bin: Books for a buck

I’ve always loved to browse bookstores, especially those with used books and bargain bins. After I published a couple of print books, however, I kinda hoped I wouldn’t find one in the $1 bin. Although, I’ve seen Stephen King, Lewis Grizzard and Mark Twain all wind up in the $1 bin, so I guess I’d at least be in decent company, Now, it’s happened. I’ve wound up in the bargain bin. Now, I’m no Mark Twain at a whole dollar. Mine are available for just 99 cents — and it’s an online bargain bin, at Amazon. Both “The Best of […]

Utter lunarcy?

Utter lunarcy?

Back in 1999, Jimmy Buffett released his 22nd album, “Beach House on the Moon.” Now, I’m a huge Buffett fan — a Parrothead, if you prefer — but I must say that it just might be the worst one he ever did.  I own the CD, but not a single song from there shows up on my extensive Buffett playlist on Spotify. But the album’s title track is an interesting concept. There are seas on the moon, after all. Of course, the Sea of Tranquility is no Gulf of Mexico as it has significantly fewer drunk teenagers and rednecks — two groups […]

Prince: Another legend I’m glad I witnessed

Prince: Another legend I’m glad I witnessed

My parents saw him as the purple pervert. Critics lauded him as a groundbreaking genius. His peers either loved him or were insanely jealous (Rick James). But I just loved the music. I finally got to see Prince live in Atlanta about 10 years ago, and it remains the best concert I’ve ever seen. I figured a legend like that could kinda mail it in, but he went above and beyond with a show that lasted more than two hours. And when the entire band disappeared into the stage for intermission, Prince re-emerged by himself with an acoustic guitar and performed […]

Remembering Merle Haggard and the Silver Moon

Remembering Merle Haggard and the Silver Moon

I’m not a fan of today’s country music — or today’s pop, rap, rock or R&B, for that matter — but I love some old-school country. So I was among the many sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Merle Haggard today on his 79th birthday. I saw Merle Haggard and the Strangers perform live 22 years ago at the perfect venue for such a show — the massive Silver Moon, a huge honky-tonk a few miles south of Buena Vista, Georgia. It truly was the middle of nowhere, but it hosted some big country music acts during […]

Y’all should all be vegetarians

Y’all should all be vegetarians

A couple months ago, my son made a shocking announcement: “Dad, I’m a vegetarian.” At first, I went through denial: “No, no, no, you still love a juicy ribeye steak.” Then, it turned to anger: “No one grills a steak better than I do, and you’re gonna eat it!” Then, bargaining: “What if you just ate meat like once a week? And what about fish? That’s not really meat.” That was followed by depression: “He is never again going to know the joy that you can only get by sinking your teeth into a juicy ribeye hot off the grill. What a sad, […]

Moving is the cat’s MEOW

Moving is the cat’s MEOW

We are currently crammed into a small rental house while we await the construction of a new house — well, actually awaiting the start of construction on a new home. Our cat, Sadie — er, I mean my wife’s cat, Sadie — is not fond of this whole moving thing after having lived her first seven years or so in a different home that she believed was was hers and she simply allowed us to stay there out of the goodness of her little feline heart. But she has had something to say about all this, and I let her […]

Happy 75th birthday, Linda Fuller: There’s an important note about women here

Happy 75th birthday, Linda Fuller: There’s an important note about women here

Linda Fuller might very well be one of the most important women leaders of the last 50 years. If you haven’t heard of her, that’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that she doesn’t seek attention for herself — only for issues about which she cares deeply. One of those issues is simple, decent, affordable housing. You probably have heard of Habitat for Humanity and you should hear about The Fuller Center for Housing. But you wouldn’t have heard of either if it were not for Linda Fuller. They wouldn’t exist. And hundreds of thousands of families […]