Carlson

John Carlson: Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man!

By: John Carlson— From our seats in Row BB at Emens Auditorium a couple weeks ago, Bob Dylan didn’t look like an American music icon. The familiar tousled hair and his slight build somehow seemed offset by the stiff movements of a man nearing 80 years of age, a man who didn’t exactly hop around the stage like Mick Jagger does, even back in his younger days. Plus, wouldn’t you figure an American music icon would take the opportunity to…

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John Carlson: Powerful Pairs of Pants

By: John Carlson— The other day I saw a Facebook ad for “Special Forces Pants,” also called “Tactical Pants.” Unlike regular pants, these pants had a zipper up front. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, my  pants have a zipper up front, too!” Yeah, but what’s located behind your zipper? Never mind, don’t answer that. The thing is, with Tactical Pants or Special Forces Pants, it may be a secret pocket hiding hand grenades or any number of other…


John Carlson: Welcome Back, Bob!

By: John Carlson— Lately I’ve enjoyed some happy little feelings, all over the planned reconnection between the late artist Bob Ross and the city where he rose to international fame. That’s Muncie, of course. The L.L. Ball House on Minnetrista Boulevard, where the iconic show “The Joy of Painting” was shot from 1983 to 1988, is getting a new exhibit honoring the painter, telling his story, and sharing some of the creative magic the man sparked. Granted, “The Bob Ross…


John Carlson: Quite The Contraption

By: John Carlson— You want proof that life today is way too complicated? Here it is. Rakes. But let’s begin with drones. Drones are a big deal any more. It’s to the point where those remotely controlled flying machines are being used – or soon will be – to deliver packages shipped by corporations like Amazon and Walmart. Eventually, one presumes that even Pizza Hut’s pepperoni pushers will probably be prone to piloting pizza-delivery drones that plop down on your…


John Carlson: A Tale Of Two Sandwiches

By: John Carlson— As the chunky, semi-professional food writer once known in these parts as the Chowhound, I was going to feature a hard-hitting investigative piece about two national sandwich phenomena as the topic of this week’s column. So, Nancy and I drove to Popeye’s on Anderson’s south side to try that eatery’s much-ballyhooed fried-chicken sandwich. This sandwich has been the darling of my fellow food writers of late. It’s even been lauded in no less august a publication than…


John Carlson: Angling For A Catch

By: John Carlson— If you don’t think big-water fishing requires a strong stomach, you’ve never stared into a recycled potato-salad container full of chopped up squid parts, the whole mess topped by a doleful, accusatory squid eye resting like a cherry on a sundae. That’s a sight to make a non-angler like yours truly want to throw up, or at least throw up his hands and tell the squid, “Hey! Don’t look at me, fella! I didn’t do it!” My…


John Carlson: Riding’s No Longer Easy

By: John Carlson— Hearing that Peter Fonda died recently made me think of the movie “Easy Rider,” which made me think of motorcycles, which made me think of the Harley-Davidson parked out in my garage. I can’t say it was “Easy Rider” that made me want to ride motorcycles. It was a mighty Honda 50 that made me want to do that. I’m being facetious, of course. The classic Honda 50 was about as wimpy as motorcycles come. Still, one…


John Carlson: New Car Goes Its Own Way

By: John Carlson— Cars these days. Go figure… That’s how I used to react to all the hype over self-driving cars. As a longtime motorist who fully enjoys being behind the wheel, I found the very idea of self-driving cars loathsome. Young, up-and-coming drivers? My sense was they would hate self-driving cars more than anyone. After all, when I was just getting my license I couldn’t wait to be the guy in charge, burning rubber, doing doughnuts and skidding in…


John Carlson: Scrub-A-Dub-Dub, Stuck…

By: John Carlson— They say you can learn to do about anything these days by consulting a YouTube video, and it’s true. How to build a birdhouse. How to tune your lawn tractor. How to extract a naked guy who’s stuck in your bathtub. Yeah, that’s one, too. Not that Nancy and I have any experience with this, you understand. But it actually worked for a couple we know by the name of, um, Bubba and Booboo. You see, it…


John Carlson: Memories from Up North

By: John Carlson— It was writer Thomas Wolfe who coined the phrase, “You can’t go home again,” and maybe he was right. But as a recent mini-vacation reaffirmed for Nancy and me, trying to recapture good feelings from favorite days past is a worthy endeavor in itself. The two of us drove north into Michigan to the town of Onaway. It’s a quiet little burg near a beautiful body of water called Black Lake. I’ve probably spent week-long vacations up…