• February 11, 2016

Odessa American: David A Johnson

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David A Johnson

Saturday 09/01/2012
JOHNSON: A drought doesn’t mean elsewhere grass is greener
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 7:28 pm

The other day my friend sent me a text message just before midnight.

Monday 08/27/2012
JOHNSON: The Armstrongs each stretch the imagination
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:53 am

The other day, retired cyclist Lance Armstrong gave up his fight against doping accusations. The other day, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong  died.

Sunday 08/19/2012
JOHNSON: My interactive editor sense is tingling
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:53 am

I don’t have an electric car.

Sunday 08/12/2012
JOHNSON: Yeah, but what was Paul Ryan's split in the 4x100?
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:53 am

The other day, I reread the first column I wrote for the Odessa American because I remembered it was about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and I was very upset about the fact that we hadn’t won the “true” medal count.

Sunday 08/05/2012
JOHNSON: Phillip K. Dick is too famous to use less than his whole name
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:53 am

The other day, I heard they were doing a “Total Recall” remake. Then I heard they were casting Collin Farrell in it and I became much more interested in it -- but completely disinterested in ever actually watching it.

Sunday 07/29/2012
JOHNSON: In an alternate universe, Jack Kevorkian is a rich man
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day I was talking to someone, and a friend of hers came up in conversation.

Saturday 06/30/2012
DOWNTOWN: All we need to revitalize downtown is a flux capacitor
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 9:54 pm

The other day, and by that I mean today, the Odessa American started running a series on downtown Odessa, what it was, is and might one day be.

Saturday 06/23/2012
JOHNSON: The world is filled with things that make you feel good
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day the TV series “The Legend of Korra” ended its first season in a climactic two-part finale.

Saturday 06/16/2012
JOHNSON: Quiz : quizzical :: test : ___?
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 4:36 pm

The other day, we talked about the legacy of Ray Bradbury’s most famous work “Fahrenheit 451,” especially as it relates to books, education and book learnin’.

Saturday 06/09/2012
JOHNSON: Neal Stephenson is the LeBron James of sci-fi
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

I know how you people are, so I know after the first 50 words, you stop reading my column and end up mistaking me for columnist Nathaniel Miller at the grocery store.

Saturday 06/02/2012
JOHNSON: Our brains are funny things
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other week, or rather the one before last, I spent a lot of time traveling and being well away from home.

Saturday 05/19/2012
JOHNSON: Freedom isn't free
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day word came out that Freedom Communications had sold the Odessa American and several other publications in South Texas to the newly formed media group AIM Media Texas.

Saturday 05/12/2012
JOHNSON: It's a good day to be man born of woman
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, my mom and I went to see “Wrath of the Titans” at the theater. My mother is an elementary GT teacher with Ector County ISD and one of the things they’re studying now is Greek culture and mythology.

Saturday 04/28/2012
JOHNSON: This column is one big mistake
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:57 am

The other day a man sought by police held himself inside his home for many hours before coming out to end in his life in full view of his relatives, neighbors and other onlookers, and he did it within range of powerful cameras broadcasting it all to many more acquaintances and strangers.

Saturday 04/21/2012
JOHNSON: It's times like these I wish I were in a band
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day I was talking to a prospective woman, having a conversation that was potentially portentous.

Saturday 04/14/2012
JOHNSON: Thankfully for my car, there's no more sisters
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

I went to a wedding the other day in South Texas.

Sunday 04/01/2012
JOHNSON: Masses rabble over UT's editorial cartoon
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:56 pm

I thank Mr. Matt Jones for returning this space to me, and hope to use it as well as he did a week ago.

Saturday 03/17/2012
JOHNSON: Greg Oden always looked old and sad
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, the Portland Trailblazers finally cut their center Greg Oden.

Sunday 03/04/2012
JOHNSON: People go to college to have lots of sex
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, I was arguing with a friend about education and whether college specifically was any use. “It’s really just the next bubble,” I said, repeating an argument a mutual friend had made to me before.

Sunday 02/26/2012
JOHNSON: It's nice that some things fail and can't be fixed
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day I finally lost my front license plate for good.

Saturday 02/11/2012
JOHNSON: Romans 13:1 is terribly difficult teaching to accept
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, I got into my head that this week, I’d write a column about the new federal health care guidelines that would require employers to cover birth control without any extra fees as part of plans.

Sunday 01/29/2012
JOHNSON: Nax isn't here anymore, but we've still got Bottoms
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:53 am

The other day, Alice.com released a list of the cities that spent the most per order on toilet paper from December 2010 to December 2011. While we didn’t make it on that list, we did make it on a related one.

Sunday 01/22/2012
JOHNSON: Like elections, the world is crazy and uncertain
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day Gov. Rick Perry announced he was dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination for president, and made official what had been obvious before: I am not paid for my political prognostications.

Sunday 01/15/2012
JOHNSON: Urinating on the dead is a victimless war crime
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day some U.S. Marines got into trouble when a video of them peeing on three dead men leaked onto the Internet, pun intended.

Saturday 01/07/2012
JOHNSON: The best way to neutralize a threat is to not be one
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

Imagine if the other day, a 14-year-old cheerleader was killed at a middle school in South Texas.

Sunday 01/01/2012
JOHNSON: A snowball's chance is still a chance at least
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, the year began – anew! –  and everything old and constraining dropped off with the falling Times Square Ball, leaving us feeling unshackled by history for at least a moment while we decided whether to chain ourselves to the past once more, or go on with something fresh and unspoiled.

Saturday 12/24/2011
JOHNSON: It's the thought that counts, and sometimes the memory
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, it was nearly the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and while it isn’t that day yet for me, for those reading this column now, it is.

Sunday 12/18/2011
JOHNSON: After a while, a novelty becomes part of the landscape
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, I lent a pair of books to a co-worker, continuing our interpersonal-library-loan system that has sprung up during the past couple of weeks.

Sunday 12/11/2011
JOHNSON: 'Change isn't good or bad. It's just change.'
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, Twitter did a complete overhaul of their website in terms of appearance and functionality.

Saturday 12/03/2011
JOHNSON: Well, none of us are getting any younger
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

I often hear people, especially in their mid- and late-20s, say, “I’m getting old.” Well, on Friday, Japan's oldest woman died at age 115.

Sunday 11/20/2011
JOHNSON: However, I cannot use my knee to tell when it's going to rain
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, I got a pain near my mid-lower back like some awful thing was trying to grab and pull off a handful  of flesh, for what nefarious purpose I fear to speculate even within the realm of this simile.

Sunday 11/13/2011
JOHNSON: Good writing is the stuff that inspires instant jealousy
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, I was reading a book and had to, every few pages, set down the book and mutter a curse.  

Sunday 11/06/2011
JOHNSON: 'The Great Dictator' can be found in whole via Google
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day I overheard someone talking about the Charlie Chaplin film, “The Great Dictator,” or more specifically talking about his speech at the end, which is brilliant and moving and I can’t do it justice even to quote from it, so you’re best off watching it.

Sunday 10/30/2011
JOHNSON: As Billy said, 'Brevity is ... wit.'
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, Ralph Fiennes, the famous British film actor who also loves stage acting, said he does not so much love the current direction of language.

Sunday 10/23/2011
JOHNSON: The art of communication is an imperfect science
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, I was talking to a friend and we were arguing a bit about communication.

Sunday 10/16/2011
JOHNSON: 'We the People' are a frightening and ignorant beast
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

For today’s column, I have to give due credit to my colleague Nathaniel Miller who writes the Friday column ‘Ramble On.’

Sunday 10/09/2011
JOHNSON: It’s a good idea to put your name to (some of) what you say
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, oaoa.com made the switchover to a public comment system based, primarily, on the social media giant Facebook.

Sunday 10/02/2011
JOHNSON: Actually, this one can be read without irony
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day The Onion, self-styled as America’s finest news source, broke a story starting with the tweet:

Sunday 09/25/2011
JOHNSON: God forgive us, we don't know what we’re doing
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

The other day, Troy Anthony Davis was executed in Georgia. I think a couple of people got together and decided to protest or something. In any case, you may have heard about it.

Saturday 09/17/2011
JOHNSON: Elitism isn't a good thing -- it’s the best thing
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

When I was in elementary, people would sometimes ask me who my favorite football team was, and I’d say, “The Panthers.”

Sunday 09/11/2011
JOHNSON: The '90s were over, one year late
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 12:57 pm

People don’t realize this, but the golden age of cartoons isn’t actually the Looney Tunes or Merrie Melodies eras: it was the ’90s.

Sunday 09/04/2011
JOHNSON: Ron Paul lost the 2008 nomination for your sins
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

Last week, President Barack Obama scheduled a speech before a joint session of Congress on a new jobs plan (I guess because there aren’t any more new jobs anywhere), and it happened to coincide with the next GOP debate.

Sunday 08/28/2011
JOHNSON: The 'Look Up' app will make someone a lot of money
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

Everyone has at least one good idea in them that could make them very rich, or at least we’d all like to believe so.

Sunday 08/21/2011
JOHNSON: There's still plenty of summer left, don't worry
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

Today is unofficially the end of summer, although really Saturday was because, well, there's no time left to recover from anything you could do in the time you've got left.

Sunday 08/14/2011
JOHNSON: Oh gosh, those poor little prairie dogs
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

West Texas is not generally known as a bastion for PETA, although you wouldn’t be able to tell that based on the reaction to the recent rash of animal-related crimes and distasteful happenings.

Sunday 08/07/2011
JOHNSON: 'The last Metroid is in captivity; the galaxy is at peace'
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day (Saturday), marked the 25th anniversary of something very special: the release of Metroid, a science-fiction action-exploration video game for the original Nintendo console.

Saturday 07/30/2011
JOHNSON: Also, he was 21 going to school with seventh graders
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

The other day, Jerry Joseph shocked the world outside of Odessa by stepping into district court and admitting he was in fact, Guerdwich Montimer, Permian impostor, basketball cheat, national fraud, sex offender.

Sunday 07/24/2011
JOHNSON: And Jim Morrison said, 'Welcome to the club'
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old British singer-songwriter, died Saturday.

Saturday 07/16/2011
JOHNSON: In Luke Bryan's immortal words, rain is a good thing
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 5:55 am

It’s cliche, and the title of a song by ’80s glam metal band Cinderella, to say you don’t know what you got till it’s gone. Even in the desert, we never realized how accustomed to getting rain we were, until it stopped coming.

Monday 02/02/2009
JOHNSON: The weekend's most important sport event didn't involve a bowl
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I spend a lot of time putting together these weekly columns. Days, sometimes weeks of walking to and from lunch, kicking rocks down the street. Hours scribbling in various notebooks, then a night getting all of them together and typed into a computer file.

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Tuesday 01/27/2009
JOHNSON: Drugs are bad, but they’re good enough
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

There's an interesting debate going on now about the nature of our drug laws.

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Tuesday 01/20/2009
JOHNSON: Two things are constant: Change and the Constitution
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

Today president-elect Barack Obama gets to drop the "elect" and become president-proper. Whether he'll make a proper president, no one knows for sure, but everyone except bigots and professional partisans certainly has to be hoping he will, out of self-interest if not patriotism.

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Tuesday 01/13/2009
JOHNSON: Remember, it's only toilet humor if you laugh at it
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

When I was in high school, I played a football game at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. It was a JV match, so very sparsely attended, and other than the fact that it was very cold, and we won, I don't remember much else about the game apart from the halftime.

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Tuesday 01/06/2009
JOHNSON: The Arabs have a proverb: All sunshine makes a desert
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

It's only natural when the New Year comes to start to think of all things new and yet to come.

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Tuesday 12/30/2008
JOHNSON: Should have been a super year for Cowboys
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

The Cowboys lost Sunday and didn't make the playoffs.

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Tuesday 12/23/2008
JOHNSON: Some light reflections on the Christmas season
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I hate Christmas lights.

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Tuesday 12/16/2008
JOHNSON: Sometimes delaying the inevitable makes the pain worse
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I saw an article the other day about tapes from the Lyndon Johnson presidency being released. 

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Tuesday 12/09/2008
JOHNSON: The reason why Bill & Ted's adventure was excellent
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I've heard it said that the essence of music is to make people enjoy patterns without realizing it. As far as I can tell, this is true. I can't grasp music, whether I hear it, see a sheet of notes or play Guitar Hero. It's beyond me, but I like to listen.

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Tuesday 12/02/2008
JOHNSON: I experienced my first Black Friday last week
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

Actually, until my sister got a job selling cell phones (down in the Sam's store), I was pretty ignorant about the whole idea.

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Tuesday 11/25/2008
JOHNSON: I think I need a new obsession
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I apologize in advance for my column this week. I had a very bad weekend, and the worst thing about it is nothing bad actually happened to me.

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Tuesday 11/18/2008
JOHNSON: The American Dream is alive, oh well
Updated: August 31, 2012 - 5:44 am

I once read that in a single year, California changed the nature of America more than any state ever has, maybe more than all the rest put together.

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Tuesday 11/11/2008
JOHNSON: The story of Robin Hood and his merriment
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

The other day I sat down to watch all of the old Disney films I have on VHS.

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Tuesday 11/04/2008
JOHNSON: Christians remember: WWJVF - Who would Jesus vote for?
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

If anything I say here offends you, I wasn't trying to. There are two things you don't talk about over dinner, but if that extended to newspaper columns, I wouldn't have much to write. Religion and politics offend easily, and taken together the problem is even worse. Actually, this is my point, that under no circumstances should we put either at risk by mixing them.

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Tuesday 10/28/2008
JOHNSON: Everyone is permitted to vote, but it isn’t always beneficial
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

By the time Nov. 4 comes and goes, the 2008 election may prove to be the most popular in American history. Even in Texas where the national races should be safely checked off for the Republicans, there's more excitement than usual.

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Tuesday 10/21/2008
JOHNSON: Westboro Baptist Church, and what’s best about America
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

According to the Rev. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, God hates gays, 9/11 was the result of America's tolerance toward homosexuality, and every dead U.S. soldier is a sign of the Lord's judgment on our depraved national character.

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Tuesday 10/14/2008
JOHNSON: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

My friend once told me a story of an ant farm of his. For a while they went around digging, eating and digging some more. You know, typical ant stuff. Then they started to die, one after another. Bacteria in the dirt of a closed container - or some such.

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Tuesday 10/07/2008
JOHNSON: You know, ‘plethora’ actually means ‘too much,’ not ‘a lot’
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

Because I didn't know that until someone told me to look it up. It has nothing to do with anything, but some people only read headlines, and I wanted to share.

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Tuesday 09/30/2008
JOHNSON: You can learn a lot by watching C-SPAN
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

If you have a basic cable package, you probably have C-SPAN and C-SPAN2. And you probably watch them about as much as if you didn't own TV. But you should watch them more (and by that I mean "some") because when you complain that "nothing is on," C-SPAN is, and you can learn a lot.

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Tuesday 09/23/2008
JOHNSON: So much depends upon a balding tennis ball
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I've recently rediscovered bouncing. Tennis balls, rubber balls, golf balls, toy balls - whatever bounces and fits in my hand, I bounce it, oh how I do.

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Tuesday 09/16/2008
JOHNSON: Speak up! When you ought to be talking, make yourself heard
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I don’t know if you noticed (or remember), but the other day the OA published its weekly poll on the subject of offshore oil drilling. Something like 87 percent of our respondents were in favor of doing it while just 13 percent were against. Not a surprising result for this area, really.

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Tuesday 09/09/2008
JOHNSON: Here's a tip when it comes to customer service
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

Another OA writer had a recent column mourning the death of Customer Service. In response, readers offered explanations why we’d reached this sad state where employees are apathetic, have a poor work ethic, are all-around incompetent or some mixture of the above.

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Tuesday 09/02/2008
JOHNSON: A short time spent channeling Yogi Berra
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

I was talking to someone the other day about the Odessa American’s online discussion forum. You may not have been aware the OA had any forums, and that’s what we were talking about.

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Tuesday 08/26/2008
JOHNSON: It’s not about gold, it’s about sending a message
Updated: August 29, 2012 - 6:23 am

The Olympics have finished, and we finally have a chance for retrospection. The Olympics have finished, and we have lost.

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