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A monthly diary of current postings and quick train of thought entries


April 2019

April 30th

I backed off from the internet for a bit… Thanos demands your silence kind of stuff floating all around. So, we’re going to use this entry today to wrap up April, and then hit the ground running for May. (If you don’t get the Thanos reference, then there is nothing going on that you need to be concerned about. If you do, we managed to get our schedule cleared and see it during the Thursday night advance showings, so we’re good if you want to talk about it.)

Spotlight directed at A Parkside View.

We’re closing in on the midpoint of Volume 4 for the monthly newsletter, and it has been a busy run. To give you some kind of idea of how things are going, the arrival of the June 2019 issue will give us two batches of eighteen issues. So, for fun, here’s a quick comparison of the first eighteen months (which created Volumes 1 & 2) and the sixteen months since (Volume 3 total and Volume 4 to date):

  • Original essays: 18 to 19
  • From the Backpack essays: 25 to 22
  • Total essays: 43 to 41

Overall, slight nod to the first batch (Volumes 1 & 2), but there are still two months left before the total number of issues match for each group (and eight more before we lock down the base material for the next collection). No question that the pace for material is getting stronger. Plus, there’s already MORE new content debuting on its pages.

If you’re not signed up, why not? It’s free. Send us an e-mail (or a message on our social media pages). We’ll get in touch with you to confirm all the details and start sending every issue your way.

And if you are signed up, THANK YOU! We appreciate the support. Be sure to tell those you know about the effort.
April 22nd

Basic day, two essays to share…

Bad boys, bad boys, here’s a tip or two

Don’t touch the third rack

April 14th

From deep—and I mean DEEP—inside the “there are people not even remotely like us all over the place” files, I give you: karate, family ties, nudity, Walmart, police and more. Enjoy. (What’s that? You’ve got a pretty crazy family? Ok. Yeah. Sure, sure. Tell me, can you top this side note in the story? “Police eventually arrested Vann as well. Meanwhile, Bo was found holding a box of Jiffy cornbread in his mouth.” Go read the story. More than once. It keeps on giving.)

Here’s a bit more about the start of Disney+.

Two essays today…

Fascinated by college admissions

Are you making sense (or talking out of your butt)?

April 12th

While I remember seeing many episodes of the original run of The Mickey Mouse Club, my connection with the effort comes from The New Mickey Mouse Club around 1977 to 1979.

One of the things I best recall is the serialized presentation of Toby Tyler. Great movie… kid runs off to join the circus… based on an old children’s book and it had a chimpanzee. So… yeah… of course. If you were young, this was awesome.

I grew up with things like this and other weekly shows like The Wonderful World of Disney.

Funny thing is, ever since the initial whispers of Disney+, the new streaming service from Disney set to debut later this year, one of the things I wondered about the most was Toby Tyler and The Mickey Mouse Club. With all the attention—and, deservedly so—given to some of the legendary classic Disney offerings, groups like Marvel and Pixar that are a part of the family, the new Fox acquisitions, and on and on, there really haven’t been any announcements to discuss things like this that most might consider slightly lower on the list.

Sure… sure… “the vault” covers a lot of possibilities, and with Disney involved that vault is huge. So, if everything Disney is being incorporated, this new streaming service could quickly be a deep goldmine of treasures. But as of today, I still don’t know if the original Disney film of Toby Tyler, or The New Mickey Mouse Club episodes with the serialized run, will be included.

All that said… the pricing and other announcements came out this week. Start of efforts for us potential subscribers will be in November. And the price, at least to start, is out there at less that $100 per year (whether you go month-to-month or get the discount by paying for the full year all at once). The countdown has begun.

There have been some pauses in the projects involving Godzilla and King Kong. Not unplanned or unexpected pauses, but it sure seems like decades have passed since the release of the first effort. Seriously, the first movie of the current interconnected run came out in 2014. Remember? It featured Bryan Cranston. Feels like forever ago though, doesn’t it? But, if you’re enjoying them, fasten your seat belts. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is closing in on release. And now, news that the initial work of filming has been completed for Godzilla Vs. Kong, which is set for release next year.

Disney has been exploring all sorts of interesting options for their streaming platform. Live action efforts… projects from Marvel and Star Wars universes… and now, even with my thoughts a moment ago, we get another Pixar note. Monsters at Work is headed to Disney+.

It appears we have an official title… Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

With Maya Rudolph involved and Tina Fey showing up, Wine Country looks like a funny, interesting project from Amy Poehler.

April 9th

Just an essay today… bit of a story first…

A lot of In My Backpack involves experiments and projects in some stage of development but not quite polished… a testing ground of sorts….

It means some efforts are begun with the intention of producing quantity. Trying to overcome fear and doubt and procrastination and more, where getting stuff written is the featured element in the endeavor, even if it means writing about grass growing. (Note to self: Grass growing. Start thinking about that essay. Maybe tie it in to soggy April days and muddy sneakers.)

It means exploring efforts that could result in producing new types of content. Heading out on photo shoots was never expected back in 2003… then a few media nights came about… and now the adventures have continued and expanded and developed into a Photo Gallery. Movie reviews were here in the early days, and for good reasons they disappeared over time (along with some other work).

I could go on, but the basic idea is this: Nothing about this web site was ever about perfection. It was about writing and sharing material and interacting with people.

Even with such an approach, a huge amount of notes and drafts and more end up getting filed away. Today’s essay was one of those. It got written… almost made it to a final draft… but something about it didn’t work, so I stored it. As I point out in a new introduction, a few random ideas connected with a recent event, and it spun back into my thoughts, got pulled up, and rejoined the material actively in the process of editing and re-writes.

The major idea I want to point at for this particular essay posting is that in many cases, I’m not looking to complete a journey with my writing. I don’t want to start with a specific premise and arrive at a definitive conclusion. In some cases, I just want to explore a topic. Start a discussion. Exchange ideas.

Here we go… “The numbers lie again, especially when talking about savings

April 6th

Two essays today, and… yeah.

Both of them were started when I was far, far away from any way of writing something down. So, there they were, floating around in my thoughts, banging into things, and seemingly making a degree of sense. And then…

I sat down and began trying to sort them out. Most writers will tell you about how when taking a walk and thinking about something it seems wonderful and eloquent and has a tremendously smooth flow to it, which promptly disappears into chaos and confusion when the opportunity to actually write it is presented. That sentiment applies to these essays.

In general, I like them. They avoided the trash. But every time I read them, look to add and subtract and adjust and edit, I see something new and feel like each one is missing something. They seem finished, but far from complete.

I’ve always said this site is about experimenting and trying things out… rough edges and seldom perfection. That in mind, I’m sharing them, because I think they’re about as far along the road as I can take them right now. But I have this funny feeling they both reflect ideas I need to let sit for a while before I revisit them.
April 2nd

We have a ton of ground to cover today. Part is the typical first-post-of-the-month stuff, so let’s dive right in…

Who’s the fool? is the theme for this month’s Local Friends for Local Business challenge. And, it’s somewhat uniquely self-indulgent for participants…

Shift things away from what may be your initial thoughts a bit and consider: How often to you run into a “I really shouldn’t” but you do anyway?

It might truly be slightly self-indulgent, could be a treat, or perhaps founded on a necessity. Whatever the inspiration, there’s a nod in the direction of the naughty, the foolish, involved in the process.

The basic idea is to take what might be considered a bit of a personal extravagance—could be small like a piece of cake, could be large like a new lawn mower—and use a neighborhood source to provide it.

We’re not specifically looking at food or clothing or garden supplies. It’s just a sweeping, general concept. The challenge is asking that you take a few moments to do something a step or two away from the conventional and well-planned. Have a bit of fun. Embrace the silly… because you’re worth it.

The April issue of A Parkside View has been released. This month features two essays on its pages.

This is a monthly newsletter that features Bob’s writing. It began in July of 2016… has been released every month since… contains a minimum of two essays (with one making it’s first-ever-appearance only in A Parkside View). AND… it’s FREE. All you need to do is send an e-mail (or a message on our social media pages) and ask for it. We’ll connect with you and get things moving.

And now, a few notes of appreciation are in order… and to that idea, THANK YOU!

During the month of March, we celebrated sixteen years of this web site. It wasn’t a massive, fireworks every day type of celebration. But we did have some promotions running that involved free Kindle editions of three different books.

Several people checked out the Kindle releases… adding the free editions to their library… purchasing some of Bob’s other titles… and reading several of Bob’s books using the Kindle Unlimited program. A few people scooped up some paperbacks.

Means a lot to us. Thank you very much for the support.

This month is going to be kind of typical, but there are some surprises we hope to share. For one, we’ve been working on some interviews. Problem is, we aren’t absolutely certain of when they’ll be finished and ready to post. So…

Thanks for stopping in. Have fun looking around. More coming soon. Come back around again.

Closing in on Avengers: Endgame.

Game of Thrones and Oreos. No comments of judgements. Just thought you might want to know.



If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail us at Bob@inmybackpack.com