Now playing

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


February 2021

February 27th

Making some chili today. My own recipe. House is beginning to smell REALLY good, and that’s well before the planned take on apple pie coming for dessert. Going to be a good day. But chances are good you don’t care about that. (Let me know if you do. Need to know how much cornbread to make.)

Over the past few years, I’ve often tried to use the turn the page, resolutions, new day atmosphere of a New Year as a reason to kick myself into gear. End result, a complete rush toward quantity with the idea of averaging an essay a day. While I believe I’ve always managed to finish the effort when the challenge was set in place, I don’t ever recall carrying it over into February.

Until this year.

Didn’t expect to try it. Then the month was starting out, I had some works in progress, and I made a run at it. Yesterday, we hit twenty-seven essays. Today, we clear the bar. And while we’ll release some balloons and cheer a bit, I feel obliged to point out we won’t be continuing this run into March. Got a few other things to work on, like the web site’s anniversary and several assorted projects.

Here’s the essay to wrap up the February challenge…

What time does the mail get here?

Might be back tomorrow… more likely back in March. Have a great day, and enjoy the chili.

February 26th

Got an e-mail yesterday. Person asked why it seemed like visits to the From the Backpack archives don’t happen on a regular basis. Wanted to know if I could do something to make posting older material a more regular occurrence.

I definitely appreciate the thought. But chances are, no. The main reason is actually pretty simple. There isn’t that much left that works in this way. Let me explain…

Most of the material that would work here comes from two possibilities: Material that had been posted, was taken down for some reason and hasn’t been reposted. And, material generated in some fashion outside of the web site that never has been posted.

A massive chunk of the site’s material that has disappeared and hasn’t returned includes stuff like weekly football picks and preseason baseball predictions. Fun to write, timely when posted, really has not aged well at all.

Another batch that works in this area is material that I honestly don’t think was all that exciting. Movie reviews, for instance.

While it is possible that there is material to work on and add to the site, the reality of the situation is that I don’t have a ton of options that fit three basic ideas: (1) It isn’t outdated, (2) it is an essay-ish size piece and not a significantly longer effort, and, (3) it contains material worthy of posting.

I wade into the archives from time to time. For a variety of reasons. And yup, I do find some stuff while I’m there. I am not saying we don’t have any more From the Backpack material, regardless of where I might find it. But I highly doubt if there’s enough to make it a regular routine, with a set schedule.

So, thanks for the thought. I definitely appreciate the interest, and I’ll keep looking.

Ok…there you go. Feel free to e-mail other questions and we’ll try to answer them.

Love Linda Cardellini’s work, so the news about Murder Party heading to Amazon is exciting. (Plus, comparisons to Clue and Knives Out—an underrated masterpiece and a brilliant film, respectively—that’s some deep waters to be reaching for, so a high bar is being set.)

It is quite possible you’ve never heard of Phil Jones. He’s a drummer, and he’s worked with a ton of big names, on many projects where you probably don’t even know about his contributions. Check out this interview to learn more about him and some huge parts of music history.

When another brand just won’t do

Always count your change

February 22nd

Doing some prep work for March. Not sure if I’ll be ready to share many details before the end of February, but a few things are lining up as being very possible for March announcements.

One thing I can share is that A Parkside View will be joining in, with four essays as part of the next edition, and three of them will be new material. If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up to receive each monthly issue.

Disney history can be interesting to review, with details you probably never heard about even though the material was out and available. An Epcot park in California? Plans were moving along for just such a theme park.

The chocolate chip cookie twist

Hug them (Now)

It’s more than the eye test (but sometimes simple is a good start)

February 19th

Disneyland has taken an empty location, formerly occupied by a Rainforest Café, and opened it as a Star Wars Trading Post. (From what I’ve seen, Disney World locations of Rainforest Café are still open.)

Annie Murphy did a tremendous job in Schitt’s Creek. Now—seemingly, to me, a bit like Kaley Cuoco did with The Flight AttendantAnnie appears set to make a bit of a departure, shake things up, and deliver as part of a really interesting new project, Kevin Can F**k Himself.

NASA has landed a new rover on Mars. Perseverance is the name, and it is already sending back some incredible images.

Birch syrup? I admit it, I chuckled when I started reading the article. But then they noted how the season matches up nicely with tapping maple trees, meaning that maple syrup producers can take the same equipment and simply shift into the next gathering cycle without disrupting other operations.

I don’t know of many events in entertainment quite like Richard Dawson’s efforts in The Running Man. That was just a wonderful, amazing shocker. So, it makes me a bid sad to hear of production beginning on a remake. However, Edgar Wright is involved, and that is promising.

That’s a terrible idea

The next great QB

February 18th

Have you checked out Bob’s books lately? He’s released twelve to date—essays, travel, sports and interviews—with all twelve currently available in paperback and Kindle editions.

Several online booksellers carry his titles. We suggest heading to Amazon, as they are the one stop where we can guarantee availability of all titles and can also offer information about the Kindle editions.

Here’s where you can learn more:

Writing & Books here at In My Backpack

Bob’s author page at Amazon

Also, we’re slowly beginning to add a presence on Instagram. If you would like to follow us on social media—and THANK YOU for that—here are some of the direct links to our pages…

In My Backpack at Facebook

Time Just Drifts Away at Facebook

@bobinmybackpack at Twitter

bobinmybackpack at Instagram

Each and every follow, share of a post, and positive comment from our social media pages… and every purchase of one of Bob’s books… comes with our tremendous appreciation, plus the naming of a rainbow in your honor. (So, you’ll have that to enjoy.)

Don’t miss out on the brilliant Resident Alien. If you haven’t been watching, there are still some ways to catch up, including free on the network’s web site. But episode one leaves next week… so get it done. The show, writing, cast and crew… all outstanding.

I’m really sorry to hear that Truth Seekers seems to have been cancelled. (It actually is cancelled according to all sources. But everything has a slim chance at being saved until it doesn’t. Unfortunately, I just don’t see where any notes are being made about trying to find a new group to continue production.) Was it a great show? Actually, no. It was really good, with a solid foundation put in place to build upon. It did have some very strong moments, great twists, and solid efforts. Where it was good, it was VERY good. The BRILLIANT part was the cast and the potential. I truly believe a second or third season (and, fingers crossed, more) would have allowed this group to really grow and develop into something special.

Disney… Emma Stone… dalmatians… twisted version of “Who’s sorry now?”… Cruella is looking good.

Climbing the walls

When whiskey just won’t do

Do you always follow the rules?

February 14th

Are you signed up to receive A Parkside View? It’s the monthly newsletter from Bob… and in a way, it’s also all things Backpackville.

Each issue contains at least two essays, along with news from around The ‘ville. That’s the minimum, with most issues containing three or more essays. And, every issue will always have at least one essay one making its debut on the pages of A Parkside View and one drawn from the attic of the web site and Bob’s files, referred to as a From the Backpack piece.

In March we’ll be celebrating the anniversary of the In My Backpack web site, with three new essays planned. All you need to do to receive it is ask. Each edition of A Parkside View is free. Just send us an e-mail (or a message on our social media pages) and we’ll get you signed up.

Don’t miss another issue. There are no excuses. SIGN UP NOW!!!

Valkyrie has arrived on the Thor set. Marvel continues moving ahead with some incredible casts for upcoming projects.

In addition to announcing a somewhat shortened season would be its last, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is currently planning on delaying its final bows for a bit. Sounds like it may not be back until next year’s season. This actually shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as cast members had been saying that the events from 2020 really shifted the way the writers, cast and crew were approaching the next episodes. This show has been leading the charges on many fronts over the years, and taking a bit of time to thoughtfully approach things seems like a nod in the right direction for some powerful statements in the last lap of episodes.

Hmm… a study into Stonehenge seems to be presenting an argument that some of the stones were used previously in a different structure, and may have been brought to the current site essentially as a way of taking the monument with the people as they moved.

Coca-Cola is researching a paper bottle. Company goals are pushing for a zero-waste-level within ten years.

I don’t want to dive too deeply into this rabbit hole, but my mind is connecting a few different dots. UNIQLO is closing a store in San Francisco. Article discusses a bit about how tourism declines over the past several months have been leading to several business closures. I first became aware of UNIQLO as a result of their store in Orlando in Disney Springs, which—follow the line—is a massive tourist destination. Leaves me wondering a bit about how businesses that have set up brick and mortar locations where at least some thought is given to tourism are adjusting to the new environments and challenges.

Here’s how we play

The fields are different this year

A welcome surprise

The best in every state

Just because it bothers you…

February 11th

Another quick entry…

New season of Top Chef is on the way. Production faced some unreal challenges to get things done. Check out some of the stories from Portland (and don’t forget my interview with Tom Colicchio here in Backpackville.)

And two new pieces…

Were they thinking?


February 9th

Just some new pieces to post today…

Tracks of my days

The unusually important things

An average ordinary day

February 6th

Four essays to share today, including the first of my promised surprises… we’ve got a return of travel material to the web site.

Work is moving along on a new travel collection, which is going to feature two trips that have never been shared previously (and are set to only appear in the book). Another part of that effort will be the 2013 adventure where Terry and I met up with my sister, Kris. Today’s post, from days 6 and 7 of that visit to the Pacific Northwest region, becomes the first travel article appearing in Backpackville since late 2018.

I’m going to stop counting for a bit, but somehow we’ve already managed to get ahead of the one-per-day rate I was tinkering with. Was not expecting that to happen this month.

A Parkside View is out for February. If you haven’t, take a moment to check out more information and consider signing up to receive it. Each issue contains a minimum of two essays, with at least one appearing for the first time anywhere on its pages.

Summer of Soul is bringing an amazing event… one deserving of incredible recognition, but often overlooked… to audiences. Make sure you look for this documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.

Word on the street is that Willem Dafoe has been seen on the set of the next Spider-Man film.

And here are the new efforts…

Experiencing Seattle and the Great Northwest ~ Bob and Terry on Tour 2013, with Kris ~ Days Six and Seven

Who else will give them their business?

Completely oblivious

Is being productive counterproductive?

We’ll be back in a few days. Stay safe, have some fun, and we’ll see you soon.

February 3rd

I had planned to approach February as a bit of a no plans, catch up on everything month. Something of a bridge of sorts… getting me from the rush of 2020 and solid start of 2021 to the anniversary of the web site and development of a few projects. Organizing the chaos comes to mind as a better description.

I was not planning to continue with the essay-per-day-average approach that January had. Then the calendar rolled over and I had a draft of an essay about finished and most immediate demands under control. I also had a handful of essays started.

So here we are, day three of February… two new pieces to post today… and we’ve got three essays in place already this month.

Hmm… I might—stress the might—make it an effort to keep the pace up this month. Look for the links closing out today’s entry. Keep checking back to see how we’re doing around The ‘ville.

Our only outside links for today involve a massive cuteness break for you… two videos of pandas playing in the snow. First from the BBC and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Second, from the Toronto Zoo. Awesome.

Here are the new pieces…

Not too good for you

I can’t read my own writing, and it’s frustrating as hell

February 1st

Hoping to bring back a few things this month, but I’m going to need to wait on sharing the details. Too much in the really early stages of development, and nothing close enough to promise anything is actually in motion and moving along.

The latest edition of A Parkside View is out and making the rounds. This month’s issue features two new essays. If you haven’t signed up for it, remember: It’s free and it contains exclusive content that has never been released previously.

If you’re not watching Resident Alien, start now. Right now. Do not miss it, the first episode was brilliant.

Interesting interview with Ron Mael, Russel Mael and Edgar Wright about the new documentary The Sparks Brothers.

And to wrap up the start of the new month, here’s a new essay…

Is it snowing? Get the lawn mower ready…



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