-

Now playing

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

 

October 2017

October 17th

Busy week around here... and I may not have a chance to stop in and post for a couple of days. So... sort and sweet today...

I want to point in the direction of a couple of television programs… under the radar, you likely haven’t even noticed them programs… that I have found myself very pleasantly surprised with.

The first is Pickler and Ben. It’s a daily talk show with Kellie Pickler and Ben Aaron, which Terry and I watch on the CMT Network. It’s a very refreshing, fun, relatable effort. Kellie and Ben have terrific chemistry as co-hosts, and the relaxed atmosphere and presentation work amazingly well.

Next is Rosehaven. Airing on Sundance, the show comes from Australia and the network is getting ready to move straight into airing the second season. In a strange way of describing it, the show is much like Pickler and Ben in that it doesn’t have heavy hands on the polishing and production. Amazingly, it’s very easy to miss a ton of jokes and great moments taking place in the background.

October 16th

Two new essays today… one a bit of a profile (not a deep profile, but a specific person as subject profile) and the other a new travel piece. Links at the end.

I want to point the spotlight today toward a great friend of the In My Backpack web site…

Suzi Quatro

The In My Backpack Interview with Suzi Quatro

Catching Up with Suzi Quatro

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to meet, speak with, and work with some incredible people for my web site. Suzi Quatro has repeatedly demonstrated herself to be one of the kindest and most thoughtful people you could ever dream of encountering. Just wonderful and brilliant, and one of the first ever to take part in a project for the Backpack. Quick to respond to my inquiries, and always open and honest.

We worked on two pieces for this site, with the main interview ending up in my first book (Time Just Drifts Away). In fact...

In a really great article from Marc Savage recently posted by the BBC, she mentions her “ego room” (where she keeps her treasures, memories, etc.). When I approached her about including the piece in the book, she not only agreed without hesitation, she was kind enough to ask me for a copy of Time Just Drifts Away to add to that collection. Quite a thrill for me.

PLEASE take some time to check Suzi’s current work out (stay up to date at her official site at www.suziquatro.com).

And the new material…

First up… “Rich Eisen, media superstar

And second, long title… “South and north along the East Coast – Bob and Terry on Tour 2016 – New York to Florida, and points in between – Days One, Two and Three (and a start of Four) – South Carolina – On to Myrtle Beach

October 15th

On Saturday, the 21st, ComplemenTerry Designs will be returning to Putnam, Connecticut, to be a part of a fantastic day. It’s the 2017 Northeast Connecticut Great Pumpkin Festival.

This is a terrific event that we’ve attended many times in the past, and we are thrilled to be joining it again. The entire community takes part… from the restaurants and shops in town, to vendors being set up outside. And as usual, attendees can expect live music and the scenic train ride to be a part of the celebration.

The day starts at 10am, with a forecast that right now looks absolutely perfect… sunny and 70s from Friday through Sunday for the region… with an October Saturday that would be just about impossible to improve. (We’ll be hoping that weather outlook doesn’t change.) Things are scheduled to wind down around 3:30pm.

As of right now, you can expect an assortment of designs for our crafts. In keeping with the season and festival theme, most will be based on harvest concepts. During past festivals, we have been asked about seasonal items for the winter months, Christmas decorations, and even some everyday arrangements, and we should have a few pieces that fit in with all of these ideas as well.

October 13th

Finally… back to writing… new essay today, with the link at the end of the entry. (Bonus – Should have at least two more essays in place by Monday.)

If you’ve visited The ‘ville more than a handful of times over the years, you may be noticing a few new things are appearing this month. I mentioned the general idea in October’s first Now Playing entry on the 6th. Here are some more details…

Basically, the home page had become a giant nightmare. I remember in the early days wanting some sort of simple gateway, perhaps offering a few recent notes and saying thanks for visiting while pointing off into the larger site. Instead, as my attempts to introduce everything the site contained combined with the expanding list of areas, that home page grew into outside links and Local Friends and ComplemenTerry Designs and A Parkside View and Writing & Books and logos and photo galleries and… and… and…

A massive crash of information that delivered a lot of commotion and very little clarity.

The biggest change for the entire web site is, essentially, that nothing has changed. In My Backpack continues to be an experiement and testing ground of sorts, and some of the efforts that have become a part of the site are ones I’m quite proud to have included. That means all of the different neighborhoods around Backpackville remain in place. A variety of columns. My book releases. Efforts like ComplemenTerry Designs and Local Friends.

You can still find all of the essays, columns, travel pieces and writing posted on the Backpack… you can still find information about my professional writing… and you can still find the pages and more associated with other stuff, friends of the Backpack, and so on.

The main home page though… it’s been stripped down to the very basics. Banner at the top… road signs leading to the professional efforts or The ‘ville… and a few items of interest along the margin on the right. Simple.

I’m working on adjusting some of the background colors and a few font choices. I’ll admit… that one is a bit of a challenge. Not my strength. Still... I’m trying to wash the colors out a bit. Working on making things slightly less harsh and sharp and tiring on the eyes. I’m trying to get the font styles and other items a bit more consistent. (Not certain I’m succeeding. I’ll keep at it.)

Several things will take time. There are, literally, hundreds of pages on the In My Backpack site. Chances are, I’ll be doing a bit on each and every one. (And it has been long overdue.) Plus, because of course, once I manage to wade through most of it I’ll probably decide on a different path. (Still... I can dream.)

And here we go… “Regional tools

October 6th

You may have noticed a few things…

It’s been a strange transition into the month of October.

The month kicked off with me on the road, and I have also been working on some projects that involve travel, meetings, and the future appearance schedule. Short summary… handful of things not involving time with the computer. (And to stay with the idea of travel for just a moment longer…)

I want thank everyone that came out to the writing workshop in Mystic, Connecticut, and the book signing in Westerly, Rhode Island. It was a pleasure meeting all of you, and I’m grateful you took the time to be there.

I also want to extend a huge thank you to the Utica Public Library and Mystic & Noank Library for hosting me and the writing workshops in September and October. Both libraries are simply beautiful, amazing facilities. Tremendous staffs and wonderful histories. I’ve now been to each location multiple times, and I sincerely hope to have the chance to return to them again in the future.

Ok… web site…

We’re making some changes here at In My Backpack. And, as you might have noticed on the home page, those changes have begun to appear.

Virtually all of them are going to be very subtle… barely noticeable. Minor tinkering to streamline and organize. Just about all of them should be in place by the first days of November

The reasons for the changes are pretty simple… I need to clean up a few things.

When In My Backpack started back in 2003, it was built as a place for my writing. Nothing too complicated in design or intention. The plan was that there really was no plan. The web site was going to be a place where I could share material, while experimenting with some things and developing others.

The past five years or so have seen that change a bit. Pretty much a result of the experimenting and developing. Published books… a web site for ComplemenTerry Designs… the start of Local Friends for Local Business… and as a nifty summary, a bit of expansion around Backpackville.

For the most part, my attempts at bringing together all of the stuff around The ‘ville for more than fourteen years has been something like a dining room table in a house where no one eats at the dining room table. It usually becomes a bit of a perfectly situated catch all. Keys and mail and shopping lists and loose change and items to remember tomorrow and more. In short…

Cluttered. Confusing.

Even when you know where everything is, often it can take a moment or two to find it. And if you don’t know where everything is… well… exactly.

So, the home page has been stripped back and now directs things into two directions. One, to a cover page focused on my published and professional writing. The other, to a page that is based on the old site home page and presents all things Backpackville.

Most of the changes so far and those coming up should feel familiar to anyone that has visited in the past. The top banner remains, which points as always toward the main neighborhoods of The ‘ville. This is not an overhaul involving massive changes in content... just the presentation and, hopefully, clearer directions and signage (so to speak).

I’m also not pretending that the changes won’t eventually be changed. Some of the new things I’m figuratively tossing on the table might turn out to be better served with a place in a drawer. Better in theory than practice. I’ll address those as we move along and see how things look and get used.

PLEASE feel free to send along your comments, observations and suggestions. Feedback is always welcome.

Ok… a handful of remaining notes…

The next event is coming on October 21st. We are returning to Putnam, Connecticut, for one of our favorites -- The NECT Great Pumpkin Festival. We always enjoy attending these festivities with ComplemenTerry Designs, and we are really looking forward to this year.

Local Friends this month is focusing on Unexpected Delights.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant, looked over the menu, and discovered some ingredients you love but rarely see when dining out?

How about a shop, with an inventory of brilliant items that you never find in other stores?

There are plenty of ways I could try to be more specific… but the focus is straightforward… these are places offering incredible temptations and wonderful treasures that you never thought you would find when you opened the door and stepped inside.

Seasonal foods… perfect gifts… Unexpected Delights. October 1st to October 31st.

And that’s it. First entry for October of 2017. I should have some new essays (yes, plural) later next week.

 

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