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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

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Archive for June, 2012


A sad day

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

I just learned that BHM author, long-time Readers’ Forum moderator, and all-around great guy Pat Barden (bee_pipes) passed away after a long bout with cancer.

The last time I heard from him, some months ago, he’d resigned himself to the inevitable and vowed to complete his personal “bucket list” before the end.

I hope he made it and that his passing was peaceful.

Those of you so inclined, please remember Pat in your prayers.


~ Oliver

Dave Duffy

Reprinting the Third and Fourth Year anthologies

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

We’re nearly out of The Third Year and The Fourth Year anthologies, so for the past couple weeks Lenie and the crew have been updating the files to get them ready to reprint.

Technology has come a long way since the first time we printed these books. The originals are on film, which is no longer used by the print industry, so before we could do anything we had to hire a company to make digital copies of the old film. Next, the actual size of the page had to be changed slightly. The original pages were exactly 8.5 x 11 inches, but our final trim size is just a little smaller than that, so we had to change the dimensions of every page. Last, we had to go through the book and replace some of the filler ads, because the post office decided that if the books contain any sort of advertisements, they aren’t eligible to be mailed at a lower postage rate.

We’re done with all that, now, so the final step is getting the new, updated files to the printer. Once we send files to the printer it takes a few days before we can view our digital proofs on line. This is our last chance to correct any mistakes, double check that the proper files were used, and answer any production questions before the print job goes to the presses. If we miss something at this step, the mistake will appear in the book, so it is critical. Usually Lenie and I both review and approve the pages separately, just in case one of us misses something. It so happens that this time there were major errors on the proofs, and we’re not sure if it was our fault or the printer’s fault. But we’ll get it taken care of today and tomorrow, give our final approval of the proofs, then sit back and wait for the delivery truck to arrive with the dozen or so pallets of new books in a few weeks.


Dave Duffy

Energy Fair just a so-so event

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The Wisconsin energy fair is over but it was only a so so show, much smaller than the recent Self Reliance shows and the Mother Earth News Fair. Maybe the down economy is beginning to take a toll. Energy fairs sell a lot of pricey hardware, where the self reliance shows sell a lot of lower cost, practical stuff like canning supplies and seeds. I’m really looking forward to the Dallas Self Reliance show in Dallas July 27 & 28.

Dave Duffy

Greece votes to work. Good for them!

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Greek voters voted to keep working within the European Union.  That’s a big step in the right direction. Now they’ll have to slowly undo decades of  socialism with its easy government jobs and overly generous perks. Working 40 hours a week until a reasonable retirement age, like age 65, would be a good start.

Dave Duffy

The Greek vote –what a farce!

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

The Greeks vote today to determine whether or not they want to work for a living. I see Greece as one giant Public Employees union. They are the result of what can happen when the public sector gets too big. I’m glad that in the U.S. a few cities in California (San Jose and San Diego) and the state of Wisconsin are trying to reign that crowd in. They are the biggest drain on any economy. Reign them in and you have a fighting chance to survive economically. Failure to reign them in spells economic doom.

Dave Duffy

Energy Fair slower than last year

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Lenie reports this year’s energy fair is significantly slower than last years. Maybe Jackie Clay’s appearance tomorrow will liven things up.

Annie and I are finishing up the update to the Stupid People book. In between editing sessions I’m playing golf with son Robby. That kid is very good. He finished his finals at OSU yesterday. Next year’s courses are electrical engineering, calculus, physics, and communications. Communications will be the toughest for him. He’s even shyer (shier) than I was at his age.


Meet Jackie at the Energy fair and a great Special Offer on her book

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

We just confirmed that Jackie Clay will be visiting the Backwoods Home booth at the MREA Fair in Custer, Wisconsin this weekend. She expects to be there Friday morning through sometime Saturday afternoon.

Stop by and say hello to her and to Lenie, Jake, and Rob Duffy who will be there all weekend.


We have a great new Pre-Harvest Special Offer on the Jackie Clay Pantry Cookbook. Not only will you save $5 when you order it, you also get to choose a FREE book from nine of our popular titles.

If you’ve been holding off learning to can and preserve foods because you weren’t sure how to use it all  to make delicious, nutritious meals, this is the book for you!

Dave Duffy

A change in course for “Stupid People” book

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

This morning Annie and I decided to change course on the new version of Can America be Saved from Stupid People. Rather than delete some old columns and add new ones, we decided to keep all the old columns and simply add the new ones written in the last six years since the original book was published.

This is being done mainly to accommodate the approximate 10,000 people who have purchased the original book. We may even allow current owners of the book to send in the older version and get a discount on the newer one. Of course, that may be more trouble than it’s worth, given the postal fees involved.

The newer version will also include some stuff from my online blog, as well as photos, mainly taken from my 12-page article, The History of Backwoods Home Magazine, printed in Issue No. 120. We’ve had numerous requests for that back issue but ran out a long time ago. I’ll also likely include more photos to accompany that article. Space considerations forced us to omit many photos from the original article in Issue No. 120.

The book, of course, will end up being much bigger than we had intended. But what the heck, I think it makes sense all around to do it this way. I think Annie and I can get this book ready for the printer by the close of this weekend.

The rain is due to stop today so I’ll play golf at Cedar Bend. Been practicing my chip shot off the deck.

Dave Duffy

New columns, photos, and new cover for “Can America Be Saved from Stupid People”

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Working on new version of Can America Be Saved from Stupid People. Nice, densely packed book. Longer than original with new cover and pix. Here’s the cover:

Dave Duffy

One dollar in junk silver coin buys a one-year Backwoods Home Magazine subscription

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Few readers subscribe via our silver offer. I wonder why? It’s a good deal. One dollar in junk silver gets you a one-year BHM subscription.


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