Tag Archives: Nostalgia

Gettin’ Down with the Party of Five!

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Yesterday I was on a nostalgic 90s-mood.  I caught the last few minutes of my childhood favorite Pinocchio, watched a few minutes of Disney’s Hercules before starting my blog post, then heard some good tunes from Nirvana and Sublime while strolling through the beach.  We may be pacing through 2017, but my mind has been craving for some nostalgic 90s content.  As a matter of fact, one classic series I’ve been binge-watching lately is Party of Five.

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Image result for Party of Five

Party of Five is a classic 90s teen drama revolving around the Salinger family in San Francisco.  The cast stars Scott Wolf as Bailey, Matthew Fox as Charlie, Neve Campbell (star of the Scream films!) as Julia, Lacey Chabert (voice of Eliza Thornberry on The Wild Thornberrys!), multiple kids starred as Owen, and Paula Devicq as Kirsten.  The parents of the household were killed by a drunk driver, forcing the kids to grow up real fast.  A lot of dark issues pop up during the series, especially with the long-term effects of parental loss.  Other controversial themes that come up during the series include cancer, domestic/substance abuse, abortion, and other ideas.

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After binge-watching two seasons, Party of Five has been amazing to check out.  It’s an emotional roller-coaster through some of the episodes, yet it’s got some mature content for a TV-PG rated series.  This is one 90s classic you can easily binge-watch all seasons on Netflix.

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If Full House and Shameless got together and made a baby, that baby would be Party of Five.  As a matter of fact, I noticed some strikingly similarities to Showtime’s Shameless in many ways.  For one thing, both sets of kids had to grow up quickly once their parents weren’t around (Frank and Monica are alive, but they were deadbeat parents that really weren’t around for the Gallagher clan!).  Both series explore some controversial ideas within each season.  Only difference is that the Gallaghers aren’t shameless about their actions (it’s called Shameless for a reason, duh!).

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Party of Five didn’t have as much diverse characters, but there were truly some colorful people hanging around the Salinger gang.  Ross Anderson came out to Claudia when she set them up on a date on season 1.  Either way, the family accepted Ross for who he was (because the 90s weren’t that homophobic).  Shameless featured not just one, but multiple gay characters in the series.  Ian Gallagher came out to Fiona near the end of season one and had an on-off relationship with Mickey (btw props to Ian for being shameless about his sexuality!  #GoIanGallagher).  Both Shameless and Party of Five have their share of colorful characters in each season.

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Other than the bold characters, both shows features characters doing drugs/alcohol in some of the episode.  Bailey’s former girlfriend Jill was hooked on speed and died of a cocaine overdose at the end of season 1.  There’s lot of drinking scenes, but the craziest of them all was when Claudia got caught drinking with Jody in her tent (FYI, Marla Sokoloff’s bad-girl personality can also be seen in Full House & Fuller House!).  As for Shameless…well, pretty much EVERY drug was used each season.  Cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, meth, and many other substances were shown since the end of season 7.  While drug/alcohol use was a big deal in the Party of Five household, everyone in the Shameless family were shameless about it (especially with weed!).

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At the end of my rambling between Party of Five and Shameless, I conclude that Party of Five is definitely an interesting show to start on Netflix.  It’s definitely a toned-down version of Shameless, yet features similar concepts between the two series.  I haven’t gotten through half of the series and I look forward to see what new adventures arise for the Salinger clan.  Who knows what crazy drama will stir up next in season 3 of Party of Five.  Who knows, we could see some shameless characters in the future!

Yooka-Laylee Drops a Hot Track!

If you ever played Donkey Kong 64 during your childhood, then you certainly remember the DK Rap.  This funky song introduces the Kong crew through a well-written rap about what their special abilities were.  Diddy Kong could fly real high with a jetpack on and Lanky Kong floated just like a balloon!  It was a silly rap song that game composer Grant Kirkhope created for the title.

Flash forward almost 20 years later and Kirkhope’s latest work was composing video game music for Yooka-Laylee that’s slated to release on April 11th.  After his success with the Banjo-Kazooie series and Donkey Kong 64, Grant Kirkhope was busy composing new tunes for the game.  One of the best part about Kirkhope composing the score?  He created a rap track specifically about Yooka-Laylee!

That’s right folks – Yooka-Laylee has their own rap song featured in the game!  What started as an amusing stretch goal for Kickstarter has now become a real thing that Playtonic promised for their fans.  This rap son is as cheesy as the fans would expect, introducing some of the characters and their goals within the game.  Both Yooka and Laylee have a verse dedicated to introducing them and their special powers; it also introduces characters such as Trowzer the Snake and Rextro Sixtyforus (who is an homage to the Nintendo 64).

Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee is meant to invoke feelings of nostalgia for players that enjoyed the classic 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64.  It has that collectathon game-play feel to it that gamers enjoyed during the early 2000s.  Providing a Yooka-Laylee rap only makes sense because it pays tribute to the DK Rap that was created for Donkey Kong 64.

Yooka-Laylee stars a chameleon named Yooka and his batty pal Laylee as they venture out from Shipwreck Creek to explore deep inside the work of Hivory Towers.  The duo travel to Hivory Towers to search for the ‘Pagies’ in order to explore the secretive Grand Tomes.  Yooka-Laylee must stop their adversaries Capital B and Dr. Quack from absorbing all of the world’s literature and converting it into profit.  Players can use the Pagies in order to enter into new worlds or expand old worlds that were already unlocked.

It’s amazing that Yooka-Laylee got their own rap song!  Donkey Kong 64 was one of my favorite N64 games and the rap song was so catchy.  I’m glad that more nostalgic features from Rare’s classic titles are making their way into Yooka-Laylee.  This is a great strategy to reel in the audiences that enjoy the collectathon titles.  Hearing this rap song made me even more ecstatic to play Yooka-Laylee.

As a fan of collectathon games, I thought this was a neat idea from Playtonics.  Former employees of Rare that worked on Yooka-Laylee are doing great at providing interesting quirks from the classic titles into the project.  Yooka-Laylee is sounding like an amazing title to play and I can’t wait to check it out this month.  Who knows what other hidden features I may discover when I start playing the game.

With Playtonic employees coming in from working on various video game titles, it’ll be astonishing to see what kind of gameplay experience they provide for the players.  Yooka-Laylee releases in less than 2 weeks and fans are pumped to play the game soon.  Let’s hope that we discover more nostalgic features within Yooka-Laylee when it hits the shelves on April 11th!

RetroBlox: The Future of Retro Gaming

One of the cool perks of owning a video game console was storing them in a video game library in your room.  Having all of those games was a great way to show off your collection to your friends that come over for the day.  Whether it was the old school Super Nintendo or going modern with the PS4, it felt accomplishing to store all those treasured games into your organized library.

Back when I was living in Ipswich, I had a plethora of games stacked into a huge bookcase.  I had titles that were for consoles such as the PS2, Super Nintendo, Wii U GameCube, PS3, Wii, and other systems.  It felt riveting knowing that I had a library of games to choose from on a rainy, mundane day.

Since moving into Lynn, my gaming consoles have scattered around in boxes.  I do have most of my games, but I doubt that most of them work these days (or the console for that matter!).  It sucks that my library of games could become useless if the console breaks.  Now that we’re settled into 2017, I wonder if there will be a new console built to play all of those nostalgic games.

Well folks, I just came across an awesome find that answered my question.  Allow me to introduce to you…the RetroBlox!  RetroBlox is the first modular HD retro-gaming console, becoming the next step to a “one console” future of video games.  The RetroBlox console provides a small slot up top for the retro game cartridges that would play titles from systems such as NES or Sega Genesis.  Besides the slot, it also includes a disc drive that would be compatible with CD-style titles from systems like the PS1.

The versatile gaming experiences work through the Element Modules provided.  The concept is simple: insert the type of module you want, plug in a game to play, and then add that game to your personal collection or play through the cartridge/CD.  Each Module is specifically crafted for each console to play on.

All of the games provide an amazing user interface that provides 1080p HD picture quality.  Instead of scrolling through texts to find a game, the interface showcases the art and personality of every game in HD.  Not only will you be able to play these games, but you will see them in their original box format!

Besides the retro-style concept, the RetroBlox also allows you to connect with peers and share your gaming experience.  You can share screenshots and videos to show off to your friends Facebook or Twitter.  Better yet, you can stream your favorite games on Twitch!

No other news has been announced about the console, but it will be hitting Kickstarter on Spring 2017.  Be on the lookout for the RetroBlox on Kickstarter when the campaign starts.  It definitely looks like a revolutionary idea for the ultimate nostalgic gaming experience.

This sounds like an awesome console!  I love the idea of purchasing one console that would play a majority of old-school titles.  It is definitely something I would fund money into because I want to play all of my old games again.  Some of the new games look amazing, but I am definitely a nostalgic gamer these days.

Here’s to hoping that the RetroBlox kicks off with a huge hit!  This would become a great console for the Millennials/Generation X’ers audience that grew up playing these classic titles.  Nostalgic gaming has been the latest trend the past few years with the release of the Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub (more on this here) and the Nintendo NES Classic Edition (read about this console here).  If the nostalgic gaming trend continues this year, then the RetroBlox should take off big time.

If all goes well, the future of the one-console gaming concept could be lurking right around the corner.  Let’s hope the future comes in sooner than later!


Ride on the Rebooted Magic School Bus!

As we drive into 2017, the latest trends continue to send us on a blast from the past.  Entertaining trends such as Fuller House, the Nintendo NES Mini, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (more on the game here), and Bill Nye the Science Guy have been making their comebacks just decades later.  Nostalgia is one of the key selling points for many of these trends, aiming to tap into the millennial/generation-X audiences.  Businesses are still generating new content for the present year, yet some of them look into history to deliver better content.  One TV program, a favorite among children during the 90s, is making a comeback this year.

Get ready to buckle your seat-belts, because The Magic School Bus is coming back!  Netflix plans to reboot the popular PBS kids series The Magic School Bus later this year.  Ms. Frizzle, as well as her students of Walkerville Elementary, are returning to the bus for some more wacky trips.  The rebooted series will feature upgraded computer animation for the new episodes.  Other than the new animation, the Magic School bus itself will be equipped with some modern gadgets (at my old school, we NEVER thought that a school bus needed a GPS to figure out where to pick up the kids!).

Stu Stone (guy that voiced Ralphie back in the 90s) became a producer on the show and promises a slew of celebrities for the show.  Celebrity cameos were actually a major part of the series since it began.  Some notable celebrities that were on the show include Edward James Olmos, Swoosie Kurtz, Eartha Kitt, Carol Channing, Dolly Parton, Malcolm McDowell, Rosalind Chao, and Dan Marino.  No cameos have been announced yet for the rebooted series, but Stone mentioned that many celebrities want to get in on the rebooted project.

The Magic School Bus leaped into major success when it released, being among one of the highest rated PBS shows for kids.  As a matter of fact, Lily Tomlin (voice of Ms. Frizzle) won an Emmy for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for her role in 1996.  Now you can enjoy all 4 seasons of The Magic School Bus right on Netflix.  At my old school, we NEVER used Netflix to watch TV!

This was SO awesome to hear that The Magic School Bus is coming back as a rebooted series!  It was one of my favorite cartoons I loved watching after coming home from Doyon School.  Some of the best times at Doyon School revolved around watching The Magic School Bus and ‘learning’ about the fun lessons they teach during the episode.  The Magic School Bus was a great part of my childhood and I’m excited to see other kids start watching the series as well.

Science has always been one of my favorite subjects in school and The Magic School Bus teaches you science in a humorous, yet intelligent way.  It really is an amazing cartoon that teaches you the very fundamentals of how science works.  From energy to dinosaurs, The Magic School Bus provides fun lesson on a particular topic of science.  Hopefully they’ll cover some science topics that are trending in the 21st century (imagine if The Magic School Bus took a trip inside a cannabis plant to explain how cannabis works?  That would make for an AWESOME episode!).

I don’t have any other details on the reboot, but I’m excited to see what’s to come.  All that’s left is to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!

MakeSandcastlesNotWar’s Cannabis Christmas Guide 2016

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It’s been a week since cannabis prohibition ended in MA and people are STILL celebrating the triumphant victory.  Recreational cannabis use was made legal for Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, and California during this year’s election (read more on the cannabis victory here).  The country’s opposition to the idea has gone up in smoke, with over 2/3rd of Americans agreeing that cannabis should be made legal just like alcohol and tobacco.  Now that the cannabis industry will be booming over the next few years, it’s time to add some cannabis products into people’s stockings (FYI it’s legal in MA to send cannabis as a gift to someone, but remember that dispensaries WON’T be opening until January 2018!).  To continue with the Christmas-themed posts this week, today’s Christmas guide is cannabis products/services.

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Image result for American Weed joint

Christmas is just 3 days away, meaning you have limited time left to snag the perfect gifts for your friends/family.  It’s also important to grab the perfect gift for that cannabis connoisseur in your life.  Whether it was a new friend or your current boyfriend/girlfriend, that person deserves some special flowers for the Holidays.  He/she has become a special person in your life, introducing you into the cannabis culture that is flourishing in America.  Joint paper or pipes would be nice, but you’re probably searching for something more unique than that.

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Here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar, we’ve discovered some unique gifts that’ll be sure to make for one joyous holiday.  There will surely be some baking going on (and I’m not just talking about cookies!) after opening your presents on Christmas Day.  Listed below are some gift ideas that will make the cannabis connoisseur in your life very happy:

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Triple Barrel Joint Holder:  Have any of you tried to roll the infamous cross-joint from Pineapple Express, but failed to do so?  Well now there’s something even better!  The Triple Barrel Joint Holder will enable you to smoke three joints…at the same time!  What do think Bradley Nowell of Sublime meant when he sang, “Smoke Two Joints”?  At under $20, you can send the gift of this special joint holder for someone looking to expand their joint-smoking experience.  Triple Barrel Joint Holder: triple the joints, triple the power!

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The Flameless Lighter:  This is a nifty gift that uses electric heat instead of fire to heat up your cannabis.  It’s USB rechargeable, so you can charge it through a USB outlet or on your laptop when you run out of battery.  Give the gift of the flameless lighter for someone that needs a new lighter in their life (because regular flame lighters were SO 20th century!).

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PAX 3:  Pax is one of the hottest vaporizer companies here in America and their newest product is the PAX 3 model.  This sleek portable vaporizer vapes both leaf and extract.  It’s the perfect vaporizers for those vaping on the go to their destination.  Special features include charging cable/dock, maintenance kit, 2 mouthpieces, 3 different screens, Bluetooth, and a 10-year warranty.

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Cannador:  For those cannabis connoisseurs that want to keep their flowers as fresh as possible, you can’t go wrong with the Cannador!  Similar to a cigar/tobacco humidor, the Cannador is a humidor for your flowers and other products.  It comes with 2 large ½ oz. glass cups, 2 rewritable strain labels, 2 keys, and a small Humidity Bead System.  Each glass cup has a ventilated lid, sliding open to allow moist air from humidity system to keep your bud fresh.  The Cannador provides models for 4-strain or 6-strain options as well.

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The Cannabis Manifesto by Steven DeAngelo:  Written by Steven DeAngelo, founder of Harborside Health Center dispensary in California, The Cannabis Manifesto is a must read for any cannabis enthusiast.  It helps answer any essential question about the plant through extensive research to fuel a thoughtful discussion on cannabis.  DeAngelo provides insightful explanations on how cannabis prohibition warped our most precious institutions.  This is definitely a great book to pick up for anyone interested in learning more about cannabis’s role in America.

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Brick Pipe and Triangle Ashtray:  Is there a cannabis connoisseur living large and making some serious bank these days?  Get them this classy Brick Pipe and Triangle Ashtray.  The Brick Pipe and Triangle Ashtray is handmade with ceramic & gold luster design.  This classy pipe will cost you a pretty penny with $250 for the pipe and $300 for the ashtray, coming to a total of $550 ($250 for a gold brick pipe…HOLY SHITBALLS).

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Nintendo Classic Edition:  I mentioned this gift idea for my earlier post on a gift guide for 2016 (read about that gift guide here!), but this gift definitely fits this topic as well.  There’s nothing better in life than getting baked and playing some video games.  It still holds true that video games and cannabis go together like peanut butter and jelly.  If you’re a millennial cannabis enthusiast, you should definitely skip the latest consoles and go for the Nintendo Classic Edition.  This nostalgic gift will help you play your favorite NES games, all while smoking some incredible weed!

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Boost eRig:  Got a friend who’s all about that dab life?  The Boost eRig is the way to go.  The battery-powered potable device will offer the full dabbing experience on the go.  Now you can get your dab on while heading over to your event.  #AllAboutThatDABLife.

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PufferBox:  If you’re looking for the cannabis service that keeps on giving, the PufferBox is the way to go.  PufferBox is the smoking subscription box jam-packed with your favorite smoking accessories that is delivered right to your door!  The service is legal in all 50 states (not just the 4/20-friendly states!) and provides different membership options to choose from.  Why spend the money on just one pipe when you can give them a myriad of smoking accessories right to their door!

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The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook:  As mentioned earlier, there will definitely be some BAKING done during the Christmas season (not just baking cookies!).  The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook is perfect for the cannabis chef looking to cook some delicious dishes.  It’s for all enthusiasts of any skill level that utilizes cannabis as their ingredients for their main courses.  These aren’t the pot recipes you discovered at college parties anymore!

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Wick Light:  The Wick Light utilizes organic hemp flames for lighting your bud, eliminating the taste of lighter butane fluid.  Not everyone is too crazy over the butane fluid taste, so this wick lighter is a healthier alternative.  You can find this unique lighter for under $10, making it a perfect stocking staple.

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Marijuana Resin Necklace:  Nothing says, “I Love You” than a Marijuana Resin Necklace.  This gorgeous gold-chained necklace has a gold pendant with cannabis resin tucked inside.  Give this necklace to that special woman/man in your life to show much you truly love them.  You can’t really reach for the weed inside the pendant, but you can wear it while you smoke a romantic joint between you and your significant other!