Tag Archives: Season

Summer Solstice Passage


Image result for Summer Solstice

Image result for Summer Solstice

Here we are, just one week after the beginning of summer solstice.  Summer is here, bringing in hotter temperatures all around Massachusetts.  Other than the increasing temperatures, one of the most intriguing phenomenon that happens during the summer revolves around the concept of day and night.

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During the summer, days become longer while the nights are shorter.  There is more daylight happening outside than there is nighttime.  We are receiving more daylight during a 24-hour period.  While all of this is happening, the 24-hour time period remains the same.

Image result for Summer Solstice

We have the same number of hours each day, but the amount of daylight changes each season.  Here at summer solstice, the sun does not start heading down until around 8:00 p.m.  After that, the sky wanes closer into the night.  Even after our long day of summer, the sun still comes down after a while.  And yet, it is this image that creates this fascinating idea of days being longer.

Image result for Summer Solstice

Image result for Summer Solstice

We are not gaining more time in our life; rather, nature presents this intriguing illusion that there is still more time.  With more daylight means more time spent enjoying the day outdoors.  Whether it is a work errand or enjoying an entertaining concert, you are provided with what seems like ‘extra time’ but really a boost of overall mood.  Summer is a season to enjoy outdoors, especially after being cooped up during the bitter cold of winters.

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While you’re enjoying a day at the beach or having another drink on the patio after work, just remember this – its all thanks to the summer solstice, with the sun shining longer than ever.

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Summer 2018 Goals


It has been an interesting couple of days here at MakeSandcastlesNotWar.  Pride Month started earlier, recreational cannabis shops are opening in less than a month, and summer is coming up real soon.  Summer is usually a more relaxed season and business runs a bit slower than usual; this scenario goes for the PR industry as well.

Being that there aren’t as much entertainment releases during this season, I figured I take things a different direction.  Earlier I composed list of goals I want to complete for this summer.  These are not important life-changing goals that could drastically alter my life; but rather, just fun activities or events I plan to complete for this summer.

Here are my summer goals for this year:

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Read 5-10 Books

To be honest, I have not been reading as much books as I used to.  With the weather getting nicer, now is the time to sit outside and read some books.  I received a bunch of books last Christmas from my family.  This past weekend I finished reading California by Edan Lepucki, which was a real interesting read.

My goal is around 5-10 by the end of the summer, but I will probably add on to that list as time goes on.

Hiking Trips to New Mountains

Hiking trips around Bailey’s Hill are always fun, but its time I extend my trips elsewhere.  There are lots of other hiking trails I have yet to discover around the Boston area.  Even in the busy streets of Boston, there are still nearby trails to hike around.  Hopefully I will find some great trails that are not too far from me.

Rooftop Bar Events

Yesterday I played around with the idea of rooftop events in Boston (which you can read about here).  Rooftop bars make for great events to enjoy drinks on a nice summer day.  Whenever I am in Boston, I will be sure to hit up some good rooftop spots.  I have already spent enough time drinking my craft beers inside the bars and now it’s time to enjoy a cold one out on a rooftop or patio area.

Biking Around Beaches (Nahant, Winthrop, Revere, etc)

Other than hiking trails, I enjoy riding my bike outside as well.  I took my bike out last year a few times in Point of Pines.  It was an exhilarating exercise to do around Revere Beach.  Some other areas I want to ride around are Nahant Beach, Winthrop Beach, Swampscott, and even parts of Boston.  Definitely looking to stay active all while enjoying the great outdoors.

Attend Concerts

A few years ago, I attended some good shows around Boston.  I got to check out the Boston Calling Festival and even saw Gregory Alan Isakov live.  This year I plan to be on the hunt for some good bands coming into the area.  Anything within the jam band/classic rock scene would be great.

Go Camping

Camping is always a fun summer activity.  I went camping a few times with the family and enjoyed getting away from town for a while.  Hopefully I will go camping with some close friends of mine during their break from work.  This could be a great way to take a break and reconnect with nature.

Vacation Trip to Burlington, VT

Burlington, VT was the home of Champlain College, my first college I went to after graduating high school.  This was such an amazing city to be in with so many awesome places in downtown.  I would walk for miles around the city and never get bored of what Burlington had to offer.  During this summer, I definitely want to head back to my old college town for a bit to explore B-Town again (#BrokeInBurlington).

Take Trips to NH and Maine

Besides Burlington, I definitely want to take some quick trips up to New Hampshire and Maine as well.  New Hampshire and Maine are more than an hour away from me, but it’s a great drive to get away from the city.  The city may be fun, but I will carve out some time to explore the countryside.

Summer Blockbusters

Those summer blockbusters are perfect for the rainy days.  There are a lot of great movies coming out this summer that I will have to check out this year.  If the weather isn’t perfect, then its time to check out some summer blockbuster films.  And for the record, I WILL create a post about some of the movies I checked out this summer.

Swimming in the Ocean

One last healthy activity for the summer – swimming.  The ocean will be warming up near the beach, which will be perfect to swim in.  Swimming in the pool is one thing, but swimming in the ocean is even better.  There’s nothing like feeling the waves of cold water splashing over you on a hot summer day.

That is all for the summer goals of 2018.  There may be new goals added if something else comes up.  Either way, this summer is looking to be brighter than ever each and every day!

Brace Yourselves…Office Germ Warfare is Here!


We are nearing the end of February and I have gotten through the worst of this head cold/cough I caught the past weekend.  After a long week of work/play around Boston, my sickness caught up to me out of the blue.  What followed was a series of coughs, muscle aches, stuffy nose, and an overall lack of motivation to get things done.  Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and I plan to wander outside more to take in some fresh air!

Rather than grossing you out with my cold symptoms, I’ve decided to take the time to discuss sickness during the wintertime.  Every winter, thousands of people catch some form of bug/flu that goes around each year.  Like a parasite feeding off of its prey, viruses spread like wildfire in the office.  It only takes one ‘patient zero’ victim to set off the germ warfare that travels around the atmosphere.  Whether you are just starting out as an intern or living large as the company’s CEO, no one is safe from the inevitable plague that invades the office.

So how does this happen?  Why is it that we catch a flu or bug every winter?  Even when we eat right and keep ourselves moving, how is it that we become an easy target of the virus?

Well folks, it’s about time we start getting scientific about the ‘patient zero’ phenomenon that happens every winter.  It’s sick, shocking, and may be traumatizing for some readers.  Before we open the doors to the office, let’s get some basic science out of the way first.

If you took away anything from grammar school science class, you would remember that the common cold is caused by the spread of viruses.  Viruses are microorganisms that invade normal cells inside your body and multiply in order to produce other viruses.  These tiny capsules are much smaller than bacteria, infecting cells that are contained within your bloodstream.  They eventually eradicate these cells, which causes you to become sick.  A virus could cause severe illnesses such as smallpox, HIV/AIDS, and hemorrhagic fevers.

People spend 90% of their time indoors, especially during the wintertime when it’s cold.  If you are residing in New England right now (like I am!), then you are probably rushing to head inside to keep yourselves warm.  You head into your office building where millions of microbes are floating around the rooms.

To better understand how viruses are easily spread around the office, let’s discuss the day-to-day agenda that happens inside the building.  We will use a public relations office as our example (to keep the entertainment PR theme going!).  Our day in the PR agency starts and people start heading to their desks.  Hundreds of men/women are loading the stuff into their desk and brewing up that first cup of coffee.

What’s the most common office item used daily? Electronic devices, of course!  Various electronic gadgets are used to complete the tasks on the PR agenda each day…which collect MILLIONS of microbes.  That’s right people, those smartphones/laptops you are attached to contain a multitude of harmful bacteria that plagues the office (FYI, your keyboard alone contains 3X more bacteria than your toilet seat!).

While your clicking away at your keyboard, your co-worker will probably come around to give you a second set of eyes on your task.  He/she will tap away on your keyboard to provide some necessary changes for the press release you are working on.  After all’s said and done, your manager will come by to use that SAME keyboard to give you their feedback on what looks better.  And while all that is happening, your desk is sucking up millions of microscopic bacteria that sticks there for days.  Like a magnet collecting pieces of metal, your office desk collects millions of microbes that floats around your office’s atmosphere.

Your building  provides air vents, which ALSO spews out microbes as well.  Pieces of dust are constantly floating around the rooms after exiting the air vent, which land onto your office.  There might not even be a ‘patient zero’ around and you could STILL be infected by the virus.  It’s like you’re in a constant battle of germ warfare and you can’t even see your enemy!

That’s all to it folks: common everyday items we use are constantly collecting microbes that get seeped into your bloodstream one way or another.  Even if you don’t come into physical contact with people, you are still susceptible to receiving the virus one way or another.  They say that sharing is caring, but the virus is certainly NOT something you want to share with your co-workers!

At the end of all of this, there are some simple rules to follow when the plague hits the office.  Always wash your hands constantly and cover your coughs to prevent the virus from spreading further.  Keeping hand sanitizers or wipes with you at all times helps to prevent infection as well.  If you do get hit hard, it is vital to stay at home for the day.  The last thing you want is to spread the virus to more employees after catching it earlier.  Work may be important, but your #1 priority is your health.

It may still be February, but Spring is just around the corner and warmer weather is coming soon enough.  Use these essential tips to survive the office germ warfare that invades the building every year.  With these tips at hand, you can win the germ warfare in order to live sick-free another day.

 

 

Full House vs. Fuller House


It was a freezing cold Saturday night, making it the perfect time to binge-watch shows on Netflix.  Winter is creeping up around the corner and the weather has gotten a lot colder these days!  Colder weather means it’s time to hibernate indoors more to binge-watch your favorite series (cause what else are you going to do when it’s 30 degrees outside?).  I took this opportunity to binge-watch the 2nd season of Fuller House.

Fuller House is the spin-off series to the classic 90s sitcom Full House that first aired on September 22, 1987.  The show stars Candace Cameron as D.J. Tanner-Fuller, a single mother of 3 who lives with her sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy Gibbler.  Each episode showcases a day in the life of the Tanner-Fuller house and their wacky antics.  There is notable guest stars from Full House that appear in the show every now and then such as Bob Saget, David Coulier, and John Stamos (Danny, Joey, and Jesse).

Before I have even heard of Fuller House, I have seen every episode of Full House on TV.  Full House ended on May 23, 1995 and it wasn’t until 11 years later that Fuller House debuted on Netflix.  So with that in mind, the question becomes: which series was better?  Full House or Fuller House?

After seen all seasons of both series, it’s been decided that Full House wins over Fuller House for a TV series.  Eleven years after ending and Full House still remains better than the spin-off series.  While some spin-off series do well on TV, Fuller House wasn’t one of them.  Here are some reasons for why Fuller House didn’t live up to the hype is was thought to be.

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One-Liners: Fuller House seldom had some good one-liners to remember from.  How rude!  What made Full House so special were the cute one-liners D.J., Stephanie, and Michelle would say every once in a while.  The new kids on Fuller House just had…nothing!  No original catch-phrases that would stick in my head afterwards.  It seemed liked they just ASSUMED that the audience would just laugh at anything the kids said, especially Jackson (how in the HELL is it funny/cute when Jackson becomes cynical about the world when working on his homework for 3rd grade?).  Providing NO catch-phrases on Fuller House?  HAVE MERCY!

Life-Lesson:  One thing that really stuck out about Full House were the serious issues the kids faced in life.  From alcohol to child abuse, some episodes brought some controversial topics to light on the silver screen.  Some episodes touched people with the romantic issues the couples faced.  Oh Mylanta!  One episode I remembered well was titled ‘Shape Up’ where D.J. stopped eating for a couple of days in order to lose weight for her friend’s pool party (FYI, Candance Cameron suffered problems with bulimia after the series ended!).  Other episodes that provide real-life lessons were ‘Fast Friends’, ‘Silence is Not Golden’, ‘Just Say No Way’, and others.

When I was watching Fuller House, I really didn’t get the sense that the characters really learned any real lessons.  It just seemed like one big happy playland where the kids got away with everything.  The show IS supposed to be a comedy, but I thought it just got too silly for me.  This family lived in this MAGICAL fantasy where unicorns flew around and a rainbow came down with a pot of gold on the Tanner-Fuller household!  Unicorns and rainbows?  Cut it out!

Same Characters, Same Story:  This relates to the minor characters from Full House that made guest appearances in Fuller House.  I’ll admit it was cool to see the old characters pop up for an appearance, but some of their storylines were bland.  Take, for example, the episode ‘Girl Talk’ of Fuller House.  Stephanie’s old friend, Gia, returns to the house when they try to bring Stephanie’s old band back.  Gia seemed like the young soccer mom who went on a better path, yet she’s seen as the bad girl when she brings out the vape pen.

First Gia was smoking cigs in the girl’s room in junior high and now she’s pressuring Stephanie to start vaping.  When will Gia ever cut the ‘bad girl’ act and go on with her rejuvenated life?   Gia’s characteristics fit in on Full House when she was in high school, but her ‘bad girl’ act seemed to have shriveled up and died when she grew up.  This was one of my problems with Fuller House: they try so hard to refer back to Full House that there weren’t any original ideas for the show itself (if I had a dollar for every Full House reference they made on the series, I’d have enough to buy a half-ounce of cannabis in MA!).

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So there you have it: Full House triumphs over its spin-off series that is on Netflix.  This isn’t to say that Fuller House is a bad show, but it still didn’t live up to the hype that I thought it would be.  There’s no word out about whether it would be picked up for a 3rd season later on.  The 2nd season just came out last week and there are people that still haven’t binge-watched the season yet.  Let’s hope for more original storyline if season 3 hits Netflix next year!

A Legen-Wait For It- DARY TV Criss-Cross on HIMYM!


My newest series I recently got into on Netflix was How I Met Your Mother.  I admit I wasn’t too crazy about the show when I saw a few episodes from the later season (I really didn’t understand the inside jokes, so it wasn’t enjoyable to me).  After binge-watching the 1st season last week, I finally understood the jokes within the series.  They have already been legen – wait for it – dary!

Other than the hilarious inside jokes, there were some notable cameos that appeared in some episodes.  One episode forced me to take a second look at one of the cameos.  On the episode Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M., we meet Robin’s co-worker Sandy Rivers at Metro News 1.  Sandy Rivers tries to convince Robin to try to sleep with him more than once, but she turns him down by reminding that she doesn’t date any co-workers.  My findings led me to discover that Sandy Rivers was played by Alexis Denisof.

Now what makes this finding so interesting is that before How I Met Your Mother aired, Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof both starred in the hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  After Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended, Alexis Denisof went on to star in the spin-off series Angel and Alyson Hannigan made a small cameo near the end of one episode.  Hannigan and Denisof were BOTH on television two times before working on How I Met Your Mother.  TV Criss-Cross!

Oh no wait, it gets EVEN BETTER!  I looked more into the Wikipedia page to see that Alyson and Alexis got married on October 11th, 2003 (around the time season 5 of Angel aired).  So first they both appeared together on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alyson made an appearance on the Angel episode ‘Orpheus’, then they got married 7 months later.  It was like a TV Criss-Cross match made in heaven!

Then things just got even more ridiculous.  On the episode ‘Swarley’ of How I Met Your Mother, Lily enters into a coffee shop where she meets Scott.  Who happens to play Scott?  TOM LENK… WHO ALSO appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel as Andrew Wells (read more on this TV criss-cross here).  You guys…I literally CAN’T EVEN anymore!  These cameos from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel are just TOO much for me to handle!

This TV criss-cross has truly been legen – dare I say it – dary!  Two guest cameos that appeared in the EXACT same series years ago.  It seems as though the circle of TV criss-cross life continues for Alyson, Alexis, and Tom.  Who knows what surprising appearances will come up later on the silver screen.

It was so funny to see two former members of Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel make their appearance on How I Met Your Mother!  I ended up enjoying the show more now that I am starting from the beginning.  Most of the in-episode jokes are hilarious and I crack up at how silly the show gets.  This was definitely a great TV criss-cross to spot on season one.  After ending season 2 last night, I am definitely looking forward to what comes next in the saga of how Ted Mosby got together with Robin again.