TechnoRetro Dads

Greetings, Programs!  

 

With disco on the airwaves, Datsuns in driveways, and home video gaming consoles earning their shelf space in dens around the world, the lives we lead today and the entertainment we enjoy forty years later can be traced back to a banner year on history’s calendar.  Of course, 1977 is recognizable as the year of Star Wars, but many more things we still enjoy today had their roots in a year that may well be our favorite (if we were choosing favorites, which we are not — just so you know).

 

In the NEWS…

Star Wars earns another cool statistic in the record books with two movies in the same franchise having top ten box office earners last year with The Force Awakens grossing the tenth most money in theaters and Rogue One earning its spot just a bit behind Finding Dory in just over two weeks in theaters.  One Day at a Time is being remade to stream online with a Cuban flair.  And for something new: Beyond has tapped into crossover territory with a TV premiere on FreeForm before its release as binge-bait with the remaining nine episodes streaming on Hulu before airing on television.

 

We Love Our Cereal

Some entrepreneurs in Memphis have taken the Cereal Bar idea on the road by merging a cereal cafe with a food truck.  The ‘Dads think this is a great idea, and if you’re in the Memphis area, we would like to hear if you’ve seen this cereal bars on wheels in the area.  Better yet, if you have tasted one of their creations, let us know what you thought about the experience!

 

Saturday Mornings

What got kids up early on Saturday mornings back in 1977 (well, other than hugemongous bowls of sugary sweet cereal)?  Saturday morning programming on television.  JediShua and shazbazzar remember the days when Saturday morning fare was different from what could be seen during the week.  In this episode, the ‘Dads remember The All New Superfriends as aired in 1977.  The most significant addition to this version of Superfriends was the Wonder Twins who could shape shift into various animals and phases of water as they faced trouble at home and around the world.

 

Toys in the Attic

As video arcades grew in popularity in the late ‘70s, the market was ripe for home versions of hit games in malls and shopping centers.  Just a few weeks after the Fairchild Channel F became a popular Christmas gift in 1976, the less colorful and somewhat less user-friendly RCA Studio II was released.  Its lifespan was quickly reduced by the powerhouse Atari VCS which emerged in fall of 1977.  JediShua and shazbazzar talk a bit about arcades and a bit more about home video games in this week’s “Toys in the Attic”.

 

History Lesson

Again, proving the point that 1977 was the epicenter of an earth-shaking, history-making events that have continued to impact the culture for forty years, shazbazzar and JediShua point to a couple of iconic premiers on television later this week forty years ago.  Fantasy Island was first seen on television on Friday, January 14th and the Coneheads pointed their heads to the stars for the first time on Saturday Night Live on January 15th as alien characters began to show up on favorite television shows.  

 

Do you want to get in touch with TechnoRetro Das?  Let us know what you’re looking forward to in 2017 by calling our voice mail line at (209) 878-7323 or sending us an electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.40.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 10:17pm PDT

 

As we remember 2016 and look forward to 2017, we are all reminded of the royal losses we’ve suffered over the past year.  From the Goblin King himself, David Bowie, last January to Prince to our final farewell to our Princess, Carrie Fisher, we’ve all faced some harsh realities over the past twelve months.  JediShua and shazbazzar are joined with long-time friends Craig Batts and Jack Crabtree to celebrate Carrie Fisher and the impact she made on a generation over the past forty years.  The true heroine of Star Wars, Carrie Fisher portrayed Princess Leia with a snippy, quippy, snarkiness that endeared her to fans as anything but a damsel-in-distress.  Over the years, our Princess proved her power in films, books, panels, and interviews.  More than a pop icon, Carrie Fisher opened her life like a book (and in books), giving hope to hundreds, if not thousands, who struggle with hardships in life.  At the age of sixty, she was taken from us.  Still, her life and legend will touch generations.

 

We Love Our Cereal

You’re going to love what General Mills has in store for you!  Purchase any three specially marked Big G cereals and get a free ticket to Rogue One from General Mills.  Find out more on their website.

 

Looking Ahead

Let’s face it, 2016 wasn’t all bad.  The Cubs did win the World Series, although a year later than prophesied in the ‘80s.  However, for those who seem to have lost hope, we look forward to some exciting accomplishments and events sure to come in 2017.  From space exploration to a solar eclipse (another prophecy from 1989), we’re picking up good vibrations in our expectations for the future in the next twelve months.  Let us know what you’re looking forward to in 2017 by calling our voice mail line at (209) 878-7323 or sending us an electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

After tuning in to this week’s episode, keep your earbuds at the ready and check out Rogue One again with shazbazzar, Steve Glosson, and Scott Ryfun as they provide a running commentary on Rogue One (and a variety of other things) on the first publicly released commentary of the new Star Wars movie.  You can find it at Geek Out Loud or My Star Wars Story.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.39.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 2:30am PDT

Who would have ever thought that a Monday could be restful?  After the craziness that always seems to accompany Christmas, things have slowed down just a bit so shazbazzar and JediShua have a few minutes to talk about Rogue One.  Well, more than just a few minutes.  Get ready for Star Wars!

 

Rogue One

We spotted many of the same things other fans of the franchise saw and heard in Rogue One our first weekend with the movie, but we were keeping a watchful eye open for Easter Eggs, connections with other aspects of Star Wars (both canonical and legends), and cool things about this movie that took us right back to 1977 when Star Wars first hit the big screens. And we would like to hear your thoughts about the latest Star Wars movie, as well.  As always, you can call our voice mail line at (209) 878-7323 or send us an electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

We Love Our Cereal…

…and so does our SuperFriend Steve Glosson of Geek Out Loud.  Tune in as Steve gives step-by-step instructions about how to make his own “Cereal Surprise”.  No kidding — his concoctions will surprise you!

 

Check out this week’s episode of TechnoRetro Dads as we prepare to close out 2016 and welcome 2017 with a blast from the Death Star as we steal some Beta tapes and watch FCTV videos featuring Jason, Pete, Boxy, and a few more surprises along the way.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.38.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 2:30am PDT

Greetings, Programs!  

’Tis the season of Star Wars with Rogue One, and of course the ‘Dads seen it…once or twice.  But shazbazzar and JediShua are itching to see the latest Star Wars story again.  But the bleak reality of winter has blocked their plans by trapping them inside during a blizzard.  What are ‘Dads to do?  Heat up the cocoa, make some cookies and Christmas cereal treats, and crank up some tunes on the stereo, that’s what.

Turn up the tunes on the turntable and get your Christmas mood amped up as we plunge into the final days before Christmas.  Whether you’re at work, school, or braving the weather, your holidays will be a bit brighter with some classic holiday tunes from long ago (and some from a galaxy far, far away).

With Sammy Davis, Jr., Billie Holliday, Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand and more, the retro gets even more retro as 40, 50, and even 60 or more years of Christmas music hang in the air.  So get your last minute shopping done, wrap the presents, and invite the whole family to share and enjoy this fourth version of UnScrooged from TechnoRetro Dads.

Merry Christmas, EarBuds!

Direct download: TRDads_UnScrooged_4_.mp3
Category:Holiday Special -- posted at: 1:18pm PDT

Professor Hinkle blamed a malfunctioning magic hat for his failure as an entertainer, but the truth is, he was just a bad guy. Of course, we all discovered that years ago watching Frosty the Snowman (another Rankin/Bass special), but we’ve never discovered why Santa Claus would bring any presents to evil magicians. There’s just something anti-canonical about that idea in Santa lore.  However, with a brand new Star Wars story in theaters, we can easily overlook this slight error in canon. Rogue One premiered this weekend, and the ‘Dads have enjoyed sharing the magic of 1977 with their families and friends — and boy, oh, boy it was AMAZING (more about that will come in later episodes)! To top it all off,  shazbazzar hit double-fours yesterday with some fun greetings from fantastic friends.  It’s all here for you on this last Monday morning before Christmas.  

 

We Love Our Cereal

The Monster Cereals election results are in, leaving one ‘Dad distressed as the other really rubs it in — but seriously, did the other candidates really have a chance against the unique hairstylings of the Count?  Nope.  And we have the numbers to prove it!  PLUS: Christmas cereals of 2016 get brief reviews as Cinnamon Crunch needs to keep the Toast in the title.  Both shazbazzar and JediShua bring their final holiday cereal recipes to the table with Holiday Chocolate/Peanut Butter Cereal Peanut Butter Bars and Frosty’s Flakes (this part of TechnoRetro Dads may be unsuitable for fearful listeners).

 

Frosty the Snowman

It’s time to rediscover another Rankin/Bass classic with Frosty the Snowman. With the voice talents of Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante, and John Goodman (nope, that was Frosty Returns, of which we will not speak).  While both ‘Dads remember watching this when they were kids, shazbazzar was traumatized by the melting of everyone’s favorite frozen man. 

 

Toys in the Attic

Classic boardgames deserve a look every Christmas.  This week, we name just a few — Monopoly, Risk, Clue, Candy Land, Mastermind, Chinese Checkers, and more are discussed briefly in this final gift-giving Christmas Toys in the Attic.

 

So plug in your ear buds, EarBuds, and head out to the stores for your final week of shopping before the big man squeezes his way down your chimney this weekend.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.37Frosty.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 2:30am PDT

The Miser Brothers unite to proclaim that this definitely isn’t The Year without a Santa Claus, because Christmas is coming early with Rogue One at theaters everywhere this week, so shazbazzar and JediShua get into the groove with a few (more or less) Star Wars references.  So whether you think the newest addition to that galaxy far, far away is cool or HOT, TechnoRetro Dads have something refreshing for all EarBuds on this mid-December Monday morning!  

 

In the NEWS…

Fat Kid Apparel announces their Holiday Giving event and food drive.  Check their T-Shirt offerings at fatkidapparelco.com.  Plus, buckle up for more excursions with Scrooge McDuck on all new episodes of Duck Tales!

 

The Year without a Santa Claus

A few years ago, JediShua introduced shazbazzar to a Rankin/Bass classic, The Year without a Santa Claus. And, since every good deed deserves a return (or is that “no good deed goes unpunished”?), shazbazzar introduces JediShua to a 2006 live action television special remake of The Year without a Santa Claus with John Goodman, Michael McKean, and Jack’s son from LOST.  It’s worth a watch, if for nothing more than to see just how strange a remake can be. 

 

Toys in the Attic

Visual entertainment in 3-D has been around for ages.  One classic toy that still has a place in every toy box or shelf is the ViewMaster.  With a collection of picture discs and a viewer, young and old eyes can disappear into imagination for several minutes or even hours.

 

Star Wars Scrapbook and Speculation

With the red carpet premiere of Rogue One behind us and expectations of what we will all see later this week.  The ‘Dads remember some of the “sneak peek” figures from other movies, from The Empire Strikes Back to Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One.  We talk about things we would like to see on the big screen on December 16th as well as speculate about possible surprises — including rumors about a CGI character from Star Wars: A New Hope (with a special surprise from a certain red carpet VIP from an older episode of TechnoRetro Dads).

 

Feedback

We choose two reviews from iTunes as winners of two free copies of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons from author Michael Witwer.  Let us know about your memories of The Year without a Santa Claus, other Christmas specials, and especially Rogue One via voicemail at (209) 878-7323 or electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.36.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 2:30am PDT

December is here and in full swing, but before the release of Rogue One in just ten days, shazbazzar and JediShua take time to talk about some favorite Christmas memories as well as some ideas for making this year great.  And they invite all EarBuds to Tweet pics from Christmases Past (especially with Santa Claus) this week!  

 

In the NEWS…

Dan Trachtenberg turns Houdini into some sort of superhero in The Secret Life of Houdini.  Star Trek Discovery gets its captain and some crewmembers.  We will finally get to see Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face in a Batman movie!

 

A Very Brady Christmas

The ‘Dads felt it would be a fitting tribute to our favorite #TechnoRetro sitcom Mom by looking back at the first Brady Bunch special (1969) as well as watching A Very Brady Christmas (1988) for the first (?) time.  Florence Henderson will always be cherished in our memories and after watching an episode of The Brady Bunch, everyone is hooked on the show again!

 

Toys in the Attic

Iconic Christmas toys persevere even decades after their inception.  Play-Doh has been a fragrant favorite since… oh, before you were born.  JediShua and shazbazzar talk about the appeal of Play-Doh for all ages for generations.

 

Don’t forget to review us on iTunes to be entered for a one of two free copies of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons from author Michael Witwer.  Let us know about your memories of The Brady Bunch or other Christmas specials via voicemail at (209) 878-7323 or electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.35_Brady_Bunch.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 2:30am PDT

The Christmas season has officially begun.  Black Friday has passed, Cyber Monday is in full effect, and radio stations and TV channels are filled with holiday music and holiday specials. From National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to A Charlie Brown Christmas with a plethora of movies featuring Santa Claus, elves, and reindeer, the season is in full swing for the next four weeks.  And we’ll be revisiting some of our favorites as well as some newer fare, as well. 

 

In the NEWS…

Ferris Bueller gets a video game casino style. It looks like Legendary Films is planning for a long run of new Dune movies and television shows.  The long-awaited sequel to The Dark Crystal is coming very soon, but in a format we weren’t expecting, but makes a lot of sense.  Lost in Space gets a doctor.  And, of course Star Tours is getting another upgrade this year with the release of Rogue One (by the way, did you get your tickets, yet?).

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What could be more #TechnoRetro than some Rankin/Bass TV specials?  The holidays are incomplete without watching at least one of the toe-tapping, stop-motion musical features that have graced television screens for half a century.  We go back to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer replete with violence, greed, and annoying sounds from the heroes of the movie.  Follow the sadistic Hermy the self-proclaimed dentist and the glowing schnoz of Rudolph as they embark on a journey that leads them to the freakshow called the Island of Misfit Toys as the backstory to the familiar song is told by folk artist Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman. 

 

Toys in the Attic

With Christmas just around the corner, we’ll be recalling some iconic retro toys that kids have been getting under their trees for decades.  This week, we look at water games like the TOMY Waterful and wonder how the electronic age will adapt to these often challenging games that predate GameBoy and other handhelds.

 

Review us on iTunes to be entered for a one of two free copies of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons from author Michael Witwer.  Let us know about your memories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or other Rankin/Bass specials via voicemail at (209) 878-7323 or electronic-M to podcast@TechnoRetroDads.com.

 

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Direct download: TRDads_04.34.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 3:57am PDT

With Thanksgiving approaching, we would like to say, “Thank You,” to all our EarBuds, SuperFriends, and contributors to TechnoRetro Dads.  We’ve had a lot of fun releasing podcasts and hearing back from you over the years.  Thank you for your support.

On this Monday sandwiched between Life Day and Turkey Day, shazbazzar and JediShua are feeling somewhat musically inclined (but you’ll have to be the judge of that) as the ‘Dads talk turkey, TV, and more.  Preparations are being made for family gatherings, and the Cranberries are at the top of everyone’s playlist (or, at least, they should be).  Just make sure you don’t get the canned cranberry sauce, because that would be bad.  Very bad.

 

In the NEWS…

JediShua discovers a new game: Battlestar Galactica Squadrons.  It looks like it may blend the original series with the remake — we’ll soon find out.  And the search for Mark Hamill has succeeded — the Master has been found on Comic-ConHQ.com with a geektastic program where he visits pop culture collectors’ hoards and documents their collections on Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest.  The first episode has already dropped, but to watch it, you have to subscribe to the online channel.

 

Thanksgiving Specials

Halloween specials are many.  Christmas specials are legion.  But Thanksgiving specials…well, they’re kind of forgettable, and there aren’t too many, anyway.  Garfield’s Thanksgiving gets the ‘Dads talking about T-Day cartoon specials featuring Underdog, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Animaniacs, and a surprising comic strip adaptation: B.C.: The First Thanksgiving.  That’s something we’re not sure anyone has ever seen!

 

Toys in the Attic

The Toy Hall of Fame has recently perused their large list of 2016 nominations and has welcomed three new inductees to the Toy Hall of Fame.  Dungeons & Dragons, Fisher Price Little People, and the swing have all earned their places among the iconic playthings of childhood (Who are we kidding?  We still play with toys!).  Some nominees who didn’t make the cut this year were Transformers, Care Bears, and bubble wrap.

Listen for your chance to get a free copy of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons from author Michael Witwer.

Share and enjoy.

Direct download: TRDads_04.33.mp3
Category:TechnoRetro Dads -- posted at: 4:30am PDT

Thirty-Eight years ago, television audiences were invited into the quirkier side of life in that galaxy far, far away on the Star Wars Holiday Special.  Fortunate fans were welcomed into Chewbacca’s home to wait with his wife, son, and father for him to come home for Life Day, a celebration of joy and peace among Wookiees.  On 17 November 1978, before most homes had VCRs to record this one-time broadcast, eager Star Wars fans tuned in for an unexpected combination of aliens, stormtroopers, comedy sketches, musical numbers, and the heroes of the movie that captured the consciousness of the world over the past eighteen months.  The resultant two-hour special left some fans befuddled, some frustrated, and some gleeful just to see more adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

 

The Star Wars Holiday Special is a tribute to the late 70s, preserving the flavor of popular television shows and the gaudy glam of disco culture.  Featuring well-known television stars Harvey Korman, Art Carney, and Bea Arthur, what worked well with audiences week after week on sketch comedy shows has been widely panned among viewers since then.  Perhaps it brought the Star Wars galaxy just a little too close to our own.  Musical guests Diahann Carroll and The Jefferson Starship lit up the imagination through sight and sound with their “in universe” performances — one of which, at least, seems entirely inappropriate for family viewing and will make you squirm in your seat.

 

Since first seeing it, shazbazzar and JediShua have held a special affection for the Star Wars Holiday Special, resulting in annual tributes to this memorable moment of our childhoods.  This year, the TechnoRetro Dads Holiday Special remixes segments from the 2014 Holiday Special into a TechnoRetro Special Edition that shows other homes were experiencing the same anticipation and anxieties about friends and families arriving in time for Life Day as Malla, Lumpy, and Itchy experienced in their home.  Hopefully, the dialogue will be easier to understand than the grunts and growls of the Wookiees on this special.  Reprising their roles from the earlier version are Sheldon and Chase Norton, Mike MacDonald, Chris Hamilton, Joe Tavano, the Shualings, and musical group High Adventure.  Additionally, the shazlings join in to prepare a meal with help from Steve Glosson, Scott Ryfun lends his voice to the mix, and a few more songs by High Adventure find their way into the story prepared especially for our EarBuds for this Life Day Celebration.

Direct download: TRDads_Holiday_Special_2016.mp3
Category:Holiday Special -- posted at: 4:04am PDT