Friday Filler – Knowing When to Throw In the Trowel

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

No. That wasn’t a typo. I meant to type trowel instead of towel. For those of you who aren’t masons:
trow·el /ˈtrou(ə)l/ – noun
1. a small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster.

Of course, I am talking about the bizarre, ambiguous, and weirdly counter-intuitive world of anti-tagging.  Much has been said.  In fact…too much has been said…but, yet…those who “just don’t like it,” but can’t give a solid reason why, persist.

As I have proven time and again…there is no logical reason to freak out if your town gets tagged.  I gave the proof in the very first entry of this “series” two weeks ago.

I made the point that you lose one half of a point of your XP bonus…even though you lose 2 stars.  I erroneously posted that it was .5%…but that is not true.  It is 1/2 of a point.  Which in my case is waaaaaaaayyyy below .5%.

As I was challenged to “PROVE IT!” by a reader (you know who you are, smartcookie), here is the proof. Mind you…I posted this in the original…but, didn’t circle the % numbers to be obvious.  So, here ya go, “smart.”

My “five star” rating… 919.40%

My 3-star rating (which returned to my 5-star three days later without me doing a thing), 918.90%

Now…do the math.  919.40 minus 918.90 is…….. 0.5ONE HALF OF A POINT.  That is .005% of 919.  That won’t even move the meter a twitch on donuts earned by farming, or rat trap truck sales. or anything in the game that is important.

They are just MESSING WITH YOU. Three stars has no impact.

But…that isn’t the REAL reason that this group of people need to have their own special place of “fellow tag haters,” on this site.  Nope. It is far less than that.

To quote a couple of the “No Tag Please” crowd…
smart cookie says: Again, it isn’t the drop in righteousness that bothers me. Nor do I sit and worry about it. I just don’t like it….Pics or it didn’t happen so no claiming you did it without proof! (UHM…Please read the original post, as well as what I posted above. Pics. Proof. Yes, Virginia…the earth is round).

Peterbecks says:  I don’t care about stars or losing percentage. I just don’t like it. Same way as I don’t like my monorail in the road. It’s just a personal preference. The only church I like is a broad one where there is room for all.
This is not looking like it.  (Funny you should mention church…because the way I see it, if we build a “church” that is just for people that believe what you believe...or don’t like in this case…we are in fact being exclusionary and promoting segregation. Neither of which is particularly “church-like” if you follow the tenants of the original church founders).

I think it is clear, that just like much of what we see in the world…we have completely lost perspective. Is this conversation important?  Does it mean a thing in the real world?  Nope.

I have made my point repeatedly, that coddling a small segment of players is not a great idea…no matter what the impetus for their whining.  Case in point: I HATE characters with multiple realities (Young, Old, Dead versions of the same characters).  But, I don’t demand a special place for “Looking For Neighbors Who Hate Young Homer.”

Why do I hate young Homer? I don’t know. I just do. Right? But do I demand my own special place?? No. That would be silly.

The NEED to segment yourself from the rest of the community is mean-spirited.

But, in the end…none of this is my call.  It is Alissa’s. She runs the place. She has the ultimate say…and I would not blow up the section, even if I could, without her approval. Which I am hoping to get soon.

Me? I’d just like to see a place that says, “Get New Neighbors.”  Period.

However…Does any of this matter?


In a world that is coming apart at the seams…with tons of our friends being threatened by unprecedented and life threatening  weather conditions as I write this, my guess is they don’t give a rip about tagging.

In a world that is once again being threatened by new fronts of war, in regions already decimated by the same…I am guessing those people don’t give a rip about tagging.

When homelessness and hunger are on the rise, in a world that seems to favor spending on tools of annihilation over building a real future for all, do the victims even know about tagging in TSTO?  Nope.

When I attend the funeral next week of my dear friend, Terri,  you can bet your patoot that I won’t stand up and ask, “So…do you mind if your virtual town, in a silly mobile game, is tagged?”  Why? Because it is silly...and nobody with any sense of perspective would ever care.

Just like life, you get to play the game as you choose.  If you want to freak about about something as silly as virtual tagging, to the point that you want to delete another player if they tag your town…that is your call.  I just don’t want to hear about it.  And I guarantee that you will not be my friend. That is my call.

What is so amazing to me…is that for the most part, a place born out of virtual addiction, and apparent obsession, still takes the time to keep things in perspective enough (at least a few of you) to do something that matters.

And, you did.

This term’s books and supplies were funded 100% by TSTO Addicts.  If you were one of them…thank you so very much for your generosity.  If not…what can I say? You had no part in these smiles.


As they are opening the cases of books and supplies, you can see the water collection tank we built in the background. TSTO Addicts…making a difference.

So…Back to the TROWEL.

A trowel can be used to build walls to keep people out, or to surround a community to help keep people safe and secure.

But a trowel can also be used to dismantle a wall, and to help grow a garden, that feeds everyone, regardless of borders, regardless of faith, and bereft of people who hate, “just because.”

If we are going to survive the future…with all of the divisiveness that is cropping up from real and virtual arenas every day…we are going to have to tear down a few walls.

Tolerance is an act of someone “putting up” with someone else’s choices.  That’s a good starting point.  But real healing, progress, and evolution come from acceptance, which goes beyond tolerance, to heal and build community.

Segmenting, exclusion, and deciding that one group needs to be segregated because they refuse to get along with others, is destructive and de-evolutionary.

I choose to use my trowel to tear down walls, and build gardens.

Because…this little girl couldn’t care less about TSTO Tagging.

I’ll take her lead, and chill out.


59 responses to “Friday Filler – Knowing When to Throw In the Trowel

  1. Hey Patric….
    Have u ever gone to visit those little people? Im just curious.

    • My daughter did an internship there, which is how we got involved. However, Deb and I have never been able to get enough time off, between weddings and work. Moreover- the cost of going ($5-$8K) to stay for an appreciable amount of time, is money better spent on projects. We skype regularly with Emma…and that has to do for now. We are hands on on the vetting process- but Emma is an amazing project manager.

  2. Hi Patric. My post a couple of weeks ago on the Church of the Righteous Taggers was an obviously failed attempt to cast a satirical light on the toxicity of the love it/loathe it tagging debate. So full disclosure: I’m not a follower of your Church; I am an “obsessive, weird, picayune, controlling and anti-social whack-job” whose “NEED to segment (myself) from the rest of the community” has nothing to do with XP bonuses or Righteousness stars or “mean-spiritedness” and everything to do with how I like to play. I couldn’t tell you why I don’t like tagging any more than I could tell you why I don’t like Elvis Presley. I just don’t. But perhaps all this nastiness could have been avoided with something like:

    “Hey Howdy Hey Tappers! We here at TSTO Addicts are a broad church. We allow for and cater to a wide range of opinions and people — that’s why we created the Add Friends Graffiti-Free page, even tho we personally LOVE TO TAG! And while we permit you to alert other non-taggers to a Neighbor who promised not to tag but who then did so, there is no need to abuse “deceitful” non-tagging Neighbors, otherwise WE WILL DELETE YOUR POST. All you need to say is “SusieSpray is a tagger” — after all, you don’t see us moderators abusing Tappers for how they play, do you?

    “By the same token, however, “deceitful” non-tagging Neighbors are also not abiding by the spirit of our broad church. We know how much many of you love to tag, however, and we have an idea: it’s a new page called TAG ALONG! It’s where Tappers who love to tag can meet other tag-loving Tappers, become Neighbors and TAG THEIR LITTLE HEARTS OUT!

    “And in the spirit of inclusiveness, we invite all you non-taggers to come along and see how we play. Graffiti really won’t affect your XP bonuses [insert relevant post hyperlink here], your Righteousness stars will return in a day or two [insert relevant post hyperlink here] . . . and you might even enjoy it and become a committed tagger like us!”

    Anyway, for what it’s worth that’s how I might have handled it. I really hope the TSTO Addicts community can get through this bitter and divisive period, but for now I’m off to my “bizarre, ambiguous, and weirdly counter-intuitive world of anti-tagging”. Respectfully yours.

    “Do what you wanna, do what you will, just don’t mess up your neighbor’s thrill” (The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing — Frank Zappa)

    • “Hey Howdy Hey Tappers! We here at TSTO Addicts are a broad church. We allow for and cater to a wide range of opinions and people — that’s why we created the Add Friends Graffiti-Free page, even tho we personally LOVE TO TAG! And while we permit you to alert other non-taggers to a Neighbor who promised not to tag but who then did so, there is no need to abuse “deceitful” non-tagging Neighbors, otherwise WE WILL DELETE YOUR POST. All you need to say is “SusieSpray is a tagger” — after all, you don’t see us moderators abusing Tappers for how they play, do you?“

      We tried this repeatedly. And yet…people continued to whine when someone tags them.

      I am advocating for a nondescript “add new neighbors“ section. Nothing more. Delete everything else. It’s a common sense thing.

      That should take care of all options… If someone hates being tagged, then unfriend the neighbor..but don’t call them out in public. It’s a simple as that.

      “Get over it!” – Me

  3. You are at it again Patric….
    Did you miss the memo where it said people aren’t allowed to talk sense on the interweb 🙂

    Thanks for yet another entertaining read, and very best wishes for the fund-raising!

  4. Tappers are still bothered by tagging? (Heavens to Betsy!) 😂
    I don’t think my percentage dropped more than .3% when tagged, but to each their own 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Time for that weekend off from Tapping (I doubt EA is going to surprise us with anything) 😉

  5. So any way, since I’m posting at 3:31 in the morning. I missed all the fun today. Instead I’ll ask a question. One of the items I got from the year book was the yellow submarine. Unfortunately I can’t remember what it’s supposed to dive for. Does anyone know ? Every time I Send it on the submerge task , It comes back with no loot. Is that the norm? Also, does anyone remember if there was a task involved ? Thanks and happy Saturday you all. 😎
    You guys make me laugh. 😘

  6. Celticpeasant

    Patric I absolutely love your post. You are great with words! My opinion is the same, honestly who cares! It is a game! It is meant to be fun. Really it doesn’t matter compared to weather, death, pain and suffering. I had the opportunity not only to donate to a school in Kenya but to help deliver those books, material and personal hygiene products. It was an amazing experience and those children were so happy and so appreciative. That is reality… how simple things that we take for granted can provide so much joy and excitement. Put things in perspective friends … listen to Patric and for goodness sake have fun with the game.

  7. Sooooo funny! When you first tagged me Patrick, I took it personally, I thought it was because my town is not up to scratch at the moment, and I was so ashamed! Until I read your post on tagging. I learned a lesson. Thank you Patrick.

    • I would never tag as a way to diminish another player! Happy you get it!

      • Tracy-1ltwoody920

        Story Time
        We have an indoor/outdoor Tabby Cat, he chose us to be his family and we cannot get him to be indoor only.
        Anyway, this morning we were out front and a woman walking her dogs mentioned that 5 houses away was an aggressive Tabby, it chases her and her dogs.
        Our cat, literally, will sit on the sidewalk and force people, or people with dogs, to walk around him.

        Moral of the story?
        When you have it, you don’t have to posture, or attempt to diminish others.

        • It is an interesting story…but, not sure who the cat is in this story? Or are the tagerwhiners the harassed people with dogs? Or am I the owner, wondering why the people keep bringing their dogs down the street where the cat keeps harassing them?

          I appreciate the cat’s tenacity. But, I have to wonder why the people keep coming down the same street to be chased?

          But it is a funny story.

          • Tracy-1ltwoody920

            Glad you liked the story.
            As to why people keep coming down the street to be chased?
            I dunno, perhaps they are related to people whose last words, apparently were…
            “This will make a great selfie!”

            • Lol!
              Man… a rash of selfie deaths this past month. All at beautiful places like waterfalls and canyons. Something ironic about that.

  8. Hey bindi. I’m one of your neighbours stiggygd33. and feel exactly the same as you. I look forward to checking if you’ve visited me and actually laugh when I see your name floating up the screen. I have tagged other friends but will only tag once then run lol. Happy tapping /tagging xx

  9. Since you are such an advocate Pat, which is fine!. Makes me wonder if you were a tagger in your past? Not judging. Myself and some friends hit up a train bridge when we were about 15.

  10. Homer has his Gravy Boat, Patric has his trowel. We all have the tools, the question is do we always use them in the best way possible for all humankind?
    I know I always try my best, makes it easier to sleep at night.

  11. Can we draw a line on this tagging / not tagging issue now. Although I’ve had a good laugh with some of the posts, it’s becoming a bit tedious.
    Hopefully when the new events hit we will preoccupied concentrating on these.

  12. My name is Bindi (not really) and I will confess that I used to care. To clarify, I didn’t care that I was being tagged (one of my favourite game sounds is the spray paint can), I cared because people that “promised NOT to tag”, did.
    My nature is to say what I mean, and mean what I say, even to virtual, literal strangers. Some of their natures are obviously not the same. That’s what bugged me. It was my choice to delete or not, and move on to way better neighbours !
    I initially collected friends from the graffiti-free list, then found the vast majority from participating here. From that point, I didn’t keep track of who was ‘violating’ ‘The Agreement’ and who wasn’t. But I remained careful to keep my word to those that I promised.
    When the first filler came out on this topic, I recommended that the graffiti-free post cease to exist, since it was explained very carefully that it doesn’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things, on many levels, most importantly in real life.
    And If there were to be a poll, as Alissa mentioned, I know where my vote would go.
    I have enjoyed the increased neighbour engagement, and always get a laugh when I see who ‘got me this time’.

  13. Keith1Roon991

    Wow, what a post, stepping back in total awe, a tag is a tag, get over it, am doing it, a good cause that I can donate to, am doing it., either way unless I have totally lost the plot I totally agree and have my 100% support, just call my name and I will be there , it’s a tag, it’s support what ever you want to call it, BE THERE for the cause, just because 😎

  14. Again… this slowly.
    A broad church is one that encompasses a broad range of opinion of views.
    We all love the game right?
    That’s the church.
    However within that church there are people who farm, people who spend a lot of money, people who design wonderful towns, people who plonk, people who like tagging, people who don’t. All these people are tappers in the church,all different,but were catered for on this site.
    It is you Sir that are seeking to demonise one element and remove them.
    Again,crying about being tagged is something that I don’t do. But I did really appreciate the chance to gain neighbours from here that felt the same about tagging and feel it would be a shame if that disappeared. It would diminish the site.

    • Hahaha… ambiguity defined. An all inclusive church… with a special place for those who are not? Yer killin’ it.

      I think you need to pick another analogy.

  15. Patric, I fully support your cause regarding these school children, and I really would like to help out, but the problem (and reason why I don’t) is that I am not financially able to provide any monetary donations at this time. And I agree that we, as a people, need to tear down the walls that separate us because of personal beliefs and biases.

  16. Thank you for the updates and the smiles 🙂 It’s wonderful to see tangible effects of this community’s actions.

  17. Patric – It’s a bit over top but Rick and Morty (another cartoon) explores the concept that the universe is so vast that nothing we do as human beings matters at all… It’s a very nihilistic and sometimes sobering approach to looking at our existence. I took a few minutes recently to tag my neighbors if I saw it. Not sure how they will take it. I added a lot of them over 2 or 3 years ago when these numbers mattered.

    Back when we all first started playing a percentage point was a big deal. Now that it’s “easy” to hit 1 or 2 thousand percent (I’m 2008.5%) you are absolutely right in changing the way the game is played. The game has evolved away from the conformity numbers to something different entirely. Lots of games do this over the lifetime of their existence. Why can’t this game be any different. I wish they would make it more relevant personally. Maybe they are with Game of Games coming up soon…?

    • Great concepts there… I am of the belief that randomness and chaos can be altered with acts of grace and joy. Entropy overcome.

  18. Thanks for the update Patric.
    I always love seeing the pictures of the children getting their books and I wish them all the best for the future.

  19. Lisa (Kyle b.)

    Wooo, Lordy. Still wiping the tears from my eyes on this one, “I dont demand a special place for “Looking For Neighbors Who Hate Young Homer.” 😂😂😂 That’s the funniest sentence I’ve read all week. I bust out laughing every time I read it. Straight hilarious…thank you for that, I needed that, it’s been a rough day in the real world…

  20. That sure was a lot of words. I’ve been playing for 2 yrs or so and don’t have a single neighbor. I glaze over these discussions. Thanks Patric for explaining my bonus %age question earlier…weird how I’ve never noticed that before…have a great weekend everyone! Go Bruins!!

  21. Great post 😁

  22. Wow Patric this anti tagging thing ‘really grinds your gears!’

  23. I think that there are some people who dislike tagging because of all the horrible things going on in the world. It is a little place where they control the environment (an oasis of peace) – except for the tagging. You don’t want a character or building or theme, you don’t have to include it. The only place they don’t have control is over tagging.

    Maybe it the resolution on my computer, but I don’t see as many smiles as before. Maybe the are just getting use to it (which is a good thing) or maybe the photographer missed the moments.

  24. Well the pics proof was about eating the thing you hate the most to show that you could do it even if you detest it. But good job being fair and impartial and not deleting part of my comment to make it sound different to fit into your agenda.

    • The rest of your comment was redundant. And I left the original where you posted it. So…. again… if you read allll of what is written, there is no confusion.

  25. Rusty Shackleford

    Yeah, I don’t like multiple versions of the same character, so I just store them…but then I wanted the extra cash from them doing tasks, so I brought them back out.

    I need the money to get “Rock and a hard place”

  26. I’m kind of curious have you guy’s heard of kclovesgameing ps I’m team tagging all the way

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