Friday Filler – Status in TSTO and Life

Thank Grog It’s Firday/Statusday!

Seeing as how Alissa’s musings ended up slipping into Friday from the regular Thursday slot, I thought it would be funny to change the regular salutation.

And then. I started thinking about the kind of week I’ve had since last writing something for TSTO, and realized that “Statusday” is really an appropriate label for the typical American weekend…as well as where we find ourselves in our “silly little game.”

I am not going to open the “Tagging/Not Tagging” can of worms again, but I will once again (and perhaps finally?) put the entire myth of TSTO status to bed without its supper.

The real question to be asked in TSTO (and yes, in life) is, “Does Status Matter?”
As I mentioned in one of the last Friday Fillers, my book club has chosen a very different kind of book for this cycle.  “Sapiens”, is an amazing book, that feels a bit like an anthropology text book and a great “who did what to make us do what we do” kind of op-ed on the current  general human condition.

The primary premise, is that we are doomed to live the cycle of our ancestors from the beginning of time, and that most of the constructs of modern civilization are merely “myths” created to keep order, status, and control…while actually bringing about the eventual demise of the human race by our own hubris. Not exactly the “feel good” book of the year.

I had LOADS of reading time during my recent trip to Dallas/Waco with my daughter. It was an amazing trip, but ended with the kind of airline delay that offered me more reading time than anticipated. But, I’ll get to that in a minute…

The salient TSTO point about this trip, is that I barely logged on…for a full week. In fact, since a week ago Thursday, when our plane touched down at DFW, I have only checked my game four times. But, during this 4 times, I was treated to empirical proof that a great deal of the “Status of TSTO” is a myth, and just doesn’t matter…because it seemingly happens whether it is observed or not!

This is where I usually say, “But, I digress…” Except in this case, I’m actually NOT digressing. Because it would appear that our little games simply continues to “exist and evolve/de-evolve” whether we are participating or not.  Kinda fun…and kinda creepy!

What I am talking about, is the reality of my “Righteousness Rating” slipping then recovering, and then repeating the cycle again, TWICE in a week…without me doing a damn thing!  It would appear that whether I was playing the game actively or not, the actions of my lovely, wonderful neighbors, made my Righteousness Rating bob up and down, like the recent “mid-trade war” stock market average.

All I did when I logged on, was to clear the daily tasks (sometimes three days worth on a single day) and then clear the graffiti if I saw it, from my town. And boy…did my neighbors “Show me the love” as it pertains to tagging, to let me know they were wandering my town in my absence.

So…as I have explained, a TON of times (even while the “No TAGGING!!” freaks who hate my “tagging is fun” take on the game have ignored what I have written), if you get tagged a bunch…you MIGHT lose a full 1/2 star on your Con-Form-O-Meter rating, but in actual fact, only lose  1/2 a point of actual Bonus %.

Before tagging…

After a Day of Profuse Tagging from my Neighbor-eenos!

But, as I have said before…this “really don’t mean squat diddly” in the reality of your game, because the game, like some weird evolving animal, simply “heals itself” automatically after a couple of days. YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO A THING…BUT WAIT. 

Got it?  No panicking to buy walls, or calling out players online, or going nuts over your “missing half a star.”  It just comes back. By itself. As if nothing ever happened.  GOT IT???

This happened to my game  TWICE in a week…without me doing a damn thing but waiting, and watching, and laughing secretly at how easily TSTO sheeple are manipulated by the MYTH of Righteousness!!

And “Statusday” really should be a term that fits the typical American weekend. It’s the day that most of the posts on FaceBook and other social media, suddenly turn into a giant cluster of “Look what I’m doing!” posts…driving home how lucky we are to have a weekend off…or a vacation…or even just a great meal.

Status is a weird thing. It is a word that construes a couple of realities, with a couple of meanings.  One is like “Checking the status of your thrice-delayed fight from Dallas to LAX.”  The other is realizing that your status with the airlines is tantamount to that of a head of cattle, being transported to the slaughter house, being kept alive just long enough, with the least amount of rest and sustenance, to keep you hoping that “today might actually be my lucky day!”

Yes…without going into a ton of detail, my return flight home turned into a two-day nightmare, that was both soul-crushing, and eye-opening in the plummet from the “top of the Status Charts” to the “depths of human despair.”

I’m not going to give the full accounting of our trip…except to say, it was an amazing time with my daughter, and in many cases, the chance for us to share in a “lesson about the Homo Sapiens” experience.  Including the fact that there is no such thing as a singular “sapien.”  It doesn’t exist…it is always the plural. Weird…but true.

I’ll just bullet point the days for you, and at the end, provide you with some pictorial evidence of the bullet points.


  • Fly to SF to meet up with my daughter Ali, then catch our flight together to Dallas.
  • Arrive, get a rental car and drive to Waco, to prepare for “Silos”
  • Spend Friday doing “All things Joann and Chip” including eating at the Magnolia Table, going to “The Silos” complex, eating lunch at the Dr. Pepper Museum (close to the Silos) then finishing the day by driving to Arlington to prepare for “the Big Game.”
  • Getting our “15 seconds of fame” on national TV (GameDay on ESPN)
  • Finally arriving at “Jerry’s Folly” aka AT&T Stadium in Arlington
  • Watching our beloved Ducks squander  large lead to lose to Auburn in the final seconds
  • Enduring the “less than stellar offerings” of our Wyndham hotel for a final night’s “rest” before our return flight
  • Going to the “Bowling Hall of Fame Museum” to kill time…and relax
  • Saying goodbye to Ali as he connects to her flight to SF.
  • Being trapped at DFW and a weird hotel (for three whole hours of sleep, before showering and heading back to the airport) for a total of 19 airport hours before finally getting home, by way of LAX…a day late.

So, yes…Status had a ton of meaning during this trip. We were constantly checking the status of our insanely full schedules, while feeling our own “Status Meters” flip around like a plane in a thermal over the Rockies.

AT&T stadium. and the entire complex around “Stadium Drive” is such a picture of misplaced values, that your head spins…and aches…and has a very hard time getting over the “Did we just see that???” feeling that happens when you go from the “not so wonderful” reality of Waco, to the “Dear God…this is wrong on so many levels” over-the-top insanity that is “Jerry’s World” and the stadium(s) complex.

A sixty-yard by thirty-yard Hi Def screen, pretty much says it all. For those of you from other countries, or are math challenged, that is 180 feet long by 90 feet tall (with an actual viewing area of 160 feet by 72 feet) that absolutely dwarfs the players on the actual field below it.

It is distracting as hell…but we are increasingly trained to look at our screens… instead of the real world around us.  The meltdown by the Ducks, who came into the game as 4 point underdogs, but led all but one and a half minutes of the game, before allowing Auburn to sneak back, and beat us,  was heartbreaking.

But, again…as we walked back to our car, among 60,000+ inebriated fans of both team colors (there are luxury bars EVERYWHERE in this stadium), I kept thinking to myself, “Where are we??? What in the hell did I just experience?”  Is THIS the real America?

So…yes…the timing of this game was insane. It came as my “break” to taking care of Deb and finishing Phase I of our huge remodeling project. It was also on the same weekend that hurricane Dorian started leveling much of the Bahamas, another mass shooting happened a few miles away in Odessa/Midland, and the Democrats debated climate change.

There is something uniquely American about the excess of college and professional sports.  There is something equally excessive about worrying about  your “Status” in a ridiculous mobile game.

But, mostly, it is weekends like this, that should simply make you feel thankful for the myriad blessings in this life…including getting to spend four, amazingly, weirdly dichotomous days, with your daughter…experiencing the full gamma of life in America.

Status. Trust me. It’s over-rated.

One of the takeaways from this trip is a saying I found on the cover of a leather workbook that they sell at “Magnolia Markets at the Silos” in Waco.

As it turns out, while it is attributed to Chip (or actually not attributed at all on the leather cover) it was an adapted poem/prayer written by a guy named, Heartsil Wilson, but apparently, as legend has it, was quoted frequently to his teams by Alabama coaching legend, Bear Bryant.  How’s that for morphing the American dream?

I actually found it very inspiring…even while surrounded by such insanely “Everything’s bigger in Texas” opulence.

This is the beginning of a new day.
You have been given this day to use as you will.
You can waste it, or use it for good.
What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.
In its place, will be something that you left behind…let it be something good!

Like I said…Status…who gives a crap? It’s what you do today that matters.

Here are a few pics of our trip…and no…I haven’t asked for a refund from American Airlines. I just won’t ever fly them again. And yes…Dollar Rent-A-Car still has $494 of my “deposit” (that they double charged)…and I WILL be trying to get through their online/phone support mess…knowing that the storm on the East Coast probably will delay it another week.

But…I don’t care. I’m abundantly grateful for all life has given me.

Silos….so cool!!

Joanna’s Original Place… from humble beginnings…

The amazing breakfasts at Magnolia Table… Strawberry Butter?  SOOO Good…and “tater tots” as big as your head!

This is what most of Waco looks like around the Silos….They should simply elect Chip and Joanna as the King and Queen of Waco.

Right around the corner was the Dr. Pepper Museum…which was really kind of the history of carbonated beverages.

And everywhere in Waco, was AMAZING Texas BBQ!

Inside “Jerry’s World” alcohol is WAY easier to find than real food or rest rooms.

This is kind of “luxury” you get for $200 a night at the Wyndham near the stadium.  I’m guessing this is the result of some drunken fans, celebrating or lamenting that latest Dallas Cowboys game.  But, it made me feel GREAT about my recent work in my remodel.  What a DUMP!

We had time before our flight home to go to the Bowling Hall of Fame Museum…which is REALLY surprisingly cool!  We loved it! Made me want to bowl…and see if I can break 100 (I am lousy!).

Ali loved these High Class Bowling shoes…

America during a more simple time…when “entertainment” was watching Bowling for Dollars on Saturday morning!

Time to fly home… I say goodbye to Ali, and then enter my own version of “Flying Hell.” 19 Hours, including a 3-hour stay at a hotel…and a food voucher that nobody will take…I am finally home to Eugene…a Day Late.

I was SAVED by the cinnamon rolls I had kept from the Bakery at Silo…turned out to be the only food I had from 7P to 11a…other than pretzels on the plane(s).




25 responses to “Friday Filler – Status in TSTO and Life

  1. I thank you for the book recommendation (we are a species that has to share the planet) but OMG what you endured at a scary Wyndham Hotel / with American Airlines \ Dollar Rent-a-Car over charging just leaves me say “it doesn’t have to be perfect, but what we are billed for should mean we deserve better – or be refunded” …. and that reminds me TSTO is still free to play, so I can’t waste time grumbling when there is a game network problem that L-EA-Z-Y won’t deal with (I just won’t play TSTO as I have plenty to do in real life)😀

    I actually went a whole week not knowing I’d been tagged (lol – sorry I didn’t clear it in time to be tagged again Neighboreenos), but I didn’t see a difference (I still farmed 🍩’s / accumulated XP and $ at the same bonus % rate). So, now I must wonder …. if a Tapper can at least Tap once a Day (for now) with weekends off, and if just as a free to play virtual zen garden, that’s all I can expect for L-EA-Z-Y to provide? (fine for now, until the next Event!)

    I must thank you for reminding me that I do need to continue visiting Roadside Americana (the tackier, the better) in order to make sure they stay in business. 👍

  2. Some of my high school classmates are at Baylor right now in Waco and there’s absolutely nothing to do there unless you’re a huge fan of Chip and Joann… or you drink

    • That was our experience…
      Baylor is like an oasis in a giant sea of rebuilding and destruction. Waco is coming back… But very slowly… And mostly because of Chip and Joanna.

  3. Tracy-1ltwoody920

    My warped humor attacked me when I re-read your closing words regarding Pretzels 🥨, on a Plane!
    A movie sequel with Samuel Jackson, perhaps?

  4. Thanks for all your mod contributions to a neat game!

    Hope will will see an increase in activity as summer ends.
    Wish we had in-AP chat, but stop by and tap anytime. 🙂

  5. Not quite sure why you feel the need to characterize tappers who don’t want their towns tagged as “No TAGGING!!” freaks and “sheeple.” It would be equally legitimate to label you a “tagging is fun” freak and also “sheeple” by virtue of obeying what it says in the top, left corner of your screen when you visit a neighbor: “Collect Rewards and Vandalize your friend’s buildings.” You are not exactly being a TSTO *rebel* by DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE GAME TELLS YOU TO DO EVERY TIME YOU VISIT A FRIEND.

    I get your basic point about “none of this *really* matters,” but–dude, YOU are the one who keeps bringing it up!

  6. Pat….that last selfie of you…..i laughed so hard. 😄
    Thanx for that.

  7. That SandyToes keeps taking 1/2 star from my conform-o-meter!

    I laugh when I see that it’s gone! I love that part of the game. I seem to get tagged a lot lately, in fact some people have even taken to tagging my posts – it makes me laugh. Here’s the question, how long before this post gets tagged?

    I am glad you did the Dr. Pepper and the BBQ while down there. Two thing you definitely need to take in while in the area.

Leave a Reply