It’s Time…Life Is Calling

This post has been a long time in coming. There are myriad reasons, but in the end, it all comes down to taking a long, hard swig of reality.

Almost eight years of TSTO Blogging needs to come to end. I’ve been telegraphing this for a while, but life, age, and the realities that a worldwide pandemic have wrought on me have taken a toll, along with the need to re-examine how I spend my valuable remaining “Life Currency.”

When all of this started, I was lured into playing TSTO by my grandsons, who at the time, were 10 and 8 years old.  We played, because it was a way to “tag one another’s towns,” as a way to let one another know that although they were a hundred miles away, I was thinking of them in a funny, shared, use of “new technology.”

That was in October…of 2012. Holy. Freakin’. Shirt!

My oldest grandson is 18. Both of them stopped playing the game long, long, long ago.  But, through a series of strange and unusual events, I ended up taking over the top-rated TSTO blog (along with another guy who also stumbled into the opportunity), and the course was set. What was at first a sideline, and a way to escape the rigors of owning a company that provided Internet solutions to more than 160 broadcasters across the country, the “sideline” became an obsessive, full-time “extra job.”

A book…thousands of posts…and the joining, uncoupling, and rejoining of the Addicts crew reads like a bad, but “can’t put it down,” real life drama docu-series. 

But, it’s time to put it down…
When the “drama of the early years,” and the rigors of trying to maintain TSTOFriends (the offshoot of the original, but short-lived TSTOTips) became more than I wanted, I met with Alissa, buried (a few) hatchets, and gladly came back to work with the Addicts crew. That was in 2016. Almost five years ago. It was a selfish move…trying to find a bit of sanity in an otherwise insanely demanding endeavor. But, it was also a way to keep the work we had started in Uganda, alive and vital. As part of our agreement, Alissa said I could still raise funds, and that she would support our work.  And from that day, virtually every dime that I have earned from Addicts, has gone to our work in Buyijja. 

I have been clear, through countless posts about our work in Buyijja, that I was only willing to keep writing, and posting, and “playing the game,” out of loyalty to Alissa, and our work in Buyijja. There are countless references and comments to that point over the past five years. 

And I have also been equally transparent, that my love of the game had diminished greatly, as EA/Gracie/Fox continued to reduce the “fun” in the game…relegating us to repetitive tappers, with little challenge, creativity or reward.  That’s on them. Not on TSTOAddicts or Alissa. 

The game has become boring, repetitive, and almost without merit, outside of the writer’s dialogue. Anyone who has played the game since the beginning would agree with that. It is on life support…at best. But, life support in a coma would be a better analogy. The writers chatter in the corner of the room…telling great jokes, as the patient lies motionless and braindead, a result of the lazy, unimaginative programming that has happened over the past three years. 

There is no better way to make my point, than to look back to THIS POST, where I reviewed 2016 in the tapping year.

Can you imagine that we were actually mildly depressed by some of these events? The fact is, if I made a similar graph over the past three years…it would be one, long, static, flatline “Meh” representing the same, old, same old, events. The GAME has created a ton of people that simply have gotten used to, and agreed to compromise their standards of what the game SHOULD be! 

Sheesh. Remember the “good old days?” Heck…I even remember complaining that “Whacking Days” were the same as other Whacking Days. But, at least there were snakes, and bopping, and activities to do, other than just trudging through the same, repetitive Three Act Nothings Events.  Friend Rewards? Gone. Side games like the Casino Event, or Stone Cutters?  Gone.  Now…we have so many Homers, and Marge’s and Lisas, and Barts, that even Professor Brown from “Back to the Future” would call “bullshirt!” 

But, I hung in there. Until this past year.

For a full year, Covid has all but decimated the school we support in Buyijja, the village near it, and almost all of the staff.  Our last attempt to do “distanced learning” without any technology (the village has no electricity, and little clean water, much less computers for kids), was a valent, but fruitless effort. Only a handful of the printed workbooks that were distributed in the village by the remaining teachers, came back completed.

The school, closed since March of last year, may open…but with less than 30 students, and two teachers.  That is down from 260 students, and 9 teachers.  We are in a state of “wait and see,” but the writing is pretty much on the wall. 

Without a reason to keep writing for Addicts, and doing my best to wait it out, I have lost all desire to continue to use my “Life Currency” writing about a game I no longer care about. It’s as simple as that. I enjoyed doing “Addicts Live,” with a chance to see the team “face-to-face” but admit to being annoyed when we actually had to talk about the game. I didn’t care about the game. At all. 

Alissa could see this.  “There was no joy in TSTOville” for me. And while the Filler posts continue to garner good readership, it all felt like work, with no real reward. Add to this, my patience for pinhead comments was all but gone. Not a good thing for anyone involved. 

Another factor that shaped my decision is the fact that in the past 18 months, I have lost 9 close friends and family, including my Mother and Father-in-Law.  Several of the friends who have passed during this time, were younger than me…leaving a hole, and a bit of “looking over my shoulder,” for the next grim report to drop. 

This happens at my age.  I’m 67 years old.  This is the time of life when mortality becomes very real, pandemic or not. And the fact is, I have kids and grandkids scattered all over the country, and a ton of things I still want to do on my “bucket list.” Writing about a “Silly Little Game” is no longer one of them. 

The world has changed a lot in the 8 years since we started this insanity, and in most ways, not for the better.  It is obvious that social media, and huge divisions in politics, religion, and reduced common courtesy have taken a huge hit. 

I am a pragmatic optimist…which seems like a contradiction of terms.  But, I have come to realize that continuing things that don’t bring you happiness is a fool’s game.  I need to be a bit selfish with my time.  I am optimistic that change and improvement can come to the world, with hard work.  But am pragmatic enough to know when to “cut bate,” and move away from things that are futile.  I need to spend it with people I love, doing things that bring me joy. TSTO doesn’t hit the top 25. 

Alissa and I have been over this, and we both agree that the time is right for her to “take back her joy,” while I depart to do the same. Ironic?  Nope.  Just two people with different desires and commitments. 

I don’t regret a minute of time I have spent on the Addicts team. And I certainly will continue to drop in…but as a “civilian” who is just dropping comments for the fun of it. 

I’ll have one final Friday Filler…a chance to offer thanks not only to the team, but to the loyal readers who have been part of my life all of these years.  Buyijja is a huge question mark at this point. But, I will determine where we go with things as the facts and needs present themselves. Alissa has committed to continue to support the efforts, if there is something left to support. 

Until then…know that I truly wish The Simpsons, and TSTO had the good graces to “go out on top.” The news that the show has been renewed for another two seasons brings me no solace.  I’ve watched too many people take their last breath this last year. I have no desire to hang around, waiting for the monitor to flat line. 

I’ll have more to say…and lots of people to thank on Friday!  Until then…keep on tappin’…if you want to.

See you then. 

75 responses to “It’s Time…Life Is Calling

  1. I totally get it. At age 52, I have finally admitted I’m firmly middle-aged and looking toward retirement, vs the “I’m still a young adult” attitude I’ve had up until the last couple of years. So “remaining life currency” rings true with me, though I hope we both have a ton of it left.
    Thanks so much for your work on the site. It has been a trusted resource for me as I’ve enjoyed TSTO. I know that it takes a lot of time and energy to contribute what you have to the site, and we are all grateful.
    Best of luck and may you find happiness and … mmm … premium currency.

    • LOL! Love your screen name! Yes…I love the optimism of being “middle age” at 52! Go for 104!!!! There is no doubt that at 67, I am wanting to maximize my “Life Currency.” I hope you do the same!

  2. OH Patric! I will will miss you and your funny posts! Your TSTO story is like my in laws… my MIL started playing TSTO on her iPad with my son’s account. Well, she took it over when he stopped.. maybe 7-8 years ago and is STILL active. He’s 15 now. The my FIL (who MADE FUN of us all playing TSTO) got his own iPad and yes, he’s addicted to the game himself! LOL. I started playing after my MIL to see what this game was all about, and here I am. I’ve got my MIL coming to this blog checking on when next events start! haha! I’ve enjoyed your posts immensely… always some good laughter! I agree with you about game being not as fun as it used to be. I feel like a repetitive tapper! (although I admit, I come here to read the event dialogue! LOL) But THANK YOU for all your posts! Your posts brought me many smiles and made a repetitive tapping game just a bit more fun. Wishing you many blessings in everything you do! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Kim! You are the example of the old adage,” The family that Taps Together, Plays Together!” or something like that! What a wonderful story. Happy to provide some smiles!

  3. You guys have done an amazing job. I do laugh at my views on past events in relation to the adage “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone” Is been fun and things like this should be, it should never feel like work. Do what you Love enjoy life, dance in a swimsuit in the shower of an overturned beer truck, grab that gummy di Milo and enjoy the Summer wind….

  4. RadioActive_Man

    Yes! It is about time you quit. Every post of yours was about some grudge you had against the game. People are here because they like the game! You obviously did not and you really needed to be replaced. Thank God your incessant whining is OVER ! Best of luck

    • Hahaha! Classic. Thanks for making my point for me. I think Bart said it best, “Eat my shorts!” Thousands of good folks…a handful of silly, game-obsessed, morons. To the latter, I can also finally say, “good riddance to you!”


  6. I wish you all the best. You were and are one of a kind. While I didn’t always agree with all of your assessments, I admire the fact that you mean what you say and say what you mean. I’ll miss your calendars and Friday fillers. I’ll even miss your humor. May the next chapter of your life be fruitful. Take care.

  7. Sorry to see you go, although not surprised the way the game has been going, considering my position also as the game is becoming more frustrating than fun, put me on your mailing list for the school a worthy cause I would gladly contribute to. All the best 🍻

  8. Totally understand. As one of I am sure is many, TSTO and the addicts have coincided in my transition into a comfortable
    retirement. But, such is life. Good luck sir. PS: loved your video on the outdoor bum wash alternative to toilet paper. Made my day.


  9. anguspodgorny6

    Thank you and all the best to you.

  10. I am saddened to hear that you are leaving, you will be greatly missed by all of us. MAHALO and ALOHA!!

  11. Patric
    Thank you for everything that you have contributed to TSTO Addicts 👍🏻

    I can’t believe this Game App is approaching 9 years with the 10th creeping up (I still can’t believe the Simpsons has been renewed to 34 Seasons when it’s cash earnings are strictly via Syndication!)

    I can’t believe how many times Fox / Disney fails to listen to the fan base (correction! I can after reading how current Disney CEO Bob “cheapskate” Chapek mistreated the inquiries of an innocent Girl Scout who wanted to see the latest animated offerings from Disney Animation at a nearby Theatre with her Troop!)

    TSTO is still fun for me, just not daily (maybe two to three times a week – if that!) It’s not just the lackluster Events (cut and paste, rinse and repeat, same damn format), it’s the damn Bart Screen that’s got me cranky (when I want to Tap? There’s the Bart Simpson Screen of Death, and I know it’s not Me – my Device – my Internet Connection! It’s L-EA-Z-Y again not interested in maintaining this Game App!)

    This pandemic has truly changed everything for Me and the Mrs. – adjusting to CDC guideline protocols when leaving the house, to the loss of those around us (this pandemic is real and it kills, which is why I get cranky seeing those not taking the pandemic seriously!) TSTO Game App never was a priority in my life, just a pleasant Addiction, only now it’s become ‘less addicting!’

    I will Tap to the end, but I will not hesitate to inquire with other Tappers “what other Game Apps, PC Games (ok Cyberpunk 2077 occupied more of my time), Console Games interest you?” Because this Game App will come to an end, Team Disney will do something with the Simpsons intellectual property (which I will probably hate – like 90% of their Game Apps!), what used to be fun on a Mobile Device may disappear (I’m more interested in seeing the pandemic come to an end!)

    ☮️ To All
    Stay Alive
    Don’t hesitate to Volunteer
    Always make time for Charity

  12. Patric – sorry to hear it, but not sorry as well… you do what you need to do! And keep me in mind if the school comes back. You’ve got the email (I assume), so don’t be a stranger! It’s been a worthy cause, to which I’ve been honored to donate.

  13. Thank you for all the help over the years. Cheers

  14. Pragmatic Optimist?
    I think the weather is going to be bad.
    Be positive!
    I’m positive the weather is going to be bad.

    I’ll miss your views, your Oregon rants (go Beavers! – sorry, I’m an OSU / Oceanography fan, not a Uof O fan)

    And who is going to take over the CALENDAR.
    Bunny was number 1
    Patric was number 2 – we’re #2, we try harder
    Maybe Safi?
    Safi is number 3 – he won’t try at all. 😂😂

    Still under Covid restrictions, but I’m amazed how my days fill and I’m having to work to remember to play the game. But, life moves on and other priorities take place.
    So have fun and enjoy your other pursuits. This is just a game. You will be missed

    • Thank you for the kind (mostly) words! But don’t forget…I have five daughters…three Ducks and two Beavers! So I own clothes for both schools. It’s not my fault if most of my Beaver gear is underwear! LOL!

      Thanks, though. I’ll miss jousting with you.

  15. Mary Martha Riviere

    Patric, I’m so glad you’re doing what is best for you. It breaks my heart to hear about Buyijja and the school there. We had such hope for them, and I will continue to be watching for any opportunities to help. Enjoy all the adventures ahead!

    • Thanks so much Mary! You know how special you are to me and the kids you have helped. I will keep you posted through other means, as we work to find a solution. We may attempt to re-open again after they find some sense of “normal” in Uganda again. Between the pandemic, and political upheaval…it has been a bit of hell. We’ll see… Watch for news on my blog.

  16. Patric, I will miss your Friday Fillers at the end of the week, but I completely agree with your reasons for ‘retiring’! You need to do what is best for you and you family and give up with those things you no longer enjoy.

    I will keep my fingers crossed that there will be some good news from Buyijja as it will be such a shame for all the good work to be lost after we have got so far.

    I consider you as a friend even though I don’t actually know you and wish you all the best for the future.

    • Jack…you are one of the good ones! I am more than happy to know you…and your support has meant the world. I’ll keep you posted as we go through the next stages of figuring out “what?” in Buyijja. But, know that your kindness and support have meant the world to me.

  17. Thanks for all this years of quality bloggin. In fact I’ve enjoyed many of your “rants” more than game info, since I don’t like spoilers and now events are so dull and repetitive that I’m just not interested. The SIBs I’ve consulted many times, but not event info.

    Hope you get the most of your remaining “Life Currency”.

  18. Go answer that call! Enjoy all your future endeavors and the people who are close to you. Happy trails!

  19. Thank you, Patric, for all the good reads over the years! I’ve been dropping out of other games over the years when they lost their flavor, but have stayed with TSTO because of the Addicts. (Your calendars were the best help!). Enjoy your family time! Families are forever, but TSTO is not! 🥰

  20. All the best, Patric!

    It has been a pleasure reading your stuff over the years – even if I have disagreed woth some of it 🙂

    I’ll certainly keep an eye open for your comments, but as you say, there comes a point where focussing on what actually is important is the right thing to do.

    • Thanks! Always appreciated your input…even when you were wrong!🤟😆👍

      And you’re right. The “rest of life” is calling.

  21. 🖖

  22. Hi Patric
    I completely understand the need to follow what is right for you. And I wish you the very best. I will miss your articles and hope to hear about progress in Buyijja. Happy life!

  23. The greatest pleasure of this silly game has been getting to know you, your family, and most importantly Buyijja. Your humor, compassion and drive is tangible force unlike any other blogger out there and for once I was at the right place at the right time when our paths crossed. Here’s to many more years of our cyber friendship and once the captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign and it’s safe to move about the cabin, I look forward to sitting across from one another enjoying a beverage of our choice.

    • Fred…what can I say? You are one of those who has been “with me from the start!” Yes. Back to normal sounds great. Travel sounds great! And I owe you some KORN! With Mom’ passing, it was all too much this year. And the label was going to have to be a “fold out!” Too much happened to make one. I’ll get in touch in a couple of weeks when the dust settles.

  24. Alison Russell

    I couldn’t agree more about the dismal state of the game. I’m not sure why I even bother with it anymore. Your posts have been informative and great fun, however. I’m sorry to hear how the pandemic has affected the school that is so clearly dear to you. I’m near your age and have just decided to retire from teaching. The pandemic just exhausted us all, I think. It’s time to enjoy the grandkids and life in general again. Best of luck to you.

    • Trust me. Being married to an elementary school counselor, I feel you! It’s just time…and I hope you enjoy retirement as much as I plan to!

  25. I agree this game has gone on repeat. It is not enjoyable but also something I started with my own kids many moons ago. Long before addicts started. I miss the challenge. Now it is on repeat. 4hrs, 4hrs, 4hrs, 8hrs overnight. I don’t log in everyday anymore between events and the events are boring. I don’t even read the dialogue anymore. It’s time to retire this game or revamp it. Enjoy life there is way more to it than this!

  26. I’m not surprised at all to read this & I don’t blame you. I have really enjoyed reading your posts from way back in the day and for the window into your life away from the game. Wishing you the very best. Thanks for your excellent posts & music too.

    • Thanks much! Ironically, it’s music that is luring me back. I am looking forward to playing more again, now that I am cutting loose some of the things that take time needlessly! Watch for fun on my other blog.

  27. We will miss you. My grandkids started me playing about 7 years ago. I am now 65. It was fun to visit each other’s towns. I am now the only one left. This game is my mindless humor to wake up in the morning. I will miss it, for awhile, when the game comes to an end. Thank you.

  28. Patric, I’ve enjoyed reading your “revelation” and “rants” over the years and completely understand your need to move forward in your life. Best of everything to you and your family. Thanks and God Bless!

  29. Hugs, man. Thanks for everything, and the very best of best wishes for the future.

  30. Enjoy your retirement from the Addicts, been a pleasure reading your posts – often more than playing the game 🙂 life is for living – go live it!

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