The Final Friday Filler – So Many to Thank!

Thank Grog It’s the Last Firday!

It’s not easy to step away from something that has been a part of your life for almost 8 years. I mean, that’s like 50 years in Internet Time! In all honesty, I already have a sense of relief, along with a smattering of “OMG!!! What have I done?” But, a smattering at my age, lasts about as long as it takes to book a tee time online.

In the end, it isn’t really about the game.  Not by a long shot.  It is about the community that grew from the game, and the relationships that will last well beyond the “final tap.”  There are TONS of people…real people…with whom I have become friends, who are longtime supporters of what we tried to do here. 

I have my detractors. It’s going to happen in a world divided in so many ways by politics, religion, social causes, and doing what’s right, even in the face of criticism. But, the fact is, I’ve never cared much about “keeping everyone happy.” The result was predictable. I have my “true fans,” as well as a handful of bona-fide “Patric Haters.”  I take the good with the bad.

This is complicated by the fact that we all play a game (some far more than others) that is silly, by any measurement.  But, we all know that. If you do something for 8 years of your life, and find yourself defending it to friends and family, you really do need to take a look at your motivations. 

But, as I have said repeatedly, my motivations for continuing to play, write and battle, have little to do with the game, and far more to do with the community. 

And, it is that network of friends that will get the rest of my attention in this final post. 

But, before I get to the thank you notes, I do need to admit to my part in the creation of the small army of detractors.  And it goes waaaaaaaay back to the beginning of the world of TSTO blogging. In the beginning, when the game was a cash cow for EA, and wasn’t just a footnote in the “other income” column of their annual reports, readership and alliances to which blog you followed, was huge. Millions of page views, from more than 110 countries…that huge. It was easy to become competitive, and let the “star factor” go to your head. I should have been above it. I’ve worked in Hollywood, earned awards, and watched the fickleness of “star power,” while losing your true self to celebrity.  It was all pretty silly in the end. But, people, are that way.

As we have seen over the past 8 years (that’s two Presidential administrations for anyone doing the math), we have seen words become weapons, and the walls between “teams” become taller and more hardened. Misinformation, a lack of honesty, and faceless, anonymous, taunting through social media has become so commonplace, that I fear that the lines between real, and fantasy are blurrier than my vision before cataract surgery. And, I did it too.

Rather than taking the high road, “going high, when they go low,” as Michelle Obama often says, I often took the bate and slapped back. Sometimes super hard. I can cut with words like almost nobody else. My quiver is full of caustic phrases that can slay an opinion or a position, like a Samurai slicing a sub sandwich in half (tribute to Belushi). And the result?  I have to work even harder to do the GOOD things in my life, while alienating many who simply got in the way. Not cool.

So, when we started doing the work in Buyijja, and I joined Rotary to participate and lead several local projects here in the Northwest, I softened, and realized that my words and actions could be used for influencing for good, as opposed to “just being right” without any actual solution to the problem that was being debated.  But, the damage had been done. The virtual squads of “Patric haters” who vowed to never rest, never forget, and never relent, when it came to “making me pay” for things I wrote against the Addicts team during two years of separation, were set.  And they never really stopped.

The Internet is a dangerous place to play.  It allows us to decide something about someone, without knowing the full story, or who they really are. We make snap decisions over 144 character posts, and then spend days, months and maybe years, defending our reactions. Not a great thing for the future of civilization.

So, it has been important to know more about those who have followed my writing over almost a decade. It has been important to get to know them as people.  And it is these relationships with those who have taken the leap to get to know me, and me them, in an effort to be more than just words on a page, that I will cherish the most.

First, the Addicts team.

Alissa is a force of nature, who works hard to keep things straightforward and bright.  She is the “Queen of the Bliss-Ninnies” (and I mean that as a compliment), while having very clear lines that can’t be crossed.  She has been infinitely patient with me, as I toed that line with open-toed sandals, so I could cheat, time and time again.  But, it is knowing her personally, watching her family grow, and sharing dinners with her at an Italian restaurant in her home town, along with my own “East Coast family” (Katie, Ryan and my grandsons) who live not 20 minute away from them, that I cherish. Three degrees of separation, tied up with linguini! Long after this blog, game, and memories of the details of what has been written over the past years are gone,  I sincerely hope that our friendship remains. I can’t wait for Sam and Jake to meet and hang out. They are both approaching 3 years old. They can probably teach their parents and grandparents a thing or two about dropping barriers and just having fun!

Joe. What can I say about the Wookster? Except that I never thought in a million years that I would know a real, live, Disney Jungle Boat Captain!  But, of course, Joe is so much more. Funny, loyal, gentle, sweet, and giving, I know that we will stay in touch, as he moves from his career in the Jungle, to the jungles of teaching school. To pull off what he has, through all of the challenges he has met, is admirable. And all, with a fierce dedication to fun.



Safi…the most mysterious, and perhaps stable of all of us. You will never convince me he isn’t an international agent. And I admit, that in that light, his propensity for nuking his town repeatedly is a tad troubling.  But, he is a married man now. It will be fun to see if this chapter of his life creeps into his writing.  He is one of the nicest, most upbeat guys you will ever Zoom with. I wish we had met face-to-face.


The addicts team pointing to where Safi should be standing?

And speaking of never meeting face-to-face, Bunny and I were at the center of most of the drama in the early days. Looking back now, I admit to being a jerk, when it really wasn’t necessary.  The fact that she was the primary target of my caustic wit, when I was heading up TSTOFriends.com, is both sad and pathetic on my behalf.  I honestly think we might have shared two conference calls in the early days. The rest, was just virtual jousting, with teams of supporters lining up behind each.  Sound familiar? Maybe like the 2020 election being played out on Facebook? The fact is…you can’t get much done when you never take the time to meet someone face-to-face, and realize that they are REAL people, and not just another cartoon character.

And yes, there is irony in that last statement.

The fact is, I have never met a single one of my detractors.  I have received nasty e-mails, all sorts of threats, and even attempts to “expose your fraudulent money grabbing non-profit,” all without meeting me.  I have no real idea what words I wrote to trigger such levels of vitriol. But, I am smart enough to know that once they were “in a camp,” there was little I was going to do to change their minds. They are faceless names on a page…using their anonymity (kinda mostly, because we can see their emails and IP addresses) to taunt and make themselves feel superior.  They are most likely compensating for shortfalls in their own lives. But, guess what? I know how that works.

Most of the worst of what I wrote about Bunny, the Addicts, or going after some pinhead commentor, came after losing my Dad to cancer, and not being able to deal with it. It’s a crappy excuse. And ironically, losing nine friends and family over the past 18 months, has actually numbed me, and softened my view of those who attack, without taking the time to learn the facts. I’m 67, and still learning. Someday, maybe I’ll grow up.

The last words I will write as a TSTO team-member have to do with those who followed, supported and trusted me enough to reach out, be part of our work in Buyijja, Uganda, and become friends.  

The list is too long to cover here, and out of fear of forgetting someone, I will not list names. What is even more of a showing of their amazing grace, character, and unconditional support, is that many of the largest donators to our cause gave anonymously and did not want thanks for their generous gifts. There have been hundreds over the years. And, I will be staying in touch, and hoping to break bread, have a drink, and share some laughs again in person, when this mess of a pandemic is under control.

Those who I have met in person, are amazing people…and will hopefully remain in my life, as long as I am around.

My heart is slightly broken, knowing that so much work in Uganda has been wiped out, or greatly hindered.  But, I know that we changed lives.


The first time Maddy met and connected with the Village School in Buyijja…Spring 2014.


Shivahn…then just two years old, became part of our lives. Our family has paid for her boarding school ever since. She is doing well, as the “adopted daughter” of our project manager, Emmanuel. 


It’s heartbreaking to wonder what has happened to the kids in this picture, just 16 months ago.  Hope continues…we’ll see what reality brings. 

We have watched some of those kids grow up, and move on, with an opportunity for a life they could not have had without the education we helped to provide.  We will figure out how to move forward.

But, it was time to step away from TSTO.  There is too much real work to be done. And no…I will never stop writing. It is a talent and a tool that has served me throughout my marketing, music, and internet careers.  But, as I said, writing about a game, when the world is burning around us, just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

If you want to stay in touch, and read about our work, my thoughts, my actions, and my opinions on growing old, managing a huge family, life, death, love, and yes…politics and religion when it suits me…COME JOIN THE FUN.   I’ll be writing weekly…kind of a Friday Filler, without the TSTO content!

You’ll find me at www.crankyoldguy.com.

I hope to see you there. I really do. 

63 responses to “The Final Friday Filler – So Many to Thank!

  1. Wish I could say I was sad to see you go, but the constant EA/game bashing, negative predictions and rude replies to people who didn’t love your posts makes that impossible. Good luck on your future endeavors and I’ll be glad to see this site revert back to its original upbeat attitude.

  2. Baldy Sinclair

    Hi, Patric! I’ve enjoyed your contributions and will miss them! You have a unique energy! Is there somewhere where we can see your town? I think you’ve posted it or portions of it in the past but I’d love to see it. Best of everything to you and your family!

  3. Good luck on all of your future projects, Pat. Thanks for featuring my town and accepting my friend request back in the day, and for all of your “cranky” insight over the years. Godspeed, brother.

  4. Holy crap, has it really been that long?

    I started this game as soon as it came to Android in time for the St. Patrick’s Day update, so damn long ago in 2013. And your site was the one I constantly went to for information, only peripherally aware of the schism. And then, of course, when you came back here, I followed. It’s been a long eight years of playing this game constantly, and you’ve earned a break writing about it.

    Enjoy your retirement. Hopefully the real world gives us all a break soon.

  5. RadioActive_Man

    You Sir were a terrible speller. Always forgetting the “k” at the end of your name.

    • Lol! It’s supposedly Welsh… the only good that ever came out of it was getting registered in a girl’s dorm for two weeks in college.

  6. I also take great care to make my town as “realistic “ as possible and followed your lead about my extensive monorail and 9 hole golf course! Designing is the best part of the game for me and I will miss your suggestions and screen shots of what you did in your town.
    Thank you for many years of insights, chuckles and great design.

  7. The final tap out…
    Thank you for being there. Really enjoyed popping by and reading your posts. No matter what transpired in the past, your posts clearly have brought a little distraction and a lot of joy to many people. All the best for the future.

  8. Hi Patric I will certainly miss reading your posts with my breakfast on Saturday mornings and will follow you over to your new site. Hopefully your life will have a bit more joy in it now and you can do what you like when you like even if that includes make more crazy contraptions like your outdoor toilet. Finally I’d like to thank you again for your support last year when I was going through my own hell as reading your words really did help.
    Take care
    Stephen

    • Stephen…it’s why they call this a community…right? Happy to help! And hopefully, we are moving beyond the point of needing a “back yard/back door cleaner!” My best wishes to you.

  9. First time, long time. Tapping won’t mean as much without you writing these posts. A massive part of my enthusiasm for the game has come from you, honestly most of the last year I’ve spent trying to get my town “up to snuff” specifically to share with you and hopefully get that “gold standard” thumbs up of approval. Your enthusiasm, theories and perspective on design and how to play the game has become a big part of how I play and I think of you often while I’m tapping away. I hope you recognize the impact you have made in the lives of many people like me, even if something as small as enjoying a “dumb” game just a bit more. Thank you so much for everything and wishing you the absolute best.

    • You humble me…thanks, Scott! For me, the game was always about designing a town that was “realistic,” and one where you might want to live. It’s why all of the multiple characters in the same town bug me. But…the game, and life go on. I’ll still pop in once in a while in comments. Hang in there. Alissa will keep the content coming!

  10. Been fun Pat! Always enjoyed your posts and letting you know if I didn’t lol. Take care and enjoy spending your life currency how you see fit!

  11. Good luck Patric!
    If you are ever over my way let me know and I will buy you a beer!

  12. Goodbye Mate, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past several years of reading the Filler every Saturday morning at breakfast! I always looked forward to reading what you had to say & your point of view on things was always good to hear. Best of luck with what you set out to do in the future and I look forward to reading something soon.
    Cheers & good luck.

    Dave.

  13. Been following you since the “Friends” days, will miss your columns but will follow at Cranky Old Guy dot com. If you ever come down to the People’s Republik of Berkeley for a football game (2022?), let me know. Would be great to meet in person. All the best (except when Cal and Oregun play).

    • Well…your may be surprised, as my daughter married a Bear (rugby team), and we have this debate every year…especially since your head coach from “Duck Royalty!” With a bit more freedom now, that could very well happen!

  14. I will be reading 📖 your blog posts on cranky old guy. Will miss your friday filler at tsto addicts. I would read your posts every Friday and even though I wouldn’t comment I did enjoyed reading them.

  15. I hope you find you now have time to enjoy rather than time to fill 😊
    With luck and hard work the school will begin to thrive again I’m sure.
    It’s been a pleasure reading, even the grumbles !!
    All the best, my digital friend.

  16. Hope you have fun IRL!

  17. “So that’s it after 8 years? So long, good luck?”
    “I don’t recall saying good luck.”

  18. Cheers 🍻 Patric all the best enjoy the ⛳️ tees up

  19. I will miss you. So long, farewell, adieu. I wish you the best.

    That said, I take umbrage at your coarse language.
    Some People ‘hate’ you?
    Hate is a four letter, coarse, common, ‘vulgar’, AngloSaxon word. Why not sublimate your discourse. Use a Norman based word,
    Some people detest you.

    That is not a vulgar word, a word of the commoners. It is a word of the elite.
    Just as EAT is Saxon and DINE is Norman
    Just as SPIT is Saxon and EXPECTORATE is Norman

    We must all attempt to lift ourselves above the language of the Common, Coarse, Vulgar / Vulgate used by the Saxons
    And use the language of the elite, ruling class used by the Normans

    Unless, of coarse, you are a fan of Robin Hood, detractor of the evil Prince John and prefer not to use his Norman word to say I’m full of DEFECATE, but defer to the 4 letter, common AngloSaxon word.

    Bye.

    • HAHAHA!! I got a 2021 Calendar from my Son In Law to Be, called “A Daily Dictionary to the Vulgar Tongue.” It’s hilarious! Available on Amazon…
      Today’s phrase is “break teeth words” (defined as hard words to pronounce). An example would be “obfuscate.” It is a word that is meant to define the act of confusing an issue or idea. It’s a great word. Almost impossible to pronounce without sounding like you are having a stroke!

  20. Patric,

    As a lover of the written word (especially books, the paper kind – remember those??) I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts. You kept me entertained for weeks with the “Bob-isodes” last year, and whether or not I always agreed with your thoughts, I really appreciated you sharing them.

    I will miss your humor and quick wit and your passion for those sweet faces of the children in the photos you share, however I will check in on your blog every Friday. 🙂

    Thank you so much for the smiles, especially during this last year. I appreciate it so much.

    • Thanks so much “Full,” (can I call you full? or would you prefer full-o?) Ah…Bob…dear Bob. I still laugh when I think how riled up people got when I threw a fake cocktail in the face of a fake guy. I hope to see you on “the cranky” side! Thanks for reading all of these years!

  21. Will miss your amazing calendars and friday fillers.
    I appreciate the time you gave to keep me entertained.
    May only happiness and joy come through your door forevermore.
    Best wishes.

    • I will miss making them…time consuming, but helpful, even for me! But, they won’t go away. And thanks so much for your best wishes! Every day, I’m a little happier…by the time I croak, I should be elated!!

  22. Thank You, Patric for every:
    Event Calendar
    Cleverly Themed Header 👆🏻
    Posts Encouraging Volunteering
    Thought Provoking Posts

    Thank You for taking the time to address Bunny (I am guilty of being stuck between tsto Addicts and tsto Friends way back when the Game App began!) as a reminder that we all need to do better (aka use the internet to do better things) …. even as we all have to deal with internet trolls (aka those who aren’t brave enough to reveal their true selves, even though their ip address is enough to track down who they truly are – or worse when your cousin’s work in cyber security and attend Defcon every year, lol!)

    You truly are not the cranky guy, you are the guy with the biggest ❤️ that encourages everyone to volunteer (you definitely got me to TAP less, and spend more time volunteering here in Vegas at Veterans Village!)

    https://sharelasvegas.org/

    If by cranky you mean lamenting the loss of so many? I am in 💯 agreement (since December 2019 I’ve lost more union members / fellow workers who I consider family, than I have lost in a decade post millennium!) I get cranky over the fact none of this should have happened …. and I will stop there because I respect Mama Bear’s ‘no politics pplease’. Blessed Be 📿

  23. Good luck moving forward Patric. I’ve enjoyed the TSTO blog and your writing is a big part.

  24. Now the fun begins !
    Enjoy your retirement .

    See ya bye . 👽

  25. Patric….. seriously I am heartbroken over this. All of you at Addicts are like a soft cushion…a fun escape. And I’m one of those people that can’t stand change. But I totally get it!!! Enjoy every single family moment. Do anything and everything fun that you can!!! I will check in on your cranky site….. Best of luck in EVERYTHING that’s laid out for you!!!!!!🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤 It’s been an absolute blast!!!!!

  26. Thanks for sharing yourself & your talents with us in this way for so long, Patric! I haven’t been a particularly active participant, but I have enjoyed reading your posts each Friday. I think I discovered this blog shortly before your return, so I only know the “kinder, gentler” Cranky! Best wishes in all you do. Enjoy life! Enjoy your family!

  27. Patric thank you for all you have done! In and out of the TSTO world!! You will be missed!! Use your life currency to bring the most joy to you and yours!! The best is yet to come!! Oh try to stay a little cranky cause sometimes people need it out in the real world!! Be well.

  28. Hey Patric,
    I’m sorry to see you go. I always found your Friday Fillers on here to be entertaining. I will miss it! Good luck with all of your future endeavors! Sending you a hug and a boat load of thanks for always making my day!

  29. Good luck in all you do.

  30. Good luck Patric. I didn’t always agree with your posts, but they were always entertaining. Your Claymation music adventure was so interesting.

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