Author Archives: Patric

Friday Filler – The Challenges of Real Life Time Travel


For almost as long as man has been able to tell time (when Grog Smith, mentioned to Ugha Jones that he noticed the sun went down every night), mankind has been fascinated with the concept of time travel.  And even the most erudite theoretic physicists in history have a hard time convincing one another that time may or may not be malleable, allowing us to move to and fro through event horizons of time/space.

Of course, popular culture has all but shredded any real commonsense thought about the possibilities of traveling to or from a single point in time…making us all believe that time is simply a linear string, with knots representing every second, minute, hour, day, and year of existences, that can be used as a road marker, or untied to alter the course of the rest of the string.

But, that is silly…no matter what Dr. Brown and Marty would have you believe.

And while the most brilliant minds in the world are all at CERN, breaking all of the standard rules of physics by shooting protons beyond the speed of light (which in itself destroys the traditional laws of physics), it is widely becoming an accepted theory that there is very clear evidence that much of what we see, touch and feel, is rooted in a dimension that is OUTSIDE this space/time…Time, and any clear definition of it, is more a perception than a reality.

As I have written about for years (as our old friends at TSTOFriends can attest), to me it isn’t really so much the measurement of time, but the value of how you spend that time.  And let’s be brutally honest…there are few activities in this world that can suck up more time, or squander more of that magic “Life Currency” than tapping. It’s been so long ago that I grabbed that phrase, I can’t remember the source. But, I suspect it came during the first Sci-Fi update a LONG time ago.  But, “Life Currency” is such an accurate description of the real value of time, that I purloined (a polite term for stole) it…and have used it since.

However, what if we COULD go back and forth in time?  What if we could “get back that wasted hour or two or five,” if we had the ability to do so?  And, if we became greedy with our time travel, what major life-changing events would we choose to alter to change the outcome of our existence today?  WOULD YOU DO IT???
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Us -vs- Them…Time to Get Over It!


Wow.

For the first time in a long time, I am starting to see some fatigue, and frustration setting in for the players of this “Silly ‘Lil Game.” And, I think it is time for a bit of reflection, and a reality check.

First of all…when someone says that they may be taking a break, or slowing down, or are disillusioned with TSTO, it is important to understand that this is a personal choice…and not a slam on anyone else who chooses to continue to play or remain faithful to “Tapping as a way of life.”

That said, there are as many reasons for tapping, or taking a break, as there are players in the game. This is a personal choice, and there is simply no wrong or right answer to “why I tap” or choose not to.  M’Kay???

What I have seen, is that the majority of this community is fiercely loyal to one thing…This Community!  And for good reason…

What Alissa (and to a far lesser degree those of us who “work” here) have created, is something unique, amazing, and wonderful.  The community of TSTO Addicts is FAR more than just a bunch of disparate tappers spread across the globe, looking for tips and tricks to make the game EAsier and more fun. It is a community of individuals, who have come together to share their thoughts and feelings about the game, while agreeing to support one another in a broader sense in this life.

Case in point…over the past few weeks…we have once again proven that we are MORE than just tappers…and have accomplished some things that seem to be elusive to the world at large…especially in this fractious political climate.
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Cranky’s Guide to Bowling and Life


I remember the strange visceral thrill the first time I “snuck” into a bowling alley with my best friend, Jack Stares.  It wasn’t that the bowling alley had an admission, or banned grade school kids from bowling, it was the simple fact that it had been made clear by my mother that, “We don’t go there. It’s not a nice place.”

This was the same vague warning that went along with almost anyplace that my mother deemed “low brow” or “below us.”  But it wasn’t until much later in life that I figured out the real reason to the “Miller family aversion to bowling.”

But at this moment, I didn’t care…I was standing in the “Gateway Bowl” and drinking in every sight and smell that the glorious, modern, and seemingly foreign wonder of wood and plastic had to offer. It was a lazy, week-day, summer afternoon, and there were fewer than 1/3 of the “24 modern lanes” with their “automatic pin-setter technology” and “Visi-Score” display scoring, in use.

I watched an older guy (everyone was older when you are 11) go through an intense ritual of drying his hand on the air dryer, slowly fitting his hand into the gleaming, black ball with the red swirls cast into it, and then pausing, while staring intently down the alley at the pins glimmering before him.  There was “easy listening” music playing softly in the background, barely audible over the din of balls being rolled on other distant lanes, and the mechanics of the ball return and pin setters clearing and setting pins. But as the man began his approach toward the pins, his arm swinging back in a graceful arc, I remember holding my breath in anticipation of the outcome.
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Friday Filler – Tapping Less and Enjoying It More

Ah...Thank Grog It’s Firday!

This was a running joke that my kids and I had when they were all in college, and admitted that around campus, “the weekend” actually started on Thursdays…or to be specific, Wednesday nights, when a famous U of O bar ( Taylor’s Tavern literally 22 feet off of campus)  had “Dollar Beer Night.”  Don’t get me wrong…my kids were all great students, who all graduated with honors, but they also knew how to pace their work, and get the most out of their play.

And who was I to argue?  They all graduated Summa, or Magna Cum Laude, while I joke that I was ” In Cum Plete” as I never finished my degree after my football, musical career, and partying got in the way.  My kids are WAY better at balancing work and fun than I was.  I was “All In” or “All Out.” And was usually too “Grogged” to know it was Friday…(hence the  Firday joke).

But, I have improved in my old age.  I have learned that doing LOTS of things well, requires balance. And if something becomes obsessive after the “learning curve,” you need to adjust. Rather than do one thing obsessively, which tends to narrow one’s life, I now choose to “Live Wide.”

That has now become the standard for how I Tap. It’s the reverse of what happens when you are truly addicted and obsessed. Remember the old joke, “I”m smoking more, but enjoying it less?”  If you don’t, it’s because the guy who coined that phrase croaked, due to lung cancer. But, for me, living wide requires me to, TAP LESS, to Enjoy it More….

Here’s what I mean.
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YOU Did This…The Amazing Work That TSTO Addicts Can Do!


When we talked about getting a water tank and rain collection system for our “adopted school,” in Buyijja, I was expecting some support, and a long haul to getting it done in the middle of a major TSTO event.

Silly me.

You guys ROCKED IT… and as promised, not only did the money get into the right hands quickly, but the immediacy of the situation (6-month drought conditions, with a dry well), got everyone into action.

By the time you read this, the tank should be fully installed. Yep. START TO FINISH in less than THREE WEEKS!

Take  a Look At The Progress!!
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Animator is Working Overtime for This Event…Thanks!!


I know…I was whining about the length of these events in my last update. I don’t mean to look a gift “spy-gadget” in the mouth (in fact, it’s NEVER advised to look a spy gadget in the mouth, gift or no gift), but, I rEAlly (sorry, can’t help myself now…) want to make it clear that for the most part, I am really (see, I’m trying…) enjoying this update.

It’s not that the dialogue has been great, or that I think that a tidbit of story-line followed by weeks for grinding is the kind of event that EA should just keep doing forever.  But, what IS really making me laugh, is the amazingly creative animation that comes with even the smallest Freemium items won in this event. They are clever, hilarious, and continue to make me laugh every time I poke one of them.

Coming from the world of “Claymation,” I appreciate it when someone takes the time to add weird little details, and lot of imagination. Will Vinton’s crew had this talent…and then Nick Park, of “Wallace and Gromit” fame took it to new levels of hilariously weird, inventive, insane gadget ideas.

We all know about “Q” who is Bond’s gadget builder. This update is like morphing “Q” and Nick Park together…into a landscape that would make even the stodgiest CIA spy at Langley smile.
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Secret Agent Simpsons- FINAL ACT CALENDAR (Finally)


I know, I know…I’m supposed to be a “Kinder, Gentler, Less-Cranky-OldGuy.”  But, HOLYFREAKINSHIRT these events are loooooooooong… tooooooooo looooooooong!

See what I did there?  I just held down the “O” key and let the computer do the work of filling up space. Kind of like the EA programmers did for this last Act…which literally had almost the same prizes…falling on the same days…with minor alterations.  Talk about EALPish behavior!

But…if I am really honest, I have to give a salute (and not the one-finger kind) to the programmer/animator who is making all of these “Spy-worthy” decorations.  I think the characters are kinda, “meh”…but the buildings and decorations simply crack me up. I actually Laugh Out Loud at some of them. They are clever, well designed, and because they are clustered in my “Homage to Langley” section of my Springfield…I can tap a bunch of them and watch them all go nuts. It is hilarious.

So….yes….this last act is even EAsier (sorry…now that someone complained, I’m gonna do it forever), and everyone should get everything by simply logging in 3-4 times a day.

Here are the Calendars…
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The First COG Addicts Post Ever…Whoddathunkit?

So…out of the blue yesterday, Alissa texts me with a “Look what I found…check your email.” These can either be fun and great news, or can be horrible “dear God…don’t look!” kinds of things. She was vague…saying it had something to do with my past. Again…at this age, that can be good (Wow! I found an old royalty check you didn’t know you had coming!), or (WOW! I can’t believe there is a picture of you doing THIS online!!!!).

As it turns out, it was neither. It was actually a copy of the first article I ever wrote for Addicts. As in…WAY before the “unpleasantness” (also known as Whacking Day), and way, way, way before the Monorail every showed up in our towns.

It was a hoot, and reminded me just how ridiculously simple this “Silly ‘Lil Game”(not copyrighted by Bunny) used to be…and that there were STILL people who whined about the downtime in the game.
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When a CrankyOldGuy is Humbled By a TSTO Community…

Let’s just start by saying that my “welcome back” to TSTO Addicts was a little rocky (as in having an effigy of me thrown down the 500 foot cliffs of Dover onto the rocks).  I deserved your mistrust…as those who knew the history, knew that I was a complete jerk to Alissa while I was a “competitor” after starting out as a contributor here.  It is a long story…and thankfully, as has been stated several times, we both buried that hatchet (because Riley told us to), and life has been pretty darn sweet every since.

But, there was that lingering doubt by many (and stated publicly on occasion) that I was going to “ruin the site” by “writing about things other than TSTO” and trying to “guilt trip” people into donating to our work in Uganda. Again…I get it…I was the interloper, and the outsider, who was darn lucky to be here at all.

But, with the tacit support of Alissa, I ventured once again into trying to help Addicts be “more than just a TSTO info site” while doing something that mattered in the world. And I quite frankly, was scared to death that it would unravel all of the work I had done to prove that I had indeed seen the error of my ways…and was grateful for Alissa’s support.

As it turns out…this community not only blew my mind…but broke all of the fundraising records for any project in regard to funds raised in the shortest time. And even more amazing,  the comments of support you sent were simply overwhelming.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these…
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Femme Fatale…Just Another Female Designed to Make Me Feel Bad


I want to start this revealing little commentary with a few facts.  I offer these not as a way of excusing my behavior, but perhaps helping to explain it in some small way that may not invoke your empathy, but at least a nod of understanding, as in “Oh…now that makes sense. He’s nuts…but at least I get it now.”

  1.  I have five daughters and a wife (plus three sisters and a mom, two sisters-in-law, and three nieces) who are all very strong willed, successful, women deserving of praise.
  2. After my Dad’s passing in 2012, I am the lone male in a world dominated by said women.
  3. I was/am the lone receiver of Testosterone from my Dad, and perhaps got a “double shot” that makes me a “highly sexed man” (as my wife likes to say with a wink) but also, as a father to five daughters (penance for being highly sexed?) realizes that being “too macho” will likely make relationships with said family females miserable, if not impossible.
  4. I don’t have a large group of male friends with whom I regularly gather to do manly things (watch sports, smoke cigars, talk about female body parts in a loud, irreverent way) for the same reasons stated above. I go on a couple of golf weekends with “the boys” each year, but mostly spend it being offended by the idiot behavior of my friends (all of whom I don’t let within miles of my wife or daughters).
  5. Having 5 daughters…with an age range of 41-26, makes it almost impossible to look at ANY woman lustfully, under the age of 48 (because a 15-year gap is just creepy…and waaaaaaaay to close to the age of my oldest daughter).

So…taking that into consideration…you might see why I have been reduced to lusting after cartoon characters in TSTO.  I’m not proud of it. But, hey…a “highly sexed man” has to have an outlet somewhere…right? (and please…refrain from any “tapping” innuendo jokes).
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