Author Archives: Patric

Destination Springfield – Calendar Act III

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Well, here we are…in the final act of what some are saying is the BEST UPDATE (of the year).  I get it. It has been fun…and I think that seeing the world outside of our Springfield’s.

The fact is, it has been pretty darn EAsy to get everything in the first two acts, and from what I’m seeing in the numbers, Act III isn’t going to be any different. Bonuts?  That is another story…but I guess we’ll have to see…right?

Let’s take a look at the numbers!
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Where Did THAT Come From? – Mr. Sparkle

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Because of his burgeoning school schedule, Wookster asked me to take a whirl at a “Where Did That Come From?” on Mr. Sparkle (aka Misutā Supākoru if you want the Japanese version).

I have to admit, that as I was just coming back from a 3-day trade show in Seattle, and was suffering serious “screen eyes” from trying to play the game, while working, shooting video, and doing “business meetings” with potential clients that went in the wee hours.  So, I was tempted to make the answer really concise…and just say, “Japan.” 

But, as there seems to be no end of the excitement for this odd, yet beloved sub-character in our games, I will do my best to get “deeper” into the origins of our favorite Japanese advertising mascot, “Mr. Sparkle” (with a huge assist from the crib notes that Wookie sent with his email request).

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When A Couch Gag Isn’t Just a Couch Gag

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What has become increasingly evident over more than 600 episodes, is that the “Couch Gag” has often taken on a status that can actually outshine the rest of the episode.  Like Saturday Night Live, the opening segment is often the best part of the show. There have been loads of “guest directors” for the couch gags, with some providing simply amazing sequences in their scope and creativity.

I won’t weigh in on whether this week’s couch gag (S28E14) outshines the rest of the episode (I’ll leave that for another time).  But, I WILL say, that I do like it when “The Simpsons,” which has clearly earned “revered old man” status in the pantheon of Prime Time animated shows, flexes a bit and takes the competition down a peg or two.

But, there is also an inside bit of humor that made me laugh. For Matt Groening, I suspect that part of this couch gag was a personal swipe at a family member.

Let’s see what you think…
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Destination Springfield – World Traveler Edition

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One of the most interesting aspects of having a blog that is truly international is the fact that the readers are…well…truly international! It’s an amazing fact to know that TSTO blogs like this are read in more than 110 countries around the world. Yes, there are surely “pockets of extreme tapperage” going on in certain locations (New Jersey as Blog Central comes to mind), but there is far more to this particular update than meets the eye at first (or even second or third) glance.

There is a certain irony that we are being tasked to send travelers across the globe in our games while actual world travel is becoming a “bit more complicated” to put it nicely. But as always, we will leave the politics to other radicalized sources of propaganda (FaceBook), and celebrate the amazing diversity of players/readers we have here.

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Simpsons Around The World Calendar – Act II

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I think by now we have all figured out that the initial panic associated with the printing of the calendar is unfounded.  It really just takes logging on every 4 hours, for days on end, with no relief, to get everything you want (if that includes earning Bonuts).

I think you will find that Act II is achievable and believable, which is the benchmark of setting any reasonable goal (if you believe the motivational strategies of the  Power of Positive Thinking guru, W. Clement Stone).

So..BELIEVE IT…and ACHIEVE IT!!
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Is Al Jean an Alien from the Future?? The answer will make you Gaga!

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I’m not one to mince words. The Super Bowl did NOT turn out the way I had hoped it would. It has been one of those years. Almost none of my “hopes and dreams” have gone the way I had hoped or dreamed this past few months (at least the Cubs won the World Series!).  But this Super Bowl put the icing on the cake. What was a “sure thing” at halftime, turned into the biggest turn-around-come-from-behind-victory in Super Bowl history.   And not the way I was hoping.

The only good thing, is that the Ugh-boot-skinny-jeans-wearing (some would add cheater) Tom Brady is being asked to retire now by his super-model wife. One can hope.

BUT…in the midst of this debacle, was one of the most amazing half-time shows ever.  It was insanely entertaining, with Lady Gaga starting off by singing “God Bless America” from the top of the stadium, and then jumping off into mid-air in with a harness…suspended from cables…to finally land on the stage below, where she KILLED it. 

It was amazing…and eerily familiar.

No…I’ve never done that. I look silly in spandex and sparkles. But as amazing as it was, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had seen it before…

THEN IT HIT ME!!!

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Where Did THAT Come From – Osaka Flu – With a General Warning About The Flu

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There are certain things in life that are so ironic, they make me wonder if there really is such a thing as coincidence, or if there is an old man in the sky, with a huge finger, who waits for the right time to give himself a chuckle, while messing with my life.

And then I think, “No…it’s all in your mind. The mind is a powerful tool as it relates to psychosomatic illness, and this itchy throat and runny nose CAN’T have anything to do with getting the Osaka Flu in TSTO.”

And then I sneeze…covering my computer screen and keyboard with millions, if not billions of tiny germ globules, that has me feverishly (wait…does my head feel warm?) reaching for the disinfectant spray and Purell.

The flu is like that. Marge found out the hard way…and ended up doing hard time because of it. Me? I just became obsessed with trying to figure out the answer to “why we get the flu?” and if there is any real reward in “curing” our characters who are infected in TSTO.

The answers may make you feel a bit queasy…
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Maximizing Your Return on Tapping- A Pragmatic Math Guide

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As always seems to happen with these major events, confusion, panic and excitement are the order of the day, until we step back and take a breath, and take a long, hard look, at the basic math involved.  What I am always going for, is what I call, “Return On Tapping” or ROT.  This is the best method to use, which requires the least amount of effort, to maximize the return for your time. It is my credo for a happy life.

In short…you want to do what earns you the most, by doing the least. And it seems in every update these days, there are some patterns that emerge that make “getting everything” far EAsier!

Let’s take a look at what we are trying to accomplish, and what method provides the best ROT.
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Around The World Event- Act I Calendar

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Ah…every great world traveler needs a calendar to help you plan your next stop, stay on track, and keep earning your Hotels.com rewards! I know…Deb and I did a 9,600 mile, 23 state, cross-country driving trip this past summer…in just 30 days.  Staying on track allowed us to meander and enjoy the trip. And THAT is the goal of having a calendar for these huge events!

And…like trying to cover that much territory in 30 days, sometimes the numbers can be daunting. I’m not going to lie…this one seems a bit tough to hit all of the road-markers to collect all of the primary prizes. But, I suspect there will be some surprises, daily rewards, and all sorts of ways that EA will EAse the anxiety!

Let’s Take A Look!

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Is New Year’s Over-Celebrated? The view from a CrankyOldGuy

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Here we go again…another way to celebrate New Years on a different date, with yet more traditions that beg the question, “Why???”  What’s so great about another new year when it doesn’t even fall on New Year. Unless it does…but does it?

Let’s start by making the distinction between those who celebrate the New Year with the start of the Gregorian Calendar and those who apparently have never met Greg, and are willing to celebrate willy-nilly (with no real deference to Groundskeeper Willie), on random dates that are somewhere in between other dates, yet to be determined by the sun and the moon.

Case in point. The current update which is celebrating the Chinese New Year…which follows the Lunar Calendar and is actually called Yuan Tan and can happen anytime between mid-January and mid-February. It can last up to 15 days (undoubtedly using soup as its main food group) and culminates in the exchange of money in red envelopes for good luck.  Nothing says “lucky” like soup and money. But, as I am writing this, my wife has reminded me that the soup is actually Wonton, and NOT Yuan Tan, but the money part is accurate, even though the day it is celebrated every year changes. See why I’m confused?

But there’s more to this New Year’s mess….MUCH more!
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