Category Archives: Friday Filler

Friday Filler – EA’s 10 Best Game-Changing Innovations

Thank Grog It’s Firday…

As we are coming off of a truly odd mini-update, I’m going to change things up a bit.  I’m going to go WAY out of character, and actually do a post that praises EA.

I know! So weird!!! 

About as weird as Mr. Burns using his pacemaker to mine BurnsCoin?  Ah…come on…who would be THAT weird?  Oh. Right. EA and the Gracie writers. It is bad enough that they have Maggie in a position to shoot Mr. Burns (again), or that Smithers is a suspect because Mr. Burns is being too nice. But, that final twist? Just. Plain. Weird.

However…in the spirit of this post, I will admit that the sundial animation is fun…and the Sun Blocker?  Pretty cool! Although it would be nice if it was more than a 5 second “eclipse of the heart” (sorry…couldn’t resist!).

But, again…before I start getting picky…on to Ten Great Innovations that EA has made to TSTO over the years.

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Friday Filler – The Trouble with Interpreting Stereotypes with Google Translate


Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

This has been a wild week for the “Crankster” and his extended family! As I may have mentioned, I am in New Jersey, visiting the latest addition to my Patric Miller Progeny, one Jacob (Jake) Patric McGuire, who is a heart-breaker already!

I will post pics after the fold…for those who love cute baby pictures. Because…this kid is adorable by any standard! Yes. I am biased…but, he is also grandson #6, so I have a pretty clear metric for measuring “adorable.”  He is. Period.

Getting away from the insanity of the worldview of day-to-day has been an amazing blessing, at a time when it seems that almost every possible thing that seems relatively harmless, isn’t.  Or, at least has come into the cross-hairs of a group that is “offended” by something or another. The Simpsons have been in the news over the past couple of weeks. It has been interestingly “cringe-worthy” on a couple of levels.

And then…in the middle of it all…I was contacted by a TSTO reader/fan from France…who seemingly refuses, or is incapable, of emailing to me in English. I get it. If I was trying to write to him in French, there could be all sorts of mistakes made. Thank Grog for Google Translate (I think)!  It helped me unravel a whole range of questions that needed closer examination, and perhaps a couple that beg the question of, “should I be flattered or offended?

It started out with this reader sending me some 3-D examples of his town…

Let’s take a look…

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Friday Filler – When EA Bores You- A Master Class in 3-D

I guess if you saw the last Addicts Live, you realize that I am not a fan of this last Act.  If there was ever an argument for shorter, 2-Act events, this…is…it.

There was such a lack of continuity in this final mix-mash of content, that I kept looking up from my padular device to scream, “where ARE we????”  This of course alarmed my wife to no end, as I am approaching the age where someone who may be showing signs of CTE from too much football and rugby, may very well forget where he was occasionally.

“You don’t get it! They are giving us stuff from the Caribbean, and then a couple of casinos that aren’t part of the other casinos which might be in Miami, or Cuba…and then we go to the Hague!!!  THE HAGUE!!!! They never really went to the Hague!! And then there is a skinny version of a fat guy who ISN’T the fat guy...it’s all so confusing!!

By this time, my wife as banished me to the adult version of “time out,” which is going into the living room, and leaving my padular device on the table, while she checks the browser history.

So…yes…now I am bored. I have once again finished the event with LOADS of time to spare…and have earned a ton of bonuts…without anything I really want to spend them on from this event.

So…what to do…what to do?  Maybe create something out of nothing?? Create something WAY cooler than anything EA is giving us this event…out of a bunch of clutter from other events?  BOOM! Let’s Go 3-D-ing!

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Friday Filler – London Calling and More Town Tours

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I have to admit, I have enjoyed Act II of this over-extended, insanely grind-tastic event.  Mostly for selfish reasons. It has actually created some serious conversations between my wife and I about taking a “once in a lifetime” (actually twice) trip to Europe, before we croak.

As of late, the vast majority of our time and treasure has been dedicated to our kids, as in 5 college educations, 4 weddings (one to go) and a ton of travel to “see the kids” who are spread out all over the place, North, South, East and Northwest. Add grandkids (one due any minute!), and you have additional reasons to make your travel time, “family time.”  There’s nothing wrong with that. But does lack a bit of variety (even though we turned one into a 9.600 mile, 30-day cross country trip a couple of summers ago).

But…we both did extended trips to Europe when we were young. For me…that was almost 50 years ago. I hear a lot has changed in 50 years… When I went, there was still a Berlin Wall…a Communist help Czechoslovakia, and a ton of debris left over from 2 world wars. So…yes…change is good!

When we began our “world tour” in TSTO, it got me wishing that could go back again, and see some of our favorite spots, as well as check a few boxes off of the “I really want to see that…”  list that has grown over the years. I want to return to the British Isles, including Ireland (at least 2 weeks) and Deb wants to return to Spain and Italy, while adding France and Denmark into the mix for extended family. I also want to tour some WWI battlefields in France and Belgium, and want to go to Austria, Germany and Switzerland again. So…yes…this would be a HUGE, long trip, which we will have to wedge in between a trip to Uganda, another wedding, and who knows how many more grandkids. Retirement?  Pfffffffftttttttttttt… not gonna happen.

But in the meantime, I can visit the imaginative towns and places that have cropped up as a result of my “Town Tours” feature, started a couple of weeks back.  This week, I’m focusing on a couple more “Friends of Ebron,” as well one of my favorite neighbors, and a look at my own English homage.
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Friday Filler – Town Tours and To Jack or Not to Jack?

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I don’t know about you, but I am flying through this Act, and am almost done with the prize track. Yes…I have several of the Premium Peeps (5) earning, and yes…I immediately maxed out the Bonus 20% on my Tower. So, that made it EAsier by a long shot.

But, that did open me up to a philosophical dilemma as it pertained to one, “Jack. The. Ripper.” in our towns.  From what Alissa says (and checking the comments), this may be one of the most divisive characters to come to our little burgs in the history.  Even more so than Nixon…or Dracula…or Herman, or…well a ton of others that seemed controversial at the time.  I pulled the rip cord on our Ripper, but mostly for selfish reasons.

I’ll get into my decision on Jack, along with a look at at another outstanding new neighbor’s town…and believe me, the “Gold Standard” may have shifted…or at least been expanded.
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Friday Filler on Thursday- Kicking Off a New Regular Feature – Town Tours


Thank Grog It’s Firday
…er…uhm…Turday?

Because we know that Act II is going to hit tomorrow, and we didn’t want this to get lost in the clutter of new posts about Act II (including the Calendar!), we are doing the Friday Filler on Thursday…which kind of kills the thrill of the work week being over. But, hey…I could just treat it like a Friday and start to “Get My Grog On” early!  Sounds like a plan!

As intimated (briefly) in the last Friday Filler, I am going to start featuring some short videos to showcase some of the best of the best, in designing and innovative use of their tapping time.  I was besieged (in a nice way) with replies…and had to remove the call to submit after only a few hours.  But, I will continue doing this for the foreseeable future, as I LOVE seeing people that actually put time and effort into their designs (No PLOPPERS PLEASE). It also inspires me to make changes and additions to my own town.

So, let’s dive in. I think you are going to be amazed.
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Friday Filler – A Primo Video and My Family In The Mob

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Well…good ol’ EA has brought us a whole new bunch of characters guaranteed to offend. As I have said in tons of other posts,  EA/Gracie are equal opportunity offenders when it comes to making fun of cultures…and this one is loaded with ways to be offended, if you take the time to do so.

I don’t.

I guess it’s because I realize that the Simpsons have always been based on lampooning virtually every aspect of our lives in some way. So, unless they come up with a Cranky Old Gray-Haired, Fat Guy who is a TSTO blogger that laughs at anyone who takes the game too seriously, I won’t be offended.

That said, you have to admire a group who has no issue making fun of motor cycle gangs, religious figures, the mob and even the Pope…because they clearly aren’t in fear of retribution.

I was equally delighted to get Primo (who is a stereotype of a stereotype of Italian mob gumbas) and the Pope (who makes me roll on the floor laughing when he vapes a cross while “begin cool”).  They are both hilarious…and helps remind us to not take everything so seriously.

This is great…until real life comes into play, and someone gets whacked. My family has a story about this exact reality…
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Friday Filler – Time Management, KEM Farming and “Springfield Jobs” Tips

So…here we are again looking at a “grind-fest” for  the next 7 weeks.  There are a variety of ways to look at it…and yes, my initial reaction is “WTF????” (Why the Face?) EA??? And then, as I look at all of the stuff you can earn, and knowing that after succumbing to Safi’s version of “Casual KEM Farming,” I find myself not being nearly as stressed.  The fact is…when you play on “House Money,” you don’t freak out if you “lose.”  And KEM farming is definitely “house money.”

Yes. I have argued that the investment of time just isn’t worth the grind to do KEM farming super proficiently. And the fact is, I am still on the fence over a couple of the issues one faces when trying to become a “SUPER FARMER.”  But, as you will see…if you want to get more than enough Bonuts to get the stuff you want, over the course of even 7 weeks…EA has made it pretty easy, because THEY have set the grind…but, WE get to set the “how much of a grind.”

Let’s take a look at maximizing your time…and answering the question, “How do I have a life and get it all????”

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Friday Filler – The Question About Land Use and Item Limits

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Well…let’s face it…if I tried to play the “I’m so wiped out” card again, you would start putting my pleas into the “CrankyOldGuy who whined” box and just ignore me. The fact is, I am tired…but it is all about the tail end of this freakin’flu and not anything to do with the game.   This mini-event has been a breeze, and I finished it all on Tuesday. I’m enjoying the time off to design…when EA isn’t messing with me.

This has also given me a ton of time to ponder some of the biggest questions about our game, and the weird new way in which EA is doling out land.  As you will see (by way of my new screen-grab app and editing tools), I have loads of one…and a dearth of another.

Let’s dive into Land Use Planning 101…
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Friday Filler – What’s REALLY Behind The Ads On This Site

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I mean it. I am really, really glad that it is Firday…as I really, really, really need a(nother) drink.  Lucky for us, this latest update is ALL about drinking, and carousing, and getting pounded…as is our right to do!  It is protected by our Constitution…right?  Or it was…until it wasn’t…and then was again. No wonder Homer feels the need to make his own bathtub gin.

But, the real reason that I am in need of some liquid diversion, is that yet once again, someone(s) decided it was important to “school us” on the annoying nature of the ads that pop up when you use this site.  And while Alissa is generally more inclined to try to explain the “why we use WordPress” and why we have ads to help pay the freight in a nice way… I am more inclined to revert to my CrankyOldGuyness…and remind people that NOTHING is free. Nothing.

This game isn’t free (although you can play for free if you are willing to not place any value on your time).  This site isn’t free (although the advice and entertainment we dispense doesn’t cost you a nickle). And, being part of a community isn’t free, even though you do have the option of sitting in the corner and just taking the assets that are offered by others, without contributing.

But, even more important…there is a true VALUE on what those “annoying ads” provide to the team here, as well as many, many others who benefit.

This is the chance to just move on…or perhaps treat the rest of this post like you would an “ad blocker,”  (which is always an option if you are annoyed by ads).  Because, I am about to be really, really, really honest about why we do what we do…and for whom.
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