Tag Archives: CrankyOldGuy

Happy Hump Day – Let the Holidays Begin! Black Friday Edition

“Back in the Day,” (when TSTOAddicts, TSTOFriends, TSTOTips, and yes…even TSTOTopix) were all struggling to get “audience share” in what was then known as “the Great TSTO Blog-O-Sphere,” I used to write regularly for both TSTOTips (that is a long story of intrigue, mayhem, and backchannel espionage, because 4 years ago today, TSTOFriends hadn’t even launched yet), as well as TSTOAddicts.  For TSTOAddicts, I wrote three regular weekly posts, “ManicMonday,” “HumpDay” and “TGIF.” That was a loooooooooooooong time ago. And of course, we all know the sordid tale of how Alissa ended up being the “Godmother of TSTO” and TSTO Addicts came out on top as the de-facto “Legit Leading Syndicate” of TSTO Blogs. We are all better tappers for the journey…The right blog came out on top! 

If you don’t know all of the history…tough beans.  We aren’t going to rehash it all again.  Most of those who were in the middle of the “Great Blog-O-Sphere Wars of 2013″ are swimming with the fishes, or have skulked off into some corner of the ” TSTO Dark Web” (TSTO message boards, Facebook pages, Reddit, the Forum, or in the case of Ryan, got a real life!).  They now spend most of their time talking among themselves, to further mythologize their roles in the early TSTO history, or whine (through text messages or subtle comments on blog posts), when one of us who was actually on the inside, gets too chippy. But, I digress…

It’s HUMP DAY (also known as Wednesday…the day you get over the hump for the work week), and I am here to offer some helpful tips in making your Black Friday Sales Shopping EAsier!

I bring up the “history” of the “Blog-O-Sphere” because in TSTO terms, we have been tapping and blogging FOR AN ETERNITY.  If a human year equals seven “Dog Years,” then there has to be fifteen TSTO years in a human year…which means in TSTO Years, we have been blogging for well over 60 years (which ironically, crosses over into my human age, of “soon-to-be-64”).  What any of this means, is that we have been around the block for ALL of the TSTO Black Fridays and know our way around the BEST DEALS, that offer the BEST VALUES, for the BEST PRICES!!
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Friday Filler – Becoming a Scofflaw With TSTO Item Limits

Thank Grog it’s Firday!

I have to admit, that when I saw that EA had raised the limit on items you can place in your town, froqm 10,300 to 10,400, I laughed. As in laughed out loud…LOL!

I had just received a “BUILDING WARNING” that I currently had 9,800 items, and that it could create “performance issues” with my game. Pfffftttt….

Come on. I’m old…but, I’m not so old that I have “performance issues” with any part of my game!

Oh. Wait. That’s right…they were talking about TSTO.

But, even as it pertains to TSTO, I have been around the block enough to know that they always raise the limits…because they HAVE to. Why? Because they keep giving us so much clutter in every update, that we are forced to “place or store” countless digital baubles, and if they don’t raise the limits…the truly dedicated players would simply quit.

I have to admit…knowing this has turned me into a bit of a TSTO Scofflaw! (one who scoffs at the law).  But, this isn’t the only aspect of my life where I am prone to ignore the rules. I’m a renegade…a rule breaker…a guy who lives on the edge!
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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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The Missing Nuances of TSTO –vs- The Simpsons and Real Life

So…let’s just go with the fact that a lot of you don’t watch the Simpsons. You may have at one point, or perhaps can’t see it in real time where you live (outside of the United States), or simply came to TSTO because you love games and gaming.  And, let’s also be clear that while Wookie and others may see it as “the Best Show Ever,” it doesn’t always hit on all cylinders (like last week’s episode…argh).

However, as a life-long Simpson’s fan, I loved, and continue to love the show because it is so much more than just a bunch of gags, or “Eat My Shorts” set-ups.  It is a show with pathos, and true love between a family that is really no more dysfunctional than most average modern families.

This is a point that is often lost in the game of TSTO, simply because the dialogue is oftentimes not remotely derivative from the script of the actual show that the update was “based upon.”

Case in point… the “Rommelwood Academy” update, in  comparison to the episode on which it is supposedly based, “The Secret War of Lisa Simpson” (S8E25).

This is one time that TSTO really missed the mark.
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A Reality Check…the Best Prize of ALL!

Anyone from my old blog may remember that I am batso-crazy-pants for airplanes. No. Seriously…I love them. Especially the “two-winged variety.” 

How much?  Well…let’s just say that even though I was a “normal kid” in every other way, including being a good student, a musician, an above average athlete, and one of the “popular kids in school,”  I had a secret, that almost nobody but my immediate family knew about.  This is no joke.  My father, who was usually one of my biggest fans, and nicest guys ever, actually used to shake his head in disgust whenever he saw me “dressed as my alter-ego.”

But I didn’t care…I knew where I was, and who I was, and what my mission was…and nobody was going to talk me out of it.

Nobody…
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Live From the REAL Springfield- A Quest for the Truth Begins

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Over the years, one of the most hotly debated Simpsons topics has been, “Where is the REAL Springfield?”  Or at the very least…”Where is the Springfield that inspired Matt Groening to name the Simpson’s hometown, Springfield?”

It is a question that is asked of him at almost every Comic-Con press session. And after 27 years, that is a LOT of Comic-Cons.

However, as someone who “knows Matt”…or at least knows a lot of people who know Matt…or his sister…I feel that I can have a vetted and valid voice in the discussion, and have made it my life’s work (OK. That is a huge exaggeration…but it is an election year), to find out the answer!!

Now, I know that there are a ton of you out there who would like to lay claim to this honor. There are a TON of Springfield’s in the world.  Trust me. And if you don’t trust me, then take a look at this WIKI page.

That’s right. There are Springfields in every shape and size…across the entire world!! (or at least in places where they can pronounce the word “Springfield”).

But, as I will reveal over the course of several installments, I believe with my donut-fattened heart, that the REAL SPRINGFIELD is in Matt’s Home State (mostly) of OREGON!

Let the unraveling begin!!
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What Kind of a Tapper Are You? We want to know…

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In the realm of “gaming maturity,” TSTO should be an old codger, doddering on bandied legs toward the pudding line at the rest home lunch counter.  But, surprisingly, the game continues to reinvent itself and morph into new versions of its former self that appear to keep it fresh and alluring. For those of us who have “known” (not Biblically, but casually) TSTO since its birth, the changes have been dramatic, and obvious, harkening to a friend who shows up for a monthly dinner with a facelift, dyed hair, and a boob job, but still has that ring of familiarity that allows you to feel comfortable while feeling uncertain if they have “gone too far” in their quest to remain relevant to younger players.

To quote Booberella, “mmmm…boobs!”  No wait…that was Homer…or Moe…or me… but I digress…

The real thing that I notice as a TSTO blogger of three years, is not so much the changes in the game, but what I see as clear delineations in the players who play the game. The game has changed, no doubt about it. But, so have the players.

The game has gone from a very casual, some would say stilted and low-tech pace, to one that is based upon incessant, frantic, cadenced tapping that requires a sense of dedication for those who “want it all” without spending copious amounts of real money. What has become clear, is that many of the casual tappers have dropped out of the game, replaced by the super tappers who live, eat and breathe the game, perhaps to the detriment of their “Real Lives.”

The key question at this point may very well be, “What Is a Real Tapper’s Life Like?” and “If Tapping Takes Over the Majority of Your Waking Hours, Is Your Life Still Real?”

STOP…do not hit the “comment button” until you read the rest of this post. Really. Back away from your padular device and take a breath.  This isn’t an attack piece, or even an opinion piece…we really want to understand the changes that have happened in the game and the tappers of the game, so we can better serve both. OK?

Let’s take a look at the evolution of both…so we can understand where we are headed. If we understand you, and why and how you tap, we can figure out how to keep everyone happy…mostly…kinda…

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The Simpsons – The Best Television Show of All Time – Do You Agree?

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Let’s start with the assumption that almost nobody playing this game, is anything less than a huge Simpsons fan.  Yes. I know you are out there, those of the “I really don’t watch the show…I just like the game,” variety…or even those of you would argue that “The Simpsons is good, but it doesn’t stack up to Deep Space Nine!” But, I suspect you are in the minority.

However, once again, a pair of well-known media critics have written a book about the top 100 television shows of all time, and “The Simpsons” comes out on top!

The numbers speak for themselve. But surprisingly, the notion that “The Simpsons” is the “longest running television series” isn’t even close to being true.  While our favorite show is in fact, the longest-running animated American series,the  longest running American sitcom and the longest running scripted prime-time series, it’s 27-year run doesn’t even come close to the 68-year run of “Meet the Press.”

But, “The Simpsons” is a heck of a lot funnier…unless you count the times that Sarah Palin was on “Meet the Press.”

So, what makes “The Simpsons” so enduring? What keeps a show fresh well beyond the “expiration date” that most viewers would expect?

There are a lot of reasons… Let’s Take a Look!
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Driving Cross Country In TSTO Can Be a Confusing…

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As some of you may know, and perhaps even followed, my wife and I did a 30-day, 9,600 mile driving trip. As it is roughly 3,000 miles, coast to coast from Oregon to NYC, you can tell by the mileage that we did a bit of “meandering.”

What we really enjoyed most on our trip, was staying off of the Interstates as much as we could, and feeling the personality of each new town or region as we moved through it. There were some days that we went from High Desert, to the Mountains, to a Valley, and to an Ocean beach, in a single day (and that was just in Oregon!).  It was amazing…as each region, state and town has a unique flavor that set it apart from others, and left an impression of the people who live there, as they are shaped by the environment and topography of their geography and climate.

It occurred to me, that in my current Springfield layout, that “urban/update sprawl” is creating some pretty jarring transitions that would make an average traveler wonder if they have driven into some huge Orlando “Hands Across America” attraction…or had eaten a bad Peyote bean in their chili…

Add to this, that with the newest update, we may be slipping inside of a wormhole along the way, and transitioning not only through distance and space, but time!

TRIPPY!

The real question here is, “How Do You Make Sense of This in Your Springfield??”
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Should I Buy? Teleporters Bundle(s)

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It’s a rare thing indeed when I can write about something that I really, really, really, like…and use almost everyday…that isn’t a skin care product, analgesic cream, or delicious jelly or jam that goes on my morning toast.  I’ll let you sort out that sentence as far as which goes where. But the fact is, for me, this was a no-brainer.

I like to do things fast (even when I am going slow) and as I get older and older by the minute, I realize that time is our most important commodity (I call it Life Currency). So anything that saves you time, is worth its weight in gold. And even if those these little babies don’t weigh but a nano microgram (how much  do a handful of pixels weigh in subatomic particles??), they are super valuable as they pertain to “motating” your “Sky Finger” across vast stretches of your Springfield.

Let’s take a look.
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