Tag Archives: CrankyOldGuy

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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New Tunnel – The Great Monorail Fix Is In…Mostly

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I hesitate to say anything negative about “this wonderful game of ours” for fear of bringing out the “Love It or Leave It” crowd that was a tad bit vocal about my return as  contributor here.  Interestingly enough, I have received a number of emails coaxing me to “stop being so nice” and let my “Cranky” side fly, as they find it more entertaining, and honest.

However…this is Alissa’s place. And Alissa is nice. Very nice. But, admittedly even she wants me to be honest and pragmatic (within the confines of also being nice). Which brings us to the paradox at hand.

First of all, let me state unequivocally, “I love the monorail.”  It is in my less-than-humble-opinion, the best addition to the game, ever.  There are lovers and haters of the monorail. I am a lover, and really don’t understand the haters. But, that is the way it is in the world with most things. I am not a fan of chocolate ice cream. I don’t hate it, but it is waaaaaaaay down on my list of favorite flavors. So, when someone says “I love chocolate ice cream” I mostly just smile, while I order my cone of “Apple Pie Caramel Crunch.”  No harm. No foul.

However, I am pretty sure that both camps would agree, that if you ordered an ice cream cone, and the server placed the scoops just off to the side of the cone, barely out of reach of your ability to reach it with your tongue, and you just couldn’t get to the satisfaction that is so close you can almost taste it…but can’t…that you’d be pretty torqued off. It might become so frustrating, that you just say, “Forget this!! It’s too much trouble! I’ll just have a cookie! Who needs ice cream?”

And so it is with the monorail and the addition of the tunnels to the game which almost…but not quite…allow us to connect our monorails in Springfield proper and Springfield Heights easily.

Take a look…you’ll see what I mean. You might want to grab a couple of cookies and your favorite beverage…it is going to require you to have something sweet at the ready, as I may go a tad “un-sweet” in my description.
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Why the Supercollider and Black Hole are the Most Important Things in My Springfield

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There are many reasons why the Super Collider and the Mini Black Hole are two of my favorite aspects of TSTO…ever.

Ever is a long time…but, as we all know, time is relative. Ask Einstein. In fact, time is merely a construct of THIS space/time, and one of the things that bounds us all here, according to most who subscribe to the Standard Model of Physics.

And then there are those folks who are starting to come to the realization that there may in fact be more to the “spooky science” of quantum physics, and are beginning to unravel some of the “laws” that have been just a tad shaky from the beginning. Plank, Bohrs, Higgs, Schrödinger, and countless others, are those who realized that time, space, and our consciousness, may have more to do with aspects far outside of the “Standard Model” and traditional studies of atomic science. It’s in the sub-atomic world…where particles and waves can be the same, and actions beyond the constant of the speed of light, may be the standard, where things get really interesting.

Oh. And the constant fear that tinkering with the most basic elements by causing particle collisions at almost light speed, could open up a hole in the fabric of the universe, which would suck our entire existence into another dimension almost instantly.

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A Balanced Tapper’s Life…And the Rewards are FREE!

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Let’s be honest…you can only spend so much time each day Tapping, even during a major update! As many of us have discovered, even in the most frantic of update periods (when one first hits) the real secret to “Getting It All” runs in fairly obvious 4-Hour Cycles. This has been the case for the last 4 major updates, and in some ways have made it possible to “Get It All” without having to “Tap It All the Time.”

We have been able to maximize our ROT (Return On Tapping) by doing the math of the calendar events, and then be able to divide out the Tapping Time for the best ROT.  Tapping every four hours leaves a lot of time for doing other things outside of the Padular World of TSTO.

With a NEW UPDATE Rumored to hit very soon, it begs the question, What Do YOU Do Outside of Your TSTOTapping Time (TTT)?

I have written about this before, but the fact is, there is never a better time than right now to start “Living Wide” as it pertains to your daily Tapping Rituals.

Here are some of the things I do, when I am not tapping (and no…please no double-entendres on the word “tapping”).

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