Tag Archives: CrankyOldGuy

EPPP Confidential – The Final Chapter?

Note from Alissa: Remember this is part 5 in a 5 part story. If you’re confused go back and read parts 1-4. You can find part 1 here2 here3 here, and 4 here.  

Well…after weeks of speculation…we finally know.

What we know is mostly what we don’t know, or will never know. But, I am happy to reveal the final chapter of what I DO know…at least as far as I can, without breaking my NDA.

Jeanene got herself into this. We know that. Was she justified in her actions? Nobody likes to be disrespected. And certainly she was.  But, when you go to the lengths for personal revenge, placing the best interests of TSTO and EA in second and third place behind our own emotions…bad things are bound to happen.

But, being penitent and becoming a true “team player,” can have their rewards. 
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When Fate, Timing, and Questions of a Lull Get Answers From “The Source.”

There are times in life, when all of the stars align, and some amazing “no way!” situations, turn into “Holyfreakinshirt I can’t believe that happened” reality. This weekend was exactly that kind of a weekend. And no, I’m not talking about the amazing “Lazarus back from the dead,” return of Tiger Woods…but that was cool too.

But Friday night, my stars were working overtime, and the timing could not have been better.

I reluctantly agreed to attended the 150th Sesquicentennial (150th) celebration of my wife’s high school, Lincoln High School, in Portland, Oregon. From the aspect of a “reunion” of living class members with ages ranging into their 90s, down to current kid performers (yes…the choir and the dance team performed) it was predictable in it’s overpriced finger food and drink, long list of former teachers and administrators, as well as local celebrities.

You have to know that Portland has always been a bit “weird” and actually takes pride in that title. Before the “surprise guest” was announced, the  biggest alumni names were a handful of current mayors (Lincoln has had a bunch), and one of the most infamous cross-dressers in the country, the irrepressible Darcelle, who is 89 years old, and still looks “fabulous!”

But then, the night, and all of my prospects changed, when the “Key Note Speaker” was announced as, “Special Guest, Cartoonist, Matt Groening.”

Deb grabbed my arm. I grabbed my cell phone. She said, “Oh my God! You have to get a…” But, I was already snapping pics and video, while working my way toward a place where I could get close to his stage exit location for a chat.

Yes. I was “fan geeking.” But, I didn’t care. This was Matt freakin’ Groening, and I was going to ASK HIM THE QUESTION…
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Friday Filler – Making the Most Out of Meh…

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

So… this was it? rEAlly EA?  Way to alleviate the speculation about the game winding down and going away.  Not!

All this silly retread did was increase the speculation that you are “outta gas” in the idea department, and are too timid to just be honest enough about where you are leading us.

We haven’t heard “peep one,” out of our so-called Game Engagement Liason (you know who you are, John).  We see him hovering on the forum, and in the “secret chat rooms” where all of the TSTO Illuminati hang.  But, no emails. No returned messages…just complete “radio silence.”

So, we wait around for weeks…after a couple of relatively lame mini-updates, for this? Come on. This COULD HAVE BEEN GREAT!  The episode on which it is based is beloved. It was even entered into the Baseball Hall of Fame!

This update will get no such accolades. Trust me on that.

But, there were a couple of minor perks that made at least the first couple of days endurable. Let’s take a look at what you could do to turn “Meh,” into “S’allright.”
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Friday Filler- Finding Shelbyville

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Let’s start with a reminder.  This game, the show, and all of the “definitive guides” that are offered up in the pantheon of Simpsons lore, is just that…lore.

It’s made up by people who either work every waking hour to unravel the mysteries of a specific topic, so as to become an “expert,” (or become conspiracy theorists and get talk shows), or they are just well-meaning fans that have their opinions about where things are, and how they work, in a world that is completely malleable…because it’s all made up.

That said…we now have yet one more cluster of items to add to our own self-imagineered towns…the much anticipated, much desired, much sought after, Shelbyville!

And if we are all honest…it landed with a bit of a, “Is that all there is? Thud!”

But, to continue on with a mild debate about “Where things are, if you are following “Simpsons Canon” we have a couple of important pieces of archived evidence, that may, or may not help you decide “Where’s Shelbyville?” 
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Friday Filler – Hippies, Trains, and Records

Uhm….Like…Groovy!  Far Out! And…THANK GROG IT’S FIRDAY!

I have to admit it…this first “chapter/act” of this event really hit my old funny bone!  Emphasis on old!

It is hilarious when things close to home are parodied in a way that makes you scream out, “HEY! I KNOW THOSE TWO!!” so loudly that it startles the wild turkey’s in the front yard to take cover.  And man…did the return of Ned’s parents ever do that.

But, then…I saw the animations…and screamed out, “WHOA!!! Twirly Dancin’ to the Vinyl!!!” which didn’t make much sense to anyone within ear-shot, but would have made a ton of sense to half of the people wandering around downtown Eugene, on any given weekend, during the Saturday Market. Because, at the SatMa (as nobody in Eugene calls it), you will find more twirly dancin’ and lovin’ for all things retro (including some of the twirly dancers), along with a bunch of booths and gawkers and free lovers, all trying to get back to the “good old days.”

Then, I realize once again, as Carly Simon used to sing, “These ARE the good old days!” Which is confusing…as she sang those words almost 50 years ago…and the only real “Anticipation” is wondering, “that if all that is old is now new again, is it also better?” In other words, are we anticipating that things were better, or are we just forgetting the way they were?

Let’s dive in. Ned’s parents are the touchstone…for all that is old/new/and reborn…
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Friday Filler – EA Going Too Far For Cheap Christmas Laughs?

Thank Grog It’s Firdday!

I was taught by my Dad, that if you have bad news, or some criticism to deliver, you always start with something nice first!  My Dad was a great guy that way…

So, I’ll start by saying that I rEAlly enjoyed the Christmas Event. As in, rEAlly!  That’s right…I’m giving credit where it is due.  Nice, short event. LOADS of storylines and content…with a very nice smattering of free  content and prizes!

So…what could I possibly dislike about this event?
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Friday Filler- When Old Really Is Better, Or At Least Wiser…

It’s amazing. Really amazing. I don’t feel like I’m a bona-fide senior citizen, even though the math is clearly stating it to be so.  When you are officially on the Government dole, like I will be in a couple of days, you have to look back at your life and wonder, “Hey…how did I get here?”

But, then…you find yourself starting to whine about things that even the most learned Gen-EXers and Millennials would simply ignore, mostly because they have no freakin’ clue what I am talking about.

It happened again in the past few days.  A handful of stuff in our game that made me say, “Holyfreakinshirt! Don’t they know nothin’ about nothin’???”

One was a matter of scale, again…but also the realization that most people wouldn’t have a clue about what I LIKED about the thing that was way too small. (I know…that sounded like  a set up to a dirty joke).

The other had to do with EA besmirching a game I love, along with one of it’s most hallowed, legendary, players.

And, how they missed a chance to do something pretty cool for the New Year…that would help mark a 50th anniversary of a year that  would make this one seem like a cakewalk (even though the cake probably has a few contraband ingredients that would make it less than appetizing for all but true cake-a-holics).

I’m gonna be 65 on New Year’s Day.  So…let me whine a bit. I’m officially old.  Get off my lawn! Nah…it’s OK. You can come on the lawn if you bring cake.
But man…that aircraft carrier really gets me going!
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Friday Filler – Knowing When a Problem is rEAlly a Problem

I’m not really sure why the outcry from this event hit me so hard.  I’m not usually one to react emotionally about comments on this blog. But, this time…well…I admit that I lost it.

I mean...really lost it.  Like throwing the phone across the room, lost it. I mean, the kind of lost it that makes people step away…far away…until you settle down and stop laying on the floor, in a quivering mass…

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Friday Filler – When Life Gives You Lemons…Dealing With Glitches

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

I mean it. Sheesh! What a week.

This is the kind of week that requires you to have some perspective…and maybe make hard choices…and adapt.  Or, if you choose to really internalize and personalize the situation, just “break up,” and walk away.

Neither solution is ideal.  But, then again…life is like that. Especially when you start to get older, and life throws you curve balls that you weren’t counting on. The lesson here? Adapt, perish, or walk away.

Wait…are we still talking about the game? Oh. Right. Yes. The Game, and the multiple glitches that are becoming more and more prevalent.

Let’s take a look at the options you have…not just as a player, but as a person.
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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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