Tag Archives: The Simpsons

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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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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Surprise! It’s Been Five Months…

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The package arrived in the early hours of morning, with slush and ice still doing their best to make the UPS driver’s life a  frozen hell. As there has been a crazy confluence of delayed Christmas deliveries recently, due in part to the horrible weather and an obviously overwhelmed Amazon and UPS/FedEx/US Postal staff (who from what I can tell, mostly work for Amazon these days anyway) I wasn’t surprised to get a delivery this late after the holidays.

Between Christmas, my birthday on New Year’s Day, and our 35th Wedding Anniversary on the 9th, there have been any number of reasons for my overworked UPS guy (who stubbornly wore shorts until the weather dropped into the low 20s), to show up with a package at my “home office.”

But, this one was different. I could sense it from the minute I picked it up. As I touched the box, there was an instant burst of cognition emanating from it that made me realize that my life was going to change for the better.  It seemed to glow in the light, with a luminescence that pulsed with a sense of possibilities for the coming year (or perhaps my vision swirled due to the extra 2 cups of coffee and having over-nuked the last of the Christmas cinnamon rolls that had reached a full week past the “best eaten by” label,” that I had consumed minutes before).

Whatever the reason for the halcyon glow,  I could tell this was something that was clearly “unexpected” and magical!
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Snow, Snow Go Away…Come Again Another Update…

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I love the snow. Let’s not forget this point, as you read the rest of this lament about snow.  I love the way our Springfield’s, and for that matter, our actual, real-life, towns look, when they are cloaked in a layer of beautiful, white, freshly fallen snow.

There is something magical about the quiet…the way snow insulates and dulls the sounds in the early morning when you first get up.  It is peaceful, beautiful, and often times rewards children (and teachers) with a “snow day,” to frolic, relax, and have fun.

In short…snow is wonderful!

Until it isn’t…
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Homer’s Quest for Enlightenment In Four Parts

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Before we start this journey, I would like to ask those of you who despise anything that isn’t “directly game related” to turn away…go farm KEMs or simply just save yourself some time and emotional distress.  This is meant for the REST of you, who in a “grinding period” (as we are now) may be looking for a little insight, fun, and metaphysical diversion.

Fair enough? (Although I hate that phrase…something is either fair, or it isn’t).

This update/event has been one of the craziest, most divisive updates in recent memory, and for reasons that the programmers and writers could scarcely have imagined.  OK. Hold on. Who are we kidding here? They knew it was going to incite some discussion, and some controversy, but most likely didn’t expect such clear division between “isms” from the players. So many “isms” choose from…and so few answers.

But, as it is playing out, Homer has continued to lead us all on a spiritual quest for enlightenment (whether we wanted to go down some of the paths or not).  And in the final chapter (is there ever actually a “final” chapter as it pertains to everlasting life?) it’s mostly meant to be just, plain, fun.

Let’s break down Homer’s journey…

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TSTO – a 2016 Tapping Year In Review

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Initially, I was pleased that Alissa tasked me with writing the “Year in Review” post. And then I realized that as more of a “Critical Review” that takes into account the good and the bad, it is actually easier for someone who is opinionated to write it. Alissa is very nice…and for the most part wants everyone to get along and be happy.  I don’t mind that some (many/most) people may not agree with everything I write. I get it. These are personal opinions at best, as we have found out in this Holiday/Winter/Christmas/Pagan event.

Let’s face it. There are some people who LOVE everything that EA does (they don’t call him HappyTapper for nothing!). And others that are a tad more critical (I will refrain from naming names at this point).  But, we all experience the same updates in the same way, through our own Tapping Lenses…which makes all of this subjective at best.

So…taking into account that this overview is just my opinion, and that you are perfectly free to disagree with me (although I secretly want you to agree with me so I feel ratified and relevant), LET’S LOOK BACK ON THE YEAR THAT WAS… IN TSTO.
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The Best Gift of All…And A Special Thank You Gift

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First…let me start by saying that Alissa isn’t aware of this post. I’m sneaking it in, and hope that you all understand why by the end of what I am going to write here.

After what has clearly been one of the most contentious years in many decades, I think we are all breathing a slight sigh of relief that at least during the next few days, no matter how or what you celebrate this time of year, can be yours to embrace and savor.  I personally, love the Christmas season. At the age of of almost 63 (on New Year’s Day), it is absolutely impossible to target any single Christmas memory as “the best ever.”  Choosing a favorite Simpson’s Christmas episode is difficult enough…and there are only a handful of them.

What I do know, is that my favorite two movies this time of year, both of which we watch faithfully with the kids every Christmas Eve, are “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” and the Goerge C. Scott version of “A Christmas Carol.”  For me, the reason they resonate so strongly, is that they are both stories of men gone astray, and then finding salvation and a second chance for redemption.

I can honestly say that I have had far more second chances in life than any man deserves.  But, part of that gift is understanding when one has been handed to you, and knowing to appreciate it.

I had exactly one of those “Chances for Redemption” this year…
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