Tag Archives: TSTO CrankyOldGuy

Friday Filler – Accepting The End, Before It’s the End


Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Except it isn’t…

Once again, I am forced to write this early, due to situations beyond my control…even though I did everything I could to control them. The fact is, there are some things you simply can’t control…only try to manage.

Some people say that 2020 may very well be the worst year in their lives.  I guess that depends on how long your life is.  Being old…with lots of life…I contend that 1968 still “wins” that distinction.  But, I have to admit, 2020 is rapidly coming up on the backstretch.  But in the end, there is simply no way to control the “final chapter” of any life.  You can try to plan, to help you manage what you predict to be true. But, in the end, “the end” will come when it comes…and you can bet that the one who is at the finish line, is never really prepared or willing to admit that this is really the end.

What I can say…is that those of us who play TSTO, have long predicted “The End” of the game…but as we have all witnessed, we have been wrong.  The game just keeps rising from the dead…or perhaps continues to be “resurrected” in some Lazarus form of “near death,” that befuddles and amazes everyone, except maybe Lazarus.

“The End” clearly is not here for TSTO.  In fact, we’re not even certain what “The End” would look like.  But when it comes to “The End,” there are a few things on which everyone must agree…
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Friday Filler – We’ve Never Needed Music More…

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

The world continues to sputter along with a cough, a sneeze and a wheeze, depending on where you are.  Oregon continues to deal with containing wildfires, the residual smoke, and an uptick in Covid cases…so we kind of have the “misery trifecta,” as the kids are going back to school…without actually going to school.  My wife, as a school counselor, who actually had to deal with a couple of their staff members getting Covid, is playing more roles than Peter Sellers in “Dr. Strangelove.”  (look it up…great movie for the current state of the world). Not a happy camper…mostly because she’d rather be camping!

But, hey…WE GOT AN UPDATE!

EA hasn’t forgotten about us. And while I am just a few clicks into it (OK…so yes…I rushed it a bit…), I can tell you that with the world doing its best to come apart at the seams, we could all use a little more traditional jazz!

I know. I know.  Jazz isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But, hear me out. There are almost as many kinds of jazz as there are musical tastes. And as Lisa and her “saxamaophone” are a standard in every show opening, it’s nice to see the music get a bit more sophisticated beyond “Band Practice” with Dewey Largo,  in every opening montage.

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Friday Filler – Living in a World of Diversion

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

OK. So…I will avoid politics, because frankly, this isn’t the place.  While we cling to TSTO and this place as a diversion from the “real world,” the fact is, the real world goes on, and on, and on…no matter how many new ways we cling to, hoping that “getting it all” with every update, will give us some sense of satisfaction.

People are suffering. And the there is simply no way to gauge personal suffering of others, as the one thing this pandemic has done, is to isolate us away from one another for our “safety.” But, I have to admit, there are simply times when as a 66-year-old guy, who has lived a very wide and fulfilling life, I take the “risk” of going against the grain, and do things that others would not.

Remember the good old days, when “running with scissors” or “swimming before an hour has passed after a meal” were considered risky behavior?  Who knew that not washing your hands every time you touch something that isn’t from your “safe bubble,” or gathering with friends for a drink, without vetting where they have been over the past 14 days, would become “risky behavior?”

But, count me in.  I’ve been that guy. Almost all family…but my family probably isn’t a good indication of “super safe,” either. I missed them. So shoot me…or cough on me, or lick my fork before I eat my chicken salad.

What do I miss most during this pandemic??
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Friday Filler – When is Enough, Really Enough, and When Is It Just Hoarding?

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Well…as you may or may not remember,  a year ago I started a massive remodel of our house, with almost top to bottom remaking of the kitchen, two bathrooms, and flooring throughout the entire first floor main living area (family room, kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room, stairs).

I have done all of the work myself…and with everything that has gone on during that year, find myself a bit awe-struck that I am not actually done yet (I still have an entire back deck tear apart and rebuild). But, then again, as I have also found out, once you start remodeling, and your wife is the primary “contractor” and you are “the worker,” you are never really done. All of the new, makes any of the old look shabby by comparison. And, even worse, that damn HGTV channel is still on the air, giving “the contractor” more ideas.

But, absolutely the worst part…is the massive land fill that now must be hauled off in a dumpster, along with decisions on what to do with the rest.  Clutter…thy name is Patric.  I admit it. I hate to throw away anything.

AND, to the point of this post…WE FACE THE SAME DECISIONS IN TSTO.  “Keep…store…or sell.” 
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Friday Filler – Why Do You Still Play the Game?

Thank Grog It’s Friday!

I have to admit, I was happy, and a little heart-broken when Alissa sent me a text message late Tuesday night. It read, “An update was released. You’ll have to let me know if they upped item limits.”

Oh ye of bliss-ninny faith…

I affectionately call Alissa a “Bliss Ninny” as she always wants to believe that EA is going to listen to us, and TSTO is going  to return to its former glory. I love her for that. We need bliss-ninnies in the world right now. It’s no wonder that Disneyland (either coast) is her favorite place to be.  I can see her teaching Riley and Sammy that if they “clap loud enough” they can save Tinkerbell and the rest of the fairies.

But, unfortunately, I had to be the bearer of bad news, with a simple reply of “Nope.”

It’s been almost a year and a half since the last time EA upped the Item Limits by even a handful.  And yes…it sucks.  And yes…it greatly impedes my “joy of designing.”

SO…WHY DO I STILL PLAY? (as  more than a few of you have asked, when I hold EA and “Bob’s” feet to the fire).

The answer is pretty simple.
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Friday Filler – EA Confidential – From a Corporate Perspective

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Well…I’m back home. It’s been three weeks of full Jake immersion…three glorious weeks of living the life of a 2-year-old with endless energy and endless appetites for “new.”  It feels like 3 months. We were actually that busy from morning til night.  We did the things that you can still do safely in public…which isn’t much…but, every day was filled with smiles, giggles, “wrasslin’,” more viewings of “Dinosaur Train,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and about a gazillion different audio and video versions of “Baby Shark.”  Every minute a treasure.

But more on that later…

Time to dive back into getting more answers about TSTO…this time continuing in “Bob’s Own Words,” but also using some of the EA’s own “Corporate Input,” regarding the nature of their decisions.  It’s dicey stuff, folks…but we do get closer to the truth.  Closer
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Friday Filler – Really?

Thank Grog It’s Firday,

I don’t know about you guys, but I have to admit that I didn’t even realize it was June. Really.  May felt like one big 90-Day March…and then, all of the sudden, it was “something completely different.”

So, the Pride Mini-Event is over. The reason I knew it was June, is that I remembered that the event ended on June 3rd. And the event ended Wednesday, so I was able to deduce that it had to be June.  And probably the 3rd.

But there’s a reason for my confusion…and I think it’s legitimate.

I honestly don’t know if it’s 2020, or if it’s 1968.

And then I remembered, “oh…right…they had a Pride Event…so it can’t be 1968.”   And then I remembered that most of what I am seeing on TV is being broadcast over cell phone cameras, so it REALLY can’t be 1968.  Except it still kinda feels like 1968. They launched some guys into space. There were some riots. So it must be 1968!

But wait! I know it’s not 1968…because we are playing a mobile device game about the Simpsons. And the Simpsons didn’t show up for…wait…when did they show up?  How long have we been playing this game?  Is this just a bad LSD trip?  Is it REALLY 1968?
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Friday Filler – When is Enough of This…Really, Really, Enough?


Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

I know. It’s been nuts. I don’t care where you fall in the spectrum of being a good citizen, to the full opposite, by becoming a scofflaw (look up last week’s Filler).  But, I know you are feeling it.  How long are we going to have to keep this up? When is enough, really, really enough?

Well…for me it was seeing Homer dressed up, after I “won” his “Pride Homer” skin. Yay?

Enough. Really.
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Friday Filler – Routines In Chaos to Conform or Rebel

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I don’t know about you, but the biggest enemy for me during this pandemic panic isn’t the pandemic, but trying to find a way to adhere to staying home, when “home” is still in a state of perpetual chaos.

There is something weirdly comforting to being forced to play TSTO while the world breaks down around us.  I admit to not caring much for this mini-update…and yet, I am playing it, mostly out of habit and duty.  I am addicted enough, even at this level of “meh,” to log on and “do the stuff.” But, I also feel some “sense of duty and gratitude” that EA is still acting as if nothing is happening out there. TSTO is there. And, playing it isn’t that hard to do…and ignoring it would make me feel like a scofflaw.

I love that word. It’s an old word, but not as old as it sounds.  Unlike TSTO…which in game terms, is way older than you would think it is. The game is showing its age, just as this new state of normal is revealing cracks in our systems and personal abilities to do the right thing.

But, what is doing the right thing in this situation?  Do you conform? Or do you rebel, and simply not do the things that you are asked to do?  When do you become a TSTO or social human scofflaw?
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Friday Filler – Getting Back to Normal…Mostly

Thank Grog It’s Firday!! 

So, today, in Oregon (the State of the REAL SPRINGFIELD) we began Phase One of the “Covid Re-Opening” plan.  We were able to do so, because in Lane County (which is also the home county to the REAL SPRINGFIELD), our numbers have been so low, as to be almost negligible.  But, this isn’t about that particular “Getting Back to Normal…Mostly.

No. Believe it or not, this is actually about “Getting Back to Normal” in TSTO…mostly.

Because, the fact is, during all of this recent Covid Craziness (and the most recent “TSTO Event”), the game just kept being the game.  Same routines. Same results. Same minor distractions. Same kinds of SNAFUs (which stands for Situation Normal All F’d Up), and is an old military term.  If you don’t believe in military SNAFU’s…then just wait until the military is in charge of doing the vaccines.  But, I digress…

The fact is…when you look at our Springfields, almost NOTHING has changed, except for a little more (a lot more?) clutter added to the landscape.

But for me…one of the most important characters in my game, is back to “normal.”
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