Tag Archives: TSTO CrankyOldGuy

Friday Filler – Taking the Time to Chillax And Celebrate My “Tappiversary”

I have to admit that I often get that panicked feeling when I think I am going to miss a “tapping cycle.”  I end up “talking myself down” with a pep talk of “Hey…it’s not that big a deal if you get 4 in today, instead of 5.”  But, I know myself.  I know that if I start to slack off, it’s a very slippery slope.

It’s very much like buying a bag of Halloween Candy and promising that you will only eat 2 Kit Kat bars or 1 Butter Finger bar a day…wait…did I say 2 or 3? They’re tiny…and probably don’t amount to even a half of an actual size bar. So…maybe 4 a day is no big deal if I hit the rowing machine sometime today. But, I don’t have time to row…and I really want 4…so what the heck…4 it is…I’ll row longer tomorrow.

See?

But, tapping isn’t the same as Kit Kat bars.  The fact is, I get a whole lot less satisfaction from tapping, but I am a whole lot more addicted to it. Which presents a problem when you travel. Which I am going to be doing…

In fact, I am writing this early. By the time this posts, I’ll be in New York, with my friend Dave….after battling a week when I had 3 weeks of work to do, in one week, before I took off…knowing that although I SAID it would be a “working trip” I most likely wouldn’t do much at all.  Like I said…I know when the slope is slippery…and I am used to knowing when I am going to slide.

BUT, WE ARE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE UPDATE!!!!!!
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????
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Friday Filler – When the Old Way Really Is the Better Way

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Yes. I am going to go there.

I am going get on my high grandpa horse (which isn’t so high since he had a hoof replacement a few years back) and tell you why the modern day version of horror films can’t stand up to the greats of yesteryear!

I’ll wait for you to stop rolling your eyes…still waiting…still waiting… OK. Just CLOSE your eyes and listen.

Back in the days of black and white TV, and three channels, and a broken channel changer that meant you had to change the channel with needle nose pliers (I didn’t say that everything was better back then), I was introduced to one of the funniest, and creepiest movies I had ever seen (I was seven at the time…so creepy and funny were still pretty new to me).

This movie was the best of its kind (as I was to find out later), and ironically was a “Greatest Hits” homage to tons of movies that I had yet to discover.  And, even more ironic, is in many ways the basis of THIS VERY UPDATE!!!

The name of that movie???
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Tree House of Horror XXIX – Act One Calendar and Math You Need to Get It All

Whoooohooooo!
The wait is over and now we are back to the grinding!

This early in a major event, there is no way to know if EA has made any huge changes or not…like how many items we are going to be allowed to place before we hit the limits again…or how much land they’ll give us to place the HUGE list of stuff we see coming down the pike. But, you CAN bet that there will be a lot of grinding.

And, if you WANT IT ALL you are going to have to drop some donuts (purchased or farmed) over the next six weeks (yes, this one is “shorter” than a few others we have had).

And…yes…because so many of you complained about the “Do It Yourself” Calendar I did at the end of the last event (which some of you also loved) I am willing to compromise, and combine the “Artistic Freedom” of the big calendar, and the “convenient simplicity” of the digital calendar…into one calendar of function and beauty.

Here is that calendar, and all of the numbers you need to stay on track with the main prize track!

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Friday Filler – Are We There Yet?



Thank Grog It’s Firday!

As a father of five, and a grandpa to seven, I am a veteran of dealing with kids and their propensity for over-anticipation. In the “Good Old Days,” you could count on the seasons. You could count on retailers sticking to an unspoken rule of when they would bring out Halloween decorations, when it was OK to start pitching deals on Thanksgiving Turkeys, and when we would see the huge Christmas catalogs from Sears and Montgomery Wards hit our mailboxes.

Yes. I am that old.

But today, the lines have become so blurred, so completely without real meaning, that we find ourselves anticipating events, and expecting instant gratification in ways that have blown the word “anticipation” out of the lexicon of our current culture.

We are so used to being able to click a mouse, or tap a padular device, and have something delivered to our house, that the very thought of waiting for something worthwhile is a thing of the past.  The “Amazon Way” has given rise to year-around shopping…for anything…anytime…with shorter and shorter windows for delivery. And concurrently,  out of survival, many of the largest Box Stores have mimicked this culture with “Same Day Grocery Delivery” and “Bonus Reward Deals” available only for “Drive Thru Instant Delivery Pickup.” You don’t have to shop around people anymore. You don’t have to wait for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade for Christmas to officially start. You don’t have to wait for anything.

And then…there is the “EA Way.”
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Friday Filler – The REAL Importance of Everyman

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Whoa…it’s been “one of those weeks.”  Wall-to-wall-to-wall work commitments and launching new “re-wirement” projects.  And in the middle of it all, I had to sit back and chuckle at the timeliness of receiving one of my favorite “Super Heroes” in our game…Everyman!

Wait…hold on…I hear you rolling your eyes.  And yes…you have really loud eyes!

I have seen the comments.  You were all a bit disappointed that this “mini event” was so mini! You didn’t want another Super Hero event, unless it was truly SUPER!

But for me, there is simply no doubt that Everyman may be needed more than ever.  And in fact, it may be when we keep relying on “heroes” to get the work done, instead of relying on an Everyman, we may be dooming ourselves to failure.

While it’s easy to discount or forget Everyman when someone like RadioActive Man is flying around, when push comes to shove, and it’s time to get things done, give me Everyman, every time!

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Friday Filler- Using Your Own Super Powers to Maximize Your Donuts!

I am always excited when we have a “Super Hero” event…even a mini-event like this one!  You see, I too have super powers.

I’m sure many of you who have been following my posts for years already suspected as much. But, it’s true…I really do.

I can’t move things with my mind (yet), or see through walls (although I can usually figure out if someone is wearing Spanx).  And yes, I have a very clear power of intuition as to the overall human condition worldwide (you don’t want to know). And, as a result of an NDE in the 90s, often have revelations of how the universe is wired at the quantum level (you really don’t want to know).

However, my real super power, as it pertains to TSTO, is that I almost ALWAYS know where the 3-Donut tile hides when I get a chance to pick!

Call it intuition, or some sort of EDP (Extra-Donut-Perception)…but I have it. And through my ability to understand the inner workings of RDD (Random Donut Disbursement) I can help YOU become better at improving your DPP (Donut Picking Percentage)!
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Friday Filler – When Time/Space and Multi-Characters Bring Up BIG Questions

I realize that I continue to whine about the “Time/Space Crashers” that EA introduces into the game.  Whether you are a fan of “Back to the Future” or any other number of time travel movies and books, the fact is…the way time travel is portrayed in popular culture just isn’t real. Altering events from the past…even the smallest diversion from a chance interaction, can have untold ramifications on future events that could be mind-boggling. But time flows forward…not backward. And this is a good thing.

I got the “Younger, more attractive version” of Homer Wednesday. And now, being free of the “Daily Grind” of this event, I have plenty of time to ponder bigger questions…

Looking back, with an option to change something. The that’s a big one.

Yes…there are countless daily decisions that “could/woulda/shoulda” been better choices. But to the contrary, you never know when leaving a few minutes earlier or later to work, may have resulted in you missing getting nailed at an intersection by a driver who is playing TSTO on his phone, while trying to drive (Don’t Tap and Drive!).

So when someone like “Teenage Homer” shows up as a permanent alternate Homer…to wander around interacting with the rest of the “here and now,” it makes me cranky…and makes me look back at my own life in ways that may cause regret or recrimination…
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Friday Filler – An Alternative Method of Play and Creation

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

There is a Buddhist art form of creating amazing sand sculptures over time, and then wiping them out of existence after they are finished. These tapestries of color are called “Mandalas” and a source of endless fascination to me.

In practice, the exceedingly complex and beautiful sand paintings are meant to represent the universe.  The process helps them organize what we understand about creation, but when each mandala is finished, they are destroyed in a way of representing the transitory nature of existence.  In short…nothing stays the same…as evolution and change are the only constants in creation (and physics).

But…a real conundrum happens when they are photographed. And in many ways, our TSTO games face the same conundrum of existence…especially in light of Item Limits and EA dictating where we can create through Free Land Tiles to expand our “creations.”

But…there IS a solution!
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Friday Filler – Bliss Ninnies -vs- Pragmatists…Which Team Are You On?

I have to admit it…I often forget that TSTO is not a way of life, but is merely something we do while the rest of our lives are happening.  There are times, like right now, when it feels a bit more consuming, because the “fun factor” gets over-run by the “grind factor,” and I lose sight of some of the good things that EA has done in an event, that are actually designed to provide entertainment, and not grief.

Yes…they killed crafting. Mostly. Yes, there is now far more content to buy with game cash…but that is offset with the Item Limits, and a dearth of room around our Zoo. There are loads of new characters, including Sarah Wiggum…but most are one-offs that nobody has really heard of, or can’t remember.  There are loads of new decorations and animals, but it really is an entire event based on just smidge of an idea.  They are giving us more free land tokens…but we can’t use them around the Zoo Zone.

In the last paragraph…we see examples of the classic “Everything’s Great!” that a Bliss Ninny (not a derogatory term) may portray, along with the overly Pragmatic, “BUT!” that seems to come with every positive being offered.

The fact is. I wish I WAS a Bliss Ninny.  It is the sad irony of being a crankier-by-nature kinda person, that we often wish we were not so.

But, telling us that we are being cranky doesn’t help…trust me on that.
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Friday Filler – Dear EA – An Argument for a Premium Plan

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

Dear EA,

I did my best. Even though we get nothing out of this one-sided relationship with you (no money, no donuts, no credit for our work), we continue to hope and support the future of TSTO.  I made an attempt to bring “reasonable minds” to the fore, and come up with some solutions that would help you do a better job of maintaining and fixings some of the game issues we face. However, the reception of my “chip in $1.99 for every 500 farmed donuts”  concept fell a  bit flat. People understood the problems created by taking for free what others pay for (at least some understood), but most said, “when you fix it, I might start paying!!”

OK then.

So, I am going to propose something that makes a lot more sense to me. Something that really cuts across all sorts of players…but mostly the “Super Players” who log in repeatedly, have huge towns, and are the largest drain on the server resources.

It’s not that unusual…especially in the face of successful franchises like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s one, short, solution…
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