Tag Archives: TSTO CrankyOldPatric

Friday Filler – Thanksgiving Lite?


Thank Grog It’s Firday!!


What a wonderful treat! Without prompting, without cajoling, EA saw fit to “keep the tradition alive,” and bring us a Thanksgiving and Black Friday update! Wooooo!! (I’d add a “hoooo” but, I’m still trying to get a handle on how thankful I really am!).

I’m not going to state the obvious…but the fact is, the huge burst of new Covid cases, and the resulting shutdowns, pleas, and out-and-out begging to be safe, has created a Thanksgiving that is unlike any in my entire almost-67-year-lifetime.  This is a holiday that is made for tradition. Families getting together in mass, to celebrate with far too much food, a smattering of drama (especially if the family is a “house divided over politics in an election year), and loads and loads of reminiscing about the “good old days!” 

Wait. Maybe, with all of the insanity going on right now, a “small family gathering” is exactly what we need.  Maybe Covid is God’s way of saying…CHILLAX!!!!! 

Or…maybe it is just part of the REST of the crappiest year in history…including this so-called Thanksgiving Event in TSTO. 

Let’s break this down… and decide if EA is worthy of our Thanks…or if it is Thanksgiving Lite, at best!
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Friday Filler- When Parades Collide

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Wow…so much has happened since last Friday! And…yet…so little has changed.

Today is Friday the 13th!!!  Eeeek! But, I’m not superstitious. I mean…what else could possibly go wrong this year? Wait…don’t answer that. 

A New Act started in our games. There was a ton of election news that made some people happy, then sad, then mad, then sad…and it didn’t really matter which “team” you were on.

I think they actually played a “World Series” somewhere in the middle of this mess, and Pac-12 football, FINALLY started…kinda mostly. The Ducks beat the Cardinal…for anyone watching who actually cares about college team sports right now.  The Vegas odds on which games will get cancelled, are almost as high as who will win.  But, I digress…

Can we all just agree on one thing?  These are some damn strange times we are living in…and almost nothing is satisfying.  But, is the Universe trying to tell us something? Are the SIMPSONS trying to tell us something?  Are we supposed to be divining our contentment and happiness in settling for “Less Than?” as we hand our futures over to “the leaders?”

This all came to a head for me, as I watched two parades collide in my game…and realized that it was a metaphor for the way life is playing out in real time.
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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 – When TSTO Duplicates Real Life…Things are Hilariously Weird


Thank Grog It’s Firday!

OK. First of all…we’re fine.

Thanks to all of you who dropped me personal notes asking if I am on fire. No. We aren’t on fire. But, close enough that the sky has been dark red, and the air full of ash since Tuesday. Needless to say, we are staying inside…and continuing to hope for the best for several friends who have had to evacuate.   Crazy times. Yes…the world seems to be on fire for a number of reasons figuratively…but where we live, it has been on fire, literally.  More on that later.


Apparently, God is trying to burn down the Left Coast. No politics intended.

As far as the Van Houtens Event, for my donuts, they saved the best Premium Item for last. It is the best New Character/Decoration combo in some time. Or should I say, Old and New Character…as the best new intros for my taste, were the introduction of Milhouse’s NICE grandparents…and their RV.

Call it coincidence, or call it “Tapping Imitating Life,” but the fact that the Grandparents and the RV were introduced during the very week that my wife and I took a couple of our grandkids on an RV weekend, was just too perfectly “Tapperitious” to ignore.

RV Life.  It’s a new chapter..and one fraught with instant challenges…especially in the Covid-Reality.
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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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Your Help Is Needed – Hope is In Your Hands

I have made no attempt to hide the fact that the primary reason I still write for TSTO Addicts long after the game has gone into decline, is because of the work that this site does to support the Buyijja Village School in rural Uganda.  It is one of those things that is “outside the box” of TSTO, and all about the community we have created here.

I have not done a fundraiser for the school since January, as like the rest of the world, conditions have been in an uncertain state since Covid-19 hit.  But, recent developments have pushed us back into action, and we need your help.

The facts are simple. All of the amazing progress we have made in almost 6 years, with the more than 250 students in Buyijja and outlying villages that attend the school, has been halted, and the kids are now without any real alternatives for education.  The government’s solution is “remote learning” using TVs and Radios to be distributed to villages.  One small problem…most rural villages (including Buyijja) have no electricity or other modern conveniences. So…a different solution is required. 

That is where YOU come in. 
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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 – A New Look at Old Stuff to Recapture My Zazz

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Like many of you, between the Covid-Craziness, more politics than any human should have to endure, civil unrest and a clear letdown in our favorite diversion from all of it (TSTO), I found myself trying to find new ways to make the old ways feel new again.

This is common with the modern version of humankind.  We seem driven to be discontented with “the status quo” and are in a seemingly constant state of “the next best thing.”  Unfortunately, this constant game of “wanting more, but enjoying it less,” has brought us to a point in our existence where more really is less.  Less fulfilling, less gratifying, and far less hopeful.  And yes…I am talking about the game this time.

But, as I talked about in my last Filler, I have decided to “go back a few clicks” to a more simple time, when I wasn’t obsessed with Bonus %, and could actually slow down enough to design my town, in spite of the Item Limits.

Here are my first baby steps to reclaiming my “Zazz.”
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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 – Righteousness and The Missing Apu

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

Wow. What a week. Trials, and finger pointing, and loss of righteousness…and that’s just what happened in our little world of TSTO!  I love the fact that TSTO is always here, as a distraction from the insanity of the “real world.”

But sometimes, it seems that the “real world” encroaches on our “happy place,” and we end up “losing our shirt” over something someone says or does.

This has been one of those weeks.  And, man…did it make me feel old and tired.
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