Tag Archives: TSTO Friday Filler

Friday Filler- The Future of TSTO Looks Bright…and Young!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

I had to travel more than 3,500 miles to do it. But, I have met the future of TSTO. The future looks bright, hilarious, and a bit drooly!

When someone actually takes the time to stop tapping long enough to take in life, it is amazing how enjoyable life becomes…even while tapping.  As I mentioned last week, I did an East Coast whirlwind tour including some great music, a great game (football…not TSTO) and 4 days of complete “full baby immersion” that was better than I could ever have imagined.

And near the end of my stay…I was able to witness the very first meeting of two icons of the “Future of TSTO.”  It was amazing… I couldn’t stop smiling…they couldn’t stop drooling. It was epic…
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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 – 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 – 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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Friday Filler – Behind the “Behind the scenes” – Two Options

Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

I’m hoping you all had a wonderful 4th of July week…as it always feels like a week, instead of a day or a long weekend, when the 4th falls in the middle of the week.  Unlike half of the country, who took off a couple of days before or after the actual holiday for an extended break, Deb and I stayed put, and just golfed, had a traditional meal (burgers and potato salad), and watched the rest of the world try to celebrate, while under heavy restrictions for the fireworks, due to the unseasonable hot weather. We went to a “hometown” celebration for a couple of hours in Harrisburg, a small town north of Eugene…and watched were planning to watch fireworks from a river bank. But, we both succumbed to a rash of “fair food” (elephant ears, ice cream, shave ice and a hot dog) which conspired to bring us home a full two hours before sunset. I was reminded that mixing spicy with dairy isn’t a great idea (I had a “firecracker burger, slathered with jalapenos for dinner). Nice. Woot. Woot. Boom!  TMI? 

With the regular TV season over…and being completely saturated in movies (we have the Movie Pass app, and have been seeing almost everything that comes out). I have actually been reading a BOOK! OK…so, not a real book, but a real book that has been digitized, so I can read it on my Kindle, my iPad, my cellphone, or any other padular or digital device at my disposal. Real books feel great in your hands…but take up loads of space in the landfill…or your shelves…or the landfill on your shelves. But I digress…

It’s a book that I HIGHLY recommend…even though it didn’t make “Oprah’s Book Club List,” (but should have). This is why we have not chosen to invite Oprah into our book club.  You can only read so many books by Deepak Chopra and other self help gurus. I’m almost 65…my self help days are turning into self preservation. But, I digress again…

The Book??
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Friday Filler – The Trouble with Interpreting Stereotypes with Google Translate


Thank Grog It’s Firday!!

This has been a wild week for the “Crankster” and his extended family! As I may have mentioned, I am in New Jersey, visiting the latest addition to my Patric Miller Progeny, one Jacob (Jake) Patric McGuire, who is a heart-breaker already!

I will post pics after the fold…for those who love cute baby pictures. Because…this kid is adorable by any standard! Yes. I am biased…but, he is also grandson #6, so I have a pretty clear metric for measuring “adorable.”  He is. Period.

Getting away from the insanity of the worldview of day-to-day has been an amazing blessing, at a time when it seems that almost every possible thing that seems relatively harmless, isn’t.  Or, at least has come into the cross-hairs of a group that is “offended” by something or another. The Simpsons have been in the news over the past couple of weeks. It has been interestingly “cringe-worthy” on a couple of levels.

And then…in the middle of it all…I was contacted by a TSTO reader/fan from France…who seemingly refuses, or is incapable, of emailing to me in English. I get it. If I was trying to write to him in French, there could be all sorts of mistakes made. Thank Grog for Google Translate (I think)!  It helped me unravel a whole range of questions that needed closer examination, and perhaps a couple that beg the question of, “should I be flattered or offended?

It started out with this reader sending me some 3-D examples of his town…

Let’s take a look…

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