Another Loss to the Simpsons Legacy

Nimoy-Main

We got bad news today. We lost Leonard Nimoy, whose appearances on the Simpsons were brief but iconic.

(CNN)Leonard Nimoy, whose portrayal of “Star Trek’s” logic-driven, half-human science officer Spock made him an iconic figure to generations, died Friday. He was 83.

Nimoy died this morning in Bel Air, California, his son Adam Nimoy told CNN.
According to his granddaughter, Madeleine Nimoy, the cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

His “Star Trek” co-stars, including William Shatner and George Takei, expressed sadness at his death.

He only appeared on two episodes…but arguably two of the best episodes ever.

My only hope…is that this will FINALLY make EA bring us the Monorail. It is fitting. It is fair. We want it.

Rest In Peace, Leonard.

SuperHero Overview – Week One (Weak One? Biff! Boom!)

PICNIC-Main

We are just past a week into the SUPER HERO update, and while it is really too early to give a full appraisal of my feelings about this one, I am going with my gut (punch) here, and make a sweeping generalized statement that will likely encapsulate the rest of the update.

“This update is alike trying to eat a nice meal with friends at the park, but you become so distracted with swatting away the ants, it takes you a very long time to figure out that there is nothing to the actual meal.”

OK. I know. Kind of a convoluted metaphor. But, hear me out.

Continue reading

Mini-Update…Donut ShakeDown…RadStation Air Fortress

AirStation-MAIN
OK. So, maybe I’m a Springfield Purist…and maybe I remember tapping my backside off, to get the HoverCraft not that ling ago. But…REALLLLLY???

They want us to drop 225 Donuts…pull the DT BIG TIME, for something that may be a cross between Ernie Pie’s obnoxious, ubiquitous, air space pollution, and the Whale?

No. Not thanks. I have the donuts. But, this thing…as a permanent feature to my Springfield, which is already struggling to remain at least a reasonable semblance of “real and normal” under the plague of “Fantasy Buildings,” is gonna be safe from this one. Sorry.

I’ll have to take pleasure in seeing this thing in my neighbor’s towns. And stifling a laugh.  It’s only available for 4 days??? Good.

OH…and they also did a mini-whine-“PLEASE BUY THE MEMBERSHIP CARD” bit…we already discussed it. It isn’t needed…really. It is a waste of time/money, and goes away at the end of the update. Just sayin’… Gotta keep it real here!

When is a Hole NOT Just a Hole?

WELL-MAIN

Looks can be deceiving. Really.

If you look at the picture above, you see a young man, standing on a big pile of red dirt.

“Why is he digging?” you might ask.  “Where is he? We are getting pounded with our 4th straight week of snow and ice…he looks very warm!”  you might observe.

“And…what does this have to do with Pies and Death Rays?  I thought this was a TSTO Blog?” some of the sillier, ill-informed and narrow thinking of you might comment.

Well…again…looks can be deceiving.
Continue reading

Great News For Those Who Have Real Lives! And Some Bad News For Those Who Don’t…

MORE-CRIMINALS-Main

I have checked this out a few times now, because I actually have a real life. I slept last night for a little over 8 hours.  I played golf and had a series of meetings yesterday afternoon, that took me away from TSTO for almost 7 hours. In short…I lived a lot more like a normal person, and not someone who has the freedom to tap….all…day…long.

And I noticed something that is important to the sanity and happiness of those who have real lives….
Continue reading

SuperHero Issue #2 – Cheat Guide with Walkthrough and Crafting Tips

Issue2-CHEAT-Main
We have a NEW super hacker/fracker in the blog-0-verse. This kid is special…he is obsessed, and what’s even more impressive, English isn’t his first language, but he does a Bang Up job of converting game files he has “purloined” into working dialogue. He has been here and there, even here-here…but you’ll see him contributing to the WIKI, the Forum, and now as a regular poster at Topiz.

I once made the mistake of using some of his information without giving him credit. He is all about the credit. He is a regular Ed Snowden that way. Happy to do the dirty work of stealing information, but wants the world to know he did the work. That’s cool. They made a movie about Snowden…maybe they’ll do the same for  .

Anyway. I’m not going to take any of the credit here. I got almost all of the information you are going to read from his posts. I am admittedly lazy when it comes to breaking into other people’s servers. But, as I have said before…just like Snowden…we all benefit when the hackers give us information. Mostly.

So…Thanks LPNita! You are doing a great thing to help the game, humanity, and the world as we know it. OH…and if you want to SEE IT ALL…There is a better place, The SIMSONSWIKI.COM…where EVERYONE comes to steal info. 

That’s right kids, there is always a better source, with better arranged information. You don’t really need me, or LPNito, or the Bliss Ninnies. I hope you come here for more than just information…but, if not…There ya go!

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW- If you Don’t Want To Know…Don’t Click Below!

Continue reading

Issue #2 – The Math of Pie Bomb Success- With Calendar

Issue2-Math-Main

Let’s all be abundantly clear that we are talking PIE and not PI here. Big math questions are best left to those with big math brains.  Don’t believe me? Here is the FIRST paragraph explaining Pi in the WIKI.

“The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle‘s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi” (/p/). Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a common fraction, although fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. Consequently its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern. The digits appear to be randomly distributed; however, to date, no proof of this has been discovered.”

Or..you can watch this guy try to explain it in 3:14 (clever huh?).

In short…Pi is one of those things that just IS…nobody completely understands it. We just know that without it, a circle can’t be a circle…and without circles, trying to ride a bike is next to impossible.

So…again…thankfully, we are talking about PIE here, or Pie Bombs to be more specific. At first the Math for reaching the final goals are daunting. But, as always, once you break it down logically, it makes sense (unlike the math in the U.S. Tax Code).
Continue reading

BOOM! Just Like That…We Are Collecting Pie Bombs – Issue #2 Basics

ISSUE-2-Main
OK…Because I love you guys…I stayed up until midnight to see what happened. And it did….just like that, BOOM! New currency, and we are off to collecting enough Pie Bombs to open the National Bank of Springfield.

Let’s Take  a Look!
Continue reading

The Great ClownFace Mystery…

ClownFace-Mystery

I have to hand it to EA. They like messing with the criminals!  For years, they have been plagued by the Hacker/Fracker types who think its just fine, to hack into the EA game servers to reveal update information before it is live to the game.  It’s illegal. There is no “gray area.”  But, EA seems thwarted in stopping it…until recently..

The new type of updates, with STAGED quest lines and prizes, have all but screwed up all of the cheaters and criminals, as they are not posting information to the game files, until just before they go live to EVERYONE. So…the the big “We know something you don’t” is now pretty much a moot point. Hilarious.

HOWEVER…there are some BIG questions…that NOBODY in the blog-o-sphere seem to be able to answer, regarding the final leg of this FIRST CHAPTER of the Super Hero Update.

This is a community in action…and we Share information as fast as we can figure things out. But, at this point, there are a couple of big unanswered question.

Continue reading

A Night of Awards, A Recipe, and Our OWN Winner!

AWARDS-Main

Deb and I are movie freaks. We consume movies the way Andre the Giant was rumored to take down entres at five star restaurants. We saw all of the nominated “best pictures,” most of the shorts, and all of the “Best Actor/Actress” award movies. We host an annual Oscars Party with our book club…and we were ALL in disagreement as to what we thought should have been “Best Picture.”  That is a good thing. It means that there were so many quality movies this year, of such varying topics and styles, that choosing just one, really was preposterous.

It is a rare year, that I am happy with virtually every award given…and I was.  The best part of the awards???  NO KANYE!  Yes…there was controversy over the apparent snubbing of “Selma.”

But, the fact is, on some level, the best part of the movie was indeed rewarded…and that was the absolutely amazing “Best Song” award to John Stevens (aka John Legend) and Lonnie Lynn (aka Common) for “Glory.”  If anyone who lived through the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and remembers King’s assassination, shortly after the march on Selma…and saw that performance didn’t weep…you have a heart of stone. It was amazing…the best moment of the Oscars Ceremony.

I almost choked on my Cilantro Burger (which I served…and will share in a recipe below the break).

But…we had OUR OWN WINNER over the weekend!  And THIS AWARD is LONG overdue!
Continue reading

Pace Yourself to Enjoy The Update More…Just Like Life

SUNDAY-TimeManagement

We are at the START of another long update period, and it is clear by the fact that there are already people asking “what should I do now?” that loads of us are already done with Chapter One, and ClownFace is now roaming our towns.

If you aren’t there yet, relax!  You still have a couple of full days to go before the countdown to the next chapter is even available (Midnight Feb 24th PST)…and there is no indication that it really matters. So…unless you are WAAAAY behind, chillax. You will get there. 

For those of us who have crossed over into “Bonus Time” we face an entirely different challenge…”What do we do now? I’m bored, but there are still loads of criminals and felons cluttering up my streets! Is it worth it for the FREE DONUTS????”
Continue reading

It’s A SUPER SHOULDJA? Premium Items Rated…

SHOULDJA-MAIN

I am going to take a wild guess here, and say that there are a couple of elements/clues that tell me that we aren’t done seeing Premium Content for this update.

Yes…we have a small handful so far…but, the offerings and prices are pretty puny, in comparison to other major updates. That’s good…because there are TONS of Freemium prizes to be earned. But there are also a couple of missing elements from leaked files, and some HUGE Question Marks revolving around the final chapter.

Let’s take a look at what we know about first…and break down the “Shouldja” pull the Donut Trigger to purchase them. It’s in interesting challenge, with a “No-Brainer” and some pretty random stuff.

Continue reading

Super Hero Update Math Guide- Chapter One

NUMBERS-MAIN
The thing that is both maddening and fun about the way EA does updates, is that it is a very slow evolution toward being fair. It took them three updates of the hated WHell, before they figured out they were shedding players faster than Mrs. Muntz sheds her clothes at closing time.  It has also seemingly taken them a while to figure out how to keep you being “Neighborly” during these friend-driven updates, without giving away the farm.

More on that later.

I am really enjoying the Staged Update tactic, as it keeps the Hacker/Fracker/Cheaters a tad more honest. Just a tad. But a tad. You CAN’T rush the game, beyond each chapter, and the information isn’t placed into the Game Files (where the hacker/frackers break into the EA servers) until minutes before the update hits. Cool. And, it levels the playing field for everyone.

BUT…it’s ALWAYS ABOUT THE NUMBERS, when it comes to being fair. And for the most part, EA makes the Freemium Items Attainable…as long as you are willing to find a good pattern, and give up a few minutes…OK…hours a day to Tapping.

I have devised a perfect method for both…

Continue reading

SUPER HERO COMPLETE CHEAT GUIDE- with Walkthroughs and Premium Guide

CHEAT-GUIDE-MAIN

As always, I am going to start with the disclaimer that hackers, frackers, and those who blast through the updates with ill-gotten (hacked donuts) are cheaters. But, once again, as the interwebs are the wild west of copyright law, I have no issue once again, passing along what is available out there, after gleaning the information, which they stole.

This update is keeping the hacker “look inside the files” folks on the ropes once again, as it is staged, with only enough information being put into the game files to get you through this portion. There is LOADS of guessing, and conflicting “expert opinion,” but I, as a humble reporter and critic, have done my best to pull the information together.

As is the norm, this community and our shared experience is the best “expert.”  Input, corrections, and tips are always welcome!

AND NOW…on to the CHEAT GUIDE AND WALK THROUGHS.

Spoilers Follow- If you don’t want to know, don’t click below!

Continue reading

Super Hero Update Basics…WOW! BOFF! ZAP!!!

SUPER-BASIC-MAIN

Uhm…WOW!!  OK…EALP is officially OVER.

This is a VERY creative…entertaining, and FUN update.  I have been laughing since the first frame. Great…great stuff. The only “bummer” is that there seems like there are going to be a ton of NEW buildings…with NO NEW LAND.  But, at this point, it is just so much fun…that I don’t mind. Yet.

I will be doing a FULL CHEAT GUIDE as soon as I can…but, for the time being, Here are the BASICS…as much as I have figured it out.

There is a LOT of information….and I WILL Update This Page as it unfolds…

As always, SPOILERS TO FOLLOWIf you Don’t Want To Know…Don’t Click Below!
Continue reading

Holy Pie Man! The SuperHero Update is Here!

Super-MAIN

Wow…I’m not going to lie to you (why would I?) This thing looks like a BLAST!

The interface has changed the screen to look like a comic book page…and the captions for the dialogue are comic book in nature…

Super-1

It has a great super-hero theme that plays… and starts immediately with a 30 minute task to have HOMER FLING PIES INDOORS…

Pie Man..Here we come!

More Below the Fold…
As Always…If you don’t want to know…don’t click below!
Continue reading

HOLYFREAKIN’ PIES! A SUPER Update is About to Hit…UPDATED

SUPER-UPDATE-TEASE
spAnser’s back!  The Super HackerFracker from tstonews.com…and there are some GREAT items loaded in the game files for the newest update. CHECK YOUR APP STORE REGULARLY…as this will be an App Store Update.

But…the List of FUN STUFF in the files looks like this one is going to be a HOOT!

It is a MAJOR UPDATE…not a pretend, just messing with you, update like we have seen recently. Loads of new buildings, characters, and a ton of fun.

There is no way to know when…but EA doesn’t load the game files with this much stuff, unless there is something ready to drop. So BE READY

SPOILER-LEAKS-RUMORS below the fold…

Continue reading

Family Guy Weekly Report – 02-13

FG-Weekly-Main

It’s Zooeymarie from FamilyGuyTips again, to provide you with a weekly update of the current happenings in the game, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff!

FGTQFS has received Week 2 of the Romancing the Clam update, here is a rundown:

Continue reading

While We Wait…Taking Time to Say THANKS!

SALE-OVER-Main

Well…first of all, I am thankful that EA dumped the “Black Market Sale” ahead of the original date. We didn’t need, or want, the majority of the stuff…and the bloated pricing made the decision really easy.

Who knows when/if something will happen today? I guess we’ll be thankful if/when it does.

Second…I am really happy that the weather has flipped in the past couple of days (sorry to you if it hasn’t) and I was able to get out and play a round of golf yesterday afternoon. Golf is like pizza and sex. Even an average day doing any of them is better than most days without…or something. I am definitely thankful for that!

Finally…I pulled the trigger on the Water Project Funding. We are still a tad short, but I have faith that we will hit the mark before Sunday…which is the final deadline for The Contest… and I was happy to cover the difference for a bit. Emma has been patient. The town of Buyijja has been patient. At this time next month, they will have a new source of clean, safe, water.

But…it couldn’t be done without the 1%ers (in this case…1/4 of 1%) who continue to support our efforts, and do something that matters, while coming back to share here at the TSTOFriends community.

The list is shorter…but included a great number of New Folks who joined our efforts…and that makes me even more happy!

Continue reading

10 Keys to Happiness…TSTO Style

HAPPINESS-Main

I don’t know about you, but I find myself getting lost in tapping of another kind. No…get your minds out of the gutter…not that. I mean tapping the links to “related stories” when I start with something like Google News, or FlipBoard. It’ s so easy to get distracted from the original time-waster in which you were participating, and get sucked into an entirely different stream of time wasting.

Even though we know that time is the most valuable commodity (EA even went so far as to deem it “Life Currency”…oh…wise…EA), it is easy to find ourselves seeking happiness during the cold, dark, crappy, short days of winter.

Well…fear not. Because while I started with a story about Brian Williams being suspended (deserved) and Jon Stewart announcing his retirement from the Daily Show (bummer…but not surprising), I wandered off topic onto “associated links” and made my way through “13 Most Annoying Stars” (turns out Kristen Stewart is a pill), “13 Stars You Wouldn’t Recognize Today” (Meg Ryan’s lips…eeek), and “13 Stars You Didn’t Know Were Banned From SNL” (Come on…give Sinead a break! That Pope was bad!)….until I finally stumbled onto something that made me actually feel happy…ironically called, “10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy,” (which seemed obvious, as it didn’t start with the number 13).

I was surprised by a couple of them…and pleased that I already practice most of them.  But, then I thought…”Hey…I wonder if there is a TSTO slant on these?” (because I am always thinking of you!).

So Here Goes… 10 Keys to TSTO Happiness (with a little help from science).

Continue reading

10 Things I Didn’t Know Until I Knew Them…

TIFK-MAIN

I will start by admitting that I am not a true Simpsonsoligist.  I love the show…and have watched it pretty much since its inception (except during most of 2000-2010), but I don’t immerse myself in minutia.

However, in almost every episode recently (which all seem to have elements of looking back into the past) I pick off one or two things that makes me go…”Huh…I didn’t know that!” (kind of like watching the “who died” portions of awards shows).  Then, I dive headlong into Googling the details.

The most recent episode, “Walking Big and Tall” had a few of those moments.

Continue reading

Family Guy Weekly ReCap – 02-06-15

FG-Weekly-Main
I know it’s frustrating…especially when we are stuck in limbo and Family Guy has an update. Why can’t EA take a note from Tiny Co?  Hard to say…but, let’s just go with it, and be happy that ZooeyMarie from FamilyGuyTips.com is here with a recap of this week’s action!

Continue reading

Tell Them What They’ll Win, Vanna! Vanna?

Vannah-Maiin

I am pretty darned pumped about this prize.  I have to admit, I wish I could enter.  I love this kind of stuff.

When a script is done for a show like the Simpsons, it goes through all sorts of revisions. Everything from basic rewrites, to tightening up lines to fit editing/animation, can change the script until there is a final draft copy.

This one, was written by one of the best-known writing teams, in the “Golden Era” of the The Simpsons.

And it can be YOURS!
Continue reading

Best TSTO Contest EVER…Send EA a Message!

CONTEST-MAIN

Enough “playing nice.” I have tried. I really have. TSTO fans get upset when I am too critical of the game, or the lazy, lackluster nature of some of the updates. But, dammit…sometimes CrankyOldGuy rises up out of my inner being, and takes over the sweet, placid façade I wear most of the time that I am bloviating about the game.

But…this most recent “update,” was a slap in the face.  And getting slapped in the face will generally bring about two types of actions. You can wince in pain, and cower up against the wall, and “take it.” Or, you can slap back with something that brings the “slappee” a bit of their own medicine.

Let’s start with the fact that EA is lazy. They took the time to write topical and timely humor about the Super Bowl, and tied it to a funny bit of Stonecutter mythology. It seemed like we were going to get an update…that was worthy of us waiting for almost two weeks for something bigger and better than the Level 49 update.  We were expecting hearts and flowers, and some Friendship Prizes that would help us need our neighbors again… But Nope. JUST ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO GET US TO SPEND MONEY ON GARAGE SALE ITEMS AGAIN.

Well…it’s time to send EA a message…and hit them in their big, fat wallets.

Well…I’m not waiting around for them. I’m going to launch the BEST TSTO CONTEST EVER…and this is something you’re GOING to want to win!
Continue reading

Family Guy Weekly Update – Take 1

FG-REPORT-MAIN

I am always open to experiments. Especially when someone else is doing the work. I’m lazy that way.

And…if I am perfectly honest (and why wouldn’t I be?) I think it is always fun to do something nice for someone, while tweaking the noses of someone else you don’t care for. This kills two bliss-ninnies with one stone. So why not?

There are loads of cross TSTO/FGQFS players…and the ladies at FamilyGuyTips.com are making a go of it in the FG world. PLUS, they have agreed to run some weekly plugs for our work in Uganda…so DOUBLE WIN!

This is an experiment…and if you really hate it, I’ll reconsider. But, hey…again…it’s a win/win, and why not play nice…right?

So…without further adooooooooo…..the first Family Guy Weekly Update.

Continue reading

Connected at the Pixels…But, are we more?

BLUE-SCREEN-MAIN

Last night, something unthinkable, almost earth-shattering, and seemingly devastating  happened.

No…it wasn’t the huge “biggest on record” snow storm to hit the East Coast of the United States. It was bigger!

Facebook and Instagram went offline for almost 3 hours!!!!  O. M. G.

That’s right folks. For almost three hours WORLDWIDE, people couldn’t see what others were eating for dinner, or what each other’s pets were up to, or what we thought this very moment about the deflation of footballs, that either did, or didn’t effect the outcome of the playoff game between New England and Baltimore last weekend.

It was terrifying!!  The boards on “IsItUp.com” lit up with people certain that the Chinese, North Koreans, Russians, ISIS, ISIL. et al had finally exacted their revenge on Western Culture.

In the end, it turned out to be a “self-inflicted wound,” caused by Facebook techs, who were uploading a new logic system…and blew stuff up.

Nothing was lost. Every “like” and snarky comment was restored. But, MAN…did it ever make you stop to think about how things have changed in the world in the past decade.

It makes one question the value of a life tinted with the hue of phosphorescent blue faces, looking down into screens, instead of into one another’s faces.

And then…when Facebook was back up again…I all but forgot about my feelings of self worth being questioned…and went back to seeing what my “friends” were up to.

But, this morning…I couldn’t shake the feeling that something has happened in the evolution of the species…
Continue reading

Sharing Good News During Garbage Time

Water-Progress-Main

It’s one of those old stories of “I have some good news, and I have some bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”

Always wanting to get the bad news out of the way, so I can move on to something more interesting and fun, I will start with a couple of facts.

We had an update. It was/is a small episode update. I has very little activity, and a some really odd tie-ins (which makes me want to watch the episode to figure out what’s going on).  The update is going to run until Midnight on January 28th (PST)/8AM GMT. So…that means a REALLY boring weekend, TSTO-wise.

Meh…

The GOOD NEWS???
Continue reading

Getting Back to the “Normal”…Water

Water-Main

Garbage time…that horrible space between updates, when there seems little or no reason to do much of anything, except wait, has been upon us for some time now. I usually fill this space with non-TSTO ramblings about all sorts of aspects of life, both real and imagined. But, recent events have left me feeling frustrated and sad.

It’s easy in this world to feel overwhelmed by people’s innate ability to lose perspective. It’s even easier to succumb to the overwhelming feeling of “what does it matter?”

And then, thankfully…I am reminded that we can, and do make a difference…when we try.

Talking with Emma over the weekend, it is obvious that his world was shattered with the sudden loss of his father less than two weeks ago. But, in his grief, and telling me of the special place in his heart that those who sent memorial funds for his family share, he looked into the SKYPE camera and said, “it’s time to go back to work.”

And, he’s right.
Continue reading

Looking Back to Look Forward Part II

YEAR-REVIEW1-MAIN

There is really no other way to say it…we in the midst of Garbage Time with this update. You are pretty much resigned to a couple of actions…tapping elves, or collecting bells, and neither of them takes a terrific amount of brain power (or need for my continued explanation).

So, this is a perfect time to continue “Looking Back at the Year that Was” so we can “Look Forward to the Year that Shall Be.”

Let’s see….where were we?
Continue reading

Thanks To You, The 1%ers…and the Contest Winner(s) Are Announced

Buijja-MAIN

As we all finally get to the place in the game, where we can take a breather (Nativity installedZutroy eating cats), I find myself once again marveling at what has happened here over the past year.

Maddy and Ali are home for the holidays, and this morning we SKYPED with our expanded family in Africa.  Emma and Kato (Maddy’s other guardian angel during her internship in Uganda) talked for almost an hour, over a clear, wonderful connection.  All I could do was smile…my heart almost bursting with pride and wonder at how this world has become so interconnected. And, that a disparate group of just over 200 people,  has come together, over a silly game, to change the lives of countless children they have never met.

If we tried to take this story to Hollywood, they would laugh us out of the studio…as it seems completely implausible.

“So…let me get this straight,” the studio weasel would say through a clenched cigar. “You start playing this goofy kid’s game…and start writing about it…and you almost quit a bunch of times, but then your daughter goes to Uganda, and you decide to turn it into a way to raise money for projects to help kids who live in a rural village in the jungle? Man…I think we did something like this with Eddie Murphy…but he was here…and was some king, or something.”

So…maybe the pictures of the big “Thank You” posters with representations of my TSTO character are a bit confusing. I get it. But, it DID happen…and is continuing to happen! And we have huge plans for 2015. But, we have to say THANKS first…to the 1%ers who made it all happen.

And now…I will.

Continue reading

And the grandest celebration was had by all…let’s keep it going!

Buyijja-Thanks-Maiin

I realize that right in the middle of a HUGE update…even one dedicated to the spirit of giving…most of you are bothered when I go “off topic.”  But, as I have stated a few times recently, if it weren’t for the way this “topic” has changed this blog and the community, I would have pulled the plug long ago.

So whether you are part of the 1%…or the “still to be convinced…or can’t be distracted from my tapping” 99%- I’m going to interrupt the update cycle for a HUGE CELEBRATION…and a call for support.

Continue reading

It’s Official…It’s Been a Year to Remember!

Anniversary-Main

Let’s start by saying that if you had told me that I’d be doing this on my own, after a year…and that the entire focus of the blog had switched from making money, to helping children in a rural Ugandan town…I’d have laughed in your face.

Not just a chuckle. But, a really, really, really, long, “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKIN’ MIND????” kind of laugh. The kind of laugh I reserve for people who tell me that Jack White is the best guitar player in the world. That kind of laugh.

But, here I am…after having written more about a silly game, and countless other topics related and not-so-related to that silly game, than would fill a large religious text if I had been counting (which thankfully, I stopped doing months ago, when the amount of words and pages made me feel foolish).

If ever there was a testament to the concept that “Life is Stranger Than Fiction,” it would have to be the sojourn that has taken us over the past year, to this very place.

I admit readily that it wasn’t JUST the travails of TSTO that created what we have today. It was a combination of circumstances that seemed to gather together into a perfect storm of redemption that simply could not have been foreseen, even by the most creative screen-writers around.

Redemption? Yes. Amazingly, that word must be used here. Because, it is almost impossible to escape the original intent of this blog, its roots of creation, and the ultimate change that has happened in me. It would seem insane, and completely improbable, if it hadn’t actually happened…and, with loads of witnesses (you readers).

Follow along…

Continue reading

When you know you are alive; A reality check on greatness.

HERO-Main
You know you are alive when you experience almost every emotion possible, in a single weekend. And this past weekend has had it all.

We started with overwhelming sadness, at the passing of Maddy’s boyfriend’s brother. It was heart-wrenching, and one of those senseless deaths that was a result of many years of bad choices. But, nobody should lose a child or a brother at such a young age. We grieve for their loss, and hope that brighter days are ahead soon. But, it has been consuming…supporting their family, while supporting Maddy, as she supports Bret’s family from within. Devastating news…followed by a family memorial gathering…as participants and observers of the deepest kind of sorrow imaginable.

It was my wife’s birthday this weekend, with some of our closest friends coming down to celebrate and watch the Duck game with us. The Ducks won, we all went out to celebrate at her favorite Mexican restaurant (where the margaritas are as big as your head). At the restaurant, we ran into the guy who introduced me to rugby, and inadvertently introduced me to Debbie. Ironies and synchronicity continue to amaze me. I hadn’t seen him in 25 years, but he could tell by the gathering, that we had endured and prospered through the years.

And finally…this morning…I got pictures of our latest project in Uganda…and I was filled with pride, admiration, and gratitude in ways that caught me off guard. The change our work will bring to the children and village is incalculable. My appreciation for all involved is boundless.

It’s almost Thanksgiving…and it’s time to truly be thankful.

Continue reading

Thanksgiving 2014…and the first Glitch of the Season..that isn’t a glitch.

Thanksgiving-Main

After a weird start with Homer’s bad joke about Black Friday… we jump right into Flander’s quest to enlighten the world about Thanksgiving…as Puritan Flanders….which is placed into your inventory. You will also get Sacagawea Lisa skin…if you didn’t already have her.

Thanksgiving-Flanders
LISA and Homer start an entirely unrelated quest…one to get Lisa a reed for her Sax-a-ma-phone.

IMMEDIATELY…we are faced with a problem of Too Many Homer quests…as both Ned and Lisa require Homer to move forward. I know. This gets confusing quickly…

But…the confusion is short-lived. The Homer-Lisa part is only two quick quests, before stalling to make us wait.

Continue reading

Why This Site Survives…

Buyijja-Community-ROCKS

In the middle of the week, I had a note from my favorite Troll, a guy from Beverly Hills, no less…who is one of the freaks that writes every once in a while to let me know what losers we are. He changes his ID email all of the time…but, because I can trace route his IP, I know who he is.

Of course…the sheer illiteracy of his posts are self-evident in their ignorance…but they are entertaining nonetheless. Here’s his latest:

From Joey1234: I get you are a cranky old man who lost the little following he and his bye bye former partner once had. Who r u kidding? You really think once tsto is gone you’ll still be here? There’s a reason you don’t show your site hits lol. Cya never to return.

Oh…but that were true. The never to return part. But, it was ironic that it showed up, just before I once again had clear validation as to WHY we’ll still be here…long after TSTO is gone.

This week…we once again, proved that we are WAY different than other TSTO blog sites.
Continue reading

It’s Time to Redefine the Word, “Hero.”

HEROS-Main

The world has become a crazy place. The disparity between those who live a life in the rarified air of the upper 1% in income, and those who live in the lowest 1% in income has never been further apart.

Through all of it, the “common man,” those of us who work hard to maintain a semblance of a shrinking middle class, end up passing our time, and seeking entertainment, by deifying “heros” who represent a strata of performers who can do something we can’t.  We love our music, movies, television and sports figures. We typically measure their success by box office receipts, record sales, or net worth (in the case of wall street or tech billionaires).  But in the case of sports, are as likely to make them heroes in our minds, for statistics as inane as Yards After Contact, Yards per Game, or how they boost the stats in your fantasy football league.

By now, almost everyone in the world is aware of the “Very Incredibly Bad” week the NFL has had. Several cases of domestic violence, and a couple of child abuse charges just don’t say much about the caliber of people playing one of our national pastimes.  But the story of Adrian Peterson shook me to the core to such a degree, that I woke up this morning with a fire in my fingers to tell another story.

We need to know REAL heroes when we see them. And as a society…we have lost our way.

Let’s start with how much Adrian Peterson is making WHILE suspended from his “job” of running a football, while avoiding being tackled by other highly paid man-children.  Adrian, the highest paid running back in the NFL, is making close to $700,000… a week. That is not a typo. That is also before all of his endorsement deals. That’s $23,000 dollars a day.

Adrian Peterson is also known for fathering as many as 7 children with as many mothers. Adrian Peterson must love kids. Or making kids. He certainly has a penchent for “guiding” kids.

Now…I am going to introduce you to three REAL heroes, who I would offer, do REAL world-changing work, and earn between all three of them, less than 1/1000th per day combined what Adrian Peterson earns…while saving children.

Continue reading

LEGO Simpsons Creations!

KerrysToys-Main

Ryan here, and did someone say LEGO Simpsons Creations?! We have a very exciting break from the usual nonsense and quite frankly, a breath of fresh air. Too much TSTO is not good for the soul. We try to have our fun, but it’s also nice to just enjoy the community.

And our community has provided us with something extraordinary today. The timing is incredible, considering the recent release of real life LEGO Simpsons, tomorrow’s long-awaited LEGO episode and well, the Blocko Store in the Easter update I guess. Our great friend and invaluable community member KookyKerry is an artist, an entrepreneur and a pretty genius lady in her own right.

She has created something pretty cool involving Simpsons LEGOs that we wanted you all to see, and if you’re able and interested, to support. There is nothing more fun than when we get to share in something with a member of the community of Friends. TSTO is all well and good but real life is (or should be) happening all around us and we’re always flattered when someone shares a bit of theirs with us.

Continue reading

TSTO Friends Community: AboutChoo!

ABOUTCHOO!

Ok so here’s the deal…

We here at TSTOFriends have an AMAZING community of readers, commenters and genuine friends. We laugh, we cry, we yell, we poke fun and celebrate the good times while propping each other up in the bad times. So in some ways it’s more like a family…a big crazy family; but without squabbling over inheritance (who gets rich Uncle Zeke’s gold!?) Before you start thinking this is going to be another sappy, “lets hug” post let me clear things up: it’ll only be like, half that.

We’ve had some pretty cool projects and opportunities for community participation. There are the amazing array of Guest Posts, the always fun Poll Results and Discussions, that fantastic Holiday Writing Contest we had and a smattering of other things in the Community Art and Writing Center. A personal favorite of mine and Patric’s was the TSTO Community World Map and Downloadable Travel-Brochure project.

Now besides all this fun, we often have outstanding ideas come from you, the readers. Whether it’s something for us to write or do or wear or parse…it’s all good fun. Now it’s time for a new twist. Continue reading

TSTO Community World Map and Downloadable Travel-Brochure

Maingraphic

 

This place is amazing…no doubt about it.
When people ask me what makes it so unique and different than other TSTO Blogs/Forums…the answer is easy- THE COMMUNITY.  We continue to be blown away by the interaction, civility, intelligence, and desire to share.

Nothing proves the point better than our Put A Pin In It map experiment. Well…TAKE A LOOK. More than 75 pages (and growing) and close to 37,000 words (and growing) this document is a testament to the power of the Internet and a “Silly Little Game” to cross boundaries, borders and differences- to become a single community.

THE DOWNLOADABLE .PDF Version of our Incredible TSTO Community World Map is done.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

Continue reading