The Real Value of a TSTO Storage Unit!

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I had this friend when I was younger who drank a lot. I mean a lot. His apartment was “decorated” with a huge collection of beer bottles, liquor bottles and wine bottles.  He was very proud of this collection. He had different labels, table coasters, bottle caps and shirts of all colors and varieties, all in alcohol themes, and all displayed lovingly on walls, shelves and tables. Everywhere.

Then one day, he stopped drinking. This was not a forced action, but one that came about after examining his life, his investment, and the effect his drinking had on the lives of others. He just stopped. Cold Turkey, so to speak.

I asked him what he was going to do with his huge collection, and he looked at me like I was out of my mind. “I’m keeping it, to remind me of what an assclown I was. I’ll keep some around…but I will box most of it and put it into storage.

OK. All righty then.

I ran into him a few years later, and asked him if he still had all of that stuff in storage. His reaction was priceless.
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Diary of a Freemium TSTO Easter, Part II

Dear-DiaryRyan here with the second edition of my Freemium TSTO Easter Diary.

Dear Diary, Today Johnny looked at me during the geography test. I could swear he did; but was he looking AT me or through me? Does he even really know I exist? I just want to know if he feels the same way about me before the Blossom Time dance…

No, not that diary. None of you should have seen that diary. This is the one where I document my experience playing this wonderful little update as a newly minted freemium player who refuses to give another dime to EA. Coincidentally Patric arrived at a similar point his own way and this now represents the current trend here at Friends and the course we will be taking unless something changes drastically.

If you only really care about game info, and were planning to skip over this be aware that at the end of the post I will be covering the latest rumors and gossip about coming events within the update, facts which may shock and enrage you. Or not, but they’re there. I’ll make them bold like that last part so that short attention span theater can enjoy the show too.

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TSTO EPPP Confidential – History Repeats

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TSTO EPP Confidential Part III – History Repeats

Sandy Hoofmeister couldn’t believe her luck. After weeks of watching the man of her dreams from afar, (or at least a corporate arm’s length away for propriety), she was finally sitting here, in the huge leather couch in Ted Baumgartner’s office, stroking Ted’s hair affectionately. She couldn’t be happier…even if Ted was passed out, and snoring; a direct result of the half bottle of single malt scotch he had consumed hours earlier.

The sun had begun to creep into the windows of Ted’s office, and Sandy knew that at some point very soon, perhaps in the next hour, Ted would wake, and they would have to address how they were going to keep their little secret from the rest of the staff at EA.

Fraternization between superiors and underlings was expressly forbidden, and yet it was common knowledge that any number of the wives and girlfriends to the executive staff had started out as their personal assistants. And she had wanted this more than she had wanted anything else in her life.
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Looking Forward…

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So…life after being a full-time TSTO Blogger and Unpaid EA tech support specialist. What does it look like? When I am Looking Forward… what do I see?

Well…here is one thing I can say without question…EA will not get another cent from me. Ever.

I will not be supporting the game, for the same reason, but will reserve the right to tap, “Freemium Style,” and to interact with my friends and neighbors. That’s it.

After posting my “see ya” yesterday, I went out and played a round of golf. When I got back, I began working on the “shoe solution,” had dinner with my wife, and realized that I was happy with my decision.

My phone lit up with a message that “my town was overrun with bunnies,” and I laughed…and reminded Siri that Easter was already over, and that now these were just bunnies. Nothing special…and certainly not worthy of my immediate attention.

That also made me smile…my wife shook her head, and made mention that while she liked to see me happy again, she was not wild about Siri being the source of my happiness. She and Siri have a tenuous relationship at best.

However, then I read some of the comments from my “see ya” post, and I was sad again. I felt bad because I wasn’t clear about my intentions…
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Improving Memory

RYAN-COMEDY

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Over time the brain deteriorates just like anything else. It occurs naturally as a result of aging, environmental exposure, and crack cocaine use. It is as inevitable as the tides. Thus, tricks for improving memory can be a great asset.

Tricks for improving memory can be a great asset. It’s true! A great asset can be tricks for improving memory. Because without them…something about memory and assets. What was I saying? Oh yeah, memory.

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TSTO Easter Side-Effects-If you can’t say something nice…

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I had a wonderful Easter yesterday. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and the air fresh and clean. We started the day by talking to all of my daughters and their families who are spread across the country. We talked by phone to our daughter in San Francisco, IM’d messages to my daughters in Beaverton and Medford who were both busy with Easter activities with our grandkids (including swapping pics). Deb did a step-by-step baking lesson with our daughter in New Jersey/NYC on how to make her “best ever” potato salad.  And then we SKYPED for an hour with our daughter who is doing an medical clinic internship in Uganda.

We filled out the day, by having Easter Brunch at our club, and watching a load of little ones gather eggs across the grass in front of the clubhouse. It was an amazing day… and I didn’t think about TSTO once.

Today…I took a look at what I had written and posted on Saturday (which ran this morning)…as well as the letter that one of our community readers and contributors has written to EA. And then I looked at the comments for each.

Finally… after reading some of the feedback, and some of my own vitriolic words about this update, as well as the blind loyalty by others to a company who clearly does not deserve it… I have come to a decision.
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Honey Coating This TSTO Update …Translation

TooMUCH-Honey

I obviously am not a fan of this update. The reasons are vast, and are becoming well documented. It is not fair. It is punitive in both time and money required…and above all, when you really break it down, the level of craziness seems designed to drive players away. EA is succeeding.

Witness the words from Tony, Also-Known-As Mr. T…the ORIGINAL TSTO Blogger who created TSTO Tips, and is for the most part, responsible for abstractly creating all of the other “offshoot blogs” that appeared when he hung up the keyboard last year.

MR. T…in response to my post- Breaking Down the Math of the Easter Eggstraction
“Well said – and after a couple of years playing (and a little blogging as well), EA may just have lost me with this event. I know they read the blogs (from personal experience) , so I know they know what players thought about the wheel. So what do they do? Create a month long event with all elements of actually earning a prize removed – and instead we have to take our chances on not one but three wheels. And I really don’t understand why the other blogs don’t see this.”

Well, Tony…first of all, again, thanks for dropping by. But, I KNOW why the other Blogs “don’t see it.” It is very clear, that their lives are so completely vested in the TSTO (and now FG) world, that all of their validation comes from keeping their readers filled with happy thoughts, while pushing away the negative (even though EA, as a company, and the writers are clearly taking advantage of those who play obsessively).

I would go so far as to say, that in this case…when ALL OF THE FACTS support that EA has rigged the game once again, and is really simply trying to milk EVERY LAST DOLLAR out of those left playing (their most loyal fans)…and the other bloggers actually WORK at denying the truth that is right in front of them…that it crosses the line from “Glass half full” into full-on obfuscaction.

ob·fus·cate  ˈäbfəˌskāt/Submit – verb
1.render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible to gain an advantage.

There is a method to the madness…and I have seen it in politics, advertising and marketing, trial lawyers, and K Street Lobbyists… the ability to muddy the water, by changing the conversation…WHEN THEY ARE CAUGHT IN A MISSTATEMENT OR FABRICATION.

And make no mistake…they have been caught in their own web of “sugar” that is both desperate and silly when you learn to read through the lines…and why
Honey Coating This TSTO Update and the Facts can be Dangerous…
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Dear EA VP of Mobile Gaming …

DEAR-FRANK

What follows is a VERY well written, and direct letter that was passed along to us by one of our community members. They asked that we not use her name, as she wanted a chance for Mr. Gibeau to respond first, as this was sent to his office. We are honoring that wish.Mr. Gibeau is the EA VP of Mobile Gaming and ultimately in charge of how this game (among others) is developed and executed. The words are all hers…but I could’t agree with them more.

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TSTO Shary Bobbins Walkthrough

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Ryan here with the last Easter guide. This is our Shary Bobbins Walkthrough. She’s another one-off character from the wonderful episode “Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious” Say that three times fast.

Her quest line is another painfully short one, and they call it “A Spoonful of Bitter.” Her tasks are mostly references to her single episode appearance and as her unlock message indiciates; belie the fact that she is actually dead.

All of this is dependent on you winning her from the dreaded Gold Easter Box of course, and you won’t get her any time soon. She’s the hardest one to get. If you’re one of the lucky or crazy ones, here it is…

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Celebrate Easter the Right Way…

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I admit readily, that since having an NDE in the mid-1990s, my relationship with organized religion is tenuous at best. It’s not that I don’t get what they are trying to do, it’s just that I tend not to need a load of rhetorical dogma and crazy mythology to keep me wanting to do the right thing. Knowing what is right, is pretty much innate, even if we know we can get away with not being caught. When we do wrong, it’s still wrong…no matter Who you believe may be watching you from above, or below, or from the pew behind you.

This is Easter, one of the Two Holiest Days in the Christian Faith, which ironically includes the birth of Christ and the death of Christ…and then the re-birth of Christ again. Seems like there should be more to celebrate…and of course, there is.

No matter which faith you choose, or not choose, or follow, or not follow…there is at the root, a very common sense notion that if obeyed, makes life far easier. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Treat people the way in which you would like to be treated.

Crazy simple…and yet, so hard to remember in day to day life.

I could go on and on with the basic struggle of mankind to do something so simple, and seemingly completely get it wrong. Or, I could take a bunch MORE time to lay out why “Free Will” and our ability to choose the right path a million times a day is actually the greatest gift of this existence.

But I won’t.
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NEWS FLASH – ANOTHER GLITCH IN EGGLAND- UPDATED

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That’s right folks…it has been reported that there is ANOTHER GLITCH IN EGGLAND

Apparently, many players are reporting eggs that were once stockpiling and building in their baskets (bought or won), have suddenly disappeared before they were full. Furthermore, this glitch THEN renders the baskets unusable by your neighbors…so they can’t even fill them up again.
LOVELY…

As you would expect… EA HELP DESK IS ON IT!!
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TSTO Hugs Bunny Walkthrough

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Ryan here with another Easter guide. This is our Hugs Bunny Walkthrough. He’s one of the Gold Easter Box prizes that comes as a full-ish (5 task) character and can referee Easter Egg hunts and other major sporting events.

His quest line is another painfully short and formulaic one, and they call it “The Last Temptation of Hugs Bunny.” He does all 5 of his tasks in a designated order. Theres some dialogue in there too.

All of this is dependent on you winning him from the dreaded Gold Easter Box of course, so you may or may not get him any time soon. If you’re one of the lucky or crazy ones, here it is…

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The Myth of Fairness For This Update is BUSTED…

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It’s interesting… when the debates between TSTO Bliss-Ninnies and the more Pragmatic among us happen…I always end up with readers getting upset with my “being mean,” about holding people to their words.

The Word that rankled me in the original post on the addicts site was “Guaranteed.” Again…as someone who has had to work with that word in my professional life, and understands the ramifications of using it incorrectly (the Attorney General may be giving you a call), I get a little ticked when those in authority (those who dispense advice to others) use it loosely.

Forget the fact that Alissa “Guaranteed” that it was possible to win every item offered with “dedicated tapping,” but she made that claim for FREEMIUM players.

Well…kids…nothing could be further from the truth, and now we have PROOF from someone who actually used donuts…and a LOT of them…and did NOT get the results that Alissa “guaranteed.”

The Myth of Fairness is busted…and so is any notion of a “Guarantee.”
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Easter Changes from the Changemaster General!

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Ah…when all is aflutter in the world of TSTO, and we find ourselves being dragged into chaos by subterfuge and obfuscation (man that word hits this Update on the HEAD), It is time to bring out the services of our own, CHANGEMASTER GENERAL, in the name of Adam, to clear things up!

There are loads of weird little changes…some biggies, and some outward crazy ones that deem our attention!
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Easter Baskets …Breaking Down the “Fun!”- UPDATED

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We have had a TON of questions regarding the acquisition, use, and emptying of Easter Baskets in this update.

I’m not surprised…as EA’s version of Explaining How Things Work, seems to be more along the lines of “Let them figure it out for themselves.”

OK…we did… Here are the deets…
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TSTO Father Sean Walkthrough

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Ryan here with another Easter guide. This is our Father Sean Walkthrough. He’s a one-off character without a voice. Likely because Liam Neeson (who played him on the show) thought Taken 3 was a better career move than TSTO. I can’t say I blame him.

His quest line is another painfully short one, and they call it “White Collar Hero.” His tasks are mainly culled from single lines in his episode of origin “The Father, The Son and the Holy Guest Star.”

All of this is dependent on you winning him from the dreaded Gold Easter Box of course, so you may or may not get him any time soon. If you’re one of the lucky or crazy ones, here it is…

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TSTO Crazy Cat Lady Walkthrough

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Ryan here with a Crazy Cat Lady Walkthrough. The most sought after (and coincidentally expensive) character in the update comes with her house and a premium price tag of 180 Donuts. Yeesh.

CCL aka Eleanor Abernathy is a fantastic character always good for a laugh on the show. Her quest line is called “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” If it looks a little short…well it is.

At least she has an Egg Earning Task and while she may not be voiced, she does make cat sounds. There’s a sentence I always knew I’d write at some point in my life…

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Tapped Out Easter Walkthrough

WALKTHROUGH-GenericRyan here with the standard quick Tapped Out Easter Walkthrough. Everything you need to stay on track and play through this update quickly and efficiently.

The main quest is but a shade of the full story. We’ll cover the premium content, the egg gathering and prizes. All the mechanics and other things that will be keeping us busy for the next month. The main questline will take a normal person maybe a week and a half…so don’t go nuts. There is plenty of time.

Refer back here if you need any help progressing through the 18 parts of the main quest: “Four Day Weekend For Our Sins” in all its delightfully sacriligious glory. There are also a few side quests. SPOILERS FOLLOW….

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TSTO Friends Community: AboutChoo!

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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

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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

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