Weekend Game Play in the Real World…


I didn’t even open up my game yesterday…and *GASP* I am alive to tell the tale. I was totally and completely immersed in fruit salad…which is what I now call it when the “fruit of my loins” come to visit…and bring additional parts to the huge Miller salad that is our family.

Starting Thursday at just before Midnight…and arriving in waves over the next day, we were inundated with four of our five daughters visiting from disparate points across the globe…with boyfriends, and parents of boyfriends, and brother of boyfriend in tow. Two from NYC, 4 from San Francisco, 2 (soon to be 4 from Portland), and 2 from Corvallis…all (with the exception of the two Corvallis Beaver fans) here for a weekend of Duck football, nightlife, and general mayhem.

I don’t know if there ever WAS a General Mayhem in any of the wars…but there should have been, Because General Mayhem ensued!And conquered… And it was a blast. 

And I didn’t miss Moe’s clothes. They were all waiting for me when I woke up this morning…as was the answer to the question well before the Simpsons episode aired…compliments of the hackers, who have so little in their real lives, that reporting everything they can find, WAY ahead of time, gives them value…kinda.

Continue reading

When Creepy Crawlies Come Crawlin’ Atcha…TSTO and True Life


I am really enjoying one of the cool programming tricks that EA has done for this update. I am loving it when you first open up the screen and squish your first alien. Then…if your game is like mine…count to ten, and pull your view back to its fullest size…and watch.

Do you see it? Can you see that all of the free aliens, Grem-Aliens, and even the trick-or-treaters in the area, all start moving quickly toward your last tap. It’s fun. It’s kinda creepy. And it really makes it easy to nail a TON of probes, treat bags, and beasties in a short time.

I remember feeling REALLY frustrated with some of the other updates with snakes, gremlins, ghosts and zombies. It took a TON of time to scan your town and find them all… Now, not so much. That first tapped alien works like setting out a plate of rat poison. I know.  And lived to tell the tale…

Continue reading

Mini-InGame Update – Find Moe’s Clothes-UPDATED

OK. I’ll admit it.  I was surprised to have this update hit. But not surprised that it seems to be glitchy. Thanks EA. I got nothing else to do this afternoon.

I triggers automatically…

Continue reading

Getting the DTs over the DTD?  Relax! It’s Just a Sugar Rush…


I know that as much as I want to consider myself an expert in TSTO…and that I play at a level that is far above that of the average player, I have to confess, that just like my golf game, I am only slightly above average.  While the vast majority of golfers are happy to break 100 in 18 regulation holes (with no Mulligans, or foot wedges), I regularly shoot in the low 80s. But, I have only broken 80…ONCE. One time. In more than 1,000 rounds over 7+ years.  I have friends who throw giant hissy fits…and even go into histrionics that mimic the DTs (delirium tremors) when they DON’T break 80. I like them anyway.

So…when I actually play TSTO at a casual pace…don’t rush with donuts…and simply “work the system” in a basic, steadfast way…and GET THE PRIZE with room to spare…I realize that LOADS of people who DO rush, play incessantly, and REALLY work every angle, must have reached the goal far sooner…once again making me average.

I know some of you HAVEN’T yet reached the 8050 (that’s right Loobs….8050) needed to get the Donut Torture Device yet…but you still have FOUR MORE DAYS to get it.

Is it worth all of the craziness, tension, stress, and mild facial tics that seem to accompany these kinds of goals reached only through tedious tapping?  Well…YES. YES IT IS! Bwahahahahaha!! (sorry…it’s that time of the year…and I can’t really help myself. The bwahahahahahas just pop out).

Continue reading

Hugo-Yes or Hugo-Not? History and Guide to Bart’s Bro…


Sorry. It was the best pun I could come up with regarding Hugo. I can’t even remember who the Huguenots were…so I had to look it up.

  1. The Huguenots (/ˈhjuːɡənɒt/ or /huːɡəˈnoʊ/; French: [yɡno], [yɡəno]) are an ethno-religious group who were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries and during the mass exodus for those who fled out of France or stayed in the Cévennes.

But back on point…I got Hugo last night…and I have to admit, he makes me kinda sad. His story is one of a deep dark secret, tied to mismanagement of a good/bad conjoined twin…and the dialogue when you win him makes you feel sorry for the little fish-head-eater.

But then…you are so completely overwhelmed with the sense of accomplishment for EARNING Hugo, that you pat yourself on the back (being careful to set your padular device down first) for being so dedicated, focused, and disciplined as to keep your little trick-or-treat clan collecting tirelessly, 24-hours a day, non-stop.

So…what’s the best way to get Hugo? Where did he come from? And why is it going to be weird to have him in your Springfield after Halloween?

Read on…

Continue reading

The Great Countdown Mystery


I thought it was odd, and frankly, didn’t believe them when they started reporting that their countdowns for the Donut Torture Device had been lowered from 8050 to just 5400.  The primary reason it bothered me, is that I DIDN’T GET MINE LOWERED!!

I stewed half of the night over this… “Here we go…another rigged algorithm…just like Christmas and Easter…it’s the freakkin’ WHell logic all over again!! Bastids!!  Why are they singling out long time players again???  This is crap!”

But I didn’t stop there…

“Wait…maybe it’s an AGE THING!!  Most of the people reporting this are much YOUNGER than you!  They are punishing OLD PEOPLE…the ageist bastids!!! That’s why they had us enter our ages into the last update!! I won’t stand for this!!!  I NEED PROOF!!!

And then…this morning when I woke up…I GOT IT!
Continue reading

TSTO Halloween 2014 – Everything You Need to Know


One of the most frustrating things about doing a blog during a huge update, is answering the same questions, over, and over, and over, and over, and over (yes I am making a point) and over again!  And it is partly my fault.

As a marketing person, I know what “sells.”  The sad fact is, the word “Cheat” is the most powerful search word in TSTO. People are lazy…the updates are confusing…and the drive-by info seekers want every bit of hacked/fracked info they can find…from day one.

So…for the last few big updates, I have been putting that word into the title of the post that has the full walkthrough…usually on the first or second day of the update.

And THAT’S where my own trouble starts. Because traffic-wise…people keep going to that page…it may or may not have ALL of the info that you need…but it is the FIRST place people go…and almost a week into this thing, it is still the MOST read post for the update. UNTIL NOW…………………….
Continue reading

When Even the Hacker/Frackers get it wrong… NEW DATE INFO


When I post a walk through, or leaked date information, it is done so with the DISCLAIMER that it is in fact leaked/hacked/fracked info and may or may NOT be accurate. I don’t hack or frack. Or “look into the game files (which is a euphemistic term for hacking) It’s illegal. But, the info gets spread around the net anyway…like a Kim Kardashian sex tape.

As it turns out…MISTAKES are made…and disseminated…which can result in untold craziness and insanity (remember Weapons of Mass destruction in Iraq?)

Anyway…there is ONE SOURCE that usually doesn’t rush out to post game file info for a few days…because they want to get it right..vet it…and then post it. And no…it isn’t one of the Bliss Ninny sites, even though they claim to never post inaccurate info that they have gleaned from “looking inside of the files.” It is the SIMPSONSWIKI.

Continue reading

In Game Update…Candy Crash…Updated


Out of the blue…a  a HUGE 409 MB update has hit. Sheeeeeeesh. This thing is such a memory hog. Bug Fixes?  More?  Let’s Take a Look!
Continue reading

Welcome to A TSTO Community that is DIFFERENT…


Whenever there is an update, loads of new folks swing by and discover us. When it is a major update like this one, even MORE people stop by to grab info…and ask questions and occasionally drop a comment or two.

But here’s the deal, Noooobs (rhymes with Booooooooooobs) this place is different. There are a ton of places to get information. There are even *ghasp!* other TSTO blogs!! But what makes this place different is that every once in a while…even in the middle the first week of a new update…we take the time to DO SOMETHING THAT MATTERS.

It’s funny…EA/Gracie made fun of us for tapping too much (or maybe it was in in-office joke). Whatever the case, they used a term that I have purloined (look it up…great word) that kind of defines what we are here. “Life Currency” was used to describe the value of our time. This game wastes a ton of time. A TON…But we in this community (at least 1% of you) offset the ridiculous expenditure of “Life Currency” to DO SOMETHING THAT MATTERS in addition.

Continue reading

Are You On Track for the Donut Torture Device???

Let’s face it. The only really cool prize that is being offered in the first round of prizes is the Donut Torture Device. At least we THINK it is going to be cool…and might come with a few tasks that will allow you to strap Homer or maybe Wiggum to it.

The peacock is cute. Really. I like the way it looks pretty…and then bristles up like a crazy, wild thing. It reminds me of my first wife.

But, it is going to take a bit of consistent Alien Squishing to hit the DTD… Let’s take a look at the chart!
Continue reading

Crafting a Prize from the “Make-A-Thing” Shop


I thought the dialogue between Lisa and the Aliens was hilarious…talking about building something in the “Make A Thing” shop they opened.  Creating something from little bits and eyeballs and clothing accessories…very much like the “Make A Bear” franchise that recently closed up shop at our big local mall.

Not enough people wanted to make a bear…at around $30 a pop for a basic bear. So…I wonder how many people are actually excited about the “Make-A-Thing” options being offered?

Well…it is a cute idea. And it isn’t a big deal to get things started…but takes a LOT of tapping to get the cool stuff.

Let’s take a look!
Continue reading

REALLY EA?? – CrankyOldGuy Goes Off On FusterClucks…


I have been playing TSTO for more than two years now. This is my THIRD Halloween update. I have lived through 59 real Halloweens…and I have to say, REALLY EA? Can’t we just keep it simple and have fun?

And would it KILL YOU to do a decent instruction documentation that doesn’t require hacker/frackers to look into your game files to figure out what the FRAK is going on???

Let’s just call a FusterCluck a FusterCluck…shall we? This is a FusterCluck.

I KNOW that you meant well, EA…but again…just a TAD more documentation would be swell… So we could actually RELAX a bit and have some FUN.

Let’s break this down with a few suggestions…

Continue reading

The Trick or Treat Glitch- SOLVED…mostly….kinda…

I remember when I was a kid…we trick-or-treated in shifts.  Start early…take out the little kids with you for the first hour…circle back…dump your candy and the kids back home…and start all over again. We would run between houses…it was a once-a-year chance to load up on candy, which was otherwise mostly banned from our diets. It is an odd message to give a kid…and probably why I to this day have “issues” passing up sweets when they are offered. But I digress…

The PROBLEM AT HAND…is NOT getting credit for all of the trick-or-treating you are doing in the game…

Continue reading


As I said in the opening impressions of this update…it is REALLY Premium loaded…as in you better be a hacker, or have a bunch of money you don’t care about to drop on digital baubles that sit on someone else’s servers.

After looking at all of the offerings, especially from the standpoint of someone who already has a TON of this stuff from the past two Halloweens, there really aren’t a lot of choices. But there is at least one REALLY COOL thing, that I couldn’t pass up.

Let’s dive in.
Continue reading

Halloween 2014 – By the Numbers


Let’s all just agree on something…this update is REALLY convoluted. It has a lot of mysteries that are only being SLOWLY unraveled…and some are not clear even after almost 48 hours. Hey. They should name a TV show that…”48 Hours.” Oh…wait…never mind.

The Math of this thing seems daunting…but after some careful testing, logging, relogging, timing, resetting of timers, some sleep, with timers on, and then some more setting of timers, I believe I have the answers to some of the most important math in this update!!

Continue reading

Mini Update…just glitch/bug fixes…

As is the NORM with updates (SNAFU…situation normal all f’d up) there will be loads of mini-in-game updates that will hit…like the one that just hit. They are mostly just bug fixes. We don’t see anything that has changed…but most likely they have repaired some of the reported bugs that were happening with visiting neighbors, and old items disappearing. At least that’s what I HOPE was being fixed.

Carry on.  Keep squishing….or popping…or shooting…

Holloween…24 Hours In…and SO Many Questions!


All right…I admit it. Yesterday just about did me in. I hadn’t really planned very well…and had a FULL day of WERK stuff I had to do. I also had some painting prep for our huge week of visitors next week (because once you start painting some walls…it seems they all need to be painted…and one of my daughter’s is bringing her boyfriend, his parents, and his brother up from San Fran for the Duck game…and they are all staying here…and so the prep projects are expansive and frantic…because “she who always sees another project” must be obeyed…and…well I digress). But you get the picture.

And THEN the update hit.

One of the most convoluted, and multi-layered updates to hit in a while. Fun…but LOADS of details.

And it raised a TON of questions…that need answering!!
Continue reading

Halloween 2014- Game Play Basics


Again…all I can say is WOW! The Halloween update is LOADED with fun…lots of prizes…goofy/fun dialogue and lots and lots of reasons to spend donuts!

What? Did I just say that?  OK…so…yes…this update seems REALLY slanted away from Freemium Players. It is going to take Herculean tapping time and prowess to get every prize…as there are just so many elements to the game play…and the prizes roll out in a controlled…but LIMITED TIME manner.

There are a ton of ways to keep you tapping…but, at least it feels rewarding…which is a positive thing. You aren’t destroying stuff (OK…so maybe you are destroying Aliens, Grem-Aliens, and Space ships…but come on! They are Aliens!), but the idea is the reward for destroying stuff is better than gold or elixir…it’s Candy, and Broken Fences, and Pumpkins, and…never mind. It sounds really silly when I type it.

OK…Click Below for the Game Play Basics. After you read it, I’m sure this will all make perfect sense.

Continue reading

Halloween 2014 – Complete Cheat Guide – With Walkthrough- UPDATED

OK. WOW! So…as usual…I am going to go with, The Simpsons Crew really pulls it out for Halloween. This looks like it is going to be a BLAST…and there have even been a ton of game improvements added.

First…let’s take a look at the new Store Interface…sleek…and WAY easier/faster to access stuff. They are also “recommending” purchases. Cute.  The Storage area is also greatly improved. Again…faster to find things. Very nice.

Let’s move onto Game Play…
I’m going to Try Something Here…Rather than posting a zillion updates about every nuance…I am going to keep adding to this one post initially…and then will create a Page with all of the links as we progress.

As always…if you don’t want to know…don’t click below!
Continue reading


Put your username in the comments below…please no more than one comment per username.  Thanks!

Halloween Update…Hitting Us Like a Ton of…ALIENS!- Updated with Spoilers

First glimpse of the Halloween 2014 Update…and it looks…OK…Kinda Familiar in some ways…and VERY cool in others.

There are LOADS of old Halloween items for sale…for donuts. Almost EVERY SINGLE HALLOWEEN ITEM FROM THE PAST TWO HALLOWEENS…will be available… all for donuts. LOTS of donuts.

A handful of weird new stuff…including a Haunted Drive-In Movie…for donuts…

Catching a trend here??  Get out your wallets kids. Halloween is going to be expensive.



SPOILER ALERT… If you Don’t Want to Know…don’t click below!
Continue reading

Time to Beat Swords Into…Uhm…That Plow Thingy?


I am a student of history…especially the arcane weird aspects of history…like episodes of great ambiguity that prove that we are profoundly human, with all of the foibles associated with being humans.

Like all of the acts of kindness that happen in times of war, or even cold wars.

The famous statue that resides near the United Nations, depicting the biblical phrase from Isaiah,”Let Us Beat Swords into Plowshares” by Yevgeny Vuchetich – a gift to UN by the Soviet Union (1959). The statue was installed just a couple of years before Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushcev infamously banged his shoe in protest at the United Nations, and made references to turning the West into dust with nuclear weapons.  OK. So maybe you don’t need swords if you have nukes.

Silly humans. Like Homer Statues as the final reward for destroying your neighbors…hahahahaha!

Or the incidence of the Christmas Eve truce, when German and Allied troops, all along the trench lines of WWI, which stretched hundreds of miles through France and Belgium, spent Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day, serenading one another with Christmas carols, and exchanging food and drink in “No Man’s Land”…as an act of humanity…and then went on to annihilate one another until late 1918, sometimes at a rate of as many as 60,000 casualties in a single day (with a final grand total of 1,200,000+) along the same lines near the Somme.

Ah…silly humans. That’s why they call it no man’s land! Nobody was left after 4 years of being human.

So here we sit…waiting for the battle to finally end…and it will end. But not before you can get a few pops in before they pull the plug…because that’s what we do!
Continue reading

Clash of Clones…Preparing for the End and the Coc Clutter Conundrum

Whoohoo! Not since the storied “Whacking Day” have I so looked forward to an update ENDING. I have been preparing for this for a while now…doing my best to figure out how to organize and purge myself of the remnants of Clutter of the Clash. But I have run into to wrinkles… Which I truly hope will rectify themselves in a few hours.

In less than 24 hours (18 by this writing) the countdown clock on Clash of Clones should hit ZERO. It will be the last chance for you to do a couple of things… Buy the Bart Shadow Knight Skin (Pass) and figure out how you want to spend your LOADS of Elixir, before the options all go away. You don’t really have a ton of options, and buying a bunch more stuff, just adds to the Clash of Clones Clutter you have to deal with when the update is finally over.

Here are my suggestions for Preparing for the FINAL HOURS of CLASH OF CLONES…
Continue reading

New Donut Glitch…Not a Glitch…Just EA being Sneaky

We have been getting reports of people having donuts taken from their account, even when they decided NOT to by something…or buying just by “looking” at something.

Well…the same thing happened to me, almost. But, I figured it out…it’s not that there is a glitch…it is just EA being really, really, really, sneaky.

Continue reading

Why This Site Survives…


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 Crunch Time…Please Don’t Leave Us Stalled


We are in the final countdown to what is the most important update in the history of TSTOFriends.

No. I am not talking about the ridiculous–and getting worse–Clash of Clones update, that is desperately begging you to spend REAL money on digital nothings…so you can possibly earn another digital nothing.

I’m not talking about the MOST Ridiculous offer ever…in the chained Nerds that COST DONUTS…that would be a constant reminder how EA has Chained us to this horrible update…and then at the end…Keep Asking Us For MONEY.

Nope. I am asking you for money for something that MATTERS…

I am talking about a project that is desperately stalled…at critical time… our project to build bathrooms for the Village School in Buyijja.  We have paid for the excavation…and it is being done. We have raised ALMOST all of the money for the second phase…the installation of the primary facilities…but we are SHORT $600 to be able to complete it.

And I’m Talking About a REAL REWARD…as in a ONE of a KIND Autographed picture of Yeardly Smith (Lisa) for one of you who donates!

Continue reading

Shadow Knight Update…


I would honestly like too have whatever the folks at EA and Gracie are smokin’…because their timing, and pricing, just couldn’t be worse.

It’s another “skin” for Bart. It is completely Non-Canon…It is REALLY expensive.

Let’s just cut to the chase here…no prolonging the agony.

I. Will. Not. Buy. It.


There. Done.

Now…PLEASE…let this stupid update be over.

Game Changers that almost KILLED TSTO


In my tribute to Two Years of playing TSTO, (sheesh…it makes me a little embarrassed to even type those words) I am looking back on highlights and lowlights of the game, and asking YOUR opinion (which I will promptly disregard, as it is my blog and I am the “expert”). Ok. So maybe that is a bit harsh…but let’s face it. Outside of some casual interplay between towns, it isn’t like you can really interact with real people on a daily basis, which leads to isolationism that can lead to all sorts of social disorders in your perception of self-importance.

Understanding and recognizing that you may in fact NOT be the most important person that ever played the game of TSTO is the first step toward recovery. I have done my best to recognize that fact in myself…and have apparently failed miserably, as it is not stopping me from declaring the changes in the game that I deem to be the worst ideas ever.

This is by no means a comprehensive list…as it is clear that most of the updates and some of the dialogue (often laden with typos) is being done by the seat of their collective pants. (is the plural of pants, still pants? Man…I can’t remember that one…need to Google it).  Ah…that’s better.

I suspect it really has more to do with how silly one would feel writing the sentence, “flying by the seat of their collective pantses.”  It just looks wrong. But, I digress…

Back to TSTO’s most disastrous game-changers!

Continue reading

The BEST Updates Ever List…and Why

It cracks me up to think that I now have yet another “weird thing” I don’t break out at dinner parties.  The NDE is a beaut…even with all of the recent hubbub and movies about “seeing heaven,” or “life beyond death” with shows like “Leftovers.”  But the fact is…compared to admitting that I have been tapping for two years, telling people that you had an NDE is cake.

The litmus test for being comfortable with some personal quirk or foible is if you feel comfortable telling golf buddies, or people at the Rotary club about your secret passion.  Luckily for me, I don’t belong to the Rotary – but I do golf. And you can bet your buns that I don’t casually bring up my excitement or disdain for an update or new character…much less admit that I have been tapping for more than two years…blogging for over a year…and even wrote a book about it. There are more important things to talk about on the golf course…like why I think that hinging my wrists too early is likely responsible for my slice with long irons.  Pfffttt…don’t tell ME that golf is a silly, frustrating game…or were we talking about TSTO again?  There are obvious similarities…But, as usual…I digress.

Because what I REALLY wanted to do was give you my opinion as to what I regard as the TOP FOUR ALL-TIME BEST UPDATES IN TSTO (why limit yourself to three?). I know. I know. I have already made it clear how much I detest “best of” lists. I even cancelled my subscription to Rolling Stone over their “Top 100 Guitarists of All Time” list. But…here goes.

There have been SIXTY TWO content updates in TSTO over the course of two years (according to the SimpsonsWiki). That is a TON of content, dialogue, information, game play and chances to get it right.  In my estimation, there is a lot they got right, an almost equal amount they got wrong (like most of last year), and loads and loads of stuff that was kinda safe, boring, and designed to lure you into spending money.

But there are FOUR Major Updates that Stand Out as the BEST UPDATES EVER…

Continue reading

Two Years of Tapping…I’ll Tell You Mine if You Tell Me Yours!


Two years.

In TSTO time that’s like…well…a LIFETIME!

It was two years ago today, that I started tapping.

It was one of those random moments, where my grandsons (then 10 and 8) challenged me to tap. They had just started the game, because their friends told them to play. And when I discovered that we could “tag” one another’s towns randomly- even from 100 miles away- I was in. Anything to stay in touch with my grandsons…and be annoying. It just seemed like a perfect combination.

But of course, I had stronger ties to the Simpsons in my “past life” as a music composer and producer, in a five degrees of separation thing with Matt Groening. I loved the Simpsons, while admittedly had not watched faithfully for years.  My Simpsons watching correlated eerily with my church-going…both of which suffered greatly after breeches of faith (both in trust of higher powers…one God, the other Fox…you decide who is more powerful).

Whatever the case…within a very short amount of time, I was hooked…big time…and I never looked back.

It’s easy to forget those first few weeks of tapping…as they melded right into the first Halloween Update, which made things exciting, confusing and fast-paced.  But because I wrote a book about it last year (with Ryan), it is easy to go back and get my impressions.

Continue reading

The Longest Garbage Time Ever…ALMOST Over!

Here’s the drill kids. We simply have to endure. Hope prevails…as we now approach what will be TWO YEARS of the modern era of TSTO (after the game was pulled from its first incarnation, and reintroduced around this time in 2012). We have endured several stages of garbage time…that time when we are counting down between updates, and hoping for the next “Something HUGE” to happen.

The irony of the fact that Clash of Clones was “something huge,” is not lost on me. At least it felt like something huge…at first. But the fact is, as we have discussed ad nauseam (and now as has been revealed in the Simpson’s Writer Interview), Clash of Clones was really more a huge inside joke between the writers…and the programmers…who admittedly play Clash of Clans more than they play Tapped Out. Go figure.

And was there irony in the fact that during the Simpsons Season 26 debut, there was NO advertisement for TSTO…but there was an ad for Clash of Clans? Come on. FOX is one of the owners of the TSTO franchise…and even they are happy to take money from the competitor.

So where does this leave us?
Continue reading

The Simpsons Guy Mashup….Pretty Smashing

There is something wrong for Simpsons fans when the mashup meant to be a tribute to a still running show is better than the original show.

Back to back…the Season opener for the Simpsons (which was a holdover from Season 25) and the Mashup-Hour-Long episode of the Family Guy made it pretty clear…the changing of the guard is almost complete.

We might as well be watch Rory McIlroy and Tiger. You can guess who is whom.

Continue reading

Season 26 Debuts…And The Results are “EH!”


Not…Meh! But “Eh” which apparently is the Jewish equivalent of “meh.” At least that’s what Krusty’s Dad said…like right before he croaked.

So..if you haven’t seen the episode…yes, the worst kept secret is out….Krusty’s Dad died.

All of the teasers seemed to point at Krusty…and he does have a brief NDE…kinda.

There was also one of the strangest “Couch Gags” ever…and considering some of the recent ones…that is saying something.

But there’s more.
Continue reading

Simpsons Season 26 Debut…Someone dies…of waiting.

I admit it.  I am kind of excited for the debut….if only to FINALLY get the answer to the question of who dies?

We are pretty sure of one thing…it is going to be Krusty…or Krusty’s Dad…or someone Krusty knows.

Here is another interesting article….LOADED with hints.

Continue reading

Toilets Two Worlds Apart…Two Solutions

I woke up this morning with the muscles in my neck and shoulders aching. This is a rare occurrence, even at the age of 60. I am strong. I am in relatively good shape. But this was my first introduction into the world of “Toilet Yoga.”

Don’t expect to see “Groupon” specials for Toilet Yoga online anytime soon. I don’t recommend it. Oh…and I made it up…with the help of the folks who made the old toilet seats I had to change out as part of our “get ready for company” preparations.

I had to change out two toilet seats. “No big deal,” I said…”should be a 20 minute job, tops.” And then I realized that the two seats (which we had installed about 7 years ago at the same time) both had corroded plastic washers and nuts that were very difficult to reach. The “special toilet loosening tool” I bought at Lowes did not work. At all. The socket wrench did not work. At all. Pliers only broke the edges off of the plastic nuts….and still…they didn’t move. Finally…using a combination of a wrench, as well as pliers, I was able to muscle the bolts off, and change out the seat…a half hour later…in the FIRST bathroom.

The second bathroom, upstairs…is a small guest bathroom…with the toilet crammed into the corner…beside the sink…under a counter. As in very little space to move. I am a big guy…big shoulders…big arms…the bathroom is small.

The bolts were even worse…and I was having to do it “blind” as I could not wedge myself close to the bathroom bowl to see what I was doing.

This was not going to turn out well.
Continue reading

Test Your Simpsons Knowledge…The Simpsons SAT Test


OK. I admit it. I didn’t do well on the the REAL SATs (so…yes…maybe I DID go to a kegger down by the river the night before the test). And…as a result, am not a fan of the whole concept of a kid’s future being altered by one stupid test.

Luckily for all of us…the SIMPSONS SAT Test doesn’t really change a thing in your life…except, make you feel foolish, and like you weren’t paying attention…just like the real SATs.

This is part of the Vulture Magazine’s week-long tribute to the Simpsons. Never heard of Vulture?  Me neither…until today. But, hey…it’s pretty cool!

Continue reading

The Top 100 Simpsons Episode to Stream…kinda

I have a bad history with other people’s lists, to say nothing of my own. I hate it when someone asks me for my “Top Ten Albums,” or “The 10 DVD movies you would take on a dessert island with you if you were stranded.” First of all…there is no electricity on dessert islands…so the question is stupid.


Do you really think that I could narrow a whole life time of media consumption and passion down to a narrow list? Get real.

But then there are those lists that just plain piss me off to a point that action must be taken. I cancelled my subscription to Rolling Stone years ago, when I became so incensed over their “Greatest 100 Guitar Players of All Time” and rationalize that anyone who would place Jack White in the top 20…over countless FAR BETTER guitar players, didn’t really have a clue about music…and therefor did not deserve my fiscal support.

Rolling Stone has since modified that list…and put Mr. White way back in the pack…where he belongs. But, I have not renewed my subscription.

So…imagine my chagrin…and relief….when I read THIS Vulture article.

Continue reading

Interview with Simpsons Game Writer…Fun and Troubling at the Same Time


I guess I admit to being surprised. Even shocked. I think some of you in England call it “Gobsmacked.”  I was sent an article yesterday by a couple of different readers, with an interview of a current Simpsons show/game writer that kind of blew my mind.

And…I admit that I had never heard of the online publication, Vulture

If what the article reveals is true, then we have all been completely mistaken about a TON of things that we assumed. What is odd, and I will talk about this in a more detailed analysis in another part, is that the writers seem to pass around the chore of writing game dialogue to one another like a hot potato…and that most of the “jokes” that we take as taunting insults, are just personal jokes between one another.

It’s worth the read…and maybe, if you are like me, you might be…you might feel relieved, then pissed off, when you read it.

Continue reading

Having Problems With Your Uter?


I know…it sounds like a very personal question. After all…not everyone even HAS an Uter. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Some take pride in their Uters. Others kind of just let their Uters be part of who they are, without really calling attention to them.

I am relatively ambivalent about my Uter. I like my Uter, but the fact is…I’ve had trouble with my Uter, and finally am forced to talk to others about it.

Once you admit to having an Uter…and then go on to tell people that you having problems with your Uter…you get that kind of blank stare from people that is a mix of, “Did you just say what I think you said?” and “This is not the kind of thing that polite people discuss in public.”

I get it. Maybe standing in line at the bank isn’t the best place to talk about problems with your Uter. But I had to talk to someone.

And, that’s why I am so happy to be here…among friends…some of whom may even have an Uter of their own…and may even be having issues.

Continue reading

As Predicted… New Episode Tie-In Update Hits – Cheat Guide Attached


As we predicted last week…a NEW UPDATE has hit…

Krusty Starts… New Krusty Mansion available…

It would appear that Krusty isn’t the one getting “offed,” in the opening episode…it would seem cruel to give him his mansion and then kill him.

Click Below for Details-
SPOILER ALERT…. If you don’t want to know…don’t click below

Details…and WalkThrough Follow

Continue reading

The Need for Greed… Going Broke in TSTO


I admit it. I never thought it would come to this…but I actually have had to THINK about getting back into playing TSTO Old School Style.  Why?

I’m broke.

I have been just a tad cavalier about keeping my townspeople busy “earning.” I just haven’t been bothered. It seemed like too much trouble to tap the whip and make them actually DO something.

And let’s face it…it has been so easy to amass large chunks of game dollars…for just kinda hanging around…I admit that I got a bit of the Trust-ifarian attitude, thinking that if I just checked my $ balance and didn’t go nuts in spending, that keeping at least $2M- $5M in the bank would be as easy as calling up my family broker for a transfer of cash.

Then I remembered… I don’t have a family broker.

And then I bought the Sit-N-Rotate…and then I bought a crap-load of land…like all of what was offered…and then Arnie Ziff showed up…and the next thing you know…I was looking at a balance that was less than 6 figures…barely what Adrian Peterson makes in a month!  YIKES!!!

What can I do?  I KNOW that Artie is going to want to buy Ziff Corp any day now…what am I going to tell him?

Continue reading

Making Room for Success…and the Paradox of Clutter


It’s a little unnerving how often this weird little game mirrors thoughts and actions I have in real life. But this weekend, as I was clearing out a giant assortment of stored clutter from what was supposed to be a workshop area in our basement, I couldn’t help but think of the TSTO storage unit that I have cluttered with so much dram and fluff from past updates, that I have all but forgotten about the toil and tribulation expended to earn them.

And then…in the next instant, I am annoyed with myself for succumbing to the “Great Curse of Modern Civilization,” that of WANTING all of the stuff in the first place!

I am a collector of memories, and the swag that goes along with those memories.  I am a physical/real world “FaceBook photo album” of archived bits and pieces…some large, some small, all mostly worthless…except to me.

But, unlike the digital storage for TSTO, or the ever-expanding storage capabilities of online and cloud storage for unending memories (which are ironically converted to bits and bytes of computer memory), the physical constraints and constant reminders of my need to archive memories takes a toll in real space.

Some would call it eccentric. Others would call it borderline sickness, worthy of a chapter on the reality series “Hoarders.”  I simply call it…who I am. I have lived a rich life, full of experiences of a wide variety, and I find it difficult to give up the tokens and artifacts of those experiences. Most everything in the vast collection of “stuff” has some “special meaning.”

It is very similar to what we face in the game of TSTO…especially those of us who have been playing the game for almost two years (come October 1st for me). SO MUCH STUFF…with a constant psychological battle of where to put it all…what is important…and what can just go into storage.

It is embarrassing to have such a problem…knowing that in my heart, the question continues to circle with an ever-increasingly louder voice that screams, “Do We REALLY Need ANY of IT???

Continue reading

Hey…Let’s Start the Week With a Laugh…from RYAN!

I was just about to head off to bed, and my dinger dinged…telling me I had an email alert.

It was telling me that Ryan had just posted a new comedy piece…. COOL!  Haven’t seen hide, nor hair of him in weeks… As it turns out…he was doing some cave exploration!

Check it OUT!
Continue reading

Keeping Balance…Winning Teams…Valuing Time


A TSTO term continues to resonate in my mind…”Life Currency.”  Such a great description of time. It’s the most valuable thing we have in this existence. It is finite. It is immeasurable in its value. And we often find ourselves finding ways to waste it.

But…I get it. Sometimes you just need to compartmentalize and turn off the distractions. Sometimes you NEED distractions from obligations. And sometimes your distractions start to feel like obligations. In all cases…it’s best to just turn some things off.

I did yesterday. The Annual Miller Golf Tournament was yesterday.  I started playing golf 7 years ago…and my sister Molly (the LPGA teaching pro) started the tournament immediately…in order to humiliate and defeat me. She is very competitive. She has never given me a lesson. And as of yesterday… her teams have only won, two of the eight years the tournament has been played…INCLUDING YESTERDAY…hehehehehe…

Continue reading

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


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

Correct and Efficient Strategies for Juggling Three Updates…


OK…so, EA is making the point that this is NOT a period of EALP…and is turning into a PORU on steroids!

It’s a little like the folks in SW United State complaining about drought conditions, and then facing three weeks of torrential flash floods.

But unlike the ramifications of wildfires, flash floods and earthquakes (yes…it seems that God is mad at California), this is just a silly game, doing its best to keep us engaged after a long period of nothing…

SO…What is the best method for “having it all?”

It’s easier than you think.
Continue reading

SHOULDJA?  Üter Zörker


I loves me some chocolate. And sweets. Mostly cinnamon rolls. And Ice Cream. Which is why after I stopped playing football and rugby, I really had to watch my weight. I feel bad for Uter (no…I’m not going to keep typing the umlet thingy). I was a “husky kid” when I was young…and because of that HATED the “name game” song that was popular when I was in third grade.

Sing it along with me…

“Sally Sally Bo Balley, Banana Fanna Foe-Fally, Me- Mi-Mo-Mally…Sally!”  Now do it with Pat. Get the picture?  Me and Chuck. We were cursed.

I get that fat kids are funny…they have been a staple of slapstick humor for generations. Luckily for me…I stretched out in 8th grade…and grew 8 inches in a year. Yes…I was a freak.  I was also an athlete…and by the time I was in high school…nobody called me fat. And if they did…I just laughed…and beat the crap out of them.  Nobody snapped me with a towel for being a fat kid…unlike Uter…who got snapped by Homer (no slim-Jim himself) in one of the episodes.


So did I buy Uter? Especially after EA jacked the price back up to the “greedy” level of 160 donuts after giving us Akira and the Happy Sumo for 100 just a couple of weeks ago?

Continue reading

Complete Cheat Guide to Level 45 and the Fat Kid

We were pleasantly surprised to find another Level Update (45) to divert our attention from attacking, being attacked, and general boorish, violent behavior with the seemingly unending Clash of Clones update in TSTO.

This update is “traditional” in every sense of the word- in that it offers both a selection of fun FREEMIUM content, as well as some Premium offerings for those with donuts to spare.

As always, I preface this with the fact that Cheat Guides refer to using information that has been gleaned from site who like to Power Post complete walkthroughs by any means possible (hacking or expansive use of donuts, ill-gotten or otherwise). But we offer the information by means of doing our best to offer you as much information as possible.

If you don’t want to know…DON’T click below!

Continue reading




Level 45 just dropped… In-Game Update…

Patti and Selma Start…so keep them free!

Spoilers Follow…
If you don’t want to know…don’t click below!
Continue reading

New Survey…Whereyat?

Well kids…we still have THREE WEEKS before the Barbarians pick up stakes and go away. Three. Long. Weeks.

I have not rushed the game. At all. And my tapping time has greatly diminished since the opening salvos where exchanged. Even still…today, I finished the Quest Line for Level 44…Yesterday I got the “treasured” Homer/Barbarian Statue for reaching 38K gold, and I admit to kind of haphazardly visiting neighbors to collect FP. I should have the tetherball today…and will certainly have Teeny by the end of the month.

Next week…they will kill off a character. OK then. Something “new.”

Where are you in your “Quest to prove that the Simpsons can INDEED be as boring as Clash of Clans…er…uhm…clones?  And how are you progressing on Level 44? Take the poll on the right…

Here is the most recent poll results…
Continue reading

Yawn…what’s NEXT? Oh…wait! Family Guy Tie-In!

I know I don’t have to say it…because I am seeing the same reactions across the blog-o-verse and the activity (or lack thereof) from neighbors. But, man…this is the BUSIEST lull ever.

I remember Whacking Day…and that by the time it was finally over, people were ready to lose it. I don’t feel “whacking day whacked out,” but I DO feel like we need something else to keep things interesting…outside of attacking…clearing…attacking…clearing, LONG after we have for the most part earned everything we thought we wanted…and still have more than THREE WEEKS to go on Clash of Clones.

So What’s Next? And WHEN?
Continue reading

Breaking Down the 4th Wall…BIG Time! – Lessons Learned.


In theater, the fourth wall is defined as:
The thin line that exists between a story and reality. When a character in a story tells the reader in some way that they know that they are a character in a story, that is called ‘breaking the fourth wall’. (Urbandictionary.com)

This game has always been more than a tad “4th Wally,” with constant references aimed toward the player, that the characters are in the on the joke. And the outright taunting that has occurred in dialogue over the past few months has been well-documented.

But, now, it just feels like the overriding message from EA/Gracie (assuming that Gracie writers are still involved in the dialogue) has taken a completely different turn.

What once was more of a taunting rebuke at the stupidity of those who tap and expect something in return, or hack to get something for nothing, has now turned into a less-than-subtle plea to “get a life” and move on to something more valuable with your time. Some is wrapped in artistic nuance…other lines are far more intriguing, as if they are suddenly our best friend, telling us that there is far more to life, and that an intervention may be in the offing.

Here are some plumb jewels (not Cheaters) of lines from the past few weeks that point toward yet another change in the “relationship” we have with TSTO.
Continue reading

Turning Giving Into a Game…and Giving Credit Where It’s Due!


It’s time to give credit where credit is due. And in the case of our community’s work to help the children of the Rural Ugandan Village of Buyijja, the list is small…but growing.

I have said before that the majority of the gifts of love given to these projects are coming from less than 1% of the overall number of readers who come here. After doing some math…and seeing MULTIPLE names on several projects, it is far less than 1%.  But for the sake of alliteration, I will continue to use the 1% figure.

The reason is that during the huge hubbub that surrounded the “Occupy Wall Street” a couple of years back, the big deal was that less than 1% of the population controls most of the wealth in the world.  I have quoted “giving facts” before as well…the fact that 85% of all donations are given my less than 5% of the population.

Here’s the deal…I don’t know how much money any of you have…but I know that a handful of you don’t have much…but continue to give. I am amazed and humbled. To date…this community has raised close to 8,500…and we are approaching the halfway mark toward another $4500. AMAZING…

But again…WHO is giving…often repeatedly…must be noted. It is easy enough for us to see how much digital stuff our neighbors have. It’s easy enough to see what kind of digital dollars they have amassed. But, in this case…nobody has been given proper due for DOING SOMETHING THAT REALLY MATTERS.

That changes today.

Continue reading

The Kumiko Question is FINALLY answered… or is it?

Since the appearance of Kumiko in the game, as well as the Simpsons TV show, there has been a great deal of ambiguity surrounding her relationship to Comic Book Guy.

She became “canon” when she appeared in the episode “Married to the Blob,” (S25E10) and played an important role in giving Jeffery Albertson (Comic Book Guy), a more well-rounded personal life. OK… that was a cheap shot at CBG’s “well rounded” physique. But, it was a pivotal moment in the show, as well as the game.

Yes. CBG had “been” with Edna (who hadn’t?). But for the most part, CBG had been relegated to fantasies about anime and super-hero women. Who knows what happened in the back room after the “The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop” closed each night.

You can read the recap of the episode here, but I for one, thought it was a brilliant mix of humor, pathos, and retribution. After all…Comic Book Guy finally found his one true love, and was happily married by Stan Lee’s ghost.

Or was he?

The question should have been answered by the Episode Tie-In update that hit TSTO at the same time. However…rather than ANSWER questions…the ambiguous details of Kumiko’s character have continued to plague the game, and the Simpsons since January.

UNTIL NOW… We finally get the answer!! Mostly…

If you don’t want to know…don’t click below!

Continue reading

Something NEW! A Regular TSTO Post. Ratings, Info and more on Level 44


I know…I know. I have been accused regularly of “not writing what you are SUPPOSED to write on a TSTO Blog!” Don’t get me started…

But hey…I guess even I can bend the rules in my head (so many rules…so many rules…) to deliver something unusual for this place…a Regular TSTO Post about Regular TSTO Stuff!

I know you drive-by-info-seekers love this stuff…so here goes!

Wouldja? Wheredja? Whatha? Coming atcha!

Continue reading

Remembering 9/11


I’m not going to get into a huge political discussion here. It’s not the place.

But…what I will say, is that this date is a time for reflection on a topic that draws some of the most conflicted feelings one can imagine.

I have a daughter and loads of friends who live and work in New York City. The events of that day were horrific by any standard of the imagination.

My wife and I visited the 9/11 Memorial on our last visit. It is breathtaking and stirs emotions of all sorts…as it was meant to do.

Continue reading

EA Is On Board…Time to Keep Working!


It’s starting to freak me out just a little bit… But I think EA is watching me. They seem to be reacting to stuff that I am thinking…and writing about…and well, so far, it has been kinda cool…but a little freaky.

Shortly after writing about my life in broadcasting…we got KBBL. OK…coincidence.

Then, as I ranted during and after the Easter update…when I was basically so raving mad about the Whell aspects of basically being forced to buy donuts to get Shary Bobbins, that I all but held people hostage while we started raising money for the projects in Uganda…one of which was a playground.

With the amazing Stonecutter update…what was one of the prizes?  A playground for the daycare.

Now…they are doing it again…

After weeks of crazy stuff…inactivity…and consternation over relatively crappy content for the very odd Clash of Clones update… we got a “mini-content” update that included…
Continue reading

Almost Halfway there…It’s Time to Be the Frog


Mission Accomplished! (and not the George Bush aircraft carrier kind). I have reached, and acquired the Catapult…which was my ultimate goal when this 50-day battle began. I didn’t really care about the Homer Statue…and I still don’t.

I placed my Cat-a-pult where it REALLY belongs…not in a castle yard…or anywhere near the Clash of Clans stuff that will placed into storage soon enough. Nope. Mine went where it will give me the most pleasure…and makes the most sense in my Springfield…the Cat Lady’s Back Yard.

Where else should it go?  She flings cats. This is the ultimate cat-flinger…and mine is set to launch the cats over the brick training wall, and into the fields behind the High School.  Purrrrrrrrrfect!

You think this is cruel???

Well…check this out!

Continue reading

Why I Bought the Happy Sumo


No…it’s not just because “I had the donuts.” No, it’s not because I love sushi. No, it’s not because I wanted to see even more diversity in my Springfield.

It’s because this building and character are from one of my favorite Simpsons episodes…and even then, not for the reasons you might imagine.

But…I DID buy the Happy Sumo.
Continue reading

Surviving Clash of Clones – Creative Solutions for Killing Time


Yes! We are almost halfway through Clash of Clones! Erh…well we’re at least past the 1/3rd mark!

So…that is GREAT news to those of you who are still struggling a bit to hit the calendar marks. TONS of you are completely finished with the update, and have collected everything, without spending donuts! That’s GREAT news for you (not so great for EA).  And I am guessing that the majority of EVERYONE is saying, “What? That can’t be right! Their can’t still be 30 more days of this!!!!”

That would be me.

But fear not! I didn’t get to be 60 years old with a smile on my face, without figuring out ways to kill time when I have to wait for something. Add to this the fact that I am married, and have five daughters… that mere fact alone makes my wait time exponentially longer for virtually any event.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS and SUGGESTIONS to Making the Rest of the Update Bearable!

Continue reading

Why I am still tapping…

On October 1st…just a little over three weeks from now (and still not done with this silly CoC update), I will have been a regular tapper for TWO YEARS…

I’m not really sure what to say, as the emotions involved are truly mixed.  I don’t even want to begin to imagine the hours I have dedicated to this silly game.  There have been hundreds of posts…tens of thousands of comments moderated…an almost 300 page BOOK…and more personal tapping time than I care to admit.

All of this was done while running a company that services more than 160 radio markets, being a husband, father and grandfather, and playing far more golf than any active man of 60 deserves.

I have almost quit at least 4 times over the past 6 months. The futility and “time sink” (drain if “Life Currency”) has taken its toll…and apathy becomes my worst adversary. But…there is a reason that I still tap…and write…and moderate…

Continue reading



Well…the good news, is that this a pretty straightforward update…OLD SCHOOL TSTO style.

There is a fun, solid Freemium quest-line with some funny characters and a building…and then a Premium Option for those that have to have everything…that is reasonably priced for a building/character combo.

And BONUS…TWO new FP Prizes!

Walkthrough and Spoilers to Follow…IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW…DON’T CLICK BELOW.

Continue reading

YOUR SUPPORT NEEDED… a call for help from K6Angels

Community…I just got this from K6 Angels (Karen) a long-time member and community contributor.  Her grandniece is in need of support in her battle against cancer.

This comes on the heals of the HUGE “Stand Up To Cancer” which raised over $100M last night on three networks. But, this is your chance to donate directly to someone who is fighting the battle…this little girl is from another developing nation, without the kind of options available to most.

Here is what she wrote…and HOW YOU CAN DONATE.
Continue reading

The Best Strategy for Level 44 and Clash of Clones Combined


A funny thing happened on my way to the 3rd hole yesterday…Level 44 dropped.

On a Friday afternoon.

EA NEVER does updates on Fridays…because updates invariably bring bugs, SNAFUs and glitches, and programmers and support folks don’t like working weekends. But they did.

Ironically…or not…the update centers around a computer nerd (apparently a nerd who hasn’t been killed off yet, gathering castle gold) named Kyle, but nicknames and known as Database or “Data” for short. Matt Groening once said that this was his least favorite recurring character, and I have to admit, that I barely remember him, even though he has appeared in more than 25 episodes.

I had a choice to make…as do you. Drop everything and focus on this update…or realize that LIFE often needs to intervene in what has turned into one more reason for opening your padular device several times a day…so get gold, all of the items…AND NOW…all of the COOL STUFF in this Update!

As it turns out…you can HAVE IT ALL… Take my advice…and follow my logic…
Continue reading

Dear EA… You Need Help. Let US Give You An Update Idea!

It seems that of late, I am getting a reputation for being TOO cranky about EA and TSTO. I am reminded to “Stay on Topic,” which means, “you have derailed this site from its original purpose…giving us TSTO information and entertaining us with TSTO related posts!!!!”

Moi? Au Contraire!  I just happen to dislike this update. So shoot me…with one of Lisa’s pointy little arrows.

If you love this update, so be it! Go for it! Have a blast!

But, the reason I dislike the update, is because EA is OFF TOPIC… and there is no good reason for it!

Here’s the proof!
Continue reading

The Forum – Chat Experiment…Week One

Man…I leave you alone for a few days, with no supervision and this is how you repay me?

I TOLD you that I was suspect of Forums and Chat Rooms and similar features, because the TROLLS always take over.

I TOLD you that I would pull the thing if you guys couldn’t behave like a community…

Continue reading

The Start of Something New – Community Forum and Chat


I said that there were some changes coming. I was hoping to take some time to bring this one around…but the fact is, this long-winded, lackluster update has forced my hand. Oh…and it is a social experiment for me, to see if THIS COMMUNITY is actually different than any other online community in which I have participated. And, I love social experiments!

Yes…that is a challenge. Because in my almost 20 years of working with online forums, including some of the first chat-room experiments in the early days of AOL…they rarely work out well.


Continue reading

While Everyone Else Was Off Playing at War…


We did something that mattered…

I just got pictures from Emma…and my face hurts from smiling.

What has been SO difficult for me…and why I have been “less than patient” with the typical “Drive-By Info seekers” who continue to do their best to tell my what this blog is SUPPOSED to be about, is that I know better!

What started out as “just another blog about TSTO,” has morphed into the ONLY blog that covers TSTO, but as a community has actually changed lives…rather than just wasting them, playing a silly game.

And one life in particular has been changed forever…

Continue reading

QUICK WALKTHROUGH…with ALL of the Surprises Unrolled…Mostly.


There is no doubt when you see the walkthrough in its entirety, that this is one of the greatest Zero-Sum-Gain updates ever.  This is busy work…for the sake of busy work. And EA is going to just keep making fun of us for playing.

At one point…they become so abusive in the number of Elixir required to continue, that anyone with a brain in their heads, or a REAL life, is going to ask, “Why am I doing this again? And what is the big reward???”

However…some of you WANT EVERYTHING…and in order to WIN EVERYTHING…you need to be able to plan your time…

SPOILERS FOLLOW- If you don’t want to know…don’t click below.

Continue reading

The Great Missing Elixir Truck Mystery Solved???? – UPDATED-AGAIN


So let me get this straight… you WIN THE RIGHT to BUY an Elixir Truck? OR…you GET an Elixir Truck when you hit 9,500 in Gold?

It seems like a simple enough question…if you are insane enough to think that EA would actually GIVE you FREE Elixir!! But…if our community member’s call to EA support is any indication…uhm…the truth is stranger than fiction.

Continue reading

A Message From the REAL World…


OK Folks…the same old thing is happening again, that happens with EVERY update…we are being deluged with comments, requests, posts, and whines from loads of random Drive By Info Seekers who aren’t regular community members. That’s cool. I get it. You want GAME INFO.

But…the REAL WORLD is CALLING…and needs your help.

I can/and will continue to post game info. I promised to do so…even though the time it takes on a daily basis is overwhelming. Happy to do so…IF you continue to also take the time to Do Something of Value…while you piddle away time and treasure on this update.

We need to stay focused on what is really important.
Continue reading

Unlocking the Mystery of Unlocking… Again. Marge, Castles, Skins Oh My!


It seems that there is either some REALLY crappy game logic (likely) or EA just doesn’t care to make things make sense (also likely) in the way that the character skins, and castle parts are unlocking.

We HAVE covered this…but, I have now personally moved through the point where MARGE finally unlocked…and it made no sense to me at all.

Continue reading

The Interview with ALL of the Answers…to questions I asked…of Yeardley Smith


It is always interesting being on the “reporting end” at press opportunities. Hanging around with the other Press guys is a hoot, as everyone tries to jockey for the best shot, or to get the celebrity’s attention long enough to get your questions answered.

When the “voice of Lisa Simpson” came to the REAL SPRINGFIELD today, there was no jockeying or pushing in the press room, and every question was answered…along with a photo op and autograph, in the confines of a room in City Hall, Springfield, Oregon.  It wasn’t until we got on the streets, for the BIG EVENT…that all of the pushing, and shoving and line-cutting started…and that was just for the donuts!

The EVENT? The unveiling of a Matt Groening-inspired mural, in the heart of the REAL Springfield…introduced by the actress who voices Lisa, Yeardely (pronounced YARD-ly) Smith.

I got a press credential. I got all my questions answered and more…as well as a picture, autograph, poster and a donut!

Continue reading

Recharged…with Miracles and Community Giving!

I have come back from my golf trip re-energized and ready to keep feeding you information on Clash of Clones… I will give you a report, a little magic, and a picture from the tournament… as well as a report on the fundraising!

It was a GREAT weekend, all around!

Continue reading

We Interrupt This Battle For…


I thought I would turn the tables for once. Regular media is loaded with “Crawl Graphics” at the bottom of the screen, as well as full-blown program interruptions when there is some “Breaking News” to share.

The News that is “Breaking” is rarely good news…and usually has to do with some disaster, or war, or death of a prominent figure. It is the kind of thing that we are trained to react to, like Pavlovian dogs when meat powder is sprinkled in the vicinity.

But, today, as we are all mired in a TSTO Clone Battle, I am interrupting the Mayhem, for a more important message…
Continue reading

Clash of Clones Q&A…Community Style- Mechanics of War


This update is very complex on the surface…but, I suspect will start feeling very repetitive pretty quickly.
There really isn’t much to it. Like Clash of Clans…you pretty much just blow stuff up…and try to keep others from blowing up your stuff.

But…because the EA programmers are pretty damn lazy…no…make that really lazy…they had to use much of the same game logic as they have used in other updates. So there is a LOT of similarity in the basics…especially when compared to Last Halloween.

Unlike many of the other Hacker/Cheater blogs, I am playing in real time, much like you. I am not rushing with donuts…I am just letting the game unfold. There are some BIG differences between this update and the last few (NO Whell!! Thank You Jebus!), that should be noted.

I do have some gaps here, that we can fill out together. I know there are a number of you who LOVE figuring out the details…(Adam) and may even write a column on subtle changes (Adam)…but here we can take some broad-swath swipes (jeeeze…talking like a barbarian with a college education), at some of the basic things we have uncovered about the Mechanics of Earning/Winning/Defending etc.

Continue reading

Get New Friends to Beat Up and Beat You Up… Clash of Clones

OK. This is a VERY odd way of going about “Friendship.” But it is obvious that you NEED your neighbors to come and blow stuff up…so you can collect the reward when you repair it. And you need neighbors so you can go and blow their stuff up.

I admit. It’s not my thing…although, maybe it’s like playing “The Dozens” in the locker room.  The Nastier and Meaner your action…the more people laugh.

“Your Mom is so…”

Anyway…Sign Up in the Comments Below for New People to Beat Up


Once again, I will start by making something very clear. I abhor hackers. However, in the case of this silly game, they always serve a purpose.  They break into the servers…and gather info, so none of US have to break the law.
OK then.

So…as always, the following CHEAT GUIDE is a combination of actual experience as I get through the update in real time, and what I have been able to glean from the cheaters/hackers/frackers who rush to brag about their actions. Let them have their day. Soon enough, EA will clamp down on them.


SPOILER ALERT!!! If You Don’t Want To Know…Don’t Click Below!

Continue reading

Turning TSTO Into Something That Matters…The Next Project

It’s amazing to me that this “garbage time” has been extended to such a degree, that the game of TSTO has been shedding players faster than pounds on the TV show, “The Biggest Loser.”  But, for reasons that must seem evident to all of the REAL Community Members here, it has once again given us the chance to focus on things that REALLY matter.

So much has transpired over the past 60 days in regards to TSTOFriends morphing from a TSTO/info/commentary site into a “TSTOCommunity in action” site, that it makes the head spin. What started out as a simple request to help my daughter’s efforts to get school supplies and books for a rural village in Uganda, where she was doing an medical internship, has now become an ongoing effort to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children who live in conditions so unimaginable, that immediate support was required.

Supplies, books, a playground, and shoes for the more than 250 children of this school have been delivered, as well as a year’s tuition for “one of the bright lights of a child” who was forced to leave the village, because her mother needed to rescue her sister from strife on the border of Sudan.

This Community has proven to be an exemplary example of what people can do, when they set aside differences of religion, politics and borders, to simply act immediately when help is needed.

I can’t be more proud of what we have accomplished. And now…I am asking you to help once again.

Continue reading

Turning Garbage Time to Hope…The Payoff! Shivahn’s New School!


Well…never let it be said that this Community and TSTO blog don’t put garbage time to good use.

The LAST time we had an extended break, we kinda broke the record for quick fundraising, to help send Shivahn to a boarding school.  The outpour of support and affection was amazing…And now the PAYOFF…

Here is a Thank You from Maddy (all who donated will get a personal copy) and best of all, some pictures of Shivahn’s new school, as well as some pics of the supplies and clothes that your money helped buy.  Emma has been a very busy man this week, splitting his Prometra duties, and using his spare time to buy little girl’s clothes…

If there is a more fitting task for a former Ugandan National Rugby player, I don’t know what it is. This man has a heart of gold, and we are so lucky to know him.
Continue reading

The Value of the 1% to TSTO and the World…


I really don’t know what to say. This CrankyOldPragmaticCynicalGuy is sitting here, choking back tears of mixed emotions.

I am overwhelmed with the immediate response of the 1% of this community (actually a tad lower), and am at the same time, overwhelmed with the realization that you are never going to let me out of this.

I am coming up on a year of blogging soon. A year. In TSTO time, that is a lifetime. That is 6 months longer than St. Tony put in at TSTOTips. I really battled with how long I want to do this…

Until now.
Continue reading

Community Post… FREE DONUT MONEY!

Kerry, one of our favorite community contributors has a GREAT WAY to earn Money…FREEMIUM STYLE! You can use your money for donuts. buying shoes for and school supplies for kids…or just for your own needs!  This is pretty cool stuff… and it’s FREE

Continue reading

Best Update(s) Ever Part II…the KBBL Connection


I should have been upset I suppose. It was as if the writers and programmers had conspired to reach deep into my soul and twist around my guts a bit, just to let me know that they could. But once things started to unfold, I was left with the reality that they were actually honoring me for my fortitude, and rewarding me in the only way they knew how…by tying so many aspect of my own life together with this past month of updates, that I had no choice, except to call this IKEAIIOMB (I Know EA Is Inside Of Me Because…).

As I outlined in the first “Best Update(s) Ever” chapter, there are loads of reasons to call this past month the best, most fulfilling time period in the history of TSTO. But, it’s actually #’s 6 and 7 on the list that really coalesced to make it clear that IKEAIIOMB.  The radio station and the elephant.

AHA!!! You may yell (you are, after all of these months, still prone to yelling “Aha” when you think you have found a mistake in my logic). “AHA!” (you say again, not to be deterred). To which I say, “Not So FAST, Bub!” (I call everyone “Bub” when I am about to cut them off at the knees). “I KNOW what you are going to say…”

And I do. I’m kinda creepy that way. It’s an aftereffect of the NDE. But I digress…


To which I would reply, “PLEASE turn OFF your CAPS key!!!” And, then “Because, they are tied together in one of my favorite episodes ever, and I didn’t remember it until the radio station became a prize…and Maddy saw an Elephant!!”

Before you shake your head in confusion, ( I can see you…I TOLD you I was creepy that way), just sit back and let me spin a tale that will explain it all. Once you see that EA is doing this ENTIRE Update for ME…it will begin to make sense. Really. I promise.
Continue reading

A Tale of Shoe City… Generosity Between Friends.


I realize that we have a load of new readers after this last update. That’s swell. But, as I did in April and May, I am going to suspend the TSTO blather for something MUCH more important.   A TSTOFRIENDS THANK YOU!!

As regular readers know, after becoming thoroughly disgusted with EA and their abject abuse of trust, lack of fair play, and forced gambling from Christmas through the Easter updates (6 months!!!), I was done writing about TSTO.  And then, an amazing thing happened.

Yes…I used a bit of emotional and literary blackmail to get the job done…but I tasked our readers to DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL with their money (rather than hand it over to EA)…and to help my daughter Maddy, raise funds to buy shoes for the students of the Buyijja Village School in rural Uganda.

More than 100 of you responded… and as “penance” for achieving our goal (and a LOT more), I promised to write nothing but positive reports about EA for 30 days. Luckily for all involved…EA came up with a great update that made my job easy.

FAR EASIER, as it turns out,  than it was to actually GET the shoes (for more than 250 kids) in a city of almost 2 Million people…with no central market…and then having to transport them more than 60 miles across rough jungle roads.

It is an amazing story…and YOU ALL MADE IT HAPPEN! (at least those I am happy to call true friends!)
Continue reading

LEGO Simpsons Creations!


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!


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



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.

Continue reading