Halloween 2014 – Chapter 3 – Complete Cheat Guide with Countdown Calendar and Walkthrough

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This is turning out to be a really interesting update…mostly on a technical side, because the prizes aren’t all that great. Sorry…again…someone has to say it.

The technical side has to do with math…and once again, keeping the hacker/fracker/cheaters at bay, by forcing you to wait for the update to roll out it stages. The hackers had an idea of how many…and what you won…but could not be SURE until the update hit. Which it has.

I have done my best to create  COMPLETE CHAPTER THREE CHEAT GUIDE for two reasons. First, it isn’t all that complicated….second…I don’t want to spread this out into a bunch of new chapters. It’s boring…kind of like the other blogs who draw out the info to try to build traffic. Bah. I just want to be efficient.

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

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Chapter 3…And we’re OFF!

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As predicted, there are some changes with the newest chapter…

First…Rayguns are gone. Protein strings are here.  And you get FIVE for popping aliens in your own town. Grem-Aliens are still 2 per pop.

AND…nothing has changed in the “Pop Your Neighbors” side…you still get 90 total per 24 hours, period.

The two Main Prizes are steeply priced…but you do get a ton more stings…compared to the last chapter.

Kang will kick off Phase 3 with a 24hr quest. You will also need Lisa for the quest.

I’ll be back shortly with the Complete Cheat Guide.

Cranky

When the Going Gets Tough…

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The Tough Keep Going! Right?

It seems like aspects of this last bit of time are unrelenting…but we CAN do this!!

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
-Vince Lombardi

Never, never, never give up.
– Winston Churchill

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.
– Earl Nightingale

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
– Confucius

But the MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF ALL????

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Planning for the Next Chapter…Think Before You Build

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There is little doubt that loads of people are suffering from the “I want it all…” conflict that keeps people tapping desperately, and often dropping donuts (real money) on stuff that actually subverts their ability to get one or two items they REALLY care about for FREE.

But, I am starting to see some sense in NOT BUILDING stuff…just because I CAN…and I think it will help me get what I REALLY want out of this update (besides Hugo)…the Rigellian Queen.

I don’t know what she does for sure…I have an inking…because of the Hacker/Frackers…but, I DO know that I don’t give a rip about a couple of the things that will limit my chances of getting her.

HERE’S MY STRATEGY…

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The Problem With Elevated Anticipation…a Case Study in HoverCrafts

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Christmas is the time of year that seems to bring out the “Gotta Have It” bug in most Western nations. There is a reason that the GDP of the US is geared to continual Christmas Shopping spending (and annual increases)…which in turn, creates a culture of “It’s OK to throw common sense out the window…this year I want this thing that everyone else has…and if I don’t  get it, I will DIE!”

OK. Maybe that is a bit too far over the top…but not much. Don’t forget…for 17 years, I owned an ad agency that serviced loads of high-end electronic customers, who THRIVED on convincing people that the next big thing was important…because it was cool, new, and a “must have.”(can you say iPhone 6?)

I’d like to say that my kids never succumbed to this concept…that I was wise enough to keep them safe from the wiles of the weasels of Madison Avenue. I usually took a different approach. I allowed them to ask for one BIG present a year…and going along with the “Santa will have to work really hard to find that!” premise…did my best to fulfill anything that was reasonable (ponies, puppies, real babies or anything to do with Barney the Dinosaur excluded).

They usually chose well…and reasonably…with decent results. But, one year, when Joni and Amy were around 10 and 8 respectively, a hard lesson was learned…

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Random Update…Lowered Bonus Level…Inflated Premium

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HOLYFREAKINSHIRT…ANOTHER mini-update. I need a break. Really.

But this one is a “give you a break, so we can kick you in the jublies” kinda thing.

It is in-game. They have lowered the XP level…so you will most likely Bonus Up.

AND THE BIG SURPRISE OFFERING IS… Continue reading

Doling Out The Eggs…Who, What, When?

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This is one of those updates that can really create problems if you want to be an upstanding, thoughtful and fair neighbor. And don’t we all want to be just that?

If you have played…and built up your collection of friends and neighbors, it is even more difficult. Why? Because EA/TSTO is being REALLY chintzy with the eggs.  I tap plenty…believe me. I just got the hovercraft…a couple of days ahead of schedule…so I AM tapping regularly. But, I am only averaging 10-15 eggs a day. Once in a while, I’ll score big…and get as many as 20…but most of the time, it remains just barely above single digits.

Oh…and I have 100 neighbors. I shuffle some around here and there…but for the most part, I maintain 100. Let’s see…100, divided by 15 eggs.

That…presents…a….problem.

So how do I deal with it?

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Where’dja?  Prep School…Strip Bar? Back Stories to Why You Dowhatyado…

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Anyone who follows my town or what I have written about my town, knows that I don’t just place stuff willy-nilly. Everything has a backstory…or a lesson to be learned from life. It has been that way since VERY early on in my Springfield’s design. It is this serious attention to detail and whimsy that keeps me playing…and barely…oh, so very barely…justifies the countless hours of time I have devoted of the last two years to this silly game.

Lessons and analogies are important. Just ask the good folks who brought us the Bible…or the Koran…or the Torah…or the secret, double-secret “book of rules” from Skull and Bones. Without mythology, and backstories, and analogies, none of this stuff makes sense. You need allegory and stories of consequences and redemption to keep society on the straight and narrow. Or…reality TV. Because nobody wants to end up like Honey Boo Boo. But I digress…

Anyways (I said anyways instead of anyway in homage to my old math teacher, Mr. Brady…who used to say “anyways,” and “one cents,” and drove me nuts…), let’s get on with why I placed the Strip Bar and the Prep School near one another…as well as taking a look at some of my other “book of Cranky’s Springfield” features that can help you through life.

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Comparing Freemium to Premium Halloween Style…The Ultimate SHOULDJA Guide

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Looking back over the past two Halloweens…and remembering how they worked, as well as what we won…I can’t help but feel that the OLD players (chronological in playing time…not time on earth) have finally really gotten a payoff for just hanging around long enough. And the newer players, those who didn’t get to play the previous Halloween updates…are being severely penalized in two ways.

1. You have to PAY for what we got mostly for Free…
2. The stuff you can win in this update is kinda…well…notsogreat.

Follow along as I make my case…

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Confused Over the MoonBounce? Get In Line!

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People seem to be confused over the MoonBounce that is showing up during the Level 46 Update. What does it have to do with the Classy Girls Strip Club and Mrs. Muntz?  Yes… Mrs. Muntz does do some bouncing in her “Dance of the Bee” task…but not the same. Really.

In fact…the thought of Mrs. Muntz bouncing in a bounce house, in her bathrobe, jublies flying helter skelter is picture I’d like to be able to erase from my mind completely…

So What’s Up?  What is this thing…and what does it do??
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TSTO Bloatware Update Strikes Again…UPDATED

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I’m not going to bother trying to explain what EA is doing with the update that hit today…because I’m sure it has to do with the update that is scheduled to hit later this week around the 31st.  But DAYYYUM!! Another 420 MB of stuff?  I had to clear a bunch of pics off of my phone just to make it fit…

Good news…most of them were screen grabs from previous updates. Bad news…this thing is now the largest single program on my device…by about 1,000%

We’ll see… argh!

UPDATE- Was just forced to do another App Store update- Which opens up…and…NOTHING.

Again…it still is most likely related to the rollover that will happen on October 31st. But…no details yet.

If you see anything else developing…let us know!

CrankyFullOldGuy
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Rating Halloween(s)… A Long-Term Relationship Gone Stale or Still Hot?

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Someone has to say it. This Halloween Update just doesn’t feel as satisfying as other Halloweens in the past. But, if I am honest about it…it’s our own fault.

Whoa…I know… Nobody likes it when they are told that some of the blame sits with them. But, you know how I roll. I tell the truth, even when it hurts. And this time it is hurting my wrist.

WHOA!! Get your mind out of the gutter!  I know how a stagnant relationship can bring on physical manifestations of altered self-affection.  This is more along the lines of realizing that the ache in my left wrist and fingers is due to WAY too much tapping…(REALLYget your mind out of the gutter), and an admitted fear of not keeping this relationship fresh.

It’s simple really…for those of us who have had a “long term relationship” with TSTO (past two years now for me), the Halloween Updates have marked the important benchmarks in a love-hate history that ebbs and flows with every update (more than 60 content updates since the start).  That is a LONG time to sustain our interest. And like a real-life relationship, some of you have been prone to “wandering eye” syndrome (you know who you are…visiting other towns for a thrill), while trying to hold on to the magic of TSTO.  It’s understandable. Really.

Let’s do a little rating of Past and Present Halloween Updates…and see if we can identify the problems in our relationship.

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When Getting Ahead of Schedule Creates A Need To Catch Up…

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It’s wild how many people are WAY ahead of schedule on the calendar that was laid out for us.  I see tons of people WAY past the dates that I posted, and just keep going…building…being neighborly.

I feel like I am doing everything I can to keep things under control, but there are just people who are so excited with progress, that they keep the throttle down, through all sorts of things that would keep us “regular folks” in a tailspin of mismanaged insanity.

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Where are you in the Halloween numbers game? Part Dux…

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I have to admit…having the huge crowd here for the Duck Invasion got me off of my game a bit…and I hardly tapped the first day or two after the new Chapter rolled over into Ray Guns.

But…I am NOT doing anything heroic to catch up…still using my regular patterns…and I just got the (very weird) BullDozerasaurus, so I am still at least a full day ahead of the tapping schedule- and have discovered a handful of tips to make this a bit more manageable.
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And Now For Your Viewing Pleasure…

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EVERY SIMPSONS EPISODE EVER…ONLINE!

I know this is old news to some of you– but I hadn’t had a chance to check out the incredible new site from FX.  I have to admit, I went in with low expectations, so I was perhaps more easily impressed than I usually am.

But, for true Simpsons fans…I can’t think of anything better.

There is a LOT more offered on the site, including a handful of “Top 100″ type lists… click below fore more info. And I don’t know how this will work in Europe, Australia, Etc. (as I did need to use my Comcast login to hook it up). But, it is a great step toward feeding the Simpsons-wanna-watchit beast in all of us.

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Level 46 – Complete Cheat Guide with WalkThroughs

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As always, I like to call these Cheat Guides by the name Cheat Guides…because they are pretty much for those who can’t/won’t play the game perfectly straight. But, even more important, they are derivative of the real cheaters in the game…those Hacker/Fracker/Look Inside the Game File types who go nuts, trying to be the first to put out information after an update.  Oh…and because sadly, the most searched for terms for any TSTO updates are “Cheat” and “Hack.” Crazy…right?

But…some of you make no bones about wanting the info…so I go out and steal it from other sources.  Kinda like stealing stolen merchandise from thieves…you get a free pass, because…well…who are they going to report it to…the company (EA) that they stole it from?  Pfffffffffttttttttttttt….. too funny!

Anyway…for those who LIKE TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR SUPPOSED TO KNOW?…here ya go. 

If you DON’T want to know…don’t click below. Right?

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Two Sides of the Tracks…Mrs. Muntz and Greta Wolfcastle

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I am reluctant to post this post…mostly because much of it will NOT be suitable for younger player’s, like my grandson…who just started playing again after a 10-month layoff. But…at 12, he is FAR more prepared to understand the inequities of life, and the tawdry side that often accompanies “just getting by,” or being the all-but-forgotten spawn of a celebrity.

The two newest characters in TSTO are very much a “Two Sides of the Tracks” story…but with each reflecting the truth about life; “In the end…it’s relative…and it’s all about you.”

Should you buy the Prep School and Greta?  Will Nelson’s Mom lose the bathrobe and go back to college?  Does anyone want to see that other than Barney or Moe?

Read on…
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Level 46 Drops…Are You READY?

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As seems to be the norm lately…two things happened this morning, right in the middle of the huge Halloween Update.

1. Level 46 dropped…and you need Nelson to start…who you probably had trick-or-treating…
2. It starts with a very expensive building…$1.2M…and we get a NEW…really dark, random character…Nelson’s Mom!

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Moog Suit with Walkthrough – TreeHouse XXV Review

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Because the walk-through and dialogue for the latest Episode Tie-In are so closely tied together (with a bit of twiney-winey), I thought I’d kill the proverbial two birds with one cane, and do a review of the TreeHouse of Horror XXV and the basics of the Walkthrough for the Moog Suit earned this past weekend.

And…I am REALLY tired (from our 4-day Duck invasion) and the thought of doing two separate pieces has my brainy-wainy on flooploop.

Let’s start with a review of what could be the final Simpsons TreeHouse of Horror EVER…(there are hints).
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Halloween- 2nd Chapter – By the Numbers…which have changed

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Well…well…Whell. No, there isn’t an actual REAL WHELL in this next portion of the update. However, as of the 1am rollover into the next chapter (of three), there seems to be some legitimate hell added to the feeling of the overall update.

Let’s break this down as far as I can break it down…with what has been rolled out so far.

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

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Update Changeover Is Here!

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Nobody is COMPLETELY sure what’s going to happen…but whatever it is…it’s going to happen at 1AM PDT on 10/20.  Which depending on when you are reading this means, It’s GOING TO HAPPEN…or IT HAPPENED…or It is going to make you start asking a lot of questions about what happens/happened, or a combination of several of these options.

There are loads of rumors about what will happen. The fact is, even the Hacker/Fracker types don’t REALLY know…they just know something is going to happen (or happened).

Here’s what I think is going to happen… I’ll modify it when something DOES happen.
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Weekend Game Play in the Real World…

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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.

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

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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…

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

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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…

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

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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).

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

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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…

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The Great Countdown Mystery

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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!
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TSTO Halloween 2014 – Everything You Need to Know

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

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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.

AND IT APPEARS THAT THE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED DATES ARE INCORRECT… as well as some other key info.
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In Game Update…Candy Crash…Updated

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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!
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Welcome to A TSTO Community that is DIFFERENT…

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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.

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

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

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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!
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REALLY EA?? – CrankyOldGuy Goes Off On FusterClucks…

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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…

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

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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…

BUT THERE IS A CATCH…
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SHOULDJA??? A mostly COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO PREMIUM HALLOWEEN STUFF

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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.
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Halloween 2014 – By the Numbers

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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!!

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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!

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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!!
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Halloween 2014- Game Play Basics

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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.

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Halloween 2014 – Complete Cheat Guide – With Walkthrough- UPDATED

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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.
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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.

Now to the SPLOILERS…CHEATS and WALKTHROUGHS
As always…if you don’t want to know…don’t click below!
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CLICK HERE TO ADD HALLOWEEN NEIGHBORS!

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

Why This Site Survives…

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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.
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The BEST Updates Ever List…and Why

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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…

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Toilets Two Worlds Apart…Two Solutions

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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.
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Keeping Balance…Winning Teams…Valuing Time

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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…

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Why I am still tapping…

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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…

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

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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!
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LEGO Simpsons Creations!

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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.

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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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