Monthly Archives: October 2012 Gift Certificate Warning

You may have heard friends, family, or coworkers raving about gift certificates. Perhaps you got an email or two about them. If you haven’t tried them before, they aren’t a bad deal at all. The gift certificates can be a great way to save money (sometimes large amounts of it) and a good reason to try other places.

Also, the gift certificates do not expire. Also, they can be reprinted whenever you need – so don’t worry if you print a copy and accidentally throw it away.

However, since you don’t purchase them the way you normally purchase gift certificates (i.e. give the store/restaurant $50.00, get $50 worth of food/merchandise), I figured they wouldn’t be accepted exactly the same way, either.

Although they generally are accepted and taken the same as other gift certificates, be warned that the restaurant automatically tacks on 18% gratuity to your bill.

You don’t get a choice in the matter, they add it to your bill when they bring it to you and then offer you the chance to give an additional tip.

If you had lousy service or just planned to pay 15%, too bad.

This isn’t usually a problem if you are eating at a cheap establishment, but if you are dining fancy – be prepared to shell out a few extra bucks.

Overall, still a good deal and very worth the money.


The Simpsons Tapped Out – Triggering Bart Crusoe

If you are having difficulty triggering Bart Crusoe pt 1 (let alone pt 2) and getting Bart, I feel your pain. I have been stuck needing to “Build Android’s House” for some time. I discovered that it is only built some time after getting Bart, but I couldn’t figure out how to get him!

After reading multiple vague responses advising players to “just keep going through the quests”, I finally came across valuable advice.

I had just finished building all the parts of the Nuclear Power Plant. I had reached Level 12 and still no Bart. No sign of him even. After building the Control Center, new jobs (things you can make him do, not tasks that appear in the notebook) appear for Mr. Burns.

One of the bits of advice said to make Mr Burns read the necronomicon – a 4 hour task.

I checked and sure enough, it was now an available task. But Mr. Burns wasn’t talking about it. I made him do it anyway (for the first time) and when he finished, Mr. Burns then said something and my next assigned task was to have him read the necronomicon.

I had him do that and shortly after he finished, a cut scene came up with Homer in his house. After that happened, Milhouse talked to Lisa about walking him to school and that was when I got the option to send them to school.

Having to send them to school confused me because I had already sent them to the school (as a task) shortly after it was built. I had originally thought I was missing Bart since that time, but that is not the case.

After they got out of school, Lisa prods Milhouse to tell her where Bart is. Then you build his treehouse (no “build” time since it is a tree) and – *drumroll*…

I now have Bart!

Here are some bits of advice that I found that did not work to trigger the Bart Crusoe event:

  • Build the second Kwik-E Mart I have not built this and from what some others have also said, it is unnecessary.
  • Wait hours between tasks Although this may be necessary at some point, nothing new appeared based solely off letting them walk aimlessly for a few hours. A couple minutes should be more than sufficient.
  • Just keep doing quests and it will come up While I generally appreciate help where I can get it, some help is just unhelpful. I’m sorry, it’s true. Although the emphasis of this advice is to do regular tasks (not Halloween ones), it is still too vague, and for me this didn’t even apply. When I initially had Burns reading, it wasn’t part of a task yet.

Did this work for you? Or did you have to do something else?

Update: After a few Bart and Milhouse tasks, I have also completed “The Dungeon Keeper, pt. 1” and Android’s Dungeon is now unlocked!

PS – Save up your money. Bart’s Treehouse costs $25,000 and Android’s Dungeon is $30,000. From what I hear, it gets higher still from here on out. Whew!

Oppa Gangnam Style – The Meaning Of It All

I’m sure that, by now, you have heard the popular Kpop (Korean Pop) song, Gangnam Style. Hopefully you haven’t been one of those to misunderstand the lyrics as “Condom Star”. If you did, I can forgive you just this once.

The lyric, and name of the song, is “Gangnam Style”. If you hear the song, it sounds upbeat, catchy, and happy. If you watch the video, it is hilarious. But what are they saying?

The English translation of Gangnam Style’s lyrics go a bit deeper than the video. By watching the video (and knowing nothing of Korean) you think the song is humorous and crazy. In the lyrics, he seems to be talking about wanting a girl. That is an oversimplification, but it still doesn’t even do the song justice.

I don’t speak Korean, but I had to know what this was about. Apparently “oppa” translates literally to “older brother” – but is generally used as an informal title in Korean language.

Gangnam literally means “south of the river. That doesn’t mean much in itself, but it is a wealthy area of “new money” that apparently acts like it (extravagant and wasteful, in other words).

Many points in the video speak to this, that we Americans who don’t know the language (or the area) would just view as silly or crazy. They fly over our heads but actually have a deeper meaning.

According to this article, PSY comes from near Gangnam but isn’t like the others from there and is, in summation, parodying the area and even himself.

I have only heard a scant handful of K-pop songs (but all are thanks to a friend who has a girl-boner for Korean guys). A few have off the wall but many are actually beautiful. Gangnam Style has a shrewd video with lyrics that provide a sneaky social statement.

I think I am developing an interest in this K-pop stuff too. Certainly beats a lot of American crap music.

Know any songs you would recommend?

Those Red Plastic Cups

If you live in the US and have ever hosted or attended an informal party, you’ve probably seen those those red plastic cups. Dixie cups. They hold about 16oz (500 grams) of whatever it is you’re drinking.

I have seen them many times and never thought twice about it. They’re cups.

Apparently, they are an iconic American symbol of some sort outside of the states.

I have a friend who came from New Zealand and recently moved to Japan. (She leads are far more interesting life than I do.) While still in New Zealand, she mentioned an “American store” near her that may have sold those plastic cups. When she first mentioned them, I kept thinking she was talking about something different.

As she continued, it became clear that she was indeed referring to red, Dixie brand plastic cups. The kind that won’t break through if they are left sitting out too long, but not sturdy enough to wash and reuse. Disposable red drinking cups.

Now she is in Japan as a JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program), and she told me about a party that some American JETs were having. She was excited about the party for all sorts of reasons – fun, friends, etc, etc. But she was also excited over the prospect of seeing those cups.

She sent me some pictures from the party.

Red Plastic Dixie Cups at a Party

Yes, these ones.

I have cropped out the people, but make no mistake – these are not “party photos”.

Dixie Brand Red Disposable Plastic Cups

I hope this makes the Dixie company very happy…

They are cup photos.

I never would have guessed anyone was this intrigued by our disposable dishware, but she has indicated she isn’t the only one.

Are you also this intrigued by these cups or any other innocuous, mundane item?

I feel like I am missing out on something. 😛

What It’s Like To Be Fat

I am a chick. And fat. The first part most people don’t care about but the second part is socially frowned upon. Add the two together and you typically either garner sympathy, condemnation, or harassment. Unlike “large boobs”, “fat chick” rarely gets flirtatious remarks (I realize those remarks and compliments aren’t exactly quality communication). I’m not fishing for any of the above.

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