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      Got the wrong discs? Or didn't receive them in the mail?   06/20/2018

      For those who opted for physical discs -- if you donated between April - June and you received the WRONG discs or NO discs in the mail, please email stexcd@simtropolis.com and include your donation info such as Paypal transaction ID and we will get this rectified!
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A Whole New Look

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When you're away from SimCity for a long time, one of the challenges is figuring out what has changed while you've been gone. In my case, something that is quite amazing is what is happening with the flora and fauna, particularly trees and seasonal trees. To a lesser extent seasonal farms and fields are also somewhat astounding (some of them existed back when I was less journaling, but there's a much greater variety now).  I spent quite a bit of time looking at and trying to understand the new tree controllers and mods, and I'm still not entirely satisfied with the choices I have made. I am using the Medowshire terrain mod by CPT and I went through the region using the Meadowshire coastal tree controller intending to replace the Maxis trees with the Meadowshire ones. I first thought you could plant seasonal trees in God mode, which I was going to do instead of using Meadowshire, but I found that is something that is either is not possible I did not see how it was possible.  
The difficulty with the Meadowshire tree controller, like a lot of the tree controllers that were options from CPT, is that they do not place trees on flat ground in God mode. My region has a great deal of flat ground, and I thought it made the tiles look to empty. What I ended up doing was leaving the Maxis trees but also adding trees using the tree controler, which I do think improved the look. I also liked several of the "replace Maxis trees with" mods, but those do not seem to play well with the tree controler. If I can find a way to make them play well together, I will probably add one of those mods as well as the Maxis trees do suffer a bit in comparison to the newer trees.
For water I am using one of the Mas71 colors,(.500).
A fair amount of this week was looking for ways to overcome the need to suspend disbelief when reading my own city Journal. I'm taking growth from a very small very early time, really around the 18th century or late 17th century as a starting point. There were not many cars back then, so I was looking to see if anybody had created an automata mod that replaced cars and trucks with horses and wagons - nobody has. This not entirely surprising, very few people are interested in much older city journals and mods, instead looking for the ultradense and ultramodern, or creating buildings currently in existence in the real world. The houses, buildings and industries themselves also don't look appropriate either, although there are a few replacements for those available to download. I did not find enough to replace my existing ones wholesale. Another problem is the nature of industries and houses, not to mention commercial lots, will change rapidly throughout the 18th and 19th centuries the amount of modeling work to first create and then replace these buildings throughout the city is beyond my current time and abilities. I do think I am going to start working on mods, it would be nice to have this available if I do another natural growth city Journal, but I'm more interested in the city Journal than creating a mod right now. So, for now, I suspend disbelief. I will try to add some of the content out there that is appropriate, particularly there is a fair amount of 19th century stuff that I want to add as soon as I feel the timeline gets there, but for now there won't be much.
So, suspending disbelief let's see where we are ....
Growth in the Greater Bay Area has been steady but slow. An overview of the area from a hot air balloon or airplane (neither of which have been invented yet) might look something like this:
While the area would later be known as a whaling port, there was a fair amount of farming development occurring during this time. More people were arriving, some say there were as many as 20,000 souls in the region now!  Whaling ships coming into the area often made a few other stops before heading back to England, and many of these were willing to take on food and provisions as well.
One of the great oddities was the growth of flower farming, the fields were often bright with tulips and other flowers. It turns out a couple of industries were starting to experiment with using perfume oils and unscented whale blubber was not the nicest thing the smell!  Scented lamp oils and perfumes became a niche market that helped keep this Greater Bay on the map in the world of whaling ships. Facilities for whaling ships were far more advanced in other areas, and there were larger ports to ship the resulting products from, so Greater Bay needed something different, and the scented products were it.
Whaling, however, was no longer the only industry of the Greater Bay region.  The area had become known, and settlers were starting to relocate and claim land around the communities that existed. Farming was becoming important so support the growing communities as well as the whaling market and providing provisions for the outgoing ships.  Civic services were still at a minimum throughout the region. Several communities were starting to erect small water towers, although without the graffiti of the region's first water tower.  There still were no services such as fire or police, and Twin River City was the first to feel the lack. In a three-month period fire twice threatened the city.
Neither Fred Davis's house, his adjacent store nor the corner store survived the fire. The city was only lucky that rain put the fire out before it continued to spread!  Fire claimed another house, and unfortunately a couple lives. Mr. and Mrs. Jeb Ebinite were relatively new to the city, although Jeb was already known as a drunkard.  The night before the fire Jeb was heard to comment "How hard can it be to make our own scented oil, all I need is a fire and some of that whale blubber ..." While Jeb's passing is relatively unmarked, the local ladies will miss Mrs. Ebinites stories of England. In the rubble of the house, oddly, her body was never found....
Coming Soon:  How the nine main cities in the region have continued to grow ....
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