Left Coast By Design

ramblings from a guy named lyteforce

Social Media is a Conversation with Freddie

When it comes to social media, you could probably say I’m addicted.  While I dabble in different forms, my main vice is Twitter.  And there are definitely times when my prolific tweeting knows no boundaries.

I will tweet friends.  I will tweet friends of friends.  Heck, sometimes I’ll just tweet messages for the sake of telling everyone I had a roast beef sandwich for lunch (the worst kind of tweets, no?).

Yet if there’s one thing about Twitter I truly appreciate, it’s when other people out there who get social, actually “get social.”  It can be random people that engage.  It can be organizations with a genuine sense of humour.  Or the occasional (give or take) celebrity.

For instance, last night I saw the Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) engage with Freddie Prinze Jr (@RealFPJr) regarding the former potentially getting a contract to face the Jays on their West Coast swing.  Now while the likelihood of that is slim to none, I felt the need to respond in my own way and suggest that Freddie’s experience in the movie Summer Catch.

Whether my tweet happened to catch his eye or he genuinely felt compelled to respond, Freddie engaged.

Now before you tell me that one tweet isn’t all that special, what’s important to note is that we didn’t stop there.  I responded and elicited a follow-up.  I think that’s what we in the biz call a conversation:

Humour aside, this is just a small microcosm of what I like about social media.  There is no way that I would’ve ever been able to have a chat with Freddie in real life considering how my sphere and his are so far apart, yet through the wondrous advancement of technology, Twitter makes that possible.

And it’s not just my ability to chat with Freddie.  It’s everyone else that I follow who allow me to be part of a giant global conversation.  It’s Canucks fans during the NHL season or Whitecaps FC supporters during the MLS year.  It’s fellow gamers and clanmates.  It’s you.

And that’s what is really neat about it all.

But I’m curious, have you had an experience such as this one?  Or what is it that binds you to the world of social if it’s not the same glue as me?  I’m truly quite curious.

Discounted Onboard Credit with Royal Caribbean

If there’s one thing we Canadian travelers are sensitive to, it’s how much our dollar relates to the dollar of our neighbours to the south.  While we have had some recent history where the loonie was trading for more than an American greenback, we’re quite accustomed with it being the other way.  In fact, no more than where it sits as of late – just shy of a full quarter less.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was browsing the Cruise Critic forum and came across a post suggesting that Royal Caribbean sells Canadian cruisers onboard credit in $USD for only 10%! That’s right – $100US only sets us back $110.

Radiance of the Seas - Royal Caribbean
Radiance of the Seas – courtesy of Prayltno

The nitty-gritty is this – if you booked through a Canadian travel agent and paid with a Canadian credit card, then you should qualify for the preferred exchange rate. If that’s you, then do the following:

  • Call Royal Caribbean Gifts & Gear at 1-800-722-5443.
  • Ask to pre-purchase onboard credit at the preferred Canadian exchange rate.
  • Enjoy the savings!

Now I will concede that “mileage will vary” depending on who you get on the other side of the phone, but from the forum post it seems just a second phone call back is all that is needed. And for those worried about where the unspent credit goes, you can withdraw at the casino for a 5% premium or simply have the value refunded back to your credit card.

Score, right?

So have any of you travelers taken advantage of this deal or something like it?

Another YouTube Video – How I Titan

If you haven’t figured out, I’m really enjoying what I can do with the content I create in Destiny on the PlayStation 4.  I’ve started to stream my gameplay, I constantly tweet about my exploits, and now I’ve gone and created a SECOND video – this time on the topic of Destiny itself.

As always, would love your feedback on the video. How was the narration? Did the music fit the video? And what can I do better? Oh on that note, if there’s something I can do better do you have a link or two to share so I can learn?

And you Destiny fans, how do you Titan? I need some ideas for new material!

My First YouTube Tutorial

As someone with a passion around adult learning, I’ve always wanted to get some experience in using video within that realm.  There’s just been one problem – my lack of experience with video creation & editing.

So using my Destiny clan’s shift into online game streaming on Twitch as an impetus, I whipped together a little something to help the boys make their Twitch profile special.

What do you think?  Did it come across as professional?  I want your feedback!  All of your feedback!

On Invincibility or Lack Thereof

When I was young, I was always on the go. While I might be slowed from time-to-time, I couldn’t be stopped. Challenges were speed bumps, not walls. My teens were simply a transition to my early twenties. Life was grand.

But time continued to move forward and something changed.

Jumping into a Lake
Courtesy of Brooklyn Morgan and

It’s funny that here I sit in the twilight of my thirties wondering why I so callously ignored the advice to hold on to my youth. To stay fit. To enjoy each moment. You see, I guess when you’re invincible you don’t know what it’s like to lose something until it is lost.

Even when my invincibility started to wane, I was oblivious. First there was the broken ankle playing soccer. Then there was the ruptured ACL playing softball. Each was a catastrophic injury that I never quite recovered from. And most recently, something in the “good” leg went while I was jogging (more like a fast walk) down to first base.

And poof. Here I sit, with a bum wheel, and a sudden realization that I’m truly not invincible.

Oh how I miss my invincibility.

Unauthorized Transactions

With the proliferation of unauthorized credit card changes over the years, I guess you could say I’ve been relatively lucky. Sure I’ve had my fair share of calls from different financial institutions advising me that their crack team of security specialists have discovered something and therefore I need a new card. And while that’s always been a headache at the time, I’ve always appreciated that added sense of security when it comes to my money.

Unfortunately, today is the day that all changed.

A Collection of Credit Cards
Courtesy of frankleleon

While getting some of my financial house “tidied” this morning, I did my usual check of banking and credit card statements online to ensure I knew where I not only stood money wise, but to ensure that the charges were all legit. That’s right, even though I’d never had an issue, I’ve always tried to stay on top of everything to ensure I was always above water.

And that’s how I found it. Continue reading “Unauthorized Transactions”

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