Left Coast By Design

Author: Chris (page 5 of 48)

Plugged In: “FTL: Faster Than Light”

FTL: Faster Than Light

Faster Than Light

If there ever was a rogue like that was both addicting, yet constantly threatening to have me throw my computer against the wall, it would be FTL: Faster Than Light from Subset Games.

You start off the game as the “captain” of the Kestrel – with other ships & options unlocked as you progress through the game – attempting to navigate your way through eight randomly generated systems, until you reach the “end-game” boss that you must beat three times. Sounds fun doesn’t it?

Throughout your space travels, you’re presented with choice after choice after choice, with some determining your fate right then and there. Heck, I can’t begin to remember all the times how me choosing to go in guns blazing has resulted in a wipe. And usually when my ship is geared out the wazoo and seriously OP.

That’s the other dynamic. You have to manage resources through your trip to ensure you have enough fuel to go from jump-to-jump, energy to power systems, scrap to purchase upgrades and crew to navigate, repair and repel. You could choose to go guns blazing or hide in the darkness – both routes can lead to success or failure.

Then you start over. Again and again. And again.

While I went the early route and picked up the game on Steam, I’d highly recommend this title for those of you who rock an iPad. The game shouts portable fun (and madness) and occurs to me to be better suited for your fingers anyway.

Have any of you given this one a whirl? I’d love to hear what you think.

An Amtrak Cascades Sunset

While riding the Amtrak Cascades train down to Seattle last month, I setup my GoPro on the window of our coach and set it to take a picture every two seconds.

This is the result:

Sure the video is rough around the edges, and you get bonus footage of my wife’s reflection, but I’m pretty proud of my little creation.

As an aside, if you’ve never hopped on the Amtrak Cascades, I highly recommend the trip. Not only do you get some pretty solid scenery, as well as see pieces of Metro Vancouver you never knew existed, it’s just a comfortably pleasant trip in just as much time as it takes to drive down the I5.

The 91st Minute – March 28 vs Portland Timbers

Doing something new this season, I plan on giving you a few of my thoughts at the end of every Whitecaps FC match I attend or watch. I’ve grown up on the game of soccer my whole life and feel that my opinion from the safety of my keyboard is just as good as the next blogger. Or at least pretty close to as good. Now on with our regularly scheduled feature.


After rattling off two wins on the road against the Chicago Fire and the expansion Orlando City SC, even the pessimistic of the fan base had to believe the ‘Caps were primed to notch their first MLS home victory against the Portland Timbers. And while a late marker – in the 91st Minute to boot – from Robert Earnshaw got them the win, not entirely sure the pessimists would be too happy.

That’s because the Whitecaps thought it best to play a road game at home.

Sure a win is a win is a win on any day of the week, but I’m thoroughly concerned that a derby match at home brought out a somehow tired Whitecaps squad. You had a “sold out” stadium with a solid contingent of Timbers Army supporters. You had the coaches getting into it via the media. The atmosphere was there. And yet, the play on the field was completely lacking.

Aside from two or three clean opportunities, the team was absent of chemistry and thoroughly outplayed by the Timbers. In fact, if not for that late game magic from recently signed Earnshaw and stellar play from Ousted, this could easily be marked as just another loss to the Timbers. Heck, it would’ve been a loss to the Timbers if possession were the only indication (Timbers had the ball 65% of the time!).

A Few Things

  • Where did the early connection between Octavio Rivero and Pedro Morales go? Or are teams now catching on and defending them well? Even though it seemed like Pedro and Octavio weren’t on the same page, it sure looked like the Timbers were reading both regardless.
  • How Pedro Morales goes seems to dictate how the Whitecaps go. Let’s hope we get creative Pedro against the Galaxy.
  • Props to Nicolas Mezquida on his performance filling in for the injured Mauro Rosales. Sure he scored the opening goal from a solid set piece, but what impressed me the most was his two-way game. It was quite obvious that Sam Adekugbe struggled once Mezquida went off for Deybi Flores.
  • Both Deybi Flores and Kianz Froese found some time during the crucial “bend, bend, bend, bend & don’t break” (they broke) stretch of Whitecaps play in the second half. While I’m all for Robbo getting the youngsters some crucial gameplay, not entirely sold on the left side combination of Adekugbe and Flores – seemed to be the Timbers got far more opportunities on the left side once that sub took place.
  • Will Jordan “The Goal Machine” Harvey get another start where Adekugbe is available to play? Sam misses most of training with bruised ribs (after being stretchered off in Orlando) and yet still starts over Jordan.

Fly Over Canada or Some Of It

This past week, I was fortunate to be invited to join my friend Jay to check out FlyOver Canada (and AboveUSA just before it).

In what I can best describe as an immersive experience that engages many of your “senses” to simulate your flight through the Canadian skies, you won’t find me complaining about the fun I had during our 8 minute journey. That’s because our tickets were free.

As an aside, there may be spoilers below.

While I can see FlyOver Canada provide some value as a tourist gimmick, it trip seemed to be lacking in content. For instance, Canada is pretty darn big and an 8 minute flight doesn’t do it justice. In fact, if someone knew nothing about Canada they will learn that there are very few metropolitan cities worth flying over – more than one, less than three. We also learn that cottage country is also as big as the prairies, give or take.

What’s crazier? I think I saw more of the US in the AboveUSA bit than I saw of Canada in the main event.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool how FlyOver Canada is set up and immerses everyone in the experience. Heck, my fear of heights nearly got the better of me a couple of times. But for $20 a visit, I’m not sure I could ever come to the conclusion I got great value for my money.

Have any of you flown over Canada? What did you think? Cool? Cool but expensive? I’m curious.

Plugged In: “Immortal – Michael Jackson”

Michael Jackson ImmortalI’m going to assume you’ve all heard Michael Jackson before. In fact, if you haven’t I might seriously judge you. Like seriously. His contribution to music is still heard and seen today and it would shock me if Michael wasn’t part of your auditory life. And because of this we’ve probably heard it all.

That’s where “Immortal – Michael Jackson” comes in handy.

Featuring some of his most popular tracks remastered and redesigned to support the Cirque du Soleil tour of the same name, Immortal gives you much of what you know but mixed in a way that makes everything new. Whether you need some music to jam to, clean house by (it’s my Mr. Clean mojo), or simply get your groove on you’ll find this album will fit.

And if you’re so inspired, I highly recommend you head down to Las Vegas and check out Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE performance. Or at least give my review of it a read. 🙂

 

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