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04.20.11 · Southern Hospitality

I left DC yesterday morning, and headed south towards I-95. Traffic was miserable for about an hour; suddenly, it all cleared up. That seemed to be a watershed, because after that point, the roads have been better, the drivers have been better, the climate’s been warmer, and I’ve been enjoying myself more. I’ve spent most of my life in the Northeast; I didn’t expect the South to be so different. It’s much warmer, for one. It’s hard to put a finger on the differences - but everything seems to be operating at a lower frequency; less hectic, more predictable. I like it.

I met up with Jake Parrish in Richmond, VA, for a quick pit stop. We filled up my tank and got some food, then I continued south to Raleigh, NC, to meet up with Jake’s brother, David Parrish. Jake and David are both web developers - they showed me some of their work, and I was impressed. If you need a slick site, check out what they have to offer at UpgradeYa!

Back when I met Llama at MIT, he asked me if I liked Bitcoin for its technology, economics, or politics. I had to answer “all three,” but I lean a little bit to the political side of the table. David and Jake do too, so we spent some entertaining hours talking about the political implications of anonymous digital cash. David showed me a podcast called ‘Cypherpunkd’ - this just launched, and it looks to have a lot of potential. If you’re interested in bitcoin politics too, you should definitely take a look.

Tonight I’m going to meet some couchsurfers who use Bitcoin. Apparently they’re having a electronic music show tonight, so I’ll try and get some video. Developer jgarzik is rumored to live around the Raleigh area as well, so I’m hoping to get in touch with everyone, and set up the first Raleigh Bitcoin Meetup this Friday night (4/22.)

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04.19.11 · NYC and DC

It was great to spend a relaxing evening with my family last Thursday night. My little sister agreed to take care of my turtle while I’m travelling. His name’s Mister T - I’ll post a couple pictures when I can get the photos off my Nikon.

I topped up my transmission fluid (there’s a leak somewhere), reassured my parents that I’ll survive the trip, and played some Rock Band with my little brother. I got trounced; he was hitting full sections of Through The Fire And The Flames on expert guitar, while I weakly kept up on drums.

I repacked my car and hit the road. Taking the Palisades Parkway south, I ended up in Manhattan, to visit @BruceWagner and @EdwardGel. They were kind enough to pay for my parking while I stayed in Manhattan - thanks guys!

On Friday we taped the first episode of The Bitcoin Show. This is one of a couple dozen shows that will make up Bruce’s upcoming network, OnlyOneTV. We talked about my trip, about some of the excellent projects the community has made, and @BitcoinLabs upcoming Bitcoin ATM. You’ll send coins to the ATM and it’ll spit out dollars - it was really cool.

After that, I was off to Brooklyn, to visit my friend Will. We stayed up late watching Futurama and playing Left 4 Dead 2. I bought some food from him, using Bitmail to send coins.

This weekend was my first time driving in New York. It… kept me alive? Dodging the Mercedes that blindly turned in front of me, dodging pedestrians, losing GPS signal, the works… at least in NY, having a car was much more of a hindrance than a help.

DC feels the same way. Today’s Tuesday and I’m staying at an apartment in Columbia Heights. Parking is awful - DC has some really draconian parking regulations. The owner of the house is a bitcoiner who offered to let me crash for a couple nights; there’s half a dozen people who live here and they’re all really cool. Last night was Passover, so I attended my first Seder. The food was good and we all had a great time.

While I was skateboarding through DC I blundered into a protest. Turns out it was “Power Shift.” More on that later.

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