The way it is

A recent invite to participate in a geo-podcast caused me to go into a long-overdue soul search about my current stage in life, particularly as it relates to my online presence. This is what I “discovered” about myself:

My interests have changed, as have my priorities. While I still make a living in GIS, that’s all it is presently — a living, not a passion. Second to family, cycling and cryptocurrency are what interests me these days, not shapefiles or PostGIS. Cycling and crypto is what I blog about, not mapping. I read fiction, not FOSS documentation. I have scaled back my social media presence — reading little, posting even less. To the extent that I do post, Strava and Instagram have all but replaced Facebook and Twitter. I no longer keep a Twitter follower count. Private communication channels have mostly replaced my public social media exchanges.

With so many things around me having changed in the last few years, I have also changed. I see this as neither good nor bad (for only “thinking makes it so”). It’s just the way it is.

Keeping it interesting, two months later: My cryptocurrency adventures

A couple of months ago I started playing with cryptocurrency. Small amounts. Just for fun. I didn’t expect to get rich or anything. Two months later I report that yes, it is fun, and no, I didn’t get rich.

Details:

  • I now have cryptocurrency holdings in three denominations: XLM, BTC, and BAT. Today the combined nominal value of all my holdings is under $100.
  • Since my initial venture into crypto my holdings’ value has fluctuated up and down by about 10%. At the time of this writing I am down about 5%.
  • Moving crypto around is not free. Fees vary.
  • I still haven’t tried to cash out. I am in the process of obtaining a crypto debit card, which will allow me to spend my BTC online and offline.
  • The Brave browser (my default) lets users earn BAT by viewing ads. In just over a month, running Brave on all my devices, I have earned 22.35 BAT, valued at $4.30. In month #2 I am already up to 50 BAT, and the month is not over yet.
  • I tipped one web publisher 10 BAT.
  • Nobody has tipped me yet (other than myself, as a way of depositing BAT into my account).
  • It turns out Peter Thiel is a Brave investor. Make of this what you will.

SUMMARY: It is still interesting, like an online game — a great escape from the daily tedium. It is not a money maker (for me at least, yet). I am not planning to put fiat currency into crypto — not at this time, anyway.

Keeping it interesting

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I started playing with cryptocurrency. Not to Get Rich Quick™, or to hide assets, or to do something illegal. Just to Keep It Interesting, to avoid stagnation and complacency.

A confluence of circumstances made this possible. One, a small amount of “crypto” fell in my lap. Two, the Brave browser (which just came out of beta) comes with its own crypto wallet, and allows users to “tip” verified content creators directly from within the browser. I decided to use my XLM to tip a content creator, and participate in this New New Economy.

I got my free crypto in Stellar Lumens (XLM) via a Keybase Spacedrop. Since Brave’s native token is BAT, I needed to move some XLM to BAT. The process I found wasn’t very straightforward, but totally fit the bill for “Keeping it interesting”. With no direct conversion (that I could find), I moved some XLM to BTC, then the BTC to BAT. With the BAT in my Brave Wallet (powered by Uphold), I could (and did) tip content creators. Bingo!

Further — in the name of Keeping It Interesting — I set this blog (and my Twitter) as a Brave Verified content creator, so Brave users can tip me. Just for fun.

What’s the point of this exercise? For me — just a fun alternative to sitting in front of the TV. What’s the point of this post? To encourage my readers to give this crypto thing a whirl. It’s fun, it’s not that complicated, and it keeps it interesting.

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[UPDATE 2019-12-10] If you download the Brave browser from this link I will receive some free BAT from Brave (until 2020-11-23, at which point the Brave referral program gets discontinued).

Let’s all go back to blogging

I’ll go first.

I went for a bike ride yesterday. Nothing new, except this time I allowed myself to break away from the pursuit of performance metrics (speed, distance, etc.), and focused instead on the journey (autumn, sun, cool air, trees). What a difference! I still hit some decent numbers, but that was secondary.

Here’s a pic from a break I took along Canal Road and the Delaware and Raritan Canal in Franklin Township, New Jersey:

Autumn_biking_on Canal_Road