John Howell Sr. 3/11/14

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Confusion reigns: sprung forward into Bitcoin quest

Sunday was the day that the change to daylight savings time and an attempt to understand Bitcoin collided.

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When we had driven our oldest son and his family to the Julia Street wharf to board the Carnival Elation for a cruise the day before, the air still had a damp chill, especially right there on the Mississippi River. They had driven to New Orleans on Friday, giving us an opportunity for a short visit. When we pick them up on their return Thursday, they plan to stay here for another night. 

Before they left, I gave younger grandson Nelson an assignment: When you get back, I told him, I’m going to ask you what about the cruise surprised you the most; what did you discover that you had least expected? His answer should be interesting.

On Sunday the weather warmed to usual New Orleans March temperatures, bringing a beautiful day for yard work. Or not. My wife has a chair on our side porch that faces the southeast where the sides of the house seem to amplify the sun. During the summer, the heat from direct and reflected sun will cook you, but after weeks of cool, damp weather sitting there in the sunshine with eyes closed felt like recovery. Rosemary said that she was sitting on her deck and it was as fine a cruise as she could imagine.

About mid-morning, not having received the usual phone call from Mary, she dialed her number in Milwaukee and was soon reminded that it was only mid-morning by the sun’s travel. For everyone else it was earlier morning. Even with phones and other devices that reset themselves and even having been forewarned by media, someone else again had to remind us of the change to daylight savings time. 

We spent some minutes during the remainder of the day, especially before meals, talking about the old time. When 10:30 came and we felt hungry, we reminded ourselves that our appetites had not reset themselves like the cell phones and computer. 

Then we got into this Bitcoin quest, trying to learn from Internet sources, most of which are enthusiastic about it since Bitcoin is a virtual currency exchanged only on the Internet. I started with an article: “Explain Bitcoin Like I’m Five,” <> 

It gives an illustration using apples that I could follow, sort of. It has to do with a public ledger available through open source software. Then there’s this business of “mining” Bitcoins that apparently involves updating and improving on the ledger and brings a reward in newly created Bitcoins.

And so on and such that — between juggling between new time and old time and trying to wrap our heads around Bitcoins — we went to bed Sunday night not just tired but also somewhat dazed.

Looking forward to Thursday and the kids’ return.