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Surf, Schnitzel, and Slots - My Meetup With Adam

A nice aspect of meeting an individual with a blog and a key registered in deedbot is the relationship begins with trust. I can't say I've ever shook hands with someone and immediately after taken their cash and phone and put it in my backpack. This felt quite natural, but is it? Can those outside of a WoT do this?

After Adam and I met and put our stuff away at Surf Culture, we lugged two boards to the premier beginner surf spot in Tamarindo. As luck would have it, billymg recently took a picture that contains the location where we surfed.1 Thanks billymg!

On our walk to the beach we talked about previous times we had met with others who read the logs.2 I was surprised to learn that Adam had twice met gabriel_laddel. Adam had recognized him at a lisp conference in California and later bought one of Gabriel's computers.

When we arrived at the surf spot, we paused our conversation about tmsr matters to go over how to stand up on a surf board. I tried to use what I learned about athletic instruction from reading The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey to instruct the pop up. The book says to explain technique by giving a visual feed rather than a verbal description. I did a few slow motion pop ups on the beached surf board for Adam to copy. After a few attempts, Adam started to land with his feet in the center of the board.

As we got in the water I left my surfboard on the beach so I could help push Adam into some waves. He stood up on the first attempt.3 I pushed him into two more waves that he successfuly road as well. After that Adam suggested I get my board and surf alongside him.

When I got back in the water with my board we were half-surfing half-talking. It's one thing to engage in some chit chat in between waves, but its another to try and surf when talking about life purpose. Half-surfing and half-conversing hurt the quality of *both* activities. Sometimes we missed perfectly good waves because we were engaged in our conversation. Other times we abruptly paused our conversation to attempt to catch a wave.

It would have been smarter to have surfed with full focus for less time. We would have had a better surf session4 while leaving more time for uninterrupted conversation later. That aside, surfing was still a pleasant experience. There were a few tourists swimming near us, but no one surfing the waves we were riding - a rarity in Tamarindo.

One of the many topics we discussed while in the water was leading a double life. Adam and I had spent time reading trilema and the logs while not participating in the affairs of tmsr nor conversing with those in our meatwots about what we read. It was comforting for me and probably for Adam as well to be able to discuss that rather awful problem in person.

We shared having experienced quite negative reactions when discussing trilema articles within our meatwot. Those adverse reactions caused us to see it prudent to keep reading the logs a secret. I mentioned to Adam that something he wrote recently helped me fix my double life problem: "I would rather be alone and aware of that than delude myself that I have actual friends." It is ridiculous to make the effort required to hide a part of yourself in order to hold friends whose friendship depends on you keeping that part hidden!

After we finished surfing we walked back to drop off our boards. Then, on our way to Adam's hotel, Adam mentioned he was traveling with a lady friend, and politely asked if she could join us for dinner. I said of course and that I'd be happy to have her along. But throughout the evening it was difficult for all three of us to be engaged in the same conversation.5

After Adam changed in his hotel room and picked up the SSD + thermal paste he generously brought for me from the states, we went to go check out the sunset. We arrived at the beach just a few minutes late, the bugs had arrived and the sun had left. So we immediately turned around to go find a place to eat. I had three recommendations: a sushi restaurant, an Argentinian grill, and a food court. We decided to go to Patagonia, the Argentinian grill.

Well I must say I felt a bit embarrassed for recommending Patagonia. The restaurant that appeared delicious and fun a year ago to a stoned 24-year-old perhaps doesn't live up to current standards. The first problem we had was they sat us on the edge of the restaurant, next to the road. I asked the hostess to seat us more towards the center. She smiled and said ~'no puedo, esas mesas son para cuatros.' (Never mind that the restaurant was half empty.) I was not assertive with my request,6 and for that we paid the price of having to sit at the table next to the road. Adam mentioned and I agreed on the pleasantness of the outdoor atmosphere of restaurants in LATAM, but still I was bothered by our proximity to the occasional passing car. I also swear there was a hint of some odor...but I may have imagined it from being annoyed at the seating arrangement.

The next problem with the restaurant was that they permitted some hippies to come and busk. I had seen this shit before in Patagonia and was hoping it would not occur during our meal. But alas it did. After jumping around and singing chanting for 15 minutes they came to our table and brazenly asked us for money. Where they get these ridiculous notions that we would PAY them for disrupting our conversation, I have no idea. Maybe their parents paid them off to stop their temper tantrums when they were younger. At least the food at the restaurant was decent.

After dinner I had some lag time before my cab driver was going to come pick me up. With the spare time we decided to go to the nearby casino. I have no interests in gambling, but I was curious to see the inside of a casino for the first time. The only game I would have played is poker.7 But Adam and friend didn't know how to play hold 'em, so instead decided to lose some money playing black jack and then lose some money playing slots.

Truth be told I found this last part of our meetup less than ideal. I had wanted to spend the time I had left speaking more with Adam. We did get to talk at the casino, but sitting sideways on a slot machine stool is, ehm, not the nicest setting for conversation. After about an hour we said goodbye and I walked around Tamarindo before heading back to Playa Junquillal.

It was a pleasure to meet with Adam, but I wish we had setup a better environment to converse. It is rare and quite nice to be able to speak to an individual who has a key registered with deedbot, has read the blogs and the logs, has built their own computer8, has written articles that have influenced you, and has the potential to turn out to be a real friend. So as much as I loved surfing, I would have traded our time in the water for time in a quiet coffee shop. I'll keep this in mind for our next meetup and meetups with others in the future.

  1. It's right where the beach begins to bend to the right in the photo. []
  2. I have met billymg once for coffee in New York and funkenstein_ a couple times for beers in Boston. funkenstein_ iirc submitted a patch to the bitcoin foundation's mailing list a while back. []
  3. Nice job Adam! []
  4. After Adam's initial success with me pushing him, I don't think he caught a wave while paddling for it on his own. That is much more difficult, and requires more attention to do on the first day. []
  5. Adam and I could only communicate meaningfully with English, and she only spoke Spanish. Also, there were many topics that I wanted to discuss with Adam where she could not meaningfully participate - even if she did speak English. We made the dynamic work as best we could, switching the conversation back and forth from English to Spanish. []
  6. I have a problem of being too adverse to small conflict. []
  7. I hardly know the rules, but I would have been okay with paying my_wager * (1 - house_odds) to play a few hands. []
  8. At a much lower abstraction level than I am currently doing. []

4 Responses to “Surf, Schnitzel, and Slots - My Meetup With Adam”

  1. Diana Coman says:

    Surfing schnitzels is quite the image, lol!

    Other than that, there's a reason for that whatever you do gets its proper time and attention so yes, if you half-this-while-half-that (or worse), you'll just mess up both, sure.

  2. > Can those outside of a WoT do this?

    I do it on occasion, but it's a narrow context indeed.

  3. Adam says:

    Yes, I definitely wish we had had more time and less distractions. But as I said in my article, I still enjoyed it a lot and look forward to the next opportunity. I was indeed good to meet someone else who had had the double life problem.

  4. whaack says:

    @Diana Coman
    Yes the half-this-while-half-that problem is something that goes beyond this meetup.

    @Mircea Popescu
    "...and we had such a good time, we didn't even take the opportunity he gave us to steal from him!"

    Likewise on all points, I'll see you in a cafe when you return!

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