tag:rcj.life,2013:/posts RCJ.life 2024-03-05T04:47:40Z RC Jackson tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/2094496 2024-03-05T04:47:39Z 2024-03-05T04:47:40Z Radical idea

Here’s a radical idea.

Let Americans who vote pick out leaders through elections. 

Not Justices, teh courts, prosecutors, legislators, beuracrats.

Americans.  Voting.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1975693 2023-05-13T16:56:03Z 2023-11-23T08:53:36Z Training for a Through Hike

Crested Butte to Aspen Hike

I decided I am going to hike from Crested Butte to Aspen this summer. Easier said than done, of course. I have ~~two ~~three big problems:

It’s a 10.3 mile hike

…and I am way out of shape. Working on fixing this though.

It’s between 10500 feet and 12500 feet

…this is a very very big problem for me. I am a Florida flatlander. Even walking at 10000 feet elevation is hard. I have a plan though.

NEW - 335 inches of snow this winter

The mountains have had over 335 inches of snow this winter. That's a lot of snow. The last time they had this much, the trail did not open until August. I was planning on going in July. Local experts are saying that even if the trail is open, the snow on it could add an extra 2- 3 miles of hiking. Not good.

The Plan

I have been hiking regularly in Florida - not quite the mountains, but its all i have for now. I want to get the total distance of the hike out of the way. And I have been hiking with a backpack with weight in it. So that will help.

When I get to Colorado this summer, I plan on starting slow but building endurance at altitude. May not get the total hiking distance in or the higher altitudes, but several 3- 7 miles at 8500-10000 feet will help me adjust to the higher elevations.

Not much I can do about the snow. It will either be there or not. If I have to postpone, so be it. I will find another hike or wait il next year.

Lets see how all of this play's out....

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1932059 2023-01-22T20:32:35Z 2023-01-22T20:32:36Z The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Just finished reading the Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  This is part of my continuing quest to read all of Heinlein's works. This is the first one I am readings from the Virginia Edition series.  I would like to read them all someday, and I will.

This novel is one of the three that Heinlein is most known for; the other two being Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land. Stranger is next I think for me.

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16690.The_Moon_Is_a_Harsh_Mistress" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" src="https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348768309l/16690._SX98_.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16690.The_Moon_Is_a_Harsh_Mistress">The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/205.Robert_A_Heinlein">Robert A. Heinlein</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5286873368">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
My first Virginia Edition novel from Heinlein. I want to read them all. This is good, classic Heinlein. Excellent science fiction with a heavy dose of politics and philosophy. Not sure that I liked it as well as Starship Troopers, but it was solid. It has been a while since I have read ST too, so my opinion may have changed on that one. What is interesting is that a lot of the events that I am sure felt fantastical in the novel from 1966, have already come true or are well on their way. <br /><br />Bottom line. Highly recommended. One if the three cornerstone Heinlein novels, I plan to read Stranger in a Strange Land next.
<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/55342257-rob-jackson">View all my reviews</a>

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1904182 2022-11-16T04:40:32Z 2022-11-16T04:40:32Z Crypto Decoded - PBS

I watched a NOVA episode tonight.  I enjoy PBS - especially NOVA and American Experience.  I find some of the episodes fascinating. In fact, I saw that American Experience has two new episodes on the Iran Hostage Crisis.  Must see TV for me.

The NOVA episode I watched tonight was bout crypto currency. I thought they did a good job.  I learned some things about the cypher punk movement and cryptography that I did not know before. That is the sign of a good show - one where you learn something you didn't know before.

Well worth watching - even if it is a little ETH / Proof of Stake centric.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1790423 2022-02-02T04:02:05Z 2022-02-02T04:02:06Z Goodbye Twitter. Hello Micro.Blog

I Love Twitter.  I Hate Twitter

I have always had a love hate relationship with Twitter.  I love the people and occasional interactions you can have there, but I hate the censorship and anti-customer ethos. They don't just seem to give a shot about anything.  No principles.  Everything they do is arbitrary.  And they had become more and more Facebook-like over the years. Heavy-handed with a total disregard for privacy and with a bunch of arbitrary rules that change constantly. 

I had quit Twitter more than once - but I always came back.  Well, this time Twitter quit me.


Yes, I have been banned from Twitter for allegedly "abusive and harassing" behavior. How ironic since I am the only often asking people not to engage in personal attacks, with the common response being a profanity-laced threat or personal attack. The offending tweet was a football jest tweet sent in response to Chris Murphy, a Senator from Connecticut, hammering Tom Brady and his retirement - stating that he wants a good QB and Eli Manning was much better.  Now clearly THAT had to be a joke because anyone in their right mind would know that is notable true. Misinformation if I had ever seen it. 

In response, I chastised him for being a Giants fan and an elected official in New England (last I checked, Connecticut is in New England, even if the western coast thinks that are New Yorkers). So I let him know that he should be ashamed and run out of town 'tarred and feathered." I am guess that the tarred and feather comment is what the algorithm picked up on.And this is where robots will never be able to catch up to humans.  That whole exchange was clearly a joke and in jest. Murphy was picking on Brady and going him a hard time, and I was picking on Murphy. This isn't abuse and harassment.  Its fun and fandom.  Not to the robots though. And my account was "temporarily" suspended to "protect" other twitter users. Never mind that I had been on Twitter for since 2008 (over 13 years) made thousands of tweets and never had any complaints or issues. I was now someone who need protection from.

Useless Appeal

 I dod have the right to appeal, which I did knowing that nothing would come of it.  I was right, and got the response to my appeal just a few moments after I submitted it.  Robots again for sure. Denied, of course.  So my "temporary" suspension would stay in place. It will be investing to see how long this "temporary" suspension is - my guess os forever.  But we will see, because I cant even delete my account of wanted to. Twitter wont let me.  They left my profile and my thousands of abusive tweets up for all to see.  

There is ONE thing that I can do according to Twitter to restore my account.  Delete he Tweet ( have zero problem with that_ and admit hat I violated Twitters rules and community standards. That's not happening .. . ever. Ever. Ever. When I joke tweet gets you banned after some of the crap that O have endured over the years. I even went through a stage where I reported people threatening violence and using personal attack profanity.  Nothing ever came of it - ever.  I would check the accounts complained of month later and they would still be up. Still spewing personal attacks and profanity at everyone they didn't like.  Twitter look no action.  So no, I will not be admitting to any kind of violations of community standards because Twitter appears to have none. 

On to Micro.Blog

I have used Micro.blog in the past and like it.  It doesnt have the scope of opinions and viewpoints that Twitter does, but that is a feature not a bug. The community there's e is rally nice and considerate. I have never seen profanity (a pet peeve of mine if you haven't figured that out yet), nor ny personal attacks. Everyone is respectful and gets along.

And isnt that what social media is supposed to be about.  I was listening to a podcast today by the EFF and it spoke of the ills of social media networks - at least the ones with 2 billion plus users. The EFF's premise was that there is no way that all those people to be respectful and get along. It is never gonna happen.  Just too many people.  A better model, they surmised, was the to have smaller social groups with true common bonds that would actually interact and self-enforce community standards. A bottom up approach rather Han he current top-down approach used by Twitter and Facebook. They were smart to say that this wld only work in smaller, more persona groups though. 

So I am going to join one of these smaller social groups at Micro.blog.  May even try to set up something Mastodon too.  We will see. But I think this is farewell to Twitters - finally.  If they can even interact on a human-level with a long time customer, then I dont need Tham anymore.  All it caused was stress anyway. I'm done (or at least that account is).

Never Forget that Twitter Needs Users More Than Users need Twitter.

I think Twitter has. They will come to regret that someday.
You can find Micro.blog here  and a link to my posts are in the top navigational menu.


RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1787213 2022-01-25T02:22:19Z 2022-01-25T02:28:12Z Currently Reading . . .

MadHouse at the End of the Earth by Julian Sancton

This is my third Polar exploration story in the last year.  I am just fascinated by these stories from the end of the 19th century. And so far this one doesn't disappoint.  I can't get over how young some of the protagonist are. Most are in their late 20s. And life was so hard - we are so spoiled and soft now. And how far we have come.  A little over 100 years ago, we had no idea what was at the poles. None. There were also vast swaths of the globe that were unexplored: The Poles, the Amazon, The Congo, etc . . . 

Now, there is little that is unknown on this world.  Little to stimulate the imagination and the drive to discover.  We can only read about that time. Every piece of information is at our fingertips now with just a few clicks.  Not saying that either one is better, they are just different.  And it is good to appreciate how different they are.

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that his this story does not end well.  . . we will see.

Madhouse at the End of the Earth The Belgicas Journey into the Dark Antarctic NightMadhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night by Julian Sancton

View all my reviews]]>
RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1784474 2022-01-18T03:50:17Z 2022-01-18T03:50:17Z A New Year . . .

It's a new year.  

It's a time for change. I

t's a time for renewal.

Its all of those things and more. Unfortunately, I have gotten off to a slow start with a bout of COVID running through my family.  I have been sick for about 2 weeks, but am finally feeling better. The say Omicrom is "mild" but I would disagree.  It is not as dangerous as the other variants, but I would not call it "mild."  We have been stuck in the house for two weeks. No fun.  

If there was a good thing about being sick in the house, it was that I had a lot of time (when I wasn't feeling terrible) to work on house stuff. We cleaned up a room or two - rooms that have been disorganized for years - and generally started to get it in line for the upcoming year.  we talks about travel plans for this year and made some tentative decisions.  Travel, of course, will continue to be difficult.  But we can still make plans. I also got my home office cleaned up and functional for more work.  

Getting ready for the new year.  I am as optimistic as ever.  Always. 

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1773043 2021-12-19T20:55:23Z 2022-01-25T02:08:28Z Dune - well worth it - watching the movie next Dune Dune 1Dune by Frank Herbert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 to 5 stars. Exceptional book. Especially since it was written over 40 years ago. Original and the story holds up well even today. It is a formula that we are all familiar with: the classic Hero's Journey. As I read this, all I could think of was that this is Star Wars before Star Wars. George Lucas must have read this and used it as inspiration.

I wanted to read the book before I saw the new HBO movie (and I guess series). So that is next. But, I can say, I was aware of this book for many years but did not read it, I can say now that I am glad I did.

View all my reviews]]>
RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1772796 2021-12-18T20:22:19Z 2021-12-18T20:22:20Z Test of Return to Posthaven

This is a test - trying to make it work again

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1638083 2021-01-10T04:01:13Z 2021-01-10T04:01:14Z I have had enough . . .


I have have enough of the banning and censorship. We have given these big tech companies a tremendous amount of power.  they know almost everything about us.  They have our likes, hates, habits, and privacy.  We have given this to them freely with the promise to connect to each other.  

And what do they do with all this power . . They restrict us from communicating with each other. They divide us at every opportunity. And they classify us into arbitrary categories with computer algorithms. 

The Internet is Freedom

The internet is freedom and can be again.  There are many capable, open source solutions from companies that are not trying to market to you constantly, gathering and selling your information where you as the product. Ownership is the key.  Dont give up your information. Dont gave up your privacy. Be judicious with the services you chose to use.  Use the ones that treat you best.

Bye Bye Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

I will be posting here again, and NOT on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These companies have lost their purpose.  They have fallen victim to the mob. Maybe they will figure out that they are social networks  . . designed to be social and encourage communication, not restrict it. I hope they figure this out, but I don't think they will. 

Find Your Own Voice 

There are many places on the Internet to find your voice. Stop posting on platforms you don't control. Post and comment and communicate on places that you do. You will have better and closer relationships, have full control, and wont get canceled because you wear the wrong hat or say something someone doesn't like.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1621483 2020-11-26T13:48:08Z 2020-11-26T13:49:13Z Fast. Feast. Repeat. - Gin Stevens
Another Fasting book.  But this one is a winner. Practical and Flexible. Highly recommended!

Fast Feast Repeat The Comprehensive Guide to Delay Dont Deny Intermittent Fasting--Including the 28-Day FAST Start
Fast. Feast. Repeat.: The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny® Intermittent Fasting--Including the 28-Day FAST Start by Gin Stephens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*4.5 (I wish we could give half stars)

One of the best books I have read on intermittent fasting. The most practical for such. Granted, I have been on and off intermittent fasting sine I read Dr. Fung's books over 3 years ago. I have tried different fast periods and methods. I feel better, lost some weight, and became convinced that there's e was something to IF as a lifestyle and health option. Gin's book put it all together for me. It explains the importance of a clean fast and provides a ton of practical advice for IF problems people have. Best of all, the book emphasizes that IF s not a "diet" but a workable, flexible life style choice, which is what I have been looking for and fits in nicely withy own 3 years of experience with IF.

She has a great non-judgmental and practical approach for someone new to IF and lots of tips for those with some experience.

Highly recommended book for anyone looking for a permanent and heathy lifestyle and who just wants to ... feel better. I certainly do. And I don't think I will be going back to Bloatville and TiredTown. This book will help you get out of those places and stay out.

View all my reviews
RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1620069 2020-11-22T22:26:32Z 2020-11-22T22:27:09Z I have Discovered Audiobooks

I have started trying to read more and recently discovered audiobooks. I didnt think I would like audiobooks, but they're quite good. I listen while driving to and from work. Very efficient use if time and keeps me off the news. Typically when I read an ebook or hardback, it's at night just before bed. I often doze off and forget important parts. With an audiobook, I can read it anytime and I am usually focused - driving, walking, exercising.

The one thing I have had to adjust to with audiobooks is the lack of notes. But I'm working on a solution to that. Kindle and Kobo have won the price and note battle for reading, but audiobooks win the convenience battle.  Still examining cost issues too. But so far, so good.  Will continue to mix up hard covers, ebooks, and audiobooks as I read more. 

So far I would recommend Kobo, AudiobooksNow, and Downpour as sources of audiobooks.  I am using the Bound app to listen on the phone, mostly because I can fine tune the playback speed.  I find that 1.25 is too fast, and 1.0 is too slow.  I prefer 1.15-1.2, which I can get on Bound. 

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1619813 2020-11-22T22:06:20Z 2020-11-26T14:12:02Z In the Kingdom of Ice - Hampton Sides Finish reading In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides today. Well worth your time. 

Below is my GoodReads review.  Not sure if I trust GoodReads, but it has posted my entire review here instead of just a link back to them. So I will allow it for now. Still working on this review stuff.  This is the second audiobook I have read in the last decade. Will continue to do so.  

GoodReads Review - In the Kingdom of Ice

In the Kingdom of Ice The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful book about a forgotten time and a remarkable crew.

In The Kingdom of Ice, Hampton Sides tells the story of the captain, crew, supporting characters of the US. Arctic Expedition and USS Jeannette. The expedition's goal was to be the first humans to reach the North Pole.

Let me guess, you never heard of it. Few have, but it was an international story in the 1880s. The US. Arctic Expedition had everything going for it. It was well-funded by the US. Government and wealthy benefactors. It had the latest technology advances including advanced navigation and electric lights. And it had a proven leader and dream team of experienced Arctic explorers. Depiste all these advantages, it failed.

Or did it? It certainly failed to reach the North Pole, which is why the Jeanette isnt a well known name today. But, it certainly expanded our knowledge of the Arctic and resolved many myths about the polar region. It is also a rousing good adventure story about the limits of technology and the importance of good leadership .. . and its limits.

Sides is an exceptional storyteller. This is his first book I have read, and it wont be my last. Historical non-fiction an be dull at times, but the best ones craft the facts into a compelling story. I purposely avoided did not research the details of the expedition, even though I knew its general fate. I found myself fascinated by George DeLong and his family, Mellville and the Jeanette's crew, and even Bennet. Sides' tale left me wanting more. And I eagerly googled additional information after finishing the book.

There have been some stories in my life that have stayed with me; true tales that I have never forgotten. This is now another one.

Next time I am in Annapolis, I plan on visiting the USS Jeanette and DeLong Monument.

I would highly recommend this book if you have any interest in the Arctic, the late 19th century (fascinating time of change, like our own), or the Navy. It will be well-worth your time.

View all my reviews
RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1584765 2020-08-19T04:07:54Z 2020-08-19T04:24:43Z Likely Suppressed by . . Someone.

I should have the top "rcjackson" twitter profile

Well, I have started posting to this blog again.  Off and on . . off and on  . . for almost a decade of blog posting now. But here is the funny part. I went to add my twitter profile to this site.  It's a simple process.  Go to the url of your twitter profile page and insert the link.  So I did that the way most people would. I typed in my twitter handle (@rcjackson) and "twitter" into a Google search bar - and wa la, your twitter profile page should pop right to the top. I should have the top result.

Except I don't.

Instead, two other profiles appeared before mine.  Neither were exact match like "rcjackson" but some variant (one had III after to, and the other 0045). Now I know I am the oldest "RCJackson" profile on twitter because I specifically chose that handle after the ones I wanted were not available. I have been on twitter since 2008, an early adopter. I also may be the most prolific rcjackson poster with over 11,000 tweets over the past 12 years (I know - kind of sad really, but I just . . cant . . stop . . ).

So Why is That?

The two profiles above me on the first page of google are newer, have fewer tweets than I do, and have fewer followers than I have. So why are they higher?  I don't know.  How Google or Twitter chooses to rank these pages is a big mystery.  I do know one thing though.  Those profiles are  . . how should I say this . . . reflective of Twitter and Google's political views or at least the views that are ore common on these platforms. Now I am not a conspiracy theory buff, but I don't trust the tech giants . . at all.  Especially Google and Facebook. Twitter is rapidly losing trust with me.  Only Apple still has some, mostly because it is a hardware, not software, based company. Its Users are not the product.  Its products are the actual products. Regardless, the kind of stuff really freaks me out and pisses me off at the same time.  I know that the last few times I have Google my twitter handle I was the top result. I mean, it is the oldest exact match handle wit the most content.  It should be No.1.  But it isn't anymore. . . strange. I am sure this is just another "oversight" or "bug" by Google or Twitter.  

Nothing to be worried about.  Nothing to see hear. . . . 

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1445518 2019-08-16T21:41:27Z 2019-09-07T01:31:50Z Live your life Now

Death sucks. Life is much better.

I am surrounded by death. I suppose that we all are. 

I am heading to my third funeral of a close family member in three years. My Uncle Ray died last week. I had not seen him in quite some time, but he was only 10 years older than me. We spent a lot of time together when I was younger. I was the little kid always hanging around him that he couldn't get rid of. He was the epitome of cool in the 70's - surfer, long hair, athletic, and drove a beat up beach car. After a couple of rough starts, he settled down in Tennessee, married a wonderful women, and raised a caring family. Then he contracted cancer. And now, I am on my way to Memphis for his funeral, taken too early at the young age of 63.

Me, Ray, and Christopher in 1998

In June, my grandmother died. She was the most elegant lady I ever met, right up to the end. At 94, she lived a long and successful life, but I know she wanted to live longer.

And of course I lost my son 3 years ago. He was 21. Nothing more need be said about that. It's all here. No one should have to deliver their son's eulogy.

The one thing I have learned through all of this is how little control we have. We all have worked out how life should go, but it rarely goes the way we want it to. Unexpected things happen. Sometimes good ... sometimes not. All we can do is enjoy the good times so we are prepared for the worse. 

Don't be afraid to live your life, because death awaits us all. Often, when we least expect it.

Things often don't turn out like you think they will, or think they should. Don't get to the end of your life wishing that it had turned out different. Make it different now.


RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1445414 2019-08-16T14:48:54Z 2019-08-16T14:48:55Z Goodbye 1818

Goodbye 1818 .... we hardly knew ya. 

It's fate was sealed by Hurricane Micheal on October 10, 2018 - the forgotten storm.  Demolished to concrete and rubble 10 months later.

A fitting end to our time in Lynn Haven ...

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1443599 2019-08-11T19:21:31Z 2019-08-12T20:35:01Z Starting over . . yet again.

I have gone back and forth, back and forth on blogging and social media.

There are some solid reasons to do it.  And some not so solid reasons.

I have learned how to create and maintain my own website(s). I have had several over the years that run the gamut from personal blogs to business sites. They are all hard to maintain - well, I wouldn't say too hard - more like time-consuming. And I don't have a lot of free time.

So, I am moving my personal blog back to Posthaven.  The Posthaven platform site has been dead for a while - no updates or even blog posts on what they are doing.  But it does still work, is easy to use, and not too complex.  I will trust the founders of this platform to do what they said they would do, which is provide an easy to use platform, maintained forever.  The founders are young (relatively) and both still active doing other things online and in Silicon Valley - so I remain hopeful that they will keep its promises. 

What does that mean for me?

It means that I will be moving what is left of my personal Joomla site at rcjackson.com to here. I will keep rcjackson.com, but will use it as a postcard for other endeavors.  It means that my personal blog should be here for a while - I hope.  I will also seriously think about auto-posting to twitter - may lose some followers, but who really cares anyway.  Life is too short, and one of things I really like about twitter is that it is guilt free - want to follow me, do so; don't, that is ok too.  You can even follow for a while, drop me, then follow back later.

I may also add additional topic based blogs. Why?  Because I can.  Posthaven gives me multiple blogs to create if I want to.

We will see how it goes . . .  See you round here hopefully.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1443625 2018-09-11T21:00:00Z 2019-08-11T21:07:34Z Facebook and Social Media

I struggle with Facebook and social media.

I really don't trust Facebook at all with any personal information. I hate how they always change and default your privacy settings to "public" and who knows where all this information is. I have tried to keep my presence there limited. But, I have to admit, it does have some good parts - keeping in touch with family and friends.

Instagram is just Facebook light IMHO, and has lost its original purpose of getting promoting and sharing photography

I enjoy Twitter, as much as I hate to say it. You can interact and discover some amazing people (and not so amazing people too). But it has become so political, and, because it is anonymous, you have a lot of trolls.  My one rule on Twitter and all of social media really, is that I will not tolerate personal attacks. Personal attack = block.  I will also give you one or two passes on vulgarity, but then your gone.  There is just no need for either in constructive discourse. And I do hold out for constructive discourse on these platforms.  You can have it.  I have had many really good conversations with people who disagree strongly with me.  More often, though, people just shut down or start typing obscenities or personal attacks.  Disappointing, but I won't give up . . .for now. </p>

My life would probably be better without social media

But right now it is a close call.  For a while I added social media and the news into my weekly fasting routine. I "try" to fast for 24 hours two days a week. Not as hard as it sounds and I really do like how it makes me feel.  I am doing this for life improvement reasons not religious. My first few times I try it I also included a social media and news fast.  I did not watch or listen to the news or log into social media for 24 hours.  Unlike not eating for 24 hours, this was actually harder than I thought.  And it did make me feel better.

So I will go back to that for a while.  Complete food, news, and social media fast for 24 hours twice a week.  Twice is tough.  Once is much easier.

Will report back here at some point when I feel like it . . .

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1313815 2018-08-21T10:57:14Z 2018-08-21T10:57:15Z Fasting - both from food and social media

I began trying out the fasting trend last fall. Eventually, I settled on 24 hour fasts as the best for me. Noon to noon.

My goal is for two 24 hour fasts a week - typically Tuesday and Thursday, but sometimes Monday and Wednesday.  During the week is the time to do it. Its too hard to do on the weekend.  The reason why is not what I would have suspected. You see, eating food is a social experience and so fasting is that much harder to do when other people are around. The expectation is that you will eat with them, and it is very difficult not to do so.  The actual fasting part (voluntary denial of food) for 24 hours is surprisingly not difficult. Once you have done it a few times it becomes much easier, especially after you determine the time when you will naturally feel hungry. Mine, like most, is in the evening. 

I also added social media and news fasting to my routine. I, like many, spend way too much time on social media.  My particular social media drug of choice is Twitter.  Twitter makes it about as easy as possible to consume more "news" than anyone possibly can.  So for 24 hours (sunup to sundown) I go on a social media and news fast to coincide with my food fast. Instead of being on Twitter or Facebook, I read. Instead of watching or listening to the news on the radio, I listen to a podcast, music, or watch a film. 

I feel much better after fasting. Stomach is not bloated. Brain is not fried. I feel . . . refreshed. 

I have been pretty slack on fasting this year so far - often don't do it at all or get in one day a week at best.  I am going to really try to focus and be disciplined about it for the rest of the year and see what happens. Basically, a four month experiment. I will let you know how it terms out.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1313096 2018-08-18T17:07:31Z 2018-08-18T17:07:31Z 11 miler today. Hard. Hot. Humid.

Three months from the Kiawah Island Half Marathon.  Already up to 11 miles.  But they have not been easy.  

Didn't do any base work at all this week - that makes for a rough Saturday.

Started at sunrise, but will have to get up earlier to beat the heat and run in the dark from here on out.  At least until it cools down, which is November here in Florida.  I did beat the rain though and got a pretty start. No complaints here.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1312600 2018-08-17T03:20:02Z 2018-08-17T03:34:57Z Watching Gilmore Girls

I hate to say it but my wife has gotten me into watching the Gilmore Girls

8.1 on IMDB -  not bad.

And I must admit, I kind of like it.  Very girly, but pretty good.

Just watching the Sore and Boils Alley episode. Very sought after name.

yeah right.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1443629 2018-08-11T21:09:00Z 2019-08-11T21:18:45Z Edward Curtis - Photographer

Edward Curtis was on a mission.

From the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, Curtis' mission was to photograph the American Indian in the West before their way of life disappeared.  His 30-year effort resulted in some of the most haunting and beautiful photographs of the American West and its people that anyone had ever seen. If you ever get a chance to see a Curtis exhibit, do so. He lived an interesting life - born in poverty, becoming rich and famous, then dining in obscurity. You can read about it here -. His story is interesting, but his photographs are the real stars of his tale.

You can read more about Edward Curtis below:

Curtis is really a unique story and photographer.  He gave up everything to pursue his dream. His images are hauntingly beautiful  and hypnotically human at the same time. Take some time to go through his massive collection. Curtis doesn't disappoint.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1443633 2018-03-11T21:27:00Z 2019-08-11T21:35:09Z Warrior Dash - Panama City

Finished my 3rd Warrior Dash - this one in my own backyard - Panama City, Florida.  The Warrior Dash was brought to Panama City by a partnership between two local tourist development boards.  It was originally planned to be an all-day event, but the organizers cancelled all of the  afternoon waves, presumably for poor demand.  

It wasn't too crowded at the race, but the weather wasn't great either. Lower than expected demand could also be because of slowing interest in obstacle type races. the Wall Street journal reported slowing demand for all obstacle type races and the Warrior Dash in particular:

Warrior Dash participants declined from 600,000 in 2012 to 350,000 in 2014, according to a public relations firm working last year on behalf of Red Frog Events, the Chicago-based operator of Warrior Dash.

WSJ, 2016

 I can tell you from my personal experience of running Warrior Dash races in 2012 and 2013, that this was a whole different atmosphere. Fewer people, less going on. Maybe these races are running their course?

That said, it was fun.  We had a small group of friends (mostly older - 40s and 50s) that ran it. It wasn't overly challenging - more similar to my first Warrior Dash in 2012.  The 2013 event I ran was harder. It almost seems like they were making it tougher to compete with the Spartan Races and Tough Mudders of the world. That must have been a losing battle, because this race was back to basics. Challenging, but something that anyone could do with just a little prep.

It was muddy, for sure. But the mud wasn't as bad as I have seen in previous races. There were a couple of interesting and challenging obstacles.  The pallet walk was hard, especially if you were shorter and had a hard time reaching the supporting cords. The walls were easier than I have seen before, but they still gave a few some problems. The slide at the end was surprisingly fast - I almost burned my hands from friction trying to slow down a bit. I finally just let go and let to take me where it would. 

No turkey legs at the end, but they still did have fuzzy horned hats. Food was acceptable. Entertainment not bad. But mostly these races are about friends and family. Accepting and completing a challenge with them. And as long as that dynamic continues. I expect that these races will continue to survive.

Would I do it again?  Sure.  Not certain when, but I would.  It was a fun way to spend a Saturday, get out of the house, and enjoy the weather. So if you have an opportunity - especially if a race is close to you - I highly recommend running one. Fun, Family and Friends are always a winning combination.


RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1443635 2018-02-27T18:00:00Z 2019-08-11T21:34:04Z Warrior Dash - Part Three

The Warrior Dash is coming to the Gulf Coast of Florida  . .  and I am running it!

This would be my 3rd warrior dash over the last 6 years.  I ran my first one in Lake City in 2012.  It was pouring and we saw a lady in front of us snap her ankle falling off a wall.  But, it wasn't that hard. I have to admit that we were nervous at first, but at the start line, we saw a 300 lb guy in a batman outfit. So the idiot rule kicked in - "if that idiot can run this thing, I certainly can."  My brother in law Ronnie, his son, Trace, and my son, Christopher ran it with us. 

Warrior Dash 2012

I ran my second Warrior Dash in 2013 in Birmingham with my friend Curt.  It was a little harder than the first one, but still fun.  The mud pits were a real challenge to get out of. And some of the walls were tough, but nothing insurmountable. Not like the Spartan Race . . . that is a whole another story.

So this will be my 3rd.  I am six years older and in my 50s now.  I have a feeling that I will be one of the older ones on the course.  But  . . who cares. Ronnie is running to with me again, and so is his wife Tina. None of us have really trained, although I did run some and feel comfortable there.  Upper body could be tough though - will probably strain or pull something.  

Only tomorrow knows.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1234868 2018-01-20T05:21:32Z 2018-01-20T05:21:33Z Bill Belichick on Sunday Morning - Gametime

Tom Brady's Thumb . . . fully armed and operational

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1233799 2018-01-18T13:34:57Z 2018-01-18T13:34:57Z Florida Freeze

In the also category of things you don't see in Florida - temps in the 20's.  Here in North Florida, it gets below freezing maybe a couple of times a yea, but never lasts more than a few days - tops.  And rarely gets below 28 or so. 

Woke up this am to this:

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1233796 2018-01-18T13:30:56Z 2018-01-18T13:30:56Z Florida Snow

Here is something you don't see in Florida too often . . .snow.

Woke up this morning and saw this in my backyard at around 5:45.  It didn't last and never stuck anywhere.  But it was snow.  Only the second time I have seen snow in my 20+ years of living in Florida.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1119901 2017-01-02T15:23:43Z 2017-01-13T19:42:48Z "Hacks" Are Not Russians, But Journalists

The latest evidence on the Russian "hacking" of our election and country shows that the "hacks" are the journalists, not the Russians.

The State of Journalism Now

Journalism in this country is simply bad. New technology and economic pressures are forcing more sensational stories out ever faster and faster from some of our most trusted media institutions, and I am afraid we will all pay the price. The last time this type of "yellow journalism" happened was in the 1890s, and the U.S. got into a war partly because of it.

In particular, I am talking about the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos' new plaything. But most of the media outlets are guilty. The pressure to publish in a rapidly changing industry has become too great. And, unfortunately the Post's and others' incompetence spreads down to your local paper - so you can't even trust your local paper now. You can no longer trust anything you read.  Be extremely skeptical and verify what you can before believing it. Let me explain.

Russian Hacking and Punishment 

Earlier in the fall, the U.S. government officially accused the Russians of hacking the DNC to interfere with the U.S. elections. Later, the U.S. announced that it was taking sanctions against Russia for the hacking, including expelling diplomats and financial sanctions. The Obama administration wanted to "punish" Russia for its actions. When two of the world's nuclear powers start "hacking" and "punishing" each other, the world should pay attention. 

As expected, the media reported on these claims. The Russians denied them, and demanded proof. The President ordered an investigation and released and unclassified report purporting to show proof of hacking. The problem is that the report shows nothing about Russian hacking. 

Proof of Hacking is Lacking

The U.S government's report on the Russian hacking has been largely debunked. In the last several days security companies have dug into the technical geeky material and said it proves nothing.

Ars Techinca's security correspondent stated that the "White House fails to make the case" that the Russian hackers interfered with the election. Similarly, Wordpress security site, WordFence, showed that the code used by the hackers, according to the U.S. government's own report, was Ukrainian in origin and freely available to anyone on the internet. Additionally, the IP addresses in the government report do not show Russian involvement. 

Now to be clear, theses reports don't say the Russians were not involved, only that the purported proof the U.S. government provided is not really proof at all and doesn't show what it purports to show. The government could be holding back additional information, but the report they published is not convincing anyone that can understand it.  But that has not stopped the media from going into hyperdrive. 

"The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!"

Unlike the hilarious 1966 movie with Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin (Emergency! Everybody to get from street!), this hyperbole has real world consequences. Sanctions, diplomatic expulsions, and the result of the election had every journalist looking for Russians everywhere. And you shall find what you seek. The Washington Post, in particular, seems to be finding Russians under every rock, nook, and website. First, the Post claimed that Russian "fake news" was all over the internet, citing a previously unknown group, Prop or Not. Prop or not listed websites that it claimed were arms of the Russian propaganda services - basically any website that said anything good about Russia. These claims turned out to be false, and it appeared that the Post did not do any basic vetting of this group's claims prior to publishing its story. Of course, that was only after the story spread like wildfire all over the internet, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Then, just this past week, the Post again published a story about Russian "hacking" of our electric grid.  This would be very concerning - if it were true - but it is not. Again, the Post did not appear to do any basic vetting of this claim. They did not contact the Vermont utility in question before publishing the story. And it turns out that the computer which had the malware code on it was an independent workstation not connected to the electric grid. The headline and story were highly misleading. The Post later retracted it, stating that:

"An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the U.S. electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid."

Too late. The story had already been published and republished by national, regional, and local outlets.  After all, it was from the Washington Post, one of the country's most prestigious newspapers. A similar headline ran on the front page, Sunday edition, of my local newspaper, the Panama City News Herald. I actually contacted one of the News Herald's staffers on twitter after the Post published its retraction. They said they were aware and would publish a correction. They did the next day - in a tiny little box at the bottom of page 2. I doubt anyone even noticed it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how incorrect stories and ideas spread: one false story and correction at a a time.

The Washington Post was unethical and negligent in publishing this story. I am sorry to say that It simply cannot be trusted anymore. This is the second time in less than 3 months that it was radically and catastrophically wrong in its reporting - rushing to publish instead of vetting the story. Ironically, the Post itself published a story about fake news, clickbait, and the rush to profit just last month.  Maybe it should reread its own story. What it is doing doesn't look much different.

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1118376 2016-12-26T22:57:20Z 2016-12-31T06:17:21Z Moving my blog, yet again . .
I have had this blog since 2012 and maintained it (loosely defined) since then.  I started out on Blogger, then moved to Wordpress. Got tired of that and wanted to learn a new CMS, so I switched to Joomla. I like Joomla, but found myself posting less and less.  So I am switching again to the lowest friction blog system I can find, Posthaven. 

The plan is to post more and make it as easy as possible. One of the pains in the you know what will be transferring my previous posts to this new blog.  But I think it will be worth it.  

So stay tuned. Check back often.  Sit back and enjoy. There will be no rhyme, reason or theme to this.  I will just be posting what I think is interesting or my thoughts.

2016 has been a very difficult year for me and my family.  But we are still here, holding on, and together.  That is all that that you can ask for in this tough world.

Here I am after a 15 mile training run - super slow - but happy, still running, and still holding on

RC Jackson
tag:rcj.life,2013:Post/1118429 2016-03-10T18:00:00Z 2016-12-27T01:43:52Z Switching to Joomla . . .

After several years, I am switching the site to a new CMS.  Going to try Joomla. I was getting tired of Wordpress and looking for something easier.  Looked at the new blogging platform, Ghost.  I started to switch over but found myself messing with javascript, node.js, and cloud server stuff.  It was simply too technical for me.

I have been working on and off with Joomla for a few years now. I like it.  It is just complex enough that it is challenging, but string enough to develop a legitimate website. So, I figured I would rather learn Joomla a little better and concentrate my knowledge in one flexible and effective CMS.

I am using Easyblog and a third party template.  Let's see how it goes. 

You will see some slow changes here, adding a analytic section, updating the styling, adding more information, making autopost to twitter.  Its all rather exciting.

RC Jackson