April photoblog- Day 3: Card

April photo - Day 2 - flowers. At the U.S. Nationl Botanical Garden in Washingtonon DC. Everything there made out of plants.

April photo - Day 1 - toy (poodle)

Beautiful Easter Sunrise Service this morning. Lovely weather. Good company. Sitting on the grass right by the bay/

I don’t have any pictures … only memories of fellowship and singing as the first light hits the calm surface of the water. And that is enough.

Ok. Still tinkering with various themes and plug-in on micro.blog. Maybe I will settle down soon. But only a month in to my rebirth here and need to explore some more.

HTML/ CSS - Tech Simplicity

I am not a major tech geek or programer like many here on micro.blog. I mess around with it when i can, but I don’t need to know tech or use it for my livelihood. Its just a hobby.

But its a hobby I enjoy. And I love learning new stuff and how it all fits together in this modern world. So that brings me to my new project. Learning … slowly … how to use HTML and CSS to make simple websites. A simple HTML/CSS website is future proof, portable, and fast. It also doesn’t rely on any proprietary third party program or framework. It’s just text, images, and directories. No one to steal your data or track you into oblivion. Not based on any company that go bankrupt in the future.

I also like simple things that have a strong Lindy Effect. The longer something has been around, the longer it is more likely to be around in the future. So I am going to start “developing” some basic HTML / CSS sites for fun and knowledge. Yes, I. know that may be a big waste of time and that ChatGPT could do it quicker. But I wamt to learn it. And the best way to do that is to do it, not have someone or something ese do it for me..

I may post some sites here form time to time. We will see. But I am going to give it a run. Hell, I am getting ready to retire soon (not soon enough according to Mrs. robj). Will need something to do…


We are all guilty of procrastination. Rare is the person who doesn’t procrastinate. It’s good to remind ourselves of how short our lives are, and how much we procrastinate to avoid it dealing with it. Its been a problem for a long time.

Over 2000 years ago, Seneca wrote:

Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by

“Life speeds by…” - remember that next time you are scrolling through social media or watching TV because there’s nothing else to do.

Figure out what is important to you and do it.

There are no “do overs” in life. This is your one shot. Tomorrow is never promised.

New Podcast - Open Ears 🎙️

Kind of fell into the Open Ears podcast last week. I was listening to Atlas Obsura - a FANTASTIC podcast BTW - when they put on an advertisement for Open Ears, which was comong back from a hiatus. The tagline was “stories about the music that shapes our lives” or something like that and i was intrigued. Then on came Tom Hiddleston… a. k.a Loki, to talk about a piece of music that changed his life. I was hooked. I love music and believe it has this power. So I subscribed and scheduled a listen for my next morning walk.

The next morning as I headed out around the neighborhood, I was greeted by … classical music. So what I didn’t know was that the qualifier to the Open Ears tagline about music that changed our lives, was that it had to be a price of classical music. Important to know. My enthusiasm immediately waned. I don’t hate classical music, and there are some pieces I quite like, but it just want something that i sat around and listen too. Until now.

I decided to give it a listen while walking anyway and was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed it. NOt all of it, but a good chunk of the podcasts episodes I pulled up.

So there you have it. Give it a listen. It might just change your life. Or at least change your perspective on what good music is and can be.

The Dynasty 📺

Watched “The Dynasty” on Apple TV, which is about the New England Patriots 20 year run at the top of the NFL. I am a huge, lifelong Patriots fan going back to the days of Steve Grogan in the 1970s. The Belchick - Brady run from 2000-2020 was truly special - something that I don’t think we see in the NFL again during my lifetime.

I thought the show was ok. It covered some things wells, others not so much. Too much time (an entire episode) devoted to Aaron Hernandez when he was not a big part of “the dynasty” and was only there for a year or two. Belichick did not come of well, but maybe that is an accurate depiction. I don’t think so, but it is hard to say. Brady came off pretty well, I thought. Kraft was portrayed as a father like business guru who kept it all together. Not surprising.

Anyway, I am glad I watched it. But it was more sensationalized than I expected and not a true look at what made the dynasty so great: a once in a lifetime combination of excellent coaching and players. That will be New England’s true legacy. It was a pleasure to watch over these 20 years. Thank you Patriots.

Biking at the Beach

Spent the day with Mrs Robj yesterday to be together and honor our son. The day was fun and beautiful, like our son, and a reminder of all that is good in the world. Had a nice lunch at a little place called “Jo Mamas,” known for their wood-fired food. Then took a drive to the state park and biked until sunset. It was a gorgeous day all the way around.

Love and be Loved.

Remembering ...

Remembering my daredevil son on this first day of spring. Its been eight years today since his passing. My wife and I spent a wonderful day together at the beach thinking about him and all the lives he affected in his 21 short years. Enjoy every moment with your loved ones. You never know when it will the last.

Just ordered a tuxedo for a fancy event in Jupiter Florida at the Pelican Club. Never been to Jupiter before but somthing tells me it’s got an old rich northeast snowbird vibe. We’ll see…

My First NAS

I bought a Synology 1522+ last week from B&H Photo with 4x 16TB drives. Arrived last Friday and I spent the weekend setting it up. It went fairly smoothly, but figuring out what type of RAID to set up took some time, as I am a rookie with all off this. I eventually went with a SRH (Raid 5) configuration. It should provide hard drive space for a long time for all of my digital life and data. And there is a lot of it.

I had a Drobo before and it worked well… mostly. But it did have some connection issues. I learned last week that Drobo went bankrupt and shut down. Not good for a storage provider. You want to partner with companies with solid products and longevity. “Bankruptcy” is one of the last words you want to hear about your legacy media and data storage solution. Today, I was able to connect the old Drobo to an old MacBook Pro (newer Macs won’t work and there is no more Drobo support). I am in the process of transferring 20,000+ photos, 10,000+ documents, and hundreds of ebooks to the new Synology. It is taking some time, but going well. So far I have been impressed with the Synology. Quiet, smooth, efficient, and capable.

Next I will be looking an online backup (or two) so I will never again find myself having all of my family’s digital data on one potentially bankrupted company’s products (and all companies have that bankruptcy potential). Nevermore! Nevermore!

Spring blooms on a beautiful Saturday morning

Barnes and Noble Expanding!

We got a Barnes and Noble in my little town!

I thought we would never get one because they stop opening physical books stores a few years ago. But they changed their mind and started again. Five new stores in January; three in February.

We are just happy to get one in our little neck of the woods. Mrs robj and I took a visit last weekend. Its smaller than the typical B&N we were used to, but well-stocked and appointed. It was a fun date night, finished off with drinks and dinner at the local gastropub.

Books and bourbon… doesn’t get much better than that.

Advice to my Children

When my kids were growing up and struggling with the realities of life, I gave them three “rules” to remember:

  1. There will always be someone smarter than you
  2. There will always be someone richer than you
  3. There will always be someone better looking than you

Looking back, I realize that this advice may not be typical and could actually hurt their ego some, but it is true. And I found that it helped keep them grounded and focused on what abilities they had and not worry about others so much. These “rules” typically came up when they would come home from school and be frustrated by something or some person.

Johnny’s family has a brand new BMW, why do we have that?

Stevie got an “A” on the test - I tried so hard but only got a “B”

or my favorite Lisa is so pretty. Everyone loves her

We would talk about such things, and I would try to get then to realize that worrying about other people is, in the end, a never ending, losing game. Just worry about yourself and be grateful for your abilities and what you have. Because there will always be someone in the world with “more” of whatever you want - money, smarts, looks, etc… I still think this is good advice for everyone, not just kids. But kids seem to benefit the most of this ego check.

I came to these rules sometime in college. I had a successful high school career - top of my class academically, played sports, had a good group of close friends - but things changed in college. I went to a very good school and everyone there was successful, smart, good looking, and funny. It was quite the ego check for me. I thought I was smart, but there were people there that I would classify as geniuses.They never studied (I knew because I lived with them), took the same classes as me, but just “got it” academically. Gifted.

Same with athletics. I was a good athelete, but so was just about everyone there. And many were just naturals and better at everything athletic. Many were charasmatic, natural leaders too - people you wanted to be around and listen too.

I realized after a year or two at college that there was always someone “better” at everything. Didn’t matter what it was. Always someone better. I also noticed that it was rare that people displayed multiples of these amazing characteristics; no one had all of them. These people had doubts and questioned themselves and their abilities too. And the realization that no one was perfect or “had it all”, coupled with knowing that even these people doubted themselves, brought a sense of peace. No more worries about trying to outdo everyone and everything. Just be yourself, be comfortable with who you are, and do the best you can. It will all be alright.

I still remind my children (now adults) of these rules when they get frustrated by life. Its what Dads do. Keep them happy and grounded. And I can say that I am very proud of the adults my children have become.

Dune 2

Saw Dune 2 with the Mrs. yesterday. Not bad. Better than Dune 1 from a few years ago.

Likes: cast well for the most part (see dislikes). Followed the original story fairly closely, but not as much detail of course. The Bene Gesserit - what is not to like. Although I already knew the story from reading the book a few years ago, I thought it flowed better in Dune 2, than Dune 1. Wife - who didn’t know the story - agreed.

Dislikes: I thought Christopher Waken was an odd choice as emperor. Not at all what I imagined he looked like from the book. And I don’t think cast well (although I generally love Walken - besides Deer Hunter, see him in At Close Range if you can.). Also, didn’t care that it didn’t end. I like movies that end, and although this was a good stopping point, I wanted it over.

Overall, I recommend it. And see it in the theatre if you can. nothing like the big screen and surround sound to get you into the story.


Been watching Foundation on Apple TV Season 1. Pretty good. Started strong in my opinion, but getting hard to follow later in season 1. All the reviews say that season 2 is better. I am ust trying to get to season 2 with the wife. She is still holding on even though not sci-fi fan. I think I can get her there. It would be no fun watching season 2 on my own.

I read the orginal Asmov trilogy many many years ago. Back in high school … when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. And, frankly, I dont remeber much about them - except that they were original, a solid and good story, and had lots and lots of math. I also think the original trilogy spanned many many years - 1000 or so if I recall. So I am wondering how many seasons this might be. My guess is that the number of seasons is directly related to the popularity of the show, not the length of the source material.

The casting and acting so far have been good. Day and Hari and particularly well cast. Gaal too, but I am still on the fence with Salvor. Story is complex and I don’t remember so many religious themes and overtones in the original novels. But again, it was the Jurassic period, so memories fade.

I am on episode 6 right now, just a few more to the end of season 1. I will most likely take a quick break after season 1 before I start season 2, especially since it is getting much better reviews. And I also see that season 3 is coming in 2025.

There is ton of great TV out there now. Take advantage of this golden age. Who knows how long it will last.

Starting Anew ....

Here we go again. Starting again with the blogging on micro.blog.

Good news: Its a restart and a new day.

Bad news: Its a restart of the same old day

Looking back at this blog (moved from @rcjackson) this “restart” is a recurring theme. I suspect I am not the only one with this problem. On again off again. I have been consistent in blogging, just not consistent on a platform. Well, I am feed up with just about everything big tech. Never trusted Facebook. And FB ruined what joy I got out of Instagram. Google is no better than Facebook. Had to call into a business Google Meet meeting today and couldn’t log in unless I used my Google account. Why? Twitter was my last refuge, but even that now sucks.

I just want to post and maybe learn a thing or two from others occasionally. Why is that so hard? It shouldn’t be. It didn’t used to be.

I suspect this is just a cry for the independent web - a nightingales song that will get me singing once again.

Well, let’s sing away!

Rucking ....

Managed to “ruck” 8 miles this am in preparation for my [hike] (https://rcj.life/training-for-through-hike) this summer. Rucking is walking with a backpack and weights.

Did 7 miles last weekend on the Florida Trail, pic below…