the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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Return to Path of the Sage

“I seek not to know all the answers, but to understand the questions.”

— Kwai Chang (Grasshopper) Caine, as portrayed by David Carradine on Kung Fu (TV series, 1972-1975)

It has been a while.

The time has come, it seems- to wander, to ponder and contemplate where I went wrong.  A course correction, some time to be alone and try to figure out where my place should be.

I have overstepped.

What is the nature of the Uncarved Block?  What potential lies in being nothing, so that one might have everything to give?

Taoist monks observed the universe, as well as the immediate earth around them; physicists of today confirm much of what they wrote.  Where is my proper place amongst all things?

There has been an imbalance.  I cannot remain secluded, for this is not Tao- but I need time to myself, time to just be, and see if my path will move back to its rightful place.


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I hit that scammer with the voice of madness.

Note: this post title is inspired by

I should have realized our Do Not Call registration expired.

as I wrote about something similar in a post titled “I hit that telemarketer with the voice of madness” on The Icarus Project forums.

Now, most of the time, I try to be polite to people on the phone.  Even telemarketers.  I really do.  If I think someone is trying to earn a reasonably honest living (although I’ve said telemarketing work is only a few notches above prostitution), I will be kind and polite to them.

But I toss a lot of civility out the window for telephone scammers.

Sometimes I wonder why we get them in the first place.  Some are automated calls with recordings offering to consolidate our credit, which I know we don’t need.  A very few are offers of so-called business opportunities, which I’d prefer to call “get rich quick schemes” much of the time.  Then there are the calls from those faking to be from Microsoft, worrying about my “Windows computer”– and I just laugh at them.  I tell them they are amateurs, because I use Linux.

But this particular phone scam was one I consider particularly low-down and slimy, and one I’d run into before:  the scammer claims that the IRS has issued an arrest warrant for me.  Yeah, right.  I don’t pay income tax, and I’ve claimed a hardship exemption on property tax.

Now, telemarketers and scammers used to call direct.  Some years back, people devised ways to respond to that, and one of my favorites was the Telecrapper 2000:

But they’ve gotten wise to this.  These folks have started making recordings and asking people to call back.  Maybe this makes them easier to ignore- but I was itching for some payback of sorts.  This particular automated call was a synthesized voice, and just smelled of fake, fake, fake.  So I figured I’d call back and really have some fun.

What I didn’t expect, but was pleasantly surprised by, was that MinuteMatt (MM) and Cimmy decided to join in on the fun.  I said whatever came to mind: including asking “so what are you wearing?” as if it was a phone sex line, making fake vomiting noises, and saying the most random things as if I had totally lost my mind.  Cimmy decided to call me “Harvey” and to insist I’d hurt myself enough and needed to go back to my padded room.  MM said a few random things as well, either to sound as crazy as I was, or to fake support for Cimmy’s help.  But what really just got me grinning like a loon later was what MM heard the guy saying:

“I’ve never encountered this before.  What am I supposed to do?”

I guess I have to give the man some credit.  He really tried to hang in there, although he didn’t say a whole lot to me besides claiming he was with the IRS.  He just let me yammer and chatter on and on.  I wish I had kept track of how long it took, because it seemed like somewhere between 5-10 minutes; way longer than most scammers hang on.  I was determined to babble on and on until he hung up, and mercifully, he did– I heard the familiar alarm that comes when a landline phone has been disconnected too long.


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Binge eating — one of the last of my dirty little secrets

I revisited these thoughts, and more details I haven’t shared here in an answer on Quora: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-stop-myself-from-binge-eating-and-gaining-weight/answer/Jack-Lumen

the tao of jaklumen

Please also see

The Lines Project

jak-lines When I did the Lines Project back in December with my wife and my daughter, I was reluctant to put a yellow line on my arm for eating disorder. I thought, “It doesn’t count!” A little voice said, “Yes, it does.”

I enthusiastically participated in The Lines Project last December, as my daughterand I deal with self-harm issues.  It was hard enough drawing some of the lines- but as I had come to an understanding of my cPTSD, and some of the very real dissociative episodes I had sometimes when the stress got to be too much, I figured I could count the orange and teal stripes.

Several others I thought were pretty self-explanatory, although purple was something that was also self-realized relatively recently- I mean in the past decade or so.  (I’ve written a little on my issues of sexual…

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BPD and me

I’ve never received a #BPD diagnosis- just PTSD at best (and the psychiatrist that made it was a pill-dispensary machine- another story!). And not just PTSD, but I feel complex PTSD is the best fit. Yet a LOT of this fits me, and I’ve benefited a lot from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Please have a read.

Jen in socks

I want to preface this post with sending out some love to anyone who’s reading this who has a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) (also called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) diagnosis.

I know that many people (including mental health professionals) will treat you differently because of this diagnosis. I have witnessed people with BPD being called manipulative for how they cope/ask for help, abusive for lashing out while overwhelmed by emotions which often stem from abuse they suffered in childhood, being told that they can’t be treated – that they will just have to learn to live with their illness (which, by the way, is totally untrue!), and just generally being treated like crap, both online, and by professionals in real life.

This is unfair in the extreme. Your illness is not somehow ‘your fault’ because it was caused by how you developed from childhood. In fact, that just means that…

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For the people, by the people: Joe Cheray

A quick disclaimer

Generally speaking, I avoid talking about certain subjects– particularly politics, religion, money, and sex.  People can get very personally invested in such topics.  But I would like to make an exception this time.

A friend I met on Twitter would like to run to represent Kansas Congressional District 2, U.S. House of Representatives.  She needs some help with seed money, and I’ll tell you why, dear readers, why I am voicing my support.

A voice for the “average” Joe

I decided to run because I feel that the average person like myself is not being represented not only in Kansas but nationally as well. I am the average Kansan..

..I know what it is like to rise above circumstances. Those circumstances have shaped me into who I am today – a strong individual who can take my experiences and use them to help others who are not able to help themselves.

quote taken from Joe Cheray: Help me in my run for Kansas US House of Rep CD 2, at YouCaring – Compassionate Crowdfunding

Joe Cheray – A voice for the average Joe.  I think that could be a good campaign slogan.  Yet I think it’s important I emphasize that Joe has responded exceptionally to what a so-called “average” person can face.  Domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, poverty, absentee parents, and broken family upbringing can face anyone; these issues know no gender, race, creed, or cultural background.  I have had the great privilege to get to know Joe through Twitter support chats addressing these issues, because I have experienced some of these issues myself.  I understand that she is very frustrated with how these issues are being addressed in her state.

At the same time, however, she knows some of my frustrations.  I’m not from Kansas, but instead, I live in Washington state.  Again, though, I know these issues still affect anyone, both in rural and urban cities.  I can tell you of friends that experienced these things that live in cities like Tacoma, but also friends that once lived in Yakima, where Cimmy was born and raised, and where I lived with her for a time.

I have grown up in rural, small town Kansas. I have also lived in some of the bigger cities in Kansas. So I understand the challenges that rural Kansans face as well as those that live in the cities I have lived in.

Again, I’m certain that Joe will say the same- that so many challenges do not come based on where you live or how well off the people who raised you were.

My funds are tight- 3 out of 4 of the people in my family are on disability, and yes, that means I have a child with special needs as well.  Please help me get the word out; I would like to see a friend have a chance to make a difference in our national government.  Regardless of whether the campaign run is successful, or not, I think Joe and her effort deserves all the help she can get.  Thanks.

See also The hidden story behind Candle in the Window