the tao of jaklumen

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


REBLOG: TRU Adult Colo(u)ring Book Project

Hey guys- my dear wife has volunteered to help Athena Moberg and Bobbi Parish in gathering submissing for an adult (meditative) coloring book, to raise funds for Trauma Recovery University.  TRU is an organization dedicated to helping survivors of child sexual abuse.  These funds will help make conferences and other resources possible.

Please help spread the word?  Please see the following below (and click on the link for more information):

This year, Trauma Recovery University (TRU) is putting together a colo(u)ring book which we intend to sell to raise funds.  Cimmy has agreed to be the point of contact for this project.  All the ba…

Source: TRU Adult Colo(u)ring Book Project


Even Deeper Into The Transformation (Zero to Hero Days 13, 15, 25)

I’m skipping around a little bit, because I wanted to focus more deeply on how this blog looks.

Assignment for Day 13 is to create, edit, or expand a blogroll.

This was a challenge I agonized over for over a week.

If you remember Hero pulls a zero on Blogroll challenge so far, I mentioned two parts that I intended to focus on.  The first part was to promote the blogs I work on.

I tried the Links widget, as Cimmy did for her blog The Dragon’s Lair:

Links widget and the Community widget, the latter which I'll get to in a moment.

Links widget and the Community widget, the latter which I’ll get to in a moment.

but it just wasn’t very easy to read. This theme has rather tiny fonts for text on the sidebar.

So I decided instead to build it by way of Image widgets, with each image linked to the respective blog:

Vox Diaspora doesn't have any custom design, so I made an image.

Vox Diaspora doesn’t have any custom design, so I made an image.

I admit that I went rather lazy with the second part of my solution to the challenge, which was to show some of the blogs I follow.  I guess I think the Community widget is a rather clean solution– it doesn’t show all blogs followed, but shows a random collection.   I chose the “a few” option on how many users to show, which returns about 10 users for me.  I’ve seen this widget before, and although I’m not FULLY happy with it, it will do, for now.

The assignment for Day 15 is to open the Customizer and try out some new fonts and colors (and backgrounds and/or headers, if you’re still undecided).

Unfortunately,  this theme (Greyzed) does not come with customization options.  I did experiment with fonts on the last theme (Superhero).  But I did choose Greyzed because a lot of the color schemes were very similar, with a much cleaner look.

But I did have to experiment with fonts while working on the image widgets for the blogroll challenge.  This fulfills the title of Day 15’s challenge: to learn more about how visuals influence content.

I would be remiss if I did not give proper credit where credit is due, to one who is Aussome.

AL's Blog

From a screenshot by my beloved Cimmorene

Aussa Lorens understands very well how visuals influence content.  (I have to be honest here, Aussa, it IS well designed.)  Cimmorene noticed this as well in Zero to Hero Day 25: Adapt a Custom Detail For Your Blog, which brings us to Day 25.

The day 25 assignment is to browse the blogs you follow and note a custom touch you love. Tell the blogger you love it, and interpret it for your own blog.

The detail I came up with was twice-over inspired.  If you follow the link to Cimmy’s post that I shared earlier, you’ll see that she was inspired by Aussa to create a widget that linked to some of her content, in this case, the entire category of her Zero to Hero posts:

Cimmorene’s widget for Zero to Hero posts at The Dragon’s Lair

and I thought that her widget was very cool.  So I noted the dimensions of her widget, and took a .gif image I had made previously for a widget:

The old "A Zero to Hero's Journey" image

The old “A Zero to Hero’s Journey” image

and created this:

The all-NEW Zero to Hero's Journey sidebar widget

The all-NEW Zero to Hero’s Journey sidebar widget

and I didn’t stop there.  Since I was learning what fit in the sidebar, I brought my Wordle (“Interconnection 1”) widget back:

Just had to adjust the width to 250 pixels, and it was good to go.

Just had to adjust the width to 250 pixels, and it was good to go.

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Zero to Hero Day 28: Build on Popular Content

Today I’m guest posting at Cimmy’s blog The Dragon’s Lair to help with a Zero to Hero challenge.

Comments are closed at the tao of jaklumen… come and give Cimmorene your support!

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The Dragon's Lair

I can’t believe there were no suggestions at all.  

Wait a minute, what’s this?

“Get jak to answer the question about you.”  

You got it.  Take it away, jak!  

Thanks, Cimmy!

The assignment for day 28 is to find the post that has received the most views, likes, or comments, and write a related follow-up post.

I suggested to Cimmorene that I could write a “he said” follow-up to the Day 27 question:

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from the person you’re the closest to?

Cimmy taught me to love myself more, and to smile more often.

(The character Cimmy is portraying is Scene from the Fine Bros. MyMusic YouTube show)
-She is sweet to a fault, always showing kindness and love

I love you, my dear, every time I go
You have a way to let me know
No matter how upset I…

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Exercise #63: The Oracle’s Dilemma

Cimmorene has come up with another story as we slowly reveal our hidden world of the Four Kingdoms, an epic fantasy that speaks of social justice, mercy, and redemption. Like many stories of high fantasy, we touch on many elements of the Monomyth cycle, or “Hero’s Journey”, expounded by Joseph Campbell.

Cimmy's Stories

Exercise 63 Instructions

WARNING: This post is more than 1700 words long.

Ashsula walks down a path lined with granite slabs. Trees stand around her at intervals, seeming to beckon her forward with their branches. A light breeze catches at the long, brown tresses beneath her hood and plays with the hem of her gray robes. At the end of the path stands a marble courtyard in which two small, white marble basins stand. Light reflected in them tells her there is water in both. A small girl child stands between the two basins also garbed in a long gray robe, identical in all respects to the one worn by Ashsula, save that the hood rests against the child’s back rather than being up, as is the custom. The breeze tugs at the blond curls she has allowed to obscure her face and at the fabric of the gray…

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15 years of love

jak and Cimmy are celebrating their 15th anniversary today.  Comments are closed! Please come visit one of the blogs Cimmy helps me run, that we started as a Group on the old VOX platform.

Please also take some time to visit her Cimmy’s Stories and Dragon’s Lair blogs, too.

jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar

jak and Cimmy have been married fifteen years.


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A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Boy, Autism, and Thanksgiving

Remember A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Atonement with the Son?  That’s Boy there in the pictures, with me.

His autism and behavior disorders are still difficult to deal with at times, probably a bit more the latter elements.  This is aside from him bringing head lice home, as most any young children do.  Last Monday we took him back to his pediatrician, and Tuesday we started him on medication treatment.

This wasn’t without a LOT of careful consideration.  I’ve had my own hellish journey with psych meds, and when Princess started hers, I was careful and somewhat reluctant about it.  (She had a med break that was going to last a month, but she decided to resume after two weeks, after some trouble at school.)  With Boy, though, we had multiple people begging for something– his schoolteacher and his Primary (Sunday School) teacher, for one.  Even the specialist doc that did his formal evaluation for autism recommended he be treated, so we had all the paperwork as such sent in.

But what hurts me most right now is my sister-in-law refuses to come to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow because of him.  She tried to backtrack– my MIL said her reason yesterday was “too many people”.  Now, she is a little reclusive, and won’t live on her own, but I can smell bullshit a mile away.  She can’t handle Boy.

I guess I’d feel differently if she was in her own place, but she’s not.  At the funeral, she said she was still at home because Cimmy’s parents are “getting old”.


EDIT Nov. 28th: I talked to my FIL and I think in retrospect, I was rather harsh.  Cimmy suspects her little sister is agoraphobic, and it seems to have gotten worse in recent years.  Bill himself said he empathized as he has some difficulties in large crowds– like the state fair, and he’s submitted photography for many years.

I hope it’s understand that I am concerned, and that I enjoy her company.  When I’m not upset, I usually try to keep a “hands-off” approach, and I think that’s why we’ve generally enjoyed a rather warm relationship– that I try not to be pushy, and I hold back a lot more than Cimmy usually does.  I miss my sister-in-law and wished she could have been here– especially as the dinner was great.  (You’ll see photographic proof in a bit!)

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Mother’s Day: What NOT To Give Her.

Cimmy was quite happy today that the gift given at church was not item #1 (she feels a potted flower just comes home to die). Instead, it was something I learned was a big hit last year: chocolate!

The Dragon's Lair

Here in the States, we have Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday.  I don’t know about you, but over here, many of the moms are hoping that their families will do something special for them this year.  What you do for your mom is up to you.  All moms are different, so how you celebrate Mother’s Day will be just as different.  Therefore I can’t really tell you what to do to make that special day as special as possible for her.  However, I think I CAN tell you with a certain amount of success what NOT to do for your mother.

That said, before I begin, I want you to understand that I am speaking primarily as a mother.  If I say, “Don’t do this for your mother,” and it turns out she actually WANTS you to do that, then feel free to disregard anything I’m saying here.  As…

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Princess and the KOG at Vista

Bit of a response to Cimmorene’s Back to School: Pre-School Bus Drills.

Princess had a bit of a benefit compared to Boy, as her school had an offical open house. If you read the above link, though, you’ll learn that Cimmy took care of that for him and his first few days have been going well.

I’m surprised she’s done so well. This is basically her third school in three years. She changed schools the first time because school district boundaries had to be redrawn due to a newer housing community adding more students… incidentally to the elementary I attended for just one year way back in 1984. The second time was because she was accepted to the gifted program, and the third was as the program changed host schools this year.

Understand– there was something that remained the same, and that was the program teachers and all her classmates, for the most part. Just like at her previous school, the KOG classrooms were in portable buildings. The difference was these were new and didn’t stink so bad (well, from what Mrs. D, her teacher this year, told me– “new car smell” was her words).

Already Princess is starting to talk like a teenager, or preteen, if you will. When I asked her about her first day, she said “average” and the following day it was “fine”. But she was still willing to answer my follow-up questions, which were more specific.

I asked her if she had enough time for breakfast at the school before class. (She did.) I asked her about the school library. (She said it sucked, because they required her to check out a book, and she was trying to explain she was bad about returning them– like her mother. Honest; Cimmy won’t deny it.) I asked her about the KOG library, and she clarified that it was in the other half of the portable her classroom was in, just an inside door away. I asked about the unusual layout of the cafeteria and the gym. (She said there was a small “tunnel” without doors between the two. A much more typical arrangement is to include the school kitchen, stage, and gym in one “multi-purpose” room.)

She was not exactly eager to relate all this once again to my mother. (She’s perceptive and has her own opinions about her grandmother’s nosiness, and… *cough*nopenotdescribingthatmessalloveragain*cough*)
She kept asking, “Can I hang up now?” Eh. Between me, and her, Mom got enough of the scoop.

Didn’t ask about reactions to her black eye. Yep, she managed it again accidentally bonking her forehead on her loft bed somehow. Cimmy thought it was marker ink until I said I’d found her crying and that she told me what happened.

Oh… Princess herself took photo evidence (what WONDERFUL self-portraits) but I hope you’ll understand if I’m reluctant to share it here. You may ask to see if you wish and I’ll consider your request. Flickr has nice guest pass accomodations for private photos.

Anyways, hopefully that’s enough to give you the idea. There may be more posts like this down the road.