the tao of jaklumen

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


Spin this one up for me, DJ Matticus: The Depths of Funk

Loosely based on the Trifecta Challenge and The words wouldn’t come. at the Matticus Kingdom.  All definitions at

English: A multi-volume Latin dictionary (Egid...


(noun) a strong offensive smell

Code of Conduct: Don’t be a pinhead. RadCon recommends that everyone follow the 3-2-1 rule. Everyday, aim to get three hours of sleep, 2 solid meals and 1 shower.

See also How the Journal Jar REALLY celebrated V-Day


(intransitive verb) to become frightened and shrink back
(transitive verb)
  1.  to be afraid of :  dread
  2.  to shrink from undertaking or facing

I don’t think I can express to you all how personal this is, how… I can’t. I don’t seem to be able to express how much this is moving me without seeing who is ready and willing to dig down in a much more esoteric way. (The Hero With A Thousand Faces)



  1.   a :  a state of paralyzing fear b : a depressed state of mind
  2.   one that funks :  COWARD
  3.   SLUMP <an economic funk>  <the team went into a funk>

The words wouldn’t come.  They felt forced.  They felt false. (The Matticus Kingdom, The words wouldn’t come.)

RadCon was nice, but often after a convention… comes con crud.  (jak’s homemade chicken noodle soup)

Ugh, I’m sorry you’re sick. I hate being sick. I would be the character in a zombie apocalypse movie that survives all of the slashing and biting and then dies of indigestion. (Aussa Lorens, Cross Examination: HOOKER, in comments section)



  1. music that combines elements of rhythm and blues and soul music and that is characterized by a percussive vocal style, static harmonies, and a strong bass line with heavy downbeats
  2. the quality or state of being funky <jeans … have lost much of their funkTom Wolfe> (which references back to Funk Level 1)


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

I’ll admit it, I was inspired by Michelle Weber’s first photo (View from Toul Sleng Prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia) for this weekly challenge.  I knew I had something similar, deep down in the jaklumen & family Flickr archive.  It’s not a prison, though– it’s a chain link fence at the baseball diamond on a schoolyard.

copyright 2010 by Princess (jaklumen’s daughter)

Please note— this photograph is NOT mine.  It’s one of my daughter’s, when she was just newly getting into photography.  This is at a baseball diamond on the schoolyard at a local middle school, where I used to go to fly kites, as it was just across the street from the apartment complex where we used to live.  She wanted a little more to do than simply take pictures of my kite flying, in an afternoon.

She was only 8 years old when she took this shot.  I remember when I looked at it that I was impressed.  This was a view that I had overlooked many, many times.  I hadn’t really thought to take this sort of perspective before.

A big thank you once again to Rob Ross of Rob’s Surf Report and his entry Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition 1 – the caramel roll run. I drew inspiration from his post, discussed a little photography with him, and decided to start doing these challenges more to draw attention to our family photography pursuits.

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Service dogs at the Home Depot yesterday

A old family friend moved into town not too far from our neighborhood and needed some help with a project.  His stuff is moved, but everything is in boxes.  The project was modifying a coat closet into a food pantry.

English: Logo for The Home Depot. Category:Bra...

My second home, really.

I was in excruciating pain.  Although Cimmy wasn’t feeling her best, she decided to take on the project.  (She is her father’s daughter and therefore quite handy.)  I decided not to go to the ER and tag along.  Boy kept crying that he was hungry, so we also scored a little lunch out of the deal.

I have too many bad memories of grumpy, chain-smoking old ladies with miniature poodles. Raspy, yappy little barkers.

We needed to get supplies at the Home Depot– plywood, L-bracket shelf supports, and so on.  At the entrance we encountered our first service dog, a miniature poodle.  Poor thing apparently was not fully trained yet.  The nice lady who let Boy pet her service dog said he was putting her (the dog) through her paces as far as her training.

Recent breeding has refined Dobermans beyond their guardian role to better companionship. Still not a good fit for my son and me.

The other was a magnificently moustachioed gentleman with a Doberman Pinscher.  I stopped to talk to him a moment as the dog also was wearing a “service dog” vest.  He said Dobermans were meant to be with people (according to their breeding, of course) and that they practically trained themselves.  I said I still figured I needed a border collie or a Labrador for the sake of Boy, as he tends to wander.

I read more about the breed a moment ago and cringed further.  Dobermans need lots of exercise, firm discipline, and indoor space, ideally.  We may not have a lot of that.  I shall look more into German Shepherds that have failed law enforcement training.


First Night 2013

S&S Photo Booth 2013 (sample, cropped)Dragon BoyGone but not forgottenFirst Night signKid Zone bannerBoy wants to be a Superstar
BigTop The Clown and BoyPrincess's turn to be a dragonDragon PrincessDragon Princess is happyDragon kidsThe Savage Dragon Princess
Wiggle Like A Fish (balcony shot)HUB centerpieceDragon kids waiting for their bonesFirst Night time pieceDragon kids, bones, and a clownom nom nom bones!
Dragon Kids and Wiggle Like A FishIMG_0610Dragon kids love spaghettiNo End of the World in 2013S&S Photo Booth 2013Princess in the middle of juggling

First Night 2013, a set on Flickr.

S&S Photo Booth 2013 (sample, cropped)

jaklumen & family say “Happy New Year 2013!”

How was your New Year’s? Ours was great!

Via Flickr:
jak and the kids have some fun at First Night activities for New Year’s Eve.

Photos by jaklumen unless otherwise noted.


Thanksgiving Post Root Canal

Those that have been following me on Google’s Answer to Facebook will have learned that I got the wonderful opportunity to experience the adventure of a root canal last Tuesday.

But even if you haven’t, I’ll explain that I was dreading Thanksgiving a little bit because the endodontist only put a temporary filling in (as they do) and it’ll be next Monday before the dentist can put something permanent in– probably an alloy. The silver lining, however, is next Monday is well within the 30 day deadline they set.

Long story short, I didn’t ruin the temp filling that I know of, and dinner at my folks (because Cimmy’s parents couldn’t do it this year… they deserve a break) was good, overall. But… while stuck trying to decide whether my face or my back hurt more, I forgot to thank my mother for the lovely dinner-feast she worked hard on. (According to my father, being an only child, she doesn’t really do the “goes without saying” stuff well that we with siblings tend to do.) So… y’know, bit of family drama and exit with hurt feelings. Not totally bad, though, see… we left before Boy could have a meltdown, and I don’t mean that facetiously. We left at exactly the perfect time for him (even if it wasn’t perfect for the rest of us).

My darling wife came up with the perfect solution: a thank you card. So soon after we got home, I wrote something out about what we were thankful for

  1. Thanksgiving dinner
  2. Our house (we would have never made the downpayment without my folks’ help)
  3. Food at the end of the month when we started scraping the cupboards.

Anyways, although it might be a temptation to wallow and commiserate in family drama that happens at Thanksgiving, I wanted to end on a note keeping with the spirit of the occasion. Not to mention saying I really have noticed that hand-written letters and thank-you notes DO make a difference. They really, really do! They’ve made a difference with friends, family, and virtual strangers. (Remember the postal bliss thing? Can’t remember if I blogged about that.)

Do be a big favor, and consider sending something like that to someone you love. Or better yet, someone you hate or are even indifferent to. See what happens. I’ll let you know how our results turn out… probably as soon as tomorrow.


Another day, another year older (today, actually)

Oops, I didn’t clarify.

Yesterday’s post was about anticipating the events today. August 3rd is my *real* birthday, not the 2nd.

Here’s some photos from the dinner get-together:

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WARNING: PARENT BRAGGING MOMENT (but I assure you it’s worthwhile):

Princess got my niece to use the toilet in a public restroom there at the park. (My niece is not yet done with toilet training.) My sister made a BIG deal out of it because this was a first!


Excruciating pain

Thunder cracked and boomed through the sky here about an hour ago, back at the apartment. Whenever there is a jump in the humidity on a cold front, I can feel it. It just rips through my muscles and down to the screws in my spine.

Joint pain, I think. It’s not nerve pain that I can tell. That is much more agonizing, I assure you.

We have the keys. Memorial Day was gorgeous, although the wind was on the fierce side that Monday morning. Lots of sunshine.

More work, actually. Repair on the fence in the morning. Started to pull some weeds– Princess helped me. I was so pleased. We brought some of the kids’ toys to each of their rooms.

We went to Fred’s Appliance and got the ball rolling on a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. That took a number of trips because we didn’t know they’d be on Sunday hours. I also wasn’t able to show Cimmy until my grandfather had left for the cemetery. Yes, you see, he’s paying for it. And, being a Marine, he needed to go do his thing on a holiday such as it was. But we got it sorted. We got it sorted even though I jolted awake from a long nap an hour before closing.

We had dinner at my parents’ house. My father had been reluctant, but my mother was surprisingly quite gracious. Actually, Dad didn’t mind too much as I got to be the one grilling up the sausages and hot dogs. I was glad to, not just to be cooking, but also that we were able to have one very square meal that day. Lunch was spaghetti, you see… we are slowly running out of food and won’t have anything more for about 3 days. Well, I take that back. Mom had bought some milk coming near to expiration (we’ll guzzle it before it can go bad) and gave us some leftover salad.

But we are plodding forward. There is still so much to do. So much in just getting the house ready. But we are taking it bit by bit.