the tao of jaklumen

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

The Journal Jar Celebrates Valentines Day

Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day (broken hearts for the lose!) please join us on the Journal Jar for some cheer today. TGIF, right?

Comments closed at the tao of jaklumen as per usual, so you’ll be inclined to visit us 😉

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jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar

This is what our family is doing for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy and please share with your friends.

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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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Interview Me(me)

While I admit that some Internet memes get out of hand, I like to participate in memes that encourage some fun sharing in a blogging community.

This one I found at Stevil’s (stevebetz) blog. Since he tweaked it a little bit from the way he originally found it, I’ll also add my own touches. So, here’s the rules. You can copy/paste or modify them as you see fit:

  • If you’re interested in getting interviewed by me, leave me a request (like “interview me, please“) in the comments.
  • I will reply with five interview questions of my choosing.
  • Tag, you’re it! Please make a post at your blog with your answers to the questions. Then pass it on with a copy of these rules. You’ll get a turn to interview your readers if they so choose, too.

Here are Steve’s questions for me:

1. The title of your blog is “The Tao of Jaklumen” — why did you choose that title?
2. Do you have any resolutions for 2012?
3. If there was one other blogger you could have everyone read, who is it, and why?
4. What would you say to yourself five years ago, if you could. What about 20 years ago?
5. Human civilization: on its way up, on its way down, or breaking even?

and here are my answers:

1. This was the title I settled on sometime ago back at VOX. “tao” can be loosely translated as “way” or “path”. I have an interest in philosophical Taoism, and sometimes I write from that perspective. But I like writing about a variety of things, too, and “tao” is more pithy and simple than the phrases (“eccentric world”, “eclectic world”, “mad world”) that once stood in its place. Once I settled on “tao of jaklumen”… there it stood.
2. I like the word “project” rather than “resolution” thinking of the New Year, since New Year’s resolutions seem to have a bad rap of being pie crust promises (easily made, easily broken). Projects suggest something ongoing. Anyways, yes, I do. Rather than list them all out I invite you to continue reading. I will tell stories and share photos, just as I have documented my projects in the past.
3. Everyone? Well, I don’t want EVERYONE to read, but I’d like all those who consider themselves part of the VOX Diaspora to have a look at the VOX Journal Jar In Exile . Cimmorene and I started that as a VOX group as an alternative to the QotDs some of our Neighborhood found strange. Since VOX closed, we moved it to WordPress. Please come join us for some old-school VOX spirit and some exciting new WP perspective. (We’ll make it worth your while!)
4. “Things didn’t turn out the way you expected, but they still turned out worthwhile.” Today I am learning there’s still a lot that can be cultivated from the ashes of sorrow and disappointment.
5. I would prefer to say human civilization goes through cycles of change than linear ups and downs. Ancient philosophers grumbled about the follies of youth and the threat of new communication mediums much the same way we do today. No, really. There were worries about books destroying the storytelling (oral) tradition, just like scholars have recently fretted about television and the Internet destroying the importance of books.

I like to think that human nature is reasonably constant, despite other factors: people are people. What we have seen then, we will see again.

Okay, that’s it. Please participate if you so wish!

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At the Journal Jar: Significant Other

You might be wondering why I am doing so many posts about the Journal Jar. Well, I asked Cimmorene to take a little time to promote that blog of ours (yes, it’s a joint project) again. The plan is that she draws a slip on Friday, which is a slower day of blogging for her as she does quotations that day. She did a few more than that recently just for fun.

(By the way, her primary blog is The Dragon’s Lair, which is at TypePad.)

So here’s the latest question:

“Write a description of your husband, wife, or significant other.”

I’m going to cheat. (If you’re reading after all my blather thus far, dear readers, you deserve it.) I made another post at the Journal Jar about our anniversary. Please, go look. I used one of my father-in-law’s old photos of her. Isn’t she a cutie? Now, I say briefly that I love this woman, as she shares many of my interests– but retains her independence and uniqueness, even as people marvel at our displays of affection given to each other as if we were newlyweds. Then I say, dear readers, please have a look at her main blog that I shared the link to above, and see for yourself.


At the Journal Jar: Extracurricular Organizations (JJQ #39)

“Did you belong to scouting or 4-H? Tell about your experiences.”

Cimmy wrote about her experience with Camp Fire, which was girls-only at the time. Please. Do me a favor and take a moment to read that account, at the Ex-Vox Journal Jar. I think it will help you make more sense of what I have to say next: recalling what experiences younger sister #1 had with the Girl Scouts, specifically with Brownies, I don’t think Cimmorene missed very much.

Unlike my father-in-law and my uncle (Dad’s older brother), I did not attain the rank of Eagle Scout, although I was fairly involved in Scouting. All of my supports dropped out from under me in high school, and I could not manage on my own.

As a Latter-Day Saint, Scouting is tied very closely still to our church. I did reasonably well in Cub Scouting, but by the time I got to the BSA, problems arose. My first Scoutmaster had boys that got their Eagles very early, one at near eleven years of age. My parents had a general attitude that too many Eagles in the troop had their ranks handed to them by their fathers, or rather, that the boys did not truly earn them on their own.

To make matters worse, the environment was hostile. I will speak more generally and say that our church congregation had many people that were kind and gregarious, but their children were gossips and bullies. Understand, dear reader, that I truly am not bitter now, but there was too much jock attitude in my local Scouts. Then was then… please understand that I realize that they grew up, for the most part. I am not interested in picking apart the pain too much, but know that it did hamper my achievements.

Now I will say that not too long ago, when I was grown, I stood up with the other men in my stake (larger area than the ward/congregation) at a conference. I remember reciting the Scout Law and the Scout Motto. As I recited the lines, I came to realize what lessons they taught. I realized how Scouting was regarded as an institution to teach boys how to become men.

Please. I know that the Boy Scouts of America has controversies that some people are very bitter about today. I do not wish to discuss that, now. I say that in spite of all of that– and I have faced some of that controversy very personally– I still esteem the value of the organization. It has meaning and purpose to me. I have met Eagle Scouts (even those in the Order of the Arrow) that do not seem, to my observation, to have learned these lessons. I think it is possible to go through the organization that way, but I do not think it diminishes its value with me. By contrast, I do not have an Eagle badge to show to the world, but I still say with strength and confidence, that I believe that I have.


At the Journal Jar: Extracurricular Activities

Cimmy serves up this latest question at the Journal Jar:

“During your school years, were you ever in a drama, speech, sports, pep, or glee club? Tell about it.”

I didn’t participate in any clubs per se, but I did have a few projects.

One was a series of sketches for the “Brainbusters” assembly in high school– a showdown between the academic top 5 seniors and a panel of teachers. I had the idea for the first sketch, which was eponymously titled and was a parody of this Ghostbusters clip:

“Are you troubled by nerds, geeks, and know-it-alls? Brainbusters… we’re ready to believe you.”

The second combined parody of both the Super Poly-Grip and Life Alert ads:

Announcer: Let’s apply a layer of Super Poly-Grip to the seat to keep Grandma where she belongs: on the toilet.

“Grandma”, played by a young man in drag, sits on the toilet. She frantically presses what looks like a button on a necklace when she realizes she is stuck.

Dispatcher (sound recording by actor portraying “Grandma”): 911 Emergency.

Grandma: Halp! I’m sitting, and I can’t get up!

Don’t remember how much Life Alert was a source of humor? You will:

The last sketch was the Chia Pet Hair Club For Men.
It went something like this:

Young man (portrayed by jaklumen) looks into the air as if looking into a mirror, pawing at his forehead anxiously.

Announcer: Are you troubled by male-pattern baldness? Worry no more, with the Chia Pet Hair Club for Men. Just sprinkle the seeds and apply our special growth formula…

Another young man walks up to jaklumen and plants a brilliant neon green patch of costume fur on his forehead.

Announcer (continuing): …and you’ll have a nice, luscious new growth of hair. And now, try our new Chia Moustache and Chia Beard!

Man (providing testimonial) The Chia Pet Hair Club works so well. Not only am I the Chia Pet Hair Club President… but I’m also a client.

Hmm. Don’t remember Chia Pets or the Hair Club for Men? Check this out:

or maybe this will get you closer to the spirit of what we were doing:

This was shortly after two of my compadres decided to skip assemblies to play D&D. But they let me bow out to do this… and one of them was nice enough to let me borrow his glasses for a prop.


At the Ex-Vox Journal Jar: About A Beard

Some time ago, I got a wonderful gift called “A Year of Love Jar”… which was like our Journal Jar, with slips of paper to write about, or simply to read and remember.

This was the slip I drew out today:

“I love you because you look great in a beard.”

Why would Cimmorene say that? Head over to the Ex-Vox Journal Jar and find out!


[VOX Journal Jar In Exile] JJQ #35 Siblings

As seen at the Journal Jar

List each of your brothers and sisters.  Tell one thing about each of them.

Like Cimmorene, I am the eldest of my family.  I have three younger sisters.

Sister #1 is living in the San Jose, CA area.  Scuba diving is one of her hobbies.  She is an interior decorator and her husband is an architect.

Sister #2 lives in town.  She works for the local library system, as does her husband.

Sister #3 lives in Utah.  She just had her first baby (a girl) just a little over a week ago.  She is in business with her husband, who is originally from Peru.