the tao of jaklumen

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


Weekly Challenge (Feb. 28): Abandoned

I’m woefully behind on the photography challenges at the Daily Post.

The challenge two weeks ago just stumped me terribly.  Where was I going to find a photo of something abandoned?  To be honest, I wasn’t sure I had any.  I wasn’t sure if photos of our house (before we moved into it) would count, even though it had stood vacant for 1.5-2 years before we arrived (neighbor said 2 years, previous occupant said year and a half).

Then I remembered that a friend of mine (lydiafairy at Flickr) had some fantastic photos, any one that would fit this challenge perfectly.  Yesterday I got formal permission to share them:

You can totally post links to my images if you want to, Thank you for thinking them worthy of being seen 🙂

She’s too modest, really.

Anyways, here is one of my favorites, which was taken at a school closed and abandoned in 2001 (as best she remembers):

“light seeping in”, Lydia Selk, copyright 2013. All rights reserved

So many fascinating images.  I have a strong interest in urban exploration and I’ve looked into some really incredible stuff from around the world on this subject.  To those of your dear readers reading regularly I will try to dig up some of the stuff I’ve looked at if you so wish.  Please let me know, won’t you?  I find this subject so intriguing.

If you’d like to see more pictures like this, please visit my friend at Flickr and check out her neglected or forgotten photoset.  There are many wonderful photos–

There are some photos I can take, now that I think of it, and some more ideas I could share, but that will be another time.  Take care and thank you again for reading.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

I’ve been in pain, and otherwise busy– it’s almost time for the next photo challenge!

If you’re following  jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar, you’ll have already seen an example of three there back on Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend.  If you’re not– well, please have a look at How the Journal Jar REALLY celebrated V-Day.

Now, here are three more pictures I took at RadCon 6B:

which should give you a small idea of the things you could find at the convention.

We didn’t take a lot of photos and videos, but if you’d like to see more, please see our RadCon 6B 2014 photoset on Flickr.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure II

Here’s another photo inspired by this week’s Photo Challenge at the Daily Post:

Our shadow box.  I removed the glass temporarily to get a good shot without reflections

Our shadow box. I removed the glass temporarily to get a good shot without reflections

Items, clockwise from left:

  • My tassel from community college, with the Phi Beta Kappa honor society logo
  • English: A digital representation of a crest b...A brooch pin bearing the sign of Clan Bruce, as Cimmy claims Robert the Bruce as an ancestor
  • An event pin from the First Night Tri-Cities, WA event  in 2007.
  • My graduation tassels from high school- one with school colors and one with white for Honor Society
  • A pin with the Gomberg Kites logo.  Kiting is one of my hobbies
  • One of the baby spoons we got from the hospital when Princess was born
  • A Christmas ornament bearing the year Cimmorene and I were married

Please also see Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure for more treasure involving Cimmorene as there is too much involving me here 😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

This is my wife, Cimmorene.

A selfie Cimmy took for her Loving Myself Through Gratitude blog.

A selfie Cimmy took for her Loving Myself Through Gratitude blog.

I treasure her, and I treasure her commitment to character.

Young Women (organization)

Cimmy created this while working on the LDS Young Women Personal Progress program, to be ready to help our daughter when she does it.

Cimmy created this while working on the LDS Young Women Personal Progress program, to be ready to help our daughter when she does it.

As usual, this post was inspired by the Daily Post at for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie (Ouch!)

Leave a comment

In a new post created specifically for this challenge, share a selfie.

It hurts.

Although I used this image for my Gravatar for a little while, I still feel a bit awkward sharing it, although I really wanted to show my Flickr followers that I was in so much pain to the point of tears– and this was during the summer.

Princess gets another shiner (eyes open)

Princess gets another shiner (eyes open)

Because I’ve shown my daughter’s photography before, I thought I’d add this gutsy selfie she took of herself.  Now Cimmorene had thought she’d doodled on her eye with a black marker, but I knew better.   I found her quietly crying in her bedroom a little while before, and she said she’d hit her head on her loft bed.  This is by no means her first black eye– after getting clocked in the face with a baseball bat wielded by a neighbor kid, she smiled for a photo that my father-in-law took… and then there were other accidents.  She’s my tough right-hand-girl, all right.


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Candle in the window


Candle in the window by jaklumen & family
Candle in the window, a photo by jaklumen & family on Flickr.

I love you, my dear, every time I go

You have a way to let me know

No matter how upset I may be

I know when I return, I can always see

That signal waiting home for me

Welcoming me home with light so low

That sign so warm, that candle in the window.

A candle in the window like this always let me know that it was okay to come home, after an argument.

EDIT 19 Sept. 2016: R.I.P. Bill Hamilton.  So far, that good friend of mine is beating T-cell lymphoma, just like Mr. T.

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Weekly Photo Challenge Bonus: Toy Modifications

I considered some other photographs for the challenge, and here were two that brought back warm memories for me.  They involve modifications to toys!

My pickaxe!

Princess wanted her pickaxe to look like a diamond one

This modification was done by my daughter, who is positively obsessed with Minecraft, and wanted this foam toy made by ThinkGeek to look more upgraded.  If you click through the photo to see the image at Flickr, you’ll find the description to find out how she did it; she wrote it up herself.

Now, I take full responsibility for the next obsession and modification.

Slimer Mr. Potato Head

I modified a spare Mr. Potato Head body with fluorescent green paint so it would look like Slimer from the Real Ghostbusters series.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

I love these photography challenges at WordPress.  It’s a wonderful journey to revisit our archives at Flickr to meet these challenges.  (Our?  Sure!  It’s a family account, and Cimmorene, myself, and our daughter Princess are the principal photographers.)

This week, in a post created specifically for this challenge, share a photo of one object.

This photo was suggested by my lovely wife Cimmorene, who also took the capture:

Tomato Jack o' lantern

Tomato Jack o’ lantern

This was in response to Noah Scalin’s 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! almost three years ago on February 26, 2011.

Description from Flickr:

The challenge with this one was to create something using the first fruit or vegetable encountered in the kitchen. Cimmy created this by hollowing out a tomato and carving a face in it the same way someone might carve a pumpkin. Side note: the original Jack o’ Lanterns were made from turnips.

For more of the photoset we did for the 365 challenge, see 365 Daily Creativity at Flickr.  If you like these photo challenges and would like to participate, here’s a quick link to the WP Daily Post and the photo challenges category:

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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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Photos (and videos) are part of the Journey

I smiled and chuckled reading today’s xkcd.

Alternate text: “I hate when people take photos of their meal instead of eating it, because there’s nothing I love more than the sound of other people chewing.”

Randall Munroe was a robotics scientist at NASA before his webcomic really took off, and sometimes it shows: some entries are pretty nerdy and obscure, and sometimes I feel I’m stretching a bit to get the joke.  Other times, like today, I think he touches on the pulse of Internet culture, dead on.  A capture of zeitgeist, if you will.

This was a posed shot we took a while back to show Flickr members who our photographers were. Many kept asking where our son was although he was too young to take any photos at that time.

Some of you dear readers may have noticed that my family and I are on Flickr, and that it’s a part of my blogging here.  My father-in-law, Bill (Cimmorene’s father) has been an amateur photographer for 40 years, and so it’s more than just a place to host blog photos, although I found out about the site through the VOX platform.  It’s not just me, either; Cimmorene and Princess are both principal photographers for the account.

While Bill and some of our Flickr friends deeply explore the artistic side of photography, Cimmorene, Princess and I employ a more documentary-style approach.  This is why I found today’s xkcd relevant.  Photography is capturing the journey, yes, even that Inner side to the Hero’s Journey I’ve been writing about here.

Princess and I are especially pushing towards video, because of our desire to document what’s happening in our lives, and the observation of what we see.

If it’s not immediately obvious, Princess is a big fan of Toby Turner, and she’s imitating some of his voice characterizations.

Admittedly, I think we three raise an eyebrow or two when Internet media trends seem shallow.  Princess doesn’t do a lot of selfies unless she wants to show a new cosplay idea, and as none of us have smartphones, but only a sophisicated point-and-shoot camera, she doesn’t take them in the manner most “selfies” are taken.  She’s also more inclined to do a short video now and then, and for a while… I found DOZENS of videos in the memory cards.  Since production software in Linux is pretty abysmal (as I said before), I told her she needed to keep her videos closer to 2-5 minutes, since I couldn’t easily edit things down.

I never knew homemade corndogs could be so delicious until Cimmy made some

We don’t take a lot of pictures of our food– well, not at restaurants, anyways.  We do take some photos of our meals, to brag a little bit about our home cooking and baking, and now and then, we show some of the process of making it.  Again, we lean towards a more documentary style of media making than a more artistic angle.  We appreciate the craft, but we are usually more interested in showing people snippets of our lives, than strong artistic statements.

What do you think, dear readers?  Is there meaning to be found amongst all the selfies and restaurant entreé captures?  Are cameraphone snapshots art?  Is the Instagram Polaroid filter cheesy nostalgia?  Is photography, casual or well-crafted, part of your online journey?

Do I look awkward asking so many invitation questions?  I think I do; it’s not a regular part of my style.  But please, walk with me, talk with me… leave me a comment.  Thanks!