the tao of jaklumen

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

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Teaser introduction to the Silver Surfer and the Hero’s Journey

The trial period for the spinal cord stimulator is over; the leads have been out for two days now. Since I’m waiting to see about the permanent implant and I’m not sure how much wrestling I’ll do with pain until then, I’ll be reworking and reposting some series I’ve done earlier.

Many years ago, I remember asking my mother which superhero I most looked like.  She said I looked most like the Silver Surfer.

I wasn’t well acquainted with comic books at that time.  I knew of the ones that most children know of through Saturday cartoons, TV series, and blockbuster movies, but I didn’t really know of Surfer.

I’d seen the cover art for Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With The Alien” (which turns out to be lifted from John Byrne’s art for Stan Lee’s Silver Surfer #1):



I slowly learned more about the Surfer, however, especially when the Infinity Gauntlet crossover story in Marvel Comics hit.  The more I learned, the more I found I related to.  He’s a very deep, deep character, IMHO (despite what some Marvel writers have said on camera).

Then in 2008, Daisy Barringer asked VOX bloggers this question for the Question of the Day:

 What fictional character do you relate to most and why?

and this was my answer:

Not as I am, but who I must become.

When I reblogged this last year to kick off the series of the Silver Surfer and the Hero’s Journey, I added these words:

There are shades of the Monomyth in this herald from Zenn-La, but I ask a rhetorical question: how do you suppose I would see myself in Norrin Radd?


The Infinity Gauntlet

Silver Surfer vs Minion of Lady Death


NEXT POST IN THE SERIES: A Hero’s Journey: Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer

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Pumpkin pie and more

Princess mashing the pumpkin fleshBrining the seeds for toastingLeftover shell et alStoring pumpkin flesh for later usePumpkin piepumpkin bisque

Pumpkin pie and more, a set on Flickr.

I think this is a good follow-up to a discussion about favorite eats of the season (as seen at the Vox Diaspora’s QotW)

This photoset documents some of what we’ve done with a big pumpkin we got from Cimmorene’s parents. We forgot to take a picture of the pumpkin empanadas, but I plan to take some photos when we make pumpkin juice. (Cimmy and Princess got curious reading about it in the Harry Potter series.)

Crossposted to the Vox Journal Jar In Exile


QotD: Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree

The holidays are in full effect, so tell us: What's your favorite holiday song? Bonus points if you share it with us!

See last year's entry (but was not specifically an answer to a QotD then).

But what I think is a far more interesting question is one that one of my cousins asked some time ago on Facebook.  The gist of it was that he wondered why there were no Christmas-themed recordings that have become "classic" in the last 20 years or so.

My baby sister, IMHO, nailed the answer right on the head.  She said that Christmas as we know it (at least in the U.S. and the Western world) now was formed in the 1950's, and so nostalgia harkens back to the classics of that time.  In other words, the songs keep getting remade.  The others that responded agreed, admitting that they weren't inclined to sing Old English carols.

I think Los Angeles and the rest of the music biz that is not specifically Nashville can do better.  Yes, it's true that people enjoy and find comfort in the familiar, but Valerae pointed out a few months ago that Bob Dylan doing this is an absolute train wreck. (Wouldn't you know it– the video has been removed.)  And I mean precisely that analogy– you want to look away (or plug your ears, that is), but you just can't.  Although it's like nails on a chalkboard or whatever else sets your teeth and spine on edge, you just… can't.

Again, I say that I can't stand Dylan's voice; his son Jakob (of the Wallflowers) can actually sing well, but poor papa Bob has just got this awful whine that would never get past Simon Cowell or any other self-appointed pop guru/producer/critic.  But one would think that as he is a talented songwriter, he would have the integrity to compose something that suits him well and is uniquely his own… but no.  No, apparently Mr. Dylan realizes that you cannot break the apparently sancrosanct rule that Thou Cannot Sing An Unknown Tune For Christmas And Expect To Do Well.

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QotD: Turkey Hangover

Thanks have been given, the turkey's been eaten, so take a moment and tell us: What was the best part of your Thanksgiving this year? Bonus points if you share a photo!

Yes, now thanks has been given and the turkey has been eaten, because Thanksgiving, part 2 was today with my folks.  It has become a tradition that Thursday is with my in-laws, and Friday is with my folks.  The best part, IMHO, I have already mentioned– that all of the in-laws were present for dinner, after many years of their absence.

No bonus points for me, although there is indeed photographic evidence.  I do not have permission to share the family photo and some family members are here and do read and I wish to respect their privacy.  Some of you have seen photos of my little family, however, and so new photos of them taken at that time will likely be shared in due time.

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QotD: Gobble Gobble

From the turkey and stuffing to all of the fixin's… Who's cooking your Thanksgiving dinner this year? What dish are you most looking forward to?

See also QotD: Talking Turkey; as I said before, cooking responsibilities are being shared by most all those who dine.
I just put the custard in pumpkin shell into the oven.  Princess Thunderstorm (my wife) has started her pies– a mixed berry, a pumpkin, and an apple pie each– and has had to make crusts from scratch because, unfortunately, the crust mix got weevils.  Trinity (my sister-in-law) is contributing to the hors d'oeuvre tray, if I remember right.  Leslie (my mother-in-law) is taking care of the turkey and that which immediately comes with it.

I am also bringing Klaussen half-sour pickles, and will try to make that sweet potato gnocchi Purplesque shared if there's time in the morning.  There is a possibility there might not be time, but since I did get sweet potatoes, it will be made eventually, perhaps for the feast at my parents' house on Friday.  I did not get a rutabaga, so the mashed rutabaga will not be on the table; I suspect most of the other "kids" might actually cheer on the inside once they find out (I like it, Cimmy likes it, but I don't think any of the rest of them do).

I am looking forward to all the dishes as there is an element of surprise this year.  My in-laws are fairly traditional, but the fact that the "kids" are all contributing upon the suggestion of one of my brothers-in-law practically dictates that there will be surprises, and although my mother-in-law asked for a list from everyone, I think that yes, I do think "surprises" will be literal in some aspects.

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QotD: Staying Organized Online

With so much information on the Web, how do you stay organized online?

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A good part of my organization is done offline, actually.

My wife uses a PDA to keep our appointments organized, to store contact information, and for reminder alerts.  As soon as I could figure out gnome-pilot (like HotSync but open source), I synchronized that information to the desktop here and now I get those reminder alerts, too.

I use Tomboy to organize recipes I get online.  For those of you that use Macs, it's a bit like Sticky Notes, if they're still around.  Entries can be connected Wiki-style, so that helps organize things even more.

I like to use clients to manage online content.  When I still used Windows and LiveJournal, Semagic was the client for me.  I have always preferred using e-mail clients, even when I started actively using web-based accounts.  It started with Outlook Express and Hotmail and has come to Mozilla Thunderbird and Gmail.  I set up filters to organize my mail into folders so reading my messages is manageable.  I have used spam filter programs, and currently, the only one I use is one that turns text into pidgin English that sounds like it's being read by The Swedish Chef.  (My regular readers may recall I "borked" my grandfather's e-mails since many were political in nature.)  I primarily use Picasa to share pictures online, but I have a downloaded client that organizes them on my computer beforehand.

Speaking of Picasa, I am aware that Google is pushing forward the modern concept of "cloud computing", where files are stored on an outside server rather than on a home computer.  I prefer to save copies of most of my files locally on my machine, but I have used Google Docs to write music reviews for W♥M, write stories with my wife, and access spreadsheet documents for games I play.

In my opinion, organization online matters more when others are involved.  When it's things that are individually private, I figure they might as well be offline.

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QotD: My Daily Internet Routing

What’s your daily Internet "routine?"

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E-mail first, to check messages from friends and family if any, and for notifications on forums/blogs/whatever.  Everything else is a bit random.  Either it's browsing said forums/blogs/etc. or playing some games, and usually it's Facebook games first.  Anything after that is up for grabs.

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QotD: Talking Turkey

How will you use technology or the Internet to help you plan and prepare this year’s Thanksgiving feast?
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Our family tradition is to go have dinner with Princess Thunderstorm's (Cimmy's) family.  This year, all the siblings are coming, that is, my brothers-in-law.  Usually it was just Cimmy, myself, Trinity, my mother-in-law, and my father-in-law.  One of my brothers-in-law suggested that everyone contribute some dishes, to share the effort and cost.  So we have been coordinating our plans by e-mail, and sometimes by telephone.

This morning, I sent my mother-in-law our final list.

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