25 July 2008


I have been quite the derelict blogger in the past few months, mostly for lack of anything interesting or entertaining to say. Aquiring a new blog does not signal my intention to hop back on the blogging bandwagon, despite my every wish to be a better, more interesting blogger.

What it does signal is my desire to consolidate my internet prescence. I have now, with this blog post, consolidated my blog, email, youtube, and more accounts under one username and password. What's more: unlike email addresses in high school and earlier, the username is something I need not be bashful for putting on resumes. "joshuaDOTakDOTthompsonATgmailDOTcom" High five!

So. Here is my new blog. Clicking this link will bring you to a cathedral for creativity, empty but for promise. Potential is the decoration of it's vaulted ceiling.

20 July 2008

The Derelict Traveller

Just thought I'd throw this out there. Constructive criticism welcome.


The familiar road, through which the derelict traveller walks, sits shrouded in night. Homes stand emptied by the vessel of dreams. The wind whispers to those who would hear.

Conspiring clouds conceal from him the stars. As his foot falls, a brazen moon defies him to find the gems of the abyss. The lady of the wind coolly caresses his cheek as she whispers stories of roads elsewhere.

He does not know that his next footfall could meet the earth of a distant land. He does not know that every step he takes is another journey he did not start. And so his footfalls land one in front of the other, carrying him down the empty street.

Soon he will meet morning. The woman will speak to all men, and none will listen. The moon will retire, ever ready to reiterate his dare.

30 June 2008

Bitesized Tidbits

I Love:

When customers ask me if my cash is open, even when my light is off, I'm putting money in a sack, and there is a metal gate barring them from coming near my cash.

When people ask me if I am working in Seasonal when I have to pass it to get to Cash # 10. "Yes, I do work in seasonal. I just carry this huge metal tray of money with me everywhere I go because it's more convenient than a wallet.

When customers urge me to get a University education.

When engineers urge me to get a University education that isn't Philosophy.

When in the run of a day my ambitions in life range from becoming a World-Famous Author, to becoming a Hooter's Waitress.

Realizing that (off paper), my paycheck doesn't look so huge.

Midnight Stir-fry (this one isn't actually sarcastic)*

* - Note: It isn't midnight yet. "Midnight Stirfry" just sounds better than "Eleven-thirty P.M. Stirfry."

15 June 2008

Stuff I Discovered Last Week

A short list of things I've learned in the past week:

1 - Some people in this province do not know who their premier is. Also, my father is able to convince them that he is premier.

2 - It is possible to ask for clarification of a statement up to five times, and receive the exact same wording each time.

3 - Nickels are the stupidest coins on the planet.

4 - I frequently have to hand back 41 cents in change to customers. Conveniently, 41 cents is easily found: it is one of each coin in Canadian Currency smaller than $1.

5 - Some people will tell you that their Canadian Tire 'Money' is organized for your convenience. It is rarely convenient.

6 - People making faces in the background of pictures with the intent of ruining said picture ('Photobombing') is an artform.

7 - Eggplants are stupid.

8 - Pizza Shops in Corner Book do not deliver before 4:00 P.M.

9 - The Sims 2 will chew up your soul and spit out sorrow.

10 - Kayne West's blind-glasses in the 'Stronger' video are really stupid. And yet, I wish I had a pair.

Bonus - Bamboo is in the true grass family.

09 May 2008

Two Interesting Tidbits

Two little tidbits to add tonight.

Part I
First is that I was almost a burn victim about an hour ago. My friend Scott is moving tomorrow, and so tonight myself, him, and another friend Mags went to get some pizza at the favorite pizza place here.

One thing led to another, and we were on a secluded baseball field with fireworks. At one point during the night, Mags' firework thing tipped over and started spewing fireworks into center field. Scott decided he'd do the same, after watching the effect, pointing his into left field.

I was in left field.

I saw the firework pointed some direction, and in the dark wrongly interpreted it to be pointed in my general direction. I ran.

Turns out, I ran into the firework's field of fire. All I heard was "No! The other way!" and there was a crack.

Only one firework was in that tube, but when I saw it launch I jumped (more from reflex than anything else). And I swear to God, the firework flew under me. I felt the heat. Half a second later it exploded.

I wish someone had recorded it, because it must have looked pretty cool. I was a little shaken, but we were from that period on a little more careful about our horizontal fireworks.

Part II
Last week I finished two books - works of fiction - and since then I've been reading an Oxford classic ... a collection of two of Cicero's works of political philosophy. Fairly dry stuff, only made worse by the fact that many of the pages of the original are lost, so there are constant notes to the effect that "The gist of the next few pages appeared to have been ... "

Anyways. I found this, and thought it was pretty cool:

... There will not be one such law in Rome and another in Athens, one now and another in the future, but all peoples at all times will be embraced by a single and eternal and unchangeable law; and there will be, as it were, one lord and master of us all-the god who is the author, proposer, and interpreter of that law. Whoever refuses to obey it will be turning his back on himself. ...

The words are in the mouth of the character of Laelius, who is asserting that justice is necessary for the stability of a state. He is describing the natural law, I believe, which had just prior been described as separate from the laws of a state by an opponent in dialogue.

29 April 2008

Smokey and Discipline

My dog, Smokey, apparently is very much lacking in the discipline department. We've sort of kept him on a long leash (hah) in that department in much the same way you would excuse someone with Tourette Syndrome. It's not the dog's fault. Our excuse for him has always been that he's a little daft.

But this is where it ends. This summer. I want to walk the dog, partially for his benefit, and partially for my own. I've been meaning to bring a water gun on these walks, to give him a squirt when he gets too rowdy, but I don't have one available at the moment. Which is why I ended up giving up after ten minutes.

The funny thing was that after giving up, while sauntering back to the house, Smokey was a hundred times better behaved. When he came to the end of his leash he stopped, instead of trying to pull me along, choking himself in the process. I decided to see if he'd roll with it, and we walked right past the house. As soon as we passed the outermost inch of our front lawn, however, he was at it again, so I called it quits and went inside.

Here's the thing. He doesn't seem to realize that he just ruined what could have been a great walk. We got into the house, and you wouldn't know if I had brought the dog to the Moon and back. In his doggish way, he jumped around and looked at me in his "that was a FANTASTIC walk!" way, even though we had passed perhaps twenty houses total.

As soon as I manage to reign him in a bit ... I might even be able to enjoy the walks.

24 April 2008

On the Psychological Impact of a 4 a.m. Overdose

The time right now is three twenty, but soon it will be four a.m., which carries with it the weight of a more enigmatic hour. I suspect in earlier years, two o'clock in the morning would have been absurdly late, and more recently, three o'clock had usurped it's place as a quite late and too bizarre time to be awake. However, today the dangerous hour rests at four o'clock in the morning, and that is probably where this progression will end, since 5 o'clock speaks to me more of an early morning than a ridiculously late night.

A song by a band that I cannot produce the name of at the moment for some reason, speaking of what I think I remember as the death of a close friend, carries with it the title of 4 a.m. Forever. The more I think about this title, I am unsure if it's entirely appropriate to describe emotional anguish. I believe the song tries with the word "forever" to communicate the slowness of time passing for the narrator, which is appropriate, as 4 a.m. is an hour that passes slower than most. Where I find it inappropriate, is the fact that 4 a.m. has always to me been a magical time of day, carrying with it no preprogrammed emotional distress.

There is a saying that "Six (or seven, or eight, or eleven for my more deadbeat friends) is an hour that should only happen once a day." The thrust of the saying, as I understand it, is that for one of the two "Six o'clocks" that exist, a person should be sleeping.

I would suggest that Four is probably an hour that only properly exists once in a twenty four hour period. Something happens between three fifty nine, and five o'clock that I can't explain, and would rather leave to the scientific community or druids to explore, because Four in the morning is a strange place to be.

Music takes a new effect at this hour. The subtlest piano ditty can be so compelling as to inspire you to run to Moscow, and yet so captivating, to leave the source of music would be sacrilege. Ever since a particularly shocking five a.m. involving scrambled eggs, a most probably stolen pink tricycle , and Bruce Springsteen's "Born To Run" on infinite loop, I never listen to a portable music player after midnight.

At four in the morning, things make much more sense than they normally do, you might notice. Philosophy papers, for example, seem to possess an artistic depth and legitimacy that they in the daylight hours find severely lacking. Notes, letters, and journal entries written at four a.m. and read the next day often evoke the same feelings that readings of mystical texts do. The author seems to be deeply affected by something profound. The universe makes sense for this person. And yet: his message to you, written on a plane of understanding far beyond daylight grasp, is not even remotely useful.

The existence of email capabilities is also a problem. More than a dozen times I've written messages, no doubt profound and moving at four a.m., that after re-read during breakfast inspire depressed sobbing at both lost clarity and the idiocy of the text at hand.

Ideas seem to be able to fend for themselves at four a.m., and sensibility is not an asset in the bloody mind-carnage that ensues. The surviving ideas all, strangely, seem to include the notion that the idea should be sent to interested parties immediately. A survival instinct of these ideas is probably to ignore the fact that nobody will genuinely be interested in the following idea. Another apparent survival instinct is the fact that some of the ensuing emails even understand that their time is limited, and they must be planted in other soil qickly before they wither and die with sunrise. The most compelling evidence for this survival instinct is the fact that time and time again, four a.m. emails begin with sentences like "I know if I don't send you this idea now, I probably won't ever ... "

Despite all of the havoc that ensues from an ill-prepared-for four a.m., I often seek them like a drug. "The clarity the hour offers is certainly worth any damage it does" I tell myself in the hours after one o'clock. I know I'll regret the result but ... "I'm awake anyways. I might as well just sit by the computer and flick on Bruce Springsteen." The lies we tell ourselves when we need a fix.

I am a junkie. I need help.

But then again, curtains and pickles should always be the same shade of green where possible. I mean that just makes sense!