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  1. The Pig who would be Pug and other Solstice Miracles

    by , December 21st, 2009 at 09:08 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    This afternoon, I went into our kitchen to check on the three quadrapedes: lefty, the male pug; biscuit the little female pug; and linus, the guinea pig who is convinced he, too, is a pug, albeit one who prefers vegetative matter to hard to described meat byproducts.

    The twelve legs were all in the kitchen. Left and Biscuit had dog pillows upon which to lay about when the mood for rest strikes then. sometimes, in a rare expression of drive, Lefty will sit in one dog bed and grab the other dog bed in his mouth, and shake it brusquely, as it attempting to snap its spinal cord. these pillows have sheeps hair and do look, like pracice murder scenes, must give them that much.

    The ambien dance has begun, theletters swimnging bosa nova style, swayingagainst one anotherscurvesand indetations and convexities invaginating conccavite, and with squintimng the imeprssion is fmoredd.

    so cure, this camily of mistamtched creasedtusethat iasste markign onwaerds tlike armu ants ofrlleadrfdctter ant.sll i ccnanan;t aaseee what thsi all abot now. the whole jump;ing ni==hmjjjjiiveing stufss. teh ''

    the huger is raising p a a bit..

    so whatis next cucmbers and gargazono with ambine andn dskldsalllk;fjjjajjjjjthekvikiking shiops with speekrs fread o float what is gereek for swine snowt'
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  2. Lost Person Behaviour

    by , December 22nd, 2009 at 01:25 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    It's 12:33 p.m., and I am sitting around at my desk here in wintry Pittsburgh waiting for experts on lost person behaviour to call me back. I spell it with the British "u" because many of these fellows are Canadian, possibly because there are so many places to get lost in Canada. My hypothesis for why: the absence of nocturnal light pollution and similar whatnot to guide one to a mall or other safe haven of human civilization.

    During this period of waiting, it occurred to me that a rare (of late) un-Ambienated vlog might be in order, if for no other reason than to test the ongoing functionality of whatever rational faculties I have left.

    As my fellow devotees of novel hypnotics may know first hand, these drugs can have some heavy duty discombobulating and bamboozling effects. In my case, oftentimes the first things to go are those items to which I have only the weakest tether lines under the best, most rational of circumstances. Propriety, the hope not to offend others for the pure mean-spirited joy this can bring me, self-pity, and finally what in male dogs is sometimes described as "that little red thing"--all these tend to change drastically in me under the influence of zolpidem. The first two (propriety; kindness) run for the hills; the second two (self pity, ribaldry) burst out in ways that are hard to restrain. I have been de-friended on Facebook because of such boorishness and indecency.

    In fact, the only things that reliably restrain self pity, libidinous inappropriateness, jabberwocky, and the like is the phenomenon dubbed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic as a new drug-aided variation on SRED, or sleep related eating disorder. This morning, I went down to the kitchen and found a bottle of Real Lemon lemonade, my favorite beverage, stowed not in the refrigerator where it belonged, but rather in the cupboard beside the cups and glasses.

    I suppose it could have been worse.

    Some of us so-called Ambien Zombies have been known to pour a glass of bleach in the night, the better to chase down the buttered cigarette sandwich we have made for ourselves as a snack.

    I am digressing a bit here.

    VIA, or vlogging under in the influence of ambien, has a good side and some bad sides.

    On the good side, I have now--on at least two separate occasions--discovered vlogs that "I" have written but which I have almost no memory of having written. I can thus read such entries the way I imagine the non-Jim reading audience reads them: with total amusement and the utmost respect for the writer, perhaps even just a smidgen of jealousy for his evident genius! Oh, if only I could write like this "Jim" in his full reverie mode.

    Actually, just joking about that. Reading these amnestically-penned vlogs, in truth, only gives me the chance to do what I really DO imagine my readers often do: Laugh AT me, not WITH me.

    It's nice when a blowhard can laugh AT himself without totally feeling responsible for it. I suppose what I am really doing on such occasions is laughing at my reptilian brain in action. What a peculiar fellow this nutcase is...though I do admire his lack of self-censure.

    The bad sides of Ambien have already been suggested. One additional example: I seem to have made an enemy of the brother of a female swimmer I occasionally correspond with on Facebook. It appears I will not be attending that family's Christmas party this or any other year in the foreseeable future.

    The cure for all this, of course, is simple. Either stop taking Ambien, or take it and immediately go to sleep. The problem is that I have found that taking Ambien and fighting off sleep leaves me in the Tiger Woodsian Ambien haze. Though I have no floosy to enjoy myself with while thusly enfogged, I nevertheless enjoy the tranquility and relaxation and freedom from worry this mood bestows. I enjoy it so much, in fact, that I know it will be a while before I am able to wean myself from it.

    Note: Ambien and its cousins are not benzodiazepines like Valium, though they target one of the brain's many subtypes of benzodiazepine receptors in the GABA system. Sleep researchers maintain there is no evidence that Ambien and the other Z-drugs are anxiolytic, or anxiety relieving. Thus it is entirely possible that my perception of calm is either a placebo response or idiosyncratic. That said, I will add one penultimate wrinkle here for those, like me, who include amongst your various hobbies an interest in amateur psychopharmacology.

    Zolpidem, the generic name for Ambien, has been shown to trigger speech in a certain type of schizophrenic patient who is suffering mutism because of catatonia. It might have helped Al Pacino, for instance, at the end of Scarecrow.

    Perhaps my reaction is simply some variation on a positive Zolpidem Test.

    Now, final wrinkle: though I do believe that this drug is, in some regards, capable of reducing my control over my behavior somewhat, it is clear to me that my decision to keep taking the pill and vlogging and/or otherwise accosting the etherous internet world at large is something of which I am fully culpable. As an expert in the burgeoning field of sleep forensics told me, there is voluntary and involuntary intoxication.

    Taking the pill exactly as directed and then going on a blue streak of mayhem is involuntary intoxication, especially the first time it happens.

    But taking the pill the way I have been lately, knowing the likely consequences, and doing it anyway, qualifies as voluntary intoxication. In fact, one might argue my case is very voluntary intoxication.

    Let me know if I go too far.

    Note: this is NOT a cry for help.

    Now, on another note, after last night's 4100 yards, I asked some of my swimming teammates if they might help me identify my elbow bone. We could not, for the life of us, decide whether the pointy bone is attached to the upper arm bone or one of the lower arm bones.

    So I took a picture with my finger right on the painful jabby bone in the hopes that Drs. Dixon and Jaegermeister, and fellow sufferer Jim Matysek, might better zero in on a diagnosis.

    PS what do you think about my peace symbol within a heart medallion?

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  3. Merry Christmas & Mood Tips

    by , December 24th, 2009 at 08:31 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Comrades!

    Merry Humanist Christmas one and all.

    I suspect today's vlog may not be exactly the "big present" you were hoping for.

    In fact, it might not even qualify as much of a "stocking stuffer" for those of you whose minds are "right."

    However, if somewhere out there in the greater community of swimmers there exists a single seasonally affected soul, and if this solitary seasonally affected soul have already watched ad nauseam Its a Wonderful Night and/or A Christmas Story and/or any of the other innumerably rerun TV shows that are on tonight and tomorrow night and every night for the foreseeable future, it is to you--fellow traveler in this veil of tears!--that I dedicate this brand new Yuletide triple feature.

    The first film is a brief introduction by me to the second film, which is an overly long review of some of the current psychiatric literature on mood improvement.

    You will note I have left out some of the strategies that have received attention of late, particularly data from the TC-5214 phase 2 trial, which indicated that targeting Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors may prove to be a beneficial augmentation treatment with promise for providing relief to millions of patients who do not respond well to first-line SSRI therapy.

    I jest!

    Everyone is familiar with that research, so I have concentrated my droning lecture on other findings that are not only of scientific note but which will perhaps prove a little more actionable in the near term for patients like you and me.

    The final, and without doubt best, of tonight's triple feature is yet another Christmas mood enhancing charmer by my twin brother John.

    I think those of you who live in hot house climes like California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona may find this brisk little glimpse into the world of snow quite refreshing and soul cleansing.

    Again, Merry Christmas one and all! And I will not be at all offended if you use my two filmic contributions as a form of sleep aid. I have been told that my haltingly monotonous lecture style may soon attract the attention of regulators at the FDA itself, so powerfully soporific is its influence of listeners.

    Turn the lights down low, get under your comforter, click the first film, and....
    You are getting very sleepy....


    1. Introduction to Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb8es8vh778"]YouTube- Introduction to Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers[/ame]



    2. Jim's Seasonal Mood Tips for Swimmers:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kfa-R_yOS8"]YouTube- Video 17[/ame]


    3. Jingle All the Way:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoA3WUda6OU"]YouTube- Snow Day[/ame]
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  4. Fortress Locks

    by , December 26th, 2009 at 06:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Our dear Leslie is thinking of changing her hair color for the 2010 swimming season. In an effort to help her decide which way to go, I asked my brother to put together a sampling of some of the more fetching colors worn by fashionable women this season.

    Please vote for your favorite, and provide a rationale in the comments section below.

    To make voting easier, simply indicate either:


    1. Aquamarine/Scope Mouthwash
    2. Lady Carrot Top
    3. Papal Purple
    4. Scott's Turf Builder


    Note: to vote, please visit this thread by clicking here: [ame="http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=202158#post202158"]Leslie "The Fortress" Hair Color Poll - U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums[/ame]

    I think the one thing we can all agree is that all of these colors would look great on our Leslie--she really can't go wrong with any of them.

    Updated December 26th, 2009 at 07:08 PM by jim thornton

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  5. Lost Trove Found

    by , December 29th, 2009 at 07:51 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    When I first got on Facebook, what we young people who text and so forth refer to as a "social networking site," I accidentally replaced what is known as my "wall" with an alternative known as the "advanced wall" or maybe the "super wall" or possibly the "fun wall" or the "amazing wall."

    The one benefit of this advanced, super, fun, and/or amazing "wall" was that it allowed you to do cartoons, albeit ones that must be drawn with the mouse.

    As regular viewers might note, I have trouble drawing recognizable features, such as, for instance, a squirrel or a gall bladder, under ideal conditions.

    Drawing a squirrel or gall bladder with a mouse proved to be exceptionally challenging.

    In any event, I did a series of nightly mouse drawn cartoons that required captions to make even a little wee tiny corpuscle of sense.

    My beloved brother John collected these together, asked me to provide a capsule description of the cartoon itself and the circumstances under which I drew it, and then posted the entire collection on the web.

    Eventually, I realized that none of my Facebook friends had an "advanced" "super" "fun" or "amazing" wall, and thus none of them ever got any of my messages. Nor did they ever respond to me in any way! It was almost as if they were giving me what the prison authorities gave Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky after his arrest for alleged subversion to Tsar Nicholas: i.e., the "silent treatment" where the guards even wore velvet-soled boots!

    Utterly ignored for two years -- all the while me thinking it was only because I was pathetically unpopular!

    It took quite a while, but finally I figured out how to restore my "wall" without adjectives--or as our British friend SwimStud might say, in his continental way--without sans adjectives.

    I have not been able to do mouse drawn cartoons since.

    If you would like to befriend me on Facebook, please do a search for James Scott Thornton--my full name, which narrows the possibilities down from 12,842,117 Jim Thorntons to merely 87,423 James Scott Thorntons.

    I like to think of myself as The James Scott Thornton, but the use of the article will not refine your Facebook search for me.

    Do not worry about befriending an "unpopular" person, whose "unpopularity" might somehow wipe off on you, tainting, staining, and causing to putrefy your own reputation.

    I am actually quite the Facebook dandy, if I do say so myself, averaging at least one "notification" per month, and often two. Plus, if you look at the advertisements that adorn the right hand of my "profile," you will be pleased to note that an ever revolving assortment of women appear to be trying to find me, though I do not remember ever meeting these women. If I did, it must have been at a medical convention of incredibly beautiful 20 somethings seeking breast reduction surgery, for this appears to be their one common feature.

    But I babble.

    Here is the lost treasure trove of mouse drawn cartoons with explicatory subcaptions, rediscovered by me accidentally several minutes before I wrote this word here.

    http://www.jrtart.com/Jim/

    There are worse ways to spend the end of 2009 than to read and view my lost but found cartoon corpus of work. I am not sure exactly what these worse ways are, but I am certain they exist.
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  6. Victus in Aughts; Invictus TK!

    by , December 31st, 2009 at 04:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    State-dependent memory is a phenomenon that at least partly explains why ones life, when viewed from the perspective of current happiness and triumph, seems to have been always thus; likewise, present suckiness seems to trigger recollections of nothing but former suckiness, thus lending the impression that it's all been a Full Catastrophe from the get-go.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHAqdZ2f5cM"]YouTube- Zorba - "the full catastrophe"[/ame]

    No stranger, me, to state-dependent memory's bamboozling effects in both the up-and-down directions, as well as the full catastrophe's dual nature, for without said catastrophe, would there be any point whatsoever?

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VscVP_Gt_s&feature=related"]YouTube- Peggy Lee - ♫ Is That All There Is ♫[/ame]

    It is against this waffling backdrop (Life tastes great! Life's less filling! Tastes great! Less filling!) that I momentarily cast aside the feigned cheerfulness of recent vlogs to assess the Aughts.

    My knee jerk analysis here is that the decade between Y2K's unfulfilled promise of global high tech disaster to 2009's unfulfilled swine flu monster plague, and all the pointless if passionate rancor in between, has been the most dispiriting decade in memory.

    I'm not much of a reader of literature myself, but every once in a while, I will read something that strikes me as particularly insightful. The following quote, by Louis Ferdinand Celine, seems to my state-dependent-melancholic side to perfectly sum up the past ten years and the effect this has had on me and all my grubby personal aspirations, career and otherwise:

    I didnt understand. I was being hornswoggled by everything and everybody, women, money, and ideas. I was a sucker, and I didnt like it. I still run into Musyne now and then, every two years or so she crosses my path, as people one has known well tend to. Two years is the time it takes to perceive at one glance, a glance as sure as instinct, the ugliness that can come over a face, even one that was delicious in its day.

    For a moment you hesitate, then you accept the face as it has become, with its repugnant cumulative disharmony. What can you do but acquiesce in this slow, painstaking caricature which two years have etched, but accept the passage of time, that portrait of ourselves. Then we can say that weve really recognized each other (like some foreign banknote that one hesitates to accept at first sight), that we hadnt taken a wrong turn, that each on his own wed traveled the right road, the inevitable road to decay, for another two years. Thats all there is to it.


    But then I ask myself, is such a view of the past ten years really accurate? Or is what is actually hornswaggling me not so much money and ideas and all the other literal and metaphorical Musynes of the world, but rather my own sense of X--whatever X might be, character defect or unreasonable sense of entitlement or some other thing that cries out to be filled, or perhaps more accurately, plugged?

    If forced to make a list of my personal ups and downs of the Aughts, the former would clearly outnumber the latter. In early 2000, for example, I got to go to the jungles of Ecuador and made it out without being speared by the Taigeri; in late 2009 I got to go blindfolded into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area and made it out without being disembowled by wolverines.

    In between, I enjoyed innumerable other little adventures, and if the price for doing so was to have to write, then rewrite, about these experiences, only an utter ingrate would complain too much. I watched my beloved sons grow into young men, and made a number of wonderful friends--many of them among the incredibly likable ranks of USMS. Along these line, I managed, by fluke of the timing of national meets, to place 4th in the World in a couple FINA masters tabulations (twice in LCM and once in SCM).

    Throughout the decade, I suspect I have worried more than perhaps the average fellow that something horrible might happen. But these worries, for the most part--no, for the entire part--have come to naught.

    Into every life, some rain must fall--but realistically looking at things, there was no more rain falling in mine from 2000 to 2009 than in any preceding decade.

    In fact, were my present (and transiently disconcerting, I admit!) circumstances just a wee bit rosier, I dare say it would be easy to sum up the past decade as the best decade in the history of the world.

    Of course, you cannot always be making love to a young Ursula Andress while simultaneously eating a Baby Ruth candy bar and taking a phone call from the National Magazine Awards committee informing you of your lifetime achievement award--or similar set of circumstances that, for me, at least, tends to recallibrate my own state dependent memory in another direction entirely.

    Still, there is no reason besides fear itself to imagine that the coming decade will be anything but a new grand adventure for us all, with worries as always but worries that invariably come to naught--a bit of endurance and ability to cope with a bit of pain, the hallmarks of swimmers, to be sure: best wishes for the teens, or whatever the next decade is likely to be called.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zetcb-ny0Fg"]YouTube- Celebration - Ronald Bell (Greatest Hits)[/ame]
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  7. Meditations on a Swimming Bubble

    by , January 2nd, 2010 at 09:36 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    Age/ Yearly Miles/ Weekly Average/ Best 100 SCY free / age rating / suit



    1. 46 / 221.11 / 4.25 / 53.68 ... 86.4 Speedo briefs
    2. 47 / 207.78 / 4.00 / 54.42 ... 85.6 Speedo briefs
    3. 48 / 264.34 / 5.08 / 52.09 ... 89.8 aquablade
    4. 49 / 374.77 / 7.21 / 52.46 ... 89.5 aquablade
    5. 50 / 411.77 / 7.92 / 53.02 ... 89.0 FS1
    6. 51 / 390.04 / 7.50 / 52.83 ... 89.7 FS1
    7. 52 / 363.90 / 7.00 / 52.87 ... 90.1 FS1
    8. 53 / 272.42 / 5.24 / 53.97 ... 88.7 FS1
    9. 54 / 373.28 / 7.18 / 52.69 ... 91.4 FS1
    10. 55 / 372.07 / 7.16 / 52.90 ... 91.6 FS1
    11. 56 / 406.70 / 7.82 / 52.86 ... 92.2 B-70
    12. 57 / 330.59 / 6.36 / 54.08 ... 90.7 B-70


    Comments:

    Greek Olympian and man-god Chris Stevenson posted this age ranking calculator athttp://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi He includes an explanation for how it works and plenty of cautionary language about why not to take it too seriously, etc.

    You can use Chris's brain child to age grade any of your different races in all three courses. But for the sake of this vlog, I decided to just pick the 100 SCY freestyle. If you are getting to the point where your times are starting to plateau a wee bit, you might find this age grading stuff to be a fresh source of motivation.

    A couple different factors seem to clearly correlate with my personal swimming performance. The first one that jumps out is the introduction of the first speed suit, the Speedo Aquablade. My time dropped by a little over 2 seconds from the age of 47 to 48, and my age graded ratings jumped from the mid 80s to the cusp of 90--mainly because the norms were probably based on non-speed suit swimmers (thus giving me an artificial advantage once I started wearing one.)

    With the FS1, my times also improved relative to my age, and I think part of this was the faster suit, but my training--inspired, I am sure, by times I hadn't done since my young youth--also escalated significantly. The first time I cracked the "90" rating barrier was at age 52 in a FS1. The next year, however, I dropped back to an 88.7 rating in the same suit. The difference seems, that year at least, to be explained by a significant drop in yearly mileage--from 364 to 272. Clearly, the suit matters greatly for me, but training apparently makes some difference, too.

    My highest rating of all was a 92.2, achieved last spring at Colony Zones Championships. This was the first meet where I ever wore a B70. The year before, in a FS1, I swam only .04 slower. Was it the faster suit--or the increase in yearly mileage (from 372 to 406) that allowed me to swim a tiny bit faster at age 56 than I had at age 55?

    Soon, it seems fairly certain, speed suits of any sort are going to be outlawed. It is hard to know for sure what effect this is likely to have on my swimming performance, but it would be nice to at least discount the psychological change.

    So far, at age 57, I have swum the 100 at a couple of our local Y meets, and I've worn my B70 while doing so. It's been a bit disappointing for me because even with this advantage, my best 100 this fall/winter season has been a 54.08, albeit in less than ideal swimming conditions.

    Until today's exercise in Big Picture assemblage of personal swimming statistics, I have been dreading to think how truly slow I will become once the suit is outlawed.

    But let's say that I do end up adding roughly 2.5 seconds to my 100 post body suit ban. This is about what I subtracted in my 100 time from age 47 to 48 when the Aquablade was first introduced.

    I would thus be swimming, say, a 56.5 for the 100 free, which seems to me truly awful. But when I plug this number into Chris's age rating calculator, it cranks out an 86.8. This is almost exactly what I was doing, age-graded wise, at 46, before the speed suits were even introduced.

    So it would be just a return to historical norms.

    Perhaps this past decade in swimming performance, not just for me but for all who have "benefited" from suit enhancement of their swimming times, will be viewed by future historians as just another bubble of our bubble-bursting era of excess!

    And in the meantime, I shall set my sights on breaking 56.5 in jammers!
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  8. New Legal Suit Technology for Men!

    by , January 4th, 2010 at 12:20 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    My talks with industry are going very well indeed.

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  9. New Year, New Goals?

    by , January 5th, 2010 at 07:12 PM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    I guess I should sit down and come up with some goals for the new year.

    But before I do maybe a short recap of last year would be in order.

    I was still able to swim a few personal bests though not as many as in previous years. These were as follows:

    SCY
    50 Fly - Tie with previous best.
    200 Back - An event I just started competing in with my first race at this distance being in November 2008.

    LCM
    50 Free - Bettered my previous best for this distance by 0.60 sec.
    200 Free - A race that I had never done in this course and only swam it once this past year. My time converts to nearly the same as what I had swam for a 200 SCY in 2006, the last time I swam this distance in a meet.

    50 Back - Bettered my previous best for this distance by 0.57 sec.

    Goals for 2010
    I'm not going to set specific time goals for this year. If I swim a PB I'll be very pleased but am going into this year with no time expectations. What I do want to do is add a new event or 2.

    So with that in mind, I'm going to focus on 2 new distances, the 200 Free and the 100 Fly.
    I also want to do more open water swimming. With respect to that goal I began the New Year by swimming the Ft. Lauderdale Rough Water Swim on January 2nd. It was an ocean swim, my first ever and I finished 2nd in my age group (55-59) and was also 2nd of all men over 50.

    So the new year is off to a good start, though I've yet to do a pool workout. I hope to get that in tonight.
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  10. Maybe I should move to the country and manage a petting zoo

    Yesterday I drove up to Alabama for lunch with my mom and aunt. Its a pretty drive, past lots of farms, without much trafficbetween towns I saw maybe one other car every couple minutes or so. Two of the little towns I pass though on the way to visit my folks are Ebro, famous locally for its dog track, and Vernon, which was featured in the documentary Vernon, Florida by Errol Morris . Between towns, I saw lots of little goats and calves, and the farm that a decade ago had emus now seems to be heavily invested in miniature horses. I wanted to bring home some of all of the above, or at least stop and pet them.

    Actually, there used to be a menagerie just a few miles down the road from where Im staying. It was called Patrones, and had goats and peacocks and bunny rabbits and one truly ginormous hog. You couldnt pet the animalsthey were shybut for 50 cents you could buy a bag of popcorn to feed them. Admission was freeyou could just walk in and wander about. It seemed like something straight out of Flannery OConnor. I did worry about the pigs quality of life. As far as I could tell it spent its days lying on its side and being scaled by the goats, who loved standing atop it.

    After my four hours of driving to Alabama and back and a lunch of fried chicken, fried okra, and fried cornbread, I felt like I was beginning to turn into that hog. I guess its a good thing I didnt kidnap any little goats to bring home with me. In any case, I was super ready for a workout. I made it back in time for the masters groups evening workout at 5:30. Heres what I did::

    600 scy warmup

    8 x 50 (25 build, 25 easy) @ :55

    8 x 100 kick w/ fins @ 1:45, desc. 1-4 and 5-8 [1:24, 1:20, 1:14, 1:11, 1:30, 1:20, 1:17, 1:12]

    4 x 200 pull @ 3:00 [2:45, 2:45, 2:40, 2:42]

    2 x 400, 1st FR, 2nd IM, build both 400s by 100s

    2 x 50 sprint FR [?, 30.6]

    200 warmdown

    The air temp tonight was about 40 when we got in, and about 35 when we got out (steam rose off everyones body when they exited the pool), but the water temp was fine. It was fun swimming in the cold, and really great seeing the pool absolutely filled with swimmers on such a chilly evening. Between the kids team and masters and the visiting college team, all 20 lanes were filled.

    When they first built this pool (about 4 years ago), I couldnt believe they would really keep it open year round. This is an area without a deep competitive swimming tradition, and during the first winter I often found myself swimming all alone by or with just one other swimmer. Locals thought I was absolutely nuts for swimming outdoors in the winter, even when it was just in the 50s and sunny. So kudos to Panama City Beach for building this great facility and making it successful! All I could think when I saw the pool full of happy swimmers tonight was that Field of Dreams got it rightIf you build it, they will come!
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  11. 1/06/09--I hope you took your decorations down!

    by , January 6th, 2010 at 10:01 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Well I didn't blog yesterday but I did 40 minutes elliptical and 20 mins core work.

    Today I went swimming again...and as I sit here listening to lyrics mentioning something about being "Knocked out by American thighs" I can't help but think of my poor aching gams...I still felt the kick set from Monday yesterday and then the elliptical didn't improve matters..so I took to the water with the oomph and grace of a walrus on land.

    So I tortured myself thusly:
    200 Swim felt a bit whacked on this but took the time to work my rotation and hand placement. It nearly caused me to ram the wall with my loaf due to not noticing the turn mark.
    200 Kick
    Did this all free moderate speed not like the hard set on Monday. Felt good, tried to keep a good rhythm and pace while focusing on scooping with my plates and Bromleys.
    200 Pull Stuck the Styrofoam plug between my bacon and eggs and got on with the set.

    6 x 100 FR 1:30 so I managed all of these although finishing rep numbers 2 and 3 left me as a touch and go I got a couple of second after #4 and 5 secs after #5. Only did 6 as this was 1 more than my previous tally on this interval and also it was a 600 block (my pattern for the day).

    200 EZ after a little rest nothing too exciting here just more focus on rotation.

    4 x 50 3 BR/3 FL no interval here just trying to find a nice rhythm.
    4 x 50 FL 1:15 I got through these in an ungraceful fashion (see Walrus on land quip) but I think I have found something in my pull...need to go into EVF I think .

    200 EZ Even less to report on this other than I was truly gearing up for the last set.
    4 times through:
    100 IM 2:00
    100 FR 2:00

    managed this swimming in 1:40 to 1:45 I definitely was tired and drained from previous work outs and the 6 x 100.
    4 x 50 K FL did these with the board sans fins took a few seconds between 50's. Didn't go fast just tried to work the undulation.

    4x 50 EZ
    just loafing off to end.

    Not too bad but a good workout that got me huffing and puffing but I probably wasn't up to a greater ordeal.

    Went to lift afterwards
    Wide Pull ups 8,7,6 on 1:00
    Close Chin ups 6, 5,5
    on 1:00
    Legpress/calf press 3x12 @ 300lb
    Leg Extn 3x12 @ 95lb each rep include a full and terminal extn. e.g.full up, half down, back up, full down.
    Leg Curl 3x12 @ 95lb
    Adduct/Abduct 3x12 @ 110lbs supersetting them back to back no rest
    Chest Press M/C 10, 8, 6 @ 140lb plus 6 more at 80lb
    Ab Machine 3x15@ 45lbs..I go by feel and burn than trying to lift weight so I don't know if that is the correct weight but it's ballpark.
    Pec-dec; 3x15 @ 3 plates (guessing 45ish) again I go for burn and full range of motion than weight here....

    Used Accelerade during swim and lift and then guzzled an Endurox post lifting.

    PS I know it's 2010.
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  12. Doo-B-Do-Over

    by , January 7th, 2010 at 01:57 PM (Chicken's Nuggets)
    Doo-B-Do-Over
    Posted January 6th, 2010 at 09:33 PM by Chicken of the Sea
    As the self appointed Chicago branch of the Sewickley SeaDragons, I've been receiving Bill White's excellent workouts via email on a daily basis.

    Bill was on holidays over the recent Christmas break, though, so I was in a bit of a panic until Vlog the Inhaler stepped in with the Jimcentric "B" level mediocre workout. I received this fabulous looking workout on Dec 28th and was so excited that I raced to the pool two days later to do it.

    About 10 minutes into the swim, I was ejected from my lane by a noodler class consisting of 4 ladies. A polite plea for compassion from the instructor resulted in "YES WE NEED 2 LANES FOR THIS CLASS YES OF COURSE WE DO!!!!!!". Said instructor then moved 2 of the women into the second lane so as to occupy it and I had to wait until a nice man offered to share his swimming lane.

    Anyway......I was very grumpy and, although I got to finish the workout, I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.

    So yesterday I did a do-over!!!

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  13. Craigslist Posting

    by , January 8th, 2010 at 10:16 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    pittsburgh craigslist > for sale / wanted > business opportunities

    Avoid scams and fraud by dealing locally! Beware any deal involving Western Union, Moneygram, wire transfer, cashier check, money order, shipping, escrow, or any promise of transaction protection/certification/guarantee. More info

    1952 Vintage Brand Magazine Writer Identity: Jim Thornton


    Date: 2010-01-08, 9:08PM EST
    Reply to: sale-tzk87-1544006339@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

    Four time National Magazine Award Nominee and One-Time NMA Winner http://www.magazine.org/asme/magazine_awards/searchable_database/index.aspx Jim Thornton is now seeking the best reasonable offer for his brand.

    Jim Thornton is a nationally respected magazine journalist/brand who/that several tens of people have heard of.

    Jim Thornton, the man/hollowed-out husk, (not to be confused with Jim Thornton, the still robust brand), has, unfortunately, reached a point of linguistic befuddlement where he can no longer execute the demands that come with maintaining the Jim Thornton brand.

    Despite this, husk Jim Thornton continues to receive assignments and tries his best to execute these. In the past several years, both his wall and skull have come close to complete ruin due to the nearly continuous banging of the two together.

    Freelancers, current staff writers, or even aspiring writers interested in purchasing the Jim Thornton brand can look forward to actual assignments. Do not worry that any talent whatsoever will be required once you assume the Jim Thornton brand identity. Jim has spent years lowering his standards and throwing hissy fits with those editors who hire him and demand quality.

    At this point, even the slightest ability to put simple sentences together with the occasional period, question mark, or exclamation point in the general vicinity of the end of word chains should be more than sufficient to guarantee any Jim Thornton brand-assumer work and kill fees for weeks, maybe even a month, to come.

    In the event no reasonable offers are forthcoming, Jim Thornton is also willing to sell his brain to researchers with grants to conduct fMRI scans 24/7 -- or is it 24/8? on the Swiss cheese yogurt concoction of synaptical mush inside his skullcap.

    • Location: Blackburn Rd Sewickley
    • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

    Important note:

    Payment can be made by any of the following: Western Union, Moneygram, wire transfer, cashier check, money order, shipping, escrow, or promise of transaction protection/certification/guarantee.

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  14. The Rapture

    by , January 14th, 2010 at 08:57 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    If you ever find yourself in the following situation, wasting an entire day alternating between--

    --the consumption of red meat;

    ---puzzling over which dubious expenses go into which suspect category of peri-legal deductions in your Quicken files so as to minimize your tax payments from a cache of money that you do not possess,

    --trying to talk people into reading a vlog 28 times in a row, at which point continued reading is likely to become habitual (but oh, how they whimper and beg to be excused those first 27 times!)

    If you have done any of these, or anything similar to any of these, and find yourself by day's end in need of a Cure for the Malaise that now defines you--

    then you know that The Rapture is not some obscure religious mythology, but an actual event that can be found in the Holy Waters of your local swimming pool.

    With thanks to my teammate, Jessie Coppola McKelvey, photographer extraordinaire, who managed to capture my own moment of ascent towards heaven after practice!

    The Swimmer's Rapture




    (Note: I am pretty sure that is a bubble on my right pectoral area, otherwise I will need to be checked soon by a specialist in AWND, or asymmetrical white nipple disorder, or as we laymen like to call it, "a bad sign.")
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  15. Elegy for the Loss of Speed

    by , January 16th, 2010 at 10:49 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    With FINA's ban today of high tech body suits for masters swimmers, I know that my swimming times will add a bit of time--several decades, actually, per event.

    I didn't think this prospect would make me sad, but I find it is, in fact.

    Oh, it seems like only yesterday when the Speedo Corporation came out with its kneeskin Aquablades, quickly dubbed "girlie suits" by all the guys on our team, and almost as quickly adopted as our new favorite items of clothing!

    But too close to the sun old Speedo's Icarus flew! Too far from girly, too proximate to cheating!

    I would write my own elegy for the loss of these suits, the loss of my youth, the sudden emergence of the old man who has long hidden himself with high school times inside these Ponce de Leon raiments!

    So instead I shall just quote some lines from Elegists all dead themselves now.

    Let us hope that after a while, hedonic adjustments will take place, and that each of us, in our own way, will grow content once more inside our withering, slowing flesh, no longer quick but not yet dead!



    From:
    Ave Atque Vale

    by Algernon Charles Swinburne


    XVIII
    For thee, O now a silent soul, my brother,
    Take at my hands this garland, and farewell.
    Thin is the leaf, and chill the wintry smell,
    And chill the solemn earth, a fatal mother,
    With sadder than the Niobean womb,
    And in the hollow of her breasts a tomb.
    Content thee, howsoe'er, whose days are done;
    There lies not any troublous thing before,
    Nor sight nor sound to war against thee more,
    For whom all winds are quiet as the sun,
    All waters as the shore.


    From:
    A Reminiscence

    by Anne Bront

    Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
    'Tis still a comfort to have seen;
    And though thy transient life is o'er,
    'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
    To think a soul so near divine,
    Within a form so angel fair,
    United to a heart like thine,
    Has gladdened once our humble sphere.



    From

    The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
    by T S Eliot



    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous
    Almost, at times, the Fool.

    I grow old I grow old
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me.

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.



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  16. Conquest of Happiness through Swim Math

    by , January 18th, 2010 at 03:59 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge."

    "One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

    Bertrand Russell
    British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)


    The great mathematician-philosopher Bertrand Russell said a good many wise things, very few of which I have read. However, a friend in college once told me that in his famous book, The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand argued that the key to contentment, even joy in life, is to lose oneself in the search for solutions to arcane mathematical formulae.



    Bertrand Russell conquering happiness--or possibly doing his famous imitation of a pileated woodpecker


    It is hard to be neurotic, in other words, about X (money, health, the future, the smell of your breath, the absence of good television shows tonight) when the entirety of your brain is focused instead on trying to come up with an elegant solution to the Four Color Map Theory, Fermat's Last Theorem, or some other recondite test of math.

    At the risk of jumping around a bit, and losing the non-mathematically inclined swim reader too prematurely here, I do not propose to accost my dear readers with anything complicated here.

    I was a middling math student myself, scoring only 782 on the math S.A.T.s back in the day, a full 18 points off flawlessness. If you are like me in such ineptitude, I definitely sympathize. There is much about the mathematical world that is simply beyond us.

    For example, Karl Friedrich Gauss could think in 17 dimensions and found formulae like this child's play:


    I have trouble thinking in as few as seven dimensions, and though I agree with Karl Friedrich that the above formula is playful, I only truly began to have fun with it after puberty.



    Karl Friedrich Gauss wool-gathering in the 13th dimension


    But enough.

    No, what I propose here is relatively simple stuff that any swimmer can apply. Much of it has already been covered in the forum threads, but for the sake of coherence and one-stop shopping, I will collate some of it here. Moreover, I will do so through concrete examples.

    But first, a break in the verbiage for some photographic distraction.



    Your narrator half-in and half-out of his B70 following completion of the 1-Hour Swim yesterday. This half-in/half-out suit status serves as a metaphor for the state of limbo that now characterizes speed suit legality for the remainder of the USMS SCY season. Add to this the topsy-turvy configuration in space of your narrator, and it's hard to imagine a better photographic emblem for Master's Swimming in Flux and Dubious Health.


    Okay, enough messing around. My vlog today, I see, is growing lengthy, and there is no doubt that what I am doing here is very, very important work!

    So without further preamble, let's get into it, shall we?

    Proposed mathematical proof: Based on the 1-Hour swim where Bill clearly beat Jim, I intend to show that Jim is better at swimming than Bill.

    Step 1. Data gathering

    Here are the results of yesterday's hour swim at Carnegie Mellon University. My best friend Bill completed 5037.5 yards. I (the "Jim" referred to throughout subsequent proofing) completed 4850 yards.



    Bill's time sheet above





    Jim's time sheet above


    Step 2. Data standardizing whack No. 1

    Numbers clearly have very little meaning by themselves. They need to be placed in meaningful context relative to other numbers. Of all the very important aspects of my critical work, let us not lose sight of how absolutely key this is. Numbers have meaning only in so far as meaning is assigned to them by a knowledgeable mathematician such as myself who has special insights that normal people don't!

    By use of a simple time-distance calculator that Bill himself designed on Excel, and which I would gladly post here for uploading by interested parties if I knew how to post it, Bill's 5037.25 yards in 60 minutes translates into a 100 yard pace of 1:11:47.

    My own 4850 yards in 60 minutes (actually, it was 59 minutes, 55 seconds, but I will not factor the unused 5 seconds into my analysis here) translates into a 100 yard pace of 1:14.23.

    Results after step 1:

    Bill's 100 pace = 1:11.47

    Jim's 100 pace = 1:14. 23


    Step 3. Age establishment

    At this point, we move to a crucial next step: age adjustment. To be fair, I shall slice, dice, and generally Cuisinart the data as evenhandedly as I can, applying not one, not two, but three separate additional formulae to our respective paces.

    To establish our ages (Bill 39; Jim 57), I do not expect you to take my word for it. I could be lying about how impossibly young Bill is. Or I could be lying about how ridiculously close to the limits of the human life span I am. Or I could be lying about both things.

    But I am not.

    You can find Bill's Top 10 listings here, where they clearly show he is 39:
    http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenin...wimmerID=01JGP

    And you can find Jim's here, which just as clearly show that I am 57: http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenin...wimmerID=01JFR

    Results after step 2:

    Bill's prime of life age: 39

    Jim's "why is he not using a walker" decrepitude: 57



    Step 4. Age adjustment

    A) the American and Finnish formulae can be found here: http://n3times.com/swimtimes/

    I will do it "both ways" here: with Bill as the reference swimmer, then with me as the reference swimmer.

    Bill's 39-year-old 1:11.47 100 yard freestyle (Finnish formula in parentheses) "aged" up to Jim's 57:

    39 1:11.47 ( 1:11.47) 40 1:11.68 ( 1:11.82) 41 1:11.91 ( 1:12.19) 42 1:12.16 ( 1:12.57) 43 1:12.42 ( 1:12.97) 44 1:12.71 ( 1:13.38) 45 1:13.01 ( 1:13.81) 46 1:13.34 ( 1:14.26) 47 1:13.68 ( 1:14.72) 48 1:14.06 ( 1:15.21) 49 1:14.46 ( 1:15.71) 50 1:14.89 ( 1:16.24) 51 1:15.35 ( 1:16.78) 52 1:15.85 ( 1:17.35) 53 1:16.38 ( 1:17.95) 54 1:16.95 ( 1:18.57) 55 1:17.56 ( 1:19.22) 56 1:18.22 ( 1:19.90) 57 1:18.92 ( 1:20.60)

    Jim's 57-year-old 1:14.23 100 yard freestyle (Finnish formula in parentheses) "youngered" down to Bill's 39:

    39 1:07.22 ( 1:05.82) 40 1:07.42 ( 1:06.14) 41 1:07.64 ( 1:06.48) 42 1:07.87 ( 1:06.83) 43 1:08.12 ( 1:07.20) 44 1:08.39 ( 1:07.58) 45 1:08.67 ( 1:07.97) 46 1:08.98 ( 1:08.38) 47 1:09.31 ( 1:08.81) 48 1:09.66 ( 1:09.26) 49 1:10.04 ( 1:09.72) 50 1:10.44 ( 1:10.21) 51 1:10.88 ( 1:10.71) 52 1:11.34 ( 1:11.24) 53 1:11.84 ( 1:11.79) 54 1:12.38 ( 1:12.36) 55 1:12.95 ( 1:12.96) 56 1:13.57 ( 1:13.58) 57 1:14.23 ( 1:14.23)

    Results: of Step 3 (A):

    If Bill's pace remains the same, for us to have done "equivalent" swims, Jim's pace should have been 1:18.92 (American formula) or 1:20.60 (Finnish formula.)

    If Jim's pace remains the same, for us to have done "equivalent" swims, Bill's pace should have been 1:07.22 (American formula) or 1:05.82 (Finnish formula.)


    B) the Chris Stevenson LMSC of Virginia Rating Calculator can be found here:

    http://www.vaswim.org/cgi-bin/rcalc.cgi

    Note: both our times are horrible for actual 100s, so I took the fastest continuous and easily extractable 1650 (the longest distance Chris's calculator rates) that I could find in our respective 1-hour swims.

    Bill said he felt fastest in the middle, so I am measuring his 1650 from the 2000 (24:37) to 3650 yard (43:56) marks, during which he did a 19:19.

    My fastest 1650 was probably the final one, i.e. from 3200 (40:01) to 4850 (59:55), during which I did a 19:54.

    Let us now enter the respective times and ages, shall we, and see what the calculator expectorates?

    Bill's 39 year old extracted 1650 time of 19:19 earns a rating of: 83.4

    Jim's 57 year old
    extracted 1650 time of19:54 earns a rating of: 87.1


    Step 5. Conclusion

    Q.E.D.

    Jim is better than Bill

    Step 6. Even Bigger Conclusion

    Bertrand Russell was right. During the past half hour, during which I have thrown myself fully into this complex mathematical proof, I have not been neurotic for even a second. For 30 minutes, at least, I have indeed conquered happiness.

    Send me you age and time for any event, and provided it passes my initial screening, I may well be able to prove mathematically that I am better than you, too, in the process conquering even more happiness and eschewing (if this is the right word) even more neuroticism.

    --Coming soon: The Kristilynn Asymptote Exposed

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  17. Pull, pull, pull....

    by , January 19th, 2010 at 11:42 AM (A comfort swimmer's guide to easy swimming)
    Tuesday, 1/19/10

    (Should just write "refer to Flyqueen's blog" since our workouts were the same today.)

    SCY with Carrie

    300 swim free
    kick 6x75 choice w/10 sec. rest
    pull 2x150 w/15 sec. rest
    swim 8 x 50 on 1:00, descend 1-4 free, 5-8 back

    pull 4 x 150 free on 2:30 @75%, breathe every 3
    2 x 50 easy choice on 1:15
    pull 4 x 100 free on 1:40 @75%, breathe every 5
    2 x 50 easy choice on 1:15
    pull 4 x 50 free on 50 @80%, breathe every 5

    swim down 2 x 50 easy choice

    Total: 2950 yards


    Afternoon run
    35 minutes including warmup and cool down.
    3.1 miles at 30 minutes then jog/walk to cool off

    Started strength training with a trainer today. We will meet twice weekly for about an hour each time from now until I begin my taper for SCY Nationals.

    Updated January 20th, 2010 at 01:37 PM by poolraat

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  18. Indentured Servant Available for Immediate Joblock

    by , January 19th, 2010 at 03:12 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    With the senatorial election going on today in Massachusetts, my bankruptcy on the installment plan seems to be accelerating.

    This is the time of the year when law-abiders such as myself put together our financial inventory of the previous year to give to our accountants so they can figure out how much more we owe.

    A few of the highlights of 2009:

    Accounting fees: $3250
    Property and school taxes: $20,588
    Health Insurance premiums: $20,221
    Food, federal and state taxes, college, etc.: it doesn't really matter at this point because there is hardly anything left

    It has been said that people are more willing to discuss their sex lives than their incomes, and so it is with me.

    Let me just say that I truly wish I were allowed to sell Thornton Bonds to China, because this represents my only hope of continuing with the deficit spending lifestyle that puts food-like substances on the pile of wood we call a "table."

    In examining my various extravagances, it looks to me like the $500 deductible, 80/20 coverage health insurance plan is going to have to go, sooner or later.

    In March, BC/BS of MN will announce this year's annual increase of rates that we in this particular death spiral will be expected to shoulder. Last year, it went up nearly $200 a month; this year, I expect at least as much. With Obamacare once on the horizon, I had figured I could slowly sell off possessions (though the market for old swimming suits, I've found, is not exactly robust on eBay or Craigslist) until 2014, then cut some slightly better deal when I turn 61; at which point, I figured I could continue limping till finally, at age 65, I could start to take my rightful place at the teat of Medicare, sucking as rapaciously as my weakened-to-frailty suck musculature no doubt will have become by then.

    Alas, now the "slight improvement at age 61" looks increasingly unlikely.

    In 90 minutes, I am going on my scooter to the opthamological practice of my friend, teammate, and eye doctor, "Uncle" Danny Nadler. Ordinarily, I never go to doctors unless it involves the possibility of sexual leprosy (which I am still somewhat suspicious I carry inside my body, though the best diagnostic techniques have thus far failed to catch the Guinea Worm when it surfaces for air.)

    The reason I am going to Uncle Danny's is because my identical twin brother John was just recently diagnosed with mild glaucoma in his right eye, and now has to take nightly prostaglandin drops to prevent (what John is convinced but I am dubious) blindness.

    Throughout our lives, everything dire that John has had, I have had worse.

    I do not believe drops will be enough for me. I am imagining some kind of in-home fire hose which will irrigate both eyeballs for several hours each night.

    As if all my current medical catastrophes (taking statin drugs for once high cholesterol, and antidepressants to keep the Black Dog's episodic return for treats a bit less frequent), the prospect of adding glaucoma to my list makes the possibility of being underwritten by any cherry-picking, lemon-dropping Health Insurance Company, for-profit or non-profit, not only unlikely, but 100 percent absolutely impossible.

    Which brings me to today's request.

    From what I understand, people with "real" jobs, as defined by not working for themselves, who instead receive a pay check from a company big enough to haggle with insurers over group rates, and for whom the Insurance Industry is barred by law from medical underwriting of individuals, could conceivably provide a somewhat better deal than what I now have.

    An example I have used in the past: an obese, five-pack-a-day smoker who was incensed recently when his company began to charge him $50 a month for health insurance.

    My new plan: before the teat of Medicare bares itself to my thin cruel lips, might I affix my rasper organ on the teat of Industry?

    I don't smoke. I am not obese. And I am willing to pay $55 a month for health insurance!

    Actually, here is what I am offering, no joke:

    If anyone out there in USMS land is the owner/decision maker of a large enough company to provide even the most meager of catastrophic healthcare coverage to his/her employees, would I be able to pay you to hire me?

    Figure out exactly what me and my family's participation in your group health insurance company would cost you. Say it is $1200 a month.

    You can then pay me minimum wage for the minimum number of hours I need to work to qualify for your health insurance plan. Say this minimum is 40 hours at $7.25 an hour, or $290 a week. This translates to roughly $1250 a month.

    Total expenditure for you: $1200 insurance premiums + $1250 minimum wage = $2450 per month. You can write this off your corporate taxes, saving a bit more.

    But that's not all!

    You then can turn around and charge me $2450 per month for something believable, like maybe a corporate uniform you insist I wear at work. You can say, as one of the terms of my employment, that I must buy a new $2450 uniform from you every month.

    My proposal for such a garment: a bright orange jump suit with your company's name prominently displayed on the front and back, along with the line:

    Jim Thornton, Indentured Servant for Life to {your company name and logo.}

    At this point, you have not actually spent a single dime because everything has been surreptitiously rebated back to you via the uniform cost. I will even make the uniform myself and handle the billing for you! In fact, you are already ahead of the game because of whatever tax savings you're able to glean from writing my salary and benefits off as a business expense.

    But it doesn't stop here!

    I will also provide free advertising on my vlog and generally extol the virtues of your enterprise 24/7.

    And another thing I believe will be of inestimable value to the right kind of executive mindset.

    We all know that slavery and indentured servitude are technically illegal. If you accept my proposal, however, I will make no bones about my status. I will tell everyone I meet that I am, in fact, your indentured servant.

    Think how much hay you can make with this at the Club?

    You are probably wondering why I would prefer to give you $2450 per month PLUS all these other added enticements when my current premiums are only $1711.50 a month (though admittedly certain to climb soon).

    The reason: I hate my insurance company so much that to be able to say **** You to them would be worth far more than $738.50 per month.

    And when my new plan rescinds my new policy for some new reason that is impossible for us little guy indentured servants to ever predict, and the inhospitable hospital wheels me to the curb for pickup by Waste Mangagement, by then a wholely owned subsidiary of American $$$ Health Amalgamated, I will be able to go gently into the black hole that has been sucking me down for as long as I can remember!
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  19. Reform Haiku Illustrated

    by , January 22nd, 2010 at 03:28 PM (Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton)
    I've set myself a little unofficial rule for my vlog here, which is to not post anything new till the last thing I posted has gleaned at least 100 views.

    My last posting, Indentured Servant Available for Immediate Joblock ( http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=7506 ), took seemingly forever to reach this level.

    The reasons for such laggardliness in viewing, I suspect, are:


    • It was too long
    • It didn't have anything to look at
    • Nobody wants to read about my misery


    What I think people really want to do is to look at my misery. If there must be verbal commentary, this should be kept mercifully short.

    Today's vlog is an attempt to re-do the last one in much more reader-friendly terms.


    Reform Haiku

    Driving club men force

    the G.O.P.'s health care jig--

    Dance, monkey man, dance!






    Indentured Servant Health Care Monkey Jim
    Being Shown Off at the Club*


    --If by any chance this peaks your interest and you have not already taken a look, I invite the more readerly viewers to visit the original rant at:Indentured Servant Available for Immediate Joblock ( http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=7506 )

    * Thanks to my beloved twin brother Johnny Boy for actualizing and improving upon my nightmarish visions of myself. I wonder if the caddy has noticed the advertisement for Countrywide Mortgage?

    Updated January 22nd, 2010 at 04:54 PM by jim thornton

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  20. IM/Monofin Day 1/22/10

    by , January 22nd, 2010 at 09:36 PM (The Labours of SwimStud)
    Did another Jackie Hirsty workout today. I had it in the pile and dug it out last night. I took the monofin in too and decided I would find a set to adapt to MF work.
    Warm Up
    300 FR

    Set 1
    200IM drill-Swim by 25 3:30
    150 Kick/Swim IMO flyless 3:00
    4 x 50 Choice cant remember if I did all FR or not.

    Set 2
    4x200 as:
    Free 3:30
    100 FR. 50 BR, 50 FR 3:30
    50 FR, 50 BK, 50 BR, 50FR 3:45
    200 IM swam it in about 3:00

    4x200as:
    100 IM 1:45
    50 BK 1:30
    50 BR 1:30

    4x100 as:
    50 FR :45
    25 BK :40
    25 BR :35

    Set 3 (Monofin time)
    4 x 200 as:
    100 K on back hands down 2:00
    50 K hard on 1:00
    50 K sprint on 1:00

    Cool
    150

    3800 in about 85mins

    The kick set at the end got pretty tiring but it felt good to get it all done.
    Lifted after...definitely feeling more power still...think I'll stick with muscle milk now...
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