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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

You are an old-looking idiot

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
And by you, I mean me.

The quality of my vlog is likely to go downhill for a little while as my limited powers of cognition are siphoned off in various ways.

For one thing, I had blood drawn yesterday.

For another thing, I am consuming a lot of soy protein, with its insidious ingredients, genistein and daidzen, compounds that beans use to kill fungi.

These compounds also happen to resemble estrogen.


For another thing, my new levels of phytoestrogens are causing me to take the vapors, as we ladies of Society refer to our time as women.

Do not expect sense, transitions, a narrative line.

This is a "hack" my swimming coach Bill's son, Liam, boy genius, figured out how to put on the Sewickley YMCA's computer.

I like to go on to this before and after practice, check out my vlog statistics, and give my entries another couple "Excellent's--*****!":

(Please don't forget to click "excellent" yourself--Liam deserves it!)

Liam is a very good swimmer, but he is an even better hacker. He is 8. This still picture does not give you a complete sense of the devastation of his hack.

You click anything on the screen, and these You Are An Idiot placards proliferate like wildfire, rendering the computer useless.

Well, actually, not useless exactly. It becomes a very, very good electronic sooth sayer. You stare at the screen in growing fury. It tells you, hundreds, maybe thousands of times, that you are an idiot.

Eventually, it sinks in.

After practice last Friday, the team went out for pizza, and some of the parents brought their kids.

Liam sat next to me, and he was so intrigued by hacking technology, that he spent much of the dinner drawing this:

Not only is Liam very good at computer technology, but he is an excellent artist. I think that his crayon drawing of the You Are an Idiot computer screen comes closer to providing the actual experience than the photo above.

Note 1. You can see that he has placed in his drawing various instructions for turning the mayhem off, but I am too much of an idiot to understand the encryption.

Note 2. You can see that the pizza parlor's placemat has a map of Italy on the opposite side from the drawing. Also, I think there is a small spot where Liam dropped some Sierra Mist. Future anthropologists 14,000 years from now: Please have a field day, courtesy of one Mr. Liam White, 8, and his Boswell, one Mr. Jimby the scrivener, 56.

Which brings us to Part 2.

Liam's father, my best friend and swimming coach, emailed me this so that I would see if first thing upon awakening. He knows that I am a twin; that I have been on antidepressants longer than John; and that I am a caricature of John playing an old and bewildered man.

You can actually find more out about this interesting subject by clicking here:

(The gist: after 40, you can look younger by getting a little bit fat, which puffs out your skin, reducing the empty-baggy saggy cadaverousness that the emaciated old tend to develop; you can also avoid the sun (in your youth, alas, was the time to do it); not smoke; and--interestingly to those of us who believe that "without chemicals, life itself would be impossible"--avoid taking antidepressants, which cause the facial muscles to sag. This is probably the reason I look so much older than John. Otherwise, I should look younger. I live in a cloud forest, and I am fat. John lives in a solar zone, and he's thin.)

Now, here is a picture of the Thornton twins:

Oh, well. Who knows?

Perhaps soy will prove a paradoxical salvation for the likes of me.

I can't really call it an epiphany per se, because I think I have known this for a long time. But mark today, February 10, 2009, with my official public announcement of acknowledgement, for from this day on, I will no longer argue to the point:

I am an old-looking idiot.

But an old-looking idiot with a theme song written expressly for me by two adorable young looking geniuses. If you haven't listened to this already, and if you are feeling at all like an old-looking idiot yourself today, I refer you to the bottom of:

Regardless of what your name is, be it Bobinator or Qbrain, Duckson or Kafka, just add the Gallyumbo part to your moniker and share in the rejuvenating powers of music!

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Updated February 10th, 2009 at 10:26 PM by jim thornton



  1. flippergirl's Avatar
    Are you really a twin or just a touched up photo? I just never know these days. And briefly why the diet?
  2. Bobinator's Avatar
    Hi Jimby!
    Thanks for posting your twin's picture...I still say you are by far the most handsome!
    What's the deal with the pissing and moaning about your age; is that a symptom of the "vapors"?
    I think anyone who swims as fast as you cannot be suffering from ageing too terribly much. Well, unless that is slow for you.
    I am saving my pennies, nickels, and dimes for a facelift (or transplant if it is a better financial deal) but until I get all three of my offspring through college (chef school for skaterboy) I will have to hold off and live with my current face. come those 3rd graders...........bye!
  3. jim thornton's Avatar
    1. Yes, I really am a twin. My brother, John, is the best human being in the world. I am not. Which just goes to show you that DNA is not absolutely deterministic.

    2. I write for magazines and am currently working on a story about soy protein, much hyped as a health panacea, but which--because of its phytoestrogenic isoflavones--might pose some unwanted side effects in guys who over indulge. Case in point: a guy I interviewed yesterday who developed very painful breast buds (gynecomastia) and other symptoms as a consequence of 3 quarts of soy milk per day.

    3. Thanks, Bobinator. I am actually swimming pretty good these days, at least in the sprints/middle distance stuff. I do seem to have lost a bit on the longer things, but part of me wonders if this could be the residual effects of the Soul MRSA documented in this very vlog a number of entries in the past! Judging from your first picture with your daughter, you don't need a facelift. Judging, however, from the current picture, you might. Or at least run a Q-tip occasionally through the furrows of those wrinkles to remove any matter that has accumulated therein!
    Updated April 16th, 2009 at 10:38 AM by jim thornton
  4. onefish's Avatar
    Does either of you own a razor?

    Not that I would encourage sharp, pointy objects in your condition. Some of my office guys go in cycles between beards and no beards, or stubble and stubbless, I imagine it gives them periodic boosts of false youthfulness.

    You boys look good, though. Keep it up. Chick magnets.
  5. jim thornton's Avatar
    Mr. Onefish has once again driven himself to the very top of the Vlog Fan Listings.

    Chick magnets indeed! The mind reels!
  6. onefish's Avatar
    Hey, after 2 1/2 days of great skiing in beautiful Park City and Deer Valley, I like absolutely everyone. At least until detox and lower altitudes settle in.
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    I hesitate to say this, but my friends in the theater world assure me it is the right thing to do: Break a leg!