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

Albatross

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.


At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!

And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine."

`God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?' -"With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross."


--from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Sometime late on Friday, after I have interviewed an ophthalmologic researcher at the National Eye Institute about trends in retinal detachment in healthy men who may or may not play paintball, take drugs to build muscle and other drugs to conceal the first drugs, compete in mixed martial arts competitions, platform dive and/or bungee jump regularly, or blow their noses too violently, after all this, and responding to the Fortress's beseeching Facebook hollo's, I shall make the drive from Pittsburgh to the Vienna Compound for grilled protein, Maine Moon Cattery, reunion with several dear wee girls, a sheathe of papers on overutilization rates by clinical somaticisers (may opt to leave these at home; will gauge Leslie's mood first with regards to her receptivity to self-improvement catalyzed by me), possibly a new HTC 4G Thunderbolt Verizon phone, and the hopes of a nation on my shoulders, and--if I can cajole my lovely bride into supplying me with some--a cache of scones and sticky toffee muffins to give to Facebook fans of the Old Economy Cafe.

I shall not bring a cross bow.

I may bring some bird seed for any or all fair weather albatrosses blown off their natural peregrinations by Japanese earthquakes and what have you.

It almost failed to occur, this bid of mine to come back from retinal detachment, financial depression, and a recent severe case of incapacitating sniffles.

Last Thursday, I awoke at 3 a.m., my nostrils spilling twin cataracts of Niagara-like mucous falls.

Last Friday, I spent the entire day daubing my nasal passages with deeply absorbent tissues, and still these were not enough to stem the flow!

Why can they not make nostril tampons for men who get colds this severe? Why is this natural market niche not being exploited? Best healthcare system in the world? Sadly laughable joke for those of us who cannot find a simple nostril tampon or maxi pad when we so desperately need them.

On Saturday, I had not the energy to leave the couch for more than an occasional cheesecake refrigerator run.

On Sunday, I forced myself to go to the Y where I swam an open turn 1650 in about 33 minutes--and almost could not finish, so deeply lethargic and hypoglycemic and dizzy I was in my cold!

Yesterday, I forced myself to go to practice. I said to myself, "Jim, if by some miracle you can complete all these 100s tonight on the correct interval, then you must sign up for the Albatross meet, hosted by the Ancient Mariners! If nothing else, you owe it to show your appreciation to swimmer-poet Jeffrey Lil' Devil Roddin, who you talked into marriage, and whose appreciation for you knows no bounds!"

But I was certain I would not make this grueling set:

10 x 100 on 1:25 warm up
20 x 100 on 1:20
8 x 100 on 1:15
4 x 50 on :40.

But practice was so crowded last night that a swirling motion of bodies--no doubt abetted by the Coriolis forces so familiar to toilet flushers here in the Northern Hemisphere--allowed me to drag and draft along like a cork in the wake of my betters!

I made the whole practice.

I came home and, with 17 minutes to spare before the deadline, I signed up for the 50, 100, and 200 SCM freestyles.

Paul Trevisan (60 and thus no threat to this Fina 59 year old!) and Leslie (now Fina 50) are both going after world records.

I am going after the Albatross meet record for the 200 SCM freestyle in the 55-59 age group.

Equally worthy goals, I must say! And I do not have to race Leslie in any head-to-head events, so for now, at least, my .001 second advantage over her in our last competition of note (the 50 SCY butterfly) still stands with me, the underexercised, still shining in the Glorious Winners Circle!

Leslie has promised to grill a fine feast for me on Friday night.

My only request:

Do not serve up the kindly Albatross! My stomach is still much too delicate to digest it.

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Comments

  1. magick17's Avatar
    I always thought those were Jersey seagulls.....heerummm!?!
  2. jim thornton's Avatar
    This is technically the Royal Albatross, presumably not to be confused with the Peasant Class Albatross, which is the species more commonly seen hovering around New Jersey.
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    I don't think ambien is exactly performance enhancing. But it looks like I'll be following in your footsteps with a sleep study. So I want credit for self improvement!

    Shhh!! Don't jinx me!
  4. jim thornton's Avatar
    Leslie, I won't jinx you.

    However, I think we do need to prepare the titles to which we respectively aspire.

    You: Worldlian.

    Me: Albatrossian.

    Why does mine seem like something that would provoke the wrath of Serbs, Croats, Crimeans, and the like?
  5. qbrain's Avatar
    That is a very nice workout for a decrepit old codger like you to do, even if you were drafting off your betters. I look forward to you showing Speedo and Jazz Hands how an *** whipping was handed out in your day. Remember, you will be at a swim meet, so a demonstration could be coupled with your expected oration on the topic.
  6. kuztoo's Avatar
    "Why can they not make nostril tampons for men who get colds this severe?" This I must say is genius, You may have found your to financial freedom.
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kuztoo
    "Why can they not make nostril tampons for men who get colds this severe?" This I must say is genius, You may have found your to financial freedom.

    John, all I need is someone with a little wee bit of belief in me and some financial backing...hmmm, perhaps the scion of a roofing fortune?

    I could market The Nostril Tampon for Men with Colds (patent pending) concept with my other product, ideated in my youth, which is still looking for a Partner in Industry to bring it to fruition:

    Peppermint Drip (TM), a nasal suppository that, while not curing the common cold, nevertheless imparts to post nasal drip a refreshing peppermint taste. Peppermint Drip (TM) is so refreshing you'll actually look forward to your next cold!

    (As a no-longer-drinking man, I must say the only other product I know that accomplishes the same end result is Vicks Nyquil, choice of us teetotalers everywhere!)

    Between The Nostril Tampon for Men with Colds (patent pending) and Peppermint Drip (TM) nasal suppositories, I'm confident nobody will ever look at guys suffering colds the same way again.
  8. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    That is a very nice workout for a decrepit old codger like you to do, even if you were drafting off your betters. I look forward to you showing Speedo and Jazz Hands how an *** whipping was handed out in your day. Remember, you will be at a swim meet, so a demonstration could be coupled with your expected oration on the topic.
    Mr. Q! So nice to see you back in our happy human harmony once more!

    I would like nothing better than to open a can of industrial strength whup ass on these whippersnappers and bomb them back to the stoner age from which they almost undoubtedly sprang!

    And it is for this reason that I will be bringing with me an abacus and slide rule to help me do any necessary Finnish Formula calculations, at poolside if necessary, to guarantee this result!

    By the way, if Best Buy does get the HTC Thunderbolt on Thursday, and furthermore, if my position of #13 on the pre-order wait list allows me to obtain a phone, does any one know where I can get a Google App for the Finnish Formula and/or any other piece of mathematics I can use to justify how I beat these guys, and beat them badly, to within an inch of their lives?

  9. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    By the way, if Best Buy does get the HTC Thunderbolt on Thursday, and furthermore, if my position of #13 on the pre-order wait list allows me to obtain a phone, does any one know where I can get a Google App for the Finnish Formula and/or any other piece of mathematics I can use to justify how I beat these guys, and beat them badly, to within an inch of their lives?
    If the android app store doesn't have a Finnish Formula app, you can use the website via the browser.

    Are you supposed to be inside the LTE coverage?
  10. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    If the android app store doesn't have a Finnish Formula app, you can use the website via the browser.

    Are you supposed to be inside the LTE coverage?
    I don't know. I surely hope so! What exactly does 4G LTE service mean exactly, other than one fast mofo?
  11. kuztoo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    John, all I need is someone with a little wee bit of belief in me and some financial backing...hmmm, perhaps the scion of a roofing fortune?

    I could market The Nostril Tampon for Men with Colds (patent pending) concept with my other product, ideated in my youth, which is still looking for a Partner in Industry to bring it to fruition:

    Peppermint Drip (TM), a nasal suppository that, while not curing the common cold, nevertheless imparts to post nasal drip a refreshing peppermint taste. Peppermint Drip (TM) is so refreshing you'll actually look forward to your next cold!

    (As a no-longer-drinking man, I must say the only other product I know that accomplishes the same end result is Vicks Nyquil, choice of us teetotalers everywhere!)

    Between The Nostril Tampon for Men with Colds (patent pending) and Peppermint Drip (TM) nasal suppositories, I'm confident nobody will ever look at guys suffering colds the same way again.
    "you just keep thinking Butch... that's what you're good at"
  12. Swimosaur's Avatar
    And I do not have to race Leslie in any head-to-head events ...
    Then please, good sir, have sympathy with my unfortunate circumstances. For as posted in response to the good Fortress's daily news, I face the following unenviable seeding ...
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Event 8 Mixed 100 SC Meter Backstroke

    10 Livingston, Leslie W50 Patriot Masters 1:11.00

    12 Jones, Judd M53 Greater Knoxvill 1:12.49
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Which looketh to me like adjacent lanes, and she with a 1.49 second advantage!

    Woe is me ...
  13. jaadams1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Swimosaur
    Then please, good sir, have sympathy with my unfortunate circumstances. For as posted in response to the good Fortress's daily news, I face the following unenviable seeding ...
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Event 8 Mixed 100 SC Meter Backstroke

    10 Livingston, Leslie W50 Patriot Masters 1:11.00

    12 Jones, Judd M53 Greater Knoxvill 1:12.49
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Which looketh to me like adjacent lanes, and she with a 1.49 second advantage!

    Woe is me ...
    Find any way possible to cheat legally...bribing officials, get the timers to "start late, and finish early", and have a soft touch on the pad so they refer to the backup timing...
  14. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    I don't know. I surely hope so! What exactly does 4G LTE service mean exactly, other than one fast mofo?
    That is it. LTE is just faster data for now. Probably 3x faster than EVDO (Verizon's current data technology) in practice, but 10x is possible.
  15. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Swimosaur
    Then please, good sir, have sympathy with my unfortunate circumstances. For as posted in response to the good Fortress's daily news, I face the following unenviable seeding ...
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Event 8 Mixed 100 SC Meter Backstroke

    10 Livingston, Leslie W50 Patriot Masters 1:11.00

    12 Jones, Judd M53 Greater Knoxvill 1:12.49
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Which looketh to me like adjacent lanes, and she with a 1.49 second advantage!

    Woe is me ...
    Don't worry. Leslie spends so much time underwater, you won't even see her!
  16. jim thornton's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1
    Find any way possible to cheat legally...bribing officials, get the timers to "start late, and finish early", and have a soft touch on the pad so they refer to the backup timing...
    Precede your soft touch with a gigantic splash that will make the timers flinch and stop the clock prematurely.

    Before electronic timing, back in the day when guys like me had never heard of goggles and still swam in wool body suits, the coaches always advocated this splashing finish!
  17. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    Don't worry. Leslie spends so much time underwater, you won't even see her!
    And I won't be causing any big waves like others I know ...
  18. jim thornton's Avatar
    Judd, as a huge fan of the tv show, Justified, which seems to be about the people in your Knoxville neck of the backwoods, I recommend bringing a fresh batch of 'Shine to the pool and telling Leslie a half hour before the 100 that it's "this new amazing backwoods ergonomic aid."

    That could solve your problems...and possibly, if it has the effect I am hoping, Leslie's, too!
  19. jim thornton's Avatar
    I didn't mean ergonomic.

    I meant that other word for sports-performance-enhancing that also, I am pretty sure, starts with an "e" and has a bunch of syllables.

    Ergogenic? Euthanasiac?

    If I were still a drinking man, a swig o' 'Shine would surely jog the crud out of my synapses and let me remember.
  20. jim thornton's Avatar
    Ah, if only prologue were prophecy, or whatever that expression is that I think means "past performance is a predictor of future gains."

    Nearly one year later, I again have a nasty cold as I prepare to head down to my annual rendezvous with the Albatross...