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June 2013

June Updates: Liam’s technological rant

Hello everyone, and sorry for the complete lack of updates lately.
I am working on a new sidebar widget called subscribe by e-mail, which should be released by next week.
Among other things going on around here, I have made some security changes too. [Read more…]

January 2013

The Rise and Fall of an All American

Little Jimmy-John Thornton learns to “swim” in the basement pool of the Sewickley, YMCA. It’s 16-and-2/3rds yards in length, but his goal isn’t to attempt such an impossible distance. Rather he hopes, with effort and methodical training, to make it across the pool’s width by high school. Jimmy-John soon teaches his twin brother Johnny-Jim how to “swim”, too. In a blink of an eye, the identical twins are swimming one-two-even-three widths at a time, with only short rests in between. By high school, they are scaring the wits out of their over-protective mother by attempting oceanic bay crossings in New Jersey without life preservers. [Read more…]

Preamble to a Catalog of Woe

I just read this item on the Huffington Post written by a researcher specializing in the study of “positive psychology.”  He enumerates a bunch of stuff happy people do differently than the rest of us.  You can read all 10 of these differences here: unless the link has been taken down, in which case I am certain other platitudinous rubbish of this nature will be easily findable elsewhere on the Internet. [Read more…]

December 2012

Christmas Card and Gifts!

‘Tis four days before Christmas and time to send out my annual card and bonanza of gifts to all my friends in the swimming realm and elsewhere.  (Note: this year’s Big Present is all the way at the end of today’s blog!  No peeking!) [Read more…]

Random Inventory of Recent Swimming-Related Jimquiddity

On Friday, December 7th, my friend Bill recently gave me the best early Christmas present ever: the gift of pipe dream extinguishment.  I was at his house lodging, which I do periodically when Debbie and I have enough overflow business at our Old Economy Inn Bed & Breakfast  [ ; ;] that we must temporarily vacate our own living quarters and rent this out as a third apartment suite. [Read more…]

The Big Snake Project

Before you do anything else today, could I ask that you simply:
1.  pop a baby aspirin
2.  make yourself comfortable in front of your computer, tablet device, smart phone, or Internet-enabled smart television set [Read more…]

Meet Liam White-McShane, 12, Chief Technology Officer

My first memory of Liam White-McShane, 12, Chief Technology Officer, dates back to Y2k when his mother brought him to Pizza Roma in Sewickley, PA for his first public airing. [Read more…]

Trash Talking with Post- (and Pre-) Mid-Season Mudhole Swimming Meet Ruminations

Yesterday, in my home waters of theSewickley Valley YMCA swimming pool, during a mid-season masters meet in the AMYMSA competitive league [Read more…] November 2012


Here are the definitions of solipsism I was able to find through Google searching of online dictionaries: [Read more…]

Subscribe to and Make Mark Zuckerberg Weep!

Good morning readers! … This is a picture of me and a “celebrity double” stand-in for Mark Zuckerberg, famous Harvard drop-out and life bane of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of South Hampton, New York. Despite their comical surname, the Winklevoss twins (when translated from German to English, Winklevoss means “Winklevoss”) have wealth and power that my brother John and I can only dream of…[Read more…]

Comes again the Thornton Twins Podcast?

The Thornton Twins Podcast may be coming back just in time to give the perfect free Christmas present to that special someone who doesn’t put any thought whatsoever into what he or she gives you! [Read more…]

The Science of Presents

Not too long ago, I was approached to write an article in defense of materialism. I don’t particularly enjoy shopping, the crowds tends to jumble-jamble my senses and make me feel like a dissociation reaction/fugue state could overcome me at many time, leaving me to come to my sense several months in the future under a bridge in the Southern Midwest, wearing really dirty women’s clothing. [Read more…]

Zygosity, Mono or Di: the existential angst of identical twins

At the risk of sounding morbid, I had a horrible experience involving an illegal drug my senior year in college, and this precipitated the first of many subsequent brushes with what passed for psychiatric help during the pre-medication era, i.e., The Snake Pit Years. One of the first things my bearded young Freudian aspirant had me do was take a number of tests, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the “Who Am I?” questionnaire. [Read more…]

Organization, or the Lynchnut of Sanity

As a melancholic youth freshly graduated from the University of Michigan, armed with a bachelor of science degree and an overwhelming sense that the human lifespan is much too generous, incapable of landing gainful employment and subsisting on psychotropic medications and my parents’ liquor cabinet, I took up the pursuit of cartooning. I had then, and continue to have now, no discernible artistic talent whatsoever, which is odd because my identical twin brother John has oodles of it. [Read more…] October 2012

The Adaptive Heart

Slowly but surely, I am trying to upload as many of my magazine articles as possible, with an emphasis on those I think readers might find useful, amusing, and/or both. This piece, written for Best Life magazine in its previous incarnation, summarizes the basic changes that endurance exercise and strength training bring to your cardiovascular system. It may also offer some reassurance to a few of you out there who find themselves with seemingly dire medical diagnoses that may, in fact, be indications of good health. [Read more…] September 2012

Jim’s cartoon life, beginning NOW! then stopping for no reason for a long time

I started writing my cartoon autobiography again after a long break from it, then I abrubtly halted the effort, as before, for reasons I am not able to explain.  The final cartoon panel referenced Edward Munch, hence the title of the volume to date: “Up Through Screamer!” Perhaps with some encouragement from readers and/or Doubleclick Ads, I shall resume at another point in the future. [Read more…]

Lost Person Behavior

Getting lost in the woods is bewildering–literally, it turns out, the “wilder” in “bewilder” being the same “wilder” in “wilderness.” My overlords at Back Packer magazine asked me to fly, blind-folded, into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area in Idaho and see what being out there by myself without any idea where might do to my psyche. [Read more…]

Penis Everyman Examined Perhaps Too Closely for the Squeamish

My editors asked me to write the main piece on special section dedicated to a man’s “privates.”  As is usually the case, I prefer to write in the first person, so much of this had to be done from memory.  In any event, I began to think of the project as Jim’s Package Package.  Please do enjoy yourselves.  The art work is, I must say, fantastic. [Read more…]

My swim with Ryan Lochte

I had a chance to swim with Ryan Lochte, the great white Phelps-slaying hope, a few months before the 2012 London Olympics.  Fine fellow; different species from myself. [Read more…] July 2012

My first article on masters swimming

If you are prone to depression, anxiety, a noxious mix of them both, with overtones of obsession and self-loathing and  suicidal ideation in the mix, I hope you will head to the nearest pool and join a masters’ swimming team.  It can make all the difference. [Read more…]