Like father, like son

A few months ago I got a call from my dad to tell me he’d broken a rib while in his car. He’d leaned too far over from the driver’s seat into the passenger seat (to retrieve something from the floor, or something like that), and the center console pushed into his ribs, and one rib just gave way. What an undignified way to break a rib! I thought.

My comeuppance for that thought has now come up. I broke a rib yesterday morning in almost the identical way! My mistake was trying to replace the radio in my new car by myself (with one that can play music and audiobooks from my USB thumb drive). I was leaning on my side and reaching under the dashboard when something gave way and made me yell “Ow!”

Lesson learned: leave the do-it-yourself projects to the professionals.

Medically, there isn’t anything they can do for a broken rib except prescribe painkillers (mmm… Vicodin) and tell you to tough it out. Some broken ribs are a threat to the lungs, but mine isn’t, except for the possibility of developing pneumonia from too-shallow breathing, which I may do subconsciously to avoid pain. I learned it’s even possible I may subconsciously favor one lung over the other (by breathing while leaning just so). So I’m supposed to consciously breathe deeply throughout the day for the next few weeks.

Somebody squealed

It hasn’t been easy avoiding spoilers about the Sopranos finale. I’m still only halfway through season 5, and the finale came at the end of season 6. (Being far behind the broadcast schedule of my favorite shows is what convinced me finally to disconnect my cable service, and I’ve never looked back.)

By assiduous avoidance of my usual pop culture haunts (such as’s and Entertainment Weekly’s TV pages) I have managed to remain completely in the dark about the ending — until this weekend, when I accidentally ran across a key piece of information in the unlikeliest of places: the headlines in sex writer Susie Bright’s RSS feed! I didn’t even have to click through to an article to have the surprise ruined. Susie, I admire you for a lot of things, but jeers to you for that gigantic unconcealed spoiler.

God save the Queen

On the day that we celebrate our independence from Great Britain, how strange that my digital bathroom scale suddenly switched from reading in pounds to reading in British stone, with no apparent way to switch it back.

Well, considering that, when the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain, they were eschewing a tyrant who “refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good,” “made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices,” “erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people,” and whom they considered guilty of “depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury,” “transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences,” and “taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments,” and considering how in those respects America is right back where it started from, maybe it’s not so strange that my bathroom scale, too, concedes the end of American independence.

June: busting out all over

I can confidently report for those considering a failed attempt to lose weight that there is nothing better for that than combining the aftermath of your mom’s death with caring for two small children and one extremely elderly dog, plus a long daily commute and a consulting gig on the side.

Yes, I am conceding defeat in my latest weight-loss effort, but that doesn’t mean I am giving up. I’m simply resetting the clock, redoubling my efforts, and setting a new goal: 150 pounds by next June 1st, or a little over half a pound per week. Wish me luck, and look for the return of my front-page weight-loss graph soon, once I’ve accumulated a few days’ worth of data for this latest push.