This is why Smokey's sternum and ribs are sore. Link shows the Lucas chest compression system, a device that can do chest compressions at a precise rate and pressure and eliminate the exhausting part of CPR. Smokey seems to have at least one cracked rib, maybe as many as three going by the number of times something clicks! in his chest.. Every time he complains about his rib/sternum pain, he follows it up with, But I am glad to be alive.
Funny story #1: Last Sunday Younger Son made pancakes for breakfast. This has become a tradition since he started visiting every weekend. He makes the pancakes, Smokey or I cook bacon, we all feast. This got even better for me when Smoke discovered gluten-free Bisquick in the supermarket.
Anyway, last Sunday while the bacon was cooking I melted butter, nuked the bottle of maple syrup, got out the orange juice and milk, set the table. When it was my turn to eat, I doused my short stack with melted butter and maple syrup, at which point Smokey asked, "Why are you putting teriyaki sauce on your pancakes?" Yup, I had grabbed the wrong bottle out of the fridge door.
For the record, gluten-free Bisquick pancakes doused with melted butter and teriyaki sauce are not bad at all.
Funny story #2: Smokey has liked this song*, Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars, for a couple years. Ever since he learned that he was dead for eight minutes, he has been singing the first line: I'm a dead man walkin'. Yes, we do have a slightly warped sense of humor here.
Funny story #3: Younger Son was with me in the hospital for the first two days, until Elder Son flew in. He did a great job of keeping me distracted from too much worry, to the point where, near the end of the second day he confessed he was running out of things to talk about. Did I tell you about the weird customer I helped on the phone last week descended to Let me show you what I carry in my wallet. When he told me what he had been doing it was further distracting — we laughed heartily.
Not-so-funny story: That building in East Harlem blew up while Elder Son was here. The building where he lived during his last year of undergrad at NYU is about 1" from the lower left corner of this graphic, on 116th Street on the other side of Park Avenue. He could see the Metro North line from his window.
That young man has at least as many lives as a cat. He was held up at knife point in Durban, South Africa; has survived two potentially serious car accidents – one a T-bone on his side, the other a rear-ender that totaled his car — with little or no injury; and lived through the remnants of a hurricane in Chiapas, Mexico. Now a building a block from his former residence has blown up. What next, a meteorite will bounce off his head on the only day in his life that he was wearing a motorcycle helmet?
Life has calmed down here. Smokey won't go back to work until cleared by the cardiologist; he is waiting to get an appointment. In the meantime I am working diligently on my campaign for a fourth term on our county board. A little over two weeks until the election — on April Fool's Day [appropriately?] — and I have a lot of work to do. Anyone want to come to n.w. Wisconsin for a delightful vacation to help out 😉
* I tried to embed the YouTube video into the post, but the SHARE information that used to appear below the video is no longer there. It flashes momentarily, then disappears. Anyone else have this problem? Did I unwittingly mess up my YouTube settings? Help!
Edited to add: After discussing this with Erika (thanks, Erika! Great to finally talk to you!), we figured out the problem was my browser (Chrome). Safari displays the YouTube page correctly, allowing me to share the video: