good luck, Dave.

he’s not saying much, but it has to do with smoking – I wish him the best of luck in overcoming his addiction and in returning to full health.

I’m not dogmatic about too many things, but I have been anti-smoking since I was eight years old when my father died of a heart attack. I’m sure there were plenty of other factors: he was a little overweight and apparently tended to be an anxious, type-A person. but the connection to smoking is the one that was burned into our brains.

Because every time my mind encounters a problem it says “OK, I’ll just have a cigarette then.

a suggestion from someone who’s never smoked: if you can, when you hit that point, take a shower. otherwise, go for a walk around the office. both of those activities have served me well in handling stuck term papers, novels, and technical problems. in extremis, walking has been a great aid to alleviating social/emotional troubles.

and K, let this be a lesson to you. (I say that with as much gentleness and friendship as I can muster, when what I really want to do is smack you soundly upside the head.)