Finally I went to a dermatologist and she said there was probably nothing medical science could do for me - I should go to a beauty parlor that specialized in nails and get a "silk wrap".
Had I been female, I'll bet I would have known that answer or something like it 20 years ago.
Being male didn't keep me from going into the female-centric nails place - I've done a lot of theater and have bought and done my own stage makeup since I was 16 so hanging out in the women's cosmetics departments doesn't faze me.
Turns out nobody around here does a silk wrap correctly, so it turned out to only be a step in the right direction. After a week the coating would start to crack and peel, because it was just multiple layers of superglue holding a thin piece of silk (actually it looked more like a synthetic) with a thin coating of acrylic, also dissolved in superglue.
After varying levels of failures with three different nail places, Capri Spa suggested gel would be a better idea. And it has been. Gel is an epoxy which cures to a hard, clear finish under a UV lamp. It's similar to what dentists use for fillings these days. It dries clear, and looks natural. And it's hard and waterproof and lasts two weeks on my hands. It would last longer if I didn't mess with hardware all the time.
If it had not worked, I would have asked them to do a real silk wrap - using real silk (I happen to have a yard of it) and the gel instead of superglue. The silk would reinforce the gel, and help bind it to my nails. Same idea as steel reinforced concrete, only more attractive and much more shiny.
In other fashion news, I picked up my silk shirts and pants from the cleaners. She scolded me - told me she had to go over every inch with a lint roller to get the cat hair off. She suggested I get a black cat so it doesn't show on the dark blue clothes.
I also dropped off my Mexican leather jacket for cleaning and a new zipper. It's going to take 2 weeks and cost $100 or more. But there's no such thing as a heavy leather jacket like that one for less than $300. And I've only had it for about 10 years.