The Boss man
indicated his desire that paperwork be submitted by no later than sundown – and
that was last friggin' night.
No need be uptight; this, as in all similar circumstances, is how Davey H
if it is time sensitive, then all the more reason to blow it off until time is
That being said, it is now Monday, and unlike shrewd Italians – and others who
wisely take Monday off – Davey H is fully ensconced in what will surely be a
All will be fruitful and kitchen clean.
Davey is dutiful; know what I mean?
Here a line should be inserted indicating that the preceding
composition’s requisite100 word limit was quite recently achieved.
For such frivolities, indeed Davey is wishin’,
as he’s playing word catch up, fishin’.
But you, fair reader, don’t need to know that.
Let us say that Davey, not to slip,
had gone on a somewhat extensive trip.
As this missive was written
with scenery he's smitten
and hasn't yet bitten his lip.
But he must say within this essay
that a sad debacle unfolded;
for his notes, if you will
fell into some dark swill
and his own stupidity he scolded.
First stop: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and of course
Allentown, from which Bethlehem, depending on which map you look at, seems to
be merely a carved-out afterthought.
We were in this pit 'o the woods hot on the trail of the Moody Blues in what
would be a highly spirited performance in an outdoor venue next to the Sands
Casino dens of iniquity.
It is really quite remarkable how this formerly bustling, fume-belching steel
mill complex has been more or less completely converted to modern-day feel-good
entertainment venues, art galleries, and various eateries.
But other industrial real estate lies in the offing.
It indeed seems Bethlehem – that much-touted ‘sleepy
little relic of the rust belt’ – is presently bursting at the seams with 'Build
To Suit' construction progressing at a fervent pace all around the vicinity.
Old rail beds have given way to nice flat expanses of foot-navigable land, but
for now, we won’t know what future busy-bee excavators might have in mind for
One stalwart steel age giant remains and appears to be doing quite well: Lehigh
Heavy Forge, with its various machine shops and foundries arranged in a
sprawling, immaculately maintained series of structures harking back to busier
Like a little kid pondering planned, puerile sneaky entry
into a burgeoning toy store, Davey ambled to the nearest concrete stairway
leading up to Lehigh’s Machine Shop #1 (he thinks) and gawked to his hearts and
fart’s content at whatever humongous machines laid therein.
Not much to see, though at least the glass on the door was reasonably
The whole Forge ‘campus’ was bathed in the eerie puke-green glow of mercury
vapor lighting, with nary a security camera in evidence. Had anyone approached
the garrulously gawking Davey at this time, he would have bellowed and begged
for a tour.
It turns out that Lehigh Heavy Forge performs ‘double vacuum
degassing’ on its massive ‘backup rolls’ – those superbly molded, spit and
polished spindles, used, we presume, by other still-operating steel fabrication
firms who buy such hardware for mashing cold rolled steel.
So the hissing and pissing was related to that step in the process.
Having no clue as to what ‘backup rolls’ were, Davey was nonetheless fascinated
with the whole paradigm, though souring at LHF’s braggadocio as to having
‘assisted in winning two World Wars’ in the process of becoming a cutting-edge
manufacturer at the forefront of giant forging techniques.
The ‘Steel Stacks’ at the Bethlehem grounds are perhaps the
most spectacular, surprisingly non-rusty and towering approximately 230 feet
into the air.
Yet equally surprising is the utter absence of flashing red safety blinkers –
those curious little appurtenances affixed to most tall objects or edifices
with the purpose of allowing pilots of small airplanes to better see, hence not
crash into, such supercilious structures.
Nonetheless, with their sheer soaring heights and mega-mechanical glory, and
nightly basking in the eerie multicolored glow from a bevy of floods on the
ground, this bank of stacks, folks, is a sweet sight to see.
We interrupt this insouciant
narrative to present a giant wart on the bum of our sordid nationalistic past:
In case American flags were waving with “patriots” bearing false pride and
genuflection on this day that SHOULD have lived in infamy, some of us paused
with wonder at how little attention was given to Hiroshima, which goes down in
history as one of “our” most egregious WAR CRIMES.
The allied bombing of Dresden, Germany actually yielded a larger body count
than Hiroshima did, though the harshness and utter mindless cruelty of that
horrific act gets zero mention these days.
In 1995, Bethlehem Steel shut its traps and squelched those
old blast furnaces forever, leaving rust and rats to take over the premises,
although no speculation as to rodent populations was forthcoming at Davey press
time. He basically inserted that mischievous tidbit in a fit of piqued artistic
After this gaping hole was unexpectedly punched in Pennsylvania’s industrial
heartland, the little Town of Bethlehem got its advisors together with some
artsy folks and with a little – or a lot – of help from friends in the local
casino ‘business’, began aggressively funding and refurbishing these grounds,
keeping the stacks intact.
Regardless of which memories were
emblazoned in our minds from this Bethlehem experience, a couple of things
surely stood out:
Those old furnaces were so incredibly majestic!
We'd like to do a more in-depth written history perusal of the poor souls – no
doubt many long since deep-sixed – who tended those monoliths in their fiery
heyday. It could fill libraries.
And then the perfect weather during this outdoor concert: had it poured
buckets, we all would have been utterly screwed, as no covered pavilion was in
Hey, pardon the silly question, but shouldn't 'pavilion' have two of the letter
After leaving this artsy-farsty complex with its airbrushed
exteriors intermingled with soon-to-be restored stoney arched structures, we
hit various pikes, 'shunpiking' a bit
with southward trajectory. And what a scenic route this chosen one was!
Green was in show this time of year
as we did go without any fear.
Upon each knoll said green was embossed
onward we did roll, although we got lost.
Pausing with reflections of raffish prudence
we begged directions from a gaggle of students.
One pecked at his “smart” phone
and uttered “oh, dear,
you have no good way to get to it from here!”
Curiously Lost and Befuddled
Whilst surrounded by highways
your ways and my ways
were confused much!
Yes, 'twas rather irksome
though signs we did read
how little we knew, um
without a news feed.
The miles ticked away
and rarely were counted
no help did convey
from GPS dash-mounted.
The struggle was better
despite its slight cost
sans GPS fetter
how better 2 B lost!?
Hey, it was okay,
we weren't under the gun;
so commenced the fray:
we were out to have fun!
Thus this feel-good foray
would come to an end;
that's it, friend.
We were boarding a dog
yes, a gentle dude
who would look agog
when presented his food.
You could slice and dice
but however you cut it
he thinks it not nice
and wants anything but it!
This was the longer leg of our summer trip
and this dog would beg to get him a grip
on a cat or a rat or a bat,
yeah, he'd hustle
so I guess that is that,
because he's a
A Jack Russell, indeed,
of white, black and brown
and house cats had best heed
when this tweed comes to town!
Unbeknownst to us, horrors were unfolding for penurious tent dwellers in other
locales, literally as we set up our dilapidated gaggle smudge of tents and
screen-house in this, a decidedly pricey campground.
Might as well strap ourselves in; it would be about a week's stay here.
Somewhere else – not sure where, as we saw a video of it much later on –
militaristic police, using box cutters and possibly giggling all the while,
were slashing tents of homeless persons.
Shameful beyond belief!
That's a paramilitary MO: roust up those without a pot to piss in, then piss on
Davey had been feeling like SHIT
for a couple of days and finally was able to put two and two and however many
pertinent numerals together as to the cause. That headache was all too telling:
clear-cut signs of caffeine withdrawal.
Please permit a glaring and wholly inscrutable point of reference worth
“caffeine” is one of Englsh's quirks in the sense that it shatters the
maxim-mold of “I before E, except after C”.
So this malaise was no great mystery, as he had left the coffee and tag-sale carafe
getup at home.
No coffee-making rituals, no buzz.
Davey sweated it out, this
coffee-less trauma, relying instead on rather mild but reasonably ass-kicking
Jasmine green tea as a carry-over crutch.
Yet little did he know how auspicious these ardors would be!
With dogs in tow, the two camping occupants headed over to a local health food
store to scoop up multifarious victuals and Lapsang Souchong tea – the only
reasonably priced option in the bulk section.
Pausing briefly to puzzle over the sale bin, Davey snatched up his copy of 'CAFFEINE BLUES: Wake Up to the Dangers of America's #1 Drug'.
No he did NOT wish to read it.
But ‘Caffeine Blues’ really hit the spot. At times Davey
couldn’t put it down. Of course it went without saying that being relaxed in
the camping atmosphere – with screen tent enclosing the picnic table that held
books at just the right level for the farsighted to read – made a huge
difference in attention and retention.|
The book is peppered with facts. Yet it flows with an irresistible narrative,
including quips, quotes, and anecdotes from real people in real life
situations. All were adversely affected by caffeine, or worse, caffeinism;
likewise, such patients presented positive testimonials upon reducing or
Wow! I mean, like, Holy Sh**! This
guy hits caffeine right on the noggin with a 20 pound friggin’ sledge. Dayum –
when you get to reading about just how bad things really are, you start to
wonder how you got this far.
For example, when did coffee klatch discussion ever center on such juicy topics
as blood clotting abnormalities, adenosine receptor aggravation with attendant
elevation in stress hormones including adrenaline, tachycardia, and adverse
effects on arrhythmia – in addition to irritability, anger and outright
The pot ‘o coffee that commingled with a butter-slathered stack ‘o hotcakes
would be sorely missed.
Then on the other hand, one’s “hey, wait a cotton-pickin’
minute here, hear?” moment would arise upon perusing such overtly alarmist
literature pertaining to one’s ingestion of their fave morning bitter-assed
Indeed, one could well query: ‘who the f*** is correct?’
Would it be Michael Cherniske – who wears only a mere MS after his name? Hells
bells, at least it isn’t BS!
Or does the avid coffee drinker search for life’s meaning ONLY with the express
espresso caveat of copious coffee consumption continuation – taking in only
positively reinforcing information regarding same?
Who do you listen to in this game?
let me grasp this – and maybe even get it right, er, correct: 1)
Everything – up to and including the ever-so-innocent ubiquitous
coffee bean – is BAD for us. (With the peremptory caveat that 'bad'
carries inexorably disparate shades of meaning, ergo it depends on
who you listen to.)2) Moreover, citing # 1, the substance that DOES
NOT lead to addiction hasn't been invented yet. So quaff that,
Hey, what was the
upshot of today's corporate-sponsored pro-coffee textual
perusal?The site trumpeting magnanimous health benefits of
coffee was 'LiveStrong.com', which apparently was a corpo-brainchild
of the now-disgraced Lance Armstrong.
Did Lance know in
advancehe'd have tight-assed bike pants?Or worry in a hurry
he'd ride over ants?Would he or could hecome clean
perchance?Or just ride the tide 'o testosterone dance?Anyway,
most of the health information on the LiveStrong site has little or
nothing to do with bicycle racing or its participants, regardless how
tight their pants.Peering at these articles, it is overwhelmingly
apparent that every little tidbit, each nutritional information
sound-bite slice has an industry or three making sure that their
wares get positive press seen by as many gullible eyeballs as
It never ceases to
amazehow the Web plays.But with most in a dazeas they verily
graze,it stands to reasonmost stuff doesn't faze.Pausing
to update one's anti-virus definitions,set permissions,bleep
SPAM,for Web cam hamand waste a bunch of timeon a social
media slam,the erstwhile computer so-called workermay let more important
or urgent things slidein her/his pellmell journey Net-ward.Weeds
sprout,tiles lose their grout,and with
consternation,constipationkeeps sh** from coming out.But
coffee is hotand fresh from the pot,so tipple some from the
Any readers unfortunate
enough to follow the grate Davey H's insouciant cracklings may wish
he would cease and desist. Which brings up an unimportant anecdote:A
gentleman went to the doctor complaining of a wart on his face.
Previous practitioners had recommended a bland diet, at which the new
doctor scoffed. “You need more spice in your life,” the doctor
huffed. “Specifically, a daily cayenne pepper application directly
on the affected area, in this case the bump on your face, which will
begin the healing despite your squealing.”So the gentleman
did as told, and commenced toSEASON THE CYST.
Enough of this TRIPE!
This world has fundamental problems that are NOT being addressed one
iota via Davey H's ridiculous posts. But is that not okay?After all,
what the f$%# could he do about any of it?Could he intercept
F-16s as they strafe huddled imprisoned masses in Gaza? Indeed, can
he question the advisability of that area having already received 13
kilotons of bombing – equivalent to Hiroshima and then some?Oh,
maybe Davey H could summon Google's sharpies in a mission to find and
rescue those 200 schoolgirls in Africa.I mean,
don't they have friggin' Google Earth®?
Aye, Google Earth®,
Such adware mirth!
Behold this Web of SPAM took birth!
They spy on us
so spry, no fuss
So let’s slam Google for what it’s worth.
And then, as if Hiroshima needed more bad news, even 70 difficult,
miserable years out, biblical rains came to give them a rout.
But we didn't hear a whole lot about it; we were up to our asses in our own
domestic disasters, with police MURDER of Michael Brown and serious riots in
that Ferguson town.
But Davey H rails just like a canker
and this entails he’s no news anchor!
battery is running low (13%)
You may want to plug in your PC,”
- thus said the so strident warning to me.
This admonition was one to ignore;
with stubborn volition
I pecked out some more.
Then, with nothing
but bone-head to thank,
the screen without fluffing
went totally blank.
It figures that battery wasn’t too able
here without flattery on picnic table.
This dropping of power
was surely foretold;
‘twas less than an hour
the charge wouldn’t hold.
But the PC got credit
on this journey I led it
‘cause it saved my stuff
and didn’t forget it!
Hark! We interrupt this adjectival
to declare what a dank-ass FOSSIL I am!
But hey, that’s okay;
at least it’s not SPAM,
so commence, if you may,
to read from this ham.
Davey had harkened back many times to his steelworker days, and delighted his
spouse with tales of the pastiche of personalities that comprised that bustling
Some days, the grit, dust, and noxious fumes from welding and cutting
operations filled the air to the point that you couldn’t see from one end of
the shop to the other. And that was a distance of maybe 200 feet.
Jim Campbell was the primary
‘white hat’ boss-man, and quintessential go-to guy for us, the orange hard hat
This meant he most likely came up through the ranks as opposed to entering the
firm through college or other elitist means.
So the guy had requisite people skills, keen sense of humor, and a surprising
amount of flexibility.
But we were taught not to trust white-hats.
Lew had the biggest toolbox and ego to boot.At times, of course, his own horn
he could toot.
Nicky Jeanette disliked Lew, you can bet,
but else-wise did not give a hoot.
Nicky, however, took a liking to Davey, and in keeping with
the high level of joking and pranksters’ mischief that so permeated the place,
took aim at Davey. Nicky could literally SMELL Davey’s naiveté and gullibility.
Davey was a gung-ho worker, not slacking off for a minute; perhaps one part
job-scared, but just plain jubilant to have finally landed employment that
didn’t involve busing tables or washing dishes and breathing grease fumes.
It must have been a Monday when Nicky approached Davey, and with a stern look
on his face, ordered him to ask Campbell for a ‘sheet metal stretcher’.
Indeed, Nicky LOOKED
serious, waving his arms in a motion that would imply what this
so-called 'sheet metal stretcher' tool did.In keeping with
his on-board naivete, “Protestant” work ethic and desire to
please, Davey waltzed into the office and gleefully announced Nicky's
request to Jim Campbell, who immediately frowned and muttered, “those
f***in' guys!” F***in' guys, indeed: A few of them stood
in a grinning gaggle outside the office watching the proceedings.
Even Jim Campbell squelched laughter.Davey had been HAD; he
was the perfect joke, with his pink nose made even more so with the
heat of embarrassment.