Chilly Turkey XII – the full story

Chilly Turkey XII – for Riders for Health

My history with Riders for Health goes back 15 years.  For why you should join me in supporting Riders, please spend some time at

When I began working for Cycle Barn, owner Jim Boltz invited me to dinner in Seattle with founders Barry and Andrea Coleman.  He had been alerted to their work by steadfast Riders volunteer Bruce Scholten, who lives in England now but is a former Cycle Barn customer and WMRRA road racer. Jim had committed to supporting them with some of his money and a lot of my time, which was of course, more of his money.

An evening with Andrea and Barry is transforming, and will convince most anyone that you should be doing more with your life to help others in need. And so with me.  I took over a raffle project for a Kenny Roberts Jr. helmet he wore while winning the Moto GP championship the year before. The project was going nowhere, but with some effort and a lot of generosity from folks it raised $5,000.  The next year we tried going bigger, with a drawing where the winner would be off to the Day of Champions Riders event in England, with all expenses paid and the loan of a new Triumph and laps of Donnington Park Raceway.  This was pretty much a flop for everyone but the winner  (who had a fantastic time!), as we took in a lot of money but the prize took almost all of it.

After that I decided to go small, and created “eventlets,” designed to be carried out by just me without using any other staff time.  I did not want to compete with the many large charity events in the summer riding season, and decided to extend the normal riding “season” (for many) with book-ended adventures where the weather would keep the numbers small and not be competing with summer events.  In March came the invention of the “R-Ides of March,” held each year on the Saturday nearest March 15th, the Ides of March of Shakespeare fame.  The fall effort became the “Chilly Turkey,” held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

The formula for these remained the same for many years. I’d lay out a ride route using a map book, and then drive it in my car, pausing here and there to create a question for the entrants to answer.  Most of these questions were silly or weird, and my favorite was “What is the name of the road?”  The answer was “Boat Ramp Road,” and it was 15 yards long.  Another one asked for the address of the restroom, and I never found out why it had one.

I later rode each route on a motorcycle to make sure it was correct, and spent time collecting door prizes from wherever I could find them. On the day entrants were asked for a donation of $10 or more to Riders, and were sent off in small groups or by themselves to find the answers. I loaded the door prizes into my car and met them at the end.

Weather was always a factor in these, and on rainy occasions entrants might hand in answer sheets that resembled soggy toilet paper.  You had to have a certain number of correct answers to qualify for a door prize, but I made sure that if you finished the event you were likely to qualify.

I made a serious error one year on the Chilly Turkey.  Now working at Ride West, it was about 37 degrees at the start, which was enough, but it was nowhere near that where the ride ended in Granite Falls. My day started with an e-mail that began “If you were anywhere near the expert rider you claim to be you would not send people out on a day like today.”   This took me aback, as I’ve never claimed to be an expert rider to anyone, nor would I.  As it turned out, the writer was correct, but the entrants persevered through slush and ice and snow and nobody crashed.  I resolved to be more careful in the future.

These events raised a few hundred dollars each time, and sometimes more, but were the only successful fund raising efforts for Riders in America.  Now there are several Riders outposts that do a wonderful job, spread across the country.  Major funds come from organizations like the Gates foundation and others. Since the very beginning Riders has received tremendous support from most of the Moto GP, World Superbike, and Formula One racing teams.

For a couple of years Cycle Barn was open 7 days a week, so I actually put on four events a year, doubling up on each event in the spring and fall.  Along the way I lost track of how many I’d done. When I left Cycle Barn my computer was wiped clean, so I’m not all that sure that this year’s Chilly Turkey XII was actually #12, but does it matter?

In November of 2013 I retired, and thought I was done.  However, a couple of years earlier I’d enjoyed coffee with Andrea and Barry on one of their rare visits. I took along Deb Shiell, who had expressed interest in their work.  As with me, Deb was inspired, and asked if we could not put on a dual-sport event. She created the Riders for Health Scavenger Hunt to be held in August each year based at The Cove RV Park in Brinnon, Washington. Deb has worked very hard on this event and spent a ton of her own money and time to make it work. We also added routes for street bikes.  In 2014 and 2015 I took part in this, of course, and it was great fun to attend an event where I did not have to do anything but enjoy the people and the rides.  I did spend some time contacting old friends in the industry to secure door prizes.

The 2015 Scavenger Hunt was hit by an extremely rare weekend with rain of Biblical proportions. As a result, fewer people showed up, and I ended up with many door prizes that were not given out.  As a point of pride, every one of these events, which now total about 30, has offered a door prize of some sort to every participant.

Post-event it seemed a good idea to put on another Chilly Turkey, if only to empty the door prize box and be done once and for all. Or so I thought.

I wanted to spend less of my time on this than when I was being paid, so I went for simple, with the addition of one very good idea.

Years ago I’d met Bob Mighell of Tilting Motorcycle Works, (  and had the opportunity to ride one of his first “pre-production” bikes, based on a Yamaha V-Max. Basically a V-Max with two wheels in front instead of one, it was very impressive.  It felt and acted just like a normal motorcycle, as the front wheels tilt in tandem so turning is the same operation as on a two-wheeler, unlike trikes and Can-Am Spiders. etc. If you did not look down you would not know there were two wheels in the front, with the added braking and traction advantages they offer.  Plus a lot of other techno-trickery developed by Bob I won’t go into.  His site is a worthwhile read. That same bike is now a two-time Bonneville Land Speed Record holder. 

Bob had suggested a couple of years ago that I use one of the group rides I put on each month to visit his shop, but we had never gotten that put together before I retired.  Now was the perfect time.  

I put together a ride that would end at Bob’s shop, and then test drove it in our Fiat with Susan assisting with editorial changes to the route and mileage lengths for each section.

I knew I was on to something when we got to Bob’s. He launched into a 30 minute talk on the history of design of his bikes, and the many technological features that make it all work so well, and I felt sorry for Susan. She is a car and motorcycle enthusiast to some degree, but really. I feared her eyes would gloss over.  On the contrary, as we left Bob’s shop she was so excited, and said “That was fascinating!”

The original thought was that this would be a tiny event, even for an eventlet. After all, I no longer had the use of the massive e-mail lists I had compiled at both Cycle Barn and Ride West. My original plan was that I would lead a small group on the ride, and Susan would drive our car with the door prizes to Bob’s shop.  I dropped the questions and  answers part for simplicity, replacing it with talks by Bob and his staff.  Most handily, Bob’s shop has a brew pub across the parking lot for post-event relaxation, and the owner offered to bring in some non-alcoholic beer for people like me who do not imbibe alcohol when riding. Simple, and it seemed we were good to go.

And then, things began to grow.  Vanaly at Ride West, who I’m proud to say I had hired as my assistant three years ago, created an event page on Facebook.  Friends began to promote the event with Facebook and e-mails.  Bill Hucks volunteered to create a GPS version of the route, and Bill and Deb offered to help with registration. 

As the sign-ups grew, it became obvious that the initial plan to lead the group would not work. I’m comfy with a group of up to 15, but this looked to be at least 30 or more, so that would not work. Bill volunteered to lead a group, and then Bob stepped up and told me he would ride a tilting wheel Harley to Ride West (now called BMW Motorcycles of Seattle) and lead a group.

I worried about the weather for two weeks before the event, which featured cold, rain, and very strong winds. Several hundred thousand people in the area were without power for a few days, including us. However, by the time Saturday arrived we had clear skies and “brisk” temps – like in the upper 30s to low 40s.

I was not too worried about people staying warm, with the exception of me.  A Triumph Speed Triple has very little in the way of protection. Although I have heated grips, most of me would be very exposed to the wind and the cold.  I also felt a need to look somewhat nice, and wanted to wear a short sleeved black shirt with the Riders logo on it. I added a long sleeved turtle neck under that and black padded Triumph waterproof jeans and long johns.  With my Fieldsheer jacket (my warmest), Rev’ It gloves, Rev’It boots and BMW socks, plus my new Arai helmet, I was set.

A couple of weeks before the event I was contacted by Tad Haas. He and I had taken an Adventure Riding class 5 years ago.  This class taught me that I could ride off-road, but also that I did not really enjoy it all that much.  Tad went the other way, becoming quite the passionate expert, including a ride of a year’s duration with partner Gaila that went all over everywhere, almost entirely off-road!

Last March he and Deb and several others volunteered their time to promote a March Moto Madness off-road event, supported by the GS Giants group.  They were also able to use this event to raise money for Riders, and Tad informed me that he had a $1,000 check to add to the Chilly Turkey proceeds!  Wow!

In a comic moment, Tad called me on the 14th, a week before the event. I was standing in the sun at Roaring Camp in California at the time, and he informed me that he’d made a teeny error – he was a week early to the event!  He left the check with Vanaly. 

On the day I arrived at BMW Motorcycles of Seattle to find a table set out with the registration sheets and Riders t-shirts, expertly laid out by Vanaly. Entrants began arriving, and I was very glad for the help of Deb and Bill, as many were kind people I’d not seen in two years, and others were people who needed to be welcomed. I was extremely busy doing very little, in other words.  

When I did register people, I noticed that most of them ignored the $10 request in favor of doubling or tripling it, or more.  A few people donated money that did not even go on the ride.  Some offered a $50 or $100 bill.  I don’t have the final total, as two people dropped off checks later in the day that I will drop by to pick up Tuesday, but at the end of the day we raised over $1000 dollars, sending the total I will send to Riders sailing past $2,000.

That amount of money will purchase a lot of health care support in Africa!

Bob led the majority of the group away on a gorgeous candy maroon Harley fitted with his two wheel front end, and then I suited up and followed with a few more.   After the first stop at an I-5 rest area, we were on to the more interesting sections, and here I was worried that I had erred… again.  Lots of frost, particularly in corners, and wet leaves, and sand, and gravel.  I worried about 35 people I could not see, to such an extent that I blew through a stop sign. Fortunately we were in a deserted area, and Tony Basile behind me was laughing so hard I could almost hear him over the Termignoni’s on his Ducati.

We concluded at Bob’s Tilting Motorcycle Works shop, where he and his staff held forth to several groups about design and process and technology.  He added a few shirts to the door prize pile, remnants of his successful Bonneville campaigns. His race number is 42, which will mean something to fans of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Susan and I laid out the door prizes.  Some were of good value, and some were definitely toward the bottom of the box. I had a $25 gift certificate from Smokey Point Cycle Barn, and two $15 gift certificates from Café Veloce.  Among the goodies were a selection of t-shirts from BMW Motorcycles of Seattle and Riders for Health. We also had a Velocity Chain Lube Systems kit, (    as well as owner and inventor Pat Doran to answer any questions.  In addition were some ROK staps, a large motorcycle cover donated by Deb Sheill, three of my own novels, and other miscellaneous items down to the “mystery’ door prize. This was a promo package from “Madvapes” that Jack Lewis  ( had brought back from Sturgis, and I still do not know what is in it.  Jack is the well-known “Motorcyclist” columnist and regretted not attending. He was helping construct a tent city for the needy, and was excused.  I refer to Jack as a “real” writer and highly recommend all of his books to you.

We do door prizes at these events with a random drawing of names, as I discovered years ago that what people want is not always the most expensive item on the table.  Just as we started to draw names in came Annie Bratun and two friends. They had come a long way for the ride, and were delayed by mechanical issues, but persevered and were duly rewarded with door prizes. By fortuitous circumstance the first names I drew were people who had never been on one of these, and nothing builds a repeat entrant like a good door prize!

After the door prizes we adjourned to excellent food and beverages across the parking lot with Jennifer at Sound To Summit. ( Compliments over her excellent food and beverages closed out the day.

I thought Susan summed it up pretty well – “That was so much fun.  What wonderful people!”

Agreed!  Only one problem – I STILL have some door prizes.  Perhaps another “R-Ides of March” event will need to be held next spring.



Copyright 2015                    David Preston


Posted in Education, Marketing, Motorcycles | Leave a comment

Delights of the Bay Area

Bay Area Treats

We travel to the Bay area several times a year to visit with our grandson and his parents, plus Susan’s sister Meghan and her family. Both clans live in Los Gatos, and over the years we’ve enjoyed some “must see” expeditions (with Meghan as chief guide) you might want to take in if you have the opportunity.

You’ll start your adventure by flying in to the Richard Lewis Airport.   Everyone else refers to it as the San Jose Airport, but we’ve named it after Meghan’s husband, who was in charge of the construction project that re-modeled the entire airport, while it was in full operation, a few years ago.  It is much easier to get into and out of than the enormous San Francisco Airport.

If you have small children with you, the “Children’s Museum” in San Jose is a must, offering dozens of hands on activities for small children. The atmosphere is loud but joyful – sort of Chucky Cheese with intellect added.

In San Francisco, of course, there are many delights that everyone knows about, so I’ll skip over them.  The Fisherman’s Wharf area for lunch, the cable cars, shopping, and so forth.

Whenever possible I venture to Preston’s Chocolates in Burlingame.  There is bias here, as owner Irene used to be married to my older brother and is a spectacular human being.  Her little chocolate factory has actually been in operation on the same site for several decades.  She and George purchased it from the original owners about a decade ago. The first owners had the same last name!  Irene vends all manner of very high end chocolate goodies, but also ice cream cones, etc.

Los Gatos is a spectacular town, full of stores with fascinating items that are pricey, but not obscenely so.  Our usual drill is for Meghan and Susan to wander about shopping, while I sit on a bench in the central park and just watch the world go by. Fascinating people-watching, enhanced by the odd Ferrari or Lamborghini oozing by.  Tesla’s and BMW’s are the common person’s choice.

Over the hill on Highway 17 takes you to the town we’d like to live in – Santa Cruz.  Some of the locals have bumper stickers stating “Keep Santa Cruz Weird,” and their appearance, choice of vehicles, and personalities all further that end.  I was distracted once while trying to park Meghan’s monster of an SUV in a tight parking space while the two people in the next car made encouraging comments while sharing an enormous joint. I could not imagine sitting in a parked car on a sunny day next to some of the best scenery on earth and getting high.  But then again I’m a nerdy geek type, and marijuana has never appealed to me.

Our favorite street is West Cliff Drive, where you gaze over Monterey Bay while surfers and sailors entertain you below.  Occasionally a whale will put on a show as well.  For casual but incredible food I can recommend Burger . in Santa Cruz.  (as in burgers, period). Of course they offer much more than amazing burgers, including an enormous beer selection, but their garlic fries are beyond yummy. Another fine choice is “Gott’s” up in Napa.  Family debate rages over which bastion of culinary excess is superior.

A day spent in Napa touring wineries is worthwhile, even if you’re not particularly interested in wine. Many of the wineries offer tours, some of them self-guided. If you’ve arrived in a suitable vehicle, there’s a mountainous and sinewy road from Napa to the east toward Davis that will offer an hour or more of enjoyment.

Back in Las Gatos, you’ll need to take a trip to Monterey and Carmel and Big Sur and as far further south as time allows.  Best to do this in the morning, as your return trip in late afternoon will look like a Seattle commute. In Monterey you can visit Cannery Row and all sorts of other attractions, and if you are there during “Historics” week you can just sit on a bench and watch an endless rolling car show of all of the exotic cars you’ve ever lusted for, and some you’ve never seen.  Of course, Laguna Seca racetrack (officially Mazda Raceway) is not that far away, and a check of their schedule before you plan your trip may offer an incredible day or two – the best race track for spectator viewing ever.  Driving the track also appeals, if there’s an opportunity.  A lap or two as a passenger in a Porsche 356 Cabriolet in 1998 is etched in memory forever.

Further down the scenic coast is Carmel. Originally founded as a small town for artists and artisans, it retains that flavor to this day.  You might, for example, visit an antique shop whose proprietor is a French lady whose daily driver is a perfectly restored Renault 2CV!

By chance we parked next to a small park, and what a delight was there! For those familiar with Kirkland, for years a statue reposed on a bench in the large park. The bronze statue (not sure it is still there) was called “The Valentine,” and consisted of an elderly couple sitting together, the women clutching a valentine in her hand. They made such a lovely couple, and showed the joy of a long term relationship of love. We have a picture of Susan’s parents sitting with the statue. Turns out there are 21 examples of that work, and another of them is in Carmel, so now we have pictures of us with our favorite statue as well.

My favorite store is an art gallery that will take the breath away of any car person.  Light and Shadow Fine Art specializes in large paintings done in photo realism style by the gallery director’s husband, and his work is stunning. Enormous portraits of famous race cars in action that are so detailed I first assumed that many were photographs. If you show any interest at all, director Beverly will spend as much time as you want showing you her computer chock full of images of her husband’s work, even if you are, like me, unlikely to ever be able to afford anything he does.  There are cars and motorcycles by the dozen, but also landscapes, buildings, airplanes, horses – pretty much anything you want.  They also retail incredibly detailed models of famous cars. These are done in England, usually to order, and replicate a specific car down to the license plate and any other special features. These go for about $10,000 apiece, and are the perfect accessory to go with your $25,000,000 Ferrari.  Or two.

Further south you’ll reach Big Sur, with frequent opportunities to pull over and gaze at the ocean, or take pictures of many curved arch bridges.  For lunch we recently visited “Nepenthe,” a very high end eatery that seats you outdoors with a sweeping view of the pacific.  Lunch for Susan, Meghan, and I was $150, and worth it. There’s a second area a bit lower on the same site that is a café with less expensive menu selections.

On the way back you might choose to launch off to the right and meander into the Monterey hills, with the intent of getting lost.   I enjoyed this area, again in 1998, competing in a huge sports car rally. I was driving that 356 Cabriolet. I never knew where we were, as that is the navigator’s job, but the roads and scenery kept me fully occupied, along with Michael’s voice saying things like “We’re three seconds ahead, slow down.”  Or … “I said Slow Down!”  We finished 3rd out of a couple of hundred entries so I guess I listened most of the time. We would have finished higher, but Michael’s protest of a direction that was not written in accordance with the national rules was disallowed, and that cost us a few precious seconds.   As you might infer, Michael is a bit more obsessive than I.  He chose to have me drive with the reasoning that he was a better navigator than me, and who would argue with him?

I meant to repeat the enjoyment of this area on my motorcycle last summer, but I ran out of time. Next year….

Speaking of that, there’s an enormous difference in traffic on Highway 1 depending on the time of year and day of the week.  A Thursday in November, as we enjoyed last week, is lovely. A weekend day in the summer will bring you an endless parade of motor homes being driven by geriatrics, and opportunities to pass are rare.

A run up Highway 1 North of San Francisco to Bodega Bay is also a wonderful one day trip. When I did this one last summer it seemed that a lot of other enthusiasts had the same idea. There were Harley riders, sport bike clubs, and antique scooter club, and one couple in a perfect replica of a Porsche 550.

You can also visit a seal sanctuary and wander among the dunes past enormous beasts you are not to disturb. Or loll on any number of beaches.

Who doesn’t love a steam-engine train?  Between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Hiway 17 is the Roaring Camp Narrow Gauge railroad facility.  You start at Roaring Camp, with a large selection of buildings that are either original or done in original style.

I was fascinated by an outdoor blacksmith shop, and took many pictures, as the next “Harrison Thomas” novel I’m working on will have a blacksmith shop. The smith was just setting up for his day’s labors, and answered all of my questions enthusiastically. When we returned from our train adventure I enjoyed watching him at work.

The train is an original steam engine converted to burning oil instead of coal, which is more efficient, cheaper, makes more power, and saves a lot of wear and tear on the fireman, who now operates levers rather than a shovel.

The engine trails 6 or 8 cars, most of them open.  Once fired up you are off and away, and very very up.  The speed varies from slow to almost a standstill, offering ample opportunity to enjoy one of the last old growth red wood forests that exists.  You’re surrounded by trees that are hundreds of feet high and up to 1600 years old.  A pleasant commentary fills you in on interesting details about redwoods and steam engines without being overbearing.

At the top is a bathroom and stretch your legs opportunity where you can listen to a further presentation on the history of the land and the railroad, or, as I did, watch the crew fiddle and futz with the continuous maintenance such a train requires.

The Bay Area offers an apparently endless string of delights and adventures.  We’ll be going back as soon as we can. After all, the grandson is growing fast!


Copyright 2015                    David Preston

Posted in Cars, Education, Travel | 2 Comments

The Meaning of Dr. Ben Carson

The Meaning of Dr. Ben Carson

This morning at breakfast I was asked a question that gave me pause. The question was posed by a friend who I would guess has the highest IQ of anyone I know.  In this exalted status he has surpassed my older brother, the holder of that imagined crown since I first began to notice differences in the intelligence of individuals.

He began with “Preston, I’m going to ask you this question because you understand people.” Before he got to the actual question I already had one to ponder, as in “I do?”   I think he confused the reality that I tend to like people with the concept that I understand them. But on to his question.

“How can Ben Carson be considered a viable candidate by anyone?”

I think I know the answer. Ironically, in forming my answer I need to use the same technique Dr. Carson does, that of drawing broad conclusions from little or absolutely no data, based on my personal beliefs. Seems to work for him.

There has been a sweeping societal movement in America for the past 20 years or so of distrust of all “experts” and “professionals,” especially in government. In fact, almost exclusively in government. The roots of this distrust go back several Presidential terms, at least. 

Bill Clinton is obviously an extremely intelligent man and an expert on a bewildering number of topics, although a bit of a slow learner in the areas of personal relationships and honesty. And yet he made several catastrophic choices, aided and abetted by professional analysts and policy experts. In one case his obliviousness led to the deregulation of the stock market and a near melt-down of the entire American economy. 

George Bush the elder is an intelligent man led astray by many “experts” who were pushing their own agenda. His son is a better painter than thinker, and was lead further astray by some of the same experts.

Along comes Barack Obama, and a lot of our current distrust of experts can be blamed on him. After all, everything else is. Here’s a man who has succeeded beyond any rational expectation in virtually every area of his life.

Or yours.

He has won the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been President for two terms.  He has a beautiful wife who is probably first or second in brain power in the entire government, depending on where you place her husband. He has two daughters who appear to be fine young women.  All of that engenders resentment and jealousy in many.  His being black (albeit 50%, which is usually ignored) only adds to the angst.

The Tea Party is the product of willful ignorance and deep-seated stupidity. It embodies the concept of “cognitive dissonance” where you want something to be true so desperately that you ignore all evidence to the contrary.   Sort of like a 60 year old man with a comb-over who thinks he’s a chick magnet.  We all suffer from this to one degree or another.  I, for instance, am sure I am going to win an enormous lottery, math analysis be damned.

Any day now.

In government this goes far beyond casual silliness to embody true danger. We are beginning to reap the ill winds of a systematic denial of the facts of climate change.  Things will get much worse, and may never get better.

This distrust of experts, professionals, and simple facts has given rise to almost all of the current candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination, as they pander to the whims of the Tea Party and the extraordinarily wealthy few who control it.

At first we had Donald Trump’s bombast, but he seems to be running out of hot air.

The media now turns its lust for anecdotal sound bites to the incredible statements of Dr. Carson. Almost every day he utters, often without provocation, statements which would be laughable except for the terrifying potential situation where he continues on to actually be the nominee, or worse, achieves the ultimate – election as President of the United States.

Examples of Dr. Carson’s ability to put his religiously adamant foot in his smiling mouth abound, so I will go with my favorite “Carsonisms.” Paraphrased for brevity, it must be said.

‘The Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic by professionals.’ If this is true, then why not allow amateurs to perform brain surgery?

‘Without FOX news, the United States would be Cuba.’ I’m not sure what that means, as it appears to make no sense at all.  Does a thoughtful person actually believe that FOX news has kept us from communism?  Is that it?


‘The pyramids were built to store grain.’   If so, the design was clearly done by amateurs.

The latest to hit the media is a muddled mess where he stated that he’d received a full scholarship to West Point, and then had to back up when those pesky little fact thingies revealed that there is no such thing as a full scholarship to West Point, that he never attended West Point, and in fact never applied!

None of these, as well as a great many more gaffes, have slowed him down as of yet. This is because he has a broad base of support from the religious far right, which is a larger voting block than many people want to accept, and because he is pictured as a man who speaks his mind, no matter the consequences. In this sense, the more outrageous the statement the greater the support.

The eventual downfall will come soon, as the majority of voters conclude that his mind is really not anything to marvel at. Expertise in one small area often does not transfer well to other areas, or as applied to  the requirements for President – all areas. Trump will also fade as he becomes bored with the downsides of being the center of media attention and his ego-gratification needs are, at long last, fulfilled.  At least for a few months.

The hard thing about facts is that they are… factual. They do not go away, even if we would so much rather they did.  Issues have underlying causes, and solutions to problems always have a cost. 

Eventually, the mass of the public will have to face the reality that professionals and experts will inevitably get it all wrong from time to time, but such an outcome is vastly preferable to holding on to beliefs that are based on despair and fed by the willful dismissal of reality.

The meaning of Dr. Carson is that he will shorten the period of time for that sea change to take place, and thus hasten the demise of the influence of the deluded yet passionate base of the Tea Party.

That should still leave plenty of time for a credible candidate to emerge to espouse a credible Republican point of view.

At least I hope so.


Copyright 2015              David Preston

Posted in Education, Rants and Raves | 1 Comment

Walking Adventures In Your Neighborhood

The Joys (and Perils) of Walking in Your Own Neighborhood

How well do you know your own neighborhood? We’ve lived in our current house for 38 years (egad!) so I thought I knew the area pretty well.  Turns out not so much.  Perhaps the same is true for you?

A little background. A few years ago I started to notice various aches and pains when I woke up in the morning. This seemed odd, since for most of my life when I would wake up with pain or a bruise I always knew why and could remember the cause. Exuberance and clumsiness in combination was usually at the root of the problem.  But now, random soreness or stiffness in various places with no known cause.  I mentioned this at a physical and both the doctor and his nurse burst out laughing.  It turned out the medical term for my problem is… “aging.”

Then things got a bit worse. For no reason I could recall, I began to notice swelling in my left elbow. In about two days I had a lump of fluid that looked a bit alarming. On a visit to Pullman a sister in law who works at a clinic diagnosed the problem and gave me a rather stark analysis. “We can either drive down to my clinic so I can drain it, or you’ll be in the Emergency Room in two days.”


Two weeks later I had it drained again, and my doctor’s advice was to wait and see what happened. The swelling returned, but not as badly. Over the next several months I had swelling in my elbow, or my wrist, and sometimes in my left hand.  When it was bad it was a tad difficult to pull in the clutch lever on my bike, and this prompted me into action.


A referral to a surgeon and an MRI ensued, and she patiently explained the results. One tendon in my left elbow, and probably both of them, completely severed. How could this have happened and me not be aware of it? “It happens,” she said.   I could have surgery and have it repaired, but she was cautious. Surgery always brings some risk, and if it was not bothering me all that much…

The swelling was gradually lessening. I chose to do nothing. Now I rarely have any issues with my left arm at all, so perhaps my body has figured out a work-around for the problem. 

Then there is my right knee. Twice surgically repaired after a basketball injury when I was 27 and thought I could play, it was starting to act up again. I may need to have a 3rd operation to remove some pieces of meniscus that have torn loose, but for now it’s no big deal.

All of it added together let me know that I could not just sit back and wait for things to get better. Now retired, it was easier to hit the YMCA more often and with more intent. I also began taking walks of various length several times a week.  Sometimes I would drive to an area I did not know and just explore.   

The Redmond watershed comes highly recommended by me, as you can cover a great many miles of trails if you do them all. You can also get lost, as I did one day, ending up with about a ten mile hike by the time I got back to the car. In the midst of the watershed you are more alone that pretty much any other time except for an occasional interaction with a representative of wildlife. There’s a large beaver pond; the owner occasionally chewing on a piece of wood.  On one occasion a young cougar strolled around the corner and was shocked to see me. 

The solitude prompts thinking about whatever book I am writing, and most of the plots of the last three novels have been created here. There is probably such a strolling opportunity a short drive away from you.

Recently things began to get worse. Pain in my arms at night, and swelling in both knees that gradually worsened. I could no longer jog at the YMCA, and stairs became an issue.  Over time, I discovered that one Aleve in the morning and another before bed seemed to eliminate this. In addition, I added a stretching session to my workouts led by Susan, as she has obtained a lot of physical therapy exercises from her own maladies over the years.  Now I could get back to my longer walks.

Most of my favorites begin and end at our house. Today I chose the three mile loop. First time I had done this one since last spring. You walk up the street and then through the small park and soccer fields behind Northshore Junior High. Then out to a pipeline access swath that goes down and then up and up and up past a huge housing development. I always pause to note the progress and wonder at the logistics of the enterprise. It is obvious that many millions of dollars have been spent over the past two years, and yet they have yet to begin construction of a single building. Do you have any construction projects going on near your home?  What are they, and why, and how are they doing?

After reaching the top of the pipeline access you turn right on a small street that bisects the trail and walk down a steep hill. There was a large lot for sale on this street for years, and I was in the habit of pausing to design in my head a dream house for the site. In reality, should I ever have the money to buy the land and the have built the extravagant house I designed, I’d probably toss patience and buy a house that already existed. For a few million you have a lot of choices.  Still, I was saddened to see that someone else has purchased the lot and construction is under way. I doubt the result will resemble the magnificent edifice I’d created for myself.

Then it is up a long hill to the intersection before Kamiakin Junior High. A turn to the right takes me up and over a small hill and down to the Kingsgate Safeway store and other businesses.

Over the course of these walks and the many variations I’ve scoped out along the route I’ve discovered many things I never knew existed. Small businesses, and for some of them I cannot tell exactly what they are about. Various little parks hidden here and there that many people never visit. As I taught at Kamiakin, these walks bring memories of students and incidents over the years – most of them happy memories. There’s also the occasional retail space for rent or purchase, and I ponder what business would do well there.  And of course, I’m always on the lookout for homes that have an interesting or unusual vehicle or two.  Your results may differ. All in all, each walk is just that little bit different, and I learn something new almost every time.  Today was to be no different.

With my physical issues of late, I was wary as to how my knee would respond. Fortunately, all went well. Plan A was to do most of the walk, and pause at a temporary Kingsgate library facility to renew my card. On another walk I had discovered that the library we used to visit was an empty shell, undergoing a down to the studs remodel.   That brought the thought that I had not used my library card in years, and it was time to get back in that habit. I could not find the card, so stopping by the temporary facility to renew would be a good thing.

Except they do not open until 11am, a half an hour away. Instead, I chose to explore yet another small park. I’d noticed the signs for this across the way from the Safeway store on yet another previous walk, but had never set foot in it. From the street you can hardly see the entrance, and when I mentioned it to Susan as we drove by in the car one day she doubted there was anything there. Time to find out.

It turned out that what I thought was a driveway leading into the park was only about forty yards long. After that a graveled trail led off to the left, and then turned to a wide path of solid dirt covered with needles and leaves beginning to be shed. The path led up and around and back and forth until I could hear nothing of the outer world at all, even though I knew I was less than 50 yards from streets and stores and buildings on all sides. Remarkable.

To my surprise, the trail opened up to a mammoth BMX park! Obviously purpose built, there was a wooden platform where you would start, and then a dizzying array of jumps and banked corners and leaping obstacles that covered a deeply wooded area of about thirty yards or more on each side. It was amazing, and utterly deserted.  If BMX bicycles had existed when I was a lad and a park like this had been near my house, my parents would have had two places to find me. On the lake playing hockey in the winter and at the BMX park the other half of the year.  When you go for a walk in your neighborhood you may also find surprising places that prompt thoughts of long ago.

I assumed that the trail continued on the other side of the BMX ramps and whoop de doos and berms, although I could not see it. The various obstacles were actually difficult to walk over, especially with some concern for my knee, as I had now walked more than three miles.

On the other side there were more BMX trails and obstacles down to the right, so I clambered over more challenges to find the trail. There was no trail. Hmmmm. I did not want to go back because I did not want to take on the obstacles again, so I forged ahead following what looked like an old and narrow path through the bracken.

Which soon petered out.   I knew the original trail had to be up and to my right, so I began to bushwhack my way through the forest.  Bad idea. The going gradually got worse and worse.  The many vines and branches underfoot managed to untie my hiking shoes every few feet, and I needed to clamber over a lot of fallen trees.  Worse, the ground underneath was laced with all sorts of holes leading to burrows for someone, and occasionally I would put a foot down and crash though for another foot or so. Each time I suffered a spasm of worry about knee.

Over time my worries increased, as I was gradually getting soaked from the inside out from my labors. My jeans were also getting sodden, and the chill air was going to be a problem at some point. Worse, I had no idea where I was. If I fell and wrenched my bad knee or sprained an ankle, or worse, I could call Susan for help, but I did not know where I was or how I would be able to tell her how to find me. If I’d attempted this in the dark it would have been seriously perilous.

Right about the time this adventure ceased to be fun. Fortunately, my concerns disappeared when I managed crash through to a trail. I set off downhill, and it turned out to be not the trail I had been on previously. When it dead ended at a street I turned to the left and in about 20 yards figured out where I was.

I arrived home having hiked for longer than planned, and having put more stress on the bad knee than was advisable. On the other hand, a complete change of clothes soon had me warm and dry, with that remnant of adrenaline rush you get from real or imagined peril.

You probably have similar adventures awaiting you near your home. Give local walking (in daylight) a try!


Copyright 2015                        David Preston

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Feminist and Sexist Ripples in My Life

Feminist and Sexist Ripples in My Life

As mentioned in previous posts, I grew up in a very different family.  I suppose it could be said that everyone does. In my case, both of my parents were engineers, my mother the first women in history to graduate from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

Their parenting style and our family dynamic, at least back then, was a combination of Star Trek Spock-ian logic and an adherence to engineering thought in all applications. Dinner conversations roamed from designing spacecraft, which my father was working on at the time, to problems in physics and chemistry and math.  And cars. Since I was primarily interested in sports and cars, I often had little to add. I was definitely the odd one in the family. I was also spoiled, which made up for it quite nicely.

When we had dinner guests, usually aerospace engineers, I was expected to stick around after dinner and take part in discussions of politics and the economy and anything else that came up.  I was encouraged to speak my mind, and our polite dinner guests listened intently, on the odd chance that I might utter something of interest.  I learned not to be immediately intimidated by people who were older and better educated, and that has served me well ever since.

I thought all homes were like mine, and for decades did not realize that Ozzie Nelson and his family as shown on TV were meant to be comedy shows. I thought they were documentaries, as my life had so much in common.

There was one application that I’ve always found amusing.  I lost my temper for perhaps the 567th time one evening, and stomped off to my room in a rage, slamming my door just hard enough to avoid getting in trouble.  As I sat on my bed in a festering rage, a thought rose slowly through the red mist. I had just sent myself to my own room!  I imagined that my parents were sitting in the living room chuckling, making comments like “Well, he did it to himself – again!”

I decided that if my parents were into logic, that I should present things I wanted to persuade my parents to let me do with arguments based on logic. I would present my idea, and then the reasoning behind it with cost and time factors added.  They rarely refused my requests after that. Logic works!  With the exception of why Dad should purchase a new Corvette, and why I really needed a new motorcycle. It was difficult to make those plans sound logical, but I did try.

Comments by one of my older brothers in an e-mail today got me to thinking back.  He quoted a classmate of his in high school who said “It is nice NOT to have grown up with a big grudge about how women were intellectually devalued in one’s family.” 

So true. On the contrary, my father respected my mother’s considerable intelligence at all times. Almost. The day she tried to get a piece of burned toast out with a knife, with the toaster still plugged – not so much.

Then George alluded to the benefit to us three boys of growing up taking Mom’s intellectual capacity and courage for granted, and regarding any other attitude as abnormal.  This brought me to recollections of so many examples of behaviors that were negative that might have influenced us. My parents would dismiss them with some statement like “That is not what Preston’s do.”  That really took hold for me as a tenet.  They actually did consider many activities, such as smoking and drinking and divorce and gambling and others, as “abnormal.” 

Here the apple fell a bit further from the tree, as I’ve been enjoying the occasional beer or glass of wine since I turned 21, and have smoked a pipe for 40 years. 

Ironically, my father later worked for the Coors brewery. When I moved to this area after college and after he did I was surprised to see him drinking a beer one day.  “I thought you never drank alcohol!”

He smiled.  “When you eat lunch every day with a man named Adolph Coors, you learn to enjoy beer.”  

It is worth mentioning that all three sons married very intelligent women.

My brother added an anecdote from when he was the VP of a research think tank with a yearly budget of $500 million. This was in the early 1990’s, and the company had an education benefit that had never been used for anything other than night courses.  George pushed through a $40,000 full cost payment for a female employee that resulted in her MBA from Santa Clara University.  Credit for that goes back to our parents.

I realized now that my mother was a feminist long before the term existed, and my father was her lead champion.  Her efforts and examples informed me, and still do.  And yet, despite the efforts of the two of them and so many others, sexism still abounds in our society.   Things are better, but there is still a long way to go, and I am so fortunate that my parents put me well ahead of the curve.  Here are some examples from my life that lead directly back to their influence.

  • When I became a feminist:  When I was about 15 and Mother had gone back to work as an engineer. I sat and listened to a conversation at some party between her and a woman friend who was a professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota.  I cannot remember her name, but I think her husband worked with Dad.  Anyway, they were calmly comparing notes on how they were treated by other women in their respected neighborhoods. They described being left out of all neighborhood social activities, and many other slights and insults. They were essentially ostracized, by other women, because of their education and because they chose to work outside the home. They discussed this calmly, with no rancor. That was just the way it was for women like them. I clearly remember how angry I got at the stupidity and unfairness of it all. I’m still angry.
  • As President of LWEA in the late 1970’s, I joined the WEA Women’s Caucus.  I had several reasons for this. I was representing 800 teachers, and roughly half of them were women. Education is the only field I can think of where everyone, historically, are paid “women’s wages,” so gains for women would be gains for me.  To be fair, the union paid my dues, so it was not a financial issue, but I did take some sexist flak for it.
  • After coaching boy’s teams in several sports for over a decade, I switched to coaching girls for the final decade I coached.  A large part of that was due to Mom.  I remember standing in line at a grocery store with a very young Dorine in my arms, on my way home after a girls’ basketball game. I was wearing a “coaching staff” shirt. The woman at the counter said “Oh, isn’t that how it is! Dad is a coach and he gets a girl.”  One of the few times in my life I was rendered speechless.
  • Sexism works both ways.   At one point the Juanita principal wanted to talk to me about sexism in the English Department I chaired. I agreed that it was a huge problem, but explained it was coming from the women and directed at the men. She laughed, thinking I was kidding. I assured her I was serious.  A week or so later we were in an English department meeting with her when one of the women went off on a rant about men in general – which was common. All of the other women nodded along with her, and the principal looked at me as if she’d been slapped.  Her face went white, and we got along just fine after that.
  • At one time I had an extremely attractive assistant coach, and in my last gig (ten years later) I was the assistant to an extremely attractive head coach.  BOTH of them came to me for advice, almost in tears, because other women on the staff were gossiping that the only reason they were coaching with me was because we were having an affair.  They were both much younger than me, and were appalled and embarrassed and very angry. Who wouldn’t be?  I advised them to let it go, with the sage wisdom that some people have such wretched personal lives that they have to live vicariously through the lurid lives they imagine others are leading.  That seemed to help them, and it may have been true.

At the end of my pondering process I’m left wondering which sex is more guilty of promoting sexism and depriving women of a fair shake.   We usually blame men for this, and I think that is overly simplistic. Often, as I have experienced, it is utterly incorrect.

However, much progress has been made, and the future looks brighter.  

Thanks, Mom and Dad.


Copyright 2015                                    David Preston




Posted in Education, Rants and Raves | Leave a comment

Rossi and Marquez – when ego overcomes good sense

The Male Ego and Moto GP

The differences between men and women are most obvious in sports.  Fueled by testosterone, men sometimes forget that the point is to win, and throw all caution and most functioning brain cells out the window in favor of destroying the opponent. I witnessed this several times in my decades of coaching young men and women. I saw it in the actions of the players, and occasionally in my own attitudes as the coach.

Today presented a classic in the Moto GP race at a track known as Sepang, in Malasia.  (Spoiler alert – if you recorded this race for later viewing, stop now and come back after you’ve witnessed it)

The race set up was a classic Western gunfight in a B grade movie. You have Valentino Rossi, the cagey older veteran and 8 time champion, currently leading the points battle by a slim margin, with this race and the season finale to go.  Up against him is Mark Marquez, the very young pretender to the throne with one world championship in this class on his resume.

Marquez, due to several forced and unforced errors earlier in the season, will not be able to be the championship this year.  His partner on the Honda team is Danny Pedrosa, who will also not be the champion.  Rossi’s partner on the Yamaha team in Jorge Lorenzo, who trails him by just a few points in the standings as the race opens.

The drama started several days ago with some trash talk. As a press conference, Rossi stated that Marquez had sandbagged a bit at the last race at Phillip Island, in order to help out Lorenzo. Marquez had the best bike at that race, and it seemed he could have pulled away at any time, but he kept the race close, which afforded some advantage to Lorenzo.  (It’s complicated)

Rossi has been the champion of mind games for his entire career, and there is little doubt that he made his statements with the intent to create a furor.  He succeeded, even though what he said is most likely correct. One is not supposed to dis the opposition in public statements in Moto GP.

As today’s race began, Pedrosa pulled out a small lead, which he maintained to the end to win the race.  Lorenzo came in second.   Rossi and Marquez began a battle for 3rd that soon took on epic proportions. Neither one had much to gain with a dangerous duel at speeds up to 200mph, but it soon became obvious to all that this battle had little to do with the points or even the championship. It was deeply personal, and obviously hostile.

Sometimes you’ll see motorcycle or car racers get into battles that take many laps with multiple passes, but there is always respect for the other driver and the contest is “clean.”  In these sorts of races, the competitors often shake hands at the end of the race or even embrace, celebrating the joy of a grand battle fairly fought.

This was not like that. Each lap the riders made moves that were incredibly risky, passing late on the brakes, fairings rubbing together, tires sliding on the extreme verge of a crash.   From a season championship view, this made little sense, as the two riders in front gradually pulled away.  It takes a second or more off your pace each lap when you are riding like this.

For a while I thought I’d figured out Rossi’s plan.  Marquez had some issues with front end grip in the opening laps, running wide on a couple of occasions and allowing Rossi to slip past. To counter this, he began braking very late and very hard coming into corners, the rear end of the bike slewing back and forth in wild slides as he fought to keep it under control.  “Backing it in” in this fashion leads to increased tire wear, and I thought Rossi was merely going to wait for the end of the race, and then use the better rear traction his bike would have by then to pass and secure a 3rd place.  To win the championship, Rossi would need to finish third in this race and just behind Lorenzo at the last race.   He did not need to win, but just to manage his slim points lead over Lorenzo.

But no, the battle continued, and you just knew it would not end well.  You cannot ride bikes this fast so close to the edge of disaster for an hour or more and not have something go south.

As it did.  Rossi carved up Marquez going into a corner, and as he came out of the corner he let his bike run wide.  Marquez, on the outside, would need to slow up or be run off the track.  To my understanding of the rules, this is legal. Rossi was ahead of him at that point and the leader can use any line he wants.

As Marquez accelerated on the very outside edge of the track, Rossi looked over at him and let his bike drift further to the edge.  What happened next will be discussed and debated and shouted about for quite some time.  Rossi either let his bike hit Marquez’s Honda, or put his left leg out and actually kicked the front fork of the Honda, or shoved Marquez with his elbow.  Even with multiple camera angles, they were so close and at such speed that it is hard to discern what actually occurred.

The result was clear to see. Marquez lost the front end, or had it taken away from him, and crashed out of the race.  Rossi continued on to finish 3rd.

And now the rancor stepped up several more notches. The officials declared that the incident would be “under review,” and that their decision would be announced after the race.

To nobody’s surprise, the decision was not satisfactory. To anyone.  It was decided that Rossi had been riding dangerously and would be fined.  The fine had two parts.   He would lose three championship points, which might or might not have an effect on the season, depending on the finishing order of Lorenzo and Rossi in the last race. But with that came a further penalty, in that Rossi would have to start last in the final race.  This would put him about 20 positions or so behind Lorenzo, with the need to finish just behind him or ahead of him to win the title.  He would have to pass many of the best riders in the world. 

And he would have to pass Marquez, unless Marques was leading.

Rossi’s Yamaha team immediately appealed that decision, and the results of that appeal are not yet known.  Marquez’ Honda team, of course, is adamant that Rossi should have been disqualified from this race, forced to sit out the final race, and perhaps be exiled to Bora Bora for 6  months. Or something like that.

Drama!  All of this is good news for ticket scalpers for the last race, which will be the ultimate race of the season in terms of worldwide interest.

If you ever thought in your wildest fantasies that you could race a Moto GP bike, this race would set you straight. No – you could not.  The sheer talent and raw guts were right there on the screen.  There are only about a dozen people in the entire world who could handle this situation, and you and I are none of them.

Overall, I would have called it a racing incident.  Fair?  No.  An example or rider skill on Rossi’s part? No.

However, his bike was ahead, and his actions, no matter how despicable, were legal in my view.

In NASCAR and some other forms of racing, egos and competition occasionally erupt in fights in the pits after the race. In Moto GP, the fights take place on the track.  That is not necessarily good, but it is what it is.


Copyright 2015                                          David Preston

Posted in Motorcycles | 2 Comments

How to Crash a Motorcycle at Low Speed

How to Crash a Motorcycle at Low Speed

When I first began to ride motorcycles, a common expression was “There are old riders and bold riders, but no riders that are old and bold.”  It is curious that you do not hear it much anymore.  Over the years I realized that it’s not that the bold riders die, necessarily (although the careless often do), but that after a few close calls and a crash or two they moved on to some other pastime such as stock market investing or fantasy football leagues – presumably boldly.

Among those that have ridden for decades you will hear this:  “Incidents less than 10mph do not count as accidents.”  If this comforting concept is held to be true, then I have been crash free since June of 1969!  That one was a real crash caused by a loose nut controlling the handlebars – me, and need not be discussed.

Since that unfortunate day over 46 years ago I’ve had a bike bite the ground 5 times.  That may sound like a lot, but having ridden far over 500 motorcycles a total of several hundred thousand miles since then, that number is not all that awful.

I am leaving out crashes on dirt bikes here, for several reasons.  1.) I took an adventure riding class one weekend where crashing was an expected outcome, and everyone did – repeatedly.   2.) It was not my bike.  I learned in that class that I could indeed ride off-road bikes, but did not particularly like it.  Different strokes for different folks.

As to the five incidents, each was educational in its own way, although I appear to have a flat learning curve for one type of incident.  Let’s look at the details.

          First incident: It was somewhere in the late 1980’s, and I was teaching at Kamiakin Junior High.  I was commanded to get a half-day substitute so I could attend a meeting for teachers of Honors classes, held at Redmond Junior High. The meeting was about as useful as most of them were, but when I escaped it was a truly gorgeous day.  I got on my spotless 1977 Yamaha 750 triple, and proceeded to enjoy a jolly ride back to Kamiakin on winding and traffic-free  (back then) roads.  I was not going crazy, but I was “in the zone” and enjoying myself mightily. I swooped into the Kamiakin parking lot and came to an abrupt stop in a parking spot of choice. With the bars still turned. The motorcycle threw itself to the ground and I jumped off.  My first thought was that I must get it back on its wheels again before a bell rang. If some students came outside and saw my plight I would never hear the end of it.  Miraculously, the Yamaha showed no damage at all, and I went inside to resume teaching.

Lesson:  Do not glom onto the brakes at low speed with the handlebars turned.  (“They all do that, sir.” 

          Second Incident:  In 2001 I purchased a lock for the front brake disc of my beloved Kawasaki ZRX 1100 as a theft deterrent. I was warned not to do this by sales manager Scott McMillan, who pointed out that every person he’d ever known that had done this eventually forgot to take it off before departure, and the resultant damage was far more expensive than the deductible on my theft insurance.

Not me!  I’d be careful. And I was… for a while.

I rode to Bellevue to host episode of my call-in radio show – “The Motorsports Show –with Dave Preston!” A guest for this one was a young man selling legal insurance called “Legal Shield.” I was pretty sure this was a pyramid sales scheme, and I intended to expose the scam through persistent but polite questioning. Instead, by the end of the program I was a customer! This program has been a boon at times, and the $16.95 fee per month has not increased in 14 years.

After the show three of us stood in the parking lot chatting on a beautiful evening. The other guest was my friend Frank Kai, at that time a Harley salesman. He’d been on the show to discuss the latest and greatest coming from Harley – which in those days could be summed up as “new colors!”  Eventually the insurance guy drove away and Frank and I continued yakking.  I was so pleased with how the show had gone, and the evening was so gorgeous, that Frank got on his customized Harley  (a bit redundant there – pretty much all Harleys are customized by their owners  sometimes before taking possession), and I clambered aboard the ZRX – and forgot.

When I started the bike and put it in gear it rolled forward a foot and then threw itself on the ground, with me stepping off as it went down.  It felt like some unseen monster had simply clobbered it, and I was confused – until I saw the disc lock jammed against the fork.

We picked up the bike (no damage to the paint – again!) and with some difficulty got the disc lock free of the fork and off the bike. The problem now was that the disc carrier in the wheel (referred to as the ‘spider’) was hitting the caliper and the wheel did not want to turn. A few hammer blows from the heavy chrome disc lock Frank had in his bag (but had not bothered to put on) got the spider straight enough that the wheel could turn freely 

As we rolled away I soon learned I was not out of the woods yet. There was still contact inside the brake caliper, and the pads were being pushed back in their bores. I had no front brakes without pumping brake lever several times. However, we riding back up I-405, and I followed Frank.  My reasoning was that a ZRX with only a rear brake could probably stop more rapidly than a Harley with both front and rear brakes. I think that was correct, although I did not have to prove it.   I rode very carefully to work the next day and had the spider replaces for $260 dollars.  Scott was right.

Lesson Learned:  Do not use a disc brake lock. 

           Third incident:  Working at Cycle Barn, I was asked to bring a used Kawasaki ZX6 from the shop area to the showroom.  This was a lovely used bike in bright orange with neon purple lights hidden in it you could turn on with a switch.  Inexplicably, I thought it was really cool.  I got on the bike in the shop and needed to back it up about thirty yards down two parallel rows of bikes awaiting storage, their front tires making a wall on either side. I backed up very carefully, and thought I had cleared them all. The last one was a Honda Valkyrie, a bike with a very long wheelbase. Its front tire jutted out a little further than the others.  As I finished backing up and turned my attention to the front, the rear tire of the ZX6 rammed into the front tire of the Valkyrie. Caught totally unawares, the ZX6 was on the ground before I could stop it, although I pulled a muscle in my right calf trying. Colleagues rushed to help me, and the bike was back on its wheels in a jiff.  A small inch or two of road rash marred the metal flake orange paint on the left side, and I was crushed.  Everybody said not to worry about it, which was kind but did not help much.

The next day the detailer (Ken Muncey) who was a genius at this sort of thing, waved his talented hands over the bike and all the damage disappeared. The bike was sold to a happy new owner soon after.

I was still moping about this when CFO Gary Harper quizzed me one day when I mentioned my stupidity. “How long have you worked for Cycle Barn?” he asked.  

“Five years.” 

“And how many bikes have you ridden in that time?”  

“About 200. 

“And this is the first Cycle Barn bike you’ve put on the ground?”


“Wow – you need to pick it up.  A lot of employees have done much worse than this.  You’re behind!”

Part of my job status was that I was ever eager to ride any motorcycle.  Many people can be a bit picky and will turn down the opportunity to ride a bike that is not in their comfort zone. I’ve never understood this. I had an impeccable record in terms of caring for company property. In fact, many of the employees were not allowed by the insurance company to ride any bike owned by the dealership due to past indiscretions.

Gary’s kind words helped a lot 

Lesson Learned:  Be VERY careful backing up a bike.  It takes very little to upset the apple cart. 

             Fourth incident:  In 2011 I was leading a group back to Seattle from the WSBMWR Rally in Republic. My steed was a BMW K1300S, the second one I had to ride.  The very best part of my job at Ride West was that I got to order a new BMW each year of my choice, and to option it to my heart’s content. In 2010 I went for a K1300S in “lava orange” and larded it up with all the options I wanted.  Tinted screen, center stand, electric suspension adjustment, expandable bags, rear rack, tank bag, and an Akrapovich exhaust the shop had taken off a previous used bike the new owner did not want. About half way through the year it dawned on me (I can be a bit slow) that this bike was so expensive the store would take a big hit when it was sold in the fall. They may have written it off as a business expense so perhaps this was not true.

I absolutely adored that bike, probably the finest motorcycle in terms of capability I’ve ever experienced.  Very fast, yet very civilized. Easy to ride at any speed from mild to unthinkable. I called it a “Gentleman’s Hyperbike.” Alarmed at the cost, I suggested to the owner that I ride it for two or three years to make it more economically palatable for the store. He refused, stating that I had to be riding a model current for the year.  So in 2011, I ordered another one! This one was red and black, and I left off the center stand and the rear rack, which I regretted for the rest of the year. I also was not that fond of the color, but who is going to complain when works offers a plus $20k motorcycle to ride? I mean, really!

In any case, I loved the orange one, but merely enjoyed the red one. Curious.

We rode back from Republic on Highway 20, which is normally one of the best rides you can have. On this occasion we got stuck behind some bozo in a 40 foot long RV – towing a car, who refused to move over. There was no place for a group of 8 or 10 motorcycles to pass safely, and the highway had just been chip sealed.  We rode for about 50 miles in very high heat inhaling clouds of dust with small pebbles bouncing off every surface and body. It was miserable.

In Marblemount I stopped for fuel and hydration. Totally knackered – tired, overheated, and de-hydrated. Refueled, I pushed the bike forward to make room for others and repaired to the side to inhale two bottles of water.

Wil Wen came up to me and mentioned that I should push my bike forward a few more feet, as he thought he’d seen a nail sticking out of the rear tire. Oh no!   I rushed to the bike to push it forward, and things went from bad to worse in seconds. I heard a clanking sound and realized I’d left my brand new $600 helmet on the seat. It was now bouncing and rolling across the parking lot. I went to put the side stand down, but it had hit a rock and folded itself up. It was not there.  The heavy bike leaned over and, with no side stand, kept going.   Standing there in the heat, my bike on its side and my helmet on the ground. I was so stunned that I just stood immobile in a fog of dismay. My friends rushed to pick up the bike and the helmet, but my entire self was crushed in defeat. As it turned out, there was no nail in my rear tire, and Wil apologized for a false alarm that had ended so badly, but it’s always better for a friend to think there is a nail and check for it than to keep quiet.  Not his fault at all, and in fact I hope he’d do the same thing again.

Back at work you had to look hard to see the damage on the bike – a small bit of road rash on the left side just as the red paint met the black of the lower fairing.  The black was OK. But I saw it every day, and the bad memory was hard to shake.

The bike was sold in the fall, and it came back as a trade-in the following year, and now had similar but more extensive road rash on right side!  The bike was sent to Sick Werks for new red paint and all was well 

Lesson Learned:  Always take a second to look over the bike before moving it. All bags zippered shut?  Helmet secure?  Much better 

          Fifth incident:  This one occurred just the other day while enjoying a ride with a friend on Whidbey Island. We stopped for a bite at a Burger King (good idea), and then for fuel at the 7-11 next door (bad idea). Bike re-fueled with 87 octane, which was all they had, I noticed that the exit went only to the right, and we wanted to turn left. However, a few yards to the right beckoned a left turn space for the shopping center across the street. As I swung right and then left I discovered that the entrance was actually further left. I was now heading straight for an 8 inch high curb that would shatter the front wheel as the start of an accident.  I hit the brakes hard; the handlebars still turned hard left.

Before I could register what was happening the chin bar of my helmet was bouncing off the asphalt and both bike and I were down in the middle of the street.  I scrambled to my feet and the guy in the truck that chose not to run over me helped me lift the Triumph back on its wheels. I was heartsick. Almost ten years and almost 50,000 miles and my bike had always been a truly gorgeous triumph (pun intended) to me.  Once rolled into the parking lot and with thanks to all who helped I began the grim task of assessing the damage.  There was a small mark on the helmet, which I figured would be there. I was surprised the headlights had not taken a hit, or the instruments, or the fuel tank or the… there.  Black smudges on the seat cowling and side panel.  Well, much less than I expected, or deserved, and the only lasting damage would probably be a few scrapes. Still – I hate stuff like this!

I assured Mark that I was OK, probably more in hope than in actual evidence, and I did not take long enough to assess the bike or me.  As we rode up the street the first thing I noticed was that my helmet visor would not close.  We stopped for the first time and I managed to get the visor off and then back on, which can be tricky on an Arai. Mark noticed that my hands were shaking and asked if I was OK, and I replied that I was fine. The shaking hands were probably a result of the adrenaline surge of the crash.

Underway again, it did not take long to discover that the left hand mirror stalk nut had loosened. We stopped again to fix that, and by now I was embarrassed to be taking up so much time 

As we rode toward the south of the island, I could tell that I was not quite right.  The left side of my upper chest was sore, probably a bruised rib cartilage or two. I have done this before – non-motorcycle.  But I was also troubled by my head. It was obvious that I’d been badly shaken up. My reaction times and decision making abilities were suspect. This is not good on a motorcycle, so we decided to ignore the many delightful side roads of Whidbey and head to the ferry.  From the ferry landing in Mukilteo to the exit to my house is almost literally a straight line, and I arrived home with no further drama.

To my elated surprise, the black marks on the rear cowling came off easily with a little Goof Proof, and my bike was spotless again. The small bit of rash on the bar end was touched up with black felt tip pen, and all that remained were micro scratches on the end of the clutch lever and the rider and passenger pegs. I have never seen any motorcycle dropped while rolling at any speed that did not sustain damage, so I retired to bed with aching ribs to ponder my good luck.

Lesson Learned:  This might sound much like Incident One, but there’s more to it than that.  True, I might have chosen to yank the bars straight and stand on the brakes, and I might have stopped before I hit the curb. But I doubt it. The real error(s) began earlier, when I assessed the exit from the 7-11.  It would have taken roughly zero extra time to poodle down the street a bit to a safer U-turn opportunity. I failed to examine the terrain carefully and opted for a path that led to the problem.  I was in no hurry at all – just sloppy.   The lessons are to scan the area in front of you more carefully.  A second lesson would be to take more time for both the bike and the rider.  I should have taken ten minutes to sit on a bench and talk through what happened, and taken more time to assess the damage to the bike and me.

What it all means.

There were several things that worked on my behalf, particularly in the last one.

ATGATT – “All the Gear All the Time.” In all five of these incidents I had on, at the very least, a very high quality helmet, jacket, and boots.

Friends – although I do enjoy riding by myself, it was such an asset to have Mark with me on this occasion. He was patient and eager to help, but not obtrusive. His calm acceptance of the relatively minor results helped calm me down.

Triumph techs.  The techs at Triumph of Seattle set up my bike with the handlebar controls and mirrors tight enough to not move by themselves, but with just enough play that when they hit the ground they merely rotated instead of snapping off or breaking. This not only kept the bike in a rideable state, but saved me several hundred dollars in repairs.

The friend who broke several ribs when he hit the ground with his cell phone in his jacket. I have not carried anything inside the jacket since.

For younger riders, or people getting into motorcycling for the first time at any age, it may be comforting to think that these things do happen.  I remember a young man on his first motorcycle and his first group ride. He was excited for the day, but a bit intimidated by the other riders, who were all friendly and welcoming but also people with decades of experience.

He did just fine until the lunch break, where he turned a bit too soon and clipped a piece of parking lot area separator, sending he and his new bike to the ground. He was not hurt, but so embarrassed.

I was so pleased with the group. They spent the entire lunch taking turns telling stories of stupid things each had done, each person trying to top the other. Laughter was frequent. Eventually the young man felt a lot better, as he realized that everyone who rides deals with these sorts of things.

Perhaps Jeb Bush said it best.  (Never thought I would type those words)

“Stuff happens.”


Copyright 2015                                          David Preston

Posted in Education, Motorcycles | Leave a comment

The Genius of Seattle Seahawk Marketing

The Genius of Seahawk Marketing

NFL football is on a roll. Has been for several years. The amounts  paid to the players and spent by the fans is beyond staggering, and the money river shows no signs of drying up.

I was told that in San Francisco, the waiting line for season tickets is 99 years long.  I was also told that if you are on the waiting list for Seahawks season tickets, you must pay a fee each year to preserve your spot in the line as you move up to the promised land.  I can’t verify either of these, nor do I doubt them.  But recent events put those factoids, if true, in the shade.

Many eons ago home teams blacked out their TV coverage if the game was not a sell-out. There was considerable hue and cry over this from the little people, and I believe it was eventually outlawed, but in any case it was superseded by a new problem.  Many teams could sell out their entire stadium capacity to season ticket holders, and once again the little people  (who in most cases have paid for the stadium the team plays in through taxation) could not see the game in person without the considerable expense of season tickets.

Or scalpers.

For years there was a quasi-illegal but very healthy black market of sorts of people selling tickets outside the stadium or through various media – tickets purchased in advance with the expectation of huge profits through resale. Expectations that were almost always met.  Trying to charge people with scalping was legally untenable, so eventually “secondary marketers” for tickets came into being.

The Seahawks used to set aside 4,000 tickets per game for sale to secondary marketers.  Last year, according to the Seattle Times (not the best source, but whatever…) the team reduced that number to 2,000 to have more tickets available to one-game buyers.

And now – the greatest feat of marketing I’ve ever seen. Those 2,000 tickets are now available through “Dynamic Pricing.”  This phrase means the team sets the prices according to perceived demand, and according to the Times, those prices are in some case higher than tickets to be found in secondary markets.

In plain English, what the Seahawks have done amounts to scalping their own tickets.  This is brilliant!  Since the “dynamic tickets” cost much more than the stated price on the ticket, selling even half of them results in a huge profit.  With the stars of the team earning $10-$20 million a year, (and the Seahawks have a lot of stars) that money has to come from somewhere.  In the case of the NFL, it comes from virtually everywhere.   Hardly anyone attends a Seahawks game in outfits devoid on at least one piece of “official” Seahawk wear. In addition, most fans wear their jerseys with pride on game day, even though thousands of them will not be attending in person. Add in fees for parking, concessions, programs, and on and on and the money comes in a flood.

But scalping your own tickets – you have to bow, jaws agape, at the sheer effrontery of it.

I just noticed on the news that the Disney theme parks have adopted a similar scheme, but they call theirs “surge” marketing.  I suspect the demographic of Disney advocates and NFL fans is eerily similar.

In truth, I’ve attended a Seahawk game or two. OK – two. Both were pre-season games, and in both cases the tickets were given to me.  I was not impressed by either experience. The first time was at the old Kingdome, and our seats were in an end zone.  The opposing team was the hated (I don’t know why) San Francisco 49ers. On one play the 49er quarterback threw to a player in the end zone right in front of us. The Seahawk player, badly beaten, grabbed the player by his facemask and threw him to the ground. It was the most obvious infraction in history, and of course a flag was thrown.  The crowd erupted in a cacophony of hatred at this horrible call, and behind us a man stood in the aisle screaming insults and obscenities at the other team. I turned around and I can still remember his face, red with rage, as he yelled “We’ll get you in the regular season,” followed by a string of obscenities.  My son (who was about 10 at the time) looked alarmed at this nonsense.  For the rest of the game we noticed that the crowd cheered lustily for any referee call in the Seahawks favor, and spewed rage at a call against the home team.  It made no difference what the call was, even though most of them were obvious, especially when replayed on the huge screen.  Yes, he was definitely holding. Make no difference. In addition, whenever the game seemed to get interesting, there would be a pause of several minutes for TV commercials.  I thought back to my own (mediocre) experiences playing football, where I played center linebacker on defense and center on offense. There were no long breaks where we stood around waiting for permission to resume play. This is what pro football is about? 

Later, we attended a game the year the Seahawks played at Husky stadium.  I took my son with me again, and we were both astonished – again.  During a lull the “Sea gals” cheerleaders paraded around the field perimeter in golf carts, waving to the fans in the stands. All around us people stood and cheered, in many cases calling out the names of their favorite bodacious young woman. This seemed deeply weird. You are thrilled to know the name of a gorgeous woman who smiles and waves at you – because she’s paid to do so?

Make no mistake, the Seahawks put on a heck of a show. Even in last night’s game, which you will find summarized in the dictionary under “ugly,” the crowd had a thrilling experience. The social media air will be fogged up today with all sorts of complaints about how badly the Seahawks played, many of them justified. This shows the extent of the success of the Seahawks and their marketing. The fans now fully expect a win, especially at home, and anything other than a drubbing of the other team will not do.  There will be very few words about an incredible effort by a Detroit team that was outgunned in virtually every facet of the game (on paper) but battled throughout the game and came one punched ball and a non-call by the refs away from a Detroit win that would have put the entire Seattle season in peril.

A part of the show Seattle puts on is a magnificent stadium.  Designed for the game to be played in the open air by the teams, most of the fans are shielded from inclement weather, which is virtually a certainty for many of the games.  The stadium has been designed from the outset to channel the noise of the fans down to the field, giving a tremendous (and legal) advantage to the home team, provided the “12th man” crowd does it’s “job.” 

A marketing irony is that the company Century Link paid a whopping sum for the naming rights to the stadium, but most of the fans and TV sports and news and weather and all other commentators refer to it as ‘the clink,” which was surely not the intent.

The entire “12th man” circus is another piece of brilliant marketing by the Seahawks, as it was not invented here. The fans take their role seriously, and can claim with logical support that they are a part of every victory, even the ugly ones.  Perhaps even more so the ugly ones.

I had the chance to stand on the field a few years ago, as I took a break from a motorcycle show in the huge indoor display area used for such events, and I tried to imagine standing there as a player. The noise must be incredible, and intimidating if you’re not used to it. I also experienced one of the large luxury suites reserved for the super wealthy and corporations when I attended (again, I was gifted a ticket) a Supercross motorcycle race. It was impressive for sure.

So at end of the day, you and your partner choose to attend a home game. You get all togged up in various pieces of neon green and dark blue gear, perhaps adding face paint and even a large wig. You then experience an incredible traffic mess on the way there, pay an exorbitant fee to park your car in a high crime area  (higher during games) and slowly make your way to your seats with over 60,000 of your friends. You then watch a game with one hour of playing time that will take over four hours to complete by the time you get back to your car. You will pay big city sports cathedral money for any food and beverages you consume. Then you face another horror of a traffic jam to get home, unless you choose to spend another several hours in one of the many restaurants and bars that are there to welcome you. All of them will be loud. You will already be hoarse from yelling for the team, or merely trying to communicate with your partner.  If you choose to stay you will spend even more big city money for whatever food and beverages you choose to consume, although they will probably be of higher quality.

By the time your car edges away from the event, your ears will have been subjected to several hours of noise at decibel levels that are harmful. You will have spent hundreds to a couple of thousand dollars for this experience, depending on the importance of the game and the desirability of your seat.

That you enjoy this and are eager to repeat the experience – that is the success of marketing.

This is not to say that Seahawk fans are wasting their money or that they are foolish. We all make decisions on how to spend our money, and few people would agree on everything.  That is why money is usually the #1 topic for argument among married couples – different priorities.  I spend more money on motorcycles and related expenses than would make sense to anyone who is not enamored of motorcycles.  I purchase expensive pipe tobacco from a company in Illinois I have never visited, and have been doing so for almost 40 years. How smart is that?   I have lots of good reasons  (to me) for each of my expenditures, and I am sure Seahawks fans can justify the expense, which for some of them is a considerable percentage of their income.

Years ago a married couple I knew decided to quit smoking.  They sat down and added up all the money they spent on cigarettes each year and it was a truly large amount to them.  To enforce their own decision,  they chose to “invest” their cigarette money in something they would both enjoy that would constantly remind them of what their cigarette money was purchasing.  So, they chose to sponsor part of a late model stock car at Evergreen Speedway!  Each week they would sit in the stands and watch “their” car race, with their name splashed across a fender.  Interesting choice. Ironic as well, since a night at the Evergreen races involves inhaling large quantities of oil, tire, and gasoline fumes.

So it is not about whether Seahawks fans should or should not pony up the sums – it is about the skill of the Seahawks marketing team in reinforcing the concept.

As a passionate motorcyclist who has own many motorcycles, the industry has been marketing new bikes to me, unsuccessfully, for the past ten years. I have not been seriously moved by any new bikes as a replacement for my Speed Triple. The owner of Triumph of Seattle did a good job a couple of weeks ago when he showed me “leaked” pictures of the new Speed Triple model for 2016.  He is leading me toward that bike, and his efforts were impressive. He may at some point succeed!

Having said all that, I do like to watch the Seahawks play, although last night it was a challenge.  I love the fact that almost half of the team is comprised of athletes who were either not drafted at all or thrown away by other teams.  I buy into the rah-rah coaching style of Pete Carroll, and I am continually amazed by the athletic ability of the players.  I am always impressed as well by the player interviews. 

This happens a lot, and the Seahawks must have a very sophisticated training school to prepare players for dealing with the media.   Richard Sherman is a genius at this, as you might expect of a man who majored in communications at Stanford, but all of them portray a consistency of positive statements and respect for others on their team and for opponents.  Even the outliers are fun.  Marshawn Lewis has made a career (and a lot of money from commercials and such) out of preferring not to speak.  Russell Wilson balances his brilliant and seemingly off the cuff play at quarterback with quotes that make him a shoo-in for a role in a movie titled “Stepford Husbands.”  It’s all entertainment, and it is both impressive and fun.

 I don’t begrudge them the huge salaries, because there’s no question that they are voluntarily choosing a profession where injuries that will affect their quality of life for the rest of their days are virtually guaranteed.  Careers are short, and the statistics for life afterward make grim reading, but we like to ignore that as much as possible.                                  

For the little people, there’s a better way to enjoy Seahawk football.  Record the games on your home media set-up, and begin watching about an hour or so in. I use a lot of fast forward to skip the interminable commercials and the many sections of the game that are actually boring. I watch the entire game as sort of an extended highlights reel, pausing once in a while to attend to other things.  It takes about an hour to watch this way, including slo-mo replays of significant events.  Other than the taxes I am paying for the stadium, this is virtually free. If the game is intense, I may watch almost all of it, except for the commercials.

For the true fan of the game, as opposed to those who thrill to the spectacle of being part of a big city event, consider supporting your local high school team. You can drive to the game in a few minutes, pay for tickets for you and your entire family, let your kids go off the deep end at the concession stand, and spend less than you would for parking at a Seahawks game. You will be home in less time, door to door, than a Seahawks game, and you will have a great time.

That ain’t marketing- that’s reality.


Copyright 2015                                          David Preston

Posted in Marketing, Motorcycles, Rants and Raves | 1 Comment

Award – Best Video by a Government Agency Anywhere

This is the best video I have ever seen produced by a non-commercial group. It is a must view for anyone interested in motorcycles.   Congrats to all involved, sliding right by the minor fact that I know most of them.  Really well done!

Posted in Education, Motorcycles | Leave a comment

How The Koch Brothers Will Elect a President You’ve Never Heard Of

The Koch Brothers Create a President From An Unknown

Let us agree that the Koch brothers did not become incredibly wealthy by being stupid. I would posit further that they can learn from their mistakes.

So what if…

They now realize that the creation of the Tea Party was both a failure and a mistake.  As was Sarah Palin.

What if, for 2016, they’ve decided to double down and spend even more fathomless sums of money to create a President who can win and that they control.

Here’s how they might do it.

First of all, create a very large field of extremist candidates, almost all of them funded in part or wholly by the Koch brothers and various Tea Party organizations. All of these candidates are dupes, selected for their innate ability to say incredibly stupid and false things that will ensure they cannot be elected or even nominated by a Republican party reeling from the constant damaging gaffes from within their own supposed ranks.

One advantage of this is that the Democrats spend a lot of time and effort and money responding to the ridiculous statements of these bogus candidates, and waste resources planning for several possible campaigns that are never going to happen.

A second advantage is that most of these candidates, by their outrageous stances, create instant super PAC and personal campaign funds from outer-rim whack jobs who get to live the fantasy of a candidate who thinks just like they do.  When the candidates drop out, those funds are available to be passed on to the “real” candidate, who could not attract such sums on his own (male pronoun intentional).  This can be seen in the removal from the race of Scott Walker, who leaves behind a Super PAC with $20 million dollars, most of it unspent.

Because the current candidates have been carefully selected, they can be counted on to make statements that fringe on the insane, such as no Muslim should be allowed to be President. Or we should look at building a wall across Canada. Or –oh heck, there are so many to choose from.

How to remove them? Easy.  Almost all of them cannot proceed without the Koch brothers blessing and funds. A simple call with the message of “You’re done” will do the trick.

In the next three months, almost all of these candidates will disappear, in an order created by the Koch brothers at times of their choosing.

Somewhere in there the big bomb will drop – Donald Trump will drop out, either by command of the Koch’s or because he discovers that running for President is an awful lot of work.

What then?  The surprising surge of a candidate nobody has ever heard of, a candidate currently being hidden and groomed by the Koch’s.  This candidate will be a handsome white male who is an elected official – perhaps of a large city – but with no national exposure and no skeletons hanging in any closet. He will belong to a “safe” religion – Lutheran should do.

He will have had great success at his level.  The books are balanced, there are no great crises in his town, and he is very popular. He will have a reasonably attractive wife and a couple of photogenic children.

His debut may be accompanied by a book with “his” vision of a better America. He will be soft on gays, immigration, and abortion. He may criticize the Tea Party, which will win the support of some liberals. He will not need the Tea Party because they’ve already given their money to the fake candidates. He will offer economic stability for the future by advocating the privatization of many government services, such as the United States Postal Service, National Parks, and many others.

The savings from these changes will be claimed to be in the billions, almost immediately.

At the same time, this candidate will inherit the Koch’s media clout and financial support, as well as the unused war chests of the sham candidates dominating the news today.

As his popularity surges, he will gain the support of all the other candidates, and will be nominated in a landslide by Republicans relieved to find an electable candidate who is not embarrassing.

If the Democrats are able to seize defeat from the jaws of victory, as Democrats tend to do, he will be elected.

The Kochs will smile.


Copyright 2015                      David Preston

Posted in Education, Marketing, Rants and Raves | 4 Comments