Thursday, March 31, 2016

Who Voted The North Carolina House Bill Two Into Law?

     I should have named this article,"Is There A Gay Person or Transgender in North Carolina That Votes?"

     Do you know who your representative is in the North Carolina General Assembly?  If not, let me tell you how to find out.  Go to  .

     That is the website for the North Carolina General Assembly.  You know where you live.  Look up your representative.  If something concerns you, contact your representative and let him know how you feel.  If you don't tell him that you think your gay son should have the same protection against discrimination that a Muslim has, he won't know.

     Send your representative a letter. Send your representative a letter.  Tell him that you feel that sexual orientation should be a protected class in North Carolina.  OR tell him that you don't think gay people need anti discrimination laws because, as our governor pointed out in his obfuscation article, local companies always have the option to pass their own rules to prevent discrimination.  Here is a link to that article      

     Do you expect your representative to read your mind?  He can not.  Write him a letter.  I have written mine about house bill 2.  He knows how I feel.  It requires very little effort.

     On March 23, 2016 at 3:05 P.M.  Representatives Adams, Arp, Avila, Bishop, Blackwell, Blust, Boles, Bradford, Brawley, Brady, Bryon, Bumgardner, Burr, Catlin (no I am not kidding), Clevland, Collins, Conrad, Daughtry, Davis, Dixon, Dobson, Dollar, Elmore, Faircloth, Ford, Fraley, Hager, Hardister, Hastings, Horn, Howard, Hurley, Iler, J. Bell, Jones, Jordan, K.Hall, L. Johnson, Lambeth, Langdon, Lewis, Malone, McElraft, McNeil, Millis, Murphy, Pittman, Presnell, R.Brown, R. Turner, Schaffer, Setzer, Shepard, Speciale, Stam, Steinburg, Stevens, Szoka, T. Moore, Torbett, Warren, Watford, West, Yarborough, Zachory, and Hendersonville's represenative, Whitemire voted YES to house bill 2.

     Who voted NO?   Representative Ager, Alexandar, Richardson, Turner, Baskerville, Brockman, Cotham, Cunningham, Hall, Farmer-Butterfield, Martin, Gill, Hamilton, Hanes, Harrison, Holley, Insko, Jackson, L.Hall, Lucas, Meyer, Michaux, R. Moore, Reives, Willingham, voted NO.

     If you are gay or transgender, and discrimination is an aggravation or concern for you, VOTE.

     If you don't educate yourself , at least mildly,and you don't VOTE with your ballot and your checkbook, don't complain when your protections under the law disappear.I personally agree with our attorney general, Roy Cooper, that HB2 is a national embarrassment for the state of North Carolina. 

     If you are LGBT or love someone that is LGBT, write your North Carolina representative.  Let them know that you intend to vote in November.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bradley Falls, Another Secret Waterfall Motorcycle Destination

   If you are looking for a fun motorcycle ride or peddle bike ride, here it is.  Bradley Falls in Saluda, North Carolina.  The dull boring way to get to Saluda is to take Interstate 26 to exit 59.  The fun way to get to Saluda from Asheville or Hendersonville or Tryon or Landrum or Spartanburg is to take U.S. 176..  I hope you read my earlier article about that.  Here is a link.  If you do ride your bike up the steepest grade in the eastern United States on U.S. 176, when you get to the top, turn right on Holbert Cove Road.  Cross Interstate 26.  Stay on Holbert Cove Road for 3.7 miles. 

Bradley Falls is huge.  If you are near Saluda, see it.

      You will see a parking area beside the road just before a small bridge.  Park here.  It is about a 40 minute walk to Bradley Falls to your left.  Little Bradley Falls is to your right. Bring hiking shoes and tote some water with you.  This is a huge waterfall.  It is worth the walk.  It is dangerous.

     You may want to have a guide.  As you left Interstate 26 on Holbert Cove Road, you passed The Gorge.  They lead hikers all the way to the falls.    

After you finish your hike, continue on Holbert Cove Road.  It ends at Silver Creek Road.  A right turn will take you to Mill Spring, North Carolina and Hiway 9.  North on Hiway 9 will take you to Black Mountain.  South on Hiway 9 will take you to Spartanburg.  Don't turn right.  Turn left on Silver Creek Road.  It is about a mile to Silver Creek Baptist Church. From there turn left on Green River Road.
Be aware that Bradley Falls is a dangerous hike

     If you liked twisty turney Holbert Cove Road, you will love Green River Road.  It is twistier, turneyer, and a lot more scenic.  It follows the Green River.  You can stop most any place and take a a dip in the river. Bring a picnic lunch.  After you pass Fishkill Landing, Green River Road is extremely twisty and turney.  There are curves that will almost require you to slow down to 5 M.P.H.  Be extremely cautious or turn around and go back the way you came.  When you come to the stop sign after the extreme turns, it might look familiar.  That is because you are back at the intersection of I 26 and Holbert Cove Road.

     The fun is not over.  Cross the interstate.  Right in front of the BP gas station on the west side of I 26 is Howard Gap Road.  If you are headed back south to Spartanburg or Charlotte or Greenville, take Howard Gap Road back to Tryon.  It is twisty and turney and scenic.  It ends on Hiway 108.  A left takes you to I - 26 and Columbus, North Carolina.  If you have not ridden White Oak Mountain, read this.  A right takes you back to Tryon and U.S. 176.

     Enjoy our western Carolina roads.  Ride safe   


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Toastmasters, One Thing You Will Surely Learn There

     Toastmasters is a club created in 1927  to help people learn to speak better in public.  I often hear amateur speakers that sorely need to improve their public speaking skills.  I hear them at different functions where they have been invited to speak.  Almost always, they are there to promote some product or service that they represent.

     The number one, first, foremost mistake that these amateur speakers make is to talk longer than they have been invited to talk.  The leader or sales manager asked them to speak for five minutes.  They talked for twelve minutes.  That may not seem like a big deal.  It is a big deal.  It is the kind of thing that causes that person to NOT be invited back.  Mr. Sales Manager has an agenda.  He has allocated five minutes for Mr. Promoter.  When Mr. Promoter drones on for twelve minutes, something else has to be cut short or the meeting has to run overtime.

     This is just one of a dozen mistakes that I witness amateur speakers make at meetings all the time.  These people don't seem to realize that increasing their skill at presenting will increase their income.  Doing what they are doing works reasonably well.  Why do they need to improve?   $$$$$$$$$$ is the answer. 

     Where can a person go to increase their public speaking skills?  In Hendersonville, North Carolina anyone can visit Four Season Toastmasters.  Four Season Toastmasters is a club designed to make you a better speaker and a better leader. These are two skills that will quickly turn into money .   

     One thing that you will learn at Toastmasters is to speak as long as you said you were going to, not longer.  No one wants to hear you speak for ten minutes when they were expecting a five minute talk.  The sales manager that invited you to his thirty minute sales meeting  certainly does not want a surprise.

     This is one of a hundred skills and lessons that you will learn at Toastmasters.  Many people come to Toastmasters because they have a fear of public speaking.  Many more people come to increase their skill.  There is no easier way to increase your public speaking skill that a visit to your local Toastmaster club.

     Join us, Wednesday morning at eight.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jump Off Rock, A Secret Motorcycle Destination In Hendersonville, North Carolina

     Jump Off Rock in Hendersonville, North Carolina must be the best kept secret in western North Carolina.  What a wonderful little motorcycle side trip.  If you have read my article about U.S. 176 between Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina, you know that U.S. 176 is a cool bike ride.

     As you come into Hendersonville, you may have to do a little detour off U.S. 176 to go down Main Street.  Don't miss Main Street in Hendersonville.  This little town gives new definition to the word,"quaint".  Hendersonville is quaint.  Lovely might be a more descriptive word.  There is an abundance of restaurants and places to eat lunch.  After lunch, find Fifth street. Turn west on Fifth street.  That is a left turn if you are coming from Spartanburg.  It is a right turn if you are coming from Asheville.
This sign for Jump Off Rock has been there a long time

 Turn onto Fifth street in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  Head west and Fifth Street will turn into Laurel Park Highway when you reach the Laurel Park city limits just past the railroad tracks.  Keep going.  Keep going.  This ride is about five miles of fabulous motorcycle road.  If you like twisty turney, you will like this.

    Pretty soon, Laurel Park Highway ends at Jump Off Rock.  This is a city park that was donated to the city of Laurel Park in 1907.

You can see the gold dome of the capital building in Atlanta from here
As you stand on Jump Off Rock, you can see forever.  You may need oxygen.  You are 3100 feet above sea level.

     You can skip that twenty five dollar lunch at that restaurant in downtown Hendersonville.  Bring a picnic lunch to this lovely spot.  Sit, relax and and eat your picnic lunch.  You will not find a more pleasant spot than Jump Off Rock, city park.
Jump Off Rock in Hendersonville, North Carolina




Sunday, March 6, 2016

Free Motorcycle Safety Class in Carolina, Bike Safe

     If you have not attended the North Carolina Department of Transportation's FREE safety program,Bike Safe, you are missing a fabulous opportunity to learn from world class experts on how to ride your motorcycle more safely.  Your first question is probably," Did you say free?"  IT IS FREE. 

     I attended the free Bike Safe class at the Concord Police Department with Motorcycle Officer Clark and Motorcycle Officer Rodriquez.  Both of these guys ride their own bikes when they are not riding their police issue Yamaha.  Their enthusiasm for biking reflected in the whole class.  Their knowledge of motorcycle safety was evident. 
Bike Safe program will make you a safer rider

     You may be concerned that a motorcycle safety program,Bike Safe, is boring.  There was not one boring minute from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.  We started with an hour long classroom session in the morning.  Then we went out and rode. The officers observed each of us and gave us a very helpful,intense critique of some areas that could use improvement. 

     We had lunch at Brooklyn Pizzeria.  If you want to know where the good food is, go where the cops go.  After lunch, we went back to the classroom for another short hour.  Then we rode for another fifty miles.  We rode on back roads.  We rode on the interstate.  We rode on bad roads.  We rode in heavy traffic.  We rode through crazy intersections.

      You may wonder who takes this class.  I took it.  I benefited very very much.  I also had fun.  One of my classmates was a young lady that had only been riding for fifteen months.  She had attended an introductory class when she bought her first bike.  She told us that she was certified to ride in a parking lot.  She was riding a Harley Davidson Heritage.
If you are new to riding attend Bike Safe

     Another classmate had been riding since 2010.  He had just graduated from a 750 cc bike to a new Victory.  How do you spell good looking bike?

      Another classmate was a retired motor policeman from New York.  He had a brand new Indian.
This Bike Safe program was fun and interesting

     Then there was me.  I have been riding since a rear view mirror was a paid for accessory.  I rode 110 miles to get to the Concord Police Department.  This day was fun, interesting and definitely worthwhile.

     I asked Officer Clark if a student could bring a passenger to the class.  He said yes.  Everything that we learned would benefit a passenger.  Many bikers hardly ever ride solo.  If you are a perennial passenger, encourage your husband to attend this class.  Go with him.

     Do not wait until a guard rail is is coming at you at fifty miles per hour, to start learning about safety.  Go take this FREE North Carolina Department of Transportation Bike Safe class.  If you wife has recently started riding her own bike, you go and take her with you. You will both benefit. If you are a member of a motorcycle group,  have you whole group sign up for the same class.   Bike Safe has a website.  There is a class near you.
Officer Clark and Officer Rodriquez were great

     If you have already had a Bike Safe class, please leave a comment here and verify or clarify what I have said.  This is a good day motorcycling.  Carolina's twisty turney curvy roads are a lot of fun. They are also dangerous with a capital D. This training class will diminish your personal danger.   An accident that could be avoided with a fun day of training, is no fun.

     Check out Bike Safe.  You will enjoy the day.   

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I Have Never Met Chris Finlayson But I Like Him

     If you have read Steven Covey's book,"Seven Habits", you are familiar with the win win principle.  If you can make all of your business transactions win win, this is good.  If you can win and your customer can win, everyone is happy.  One way you can make sure this happens is to intend to give more than you get in every business transaction. 

     I recently had a business transaction where a motorcycle mechanic gave me more than my money's worth.  I have not paid him any money so far.  Here is the short version.  I sent Chris  at Existential Motorcycle Repair an email.  I ask if he could repair my 1986 Suzuki Calvacade.  I told him it would not start.  I told him the symptoms.

     He emailed me back.  He told me that he did not work much on big touring bikes but he told me in great detail EXACTLY how to fix my own bike.  Chris did not have to help me as much as he did.  He did.  I appreciate it. If you look at Chris' website you will see that he confessed to be called to fix old Japanese bikes   in a theological way.   I have no problem believing that. I have not met Chris at Existential Motorcycles but I certainly do like him.  If you need your Honda or Yamaha or Suzuki or any other bike repaired, I think I can safely recommend Chris even if I haven't met him.

     If you can structure your business where you give more than you get, you will get more than you give.

     This worked for Sam Walton.  It will work for you.  In his book, "Think And Grow Rich", Napoleon Hill devotes an entire chapter to 'going the extra mile'.  Try to give your employer more than he pays you for.  Try to give your customer more than he deserves.  Try to give more in a business relation than you get.

     If your employer is not paying you enough, take a lesson from Chris.  Give your employer more.  If your customer does not seem to appreciate your efforts, do more for your customer.  You will be amazed at what happens.