Thursday, January 17, 2008

한국에서 온 친구들을 만날 거에요.

I had been wondering if Blogger would accept Korean fonts, and I am happy to discover it does.

This weekend I'm going on a little trip. It is with my boyfriend, who I've always ridden with, but it will not be on a motorcycle because it is a seven hour drive. The longest trip I've been on is what would have been a 1.5 hour trip in the car on the Interstate. That was done on back roads, with frequent breaks, so it took much longer. I've learned that riding a motorcycle, even as a passenger, is really exhausting even under perfect conditions. If you add heat or cold or wind or anything else that makes the ride less than perfect, you have to add much more downtime for rest.

So, I'm off. I'm looking forward to seeing four good friends, catching up and talking at great length about the good old days in the Land of the Morning Calm. 안녕!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What color is your motorcycle?

I spent some time yesterday meeting with a group of library employees on campus who are concerned about "green" issues. We spent some time discussing some things that we could push for to make the libraries more environmentally friendly. We settled on a very small suggestion to make to our fellow librarians. The idea being that it is easy for each one of us to make a small change. However, it made me think about how many BIG changes we really need and how little difference our suggestion is going to make, which was kind of depressing. Yet, maybe the important thing is just to get people thinking about how their actions affect the world and maybe if they think about this small thing they will think about some bigger ones.

Which brings me to the idea of riding a motorcycle as an environmentally friendly action. Is it? It uses gas and oil. It puts out exhaust, which increases our greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint. Why not ride a bicycle instead? Well, I wouldn't ride a motorcycle somewhere that I could ride a bicycle. I've been on the back of a motorcycle to places like Berea, Danville, and Florence, KY. Two people on a motorcycle versus an automobile for out of town trips is saving a lot of gas, which is better for the environment. I've also spent most of my time on the back of a bike out on small roads in the Kentucky countryside, appreciating the rural landscape. I think people who know what lies outside Kentucky's suburban sprawl from riding a motorcycle appreciate it more and want to preserve the nature around us. And that seems pretty green to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Practice makes perfect

We are supposed to write about our experiences signing up for an IM service and creating a blog. Was it difficult or easy to create? Chatting I'd done for years, so it was no problem, and I was not surprised to discover that setting up a blog is very simple as well. What was hard was the 1.0 part: coming up with an idea and something to say about it.

Riding a motorcycle is much more challenging than that. I always imagined that actual riding, in traffic or on uneven pavement or around twisting, speedy roads was not easy, but I was shocked to learn how complicated the actual operation of the vehicle is. I'd been riding a bicycle since the age of five (learned without training wheels) and driving a standard shift car since the age of 16, but put those two things together and it is a whole different experience. Especially since I find I want to accelerate with my right foot (actually rear brake) and break with my left foot (gear shift) like a car and hit the breaks with both hands (left hand clutch) like a bicycle. Add to that the fact that I feel like easing off on the accelerator should mean pulling your hand back instead of forward, and I start to feel like I am not wired properly.

Like anything, I'm sure it just takes practice.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The journey begins with the first step

I'd been thinking about starting a blog for some time now, but my problem has been deciding what my focus should be. I'd been thinking about a blog about my work, but there are already so many good blogs on librarianship that I couldn't think of a good niche.

Luckily for me, I've been prodded into action by "Library 2.0" a workshop for University of Kentucky Librarians. I signed up and agreed to pursue proficiency in 2.0 web skills. Step 1: create a blog.

So. What IS the focus? I will keep things fast and loose. Think of this as my public diary. The framework, though, the lens through which this blog will (probably) focus, will be my experience with motorcycles. I started riding last June as a passenger, took a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course in October, and got my license in November. I still don't feel road worthy, but I am making it a goal for 2008.