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Archive for December, 2007

Isn't that dangerous?

December 30th, 2007 No comments

Riding a motorcycle is always dangerous and riding in unfamiliar territory increases the risk. However, I am a very careful rider and my mandate is to capture the video, deliver the workshops, present the electronic music events and bring the whole show back in one piece.

The major hazard is dropping my bike over. I am a small person and there is no way I can pick up this motorcycle. I will have to be super careful, especially when the tank is full, even that change in balance can create a problem. Every time I have dropped the bike it has been stopped with a full tank. Due to the need to keep the center of gravity low, I will not have a case on top of the bike and I will be looking for ways to reduce the weight of everything I carry.

Read more…

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Categories: 1990 Yamaha FJ 1200

About The Song, "Live More Lightly"

December 24th, 2007 No comments

The more I research the current climate crisis, the more concerned I become. All too predictably, the climate summit in Bali did not embrace any new ideas. Those who are in power feel more threatened by change than by the possibility that the earth may be uninhabitable.

My son pointed out to me that nothing that I am saying is new, Al Gore has received huge publicity and support throughout the world. Yet, three people who were planning to attend the conference in Bali were detained by the Indonesian government for speaking to a group of villagers about a planned garbage incinerator in their area. In Bali, these environmentalists would be speaking to other foreigners and to representatives of the Indonesian government, so that is permissible and safe. But raising awareness of pollution as a health and safety issue in the community, where citizens might learn some facts and become upset, is actively discouraged.

My unfortunate experience as an activist in Canada has taught me that most of these conferences and public meetings are intended to keep concerned citizens and knowledgeable experts busy, while the decision makers proceed with their original plan. It allows them to put out press releases with opening statements like, “After extensive consultation with stakeholders, we have decided that the best course of action is …”.

Now, I want to use my song to encourage people to “Live More Lightly”. The only method I have tried that has had any success is to vote with my purchasing power, minimal though it may be. It is my decision to pre-cycle by refusing to buy over-packaged merchandise, non-recyclable plastic, processed foods and other small every day items. These decisions direct my money into the green consumer category, and if similar choices can be made by many individuals — it will make a difference.

In our society, we are limited in what we can do. Realistically, I cannot imagine being able to affect a huge change in the global economy, which I firmly believe is required. I am trying to do something that I can do — create a song that can become a personal statement to encourage individuals to do “Just one thing now, to make a stand, and live more lightly upon the land”. Read more…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Hosting a Blog Part II

December 8th, 2007 No comments

Hosting a blog has been very interesting so far, as I have become part of the blogsphere and I am learning about the amazing array of plug-ins and widgets available for WordPress.

One thing I am concerned about is maintaining ownership of my blog and the contents herein. Many of my friends use services, such as LiveJournal or BlogSpot because it is popular and there is more traffic “downtown” than out here in my own URL. I have just read on the Electronic Frontier Foundation Blog that LJ has been sold again. This time is is not to an American multi-national, but to one headquartered in Moscow, Russia. This raises many concerns about privacy, data security and, our worst nightmare, more spam.

There is some very good information on legal issues involved in blogging in the US of A and we all know that the internet extends over national borders. The long arm of the law can reach out and even kidnap citizens of other countries as I recently read of a case in Britain where it came up in court.

From

“December 2, 2007

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.”

I want to maintain the right to state my opinion and criticize those who are more powerful and wealthy than I am. I try not to abuse these rights, but I realize how close we are, even in in our democratic system, to being silenced by fear. It is important that we speak out and bring forward the issues that are important to us, even though it may not be in support of the current policy that maintains the status quo.

As I wrote in one of my songs,

“In the Great White North speech as free as you can get,

but the people with the power aren’t listening yet.

Don’t they know that in our time,

their children got to breathe the same air as mine”

This live more lightly project  aims to bring the issue of environmental degradation to the attention of the powers that be and to the grassroots that can initiate change.

Bloggers' Rights at EFF

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Motorcycle Camera Mount Research

December 2nd, 2007 No comments

There are many people recording video from moving motorcycles, so I decided to post a few links to show some of the mounting technologies that I might use to attach a video camera to the Yamaha FJ motorcycle.

This is a Suzuki motorcycle, but my Yamaha has the same type of gas tank fill cap. I don’t have a grab bar on the back similar to where the second camera is mounted.

Videos made by pashnit.com to promote their group tours in the U.S. are edited well and show the group riding safely. Jones Helmet camera system has made videos of racing motorcycles, sailboats and even hot air balloons. Youtube and other video sites feature countless video clips taken with helmet cams and other video capture devices, but the quality is extremely uneven. I have not yet found anyone who is streaming directly from a motorcycle except for GP and other races that feed to a nearby truck, not directly on to the internet.

European motorcycle riders also have posted video of rides in the Alps, but they are not for the safety oriented. They are definitely in the sport bike category, with tips on penalties for speeding around the world. Don’t speed in Norway or you will loose your license! Fortunately, Canada is listed as one of the most reasonable on this topic, however, my license is completely clean and I intend to keep it that way. I may tour though Montana on my way home to make some “need for speed” video footage as there are no speed limits outside of certain zones there. That is definitely outside the scope of this tour.

These video examples give you an idea of the good quality of video production that can be obtained using consumer grade video equipment. One of the major writers of the pashnit site is a former Yamaha FJ 1200 owner who claims to have ridden over 30,000 miles on the bike before he sold it.

Here is the most economical mount yet …. the $5. camera mount. The sound on his video is mostly wind noise as he has no windshield. Great idea though. Unfortunately, my FJ has a very different system for the handlebars. Another problem is my windshield is so opaque that I don’t think I should take any video through it. That brings me to the idea of mounting a camera on my helmet.  Read more…

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