Archive for June, 2012

New license! New bike!

Yesterday I picked up my new motorcycle-endorsed temporary drivers license. Exciting but a little scary. It would now be legal for me to get on Todd’s R1 and take off. (At 190hp it can go 90mph in 1st gear). In reality I am only qualified thus far to ride a bike with 20hp at 15mph in a parking lot under supervision. Either way, I bought my bike within 5 minutes of picking up my license. [Smile]. I don’t have any bike prejudices. I like all different types: classic, cruisers, sport bikes, touring bikes, dirt bikes, choppers. I have respect for all of them (except the one I trained on). But for me, for now, I decided on the FZ6R. I picked a bright white one so I’d be obvious in traffic. The photos don’t do the pearly white any justice but… here she is…

Now all I need is a sticker that says ‘Student Driver’. Hehe. Maybe this will be me someday…


(Heh. Just kidding, Dad). I think I have a ways to go…

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Motorcycle Operator Safety Training

I am stunned. I just finished a motorcycle safety course and passed the license exams. The first day was… well, not ‘difficult’ but…. complicated. If they had sat me on the bike and said pull this in and turn the bike on, no problem. But just sitting on the bike was explained in seven steps. SEVEN. I am not kidding:

1. Reach across your bike with your right hand
2. Squeeze the front brake
3. Swing your leg over the bike
4. Sit down
5. Stand the bike up
6. Straighten the handle bars
7. Put the kick stand up

The words makes it sound like a huge undertaking. It is like explaining in detail how to do a cartwheel. 
Put your left foot at a 45 degree angle with your toes facing outward away from your right foot. Raise both of your arms over your head. With your right foot take one step in the direction of the cartwheel. Turn your hands at a 90 degree angle in the opposite direction of your left foot. Quickly lean forward, twisting your upper body to the left, and place only your right hand on the ground…

And that was just the explanation of how to get on the bike. By the end of the day they were explaining the steps involved in up-shifts, down-shifts, and u-turns and counter-steering. Aaack! My head almost exploded.

But the second day those things were already starting to become second nature. I don’t really think it is a bad thing to dissect all that stuff at first and maybe even review it periodically. I am sure it is like any sport where you start forming what will be your habits right off the bat – good or bad. Instincts are great but it is a lot better when the foundation is skill. (def: skill is the learned capacity to carry out the best results with the minimum outlay of time and energy). I want to build the kind of habits I won’t have to try to break later on.

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Happy 90th Birthday Grandma!

”Rose’s Roses” – by Karen Ramirez

Grandma, for your 90th birthday I wanted to give you something to brighten up your room a little bit. Something that would remind you everyday that there are many people in your life that you inspire – people who love you and think of you all the time even though they can’t always be with you.

I started with 5 colors: red, yellow, green, white, and black and a blank canvas.

I found a time lapse on YouTube to mimic and started with the background. Then I added the first rose…

background 2DSC03865

…then a second… then a third…and finally put on a few finishing touches…


…until I finally ended up with a painting for your room. “Rose’s Roses”.


Thank you so much for inspiring me to always want to be a better person. You are always with me and always will be even when you are not there in person. I love you very much. – Karen

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