Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A leap day list


  1. It’s a good thing that there was an extra day in February because today was my first full-day in the office since January.
  2. My co-worker  pointed out to me that people on salary positions were working for free today.
  3. I had a great lunch with my cousin, Megan, today – a much needed catch-up session.
  4. I took a nap when I got home from work today.
  5. It was great, but Hank was mad so I had to take him on a walk afterwards.
  6. Today I wondered if people who have birthday’s on leap day get sad that they don’t get overloaded with Happy Birthday Facebook messages every year. I know I would be.
  7. Hopefully on the next leap day, I will have something more inspiring to write about. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Panama City Tour

Mom and I got to Panama City a day early for the conference so we could take in a tour of the city.

There is some great history there – like with pirates and conquistadors and old city walls and plazas and very old churches.

Panama City was founded in 1519 by a Spanish governor not long after Balboa first saw the Pacific. Although the Spanish settlement quickly became an important center of government and church authority, the city was ransacked and destroyed in 1671 by the English pirate Sir Henry Morgan, leaving only the stone ruins of Panamá Viejo – pictured below. The tower has been restored so visitors can climb to the top and get a good view of the ruins and the city.


After Panama Viejo was destroyed, the Old Town of Panama City was developed – now called Casco Viejo – in 1671. It was constructed as a walled city on a peninsula off of Panama City to protect its settlers against another siege. This is a very unique part of the city because many of the original building structures still stand today – many are in disrepair, but several are being renovated.

(Lindsay – you will like this part as I know you’re a fan of cool architecture). The 16th & 17th century Spanish & French Colonial architecture is breathtaking and only one of the many reasons that has attracted the growing number of new businesses to the area – along with tourists.


The tide was low – on the Pacific side, the tide has a 20-foot drop!

Notice the new sky scrapers through the old city wall.

Check out all of my Panama pictures on my online photo album.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Viva la Panama Canal!

IMG_1347Stay home? What does that mean?! After my work trips to Charleston and Charlotte, I had one day of rest work before I packed back up again and headed south to the Republic of Panama. But what an opportunity it was! I certainly couldn't complain about the 90 degree weather, even if I was in meetings a majority of the time. I also got to bring Mom along - which was so fun to experience together.


The reason for being in Panama City was for the US Grains Council's International Marketing Conference. I am excited to be serving on the Membership and Communications Advisory Team to help launch the new branding initiative, fresh and new with an updated logo and vibrant, user-friendly website (launching in the upcoming week). As my involvement with the US Grains Council has increased, so have my opportunities to see the importance of agriculture to the world (you may remember the corn mission through the Council that I traveled to Japan, Taiwan and China with in 2010).


Traveling through the Panama Canal and getting an up-close view of the new Canal expansion site was a highlight for both Mom and I. An excursion from the conference gave us a beautiful, balmy evening to enjoy on a dinner cruise through the Panama Canal and through the locks from the Pacific side going inland to Gatun Lake. The locks, which have been installed and working since 1914, are the same and have not been replaced. Can you imagine all that it took to carve out the canal back in the early 1900's without the technology we have today, and it is all still in working shape?!


Also while in Panama City, we had a great city tour, got some shopping in, and just enough sun to forget all of the snow back home. I will post about this next!


Find  my pictures on my online photo album here.

Read here about my blog on the importance of the Canal to US Agriculture.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Charlotte and NASCAR

Right after the CommonGround Conference in Charleston, I flew up one state to North Carolina to the city of Charlotte – home of ALL things racing – for the NASCAR Communicators meeting with nine other corn state and national communicators.

In preparation for the upcoming NASCAR season, I represented the Nebraska Corn Board to discuss the National Corn GrowersAssociation's (NCGA) partnership with American Ethanol.
The purpose for meeting in North Carolina was for us to to learn more about NASCAR, the RAB Racing and Richard Childress Racing teams, and to discuss activation events promoting American Ethanol and E15 to consumers.
What is exciting for the 2012 racing season is that American Ethanol will be sponsoring two drivers - Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) with RAB Racing and Austin Dillon (@AustinDillon3) of RCR Racing. Dillon will be racing the black No. 3 car in the Nationwide series and Kenny will be hoping to qualify in the upcoming Daytona 500 to race in the Sprint Cup series in the No. 33 car.

And yes, I got to meet Austin Dillon and Richard Childress both at the Richard Childress Winery. Austin graciously let me take a picture with him. :)
As part of the tour in Charlotte, we got to tour both RAB and RCR racing shops where the cars are made, and learn more about what it takes to be a driver and part of the crew. The in's and out's of racing are amazing! Here are just a few of the pictures:

More of my photos are on my online photo album.
If you want to know more about the NASCAR/American Ethanol partnership with NCGA and Nebraska Corn, check out these blogs:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another year

I am currently traveling (yes in a tropical place that is 90 degrees – but I won’t rub it in because I’m here for work), but today is someone’s birthday that is very special to me and since I can’t be with him, I wanted to give him a shout-out for this special day!

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Happy Birthday, my love!