Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Makes Creative Matter

I've been posting a lot of stuff on the Makes Creative Matter blog lately.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Should you buy a canoe or a kayak

When I was growing up my father and I would rent a canoe from an outfitter on the Current River and load it with a couple of days worth of gear. Usually, they gave us a 17’ Alumacraft that required a splash of cool water on the seat and gunwale before climbing aboard on a hot sunny day. Think fried ham steaks (which I also hate). These boats looked like they had been through a bad plane crash and, in my eyes, lacked anything that could pass for style, grace or beauty. While they allowed us to successfully navigate or, in my dads words, perpetually crash from the left to the right bank of the river, it always seemed like a fight. The grabby aluminum hulls weren’t able to slide over logs or gravel bars without getting stuck. The boat made terrible noises with every bump of a paddle or rock. There was no chance of observing wildlife in its natural habitat because the animals could hear you coming from a mile away and, frankly, wanted no part of all that commotion. I hated canoes. It got worse too.

Canoe Advantages

  • Canoes can be paddled solo or with several passengers
  • Canoes sit up higher giving you a better view of the water
  • Canoes allow easy access to gear and more room for it
  • Canoes offer a variety of sitting and kneeling positions
  • Canoes are easy to get in and out of

Kayak Advantages

  • Kayaks ride lower in the water and offer less wind resistance and more stability
  • A skirt will help keep the inside of a kayak and any gear stored there drier
  • Kayaks are often faster than canoes
Read the rest of the Canoe vs Kayak post on

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ACA Canoe Instructor Training - Level 3: River Canoeing

ACA Canoe Instructor Training - Level 3: River Canoeing

Oct 23 2009 - 9:00am
Oct 25 2009 - 4:00pm

Adventure Canoe is hosting an ACA instructor certification course. Visit this link ACA Canoeing Instructor Course for more information and to register or email

The course will be led by Pat Owens and cost $300

Friday, June 05, 2009

USSEC Global News Update

USSEC Global News Update

June 5, 2009

Largest European Feed Miller Excited by

U.S. Soybean Meal


            ASA TPIA Chairman Randy Mann, USSEC CEO Miguel Escobar, and ASA-IM Europe Regional Director Mark Andersen, along with two researches from the University of Madrid's Animal Research Department, visited the Nutreco Poultry and Rabbit Research Facilities.  Following the trip, the company will conduct research comparing soybean meal by origins at this facility.   Dr. Pedro Perez presented the results of a study showing the advantages of U.S. soybean meal over South American meal. Before this study, Nutreco had not considered comparing soybean meal by origin.

              Nutreco, one of the top ten feed companies in the world, operates plants in 30 countries. The results of the study showed a significant difference and advantage for U.S. soybean meal in digestible amino acids and energy. Study results inspired Nutreco to conduct two additional studies of this nature. Nutreco produces 7 million metric tons of feed annually using approximately 51.4 million bushels of soybean meal. 

Soy Products Flourish in Mexico's Baking Industry


            ASA-IM Consultant Fernando Maya helped the Productos Rich plant in Mexico City train employees on the uses of soybean oil shortenings in baking.  Productos Rich bakes for wholesalers supplying supermarkets, restaurants and institutional kitchens with frozen cakes, muffins and rolls.  To provide their products with a healthy dose of protein, the bakery products are made using 10 percent soy flour.

 Productos Rich consumes five tons of defatted and toasted soybean flour and 100 tons worth of soybean oil shortenings and oils monthly.  Productos Rich hopes to use the knowledge gained through this seminar to develop new products containing soybean derivatives that will increase their overall consumption of U.S. soy.  

Dominican Dairy Industry Wins with U.S. Soy


            ASA-IM Latin America hosted a dairy production seminar in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic in coordination with the Southern Dairy Federation and CONALECHE, a governmental institution dealing with the dairy industry.   ASA-IM Consultants Carlos Campabadal and Pedro Pablo Lora presented on dairy reproduction, health, milk quality and milking techniques for the 80 dairy technicians in attendance. The seminar focused on improving both reproduction and milk production in the dairy industry.  These improvements necessitate an increase in U.S. soybean meal usage through higher feed consumption and higher soybean meal inclusion rates. 

U.S. Soy Will Help Add Protein to Iraqi Diets


            Concerned about the chronic shortage of protein sources in the Iraqi food system, the new USDA/FAS Animal Health and Food Safety Ministerial Advisor in Baghdad, Dr. Jessica McCoy, met with ASA-IM Regional Consultant Mousa Wakileh in Amman, Jordan to develop a set of joint priorities and coordinated actions that will make U.S. soybeans the solution to the problem.

            ASA-IM market development activities in Iraq place a high priority on full fat soybean meal (FFSBM) production for use in livestock feed.   ASA-IM is pursuing potential U.S. Army financing for FFSBM extruder production projects in Iraq through FAS.  Activities will also focus on providing technical support in the Arabic language to both the poultry and aquaculture industries for FFSBM utilization.

            While visiting Iraqi animal industry facilities and meeting with key poultry, aquaculture and animal feed contacts remains a challenge, it will not prevent a determined ASA-IM and FAS effort to implement an expanded market development program that will help Iraqi's to improve their diets with American soy.


High Value Natto Soybean Market Remains Strong in Japan

            ASA-IM Japan participated in four major annual Japanese food bean and soyfood events including the Japan Vegetable Protein Food Association, Tokyo Soybean Wholesalers Trade Association, Federation of Japan Natto Manufacturers Cooperative Society and the Japan Grain Trade Association of Eastern Japan.   

At the Tokyo Soybean Wholesalers Association Annual Meeting, ASA-IM Japan Country Director LaVerne Brabant gave opening remarks focusing on U.S. soybean production, the global soybean trade and low inventories forecast by the USDA.  He also expressed appreciation to customers for their continuing support of U.S. soybean farmers.  Japan imports 80 percent of its Natto soybeans from the U.S.  This equates to 3.6 million bushels of high value non-GMO U.S. food grade soybeans. 

            ASA-IM Japan continues to support and reinforce U.S. farmers' commitment to the Japanese soyfood complex customers. Japan is the largest single market for non-GMO identity preserved U.S. food grade soybeans.


ASA-IM China Maximizes Impact of Investments in Swine Industry


            Hog prices in China dropped dramatically in 2009 slowing growth rates created by favorable market conditions in 2007 and 2008.  Despite this difficulty, Chinese swine producers continue their drive to become more professional and increase performance levels.          ASA-IM China assists the industry by disseminating technology that aids in the establishment of new production sites and helps existing units fine-tune operations by maximizing animal performance and economic benefits.  ASA-IM also invited two animal nutritionists recently visiting China to present at a series of Advanced Swine Technology Seminars and on-farm consultations.  Dr. Don Bushman and Dr. Robert Rowland joined ASA-IM China Technical Director-Livestock Dr. M.Y. Huang for the technical service programs. The seminar covered topics such as baby pig nutritionand U.S. swine industry and its integrated operation model.  Three ASA-IM China preferred customers cosponsored these workshops to leverage each groups' funds and best promote U.S. soy-based swine feeds.

            The consultant team also made on-site consultation visits to a feed mill, three swine farms and a new modern breeding farm that is under construction. By helping these operations increase their productivity, ASA-IM China increases U.S. soybean meal usage in U.S. soybean farmers' number one international market. 


USSEC Soy Bits


<image001.jpg>      The USSEC Board of Directors met in St. Louis, Mo. the evening of June 4, 2009.  June 5, 2009, farmer leaders will join other industry representatives for the ISPOT meeting to be held in the same location.

<image001.jpg>      Cathryn Dixson and Brent Babb attended the USB/QSSB meeting held in St. Louis, Mo. June 1-3.  This roundtable discussion provided an arena to share ideas and coordinate communication strategies for the upcoming year with state staff and farmers.

<image001.jpg>      Brent Babb and Catalina Valencia met with the Global Aquaculture Alliance leadership to discuss and coordinate joint efforts on aquaculture production and feeding standards.

<image001.jpg>      Paul Burke and Mark Andersen led a team of soybean meal purchasers from the Maghreb.  As a part of activities designed to familiarize them with the U.S. soy value chain, the team visited the farm of USB Director John Wray in Ottawa, Kan.

<image001.jpg>      Greg Olwig accompanied USB Director Bob Metz to Canada for the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada Conference.

<image001.jpg>      Ethan Brewer and Colby Sutter attended the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.  While there, Sutter accompanied a team of Chinese swine farmers and Brewer staffed the USSEC booth.


USSEC Events Calendar


June 3-5

World Pork Expo

Des Moines, IA

June 3-5

Animal Nutrition Association of Canada Conference


June 5

International Soy Planning and Opportunities Team Meeting (ISPOT)

St. Louis, MO

June 8-12

Workshop on the Nutritional Advantages of U.S. Soybean Meal


June 16-21

South America Biotech Conference


June 22-25

USB Board Meeting

Dearborn, MI

June 22-27

Risk Management Workshop

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

June 24-29

July 15-16

July 20-23

Soybean Meal Workshop

U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council (FAS Cooperators)

ASA Board Meeting

Seoul, Korea

Bethesda, MD

Washington, DC

August 2-6

U.S. Soy Export Week

St. Louis, MO


4pt 0in 5.4pt;height:14.5pt'>

U.S. Soy Export Week

St. Louis, MO


<June 5.pdf>

Friday, April 03, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Motorcycle Photos

I was playing around with iLife and uploaded some photos of my motorcycle.

Check it out.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Gateway BMW

I made some changes to the Gateway BMW Motorcycle site. It now has tons of BMW Motorcycle News, information about the motorcycles including the R1200GS Adventure, the BMW F800GS, and the 2009 BMW K1300GT Sport Tourer.

Check it out when you get a chance.