Flight 296: The day we lost brakes

Everything we do in life has a certain amount of risk associated with it. Travel is one of those things.

Recently I was flying home after attending BloggyCon. I had had a layover in Denver, so I grabbed a late lunch and boarded the plane just like normal. It was essentially a typical non-eventful air travel day. As we pushed away from the terminal and started heading out to our runway the pilot quickly stopped the plane. I had an isle seat, but I did’t think much about it, as it is not uncommon for pilots to stop quickly. However, we did not move again. A guy sitting on the other side of the isle against the window says, we are in the grass. At first I didn’t think I heard him correctly, “In the grass?” I ask. He confirmed it. The pilot then makes an announcement that says our aircraft had lost brakes and he put the engines into emergency reverse mode, hence the quick stop.

out-the-window
We were in good hands. Photo taken by the lady with the window seat in my row. 

Since that day I have had several people ask me what the atmosphere was like on the plane. It was calm. No one screamed, no one was hurt. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we were very glad we lost brakes while still on the ground as opposed to landing in Reno. As we sat on the plane, a maintenance crew worked on the brakes below us and the pilot gave updates as he knew them. The flight crew did their best to answer questions and provide information. Everyone got to know their neighbors. There was a sense of togetherness and camaraderie with the people near me.

It was finally decided that the plane could not be towed back to the terminal at that time. They were going to evacuate the plane and bus us all back to the terminal. We unloaded the plane from the rear. They had numerous emergency service professionals to assist us as well as the flight crew and the airport representatives waiting for us. We all made our way onto buses that took us back to the terminal.

off-the-plane
First time to leave a plane by the rear exit. 
from-the-bus
Back to the airport we go.

We were greeted in the terminal with water, meal vouchers, and confirmation that we would be boarding another plane that night headed to Reno. Everyone seemed relieved we would be heading home and that we weren’t going to be staying overnight in Denver.

The second plane finally arrived, we reboarded with a new flight crew. This flight went just as planned, and we had a safe landing in Reno. Although this incident caused about a three hour delay, it is safe to say that I personally was very glad to find out we did not have brakes in Denver before we took off. I cannot even imagine what the possible outcome would have been had we discovered that when we landed in Reno. I think every person on that plane probably spent a few minutes reflecting on what is important in their life and thanked someone or something for giving us a positive outcome.

I boarded another plane this week. The reward outweighed the risk for me.

I wanted to give a shoutout to United airlines (the airline I happened to be flying during this incident), as they did an excellent job handing a volatile situation. They provided continuous updates, were friendly and helpful, sent a survey about our experience immediately, and offered points or a cash credit toward our next flight. It was a good case study in crisis communication.

Disclaimer: United Airlines has in no form or fashion compensated me for writing this post. I am just glad to be here today to share my story about United flight 296.

Have you ever had a close call when traveling?


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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Facebook
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15 Tips from BloggyCon

I recently had the opportunity to attend my very first blogger conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am not a “mommy blogger” nor do I sell stuff through my blog. Nonetheless I signed up, and off I went to Sandusky, Ohio for my first BloggyCon.

Below I wanted to share some of the best takeaways for me. These are things I hope to continue doing, start doing, or do better in the future.

  1. Podcasts – keep them between 10 and 15 minutes.
  2. Present yourself – what is your story? Everyone has a story. Be real and share your story.
  3. Take the time to work on content and schedule it, then it frees up time for other things and helps remove the guilt about not posting regularly.
  4. Perfection is the enemy of production – sometimes you just have to jump into the deep end and go with it.
  5. Don’t be afraid to go back to old blog poststhat are performing well and re-purpose them into additional or follow-ups posts, podcasts, webinars, etc.
  6. The ideal  blog post should take 7 minutes or less to read and be 500-750 words with pictures.
  7. Solve a problem for your audience. If you have a talent or skill make a video and share it. “How to” videos on YouTube are tremendously popular.
  8. Use the YouTube thumbnails when posting a video.
  9. Do not spend more than 15 to 30 minutes editing a video. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
  10. You don’t have to have expensive equipment to produce a good product.
  11. Facebook Live videos are being prioritized over other content… Be there.
  12. Go live for 10-15 minutes on Facebook Live.
  13. Use good keywords and do not ever include a hashtag in a Pinterest post.
  14. Blog post titles should be around 60 characters
  15. Take advantage of internal linking. Go back through old posts and link in newer stuff (and vice versa) that you have written that relates to it.

This conference focused a lot on monetizing your blog, which is something I cannot do at this point. However, I learned a lot at BloggyCon and need to spend a day or two going through my social networks making various changes. I also met some great ladies that I look forward to keeping in touch with, and will perhaps see again someday. And to top it off, the location for this conference was fantastic.

Have you ever attended a blogging or social media conference? If so, which one was it?


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

 

A summer in Seoul… Flashback Friday

I always start getting twitchy this time of year, I want to be traveling! Until my next international adventure I like to reminisce about some of the parts of the world I have been blessed to visit.

During the summer of 2008 I spent three months in Seoul, South Korea as an intern with the U.S. Meat Export Federation. It was a summer I will never forget! Not only did I travel alone, I was completely on my own for those three months in a country with unique customs and traditions, the food was like nothing I had ever experienced before, where English was not the first language, and where it was very humid (not my favorite climatic condition).

During my stay, there were  daily protests about American beef and negotiations of it reentering the South Korean market, and at one point (I learned after my internship) they had thought about sending me back to the USA, as they were concerned for my safety. Despite some of these challenges, I learned so much, worked with some great people, and saw first hand how emotional and sensitive beef export/import and BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (aka: Mad Cow Disease)) was to a country.

I kept a blog about my experience during that time. Occasionally, I read through some of the posts and chuckle about the stories I shared. Here are a couple that share specific details of the experience. (PS – during my time there I had the opportunity to be a tourist too, I will share some of those experiences in another post).

On June 30, 2008 I wrote:

Well half of 2008 is already over, how time flies. Speaking of things that fly – there were lots of very hard inanimate objects flying this weekend at the protests. The protests have taken a very violent turn as you may have seen on tv. As soon as it was announced that Korea was officially open for US beef imports, the riots have escalated to a new violent height. While police were able to deter protesters from gathering in City Hall, they pushed them to rally in front of my hotel. I was peacefully napping, and it was so loud it woke me up. So I saw things were getting crazy, with fire extinguishers and yelling. When I went downstairs to try to get some photos, the hotel persons would not let me go out. Ahh safety precautions, so after a trip to the roof, and back down I was able to get out and check things out. By that time things had died down to a dull roar. It has been estimated that over 150 police officers were hospitalized (as well as some protesters), some for critical conditions (and one guy had his skull bashed in), over the weekend. And do you know what their injuries were? Broken and bruised bones due to hits from hammers, pipes, rocks, and water bottles inflicted by the protesters!!! I have asked my co-workers why does this madness continue? Why are the police not enforcing stricter behaviors? Because in the 80’s when Korea was still becoming democratic, the police were very violent to the citizens who protested; pepper spray and violence were used quite often. So the police (and gov’t officials) vowed that pepper spray would never be used again. I guess you should never say “never”! I will never understand why the police can be used as punching bags, and the citizens boo hoo if they are hit back. Perhaps if these violent rallies continue more drastic measures will have to be taken.

This weekend, in an afternoon outing I went down to City Hall. Home of the protesters. I was amazed to see all the buses that have been destroyed thus far (over 100), were parked up and down the streets, they were lined up in front of the statue leading up to the Blue House (President Lee’s house). My co-worker said that the buses have been placed there to get people to realize what is happening; to see the damage that is being done. And in some way get them to stop protesting. I am doubtful it works.

Of the 5,300 metric tons of beef that has been in storage since October 2007 (after bones were found in a shipment) only 85 metric tons have passed quarantine inspection. Things are moving so slow because 1) the protesters are wreaking havoc at the ports where the beef is stored – they are causing road blocks and doing more rallying, 2) restaurant owners and retail stores are afraid to sell/advertise they have US beef because the citizens may boycott their store/restaurant. And like I have mentioned before, it is not good enough to have US beef in retail locations, label it, and let the people choose for themselves. Korean consumers do not trust even the retail food owners because they may be mislabeling the meat. So it opens a whole new can of worms. While the US has yet to implement a traceability or COOL program; these are issues we may face when we do. Or will Americans really care where their food is coming from?

Rally (6)-final
South Korean military: all S. Korean men and required to serve two years in the military. They can do it immediately after high school or after college. If they have poor vision, a disability, or anything else that would not let them be active they are given policy duty or an office jobs (as they are easier).

On July 10, 2008 I wrote:

Well it was official today. As of 5:00 a.m., July 10 (USA central time) beef is officially being slaughtered for Korea. So in a few short weeks US beef will be arriving here for consumption. It will be interesting to see what the reaction is. The good news is that the protests will only happen on the weekends from here on out. They have estimated that the month and half of protests have cost $2.5 billion in damages; which is in lost business, the ruined buses, hiring of extra police, restaurant and taxi business losses, etc., plus the grass at City Hall has to be replaced. And to top it off the founders of the Mad Cow group are holed up at a temple. I guess if they remain there, the police cannot come onto the temple grounds to arrest them, the only way it can happen is if the temple wants them to leave. President Lee has replaced 3 more of his cabinet in hope of trying to get public sentiment back to a reasonable level.

Burger King is under some fire now. In the US they released a statement saying that hamburgers were from cattle over 30 months of age. Well Burger King in Korea was telling people that their burgers were cattle under 30 months, so I guess the head office put their foot down, and now Korea Burger Kind has announced that yes, their burgers are from cattle over 30 months of age too. The good thing is that when we went there for lunch today, it was not busy at all.

Korean food
An example of Korean food: Military soup, Korean pancake (veggies, seafood, and egg batter), and a traditional Korean breakfast.

Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

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Death Valley Super Bloom… A photo journal

Rhyolite

Zabriskie Point

Death AValley Super Bloom

Sunset over Badwater

Artists Palette

Natural BridgeDevils Golf Course

Badwater Basin

Old Harmony Borax Works

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

Golden Canyon

Charcoal Kilns

Flowers

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Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
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Grain Silo Art

I am a sucker for interesting and unusual art, and this morning I saw grain silo art (on the internet that is). In Brim, Victoria, Australia an artist, Guido van Helten, just completed a massive undertaking by painting four portraits of farmers on decommissioned wheat silos, making a rather large and impressive mural.

Brim Silo
Brim’s silos have been dubbed Australia’s Mt. Rushmore

For more information and photos of this project check out their Facebook page, and articles here and here.

Curious about silos and their function? Jenny at FarmWife Transparency has a great post on Cathedrals of the Prairie.

silos
Silos. Source Jenny Burgess.

Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

Christmas in California

Next week I head to California to spend Christmas with my family and friends. And I am pretty excited! In all of my years in college and living away, I have yet to miss a Christmas at home. Yes I said home, as that is where my heart is… My heart loves the mountains, trees, rivers and lakes, ranches, livestock, and of course family and friends. And I get to see these people…

WY weekend 052
My parents – aren’t they cute?!
IMG_3296
My sister (and I, on the left).
Wedding Photos7 046
Love the mountains – especially from the top down…
Bridgeport_final
A summertime favorite…

Where is home for you? Is that where you are spending Christmas?

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Look for me at the follow places too:

– Website (http://food.unl.edu/ag-and-food)
– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
– Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/agwithdrlindsay)
– Pinterest (Lindsay Chichester-Medahunsi)