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August 2006

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Thursday, August 24th


What does KI4QXQ stand for?

One of our plans when we go cruising is to stay in touch with those we leave behind via email. How do we send an email from a boat away from the dock? By amateur or ham radio is how. Our boat is equipped with a Single Sideband radio which also has the capabilities of an amateur radio. In order to transmit on the amateur radio frequencies a license is required. Obviously in order to implement our plan one of us needs an amateur radio license. Last Saturday after several weeks of studying I went to New Bern and took the test for the “Technician” class license. Today the FCC issued the call sign FI4QXQ giving me all the rights and privileges of a Technician class operator. Unfortunately the rights and privileges of a Technician do not allow me to transmit on the frequencies that are used for emails. This means that I have several other tests to take to get to the “General” class which includes the use of the necessary frequencies. That may take a while since one of the tests is the use of Morse Code. Until then I will be busy on the lower spectrum.

Dale on 08.24.06 @ 09:31 PM EDT [link]

Sunday, August 20th

Family reunion

I am a month late with this but here is the report on the family reunion. Every three years we schedule a family reunion back on the family farm which is now run by one of my cousins, him being the third generation. This year there were about 150 in attendance. I won’t bore you with details but just let you know that it was a very good time, with a lot of activities and a lot of catching up being done. The weather was hot and muggy; reaching 102 degrees on Sunday, but at least it wasn’t raining. It would be hard to get that many people under cover and inside it that happened.

What I will tell you about the reunion is how I almost missed it. We have known for a year what the dates would be. At some point I marked my calendar and a month prior booked my flight to Minneapolis and a rental car to drive up with. We were down to a week before when my mother called and wanted to know my schedule. I told here I would be flying in on Thursday morning and arriving sometime in the afternoon or evening. Two days later she calls a little after midnight wanting to know where I was and how soon I would be in. The problem was that I was at home asleep. I had marked the wrong weekend and booked everything for the next week. Needless to say she was pretty upset. I started making phone calls to see what I could do to reschedule my flight but there were only a couple of flights available and it would be an additional $900 to make the changes. As a last resort I checked for a flight out of Raleigh on Northwest using a frequent flyer ticket. That wasn’t looking good since they wanted to route me all over the country taking all day and I would still have a 300 mile drive from Minneapolis. I then checked if a frequent flyer seat was available flying into Grand Forks ND, a flight I had never been able to get a ticket for. Lo and behold, there was a seat available on a direct flight in the morning to Minneapolis and then a connection arriving in Grand Forks at 1:30 in the afternoon. I called my mother back and told her I would be in Grand Forks at 1:30 and would get a car and drive the last 50 miles. She insisted that she would be there to pick me up. I then quickly packed and left about 2:30 in the morning for the Raleigh airport. Once in Raleigh I had to try to get hold of the people at work to let them know that I would be gone for a few days.

Needless to say, there is no way that I could keep a mistake of this magnitude quiet, so I was the butt of a lot of jokes over the weekend. I did schedule an extra day to stay and visit since it will be a while before I am able to get back there again

Dale on 08.20.06 @ 04:16 PM EDT [link]

Monday, August 7th

More info coming

Sorry, I have been real busy and have not had a chance to add any entries. There will be some new postings in the next couple of days. Look for info on going back to Minnesota for a family reunion and a couple of projects that I have been working on.
Dale on 08.07.06 @ 09:34 PM EDT [link]