I'm listening to the likes of Furry Lewis, Juke Boy Bonner, and Pink Anderson playing delta blues this evening. Local RadioSport operator Fred, KI6QDH has zeroed in on his personal best and is looking to exceed his record later this evening. The bands are pumping according to Fred with some choppy conditions reported on 15 and 40 meters.
The Search Begins.
Airwaves are hot and the surf off of Wilmar Avenue looked fun, perfect in fact, for my Home Grown longboard shaped by a local as a retirement present. It was not free. I gifted myself after 20 years in the uniform. The board was better than a watch.
I spoke previously about my battle with middle aged bulge that mysteriously appeared last week. One wakes up usually in the morning, looks in the mirror, usually alone and gives that bulge a shake or two, man, I asked, "Where did you come from?"
One thousand fast food restaurants later and the mystery is solved. However a question remained whether or not I could, once again, fit into my Rip Curl wetsuit?
I loaded Pearl, that's the name for my Ford Explorer, early this morning after gathering some beta from Shell Beach Surf Shop. The shop is local and everything is beginning to feel really local. Stu, the shop owner and I reminisced about those days when, well, you remember.
Bryan mentioned Wilmar Avenue is a good place to start searching for the perfect Old Man wave.
I built buzz all through the week watching surfing videos at Surfer. However in the back of my mind I wondered about the bulge above my belt line. Would it make a difference? Pearl was packed and ready.
I tuned into my favorite radio station KKJL AM 1400 plays Bing, Nat, Elvis, Frank, Ingelbert, and Patsy, perfect music for the search. I'm not getting today's music as played on the frequency modulated airwaves. My favorite album oriented stuff is like a looped soundtrack, tired and worn. I can take only so much of Reo Speed Wagon, Peter Frampton, and Led Zeppelin.
Parked Pearl and began a familiar ritual that is getting into the wetsuit. It is not easy putting on neoprene rubber and I got this vibe when the first leg went into the suit. I pulled, tugged, pulled and tugged, until the moment of truth arrived.
I yanked the zipper vertical and the damn thing refused. Pulled again. Nothing. One has to reach behind the back and pull upward. It is not a normal zipper motion. Embarrassment sweat appeared on my forehead while I stood yards from a 2.5 million dollar home that is for sale. One more time with a lot of vertical motion.
The zipper exploded.
My search continues for the perfect Old Man wave despite my ruined wetsuit. The zipper warranty has long expired but the bulge above the belt line remains.
73 from the shackadelic on the beach.
Who owns the single operator all band low power record? Is 60 million points possible for a multi-multi station? Who will log 1,528 prefixes or more this weekend?
It's aggro prefix time for high frequency airwaves and operators are transmitting unusual prefixes from their callsign quivers. Everyone is a multiplier. It is important to listen first after clicking that flash spot before pushing to talk.
No one likes a busted call when log adjudication rolls around. One pays a penalty in points, ouch, especially when operators are chasing records or looking to establish a personal best.
Have fun, double check receiver filter settings, check audio, and listen first. Everyone likes a clean log.
- N5AW | 678 CW | 158 SSB | 197 DXCC | 76 Oblast | 22hr | 1,185,093 Points.
- YT3M (YU2FG) | 1543 CW | 220 DXCC | 232 Oblast | 24hrs | 4,124,952 Points [SKY CC].
- US0HZ | 1270 CW | 174 DXCC | 206 Oblast | 20hrs | 2,967,800 Points.
- S56A | 817 CW | 216 DXCC | 185 Oblast | 18hrs | 2,286,502 Points.
Single Operator Mixed.
- XU7ACY | 865 CW | 60 SSB | 130 DXCC | 157 Oblast | 10hrs | 1,910,846 Points [FRC].
- EI4CF | 296 CW | 449 SSB | 185 DXCC | 140 Oblast | 17hrs | 1,552,984 Points.
- PY2NY | 450 CW | 225 SSB | 130 DXCC | 81 Oblast | 14hrs | 844,844 Points [Araucaria DX].
Congratulations YT3M for leading Club SKY to a first place finish while Team N5AW scored a top slot with heavy metal in the aire! An accomplishment well done from both sides of the Atlantic while XU7ACY rocked the Asian multiplier grid with his stellar CW effort.
I removed my Rip Curl 4x3 wetsuit from storage and discovered some serious funk growth since my last session. My sabbatical from surfing was more of a sabbatical from physical fitness in general. I was seriously burnt out from my military years in the Air Force however something happened between then and now.
It's called middle age and those calories do not burn away like those invincible years of youth. My waist line has grown substantially since the days of the battle dress uniform. Likewise, I have things to consider like blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and relaxation.
I have surfed up and down the central coast of California although age brings on a different perspective. The urge to chase big waves has since retired itself instead I'm looking for the soulful, don't harsh my mellow, surfing experience. Relaxation out in the ocean searching for the perfect Old Man wave is the goal.
I'm introducing GroundWave with further copy to follow at Jeff, K1NSS's DashToons as well.
I want to promote in addition to ham radio, a healthy lifestyle, and surfing is a perfect fit at achieving this goal. Afterall, blogging is a personal journal, one that is shared with a community of friends. I hope you will enjoy the life and times of a middle aged surfer who happens to love ham radio.
Surf to live, live to surf.
P.S. The serious funky mold was cleaned from the wetsuit including my rash guard and booties as seen in photograph number two.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Cycle 24 sunspot production is tantalizing but it takes activity to move an event from contender into established franchise winner. The Russian DX Contest (RDXC) point structure does a good job promoting international activity however until the solar flux reaches triple digits, this event is one for the east coast.
Certainly, when one looks west of the Mississippi, population density drops significantly and its influence is felt on the reach of potential participants and enthusiasts. Frankly, I'm competing against a wall signals whose advantage is a single hop into Europe, albeit modest stations with sub optimal antenna systems or competitive stations with optimal antenna systems.
East coast advantage is a RadioSport constant that is nearly fixed across a continuum of time. It validates one of three variables when considering a goal within the game. The other two are antenna systems and station configuration.
One must weight location in relationship to score structure. Location is a RadioSport reality and options exist when considering the next competitive level.
Ed, N4EMG made a good point, one's rate in the game will influence whether or not it is worth spending time in that game. I listened across three bands; 10m, 15m, and 20m through Saturday morning into late afternoon while calling CQ on the same spaces. My flatline rate meter, for one who has an iron butt in the chair, perhaps was indicative of activity west of the Mississippi?
Likewise, Keith, W4KAZ pointed out that station configuration follows one's motivation and it is not unlike other competitive sports. One competes for different reasons however moving to the next level requires serious commitment both in time and resources. It is important to determine strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) when mapping out the next level of the game.
What did I gain from this weekend?
- Adjusted AF and RF gain controls to match headphone impedance according to K3NA's Setting Receiver Gain Controls.
- Added four 10m quarter wavelength radials.
- Reduced listening fatigue because of improperly set gain controls.
- Contributed to the success of other competitors.
- Scored Brazil on 10m.
Ric, N6RNO suggested mapping goals. I drifted a few degrees from this advice although re-visiting RDXC was five hours of additional experience which meets a long-term goal. Rate, on the other hand, does determine commitment in the chair or time spent in the game while motivation to improve is an on-going, component-by-component, process.
I have to venture something to gain something at the end of the day.