Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cards and Cars

I'm trying something a little different tonight. I'm editing my blog entry within TextMate, yet another text editor. To be honest, I'm somewhat of a Neanderthal when it comes to blogging tools and HTML creation. My first editor for these things was vi and no matter which editor I've been using I insert all my own HTML tags. No WYSIWYG for me! Recently I'd been using BBEdit or a simple word processor like AppleWorks, anything that allowed me to enter text and do a quick spellcheck. This color-coded, language-specific, syntax-directed, context-sensitive, high-tech editor stuff seems a little over-the-top for just blogging, but I'll give it a spin for a few days and see how it works out.
I got an envelope today from Paul (KB9AVO) with his executed Model Release Form and General Agreement. It took me by surprise when I pulled it out of the mail box, though. Check it out:

Paul must have printed up some of these early in the planning stages as it has the old logo. Still it looks pretty good!
Speaking of printing, I exchanged some email messages with Budd (W3FF) today regarding possible QSL card printers. My current off-the cuff estimate is a print run of 5000 cards. Maybe we need fewer (and wouldn't it be nice if we needed more!) Budd suggested LZ1JZ QSL-print. I have used the QSLworks for my cards and have been very pleased. I would like to have a fold-out style card which would give us four panels with the standard 5.5 by 3.5 inches. I figure one panel will have a group picture, one panel would have the QSL information (band, time, etc.), one panel would have some shots of the villa and island, and the last panel would have some product information for Buddipole antennas.
I called QSLworks and talked with Tami, the graphics designer, about these ideas. She's now working up a quote for 5000 cards with full color on both sides. I have no idea if that's how the card will ultimately look, or if indeed we need 5000 cards, but you've got to start somewhere.
Just for kicks, I stopped by the local print shop that has done some work for me on other projects and gave them the same parameters. I suspect the local place will come in just a bit higher than QSLworks but not unreasonably so.
The other interesting tidbit that Budd came up with regards drivers licenses on Montserrat. Specifically, you need a local drivers license to drive on Montserrat; Montserrat does not recognize international drivers licenses! Well, that's a twist! I was going to suggest we appoint a head of the motor pool in the next round of assignments. This would be a person principally responsible for securing ground transportation for the group, renting the van, be the designated driver, and so on. Now that we learn that local drivers licenses are required, there is even more reason to consider this idea. We don't need all seven of us to get a Monsterrat drivers license!
Finally, Budd was also able to confirm with the hosts at Gingerbread Hill that they have wireless internet available, each villa has lots of 110 volt outlets (and one 220 volt outlet, too), and lots of power strips. Although we've gone to great lengths to ensure that everything we bring is dual voltage (110/220, 50/60 Hz), knowing that the power available will be just like home is still a relief.


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