Friday, January 26, 2007

Last minute checklists

It is Friday night. I leave Sunday morning. The math says I have just under two days to go.
I confess that this week was something of a disappointment for me. I had hoped to get a great deal more done than I did. Rather than dwell on what didn't get done, let me outline what did get done.
  • I sent a note to the Daily DX with a reminder of our trip details. It was published in the the newsletter the next day.
  • I created a new page called Team Update for the web site with the latest details of the trip and put a large red NEW! next to it. You can see that page here. It provided a nice couple of paragraphs that could be snagged by anybody who wanted to help get the word out. If you want people to help you: make it easy for them!
  • I also sent a note to the ARRL for inclusion in their DX News email that comes out each Friday. A version of the notice appeared in today's email.
  • I completed a version of the log processing software that can take log files from each of the operators and create HTML pages for our DXpedition web site. I had hoped to do a great deal more (and will) but this is all I could get done for this DXpedition. I hope to do a great deal more before the next trip!
  • The log processing software has been loaded on to both my hammac and another computer that I will loan to Dave Bushong for the duration of the trip. Running the system is easy: drop the log files from the operators in the proper places and type a single command at a prompt. The software creates the HTML files and uploads them to the DXpedition web site automatically. Easy as pie. I finished this automation today.
  • I completed a nearly final inventory spreadsheet that identifies all the pieces I'm bringing on the trip. This should have been done sooner (I've had drafts out since mid-December) but wasn't. In fact, this is one of the things I would hope to do much better on future trips. I'm sure we will not have brought all that we could have used, and will inadvertently bring things we won't need. This will be a topic that I think about, and write about, a great deal while on the trip. If I had to identify one area of improvement I would focus on for my next effort, it would be this one.
  • I checked the volcano status (looks quiet), the local weather (should be warmer by Sunday for the drive to the airport), the weather in Orlando (Cold?!), the weather in Montserrat (ahhhh), and the space weather (interesting things brewing).

Of course, once on the island I may have 17 other things going wrong which would trump any concerns that I've expressed here. Recognizing this reminds me that there are two excellent reasons for me to be putting effort into writing this blog: I want to remember what I was thinking at this point in the planning process, and so you, the reader, won't have to make all the mistakes I've made. You can make altogether more interesting ones!
Tomorrow there are just two things to do: get that computer to Dave and help him set it up, and get packed. Just 48 hours from now I'll be hanging with the boys at the staging area in Orlando!


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