Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NE1RD is back and blogging again

It has been roughly one week since my flight landed safely in Manchester, New Hampshire and I was met by Sandy. I was in no hurry to officially end my trip by picking up my bags, so we sat down in the restaurant area just outside the gates for a quick bite to eat. It had been about 10 days since I'd seen her and it felt good just to sit and see her smile.
When I finally did get down to the carousel I found my bags were about to be gathered into the pile of unclaimed luggage. "No", I said. "Those are mine." I had begun the trip back on the island of Monserrat with temperatures in the 80's. Now, with single digits (Fahrenheit) outside, I thought it best to change into something more appropriate to the climate. Jeans, hiking boots, and a parka were the fashion of the day. Goodness I'd forgotten what cold weather is like!
Even after the trip I had goals. I had 11 hours of video captured on my little Sony Handicam that I wanted to condense into a DXpedition video. We stopped at CompUSA on the way back from the airport and I purchased a 500GB bare drive to use for the video editing process. I had all the computing power and software necessary to do the job (Macintosh tower, Final Cut Express HD, Garage Band, iDVD), what I needed was space to work. Once I got home (hauling all those bags back into the house!) the drive slipped easily into the bay and I had it ready-to-go in about 8 minutes. I like it when things are easy!
For the next three days or so, the remainder of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday, I sat in my small video editing suite and created the video. It was finished around dinner time Saturday night. Whew! Lots and lots of work, but worth it (I hope). Saturday and Sunday were spent making copies of the DVD for the team members and pilots, and creating, printing, and applying nice labels to the discs. They were mailed Monday morning.
As you all know, I had not posted anything to the blog during that time. Sorry about that. I had put all my energy into the video editing and had very little at the end of each day for blogging (or anything else, truth be told).
While I was doing the video stuff, Chris, Chris's wife Inese, and Bob were working hard on the QSL card design. I've been involved enough to render an opinion occasionally and I must say, it looks fabulous! Inese is a graphic artist and she's come up with something really special. Of course, having the excellent photographs in Bob's collection helped provide lots of good raw material for this exercise, too. We should be getting the artwork off to the printer by the end of the week. Then, perhaps two weeks later, I get that big box of cards and I can start answering those QSL requests.
Speaking of QSL requests: I've got a big pile of envelopes already! Over 100 envelopes are sitting in the DXpedition in box right now for places both near and far. Because the operation concentrated on WARC bands, data modes, and portable operations, we knew we would be handing out quite a few new ones to operators around the world. We hope to get you confirmed on those bands and modes just as soon as our cards arrive! (Please check our online log before sending a card. If you do not find your call, please email me directly.)
I arrived back and Verocel Monday of this week. It is sure good to see everybody here in the office. I work with a fantastic group of people. Customer meetings all day Monday and Tuesday followed closely by a new, big assignment were something of a shock to the system after 10 days away. But, I'm back, just about to hit my stride again, and I hope to keep blogging about all the stuff that happens after DXpedition operations have been completed. You didn't think we were done, did you? {grin}
For those of you who have written (and there were a number of you), thank you for the notes. And, if you can stand even more of my prattling, I'm going to do an audio podcast with Dave Bushong of 99 Hobbies this weekend where I'll provide a summary of the planning, execution, and aftermath of this whole DXpedition. When that becomes available, I'll post something here. Until then, best wishes from NE1RD.


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