Thursday, August 09, 2007

You snooze, you lose

I have been very busy. That is a poor excuse for my complete lack of execution on the planning of the upcoming St. Kitts trip. I've tried to remedy some of that tonight but clearly my delays have been costly. As I like to say, "you snooze, you lose." I have certainly been asleep at the wheel! Anyway, here's what I managed to accomplish this evening:
  • Hotels - While the villa has been under contract for some time (and I just sent the final payment to the fellow a few days ago), the hotels for either end of the trip were not booked until tonight. Our itinerary is to fly from Boston to Miami, stay overnight in Miami, then take a very early flight to St. Kitts the next day. Our return trip also comes through Miami, arriving late, with our Boston flight early the next morning. We needed hotel rooms at the Miami airport for both ends of the trip. Done.

  • Boston hotel - Our flight to Miami leaves at 5:35 AM. Factoring in the roughly "two hours before flight" lead time and we're arriving at the airport in the middle of the night. We had intended to stay at a hotel at Logan (Boston's airport) the night before our flight as we had done for our St. Johns trip last year. But, I did not attempt to book that room until tonight and that may have cost me. For some reason, a room that cost $180 last year has doubled in price. Perhaps the Red Sox making their run for another World Series bid has hotels thinking rooms will be at a premium in October. Well, I'm not paying nearly $400 for a few hours extra sleep. We (I) tend to characterize prices in terms of equivalent ham radio equipment costs. In short, "that's a radio." So, forget it. Looks like a sleepless night.

  • Side trip planned - I enjoy the game of chess. I am a horrible, horrible player. I'm so bad, in fact, that I don't really enjoy playing the game with others as much as I enjoy reading about games, studying annotated games, and so on. Miami hosts the World Chess Hall of Fame, a place I'd been hoping to visit for some time. Sandy and I will take in the museum on our layover in Miami.

  • Announcements - This is the thing I am very late on. I should have sent out these announcements a couple of months ago. I have likely missed publishing deadlines on the major magazines. {sigh} Anyway, I've sent email to the ARRL, CQ Magazine, and World Radio, The Daily DX, and Announced DX Operations. I also created an entry on the RSGB IOTA web site. We'll see which, if any, actually appear. I often say that this blog highlights things I've done right and things I've done wrong. This is most definitely something I did wrong for this trip. Get those announcements out 3-4 months ahead of your operation to help ensure you make everybody's publishing deadlines!

  • Reserved the car - We only need the car for one day (to go to the museum), but I've got that booked.

  • Travel printouts made - I normally create nice folders with print outs of all reservations, electronic tickets, driving directions, and other information so we have all the information we need in one place. I now (finally) have this stuff printed and in the folder. I just need to make a copy for Sandy and I'm done.

Lots of the planning for a DXpedition falls into the category of "mundane" but that doesn't mean it isn't important. I waited to book a hotel and the price went up. I waited to send out my announcements and now I've likely missed publishing deadlines. These are stupid mistakes I should not be making at this point. But, that's why I'm writing this blog. It helps keep me focused and, perhaps, will help some of you get focused, too.

Finally, I actually took the new Mosely beam out of the box today (something else that's been sitting too long!). I will report my first impressions this weekend.


Blogger Richard said...

I look forward to hearing more about your trip and your new Mosley beam!

August 10, 2007 12:20 PM  

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