Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cousin QRM's Florida Visit

Cousin QRM found himself in Orlando last week, but alas it wasn't for a tour of the Florida Big Guns of the Florida Contest Group. The XYL and harmonics were screaming to visit the Mouse House, so Cousin found a cut-rate travel agent online and arranged a trip. Cousin thought he was getting tickets to Walt Disney World, but found out too late that the really cheap tickets were to Walter's Dizzy World. Not the same thing. To describe Walter's Dizzy World as a cheap knock-off does a dis-service to cheap knockoff's everywhere.

Upon entering Walter's Dizzy World, the origin of the name was apparent. The main attraction at the front of the park was a 'ride' where they gave you a baseball bat that you placed on the ground, then rested your forehead on the bat end and spun around in circles until you couldn't take it anymore. After that experience, Walter's was much more entertaining, or at least less disappointing. As another example of the quality of Walter's attractions, Walter's "It's a Tiny World After All" merely featured looking through binoculars from the wrong end.

After the experience of Walter's Dizzy World, Cousin's XYL and harmonics refused to be placated by a visit to the HRO store. So Cousin broke into the DXpedition piggy bank and bought tickets to the real thing. Thinking he could still salvage some DX fun from his mis-spent funds, Cousin took his K1 and a paddle with him to Epcot. Rationalizing that if he operated from each of the 'countries' in the Epcot World Showcase, the operations would be as valid as Romeo's, Cousin proceeded to try to find a spot to hang a dipole at each 'country' and operate as /XE, /LA, /BY,/DL, /I, /JA /CN, /F, /G, and /VE. It turns out the Disney 'cast members' don't have a real good grasp of ham radio and certainly don't appreciate the DXCC program. Cousin was hoping to see if Epcot's Eiffel Tower would load up as well as the one at the Paris casino in Las Vegas, but he never got the chance. The saving grace was the opportunity to sample each country's adult beverage. By the end of the day, much of the disappointment had been forgotten.

Still looking to salvage some ham radio fun from this trip, Cousin QRM had high hopes for the Tower of Terror at Disney Hollywood Studios, but turns out it has nothing to do with towers or antennas. However, the ride did give Cousin a taste of the sensation of free-fall, something hopefully never to be experienced on a real antenna tower.

Unfortunately, intensive exposure to so much sweetness and cuteness apparently produced a reaction in Cousin. Cousin's extremities have swelled up and his voice has suddenly gone up several octaves. The attached picture demonstrates how this is affecting his cw sending. So if you hear a really sloppy fist on the air the next couple of weeks, it will likely be Cousin's. Fortunately, there is time to recuperate before the next big contest.

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