Dayton/FDIM 2010 - Pre-Game Report

Really, she did

Today got off to an inauspicious start. When I got home from work this morning, I started gathering together my clothes and travel items. I came out of the guest bedroom (soon to be the baby's room) and whacked three toes on my right foot right into the trim around the door. As you might imagine, a loud stream of profanities spontaneously erupted from my mouth. Just like a coach would tell you to do, I walked it off and went back to my chores. I figured that it would feel better after a nap, but I was wrong. Now it feels like I broke the ring toe on my right foot. (When I told Jennifer, what was her reaction? To laugh at me. No respect...) I can still walk reasonably well while in shoes, so I'm hoping that it will hold up well enough to heal by the time that I need to be on my feet all day. (As a side note, this is not the first time I've done this. Years ago, I severely damaged the tendon in that toe and now it won't bend down. Because it always sticks straight out when the other toes are curled, it is prone to get damaged quite easily.)

A Study in Packing Efficiency
A Study in Packing Efficiency

Enough whining for now. I'm a bit of a novice in traveling lightly and efficiently. I decided that I would bypass checked baggage and carry my luggage onto the plane. Packing for a five day trip in a 20-inch bag is a bit of a challenge, but I think I've got the task pretty well in hand. A few people on QRP-L have heavily stressed the idea of dressing in layers, so I've left all of the heavy clothing behind. There's plenty of "foundation" clothes like light shirts and shorts (I'm an Oregonian, I wear shorts anywhere from 40°F and warmer), then a few warmer items such as pants and a light sweatshirt, and finally a light waterproof windbreaker. I think this strategy is pretty sound, especially since I tend to get overheated very easily. It will be nice to be able to shed light layers as necessary to cool off or only wear the windbreaker over a t-shirt if it turns out to be 70°F and raining like some people are predicting.

Since room is at a premium, I'm going to be severely limiting the radio gear that I'll be taking. I have to take the Clackamas for judging, and it may be the only radio that I pack. Should I take an HT? I use my HT so little that it has a thick layer of dust sitting on it right now. I suspect that it won't be very useful due to the heavy use of the VHF bands in the area, but then again this is an amateur radio convention. I guess if I can find a little room I might squeeze it in.

So now the plan is to take Jennifer out to a nice dinner to give her a little treat for being so understanding about my desire to go to Dayton this year, come home to finish packing, grab a few more hours of shut-eye, then get up at 0300, pound down some coffee, and get going to PDX by 0400. I'm getting excited!