ARRL Field Day 2012 at Fort Flagler (with Mike and Key ARC)

I just came back from another ARRL Field Day — this being 8th one. (comes to think that I’m Mike and Key ARC member for almost 10 years now — I joined the club on November 2003, so the first Field Day I’ve ever participated was 2004, just I had to miss 2011 one, so that makes it 8th one.)

I’ve driven down Friday evening after the work, taking about 2 hours and 30 minutes — arrived earlier than I thought, around 9PM.

Unfortunately, unlike any other years I’ve participated, weather wasn’t favorable this year, with rain pouring down pretty hard. But was good year overall. (I had my folding bike with me in my car, but wasn’t too useful in this kind of weather…)

This year, I have worked mostly on 10m/80m/Digital, duping (e.g. logging, and being a “second set of ears”) which was a great opportunity to do digital operation as well as 80m, which I usually do not operate elsewhere.

I also worked on an hour or so on 20m later in night, before the band dies down.

The weather improved on Sunday, but why did mother nature had to wait until it is our time to leave?

Well, I did get to enjoy few hours of op under the bright Sun, getting some missing MI contacts over PSK31!

Look like we had some media coverage!

Fixing Up Bike's Brake

One thing I have been noticing on my bike is that right side of front brake is not moving. In fact, it was actually touching the wheel, probably scraping off the pad in the process, too. First, I suspected there’s something wrong with the hinge that housing the brake. So I disengaged the brake to inspect each side of it.

After looking through, it turns out to be left side was pulling way too strong, causing the right side to “stuck” touching the wheel. So instead of tightening spring on the right side, I’ve loosened left side, and yeah, I think that was a problem.

Right Brake

Left Brake

It also removed screeching as well. Test run seems to indicate brake is working just fine. Perhaps I will have REI guys check it out at tune-up, but I think for the mean time, it’ll work out…

Cycling in Seattle

On Sunday, May 2nd, I went to cycling with Hitomi and Elias.
It was 11.6 miles run next to Lake Washington Blvd in Seattle.

View Seattle Cycling May 2, 2010 in a larger map

It was first weekend of Bicycle Sunday event, basically Seattle has closed off vehicle traffic along part of Lake Washington Blvd.
We started off from Sam Smith Park, and went through I-90 trail tunnel (didn’t know there is the one for pedestrian / bicycle) then, headed toward Seward Park. Going around Seward Park, then we headed back to where we originated.

Though, it was shorter than more than 20 miles we did at Skagit Valley. It had more up and down, which challenged me in different way.
After the ride, we’ve went to Schuwanian Cuisine for some hot pot.

One thing I noticed during this cycling is that one pad of the frontal V-brake was “locked,” and also front wheel is slightly misaligned. It seems to be they are somewhat common for new bikes — I found hex wrench in my drawer and hopefully, I’d be able to fix up brake myself… (reading some thing about alignment, it seems to be not impossible, but something I’d rather not mess with myself and should seek some professional help…)

Cycling in Neighborhood

Going out for longer ride is something, but since I got my bike, I often travel out to my neighborhood, too.
Issaquah is not very big city, but riding around makes me realize how I haven’t gotten around much.
Like, there is historical city hall and jail in my neighborhood (it is now a museum, it looks like. I need to come back when they are open to check it out!)

Skagit Valley Outing on the Bike

Today, I was riding around Skagit Valley all afternoon with Elias and Hitomi. I have been here but experience was significantly different this time around. Not only this was my first time visiting Skagit Valley on my bike, this marked my first real outing with my new bike.

Tulip Field

We started off from Edgewater Park, riding along McLean Rd to the West, and visited Roozengaarde. Tulip fields there were very nice, it looked like a carpet on the field. We were not supposed to go into field (if people go too far, person with flag tells you to not do that) although it seems like there were some threshold that the person don’t care.

Alcapa

There were some alpacas. Other than $5 will gets you into the fence (which I didn’t) they were upselling some of alpaca merchandises. Dogs there looked very tired!

Tired Dog

After leaving Roozengaarde, we headed further west, trying to find additional tulip field. We didn’t find any, but we ended up close enough to La Conner, a little nice town with antique feeling to it, and also good ice creams!

Lemon Icecream

It tasted very good, and especially great with all the energy I put in to get to the place.

After having moment of icecream greatness, we’ve headed to the East, toward Skagit river. We went through long strech of road for about 30 minutes, which we hit Skagit river.

Skagit River

Then we headed to the North where we came from, then to Skagit River Brewery, where we had beer with some tasty BBQs.

Hitomi and Elias with Beer

Looking back all the road we have gone through, it was total of 20.54 miles. This was very fun experience, and I enjoyed a lot. Yes this made my feet and hand sore, but it well worth it!

Folding Bike!

So, one of the thing I have been telling to people that I will do this year for sure was to get folding bike. And today, I finally did it!

It’s a folding bike from Dahon; it’s their new 2010 Eco 3 model.

Doing some runs at Crossroad park

I dropped by REI in Issaquah, as I got off my work early today. I was looking at this particular bike on the web, and there it was, on the stand at REI. After asking few questions, they offered me so I can take it out for test ride.

It has been close to 18 years since I last rode on bike, but amazingly, I didn’t have any hesitation or problem getting back to speed. After doing few back and forth in the short trail just behind the store in the gorgeous weather, it didn’t take too long to find that this is what I want. I felt GREAT!

Then I got back to the store, after some moment of thinking (financially speaking, it’s somewhat bigger chunk of money I’m spending!) I told the person there I will take it. While they are doing check on it, I have had storeperson show me around for additional accessories I’d need. I got bike lights, helmet, spare tube, portable pump with it, resulting about $540 in expenditure. (hopefully this will be best $540 I’m spending this year!)

As a folding bike, it folds,

Dinner & Karaoke

Friday (now yesterday) after work, I’ve gone to dinner outing to for birthday of one of us, as well as perhaps us having fun.
After dealing with some carpooling (though I’ve had enough transportation management at the con!) we’ve first went to Kaname Izakaya.
Dinner was good, and after we ate, we headed to Seattle’s Best Karaoke for some karaoke actions…
At Karaoke, I have song quite a few including:

So I gave I’m proud a try because Kagami Hiiragi (Emiri Kato) was singing in the one of ending in Lucky Star. (Original version of the song was by Tomomi Kahara.) Trying this song, now I know why Kagami was making her mistake where she was making mistake. For example, Kagami’s version, she seems to attempt to start singing too early after intro, and that’s perhaps because karaoke version actually starts there, while version on the CD starting few bars after that.

Another tendency I found out about myself is that I’m overloading microphone when I sing. I think what happe

Mt. Rainier Hiking

Yesterday, I went out to Mr. Rainier, for the day hike, and it was great!
There were 8 of us, including myself; Hitomi, Elias, Eugene, Carlos, Chris, Hiromi, and Lucas taking great loop starting Paradise, called Skyline trail, which is about 5 miles with about 1400 feet of elevation gain.
There were some small creeks to cross, snow to to walk on (and falling couple time, going down on those are crazy!)
Climbing up used up a lot of stamina, and down part used more of muscle.
Overall, I really enjoyed whole experience and also reminded that I need more exercise!
Today, every part of my body is sore, but it was well worth!
Checking on a little guide booklet tells me that this trail is strenuous. Where can I find a license plate frame or a t-shirt that says “I survived the Skyline Trail!”
Many thanks to Hitomi and Elias for planning this, and for a ride!