[CQ-Contest] Its that time of year and Florida has lots of activity to show for it!

Jim White, K4OJ k4oj at tampabay.rr.com
Tue Apr 22 23:35:13 EDT 2003

One of the joys of living in Florida is dealing with what we refer to as 
Love Bugs...they swarm twice a year.  One of those times is in the 
Spring - simultaneous with the running of the Florida QSO Party... the 
bugs are mating while the hams are at the rig... hmmmm.

"Love Bugs were introduced from South America. And actually what 
happened was that they spread around the Gulf of Mexico through Texas 
and Louisiana to invade Florida through the Panhandle and then down 
through the state.  These Love Bugs that traveled to Florida (without 
being flattened against a moving car) made their appearance within the 
past fifty or sixty years.  Love Bugs are small flies that are in the 
process of mating when they swarm over the roads. So usually there are 
two individuals: the large one is the female and the small one is the 
male. The female usually gets her way and she drags the male around with 
her."  An entomologist from the University of Florida has noted.

These pesky insects actually do fly attached to each other (hence: the 
LOVE bug) and seem to be everywhere for a few weeks at this time of 
year. If you stop in a filling station most likely there will be a 
counter top display hawking Love Bug Cleaner for your car... It is a 
real problem with the dead love bugs strewn across the fronts of cars 
looking really nasty... leaving the residue of those SK Love Bugs can 
tend to pit the paint job on your car! To deal with the problem some 
resort to putting fine mesh netting over the fronts of their cars - some 
have special secret family formulae of soap based liquids they coat the 
car with before taking long trips to ease their being hosed off apres 
mort d'auto. It is a real pain, but in my opinion a small price to pay 
for such gorgeous weather most of the year.

Recently some non-natives, but now full bore Floridians, N4KW and K4GKD 
were wondering if there should not be something in the way of a Florida 
QSO Party award as relates to Floridians and their Love Bug dilemma.  At 
a dinner held this evening with 9 other Florida Contest Group hams it 
was decided that this WAS INDEED WORTHY of a special award.  Florida 
mobile teams are encouraged to take a digital snapshot of the front of 
their vehicles at the end of the FQP this weekend.  That photo being for 
submission after the contest in adjudicating which mobile was the 
ultimate love bug terminator!

Mobile activity in the FQP has been predominately on CW, and again it 
appears to be leaning that way - but no matter what mode the mobiles 
chose to operate there WILL be a problem with splatter, thanks to those 
pesky love bugs.

It has been said that hams, and especially contesters, tend to be 
somewhat out of balance when it comes to juggling radio and "home 
issues"... this theme seems to be have been started by large females who 
have been known to drag males around with them (sometimes to shopping 


The new Worked All Florida award will kick off this weekend.  This is a 
certificate program which will recognize the fact that contact has been 
made with Florida's 67 counties. The starting date for the Worked All 
Florida award is the same as the beginning of the 2003 Florida QSO Party 
- 1600 Z on this Saturday - April 26th. Florida QSO Party QSOs will 
count for the award and you will not need to submit QSL cards.  Full 
details of the award will be posted to the Florida Contest Group web 
site. You can qualify for the award by Sweeping the Florida Counties 
this weekend in the FQP!

So the question is:

Whether or not the winners of the new Love Bug award indeed are not 
those hams that let large females drag males around, or if indeed they 
are.  We may end up taking the snapshots of the fronts of the competing 
mobile vehicles and anonymously posting them to the web site along with 
potential callsigns and claimed scores to see if non-Floridians can 
successfully guess the identities of the competitors.

One thing is for sure - the activity is sure to be hot (it is Florida) 
and heavy (though not as heavy as some of those females) amongst the FQP 
mobile teams.

Which mobile will have:

The most QSOs?

The most counties covered?

The filthiest headlights?

Stay tuned radio fans as all will unfold this weekend in FQP 2003... be 

For full rules go to: http://www.floridaqsoparty.org

Hope you weren't "bugged" by this e-mail too much...

Jim, K4OJ

"I'll be back"

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