Its that time of year and Florida has lots of activity to show for
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
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...
"I'll be back"
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