Friday, December 19, 2008


Hopefully Santa's new antenna and ham radio set are all working so he can get your Christmas wish list done in time! To all our family and friends, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spruce Court Christmas Party...

Thursday night was the annual
Spruce Court Christmas Party

Most of the neighbors (and even some former neighbors) gathered for a great potluck dinner in the court.

Later in the evening everyone headed down to the end of the court where Santa Claus (courtesy City of Murrieta) makes his appearance.

This is a great time for all, and a nice way to meet some of the new families who have moved in during the past year. Pictured here are some of the cute and funny kids who live on our Court!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Lights Are On......

The house lights are up, and we're starting to feel a bit of Christmas cheer around here. The tree won't be up until we can move a room full of furniture out of the living room and into the new TV room (formerly Matt's bedroom) that Robbin is decorating.

While fooling around with PhotoShop, I accidentally "created" the artsy photo below. Sorta looks like we had a nice snow fall!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bailey!

Happy Birthday Bailey! Little Miss Bailey Albrant from Ketchikan, Alaska turned two years old yesterday. Photo is from Bill's website.

She's getting more adorable everyday, and we're sure she had a nice day with her Mom, Dad and sister Bristol. Big birthday kisses from Grandma and Grandpa!

Don't you just love that smile?

Thanksgiving in Fallbrook...

Pictured above are Mikey, Matthew and Robbin at Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Carrie Ann and Kelly in Fallbrook yesterday. In the other photo, Carrie Ann, Robbin, son-in-law Chris and grandson Kristopher take time out to pose for a picture.

BBQ turkey with all the trimmings, plus all kinds of pre-dinner treats and deserts, made for a wonderful evening.

We are very thankful to Carrie and Kelly for being such great hosts!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Jerry Skaife, W7ULC

"Elmer" is a ham radio term for people who help others become "hams" with their knowledge and experience. Pictured above is Jerry, W7ULC, one of my Elmers. Here are some of the "Elmers" in my life:

W7FXZ (sk) - "Charlie". A janitor by trade, he educated dozens of high school kids on ham radio, including me.
W7ULC (sk) - Jerry worked more DX with "finesse" than he did with high power.
N6AW - Jan is the ultimate contester and antenna guru. An inspiration on what can be done.
W7AZK (sk) - Gave me my first transmitter -- an ARC-5 -- and was my first qso. A lesson on giving to others was learned.
Wally & Marcy - The nicest people I've ever worked for. They showed me I wasn't too old to learn new tricks.
My Family - Last and certainly not least, I learn everyday from my family, including my children. And especially my wife Robbin, who has literally been the "better half" for nearly 30 years!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chloe Goes Trick or Treating...

Last night granddaughter Chloe came up for Halloween in the neighborhood. She had loads of fun collecting goodies. This was her first time Trick or Treating!

She's pictured above with daddy Kelly after a particularly good treat.

Chloe and her mom Carrie Ann spent the evening with us and had pancakes for breakfast.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

Friday, October 31, 2008

DX Contest Award...

Today I received a nice award from the 2007 CQWW CW Contest. This award was for the Single Operator, Low Power category on 20 meters. I was the #1 station in California.

With my small station set-up, I don't win many awards these days!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hamming From Fallbrook...

Last night (Saturday, Oct. 18) xyl Robbin and I spent the night at our daughter's home, Carrie Ann, in Fallbrook.

This gave me an opportunity to test out my portable, battery operated station. Made contacts with Washington, Utah, California, Canada and and JA1NUT, located in Japan, on 40m cw. Equipment consisted of a 1970's era Heathkit HW-8 transceiver running 4 watts into a Hamstick mobile whip antenna. Power was a small gel-cell battery and solar panel.

Four watts of power is about the same as a night light!

The antenna can barely be seen in the picture below. It's about 6 feet tall on a tripod. You can click on the pictures for a larger view.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Night time in the backyard...

No special reason for this posting, other than I just thought this shot of our backyard at night was kinda neat with the lights shining on the trees.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chloe Walks & Talks!

Our little Chloe is growing fast! Last week she started walking, and quickly mastered the new skill. She's also talking, with the usual "ma", "da" and also "behwah", which is Bella, the name of their family dog.

Here she is taking a stroll at her grandparents home last night. Carrie and Chloe came up for dinner while daddy Kelly was playing with his band in Oceanside.

Carrie promises to get some movie footage before little Chloe takes off running down the road!

Click on the picture for a larger view.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Great Fun At The Woodie Show...

On Saturday, Sept. 20th, two car-loads of family traveled over to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas for the Annual Woodie Show. Hundreds of great old cars were on display. While the adult members looked at cars, the younger group played on the beach. The group included Bill, Robbin, daughters Carrie Ann and Carrie Renee, plus Chloe, Kelly, Kayla, Haylie and Katelyn.

Picture shows a nice example of a Ford Woodie.

Below, Carrie Renee, Robbin and Carrie Ann pose at the beach.

Sorry for the poor quality -- photos taken with picture phone.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In Case You Missed It On The History Channel -- Bill's Boat...

In case you missed the feature on the History Channel, they did a segment on the Alaska ferry system.

The Columbia (featured in the story) is one of the boats Bill works on. Bill was recently licensed to be at the helm of any sized ship on inland waters.

Click on the photo for a larger image.

You can follow this link to the video:

The Columbia in Alaska

Or go to Bill's website and click on the link there. Neat!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Radio Card From Libya Contact...

You don't see many of these... it's a QSL card from Libya. This is from a contact I had with this station in November, 2006.

What makes it even better is that it confirms my contact with them on 80 meters, which is a difficult band to make long distance radio contacts, especially with my low power and small vertical antenna.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Janna Gets Married!

Janna (Robbin's niece) and Mark were married in Carlsbad, CA on Saturday, Sept. 6th.

Robbin, Kayla and Florence drove down together. Carrie Renee, Larry and Haylie also attended.

Pictured here are the bride, Robbin and Carrie Renee.

For more pictures, go to PhotoBucket at:

Carrie, Kelly & Chloe Visit Oregon...

Daughter Carrie Ann, her husband Kelly, and daughter Chloe, visited Oregon for a whole week, returning home on the day before Labor Day.

While in Oregon, they visited her mother Nancy, and took a side trip to the Oregon coast.

If you'd like to see more photos of their trip, email Carrie Ann for a link to her Flickr album.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Big News From Ketchikan, Alaska!

With over 10 years of sea time and countless training courses, "Captain" Bill is happy to report that he has passed all of the required tests for his Inland Mate license.

For the land lubber that means he can “drive” any sized ship upon inland waters.


You can see earlier news on my website at:

Kristen and Chris Get Married!

On Saturday, August 23, our daughter Kristen and her sweetheart Chris Duffy, were married in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Surrounded by friends, the couple followed their wedding with a short honeymoon.

Kristen and Chris live in Riverside, CA.

CONGRATULATIONS to Chris and Kristen!

My first blog

This is my first blog. Hopefully it will show up on my webpage.

Let me know if you are able to add comments, etc.