Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009...

It was pretty much a full house as most of our extended family showed up for Christmas day at our home in Murrieta, CA.

We were happy to welcome Ava Renee, our newest family member, and the return of Larry Cordray, back from his military training on the east coast.

After everyone opened their presents we enjoyed a great Christmas dinner, followed by many dessert choices!


Here are a few photos we snapped during the festivities.

You can click on any of these photos for a larger version, or click on the link below to see all the photos at PhotoBucket:


Friday, December 18, 2009

Nice Holiday Music...

You've probably seen these guys before, but here's a recent performance they did. No instruments, just some guys with great voices! Enjoy...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Christmas To All...

Robbin (age 20 months) and Bill (age 7)

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and
Great Joy in the New Year!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy House Warming!

Daughter Kristen and her husband Chris get a big laugh while opening one of their Housewarming gifts on Saturday.

They moved into their new home on Halloween and had everything in its proper place on the very first day!

The home is a 1959 Ranch-style house, and has been completely renovated from top to bottom! It's just perfect for their family and beautiful throughout.

Children Kayla and Kristopher each have their own rooms, plus there's an office, a guest room, and very nice entertainment area in the backyard.

In bottom photo Kristen gets a few tears while reading one of the gift cards.

The potluck was enjoyed by many friends and family!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ava Renee - Photo & Video

Here's a short 1-minute video of Ava Renee taken at her parents home on Friday evening. Big sister Chloe shows she is already a good "helper" to her little sister!

Parents Carrie Ann and Kelly are glad to get home with their new bundle of joy.

Photo shows the two sisters in a quiet moment.

Sorry for the poor quality video but it was taken with a cell phone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ava Renee Has Arrived!

Ava Renee arrived
today at 1:24 am!
Ava Renee Daoust is the newest member of our extended clan!
She is the new daughter of parents Carrie Ann and Kelly. She weighed 7 pounds and 12 ounces at birth, and was 19" long.
Everyone is doing great, although a little short on sleep!
Ava Renee is spending night with her mom at the hospital, but will be coming home tomorrow, where Grandma Robbin and sister Chloe await their arrival.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Baby Ava Renee Update...

Baby Ava Renee is scheduled to be induced
on Wednesday afternoon!

YIKES! Those teeth can bite!

Granddaughter Haylie and friend Lauren are pictured as they get ready for some Trick or Treat fun in the neighborhood.

Haylie said she was feeling a little "thirsty" and decided Lauren would be the perfect appetizer!
(Click on the picture for an up close view).

Also out on the town was granddaughter Chloe, who was here with her mom and dad, Carrie and Kelly.

'Candy' is now one of her favorite words!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ava's First Photo... 3 Weeks To Go !!!

Daughter Carrie Ann sent us this "first photo" of our new granddaughter, Ava. She's due on November 7th, although there is some speculation she may arrive early!

Carrie and husband Kelly have been pretty busy getting everything ready for the new arrival.

In this shot, you can clearly see her little hand and facial features.

Obviously a little doll in the making!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Working Midway DXpedition...

Several hams I know are on a DXpedition to Midway Island. This island last saw ham radio activity over 10 years ago, so there are lots of stations calling them.

Although they're a long ways from home, they are able to upload the contacts to a website where we can check to see our contacts have been confirmed.

Here is a screen shot of the log today, showing I have worked them on four bands, all on CW (code).

They'll be there a few more days so perhaps I'll get a chance to work them on some other bands!

UPDATE: Have contacted Midway on 6 bands (megacycles): 3.5, 7.0, 10.1, 14.0, 18.0 and 21.0, all on morse code.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ham Radio Video with K6CU

A couple of guys who love to get out in the back country of Utah took their battery powered ham radio with them. They shot some video, including part of their contact with me, and put it on YouTube!

This was taken about a year ago. The part with my call is at about the 6 minute mark, so you can skip ahead.

Thanks to N0TU and N7UN for posting this on YouTube and sending me the link.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grab the marshmallows... we're having a fire!

Today right around lunch time we had a little excitement in old Murrieta... a fire broke out in the hills just behind our house!

The excitement was short-lived, as a bevy of airplanes and helicopters showed up and, within about an hour, had knocked the fire down.

This shot shows the smoke. It's difficult to see, but if you click on the photo to enlarge it, and look very closely towards the middle of the photo, you'll see a small black dot in the red circle. That's a big 4-engine airplane dumping water on the fire. Gives you a little bit of an idea how big this was!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Skinny and Bald!

We received this picture of a skinny bald guy on Robbin's cell phone today.

OH! It's Larry Cordray!

Carrie Renee really surprised him by showing up for his graduation from boot camp in South Carolina. He had no idea she was going to be there, and was THRILLED she could make it!

It was quite a challenge getting Carrie across the USA to be there in time, as her first flight was canceled at the last minute!

She will spend two days with Larry before he ships off to his schooling in Ft. Lee, Virginia. We expect Carrie Renee back home on Friday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Becca and family visit...

On Saturday, August 22, we spent the day with Becca, her mom Nancy, and daughters Bailey and Bristol. The purpose of their visit was not a happy one however, as Nancy's dad passed away recently and they were here for the funeral in Long Beach.

Despite the sad occasion, we had a full day of fun activity.
The video here is just a short clip with highlights of the movies we took.

In addition to Becca and her family, our daughter Carrie, husband Kelly and their daughter Chloe also attended.

First we had a terrific lunch at the Belmont Brewing Company in Belmont Shores (an area of Long Beach), on the outside patio, followed by some play time on the beach. Then it was off to a local park where all the kids had a chance to play, play, play! It was a very full day, to say the least, and all the kids (and Grampa Bill) needed a nap to catch up!

Bill Jr. (Becca's husband) had to work, but there was some good news about him. He was working as First Mate on his ship (this is the #2 position on the boat, under the Captain).

There are also pictures at this link: BECCA VISITS

Monday, August 17, 2009

There's A Baby In My Sink!

We had several overnight guests this past weekend.

Grandchildren Quinton, Colston and Haylie stayed with us Thursday through Sunday while their mom Carrie Renee was visiting friends and relatives in Arizona. On Saturday evening the gang had a big Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner (originally scheduled for last St. Patrick's Day!).

Granddaughter Chloe spent Sunday night with us while her parents, Kelly and Carrie Ann, visited friends in San Diego. One of Chloe's "funner" times was taking a bath in the kitchen sink. A bath is quite important, especially after eating lots of juicy watermelon!

Sorry for the quality, but this is a cell phone shot.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Central Coast, Day 3 and 4...

What, no pictures???

Sorry, but we were having so much fun, we kinda forgot to click off any photos. But, just so you know, we survived our mini-vacation to the central CA coast. We tried 3 nights in a row to get a great photo of the sunset, but the cloud/fog level was too heavy.

Here's the sunset photo I would have taken if it hadn't been so foggy!

Day 3:
We left Pismo Beach and stopped in at San Luis Obisbo for a few hours. Took a short tour
of the Mission, and we searched for --and found-- a restaurant Robbin likes. Later we arrived in Morro Bay where Bill had his crab cocktail on the pier. Spent most of the day visiting all the shops and restaurants.

Day 4: A little more sight-seeing, then off we went. Stopped in at Anderson's Pea Soup restaurant in Buellton and did a little shopping, and then to Santa Barbara where stopped by another Mission. We had a great lunch at Nordstrom's in the outdoor cafe, located on the top floor, with a beautiful view of the area.

Good News: The Good News is that the "check engine" light went out. We had it checked before leaving and they told us it would be an $1100 repair job! Hopefully it was just a temporary hiccup and we won't need to have it repaired. If we're lucky, the money we saved on not repairing the car will help pay for the vacation!

All in all, it was a wonderful trip that we both enjoyed -- and needed. It's pretty strange being on the coast with temperatures in the low 70's, and come home to 100+ degrees.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Central Coast, Day 1 and 2...

On Saturday we started a short vacation up the California central coast. On our first stop we visited Bob and Julia in Ventura, then off to Santa Barbara.

Day 2 started with a great breakfast at a funky little place in Santa Barabara before driving up to Los Alamos, where Robbin took this photo of Bill in a neat museum.
We continued to Pismo Beach, but it was jammed full of tourists, so we drove north a few miles and found some wonderful spots (including where photo below was taken).
Later that evening we returned to Pismo Beach and enjoyed Clam Chowder bowls at the world famous Splash Cafe (claimed to be the best chowder west of Boston!).
Tomorrow should find us roaming around in San Luis Obisbo and Morro Bay.
From there, who knows!

Friday, July 3, 2009

DXCC #330 Confirmed...

Recently received a QSL card confirming my contact with this quite rare station that was operating in the Andaman & Nicobar Island group. These islands are located in the Bay of Bengal, southeast of India.

This card bring my total confirmed country count to 330 in the DXCC program. The contact was made on the 40 meter band using cw (morse code).

I am currently listed on the CQ Honor Roll (CW - morse code), but I still have a couple more countries to work/confirm before being eligible for the ARRL DXCC Honor Roll.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BonVoyage Party for Larry...

On Saturday, June 20th, Jamie and husband Jimmy hosted a BonVoyage party for Larry, as he heads off to Fort Jackson, SC for basic training in the US Army.

Lots of laughs, lots of tears, lots of swimming and lots of great food and drinks.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Larry read all the cards, and made a heartfelt statement of his love for his friends and family.

Be safe and well Larry, and come home soon!

Click on the link to see all the photos...


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kelly's Band Plays in Huntington Beach

Kelly and his band, Tsunami Blue, played at Huntington Beach on Sunday. Kelly is 2nd from left in the photo.

Robbin, daughters Carrie Ann and Carrie Renee, and granddaughters Kayla and Chloe spent the day cheering them on.

They were participating in a weekend concert presented by the Huntington Beach Surf Museum.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Solar Power Ham Radio...

It's about time for some ham radio news!

Last week I dug out the old (1970's) Heathkit HW-8 rig, in preparation for Field Day, a communications test held in June. During the weekend event, stations from all over the country try to work each other using a variety of portable, emergency and home powered equipment.

The HW-8 (smaller green radio in photo) puts out 4 watts, and last year I worked over 80 stations. In my testing this week, I worked stations in Japan, Australia, Alaska, and South America.

To give you some idea of the power level, a 4 watt radio is the same power as a night light bulb. My regular station is the equivalent of a 100 watt light bulb, while the maximum power allowed is the same as 15 light bulbs, 100 watts each!

For hams reading this, I use a solar panel and 5 ah battery for power. The keyer (blue box next to clock) is an old MFJ model that runs forever on one 9 volt battery. Antenna is a 40m Ham Stick with 2 radials. Everything but the antenna fits into a plastic tool box.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

LaJolla For The Day...

Lovely LaJolla... it's not that far from Murrieta, but we seldom get there. On Sunday, Robbin, Bill, Kayla and Haylie drove down and spent the day.

First was lunch at "The Spot", a true landmark. It's the oldest continuously operated restaurant in LaJolla (since 1915), and a favorite of Robbin's.

If you go, try the beer battered fries or macaroni and cheese.

Pictured here are Haylie, Kayla and Bill in front of the restaurant.

Next we visited the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, which included numerous tanks with all kinds of sea life, and an outdoor area where you could actually touch sea critters.

Then off to LaJolla Cove, with a park with a small beach area, although a little chilly for swimming.

On the way home we topped off the afternoon with chocolate dipped ice creams cones. A beautiful day and a rare treat for us.

PS: We tried to find the house where we lived for a summer in LaJolla but no luck.

To see all the photos, click on this link:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Patty's Birthday Party...

On Sunday we hosted a birthday party for Robbin's sister, Patty, at our home in Murrieta.

A highlight of the day was a visit by Patty's son Kelly, who came all the way from his home in Virginia, and will be here for most of the week.

Pictured here are Patty opening one of her gifts, while her son Kelly visits with Kayla and catches up on the latest news.

Meanwhile, next door, our neighbors had a birthday party for their daughter, and invited our granddaughter Haylie to celebrate.

Looks like she may have the winning hand in the water gun action!

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Murrieta Chili Cook-Off Festival...

Today a group of us went to the 1st Annual Murrieta Chili Cook-Off Festival in downtown Murrieta. This is national competition, with the winner going on the the semi-finals later this year.

There were all kinds of chili samples, food tents, beer tents, line dancing, live music, and even a wildlife exhibit. Whew! Lots to do and enjoy, and the weather was perfect.

The group included Bill & Robbin; Carrie, Kelly and Chloe; Carrie Renee and her son Colston.

Click on any of the pictures to make them larger.

You can also view these and other pictures at PhotoBucket. Click on the link below for more pictures:


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Eric O'Flaherty Signs with Atlanta...

Our own Eric O'Flaherty (Robbin's nephew) has signed with the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

From a Braves press release: "The Braves enter the regular season with a projected pitching staff that includes starters Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjen, Kenshin Kawakami and Tom Glavine, closer Mike Gonzalez, setup men Rafael Soriano and Peter Moylan and middle relievers Blaine Boyer, Eric O'Flaherty and Buddy Carlisle".

Congrats to Eric, and good luck in Atlanta!

Here's a link to a story about Eric: ERIC O'FLAHERTY

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hippies Spotted in Murrieta!

It's nice to see some things just don't change much. Like "hippies". Spotted this rather unique VW bus in the local gas station yesterday. Apparently "Ike" is one of those counter-culture types who's stuck in the 70's. Unfortunately, Ike didn't learn to spell very well (Mobiel?).

So next time your in town, watch for Ike, who continues to thumb his nose at "The Man".

Me? Well, somehow my life went down a different road from Ike's VW and, now, I seem to have almost become "The Man".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

We Visit The 23rd Avocado Festival...

Lots of food and sun today at the 23rd Annual Avocado Festival in downtown Fallbrook.

I went down to Carrie and Kelly's ranch early so we could get there before the big crowds arrived. As you can see, even getting to this event early means it is elbow-to-elbow down Main Street!

In the photo above, three of the Avocado Princesses stopped by to say hello to Chloe, who was thrilled to see some real nobility!

After a couple of hours sight-seeing, and getting all kinds of free samples, we went back to Carrie & Kelly's to have lemonade (fresh from their lemon tree) and some treats. Robbin and Kayla joined us later for a nice lunch.

Food, sun, princesses... and more food!

Now, doesn't that sound like a perfect day?

(Click on pictures for a larger view)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Haylie & Colston Birthday Bash!

Happy 13th Birthday to Haylie and Colston!

Over 40 family members and friends from 4 counties celebrated on Saturday, April 11th.

The "teen" party included a scavenger hunt (the boys team won), a "Guess Who" trivia game with little known facts about Haylie and Colston, a Soul Train style dance exhibition, a fantastic BBQ, and of course the opening of cards and gifts.

Everyone had great time, even the sometimes embarrassed new "teens".

The dance exhibition was filmed by Matt and copies will be available as soon as we all stop laughing! We promise not to post the video on You-Tube!

To see more pictures, click on the PhotoBucket link below...


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Choir Group Wins First Place!

Here's a group photo of Kayla and her Murrieta Valley High School Advanced Women's Ensemble Choir. While in New York City last month they performed in a signing competition at the famous Riverside Church... they won FIRST PLACE... Congratulations!

Kayla is in the back row, 6th person from the left. Kayla picked the "goofy" picture as opposed to the more serious pose. Click on the photo for a larger view.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Hang On To Your Domain Name!

Last October I decided to give up my website, and go with this BLOG instead. Well, last week I thought perhaps I could start it up again and add some photos.

Well, LO AND BEHOLD, some bottom-feeder snapped up the K6CU domain name! Apparently this guy watches for any domain names that expire and then buys the rights to it ($10 per year is the going rate). He then puts it on his website that it's available.

Here is the email correspondence I had with him. BEWARE -- if you have a website, keep the domain name even if you don't want to keep the website active! Lesson learned!

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 16:52:49 -0700
Subject: RE: Your offer for


The owner of this domain has listed the sales price for this domain at $4000 USD, but is willing to entertain a reasonable offer.

To make an offer, reply to this email with the offer you would like me to present to the owner of the domain.

To expedite negotiations, the seller has requested minimum bid of $1000.



Remember: If you would like to post a comment, click on the "comments" link. Enter your comment. Then click on the "Name/URL" button below the comment window, and enter your name. You do not have to enter the "URL"... just your name.

Friday, March 20, 2009

NYC Girl !!!

Our Miss Kayla is in the Big Apple right now, on a 5-day trip with her Choir group. She left yesterday.

Here are some photos she sent earlier today. Can you believe she's only 15 years old?

They have a busy schedule, including lunch in Central Park, a visit to Rockefeller Center and the Statue of Liberty, plus a dinner cruise. On Sunday they're going to lunch at the Mesa Grill, and that evening they will see the Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre. Whew!

The highlight of their trip is an Awards Ceremony for her Advanced Women's Ensemble Choir group tomorrow (Saturday) night.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Playing at Big Bear...

Last week Matthew and his friend Erik spent a few days snowboarding up at Big Bear. Pictured here is the view out their back door, overlooking the lake, and an interior shot of the rustic cabin (heating only with firewood). Although it doesn't show up in these photos, there was lots of snow on the slopes.