One of my Amateur Radio resolutions for 2008 was to complete the required number of QSOs and earn the SKCC Centurion Award.
I finally got my log information culled from Log-EQF and filled out the application today. I wanted to do this to see how many more SKCC QSOs that I needed to complete the required 100. I thought I was 2 or 3 short; but to my surprise, I actually met the goal this past week.
Thus came the dilemma. I, W2LJ, am the person who certifies Centurion applications! It didn't seem quite right to just give myself the award. So I sent my application to Gordon Benjamin N6WK who is the gentleman who used to do the certifications. Gordon asked me to take over for him a few months ago, in order to free him up for other things, like family, and actually getting on the radio, you know ..... important stuff! But I asked him if he would kindly check one last log; and he very graciously did. And thanks to Gordon, I am now Centurion# 167; and in SKCC QSOs, I can now proudly give my club number as SKCC# 49C.
Thanks to the SKCC, I have become addicted to using a bug over the past two years. I would say that when I send Morse Code now, about 60% of the time, I use a bug. Then my paddles and keyer fill up another 25%; and the straight key get used for the remaining 15% of the time.
I'm still not as good with a bug as I would like to be; but I think I'm getting there. It's definitely a work in progress. I'm not bad with a straight key; but after a while, my wrist begins to hurt like blazes! The side to side motion of the bug is a lot easier on my wrist. Also, there's something "old-timey" and nostalgic about using a bug that just satisfies some inner craving about returning to the Golden Age of Amateur Radio.
I guess I'm just crazy! But the ultimate goal is to end up sounding like guys like Milt K4OSO. I get into a QSO with him and it sounds like he's using a keyer and paddles - he's THAT good!
I want to be that good someday; and the only way to get there is to keep practicing.
73 de Larry W2LJ