The Contest Update is Serious This issue of the Contest Update "lands" on March 31. Many will read this issue on April 1, also known as "April Fools Day," and so might expect to see some humorous, satirical, fantastical, or outright deceptive item or tidbit. Alas, you will not. Not long after I started in the role as the Contest Update editor, I inquired about whether or not it would be possible to have an issue that was a complete farce. There would be a serious analysis of the annual Poisson D'Avril contest (link to last year's rules post by Doug, K1DG -- sorry, you already missed this year's contest, though I heard it was a lot of fun as usual - this year there were bonus points for spelling "GODOT"). Announcement of the new N1MM Logger+ "Dupe Sheet" window for those who like the old way of keeping track. The Word to the Wise, which is usually a phrase anyway, due to the fact that all of the good contest words have been used up already, was going to be a detailed examination of "Please Copy" and its translation into various languages for use in DX contests. I was rebuffed, for multiple reasons. One problem is that even though they don't look like it, radio contesters are a very diverse group, and having a joke "land" with everyone is even more difficult than getting a Starship back in one piece. One W4's hyperbole could be a sensible power choice for an N6. How can we possibly have a common basis for humor, when we as a group cannot even agree on a good method for installing PL-259s? Another big concern involves the "fact" that the Contest Update is just like some of this new- fangled spooky quantum physics stuff, where "reality" is defined in most of the ways that matter by the observer, you, the Contest Update reader. If a "funny" story were put in the 'Update about, say, cats being able to copy CW and log via keyboard, and enough people thought the satire was real, well, there's a larger non-zero probability that we'd need a lot of Friskies at the next WRTC. Safe, non-hobby-changing content includes facts about solder, contesting anecdotes, and the features and fixes in this week's release of N1MM Logger+. We had some nice video of solder melting in the last issue of the Contest Update, so that's out until at least next issue. Because I'm writing this on Sunday, and the next Logger+ release comes out Tuesday, I only have this operating anecdote to relate: Sometimes, members of our radio club play tricks on each other, and sometimes this even occurs during contests. A few years ago, during the Salmon Run (a QSO-party-like event for Washington State, not occurring in April), I was operating in the contest, working through a modest pile of callers, and I heard one of our members, Denny, W7SNH (SK), calling me on 20 meters. His signal was pretty weak, since he's local but not local enough to be loud on 20 meters during the day. You know, a contest 59. He was strong enough that I could hear him "ok enough," and knew exactly who was calling. So the following happened: N9ADG: Q-R-Zed Salmon Run, November Nine Alpha Delta Golf W7SNH: W7SNH N9ADG: Is there a W7 W7? This could be tough, I have some QRN. W7 again? W7SNH: W7SNH, W7SNH N9ADG: W7S... W7S... Again? W7SNH: Whiskey Seven Sierra November Hotel N9ADG: Whisky Seven Sierra, Whisky Seven Sierra Something? W7SNH: Whisky Seven Sierra November Hotel N9ADG: Whiskey Seven Sierra November? Denny, I just need the last letter. Give me the last letter, Denny! W7SNH: Whiskey Seven Sierra November Hotel! N9ADG: W7SNH, 59, King County! W7SNH: 59, King! Okay, if you already understand the humor of the situation, please stop reading now. You get it. I'm going to explain what's funny about it, and just reading the explanation could change your opinion of that practical joke from "humorous" to "mildly amusing." Still reading? This is a good example of why the Contest Update must remain serious - only 62% of the readers stopped reading after the last paragraph! What makes the situation funny is related to the context of this contest: I was in a QSO party, from Washington state. My call sign is from call area nine, while the contest was for a state in call area seven. I should have been using N9ADG stroke seven, to indicate to potential callers that I was an in-state station! I thought I was pulling a fast one, but Denny turned it around: Because he didn't ask me to repeat my state, he was in on the joke, and just accepted my exchange, completely turning the situation around -- so the joke was on me! Denny was quite the kidder! We all HI-HI'd it up after that one. That's all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, and predictions to 73, Brian N9ADG