While summer is not the traditional best time for ham radio -- noisy bands and too much outside activity -- there are a few contests in the summer and that's been most of my activity as late. Last night I ran the North American QSO party, with a respectable 340 contacts in about six hours of operating. The bands were noisy, but workable, so I had a good time. A couple weeks ago I operate he IARU contest for a few hours working a nice range of DX, with even a few contacts on 15 meters. Maybe the bands will come back. I had a nice surprise in the mail right after that contest -- I got a certificate in the mail that I had placed first place in CW only High Power in Illinois in the 2008 contest. That is kind of a fluke, as the big guns in Illinois all entered as low power and had many more contacts than I, but I'll still take the first-place finish. It show why to send in a log, even if you think you have no chance of ever winning. That's been about the size of my activity.