I have been collecting license plates for fifteen years and have heard the war stories of  people getting screwed out of plates. Every now and then some piece of trash gives collectors the real run around andit's mostly annoying. However nothing prepared me for what I was getting into when I first starting talking to Juan Esperenza. Like  all new collectors he wanted every plate under the sun and started  "friending" people on Facebook. Of course since I was friends with fellow ALPCA members I accepted, pretty soon the nightmare began. Juan started making bad deals and bidding on plates with no intention of buying them. This obviously ticked a lot ofpeople off, so he was running out of people who would want to deal with him. He then started messaging me on Facebook because I had thrown a few plates, that wer never for for sale Every single plate I  put on my Facebook page he asked if  it was for trade, I said no. Finally after months of harrasment I told him I had a few NewJersey plates for him if he send me some plates first. He wanted to know why and I said some people have had bad dealings with him and thinking it over I decided  the trade was off. Let me make that clear NO PLATES ever got sent through the mail in either direction. I had thought the deal folded... He kept bugging via and I just hit the delete key.
A few weeks later  the e-mails gentle turned into threats, he even called my house while I was in Arlington. He even tried calling the police which got nowhere. He called my house again and my dad announced if he contacted me again, we would call the police. Finally Juan had the nerve to file a complaint with ALPCA's Complaint Chairman who  repeated asked him to proove HE SENT ME PLATES,which he obviously never sent. Jerkweed Juan refused to come up with the details of the deal  because he didn't aagree to my terms. The Complaint Chairman, who I have met at every convention  and is the nicest guy, request Jerkweed Juanstop contacted me, Juan still to this day insists I screwed him. Well he doesn't know what screwing is, . Since he refuses to stop harrassing me I am taking it to the next level. He wants [plates, well here's his address and phone number, tell him Justin Mattes wishes he cuts his hand on a rusty plate and gets a nasty infection. I got  his address from one of his stupid e-mails and  his phone # off my caller  id. Let him know how you feel about what he's done to not only me, but countless other collectors
Juan Esperanza
3262 W.  16th Ave
Eugene, OR 97402
(541) 606-2258

See also Jerkweed Juan is back


Arlington Wrapup

Below is a post I sent to the PLATES Listserve. I plan to write something on the other activities like I did for the Erie trip last year. Bottom line despite the numerous troubles I ran into,  overall I had a blast.

Well I have been reading all the reports and figured it was time I pass one along. The convention honestly ranked one of the worst I've been to and before everyone gets on the defensively accuses me of not appreciating all the hard  work the Board put into this convention let me preface I had a great time at the actual convention but between having my flight diverted, I was traveling alone this year, and the hotel treating me like a second class person that didn't understand what I was talking about. First of yes I know you can't control planes from diverting and the flight crew WAS GREAT, but they overreacted when I started showing signs of nervousness/ My flight was diverted to Austin for two hours because of the storms in Dallas. I  couldn't help but being uptight but the flight staff felt they kept having to reassure me. I was more worried about John Ferguson's flight being delayed but he got in early.When we finally saw each other we hugged and laughed that the incident with the airlines was our one "little glitch". I got to hotel and checked in, they had me booked Tuesday through Friday when I specifically asked them for one night at the ALPCA rate. My mom had booked the one night on her credit card When I went to check out Wednesday morning (I was moving in with Dave Kuhen which was my original plan ) the front desk said I couldn't checkout until Saturday morning. With the help of Jeff Minard and numerous calls home, the hotel straightened everything out but it drained my bank account.  The cash I had on hand was it. I later found out I would get a refund for all the nights, since the admittedly screwed up my reservation. The front desk gave me a line that my debit card wasn't going to be charged until after I checked out, they lied, because when I checked my balance, the full amount was charged. It was   finally fixed by Friday but because of the screw up, funds were tighter than usual. The hotel gets a D!

The convention part was great I saws old friends and made  some new ones. I would like to publicly commend Clark Wothe on hosting the 1st ever Regional Presidents meeting. It was very informative and we made some great progress. Also the displays were amazing, it was hard to vote for just one. I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted but I remember the displays. I liked the breast cancer display as well,m but again they weree all very impressive.

My biggest thrill was hanging out with John Ferguson, the "Toms" Allen and Smith, Susan Allen and John and I went out to this neat BBQ place and I was given a sheriff's badge with the name "Kevin" on it, which I will explain in a minute. The highlight of that evening was definitely sliding down the slide sandwhiched between Susan and John. Hindsight  being 20/20 I  geuss the slide was better than being put on one of those roller coasters over at Six Flags!

The auction was a bit of a surprise for me because John Ferguson and company present me with a Mississippi #29 NASCAR License plate for all my speed demon antics at the convention. The would have presented it to me at the business meeting Saturday 7morning but my pplane was taking off longbefore the business meeting even started so the auction was the next best thing,. To top things off they made Steve Raiche present it to me and if you ever seen an awards ceremony, you know Steve's classic style of mixingf whit, humor and heart touching emotions together. It was probablly one of the nicest gestures one ALPCAn could do for another. It's rumored that a video will appear up on Youtube one of these days.

 The attendance wasa bit disappointing  especially since the convention was centrally located. I feel it was a good meet but I need to go on record as saying location wasn't the greatest. This isn't a swipe at the people in Texas nor is it a dig at the Board, but I had such misfortune, I had to get it  on record.

Looking forward to Charleston,WV next year hope the gang recoups by then!

Justin Mattes ALPCA 6748


Field Day Fingering 2010--N2SE on the air from Darlington Park

After a year off due to the 2009 ALPCA Convention in Erie, PA  conflicting with Field Day weekend 2009, I entered this Field Day with  my own laptop and a new antenna. As in previous posts I mentioned I now havea Toshiba laptop which I use remotely whenever possible. So this year I can truly call the station my own! Paul,KC2CJW brought the Pompton Lakes OEM vehicle which was  decided to be my home base. It was definitely one of my more interesting setups because I also toured the van to check out there radios and of course what was in them. This year the 10-70 club, callsign N2SE, setup a station at Darlington Park just down the road from our usual location at Campgaw Ski Lodge. It seems the county scheduled their hazardous materials recycling day the same day as Field Day weekend. However it worked out fine because the attendance was down from last year. We were still a lively group

I did have some problems with my new Buddystick  antenna.First of all note to self NEVER listen to dad when he says the antenna wire is long enough. I showed up aty Fieldday with an eight foot piece of coax and they all laughed at me.. After getting  over the initial snickers the guys set me up with a thirty foot piece of coax and I thought I was off and  running. I didn't get too far because I was missing every call. A station called CQ and he would get a major pile-up. I looked down at my radio to  find my SWR was out of whack. So with the help of Tim KA2A I adjusted the coil to 20 meters, which was a little better but I was still getting clobbered. I thought this year I would be racking in the contacts, but it didn't work!!

The 20 Meter calling frequency is 14.070 but I find that for Field Day hunting a little closer to 14.071 nets better results sometimes. One of  the biggest problems is unlike other PSK contests hams jump on PSK just for Field Day weekend and don't understand how the mode works. People were calling CQ right on top of me and I just couldn't get a clear shot. So my solution was to just hunt for other stations calling CQ, which proved to work out a little  better, but I still wasn't racking the contacts in like I did in previous years.  Then there was a ham who is always on PSK who wasn't participating in Field Day. Courtesy only goes so far because he was answering people calling "CQ Field Day" and then trying to have a regular qso. I tried to avoid him.

Like every other year I have worked Field Day, there were things that worked out perfectly while other stuff was disappointing. Although like always I had a lot of fun, slept better than usual  too thanks to Mike,W2MLS's camper. Everything in the end worked outand I can't wait to do it all again!!