Sunday, May 31, 2009

Boys and their toys...

(Chad here) I generally consider myself a "manly man" inclined to work on the car, split firewood by hand, carry a multitool on my belt (...everywhere...), etc, so needless to say I can appreciate the finer points of "manly" activities. I recently had the opportunity to take part in two stereotypical male-dominated events that I hadn't been a part of before....

First on the scene, the Hamilton 400 V8 Supercar street circuit in Hamilton. Basically they took about 4 square city blocks in the middle of town and put up concrete barriers and chain-link fences and let professional drivers rip around on the pavement that I would otherwise be driving on whilst running errands or heading to work.
During the 4-day event they have all different classes of cars run the track from mini-F1 style Toyota's to stock Porsche's to the centerpiece
which are the Australian V8 Supercars. They race in Aussie and NZ and would most likely compare
to NASCAR except that it's a bit more of a street race than a giant oval. All the cars are massively turbo-charged and LOUD.... good times... =) I didn't get tickets to the event, but our company was responsible for some of the track lighting, so a few of the guys got All-Access Contractor passes so they could getin and maintain the lights if required.
Well, since they didn't ALWAYS need to be on the track "maintaining" said lights, my work-mate and I were able to borrow a couple passes and head
down to the track for a few hours one day. We wandered the whole track unhindered - just flash the "All-Access" we were away! Any grandstand, down in the pits, take your pick! We didn't stay for long, but certainly long enough to get a bit of hearing damage and few shots of the cars racing past. All I needed was an RV and a confederate flag!!!


Then, a few weeks ago a mate from church had his bachelor party - which is known here as a "stag do", the contrast to which would be a "hen's night" for the girls. Anyway, he's a farmer and a fellow manly man, as are his brothers-in-law who set up an afternoon of clay pigeon target practice out on the farm. Yeeeee-HAW! Let's go SHOOT sumthin! There were about 15 guys and four 12-gauge shotguns with target rounds. Two of the guns were 5 shot pump-action, 1 was semi-automatic, and 1 was a double barrell, old-school gun with two
triggers! We all chipped in for ammo and clays and over the course of about 3 hours of shooting we managed to go through roughly 500 rounds ...and sadly not nearly so many pigeons met their fate. Though, for never having done this in my life, I think I shot about 70% - which drew all kinds of fun jokes from the peanut gallery about being a gunslinging Texan who was born with a gun in my hands! (my mom could witness to the contrary =) The groom-to-be wasn't much of a shot in the end, but he had a good time, and the best shot of everyone, far and away, was one of the church elders in his 70's who pretty much didn't miss a single one! (veteran
duck hunter, of course) We were all in awe. Most of the day we had two guns running at a time since the launcher could shoot two pigeons at once, but towards the end with people getting hungry for the BBQ feed and ammo to burn I'm pretty sure they unleashed all four guns at once on two unsuspecting clay pigeons. Poor guys.

Hopefully I'll have more grunty events to share in the future (...WRC RallyNZ in August!), but hopefully this will infuse a bit of testosterone to everyone's reading for today.