Day by Day cartoon

Monday, August 14, 2006

Where did that weekend go?

That was a full weekend! By the time I finally sat down each evening I was too tired to blog about my adventures. So I guess I can sneak a few minutes now before digging into this week's tasks. So what did I do all weekend?

Well, Friday evening was a trip out to the movies with the spouse, World Trade Center was her choice and so we went to see a movie I wasn't so sure I wanted to see. Nicolas Cage does his usual job of never moving his face while expressing great distress and pain and there is one hugely bogus scene involving a handgun that requires its own post. But the movie as a whole is powerful, emotional and a very opportune reminder of why the US is at war against those that hate us. It was a much better movie than I expected to see and it even caused the spouse to question that "Religion of Peace" moniker that supposedly describes the Islamic world's believers.

Saturday, as Kenny has already related, was a trip to the desert for some stomping around after slow bunnies and some informal plinking fun. And it was a bunch of fun. Kenny had several guns that Gun Dealer Bob had asked him to take out and try before they go up for sale, so we shot some guns that we didn't even have to carry home and clean! Mostly we just plinked at plastic toys that I buy at thrift stores and some chunks of lumber that Kenny had in his truck. I did kill one jackrabbit with the shotgun that Kenny brought along from Bob's gun store. I found out today, from my buddy Jim, who was the previous owner of the guns, that the Savage shotgun I was using had not even been fired since the 1970s!

It was a really early wakeup on Saturday to connect with Kenny so I had a lengthy nap after getting home and having a shower. The nap left me tired after I did get up so the rest of the evening was spent in front of the television with the spouse.

Sunday was another motor racing adventure with Noah, this time to the Bonneville Salt Flats, just outside of Wendover, Utah, on the far side of the state. Its Speedweek over there and we decided we really needed to check out this American speed tradition that takes place nearly in our backyard. It is quite an adventure... First of all, its not like any other race event I've ever attended. The racing takes place, one car at a time, about a half mile away from the nearest spectating point- that's the close track! The other racing line is further away and even harder to see! So mostly going to Speedweek is walking through the pits, which are spread out over 3+ miles, checking out the cars that are hiding under canopies and shades. Most of the cars are veterans of many years of salt racing; drum brakes and solid axles are still fully capable equipment on many of the cars! There is a class for any vehicle that shows up and most cars run in multiple classes based upon engine size, gasoline or fuel, supercharged or natural induction and the body type. One fellow we spoke to had already ruined one cylinder in his V-8 powered Datsun 240Z. But he wasn't concerned, the Tech folks had already confirmed that he could run in the next smaller engine class by just running on 7 cylinders!

It's a lot like that. One guy we talked to was racing his dad's car, after Dad had set records with the car in 1994 and passed away in 1995, the son was still racing the 4WD, big block engined, twin-turboed beast. He had the "small" engine in the car and a "big" engine waiting in the truck and claimed to have the most sophisticated engine management system of any car on the salt. I can't say anything about his car's computer system but the fellow claims the car produces 1800 HP and he holds 4 records with it, 2 in the gasoline class and 2 in the fuel class, in both engine sizes and always on gasoline.

It is a relaxed atmosphere in most of the pits though. There is no specific time to show up to go run like every other type of racing, so very little thrashing to get ready is going on. Instead, folks are lounging under canopies, listening to the track radio announcer and sweeping the constant salt off of the ubiquitous, blue tarps that every team has nailed down to the salt as a temporary floor. Most of the racers we spoke to seemed completely content to run their racers once or twice a day at most and most of them were doing no more than checking tire pressures and fuel levels between runs. There was a little more effort going on in some pits but mostly it's a pretty relaxed atmosphere.

But it's a lot of walking! Noah and I were nearly the only folks on foot, since we didn't know better. Everyone else is on some kind of pit ride, mini-bike, bicycle, 4-wheeler or moped, everybody has some kind of wheeled transport to get around on. So we looked at a bunch of race cars, wore ourselves out walking, got sunburnt on the bottoms of our arms and were disappointed to discover that there was only one concession stand for food and water purchases throughout the entire pit area. By the time we got home last night, it was time for dinner and a shower before falling asleep in the recliner until bed time!

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is your opportunity to speak up...