Friday, April 11, 2008

Broadening horizons

Three enjoyable places I never would have imagined myself attending, a year ago:

First: Last Friday and Saturday, as part of the Weak Signals Radio Control Expo - one of the largest trade shows for RC craft in the US, held in Toledo each year - I was with Chris to attend the Electric Tournament of Champions (ETOC). ETOC is devoted to ultralight (6 ounce, total weight) electric-powered stunt RC planes and showcased some of the best stunt RC pilots showing off their stuff. The elimination rounds were Friday, and the finals were Saturday night at Waite High School.

Each "pilot" had to perform a series of required maneuvers, followed by a freestyle performance where they could "strut their stuff,"followed by a runoff for the top 3 competitors. Frankly, I didn't think I could ever get into this kind of thing - but seeing some of the previous year's competition on YouTube got me interested. Here's the video of the winner of ETOC 2008:

SECOND: We went downtown Saturday for the actual Weak Signals RC Expo, which took over the entire Seagate Center (Toledo's convention center) for the weekend. Imagine every conceivable vendor for remote-control airplanes, with a few RC boat and car vendors for good measure, crammed into a medium sized convention center - a virtual dreamland for the kid inside every man. From tiny ultralight RC planes that would fit in your palm to 30%-scale trainers with 20-foot wingspans powered by chainsaw motors, and every geegaw to fit every one of 'em, it was a wonderland.

The day started out as every good day downtown should - at Tony Packo's by the ballpark. Nothing fancy - just Packo's special hotdogs, and chili-cheese fries. Then four hours of wandering around Seagate Center, reminding me of an old smart-aleck comment about sunburning the roof of my mouth (since it was hanging open so much!). My feet and knees gave out long before my desire to see stuff did.

We went out to Central Catholic High School where a local RC flying club was having an "open flying" session - anyone could fly electric-powered airplanes under a certain weight. We were fresh out of cash, and they only TOOK cash, so we had to pass on that - but in the process, I learned a really disturbing thing about Chris.

He's one of those "White Castle fanatics."


Yes, indeed - we were going down Cherry St. just off downtown, and he saw the familiar building, and (to put it mildly) freaked out. "OH, my GOD, there's a White Castle here!!!" My reaction was basically, yeah, so what? The only time I have ever eaten White Castle was during a drunken weekend at Ohio State University back in the late 1970's - and I swore I'd never do it again. But, I saw the look on Chris' face, and I just started humming "What I Did For Love" from A Chorus Line and pulled in. And didn't even gag. And he was happy - and that made me happy, I guess.

Chris started working an afternoon a weekend at the local Hobbytown outlet, and he's back in his favorite element - talking and selling RC planes. It's definitely meant we have to re-arrange our schedule some - but it brings him joy, and doesn't inconvenience me much, so that's a good thing.

THIRD: the big deal, however, is this weekend:
The AMA Monster Energy SuperCross motorcycle races will bring their latest races to Detroit's Ford Field this Saturday, and we will be there.

Yes, you heard me. Motocross racing. Me. Detroit. All day Saturday.

I hardly believe it myself.

But I have watched half-a-dozen races with Chris, and strange to say, I've really gotten into it a bit. Chris used to run motocross bikes (a KTM, if you know about these things), some on tracks and some cross-country (enduro). So he got me watching, and now I am even starting to pick up the lingo.

I've drawn the line at fishing, though. I've told him - you want to go fishing, I will not ever stand in your way. But I'll be the one waving from the front porch - fishing holds NO charm for me WHATsoever. I told him I'll support him in whatever he wants to do - but I ain't GOING to all of it, and especially not fishing.

Even I have my limits.


Michael said...

Doll, you're doing enough without having to fish, too! Sounds like you guys are having a grand time, and I am glad to hear it.

Im A Foto Nut said...

Put on a Barbara S. CD quick! Enhale deeply several times. Now, put on some Barry M. Click your heels and say there's not place like home, there's no place like home.

Cripes dude that's even too much testosterone for me and I am straight!

As far as I am concerned fish are far better off in the lake!