I was thinking about my favorite things, and realized that most of them are "man stuff." I'm not talking about things that are gender specific (like shaving brushes or jock straps.) These man things aren't really gender specific, but for some reason just don't appeal to women and probably would not exist were it not for men, because no women would buy them. By and large, women don't even understand why men like them. These are also things that I love, and owning and using them gives me a great deal of satisfaction. So, in the tradition of the song from the Sound of Music, here are a few of my favorite (manly) things. What are yours? Split bamboo fly rod. A proper split bamboo fly rod isn't made in a factory. It's made in somebody's garage, or basement, or a small shop using forms and planes and simple tools that haven't changed much in almost a century. The guy who makes it spends 40 or more hours of careful labor crafting a fly rod, and when he's done, he puts his name on it. Fly fishing is an activity that doesn't attract many women, and of the few women I've seen fly fishing, I've not ever seen even one casting a bamboo rod. Furthermore, I've never even heard of a single woman who makes these most wonderful fishing implements. Lots of women like to cook. Some women even like to grill. But were it not for men, I don't think there is any way that Viking would have created its 53 inch 25,000 BTU grill. This is a grill that Tim the Toolman could appreciate. You can cook for 60 people easily on this grill. You can cook brats, burgers, and ribs all at once on this grill, without any of the different meats rubbing elbows. This gril rocks. My wife wanted to install a lesser grill, thinking that 53 inches might be overkill. She might have been right, but it makes me happy just knowing that I could roast a full leg of lamb on the rotisserie, even if I haven't actually done it. One of the best stress relievers I've found is shooting stuff. When work or other things are pulling me down, there is a violent serenity to be found in shooting things full of holes. One of the best tools for this job is a sniper rifle. My particular choice is a Springfield M21 with a custom heavy Krieger barrel, super match trigger, and some other custom features, mated with a Shepherd scope. It's not really a practical gun, but it is a lot of fun to shoot. 400 yards; 20 rounds fired in under 60 seconds from a prone position; bipod support, factory Black Hills moly coated match ammunition. The easy chair is a piece of furniture that owes its existance to the proclivities of men. For some reason, women prefer couches, love seats, or other such furniture. For men, the ultimate is the easy chair. Every man needs a chair where he can relax, read, and unwind, and channel his inner Captain Kirk. I searched for almost half a year to find the most supremely comfortable easy chair for my office/den. I finally found this one. Many women are handy with tools, but for some reason, a framing hammer doesn't find its way into the tool boxes of many women. It's truly the quintesential man's hand tool. It's overkill for most jobs, but when you need to pound a lot of big nails into wood, there's nothing else that will do the job quite as well. I've got a couple other hammers in my tool box, but the framing hammer is my tool of choice when something needs pounding. It's big, it's heavy, and swinging it reminds me of the time when I made my living "by the sweat of my brow," pounding nails into lumber all day long. Alpine ice climbing doesn't appeal to very many women. There are certainly some high profile exceptions to that statement, but by and large alpine ice climbers tend to me overwhelmingly male. My wife's take on it is that "women are generally too intelligent to enjoy suffering." I don't know if she is right about that or not, but it's certainly true that I've seldom seen women on mountain ice faces. The tools that allow me to climb these faces are beautiful examples of design, function and technology. Made of graphite and steel, they are lightweight, ergonomic, and extremely tough and durable. Sadly, this model (the CF Black Prophet) is no longer made. For my money, it is the best alpine ice tool ever built. I would be willing to bet that less than one in a thousand Dodge Vipers are driven by women. By and large, women don't even like to ride in this car. It's loud, hot, with a Spartan interior and sidepipes that will burn your legs if you aren't careful when getting out. The steering is very touchy, the rear tires break loose if you aren't careful with the throttle, and the seats are very firm and tight. There's no traction/stability control, the clutch requires a strong left leg, the shifter takes a fair amount of effort, and the convertible top is not automated. All of these things simply add to the charm of the car as far as I'm concerned. I love the raw retro madness of a roadster that comes from the factory with over 500 horsepower (mine has over 700hp.) There are few things in life more exciting that ripping along at high speed, with the insane wail of 10 cylinders and over 500 cubic inches screaming in your ears. The differences between men's and women's point of view when it comes to sports cars can be best illustrated by an interaction I had with my wife. After going for a night ride in my Viper following some engine modifications, I came back home and told her that flames were shooting out of the sidepipes when I downshifted. She asked me what it was going to cost to "fix" this problem. She could not figure out why I not only wasn't planning on getting this fixed, but I was actually happy about flaming exhaust pipes.