Sunday, December 27, 2015

First Drone

I saw my first drone today (December 19, 2015). While out for an afternoon walk I noticed a strange sound, like a mosquito. Then I looked up and there was a tiny object high in the sky, possibly as high as the Sikorski helicopters that fly around here. But this thing was just hovering stock still in the air ... like a helicopter, but clearly not a helicopter. I could not make out much detail except for a shape, which was 4-sided and probably with whizzing propellers on all sides.
    After a while it suddenly zipped to another location ... similar to how a hawk might rise on the air currents (tho this was, as I say, stock still) and then suddenly shoot off in some direction ... and then again came to a complete halt. Then it kept repeating this, relocating itself over land and then later over the Sound.
    It instills all sorts of feelings. Am I being watched? Could it fall on somebody's head or through the roof? Could it crash into the cockpit of a plane or the rotors of a real helicopter? How soon until the sky is filled with drones like birds, and, aside from the changed scene and new risks, a new source of noise pollution as the buzz of a hundred mosquitoes constantly fills the air?
    And what is this all for? So people can receive packages even faster than we already do? (After Amazon's 30-minute deliveries, the only world left to conquer will be a 3D printer in every home so that nothing really needs to be delivered anymore at all.) So Americans can find yet another expensive hobby to throw away their money on instead of donating to worthy causes?
    Oh well, I don’t really mean to be a Luddite. Both because nothing will stop this, and because I will come to appreciate the benefits as much as anyone. It does seem appropriate to mark the occasion, however. If even little ol’ moi has spotted his first drone, then drones have arrived. I hereby declare a (and yet another!) new era begun.

P.S. A week later I was out for another walk and came upon a little boy playing with a remote control car on the sidewalk, no doubt his brand new toy. He directed it right into my foot. "That's pretty neat," I remarked, trying to smooth over his odd driving maneuver. "Yeah," he said as he approached, "but I can't get it to start up again from a distance." He appeared pretty happy nevertheless, so I thought he would appreciate my news. "You know what? I saw a drone the other day." He looked up at me with a big smile. "I got one for Christmas!"