By Trina Machacek
I say the word drone, which by the way many times I tried to spell “droan.” It is not droan, it is drone. I know that now. Moving along. I say the word drone and you probably picture a flying thingy with whizzing tiny propellers and a plastic shell for a body that is probably white with black accents. Maybe a few purple flames on the side for eye popping effects.
It is zipping through the air untethered to the earth by wires and strings. Like magic. Somehow it is held on course by someone somewhere with another couple of pounds of plastic filled with electronics. I’ll admit that I have no idea how it all works or comes together. I am, however or hover-ever, amazed at droning.
I bought a book as a gift once for my mother-in-law that was a coffee table book of pictures of this grand country taken from above. Now know that this was some time ago so the pictures were taken from airplanes not from drones. The pictures were in vivid colors of country sides in patchwork wonderment, towns clustered like tiny villages filled with folks, cities sprawling of dark colors and building upon building.
In each picture there were stories of lives that could fill mountains of books. As gifts go I thought it was pretty good. I found that book, after she passed away, stuffed in the back of an end table under like eight years of magazines and used lined yellow legal pads. I gathered from that that the gift was more something of me than of her. I think that is the way of gifts and gift giving more often than not.
But! Yes a gifted “but.” It all evens out, she gave me a rubber blow up pillow I was supposed to use in the bathtub. Yeah like I ever had time to sit in a tub and luxuriate. That silly inflatable is now and has always been in the linen closet. Never used, stuffed under a pile of towels that I use for rags. See it isn’t about the gift, it’s about the thought. She kept the book and I kept the pillow—out of respect? Maybe. But I do drone on and on don’t I?
Ah now I have hit the mark. Not about a flying drone, about the talking. Droning. Or the droning on and talking much about nothing. Did you know that the fairly new concept of that flying apparatus aka a drone, was named because of the noise it makes? Drone was to me, an adjective until someone made one of the flying goodies and turned the word into a noun. Making it a thing that is named after the sound it makes.
A whizzing on and on and on sound. Droning, like talking on and on, much about nothing and not stopping. Just droning along. Funny isn’t it that we now hear the word drone and if we don’t look up we instantly think of someone magically flying a blob of plastic through the air. Might be mostly because of the attachment of a camera. Yes cameras that over such a short period of time have become something we just swallow and have adjusted to. Now cameras are in the sky attached to drones that make droning noise.
Oh there have been movies about cameras everywhere. Remember when you first heard, “Big Brother is watching”? Cameras are even on satellites that hover 26,000 miles above us either synchronized with the movement of the earth or able to be moved to get specific clicks of pictures. Google Earth is amazing and kind of earth shattering too. I heard tell that there are cameras on some of those far off zooming huge satellites or “drones,” that can read a license plate on a car! Now that’s some drone and some camera. Oh look, I have droned on and on again.
When I see a video from a camera on a drone the coolest ones are the ones that surprise me, like going over the edge of a cliff. Suddenly the earth falls away and your heart goes ka-thump just a little. If there was a drone that would give rides I would be in the front of the line. I was in a small airplane once and the pilot flew us up over some really high mountains, close to the ground to sightsee. As we approached to go over the summit he looks over and tells me, “Pick up your feet!” Like the girl I am I did and then we both laughed. Well that’s enough droning on and on about drones.
Trina lives in Eureka. Her funny book “They Call Me Weener” is available on Amazon.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org