A Drone for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions are just like your typical Cleveland Brown – unrealistic, misguided and prone to flame out almost immediately. So this year, why don’t we commit ourselves to one single resolution? Why not pick a singular element that really has the potential to improve things in 2016. (While I will concede that Vodka and Netflix are the obvious choices, they are not really in the spirit of my message.)   

So, as an example of my one-resolution…resolution, I’ll go first. I’m going to buy a drone.

Am I qualified to own a drone? Probably not. In fact, I’m so out-of-touch with technology that the first time I heard a drone zoom above me in Linden Park, I thought a wasp was in my hair. (A wildly entertaining scene for the drone operators up on the hill, no doubt.)

But, honestly, I can’t stop thinking of ways that a drone would help me improve my life.

First and foremost, I have spent the better part of 15 years guessing wrong as to when the city leaf-sucker truck will finally grace our street. Up to now, my only tip-off was that soothing, far off “whirr” (dare I say “drone”) that the vehicle emits.  It’s such a soothing sound, that I never put two-and-two together until the truck was two houses away. 

Soon, I will be able to send my drone out to hunt my white whale. I’ll spot it, break out the leaf blower, and then my wife (who I will make drive home from work) and I will greet my nemesis at the tree lawn - rakes up, with a big leaf-eating grin for the workers.

After that, the opportunities are endless.  My drone can spot our three different school buses rambling up Wooster Road, giving me an accurate two-minute warning to pack lunch and locate mittens. It will zero-in on door-to-door people pitching anything from prophecy to peanut brittle before they reach my house. Heck, I can even spot the ice cream truck in time to herd the children inside and turn up the radio before they’re within earshot of the high-fructose clarion call.  

And when my Nintendo-obsessed, basement-dwelling offspring (envision the subterranean "Morlocks" from H.G. Wells’ Time Machine) return from a short stint outdoors, complaining that "nobody's outside,” I can send the drone out to find any active kickball game within a 3-mile radius.

There's even an aesthetic aspect to consider. Since we belong to the local support group "FWB," or "Friends Without Boats," we can send the drone out over the lake for an unobstructed digital-feed of every great summer sunset. We can zoom through the colorful canopy of the Metroparks in autumn, and marvel at the Rocky River ice thaw from directly above the action. It'll be like the Discovery Channel, but without all the heartburn ads. 

All in all, I'll admit that there are a few hundred issues involved with owning a drone. But I have 365 days to straighten this all out. I'll try and let you know when I do. If I don't, just remember: When you hear the "Whirrr," you'll know that I successfully kept my New Year's resolution.

Either that or the leaf truck’s two houses away.

Tim Piai

Tim Piai is a freelance writer. He lives in Rocky River.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 3:51 PM, 01.11.2016