Just mind the wind

My son is a fan of all things remote controlled and his latest thing is R/C airplanes. After indulging him with R/C cars Lily and I told him that he could get one under 2 conditions: he had to earn it and he had to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Note to aspiring parents: watch out for setting well defined conditions. After weeks for trying to behave well and saving up we went to the hobby store and picked up a HobbyZone Duet. He paid cash and got a receipt.

This is a starter plane and like most of them is built using light weight foam. Last week it took a nose dive and I had to use white glue and clear tape to put the nose back on. He did everything right but it took a dive onto some pavement and neatly broke the nose off.

Yesterday we went to his school and he gave it a good run but within 2 minutes he wanted to stop.

“Dad? I’m going to land it now.

Me: You could but why not keep it in the air for a while? Notice how there’s nothing you can crash into up there?”

That convinced him and he built up his confidence and nearly ran the battery down. He landed perfectly in the grass (we took the landing wheels off).

The second run was more fun. The plane weighs next to nothing and a light wind pushed it slowly across the school fields. Slowly as in we didn’t notice how far it really was until we saw the tree line. Fortunately he landed it without crashing and we had a great time.

It’s a fun hobby but this plane really needs a calm day to fly.

Praise The Monkey!

Some work stories you can share. Years ago I had a production change and I didn’t quite implement it correctly. It was fixed quickly but the user wanted what happened.

User: “In the least technical language possible can you explain what happened?”

We were on speaker phone in the support center. My pal thought for a second, looked at me and with all the seriousness he could muster replied like so.

Pal: “The Monkey pushed the wrong button!”

He emphasized “The Monkey” and “wrong button”. Fortunately she had a great sense of humor and we all laughed. Most people do enjoy a little levity in the work place.