The best Facebook group ever

I’m in a Facebook group. Actually, I’m in several Facebook groups, but this post is specifically about one of them. I don’t want to mention the name of this group in case doing that means that I get the boot from the group. I want to stay in the Facebook group because it is the best Facebook group ever. The reason that it’s the best Facebook group ever is because of the regular, utterly, entirely unintentional inane comments that the members of the group come out with.

Yesterday, Eric shared a video he had made. It was a video of a particular place pertinent to the theme of the group and Eric had flown his drone around that place, added a reasonably appropriate Enya backing track, and uploaded his work. It was very nice. The video garnered over 120 likes and over 30 comments.

All of the comments were along the same lines:

“Brilliant. I really enjoyed that. Thanks for sharing.”
“That’s lovely, Eric.”
“Beautiful.”
“Breathtaking.”
“How tranquil was the music? Beautiful footage.”

That sort of thing. Except for this comment, slap bang in the middle of all of that well-deserved praise:

SHE’S NOT BITTER.

Because nothing says how nice a homemade video of a church is like dragging up your biased recollection of the details of a minor car accident you were involved in over 2 years ago and the subsequent trials and tribulations of the ensuing legal process, together with a quick guilt trip for Eric, who inadvertently – by not actively tracking and recording the every move of you that day – has left our protagnoist with a much diminished no claims bonus.

But you know – lovely video. Nice music.

No.

Note to family:
Under no circumstances must Colin be allowed to see this video.

Quite aside from the chances of horrendous damage to the piano and the god-awful noise, our beagle would turn in its metaphorical grave upon seeing the title of this video.

“Buddy Mercury”? Really?

The dog’s name is Buddy, but you couldn’t think of a better choice of musical individual to put in the title than Freddy “Buddy” Mercury*?

If only there had been an actual famous musical star with the first name Buddy.
Then you could have used that name instead and it would have been ever so much better.

* I take this back unreservedly if the annoyingly-voiced lady recording this is called Mrs Mercury, obviously.

That was the weekend

A bit of an odd one. It seemed busy, but still rather relaxed. The jobs list was approached, but not really ever adequately dealt with, meaning a chore-related hangover for next weekend.

There were two braais, although neither of them were the one we thought we were going to. There was beer, gin, vodka and there was wine, although it wasn’t actually one of those weekends.

There were two seven hour playdates, leaving the kids happy, but broken.

There was a spot of flying, but not as much as I wanted and not where I wanted. I need to find an accurate map of just what is owned by Table Mountain National Park and what isn’t. I need details.
South Africa has 2,798 km of coastline, but the vast majority around us seems to be owned by TMNP. Their no-fly rule (which I’ve stated before that I completely accept) still proves limiting.
Anyway – photos:

…because one should always make the best of a bad situation.

And so to bed. Well, not quite. There is some football to catch up on and some brandy to add to the list of beverages above.

Because all’s well that ends well, right?

Right.

I’ve been saying…

I love it when a plan comes together …when two recent 6000 miles… blog posts are linked by some external force or means.

I’ve been talking a lot about the local water restrictions (because it is big, big news here) and yesterday, I mentioned how people hate “drones” because they think that they are spying on them.

Guess what, readers – today, there was this on the Cape Talk website:

The City says about 20 000 residents are guilty of excessive water consumption.

It was revealed on Friday that the largest water consumers include the green belt of Newlands and Constantia as well as neighbouring suburbs Athlone, Newfields, Rylands and Lansdowne.In the northern suburbs, more big consumers are to be found in Kraaifontein, while further afield verdant Somerset West is another water-guzzling area.

Yeah, “water-guzzling”, “verdant” Somerset West. Sort yourself out.

The City says they will be working with residents to reduce usage before taking harsher measures.
Limberg says they will begin introducing new technology such as drones.

ROBOTIC SPY CAMERAS! EYES IN THE SKY! IT’S LIKE 1984 ALL OVER AGAIN. (I MEAN THE BOOK, NOT THE YEAR!) (DRONES HADN’T REALLY BEEN INVENTED BACK THEN.) IT’S INVADING MY PRIVACY AND LET’S FACE IT, THE OPERATORS ARE ACTUALLY JUST LOOKING FOR BIKINI-CLAD SUNBATHERS IN THE BACK GARDENS, AREN’T THEY? SICKOS!

See what I mean?

Negative perceptions

On the DJI Mavic Pro Owners Facebook page, this question:

DRONE vs QUADCOPTER
would it be better if we started calling these “quadcopters” ? Public has a stigma against the word “drone”
drone = surveillance
quadcopter = hobby
just a thought …

I’ve only had my Mavic for a few weeks now, but I completely agree with this sentiment. When mention of it came up at the recent Molton Brown Curry Club, the immediate reaction was that I had obviously bought it to spy on my neighbours.

Yeah, that’s exactly why I spent $[loads] on the Mavic. I was desperate to see what was going on next door, and I needed to upgrade the current periscope over the back fence setup I was using previously.

And even when we’re on the field, flying well away from anyone and anything, we’ve noticed that we’re still getting disapproving looks from dog walkers. I like to think that I am a considerate flyer: I’m aware of the rules and of my responsibilities, and (literally) go out of my way to avoid disturbing or bothering other people.
But it’s only a matter of time until someone writes a dramatic letter to the school and flying there is banned. It’s coming.
And why? Well, here’s a reply on Facebook, which makes some good points:

Euphemism treadmill. No matter what we call it, it will be viewed negatively because of what it is. A flying camera. People don’t like the idea that they are being watched/recorded even in places where they don’t have a realistic expectation of privacy.

The school field being one of those places. If I was sitting on that same bench but rather than holding a Mavic controller, I was playing with the long lens on my camera, no-one would be so much as batting an eyelid. And I’d know that, because I could take photos of their eyelids from a huge distance away with the long lens on my camera.
Far more so than with the Mavic.

Facebook commenter continues:

The only way to break the stigma is to show people the positive side of them and show that they are less of a threat to their privacy than the kid across the street with a telescope.

Yes, of course. Except that while the Molton Brown boys might be open to this idea, the dog walkers on the school field will almost certainly not want to engage.

If you go down to Agulhas, you’ll see that just next to the lighthouse there is already a “Drone Free Zone” sign. Just a reminder that you’re not allowed to fly anywhere in any of the SA National Parks – and that’s absolutely fair enough. Their gaff, their rules.

I’ve been very careful to look (in detail) about where I can fly and where I can’t around Cape Agulhas. I’ve already got my routes planned and my photos and videos in my head, ready to go. All street legal, all above board and I can’t wait to play.
But half the reason for my checking and double checking this stuff is that I need to know my rights in case I am challenged, because I’m almost expecting that I will be.

Why? Because of those immediate negative perceptions around quadcopters, UAVs, flying cameras…

… around drones.