October 30, 2014

Fly Like Paper, Get High Like....Drones. If you Come Around Here, I Make 'em All Day. But Not Really, This is Just for Fun.

As I ventured out into the beautiful fall weather for a walk, I came across something in my tote that had not been there before.




Oh yeah! I won a DIY Paper Drone Kit, PowerUp 3.0 at the hackathon a few weeks ago (post here) and it has finally come in the mail. Good thing I wore all these layers, building a paper drone can be hard work.


But where to build? I have to find the perfect spot.


Ah hah! I've found a magical place, where the fisherman will cast forever but never catch any fish. (Ten points if you can solve this riddle and guess where I am).


First thing first. I had to tie my hair up. 


Paper Drone building is very serious business.


Next I unbuttoned my favorite JCrew Schoolboy blazer in Navy, and laid all the instructions out on the table to keep everything organized.


The plans indicated two types of folding options. The intermediate fold, and the advanced Nakamura origami plane. I started with the former. Ok let's do this.



What the...


Ok, wait no - messed up. This is no simple task. I shedded a layer and started on the back-up plane template provided.


Ok now, wtf did I do wrong. These instructions might as well be written in Japanese. 


Wait...OMG there is a QR (Quick Response) code! Yes this is a real photograph of my actual expression upon discovery. I thought QR codes were a thing of ancient history, and for the first time in my life - I was absolutely thrilled to find one linking to a YouTube tutorial.

You can see the QR code there under my middle finger, left page - top right.
Ok ok, now we are back in business. Time to put this instruction book aside and get out my smartphone.


Thank God for layers in San Francisco, the temperature dropped again within minutes so jacket came back on. 


Soon after -mid fold- I heard a voice behind me. "Excuse me," the voice said.


Voice: "What are you doing?"
Me: "I'm building a paper airplane that can be controlled using a mobile phone".
Voice: "Oh is that for school?"
Me: "Er, no.."
Voice: "Oh is it for work then?"
Me: " Uh, well no not exactly. Its really just for fun."

*Silence*

All of the sudden I was caught off-guard. For the first time ever I was struck with the notion that what I was doing was a little...what's the word...childish? Suddenly, new insecurities came crashing down on top of me. What will the status quo think? Should I go get a regular job again? Start a family? Should I be at home right now feeding my cats? Catching up on current events?

Then I was distracted as the app began to pair with the propeller, which sent it spinning furiously, and I'd forgotten to feel insecure. Instead I was thinking about matching my nail polish to the color of the plane while I mastered the navigation later.

The man apologized, "Sorry, no I don't mean to intrude. I think what you are doing is fantastic." 


The man, named after the town he was from - Lawrence - casually sipped his soda and went on to tell us how he has been studying this area for a historical project. It was really fascinating to listen and learn about how everything surrounding us used to be nothing but sand. How it took thousands of trips via horse and carriage to bring in trees, vegetation, and create this oasis in the middle of the city.

As he chatted with us, I wrapped up the plane just in time before the sun set down behind the trees. 

Here's coming at you.




If you are interested in building your own paper airplane drone, I would highly recommend it for hours of entertainment away from a computer screen. Check out PowerUP 3 here.

Let me know if you want to come fly with me, I need some racing buddies. Catch you later...

XO Julia


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