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Drone Attack

Have you ever done something that made you feel like an absolute chop? I have, many times and this one was particularly recent.

My husband and I, being avid drone flyers could not resist. Eager to get some sea and beach footage, we were both convinced that we knew better despite the signs (yes, no one is exempt from this!).

As always, the first step is to check the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) app. A rather sophisticated app with predefined settings that will apply the current weather conditions of the area you intend to fly in. One of the many factors would of course be the wind and wind gust factors. Taking all measures into account, this was the result:

Not good to fly!

Convinced we have flown in stronger winds before, we set up taking care to calibrate and set the home point on the landing pad. And up we go.

Almost immediately my gut was unsettled. Not feeling entirely comfortable with my drones’ performance, I decided after a short way out to try fly back to the landing pad, which happened to be directly against the wind. The drone struggled. It made headway but very slowly. Finally, after using the sport mode, it came within reach of the landing pad. The difficulty was to now land the drone against the wind.

Maneuvering for good clearance, a gust of wind came out of nowhere and hit the drone sideways from the sea side, pushing my drone as if it was riding the crest of a wave straight towards a small wooden roof that covered a bench overlooking the sea.

#I am constantly amazed at nature’s intent!

My first reaction was to try turn the drone in the opposite direction. But that meant back into and against the gust. I think my heart stopped for a brief moment. Trying to recover, the propeller hit the roof, with force, causing the front arm to fold in. This meant trying to now recover a three propeller quadcopter, certainly not designed to fly one motor short and not an easy task to say the least. It dived towards me, gaining momentum as gravity played it’s part. It hit my hand then crossed over towards my husband (who was of course hearing my crashing drone and still trying to keep his on a safe flight path). He was indeed a blessing in disguise. If he was not standing where he was I am sure my drone would have gone for a swim.

So yes…after a few propeller slices to his arm, my drone finally came to rest upside down, on the ledge before the drop into a tidal pool.

Ouch!

I guess we learnt a lesson here. Indeed a chop! But maybe to be a little more careful and take heed of the signs, even if it is just wind gusts that could be a problem. All factors must be taken into account. On the other hand, we now know what kind of winds we cannot fly in. So all in all, a good learning experience and the scars to tell the tale!

#love drones… and my husband!

Tales of a Paramedic

READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL. DO NOT HARBOR OFFENSE.

I have said before that laughter is one of the most natural, cost effective medicines that can cure what doctors can’t, so give this one a chance.

Not so long ago, my husband started rambling in the car around what he thought paramedics said, when treating patients. Of course, being a qualified paramedic myself, I had a good giggle deep down inside because mostly what he said was true (keeping in mind we did not know each other during those years of my life). In reality, some paramedics do say things without realizing what they’ve said. I guess it is a much needed coping mechanism so to say, when dealing with those difficult scenes and patients.

It goes something like this…

Paramedic: This guys a goner.

Patient: What?

Paramedic: Oh crap? You alive!

End.

Paramedic: Damn, you’re not looking so good!

Patient: I dont feel so good!

Heart monitor: Long beep

End.

Paramedic: Holy comoly! That’s the longest intestine I’ve ever seen!

Friends standing around the braai: Dit is net boerewors ou vriend!

End.

Paramedic: I’m so tired of these guys dying on me. It’s my fifth one today.

Patient: (Eyes wide open)

End.

Paramedic: That cheese burger and chips is calling me! Does this look like your arm, it certainly has your colour?

Patient: (Passes out)

End.

Talking about arms, one of my favourite stories has to be my brother-in-law. A devout fireman in his day. Serving his country. Wholeheartedly and full of mischief.

Paramedic: Stop that traffic! I got a man down here.

Fireman: (Grabs the decapitated arm lying a few meters from the vehicle)

Slow down please.

(Waves the arm up and down)

End.

And one of my all time favourite stickers I wanted to design for an ambulance was a sticker that said:

One day when I grow up I want to be a hearse!

Ok that was a bit morbid! But funny nonetheless. Come on admit it, you did have a bit of a laugh?!

Social media or Social murder

I came across a blog titled Goodbye to Facebook. It was written in the form of a letter, addressed to Facebook as if it was the ending of a long and intimate relationship. Amusing at times, to the point and cleverly written. I had to leave a comment which went something like this:

Social media maims, and often destroys so many relationships and even lives. If used, it needs to be held within strict and clearly defined boundaries. Used only when required. I love the fact that more and more people are realizing that every now and again if you just raise your gaze up from the screen you are looking at, you will see a beautiful life right in front of you. It may be a garden of roses. It may be your husband who just needs you to notice him. It may be your child wishing for your whole hearted attention, just for a moment. It may simply be a moment on your own, in quiet nature, connecting your soul with your maker.

I spent many years interacting on Facebook and eventually said my goodbye officially towards the end of 2018. My interactions became fewer and fewer over these last couple of years. While contemplating saying goodbye to social media in general, I found myself asking a number of questions:

  • What if I miss out on that one piece of news?
  • What if someone passes on?
  • What if I’m invited somewhere and dont pitch?
  • What would my friends and connections think?
  • Maybe I should just leave a little information available just in case someone needs to find me?

And during all this contemplation, Facebook still waits a period of time before actually deleting your profile, trying to get you to reconsider your so-called rash decision and revert back with your profile.

I’m sure we all have many questions and moments like that. For me though, on a personal note social media became more of a social mine field and any wrong footing is sure to blow you to smitherines. Pink mist! Your soul becoming the story of the murdered life portrayed on the media.

Yes, strong words I know. But I don’t want to miss out on those moments of reality. Maybe blogging is a form of social media too, but here I find myself being more real with no intention to impress. Here, I have a goal to save a life so to say and not be a murderer of social interactions.

I do believe that if strict and defined boundaries are implemented, social media may be an effective tool for corporate involvement and marketing. However personally, I stick to my gut and would rather treasure the reality of being present, in the moment, not worrying about having to get that perfect picture to post on Instagram for the world (who doesn’t really care) to see.

#Just my opinion!

Ring for a kiss

This weekend my husband and I decided to do a Park Run and then have a little breakfast before we flew our drones over a beautiful rose farm (#avid drone flyers).

While sitting at our table in the restaurant, we heard a tinkle (although I much prefer the word ping than tinkle), coming somewhere from the kitchen area. It sounded exactly like a reception or call bell.

Just to put you in the picture, when we got married we had a cow bell hanging from a heart shaped board in our reception hall, that said:

Ring for a kiss!

Of course this becomes something of a novelty during our wedding reception. Every now and then the bell would ring (more now than then!), with one of our family or friends gleefully hanging onto the bell and staring in our direction, waiting for a response. Just before we were about to take a bite of food or a sip of our drink, or trying to slip out inconspicuously to the desperately needed bathroom, the bell would ring and of course the bride and groom would have to kiss. It was fun.

Not so long ago, our dear friends also bought us a reception bell in remembrance of them and our wedding. It looks like this:

Today, the cow bell hangs in our bedroom and the reception bell resides in the kitchen. Should my husband ring either bell, he waits by the bell until I come and give him a kiss. And vice versa should I ring the bell. There is only one rule – the kiss must be given as soon after the bell is heard. Either bell can be rung at any time. It really is fun and trust me, certainly helpful in those difficult heated exchange of view type scenarios!

However, let’s get back to the restaurant…

A bell pings in the background while we wait to order and immediately my husband’s face lights up with glee. It seems that as the kitchen orders were ready, the bell would ping. Big smiles. We take it as a sign to kiss. This goes on for a while, sometimes dishing up three kisses at a time! I’m not sure what everyone thought of us, but I’m pretty sure we got some strange glances and head shakes. However, very proud to say I think we got at least fifteen kisses in! lt was indeed fun, even for us adults!

Moral of the story? Life’s short. Make memories. Have moments of laughter and fun. Who cares about what others think, they simply jealous of what you have.

The space in my head

How does one maintain a good frame of mind, all the time, under immense pressure or during times of stress (which for most of us is a daily occurence)? When you find yourself in not such a great place how do you move into a better space?

I’ve wracked my brain and tried to explore the philosophical aspects, sadly with no easy answer. What I have observed and heard is that some people write, some exercise, others sleep or immerse themselves in a movie or book that takes over any thought process. Some are more out there doing the hard stuff like drugs and alcohol. And that’s simply it. Overwhelming oneself with distraction that fulfills no other purpose other than to pull the mind into a different sphere, into a paralytic state, where no emotion or response is required!

It seems kind of pointless but could it be that distractions may be the answer?

I’m not convinced. In the long run, distractions don’t resolve the issue. They allow for brief moments or hours of relief. They work temporarily and are mostly shortlived. A mere blink compared to eternity.

And then what happens when that distraction comes to an end? You return to that same space, maybe not so bad as prior to the distraction, but the chaos still reigns. And then our normal reaction is to try calm the chaos, drown the emotions, soothe the pain and release the anger. Whatever it may be, the vicious cycle continues again, often leaving one in the classical grips of depression.

It’s so easy to fall into. Especially when you cannot recognize the cycle. A cycle is continuous. It does not end unless we change its course, its path. And what I’ve learnt is any cycle in life that does not lead to good consequences must be broken and the first step is simply identifying that there is indeed a problem.

Acknowledgement. Probably one of the hardest acts to man up to. But from there, I believe if you really want to see this through you will source the necessary tools and help. You will make a plan to break the cycle.

Trust me, I suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for 3 years of my life. Medicated. Withdrawn. Depressed. Desperate. Stuck in a cycle of what I could only identify as my hell. Until one day I saw it. Something out there. A feeling and understanding of something so much more. I could not explain it but I simply decided my hell had to stop. There must be an end.

My first action point was to stop all my medication. Done. Instantly. It took 3 days for me to actually start feeling the effects of my decision physically. The sky was indeed more blue. The sunrise more beautiful. The air more clear and breathable. I could hear my heart again, that deep inner voice and I knew my path had suddenly changed. My bad cycle was breaking. And slowly, step by step, each strand of those cycles were broken.

I can confidently say that there is so much more you were born to experience. Don’t think it’s not possible. Whatever it takes, just break the cycle. Stick to it and don’t look back. Try not settle for the distractions unless the distraction actually moves you forward in a healthy positive way.

In pursuit of happiness

We are pursuing happiness the wrong way. We are going down pathways that are causing significant damage. Damage so silent, it kills.

This was what a doctor stood up and said at a Diabetes meeting this week. Bam. Just like that! The truth of this debilitating disease when not looked after or treated correctly. The silent killer.

Medicine has made remarkable milestones and achievements and technology is on a cusp of data driven innovation and remedies that can be used to make better choices based on algorithms. The treatments are becoming more and more readily available, yes sometimes at a cost. But the point is that the one thing we have control over is the one thing we choose to throw away without giving any serious thought to.

Our ability to make good and healthy choices!

I’m not only referring to what we eat here. We put a lot of things into our bodies – spirit, mind and body – such as time, people, images, knowledge, music, medications, etc. Remember, every action results in a consequence and where this action is not good or healthy, we silently become diseased and unconsciously become a dead man walking.

On my way home later that same day, I managed to get some shopping done. I walked past a lady, clearly obese, loading her trolley in the supermarket with slabs of chocolate. I’m not kidding. There was not one healthy product in her trolley. While I was standing behind her, I counted fourty slabs alone. Fourty! Even while I was counting the slabs as inconspicuously as I could, she was still grabbing another stack of ten or so. I couldn’t stand to watch anymore and walked away.

Ok, maybe she packs them away or gives them to children or makes genuine chocolate brownies. Whichever way, the pathway she chose was not good, not for anyone. And trust me there was no sale price on those slabs of chocolate!

I have to ask: Why would we not want to put in the absolute best, simply to get the absolute best out? Why do we sabotage our own existence? Why do we watch rubbish that fills our minds with filthy language and images no one should ever have to see? Are we so burdened by a world that is simply full of greed and wants, that no one can see what damage is being done?

I mean just look at how much plastic is on the shelves in a supermarket. All of it eventually discarded as waste or lands up in our seas without us even thinking twice about it. Look at how children are being exposed to social media and technology, forever on their devices, unable to hold a decent conversation or think on their own. Suicides have increased, discipline is no longer allowed, and drugs and sex become the in thing! In the corporate world, position and status are fought for even to the detriment of one’s colleagues. I have to wonder just how much longer this world will be able to sustain itself the way we are headed.

But I guess its validated though because we are happy right?

No! This is not true happiness.

Happiness comes from a deep calm within. It’s kind of like that surreal feeling, like a dream that we could only hope would come true. It’s the result of all good things within oneself coming together. It just fits. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s the perfect intersection where our spirit, mind and body all cohesively meet in all its euphoric wonder. Totally spiritual. And just imagine what happens when two or more intersections like this collide, there is an exponential overflow of true happiness!

Maybe let’s try resist looking in the wrong places to fill that deep longing for true happiness. Choose wise paths. Choose good paths. Maybe don’t follow the crowd if it is going to cause any conflict to your spirit, mind or body. Be kind to yourself, fill yourself with good and healthy things as much as you can. And stay away from those Aura Vampires.

In no way am I saying I have this right. I enjoy chocolate, pizza and even a good thriller too. But the point here is to acknowledge that these things do not bring true happiness. Happiness comes from good, healthy and wise choices in every aspect of our lives!

Healthy Fun

Does anyone recall those days back in 2014 when people were nominating each other to down alcohol in substantial quantities, whilst capturing all the footage on video? Of course posting it on a public domain like YouTube for people around the world to access. They became the witnesses to the absolute stupidty that befalls one who is totally inebriated. Back then it was referred to as a Neck Nomination.

Needless to say, I don’t go with the flow, but often find myself swimming against it to explore my own challenges and experiences, following a current less travelled as mentioned in my previous blog Decidingly Decisive

Of course, I got my family together to help and came up with a variation called the Healthy Nek Nomination:

Healthy Nek Nomination

Ok, the video is poor quality but it really is meant to just put a smile on your dial and encourage some good healthy choices!

#Enjoy