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G-Sync - Once Angels, Now Drones Fly High

Lifestyle Editor Tommy Allen channels his inner literary muse this week. In the spirit of Dickens and the genre of Clement C. Moore, his poetic musings might be a departure on his usual editorial style, but his message as to why local is better is very much in vogue.
Hark, look up, what is this hum that we hear?
Yonder it approaches, growing louder each year.

Christmas’ incursion approaches; this much we are sure,
I don’t need a calendar or even Christiane Amanpour.

No starry evening’s delight rises from this fresh yuletide horizon.
But varmints are approaching like pop-up ads from Verizon.

Come Spring, Come Luther, Come Gracie and Polka,
What’s arriving soon would send anyone to the Hookah.

Once-sleeping dogs now pace, alert with bended ear;
A new-century Santa rises without his beloved reindeer.

We have toiled for smart streets, bike racks, and better wages,
For calmer neighborhoods, for farmers’ markets by the webpages.

Wingless beasts once pranced upon thin air with earthly delights,
Now propellers and antennas disturb more than just our sight.

Innovation with no boundaries, suddenly here scaling the last wall;
Impatience, madness and procrastinating consumers one and all.

As the snow descends earthward, the night becomes bright,
No shooting stars, these purchases usher in a new urban blight.

Enabled by personal handhelds, laptops and ever-smaller tablets,  
This endless online selection of books, gumdrops and blankets.

Real success with friendly unmanned aerial devices are few;
There are those who point to a way to create something new.
Mattermet’s miracle visionaries transport medical salvation;
Delivered to the very least of them, this timely innovation.

But as all the meats and cheeses pile up at your front door,
Starvation’s clearly been arrested, as the sky delivers ever more.

Our appetite to bullet the blue with a bottomless gobble
In the pursuit of an impulsive quick must-have-now bauble.

With a hum, buzz and whistle another threat appears yonder there,
A child notes, pointing upward to the crowded daytime air.

And what to our world-weary eyes should finally appear?
More than just Amazonian drones, my over-marketed dear.

It must be the new century pirates arriving in the nick of time
To take on the drones of Christmas, just starting their climb.

High above, a low orbiter swoops in and then quickly veers
With bird-like feathers, metallically fashioned, striking fear.

Unleashing its fury, descending below; shrieking aloud,
The people start to running; oh, where went the crowd?

Families duck for cover under the GRAM’s regal tree,  
“Is this the city we imagined?” declare the Voorhees!

This demonic fowl rages with a keen laser-red sight,
Unleashing its fury, taking on an accurate attack flight,

Not for popcorn, nor bread (there were none in sight),
It passed a half eaten waffle cone - a pigeon’s delight.

No, its eyes were fixed and set on another main target
The latest book from J. K. Rowling or maybe The Hobbit.

Swooping in faster as it banked fiercely ‘round the tower,
Poor Amazon’s drone, now quickly cowed and lost all its power.

Christmas each year brings many an unexpected delivery,
But a pirate's shootout above the 13th floor was never our reality.

Innovation asks that we dirty our white boards, scale huge walls,
Create waves while passionately arguing about life in our halls.

But in the battle for the last frontier, we must be mindful of a fall
For unlike ol’ Humpty, sometimes an order placed impacts us all.

So this Christmas pause and ponder the question laid before us:
Is it worth trading the sky for the latest consumer-driven fuss?

On the clouds above, young and old both hang their imagination,
Dreaming fine thoughts that become many a writer's creation.

Through biography, fiction or maybe some old-fashioned poetry,
The storehouses for literature around us host a lovely diversity.

The best and brightest might be had for a few bucks cheaper,
But mechanical claws handing off your book is a bit of a creeper.

Consider Schulers’, Have Company or Argos bookstore;
Drone delivery is simply a novelty, a technological bore.

What is lost above and below should this hour finally appear?
Economists have predicted something maybe we should fear.

Good-bye to the old; construction of something novel is now in view:
A space once thought off-limits; unthinkable but now all around you.

The next time you’re shopping for that special gift this time of year,
Drones don't cut it, whether for a book, a vase or hand-crafted beer.

What we crave is the authentic, delivered with a voice so clear,
“May I help Mr. Allen find something guaranteed to bring cheer?”

So, my Christmas wish to you before these crafts' invasive flight:
Think about what the heart desires, not just what’s shiny, new and bright,

May Silent Night be welcome in our city and not sent away, Godspeed,
For Christmas 2017 would be all-delivery for all time, if Amazon succeeds.

We often wish for much during this season of cheer,
Peace on earth is toasted with friends over bubbles or beer.

And in this Grand old city where we already endured 30 Minutes or Less,
Well, drones build on that film’s promise--been there, done that. Oh, what a mess.  

(But should Freiburg’s DonerCopter carrying hot deli sandwiches ever materialize here,
God help us, even me; resistance may be futile, and I may give in, I fear.)

The Future Needs All of Us.

Tommy Allen
Lifestyle Editor

Visit: G-Sync Events: Let’s Do This!

All Photography: ©Tommy Allen of Allen + Pfleghaar Studio at Tanglefoot, 2013.

Editor's Note: This week's editorial was sparked by a member of the entrepreneurial community who suggested that he felt Amazon's recent pre-Cyber Monday announcement of its delivery drones, said to be appearing in the near future, was really just a nice PR move. Later, I got to wondering what really is our history with such technology but also who are doing more noble gestures as these "creatures" take flight.

So I visited many sites but two made their way into my piece this week that I want to single out here.

I want to commend people like Matternet who are truly using this technology for the sky in a much more noble fashion. I also will admit that, while I am not friendly with Amazon's drone squad, I do find Germany's DonerCopter on the verge of a real win if they can deliver hot on those sandwiches' taste that look amazing on my iPad.
- Tommy
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