The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

  • Flickr Gallery

Life, Or The Effects Thereof

Posted by Tom Benedict on 23/03/2016

Despite the progress I’ve made on my sound gear I haven’t had much of a chance to get out with it. Life, or the effects thereof, got in the way.

A little over a month ago I wound up with severe neck and shoulder pain. It took about three weeks to get a slot with a physical therapist, but that meant I had time to get my x-rays done in advance. The results weren’t great. Years of kite flying combined with overall bad posture means I’ve partially compressed one of the discs in my neck, and decades of neck jerking tics because of my Tourette’s means I’ve given myself repeated whiplash injuries in the same general area, and the beginnings of arthritis in my spine. PT is going well, but I’m not in a position to carry gear, fly a kite, hike, etc. So I’m out of commission when it comes to sound recording, kite aerial photography, photography in general, RC airplane flying, or pretty much everything else I do for a hobby. For the record, I’m officially broken.

Another two to three weeks should see me past the worst of the pain, but I can’t keep doing things the way I have been. Part of the physical therapy is re-learning how to look up. Despite how simple this sounds I’m trying to un-do forty seven years of bad posture. Even if I pull it off (and I’m bound and determined to pull it off!) when I do get back into KAP in a serious way I’ll need to use belay glasses or something similar in order to avoid further injury to my spine. Likewise if I stick with the PT regimen I should be able to wear a backpack again some time in the near future. But walking for hours carrying twenty pounds of KAP gear is off the list permanently.

I don’t necessarily have to give up any of my hobbies, but I do need to re-think how I do them. I’m trying to re-think how I carry sound gear so most of the weight is contained in a waist pack. There’s a fantastic thread on the KAP Forum about repackaging RC transmitters into more compact and much more functional units. Meanwhile lighter, more capable cameras have come on the market that mean there’s no real point in flying a DSLR from a kite any more. If I can shave the weight I’m carrying and figure out better ways to carry it, I should be able to keep on playing for many many decades to come. But if I don’t make the effort the outcome is certain.

Take care of yourself. There’s only one you in all the universe.


2 Responses to “Life, Or The Effects Thereof”

  1. Chin up Tom!

    Sorry to hear things are getting tough…and gald you can see improvements.

    I’m depending on you to solve the KAS problem in time for my KAV experiments, Al ‘Skysnapss99’ has gifted us a gem of a gimbal and the moving subject from the air is now a compelling subject for the kit flier- your body might think otherwise but its a very interesting time to be a kite flier with a photographic agenda.

    Never give up,


    • Tom Benedict said

      Still working on KAS. I think the pendulums (pendulae?) that have come up recently are a big part of it. Wind protection is a tractable problem, but getting enough isolation to beat down the line singing is proving to be tough.

      I’m following the gimbal thread and the Arduino controller thread with a great deal of interest. Put those together with mirrorless cameras and lightweight wide angle lenses, and this is a fantastic time to be a kite flier with a photographic agenda.

      For now I’ll have to do chin straight forward and somewhat tucked in rather than chin up, though. That nerve is still thoroughly pinched. It’s a work in progress.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: