I've always been fascinated by helicopters. The way they float in the air, and the throbbing "chop-chop-chop" provide a Zen-like experience for me, where I can stop thinking and just experience the helicopter overhead.
Actually learning to fly a helicopter would be nice, but I'm not willing to devote the time and money required to do so. But I like models. When I was a kid, I spent many hours/days with the Mattel VertiBird toy helicopter. I looked into RC helicopters a few years ago, but at the time they were very expensive and lacking in capabilities.
A couple of months ago, my interest was re-kindled when I ran across some small electric RC helicopters designed to fly indoors. This is perfect for me; I am an apartment dweller, and I don't have wide open spaces available for larger RC aircraft. The thought of flying a small chopper from room to room intrigued me. I put in on my Christmas list, but I guess my friends and family didn't want to spend several hundred dollars on my gift (cheap buggers). So I guess I'm going to have to buy it myself.
While reading various online pages about the mini-helicopters, I noticed many recommendations to "use the simulator" when learning to fly. At first I was amused to find out that there are flight simulators for model aircraft, but it does make sense. A crash of a model can require expensive repairs (both to the craft and to whatever it hit), so a safe simulation is important. So I've bought the simulator. I hope to have several hours of simulated flight time under my belt before flying the real model helicopter.
So, my interest in real helicopters led to an interest in model helicopters, and that in turn led to an interest in simulated model helicopters. I'm definitely moving between meta-levels here. My only regret is that neither the model nor the simulation is going to provide a satisfyingly thunderous "chop-chop-chop". I guess I'll need a simulated digitized synthesized sound effect for that.