So I finally broke down after 19 years and bought myself a radio-controlled (RC) airplane. I wanted to get something in the intermediate skill level so I could learn on it with help, and not grow out of it so quickly. But the HobbyTownUSA man I talked to assured me that I would crash it, and the newer ones are a bit gentler to learn on. So I bought the "for newbies" model. It's an electric motor whose battery has an expected flight time of 12-15 minutes between recharges.
It turns out it was a good thing to buy the one for flyers with no experience. My first flight lasted less than ten seconds and ended in a nose dive crash. My second flight lasted several minutes and was much more exciting--it even ended with a proper glide landing. My third flight lasted only a couple minutes and ended with another dive-bomb crash. By now I still had a bit of battery left, but the front-end of my plane was so mashed up that I was afraid another crash would damage the motor. So we packed up and went home.
Monday I will have to buy a few parts to replace those that I broke. I'll leave my plane at Microsoft so I can fly it at lunch times.