Welcome to the Future!

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(photo by Leon Hammack)

After writing the article about NUMBERS and honoring my Dad on, what would have been his 97th birthday, my mind continued to think about many things.

I thought about all the things that Archie Wilson Hammack saw during his 83 years on this Earth!  In his youth he drove a horse and wagon to town, in Shawnee, OK for his parents.  He told me that he was about 12 years old when his parents got their first car, about 1924.

During his youth, Dad witnessed Charles Lindberg’s solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  He watched the Jet Age usher itself into mass transportation and into our main stream lifestyle.

One day before Dad’s 57th birthday (July 20,1969), Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the face of the Moon!  What a leap in technology!!  I am not so sure that my generation, or for that fact, any other generation will ever witness that kind huge growth in technology in less than one lifetime!

The dreams and accomplishments of the 20th century were a time in history that most likely will never be surpassed again in one’s lifetime!

Having said all that, and quite honestly looking through rose-colored glasses, what  does the future hold for all of us?

I have enclosed a link that, quite possibly sums up some of the changes that I have witnessed in my 58 years!  It is a link to a new Brad Paisley song.  It is written by Brad Paisley and Chris DuBois.  If you listen to the words you might understand what it is that I am talking about!

Click here!

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE!

I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!

My MRI Experience

Have you ever had to have an MRI?  If you have ever experienced this claustrophobic ordeal you might relate!

Yesterday I had a neurology appointment that resulted in several tests being required over the next few weeks.  The first medical test to be accomplished was my MRI.  The MRI was to check out the median nerve which originates in the neck, travels down the arms, wrists, and terminates in the thumbs.

I called Atlanta to try to talk the captors of the “Amber Alert Blonde Lady”, better know as Karen, into letting  me ask her a question or two.  They obliged my request!  Since she has been known to hang out around hospitals in her “senior years”, who best to explain to me what an MRI entails!  She was only allowed a few minutes on the phone, so the explanation was brief.

I will try to give you a better idea of what the patient goes through!  When I first walked into the room where the machine was located, I spied the microscopic hole that they were going to stuff me into!  The sliding shelf that I was to lie down on looked to be as wide a tongue depressor!  How am I going to be comfortable on this narrow sliding “tongue depressor” for the 30-40 minutes that the tests takes to accomplished!  I was about to find out.

I was instructed to lie down and put my head into the contraption that was to keep my head and neck in position and completely immobile.  I was about to find out if I am, in fact, claustrophobic!  As I was about to be inserted in to this keyhole of an opening, the technician put into my hand a sphere that, if I squeezed it, would alert the technician that I was about to become “POSTAL”!  That would trigger the technician to immediately stop this procedure.

Just prior to my final rights, I was told that, because the MRI was to observe the median nerve in my neck,  I could not be given a headset to block out all the noise and have some soothing music in my ears…just ear plugs!!

The technician started up the machine and away I went into the dark hole of “claustrophobia”!  As soon as my head was sucked inside the tube, I saw the roof of the tube just above my nose, I realized that the only way to keep my sanity was to close my eyes, and don’t open them!!

So here I am, no headset with music to calm my nerves, only ear plugs to try to drown out the horrendous noise that the machine is noted for reverberating in the tube!  “How long is this going last”, kept running through my brain?  Why couldn’t I have a little light and easy listening music of maybe ZZ Top, The Eagles, Electric Light Orchestra, Bob Seger, or Bon Jovi?  How about some Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, or “The Boss”, Bruce Springsteen?  Oh no, I had to listen the pounding of the MRI machine!

I was just about at my wits end when the technician started me out of the dark whole of claustrophobia!  After 35 minutes the test was over!  Hallalujah!!

Well I didn’t go POSTAL and I didn’t get fitted with a straight-jacket, either!  That can only be viewed as a success story!!

What Do Numbers Means?

Certain numbers mean certain things to certain people.  Almost everyone has a special number or numbers that takes on a special meanings to them.  My special or favorite number was the number 10.  That is the number that I would always try to get for my baseball uniform number.

Here are four more of my favorite numbers, 112573, 32378, 7983, 72112!  I will tell you that my very least favorite number is 123095. Wow you say, those are really big numbers!  How could a numbers that are 4, 5, and 6 digits long be some of you favorite numbers?  I will explain.

112573 is the birth date of my first born son, Jason.  It might be more recognizable as 11/25/73.  That day was to forever change the life of one young 22 year old  USAF 2nd Lt.  I will never forget that Sunday afternoon when I became a father for the very first time!  It was a very joyous occasion!  It REALLY did change my life forever!

32378, you guessed it, is the birthdate of my second son, Jeremy.  Again it is more recognizable as 3/23/78.  It was another momentous occasion for a somewhat older and more experienced USAF Captain.   Because Jeremy was a scheduled C-section birth, we picked out his birthdate from the dates offered for that surgery, very cool!  Not many parents get to do that!

7983 is a number that carries a meaning that only one other person in this whole world holds equally dear!  That person is my best friend, my soul-mate, the same person that is mysteriously missing for the last six weeks, Karen!

72112 is a number that will always have a very special place in my heart.  You see that number is more recognizable as 7/21/12.  Those numbers represent the birth date of my Dad, Archie Wilson Hammack!  He was a very simple country-boy.  Dad had a work ethic unlike most of us today.  He got up every morning and went to work, no matter what!  He worked hard all of his life to provide a living for his family.  My Dad loved to pull practical jokes on people, was a disciplinarian, but mellowed in his old age, was a very proud father, but mostly he was my best friend as I grew older.

He was my role model.  Although he only got through the 6th grade because he had to help support his family, he was a wise man, nonetheless!  Now, even more in death, I learn from Archie Wilson Hammack!  When confronted with some types of problems to solve, I find myself thinking what would Dad do?  Or how would Dad handle this situation?  That is when I realize just how much I still miss my Dad,  Archie Wilson Hammack!

Today would be Dad’s 97th birthday!

123095 are the group of  numbers that are my absolutely least favorite!  Better read 12/30/95.  That is the date that God decided he needed Dad more than we needed Dad on Earth! 

I have to respect God’s decision, but I really wished that he had consulted me first!

My Dad, Archie Wilson Hammack  7/12/12—–12/30/95!

HAPPY BIRTDAY, DAD!

40th Anniversay of Lunar Landing

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(photo by Leon Hammack)

Where were you on the evening of July 20, 1969?

I still remember very well where I was and what I was doing on that evening.  I had just graduated from high school just one month earlier, and had the world by the proverbial, ah um, the lower hanging spheres!!  Just a few days earlier I had witnessed a picture perfect launch of the Apollo/Saturn rocket that would lift three astronauts, Neil Alden Armstrong, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins to the Moon.  The flight would eventually allow two of those astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, to be the first human beings to walk on the surface of the Moon!

This mission was the culmination of a speech that the late President John F. Kennedy gave on May 25, 1961 to the U. S. Congress that challenged this country to put a man on the Moon by the end of that decade, the 60’s.  It was a time of the “Cold War”, of Sputnik, of the “race for space”, and the race for nuclear arms with the Soviet Union.  It was a time of nuclear fear and national pride!  There was was a feeling in this country that there was nothing that couldn’t be accomplished with”good old American ingenuity!

The images that were relayed back to Earth were black and white, not in color.   Not only were the images in black and white, but the quality was very poor and grainy!  What did we expect, after all the images originated 240,000 miles away on a foreign site…..The Moon!   Apollo 11 was the first mission to land on the Moon, but it was the third manned mission to orbit the Moon.   The first mission to orbit the Moon was Apollo 8 with Frank Borman as the commander of that mission.

We are rapidly approaching the 40th anniversary of that  those daunting odds,nevertheless  the U. S. Space Program succeeded!  In one way that lunar mission seems like just yesterday, and on the other hand I was a mere lad of 18 and now I am 58 years old and a grandfather, to boot!

On July 20th, take some time to think about what happened on that historic day!  Just fathom what was accomplished in just 8 short years after President John F. Kennedy challenged us all to pull on the same end of the rope and put a man on the Moon!!  What we did as Americans in that short period of time may NEVER be replicated again in the history of MANKIND!

I will paraphrase Bob Seger’s song ,”Like A Rock”.  Forty years, where’d they go?  Forty years,I don’t know!    But sometimes late at night, when I’m bathed in the firelight, I recall, I recall!!

Again I ask what were you doing on that evening of July 20, 1969?   I would like to know?

I know that you are wondering who, what, when, where, and why, regarding the picture that I chose to incorporate into this article.  Are your ready?  Well that is not Neil Armstrong  looking up waiting for Buzz Aldrin to come down the stairs of the Lunar Module!  It is my brother Jim at Daytona looking up at me at the top of the tri oval at the start/finish line !!!  For Jim to walk up to me, it truly was not one small step for man, nor one giant leap for mankind!!!  It was just plain breath-taking!!

Has Anyone Seen Her Lately?

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(photo by Jason Hammack)

 

I am placing Karen’s picture on milk cartons today, nationwide.  People do that when their loved ones disappear off the face of the earth.  I am soliciting your help in trying to locate and recover Miss Karen!  Well the last time I saw Karen was on June 5th as she and her Father were walking away from me in the LAX airport!  She went on to Atlanta the next morning and haven’t seen hide nor hair of her since then, however, her father did return to Yuma on his own accord on June 20th !!  Maybe I could institute an “Amber Alert”!!  I know that an “Amber Alert” is used for alerting the general public for a lost or kidnapped child, but do you think that would work for trying to find a senior citizen????? 

 

I will give you a description of her to better aid in her recovery.  She is abut 5’6″ tall, even though if you ask her she thinks that she is much taller than her husband.  She has dirty blonde hair with hints of grey starting to invade the blonde strands.  She has rivoting blue eyes, that’s what attracted me in the first place to her!!   Her speech is punctuated with extra vowels or syllables, depending on the words.  But nonetheless, her speech is “southern” in nature!!  I am not sure of her weight, so that is not important.  BUT SHE IS ALWAYS WEARING FLIP FLOP SHOES, and breaks toes fairly regularly because of the open toes of flip flops!!!  So she could be hobbling, limping, or have very discolored toes!

 

If anyone has seen her or know her whereabouts, please advise me immediately!!

 

On the serious side, Karen has been gone since June 5th.  She has been trying to return to Yuma since June 21st, but has been totally unsuccessful.  United has decrease the available seats out of Atlanta, thereby making pass riding extremely difficult, since it is based on vacant seats on the flights.  I am not sure when she will be able to return to our abode, but I am surely hoping she will make it back before Christmas!!!

 

I am really missing her cooking, her cleaning, and her companionship!!  Someone please help me, I have had to fend for myself for over six weeks! LOL

Just Holdin’ My line!

Kyle Busch hits the wall after he was involved in...

TLVW once again is involved in wild finish at Daytona.  He also was involved in the “photo finish”  in 2007, when Jamie McMurray squeaked out a victory over Busch in the July Pepsi 400 by .005 of a second!  That is close!

For more on this exhilarating race join me at:

www.workingonmyredneck.com

Well, there was more than just one “Big One”  Saturday night! Many of our picks got collected up in various forms in those high speed gatherings of drivers!

It is such a “handling ” track versus a speed track, that the drivers are on the edge continuously.  there is one song that fits this race, ” Stuck in the Middle with You”. The lyrics from that old Stealers Wheel song rang true!  “Clowns to left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you”!!!

Only Karen and Carolyn earned  single digits from the race!  The rest of us ate double digits for our choices for the Coke Zero 400!!  Yours truly gobbled up 39 points sending me right to the cellar!

With those big numbers that I ate, I am now in last place, and leading the race for  the “BOUDREAUAX’S BUTT PASTE AWARD”! Somebody help  me!

What did you think about the Coke Zero 400 Saturday night?  Exciting or not?  Was there anyone person to blame for that “Big Crash” at the end of the race? Sound off!

Happy 4th of July!

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(Kalapaki Beach:photo by Leon Hammack)

 

Well folks here I am at Kalapaki Beach at Lihue on the 4th of July.  Well you might think that it gets no better.  But I can tell you that there is one place that I would rather be this evening,”The World Center of Speed”……Daytona International Speedway!

 

In just a few short hours there will be a 400 mile race that will be a very exciting cap to the 4th of July weekend!  Those double file restarts in the waning stages of the race will prove to be an attention getter, for sure!!

 

So from the Hawaiian Island of Kuai——Aloha!  Have a safe and pleasant holiday.

 

PS   Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has made satements about taking his operations, JR Motorsports, to Cup next year. for my article on that subject follow me over at:

www.workingonmyredneck.com

REMEMBER, I LOOKED IT UP SO YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!

Judge Temporarily Lifts Mayfield’s Suspension

Jeremy Mayfield is topic No. 1 in the garages at Daytona this week.  (File photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

(photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

 

Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge temporarily lifted the indefinite suspension that NASCAR had given Jeremy Mayfield.  For more on this story join me at:

www.workingonmyredneck.com

 

Enjoy a safe and sound holiday this July 4th!!

 

Go Dale,Jr.!!!!!!

 

 

 

The Fireworks Are Coming!!

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(photo by Leon Hammack)

Nearly halftime at NASCAR as the boys visit Daytona for the second time this season.  For my analysis of the first half of this season join me at:

www.workingonmyredneck.com

This is the third of the four “wild card” races for our fantasy league.  These 160 laps Saturday night under the lights will be just one big “Saturday Night Shootout”!! The double file restarts will also add to the excitement of the pack of 43 bumble bees swarming around the 2 1/2 high banks of Daytona!

The 13 of us have picked 8 different drivers to win, that means there just might be some shifting in the standings when the night is over and the fireworks have subsided.  In light of his lack of performance this season, Dale, Jr. is longer the overwhelming favorite of the fantasy league to win at Daytona.  However, he is still one of the favorites picked  by 3 have picked to win the 2009 Coke Zero 400.  The other favorite, picked by 3 as well, is none other thanTLVW (ol Kylie).

So Saturday night it will be time to light the candle. twist the wick, press the loud pedal, pull the belts tight, and let the big dog eat!!!