Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Darrel L. Hammon
Joanne and I finally were able to see the movie Social Network, the movie about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg. I had heard much about it from others, including my daughters. Of course, we seldom see first-run movies at the theater. I am against paying full price for a movie. Now, a matinee now and then is a different story. Usually, though, we wait until the movie plays at the local "dollar" movie theater although it is now $3.00. Finally, Redbox has the answer for all of us: fairly new movies for a mere $1.00. Thanks, Redbox!
I think what intrigued me most about the Social Network was the story behind Facebook and how it has become truly a social network. Mark Zuckerberg is truly a genius! For the most part, Joanne and I are recent additions to Facebook. Thanks to our daughters who are amazing computer women, we are now on Facebook. Even Joanne's 86-year-old mother is on Facebook. Why? To connect with our family and friends.
For example, in early 2010 when Chile experienced a terrible earthquake and subsequent tremors, the only way I could connect with my friends in Chile was through Facebook. Ironically, when phone systems were down, including cell phones, the internet was up and running; thus, Facebook was up and running, and we were kept updated with comments and photos. Thanks, Facebook.
I have to admit, though, I felt very sorry for Eduardo in the movie. Now, how close Social Network was to the truth is not the issue. How they portrayed Eduardo in the movie was sad. He seemed like a nice young man with a good heart who wanted to help. He is one of those young men I would like to chat with. Plus, don't you want to know what his settlement was ultimately? I suspect Eduardo does not have to work again. Plus, his name is labeled "co-founder" of Facebook. That, in and of itself, is pretty cool to me. Of course, I wonder how many times Eduardo has had to tell his story--or at least the part he can tell.
Now, as a former college president, I was a bit overwhelmed by the way Social Network portrayed the president of Harvard, Larry Summers. I have to remember that he was the Secretary of Treasury, right? At least, that what he said. He seemed like an overbearing king of hill who had no interest in students or student problems. I suspect very few college presidents are this distant from their students. At least the presidents I know are highly engaged in student activities.
Now, back to Zuckerberg. I think I would enjoy meeting Mark and chatting with him. If the movie portrayed him even 80% correct, Mr. Zuckerberg is a highly intelligent young man who desperately could use some social skills upgrade. Perhaps, he has captured a few of these. Then, again, if indeed Social Network portrayed him even at 80%, the audience felt some sense that he was changing when he kept refreshing his Facebook page in order to see if his added friend would accept his friendship. My only hope is that Mark Zuckerberg received the "you are friends now" sign.
This is not a movie review of Social Network or an analysis of Mark Zuckerberg. Rather, these are my thoughts--random as they might be--on the movie and a small thank you to Facebook for allowing me to be friends with people on various continents and in my hometown of Menan, Idaho, so I can keep up with what they are all doing.
Mr. Zuckerberg, if you ever want to chat, please let me know. Perhaps, we could chat about how you feel they portrayed you in Social Network or, perhaps even better, your feelings about Yellowstone Park and Glacier National Park, two of my favorite national parks.
Friday, May 27, 2011
or plates from every state in the country,
round ones, flat ones, bronze ones, beveled-edged ones
or political pins from ‘60, ’64, and ’76,
Kennedy, Johnson, and Ford.
from railroad lines in
in Idaho, the plains of Montana, or the high prairies in Wyoming—
some stuck out like farmers in the
others lay half hidden in sand and weeds.
The three-date rock appeared after Church,
scavenged clandestinely from a river bed, high in the Beartooths,
a completely round one, rounded by years
of water splashing in and around it,
a round black volcanic one with a bowl
in the middle where, he said, Indians ground corn for supper.
Now, whether any of it was true seemed
caressed it like mothers and their newborn babes.
The story was too good to let truth surface.
I keep them all out front where I can see them.
how they came to be, wincing at the words:
“We’re not taking those on our next move.”
where rocks can hide their true identities
and stories yet to be told.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Joanne and I had the opportunity to visit with Bishop and Sister Roberts on Skype last night. They have been serving as Perpetual Education Fund missionaries in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean for the past almost two years. Bishop Roberts was our former bishop when we lived in Idaho Falls. It was wonderful to chat with them.
What is incredible to me is the technology! Here we are in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and they are in the Dominican Republic, and we chatted for more than an hour about their mission and our upcoming mission in the Dominican Republic/Caribbean. Just before Mother's Day, I spoke with the entire Avendaño Family in Talca,Chile--Manuel, Mauricio, Priscila, Sister Avendaño, and their families--via Skype. My companion and I had taught the Avendaño Family many years ago. Now, they are all still active in the church. We talk to our children via Gmail Chat. Recently, I have even chatted with a few of my siblings via Skype.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Garage sale--We are done--finally! We finished on Saturday. Overall, we had two good weekends of selling our stuff. We met some wonderful people. Most were curious as why we were selling most of our things. When we told them about our mission, they all reacted surprised, yet favorably. We had opportunities to discuss senior couple missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We were able to give way a Book of Mormon to a young man who came a couple of times with his mother. He just purchased a bunch of bees to raise, and he is only 18. We cleaned up the rest of the stuff today.
Selling our stuff--Joanne and I have had discussion about this. Anna Rose has discussed this with us. We have come to this conclusion: We don't need all this stuff, and we wondered why we accumulated it in the first place.When we return from our mission, we believe we can live with fewer things. And, yes, we can do dishes after each meal to have enough clean dishes for the next meal. We took the clothes to the Habitat for Humanity. They were very appreciative and said if we had more, they would take it. The rest goes to the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Hospital Foundation. We had previously taken clothing items to Needs, Inc. There are so many places to take your clothing and home items. My suggestion is that everyone takes a jaundiced look at your "things" and get rid of those you really don't need. There are so many people who have needs and would love your things. Spring cleaning could be truly a cleansing experience.
Mission preparation--We continue our mission preparations to the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic (La Republica Dominica). We finished Preach My Gospel (Predicad Mi Evangelio) as a couple for the first time. It was an exceptional text, and we know we learned just a fraction of what it contains. I would like to complete it in Spanish before we leave. Joanne is also continuing her Spanish studies. We have decided that Mondays will be a "viva su lengua" (live your language) day for us. We attempted to do it today. We did pretty well. On our walk, we practiced the verb "tener" and "estar" and learned new vocabulary. We still have lots to do.
Mother Boltz--Mother Boltz now lives with John and LaWane in Bountiful, Utah. We took her down on Easter Weekend. Many of the family members were there to attend a baby blessing. We felt this was a good time to take her. It was sad to box up all of her stuff and put it in a 16-foot Budget rent-a-truck and haul it to Bountiful on one of the windiest days of the year. What an experience that was! She is now safely ensconced in Bountiful, Utah. Our home seems empty without her, but we know John, LaWane, and Nicole will take very good care of her. For those who want to contact her, she has an email and a Facebook page.
We seem to be keeping busy, which we like. May you all experience a spectacular day!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
When I think of mothers, I quickly think of two people: my own mother and the mother of my two beautiful daughters. They both played a very special place in my life.
My own mother had eight children. I was number three. Having eight children kept her more than busy, especially knowing the personalities of all my siblings, me included. I just cannot imagine cooking for eight children. Of course, we all didn’t come together; and we certainly didn’t leave together. But in ten years, from 1953 to 1963, six children were born to my mother and father. Now, this is the first time I have realized the number of children my mother had in one decade. Wow, Mom, you were incredible!
As I was growing up, my mother was the one who took us to church, made sure our beds were made, and clothes picked up off the floor, arrived to meetings always fifteen minutes early, made sure we did our scout stuff, taught us how to bottle everything in our garden, and helped us understand that work was important.
I can remember my mother coming into my room at night because she heard me moan and groan. My legs hurt. She told me that they hurt because I was growing and sometimes legs just hurt as they grew. She sat at the foot of my bed and rubbed my legs until I fell back asleep. While she stayed up late to take care of children, she was always the first one awake and made sure we had breakfast before we left for school.
Overall, my mother was a good woman who tried to teach us what we needed to do. Thanks, Mom!
Now, Joanne, the mother of my two children, Anna Rose and Hailey, is spectacular! She has been the best mother anyone could ever wish for. As I watch my daughters today and see their good works, their great personalities, their love for the gospel, their propensity to do well in school and in everything they do, I cannot help but think back to the way Joanne cared for them. Everything the girls are, I attribute to their beautiful, kind mother whom I call Joanne, my wife of 32 years, my best friend. I am humbled to be called her husband.
Joanne spent a great deal of time with Anna Rose and Hailey, reading to them, helping them with their letters and numbers, making dresses for them, creating fabulous lunches for them and their friends during their high school years in Montana, driving them back and forth to their piano and music lessons, chauffeuring the girls to Billings for their braces check, substituting and volunteering in their schools, being their assistant tennis coach, serving as their Young Women’s leader throughout their entire young women years, listening to them during the good times and the not so good times, and just being there when they needed her.
When one thinks about the perfect mother, one doesn’t have to look elsewhere other than to Joanne Hammon, the epitome of the perfect mother. I think some of the best compliments come from the girls’ recent mother’s day cards.
From Anna Rose, “They say there’s nothing in life a girl can’t accomplish with the help of an amazing mom. And they’re right Thanks for always helping me shine, Mom.”
From Hailey, “Thank you for always making every moment special, for celebrating the little things, and helping me understand just how amazing life can be. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping me become me.”
Surely, there is nothing more certain about how their mother prepared them than seeing how my daughters live and how they behave. Perhaps, Anna Rose said it best, “After looking at my mom and seeing what she looks like, I know my future is secure.”
Ah, yes, if my daughters become like their mother, they will have accomplished much.
Happy Mother’s Day, Joanne. You are the best mother in the world.