Want to send me a private message or post? Go HERE.
Lurkers Rejoice: The Dot-Dot-Dot Response is Your Ticket to Enlightenment and Fun!
Did you know that in order to see survey results you need to participate in the survey?
If you don't submit a response you don't get to see what others are saying. You are missing out.
But there is a way around this that I've been waiting for you to exploit.
Yes, you can "lurk" around and see what others are saying without committing your own opinion. Many people are not comfortable expressing their opinions in written form. Now you don't need to if you don't want to.
Just use the Willie Stubblefield Dot-Dot-Dot Response.
Willie is a regular contributor to the site -- I wish that more people felt comfortable participating more often. He was the first to implement the Dot-Dot-Dot Response. So give him credit!
By the way, the only time I consider stepping away from this site is when I can't get any responses from you. And you know I try just about everything to keep you interested.
Here is an example of a Dot-Dot-Dot Response:
If you look closely you will see three periods (dots) in the text box. Look real closely. This is a valid response. Just hit the Update My Survey button and your official answer is "...". Then you can see what others are saying who already responded. Once you see other responses you can edit your "dots" and add a real response. Or not. We accept lurkers as well as full up participants. Being a Dot-Dot-Dot Responder keeps you out of the line of fire, so to speak. Who is going to argue with three dots? Maybe me on a bad day. Who knows?
By the way, if you ever respond with something that you later regret, you can always just update your survey with a completely blank note (or three dots). That will erase anything else you may have written. I have had to do that a few times.
So if you are a website lurker, or just a little shy, try the Dot-Dot-Dot Response.
You will dig it the most!
You can practice the Dot-Dot-Dot Response on any of the surveys on the Home Page. There are several out there and the answers are interesting, to say the least.
What Are You Wearing These Days?
Most of us are apparently sequestered in our own homes. Isolated from the outside world.
So if you really aren't going anywhere or meeting anybody, what do you wear all day? Did you forget that step today?
For me and Vicki, it's pretty easy to answer: When we spend almost all day inside we revert to sweat pants, a couple layers of T shirts, and maybe a hoodie or similar to finish things off.
If we are doing work outside we'll just step into our outside work clothes: jeans, snow pants, or similar work attire on the bottom, and extra strength work shirts and/or vests on top. If it is raining or snowing then proper snow/rain gear is the ticket, including appropriate work gloves. Water proof boots are high on the list if there is much vehicle retrieval required.
Here are some possible answers, just to get you started:
1. Sweats, upper and lower, with house slippers.
2. Jeans, T shirt and a layer or two of something else on top.
3. Flannel shirt with warmy bottoms (wool or sweats).
4. Well pressed slacks and button down office shirt.
5. Coat and tie, ready for the office or teleconferencing
6. I am a priest: I wear priest garb.
7. Bathing suit.
8. Tan shoes and pink shoe laces, a polka-dot vest and man oh man. This would be an unlikely response.
9. Baseball cap and any of the above. Or none of the above.
10. Shoulder pads and high school football helmet. Cleats are optional.
11. Whatever I wore yesterday. And the day before.
16. Whatever Dr Fauci is wearing, but three sizes bigger. Maybe four.
17. Jeans and a white T shirt, just like back at South High. Throw in the Converse All-Stars, as well.
18. A specially-fitted bubble outfit, complete with intercom and social media capable user interface.
20. I never get out of bed these days so I don't need to get dressed.
21. Work clothes that are appropriate for my job, which I go to every day.
22. I can't exactly remember the last time I got dressed up for anything.
23. Basketball uniform and large, stinky foam hand with pointy finger. Still waiting for March Madness to start.
THE TIDE WILL SOON TURN -- IT WILL HAPPEN IN APRIL AND IT WILL HAPPEN QUICKLY
The title for this announcement makes a bold statement. I stand behind it 100%. We will see if I am right or wrong. But I am putting my money and my reputation on the line right here and now.
We will see a huge improvement in stopping the spread of the virus as well as substantially lowering the mortality rate. In addition, we will experience much shorter recovery times and quite possibly far fewer infections.
I haven't said much on this site lately because I've been researching our current pandemic situation. When people do this sort of research they often are only looking for evidence that will support their currently held opinion. People who do this are agents of confirmation bias. The only evidence they want to consider is that which supports their current point of view. Conflicting evidence is often ignored or twisted to fit their preferred narrative. We get this every day from just about every news source.
I'll admit that I was hopeful of finding good news, but I did not bend the information I found to fit my preferred future outcome. It is what it is, as my brother used to say.
The truth is, it can be difficult to know which "news" sources to believe when the "trusted" outlets contradict one another on a daily basis. They can't all be right, obviously.
So you need to learn how to read between the lines and understand what motivates various news organizations and government agencies to present their "news" from a chosen point of view. Often the events of the day, as reported, are clearly not meant to be informational. The real purpose is to persuade you to think one way or the other. I think you all know that by now.
For instance, why did virtually all the polls get the last presidential election wrong -- really wrong? Could it be that most of them were more interested in influencing your vote rather than reporting an unbiased survey? Isn't that what most news is trying to do every day? That is, influence you rather than inform you.
Both "sides" do this on a regular basis. The language used in almost all reporting has bias built in to it.
Have you had this experience yet: You watch one of the daily pandemic briefings and think you have a good idea of what you have just heard and seen with your own eyes and ears. Then you see the news reports about that same meeting and it has no similarity to what you THINK you just experienced on TV! Often, really great sounding results and other potential news items from the daily briefings are not even mentioned. It is as if these positive (or negative) points never happened.
Now that I've made my overall "rosey" predictions, it is my job to convince you of why I feel this way. I will make you login if you want to see the rest and follow my logic as we go.
Tomorrow (or at least soon) I'll give you my prediction on how many net fatalities we will likely have in America due to the novel coronavirus. My numbers will shock you.
By the way, my flu symptoms have completely disappeared. Whatever virus I had, it lasted only about three days. The worst inconvenience for me was night sweats, which I've covered already.
Want to see what I am basing my optimism on? Go HERE.
I Think I Have the Flu -- Update #2
Last night around 3 in the morning I woke up with body aches, creepy crawlies on my skin, and a headache. I even had a slight, dry cough.
I got up and took a couple Advils and finally got to sleep. No chills, but light sweating.
I slept in as long as possible (9AM) but still had aches and pains.
I'm taking it easy today and drinking lots of fluids. Also, taking my temperature regularly.
After consulting the informational link below, I decided that I do not have Covid-19.
Why? Because the number one indicator is a high temperature. I don't have that, registering between 98.1 and 98.5 all day.
I just don't feel too great. But it is getting better. Some lack of energy, but nothing I can't work through.
Interestingly, I had a flu experience about 4 years ago where my temp went from normal to 103 in less than 2 hours! I thought I was going to die. I couldn't think straight. It hung around for about a week before I was back to normal. I think many people died from that fairly recent flu episode. We did not shut the economy down for that bug.
Unless my condition suddenly goes in the wrong direction I should be ok by tomorow.
But even if it were covid-19, I likely would be just fine. My risk factors are fairly minimal. Sometimes I think it may be best to get it sooner rather than later, since I am not getting any younger.
** Update #1 **
Yesterday I sat around the house and read magazines, which is highly unusual for me. I'm outside working most of the time during norlmacy. That's how I stay in shape.
Mild-to-average flu symptoms for most of the day. At around 7PM my temperature got up to 99.3 and I felt worse. I took two hour-long naps, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
By the time I went to bed in the downstairs bedroom (isolated) I felt mostly comfortable. However, I woke around 2AM drenched in sweat, so we know I am not normal. I changed clothes and went back to sleep on the other side of the bed, waking up at 9AM again.
Took my temp a few minutes ago and it is at 98.3, which is average for me.
At this point it appears that I have the "common" flu, which kills tens of thousands in America every year. But how do I know, for certain, that I don't have covid19? Many people have mild symptoms from covid19, just like me.
But the guidance is to NOT go in and get tested if you have mild symptoms. So I likely will not get tested. Besides, why would I want to be around a bunch of sick people? Therefore, we will never know if I have covid or not, will we? If that is the case, then I will never contribute to the "denominator" in the "percent died" equation. Which means our rate of death in this country will be over-reported, guaranteed. Thousands, possibly millions, are in the same situation that I am in. By the way, you don't want to be part of the numerator in this equation!
Pretty interesting, yes? I took statistics in college and used this knowledge in various technical jobs, so I know how easy it is to make stats tell you whatever you want.
Notice how I lay my position out in a step-by-step process. It is all about "but, if, then, therefore, one must conclude", etc. This is how logical people see the world and how we solve problems. We are not swayed by over-emotional herd followers with a hidden agenda.
** Update #2 **
Well, I'm still here!
Had to go into town yesterday but kept my distance from others. I did not feel particularly marginalized by my condition nor did I feel weak or sick.
In my teaching years I recall going into work many times when I did not feel top notch, often choosing work over staying at home for a couple more days to beat the flu into the ground. Can you imagine entrusting a large choral group (60-70 kids) or a band of similar size to a substitute teacher? The result would be mayhem in the classroom and unproductive classes. It was better to go back a bit early in my case.
As you know, I am working off the assumption that I have a seasonal flu. However, we also know that mild reaction to covid19 is almost identical to my current reaction. On the other hand, I have no intention of getting tested and being around those that may have covid. That introduces more risk than I would lke to have.
I thought that I'd get through a night with no additional sweats. My body thought differently. Woke up around 4:30AM drenched in perspiration -- the only sign all day that I was not completely well. It feels so good to put multiple layers of blankets on the bed when you go to sleep. Maybe it is just too much warmth.
As you all know, I am a researcher. I was curious about "night sweats".
Not all agree, but here is my summary. Our body raises its temperature to create an environment that is more hostile to whatever is foreign in your system, in this case, influenza viruses. Higher temps tend to kill the flu "bugs" off. When you shiver (I am not doing that) it is to help raise your body temperature. The side effects (chills, achy joints, headaches, pain in the neck, etc) are all due to your body raising your temperature. When the body feels that it has done enough for now you break into a sweat to lower your temp through the evaporative process - like a swamp cooler for you Bakersfield types.
Evidentally, I still have bad things running through my system. Therefore, the body does its thing and will continue until the flu is gone. So when you hear of people having really high temps (103 degrees and higher), it indicates that your body is trying as hard as possible to defeat the "germs" in your system. The fever is not the disease -- it is the body's defense mechanism going into high gear. Sometimes that is not enough and then you die. Very high fevers can also cause long term damage to your body and/or mind. One of my uncles, though he survived, was changed forever by the Spanish Flu in 1918.
And yes, fevers and subsequent sweating is common at night time. Much of this happens as you sleep, as in my case. You wake up drenched with no particular memory of the discomfort as your temperature kept going up. My theory is that you are strongest while asleep. There are no distractions, you are at rest, and probably snug and covered up. What better time for your body to fight off the harmful invaders in your bloodstream? This all makes perfect sense to me.
When I go through a 24 hour time span with no fever and no sweats I'll know that the flu is completely gone from my system. Or is it Covid19? We will probably never know, unless I take an antibody test in the future.
Temperature was 98.5 when I woke up at 10AM today.
And thanks for all the responses. I've had many, some in the survey below and many others through personal emails. I appreciate all of them. This is how we learn things that may help all of us. That's what this thread is all about.
The Center for Coronavirus Information Page
This page addresses the following:
What is the coronavirus?
What does it look like?
How do you get infected?
How can I protect myself?
How do I know if I am infected?
Ok, I think I am infected - now what?
Is there a vaccine or a cure?
[Note that they do not mention hydroxycloroquine, though it has shown good anecdotal results]
Here's the LINK.
Coronavirus Live Update Page
Here is a website built by a high school student in Washington state. Yes, he built it himself with help from others.
It will tell you everything you need to know about how we are doing in our fight against the pandemic.
Up and Running and Back On the Air
What an odd last few days it has been for all of us.
There is so much going on:
1. The Chinese Wuhan Coronavirus has spread across the entire world (except Africa). Does anybody doubt that it started in the province of Wuhan, China? There are conflicting reports on how it started, but the epicenter appears to be in this area of China.
2. Endless on-air government briefings about how we are attempting to combat the virus and mitigate its impact.
3. Several "news" sources showing, day after day, that they are primarily consumed with criticizing everything that the government is proposing or doing. There does not appear to be a general sense that we are "all in this together", at least from some highly predictable quarters.
4. A stock market that has lost more than a third of its value, and is still plunging.
5. We've been told to essentially self quarantine ourselves. This kind of self inflicted isolation is definitely a new thing.
6. Big-time sports has joined the Cancel Culture along with most other group events.
7. Unprecedented buying and hoarding behavior at local stores.
8. And why are there coronavirus hotspots in Italy, Iran and other "random" areas?
9. While all this is going on, Vicki and I have endured five straight days of snowfall, at times very heavy. Up here we call this "Donner Party" snow. It is that severe. Not "crying uncle" yet, but getting close.
Now I am going to make you log in so you can read what else I have to say about all that is going on. Some of it may surprise you.
Go HERE to read all about it.
My Weather Forecast
As you may know, Vicki and I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the 3,500 foot level.
By the way, "Sierra Nevada" means "Snowy Mountains" en espanol.
Here is the info:
In 1776, Pedro Font's map applied the name to the range currently known as the Sierra Nevada. The literal translation is "snowy mountains", from sierra "a range of hills", 1610s, from Spanish sierra "jagged mountain range", lit. "saw", from Latin serra "a saw"; and from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy".
Ok, did you get that?
We love the snow up here. We started out with a bang (foot and a half of snow) back in November and haven't seen any since. It looks like that will change tomorrow.
Here's our forecast:
Looks like at least 5 straight days of snow. We'll be ready. The birds are hungrier than usual today. They know what is coming our way!
Good opportunity to get the 4x4s out in the white stuff, including Jeeps and ATVs.
I'll post photos if this all really happens.
Coronavirus: What You Need To Know
This article appears to be as comprehensive as anything I have seen out there.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
This is a non-political statement.
MSNBC’s Brian Williams Fails 4th Grade Arithmetic
Brian Williams, and his guest from the editorial board of the New York Times, made an inexplicably stupid on-air calculation last week.
As a former math teacher, I must say that I was completely befuddled by Brian Williams' inability to grasp the basics of 4th Grade arithmetic.
So this is not a Right/Left rant. This is about the sorry state of the overall intelligence of our "trusted" TV "straight news" personalities.
The two TV people made the confident claim that the money Bloomberg spent on political advertisements could have instead been used to give every American over a million dollars.
Bloomberg spent $500,000,000 on his ads. That's five hundred million dollars.
There are 327,000,000 people in the US. That's three hundred twenty-seven million people.
So this is a simple long division problem, isn't it?
We all learned long division in 4th Grade, or thereabouts. Remember? You had to know how to count, add, do subtraction, and, most importantly, you needed to memorize your times tables. That was all mastered in 4th Grade. Where was Brian when this was all going on? Was he in the make-up room? On a fake helicopter ride dodging incoming?
Knowing that adding a "zero" to the end of a number made it ten times bigger was a handy little bit of info, also. Remember that one?
So let's see if the long division works out to over one million dollars for each entitled American, like college educated Brian Williams claims.
We start with: 500,000,000 divided by 327,000,000 = ?
But that's way too many zeros. Let's divide both numbers by one million to make it easier.
Now we have: 500 divided by 327 = ?
To make it easier still, let's turn it into a simple spare change calculation by dividing both numbers by 100.
Now we have $5.00 divided by $3.27 = ?
How many $3.27's are there in $5.00? I'd say about one and a half. On your calculator you will see that the answer is 1.53.
Is one dollar and 53 cents pretty close to over a million dollars that Brian Williams and his esteemed NYT guest claimed? By the way, she being on the Editorial Board of the esteemed NYT should indicate that she is on the lookout for inaccuracies in published material. Fail.
Brian blew it by about $1,530,000 per person in the US. Missing a calculation by 20% or 30% would be pretty bad. But he missed this by thousands of percentage points. Maybe millions.
But there is more to this story that is below the surface. These types of egregious miscalculations always go in the same direction -- in this case, promoting the idea that if we redistribute all the rich people's money, all will be well. That's a Bernie line, of course.
So let's take all of Bloomberg's money and give it to us deserving and entitled Americans. After all, I'm sure every one of us has been wronged (and emotionally scarred) by some type of social injustice along the way. It comes with the territory.
Ok, Mike. We want all your money! Without capital your businesses will fail, people would lose jobs, and all your charitable organizations would go belly up. The government obviously knows better how to spend your money, anyway.
Let's revisit our 4th Grade math problem (long division) once again. The guy is currently worth $60 Billion.
60,000,000,000 divided by 327,000,000 = ?
We divide both numbers by a million (lop off 6 zeros) and we get: 60,000 divided by 327 = ?
Let's divide by 100 to get it down to something we can understand: $600 divided by $3.27 = $183
So there you have it. If we took ALL of Bloomberg's money (he is one of the richest guys in America) then each person in the US would get a check for about $183.
Is that life changing money to you?
Ok, I'll say it. Brian Williams should be fired. Again. You can't come back from this kind of bonehead statement.
Apparently he is incapable of comprehending the basics of 4th Grade arithmetic.
Here's a good recap of Brian Williams' complete fail.
This Week in the 1968 Bakersfield Californian
We are including the papers from Feb 21 - Feb 29 (1968 a leap year).
So take your time and check out what happened.
The Vietnam war situation is not encouraging. Things are getting worse by the day.
Also, lots of local sports news, some good, some bad.
What was going on:
Read the papers and find out for yourself!
There is more going on in the front page besides Vietnam, but the war continues to dominate our attention -- for good reason.
Wrestling, high school basketball playoffs, pro sports, early baseball, and Renegade basketball.
And Mark Trail.
Go HERE to read the newspapers from February, 1968. The scans are pretty clear.
"We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"
You all remember that famous quote from the film "Jaws". Don't you?
In this case, we are not in need of a larger ocean going vessel.
So what's the point?
Go HERE to find out. Plus, get a quick refresher on an important financial moment in our lifetimes.
How Often Do You Become Outraged?
As a noun, here is what the word outrage means: an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.
As a verb it means this: arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone).
If you spend much time on the internet, you will find many people who claim they are outraged by just about everything.
Here's what it might look like:
But here is the thing: I don't think that people really get outraged by much. I think 99% of the outrage you see is FAKE.
We seem to see a lot more outrage these days. Much of it is directed at our sitting President. It comes with the territory, I suppose. He certainly understands how to "poke the bear" to get a strong reaction.
In fact, reactions from the press are so predictable that you can almost write the headlines for the next day yourself. That makes the expected stories boring.
But after awhile, fake outrage stops having any real effect on anything. You know it is coming -- it is just a matter of how it will be packaged. As the press runs out of new "angles" they just start recycling old material.
I can't remember the last time that I was truly outraged about anything. How about you? Are you one of those people who claims outrage on a daily basis? I hope not.
I think that most of the "outrage" you see in the news is just not real. These are not true emotions on display. "Outrage" is just being used as a persuasion tool to get you to change your mind. Just another technique to influence your thinking. One more stab at manipulating your thoughts through an emotional channel.
"Outrage" is made up, for the most part.
When a gifted actor displays outrage on the screen, you may find it believable, at least in the context of the movie you are watching. That's what superior acting can do.
But pundits on TV and most politicians are not good actors. They are terrible actors, for the most part. Complete hacks. They suck at acting.
So when these people display "outrage" it simply is not believable. In fact, it would be laughable if it were not so dishonest.
Displaying fake "outrage" is just a dramatic way of complaining. Personally, I find most people who complain a lot to be rather weak in terms of character. Also, not very happy, in general. Do you know anybody who complains all the time and displays "outrage" at the drop of a hat?
My advice is to avoid these people. Life is too short to be consumed by never ending complaints and frequent fits of "outrage".
Better to spend your energy trying to fix things rather than complaining about everything.
Complainers are losers. Merchants of "outrage" are hopeless losers who want to pull you into their whirlpool of destructive thoughts and chronic unhappiness.
Hey, check out the Quote of the Day widget just above this announcement.
But don't complain about it!
A Conversation With Don Ward
Last summer we sat down and talked for a couple hours in Bakersfield.
It was an interesting experience for me and I think he enjoyed the conversation as well.
Topics included his childhood, attending North High School (first graduating class), people he knew growing up (surprises here), Stanford University, the US Marines, the 1959 champion Renegade football team, football at Nevada Reno (abbreviated career), his first coaching/teaching job (it was not at South), how he returned to Bakersfield, coaching at SHS (three decades), and his school career after coaching. Probably a few other things, as well. As usual, I offer my own opinions and recollections along the way. Can't help it.
After I had written the story I researched and found several photos that he probably has not seen in a very long time, if ever.
Don Ward is associated with South High School more than any other teacher/coach in the school's 63 year history.
Please read all about it HERE.
How To Build a Software App That Won’t Crash
The UI is the User Interface. The Back End is the database server, which is the central repository of all the data generated by the UI. The Communication lines are telephone lines, cell phone towers, cable networks, satellites or whatever.
The UI consists of buttons, text boxes, and whatever it takes to gather information from the user. If you are on a PC you will probably navigate around the app with a mouse. On an iPad or cell phone, you move around with the touch of your finger.
To build an effective UI you must work with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). SMEs are people who completely understand what the app is supposed to accomplish in the real world. It is the responsibility of the app developer to create an app that fits the needs of the SMEs. As the app is being developed, the developers engage with the SMEs to make sure they are meeting those basic requirements.
But before any code is written, and to ensure that the design of the software meets the user requirements, a document called a Functional Specification is written by the development team. This is a paper version of what the developers think the SMEs want. This spec includes written requirements as well as “pictures” of what the app will likely look like to the user. The basic idea is that it is cheaper and more productive to make changes on paper rather than in software code. When both sides have “signed off” on the functional spec, a detailed software design can be created so that the development team has an overall plan to follow. The detailed plan will also include a timeline for the project which will have important “milestones” along the way.
Though I have written many hundreds of thousands of lines of code, it was as a Program Manager (PM) that I did most of my significant work for big software companies. The PM “owns” the functional spec. He is responsible for communicating with both users and developers and making sure that all are in agreement. He needs to understand software development and also be able to communicate with average users in order to comprehend what they want and need to get their jobs done.
But there is much more. Good software doesn’t just randomly happen all by itself.
What about testing? If you are developing a small app (say, less than 10,000 lines of code), you may be able to get by with being very careful and testing your software by yourself — if you are a smart developer and the stakes are not too high for failure. But if the program (app) is more complex and involves a team of developers, then you must have a separate testing team.
The purpose of the testers is to try to “break the app”. Their mission is to find everything that can possibly go wrong with your app. They test every combination of buttons and other controls on your User Interface (UI). They break communication lines to see how the app behaves under stress. They slam the backend server with as much traffic as they can to find the limits of the system. They make sure that the database system is storing the data correctly and that accurate reports can be generated.
It is obvious that the Iowa caucus development team did not do this. Or is it?
This is all “known” science. We in the software industry know and understand how to build well-behaved, bullet proof, and useful software systems.
So how did the democrat dev team manage to screw up the Iowa caucuses? Especially when the whole world is watching? For that matter (we may as well ask), how did the democrats screw up the Obamacare website rollout a few years ago? How is that even possible, given all that we know about software development?
Here are a few possibilities:
What actually happened? Who knows? They will never tell us. It could be any combination of flaws listed above. Or it could have been 2 or 3 lines of code that screwed everything up. We will never know.
Then there is the leading conspiracy theory. What if the results were not going in the direction the developers (or “insiders”) wanted, so they made it impossible to provide actual results in a timely manner? This would rob the winner(s) of an opportunity to announce their “big victory” in Iowa and thus deny them the “big bounce” going into New Hampshire!
Does this sound far-fetched? Have you been watching the impeachment proceedings for the last several weeks?
Who Will Be the Democratic Nominee?
Whether you are a republican, democrat, or independent, we want to know who you think the democratic nominee will be after all the voting is done.
That's right. You get to tell us who you think will win the nomination at the convention this year.
Note that we are not asking who you will vote for. This is just your opinion on who you think the final winner will be.
Our group of 70 year olds here at www.SouthHigh68.com is just as valid as any other in the US. Place your bets! Let's see how accurate we are!
Results are anonymous, of course.
Continue With the 1968 Bakersfield Californian?
For the last 20 days or so I've included a daily feature that let you read what was in the paper on this day, 52 years ago (1968).
Most of the work, which included going to the library and scanning microfilm pages, had already been done in 2018.
However, it takes me about 20 minutes to make the daily pages available on the website. An announcement needs to be made, the link to the page needs to be inserted, and possibly an email is composed and sent out.
As I have stated, the daily internet traffic on the site doubles or triples when these old newspaper stories are made available to you.
My question to you is simple: is it worth my extra effort to do this on a daily basis? I really don't like doing things that are of limited value. We are all running a bit short of time at this point.
Please take the survey to help guide me in this process.
Allow Others to Join www.SouthHigh68.com?
I get requests from those outside of our class every once in awhile.
In fact, I've already included several in the past.
But we need a "policy". A consistent rule that we can follow.
First of all, they would not be part of the actual class roster. They would be officially known as "Guest Members".
Note that we have a number of these types of users -- you can view them at the bottom of our class list.
What could they do as a Guest Member? They get to see all the "privileged" content, you know, the stuff that you need to login to see. They could see your public profile (but NOT your private personal information). They could take part in surveys and participate in the What's New area. They would likely be people from other South High classes.
In short, Guest Members can do anything you can do.
Just thinking ahead, my guess is that the guests could also participate in 10-10-2020, but that has yet to be discussed. We don't know if that event will consist of me, Gary, Vicki, Jerry, Hud, and Ruben in a big room all by ourselves or if there will be 180 showing up! Maybe we will get Wal Topic to blow into town from Florida, too. I think that we have already established a precedent: Pam Bailey was a participant in 2018.
But there is the potential downside, too. Should we water down our "exclusivity" that we enjoy now? Keep it "special"? Or is "more the merrier" the proper way to look at it?
Here's a typical request:
Hi Jim - although I'm not technically part of your graduating class (I was a 'XX graduate) I've been keeping up with your website because there were many folks I was friends with in your class. I don't know if you allow non-'68's to join your website but I would love the opportunity if it exists. You have done an excellent job here and I so wish I could see all the pages allowed. Our class had our XXth reunion in October and it was miserable. Very poor planning, execution and follow through so I'm quite jealous of you and your planning committee. Please let me know your guidelines regarding allowing non-members access to the full site. Thanks and blessings on your day, [name withheld]
So there you are.
And by the way: Did you notice that we just passed 34,000 visitors to our little website? The "rate of acquisition", as we call it in the business, is actually increasing.
Who’s Been Online? (December 24, 2019)
If you go to this PAGE you will find out.
It turns out that quite a few people are checking in on a semi-regular basis.
10-10-2020 Birthday Party Survey Results
We did this survey a few weeks ago.
I told you about the results but never showed you the actual responses.
Here they are, all 40 of them! That's a big number for participation in a survey.
Some of you are steadfastly avoiding answering all surveys. Not sure why that is, but probably has to do with all of us being constantly bombarded with input requests. I can understand that.
But this is different. We aren't trying to sell you anything, really.
Every response tells us what is working and what is not working. We prefer things that receive a positive response.
As you can see, your responses are anonymous to the class.
Go HERE to see what the class thinks about 10-10-2020.
Show Me the Money
Go HERE to see the rest.
Birds of a Feather....
.... flock together.
Learn a bit more about this powerful cross-species characteristic.
Also, some great photos.
And a couple surprises at the end. We have proof!
Go HERE to see a different kind of tweet.
Sorry, You Paid Too Much for the 50th Reunion
Did I get your attention with that headline?
I previewed this message with a few of you and received feedback on it.
Some thought the headline was a bit over-the top and abrasive.
So how about this one?
We Have Surplus Funds Due to Great Turnout for Our Events
What should we do with the money? Who gets to decide?
The purpose of collecting money for group events, like our 50th reunion, is simply to cover the costs of the planned activities and to make sure that the organizers don’t have to cough up their own funds to make it all happen.
That’s it. End of story.
If not enough money is collected then it is up to the organizers to cover the difference. That is, unless they can convince others to help out.
Well, we have an entirely different kind of situation.
We made too much money!
How can that be? We know that the 50th Reunion, at $55 each, is one of the most reasonable (cheap) reunion dinners ever organized! Heck, the class of 1969 is charging $100 a plate the last we heard!
And the Meet & Greet? We charged you the grand sum ot $25 per person to attend and scarf up on a myriad of appetizers (which you chose, by the way).
Even with prizes, extra furniture, payng for teachers and others, big time photography, entertainment, great decorations, cupcakes, and other extras, we STILL ended up making almost $1,500 on the reunion after all the bills were paid!
The surplus funds were generated by this website strictly through your ticket purchases. We didn't even try to sell cool memorabilia. Just "tickets" to events.
Should you, the Class of 1968, have some say in how these surplus funds are spent?
Do you want to save it for a possible 55th reunion? Would you attend such an event?
Should we let a locally based, unelected “new committee” decide what to do with the extra money that you contributed?
Would you choose to put it towards another upcoming event to lower costs and produce a substantially lower break-even point?
Should we just refund a small portion to each person who “overpaid” for the 50th?
Give it to a local charity? Which one?
How about using it as a way to avoid out-of-pocket expenses for event organizers? When it is over, restore the $1,500 to help get the next event off the ground.
A couple people suggested that we keep the $1,500 for the last person standing in our class to help with their funeral expenses!
Getting to the point, you are all part of the new "governing" group, all 165 of you who are online with us. You can vote, answer questions, participate in surveys, ask about things, make announcements, wish happy birthday, contribute to stories, make voluntary donations, and actively be a part of the class in a number of other ways.
And the best part? You don't have to be a local person to help guide this ship called the South High Class of 1968! You can live anywhere in the world and still be a contributing member of the group. Anywhere -- Florida. Oregon. Arizona. Texas. Africa. Arkansas. Oklahoma. Idaho. Washington. Anywhere up and down the Central Valley of California. (I know, I missed a lot of places, like the Sierra Nevada mountains where I live!)
How do I know that you are out there? Here is an example: An interesting story, photo feature or "funny bit" will generate 60-80 direct responses (logins) to the website over 2-3 days. You are out there and you are waiting for something interesting to happen.
The simple fact is, this is 2019, not 1968. This is our current reality, like it or not. This is our exclusive form of social media!! For communicating our thoughts and ideas, inspiring others, making people laugh, sharing our losses, or expressing views, it is a 1000 times better than any form of communication that we have had in the past.
When is the last time you sent a letter to a friend?
50 years ago nobody could have predicted that this type of electronic experience would become commonplace.
But here we are. Congratulations. Welcome to our unique and direct form of democracy. Your vote counts. You are not dependent on unelected officials making choices for you.
Let's make some decisions!
My Reunion Story, Part One
It's the beginning of October and time to take a brief look back.
I hold nothing back in my candid recounting of my experience with the 50th Reunion.
Well, not exactly. But you may get a chuckle or two from reading it.
On the other hand, did you know that there are about 33% of us who have no sense of humor? It's a fact!
I'll just assume that those humorless 33% never read these pages, anyway!
But if you have no sense of humor just consider it similar to not being able to carry a tune. Or having an inability to read a map. Or being color blind. It happens.
Check out Part One HERE.
My Reunion Story, Part 2
I told you that there was another part to my story.
It is a bit more difficult to talk and write about.
Much of it was extremely unpleasant for Vicki and I. Just plain uncomfortable.
Do you really want me to tell you what happened, from my point of view?
Or is it best just to say, "Everybody had a good time and let's just leave it at that." ?
I'll go either way. But I am the only person that knows most of the details.
And as you all know by now, I know how to tell a story.
It is your call.
By the way, I could not be happier with the 4 volunteers we have had for "life stories". Each of the narratives is absolutely spectacular. I am so grateful for their willingness to share their life experiences with us. That is not easy to do. Each is special and each so different! Face it, we are all unique.
I'm looking for our next subject. Everybody has a story to tell. This is your chance. You will not regret it. Together, we will make this happen.
So let's vote.
But first, let me be clear about what "anonymous" means in terms of these surveys. It means that I will not divulge who voted for what. You will have to take my word for that. As an administrator of the website (there are three of us), I can see this information. Sometimes I even respond to you in a personal message. But we will not publish to the world anything that we say is "anonymous". And I trust the other two admins with my life. I'm married to one of them. If we had 20 admins I could not promise you anything in terms of secrecy. That's not how people work. Just look at our leaking nation's capital. So now you know. I think the only survey results that we published with names was your evaluation of the reunion. But they were 100% positive, so that did not seem to be a problem.
10-10-2020 is One Year Away!
That's 365 days and counting.
Much needs to be discussed and decided on.
In the meantime, you need to stay healthy and ready to go.
Make it a goal to be there. It's only going to happen once.
Read all about it HERE.
It is going to happen, whether we get 10 people or 200.
The party is on!
The birthday party, that is.
Let’s just call it the South High Class of 1968 70th Birthday Party.
Were the Photos Worth It?
During the early meetings with the former committee, back in March of 2018, I made a couple of “demands”. After all, I was getting ready to dedicate several months of my life to this effort and I wanted assurances that my time was going to be well spent.
Here is what I asked for:
1. This would not be an event where we just invited our friends and that would be “good enough”. If we, as a group, were not prepared to make a committment to locate and invite every former classmate then I simply was not interested in being part of it. I wanted to avoid the “cliquish” behavior others had seen and complained about in the past. Many classmates had never even heard about the other reunions.
2. We would commemorate this “historic” one-of-a-kind event by hiring a professional photographer. I told them that the candid shots of the other reunions were just not very good. In truth, they aren’t. I simply wasn’t going to let that happen this time.
I made some enemies by speaking the truth, as I saw it. Comes with the territory, as all of you independent thinkers surely understand. But I also finally prevailed and, after a rigorous evaluation and interview process, hired a competent photo team.
I received the original quote from the photographer and presented it to the committee. They insisted that we cut it back by at least a third, though they gave no justification for doing so. I told the committee that, according to my break-even analysis, we could easily afford the full price.
So I went back to the photog and we worked out a deal where she shot fewer hours by cutting out early from both events and showing up later at the start. I wasn’t happy but my hands were tied.
The issue of hiring a pro photographer simmered for a few months.
So let’s do the math. Yes, I taught math once. A long time ago.
The photography team cost us $1,200. The final product would be digital images, available free to everybody in the class. Just download what you want. $1,200, by the way, is less than 10% of the total cost of the reunion.
When you count the participants for the two big events it adds up to 318 paid people. Many (most) paid for both events.
$1,200 divided by 318 = $3.77 each. That’s what each of you paid for all of the photos.
How many photos did they take?
They took 954 digital photos with professional cameras and related equipment.
How much did each professional digital photo cost you?
$3.77 divided by 954 = about a third of a penny each.
And now you get to answer one simple Yes/No question. Please jump in here. The answer will be anonymous.
Hello South High Class of 1968!