Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. – Ronald Reagan
Want to send me a private message or post? Go HERE.
Should We Open Schools in September?
Please view the video by Dr Scott Atlas, Stanford University, Hoover Institution. You will find a link to the video at the bottom of this announcement.
Here is a quick summary:
It is not how MANY that are infected, but WHO is infected.
There is virtually no risk to school age children from covid-19.
99.97% of deaths are in people over the age of 15.
99.9% of deaths in people over the age of 24.
These stats hold up all over the world.
Children rarely get sick and rarely transmit the disease. In that regard, covid-19 presents a much lower threat than seasonal influenza.
In the video Atlas refutes the opinion of another doctor. He accuses the other doctor of "...superficial, sloppy thinking. He must not know the data."
The data is clear: children don't get the illness to any serious degree.
82% of US teachers are under 55, which means they have little risk. 50% of teachers are under the age of 41.
If there are some teachers who are more at risk then they should practice distancing or teach online. Why are we locking up schools for such a small number of at risk teachers? Aren't the schools for the students, not the teachers?
However, distance learning has not proven to be effective.
And much more...
Every country in Europe is opening the schools with no masks and no distancing. Locking up our schools is an absurd idea. Canada is also opening its schools in the fall.
We know that the flu hits schools every season and a lot of children get sick. Should we close the schools every year, from November through April because a few teachers are put at risk? That is a ridiculous conclusion.
Finally, aren't schools an essential business? Why are we not treating schools as essential?
Why aren't teachers part of the "essential" work force?
Please check out the video HERE.
Covid-19 and Government from a Religious Point of View
Read about it HERE.
I Finally Decide to Wear a Mask
As you know, I have been a holdout when it comes to wearing a mask.
The main reason is that I follow the science. The science says that this "pandemic" will not truly end until we have had a sufficient portion of our population exposed and infected. Every viral outbreak in every country in every century in the world follows this pattern.
But, for some reason, we are handling this situation differently than any other. Why is that?
But, enough of that.
Here is my mask ensemble:
The ear protection and goggles should give you a hint of what I may be up to.
Ok, now you know. I am running a Stihl 2-cycle leaf blower and it gets quite dusty.
Here's the deal: I have built about 2 miles of walking trails on our property -- all with just hand tools. A shovel, pick and my old friend, the Macleod (a rake-like tool used in firefighting). Every spring (or summer) I have to go up the hill and blow all the leaves off the trail. Otherwise, it is quite slippery and dangerous. I've done this with a leaf rake in the past, but that is just too much work. Thus, the gas powered leaf blower.
Here's a fake action shot.
And, finally, the product shot. It works great and is not too heavy. Best to wear ear protection if you are a musician.
Full disclosure: These photos are a bit fake because I had already done all the work in the days before. But Vicki was not available to take the pictures then. I would have been extremely dirty, sweaty and tired after coming down from the hill.
I know the question you are asking: Jim, are you wearing a mask when you go out in the public?
What do you think?
Just don't call me a grandma killer because I may not wear a mask.
I'm older than most grandmas.
This Is What I’d Really Like To See
I have a very busy life and keeping this site up and interesting is but a small part of it. However, to do it right, it takes time.
As I have said before, this website is no different than any other entertainment destination that you choose to visit. That is, if I can't make it interesting then you will not return. I'm competing for your eyeballs with everybody else in the world. I have a staff of one and I'm not selling anything.
However, there are some differences versus other sites:
You may not know this, but many of my conversations spill over into multiple email exchanges or texting dialogs. These can go on for days. That's when I really find out what's happening with you and discover who I really am.
But here is what I'd REALLY like.
I'd like to have 5-10 people volunteer to write one article every month. It could be about anything you want to talk about. You could send it to me and I'll edit it if you like. This is your chance to have an audience of like-minded people available at any time. We get 40-100 visits a day from this class. You could do it anonymously or have a byline. I don't care what the topic is, nor does anybody else. High school memories, something that happened to you later in life, an interesting trip, a religious experience, your love for cars or motorcycles or horses, whatever. You could even throw in your two cents about current events. Heck, I do that all the time. Why shouldn't I? Afterall, it's the Jim Reynolds Blog!
Let me know what you think of this idea. Better yet, volunteer to write something! Just one little article a month. What a deal. Include photos and movies, too.
By the way, due to the closed nature of this site, only SHS68 classmates can comment here. So no trolls are allowed.
Results: Should We Defund the Police?
I asked the following:
Should we defund the Bakersfield Police Department?
Should we defund the Kern County Sheriff Department?
Should we defund the California Highway Patrol?
Should we defund the National Guard?
Should we defund the United States Military?
The results of the survey were unanimous: all participants voted NO for every question.
Here is a sampling of your comments:
|This is a silly movement. Apparently, nothing has been well thought out. However, if they want to try it in Minneapolis, then that would be ok. We’ll see how that works for them.|
|If you can’t call a cop when you need one they will have to re-write the statutes on justifiable homocide, cause those are gonna go up!|
|We do need to make some changes that would stop unnecessary force and profiling. I have had too many friends stopped because of their nationality.|
|Without any of the above agencies what do you have? The criminal element of our society producing a willful force to abuse the average citizen. Just remember I wouldn't attempt to harm a law enforcement officer, would you? Right now those individuals are all that stands between total chaos and civility. Anyone who would ambush a law enforcement officer would certainly not think twice about abusing you or me. Criminals or convicted individuals are not suppose to possess weapons at all, do you think this stops them from obtaining them?|
|Defund private security for elected officials at home and in Washington no guns for elected officials.|
|Why would we penalize those who risk their lives daily for a few bad apples? Where would we be without law & order- it's just ridiculous!!!!!|
|It's a shame people really desire anarchy in their homeland|
|Abusive law enforcement and unlawful rioters and occupiers must be opposed with both love and justice.|
|They should all have a speedy efficient way to get rid of dangerous and/or the bottom of the barrel cops.|
Since tv and video games glorify violence I do NOT watch or play either one. I do think it started with cartoons I did not watch those either. I never thought it was funny to watch someone be abused or tormented or hurt. TV shows that disrespect adults is also on my Do Not Subscribe list. The younger generation seems like the me me me is the way to get ahead. Degrade someone to bolster ones self is disgraceful. ... I have been a victim of this cruelty. That constant voice affects me constantly. What has happened to honesty, respect, manners and civility ?
I Am Losing My Memory
Check it out HERE before it is completely gone!
The Reynolds Autonomous Zone (RAZ)
Vicki and I decided to create our own autonomous zone within America and the world.
We are part of America, but also not part of America. Apparently, all you have to do is declare an autonomous zone and you have created a special place just for you. Taking my cues from Seattle, it is as easy as that!
We have not worked out all the details yet, but the brainiacs in Seattle will surely post their sage guidance shortly. We'll be watching for their "best practices" videos. From what I've seen on TV, I am expecting nothing less than sensational advice from these gifted orators, scholars and leaders of men, women and all those other people.
However, there are a few key aspects about our autonomous zone that differ from the one established on Capitol Hill in Seattle.
Number one: we actually own the land that we are declaring to be an autonomous zone. There is no mortgage. It's completely paid off. So we are saying that land that we actually own is an autonomous zone.
That's a far cry from rioters taking over other peoples' property and calling it an autonomous zone. That sounds more like theft than liberation.
The good people of the independent state of CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) in Seattle don't own anything. They just took it. I'm sure they had the best intentions (for the PEOPLE) but when it comes down to it, they just took it from other US citizens. So much for private property rights in America. What a tired tradition THAT is.
The Reynolds Autonomous Zone (RAZ) has a police force of two people. That's the entire staff. We've watched many episodes of Blue Bloods so have figured out how we can cover multiple roles with our admittedly skinny staff. That would be me and Vicki. We, like all of our neighbors around us, are gun owners and know how to use them in a safe and convincing manner. So that takes care of our policing activities. As we say up here, we don't call 911. So, RAZ or not, not much has changed in that regard.
If we need backup then we have a nonverbal, long standing arrangement with the county sheriff. I have never seen a sheriff's car up here in ten years. Probably due to lack of crimes.
RAZ is an independent organization, as opposed to the CHAZ state in Seattle. We don't rely on sewer services. We don't rely on water services. Though we allow PG&E to power our independent state, we also are quite accustomed to PGE shutdowns for no apparent reason. In that case we just run our autonomous state on generator power. We have two generators and sufficient gas for the long term.
We allow UPS and Fedex to deposit their packages at the border of our independent state: the front gate.
We take care of our own garbage and other waste.
So, as you can see, though we at RAZ are totally independent, CHAZ up in Seattle is just a stupid sham run by nitwits.
Police force? We are established and prepared -- and have a backup plan. CHAZ has nothing but thugs. We also have neighboring friendly forces.
Governing Council? We have that covered. I'm second in command and know my role. CHAZ does not have a clue.
Waste management? We have it covered. CHAZ depends on the city of Seattle, apparently. So they are fake. We are not. By the way, the Seattle mayor is even weaker than the Minneapolis mayor. Is that even possible?
Electrical power? RAZ has that covered. If Seattle turns out the lights then CHAZ is deader than a door nail. Given the absurd weakness of the mayor, that probably won't happen. "Good citizens" will fund the jerks in CHAZ.
Food and provisions? We just drive into town and buy stuff. What is CHAZ' plan? Do they have a plan? Who is the budget director?
Medical expertise? Out neighboring autonomous zones are more than willing to pitch in with relevant and qualified personnel. What is CHAZ' medical plan?
Education? We in RAZ are experienced internet learners and have multiple college degrees. What is the CHAZ educational plan for their woke populace?
Welfare? We don't need any welfare payments of any sort. Can CHAZ say that? Does anybody in CHAZ have a real job? Have they ever worked?
Jails? Nope. No criminals out here.
RAZ is a wonderful place. If you like living in the Sierras, exploring the gold country, visiting beautiful and authentic historic towns, taking a breath of fresh mountain air, and seeing the millions of stars above you -- then you will want to visit RAZ. You will fall in love with the people, history and magic of this unique and captivating area.
The comparison of CHAZ and RAZ is stark. CHAZ will be gone in a month: RAZ will continue on, at least in our minds, forever.
Survey: Should We Defund the Police?
The Black Lives Matter movement thinks that a rational reaction to the disturbing events in Minneapolis is to defund their local police department.
One of the vocal BLM reps was shown on TV shouting out, "We don't want no police!", as the mob publicly shamed the decidedly weak mayor of that city. Prominent democrat members of congress are also behind this effort. CNN is 100% in support of the "defund" movement.
In fact, BLM is advocating the defunding of all police departments. The polls don't show that the public has much appetite for this, however. Only about 15 % of the public (including dems, republicans and independents) are supportive of defunding the police.
However, on some channels this movement remains very popular. Much of Hollywood, for instance, thinks that defunding the police is a great way to go. Mitt Romney and Nancy Pelosi are for it.
So it appears that the dems have given up on getting any voter support from our law enforcement establishment.
It is unclear how BLM would go about replacing the many responsibilities and functions of modern policing organizations. Therefore I have no details to provide to you about what a proposed solution might look like.
Here is your chance to voice your own opinion. We still have free speech here on www.SouthHigh68.com.
Just a few Yes/No questions, followed by an optional comment box. Anonymous, as usual.
How do you feel about this?
Here Is What a Local Survivor of COVID-19 Has To Say
I believe that Alfred Jones is in our age bracket -- perhaps more in the 75 year old range.
He apparently attends the church where I sing on a regular basis. My brother knows him pretty well.
He was traveling in NewYork City when the virus hit that area two months ago.
He caught it and almost died. In fact, he was the first person, anywhere, to survive after being on a ventilator.
Please read his story and his advice, which was published in our local newspaper in the "Other Voices" section.
By the way, I don't know how it is going in your area but the lockdown is almost over up here in northern California. Car traffic is back to normal -- if not more than normal. Two weeks ago we had to line up outside of Home Depot: many were wearing masks. Yesterday we went to the Auburn, CA, HD and you just walked in. Once inside, about 10% of the workers wore masks. Almost none of the customers were wearing masks. The mask wearers were either very old (I don't blame them) or, apparently, very woke. I asked our salesperson about masks (we had to buy a new refrigerator) and she told us it was an individual choice for each worker and customer. She said she could not do her job with a mask on because it "suffocated" her.
As for my part, I have never worn a mask for one minute. I believe in herd immunity and protecting the weak. That is the science we should follow. Anything else you hear is clearly BS.
If you are mask-shamed by a woke person, just remind them of this:
1. Initially, the CDC said that wearing a mask is unnecessary and not effective.
2. Initially, Tony Fauci and Dr Birx told us not to wear masks.
3. The Surgeon General of the Unitied States told us not to wear masks.
4. Currently, the guidance from the World Health Organization is to not wear a mask unless you are already infected.
5. Thousands of rioters don't wear masks, don't practice proper social distancing, and they seem to be doing ok -- at least so far. I also note that the police are not giving anybody a citation for not wearing masks. But surfing in the ocean by yourself is still considered a crime?
Why should we doubt the sincerity and overall medical knowledge of these respected healthcare luminaries? My woke mask monitors (similar to hall monitors back in grade school) go silent when I bring up these bits of sage advice.
You have missed my attempts at humor, haven't you!
Please read Alfred's story HERE. It's a good one and it is true.
Your Political Thoughts in 1968
I ran across this survey taken in the spring of 1968. The participants were from our senior "government" classes.
In the survey, you answered the following questions:
What is your political party preference?
Who is your pick for president of the United States?
What military action should the US pursue in Vietnam?
What do you think about bombing North Vietnam?
What should receive the highest priority in government spending?
You will need to log in to see the answers to these questions, since this is specific information for our class, 52 years ago.
It is almost certain that you will be surprised by your collective results from this long ago survey.
Go HERE to read all about it.
Coronavius Deaths By the State We Live In
I built this little table last week so the numbers are just slightly out of date. But they are close to current tallies.
I was curious about how covid deaths compare to deaths by automobile accident in each state that we live in.
That way we have something to compare with that we can easily understand. Plus, it is personalized by our actual state of residency.
How does it work? Let's take Arizona, the first row in the table.
The AZ row tells us that there are four (4) people in our class that live in Arizona; its population is 7.3 million; there are about 1,010 deaths by vehicular accident per year; for every 100,000 residents, there are 13.8 fatal vehicle accidents; there are currently 536 covid deaths in AZ; this means 7.3 covid deaths per 100,000 residents in AZ; the difference between covid deaths and car accident deaths is 6.5. This means there are 6.5 fewer deaths by covid in AZ (per 100,000 people) than there are for car accident deaths.
Another way of describing Arizona's numbers is that there is almost twice the chance of death on the road versus death by the coronavirus.
Yet ask yourself this: How many people choose not to drive (or ride) in cars due to the risk of a fatal accident?
If you are not in a nursing home and are reasonably healthy then your chances of surviving covid are almost 100%. If you are a younger person then the odds of dying are infinitesimal. I have not used that word for awhile.
I'll let you check out the table now. Afterwards I'll point out a few interesting stats.
The red numbers on the right tell us that in those states more people have died from covid than car accidents. In each of them there have been significant breakouts in nursing homes. Massachusetts is the worst, by far.
California has even odds for covid versus car accidents. In Arkansas you have five times the chance of dying in an accident than by covid. Pretty much the same in Tennessee.
Georgia has been open now for almost a month. The governor was strongly criticized by the press for making this move. All types of doomsday predictions were made. Politicians and the MSM may have told him he would "have blood on his hands". Are we getting tired of that one yet?
Guess what? None of that bad stuff happened. There was no spike in deaths in Georgia. Yes, probably more infections but that has been handled well by the healthcare professionals. Building herd immunity takes time and sick/old people will die. Some day it will be our turn. But not now.
Why isn't California following the successful lead of Georgia? Is it just because we have a democrat for a governor? Or is it something else? Is there something special about California that prevents us from opening up now?
It appears that sunlight (UV rays) helps to kill the coronavirus. We have a lot of that in CA. Why aren't we out there soaking up the sun and producing vitamin D?
Gov Newsom, tear down this wall! Or rather, unlock our shackles and let business thrive and freedom ring! And get those kids back into our schools!
Plus, I may want to go surfing when I'm down in San Clemente.
Things Have Changed Over Time in America
(Note that there is a misspelling in the graphic.)
Current Betting Odds for the Presidential Election
We have a long way to go before the election.
But as of May 16, 2020, here is what the betting establishment thinks about the coming election.
The thing I like about betting odds is that the participants don't "have a dog in this fight". They just want to make money. They can only do that if they bet on the winner. With making money as their motivation, I think that odds makers are more honest than polls. Do you get that?
Many polls are saying just the opposite of what the table indicates below. As you all know by now, I believe the purpose of most polls is to influence rather than to inform. Remember the last presidential election? All the polls were wrong. The polls are no different than the stories that the various "news" sources publish. They tend to be fundamentally biased and dishonest.
By the way, I never know exactly WHAT you will find interesting until I post it on the website. I determine your interest by number of website visits, logins, your responses, and how many of you actually read the email that I send out ahead of these features. Just when I thought that I was getting "too political", you surprised me by having a unanimous response to the email for the OC Doctor's story. 159 sent, 159 were read by you.
According to the betting establishment, Trump will win the election easily in November. As we all know, much can change in the next few months. I am quite certain that Schiff will attempt to impeach the president a couple more times between now and then! How's that three-year Russia Collusion Hoax doing?
If you are wondering, no I am not a Republican. I have been an Independent for quite some time. I even voted for Ross Perot back in 1992 -- he turned out to be correct about the "giant sucking sound". When I see BS and constant lies, I tend to call it what it is. You can disagree at your own peril. Just kidding. Say what you want but keep it clean.
If you want to get stories from both sides, Real Clear Politics is a good place to go. You won't find that on CNN or Fox.
Here's the current betting odds:
You may want to see this before YouTube removes it. Click HERE now.
Doctor Jeff Barke, an Orange County MD, speaks out about his views on the coronavirus.
It is one of the most reasonable explanations that I have found. It was posted yesterday, May 13.
He discusses the following:
Again, you will want to check out this most informative video before they take it down. You may need to click through an opening advertisement.
California: Covid Numbers By County
I found this table in the Orange County Register. They keep this updated on a daily basis.
There are a few interesting results here.
Not shown are the number of deaths occurring in nursing homes, which is a high percentage of the total. Those deaths are included here, just not singled out. That is a huge part of this story.
Note that there are several counties that have reported zero deaths.
Those counties include: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Siskyou, Trinity, and Tuolomne. Twenty other counties have reported fewer than 10 deaths, including my county (Nevada), which has had one fatality -- apparently an elderly visitor from elsewhere.
Of the total 2,715 deaths, 1,530 occurred in Los Angeles County. That's 56% of the state's total.
Given the highly liberalized Covid death reporting standards (it can be reported as Covid even if you only suspect that it may be Covid -- no test required), it is quite striking that there are so many counties that have not been negatively impacted by the pandemic. However, we have ALL been greatly effected by government-imposed social and commerce restrictions. For instance, small business is getting killed everywhere and that is a tragedy.
They calculate the "death rate" by dividing the total infections by the number of deaths. I don't find that to be a very useful number.
A more important number is this: what are my chances of dying from Covid19 in California, right now?
Population of California? About 39,500,000. Number of Covid deaths? 2,715. Divide and express as a percentage.
2,715 divided by 39.5M = 0.007%. Your chances of dying from Covid19 in CA is seven thousandths of one percent. If you are reasonably healthy your chances are almost zero of dying from this "pandemic".
Another way of saying this? About 68 people out of every million have died from the coronavirus in California. Almost all had serious underlying illnesses and/or were over 75 years old. That's too bad, but remember that 8,000 people die every day in the US, covid or not.
Do you ever get this kind of explanation from the TV "news" or the newspapers? I don't think so.
Most of the TV news seems like they are trying to frighten us as much as possible.
Check out the numbers:
Bakersfield Doctors Disagree With Shelter-In-Place Strategy
Many of you have already seen this video. It wouldn't hurt to view it again, after a week of it being out there.
Perhaps this will generate some discussion. It's a pretty big deal, especially if they turn out to be correct in their analysis and predictions. We won't know about the doctors' accuracy until we give this a couple months.
Sweden appears to be doing ok after having no business or school lockdowns during the pandemic.
Please answer a quick yes/no survey at the end of this announcement.
Opinions from the Right and the Left
Your version of reality is formed by who you watch, read or listen to.
In the spirit of fairness, I decided to try something new on these pages. Oh, no... not again! (you are probably saying)
These are remarkable times for our country. There really has not been anything quite like this coronavirus era.
From conversations with many of you online, texting, emails and seeing your comments, I realize that our opinions are quite diverse and polarized. One of these days we will run a poll to see how we stand as a class.
There are those of you who think we should just shut down the country for a few more months.
Others think we should never have shut down and that we should get back to normal, immediately.
And then there are a lot of people in between.
So I decided to give you two opposite points of view. One is written by a CNN opinion writer and the other is a portion of a news letter by a well known conservative personality. One of my relatives sent it to me today.
You should read them both and then come back here and voice your thoughts below. Remember the dot-dot-dot response can be your friend. You could always dot-dot and then decide if you want to wade in.
If you don't care about any of this then your task is already completed.
Here's the note from the RIGHT.
Here's the note from the LEFT.
Note: Updated with six new ones on 4-28-2020
Biden, his past comments and current (not mentioned by CNN) allegations
Governor Kemp opening his state for business
Public schools vs home schools
Flattening the curve -- which curve?
Open versus Close everything
Fauci and the family pet
Public opinion against China (90%)
Outbreaks around America of what?
Bill Gates (my old boss) and W.H.O.
Gas and oil prices
Biden, CNN and China
Venice Beach and skate boarders versus the tractor (similar to something that happened in China a few years ago)
The propaganda outlet for the Chinese Communist Party
Check out the comics HERE.
What Do All the Coronavirus Numbers Tell Us?
Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about ventilators, masks, gloves and PPE.
I'll take you on a deep dive into how to interpret all the Covid19 death numbers in the US. It doesn't sound very uplifting but you may be surprised. There is a strange twist at the end.
Just remember: Nothing But Net.
I'll do my best to separate fact from fiction.
If you are the curious type, you may be fascinated by the analysis.
If not so curious then save some time by not checking it out!
I'll talk about:
Check it out HERE.
How Do I Know If You Care?
There are various ways of determining your level of interest in this website.
I'll break them down in this detailed note.
Plus, you will get to view the popularity of every email I have ever sent out to this class! Some were duds but most were fairly successful.
So check it out and analyze to your heart's content! You get to crawl inside my head and try to figure out why I do what I do. That sounds a bit invasive but I'm game.
Email stats and explanations can be found HERE.
Turley Hopkins: 1950-2004
Many of you knew Turley as you grew up in Bakersfield.
We have a few photos of him that go all the way back to 1957 and 1958!
Turley was absent from our 1968 yearbook so it is not certain if he dropped out to join the Army or what. His obit mentions that he served in the Army from 1968-71. Does anybody know what happened to him during his senior year? Was he with us for awhile and then left To join up?
I actually knew him as far back as 1963 -- we were teammates on the celebrated Golden Lions Jack Frost football team. In fact, he outweighed me by 5 pounds, coming in at a hefty 120. At the time, Ronnie Hudson had not yet broken into triple digits.
Check out his info HERE.
Football Stadiums and Coronavirus
What do you think the connection is?
You do remember what a football stadium is, don't you? We use to cheer our team on while sitting in them. Remember?
So, am I going to tell you not to go to crowded stadiums? No. You will make your own decisions about that.
What this is about is visualization. That's right. How you see things in your mind.
It's hard to imagine how many people make up a million, for instance.
But it's an important point to consider. Many of the statistics we get from the news has to do with how many deaths per million residents, for example.
In California, where many of us live, the stats tell us that 24 people out of one million have caught covid19 and died. But CA has 40M people, so multiply 24 times 40 and you will get our total deaths = 960 total deaths. For some mysterious reason, California has done amazingly well in keeping the covid deaths down. I give some credit to the governor for that.
Expressed as a percentage, the number is 0.0024%. Yes, that is about two and a half thousandths of one percent. That's your chances of dying from covid19 in CA right now.
But what does 24 out of 1,000,000 look like?
Here is a football stadium that holds about 100,000 people. This happens to be the LA Coliseum, which was built for the olympics.
Imagine that there were 24 people in this crowd, spread out throughout the Coliseum. If each were wearing a white cowboy hat, could you even pick them out of this crowd of 100,000?
The sharp ones out there have already noticed that I just made a big mistake in my calculations! The LA Coliseum only represents one tenth of a million. Let's add a few more big football stadiums so we have ten total.
Here's what that looks like. All these stadiums hold about 100,000, though the Rose Bowl only handles about 92,000.
So what does 24 out of a million look like? Imagine 24 people in white cowboy hats sitting randomly across all the stadiums pictured above.
Could you pick them out? That's what 0.0024% looks like.
That's what 24 out of 1,000,000 looks like.
Are you ready to take a chance now?
Shelter In Place: What Are You Seeing In Your Town?
Just a quick survey during this most interesting moment in our nation's history.
In California, we are supposed to be practicing "shelter in place".
However, that is NOT what I am seeing. Not even close. Sure, Vic and I spend most of our time around our property up here. But today we had to get out and see what was going on.
We drove around our area today for the purpose of purchasing needed supplies. Living out in the sticks, you need to do this once in awhile. It's a nice change of pace.
We first went to our local small towns, Nevada City and Grass Valley. Plenty of people at the grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, Tractor Supply, drive-thru burger places, gas stations. The parking lots were almost full in some areas.
Then we went "down the hill" to the larger towns of Auburn and Roseville. More of the same at Home Depot (though they made them line up and only let a few go in at a time), BevMo, Costco (huge line -- strung out), Lowes (just walk in), In n Out Burgers (drive thru), Chick fil A (big line), Walmart. Bass Pro Shops was closed along with other "non-essential" businesses.
Is this happening where you are, as well? Are we on the road to ruin? Are we experiencing a "soft revolution" against the people who try to scare us with incredibly bad predictions -- every time! Is this all just part of a Fake News assault on our country? It does make you wonder.
What does it look like in your neck of the woods? Tell us where you live and what you are seeing. This could be interesting for everybody.
Jim's Historic Predictions Are All Coming True
One week ago, on April 2, 2020, I made some rather bold predictions regarding our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
At that time, everybody in the press was focused on the mounting number of US deaths predicted for the coming week (the last 7 days). There was, in fact, an uptick in US deaths attributable to cov19. No surprises, there.
In the midst of all this gloom and doom, I told you (and the world) that we would see signs of a remarkable recovery this week, as well.
Nobody was saying this a week ago. Just me. I also showed you specifically why I thought I was right, which I was. I pointed to two WSJ articles that talked about existing therapies that appear to work quite well. These are the same meds that have been repeatedly slammed and dismissed by most of the US press since Trump started talking about them weeks ago.
So let's look at the world a week ago, in terms of predictions by various "experts", who some of you hold in such high esteem. I think most of them are complete frauds who publish juiced up numbers to support their various "programs".
The first predictions were by a once respected scientest in Great Britain from the Imperial College, whatever that is. These predictions set off most of the world's government alarmists (similar to chickens with their heads cut off) to warn everybody of our impending and almost certain doom. Many really terrible estimates for hospital beds, ICU equipment and similar were made due to reliance on these initial lousy estimates. Remember, "Where's my 40,000 ventilators???" It turns out that nobody needed anything near 40K ventilators. Idiots and charlatans.
Here is a summary of those "expert" (crappy) Imperial College estimates for the US.
The 2.2M number appears to be what most Chicken Littles focused on. We will never know if there is any truth in it because we obviously did not do "Nothing". It would appear that, according to this table, we ended up taking the third option: "A lot more (serious mitigation)", which should have resulted in 1.1M deaths in the US. Even the last option, "A massive amount for a long time" is supposed to result in 200,000 US deaths. This number is obviously way off, possibly off by a factor of 10 (which I will get to later). The professor who posted these estimates should be relieved of his duties. His models are worse than worthless: the models harm people and wreck economies.
Then, around the end of March, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci were pinned down by the press to give the White House reporters some projected "death numbers". To their credit, they finally quoted an estimate of "between 100,000 and 200,00" deaths in the US. Did that seem a bit high to anybody but me?
By the way, what good are estimates when they are so broadly stated. Imagine asking a baseball player what his batting average will be next year. He tells you "between .200 and .400". That kind of information is useless.
How much are we paying these people to give us absolutely useless information? Is this ALL they do?
The next day, after the now famous Fauci-Birx estimates, the president made a statement about "possibly 240,000" US citizens dying from the virus. Why did he do that? Here's my hunch: Trump does not leave "free money" on the table. When he heard Birx and Fauci's estimate, he decided to take the upper estimate and run with it. In the meantime, he knew of the various medications that are coming online to fight the pandemic -- meds that will likely blow all the stupid models out of the water. When the final numbers come in at far below 50,000, he will look lke a genius. This is how he likely thinks, though I can't read his mind, of course.
Trump was given a "can't lose" position so he took it.
So, we have the following estimates: 2.2M, 1.5M, 1.1M, 240K, and 100-200K.
This brings us to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). I study this site everyday to see what the heck is going on after withstanding the torrent of pure garbage coming from network and cable TV idiots. You know them all, I am sure.
This all happened in the week since I posted my positive predictions. On April 2 (prediction day) the IHME claimed that 93,000 US people would die. A couple days later they revised this number down to 82K. Three days later they revised down to 60K deaths. All in a week that was supposed to be full of gloom and doom.
Let me rephrase that: the IHME revised their predicted deaths downward by 35% in the week after my announcement was posted on this website.
Now you might say, "But Jim, the deaths went down because we all practiced 'shelter in place'". You are wrong if you think that. The IHME estimates were made with the assumption that WE WOULD PRACTICE EFFECTIVE SHELTER IN PLACE strategies! You can look that up.
Let's look at the IHME's latest prediction for deaths in the US. Here's the graph:
The dotted line is the total predicted number of deaths. Note how it flatlines during June, 2020. In fact, the whole second half of May is also a virtual flat line. That means nobody is dying from cov19 after mid-May. Their model flatlines at 60K, which you will discover is wrong, again.
And now for the mind-blower: How many people do I think will die in the US due to the coronavirus bug?
Less than 25,000 people will die. Possibly, many less. Let's make the cutoff date June 1, since their model claims flatline behavior at that point.
Watch in the next few days and you will likely see the IHME predictions approach the number 25,000.
According to the CDC, the 2012-13 influenza season killed 56,000 people in the US.
According to the CDC, the 2017-18 flu killed over 80,000 Americans.
This "pandemic" may kill less than 25,000 US people, according to ... me.
But that is only half the story. I'll save that for another time. This is when I will tell you all about "net deaths" in the US.
Here's the teaser: Did you know that, due to shelter in place and all the bars being closed, there are significantly fewer deaths across the US during the past few weeks? This, despite all the hubbub and concern about coronavirus deaths.
But, here's the biggest question: Why was I right at this important time in our nation's history, and ALL OF THE EXPERTS IN THE WORLD WERE DEAD WRONG?
If I could see it plainly, why couldn't anybody else see it and speak up? Why was I first? Lucky or just one of the most logical people you have ever met?
I rest my case. If my predictions go wrong I will report them right here and own up to everything I got wrong. That is something the press NEVER does. The press is not honest. Look into the numbers yourself and make your own decisions. It doesn't take a genius.
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!