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ANNOUNCEMENTS

He who controls the past controls the future [and] he who controls the present controls the past. -- George Orwell, 1984

Amendment I:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. - U.S. Constitution

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. - Martin Luther King Jr

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

BAKERSFIELD WEATHER

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Mr Harper recently passed away.  Please visit Clete Harper's page HERE to view photos and more. 

Please add your comments below.  


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1)   Mr Harper was one of the younger teachers at SHS when we were there. I recalled him as a hard-working football coach, but never had him as a teacher. Please leave a thought or remembrance if you like.

 

 

Ron Cribbs In Memory page has been updated.  Please visit and add a comment.

 

 

From Wikipedia:

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and written by Ramis and Danny Rubin. It stars Bill MurrayAndie MacDowell and Chris Elliott. Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who becomes trapped in a time loop forcing him to relive February 2 repeatedly. The film also stars Stephen TobolowskyBrian Doyle-MurrayMarita GeraghtyAngela PatonRick DucommunRick Overton, and Robin Duke.

Rubin conceived the outline of Groundhog Day in the early 1990s. He wrote it as a spec script to gain meetings with producers for other work. It eventually came to the attention of Ramis who worked with Rubin to make his original idea less dark in tone and more palatable to a general audience by enhancing the comedy. After being cast, Murray clashed with Ramis over the script; Murray wanted to focus on the philosophical elements, whereas Ramis had concentrated on the comic aspects. Principal photography took place from March to June 1992 almost entirely in Woodstock, Illinois. Filming was difficult, in part because of bitterly cold weather, but also because of the ongoing conflict between Ramis and Murray.

Groundhog Day was considered a box office success on its release, earning over $105 million to become one of the highest-grossing films of 1993. It also received generally positive reviews. Reviewers were consistent in praise for the film's successful melding of highly sentimental and deeply cynical moments, and for the philosophical message beneath the comedy. It received multiple award nominations and won a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay. For all its success, the film marked the end of Ramis and Murray's long collaborative partnership that had produced films like Caddyshack (1980) and Ghostbusters(1984). The pair did not speak after filming until shortly before Ramis's death in 2014. The film was a showcase for Murray; previously seen only as a comic actor, his performance led to more serious lead roles in critically acclaimed films.

In the years since its release, the film has grown in esteem and is often considered to be among the greatest films of the 1990s and one of the greatest comedy movies ever. It also had a significant impact on popular culture; the term Groundhog Day became part of the English lexicon as a means to describe a monotonous, unpleasant, and repetitive situation. The film has been analyzed as a religious allegory by Buddhists, Christians, and Jews, all of whom see a deeper philosophical meaning in the film's story. Groundhog Day is also credited with the mainstream acceptance of comedy films featuring fantasy genre elements. In 2006, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film RegistryGroundhog Day has been adapted into a 2016 musical and a 2019 video game sequel, Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son.

Is Unity the Answer?

Here is an opinion piece that ran today in the Bakersfield Californian.

Please check it out and tell us if you agree with him or not.  The author is local to Bakersfield.

All answers are anonymous.

Go HERE to read it.

 

Snowy Scenes From the Sierra Nevada

We have been in blizzard-like conditions for the past three days.  It's been off and on.

We typically don't plow the driveway because it is not paved.  My partial solution is to run the 4x4s up and down the driveway every day to keep it at least driveable (sometimes with the help of a winch).

Big improvement over the past few years has been paving our access road up to the gate.  We had to pay for it, not the county. That's ok.  You recall the gate from our RAZ photos, right (autonomous zone)?  RAZ lives on.  CHAZ is now a faint memory reminding us of complete political stupidity.

 Let's start off with a nice fire shot.

Feeding that fireplace for 5 months out of the year is why we do 90% of the physical work around here.  Most of the wood is oak, which is the best for firewood. How many times do we handle the wood?  

1. Drive the ATVs up the hill or out into the forest to find "downed" wood, usually huge oak branches and trees.  Limb the wood and buck it into 18 inch pieces with one of four chain saws.  

2. Load the "rounds" into an ATV trailer.  Take the trailer loads down to our "flat area".  

3.  Unload the trailer and throw the wood onto a big pile.  

4. Using our 28-ton splitter, split all the oak.  

5. Load the split oak into the ATV trailer again.  

6. Stack the wood into 30 foot long stacks.  Cover the stacks with tarps during rain and snow.  

7. Eventually, move the wood to the shed right outside our front door.  

8. Load up the ATV trailer one more time to get the wood on the front porch.  

9.  Use big trash cans (Brutes) fastened to a hand cart to move the wood into the house.  

10.  Take wood out of Brutes and stack in the house.  You can just see a portion of the wood stack in the photo above.  

11. Finally, throw the wood onto the fire in the fireplace.  Of course, you will also need lots of kindling, which we also produce using a special hand splitter.

In the scenario described above, I do steps 1-4.  Vicki does the rest, once the wood has been cut down to size.

When we can't do this work anymore we'll consider moving to a less demanding environment.  Or just perish.  I may prefer the latter.  

This is the covered part of the deck.  When it snows we put bird seed out there.  When I opened the blinds this morning I startled about 20 large pigeons.  Word gets around.  Birds of a feather ....

The little juncos, which are sparrow-like birds, always fly in first, followed by the Stellars Jays this time of year.  Hummers show up to drink the nectar, as well.

Here is another view of the back deck.  I've already shoveled it a couple times, otherwise it would be at least three feet deep.  If you wait too long to shovel it gets very heavy and makes the deck uneven.  Found out the hard way.

Here's a view from the front porch, looking west.  The 4Runner and the Jeep behind it have been cleaned off twice already.  We have a special hand tool that helps us with that.  Got it up in Truckee, where they really know what snow is all about.  Recall the Donner Party.  I'll run the 4x4s around the driveway a few times to flatten the snow.  We typically do not plow up here.

Here's the view looking east from the front porch.  If you look closely you will see three Polaris ATVs under much snow.  I'll take one out today and run around in the snow.  Some of the best fun possible.  Believe it or not, I've also cleaned off these vehicles a couple times already.  It does not appear to be the case, however.  The odd bird-looking creature in the foreground was a gift from John Kolstad.  He made it for us from old broken hand tool parts.  He was a welder.  We loved John Kolstad.  He was the father of Chuck, who was once married to Vicki's sister.

I hope you have enjoyed our snowy adventure up here in the high Sierras.

 

 


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A Rebel Yell from February, 1966

We were sophomores in 1966.

You will see a few of the luminaries from our school in this paper: Bruce Willison, Aaron Spain, Chris Van Pelt, Mr Robert Gabitas, Annette DeWitt (Rebelettes), Dick Edwards (photog), and an up and coming young wrestler named Eugene.

I was trying to figure out why this paper was saved...  then I turned to the last page and discovered why.

I'll let you figure it out.

Stories on The Spoon River Anthology (a play), knitting, student government, and sports.  

Also, the honor roll is announced.  There were 52 sophs on the list.  I counted 18 that attended the 50th reunion.  Check it out.

While you are here, throw in your 2 cents about what you thought of the VP debates (below).  You will find some interesting comments.

Go HERE to see the old, yellowed paper.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.

 


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1)   Comments? Did you find this walk into the past interesting? Any surprises? Did you even read the paper back in 1968?

 

How To Build a Software App That Won’t Crash

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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:

  1. The developers never really had a good discussion with the subject matter experts.  Therefore, the system they developed did not meet the real-life needs of the caucus workers.  With the crazy “caucus rules” it is easy to see how this could have happened.  But it is no excuse.
  2. One software team worked on the “backend” (where all the data was stored) and another team worked on the “frontend” (the phone app).  The two teams never talked to one another until showtime.
  3. They had incomplete or otherwise inadequate testing.  For instance, they never tested how many simultaneous users they could accommodate.  When showtime came, it simply crashed the system.
  4. There was no Functional Specification.  With no overall plan, you are simply doomed to defeat, unless the anticipated software system is very small and simple. 
  5. Changing and/or growing requirements.  We, in the software field, call this “feature creep”.  This kills most government software projects.  Every time a new boss comes in the requirements for the overall project change, often significantly.  A Functional Spec is supposed to ”freeze” these requirements, but the government does not understand this simple concept.  Though this was not a “government” project, it may have been run by people accustomed to this type of environment.  Some say that Democrats prefer lots of government.
  6. The development team was selected based on criteria other than competence and a clear record of success.  Doing somebody a “favor” by awarding a software development contract to a “friend” is often fatal.  In fact, almost always.     

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?


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1)   What do you think happened? Do you understand a little more about how software is built now?

 

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.


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1)   Who will win the democratic nomination at the convention?

 
2)   Do any of these candidates have a chance against Trump?

 

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.


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1)   Comments? Say whatever you like but keep it clean.

 

Hello South High Class of 1968! 

 

South High Class of 1968

7850 White Lane STE E #386

Bakersfield, CA 93309

 

 

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