Ken Larsen's website - Little known facts about me


Fact Details
My father was an illegal immigrant. My Norwegian born father entered the United States illegally.  In 1926 he worked on a merchant marine ship that docked in Maine.  He and several others had some shore time.  My father liked Maine, so he never returned to the ship.  He returned to Norway in 1936 so that he could fill out some papers and re-enter the U.S. legally.  I was born many years later.  He was a legal citizen at the time of my birth.
In elementary school I assaulted the principal. On my second day of kindergarten I threw a hissy-fit.  The teacher had to summon the principal.  I kicked her in the shin.  I eventually calmed down.  I went on to graduate #1 from my sixth grade class.  Later I would go on to graduate from MIT.
I have 60 years of experience as an organizer.

I started and ran a "space club" when I was 10 .. to teach neighborhood kids about astronomy.  From age 12 to age 21 I ran a neighborhood baseball team.  At IBM I ran a golf league for 5 years. I ran IBM's Watson Trophy Golf Tournament (an employee golf tournament) for 13 years (1975-1987).  Under my direction, attendance grew to absurd numbers ... 308 in 1987.  In the 1990s I directed 10 tennis tournaments for a local sports club.  During 2008-2017 I directed the Durham-Chapel Hill Backgammon Club.

I once worked for Tim Cook (current CEO of Apple Computer) Tim was my third line manager at IBM in 1993.  I was a computer programmer.  My biggest complaint about the organization I was in was that we weren't doing things like Apple did.  Apple's big appeals were usability and standardization, but we neglected those aspects.  I emailed my complaints to Tim Cook.  He passed my complaints to Bill Frederick (another manager).  Bill told me that I was a "horse's ass".  That pissed me off.  In 1994 Tim and Bill left IBM.  Several years later they both joined Apple.  The rest is history.
On July 12, 2016 there were 9 police officers at my house. [details]  
A Muslim lady saved my life At my backgammon club in November of 2014, Zoya Elmi asked me why I was limping.  I explained that I pulled my hamstring running sprints.  She asked me what my doctor thought, and I told her that I hadn't been to a doctor in years.   She then began nagging me about the need to see a doctor regularly.  Her nagging motivated me to schedule a physical exam. That led to the discovery of a tumor in my tonsil which had spread to my neck.  Despite it being stage 4 cancer, I was successfully treated by UNC Hospital in early 2015.   Cheers to Zoya.

Sadly, Zoya died on April 21, 2018 at age 40.  She had cancer in her teenage years and was over-treated with radiation.  That caused a significant loss of bone in her jaw and left her disfigured and needing to rely on a feeding tube for nourishment for the rest of her life.



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