Ken Larsen's website - Little known facts about me


Fact Details
My father tried to enter the U.S. illegally, but was caught. When my Norwegian born father was about 17 years old, he stowed away on a passenger ship to the U.S.  When the ship docked in New York City, he was caught and sent back to Norway. 

Around 1935 he obtained the correct papers and entered the U.S. legally.  He officially became a U.S. citizen in December of 1940.  You have to live in the U.S. for 5 years before officially becoming a citizen. 
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.

My Easter story: When I was about age 10 I asked my mom if the Easter Bunny would eat a carrot I left out for it. She said "yes", so I left a carrot for it. The following morning the carrot was gone ... replaced with Easter candy. I then went to the refrigerator and looked through the carrots. I found the carrot I had left for the Easter Bunny. Unbeknownst to my mom, I had used a pencil to mark it. I confronted my mom and younger sister with the evidence. That was the last year I can recall that I ever got any Easter candy.

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 fourth 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 (my third line manager).  Bill told me that I was a "horse's ass".  That pissed me off.  On October 3, 1994 Tim left left IBM to become president of a company in Colorado.  Bill joined him.  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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