Archive for January, 2007

Doctor Bob passes away

Friday, January 19th, 2007

My absolute favorite teacher from high school passed away recently, and I’m surprised at how much I actually cared. I wrote a condolence letter to his widow that I’m sharing below. If you have a favorite teacher, do me a favor, and write a letter or reach out, before they pass away.

Dear Ms Ballard,

Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. I do not normally write condolence letters, but “Doctor Bob” had a major influence on me, and I felt compelled to express that to you.

I regret that I never took the time to write to Dr. Perrin to tell him how profoundly he affected my life. I took several classes from him, including relativistic physics, and a special math seminar in advanced algebra with only one other student. He infected me with his love of both physics and math, and along the way gave me tools that I still use today. I have a very clear memory (from over 20 years ago) of him trying several ways of explaining a complex math concept, until I finally cried “Bingo!” as I got it.

Doctor Bob made a substantial difference in not only my attitude towards these sciences, but also for literally generations of students. The world needs more like him. He will be sorely missed.

Sincerely,

Tom Shields, Andover ’85

Robert Perrin Obituary

Web 2.0 article in VentureBeat

Friday, January 12th, 2007

We’d still like to invest in Web 2.0, but we can’t find anything we like.  Read this article on VentureBeat to see what we’re looking for: We’re still looking to invest in Web 2.0

Sugarbowl gets computerized

Monday, January 8th, 2007

My family and I headed to Sugar Bowl for a few days over the holidays. The snow came a bit late this year, and they only finally got enough coverage around Dec 21, so by the 23rd they were slammed. Ski areas live and die by the snow levels, so they were financially unable to bring on most of their personnel until the 22nd or 23rd, so virtually everyone we interacted with was on their first day of the year.

To add to the craziness, this year they decided to put in a new computer system with complete customer tracking. Since nobody had been trained on the system, the end result was complete chaos and crazy lines. They never did find the reservations for ski school that we made, so we got entered into the system twice. The ski school snacks were missing, so our kids got a cup of water for snack. They also had eliminated some of the discounts, like savings for having your own equipment, and a 10-pack deal for ski school.

So, I called Sugar Bowl to register my unhappiness. I talked to a couple of the more experienced folks: Laurie at the ski school, and Kate in special tickets. They both were unfailingly helpful, apologetic, and informative about what was going on. They gave me a discount on my next ski school trip, and gave me a bunch of tips on navigating the system. One was to get my ski school reservation number so they can more easily find it.

We then went one more time to Sugar Bowl, and had a wonderful experience. The lesson here is that the provided great customer service, and a commitment to address the problems and continue to improve. I think Sugar Bowl will end up far better with the new system despite the startup problems. And I will continue to go there. Kudos to them.