Celebrating My Mentors – Troxel Ballou

How I got to writing this….

I was talking to a friend and joking. I made a pretty bad pun and said, “It’s a joke, oui (wee)?”  I say that to my kids when they tell a lamer, holding my hand up with my index finger close to my thumb in the gesture we know to mean “little”. It’s a double-entendre – a sentence or phrase with two meanings. The first is simply, “It’s a joke, yes? (oui)”, and the second is, “It’s a really wee (small) joke – not very funny at that.”

I told my friend about the person who first said that to me back in the early ’90s, Troxel Ballou. Yes, that’s his name. So they looked up the name on the web and, sure enough, he has a web site and bunches of stuff there. We talked about Troxel while she was looking at his site and she asked, “Do you know Tim Byers?  How about Steven Bates?” I told her about both of them, guys that I had worked with or for while consulting at Shell back in the 90s.

I realized that I have picked up a LOT of good counsel, advice, humor, and mentoring from people who don’t even realize the impact that they have had on my life. I would like to honor as many of them as I can in this article.. and perhaps more to come soon.

I don’t know that I will remember or mention these people in life order or even order of relative impact that they have had on my life, so please don’t assign any significance to the order.

Troxel Ballou: I will NEVER forget him, and I’m sure that if I run into him on the street, I will recognize him right off.  Troxel was able to laugh at everything, including himself. He took his kids seriously – such a dedicated father! His laugh was contagious. He was also a “get it done” kind of person. He could pump out code pretty quickly. He introduced me to Kitaro – many thanks!

more to come…