Friday, March 12, 2010

Life in the Boy's Dorm: My Career at Sun Microsystems Part 15

What did we do after work?

According to Sun-lore, Bob Coe knew at least 50 alternate phrases for "cuffing the camel."
Really, 50 euphemisms for masturbation?  Well, we all have our hobbies.

Wayne Rosing's hobby was building telescopes.  Big, world-class telescopes.  He also played a huge part in building a world-class engineering function at Sun. 

Several of the senior management team were gun enthusiasts.  The last day you could legally buy a sub-machine gun in California, several vice-presidents went out and bought as many as they could, coming back to Pal 1 with their trunks loaded with enough fire-power to protect Baghdad.  

 Lots of folks played Hockey.  Mostly because McNealy played hockey and it seemed like hip-checking the CEO into the boards was a fine way to express frustration with him and not get fired.

McNealy also played golf, but hip-checking him was not an option so not as many people played.

Bernie LaCroute fancied wine so much that after he left Sun, he started his own vineyard.

Bob Garrow and Howard Lee had a bet about who could take the off-ramp from 101 onto Shoreline at the highest speed in their Porsches.  The day Howard entered the off-ramp at 97mph, coming back from dim sum, was the last day I went to lunch with him.

Paul Negus was a pilot.  He was also a former spy for the British Special Forces, so killing people in his spare time was an option.

Linc Holland once told me that his hobby was composting.  That makes sense.

One of the guys in WWOP's loved trains and had a 1/8 size train set occupying his entire backyard. Every Halloween he came dressed as an Engineer in full regalia including his hat, red bandana and stop watch.

We had musicians up the wazoo at Sun. 

Ron Lloyd fished.  Note I did not say he caught fish, his real hobby was sitting in a boat drinking beer all day.

Jim Bean was a newly-wed.  We all know what his hobby was.

Ron Oulette was a former Olympic Wrestler.

Ken Okin played the piano (a Bosendorfer, if I recall).  But given the changes in his life since Sun, I think there were some other hobbies as well. 

Steve Diamond was a "ham radio" expert.  Is there any such thing anymore?

Kathleen Holmgren made wine...and aged it under the sink in her kids bathroom...or so it said on the labels.

Bud Tribble was a jazz pianist and an MD.  Apparently his hobby was emulating Schweitzer.

Steve Schiffman was a former detective....and one of the best writers I have ever known.

Gerry Dube's hobby was AVOIDING marriage.

Bob Graham owned a sailboat and is a world-class sailor.  Apparently so is Walt Brown.

Lin Trahan was doing a lot of home renovation in those days and she would casually say, "Well, I have to go home and knock down a wall with a sledge-hammer tonight." 

David Lietzke was a wine enthusiast.  Cabernets.  But he did not want to let his wife know how much he was spending on wine, so he used to bury the crates in his backyard.

And Joe Roebuck was a piano-playing-raconteur whose hobby was leading sales from $12 million to $17 billion.

More about Joe soon.  

Have a nice weekend.


  1. you've left me wondering 'bout can't leave the door ajar....

    great stuff, keep it comimg

  2. Look forward to hearing about Joe - he was, and will continue to be, my hero! I do not know of any other sales leader who did the same job for 20 years.
    VP, Sun UK 1998-2001

  3. Lin Trahan is holding her sledge hammer these days with her new home. =)