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A Thrilling Sport

November 28, 2010

Filed under: entertainment,life — Terry Wohlers @ 13:32

I challenge you to name an activity or sport that is more thrilling than snow skiing. Perhaps there is one, but I have not experienced it. I’ve not tried sky diving or bungee jumping, at least not yet. I can assure you that speeding down a mountain and not knowing exactly what’s ahead is electrifying. Crashing is a distinct possibility, but that’s part of the excitement.

My first day of skiing for the season was Friday. Copper Mountain, located in Summit County, Colorado, had a 89-cm (35-inch) base at mid mountain and 102-cm (40-inch) base at upper mountain. These depths are unheard of this time of year. I wiped out—only once—and lost both skies. One of them was about 20 meters uphill from where I landed in a fairly steep and bumpy area. A very young girl brought it to me after saying, “Do you need your ski?”

I tried K2’s new Rictor skis yesterday. I liked them a lot, so I may ask Santa for a pair. I’ve had my K2 Axis skis for seven years and like them, but it may be time to upgrade. The technology has improved, so new skis should make the experience even better. If I end up getting them, they will likely make my “Best of 2010” list that I plan to publish in January 2011.

If you have never skied, I urge you to give it a try. You’re never too old to ski. Several years ago, in the month of March, a friend and I rode up a chair lift at Vail Mountain with a 70-some year old who had never missed a day of skiing that season. I certainly hope I’m able to ski when I’m 70. It’s one of the few ways to entirely clear the mind of work and day-to-day stress. If you’re not focused when racing down the mountain, the consequences could be dire, and that’s partly what makes the sport exhilarating.

A Note from Tim Caffrey

November 13, 2010

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 17:31

Note: Thanks to Tim Caffrey, associate consultant at our company, for writing the following commentary.

 

I met Terry Wohlers in 1994, at the head table of the plenary session of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ RP&M ’94 conference, as it was called back then. I was presenting the state of the technology at Boeing, in Seattle, where I ran the in-house Rapid Prototyping Center. It was the largest crowd I’d ever addressed, and though I’d rehearsed my presentation and knew my material intimately, I was nervous.

 

To Terry, on the other hand, presenting to several hundred people in our nascent industry was old hat, even back then. He held the room’s attention as he carefully and calmly summarized his opinions on the technologies and companies that made up this young but vibrant industry.

 

Five or six years later, Terry and I corresponded over the once popular rp-ml list server. He was looking for someone to assist him with the Wohlers Report and I was trying to grow my “moonlighting” business in technical writing and editing. With my combination of experience in the additive manufacturing industry and in technical writing, I turned out to be the person for the job.

 

The rest, as they say, is history. I’ve worked with Terry on his report for 10 years now, edited and updated his CAD textbook for the past six years, and reviewed, edited, and offered my analysis and opinions on many other projects he’s done. Over the years, we’ve forged an enviable working relationship. I am continually impressed by his work ethic and attention to detail.

 

We’ve now entered a new phase in that relationship, as indicated by last month’s announcement. To help Terry manage his time and workload, my responsibilities with Wohlers Associates have expanded. I am looking forward to a range of new opportunities and intend to apply the same level of hard work and exacting detail that Terry demonstrates.

 

So, now that I’ve introduced myself informally, please feel free to send me an e-mail to say hello. My address is tc@wohlersassociates.com.