TechAlum News

January 19, 2004 (Vol. 10, No. 33)

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An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Director of News and Information Services.

In this issue:

  • Husky Tales
  • At da Tech
  • Around Town
  • From the E-mailbag
  • E-mail Updates/Welcome to new subscribers
  • Alumni Chapter Events
  • Job Opportunities
  • Electronic Services for Alumni

Husqi Tales

Statue-builders will have no problems in the foreseeable future. The National Weather Service forecast page shows snowflakes for every day this week. Not only will the temperatures remain below freezing, they will remain below 10. You hardy (?) souls in northern Minnesota will scoff at such balmy conditions.

Despite the frigid conditions, folks are getting outdoors. There were two cross-country ski races this weekend, many downhillers at Ripley and motel parking lots full of snowmobile trailers. Hancock's annual Heikinpaiva mid-winter festival included a parade on Saturday, along with a polar bear dip in Portage Lake, followed by a quick run to the sauna at the Ramada Inn. All of this in single digit temperatures and, at times, winds gusting near 30 mph.

Is there anything that feels better than coming indoors after spending some time outside in such conditions? Rosy cheeks, that exhilaration of the cold air, and the opportunity to place cold fingers on the warm neck of someone who has been indoors. That'll catch their attention, you betcha.

And speaking of "you betcha," there are two items below that everyone who has spent time in the U.P. will enjoy. One is research on the use of "eh?" at the end of sentences, vs. the use of "hey?" Turns out it is a generational thing. Hmm. Watch for a cover on Generation "Hey" in *Newsweek* soon, eh? The second is a feature from the Daily Mining Gazette on snowthrower testing at the airport. The pictures are great.

STATE SEEKS HELP FROM COOL SET: Cool cities? Does a Michigan winter get much cooler than the Keweenaw? Wrong cool, fool. The state wants your opinion, especially if you are a recent college grad, on what type of lifestyle you prefer in a community. You will find a survey website called Michigan Cool Cities to voice your opinion.

Snow Watch '03-'04

As of January 19, 2004 

                 This week    Last week   Last year 

Snowfall to date   125"        105.5"      107.5"

On the ground       28"         20"         17"

See our snowfall chart, dating back to 1890, and day--by-day snowfall for this season.

At Da Tech

EH, B, C, D: A Hancock native and Michigan Tech undergraduate has been exploring one of the hallmarks of Yooper linguistics, the use of "eh," and "hey." She has found that older folks use "eh" more, while the younger set prefers "hey." More, eh?:

GET PSYCHED AT TECH: This fall, Michigan Tech expects to enroll students in a bachelor of science program in psychology. "We've had tons of interest in this program," said Susan Amato-Henderson, an assistant professor of education psychology in Michigan Tech's Department of Education. Inquiries on the new four-year degree are coming from high school seniors as well as from current Michigan Tech students and enrollment in the university's psychology courses is at an all-time high. More:

LODE TAKES FIRST PLACE IN STATEWIDE CONTEST: The Michigan Tech student newspaper has been selected for first place in the General Excellence category of the Michigan Press Association's 2003 College Newspaper Contest. Papers were evaluated for overall excellence in writing, designing and advertising. The award will be presented at the annual MPA Winter Convention in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Jan. 31.

MICROWAVE MAGIC: Michigan Tech's Jiann-Yang (Jim) Hwang (pronounced "wong") has developed a new method for changing iron oxide into steel, using microwave energy and an electric arc furnace. His first prototype started as six microwave ovens from WalMart. When he was done, he had a nugget of pure steel. Savings would come in the form of lower energy costs and eliminating the need for large blast furnaces. More:

TECH HOLDING SKI WEEKEND: Michigan Tech is holding a High School Ski Weekend Jan. 31-Feb. 1. The event is designed especially for students interested in coming to Michigan Tech who want to combine a great education with outstanding recreation. Participants will receive two days of lift tickets to Mount Bohemia and Mont Ripley, free access to Michigan Tech's 20-km cross-country ski trail system, Saturday night pizza and tickets to a Michigan Tech hockey game. More:

CONNER, MURPHY BOTH TO MAKE FINAL LIST -- Sophomore forward Chris Conner and junior forward Colin Murphy of the Michigan Tech men's ice hockey team both have more than enough fan nominations to be included on the fan ballot for this year's Hobey Baker Award. Fan voting to select the Top 10 finalists runs from Jan. 20 - March 7 at Fans may vote once per day.

LINEMAN EARNS ALL-AMERICAN HONOR: Junior right tackle Joe Berger of the Michigan Tech football team has been named to the 2003 Daktronics All-America Second Team. The Newaygo, Mich., native was the anchor of a Tech offensive line that finished 16th in the nation in rushing (223.8 yards per game) and first in the GLIAC in sacks allowed (eight). He started all 10 games, averaged five pancake blocks per game and did not allow a sack all season.

FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter
Tech Topics:

Around Town

ISLE ROYALE PLANE SERVICE TO RESUME: The National Park Service has announced an agreement with Duluth-based Royale Air Service, Inc. to re-instate seaplane services this summer. The island has been without plane service since 2002. The service will be based at the Houghton County Airport, rather than on Portage Lake, as in previous years.

SNOWTHROWERS TESTED AT AIRPORT: Electrolux Home Products and Briggs and Stratton are among the copies that test snowthrowers at the Houghton County Airport. While people test the walk-behind snowthrowers behind an airport building, 30 tractors tow snowthrower and blade attachments up and down the airport's secondary runway--unused during the winter. Russ Corwin, a 1986 Tech grad, is the senior project test engineer, for Electrolux. See more (including photos)

WHITE PINE POWER PLANT TO REOPEN: The Steelworkers union has agreed on a four-year contract extension with the White Pine Copper Refinery. The contract is a key element in plans to restart the White Pine Power Plant. The reactivated power plant will add 20 hourly positions in addition to the 45 union workers at the refinery. The power plant is expected to reopen in April and will generate 40 megawatts of power for businesses in the White Pine Industrial Park and for sale on the open energy market.

SMARTZONE BIDS DUE TODAY: Bids to renovate a floor of the old Portage View hospital are due today. The Michigan Tech EnterPrise SmartZone owns the floor and will convert the 12,750 square feet of space into offices and laboratories for high-tech companies. The SmartZone also has an incubator in the Powerhouse building in Houghton and will have space in Michigan Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center, being built next to Sherman Field.

LODGE HOPES TO WINTERIZE: The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners plans to apply for a grant/loan package from two federal agencies to winterize the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. The $2.5 million project would include upgrades to the lodge, golf pro shop, 24 rental units and water and sewer lines. It also includes building a new two-story conference center. About $1.25 million would come as a grant from the federal Economic Development Agency. Another $1.25 million would be a loan from the federal Rural Development agency.

Sports Results

What's Happening This Week

Monday, January 19, 2004
Basketball at Ashland, webcast
--Women's Game - 5:30 p.m.
--Men's Game - 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 23, 2004
Hockey at #12 Minnesota Duluth, 8:05 p.m., webcast

Saturday, January 24, 2004
Nordic Skiing at Nor Am Series, Freestyle Races, Cable WI
--9:30 a.m.-Women's 5K; 11:30 a.m. noon-Men's 10K
Basketball hosts Findlay Thunderstix Day
--Women's Game - 1:00 p.m., webcast
--Men's Game - 3:00 p.m., webcast
Hockey at #12 Minnesota Duluth, 8:05 p.m., webcast

Sunday, January 25, 2004
Nordic Skiing at Nor Am Series, Classic Races, Cable WI
10:30 a.m.-Men's 15K; 12:15 p.m.-Women's 10K

All Times are Eastern

Last Week's Results
Men's Ice Hockey (4-14-4 Overall, 2-10-2 WCHA)
1/16 -- #1 North Dakota 8, Michigan Tech 4
1/17 -- #1 North Dakota 4, Michigan Tech 0

Women's Basketball (9-5 Overall, 4-2 GLIAC)
1/15 -- at Gannon 53, Michigan Tech 50
1/17 -- Michigan Tech 72, at Mercyhurst 50

#15 Men's Basketball (10-3 Overall, 4-2 GLIAC)
1/15 -- Michigan Tech 76, at Gannon 71
1/17 -- at Mercyhurst 79, Michigan Tech 55

Nordic Skiing, Women's & Men's
1/17 -- Michigan Tech Competed at Nor Am Series In Grand Rapids, MN

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Paul Meese (pmmeese at

Dear Dean,

We have received a number of messages from Tech alumni
regarding the passing of our father, Harold Meese. My
Mom, my brothers and I all truly appreciate the
encouraging thoughts, prayers and remembrances of a
time gone by. For those of you who did receive "Dean's
List" honor letters, he personally signed every
individual letter. I know how proud he was signing
some of the "second chance student" letters, as he was
of every Tech graduate when they walked across the

The stories about the opportunities he took to alter
people's lives in a positive fashion is extremely
comforting and adds tremendously to the memories we
all have of him. From the Meese family to the entire
Tech community, thank you.

E-mail from Ken Thorp '81 (THORPK at

I also have a Dean Meese story. Actually, I have
several but will only tell one. When I was a freshman
(1977-78), Tech was playing hockey at Michigan during
one of our breaks. I was able to go and attended with
a friend who was a student at Michigan. Between
periods we were walking around when we encountered
Dean Meese. When I saw him I said, "Hi Dean." He
answered, we talked briefly, and then we walked on.
My friend asked who that was and I answered, "that was
Dean Meese." He asked again who that was and I
responded that it was our dean of students. He said,
"You talk to your dean?!" I said, "sure why not,
don't you?" He said he didn't even know what their
dean looked like. What a difference. What a great

E-mail from Jim Mitchell (jmitchell at

I had been planning to add my comments to the Dean
Meese reminiscences, but I can't imagine saying
farewell to the great man any more eloquently than
Rick Martin did. Thank you Rick for sharing your
comments and your special farewell. I second your

E-mail from Tom Paschetto '77 (tom at

Dean -

Your X-country ski tale reminded me of my first ever
experience on skis, while at Tech back in the mid-70s.
Some friends convinced me to try cross country skiing,
and I borrowed some skis and boots to do the 5 mile
loop behind the dorms. I had no idea what I was
doing. The wax on the borrowed skis was all wrong for
the conditions. I was either slipping backwards on
every uphill section or crashing into trees at the
bottom of every downhill section. The "friends"
finally took off, leaving me to crawl to the end of
the trail in the dark. I was so sore I could barely
walk for a week.

E-mail from Stacey (Roehm) Morrison '88
(stacey.e.morrison at

Here is the answer to the train question in today's
newsletter. My father's father worked on the railroad
for the Soo Line.

"Champion, Mi. That was Train #9 and the train down
at night was called #10. That was a Milwaukee Road
train from Chicago to Champion and then was a DSS
& A train from there to Calumet. I had relatives there
at Champion and my Dad worked for the South Shore at
that time.

E-mail from Jane Laird '68 (jlaird at

Dear Dean,

I took that train mentioned by John Dlouhy but I must
have taken one later in the day because it was NOT 5
a.m. However, we did make a lunch stop. It was in
Champion. The train stopped and everyone got out -- I
had no idea what was going on. I was told that we
were to go to the little cabin restaurant across from
the tracks and keep your eyes on the engineer. When he
got up, we ALL got up. It was a truly unique

E-mail from Jim Bailey '56 (Jabailey34 at

Re John Dlouhy's question about the train from Chicago
stopping somewhere for breakfast: I don't remember a
breakfast stop, but I will never forget that guy who
walked through the train, as it stopped in Green Bay,
calling "Coffee AND sandwiches." I think the
sandwiches were minced ham. I also recall the
southbound train being stopped unexpectedly for quite
a while somewhere near Michigamme or Champion. Seems
we had run over an inebriate on the tracks!

E-mail from Donald Johnson '53 (donald.johnson8 at

As I recall, the train was called the Copper Country
Limited (the speed was definitely limited). It was
operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and
Pacific Railroad (commonly called the Milwaukee Road).
If I'm not mistaken, and I might be, the place where
the train stopped so you could get off and run across
the road to a restaurant for a bite to eat was
Pembine, WI, where it connected with the Soo Line, and
the conductor would call out, "Pembine, change for the
Soo Line". I can't say for sure, but I think the train
also stopped long enough for the passengers to get off
for something to eat in Champion, MI. But you didn't
have to get off the train for something to eat. There
was always a man who would come through the coaches
selling sandwiches and hot coffee out of the largest
coffee pot I have ever seen. In the Fall, the train
would also often make another stop, unscheduled, at a
place further north in the middle of nowhere so the
crew could take the time to get off the train and pick
apples at an abandoned orchard.

E-mail from Chet Sperry '49 (CCSPERRY at

I believe the stop of the Copper Country Limited was
at Pembine, Wi. Probably the stop was for a connection
with a Soo Line train. Only took it once, in the

E-mail from Margaret (Pinkava) Liubakka '86
(mcliubakk at

Hi Dean,

The Ambassador was also one of my favorite places to
eat and drink. While I was up at Winter Carnival after
I had graduated I scribbled down the ingredients that
they had listed on the menu for some of the Fishbowls.
You have to play around with the quantities a bit to
get it the way you remember but it will work! I
usually use one shot of each liquor and then add the
juices and pop to taste. Pirates Cove (the blue
drink) has Spiced Rum, Blue Curaco, Lime juice and
Squirt. Purple Rain has Rum, Blue Curaco, Creme de
Almond and Squirt. Qualudes have Vodka, Southern
Comfort, Triple sec, Creme de almond, Orange juice and
Sprite. Enjoy!

E-mail from BJ Tomiko (beege_man at

Hey Dean!

Well here they are...for my fellow Alums who have also
shared many fun evenings enjoying those great fish
bowls at the Ambassador, ingredients straight from the
menu itself. I talked to one of my friends still up
at Tech and he sort of... uhhh "borrowed" a menu.
hehe Anyway, there aren't any amounts or directions
on how to make these drinks, but its about the best
anyone can do unless you know someone who worked
there. Hope you enjoy remembering these great drinks
like I am.

Pina Colada (Blended) - Rum, Pineapple Juice and
Coconut Cream

Scorpion - Exotic Blend of Pineapple and Orange Juice,
Gin, Rum and Crème de Almond

Pirate's Cove - Spiced Rum, Blue Curacao, Lime Juice
and Squirt

Ambassador Long Island - Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, Triple
Sec, Lemon Juice and Coke

Frosty Cooler (Blended) - Lime Vodka, Gin, Sprite and
Lemon Juice

Qualude - Vodka, Southern Comfort, Crème de Almond,
Triple Sec, Orange Juice and Sprite

Purple Rain - Crème de Almond, Blue Curacao, Rum, Lime
Juice and Squirt

Ocean Breeze - Rum, Vodka, Triple Sec, Cranberry Juice
and Orange Juice

Maitai (Blended) - Tropical Blend of Rum, Triple Sec
and Pineapple Juice

Raspberry Lemonade - Whiskey, Triple Sec, Raspberry
Schnapps, Sprite and Lemon Juice

Vacation? - Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, Pineapple Juice
and Squirt

Sweet Tart - Vodka, Blue Curacao, Raspberry Schnapps,
Triple Sec, Cranberry Juice, Sprite and Squirt

Strawberry Daiquiri - Strawberries blended with Rum
and Lemon Juice

Irish Coffee - Hot Coffee, Whiskey, Crème de Cocoa,
topped with Whipped Cream

Venetian Coffee - Mocha Coffee, Crème de Cocoa and
whipped cream

Chocolate Soda "21" - Ice Cream, Chocolate, Cream de
Cocoa and soda

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,961 direct subscribers.

Here are the new e-mail addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
using the word "at" instead of the at sign to guard against spambots.

1956 James Grubb oldgeezeraz at
1965 Theodore Schuster tedschuster at
1971 John Baker John.R.Baker at
1979 John Wheeler jwheeler at
1983 Scott DenUyl sdenuyl at
1986 Steven Rose Steven.S.Rose at
1993 Paul Nygaard p.nygaard at
1993 Sian Chan dannychan at
1996 Rahmon Gharajanloo rahmong at
1996 Jennifer Currie (Nash) jen at

You can update your information at:

Alumni Association Programs

CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at or see the alumni chapter site on the web.

Job Opportunities This Week

ON CAMPUS: Complete job descriptions for these positions are available by e-mailing jobs at

  • No new positions

OFF CAMPUS: For complete descriptions, jump to our jobs web site.

  • Engineer, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
  • AutoCAD operator/computer support, GZA GeoEnvironmental
  • Project manager, GZA GeoEnvironmental
  • Safety/Health Environmental Professional, GZA GeoEnv.
  • Sr. Software Engineer
  • Municipal Waste Systems Engineer
  • Asst./Assoc. Prof. Of Natural Resources/Land Use Planning, UW-Stevens Point

See you next week

TechAlum is a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Michigan Tech Alumni Association. For more information, contact Dean Woodbeck at techalum at