TechAlum News

January 26, 2004 (Vol. 10, No. 34)

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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

I have figured out that my snowblower is middle-aged. It sure seems too young for that; but then, that's what I say about myself.

All the tell-tale signs are there. It can no longer do everything it once could. The chute that traveled freely when it was a youngster needs a little more convincing these days.

It also needs more encouragement than in the past. Perhaps "coddled" is a better word for what needs to be done. It grows tired more quickly and its joints don't perform near as well as when it was a teen.

Over the weekend I had to clear a path around the back of the house to the basement sliding glass doors. I cleared away Legoland and tried not to step on the slot car track. With a clear path, the Husqvarna entered, with appropriate encouragement from its mentor, for a couple of nights of R&R in the warm basement. It thawed and dried and allowed me to make some adjustments to various parts that had ceased working.

The basement provided me with a warm, dry place to *do* those adjustments, as opposed to the 2-degree weather outside, where gloves only impaired the making of these adjustments. All I could envision were frozen fingers and bloody knuckles.

That sounds like the title of a country song, eh? "Frozen Fingers and Bloody Knuckles: I'm just tryin' to forget the gal that dealt me a bad hand." I'll have to take my lyrics to that Burger King in Kalamazoo for Elvis to record.

Snow Watch '03-'04

As of January 26, 2004 

This week Last week Last year
Snowfall to date 151" 125" 135.5"
On the ground 27" 28" 24"

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

At Da Tech

CLEAN SNOWMOBILE CHALLENGE IN MARCH: Sixteen teams from universities across North America's snow belt have signed up to go sled to sled at Michigan Tech in this year's SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. The sleds will compete March 15-20 at Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center, known for its vehicle test grounds and the Midwest's finest winter driving track. More:

LODE WINS EIGHT AWARDS: The Michigan Tech Lode has been selected to win eight awards in the weekly newspaper division of the 2003 Michigan Press Association's College Newspaper Contest. In addition to the overall general excellence award announced last week, awards were also given for specific articles, including first places for best deadline story and best sports photo, second places for best non-deadline story, sports news, sports column and news photos.

ME-EM HOSTING SAE RECEPTION: The ME-EM Department will be hosting an alumni reception at the 2004 SAE World Congress, on Tuesday, March 9, 2004, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in Room W1-52 of Cobo Hall. All alumni and their families are invited to attend. Complimentary appetizers and refreshments will be provided. For more details, contact either Duane Aho or William Predebon, or call either of them at 906-487-2551.

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

Around Town

LAST SHIP CLEARS LOCKS: The last commercial vessel of the 2003 shipping season cleared the Soo Locks downbound at 1:36 p.m. January 23, with passage of the steamer Saginaw. So, keep your yachts in port.

KTC BECOMES CVB: The Keweenaw Tourism Council has changed its name to the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau. Officials say people look for convention and visitors bureaus when they seek tourism information. Although it has a new name, the organization and its primary mission to promote tourism remain the same, to promote tourism.

Michigan Tech SmartZone officials say bids for renovation of a high-tech business incubator came in at least 40 percent higher than expected. The lowest bid for the project was $566,000, while the pre-bid estimate was $400,000 SmartZone CEO Alan West said, "The good news is that we got six bidders. The bad news is that they were higher than anticipated." The SmartZone has purchased on floor of the old Portage hospital building in Hancock for offices and laboratories for high-tech companies. West said he will look for ways to reduce the bids to get them within budget.

CALUMET'S MONOPOLY: As one of its first fund-raising efforts, the Main Street Calumet program plans to sell copies of “Calumet-opoly” — its own version of the popular board game Monopoly. Businesses would pay about $250 for spaces around the edge of the board, with an extra $25 for a logo on the space. Ads on deeds and the back of cards would cost $450 or more. The games are expected to be ready by late April, with 500 copies slated for the initial run.

The Hancock School Board has voted to rename the district's elementary school in honor of longtime superintendent Gordon Barkell. Barkell, superintendent for 26 years, championed the construction of the school, which opened in 1989.

Sports Results

Hockey (4-16-4 Overall, 2-12-2 WCHA)
1/23 -- at #9 Minnesota Duluth 3, Michigan Tech 1
1/24 -- at #9 Minnesota Duluth 8, Michigan Tech 3

#19 Men's Basketball (12-3 Overall, 6-2 GLIAC)
1/19 -- #15 Michigan Tech 73, at Ashland 60
1/24 -- at #19 Michigan Tech 68, #15 Findlay 63

Women's Basketball (10-6 Overall, 5-3 GLIAC)
1/19 -- at Ashland 70, Michigan Tech 68
1/24 -- at Michigan Tech 61, Findlay 44

Nordic Skiing, Women's & Men's
1/24 -- Women 7th of 9; Men 7th of 8 in Freestyle Races
at Nor Am Super Tour in Cable, Wis.
1/25 -- Women 7th of 9; Men 5th of 8 in Classic Races at
Nor Am Super Tour in Cable WI

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Karl Loeffler (kloeffle at

And we thought WE got some snow...even the UP has to
bow to THIS!

Dean sez: Check out these pictures Karl sent of the
Trans Labrador Highway, Newfoundland:

OK all you pasty lovers:

E-mail from Steven Jones '71 (SFJ at

Dean, could you please tell me where I can get a
recipe for the old fashioned Finnish pasty? I haven't
had one since I left Tech in '71 but I can still taste

E-mail from Jeff Rosenmeier (jeff.rosenmeier at

Hi Dean,

Had a question for you. My wife, daughter and I were
in the Alps for two weeks after Christmas on a ski
holiday and one thing I needed to get before we
departed was a set of chains (we drove across – using
the chunnel (channel tunnel)). I had never used
chains before and it turned out that we needed them
getting to one resort as the switchbacks were too much
for me and my lack of recent snow driving experience.
I was amazed at how easy they were to put on and at
their general effectiveness.

This got me thinking--why didn’t I have them when I
lived in Houghton. I lived on Fifth and Agate and
with a rear wheel drive car, had many adventures in
getting home. I don’t ever remember people using
chains. Do they now? Have I discovered a possible
market for these easy to use chains? Or, are the
yoopers just too skilled to resort to the use of

Your views appreciated. Hope you are enjoying
the snow!

Dean sez: I haven't seen chains used here in all my years.

E-mail from George Teachman '76 (george.teachman at


You know how us old-timers are prone to saying how bad
things were in our day? Well, I think the youngsters
of today will have something to talk about concerning

When I played broomball during Carnival it was inside.
Granted, it was inside the Dee, where it might be
colder inside than outside. However, there wasn't any
wind chill! And, the fans had seats. Well, okay, they
had a place to sit.

So, there is only one indoor ice rink in Houghton?

Now the youngsters will be able to say "I remember,
back in the day, when there were two outdoor ice

E-mail from Darwin Bennett '58 (djbennett at


My two cents on "eh" is that it is really "aye", which
means yes. I use "aye" unknowingly as I am a native of
the U.P. and it was in the vernacular when growing up.
I have been laughed at more than once when I used it
away from the U.P. It is in common usage even today in
Ontario. Certainly you have heard the nautical
expression "aye aye, sir".

E-mail from Dennis Rahoi (drahoi at

Dean, about the train stop. Some of the old "supper
clubs" are still in Pembine, but there is a new one
directly across the tracks. It is Paris in Pembine!
Don't get excited, the owner's name is Paris. Pembine
is still Pembine.

E-mail from Annette (Kikendall) Prochaska '83
(annette.s.prochaska at

Hi Dean,

On one of our annual Memorial Day weekend trips back
to the Houghton, my husband was nice enough to go up
to the bar while the bartender was making my scorpion
to get the recipe. It is:

1 shot light rum
1 shot Creme de Almond
2 shots gin
about 8 oz orange juice
about 6 oz pineapple juice

You can play around with the juice to get the taste
that you want. I make mine in a tall sports bottle -
one with a screw on top with a straw - with lots of

The recipe that I'm still trying to get is for the
tostada pizza. All I've been able to find out so far
is that the taco sauce is home made.

Keep up the great news letter.

E-mail from Don Scott '56 (donscott33 at

Dean- I only rode the train from Chicago to Houghton
once and that was a week after the close of the NCAA
hockey tournament in 1956. For those who remember, the
tournament was supposed to be in place of our Spring
break. However, the powers that be gave us an extra
week so when we returned from Colorado Springs to
Chicago, I took the Wolverine Express to Detroit to
visit family.

Then I had to take the Wolverine the other way to use
the part of my hockey ticket that took me from Chicago
to Houghton. As I recall the train left about five PM
and arrived in Houghton about eight AM which was
slower than driving the distance and that was before

The train stopped every couple miles (it seemed) to
pick up milk or drop off papers or mail thus earning
the name the Square Wheel Limited. In fact, one of
the Winter Carnival skits was about that train where
it had to stop for a cow on the tracks. When it
stopped again, the "conductor" said it was because the
train caught up to the cow.

Ah yes- those were the days! Love yer news letter,
even when I get it twice (or thrice). Keep up the good

E-mail from John Dlouhy '54 (jdlouhy at

A one way train ride from Union Station, Chicago, to
Houghton, in the late '40s cost about $12. A berth in
their sleeper car ran between $18 & $19. Someone
commented about the train was never on time. Leaving
Chicago about 7 PM it was scheduled to arrive close to
8 AM the next morning, but it often was closer to
noon, and at times made well into the afternoon.

E-mail from David Ugwu '78 (david.ugwu at


I am sorry to read about the passing of Dean Meese.

My life was one of those thousands that Dean Meese
touched. As an international student he gave me hope
back in Nigeria, West Africa in 1973 when he wrote me
a letter that I was given an admission to attend
Michigan Tech and in addition that I was awarded an
International Scholarship. That day was one of the
the best days of my life. Unfortunately I was not able
to enroll that year because of the passing of my dad.

However, when I wrote him and explained my
circumstance he understood and extended the
opportunity to the following year. Coming from
another country over 2000 miles away I needed a lot of
help, he was very gracious to me and offered needed
assistance just for the asking. In addition he
introduced me to an American family who hosted me and
provided wonderful care and support that made my
graduation at Tech possible.

Dean Meese was a wonderful mentor and a great gentle
man with big heart who loved mankind regardless of
race, color, creed or national origin. I am sure that
I will be speaking for all International students when
I say he was a great friend and mentor to all who came
through Michigan Tech during his tenure and he will be
sorely missed. We will be ever grateful that he took
us from boys and girls to men and women.

E-mail from Bob Carnahan '53 (partec at

Dean, You hit several chords in the last two
newsletters. I believe that Dean Meese was my first
prof in the Metallurgy Department teaching an intro
course in Phys. Met. in 1951. Harold, as he preferred
to be called, later became associated with the Delta
Sig fraternity. I'm not sure when he assumed his
Deanship, but he was a true friend of the Delta Sigs
and a very good prof. He will be missed.

Next topic was the train. It started out in Calumet
and went to Chicago. If you were so unfortunate as to
try to make the connection with the other UP train
(The infamous Sault Line) that ran from the Sault to
Minneapolis/St. Paul you had to pray that you got to
Pembine in time as they wouldn't wait for late
transfers. In that case which happened to me you had
to get off while they stopped for a few minutes in
Iron Mountain to board Chicago passengers and then
Wait bout 3 hours for a Greyhound that took you to
Duluth, thank you very much. The sandwich server got
on the train in Champion and would come through before
Iron Mt. shouting in a nasal voice "Hot Coffee annndd
Sandwiches" rousing everyone from a half frozen
(literally) state of semi-consciousness.

On the subject of local dialect and accents, in the
days when the coed population numbered less than 15,
it was not uncommon to meet a local lady who would
ask, "You go by da Tech?" After dating it is said
that they would ask "How come you always take me bush
and you take dem other girls public places?" By the
way this last came from my wife, a Calumet native, she
never asked me the ? when we were dating. Many of my
classmates and fraternity brothers married Copper
Country girls and made wonderful and lasting

xE-mail from Doug Davies '69 (Doug.Davies at

Hi Dean,

No need to send me another copy of the Jan. 19th
newsletter. I read the first one, and a good one it
was too <grin>.

A comment on the Copper Country Limited. During my
first year at Tech, 1964, I came home to Niles,
Michigan for Christmas break on the CCL from Houghton
to Chicago then on to Niles via New York Central's
Wolverine. I remember stopping somewhere in the dark
in sub-zero temperatures to eat. On the return trip
back to Houghton it was fairly uneventful until we got
to Green Bay. There, a bunch of toots boarded the
train with numerous cases of Old Milwaukee in hand.
As the trip progressed and the bottles (yes bottles,
the LONG necked ones) were emptied, many missed the
cases and ended up on the floor of the coach. As the
train accelerated and slowed, the bottles would roll
back and forth under the seats. The other passengers
just kept their feet up and the bottles would roll the
entire length of the car. It was hilarious. Finally
the conductor said we had to pick them all up or he
wouldn't let us off the train. Boy, those were the
days of train travel.

E-mail from Al Holm (alholm at

Another Dan Meese story. This one takes place in
Providence Rhode Island at the 1965 NCCA Hockey
Championships. Dean Meese accompanied the team on the
trip as he was a really hockey fan. But, unbeknown to
the players he brought along something extra which he
didn't share with anyone. Anyway to shorten up the
story, when we won the championship, out onto the ice
comes Dean Meese with a huge banner that said Michigan
Tech Huskies 1965 NCCA Champs. He definitely had a lot
of confidence in us as we were either the 3rd or
fourth seed. I doubt whether there ever was a better
man for the position. He will sadly be missed.

E-mail from Mary West '82 (Anarakassah at

Hi Dean:

Another Dean Meese Memory: As a Huskies Pep Band
member in the late 1970's through early 1980's, no
game was complete without the entire band standing,
looking across the ice arena to where Mr. & Mrs. Meese
were always sitting, and yelling in unison (and
sometimes 4-part harmony): "Hi Mom! Hi Dad!"

We were *always* answered with both of them standing
and waving enthusiastically back at us.

For those unfamiliar with this pep band tradition, it
began during the time their son Paul was in the drum
section of the Pep Band. "Meeko" passed this
tradition to those of us newbies in the drum section,
and we gladly carried it on for at least as long as I
was part of the band.

E-mail from Nancy (Leeman) Lefler '79
(leflerpet at


I am finally writing to tell a Dean Meese story. I
have many, but find this one to be truly telling of
his character and thoughtfulness.

It was in the fall of 1974 that we began forming Delta
Zeta sorority and met with Dean on several occasions
to determine all that needed to be accomplished to
obtain a university charter. This would be the first
national sorority on campus and we wanted to make sure
it was done properly.

When we had met all of the requirements, I went to
see the dean on Feb. 10, 1975. He looked over
everything and agreed that everything was done and
that we could have our charter. He said it could be
ready the next day, but had a suggestion. He said
"Why don't I delay a couple of days and then it will
be dated Feb. 14th, Valentine's Day? Wouldn't that be
a better date to have on the charter?" Of course I
agreed, but the thought had never crossed my mind--all
we thought about was that we were going to get our

He was always thinking of the students and how he
could better serve them. What a guy!!! I still look
back at that conversation after all these years with

xE-mail from Mike Burden '89 (mwb at

Good morning,

With the support of the other team members that joined
the Michigan Tech team at Climate Prediction Dot Net
( after the first two
times you posted my email about it, we've been
steadily moving up in ranks, and recently moved in to
54th place out of 549 groups, breaking into the top
10 percent!

I've been keeping a history of Michigan Tech's stats,
and the stats of the six groups immediately above and
below us (,
and I predict that we will move up two positions this
weekend, another position early in the week, and we
should be poised to break into the top fifty late in
the week, or early the following week.

It's also noteworthy that there is currently only one
University, College or School group that is ranked
ahead of the Michigan Tech team, and we will pass them
early next week, making Michigan Tech the highest
ranked group from an educational institution on CPDN!

Thanks to all the support from the Michigan Tech students and
alumni that have joined the Michigan Tech team and
helped us show these people that not only do Michigan Tech
people have team spirit, but that geeks like us also
have more than the average amount of CPU cycles to

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,950 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.

Jennifer Currie: jen at

1966 Eugene Weaver ruea1719 at
1967 Darrell Tilus ddtaz at
1968 Peter Balzola pbalzola at

1971 Darryll Sundberg dsund1971 at
1974 William Cooper wjcoop at
1975 Vinod Gupta VGUPTA8201 at AOL.COM

1983 Courtney Fitzsimons courtneyfitzsimons at
1984 Scott Andrzejewski wstrees2 at
1985 Mark Adams shaggy_and_velma at
1985 Regina Magstadt (Waters) rdesktop-more at
1985 Carl M Westermann carl.westermann at
1987 Kevin M Koehl kkoe at

1990 Brian H Kiley kiley at
1990 Michael D Marcade mike_marcade at
1992 Timothy C Havens Tim.Havens at
1992 Heikki S Pankka heikki.pankka at
1992 Brian E Horen brian.horen at
1992 Timothy C Havens Tim.Havens at
1993 Christopher J Boerman Christopher.Boerman at
1993 Richard C Passavant richard at
1995 Joseph C Mantooth carson at
1998 Nathaniel R Stevens nstevens2065 at
1999 Bridgett R Mason bridgettmason at
1999 Brad J Hranach bhranach at
1999 William H Morris whmorris238 at

2000 Heidi K Quinn-Buss heidi.quinn.buss 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

  • Assistant Football Coach

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

  • Seasonal/Temp Bio. Sci. Technician
  • Land Management Forestry Intern
  • Interns for MeadWestvaco
  • Engineer-Manager, Oscoda County Road Commission

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