TechAlum News

July 19, 2004 (Vol. 11, No. 11)

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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 fondly recall water pistol fights when I was young. I'm dating myself here, but remember those cheap plastic guns had that small reservoir in the top with that little plastic thing you pulled out to fill it with, what, maybe two ounces of water?

Well, let me tell you, folks (and I know this isn't news to many of you), water fights are a whole 'nother country these days.

The kids came home with Super Soakers this week, including one MORE POWER arm-muscle-testing bad boy with a massive half-gallon reservoir, built-in splat ball holder and, just in case you miss with those, a detachable one-shot pistol.

I remember having to be within a foot of your foe to score a hit. Yesterday, I wasn't safe even from halfway across the driveway.

My handicap of a sore knee--and moving at age-reduced speeds anyway--made no difference, as I was provided the less super of the soakers, with a shorter range and smaller water tank. No matter, I can take on these young teens with my smarts, I thought, as I snuck around the corner of the house and SPLAT! a point-blank shot hit my face.

The Keweenaw summer hasn't provided much in the way of water sports weather--and yesterday's 73 degrees barely qualified. But when you are all thoroughly drenched, with dripping t-shirts and slicked-back hair, the laughter just doesn't stop. But, boy, that warm shower sure felt good.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD: Remember the alumni bulletin board for you to use for discussions related to this newsletter, Tech sports, or anything else:

At Da Tech

WMichigan Tech REUNION COMING UP: Lisa Wysocki, WMichigan Tech alum, reports the WMichigan Tech staff reunion is coming up July 29-August 1. For more information, see or e-mail Lisa at us(at)

SEELY RECEIVES LIBERAL ARTS/ENGINEERING AWARD: Bruce Seely, chair of the social sciences department, has received the 2004 Sterling Olmstead Award from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The annual award recognizes an individual "making significant contributions in the teaching and administering of liberal education in engineering education." The citation for this year’s award highlighted Seely’s work in support of the non-technical aspects of engineering education, including an on-going effort to bring faculty involved in liberal education at engineering schools into the accreditation process.

PHONE SCAM TARGETS STUDENTS: The US Department of Education reports a telephone scam involving someone claiming to be a representative of the department. The caller offers to replace student loans with a grant, then asks for a bank account number in order to charge processing fees.
At least one local student has already received such a call. The education department reports that there is no program to replace loans with grants and there is no processing fee for their programs.

ALUMNI REUNION ON TAP: Michigan Tech's annual alumni reunion, including awards and the traditional pasty picnic, will take place August 5-7. For more information, More

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

Around Town

BOHEMIA PLANS 100 CABINS: Mount Bohemia developers plan to add 100 log cabins to their Lac La Belle ski hill by mid-winter 2006. Bohemia's president, Lonni Glieberman, says the two-bedroom, 900-square-foot cabins will emphasize natural amenities, including hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and access to Lac La Belle. Bohemia's parent company, Crosswinds Communities, calls the $20 million development an eco-village.

NEXT BIZ NET FEATURES ANGELS: The next BizNet meeting, sponsored by the Michigan Tech Enterprise SmartZone, will feature "Entrepreneurial Eye for the Tech Guy," a
series of informative presentations for people involved in developing and commercializing technology. Also included will be a presentation on Angel investing--how do you find investors (Angels) for your budding business? The presentations are Thursday, July 22nd. Contact Alan West (awest(at) for information.

CRUISE SHIP ARRIVES TODAY: The Great Lakes cruise ship "Grand Mariner" docks in Houghton for seven hours today. Passengers will tour the Quincy Mine, visit area shops, then hear a dinner presentation, including historical photos, by Houghton police chief Ralph Raffaeli. The Houghton stop is one of nine the ship will make on its Lake Superior Grand Tour.

ARENA BIDS TOO HIGH: The proposed expansion of the Houghton County Arena will be rebid after bids came in 33 percent over estimates. The project will add a two-floor addition to the south side of the arena, including locker rooms for Finlandia University, relocating and enlarging the current locker rooms and expanding the lobby area.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Marty Oldford (MSOldford(at)

Hey Dean,

You need to be on the west coast where the OLN tour
comes on live at 6 am and repeats most of the day. Can
you imagine wheel-to-wheel over wet cobblestones at
25mph+. And the poor guy who lost 11 minutes because
of a stray dog. It's almost like being there riding on
a motorcyle. I especially like the overhead Trek
chopper views. And what about Bob the cycling
comedian. It's a great show! Cheer for Lance to get
his 6th so he can retire early with Cheryl and his
kids! Keep pedaling!

E-mail from Russ Stebbins (russ1910(at)


I too am a tour junkie, but have a little bit of a
different perspective. Last week I watched it on OLN
with Liggett et al...I was home on vacation so I got
to watch it in the mornings. I really enjoyed The
Lance Chronicles to see how a tour rider prepares.

This week I get to watch it on British TV for a
totally different perspective. Last year was quite
enjoyable. The Brits too have a great respect for LA
but don't focus on him.

As I am working during the stages, I have a web window
open to the official tour site which has good updates.
Then I come home and watch the taped coverage.

I'm a fat tire fanatic, but am in awe of the ability
of these guys. Keep up the good work.

E-mail from Tom Johnson '91 (tomjjohn(at)


Shame on you! How can you compare baseball and paint
drying? That may be the quality of baseball that you
see way up there in God's Country, but those of us
blessed with the traffic, stress, etc. of living near
Detroit are blessed with some of the most exciting
baseball! GO TIGERS!

Now curling, that is like watching paint dry. Who
would ever thing sweeping ice and sliding a rock
across it would become an international sport. I can
see it as an excuse to drink beer.

Dean sez: I experienced the highs of World Series victories in '68 and '84 and finagled with radio knobs in Richmond, Virginia, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, to pull in Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey. I suffered through the '90s. But I never recovered from the strike and the Randy Smith era.

E-mail from John Hutto '93 (johnhutto(at)


I had to laugh when I read that you've been become a
TdF junkie. No worries, it happens to the best of
people. I saw it on TV for the first time 21 years
ago and instantly became hooked. There simply is not
another sporting event on the planet that can match
what these guys do. Yeah, running a marathon is
tough, but try running one every day for 21 days. Now
try doing it with a broken collarbone. Tyler Hamilton
did it last year. TdF riders are a whole different
kind of tough.

I had the good fortune to attend the Prologue of the
TdF in Liege Belgium this year. Watching the race on
OLN is terrific. But seeing it in person will blow
your mind. TV simply cannot accurately relate how
fast these guys are riding. Nor can it relate just
what a spectacle the event is. It was unreal how many
cycling fans from all over the world (and the
occasional rock star) were there and every one of them
knew the sport inside and out. It was even more
unreal to watch them all come unglued at the sight of
a tough guy from Marblehead, Massachusetts and a
skinny kid from Texas. It may be a European event,
but the Americans rule the roost these days.

So keep watching Le Tour. And if yer wife doesn't
understand, make her watch it for 5 minutes. Even if
she doesn't get it right away, she will be addicted.

E-mail from Richard Bunce '74 (RBunce(at)

It was a fine Sunday (July 11) in cable TV land. First
I watched the British Grand Prix on Speed Channel,
then the Tour de France on OLN (delayed by DVR), and
then the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup from Chicago on NBC. If
there were only a golfing major and Americas Cup
underway it would have been perfect.

E-mail from Erik Garland (egarland(at)

You, too, huh? I have been watching the TdF since
1999, and every July I know my attention will be tuned
to OLN for the day's events. Now, the internet has
offered some great "during work" live updates which
are great... but even after knowing the results,
incidents, and standings after that, I still have the
need to watch it that night as well. I feel that
their rest days are my rest days, but I usually find
myself still dropping in that night to see what else
they have to say. Bob Roll is another name to add to
Sherwen and Liggett... Bob is quite the hand gesturer.

One thing I will have to slightly disagree with,
however, is that it is a bit like watching paint dry
until about the last 30 km. If you watch the entire
two hours of coverage, it will take only one hour to
have them cover the first 180km of a 220km race, then
the last hour is pretty much in real time for 40km in
an hour. Check out the site--it is as good
of coverage as any. Also, has great
updates that he provides during the tour.

E-mail from brian(at)

Hi Dean,

Having just returned to work from a long vacation I am
experiencing the Monday morning fun... you have 42
unheard voice mails... 268 unread e-mail messages...
the list continues.

I was a campus tour guide from '90 to '92 and loved
it. The prospective students wanted to know about
classes, dorm life and campus life. The parents
wanted to know how many parties there were. Some of
my more memorable tours included the one where I
shoveled 16 inches of snow out of my driveway in order
to get to campus and then we had to walk through a
blizzard; the wind tunnel was fun that morning. Then
there was the time the prospective student walked
out of the Admin building straight to the car telling
the parents "No way."

However, the tour that tops them all for me is the one
where, little did I know it at the time, I met my wife
Heather '96.

E-mail from Barry Ketola (Barket123(at)

Hello Dean,

I am a week behind, but I just read the letter about
wearing your Tech paraphernalia on the plane. I wanted
to send a note to say that getting some of this gear
from University Images was a very good experience for

I was planning a trip to Finland to meet some of my
extended family there, and found out my cousin is
planning to come to Michigan Tech to study for a year. I thought
that a shirt from Michigan Tech would be an appropriate gift for
him since he had made arrangements for our stay and
activities while I was there. (A great place to visit
by the way. It is very much like the UP.) I looked up
the selections and information on the Michigan Tech website.
Found the shirt I wanted, and found that it would be
too late to have it sent to me before leaving. I
called the store and asked if there was anything they
could do for me. A very pleasant young lady named
Ginger took the time to research the shipping times
and rates. Then she went through the effort to get the
shirt shipped to Finland for me. I am happy to report
it was there when I arrived, and my cousin was very
pleased with having the shirt. It was a sweatshirt by
the way. I have been gone from the UP for a while, but
have not forgotten the weather.

E-mail from Michelle Schwerha '95 (geochick(at)


I had to write after reading about the 4th. I
transferred to Tech for summer term 1992 and my first
fourth of July in the Copper Country was about 45
degrees all day and raining. I remember wondering what
in the heck I'd gotten myself into. But I quickly
adjusted to the weather and, after seven years in
Tennessee, I STILL pine for my winters at da Tech!

Thanks for the newletters! I always enjoy the weekly
dose of Tech in my inbox.

E-mail from Harv Pastunink '86 (hspastunink(at)

Hi, my name is Harv and I'm also a tour junkie. My
addiction is fueled by the fact that my cable company
carries OLN, Outdoor Life Network, which broadcasts
each day's Tour de France highlights three or four
times a day. No, I don't need to watch more than one
showing a day, but I have seen at least 15 minutes of
every stage.

I, as many, am hoping Lance Armstrong will win the
three-week race for the record-breaking six times in a
row. Dean, being a fellow tour junkie, you'll know to
also watch out for American Tyler Hamilton who
finished fourth last year while riding most of the
tour with a broken coller bone.

I'll be Lance or Tyler this coming Saturday as I ride
for the third time the annual Holland Hundred for, you
guessed it, 100 miles by bike in West Michigan. The
next day I'll likely be on the couch recovering while
I watch the approximately 180 tour riders on TV ride
faster, farther, steeper, and do it almost every day
for three weeks. My wife is glad that my addiction
does not last as long as a football season.

E-mail from Chuck Wood '93 (cbwood(at)


Oh boy are you in trouble!

Baseball is like watching paint dry?! How could you
print that in your most recent TechAlum News?? I can
see the email responses now. You are going so busy
fielding all the responses from the die hard baseball
fans you will not have time to listen to the Tour De

E-mail from Lori Craddick Lynch '94

Hi Dean,

Thanks for the great newsletters. Some weeks I don't
have time to read them, but this week (first week back
after maternity leave, ironically) I had time. Glad I
did, to see there are other Tour Junkies out there.
My husband and I are usually glued to OLN in the
evenings as well. He's from England, so the KILL-o-
meter pronunciation remark was especially funny to
me. I do hope Lance wins, just for the fact of 6 wins
in any sport is pretty amazing, not to mention his
personal hurdles, but my money is on Ullrich.

Happy watching!

E-mail from Rob Laybourn '84 (robert.laybourn(at)


How about that. . .I would have never guessed there
where Tour fans in the UP? By-the-way, thanks again
for posting my note on this year's Copper Country
Color Tour. I hope we can generate a few more
participants. Whatever the case, it did get me in
touch with an old classmate.

As it turns out, my interests in cycling go far beyond
wanting to come back to the Keweenaw for the Color
Tour. As I mentioned, I didn't really start riding
until after I left Houghton, and landed in Los Angeles
in 1984. I began racing in the late 80's, becoming
fairly accomplished on a regional level. In 1998,
after moving to the Washington, DC area in 1994, I
started a Pro/Am bike race, with the help of a couple
sponsors. In 1999, the US Postal Service picked up
the title sponsorship, and what was a small, regional
race entered the big-time, and was even included on
the inaugural Saturn Pro Cycling Tour (and USA
Cycling's National Racing Calendar). The event has
since been picked up by CSC (Computer Science
Corporation), the same folks that sponsor the Tour
team. This event continues to grow in prominence, and
consistently attracts the nations top pro's (see the
event website:

Because of all this, I have become the de facto "Tour
Talking Head" on WUSA, Channel 9 in Washington, DC (a
CBS affiliate). I have already appeared last week and
have another appearance scheduled for tomorrow
morning, and then more in the coming weeks, as the
tour hits the mountains. We will be linking in some
live/tape feeds from France with the help of my
contacts at CSC who are over there doing PR for their

This is something I am now very proud of, and of
course, never thought that my Mechanical Engineering
degree from Michigan Tech would ever lead me to this. I haven't
quit my day job yet (Business Development Manager at
Northrop Grumman), but there are some potentially
bigger things in the works for the race, so who knows.

What I will say is that I am proud of my time at Tech
and the Keweenaw area. Tech gave me a solid,
practical education which has allowed me to move in
more directions than just my degree gave me. If there
is a lesson to be learned here, I would tell current
students soon to be starting their careers: don't fail
to listen to your heart, as it's that passion in your
heart that will take you the furthest. In other
words, just because you have an engineering degree,
that doesn't lock you into one career track. Of
course, I have been very conservative in my moves,
never leaving one occupation until I have had
something else firmly in hand.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 6,990 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.

1974 Michael Irish mjirish(at)
1982 Richard Nye rsnye(at)
1996 John Stevens jstevens(at)
1997 Rodd Bofinger tbofinger(at)
1998 Joseph Bischoff jcbisch(at)
1999 Brad Hranach bhranach(at)
2002 Lori Guzek craziness54(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.


28 -- Michigan Tech Twin Cities Alumni Chapter Day at the
St. Paul Saints game. Enjoy reserved seating behind
one of the dugouts. Contact Steve Wendorf

31 -- West Michigan Chapter -- Whitecaps Baseball Outing
and BBQ Picnic, Fifth Third Park. Contact John
Gutierrez (techies(at)

5 -7 -- Alumni Reunion--Houghton

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Assistant Supervisor, Dining Services

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

  • Systems Engineer
  • Machine Design Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • IBM Principal Consultant
  • Production Control Engineer
  • Manager, Accounting Firm in Houghton

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