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:
I'm going to tell a little story about a boat here. This story could be construed to include an element of Woodbecking (although, IMHO, it does not). However, this is a friend's boat and he reads this newsletter. So I want to be clear right up front. THE BOAT IS FINE.
The boat belongs to some folks who have a summer place on the lake here in Hancock. They spend three or four weeks here each summer and we keep an eye on their place and Jay mows the lawn. They are gracious enough to allow us to use their boat. And they still might be after hearing this story.
This is the time of year for all good boats to find their way to a marina for winterizing and then tuck themselves into their cozy winter homes. Saturday was gorgeous, although cool (high of 56) and, just as the TechAlum Colorologist predicted, the colors were at their peak. It was a perfect day to enable the boat in its search for winter peace.
The plan was set: drop Jay off to mow the lawn, Jan drives the car and trailer, and Dean takes the short boat ride to the Lily Pond public access. It worked like clockwork and I backed the car and trailer down the boat ramp and darn near drove the boat right into place--piece of cake.
That is, of course, when Murphy's Law took over. The trailer has this crank with a rope wound up. On the end of the rope is a hook that attaches to the boat. Using the crank, you can let out the rope, attach the hook to the boat, then draw the boat right tight to the trailer (an essential element if you plan to drive 50 mph to the marina).
Planning ahead, I had worn both shorts and sandals, so I stepped into the water and my feet and ankles were immediately anesthetized. As I went to feed the rope out of the crank, it would move about two inches, then stop. Somehow the rope had become twisted, or perhaps wet and swollen at some point, and it wasn't moving.
With no screwdriver on hand, I used a key (*not* my car key) to try and free the rope. Then, I took the tire iron out of the trunk and tried using that for some leverage. I got plenty of leverage, but made no progress on freeing the rope.
This sounds simple as I tell the story here, but you need to realize this took 45 minutes of me grunting and groaning and pulling and torquing while standing in the water (funny--I did a spell check on "torquing" and up popped "torturing"). Ten minutes into the procedure, my wife suggested an alternate course of action: drive the boat back to the dock and take the trailer to the marina, getting them to free the rope.
That, of course, did not meet the Guy Standard of solving the problem yourself no matter the time or energy required and ignoring the potential futility of the situation.
Her solution is, of course, exactly what we *eventually* did. We arrived at the marina one minute before closing time. Their fix was relatively simple, but I had already blown any chance of completing the project that day.
The good news? I
actually have the feeling in my feet and ankles back this morning.
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
NANO RESEARCH EARNS
NASA GRANT: Greg Odegard, assistant professor of mechanical engineering,
has received a $255,000 grant from NASA. His work in developing computer
models for tiny materials could result in stronger, lighter aircraft.
Odegard creates these models to predict the strength of nanomaterials.
One nanometer is equal to one-billionth of a meter. More:
CAREER DAY BIG SUCCESS: Tech's annual career day attracted almost 150 companies last week, a 15 percent increase over the year before. Company representatives filled Gates Tennis Center and the varsity basketball arena. More than 3,000 Michigan Tech students and alumni attended.
BOARD TO OFFER MROZ TWO-YEAR CONTRACT: The Board of Control voted unanimously Oct. 7 to negotiate a two-year contract with Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. The board also announced it has narrowed the group of search firms to assist in its national search for a new president.
The board also voted to waive the $40 application fee for prospective students who apply to Michigan Tech online or use "smart applications," which are filled out by computer and mailed to prospective students.
MICHIGAN TECH RECEIVES TWO EDUCATION GRANTS: Michigan Tech educators have received two $183,000 grants to fund two innovative teacher education institutes. The grants were awarded by the Michigan Department of Education and will support the Educators' Science and Mathematics Institutes Series, which will be directed by Educational Opportunity and the Department of Education.
BASH AT THE BIG HOUSE UPDATE: The stage is being set for the Bash at the Big House, where Michigan Tech and Grand Valley State will clash at Michigan Stadium on November 6 in an attempt to break the NCAA Division II attendance record of 61,143. The game is less than four weeks away.
The #17 Huskies and
#1 Lakers both remained undefeated with home victories last Saturday (Oct.
9). Three games stand between each team and the Bash, and that stretch
will include tough tests for both squads. Michigan Tech (6-0) hosts #12
and unbeaten Northwood in the biggest game ever at Sherman Field on the
Michigan Tech campus Saturday (Oct. 16). At the same time, GVSU (6-0) hits the road
for a showdown at #13 Saginaw Valley State.
Michigan Tech is also hosting the Michigan YES (Youth Engineering Science) Expo for high school students in Crisler Arena that Saturday. For information on the Expo, and how you can help, see www.mtu.edu/yes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION from Tech, see the weekly newsletter Tech Topics: http://www.mtu.edu/news/ttopics/
FORMER RED CROSS EXEC FACES FED TRIAL: Just four days before her trial was to begin for forging a check, the former executive director of the Western U.P. Red Cross chapter pleaded no contest to the charge in Houghton County Circuit Court. Kimberly Sue Smith, 45, still faces federal charges, with a trial to take place in Marquette later this fall.
NEW QUEEN ON THE
WATERS: Isle Royale visitors traveling from Copper Harbor will find
a longer, wider ship, capable of making the trip in just three hours.
The Isle Royale Queen IV will replace the Queen III on daily trips to
the island next summer.
From the E-mailbag
E-mail from Wendy Kopera '90 (wkopera(at)onemain.com)
While this might
be a polite way of doing things, it
I am often more upset
by the folks that move over
My wife and I enjoy
your weekly letter, and she didn't
FYI - we ran into
a fellow Alum wearing a Michigan
Now, about merging
from two lanes to one. Here in
I traveled highway
10 during the test a few times, and
Now don't be so hard
on those Tech students, some may
E-mail from Mark Austin (msaustin(at)core.com)
Apparently you haven't
spent much time in the Chicago
I'm sorry to disagree
with you regarding proper
E-mail from Pete Dohms '67 (pdohms(at)email.msn.com)
Dean: In response
to your link and story, I looked at
E-mail from Elaine (piziks) Pruis '94 (elainepruis(at)hotmail.com)
Thanks for the great
newsletter, your stories bring me
TechAlum Subscriber Stats
We're at 7,054 subscribers.
Here are the new e-mail
addresses from the past week. Please note, we are
1963 Peter Korelich pakorelich(at)ucnsb.net
1972 Robert Buchheister
1982 Jeffrey Larson
1992 Kirt Kelley wolfpack2(at)chartermi.net
2001 Bradd Ripley
You can update your information at: http://www.mtf.mtu.edu/update
Alumni Association Programs
CHAPTER EVENTS: For more information on alumni chapter events,
e-mail mtu_alumni at mtu.edu or see the alumni chapter site on the web.
23 -- Maryland/DC Alumni Chapter 2004 Pasty Picnic. More: http://www.patkilroy.com/mtu or contact Pat Kilroy at pat(at)patkilroy.com RSVP by Oct. 9
23 -- West Michigan Chapter Michigan Tech vs. Ferris State football in Big Rapids. For more information, see http://www.admin.mtu.edu/alumni/chapters/usamap.html Contact Mike Dejonge at Michael.dejonge(at)smiths-aerospace.com. RSVP by Oct. 15
23 -- Chicago Chapter
Michigan Tech vs. Wisconsin in hockey at the
6 -- Bash at the
Big House, football vs. Grand Valley
20 -- Michigan Tech at Colorado College hockey and alumni event.
29-30 Great Lakes
Invitational hockey and alumni event
8 Michigan Tech at Denver hockey
and alumni event.
Job Opportunities This Week
See you next week