TechAlum News

January 3, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 32)

An award-winning weekly electronic newsletter for alumni and friends of Michigan Technological University. Written and distributed by Dean Woodbeck '78, Senior Director of University Communications. For past issues, see our archives.

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

The alarm clock blared way too early this morning. After two weeks of not needing to get up, this return to reality was *not* welcome.

For me, it has become tradition to take off two weeks at the holidays and cross-country ski every day, then fit in projects and chores. Unfortunately, that usually means the "to-do" list doesn't have very many check marks on it by the end of the vacation.

We had a fairly snowy couple of weeks (the snow chart below will tell you we received another two feet of snow since Dec. 20). We are even with last year's snowfall and let's hope that continues, because we received more than 100 inches in January 2004.

We got into one of those lake effect snow patterns for awhile around Christmas, with that really fluffy, light stuff falling for several days in a row. Then last week, the temperature rose into the 30s and one day it rained all afternoon. Talk about depressing. Fortunately, the temperature fell again and we preserved most of the snow pack.

While the K-12 schools reopen this morning, Tech students will enjoy one more week of vacation. Classes and statue-building will commence next Monday, January 10. We will again have statue cams and still photos at the Winter Carnival web site: and, no, it isn't updated yet :-)

Time for another cup of coffee. Here's to a great new year to all of you.

Snow Watch '04-'05


As of December 31, 2004 
                  This week  Dec. 20   Last year 
Snowfall to date    63.38"    40.08"     64" 
On the ground         12"       8"        7"

See our snowfall chart, dating back to 1890, at

Day--by-day snowfall:

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

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

Around Town

DICK STORM RETIRES: After a 40-year career in broadcasting, and pioneering the Upper Peninsula radio news network, Dick Storm has retired. The long-time newsman, known for playing his stories straight, aired his last broadcast December 31 and was surprised by a phone call from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. Storm, whose real name is Dick Tuisku, calls himself a political junkie. Granholm said, "Please don't run against me."

LOCAL CONTRACTOR UP FOR AWARD: Gundlach Champion Inc.'s work in restoring an Iron Mountain church ravaged by fire has received a state award from the Associated General Contractors and is up for the group's national award. The company was honored for securing and reconstructing the St. Mary & St. Joseph Parish in Iron Mountain after a January 2003 fire. The $3.1 million project began shortly after the fire, continued for the next 17 months, and included preserving and repairing stained-glass windows

MEDICINE SHOPPE CLOSED: Citing a significant number of health code violations and infractions, the Michigan Department of Community Health has closed the Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in Hancock and suspended the license of owner Jim Plowe. Over a period of years, the state alleges shortages of narcotic painkillers, lack of a licensed pharmacist on site during some periods of time, and lack of controlled access to some substances.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Shelly McNab Burg '83 (shelley.burg(at)

Having spent many a night at the Library....I must
correct you on the saying regarding children...the
saying goes.... "Children Not Seaten Will Be
Eaten" is still a favorite saying of mine.

Dean sez: I stand...I mean sit...corrected.

E-mail from George Wright '70 (GeorgeWright(at)

Another era ends - again. I attended Tech from 1966
through 1971 and knew the Library Bar very well. It
was too risky for me to visit before I turned 21 (Jon
Davis knew how to spot underage students) but I was a
regular in my last several years at da Tech.

This was in the days when it was a "peanuts on the
floor" type of place. A large bowl of peanuts was
about 50 cents, as I remember. You could buy beer by
the glass or the pitcher - about eight brands on tap.

I splurged and for $2.50 purchased a numbered 32-ounce
beer stein (mine was #136). This was kept hanging
above the bar. When you entered you would give the
bartender your "library card" - which had been issued
by Jon - and you would receive your stein, full, for
50 cents. Refills were also 50 cents. The only
problem was that you had to drink extremely fast or
the 32 ounces of suds would be warm and flat before
you finished them.

Some other beloved taverns for students in the early
70's were Spanky's, the Ambassador, and of course
the Dog House, which had sing-alongs on Friday and
Saturday nights. That was back in the days
when getting drunk and throwing up was considered good
clean fun. I'm sure that students today drink only in
moderation and visit the local taverns only on rare

Dean sez: Point of reference for you younger alumni. Spanky's became Diamond Mike's, which went out of business when Michigan raised the drinking age to 21. The building, located just east of the post office, now houses Copper Range Abstract and Title.

E-mail from Mickey O'Hearn (mohearn(at)


Interesting to hear the Library Bar is for sale. I
have many fond memories of working there, eating
there, and lots of drinking there from 1972 to 1975.
Thanks for the great newsletter each week, I always
enjoy hearing about Tech, Houghton and the surrounding

E-mail from Tom Fedorka '84 (fedtom(at)


Thanks for a great newsletter. I too have fond
memories of the Library Bar. My wife and I had many
dates there (even before we admitted to dating each

Tech is a great place that has touched many lives.
While there, I was part of the Big Brother program. At
that time it was run through St. Albert (but I believe
it has moved to another group now). While a Big
Brother to Dean Wolter, I really began to grow as a
young man. Dean helped me in ways that he never knew.

I visited Dean and his family last year and learned
that I touched his life as well in ways that I never
knew. I knew that I was being a male role model for
him, but never knew about some of the problems he
faced until last year. He claims that I helped save
his life (he actually credits me and his lovely wife

Here all these years, I thought that all I received
was an excellent engineering education from Tech. Now
I know my experiences were so much more. Dean is on
his way to fight in Iraq and I worry about him. I'm
proud of him for doing his duty, but still worry.

I hope that my son will attend Tech soon and have as
much fun as I did during my time there.

E-mail from Jeff Sikes (jeff.sikes(at)

Dean, sorry to hear the Library is for sale. Similar
to your story, I too recall fond memories of trips to
the Library with friends, professors, and a
significant other at that time.

E-mail from Chris Otis '65 (Chris.Otis(at)

Wow, the Library is for sale (again)? The name brings
back fond memories of rushing over for a drink between
periods at Dee and spending way too much time there my
junior year. I nearly got drafted because of that
place. Anyway, when I first went there Jon Davis
owned it and it was a pool table and peanut shell
place. The tables were long picnic-like tables with
Greek letters and or other odd things carved in the
tops. I had a reusable numbered beer stein hanging
from a hook over the bar. The W. C. Fields poster was
special. I can't ever remember going upstairs.

I thought TOOT was related to train engineers, but
then I don't think anybody ever explained it. We were
just "toots". Is the term still used today? I've
meet more recent alumni that have never heard of the

E-mail from Steve Haeg '77 (steven.haeg(at)

You didn't mention Chimino's 10 question multiple
choice tests. He included at least 8 or more answer
choices for each problem, with each choice being the
result of a specific mistake or combination thereof.
He typically covered all possible errors this way.
This meant that getting a number that matched one on
the list of choices did not mean it was the right
answer. Of 10 questions total 4 right was an 'A', 3 a
'B', 2 a 'C', 1 a 'D' and 0 got an 'F' on at least
one, if not all of these 'quizzes'.

One lecture after 3 consecutive perfect circles
appeared seemingly effortlessly we gave him a standing
ovation. Physics is my career now, thanks for the

E-mail from Dave Elack '60 (themisture(at)

Hi Dean,

Various items in your most recent newsletter stirred
up a number of memories.

One of the things that current students miss out on is
the experience of freezing to death in unheated Dee
Stadium during hockey games and the intimacy of 2000+
people in a facility that may have had 1500 "seats",
at most. In the late 50's the boards were lined with
chain link fence instead of glass, but only at each
end, leaving the sides wide open. This allowed
frequent interaction between the players and fans. The
recent festivities at Detroit between the Pacers and
Pistons and the crowd was not that impressive. Pucks
often made their way into the crowd, sometimes
accidentally. Sticks were occasionally grabbed as
players sailed by the boards. Players climbed into the
stands to discuss issues with the fans periodically,
especially when the University of Minnesota played.
The few policemen usually available had their hands
full when things got heated in the penalty box.

My favorite spot to watch the games was down on the
floor to the right of the east goal because you could
get close to the action and could see plays developing
as the teams proceeded up and down the ice. One
evening I was standing there watching the game and I
didn't want to leave and lose my place. When it was
over I started to walk out and couldn't feel anything
below my knees. Standing there all that time on the
frozen concrete had also frozen my lower legs.
Fortunately I was able to get a ride back to
Wadsworth. Talk about panic! I wrapped my legs in
blankets after getting back to my room and they
finally thawed out overnight.

There were other times, like in March, when the
natural ice was covered with a film of water because
the temperature was too high for it to freeze
properly. Condensation would drip off the beams
overhead and the puck sometimes had a little rooster
tail following it. Those were the good old days!

There were groups who favored the Board Of Trade and
would race over there for beers during breaks between
periods, as you noted. Others, such as I, favored the
Dog House, but were less likely to run up there
during the games. Still others liked to hang out in
Chuck's Isle Royale Bar or Tony's Sports Bar. It's
interesting that you mentioned taking your wife to the
Library on a date. When it was the Board Of Trade I
don't think anyone would have taken a girl in there if
there was even the remotest possibility of an ongoing
relationship. I believe the upstairs was largely
unused except for events like a bachelor party I
attended one evening where I found myself wading
through spilled beer about ankle deep. It must have
been raining in the bar below. I don't know who the
party was for, but the hockey team was well

In regard to the discussion concerning the term
"Toot", it was my understanding that this was derived
from the word "institute", even though that was not
actually a part of the name of the school, technical
schools typically being referred to as institutes.

Bruce Kettunen mentioned professor Dave Chimino. I had
the privilege of taking a physics class from the good
professor many years ago. He gave us a quiz one day
and with the peculiar scoring system then employed we
wound up with a seriously negative average grade for
the class. He was nearly in tears afterwards and
agonizing over his inability to get ideas across to
us. I don't suppose it occurred to him that we were a
bunch of dolts. I don't remember the perfect circle
demonstration, that must have been something he
developed later on.

It seems that the infamous Thanksgiving drive is a
universal experience at Tech. Everyone has their
favorite stories about the event. I went through it a
number of times with different people, but it was
always an adventure. We had the additional challenge
of trying to get to the ferry at the Straits at the
optimum time so that we didn't have to wait for hours.
My freshman year I had to wait until 2 A.M. for my
ride because the car we were to ride in had been
loaned to someone who drove it down to Florida and
they didn't get back until the wee hours of the
morning on the day after we were supposed to have left
for home. Naturally, a raging blizzard had developed
in the meantime, but that didn't discourage us from
going anyway. We obviously survived that trip somehow
and several others to follow. The fact that no one in
their right minds would be on the highway under such
conditions limited the amount of traffic and probably
kept us from being killed.

E-mail from Dave Van Dyk (dcvandyk(at)

Hi, Dean. Speaking of Prof. Chimino, do you know
where he is now, what he's doing, etc.? I'm sure he's
retired by now. He was one of my favorite profs as a
Physics major at Tech back in the '65-'69 era; I
vividly recall him drawing those perfect circles on
the board. If you have an e-mail address for him, I'd
love to drop him a line.

Dean sez: Anyone?

E-mail from Dan Flynn '73 (djf(at)

Hi Dean, I enjoy getting your e-mail every week.
Reading the e-mails about the physics profs,
especially Dave Chimino, brought back some fond
memories. Fond today, maybe not quite so fond back
then. Anyway, we were discussing the physics text
books used in the early 70's. I remember taking
Physics 310 and don't recall the text book used. Does
anyone have the title and author? Keep up the good

E-mail from Laura Klemm (lklemm(at)

"Radius-Arm Chimino"! He also amazed us by knowing
the exact distance, in light years, between planets
and the sun. He would rattle off crazy-long numbers
off the top of his head and we believed him,
absolutely. Just one of the quirky things about Tech
that is still funny 20 years later.

E-mail from Mike Anleitner '72 (m.anleitner.68(at)


Bruce Kettunen's mention of Dr. Dave Chimino reminded
me of something I saw in Physics 201 in 1969...Dr.
Chimino was drawing a circular motion system on
the board, with large diameter circles (big enough to
be clear in the back row of Fisher 139). I don't
remember how many circles there were, but, as usual,
they were drawn free hand and nearly perfect.

At some point, one of the students in the front row
started giggling--Dr. Chimino's perfect circles were
folklore, and this was almost too good to be true.
Almost immediately, much of the class was laughing.
Dr. Chimino turned around and asked, "Is there
something wrong? Have I made a mistake?"

Someone spoke up and said, "No, it's the circles. How
do you draw such perfect circles?"

Dr. Chimino said--as seriously as possible-- "It's
really quite simple. I just keep "R" constant."

Now, that's the kind of thing you only see at Tech!

E-mail from Peter Rankin '59 (prankin(at)

Just a note for some job postings in Syracuse, NY.

Lockheed Martin has openings for 500 engineer
positions - electrical, mechanical and software - for
two new large radar programs they have recently
received. Look at and go to

Syracuse Research Corp has openings for 150 engineers
for a number of radar and other programs - electrical
and software - most in the Syracuse area. Look at under job postings.

E-mail from Louis Bartalot (lbartalot(at)


You got pegged a couple of time for last week's
comment about the hockey team. This time they win two
games and you still show them only winning one. It
that a subtle comment about the caliber of their
competition or a test for your readers.

Dean sez: I got several e-mails about this. The games against Lakehead University are exhibitions against a Canadian school. The NCAA does not recognize stats or results from these games.

E-mail from Kal Stumpf (kastumpf(at)

Camp/Adjacent frontage for sale--seasonal camp (sleeps
6) with sauna and adjacent land for sale on Point
Abbaye. Pristine sandstone frontage 360+ feet total
overlooking the Keweenaw Bay. Beautiful sunsets! Call
Kal or Tim 262-628-3438 for info.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,123 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.

1961 Denis Hayner dhayner2(at)
1966 Frederick Novack fnovack1(at)
1971 Douglas Pekrul douglasdpekrul(at)
1973 Scott Brumund brumundscott(at)
1978 W K Hilarides wkhilarides(at)
1979 Kenneth Lynch cass(at)
1981 Jimmy Costello cozzie142(at)
1983 David Scherping davescherping(at)
1983 Richard Kell rckell(at)
1984 Anne Warren (Reimus) pawarren(at)
1986 Joseph Willcoxson joseph(at)
1986 Aret Arapoglu aretani(at)
1987 Nicholas Mincoff nmincoff(at)
1988 Christopher Maurer reneemaurer(at)
1990 Michael Radakovitz mdradak(at)
1990 Tracy Dygert (Mulholland) mathmaven(at)
1991 Mark Larson mjlarson1(at)
1994 William Graham will_graham(at)
1994 Steven Hovey slacter(at)
1996 Teona Miller (Heidenreich) tmiller(at)
1997 Eric Rupprecht erupprecht(at)
2000 April Jefferson jeffersonapril(at)
2000 Kip Ambrosius kipster24usa(at)
2000 Christopher Lubowicki info(at)
2001 Ryan Greutman primarathon(at)
2002 Brendan Doud bdoud(at)
2003 Peter Klassen fiyero(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.


8 Michigan Tech at Denver hockey and alumni event.
18 Michigan Tech vs. Notre Dame hockey and alumni event
at Green Bay Resch Center.
22 Michigan Tech at Minnesota hockey and alumni event. Details:


5 Michigan Tech at Grand Valley basketball and alumni event. See
9-13 Winter Carnival
18 Alumni night with the Fury (Muskegon). See
26 Michigan Tech at Alaska-Anchorage hockey and alumni event.

Job Opportunities This Week

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

  • Non new postings

OFF CAMPUS: For off-campus positions, visit the alumni section of the career center's web site (

See you next week