TechAlum News

January 17, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 34)

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

My digital thermometer reads minus-9.7 degrees this morning, which is balmy compared to Virginia, MN, logging in at minus-42 and International Falls at minus-44. From my time at the University of Minnesota, my bones still recall, even 20 years later, that all-encompassing cold I experienced while waiting for a bus at minus-30.

That was grad school, where I did most of my studying in a quiet corner of the law library (which, not coincidentally, was the closest building to the bus stop). Even in my days at Tech, I needed a study place that was free from stereos and televisions and loud conversations. I couldn't wear headphones (still can't) and couldn't multitask (still can't--just ask someone who is on the phone with me when I'm also reading e-mail. I slowly become nonresponsive).

Compare that to what was going on in my house yesterday, with final exams looming at the high school and middle school.

One study group of two retreated to our basement, quizzing each other on atmospheric phenomena while keeping tabs on the demise of Air Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, upstairs, AP Biology shared equal billing with Jennifer Garner and the first season of "Alias."

I see people with headphones on computers doing homework. I see people riding bikes with headphones. I see, and this is scary, cars with DVD players and laptop computers in plain site of the driver (and sometimes being operated by the driver). And I say, how can they DO that? (Begging the real question, WHY do they do that?)

"It's because you're OLD, Dad," say the multitaskers. And they are probably right. Sometimes I feel old enough to know better and sometimes I feel old enough to know nothing.

Snow Watch '04-'05

As of January 14, 2005
                     This week   Last week   Last year  
Snowfall to date 89.38" 81.88" 116"
On the ground 20" 16" 24"

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

COMPUTER ENGINEERING SEEKS LECTURER: Michigan Tech invites applications for the position of Lecturer in computer engineering. Applicants should have an MS in computer engineering, computer science or electrical engineering and at least three years of experience in computer engineering. Send resume, a statement of teaching interests, and names and addresses of three references to ecesearch (at)

WEB ADDRESS CORRECTED: The article in the latest Michigan Tech magazine had a garbled web site address for the international senior design program in civil engineering. It should be

SUMMER PROGRAM TIME: Despite the minus-10 degrees this morning and mounds of snow along my driveway, it is time to think summer and summer youth programs available at Michigan Tech. You will find the Summer Youth Program at The popular hockey development program offers online registration for 2005: There is also a web site for other summer athletic camps, but it is still showing the 2004 offerings:

TECH EXPANDS WIRELESS NETWORK: All students, faculty and staff at Michigan Tech now have free access to Rovernet, the campus wireless system. Wireless hot zones include residence halls, the library, and several academic buildings. More:

PHD GRAD TO RECEIVE INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR FOREST RESEARCH: Eugénie Euskirchen, who earned a PhD in Forest Science in 2003, will receive an Outstanding Doctoral
Research Award in August from the International Union of Forest Research Organizations. IUFRO makes the awards once every five years, and Euskirchen is one of seven recipients. She is being honored for her work on the role of forests in carbon cycling. More:

OIL RESEARCHERS RECEIVE DOE GRANT: Wayne Pennington and Roger Turpening, both of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, have received a $750,000 grant from the US Department of Energy to pursue their seismic imaging techniques. They will use dry oil wells to lower their seismic imaging equipment and study the underground landscape. More:

FORMER LT GOV BRINGS "DREAM ALIVE" TO TECH: Joe Rogers brings his acclaimed "Dream Alive" program, honoring Martin Luther King Jr., to Michigan Tech this Thursday. Rogers, the former lieutenant governor of Colorado, will speak on King's work and his legacy, as well as deliver the famous "I Have a Dream" speech. More:

NEW GRAD SCHOOL DEAN: Martyn R. Smith has been named Dean of Michigan Tech's Graduate School, according to Provost David Reed. Smith will serve approximately nine months. During that time, the university will conduct an internal search for a graduate school dean. More:

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

Around Town

SEWER MAY COME TO TOWNSHIP: Franklin Township's 120 residences may soon join the Portage Lake Water and Sewage Authority and leave their septic systems behind. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has asked the township to clean up areas of Quincy Hill that have been plagued by contamination. The proposal to bring the township on board includes a new line under the Portage from the Quincy smelter to Franklin Square. This would allow future service to the smelter site, which is under consideration for a new welcome center for Isle Royale and Keweenaw Historical national parks.

911 IN NEGAUNEE: Houghton County has completed the transfer of 911 dispatch service from a center in Laurium to the Negaunee regional state police post. The move was made to save money in the wake of a report that showed the local 911 service having significant cost increases in the next few years.

WHITE GOLD--NEED MORE: Snow measurement is an important item in the Keweenaw, and not just for bragging rights. A larger recorded snowfall means increased winter tourism. But snowfall totals don't always agree (just look at the Daily Mining Gazette, a local meteorologist's web and the Tech alumni web site). Local experts say location affects the snow totals, but so does the method for measurement. Higher elevations, with differences of even just 100 feet, can make a difference. And if you measure several times a day and take an average, you will probably get a different number than measuring once a day, because snow tends to settle over time.

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Carl Zapffe '68 (cmzapffe (at)


I, of course, read the letter in your weekly mailbag
from my Phi Tau fraternity brother, Marty Oldford.

I also remember Dean Meese with great affection, a
high compliment for the Dean of Student Affairs, as
the dean usually a cop out to prevent us from having a
good time. (Re: National Lampoon's "Animal House" is
the best example of this!) In addition, I spent a lot
of time working with Dean Meese when I was on Blue Key
and the Michigan Tech Student Council, not to mention my tenure
as social chairman for our fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau.

My father, Dr. Carl A. Zapffe, now deceased, was a
metallurgist of international reputation. He gave the
commencement address either in 1961 or 1962, a year or
two before I enrolled in 1963. He also had graduated
from Michigan Tech and then went on to Lehigh for a
Master's degree and Harvard for his Doctorate.

It has always been my opinion that I was accepted at
Tech because of my father's recent appearance (and
significant honor there) as my high school grades were
not that stellar.

In any event, Dean Meese always treated me with great
cordiality and remarked many times how impressed he
was with my father. He was a class act and I will
always remember him with great fondness.

E-mail from Larry Blahnik (Lblahnik (at)

Dean, we need a new category to see who had the least
money! My favorite (1966-67) is of me waiting until 8
PM to go down to the basement area and get a 10 cent
ice cream cone. That was the best time to relax and
watch Star Trek. Thank you for Michigan Tech.

E-mail from Larry Hovey '66 (larry.k.hovey (at)

An amendment to Jon Wennerberg's note - I worked at
Chuck's in the mid 60's and I believe "the kindly lady
Bartender" named Tracy was none other than Chuck's
wife. She had the personality in the family. If you
ever met Chuck you would understand what I'm talking
about. She would always leave cookies or a piece of
cake or something for the night bartender. The pickled
sausage was great and it was a good place to mix with
the locals. Mid 60's - where has the time gone?

E-mail from Walt Humy '67 (walthumy (at)


I've been following this chat box for some time now
and thought I would chime in. I graduated in '67 in
Metallurgy. I have nothing but fond memories and
praise for my time at Da Tech. I was intrigued by
Tech and its special atmosphere from my first day up
there. When I started, it was Michigan College of
Mining and Technology and when I finished it was Michigan Tech.

I, too, loved the hockey games at Dee Stadium, many
nights of study at DHH and at Fenton's Frozen Frat at
207 Pearl Street for my last years at Tech, and the
long walks in bitter winter winds to see a movie in
Hancock. The occasional beer at Tony's Bar, pizza at
Gino's in Hancock, touch football on the DHH lawn in
35 degree weather in tee-shirts, and driving through
Houghton in a convertible (top down) at 11:00 PM
during a winter snow storm are also fond memories.

The people up there were great, the Tech staff and
profs as well and the education at Tech was and still
is second to none. If I had it to do over, Tech is
where I would go.

E-mail from Donald Arndt (darndt (at)


A note of interest, the Navy has shut off its
controversial, extremely low frequency (ELF) radio
transmitters in northern Wisconsin and Michigan,
saying the 15-year-old system is outdated and no
longer needed. The Navy now will use 12 "very low
frequency" transmitters located worldwide. The
antennas for the two huge transmitters in the
Chequamegon National Forest near Clam Lake and in
Upper Michigan's Escanaba State Forest were strung on
600 40-foot poles across dozens of miles of forest.
Now that terrorism rather than Soviet submarines is of
primary concern (and expense), ELF communications are
another relic of the Cold War. (For more on this
story, see Utility World.)

More details on the ultra low frequency technology on
page 34 of Monitoring Times December 2004 issue

E-mail from Doug Davies '69 (Doug.Davies (at)

Ah yes, I can vividly remember standing outside of Dee
Stadium on the Soo Line (or was it the Milwaukee Road)
railroad tracks doing the FYBO (Freeze Your Butt Off)
routine waiting for standing room only tickets to the
hockey games. I think they cost a dime if you
presented your student ID card back in 1964. I did
this ritual for every home game in my freshman year.
The next year, I got wise and joined the Pep Band.
Then all I had to do is show up at the door with my
horn case and walked right in. I was great playing
in the band at those games. We had a great vantage
point right over the west goal and since I played
trombone, I needed to be in front so as not to whack
anyone with my slide. Since the rink was not heated,
a little icicle would grow off the bell of my horn
from the moisture by the end of each period. Great

E-mail from Joe Fishbein '75 (jmf (at)


A letter in your most recent newsletter mentions the
25-cent pitchers at Al's Halfway Bar during Friday
happy hours. Prior to that, in the early 1970s, they
charged $1.00 at the door, which entitled you to
unlimited beer from 4 to 6 PM. Apparently, that was
considered to be giving away free beer under state
law, which was illegal, so they changed it to 5-cent
glasses and 25-cent pitchers. A lot of my brain cells
met an untimely end during those Fridays!

A few years ago, my wife found a box with some of my
old T-shirts in it. They were no longer wearable (due
to fabric deterioration as well as my own "radial
enhancement"), so she cut out the designs from them,
had them mounted and framed, and presented them to me
on my birthday. They now occupy a proud place on my
family room wall, and my red "Al's Halfway" T-shirt is
right in the middle of the group!

E-mail from (herronelkpoint (at)

I've got 20 years on Mike Stark's definition of TOOT,
having married a local girl (Brenda Holombo) after
graduation in 1962. Back then, the story went...Tech
produces engineers, engineers drive trains, trains go

E-mail from Al Paradiso '49 (aldo (at)

Since none of the drinking and eating places that more
recent alumni write in about were here in the late
40's,let me tell you about the Dog House, a bar in the
Douglas Houghton Hotel....and the Kaleva Cafe in
Hancock....going there to get away from the Sunday
evening meal at the DHH dorm, Toivo Kaleva always told
us that he only served 2 kinds of pie: apple pie and
"socolate" cake, his way of pronouncing chocolate in
his Finnish-American dialect.

E-mail from Leonard Christoferson (marjlen (at)

Hi Dean,

I would like to know if the Michigan Tech Magazine is
on-line. I especially would like to download the
article on knees. It is on page 10 ff of the current
issue. I would like to give it to a doctor (MD type)
friend of mine, and being a true Techy I do not want
to key it in, etc.

I really enjoy the weekly newsletter. Up until I
started reading that every week, I had nearly
forgotten old Michigan Tech. Your letters have even sparked a
bit of school spirit-there never was any while I was

A Copper Country native, I graduated in 1953. Left
town the next day and have hardly been back since.
Keep up the good work.

Dean sez: We are working at getting the magazine on-line.
Meantime, if anyone wants a reprint, e-mail me and I can
send you a PDF file.

TechAlum Subscriber Stats

We're at 7,131 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.

1966 James Simmons jsimmons2550 (at)
1969 Christopher Scantlin cwinter (at)

1970 Donald Weaver doncivil (at)
1975 Michael Schira schira (at)
1978 James Faline jfaline (at)

1982 Yvonne Andersen (Whitman) YAndersen (at)
1983 Monica Hahn monica_hahn (at)
1984 Michael Simula msimula (at)
1986 Theodore Diamond
theodore.diamond (at)
1986 Sheryl Sovie ssovie (at)

1990 Donald Watson dwatson (at)
1992 Larry Schneider mtu2 (at)
1993 Jonathan Piel jkpiel (at)
1994 James Reinbold jim_reinbold (at)
1994 Jefri Lukowski lukowww (at)
1998 Carla Giacobone cgiacobone2 (at)
1999 Tom Allen allen699 (at)

2000 Rebecca Bentley rebentle (at)
2000 Matthew Ostrander m_ostrander (at)
2000 Nicole Johnson nickij830 (at)
2001 Tatum Jelenc tnortham (at)
2001 Ryan Eversole reversole (at)
2002 Laura Wolski (Halt) lmwolski (at)
2003 Melissa Shindorf mashindo (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.


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

  • Director, Micro-fabrication Facility--College of
    Engineering (position duration dependent upon external

  • Assistant Professor--Mechanical Engineering-
    Engineering Mechanics

  • Michigan Tech invites applications for the position of
    Lecturer in computer engineering. Applicants should
    have an MS in computer engineering, computer science
    or electrical engineering and at least three years of
    experience in computer engineering. Michigan Tech is
    an equal opportunity employer. Send resume, a
    statement of teaching interests, and names and
    addresses of three references to
    ecesearch (at)

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

See you next week