TechAlum News

January 24, 2005 (Vol. 11, No. 35)

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

     It has been a little bit odd driving around town lately. I'm looking back over my left shoulder instead of my right. I'm checking the outside mirror by looking right instead of left. I'm reaching for the brake pedal and it isn't there. We have a new driver in the house and now I'm riding shotgun.

     I'm not sure about the benefits of learning to drive in January in the Keweenaw. By necessity, I believe Laura is learning some bad habits.

     You have to creep out to the middle of an intersection before stopping, because the four- and five-foot snowbanks block your view. Just down from our house is one intersection with a stop sign on a slight incline. But you can't stop. If you do, the ice and the incline will not allow you to get started again.

     You ignore the lane markers--yellow lines, white dotted lines, it doesn't matter. You just follow the path of the plow and hope the four-lane road is just that, and not three-and-a-half.

     On residential streets, you zig-zag like a World Cup skier on a course created by scoopers and pick-up plows that have dumped snow in the street (something that is illegal but rarely enforced). You swerve to avoid the occasional snowmobile that is either lost or joyriding.  

     You celebrate the coming of the SnowGo, that monstrous eight-foot-tall snowblower that gives your street two full lanes again and reopens the sidewalks, even though it makes those snowbanks even taller.

     Meanwhile, good luck to you New Englanders and Pennsylvanians and southern Michiganders, as you dig out from that weekend dusting you received. Twenty-four inches? Heck, that's a slow week around here.

Snow Watch '04-'05

As of January 14, 2005
                     This week   Last week   Last year  
Snowfall to date 115.26" 89.38" 157"
On the ground 38" 20" 30"

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

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: FACULTY DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: The Faculty Distinguished Service Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2005 award. The deadline for nominations is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2005. The award is open to all full-time faculty, including lecturers and research faculty and recognizes service to the University community that has significantly improved the quality of some aspect of campus life. Nominations will be accepted from any member of the University community including staff, students, and alumni. Forms are available at

KARNOSKY CHOSEN FOR INTERNATIONAL AWARD: The International Union of Forest Research Organizations will present its Scientific Achievement Award to Dave Karnosky, professor in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. He has done groundbreaking research on the impact of ozone on species of trees and forest ecosystems. He was also instrumental in founding the Aspen FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Experiment) site in Rhinelander, Wis., in 1996 and is its director. More:

AEROSPACE TEAM THIRD AT NANOSAT: Michigan Tech's Aerospace Enterprise excelled at the recent University Nanosat 3 competition, finishing third among a dozen teams, many representing universities with well-established aeronautical engineering programs. The team's "HuskySat" satellite placed third and was one of only three entries judged to be "flyable," or capable of successfully completing its mission. More:

CLEAN SNOWMOBILE CHALLENGE RETURNING TO TECH: A dozen teams from universities across the northern part of North America will roar--quietly--into Houghton in March for the annual SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. The sleds will compete March 14-19 at the Keweenaw Research Center, known for its vehicle test grounds and the Midwest's finest winter driving track. This will be Michigan Tech's third year hosting the event, which is being organized by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. More:

STREAMSWEEPER EARNS AWARD: The US Forest Service has given its Rise to the Future Award to Michigan Tech's Keweenaw Research Center, the Michigan Council for Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Trout Unlimited and the Wisconsin DNR. KRC and the Wisconsin DNR developed a "Streamsweeper," or aquatic ShopVac, to clean the crud out of trout streams. More:

Summer Youth Program
Hockey camp

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

Around Town

HANCOCK OUTLINES STREET IMPROVEMENTS: The Hancock City Council has approved the rebuilding of a portion of White Street (better known as the shortcut to Calumet) and the construction of four fishing piers on the Portage shoreline at Porvoo Park.

STREET WORK IN CALUMET: Calumet will use a $353,625 Community Development Block Grant to replace paving bricks on three blocks of Fifth Street, plus improve curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

REVOLVING LOANS HAVE IMPACT: The Keweenaw Industrial Council's revolving loan fund is working well, according to executive director Phil Musser. The loans are provided to service-based, tourist-based or manufacturing industries as working capital. The fund has a balance of $240,000.

NEWSLETTER OFFERS MICHIGAN EVENTS: MiLife MiTimes, is an electronic newsletter published by the state's economic development corporation. Go here to find the newsletter and sign up for the e-mail version

From the E-mailbag

E-mail from Larry Blahnik '75 (lblahnik(at)

Hi Dean, it's been several years and I have lost the
Information to connect into Michigan Tech remote access. It use
to be on the Alumni page? Could you please post the
directions to get access to the remote hockey games?

As always, we appreciate your help with everything you

Dean sez: That address for audio and (some home games) video is

E-mail from Roy '69 (my apologies--I deleted Roy's e-mail address and last name--Dean)


Thanks for providing us with so many interesting
insights. I am with you on the multitasking, I believe
the amount of multitasking is directly proportional to
the probability of messing up. I can prove this
theory nearly everyday.

E-mail from Michele Buckler '88 (MJBuckler(at)


Your commentary in the 1/17/05 alumni newsletter
brought back memories of my undergraduate study habits
- I spend 4+ years at Michigan Tech studying in the Memorial
Union or in our living room while watching MTV. After
Going through grad school (twice) and spending quiet
quality time with my textbooks - I now believe there
is a direct correlation between good study habits and
good grades! Keep up the great work!

E-mail from Eric Horner '81 (Eric.Horner(at)


I couldn't let this one go.

> 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?)

Tell "the multitaskers" that it isn't age. I am a
member of the "multitaskers club". Music and work,
reading and watching TV (football especially). Many
other things. The only things I avoid at all costs
are the distracted driving things, cell phone, TV,
computer, etc. while the car is in motion.

E-mail from Dannette (Bowman) Utecht '94


In last week's letters Larry Blahnik wrote about the
10 cent ice creams. On the "poor college student" note
-- anyone else ever have to stop in St. Ignace to
clean out the cans in their trunk to get $1.50 for the
bridge toll? Thank God for $0.10 deposits!

E-mail from Ken Nickel '48 (BIKWNICKEL(at)

Now you can hear it from a 1948 graduate. After the
Dog House there was another popular spot that served
good food AND beer. I am not sure of the name but it
was about a block from the bridge to Hancock. I think
it was called the Cliff house, or some what similar to
that. It was not operating in 1983 when was with IBM
and I went back to interview graduates for job

I was VERY impressed with the quality of students that
I interviewed. They were a great dedicated group and
a lot different from the 90% plus veterans that
graduated in '48. But in '48 we were all about 3 to 5
years older because of having spent some time
traveling with Uncle Sam in you know what.

E-mail from Jerry Philo '80 (jkphilo(at)

Hi Dean,

I had to comment about your note on the temperature in
Virginia and International Falls, MN. Neither of these
lows matched the low temp recorded in L'Anse/Baraga in
the late '70's. I think it was the same winter as the
record snowfall which was the '78-'79 school year.
They "officially" recorded around 50 deg F below
because that was as low as the thermometer would go.
Houghton was in the mid -30's the same night. It was
in early February after WC if memory serves me
although I was working at the Library that night and a
few years have gone by. My car seats were frozen solid
and needless to say it wouldn't start. My roommate
helped me close up the bar, (a couple of "beverages"
on the house) and gave me and the waitresses rides.
His old beater Plymouth was one of the few cars
running in the whole town.

My first year after graduation I worked in Hibbing, MN
and it was -27 deg F on my b-day in mid November. It
was sure it was going to be a long winter but it
turned out to be one of the warmest on record for
northern MN. I still moved back to Michigan in '81.
Too many Vikings fans on the Range!

E-mail from Dave Strenski (stren(at)

Could you send me the article on knees also. It was
very good and I'd like to send it to my mother in law.
I also liked the idea of starting a thread on cheap
living. Oh the stories I could tell, starting with
buying the 100# flour sacks from Turner Bakery in
Calumet that were filled with day old (week old) bread
and pastry. You never knew what you find. Tech has to
be one of the colleges with the cheapest cost of

E-mail from Don Robinson '64 (donr148tillson(at)


I would like to chime in with my two cents worth of
memories. I attended Tech during the early sixties.
Does anyone out there remember No-Pay Georges in
Hancock? It was a good place to go for hamburgers and
fries to sop up the beer partaken at the Board of

Speaking of Chuck's Isle Royale Inn and his
personality, he had none to speak of. Nada, zip. I
don't remember Tracy but a friend of mine-Rich Johnson
(1963) tended bar there for about a year.

E-mail from Terry Wilson '70


I read the mail from another fellow grad about the
various bars in Houghton. One mention was of Spanky's.
Before it became Spanky's it was known as Chuck's. It
was a place where one could go to have a quiet beer.
Inevitably you found at least one table of students
into a heated game of bridge. No loud music, no
drunken brawls, just a quiet neighborhood bar.

At least half the time no one was on duty as
bartender. If you wanted a beer you went behind the
counter, got the beer, and left the quarter on the
register. I'll bet you can't find a place like that
today. Oh well, better times...

E-mail form Larry Doyle '64 (Larry.j.doyle(at)

Hi Dean,

Here's my story combining two threads: lack of funds
and Chuck's Bar.

During my second junior year, after having been put on
academic probation, I forced myself to study every
night in the Weed Room of the Union. It was a large
room of tables and chairs on the west end of the first
floor. The room had enforced silence, and eventually
did the trick to get me back on track.

Each night as the Weed Room closed at 11:00 p.m., I
headed back to the apartment uphill from downtown
Houghton. I had to walk right by Chuck's Isle Royale
Bar, and usually felt that I deserved some reward for
my studious diligence. The problem was my being
normally broke, or nearly so. Often I stopped in
Chuck's with just the 15 cents required for a glass of
Bosch (this was the early 60's). The best part was,
with a student bartender in charge, and at that late
hour, I could sometimes finish the trip home some time
later after several beers, and still have the 15 cents
in my pocket.

Ah, for the good old days.

E-mail from Larry Sutton '63 (lrsutton(at)

Chuck and Tracy were class acts, however when the
price went from 10 cents to 15 cents for a glass of
beer it just about did me in my Saturday night
entertainment-for-a-dollar routine. I had to cut out
listening to Ray Charles on the juke box.

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.

1957 Ronald Sadler ronsad(at)

1975 Richard Zelmer razelmer(at)

1986 Douglas Jakalski douglasmark(at)
1987 Andrew Genova ajg11(at)

1990 James Crouch jim.crouch(at)
1991 Eric Vandenbroucke ejvan(at)
1993 Joseph Cusumano joseph.cusumano(at)
1993 Robert Messina rlam(at)
1994 Seth Newlin ssnewlin1(at)
1996 Thomas Muday muday(at)

2002 Joshua Szymanski jmszyman(at)
2002 Daniel Michalik dillspasm(at)
2002 Jakob Beetem je_beetem(at)
2003 Christopher VanArsdale chris.vanarsdale(at)
2003 Valerie Franck (Jukuri) vlfranck(at)
2003 Melissa Shindorf mashindo(at)
2003 Neha Dayakar ndayakar(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.


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

  • Software Engineer -- Local Technical Assistance Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Position duration dependent upon external funding)

  • Application Programmer -- Local Technical Assistance Program, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Position duration dependent upon external funding)

  • 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