WW II and the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry. However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could.

How did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)

We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story! Check this out! USS Sable and USS Wolverine.

During World War II merchant ships were converted to aircraft carriers to train Navy pilots. The USS Sable (IX-81) was a training ship of the United States Navy during World War II. Originally built as the 'Greater Buffalo', a sidewheel excursion steamer, she was converted in 1942 to a freshwater aircraft carrier to be used on the Great Lakes. She was used for advanced training for naval aviators in carrier takeoffs and landings. One aviator that trained upon the Sable was future president George H. W. Bush. Following World War II, Sable was decommissioned on 7 November 1945. She was sold for scrapping on 7 July 1948.


The steamship 'Greater Buffalo' before it was converted to the USS Sable (IX-81).


Overhead view of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) underway on Lake Michigan with an FM Wildcat making a deck launch from the flattop 1945


The USS Sable (IX-81) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan 1943


training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) moored alongside a pier on the shore of Lake Michigan during a break in training operations.

Click below for many more great photos and the rest of the story.

Pilot crashes while attempting a landing on the USS Wolverine. The plane is an SNJ, the Navy version of the USAAF's T-6 trainer.


Welfare Versus Work

This young lady on a radio talk show discusses her very rational decision to collect welfare benefits instead of working. She most likely receives more benefits from welfare then she would from working so she makes the logical decision to stay home.

850wftl.com/LISTEN- Talk-radio-caller-defends- welfare-abuse/17414878?pid= 366032

We really need to create a guaranteed job versus the confusing medley of welfare programs that we have created.  People who can work should work and we should provide the base job for these people, ensuring that they work for benefits. Paying people to do nothing is not good for them or society.

Great Public Squares in Europe

Europe has better public squares than the United States. The photos here are of Gibraltar. It is a cold grey day but the square still has public life and vitality.

Part of their success is density and walkability.  Driving anywhere is a hassle, so people walk. Although the building below is a parking deck next to the square with residential above and a retail shopping center below. So people can easily drive to the center.

A cannon above mounted in the square as a historical monument / point of interest.

My wife Beth happily shopping in the square.

So what is required to develop a great public square?
  • A central plaza - not too big
  • Surrounded by pubs, restaurants, shops
  • High density
  • Parking
  • Activity and People
More of our Photos

Happy Thanksgiving

What a turkey!


Things to do before you get old.

Things to do before you get old.

   Climbing Redwoods.

   Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway .

   Jumping on the Trolltunga rock in Norway .

   Rock climbing in South Africa .

   Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

   Extreme picnicking.

   Extreme skiing in Wyoming .

   Skywalking on Mount Nimbus in Canada .

   Tree camping in Germany .

   Just having a look around.

   Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls .

   Diving 30 meters through a rock monolith in Portugal .

   Climbing Mt. Wellington .

   Standing on the Edgewalk in Toronto .

   Cycling in Norway .

   Sitting around at Yosemite .

   Walking over a crevice.

    Glacierboarding anywhere.

   Biking on the Cliffs of Moher.


 Fortunately, I am ALREADY old, and I didn't get this far by being stupid!

How Did That Happen??

Some of these are probably photo shopped but still interesting.