"…the Italian Navigator has just landed in the New World…" Reply

To commemorate the Diamond Anniversary of the Dawning of the Nuclear Age, I am reposting one of my early blogs from 2012

Mister Mac

theleansubmariner

December 2nd 1942 was the day the world changed forever.

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The title of this story is the coded telephone message confirming first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction on that day. On that afternoon, the Atomic Age began inside an enormous tent on a squash court beneath the stands of the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field. Italian scientist Enrico Fermi led a team of scientists that facilitated the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction.

Fermi

The outcome of their efforts was sustainable nuclear energy. The creation of this ability led to the atomic bomb and nuclear power plants. Arguably, both inventions were two of the twentieth century’s most powerful achievements. The significance then and now still fills our daily lives and offers both hope and fear to the generations to come.

The creation of the program that led up to this event was cloaked in secrecy at the time.

While it is well…

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From the Heart 5

Today’s story comes from the heart. It could be about anyone who is watching a parent go through a tough time.
There comes that cold and grey December day when you find yourself sitting in a hospital room across from the woman who gave you birth and are reminded once again about the temporary nature of life. A simple plate of food becomes a monumental challenge. The hands struggle to hold the fork and getting the food to cooperate is the most exasperating thing. These same hands once cut your food into small enough pieces for you to master. She encouraged you not to give up and promised that with time and practice, you would get better. But as you struggle, The spoon seems like a better choice. Then the fingers. Just don’t quit. You’re almost there.
After sixty three years of life, you now find yourself cutting the meatloaf into bites tiny enough to manage. The circle of life.
How will I be able to say goodbye? Then the sun shines through the dense grey clouds and she smiles at the warmth.  It only lasts a minute and then it’s gone. But it is a beautiful smile.
To anyone going through the struggle of watching a loved one in pain, I would only offer that there is always hope and always helping resources. Elsewhere on theleansubmariner, we have pages and links for caregivers and for seniors. I would encourage you to seek those resources if you need them.
I would also encourage you to be truthful to yourself at every stage of the journey. There is no sin in admitting that sometimes bad things happen. There is no shame in telling the caregivers that the person’s walk is much slower and unsteady. It’s even a good thing to reveal the subtle changes since many times those little changes are precursors to bigger things. If the doctors only get your overly optimistic and often unrealistic view of the person’s real issues, how can they ever help develop a coping strategy or a way to mitigate the destruction?
Denial is nothing more than delaying critical analysis and care. To me, that is at best selfish and at worst …
Live well.
Mister Mac

Something to be truly thankful for 1

Happy Thanksgiving 2017
Mister Mac

theleansubmariner

Somewhere in the world tomorrow, men and women will be gathered together far away from home.

Submarine

Some will be keeping a watchful eye for dangerous activity, some will be far below the water’s surface and some will be launching aircraft in support or another mission to preserve freedom. If they are very lucky, they will be treated to a meal something like this:

OVEN ROAST OF TURKEY ~~~PRIME RIB OF BEEF

VIRGINIA BAKED HAM ~~~CORNBREAD DRESSING

MASHED POTATOES ~~~CANDIED SWEET POTATOES

NATURAL TURKEY GRAVY ~~~TASTY BROWN GRAVY

PINEAPPLE SAUCE ~~~BUTTERED CORN ON THE COB

SEASONED PEAS AND CARROTS ~~~TOSSED GREEN SALAD

SHRIMP COCKTAIL with SAUCE ~~~ASSORTED SALAD DRESSINGS

ASSORTED PICKLES ~~~ASSORTED RELISH TRAY

RIPE OLIVES and GREEN OLIVES ~~~CHEESE CUBES

CHILLED CRANBERRY SAUCE ~~~PUMPKIN PIE with ICE CREAM

HOT ROLLS BREAD BUTTER~~ FRUIT ~~CAKE ~~CANDY ~~ASSORTED NUTS

COFFEE~~ TEA~~ MILK

Turkey

Starting tonight on submerged submarines everywhere, the cooks and mess…

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The Wrong Donations – Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief Reply

This is a great reminder to all who really want to help the people in Texas and other places. Please share this message to all those well meaning people who have no clue about the extra work they cause by not thinking this all the way through.

My Best Laid Plans

I need to make a statement. I want to say it as kindly and gently as possible, but this message really needs to get out there. It’s important. Please hear me with as much grace as you can, because I mean it with all love and gentleness.

My children and I spent hours yesterday sorting the donations that are pouring in. That picture is the mountain we were faced with, and it was still coming. We’re not the only ones. Hundreds (thousands?) of volunteers all across our state are doing the same exact thing. Why? Because your hearts are in theright place.That’s why.

I want to make that abundantly clear. It is beautifully apparent that you are thinking about us and that you want to help us figure this thing out. You are doing anything you can, and that has brought such profound joy to our hearts. I personally…

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May 31 2017 – Another Milestone 6

 

Another Milestone

May 31 2017 marks the end of my second career. When I retired from the US Navy in August of 1994, I foolishly assumed that the travel and adventure was all in the rear view mirror. We were headed to a little town in Kansas where I would be happy helping save an old Opera House from the wreckers and do a little community service in my spare time. I’m happy to report that 26 years later, the McPherson Opera House is doing well http://www.mcphersonoperahouse.org/

but our stay in the town we came to serve only lasted for a short while. We found out about small town politics in a very large way and found ourselves on a new course that would prove to be a far better one.

A different approach

With a freshly minted degree from Southern Illinois University and my years in the Navy, I found a series of jobs that all allowed me to grow personally and professionally. It’s amazing when I look back over the years since we left McPherson to see all of the types of manufacturing I have been involved with. My first company was General Physics in Indianapolis, IN where I worked at steel plants, aluminum, power generating companies and got my first introduction to trucks at Ford Motor Company in Louisville KY. This was actually my first real break since I was introduced to something called Lean Manufacturing.

Lean

Lean manufacturing let me work in truck assembly plants, steering and pump manufacturing, transmission assembly, car assembly, and a corporate training center. Then a plastics manufacturer for Ford, a bumper and components manufacturer, an SUV manufacturer and another car plant.

I did another short stint with Aluminum and casting companies, trucks and remanufacturing and chemicals. The last stint has been pure joy in a manufacturing environment making gas pipe that are used in nearly every restaurant that you can think of. I have learned so many different ways to do Lean, that I can’t even remember them all.

And travel? Oh my goodness. I honestly think I may have logged as many miles in the air since the Navy than all of my travels before retiring. Not all of it was great and there were a few hairy times but truthfully, I had a great ride. I have so many pictures from all over the world that provide me with a lot of enjoyment. I never thought I would come to love France but I did.

Limoges and Paris 2010 077

So why retire now?

In some ways I am tired. A lot of health concerns have occurred in the last year and some are unresolved. Since I have turned 63, it was not a hard decision to take Social Security and combine it with my Navy pension and make it work. I am taking some time off to get healthier. But I will still seek some work from time to time. I still think I have a lot to offer as a teacher in technical schools. I want to write. And we want to travel and visit some of the amazing places and more amazing people we have met in our twenty moves. Plus, I want to write more stories for the blog.

Speaking

I picked up a hobby along th eway. I love to speak. I love to tell stories. I love it when an audience responds to something I have shared with them. But the hobby is time consuming. I found that it kept interfering with my work time. So I will be reengaging in my love and try to continue to grow. There is one very large trophy still missing on my shelf. Maybe I will find it someday.

The leansubmariner Blog.

In May of 2014, theleansubmariner celebrated a milestone of reaching 150,000 views. Fast forward to May of 2017 and the number tops 330,000 views. There are currently 558 stories covering 83 categories and over a thousand tags. We are linked through Facebook shares, Twitter, LinkedIn and we are viewed in nearly every country on earth during the six years since we first published.

Debbie

I would be remiss to mention the girl who has put up with me through all of these journeys. Did I mention she has moved with me twenty times? She has held my hand in the darkest of moments and propped me up when I felt like quitting. I am looking forward to many more fun adventures.

My hope for all of you is that you have as an exciting journey along the way as we have had so far. It is always humbling to see people on Facebook that we served with or worked with so many years ago and still share memories and thoughts with. I know the best is still yet to come but for now, I’m going to enjoy slowly strolling by this milestone.

Mister Mac

 

The Submariner’s Lament; When you understand 1

theleansubmariner

When you understand

This was a post that I put up on Facebook in 2014. It has been shared over 8500 times in the time it has been on Facebook

I am grateful for the feedback already sent

On February 16, 2017, it came to my attention that the story has been cut and pasted with unauthorized alterations and no attribution. I never copyrighted the post or the material but rest assured that it is still my intellectual property. I have shared this freely with the submarine community. All I ask in return is that it not be altered and credit be given where possible.

Mister Mac

When you understand 2

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The Birth of the First Civilian Submarine Reply

This was an early post on theleansubmariner (2011) that has been updated with new content and pictures. 100 years ago, the Germans experimented with the first commercial submarine Deutschland commanded by Captain Paul Koenig. König was a captain in the German merchant navy. In 1916 during World War I, he became a reserve Kapitänleutnant in the Imperial German Navy.

Later in 1916, König became commanding officer of the merchant submarine Deutschland. He took it on two patrols to the United States for commercial purposes. He arrived at Baltimore on July 10, 1916, with a cargo of dyestuffs. While in the United States he was interviewed by newspapermen, was even the recipient of vaudeville offers, was welcomed by mayor of Baltimore and officials. On August 2 he sailed on the return voyage, later making a second voyage and putting in at New London, Connecticut.

He received the Iron Cross 1st class the same year. Following his return after the second journey, König wrote a book called Voyage of the Deutschland, which was heavily publicized, as it was intended to be used as propaganda.

König then became commanding officer of a Sperrbrechergruppe (group of blockade runners; 1917), and later was an executive at Norddeutscher Lloyd (1919–1931). He died at Gnadau, on September 9, 1933, where he is buried.

theleansubmariner

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The Birth of the First Civilian Submarine

While we were on our last trip, I stopped by a used book  store and found a book that had been a part of my life growing up. In my Grandfather’s library was a collection of books called “Source Records of the  Great War”. These books were collected documents about the events that were  part of World War 1 from the viewpoint of the actual participants.
Unfortunately, out of all of the books, only the year 1916 was in the store. While I was reading it last night, I uncovered a piece of submarine history  that I was not aware of despite years of reading and presenting submarine  talks. An even happened in 1916 that had the potential to change the way submarines could be used in the future.

On July 9, 1916 the captain of the German submarine Deutschland,  Paul Koenig…

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Are you ready? Are you sure? 1

Saying prayers to our friends and families affected by the storms.

theleansubmariner

With the recent storms in Florida and the south, I was reminded about another large storm and it’s impacts. We are praying for the folks in the South today and hope that everyone remains safe. God Bless and Protect you all.

One of my post retirement hobbies has been public speaking. My subject matter is pretty expected; Navy stuff, World War 2 history and of course Submarines in the Cold War. I’ve probably given hundreds of talks over the past sixteen years to all sizes of social and civic groups. But one of my favorite topics has been developed over the past ten years. Readiness. As a good submarine sailor, I pride myself for thinking about all of the situations I might find myself in during our routines and travels. Living in Western Michigan was a joy in some ways but also a challenge since we were right in the path…

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USS Pittsburgh SSN 720 Crew Visit to Pittsburgh April 6th 2016 Reply

Pittsburgh Pittsburgh_Pirates3
Greetings to all of my Pittsburgh PA area shipmates and friends.
The Captain and part of the crew of the USS Pittsburgh are arriving this Sunday evening for a official and non official visit to the city.
Wednesday afternoon and evening, there is a great way to honor the crew by attending a Meet and Greet Cash Bar Pre-game Party at the Atria in the PNC Complex at 4:30 P.M. followed by a Pirates Game at PNC Park.
Cost is $25.00 for the pre-game and $25.00 for the game.
This is a great opportunity to show support for our submarine and crew. Tickets are on a first come basis so please respond to John Caspero (Captain of the Pittsburgh Relief Crew) as soon as possible.
RSVP to John Caspero
email: jfcaspero@verizon.net
or email me at bobmac711@live.com for more details
Note: You do not need to be a Navy veteran or former submariner. This is just a great way to pay a small tribute to real American heroes and spend a few hours with them watching a great American sport and team.
I hope to see you there
Bob MacPherson
aka theleansubmariner

Local teen selected to represent the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps in Australia Reply

Pittsburgh Area Sea Cadet News

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Sea Cadet Chief Petty Officer Ian Sleigh is not your typical high school freshman. At barely 16, Chief Sleigh has already racked up a fairly impressive resume.  Starting at an early age he completed his first ship board training at age 11 in Buffalo, New York at the Buffalo Naval Park. Sleigh has also trained in Tactical Medicine, attended a Navy Submarine School, been to Petty Officer Leadership Academy and nearly a dozen other training evolutions in the past five years.
 
Sleigh was recently selected to participate in the Sea Cadet’s International Exchange Program in April. As of one of only two cadets selected, he will be heading to Australia in April to work alongside cadets from Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa, and, of course, Australia. 
 
The program begins with a two day adventure camp at an Australian Naval Air Station which will include sailing, canoeing and shipboard/simulator activities.  Cadets will also visit the Darling Harbor Zoo, the Australian War Memorial and Sydney Maritime Museum as well as participating in the annual ANZAC Day parade.
 
The Pittsburgh Battalion Sea Cadet is currently the highest ranking cadet in the unit. He has over 40 cadets under his command. He was awarded the Navy League’s Theodore Roosevelt Youth Medal for outstanding Sea Cadet of the year for the Pittsburgh Battalion at the annual Navy League award dinner at the Pittsburgh Athletic Club on February 6th.
 
A student at Mars Area High School, in Mars, Pennsylvania the freshman is an active member of Mars Boy Scout Troop 400 where he currently is a Life Scout working on his Eagle Scout requirements. He is also an active member of the Big Red One Living History Organization where he helps teach the public about the life of soldiers during World War II.
 
The U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps (USNSCC) is a non-profit youth development program for youth age 11 through the completion of high school. Cadets participate in weekend drills with their local unit and may attend national training events during the winter and summer vacations. Training evolutions are conducted in more than 60 different Navy and STEM career fields. The Pittsburgh Battalion serves the Western Pennsylvania general area and has cadets from Ohio and West Virginia as well.  For more information on the Sea Cadet program please visit www.seacadets.org and for information about the Pittsburgh Battalion go to www.pittsburghseacadets.com.
 
Lcdr. Paul M. Julian, USNSCC