Sunday, August 07, 2005

Back in the day ...


I remember Infantry Training School quite well -- summer of 1986, six weeks at the San Onofre area of Camp Pendleton, California.

We worked 22-23 hours a day, five days a week: Up at 0330, draw weapons from the armory, go to chow, class all day, gun drills outside until it was too dark to see, then in the barracks, usually until 0200 or after. On weekends, we got liberty -- slept for 12 or 14 hours, then went and got smashed. Made it back in time for Sunday evening formation, slept for 10 more hours, then back to the grind. That's why 21 of 24 students made perfect scores on their mortar gunner exams.

On our final exercise and gear turn-in, I was up for 90 hours straight. I finally just keeled over on top of some gear I was stacking and it took the troop handler ten minutes of simultaneously shaking me and threatening me with imminent death to get me conscious again.

I once drove 27 hours from Reno, Nevada to Saratoga, Wyoming in one stretch in a friggin' 14-foot U-Haul truck. That was after spending all night an airport, flying into Sacramento, loading the truck, driving to Reno and crashing fo four hours. Spent the night in Saratoga and then Denver, then ploughed it another 14 hours straight through back to Missouri. The year after that, I drove 20 hours straight through to Virginia Beach, slept, then split the loading and driving of another U-Haul with another guy all the way straight through back.

I can't count the number of days I spent last year wrapping around a 24- or 48-hour campaign bender to get the press releases out, keep up with the interview requests, and do my "day job," too. Yeah, Gordon, you slave-driver, I'm talking about you ;-)

So why is a piddly little 24-hour Blogathon kicking my ass?

Maybe I'm getting old.

Then again, I'm starting to hit my stride for the moment. This is the time of day when I'm usually up, editing, proofing and assembling Rational Review News Digest. Muscle memory is kicking in and I'm probably good to go until five or six in the morning now. I just popped open another Boulevard Wheat. Meant to order a pizza and some wings earlier this evening ... too late now. Cold cuts will do, though. Six hours to go. Cakewalk. Booya.

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