I pulled off another fine performance as a Drill Instructor (DI) last night for my man Jordan Hallow; didn’t want him to feel that anything was amiss on the evening, a cap to his first full day of post-bootcamp freedom.   I used to go “all DI” on Jordan, and my son, Kleat, when they were younger and both involved in youth sports.  Good times and good memories.  Of course, I had to use the PG versions at that time in their lives.  I can loosen things up a little, now.  Here’s a quick example of how I’d wake them up, back in the day.  This was also a favorite for out-of-town baseball tournaments.   I can’t believe Social Services was never called out to the various venues at which this was utilized in the wee hours of the morning.  Think loud, here.  A Full Metal Jacket, DI-in-your-face loud:

*Slams open the door, flips on every possible light*

What is this!?

Get up, friggin’ maggots,

Split tails.  GET UP!

I wanna see feet on the ground,

I wanna see nothin’ but elbows and dooty-holes,

Get mooooovin’!

Multitudes of opportunity await you this fine day!

Multitudes of opportunities to exceed, to excel, to conquer.

Get up!  GET UP! Up! Up, Up, Up!

And even though he’ll kill me for doing it, I’m going to post a couple of his pictures here.  I couldn’t be more proud, even if he were my own kid. 


A newly-minted Devil-Dog and Meesus TTP.



Hooh-Rah!  Semper Fi.  We’re all proud of you, kid.

So, just what does all this have to do with meal preparation?  And MREs?  TTP? WTF? 

For those who might not have come from a military background (like yours truly), MREs are Meals Ready to Eat.  They’re palatable enough.  They’ll “push a turd”, pardon the French.  And their most redeeming quality: they’re very portable.  TTP or course is Theory to Practice shorthand, and WTF?  Well, more military lingo: it’s an acronym for What the F^*$

My MREs, on the other hand, begin the night prior to the morning’s meal preparation.  I make enough dinner to ensure that I have plenty leftovers available.  This isn’t a big deal (time wise) since I’m making dinner anyway.  Making extra doesn’t add to the time cost.

Now to the morning of, and the “pulling it all together phase”.


A pair gettin’ their soft-boil on

Total time for preparing soft-boiled eggs is maybe  10 minutes.  And most of that time is spent waiting, so I can get other things done while the eggs are doin’ their thing.  Put the eggs in the water and bring the water to a boil.  Immediately, once the water reaches a full boil, cut the heat and let the eggs sit for approximately three-and-a-half  minutes (depending on how runny you like your yokes).  Immediately after they’ve timed-out, put the eggs in an ice water bath, as this will (1)stop the cooking process and, (2) make them easier to peel by forcing condensate to form between the shell and the white/outer membrane.

And while the eggs were gettin’ worked-over, I was busily packing this:


What’s for lunch: steak and salad from the night before.  Some walnuts for salad garnish.


Breakfast: more steak from the night prior.  Eggs, post polar experience.


The whole shootin’ match, prior to packing it up.  The eggs are wrapped in a paper towel, down at the 4 O’clock position.  At 2 O’clock, also wrapped in a paper towel, is the silverware.


First layer.  Those re-freezable cold-packs are the ticket.


The whole shebang…


…and it looks good, too, next to the briefcase.

Total “above and beyond time”?  Fifteen minutes, tops.  Not a bad investment for the payoff of eating well, eating healthy, and ensuring a consistent energy level throughout a hectic day.

Hallow?  What kind a damn name is Hallow, Hallow?

You know what else is hallow, Hallow?  The tube I piss out of is hallow, Hallow!

Jesus, Paul and Mary, Hallow!

The hole at the tip of my leather-lizard is hallow!

I couldn’t resist.  To all the Marines out their who have, and will in the future, fight for our freedom.  We’re proud of you all.


In Health,


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