24 Hours

Posted November 18, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Personal

The title could mean just about anything right? To me as of about 5 minutes ago, it means 24 hours without a cigarette. I have been taking a new prescription called Chantix to help me stop smoking. The little pill is quite amazing in that somehow it changes how the cigarette tastes, and makes it undesirable. The first week you gradually increase the dosage, and can continue to smoke while taking it. I found myself several times smoking 1/2 the cigarette, or taking a couple of drags, and putting it out for fact of the foul taste. I smoked the last of a pack last night around 1 AM, and since I had only one day left in the week anyway, figured it made no sense to buy a pack for just one day. See, once you hit the second week and double the dose, the package says these pills in combination with cigarettes can do some weird shit to you.

I kept myself pretty busy today with things around the house. I vacuumed the entire apartment, put away clean dishes and took out all of the trash. I also rented a couple of movies, watched some college football and played a little bit of Guitar Hero III. The cravings are there, at the ‘scheduled’ times when it was a routine to smoke a cigarette. After I eat and now late at night before bed I find to be the most difficult times. I know this pales in comparison to what I will go through Tuesday night when I begin my venture home to Philly for the Thanksgiving weekend and my sister’s birthday. I’ll be in my car for 12 hours over night, and not be able to smoke. It will be quite a challenge for sure, but if I am going to begin to make positive change in my life, it has to happen.

 On the lighter side of things, my recent doctor’s appointment yielded relatively positive results in the form of my blood tests. Apparently even though I am 100 pounds overweight, my cholesterol is normal, my blood pressure is only slightly elevated, and my blood sugar is low. The only thing I can attribute this to is the fact that I don’t typically eat a lot of junk food, no candy or cookies really, and that I am only 22. Being only 22, I know if I do not make life-style changes now, 32 might be pushing my luck….


Can’t sleep.

Posted October 27, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Personal

Here I am just after 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning, and I have not slept a single wink all night long. I have had a very hard time getting several thoughts out of my head related to work and my personal life as it stands right now. Last night at work was very difficult, and though I will not go into details, if I can pull my team through this situation it will prove my abilities as a leader, and could end my career if not. Aside from that I have really been doing a lot of soul searching about the things that are meaningful in my life, with the intent of putting all of the pieces back together.

For quite some time now I have been primarily focused on my career and improving my professional reputation with a goal of making more money so that I may enjoy the finer things in life. Who doesn’t want to do that right? I think however that I have lost the focus on why I am working, and what the ends were meant to be in the first place. We work to put a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and keep the lights on and the gas in the car. That is the basic purpose of why people work. But the reason that I moved 700 miles from home and have dedicated the better part of my life to my work is more than basic. I want to own a home, and pay off debts to which I have managed to amass more than my share. I want to be able to travel, and own nice things. Hell, right now I would like to have enough money saved away to cover my insurance deductible should the need arise.

It is time for change. As I sit here looking at the remnants of my late night Taco Bell runs from this week, ash trays full of cigarette butts, and pizza boxes on my kitchen table, I realize that this is not me. I am focused on my goals, and intent on success. I am diligent in my day-to-day activities and routines and I do not accept anything less than the best. But for sometime now I have merely been ‘getting by’ in life and have let many things go.

My father recently had a mild heart attack, which woke me up somewhat due to the fact that he is not even 42 years old, he and I are the same height and I outweigh him by 100 pounds. He and I both smoke, which must have played a large part in his condition. This along with the fact that I engage in very little physical activity that isn’t required by my job has gotten me on edge about my health. I have not seen a doctor in almost two years, so I got a referral from my boss and made an appointment for a full physical and work up November 7th. That will be one major step towards my goals in my personal life.

Aside from my health, I need to get my financial situation in order. I have managed to build up credit card debt at about 80% of the credit lines I carry. I have student loans, and car loans out that will require payments for some time to come. I make more money than any person I know of my age, or in my position, and yet I am still living basically paycheck-to-paycheck. Where has all of the money gone? I did some basic financial analysis of my spending over the last 6 months, and have found that I spend over $400 a month on ‘Dining’. That means stopping for fast food, eating off of the lunch truck at work, and ordering take out pizza. This has got to change. I buy groceries to the tune of around $270 every month, but somehow manage to need to spend $400 more just feeding myself. The old me, the focused and determined me will make this change.

Along with saving money, I need to eat better and be more active, A LOT more active. I do not need a doctor to tell me that I’m overweight, have a low lung capacity and overall poor health. I need to focus myself on a routine. I need to get up every morning and make it to the gym. I need to ride my bike when the weather is nice, and spend less time sitting on the couch. I fear that if I do not do so, and soon, I am heading for a very bleak future in that I will work myself to death at one point, and have had nothing of any real substance to show for it all. This changes now. I need to begin to use the same determination that I have exhibited for years in my professional and personal life, renew that energy, and simply do it. No more excuses. Go big or go home. There is no try, there is only do or do not. Just do it.

Been a long time…

Posted September 6, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Uncategorized

I realize it has been a very long time since I posted anything new, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something new to talk about. In all honesty, I have been very conflicted recently, and had a lot of things going on both in my professional and personal life. I feel as if I have to be at the least a little cautious about what I write on the internet when it comes to things that effect other people.

Over the last month or so, I have been through a grueling personal and professional drama that surrounded one of my best friends getting terminated from work. Having to watch a person I considered a personal friend and mentor go through the trials and tribulations that ensued was a very difficult time in my life. Finally able to put it all behind me, albeit the outcome not what I wanted, I was more recently able to move on.

Last weekend I traveled to my hometown in Bucks County, PA for the Labor Day weekend. I had not seen my family back home since the end of April, and it was definitely time for a trip. I drove of course, 1700 miles total in just 5 days. I like to drive however, especially in my new car. Even though it is tiring, I feel the need every now and then to just, go….

After coming back from this trip, it was time to make a decision in my professional life that would also significantly effect my personal life. I had the opportunity to get promoted to the rank of Deputy Director of Counter Intelligence. To the average person, the term ‘Assistant Manager’ will fit here. I was also in line to transfer to another department within my facility, and be part of an area of the business I am very interested in, and can forsee myself spending years working in.

Finally today, the decision was made, and I accepted the position of Deputy of Counter Intelligence – Data Reconniassance Division. I will be supervising Agents who work on recovering customer’s lost data and restoring their precious information to them. It is an area of our business that I feel very passionate about, and look forward to helping this business blossom into the enterpise that it can become. Feels as if a weight has been lifted off my chest at this point. I hope now I can move forward and face all of the new challenges with the same vigor that I have taken on others in my life. That’s all for today…

Very cool experience…

Posted August 11, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Geek Squad

I had perhaps one of the coolest experiences of my career today, on a Saturday of all days. I was asked this week to participate in a Back to School fair at Trinity Life Center in Shepherdsville, KY. (http://www.trinityag.net/) Apparently there are a few of the citizens at Geek Squad City whom are members of this church, and asked if The Geek Squad could send a contingent to this event to help talk about internet safety with parents and kids.

Several pieces of this event make it unique and exciting to me. The kids were great, the parents were receptive and all were very involved and interested in our message. The staff at TLC was warm and accomodating, even letting us bring Geek 19 into their sanctuary and use it as our booth for the event. Even though this was an on the clock work event, it was even more valuable because it was incredibly rewarding to take part in giving back to the community that I have called home for the past year.

On the Geek Squad side, this day was very fun for me, because I was honored to have the responsibility of caring for Geek 19, the GeekMobile® that was the personal vehicle of our founder and Chief Inspector, Robert Stephens. It was challenging for me, having been a novice driver of a manual transmission at the best, and realizing that if I returned the vehicle unharmed, I would likely be allowed to drive it again. If I damaged the vehicle, I would likely be asked to turn in my badge….

This is one of those moments in your career when you re-focus on why you are doing what you are doing. The pride in the brand, the customer service and community focus that we have. That is what it’s all about…

The long journey back to civilization

Posted July 25, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Uncategorized

I am writing this from my cell phone in John Wayne Airport in cali….time to return to life…:(

Mischief in California

Posted July 24, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Personal

Yesterday was insane to say the least. Take it from the fact that I am used to relatively mundane daily life. I get up too early in the morning, go to work, struggle through rush hour traffic on the way home. I eat take out for dinner most nights, and play on the PC or watch TV until I pass out. Lather, rinse and repeat. That’s it. Yesterday was such a departure from that, it was phenomenal.

We started out the day a bit late. We went to IHOP for breakfast around 11:00 AM, after sleeping until our bodies naturally woke us up. The lack of an alarm clock is a beautiful thing without a doubt. We came back to the hotel after IHOP, showered and cleaned up for our adventure for the day. Alex got a call on the way to the hotel from his boss, something was broken. The best I can tell with my limited knowledge of Cisco networking and the world he operates in, there was a bank branch in downtown Philadelphia that was having a problem with logging into a specific, business critical application. Alex is a network engineer, and gets this call from his boss in NJ, that they need to go to work getting the issue resolved. He tried to explain to me what the issue was, I comprehended a little of it, and just smiled and nodded through the rest. 2 hours after getting the call, things were back up and running, and we were free to begin our adventure. 2 PM Pacific time, and we hopped in what we have dubbed the ‘shit-box’ KIA we have for a rental. I fired up the Delorme Earthmate GPS, and we headed off to Santa Monica, about an hour drive north of Anaheim. Our ultimate goal was the Geek Squad Store in Santa Monica, and the beach of course.

The drive there was quite possibly the worst hour in a moving (sometimes) vehicle that I have ever spent. Interstate 5 north from Anaheim towads Santa Monica runs through East L.A., and is under construction for much of the way. Now we figured that at 2:15 in the afternoon, traffic wouldn’t possible be too bad. We figured wrong. Stop and go traffic the entire way, with trucks, motorcycles and every other imaginable vehicle cutting us off, running around us and otherwise bothering us on the highway. We did however eventually make it through the insanity, and to the general Santa Monica area. We arrived at Geek Squad Precinct 1202 in Santa Monica around 3:00, and visited with the Precinct Chief and two of his Agents there for quite some time. I learned a lot about how they operate, and they learned a bit about how Geek Squad City operates. I could tell Alex was getting bored, so around 4:00, we left the store with the intent to get something to eat, and stop at a local Best Buy, so that Alex could buy a new camera, since the one he brought with him was no longer functioning…

We had taken directions from the GSS on how to get to our destinations, but by the time we left, had basically forgotten them, and circled around a couple of blocks without success. I did not have my web-enabled cell phone with me, so looking up the address on the Internet was out. I decided to call Best Buy’s customer service line, and locate the store we were trying to get to. Once I had the address, and located it on my GPS, we were finally back on track. Another 1/2 an hour gone…

Best Buy was relatively uneventful, Alex bought a very nice camera, and then we decided it was time to eat. We tried to get directions to a good spot to eat from our sales girl at Best Buy, when she told us…”I don’t know, I don’t really eat” — Needless to say we just walked out at that point determined to feed our hunger somehow. About 2 blocks down, we found a Burger King, and had some quick sandwiches to tide ourselves over. Next stop, Santa Monica Beach. One very nice thing about the Delorme GPS program is that it can locate and direct you to what it calls Points of Interest, beaches included. Within a half an hour, we were parked just off the beach, and getting ready to get in the Pacific Ocean. I guess that we spent about an hour in the water and on the beach, just simply enjoying the fact that for once, at this point and time in life, there was no requirements of our life whatsoever. We were free to come and to go as we so pleased. If you haven’t felt that ever, or in a long time, I highly suggest you search out this feeling, it is incredibly rewarding.

We left the beach and got on the Pacific Coast Highway, intent upon reaching our destination of the previous night, Huntington Beach. Our only mistake here was not using the GPS, which would have showed us that this highway winds and twists all along the coast, and going straight down it was not the most efficient way to reach our beach. After passing through the likes of Hermosa and Redondo Beaches, we started to get quite hungry, as it was already after 7:30, and we had been on the beach, working off our BK lunch. I fired up the GPS, and we were able to navigate towards the Huntington Beach area, hunger still waning.

Somehow, I managed to locate the only ‘dive’ bar restaurant in the town of Huntington Beach, place was called ‘Eat at Joe’s’. We stopped for a couple of brews and some chicken fingers to tide us over. I must say even though from the outside and the appearance, it was definitely a dive place, the food, service and ‘sights’ continued to please us with our California experience. We asked the waitress where we could buy some more beer, looking for a six pack to take down to the beach. She politely informed us that we couldn’t drink on the beach, but we could buy beer a couple of blocks down at a gas station. Back in the shit-box, and towards the sand we went. 9:20 PM Pacific Time.

Once we picked up a six pack of Corona, realizing that the State Beach would close the gates at 9:30, we began looking for alternative locales to imbibe our beverages. Alex also began to complain of being cold, and thinking he wanted to go get his hoody from the hotel. I had already mapped out a prime spot where we could walk off of a public street, and based on the GPS map, straight onto the beach. We decided that we would head back to the hotel, where Alex could get his hoody, and we could retrieve some caffienated beverages to keep us going for the rest of the night. He also decided that I was more apt to drive the shit-box for the rest of the night, as I was more alert, and more adept at driving a small vehicle. He had been struggling with this go-cart-with-a-roof all day long. Back at the hotel, we got some energy drinks, I picked up a pack of cigarettes, and Alex retrieved his hoody. Then it was off for the final adventure of the night!!

30 minutes later, we were back in Huntington Beach, and trolling along the coastal communities looking for the perfect spot to get onto the beach. We found it in a small area that had two blocks of homes backing straight up the the sand. Parked the car, and concealed our beverages in our clothing, off to the beach we went! The spot we chose to enter the beach happened to be directly behind a lifeguard station. We thought this the perfect spot to sit without getting too covered in sand, and knock back a few under the moon on the Pacific Ocean. We settled on there around 11:15, and just watched the waves come in, and the other inhabitants of the beach. One such group was apparently a couple about my age from the area that was getting physical in the shallow water. They were there for about 45 minutes before departing back to the row of houses. We managed to partake in the entire 6-pack of Corona, by around 1:00 AM, and headed for the hotel.

I woke up briefly this morning as Alex left for his seminar on Cisco networking equipment, and have had quite the lazy day today. It is now 5 PM Pacific Time, and we are both in the hotel, continuing to recuperate from the adventures of last night…

Life Guard Meade
No LifeGuard, Just Alex
Cap’n Meade
Just Chillin’

California Fun

Posted July 23, 2007 by dcimeade
Categories: Personal

What can I say? Tonight was outstanding. We fired up the GPS, and headed out from our hotel in Anaheim towards Laguna Beach. We had reservations at this place called The Beach House, which literally sits on the edge of Laguna Beach. Amazing view of the Pacific Ocean and all of the amazing bodies that walk up and down that beach!!

The food was outstanding, clams for an appetizer, along with White Zinfandel. I had quite likely the most tender, juicy prime rib steak that has ever graced this earth. Key lime cheesecake was the choice for desert, along with what they called ‘Laguna Coffee’ which was a mix of Kahlua, Bailey’s, and coffee I guess. The service was more than outstanding, and after tip for two people, the bill came out to almost $150! I must say that it was more than worth the 45 minute drive, which was also breathtaking, and the almost two hours at the restaurant. Very possibly the best meal I have had in my adult life.

Once we left, rather than plan out our destination, we decided to simple get on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and go North. We drive for about a half an hour before we came to Huntington Beach, and made it on the state controlled beach just before the gates were closed for the night. Walked down and dipped our feet into the Pacific Ocean, and then just hung out on the beach for an hour, discussing the things that are life. Work, women, and the general challenges that we face. Alex and I are both very advanced in our careers, and having gone to the same school and shop, and generally traveled the same path in life, we have a lot to talk about. Smoked a few cigarettes on the beach, until we were chased off the beach by the Beach Patrol. Back to our KIA, and back onto PCH once again, we made it back to the hotel within about a half an hour.

Right now I am lounging in the hotel, drinking my 3rd or 4th Corona, and deciding between taking a shit or going down to smoke a cigarette….ahh, the decisions in life…