It is 3:25 AM on Saturday August 18th, 2018. I’m still jet-lagged but was able to sleep an hour later this morning so assume that is progress.
Life has changed again with the end of the Japan summer trip, school starting and almost back to our normal routine. There is no Hoshuko today and we’re skipping karate as we still need to get completely unpacked and the jet-lag is terrible. The jet-lag is always more difficult returning from Japan than going and takes much longer to adjust.
Yesterday, I buckled down on a lot of the tasks I needed to get accomplished due to the new job as well as new opportunities. This included: checking healthcare providers due to the new insurance, ensuring we can use the same dentist, rolling over 401K programs and starting to switch from Bank of America to Chase.
I’ll start with the bank switch. I haven’t liked Bank of America since 2007 due to two reasons. The first is that they kept bothering me with robo calls imploring me to sign up for “theft protection.” “Please don’t let the criminals take all you’ve worked so hard for!” Isn’t it the bank’s job to protect my money in the first place without additional services with their fees? The second is that they would always congratulate me whenever I spoke with their tellers telling me that I was eligible for their credit card which I didn’t need. They must have congratulated me 15 times. It is practices like this which have driven customers of many services to no longer wish to speak with an actual person: everyone now is a salesperson trying to sell you something. Welcome to America which is much more of a business than an actual country.
This was annoying from BoA so when Chase opened up a branch in Linda Mar I started giving through to a switch. Chase also operates in my hometown of Columbus and B of A does not. So it would be more convenient to use Chase and two of my credit cards are also tied to Chase so I could have things in one place. We went to the branch and I added my wife to the account I signed up for when Chase first started their drive in the Bay Area and I got $200 for opening an account. I just kept the minimum amount to avoid fees but never really used it except when only a Chase ATM was available. I added my wife as well so we now have a joint account and she can pull her own cash when needed. We also added a savings account and will add two more savings “buckets” for the kids savings.
Now comes the hassle of transferring all of my auto deposits and withdrawals to Chase. Changing my direct deposit was easy, changing Acorns investments a little more difficult and as for Schwab, the MoneyLink is a pain. especially since I have four MoneyLinks set up.
The next item was ensuring our healthcare providers were available under the new insurance. This was not easy since our primary care physician went on sabbatical and didn’t return. We looked at other doctors in the program but they were either not accepting new patients or were too far away. The Bay Area has grown so much and due to the growth it is difficult to not only find affordable housing but also a new doctor. So after a few hours of searching I went back to the letter we received last year from John Wilson, our previous primary doctor and learned that he had sold his practice to a medical group. I saw they were included under the new plan and gave them a call. The Nurse Practitioner is still there and a new doctor onboard. So we’ll stay with them for now.
As for our wonderful dentist I had a panic attack when I couldn’t find him under preferred dentists with Delta Dental. I wasn’t willing to find another so easily because his kids attend the same school as ours, he is close, his facilities excellent and I want to stay with him. So I gave the office a call and asked if they dealt with Delta Dental which they do! I told them they almost gave me a heart attack by not popping up under Delta Dental and it would be a good idea to get this resolved so people under the Delta Dental plan could find him in the search.
As for the 401K rollovers this will take a moment. Our current provider wants us to fill out a 10 page form and I am not sophisticated or knowledgeable about retirement plans. I couldn’t find all the necessary information needed for these forms so eventually gave up and will try again another day.
In doing all of these things I learned that the world has changed in terms of technology and fraud prevention. Every website now has two factor authentication and wants to send you a text to verify. Also, Schwab has a voice recognition feature so they can identify you by voice. I was fine with that and let them do that. So much security, so much information is now needed that we as a people have completely lost control of our privacy. Couple that with Siri, Google, and so on which track and record everything. Yes, building profiles do greatly enhance the services and convenience but at what cost? Privacy is dead and there is no going back.
I myself have taken great pains to protect privacy by using Firefox, an alias on social websites/internet and so on. But the data leaks out and the services are too good to not give up a lot of information. I too will start using AI through Bixby on Samsung. I just ordered the Samsung Note 9 since my current Galaxy S6 is old and slow with all the apps I need to use for work. It simply cannot handle all the new improvements and no longer updates the software since it is so old. So, it is time for a new phone and I was waiting either for a promotion or for the new Galaxy 10 to come out. However, I cannot wait until March for the 10 and T-Mobile offered 50% off the new Note 9. However, I learned that I won’t get the $500 off for a trade in but $250 instead since my phone is old. I’m fine with that especially since I’ll get a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and there won’t be better promotions on trade-ins since my phone is so old. So, I’m really looking forward to this new phone, its power, and all the things I’ll be able to do with it. It will be a great leap forward for me since I’m a power user and with the new capabilities will be able to download all of these new apps and have better control over my life.
So much for my idea of switching back to the RAZR; I simply need all of those apps to know what the heck is going on in terms of investments, healthcare, work, staying connected and so on. And I need it to be fast and the battery to last longer than three hours.
The time is now 3:57 and today we’ll finish unpacking, go to Costco for all the items we need since returning from Japan and also just take it easy.
It always amazes me how much life changes with the Japan trip every summer. It is like going to a different world for a while then returning and life is a slightly different. My mindset too also changes. I was so excited to have my free time while the family was away but learned that I quickly became lethargic and didn’t do much of anything outside of the travel to Ohio, North Carolina and Japan. Then in Japan everything is different for a while. We then return and the kids are in a new grade, have grown up and life isn’t quite the same as before. This is all very hard to explain but it is like my life has been quickly turning to different chapters with the chapter I’d been reading for a while quickly ends, the Japan chapter short and then a new, longer chapter begun as we return.
New job, new bank, new phone, new grade for the kids, new world in terms of tech and so on. So much newness going on that it can be hard to wrap the head around.
Well, the thing with jet-lag is that although I cannot sleep, I’m still tired and feel as though I want to sleep so will try going back to bed for a while. If I cannot sleep then I’ll make myself go workout.