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I’m still on the prowl for new insurance

This week I started my quest to find another insurance provider. I printed out my policy docs (after once again enraging myself at the thought that they want to increase my premium so much), and spoke to my first call centre agent of the week.

We had a lovely chat (I actually don’t mind talking with the agents, as long as the call was initiated from my side and was not unsolicited) and while we waited for the quotes to generate we joked around. When I heard her gasp though, I knew it was bad news.

The number the system spat out was an effective 41% increase on my current premium. And that was just for the car, we hadn’t even gotten around to the home contents insurance yet. No amount of excess fiddling or benefit tweaking would have brought that number down. She thanked me for my time and I ended the call.

I’m pretty sure that it’s because all the banks dinged my credit record in December when we did the bond applications. As far as I know, that kind of action hangs around on the record for at least three months, even if the applications are successful (which they all were).

What it seems like is I’ll have to negotiate the increase down with my current insurer (to like 10%), and hang on a few months while my record settles down, then try again with the other places. Sigh.

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I’m on the prowl for new insurance

I just received my “annual policy review” from my insurer. You know what they can do with the 22% increase to my premium they want to implement from 1 March? For me, a customer of 3 years with no claim history, and needing to add building insurance and increase my current home contents cover?

So now I know that three days of my post-exam honeymoon will be filled with calls to various contact centres, as well as blocking numbers from those same contact centres for the next few months. Joy! Either way, at the end of those 3 days, I’m either going to have my premium kept the same, or I’m off to a new insurer.

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Oh happy days

I arrive at work at 05:52, to find that someone else has been using my desk last week. He moved everything around and left his wireless keyboard in the middle of my desk. I’ve pushed it to the side now.

I then discover he has left a Takealot box under my desk. As I move to pick it up, two cockroaches sprint out. Oh yes, my floor has cockroaches now. Apparently they fumigated last week.

At least it’s going to be warm today.

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Microsoft Flow

I got very excited when Paul posted about Microsoft Flow the other day. Of course, with anything Microsoft, one always has to suffer a bit and ask “Why would they do this???”

Case in point, when I tried to sign up with my Microsoft account, it wouldn’t let me. I tried on a different device with the same result before I realised it was trying to use my school account credentials. This struck me as odd, until I went through the documentation.

Apparently, Microsoft would like to know why on earth I would want to use a personal account for this service instead of a work or school account. Judging by the comments, there are other people who are as riled up as I am. I’ve now had to sign up on the PowerUsers forum so I can post my reasons why.

The main reason is that everything (mostly) is tied to my personal Microsoft account. When I resigned last year, I had to leave my previous work’s Office 365 account behind because duh. I don’t want to attach anything to my school account because I will most likely finish up by mid 2018, and I don’t want to have to extricate myself from services then.

A third reason is all these things that I do for productivity (OneNote, Wunderlist, Pushbullet, programming) is because I enjoy it. Yes, it ultimately does help me with my daily tasks at work, but mostly it’s for my own personal benefit.

Those reasons are neither here nor there now, seeing as to get access I just signed in with my school account so that I could at least test out the service. I eagerly looked forward to building my long awaited Wunderlist > Onenote Flow…and of course Microsoft does not yet have integration support for many of its own products.

I’m not even surprised. I had considered building my own Python app to integrate Wunderlist and OneNote, but time is precious lately. I’ve now posted an idea on the forum.

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Daily routines

I’m having a hard time adjusting to our new daily routine. When I worked in Century City, I lived 18kms away. Leaving the house at 05:55, it took me roughly 20 minutes to get to work (and to one of the limited free parking spots on the premises). Leaving at 15:40 in the afternoon ensured that I would get home within 30 minutes max.

Now, we live 36km from my workplace. We leave home at 05:35 so that my husband can get off in Goodwood at 06:05, and that I can reach work at 06:40. We try to minimise my driving as much as possible because of my knee, but this is as good as it gets. We used to leave at 05:40 but one day I sat for 15 minutes on a bridge on-ramp that is literally 500m (I measured) and I just, refused.

I leave my desk at 15:42 so that I can pull out of the parking garage at 15:49. This is because in the afternoon I have to take the lift down 5 floors, walk up the ramp 1 floor and across the garage since of course my spot is on the opposite side. I then circle down 7 floors to get out of the garage and join the CBD traffic. After nipping around the N1, I reach my husband at about 16:21.

I then wait until he comes out at 16:34, and he drives us to gym. We arrive at 16:48, and leave gym at 18:15. After going through traffic on Voortrekker Road, we arrive home at 18:45. I prepare the food (warmed up from the weekend/freezer or dished from the slow cooker) so we can finish eating by 19:15. My husband then washes the dishes while I do my hair/prep the food for the lunch the next day.

By 8pm I sit down to study while he cleans/reads/researches, and by 21:30 we are sleeping. We actually only spend about 3 hours in the evening “living” in the house. I lose 2 hours to traffic every day. I have no desire at all to study when we get home. I just feel like there must be a better way to do things.

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How do I schedule my schedule?

During induction, we did the “4 personality types” exercise. I hadn’t performed this exercise in a formalised manner before, but it turned out to be very helpful. Below is an example of the grid:

Here’s another one:

I fall firmly within the Analytical square. Taken from Think2By2:

The Analytical personality falls in the quadrant formed by the boundaries of Introvert/Thinker. Individuals in this quadrant are generally described as being logical, thorough, serious, systematic, prudent, cautious, and compliant. This personality type emphasizes working conscientiously to ensure quality and accuracy. Analytical personalities tend to focus on tasks, seek details and facts, and need structure. Positive descriptors include perfectionist, questioning, idealistic, sensitive, self-disciplined, and precise. Negative descriptors or weaknesses include moody, negative, critical, rigid, legalistic, touchy, self-centered, unsociable, and impractical. Examples of the Analytical personality type include Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

I’ve suffered a long time from what I now know is called “analysis paralysis”. It occurs when an Analytical gets caught up in gathering facts, making lists, and analysing pros and cons to the point where nothing actually gets done or the deadline passes.

It’s why I took so long to build my home server, and why my home network config is still not complete, and I actually have to redo everything because of some stuff that’s happening.

I’m currently suffering through it now with my scheduling/note-taking/tracking tools. I have no idea how to keep track of everything anymore. Before I would just do OneNote, and that was all I needed. However, my tracking needs have grown quite a bit over the last year, so I added Wunderlist to my toolset.

It doesn’t still quite do what I want to do though, so I spent a bit of time testing out all the task management tools, how they integrate with my current environment etc. Basically, I ended up wasting more time deciding on what tools I needed to use so that I wouldn’t waste time. There’s a reason why this blog is called Overthinking.

I have 3 accounts to manage: personal, school, and work. My personal account is imploding slowly into a mess of personal emails, newsletters, notifications, bills and appointments. My school account is about to get busy now that my registration was approved. My work account will descend into madness (even though it’s only been 3 weeks) because I am involved in a bunch of projects already.

I’v been sticking it out with Wunderlist, because since Microsoft acquired them, I have been looking forward to OneNote integration. That’s the dream.

In the meantime, I’ve got a disgusting combination of:

  • Wunderlist tasks, which show up in my personal calendar (regardless of whether it’s a work, personal or school task)
  • Office desktop apps for my work account (I no longer use the task tracking in Outlook to link with OneNote)
  • Outlook.com web interface for personal account
  • Mobile apps for everything

I’m feeling quite irritated with the general state of things. I even thought about coding something to help me, at which point I knew I had to just stop.

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NO INTERNET!!!

I got home today at 17:00. Excited that I was a bit early (these days anyway), I sat down at my server to internet a bit.

I should have seen the warning sign – my phone was picking up the wifi but showing “No internet”. I just assumed it was stupid Windows Phone again so I rebooted the phone. My server seemed to be working fine as I cruised around UNISA and MyBroadband with no problems.

I then went onto the forums and saw a few people complaining about not being able to reach Google. A short while later my fears were confirmed – SEACOM and WACS were both down, so no one in SA could reach any international sites.

The last 2 hours that I’ve spent with only Mzansi sites within reach has basically been a dystopian nightmare. It made me realise that none of my important sites are here. There’s MyBB for the forums, UNISA for UNISA, and Daily Maverick for pontificating. There are literally no other local sites I visit.

At least it’s back now. I’ve also realised that there is no way we will survive at the new digs without internet. I’m going to have to swallow my pride and apply to Telkom for a landline.

Seems about right