Kevin C. Wong

Diary - Oct 21 to Oct 28 2022

Sat Oct 22 2022

Sleep 0200 to 0500. 1430 to 2100. (9-1/2 hours)

  • Property taxes are almost $12k this year. Not good or bad, just is.

Sun Oct 23 2022

Sleep 0445 to 0545. 1500 to 1900. (5 hours)

  • Reading my COBRA notice. Other options than using COBRA:

Mon Oct 24 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0530. 1200 to 1330. 1630 to 1730. (7-1/2 hours)

  • HOA Meeting ran 30 minutes long. We had half an hour with the two owners of the small business doing our patio waterproofing. Then another 30 minutes discussing operating and reserve budgets. Then 30 minutes speeding through the other topics. Then unfortunately an hour talking about the interior remodeling project. Even though we had two big topics to start I thought we would finish on time except T gets defensive about her project and spends a lot of time re-justifying the project over and over. I'm quite willing to support the project and have it go to conclusion; no need to try to convince me and I'm not sure the other board members are against it either even if we're bit short on reserves.

Tue Oct 25 2022

Sleep 0115 to 0815. (7 hours)

  • Due to COVID-19 National Emergency Period my COBRA enrollment end date is Dec 04 2023. The initial premium payment is also one year away, though you do have to pay all the intervening months for continuous coverage.
  • Signed up for COBRA.
  • Bit of an earthquake (11:42:30), 5.0 magnitude, epicenter a bit east of San Jose.
  • Used a 2-year expired can of cream of mushroom yesterday. I'm still alive.

Wed Oct 26 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0215. 0930 to 1630. (9-3/4 hours)

  • Slept a little, couldn't get back to sleep, finally slept in the morning. Not sure how much construction noise there was as it didn't seem loud when it was present. But slept with headphones for a few hours then without for the rest of the day.

Thu Oct 27 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0400. (3-1/2 hours)

  • FTB MCT REFUND - MCT REFUND ($250) appeared. Search reveals this is California Middle Class Tax Refund and is automatic.
  • It's noon and only a bit of drilling noises today. Maybe the drilling part of construction is over.
  • YouTube handles. I chose @KevinCWong as I slowly transition away from jahn.

Fri Oct 28 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0330. 1130 to 0200. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Eating some expired canned food. Realized that old cream of mushroom the cream sort of clumps.

California Local Offices 2022

San Mateo County election info:

Local Offices

US House of Representatives, 15th: Kevin Mullin (D)
- both candidates are Democrat and Kevin is current incumbent

CA State Assembly, 21st: Diane Papan (D)
- Diane's opponent does not have a candidate statement

SM County Board of Supervisors, 2nd: Noelia Corzo
- Go with the woman candidate.

SMFC School District Governing Board: Randi Paynter
- Another go with woman candidate though she's running against incumbent.

SM County Harbor District Commissioner, 3rd: Kathryn V. Slater-Carter
- Yet again go with woman candidate.

Local Measures

Measure CC: Increase property transfer tax on sales of $10M+ from 0.5% to 1.5%

- estimated would raise $4.8M annually
- goes to City of San Mateo general fund

Vote: YES


Continuing my current work plan would be:

UHC - HSA Medical Plan = $592
Dental Plan 2 = $63
Vision Plan 1 = $14 is the Affordable Care Act site but for California it points to Covered California. There is also Medicare for 65 and older.

For Covered California I did a search for: one person, my age, expected going to doctor once per year and minimal drug prescriptions, HDHP accounts for use with an HSA savings account.

Kaiser Bronze 60 HDHP HMO ($641)
Balance Bronze 60 HDHP HMO ($716)
Oscar Bonze 60 HDHP EPO ($750)
Blue Shield California Bronze 60 HDHP PPO ($795)
Anthem Blue Cross Bonze 60 HDHP EPO ($848)

Seven dental plans from $7 to $57.

Sutter Health is in the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield networks. They also have their own HMO health care plan, Sutter Health Plus. Lowest tier Bronze plan is $786 but it's not an HDHP so if I want Sutter better going with Blue Shield or Blue Cross.

Plan specifics differ a bit but I think using COBRA is my best option right now and it's nice having vision and dental included. Alternative would be Blue Shield.

Diary - Oct 15 to Oct 21 2022

Sat Oct 15 2022

Sleep 0100 to 0600. (5 hours)

  • First year $10 off is over so Sonic bill is up to $63. $50 for Internet and $13 for the phone service you can't unbundle.
  • Dim sum with extended family. We're all here for Tía Susana's 92nd birthday party tomorrow.

Sun Oct 16 2022

Sleep 2100 to 0200. 1600 to 1730. (6-1/2 hours)

  • This morning my right foot (Achilles heel area) feels 90% It's been hurting since last week night of Wed Oct 06. I gotta stop running around exercising in socks on hardwood floors.
  • From my parents place been using VPN back to home (macMini running macOS server) and speed is good enough things work fine. Back in the day my parents had kind of slow broadband Internet.

Mon Oct 17 2022

Sleep 0145 to 0615. (4-1/2 hours)

  • Ordered Mint Mobile 3-month, 4 GB plan. $51.35 including taxes and fees

Tue Oct 18 2022

Sleep 2300 to 0230. 1215 to 1630. (7-3/4 hours)

Wed Oct 19 2022
Sleep 0430 to 0830. (4 hours)

  • Finished filling in my elections ballot.

Thu Oct 20 2022

Sleep 2115 to 0200. 1 hour nap, 90 min nap. (6-1/4 hours)

  • According to Flipsy my MBP 15" 2015 is maybe $400 if I sold it myself. But the battery is going bad and the trackpad doesn't hardware click (you can turn on tap to click as a workaround). So I'd say more like $200.
  • Reason for this is that I'm returning my "work" laptop because I did specify it was not a personal laptop so in the internal system my company thinks it owns it. This is fine since it's a very old laptop.
  • Received letter from Optum saying my HSA savings account will remain active though I won't be able to contribute if I don't have an HSA health plan (I'm assuming with COBRA where I had an HSA plan I'll be able to contribute). There is a small maintenance fee if I don't have a minimum $5k cash, which I do. There is a $2.50 per transaction fee which I guess my company was covering before.

Fri Oct 21 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0500. 1830 to 1945. (6-3/4 hours)

  • Dropped off FedEx package with laptop. Remembered to remove MBP 2015 from iCloud. Also changed password and set it in hint just in case.

California Statewide Offices 2022

I'm voting Democrat until the Republican Party steps back from the edge, which unfortunately may be never.

US Senator, Full term: Alex Padilla (D)
US Senator, Partial term: Mark P. Meuser (R)

- It's an artifact of how California determines the two candidates for each race that both Padilla and Meuser got the primary election votes to be in both full term and partial term ballots.

Governor: Gavin Newsom (D)
Lt Governor: Eleni Kounalakis (D)
Secretary of State: Shirley N Weber (D)
Controller: Malia M Cohen (D)
Treasurer: Fiona Ma (D)
Attorney General: Rob Bonta (D)
Insurance Commissioner: Rocardo Lara (D)
Board of Equalization, 2nd District: Sally J Lieber (D)

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K Thurmond

- This is a non-partisan office. I like that Thurmond points to the positive things he's done and will continue to do. I dislike that Christensen's statement is "things are bad, I will fix".

Employment Exit Package Notes

Let's go over my exit package.

1. Cover letter basically saying COBRA information will be sent in a week and who to contact if I have questions.

2. Severance Agreement saying I wave my rights to sue for wrongful termination of any kind, that I'm receiving $x amount of severance, and that I will abide by the Proprietary Information Agreement I signed when I was hired.

3. California Unemployment Insurance Code section 1089 notice of termination.

4. 37-page Separation Packet to cover everything about what benefits I lose (pretty much everything) and which I still have (such as COBRA).

  • Since we went to flexible vacations there is no accrued vacation to pay out.
  • You will be able to download W2 from ADP portal.
  • Severance is 4 weeks pay for 1st year of employment, plus 1 week per additional year, max of 26 weeks. Minus pay that you got while on WARN (after you got notification of being laid off but before actual termination). Though minimum severance is 2 weeks regardless.
  • Unemployment info for filing for unemployment benefits with government.
  • You have 60 days to enroll in COBRA, Oracle pays first month for you (though later on it specifies 1st month only if you received Enhanced Severance Pay so not me). You can stay in COBRA for 18 months.
  • You can continue Life Insurance though cost will go up since Oracle subsidizes it. Life Insurance company will contact you in a couple of weeks.
  • For Long Term Disability insurance info will be in COBRA packet.
  • Health Savings Account. You can still contribute as long as you're in a qualified health plan. I assume if I continue COBRA I can contribute to my HSA.
  • Five days to initiate return equipment after FexEd packaging received.

5. ADEA spreadsheet showing which positions were terminated and their ages. Must be a government requirement so that I can determine if I need to sue for age discrimination or not.


Received FedEx box for returns = Tue Oct 18
Submit return of "company" laptop = Sun Oct 23
Sign Termination Agreement, 3 weeks = Mon Oct 24
Revocation Period, 1 week after signing Termination Agreement
COBRA enrollment, 60 days = Fri Dec 2
COBRA coverage, 18 months = Mar 2024
2022 W2 available at ADP web site = Jan 31 2023

Diary - Oct 08 to Oct 14 2022

Sat Oct 08 2022

Sleep 0930 to 1415. 1900 to 2100. (6-3/4 hours)

  • I wasn't sleepy at all until 0900 or so...
  • Rising Waters, a board game about the 1927 Mississippi Flood, developed by historians at Central Michigan University. Heard about it on History on the Table podcast. Not a wargame but looks kind of cool.

Sun Oct 09 2022

Sleep 0500 to 1200. (7 hours)

  • Apple Books app doesn't save third party audio books to iCloud, which makes sense since audio books are big and a default 5 GB account wouldn't be able to hold more than about five before running out of space.
  • Also found out you can edit book info in list views.
  • All my audio books are in Apple Music app because (1) they don't sync to iCloud and (2) I can edit the category and author info for easier sorting. Since I can do both in Apple Books app I will move my audio books there.
  • Aargh, never mind. You can't edit info for audio books, only normal books.

Mon Oct 10 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0330, 0700 to 1200. (8 hours)

  • With all the construction going on, lots of drilling and breaking up concrete starting last week, I appreciate AirPods Max noise cancellation. Better than the cheap disposable ear plugs I bought years ago.

Tue Oct 11 2022

Sleep 0130 to 0300, 0730 to 1030. (4-1/2 hours)

  • 4-1 in my fantasy football league. Sole first place in a 12-team league. From here only way to go is down.

Wed Oct 12 2022

Sleep 2230 to 0100, 0700 to 1330. (8 hours)

  • When construction work started I tried using my AirPods Max and sleeping. Fairly good experience. You have to sleep face up which I almost never do. With some background sounds (I also tried Portal) the noise didn't bother me and I could get to sleep.

Thu Oct 13 2022

Sleep 0130 to 330. 0900 to 1400. (7 hours)

  • Fantasy football week 6. First bye week and I have four players off plus one player questionable so that's all five bench positions. Luckily (well, a bit planned) I have just enough players to deploy a full team and no questionable status players.

Fri Oct 14 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0600. 90 min nap. (7-3/4 hours)

  • Drove to parent's place using scenic route. Highway 4 at Hercules then Highway 160 after Antioch, through Isleton following the Sacramento River then cut across at Hood Franklin Road. It was a 3-hour drive, normally 2 hours.

DDO - The Price of Freedom / Palace of Stone - Reaper 10

The Price of Freedom

Solo [Deep Gnome Wizard] (L31 R10 D42), no optionals, 4-1/2 hours

This one was interesting since you can't Dimension Door. But a week ago (Sep 22) they introduced a bug and your equipment doesn't degrade when you die so dying a lot is not as much of a problem.

Getting up to the prison is a bit annoying but I finally found a rhythm. You're on a launch pad so let it shoot you up then halfway down shoot the next launchpad, which takes a few seconds to set. Let your current launch pad shoot you up again and jump over to the new launchpad then repeat.

I went to the top of the prison and went in through there. Skipped as many things as I could while looking for the anchor (which turned out to be on the bottom floor). Didn't free any optional prisoners.

The prison boss fight was annoying. I'm not good at jumping around and shooting so I just tried to drop down on a platform and attack until I dropped into lava. Lava did enough damage to kill me instantly unless I waited for resurrection sickness to pass so I had more hit points. So like five minutes before each run and one attack before I die.

(Later I reworked by character so I have Draconic Incarnation > Dragonform so 30s of fire immunity would have helped a bit.)

With max protection (Resist Energy (Fire), Protection from Elements, Fire Shield (Cold)) I could last a few dips in the lava. Then with cold attacks (Polar Ray and Iceberg) I could do a lot of damage to the boss. Probably took me like 20 runs to kill the boss and then the dimensional anchor (ignore everything else).

The ship fight I gave away the treasure since I'm not keeping epic equipment below level 28.

(When I say "no optionals" I mean I'm not pursuing optionals unless I have a hankering for an easy optional. Normally we try to get all optionals or at least most.)


Palace of Stone

Solo [Deep Gnome Wizard] (L32 R10 D19), no optionals, 5-1/2 hours

Nothing new here. Was relying on Dimension Door. For the south circuit after you open the last door to reveal the big rock you can Dimension Door out then sneak back in to grab the crest.

Similarly for the north east the final room I used Master Illusionist and ran through, picked up the crest which reveals a Dimension Door and you go through.

For the final battle the room door stays open so you can DD then run back, attack and DD and repeat. The three big bads will reset just outside the room so you have to be careful. I did Meteor Swarm then step through the DD before the missiles hit.

California Propositions 2022

California 2022 ballot propositions


Simple addition to the state constitution which begins with:

The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.

Con is that this places no limits on late term abortions. But I assume once a fetus is viable other constitutional laws cover that, like at that point it might be considered murder.

Vote: YES


Currently gambling on tribal lands is by individual agreements with the state, though I guess no agreement allows roulette and dice games. Sports wagering would be in-person only, like other tribal gambling.

I'm not really in favor of gambling and that guides my vote.

Vote: NO


Would allow online and mobile gambling but only by tribal lands that already have gambling compacts with California. I'm guessing tribal orgs would quickly partner with bigger online gambling companies so this amendment would in effect allow Internet on popular gambling sites for all Californians.

Vote: NO


Increased school funding by 1%, which has to be used for arts and music education. This is about $1B annually.

No arguments against and I like that this is not a bond measure. I'm also quite in favor of providing more school funds.

Vote: YES


"Requires physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, with six months’ relevant experience, on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics"

There are 600 commercial dialysis centers. It kind of makes sense to have a nurse on hand just in case. One of the cons mentions "dialysis treatments are administered by specially trained nurses and licensed technicians" so if they already have nurses there is no additional staffing cost. Also I've gotten lots of ads against Prop 29 so that's kind of sus.

Vote: YES


Additional 1.75% state tax that lasts 20 years, though tax will end earlier if state greenhouse gas emissions drop below certain levels (3 consecutive years where statewide greenhouse gas emissions are 80%+ below 1990 level, i.e. 1/5th of 1990 level).

Projected to raise $3.5B to $5B annually.

The cons make a poor showing by saying this increases taxes for all Californians. Also that benefits tend to skew to more well to do folks so it hurts poor people by not helping them instead.

Vote: YES


State legislature passed an anti-tobacco law and special interests put this proposition in so that it now needs voter approval to pass. Yeah, I don't like messing with our legislature this way.

Vote: YES

Diary - Oct 01 to Oct 07 2022

Sat Oct 01 2022

Sleep 0615 to 1315. (7 hours)

  • Last employed weekend. Trying to make sure I don't leave loose ends before I lose access: get pay slips as PDFs, check my contact info is correct, etc.

Sun Oct 02 2022

Sleep 0430 to 1230. (8 hours)

  • Last day at Oracle. Now looking at the internal hire process it is way too late to start now. Not that I really cared one way or the other.
  • Mom and Dad back from Switzerland. Family dinner at Steph's. She made beef stew.

Mon Oct 03 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0430. 1100 to 1400. (8 hours)

  • I'm officially terminated.
  • Reading my severance package. I'm getting a lump sum of $29k (minus taxes). I wonder where that's coming from? Oh, it's 4 weeks pay (first year) + 15 weeks (1 week per year after the first and I was rehired Sep 2006) - 8 weeks (the two months I was "working" at Oracle after RIF notice) = 11 weeks.
  • As part Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) I get a doc listing the ages of people in the RIF (reduction in force) orgs and the number selected and not selected for RIF per job title+age combination. To show there is no age discrimination.
  • Small favors but since I got an ACH for three days of work that satisfies my bank account premium status for this month in order to get interest.

Tue Oct 04 2022

Sleep 2345 to 0145. 1000 to 1600. (8 hours)

  • Now that I no longer have to worry about Cisco vpn software I can upgrade macOS. macOS 13 Ventura is coming out this month so might as well wait a bit longer and skip macOS 12 Monterey.
  • Did a wipe and clean system install on my MBP 2015. It's cool that you can network boot (Command-Option-R), then launch Disk Utility, wipe the drive, install the latest macOS over the Internet.

Wed Oct 05 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0200, 0730 to 1100. (5 hours)

  • San Mateo E-Waste recycling event Oct 15 starting at 09:00. But I need to get to mom and dad's in time to go to dim sum at 11:30 so don't think I have the time. Next time I guess.

Thu Oct 06 2022

Sleep 2300 to 0030, 0745 to 0945. (3-1/2 hours)

  • Right leg has been acting up. Gets sore when I try to sleep so maybe elevation change does it more. But even during the day I'm hobbling around.

Fri Oct 07 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0330, 0730 to 1230. 90 min nap (10-1/2 hours)

  • Feel like I was catching up on sleep.

DDO - Detour / Old Tomb, New Tenants - Reaper 10


Solo: Failed

Dimension Door tactic works but since the map is a very long path it gets tedious towards the end. The bad guys are in a smallish room with respawns (I think if you kill any of the three trash guys there will be a replacement in a bit). You can station a healer at the entrance and he should be safe since respawns appear at the bottom of the ramp.

Unfortunately both Dom and Slam heal a bit. Once they got below half I couldn't do damage, die, resurrect, then do more damage fast enough. Dimension Door also doesn't work because they stay active on the NPC (normally I'd hit and DD which inactivates monsters and so they don't have time to cast healing).

Old Tomb, New Tenants

1st try, Solo: failed

This one is not too bad. Yuan-Ti are Phantasmal Killable most of the time. It's annoying that they hide but they're not fast, though they do shoot a lot and the shamans do Flame Strike.

In the big room with archers on the left and right on ledges there are two switches. I had Frogo pull each lever and he didn't activate the defenders so that was nice.

Final boss I had to shoot once and Dimension Door then repeat because if she starts running around she sometimes falls off the platform into the water and resets.

The treasure room is small with pirates and they got close to the water entrance so when I tried to climb up into the room they'd immediately kill me. Next time I need to keep them on the far side and die there then I might be able to have a hireling down the well resurrect me (though the well is rather deep).

2nd try:

Solo [Deep Gnome Wizard] (L31 R10 D18), no optionals, 3-1/2 hours

For the treasure room I ended up:

1. die in the room
2. swim down to healer and have resurrect cast on me
3. wait for bounce back to my crystal
4. target bad guy, resurrect, meteor swarm, master illusionist, meteor swarm, die

California Unemployment Benefits

Been looking at the CA Unemployment benefits.

Max is $450 per week and playing around with the rate calculator you need to have made at least $12k in a quarter of the covered period, which seems to be 6 to 2 quarters previous to when you file a claim (for example it's asking for Apr-Jun 2021 for quarter 1 to Jan-Mar 2022 for quarter 4). So if I don't file for a year I can still get full benefits, though I guess maybe it goes to 0 after six months.

Reason I'm calculating is one of the conditions is actively looking for employment. Although looking at the questionnaire for "Did you look for work?" you don't have to be doing much each week. Note that you also need to be in CalJOBS database so it could be a company can contact you about a job and if you refuse you may become ineligible if you refused a job in your work area.

Second reason is not really wanting state handouts, especially since I do have savings that will last at least 6 months, closer to 9. And yet unemployment benefits could let me stretch that out another few months. Depends if I think I can get a job quickly or if the economy tanks and I can't get a job quickly.

Diary - Sep 24 to Sep 30 2022

Sat Sep 24 2022

Sleep 0430 to 1230. (8 hours)

  • Recently started listening to podcasts and watching Twitch VODs at x1.25 speed. Still very understandable and saves a bit of time. At x1.5 speed understandable but have to concentrate more. At x2 speed understandable if I concentrate but defeats the purpose (I'm usually doing something else while listening/watching).

Sun Sep 25 2022
Sleep 0530 to 1230. (7 hours)

  • One week left before I'm unemployed. Really need to do a résumé and look at the internal job site.
  • I've definitely gained a bunch of weight recently. My scale's batteries are dead so need to buy new ones next time I'm grocery shopping.

Mon Sep 26 2022

Sleep 0700 to 1400. (7 hours)

  • Another one of those "couldn't get myself to sleep" nights.

Tue Sep 27 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0100. 1100 to 1630. (6 hours)

  • Finally got around and wrote first draft of my résumé. Deadlines spur action.
  • AirPods Max stopped even after connecting to multiple devices. Found this article: UpPhone: My AirPods Max Won't Play Sound! and step 8 is resetting them by pressing both Noise Control and Digital Crown buttons until the status light starts blinking amber. That fixed it.

Wed Sep 28 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0500. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Checking to see if my iPhone is carrier locked. Top hit lifewire had incorrect info. Second and third hits both had it correct (check Settings > General > About > at bottom, Carrier Lock = No SIM restrictions).

Thu Sep 29 2022

Sleep 2330 to 0030. (1 hour)

  • So my AT&T cell phone bill is $97 per month. Nice that the base is $90 even though the web site said it's $85 because I guess there's an add-on you have to include. $7 in fees.
  • I'm probably going to switch to Mint Mobile which is a virtual cellphone provider using the T-Mobile network. If you prepay for a year it's $25 per month for 15 GB data (cellphone + hotspot). Even with fees it should be 1/3rd the price of AT&T for a pretty much equivalent plan (Mint allows you to overage data at reduced speeds no extra charge). The only question is if I happen to be in a T-Mobile dead spot.
  • $15 per month for 4 GB data is probably fine. Even with my Internet down for two or three days I think I used 6 GB that month and you can get another 3 GB for $20.

Fri Sep 30 2022

Sleep 2000 to 0415. 1 hour nap. (9-1/4 hours)

  • Went to HQ and picked up my stuff. I forgot I left a 4 TB hard drive there. Extra cables and power adapter, Studio Beats Pro (Wired), a bit of snack food, a couple of books.
  • Was wearing my Beats Studio Pro (wired). Actually I guess not more vice-like than Airpods Max but they are on-ear headphones and that gets uncomfortable after an hour or two. Over-ear headphones much better.
  • Turned off AirPods Max Automatic On-Head Detection (you do it from BlueTooth control panel > AirPods Max > Options). It's trying to be convenient but if you have multiple sound sources playing it only pauses the "main" one. Also if you're watching a livestream it'll pause it so that's less useful in that scenario.