The Pain of Passwords

courtesy of hdsoft.org

Are you like me and have just had it up to there with passwords?  I tried to access a site earlier and couldn’t remember my password.  Thirty minutes later, numerous screens, error messages, and two emails, I still don’t know the password.  That’s 30 minutes of my life I could have spent doing my cardio work-out.  (insert hysterical laughter here)

When I worked in a cubicle farm, a majority of us would stash our computer passwords under our keyboards.  We all knew each other did this, but nobody said anything because, of course, it was not an allowed practice.  But it was easy to remember.  And, that’s the problem with passwords — only a 12-yr old can remember any of them.

I tried using the same password for everything.  That fell apart when some jerk hacked an email account.  I got the notification, panicked, and realized I had 70 hundred thousand million passwords to generate.  And they all had to be different.  And I had to have them in my head and be able to retrieve them.  Oh my.  This would never work.

I got the bright idea of jotting down passwords in a small notebook.  That failed when the notebook fell on the family room floor somehow and EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, had a midnight snack.  Ack.

Next, I decided to embed passwords into phone numbers.  Disaster!  I couldn’t remember which part of the phone number was the password, or if the phone number was a real one, and ended up phoning some rather angry people.

I had heard about smart phone aps that took care of passwords.  I quickly downloaded the latest ap.  I loaded all my passwords into it, then gave it a password.  Guess what I forgot?  The password to access my passwords.

I created an Excel spreadsheet and put all my passwords there.  Then I thought it would be a good idea to print it out, so if I died unexpectedly (like from a password event-generated stroke), Devoted Spouse would be able to get into all my records online.  But the spreadsheet was too big for my printer paper.  I had to scotch-tape the printed pages together.  It turned into such a mess, I shredded everything and opened a bottle of wine.

There seems to be no easy solution to this.  I have a copy of the spreadsheet that wasn’t taped together. I threw it in a file folder to deal with later.  I just don’t remember what I did with that folder…sigh…

Feeling Like a Pinterest Pincushion

Saints preserve us…I’ve spent my day pinning on Pinterest.  If you haven’t heard of it, well it’s another bright idea someone came up with to steal time.  And it works.  It’s brilliant.  Simply log on, set up some “boards”, grab a “pin it” button for your bookmarks toolbar, and then go web surfing, pinning what you pine for.

Hours upon hours of my life today I can’t recover.  I am still in my pajamas.  It’s supper time.  I haven’t peed in I don’t know how long.  I haven’t eaten.  But, I think I have 8 boards now and a paltry 15 followers. I even added a Follow Me on Pinterest button to this blog (Gasp!)  And, while I’d like to continue this posting, I.Have.To.Return.To.Pinterest.

I’ve Pinterested and I can’t get up…sigh…

Kindle Dwindle

We already know from prior posts that I’m not the best tech geek.  I admit that and own up to it. 

The latest technology break down?  My Kindle…that wonderful e-reader which holds lots of books I can keep forever thus saving me from lugging paperbacks in my purse, in luggage, or the hunt through my house for a particular book.   My Kindle…I love my Kindle.  

Here’s what happened… the other day as I was reading on my Kindle I took a short break to get coffee.  When I returned I thought it had gone into sleep mode (where it puts a nice picture on your screen; usually of an author) but, no,  it didn’t go to sleep.  Instead it was doing this strange Kindle dance….it was flashing me and that’s not in the Handbook anywhere.

I did what I always do when I panic — I started pressing buttons.  I hit the off switch and held it for a hard stop thinking that would stop this flashing nonsense.  It didn’t.  My lil  Kindle (no, wait…that’s My lil Pony…nevermind) didn’t boot up or whatever you call it when the thing restarts.  It kept flashing on and off.  I started praying…even though I imagine this type of prayer is not high on Jesus’ list – I prayed, “Lord, I was only trying to read Your Book, c’mon gimme a hand here with this infernal blasted piece of technology please.” 

And…the Kindle miraculously stopped flashing me.  Unfortunately, it also stopped doing anything at all.  I sat there and stared at it.  Yeah…that always works when something goes wrong…just stare at it.  And then…my beloved Kindle went to its Home Screen — ya know that logo of a big tree with someone sitting under it reading a book – rather Newtonian but without the apples.  The little bar at the bottom started to move, which I thought was a good sign. Maybe it was doing that synch thing where it updates Kindle stuff.  I waited for it to finish that process and I turned it off again.

I turned it back on and found this:  an empty Kindle.  It had not only synched, it had sinked (okay I know that should be sunk, but gimme some leeway here).  I had all my collections lined up neatly but there were no books to be found.  My newest classics were gone, my 2 latest vampire stories vanished, my latest historical mystery (the third in a series I truly enjoy) – nope, not there.  Even the book I got talked into reading by a blogger friend (Ulysses by James Joyce) (all 1,000 pages ack) had disappeared. 

Time to look for the manual which, surprisingly enough, was still loaded on the Kindle.  I  waded through the troubleshooting section only to find out there was no answer for this particular issue.  Crap squared.  Off to my laptop and out to Amazon dot com for some tech help.  Thirty minutes later I learned that this happens some times and it’s normal.  My definition of normal does not include this issue.  I was beginning to get irked.  (read: I was shaking this thing and screaming at it with foul threats of electronic death)  I followed every step in the instructions  while my Kindle continued what I think was its sympathy strike for the French union workers…  

I performed the “Restart” maneuver three times.  Wireless on; Wireless off …I felt like I was trapped in a bad car wax commercial.   On the fourth Restart the time corrected itself.  It was no longer 3:34 am but (correctly) 7:34 am.  Still, I had no books; no Archive. 

I got more coffee.  Then my Kindle and I engaged in a serious discussion.  I explained  I was giving it one more chance to return my  books and then it was the S-L-E-D-G-E-H-A-M-M-E-R.  The strangest thing happened.

It started…the time was correct…and every one of my books including the 29 in the Archives magically reappeared. Apparently a Kindle needs to be reminded of the rules, and given the choice to work or visit Mr. Sledgehammer (which is the 21st century version of being taken behind the woodshed).

 I’m naming this Electronic Peace effort  the Dayton Kindle Accords – there’s peace in my house again and I can read….sigh…

You’ve Got Mail!

pic courtesy of youvegotmail.warnerbros.com

 

It’s time.  I have put it off too long.  This is something that has to be faced squarely and dealt with in the most severe manner.  It simply can no longer be delayed.  I have to do this.

Out of 225 emails in my main email account, 157 of them have not been read.  I don’t feel like cleaning out my email but it is filling rapidly with truly important pieces of mail from such prestigious places as Pier 1 Imports, Target, Barnes & Noble, and my financial guy keeps sending me updates I no longer read (the economical outlook and my financial portfolio are simply too depressing).  I have various notices from Twitter of people (read: people who Tweet on behalf of their animals) who are now following EmmaLou on her Twitter Account ( which is, in itself, sad).   NPR wants me to read their latest list of books — the last time I did that I spent 45 minutes with my Kindle in the Kindle Store downloading reading material.  I don’t want to read that email.

The folks who just sold us our new porch glider want me to take a survey.  I’m not good at surveys – they inevitably lead to more offers and I end up buying something else I really didn’t need.

I spent several hours Thurs on the phone arguing with a Medical Collection Agency, my military insurance agency, and my supplemental health agency trying to sort out why there are still outstanding bills from my January 2009 Ice Accident that haven’t been paid and for which I’m been hounded.  Now there is an email from Tricare in my list asking me to survey how they did on resolving the problem.  Well, I can’t tell them until the Collection Agency decides to leave me alone, can I?  (Mark that one as read and ignored.)

I have several wonderful offers from retail establishments I do business with – lots of sales going on – those emails will be trashed…that is if I get around to tackling this email clutter issue. Oh yeah and I keep seeing alot of emails from some guy in Nigeria but I can’t pronounce his name…wonder what he could possibly want from lil ole me?

I think I’d rather open my Kindle and start a new book and I’ll get to the email later….sigh….

Just Rip My Lips Off Now & Get It Over With

 

I have 3 blogs as most of my 11 faithful readers are aware.  One of them deals with Crap.  I had it on a domain site because my IT guru talked me into it.  It cost me money and then I had a TERRIBLE time with the particular domain which I won’t name (GoBattyDotCom)  coz I don’t want to get sued for slander or libel or whatever it is these days.

Anyway…I decided to close down the Crap domain because it was so hard to update postings plus I was getting some horrible porn spam and frankly I just got tired of dealing with it all.  I decided to re-start my Crap on a new blog.  For some reason I chose Blogger as my platform, even though I have 2 blogs with WordPress.  Don’t ask me why; you won’t get an intelligent answer, trust me. 

So I set up Oh Crap on a Crutch and it wasn’t nearly as difficult as trying to use GoBattyDotCom.  Plus it’s free.  Plus it has all kinds of neat little gadgets I can use.  I have two posts up so far.  Bear with me as I learn how this platform works.  I couldn’t believe…I had just put up my first posting and realized I had forgotten to include the “crutch” in all the pictures I used.  There ya go – I am the most dysfunctional person on my block today without a doubt.  I will try and remember to include the props in the photos from now on.

After all this blathering…the focus of this posting was supposed to be about how difficult it is to deal with these domain hosting people on the phone.  I spent over 20 minutes TWICE talking to them just trying to get my domain closed.  One person I spoke with I could hardly understand and he kept directing me to the wrong places on the website – gah…

It got to the point I wanted to rip my lips off so I wouldn’t start swearing like a sailor because I was only moments away from saying horrible nasty words….when I took a deep breath….said a little prayer and calmed down.  I managed to close the account at that domain and convince them they owed me a $50 rebate (yay me).

And now…all of you who ever visited my Crap on a Crutch – as I mentioned in my last post, please change your links.  To see the crap in my world please go to:  http://ohcraponacrutch.blogspot.com  or just click on the link I provided up a few paragraphs.

I managed to get a pic of EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer on the site – yay me.  And I got a good portion of my blogroll transferred over – if you are not there and wish to be listed, please leave me a comment there and I will add you. 

I’m tired — this domain wheeling and dealing is a pain in my a$$ and I need a vacation.   sigh…

The Sledgehammer Cometh…

And there I was in the midst of something very important and my laptop crashed…again.  The wonderful little blue screen of death.  Earlier it just quit working right as I was writing what I thought was rather important…it stops dead in its little Dell tracks.  I tried everything.  I did the Control Alt Delete thingie a thousand times – I pounded on the Escape key until I broke a nail (note to self:  look inside keyboard for remains of nail).  I finally had to manually shut it off AND take out the flippin’ battery and then put everything back together again before it would come on.  Let me tell you it was not a happy laptop with my actions.

I do not own an external hard drive, no matter how many times I have said while perusing the aisles of Office Depot, “pick up an external hard drive and back-up POC laptop.”  So the other evening I spent several hours with as many flash drives as I could round up in this house backing up data.  I cannot afford to lose my gazillion and one pictures of the ever adorable EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer.  And then there are my stories, and websites I cannot remember but certainly can’t live without, blah, blah, blah, infinity.  It is an ongoing pain.

On the advice of my IT guru (who also I might add advised me 2 years ago to buy this particular POC Dell), I went to the HP website and started “building” a new laptop.  He is now advising I stay away from Dell since this is my second Dell that has not performed well and he now advises I buy from HP.  Anyway…so I’m on the website and following the instructions building this laptop and I stopped when I had reached the monetary value of a third world country.  Oh for the love of Pete – they claim you can buy a nice laptop for around $799.  IT’S A LIE!  A LIE, I TELL YOU.  D’ya know what you get for $799?  The friggin’ shell and a supply of yellow Post-it Notes.

The laptop I finally decided upon came in at around $1400.  I about had an aneurysm and I’m not sure why I didn’t.  I know for a fact my left eye was twitching.  Was this laptop a fancy model?  Nope.  Did it have cool stuff like fingerprint technology so no one can sign in but you?  Nope.  Did it have a webcam?  They offered a link to eBay where old Polaroid machines were listed.  Aye aye aye.

So I have put off actually calling these HP people (which my IT guru advises I should do because if you get a live body on the phone you may get a better deal).  Maybe tomorrow.  It is just so much stress and pressure — I sat here going through all the specs on the laptop and realized my chin was sore.  Here’s a little medical fact heretofore unknown – the stress of a crashing laptop will cause a normally non-facially deformed woman to break out in pimples.  I have a pimple on my chin.  I am not making this up – that’s what this POC laptop is causing.

Soon I will be a brave buckaroo and make the call and end up ordering a new laptop and no doubt spending more money than I want or need.  The other day online I noticed there were a couple of freebies.  I plan on asking for a wireless printer, some ink cartridges, a power cord (they always seem to be extra), a free dinner at the restaurant of my choice, a new car, and a kiss.  I’m betting I get the kiss.  sigh…

Shaken Crone Syndrome

My name is Croney and I am suffering from a new disease – it’s so new I get to name it.  I’m calling it Shaken Crone Syndrome.

I woke up this morning early and feeling so danged perky. That should have been a warning signal.  My day was planned around the imminent arrival of Gretchen the Immaculate.  Devoted Spouse disappeared to his volunteer work and I scurried about getting ready so I would not be underfoot when the consummate house cleaner arrived.

Treating myself to breakfast, I sat at a table at that 5-star restaurant Le Bob Evans and played with my new smart phone.  Did I mention I finally got a smart phone (if you Tweet w/me just ignore the next part).  Well I did – I got a gorgeous Motorola Cliq with droid so I can do all those Google things I love  (no Eric not just because you showed me the star maps).  I spent weeks researching which phone to get – iPhone, Google, and I talked to various service providers.  I liked the guy at T-Mobile and I liked the google phone from Motorola – so that’s what I got.

Anyway…I ran into a major glitch with my phone while at Chez Evans and my day started to go south.  I worked on it so much I ran the battery down – how do you run down a battery in less than a day?  Gah…

After breakfast I did a little shopping and sat in a local coffee shop and drank even more coffee while still fiddling with my new phone.  Smart phone; dumb human.  Finally it was time to go home.

Having been gone several hours which should have been more than enough time for Gretchen the Immaculate to depart the premises, I arrived home to find that Gretchen the Immaculate had not been there.  Oh yeah…wrong day.

Wrong day??!!  I have at least 3 calendars – how could I get the day wrong?  Not only is my smart phone outsmarting me, I’m not even on the correct day.

That brings me back to my new illness and I’m blaming my entire day on this Shaken Crone Syndrome.  What causes this new illness?   I believe someone crept into my room late last night and shook the stuffin’ outta me and severely scrambled what few brains I have left.  Yup, Shaken Crone Syndrome.

There is no medical relief in sight for Shaken Crone Syndrome; however, I am trying red wine as an experimental treatment and so far the study is going…hic…well.  If you feel you suffer from this ailment and wish to join my…hic…study group…I’m sorry, what day is this again….pour, sip, sigh, repeat.