W3ak Pa$sw@rd, My As$!

Not long ago, I read a post from one of my blogging buddies (hi, Ron!) about the frustration of keeping track of passwords in this computerized day and age. His post was hilarious, and easy to relate to.

Ron wrote about keeping track of all his passwords in a spiral notebook that is so messy and unorganized it takes him “four hours to flip through each page and find the login information I need.” That is SO me! Because it’s been drilled into our heads to keep our passwords different and unique for each site. Which is great in theory, but how on earth are we supposed to remember a million different passwords? Like Ron, I try to keep one or two basic passwords with slight variations, but remembering what those variations are – and which variations are associated with which websites – is an exercise in futility. Hence, the notebook.

Image courtesy of beringer.net.
Image courtesy of beringer.net.

Only my notebook is worse, because it’s deliberately cryptic. I’m paranoid about somebody stealing it, because you know if somebody breaks into the house they’re going to bypass the laptop computers and television and stereo equipment in favor of a worn spiral notebook. OK, probably not. But there’s always the chance I could lose it. So, instead of writing down passwords for various sites, I have scribbled notes that say things like, the cat one. But then I have to remember which cat one. And which cat. MY cat? Too obvious. Garfield? Too fat and lazy. Cat Stevens, pop star from the 1970s turned Islamic convert and humanitarian? Could be onto something there – my dad played his records a lot while we were growing up. But which album? Tea For The Tillerman? Teaser And The Firecat? Catch Bull at Four? And did I mean a certain song from said album? Which song? Dammit…is my password “peacetrain69” or “wildworld87” or “moonshadow14”?? But you know it could never be something as relatively simple as “peacetrain69” because most sites nowadays require your password to contain at least one capital letter and one special symbol. You MIGHT be able to get away with “peaCetra!n69” but how would you EVER remember that one?! Especially in my case, where you’re being cryptic to begin with.

See why I struggle with passwords?

And I hate it when I come up with something clever and easy to remember, only to have my computer tell me the password is “weak.” Says who? And did I ask for your opinion anyway?? How dare you insult me. I feed you (electricity). I put you to sleep every night. The least you can do is show me a little respect. I already have a chip on my shoulder because I’m 5’8″. Don’t emasculate me further. If I want to go with “peaCetra!n69” but it’s not “strong” enough for you, that’s my business, dammit. I realize my anger is probably misdirected. It’s not really my computer telling me my password sucks, but that particular website. It’s not cool to shoot the messenger. And yet, the messenger is an easy target. MacBook Pro, eh? If you were a pro, you wouldn’t let some stupid website insult me. So there.

In less stressful news, yesterday it snowed.

Let me rephrase that. It didn’t just snow. It snowed. To the tune of 4-5″. Hard to tell exactly, because the wind was blowing it around quite a bit, but it’s piled at least that high this morning. It’s been years since we’ve had a decent snowstorm, and this was such a big deal that both Tara and I were sent home early by our respective employers. It’s nice that they erred on the side of caution, because some of the freeways around town turned into parking lots. Then again, it never takes much to bring the city of Portland to a screeching halt. Luckily, we don’t have to venture out of town, and our drive home is 15 minutes or less via back roads.

My snowy commute this morning.
My snowy commute this morning.

As unusual as it is to get a big winter storm like that around here, they are forecasting another one for this afternoon, and have already issued a Winter Storm Warning. Snowfall totals could be similar, on top of what we’ve already got – and once again, the snow is supposed to arrive in time for the evening commute. This explains why Tara’s work was closed today, and most people in my office are leaving at noon. Better safe than sorry!

So, it looks like a snowy evening is on tap for us. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night than watching the snow fall from inside our warm, cozy home while enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two.

Have a groovy weekend!

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Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

15 thoughts on “W3ak Pa$sw@rd, My As$!

  1. Passwords. Such a necessary evil. I used to be that person who would have a different password for every sight and then I decided to ‘piss’ or rather ‘pass’ on that and I started using passwords that were easy for me to remember. Like you, I could care less if they weren’t strong enough. They were for me!

    Enjoy your snow, Mark. I know how much you are loving it!! You should put some in your freezer like someone else I know. Heck, it might still be in there…lol!!


    1. LOL. I’ve done that in the past and probably would this time around, if we weren’t moving next month. It’s hard to keep a snowball from melting when you’re moving to a new place. Maybe I can just come and visit yours?


  2. I’ve found myself in the seventh circle of password hell many times. No matter how hard I try to keep all five million of my passwords synced, I always have to search my desk for the cocktail napkin where the answer to my super top secret clearance question is written down.


    1. I know! Sometimes I think I need a different spiral notebook just to tell me where the spiral notebook that holds my passwords is kept. But of course, the answer would be a cryptic rhyme I’d have trouble deciphering, even though I wrote it…


  3. I finally alphabetized my passwords by site, and it sits right next to my computer! As often as I need to refer to it, I’m not about to lock the damn thing up.

    We’ve had 51 inches so far this winter, not that it’s breaking any records. My husband has never been let out of work early or had it canceled, but he likes to kid my daughter and ask her to check the closing list on TV to see if his company is listed whenever her college is closed.


  4. Mark, Mark, Mark….I laughed so hard at this post, that the cookie I was chewing on FLEW out of my mouth!

    “Only my notebook is worse, because it’s deliberately cryptic. I’m paranoid about somebody stealing it, because you know if somebody breaks into the house they’re going to bypass the laptop computers and television and stereo equipment in favor of a worn spiral notebook.”

    Bwhahahahahhahahaha! HILARIOUS!

    And the stuff about “the cat one.”

    “Cat Stevens?”

    Bwhahahahahahahaha! You kill me, man!

    Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets this pissed at creating a password that is so secure, you can’t REMEMBER it!!!

    And speaking of SNOW. We’re supposed to get slammed with a TON of it tomorrow. Today, the temps. dropped so low, I could actually feel the snow coming.

    *doing the happy dance*

    But then again, you and I are probably the only two people on this planet who dance when it snows. Everyone here is so over it. But I keep reminding them that for the past FOUR years, we got NO snow. So, now it’s my turn.

    Have a faaaaaabulous weekend enjoying your snow! And thanks for the shout out, buddy!


    1. Question: did you retrieve the cookie? Were you able to finish it? If not, send me a bill, and I’ll forward you a check for a replacement bag of Oreos or whatever kind of cookie you were eating.

      How’d your snowstorm pan out, btw? Ours was pretty damn great! 8″ over the course of 3 days. I’ll take it!


  5. I’m hopeless with passwords but am too paranoid here to say why, as someone might read this comment, you know. It really is ridiculous.

    Hope you all are staying warm. Sorry to be getting here late, but I’m wondering if you all got the snow that was predicted. How cool to have a snow day.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


    1. Your comment is intriguing, Kathy. Maybe worthy of a post someday?

      We did get a lot of snow, and then freezing rain to top it off. THAT pretty much sucked. Tara and I were trapped inside the house all weekend, pretty much. Good thing we like each other so much.


  6. Oh goodness the password debacle! I have one password that I have used so many variations of I cant remember it EVER now. I also switched to another one just for those sites where I really need to remember and guess what, I cant remember which sites I deemed that important ugh! Funny we both talked about snow on our posts this time around, I guess Mother Nature has been visiting us all.


  7. And howsabout the people who have a password to enter their blog !? I’ve told these several to forget it and may say hello in email from time to time only. Why do they think they need that? If they get a creep can’t they just spam?


  8. I hate passwords! An IT guy once set up a password for me I thought was quite clever & I have used variations of this password ever since (not that there is a single character the same as the original one he set up, just the type) Hope you enjoyed your snow days! BTW, the Olympics have kidnapped me so I’m very far behind in my reading. I will try to get caught up soon!


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