Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ergh. I am annoyed by passwords. Who knew that the future would hold so many passwords? When you were a kid it was fun, barring the door on the treehouse. What's the password? you'd blurt between the paneling. "Weenersnot" someone would reply, and you'd snicker and let them in. (Or alternately: "Buttscab", "Poopnipple", and "Koochpube", depending on the day of the week.) It was the only password you knew, and needed to know.

Today, there are passwords and codes for everything and who can possibly remember them all? I heard of a retired CIA man who trained his family to memorize an 11-digit alphanumeric bit of nonsense that they could use the rest of their adult lives, but even that doesn't work anymore. One hacker gets a hold of one working passcode nowadays, and he tries it on everything for everyone in a millisecond. Computers.

This old downstairs piece (2002 iMac!) requires a passcode to switch users, which are just me and Mrs. Ditchman. I got tired of punching in the secret password, so I just changed it to "K". The K key is very close to the *return* key, so it makes it a bit easier. Anyway, I can't turn the damn password function off and I have to suffer through the 3-second function to get to my email. 3 seconds! I haven't the time!

Again: it's "K", and I don't care who knows it. You now have access to all of my email and can post dopey updates on my Facebook wall to embarrass me. Mrs. Ditchman also has this privilege, and has so far not abused it. Truth be told, I don't mind her reading my email. She can read it all! If there's something shameful in there, she can hold me accountable. I have nothing to hide, or, at least, don't want to. (She has already chided me for using the word "koochpube".)

Hers is "K" too, by the way. But for entirely different reasons.

So I keep a Word document, named innocuously in an innocuous folder, that keeps all of my passwords. It is like the presidential suitcase. Only one or two other people know about this file, and I update and rename it regularly, to secure my precious eBay accounts and starwars fanboy club login IDs. What else am I going to do?

And then there is the standby list of personal questions, for when a password is changed and forgotten, and that must be synchronized with my significant other so that we both have access to our various online banking accounts. Is our "favorite vacation spot" Hawaii, or is it one of the Hawaiian islands in particular? Which college did we decide we went to? And which named pet are we referring to? If Mrs. Ditchman and I don't straighten this out from time to time the Shell card doesn't get paid and I get stranded at the gas station. Then I would be forced to use a different, lesser-used credit card, which would inevitably ask for another aged password or possibly my zip code, which I still struggle to retain due to some latent dyslexia which only presents itself when recalling 6-digit increments. Dyslexics untie!