Password Problems

14

Keeping up with all those

technology-related passwords

these days is stressful

for those of us who grew up

when passwords were easy

to remember and not used

very often.

The only times we had to

use a password growing up

was to get into the rickety

old tool shed in Mr. Cain’s

back yard that he let us boys

use as a fort.

I’m not sure why we needed

a password to enter that

shed with the dirt floor and

a few shelves and cabinets.

We could have gone in the

spaces where windows were

missing or through the back

door that was off its hinges

and permanently propped

open.

But to get in the front

door when other boys were

there, we had to say Bullet,

the password to the fort and

the name of Mr. Cain’s foultempered

German Shepherd.

It was easy to recall the

password, because Bullet

was usually nipping at our

ankles when we used it.

The bit of fright I felt

when Bullet was snarling

and snapping at me was

minor compared to the panic

that overtakes me now when

that harrowing phrase

“Enter Password” pops up

on the television screen or

my phone, I-pad, laptop or

the computer at my desk.

Fortunately, there is a

Help Desk at work, and I

have that number on speed

dial. If I forget the password

for some device or an internet

site where a code is

needed to gain access, I call

the Help Desk and they figure

it all out for me.

Regina is my Help Desk at

home. If those dreaded

words “Enter Password”

appear on a phone, computer

or the television screen, I

just turn the situation over

to her until she puts in

whatever code is needed to

get me where I need to be.

But Regina will be out of

town for a few days later this

summer, and I am already

concerned about whether I

will be able to see anything

on television or check news

sites, Facebook, emails and

things like that on the computer.

It seems to me that there

should be just be one password

like Bullet to fit every

situation. But I have a lot of

different passwords to do

various stuff, and I read

recently that the average

person in today’s society has

19 passwords.

That’s because technology

experts started requiring

specific passwords for things

that included capital letters

or numerals or punctuation

marks or other characters

that set those passcodes

apart from other passwords.

So I have all these different

passwords and can’t

remember any of them. If I

want to order some tennis

shoes from Amazon, Regina

has to put in my password. I

think it all has to do with

security concerns that somebody

might steal the password

and use your credit

card number to order things.

When I was growing up

and needed a baseball glove

or a BB gun, we ordered it

from Sears. We didn’t worry

about credit card fraud,

because we didn’t have credit

cards. Sears sent stuff

COD, and we paid the postman

for it when it showed

up in the mail.

My dad’s widower uncle

told him once that he needed

some toilet paper but didn’t

know how to order it. My

dad asked if he had a Sears

catalog. His uncle said if he

had a Sears catalog, he

wouldn’t need the toilet

paper.

Only people who are old

enough to remember outhouses

will understand what

my dad’s uncle meant. I was

in just a few of those facilities

as a kid, and they all

had Sears catalogs and old

newspapers handy.

Regina and I like to watch

movies at night on Netflix,

Amazon, Hulu and sites like

that. She puts in the passwords

and all the other data,

and I just sit back and enjoy

the shows.

There’s no way I will be

able to see anything on television

when she goes out of

town. Television technology

passed me by even before

passwords, hundreds of

channels, DVR’s, Blue Ray,

Video on Demand and all

that.

I grew up with a black and

white television set with a

rabbit ears antennae. We

later progressed to a big

antennae outside that I had

to go turn manually even in

rain or snow when my dad

wanted to watch the Friday

night fights.

Somebody said I could

probably get a TV set with

rabbit ears on eBay where

people sell things they don’t

want anymore. I decided to

order one to use while

Regina’s gone.

The eBay folks asked for

my password. I put in Bullet

and got one of those scary

messages in red type that

the code was incorrect.

When Regina leaves, I’ll just

get some books.