Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yahoo! I Created One

Those of you who use in any of your mailings know there have been some articles on password security. Today I created a new password that(forgive me)passes muster. Suggested was using nine letters, numbers and symbols in some combination. Fifteen was the preferable number, as that would give hackers a bit more challenge in breaking. If my new password will take over 10 years to break, I'm home free.

One interesting read was "Password Recovery Speeds", put out by This article informs the reader how long it takes hackers to break combinations of upper case letters, lower case letters, combinations of upper and lower, using letters and numbers. I think, though, you should read Bruce Schneier's web published articles. Begin with and check the list at left. I read "Secure Passwords Keep You Safe" followed by the lockdown site mentioned earlier, which is a hyperlink in the article.

I have opted to change my password, which presently are eight differently spelled ones. However, I began looking for a root word to which I could add suffixes and prefixes. When my eyes spied the sentence saying how the hacking machines could rush through the English dictionary and numbering system to eliminate the odds of one's password being broken, I made a decision.

On my bookshelf are numerous foreign language dictionaries. So I plucked one, skimmed through the alphabet glancing quickly at words, and discovered one slightly pronounceable(without ever having heard the word before), saw its apt definition and began to play with the letters.

I tried separating the word and capitalizing a few letters; next, I added a few numbers I thought I could remember, and typed a few symbols. So if the word had been cloisonne I typed thus:

c l o i s o n n e. Then I capitalized a few: cLoiSonNE. Next, I added numbers: cLo3iSon5N9E. But not being finished I added a few symbols: cL[o3iS?o5N9#E. And that became my password. Without realizing it, I had 14 digits.

Next, I typed the final result a dozen times to be sure that I was using my right and left fingers to create the final word.

This, in essence, is how I arrived at my password. The author of the article stated that one would have to have the password in a handy place, and to be sure that a friend/relative/family member could break into your computer, you should put the password in a safety deposit box instead of pasting it on your computer. I will have mine pasted in several hiding spots around the house until I can recite this in my sleep!

Well, I taped my new password above the space on the screen so I could see it as I typed it. I've changed one email address to include this new combination. I doubt any hacker is looking at what he/she can get from my computer, but then again, I do use my credit card numbers when online shopping.

Do you use the same password for all your sign-ins? I've always had a different one. Staying informed as to what to enter when I opened Amazon, my bank, frequent online shops, etc, I kept them all on a list and guarded with my life. Now, if all of them become cL[o3iS?o5N9#E, I should be able to memorize the combo and have no need for a list.

Just in case I've misrepresented Bruce Schneier's suggestions, read the above articles for yourself. Good luck with your new, undecipherable, unbreakable password!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ready to Sell

I've spent the last 14 years dabbling in a hobby. I never had time for one when I was teaching. All I did for nearly 30 years was grade papers. Oh, yes, I taught lessons and handled discipline and had hall duty. By the time I went to bed nights I was too exhausted to read a few pages from a good book.

When I chose to learn to make jewelry it was partly due to wanting something my husband R and I could do together at retirement. We took lessons in N.Georgia, one week at a time for 4 summers. Later I learned to bead and make silver chains.

Then I made an Episcopalian rosary for my sister. A tourist dropped by the church gift shop, saw my rosaries, bought a few and returned home--to Manhattan. Thus began my association with Trinity Church, located near Wall Street. For over 10 years I've supplied much more than rosaries, eager to add a new piece each year.

My dislike for beading flew out the window. I've learned to use a clay embedded with micrograms of silver flakes, called PMC, precious metal clay. As my bank account began to shrink because I bought beads every week, I realized I had to hit the sidewalks to peddle some jewelry.

The two photos above show my recent work: pendants--wrapping gemstones and glass beads with wire-- and making costume jewelry (I can do this more easily.) My fashion stylist son gave me a hint as to what designers would introduce this spring--purse charms. From a clip I hang chains to which I affix charms and beads. Not only for purse straps, these danglers--which I renamed "Swingers"--can be hooked onto belt loops, giving a smart look to a woman's jeans, shorts or pants. Since designers will be using more expensive materials, I think mine are better priced. I do have other colors. And other Swingers are made with vintage chains and beads.

What you see are in pink, as some of the proceeds will go to cancer research in honor of my sister who finished chemo last year, and for all who face the mountain of emotions upon hearing the dreaded news: You've Got Cancer.

If you are interested in purchasing either from me, drop me a line. The cross is attached for my church orders. I'll send you photos of the other styles and prices. If I receive a mail box full of inquiries, I may have to open a business blog! Now--wouldn't it be lov-a-ly?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Lost and Found

My sister has an automobile you can spot in a Wal Mart parking lot. It's yellow. Like egg yolks. I often remark when I'm with her how easy it is to find her vehicle. However, I warn, you can't just go "anywhere" in this egg crate. Like, spend the night with a secret lover, or park in front of a bank when it is robbed, or drive in an unsavory neighborhood and expect not to be stopped. Still, I like the idea of a vehicle that can be identified easily.

How often I've parked my car, rushed in to make a purchase, then return outside and walk directly to a cream-colored automobile, put the key in the lock, only to peek inside and not recognize the contents. Or, I've rushed out in a hurry with a cart filled to the brim with groceries only to forget the car;s location. Then I have to push the concrete-heavy cart up and down all rows of the lot to find my parking space.

The most embarrassing situation I've recently encountered was leaving a store with a million parking spaces in front, unsure of which row, and walking down the supposed one, stopping to look at other rows approximately where I think I parked, and to have a young woman drive into the adjacent parking space. She rolls down the window and asks if I've lost my car. Sheepishly I admit I have. Describe the color and make, she says smiling. I did, while I was still bobbing my head right and left. "What about that one behind you?" she points-- and sure enough, I was standing on the passenger side of my own car! I had held my head high enough to look over rows of cars not to notice the cars at chin level.

I tell you, the next automobile we buy will NOT be the same color as thousands of others. Or I'll paint a purple stripe at the 4 corners of the bumpers!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Changing in Middle of Stream

Despite careful notes on my accounts and passwords, I blunder constantly. What I've written down and then use somehow doesn't get me to a specific destination. So here I am having to change a previous good password into a new (better?) one to enter this beta blogger site. No previous trouble until Google figured this set up. I spent 10 minutes this afternoon trying to get right where I now am. I hope others of you haven't had the same difficulty.

Now, how am I going to know that the new password (given the "strong" approval) will be remembered by the unseen mechanisms behind my computer? I've written mine down and I better NOT have difficulty again! My brain power is diminishing. Enough said!