I'm not new to talking, sharing ideas, or stating my opinion, especially stating my opinion! After all, I taught elementary school for 30 years! However, my audience has typically been smaller,just family, the classroom, or just talking to myself!

My blog has two goals: be an outlet for sharing thoughts on writing children's books and the path to publication (got my fingers crossed that I'll get there) and a place to chronicle my journey of losing my sight. Sometimes I imagine these two paths will overlap .

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Some Things Just Drive Me Crazy!

   I'm in that wonderful place called Oh-Crap-I-Have-To-Put-My-Income-Taxes-Together  and I'm going a little crazy. 

For me, despite all my promises- following the visit to the tax prep folks- to be more organized the next year, to diligently keep all the receipts together including medical mileage, and monthly statements from the health insurance people, tax time looks like a big storm blew through my living room and dining room carrying with it forms, receipts, lists of what needs to be recorded on the form sent by the tax prep people, and torn pieces of 5 x 7 index cards with category labels scrawled hastily on them.

The process inevitably involves a call to the bank or the stockbroker for some missing 1099 (which will absolutely show up the day after I get the taxes done.) Today the stockbroker informed me that in order to send me the confidential info via email, they would need to first send me an invite of sorts, to an online site where I must devise a super secret password, then go back, after said password is accepted- just wait- and plug it into the online site that asks for the secret word.

Alrighty then. I found the place for the super secret password construction. I imagined as a 30 year former teacher and a current aspiring writer that I would breeze through that baby, get my info, and move on to the next tax chore, uh section.

There were 8 steps to creating a "successful" password. Most were the usual mandates: 
  • you MUST have at least 8 characters 
  • you MUST have at least one numeral 
  • you MUST have at least one lower case letter and one upper case letter. 
Then I was stumped.
  • You MUST have one non-alphanumeric character.
Okay, what the heck was an alphanumeric character so I could be sure to include a NON one???
The teacher in me said: break the word apart and figure it out...alpha sounds like alphabet so maybe it means letters and numeric refers to numbers. 
So are they telling me I have to include something that isn't a letter or a number? 
What do I have to do, create a cypher  or a new language in order to get my financial statement?????

The only thing left on my keyboard beside the TAB, CAPS LOCK, SHIFT, and ENTER buttons were the asterisk, ampersand, parentheses and the like. It seems to me that we're always being reminded to leave out symbols like dashes, dollar signs, and percent signs. Now someone is refusing to give me access to my own account unless I stick in some kind of squiggle? 
Well, here's what I think about that      ^#&**@# !!!

Of course, it took me 10 minutes of trying a wide variety of passwords until I happened upon the stick-in-a-squiggle idea.  Then it only took three minutes to get the actual info I needed, and that included the printing time. Sheesh! Some things just drive me crazy!

While I'm grumbling over passwords, does it bother anyone else that we need to remember so many different kinds of passwords??

There's the PIN for the ATM, and the phone, if you want to protect information and numbers from prying eyes. Then there's the user-name and password to sign in to some email accounts or web sites. And then just when you think you can remember all those- unless you use the same on for everything with is a very big NO-NO we're told, you are treated to secure emails leading to secure sites that need secure super secret passwords that are multi-syllabic, ancient language-based, having  no sequential numbers or letters in them and need  NON-ALPHANUMERIC CHARACTERS!

I know we're told not to keep a list of said user-names and passwords just in case someone breaks into my house and bypasses all things of value and heads right to the computer and scours the desk for the list of my user-names and passwords in order to possess the key to all my wealth and blog posts. But hey, I'm keepin' one of those lists just in case my brain spazes out and I can't remember which non-alphanumeric squiggle I chose in which password.

So what drives YOU crazy???


  1. LOL, yes passwords can be a major pain!

    It drives me crazy that our mail doesn't arrive at the same time every day. I don't know what that's all about! I live in an apartment building and my mailbox is outside on the other side of my parking lot from my building. So it's really annoying (especially when it's raining) when I go out to get the mail when I think it'll be there and it's not. Oh well. The exercise is good I guess!

  2. Yeah, well, we got ours back yesterday and the IRS charged us $1 for overpaying. Is that not ridiculous?!

  3. What drives me crazy? Good question...passwords. Passwords and all the different ways in which you have to set them up. It's like a password in itself.

  4. Hahaha! Gail, the Beneficent Mr. Hall has a book where he keeps all the PW's and such and I'm always afraid someone will come in the house, leave everything else, and steal the book! So I keep PW's in different spots. Then drive myself nuts when I can't remember which spot I put which PW.

    Sigh. Life was so much simpler when all I had to know was my phone number. Come to think of it...I have no idea what my cell phone number is. Really.