Saturday, February 19th, 2011

I locked myself out of my e-mail account at the office yesterday morning while I was suffering one of those brain cramps that won’t let me remember what my password is for nothin’! It’s a simple password; it’s not really even a word, which is in fact one of the rules you’re always told to apply when thinking up a password: Should not be a word in the dictionary. So I just stamp out a simple little pattern on the keyboard, easy to remember … except yesterday. No matter how many times I tried – and they only let me try just so many times – I couldn’t get it to accept my simple little pattern.

After I was locked out, the computer invited me to recover my password by answering the challenge questions. When the IT people set me up with a computer account five months ago, I had to select five challenge questions and provide my own personalized answers to them. One of them, for instance, was: “Who is your favorite president?” Inasmuch as I have a favorite, that would have to be Theodore Roosevelt. When I had to answer that question yesterday morning, though, I was presented with this conundrum: The window for the answer was only big enough to hold seven or eight characters, so the answer wasn’t “Theodore Roosevelt.” I must have answered “Teddy” or “TR,” or “Teedee” – his family used to call him “Teedee” when he was a wee little lad. No wonder he grew up to become such a badass.

And it turned out all the questions presented similar conundrums. I knew who my favorite teacher was, but did I answer “Mrs. Klingenhofer” or simply “Klingenhofer?” Was my first car a “Volkswagen” or a “Veedub?” That sort of thing. So no matter how many times I tried to answer the questions – and, again, it will let me answer only so many times before locking me out – I couldn’t get it right.

So I called the IT help desk and asked them to unlock it and, after it was unlocked and I could sign in again, I reset all my challenge questions and made the answer to all of them “etaoin shrdlu,” the name of the first man to successfully pick his nose on the moon. Or something like that.

etaoin shrdlu | 6:56 am CDT
Category: daily drivel | Tags: ,
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