Say the secret password


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By Lori Clinch

Although I would not say that I love technology, I will say it certainly comes in handy. I have a deep appreciation for my smartphone as it keeps me from looking stupid.

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It reminds me to take out the trash on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, keeps track of my shopping lists and is a great access to information when we need to know something as valuable as “What are the sleeping habits of the sloth?”

Thankfully, I don’t have to rely on the smartphone for all of my reminders.

Our Sadie barks so I don’t need a reminder to feed her, my handsome husband has a voice so I know when I misplaced the checkbook and thankfully my tummy growls, so I remember to eat.

Like that’s ever been a problem.

Yet, I must contend that the most annoying thing with technology is the ever-loving password that is needed to access the bulk of it. It would seem that all websites have different requirements for their passwords and thereby make it impossible to use the same one.

That completely puts “asdf;lkj” out of the running.

Some websites want at least one uppercase letter and one lower case letter in their eight-digit repertoire. Some require symbols or some such and others would just love it if you could include an ampersand.

Yet, I have my four basic “go-to” passwords and they get me by. At least I thought they did until, just this last week, when the Cloud told me that my password was not my password and that I needed to change it. (As an aside, 20 years ago that previous sentence would never have made sense.)

There are folks out there, and four of them are our sons, who will tend to a problem such as the Cloud password immediately and be done with it. I am not one of these folks.

It’s not my tendency to procrastinate such a problem, mind you. It’s the fact that the prompt showed up on my iPhone, iPad and computer at times when tending to said prompt just wasn’t feasible.

I could have tended to it while visiting my parents, but my dear mother would have given me the what for. If you know my dear mother, you know her “what for” is not pleasant.

There wasn’t time while I was in line at the bank to deal with the issue and although tending to the Cloud password dilemma during a horrible unemployment insurance audit would have been a much-needed break, I knew the dear and sweet lady conducting the God-awful audit truly appreciated my undivided attention.

Having grown weary of the prompt and its untimely appearances, I finally took a moment yesterday to put the matter to rest. Since the Cloud apparently did not like my last password, I simply entered another one of my “go to” passwords.

Did they like it, you might ask? Well, that’s going to be a “no!” They indicated that by demanding, “You must use a password that you have not used in the last year!” They are just so bossy.

Thinking they wouldn’t know I used a childhood address along with the last name of my favorite grade school friend as my password on Amazon, I happily offered it up as an option.

Talk about your “No-go!”

The Cloud did not like the password I chose where I combined my favorite meal with my ideal weight. It rejected Sadie’s birthday combined with my mother’s maiden name and flat out turned down Dad’s CB handle in the 1970s combined with my favorite big hair band.

It’s almost as if they didn’t appreciate how clever I can be.

Finally, I entered a password the Cloud was good to go with. It had the right number of characters, upper and lower case letters, and although I did not use an ampersand, it had a lovely array of symbols.

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but this new password had flair, it had pizzazz and enough moxie to make anyone in the cyber world a little bit jealous.

It’s just too bad my smartphone doesn’t remember what that password is.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to

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