When I logged into a financial account several months ago, I was shocked to find I was locked out for “too many login attempts.” Fearing a hack job, I updated all my passwords for every online account. The next month, I logged into the same financial site and got the same message. “Fiddlesticks!” I yelled, and changed every password yet again. When it happened a third time. I called the company. Apparently, my decades old username created with my maiden name was so common — it’s used in examples of usernames, it’s that humdrum generic — that someone else with a similar username was getting us both locked out every month when they tried to log in. A simple addition of some jazz to my username solved the problem.
The experience ignited my search for stronger passwords. While in line at the coffee shop I had an epiphany … coffee orders as passwords. More than a dozen alpha numeric characters, lower and upper case letters, and special characters. Hotchilispiceskinnycappucchino2shots!Grande$8.
Fall — season of flannel, hot drinks, soup nights and yard art. Some people go for an all-natural look and plant trees and shrubs that turn vibrant colors. Others take it up a notch and decorate with neatly tied corn stalks and colorful squashes. Every neighborhood should have at least one home who fills the yard with skeletons, headstones with witty sayings, and inflatable characters.
One of my favorite seasonal yards is located along Highway 153 near Benson Creek. A large pig figure is strategically placed and decorated for every occasion. As of this writing, the pig is celebrating the football season kickoff. I wonder which team the pig is “rooting” for?
Far up on Gold Creek, someone created a chainsaw sculpture of a voluptuous woman, but left her with no arms or head, like a woodsy Venus de Milo sans capitulum. I am quite tempted to complete the sculpture with a well-placed, lovingly carved, pumpkin. I’m sure the wildlife would also enjoy a freshly carved pumpkin. I imagine I would have to replace her squash noggin on a weekly basis. As I contemplate the logistics, it is becoming too much work. She’ll get only one pumpkin, and it’s up to her not to lose her head.
Elsewhere in the valley, a long walk through the Methow Wildlife Area yielded a sighting of a beautiful sculpture of a canine. With the fluffy tail and look of alertness, my first guess is that this is a sculpture of a coyote. If anyone knows the story behind this good boy, I’m all ears.
It’s been a wonderful fall, hasn’t it? The colors are spectacular, the ratio of fog to sunshine is on point, and the temperatures are near perfect — not too hot, not too cold.
There is a light drizzle outside as I write this, and contemplate what to make for dinner. A squash soup made with sweet potato, apple and warm spices sounds just right. The ingredients would make a great password: 2TartApples&1butternut.