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JWR 2.22 - No Code


Do you have any idea how many codes I have to remember?  I mean, you too, in all probability.  Codes and passwords and numbers in general.


Well, you gotta know your address.  Street number and street name.  Apartment number if you live in an apartment.  City name and state name.  (Or if youíre "Canadan", Province name--or Territory [whatís up with that Territory crap anyway?].)  Zip code.  Zip plus four.  The zip code can actually be carried out to twelve numbers, I shit you not.  Twelve digits.


Your phone number.  Seven digits.  Area code: three extra.  But area codes are always changing (see The Simpsons episode where they split the town up into Old Springfield and New Springfield over the new area code--special guest appearances by the Who).  As soon as you get used to one are code, they go and add another or switch yours.  Why?  Because of two things I dislike: cell phones and modem lines.  Donít get me started.


You donít have to remember anyone elseís address, though.  Unless you take cabs.  You can just have a general knowledge of where someone lives, hop into your SAAB, and drive there.  But you gotta know their phone numbers off-hand.  Some are easy to recall such as ones that form an arrow as you dial or ones that are peopleís names or ones where you have to move your finger very little.  (That was something I heard when New York added a new area code within the city: businessmen were bitching about how they used to dial 2-1-2 and it was great because they had to move their fingers very little--how it stood for power.  Businessmen.  Sure, 2-1-2, easy to move your pudgy wealthy digits over until you get to the rest of the number: 9-2-8-1-5-3-8.  Move it, businessman.)


You have to know your Social security number: nine digits that are broken up into three segments that actually stand for something.  You are neatly categorized.  Congratulations.


Know your license plate numbers.  Your birth date.  Height.  Weight.  Penis length.  The year the Magna Carta was drafted.  The Plymouth Rock landing.  How many in a bushel or peck.


Then you have all these passwords and pass codes.  People call them ďPIN numbers.Ē  Well, if P-I-N stands for ďPersonal Identification Number,Ē when you say ďPIN Number,Ē arenít you simply saying ďPersonal Identification Number NumberĒ?


I have a PIN with my ATM card.  (ATM Machine, anyone?)  I have a pin number with each of my credit cards, although I never use my credit cards as ATM cards, but itís useful to know that I can although I do not know the PIN for them.  I can change them to whatever I desire, but I wonít.  I have a PIN on my voice mail box at work.  I have a PIN I can use to check my messages on my answering machine at home when I am away from home, but thatís the whole idea behind going away.


I have a password on each of my e-mail accounts.  I have a password to access the internet from home.  I have not one, but two different passwords to sign on to the computer system at work.


For telephone banking I have PINís for each account.  For internet banking I have a password for that as well.


For ordering from Columbia House online I have a password.  For ordering over the phone, I have a membership number.


I had a student ID number in the Racine Unified School District and a different one at UW-Parkside.  At UW-Parkside I had a password for that e-mail account.


I had two different locker combinations I needed to know in school: book locker and gym locker.  In all fairness, I was able to use the same lock each year for gym.  Then there was the bike locks.  Or what about the combination for the safe where I keep my millions, AND MILLIONS of dollars?


But you know what bothers me about all these different passwords and combinations?  Theyíre all so different.  They each have their own minimum or maximum number of characters.  You need so many alpha characters and so many numerical characters and/or punctuation.  Eight characters long.  Six characters long.  Eight characters long, but at least two have to be numbers of punctuation.  Six characters, three letters, three numbers.


The other thing that bothers me is password expiration.  Itís not on all systems, just enough to piss you off.  And itíll come as a surprise at times.  I just had to change my password for my online bank account.  You put in the old one and then a screen comes on like youíve attempted to access a restricted account.  Your password has expired, you must choose another password.  Every two or three months at work we have to change passwords.  Itís just long enough where you forget about it until it requires you to switch.  And the problem with switching is it catches you so off guard that you can never think of a password.  And the one I have at work wonít let you choose on old one you picked.  And, if by some mental feat, you do manage to pick a new password, then chances are that it does not fit the alpha-numeric criteria for that particular system.  You know what I do?  It may come as a surprise, but I pick filthy words for my passwords.  CUMGU22LER.  ST1NKF1ST.  69SANDWICH.  It helps me start the day on a positive note.  But the real fun starts when you have a problem, and you have to disclose your password to someone in I.T. or what have you.  You get the strangest looks.  Hereís a fun filled password: I.T.EATSHIT.


But I suppose passwords are a necessary evil.  I mean, you canít just have people coming in and stealing your cheese.  Thatís your cheese.  Let them get their own cheese.  Well, thatís what theyíre trying to do.  By stealing your cheese, they are making it their cheese.  But now youíre left without cheese and you may be forced to try to steal someone elseís cheese.  Perhaps a friendís cheese who you know how poorly they protect said cheese.  Now you have cheese again.  But how do you protect it?  Thatís right.  Put it safe and sound behind a password.


And speaking of cheese, I want to address this so-called MARK OF THE BEAST for a moment.  Supposedly THEY are working to develop a subdermal microchip that contains a bar code like signal that works like an ID card, driverís license, ATM card, medical card, etc.


First, in your wallet you carry a Social Security card, Driverís License, Blood Type card, a multitude of credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Dinerís Club, Bank of Arpin, etc.), ATM card, Medical card, Dental card, Department Store cards, Library card, Blockbuster Membership card, Gay and Lesbian Alliance card (case specific), and a picture of your boy/girlfriend's privates.  Now, you lose your wallet and you have to make several phone calls; and several more to your boy/girlfriend.


Isnít there a better way?  Perhaps an Omni-card.  An all-in-one card that ties all your bank, credit, government, social, anti-social, business, and personal cards together?  Something that you could regulate via the internet.  Cancel one membership and begin another?  So, you lose your wallet and you need just cancel that card over the internet and have another shipped to you UPS Next-Day, or FEDEX Priority-One should you choose.  Then just make those several calls to your boy/girlfriend.  Itís gonna happen.


Later, we would wonder why have a card at all when we can have a chip implanted under the skin so you would not have to worry about losing any card.  Now you just need to make those several calls to your boy/girlfriend.   Now, where are we going to put this chip?  Under the skin of the back of the hand, yes, of course.  And if you donít have a hand, it goes under the skin of your forehead, duh!  Thieves might get smart and cut off your hand.  Or your head, but as my creative writing professor saw the need to point out to me, decapitations are difficult to accomplish.


Iíd like an Omni-card, but I think you can stow that subdermal chip shit in that same area where youíd find the solar powered flash light.  One thingís for sure: with an Omni-card, youíd need a PIN, but not with the subdermal chip.




Copyright © 2001 John Lemut