It's that time again. No, I am not talking pre-Christmas prep.
I am talking about my password. It's time to make the change.
The workplace prompt arrived in my email 12 days ago.
"Your active directory password will expire in 14 days," it said.
Then it told me what I needed to do: create a new password of at least seven characters. One character had to be an uppercase letter. One character needed a lowercase letter. One character needed to be a number, and another a non-alphabetic character. There was also this:
I could not use anything that resembled all, or part, of my last 10 passwords.
I ignored the workplace prompt. It returned the next day, and the day after.
This password stuff is a pain. Granted, it's the mother of all first-world problems. But it always gives me grief.
This time, I tried going with the youngest son's middle name, followed by the number seven and an asterisk.
Didn't work. The youngest son's middle name - or part of it - had perhaps been used seven or eight passwords ago.
This time, I'd go with, oh, the name of the street where I had my first apartment, followed by a four and an exclamation mark.
No such luck. The password gods, whoever they are, gave my choice the big thumbs down.
I asked the husband for suggestions.
"Um, I'd go with Vanilla5," he suggested. "You haven't used vanilla recently, have you?" "I'm pretty sure I haven't," I said. "But why vanilla?" "Because you like vanilla ice cream, right?" he said.
"I prefer vanilla fudge ripple," I said. "But that's probably too many characters."
Indeed, it probably would be.
"Let's see," I said. "I think I'll go with iKtetn9$," I said.
"What the heck is that supposed to mean?" asked the husband.
"It's the letters for the word Kitten, all jumbled up," I explained. "Nine represents the number of cats I've had, and the dollar sign indicates that vet bills are really high."
I punched it in.
Bingo, said the password gods. Password accepted.
"You'll never remember it," said the husband.
True enough. It may be no use at all, but at least I made the change.