Introducing: Your Very Own Password Vault™ For Life

Call it foresight, more than a decade ago, I knew one day I would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of user IDs and passwords I have to memorize.  As of today, I have over 70 profiles.  Each comes with a set of user ID and password, security question and what not.  I try my best to keep my passwords somewhat unique, with the discipline to reset them regularly.  It is a lot of work.  But I don’t see other viable options.

Now, I don’t have a super memory.  And I don’t trust some third party online applications that promise to keep my credentials safe.  When it comes to online credentials, there is only one person in this world whom I can trust: Me.

Nothing beats pen-and-paper when it comes to recording of your online credentials.  You too may use this form of mine.  Note: Patent pending.  If Apple can patent a rectangular, I am pretty sure a form can be patented.

For years, I manage my online credentials using pen-and-paper.  There are tons of benefits.  Off the top of my head, here are a few.

  • You will never forget your credentials.  Ever.
  • You will remember when you last reset your passwords.
  • You can afford to be really creative in dreaming up unique passwords across your profiles.
  • In the event of emergency or unforeseeable circumstances, your loved ones can still retrieve your profiles.

To get started, all you need to do is click onto the image above and download the original image.  Then follow theses simple steps below.

  1. Copy the above 3″ x 2″ image and paste it on a A4 size document.  It should be able to fit 9 cards per page.
  2. Print them out and cut them up into 3″ x 2″ (or slightly smaller).
  3. Buy a deck of blank name cards.  This should cost less than S$4.
  4. Glue the 3″ x 2″ printouts onto the blank name cards.

It should not take more than half an hour to prepare a deck of, say, 100 cards.  Next, simply fill them up and store them alphabetically.  You could use a name card holder to store your cards.  If you are paranoid about your housemates who may pry into your Password Vault™, you can always lock it up inside a safe, together with all your important documents like letters from your ex’es.

I love my pen-and-paper Password Vault™ and I have been using this method to record my online credential for years.  You too should give it a try today.

OK. I fill one up to illustrate how it works. For security questions, you can put them under note section.

Sea Turtles, I “AMP” You!

It is time like this when I feel like I am staring in the movie “Troy”.  Not as Brad Pitt of course, but rather one of the many soldiers who gets his point-one second of camera time.   But that is OK.  As someone who is reborn into this new generation of whoever participates wins, I am happy to contribute, fully aware of the likely outcome.   For yet another contest this time invited by HP, I hope the panel of judges will get what I am trying to say (sometimes even I don’t).  We know how the last contest turned out.  So I am going to stick with the drawing bits and leave out the music bits.   The title of this drawing is “A Sea Turtle Butchered – What Santa could do with the help from Wilfrid who in turn needs some money from HP to make a difference”.

One folklore goes something like this: For many years, the inhabitants of the underwater village Da’Touk Thump have lived a relatively peaceful time.  They spend most of the time frolicking in the sea, eating jelly fish, and mowing sea grass.   Once in a while, some females get knocked up and they take care of their “business” on dry land, away from Da’Touk Thump.   No one knows why eggs have to be laid in a place so far away.   But the sea turtles are not complaining.  They treat it as a seasonal holy pilgrimage.   Religion always manages to explain all the unknown unknowns, even for the sea turtles.

No one knows how the bipeds come into existence.   One sea turtle legend goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a royal dispute in Da’Touk Thump.  Two princesses were fighting for the throne and eventually, Princess Ho’Mos-Api was ousted out of the palace.   Feeling the rage inside her turtle shell, she heaved herself out of the sea and vowed never to return.   Once she reached the shore, with super-turtle effort, Ho’Mas-Api yanked herself out of the shell.  And the unthinkable happened; she began to walk on two legs!   Over the years, the descendents of Ho’Mos-Api have populated the shore and named the village Aa’Rr Pop.  One day, they discovered fire.   Since then, they have incorporated sunny-side-up sea turtle egg and roast sea turtle steak into their menu of fruits de mer.  It was a sad day for the Da’Touk Thump inhabitants.

One morning, Tortu’Aga-Mari realizes that she is pregnant.  And she prays to the gods.  A rabbit appears and says, “Say no more!   I hear you!  Many times I’ve told you sea turtles the importance of abstinence.”  “What should I do now?” Tortu’Aga-Mari implores.   The rabbit pulls out a magical collar from his furry chest and says, “My child, you have two choices.   Wear this on your neck.  You may still face the choppers of the Aa’Rr Pop villagers but the wounds inflicted upon you will be amplified in a mysterious way.   However, if you choose to wear this around your tummy, all the fertilized eggs inside you will vanish.  But no sea turtle will bear any eggs in Da’Touk Thump – not today and never in the future!”

A hero or a zero, what is it going to be?  Visualizing how to take off the turtle suit is tedious enough.  Obviating the entire turtle race?  That is genocide in a turtle sense.  Tortu’Aga-Mari  gives it a little thought and has decided to wear the collar onto her neck.   At nightfall, Tortu’Aga-Mari tiptoes under a starry night onto the dry land where many of the sea turtles lay their eggs and some end up on a dinning table.   The bipeds are waiting.  Tortu’Aga-Mari does not stand a chance.   As the turtle-sacrifice is being chopped into pieces, the collar works its magic; all the women back in the Aa’Rr Pop village magically feel the blade and disintegrate into chucks of flesh.  Each time a piece of Tortu’Aga-Mari comes off, pieces of the same proportion come off from the women in the village.  There is bloodbath at the shore; and there is bloodbath in the Aa’Rr Pop village.   The men happily chopping the poor turtle have no idea that they are indirectly chopping their own women back home.   Soon, news of the village travels to the ears of the bipeds at the shore; scent of the shore intrudes the Da’Touk Thump inhabitants in the sea.   Shocked, the bipeds return to their village moan at their mishap; the sea turtles swim all the way from the sea and stare at a bucket full of turtle meat, shocked.

There are many versions of how this folklore ends.  Amongst all, this is my favorite: Out of nowhere, a rabbit materializes at the shore and screams, “Say no more!  I hear you all!”  The rabbit curiously looks into the bucket and in his surprise, sees a pounding heart.   The heart of Tortu’Aga-Mari.  He digs his furry arm into the bloody bucket, stirring vigorously as though he is a chef marinating the meat.   The sea turtles gasp at the scene and cry in silence.  The rabbit clicks his tongue, rolls his eyes to the night sky, and says, “I still hear you!”  After what seems like an eternity, in one swift motion, the rabbit pulls something out from the bucket.   It is the magical collar.  In one majestic gesture, the rabbit carefully wraps the pounding heart with the collar.  A blinding light immediately radiates to all directions, momentarily dazzles the sea turtle audience.  Metal zippers grow from the collar weaving their ways along the wounds of the mutilated limps and body of turtle-sacrifice.  In no time, Tortu’Aga-Mari becomes whole and in one orgasmic ending, the final piece of the collar – or what is left of it – permeated by the prayers of millions of sea turtles wraps around the newly mended Tortu’Aga-Mari, hardens and becomes a golden, grandiose shell.   The sea turtles are in awe of the miracle, a miracle they have unknowingly partaken.   The rabbit lets go a sigh of triumph and smiles, “My work here is done!”   And poof, he disappears.  Tortu’Aga-Mari is reborn.

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Both my drawing and this posting are inspired by the CNN Hero of 2010 nominee, Oscar Aranda.   Oscar in the category of defending the planet does not win.   Voters seem to be touched more by the thousands of girls saved from sex slavery than the many mother sea turtles saved and thousands of baby sea turtles released back to the sea.  HP wants to know how I would make my Christmas holiday better than before (or in their technical lingo: How I “AMP” my Christmas).   With HP’s full financial aid, I am happy to spend two to three weeks in Mexico with Western Ecological Society, document the sea turtle preservation effort, and share with the online community my photos and journals.  Keep a look out on HP Facebook page.  I will need your votes to become Brad Pitt for a change.

PS. No sea turtles or turtles of any kind are harmed during the drawing of this featured picture.  I wish I could credit the folklore to some ancient civilizations that worship sea turtles, like the Moche people of ancient Peru.  But any resemblance to real life creatures alive or dead is purely coincidental.

External Links: An article by CNN on Oscar Aranda, Western Ecological Society Website (in English)

Summer Blog Episode 9 – Shortsightedness Versus Spelling Handicap (Final Episode)

I too am shortsighted.  So I am not here to poke fun at you, if you are or know someone who is shortsighted too.

Looking at the number of people around me who require optical aid or surgical treatment to see properly, I cannot help but to wonder from time to time what would happen if we were today magically sent back to the Stone Age where there is no such optical device or surgical technique to correct our flawed vision?

Most of us would be eaten by lions and tigers, wolves and wild boars.  If we were not eaten by the animals, we would have fallen to our death by stepping onto the wrong stone while fleeing.  Most of us would be mating without having a clear idea of what our partners looked like.  Until it was too late.  And prayed that our partners were not from the same sex.

Most of us would not be able to survive for long, set aside passing the genes to the next generation.  Evolution would place us – the shortsighted people – out of this Earth, which could be a good thing.  Because in time, in this game of survival, our population would once again be populated with human beings with good eye sights, who would be able to see the lions and tigers, wolves and wild boars, as well as those whom we would sleep and procreate with.

These days, I too cannot live without a spellchecker.  So I am not here to poke fun at you, if spellchecker is as important to you as it is to me.  I am unsure if the growing inability to see properly as a species is of the same magnitude of us being more reliance on spellcheckers.  I think in time to come, most of us would not be able to spell properly.

Summer Blog Episode 8 – I Am Your New Minister For Transport

I had a dream.  I had become the new Minister for Transport.

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Dear citizens, I have great news to announce.  As a small child, when I see that an average citizen has to pay up to $100,000 to buy an average Japanese car, I see something is not right.  For a wealthy country like ours whose citizens pay $100 to watch World Cup at home, we deserve better.  Therefore, I hereby propose to abolish the car tax system as well as the certificate of entitlement (better known as COE) that unfairly inflates the price of a car.  I am also proposing to ban the import of the cheap cars.  To retain the existing Cat A (car engine below 1,600cc) and Cat B (car engine above) COE concept, we shall have two types of cars on the road – Porsche 911 for the average citizens and Ferrari for the elite citizens.  Trust me, I have seen the numbers.  It works out more or less the same as what our citizens are paying today.

Some of you may challenge that without a quota or COE biding system – like we have today – it is hard to control the number of cars in our country.  Let’s look at it this way.  Even with such a COE biding system, for reasons beyond me, we still have problem in controlling the number of cars in our country.  So what gives?

Some of you may express concern that our government will miss out a lot of revenue from the inflated car price.  Oh please.  We make more with Electric Road Pricing (ERP) than you can imagine.  There are also some jokers who get miserably lost in around Singapore River during the ERP hours and get charged extra.  Jokers like me.

Look at it the bright side.  It is good for our image.  Imagine rows and rows of nothing but Porsche 911 and Ferrari (OK, I may consider bringing in Porsche Cayenne for those who insist on a large family car).  In the spirit of promoting Formula One, I would also propose to disable all the speed cameras when we are hosting the event.

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Summer Blog Episode 2 – A Harem Full Of Girls And A Hard Disk Full Of Music

Cynthia often pokes fun at my ears.  She says my ears are promiscuous.  I used to buy many compact disks regularly.  My favorite pastime since the day when compact disk format was made popular was to camp at record stores, staring at the nicely wrapped disks trying to decide if I should buy just one more.  It was an obsession, before the time when consumers rely on listening stations and online reviews to decide if they should part their hard earned money in exchange for a forty minutes of an unknown piece of music.

I suppose there is an ounce of truth for Cynthia to choose that descriptor for my ears.  I suppose if you have a few girlfriends to juggle at the same time, you probably would not have a good memory on who they are, not even their names.  At times when I listen to a beautiful tune playing on the radio, I would turn to Cynthia and asked, “I think I have that song in my music collection.  But I can’t recall which one it is.”  Cynthia would give me a standard reply that my ears are promiscuous.

What happens to the days when we could remember the lyrics and sing along with the songs?

When I share with the people around me that my phone comes with a legally unlimited music download service, some are surprised while others cannot relate.  When I walk into a record store these days, I am no longer in my usual euphoric state.  The entire recent collection, I almost have it.  OK, I recognize the album covers, music that I have downloaded with a click of a button.  But I doubt I have listened to all.  It does feel good though knowing that some albums are inside my computer’s hard disk somewhere, ready to be listened to when my ears are free.

I reckon the idea of a harem full of girls is not to sleep with all, but keep some to look at.