PSA: Have you changed all your passwords yet?

by Colleen Morrow

When the news of heartbleed broke, I waited to see how many websites I have accounts on would let me know if I needed to change my password or not.  Within about 24 hours, I had 3 emails.  I've gotten more since then and in general, I've been pretty impressed with the response from the websites I use.  I spent a big chunk of time the other day updating a number of my passwords.  And then I got on my soap box and emailed my mom and my sister to make sure they were updating their passwords.

I'll be honest - I'm updating more passwords than I need to because I'm still not using unique passwords on every site.  I know that's bad but remembering passwords sucks so I have a handful of fairly good passwords that I just repeat.  Which is bad.  A while back, I bought 1Password and very quickly, I got everything that really mattered into it - all of my banking sites, email, and stuff I use on a fairly regular basis.  But I forgot about how many other sites there are that I only log into once in a while - Chapters, Amazon, BookDepository, Abebooks, Goodreads, LibraryThing, to name a few.  

I don't want to sound like an infomercial but 1Password is pretty awesome.  The basic point of it is to help you create and "remember" secure passwords for all your stuff.  It does more but the password thing is the most important part.  It has a password generator that will create crazy insane passwords for you.  Each login gets it's own little entry, storing the website, your user id & your password (plus whatever else you want it to remember) and then when it's time to log onto that site, you enter your 1Password password and just click the entry for where you want to go and it's off to the races.  It is really easy to use.  I don't know any of my passwords other than my 1Password master password.  Oh, and my iTunes password cause I still need to be able to download apps.  They have versions for the PC, for the Mac, and for iOS (sorry android & BB users... guess you'll just have to get your identities stolen.)  And with heartbleed, they put all of the versions on sale.  I just checked - it's still on sale, though I don't know how much longer it will be.  

The size of the heartbleed bug really reminded me how much data I have out there, how many accounts, how few passwords.  So I've been logging into everything I can ever remember logging into ever to get it into 1Password and setting a new, secure password.

And it's still on sale.  So give some serious thought to picking it up because these breaches and hacks and bugs and whatnot are just going to keep happening.  Also, my mom uses it (okay, she's bought it and I'm going to teach her to use it soon but still, that totally counts.)  Do you want my mom to be more technologically savvy than you?  I didn't think so.  

P.S.  Hi Mom.  You're totally a technological wizard.

P.P.S. I swear this isn't an ad.   

I've been advised I need to blog

by Colleen Morrow


I've been meaning to write for a while.  I have a number of things to blog about:

  • The January Cure.  Yep, still working on it...
  • Our weekend in San Diego
  • My second gourmet short course at Le Cordon Bleu
  • My addiction to MOOCs

But I'm clearly really quite bad about sitting down and doing it. 

En route to Le Cordon Bleu again!

by Colleen Morrow

This time for Viennoiserie - croissants, brioche and sweetbread. Yay! I'm really looking forward to learning how to make croissants. Unfortunately, it's damn cold in Ottawa this week so I don't think I'm going to enjoy walking to and from class as much as I did last September.

The January Cure is not Curing Me

by Colleen Morrow

Okay, the January Cure is starting to overwhelm me.

I made my project list and I decided to pick the basement as my project to focus on. But now, we've just gotten a call to say our bedroom furniture that we ordered is here!

This weekend's chore for the January cure was to do a deep clean on the bedroom.  I figured I'd just do that when our furniture arrived - in February - so I was going to use this weekend to work on the basement.  But it's here.  And it's getting delivered on Wednesday.  So the deep clean I was going to do in February is happening now.  But it's not just moving furniture around to vacuum and dusting.  All of our current furniture needs to get emptied, which makes this the perfect time to go through every piece of clothing and actually think about what drawer things are going in.  And to think about all the non-clothing items (lamps, pictures, etc.).  Our lamps that we have now are not very pretty so I wanted to get new lamps when the furniture arrived.  Which means buying lamps is now on my to-do list.  

That doesn't sound so bad, does it? No, not really.  I don't have to get the lamps before the furniture arrives -and in fact, probably shouldn't get any until I see how the furniture looks in the bedroom.  And really, I won't go through my clothes until the furniture is here.  But when I do that, I really should finish getting our closet in order. When we moved in, there was no way we'd have enough room in the closet for both of us to have our clothes. So we installed a closet organizer along the long wall of our walk-in with two hanging rods and some shelves. Currently, the short wall along the back still has the standard builder rod. I want to replace it with the same kind of organizer that's along the other wall.  That will give us some more shelving for things like my shoes.  But with the increased storage that we'll have in the bedroom, I can't figure out exactly what we'll need so let's add that to the list of things to do after delivery.

Oh but wait - the bedroom is empty right now so doesn't that make today the ideal time to touch up the baseboards, door jam, and ceiling.  And to replace the icky plastic vents?  Yes, yes it does.  Now, if I buy new lamps, finish off the closet, get nice new vents and touch up all the paint, that means the only thing on my project list for the master bedroom that won't be done in fairly short order is getting curtains & pillows for the window seat. 

Well, then doesn't it make sense to switch my project from the basement to the bedroom?  I think so.  Except I feel like I'm in the middle of that project already.

The basement project isn't that big but it does require some elbow grease on getting it into shape. We need some new shelving and I need to spend a few hours down there sorting through stuff.  The biggest question mark there was how to store the preserves/canning that we're doing now.  EDP wants something with a door so that the sun doesn't get at things.  Okay, I can handle that.  I've been searching for a while for something that would work and have been hitting up against a brick wall over and over.  But then I got an email from my Wendy the other day suggesting a pantry cupboard like you'd put in your kitchen if you were renovating it.  BRILLIANT.  Pantry cupboards have way more shelves in them than the crappy shelving we have now.  So I started looking at Ikea and Home Depot, thinking that if we could get more storage into the laundry room, we might not need something separate for the preserves.  The problem is, this area is narrow so we can't do anything with doors that open like a kitchen cupboard.  So I started looking at wardrobes with sliding doors.  But they aren't shallow enough.  Turns out - a pantry cupboard isn't shallow enough either.  We can't go more than 14 inches deep.  Which took me back to square one for shelving in the laundry room but had the idea of getting a pantry for the preserves to go in the main part of the basement.  Then EDP reminded me that when we reno the space and put a closet in for more storage, we can have shelves built in.  No wardrobe or pantry needed.  At least we determined this before a trip to Ikea.  But we did go to Solutions.  In the laundry room, we can fit up to six feet of shelves. Solutions has these great, super sturdy metal shelving units that you configure yourself.  The trouble is that they are expensive.  Expensive enough that I didn't want to buy all six feet worth of shelves yesterday.  We bought three feet worth instead.

That means that now, down in the basement is the supplies for constructing one super amazing awesome laundry room shelf.  Plus all the clutter that's been accumulating.  Which means that space is now worse than it was when the January Cure started.  And because i was anticipating spending time this weekend working on the basement, I did some decluttering in the Tiffany room so that EDP's camera equipment can get moved up there to get it out of the basement.  But now all our current bedroom furniture is in there so I can't really get at the closet anymore to move that stuff upstairs - or get at my painting clothes!

See.  Overwhelmed.  I should go down and start cleaning out the basement and at least get it back to a state where it is equally as bad as when the January Cure started.  I should touch up the paint in the bedroom.  And if I already have the paint out, I should just touch up the paint in the bathroom and deal with those damn stickers on the doors because that paint will surely need to be touched up when I'm done.  Oh - and the email from Wendy reminded me that I have about seven billion emails to deal with and a couple of handwritten letters to write.  I should just pick something and get at least one of the things done.  Instead, I'm sitting here, typing.


Okay, Because you read this whole thing, you get to see the shameful amount of dog hair that has accumulated where our bed & nightstands are.  

Okay, Because you read this whole thing, you get to see the shameful amount of dog hair that has accumulated where our bed & nightstands are.