Email: get 100 GB cloud storage for a year FREE for just 100 Bing credits. Oh, right! Bing! That thing. Wander over to the Bing page, ask myself why I don’t use it more, remember: oh, right. Bing. No one ever says “bing that and tell what comes up.” No one ever said “I Binged you.” It’s just . . . Bing. It’s where you go in a huff after Google peeves you off and what you forget about because you started using Google again.
I try to sign in using what I assume is my Microsoft Account, which I created for some reason one day long past. Doesn’t work. Try Facebook login - it works! I have 25 credits. I could get many more if I do things like invite friends on Facebook to try Bing, but that’s like the friend who comes over to visit and casually brings up Amway, and how wonderful their cleaning products are.
Ask daughter if she has a Facebook account.
Eyeroll / irritation No.
That says all you need to know about the future of Facebook, right there.
Will you create a page so I can friend you and get 500 points on Bing so I can get 100GB storage for free?
Try to get into my Microsoft Account, which is a little like trying to figure out what name you used to make a comment on a webpage so hopeless uncool and dorky you considered using TOR and a burner email account just in case. Can’t. Think: well, I don’t need that 100 GB. Get on with life.
End of day: download an Evernote replacement Microsoft just released called OneNote. Some good reviews. Think: could be a new Get Things Done organizational solution! Remember: have no need of such things whatsoever. But it’s new! It asks for a Microsoft Account. Oh, right: this morning. That. Well, it appears I don’t have one; let’s create one for fun.
THAT EMAIL IS ALREADY ASSOCIATED WITH A MICROSOFT ACCOUNT
Try an old password format; works. Open program. At the top:
Oh, right. Microsoft. Run through a few test examples, like dragging an URL into a notebook. Remember what i did in the morning: for some reason I had the annual flirtation with Chrome, considering whether to switch, even though my phone sync with Safari and that’s where I store URLs for later, unless I’m using my iPad, in which case I push them to Pocket. But in Chrome I’m reminded I also have Springpad, which has notebooks for various subjects, like Travel, Work Links, and so on. Just like Evernote! I don’t use it. Just like Evernote!
BECAUSE everything I need is a document in a folder where I can get to it in seconds, and what needs to be accessible everywhere is synced to Dropbox. No programs. Just files.
But Springboard notebooks can be customized by color and paper stock!
Anyway, I tried dragging a URL into a new page in the Microsoft Evernote Killer. Derp. No go. Not what I want, even if I wanted it. Quit program. Network monitor throws up this:
What, I’m challenging territorial waters now? Call up the uninstaller program and trash the whole thing.
Back to Bing; sign out of Facebook account so I can use my newly-remembered Microsoft Account. It shows I have 5 Bing credits. These are the ones you get for showing up. Sign out and sign in with Facebook.
Sorry, we don’t recognize your password. Click here to have a text message sent to your phone to reset.
Click to get the text.
Where’s the phone?
Oh, right, downstairs in my coat pocket. Go downstairs. Nothing. Oh: had enabled Do Not Disturb mode. Turn that off. FLOOD OF TEXTS. Crap. Respond to those. Then recall I was looking for the Facebook text . . . there it is. Go upstairs. Entire code. New password!
Browser: do you want to remember this? YES / NO / NEVER / SOMETIMES / I DON’T KNOW TOO MUCH PRESSURE pops up at the same time the widget that talks with the external password manager pops up with the same question. Yes yes yes yes go away.
Now I’m on Facebook! Have no interest in being on Facebook at the moment. Or ever. But: 500 Bing points for that free 100 GB storage! I remember: I just got 50 GB free storage at Box. What did I put there? Call up the Box app. Asks for password; don’t remember. Password manager program has locked itself because it was unused for 15 minutes. Enter password, thinking, as ever, I should write this down somewhere in case I’m hit by a car, but that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
Why not write it down and put it in the safe deposit box?
Why not put everything on a small hard drive and put that in a safe deposit box? Because it would use USB 3.0 and by the time anyone found it we’d be on to LightWave HoloSpring 6.0, that’s why. It would be like opening a parent’s safe deposit box and finding all the important files engraved on an Edison cylinder. Still, there has to be a way to leave it in code, something my wife would know. This I should do.
Open Simplenote, which syncs all my notes across devices. Reminder: leave password solution for wife. Observe two other reminders I have forgotten. One of them is a bill-pay, and it’s mission-critical. Wince. Go online, call up the site, enter credentials.
Password not recognized. Enter password in password manager; check account; copy password. No good. Perhaps I never made an account. Try to make a new account - no, I have one. Website says I need to click on the verification email. I have paid on this account before. What. The. Hell.
Call customer service. Robot tells me my balance, yes yes yes, then hands me over to another robot to pay by credit card. Robot asks how much I want to pay. I have forgotten the balance. Stab the 0 repeatedly.
I’m sorry. I don’t recognize that entry.
It’s ZERO! How can you not? It’s the universally understood sign for help! O for Operator!
Hang up. Redial. Note balance. Skip automated procedure and ask for a human being.
She comes on and says hello and her voice is the loveliest thing I’ve heard all day. Human. A tinge of the south. Friendly and calm. I make the payment and ask where she is, which is the one acceptable thing you can ask customer service.
“Central Noth Ca’lina,” she says. She says they’re going to have sleet tonight but it’ll be 70 tomorrow. I see snow falling outside the window.
While I’m at it I decide to active the credit card that arrived in the mail; it’s a cruise line card that gives me Perks! and Upgrades! when used. I get Thomas, who actually sounds happy to be doing what he is doing. We activate the card and all is well. I put it in the little box of cards, and note there’s a Novartis Rebate Visa Card that was rejected when I tried to use it. Sorry: declined, to use the kind euphemism.
It was a rebate for Jasper’s medication.
I think about Jasper.
I think about driving around the other day with daughter, and we saw a dog, and she said “I miss having a dog,” and we were silent for four blocks.
I check the card online, which requires agreeing to TERMS AND CONDITIONS a mile long, and yes, there’s $15 on the card. Okay!
Where was I?
Right: providing the master password for the password assistant so my wife can get all the info if I’m hit by a car. I hit upon a solution: encrypt the data in a disk image with a separate password and put that password in the safe deposit box. BRILLIANT.
I do have a safe deposit box, right? Call up the bank page from the password manager. ERROR because it won’t autofill. Enter credentials, go to the account page . . . yes, it’s still there, with the annual charge.
Where’s the key?
I know where I think it should be. Check: yes. Whew.
Huh: balance is more than expected. There was a big bill due. Should have been paid. Log out and go to the AMEX site. Will post in seven days. Whew.
Where was I?
Oh: Facebook password reset to get access to Bing to send a request to daughter to join Bing to get 500 credits so I could get 100 GB of storage.
Realize it’s just free for a year. After that I’d have to pay.
“Did you make a Facebook account?” I shout down the hall.
“I’m writing my novel.”
“I finished mine last night.”
Stare at the screen for a while. Then:
DELETE all data from various free cloud storages
DELETE all reminders
DELETE all saved URLS older than a week
DELETE all bookmarks older than six months
DELETE DELETE STERILIZE STERILIZE
Find “Bing” email.
97% of everything that promised to simplify my life ended up complicating it.
Well, which ep didn't have a secret? It's not like we'll learn his identity; this is the penultimate episode.
Bringing you up to speed:
The Journalist Gal and the Other Guy follow in a car, because they were alerted by a taxi driver who jogged up to the place where Jeff got in the car, and said "hey, my hack was stolen." Which meant that Vulcan didn's use a custom Death Cab, but refit an existing cab with great haste. Smart work - they could trace a cab he bought. Anyway, Jeff King's friends engage in derring-do.
Step one: Jump onto the top of the taxi
Step two: ???? It's a remote-controlled sealed cab without a driver.
Step three: Show Jeff being removed from the car. Is he okay? We know he’s rugged, but surely being trapped in a sealed car full of noxious gas takes its toll!
At which point Dr. Vulcan might think: a faster-acting poison, now that’s what the job required. Well, when I attempt to kill Jeff King for the ninety-second time, that’s what I’ll use. Also shorter fuses.
Turns out Jeff King, being JEFF KING ROCKETMAN, could identify the gas as he was breathing it. Fuminol! Of course! Now all they have to do is trace it back to the company that made it, and see who they sold it to.
At which point Dr. Vulcan - who is watching all this via his impossible remote-viewing machine -
- must be thinking “note to self. Don’t use brand-name poisons.” It gets worse: Vulcan admits to Derkin that “i made a personal order” of the stuff, using his Non-Dr. Vulcan name. Our heroes discover that the order was made from “Hunter Chemical company,” and off they go - but Dirkin and the auxiliary Henches have got there first, because the episode needs a fistfight. Better yet: a fistfight that turns into a gun battle and then a fistfight on the back of a truck and then a GUN BATTLE BETWEEN TRUCK AND CAR. It’s awesome!
Then Derkin gets the bright idea to remove the tarp from the truck and throw it over Jeff’s car - surely he’ll have to stop and take it off. Well, talk about a plan going better than expected:
In case you were wondering, that brings the number of vehicles plunging into the drink to Four. And that’s not the cliffhanger! They didn’t get out in time. But:
Don’t worry. They swam out. Whew! But Dirkin ad Vulcan have Bert Winslow, the guy who may be a journalist. Vulcan’s new plot: bring Winslow to his lair, and Jeff King will have no choice but to rescue him. So he calls him up and tells him to come to 222 Beverly Street. Thereby giving the location he didn’t want them to find on the Fuminol invoices.
So Vulcan has a plan, right? A sniper across the street who nails King as he approaches? No, he’s sitting a chair in Dr. Vulcan’s office. And it’s wired for death! Subordinate Hench is nervous:
Who’s not getting a promotion the next time job performances are evaulated? That guy. Anyway, Jeff King shows up in Rocketman form, though, so he doesn’t walk through the Electrical Beam of Death. While he’s untying Winslow, out saunters . . .
DOCTOR VULCAN! It’s Ryan! Whoa!
Wait a minute, who was he again? I have no idea. Well, that was a let down. Anyway, he makes Rocketman back up into the Electrical Beam of Death.
You know, next week is the last one, so he could be killed, and someone else could put on the suit.
I’m guessing: no. Next week: THE FINAL CHAPTER!
Strib blog in short form in the morn; Tumblr, of course. See you around!