2015 – 2016

The Wizards of Pipelines and Fracking

December 2016

What position must we take when our politicians continue to be environmental laggards? This past week Prime Minister Trudeau actually had the gall to say—indignantly—that he wouldn’t have approved the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline if he thought doing so would be harmful to BC’s coast. Could someone please inform our PM that preventing human error and controlling storms at sea are not among his impressive qualities?

His arrogance reminded me of the doctor I had in my early 20s. I’d gone to see him about getting birth control. I sat facing him and his big, oak desk and said that I had some concern about the long-term effect on my health if I went on the pill. The good doctor snubbed his cigarette into a plate-sized ashtray and bellowed, “Do you think I would give it to you if I thought it would harm you?”

The thing is, wherever there’s an Oz, when you pull back the curtain you’ll find not a wizard but just another fallible human being whose power is temporary— temporary because it’s been loaned to him by some other fallible people. We have to keep reminding ourselves of this truth.

Right now the provincial Liberals are using taxpayer money to sell LNG to us through a TV ad campaign, asserting that fracking is “clean” when exactly the opposite is true. Fracking forces toxic chemicals down deep into the earth so that gas is released to the surface; fracking causes earthquakes and the chemicals are left in the earth to gradually poison the water table; fracking has been called dirtier than coal. That same TV ad also informs us that $20 billion has already been spent. All that money for a few measly jobs tied to unstable, unpredictable export markets! Giving $1 billion to 20 communities would have been a sounder, long-term investment.

Clearly our politicians are hobbled—by a failure of courage, by an entrenched minority of wizards who manipulate them into becoming well-behaved minions. Our politicians put the desired spin on dirty energy projects by constantly uttering scare words like “job creation” and “food on the table”. Meanwhile, in other countries, they’re making significant investment in renewable energies and their economies are doing just fine.

At the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota which opposes a crude oil pipeline from crossing their water source and desecrating a sacred burial ground, people are calling themselves ‘Water Protectors’. They’re not calling themselves ‘protestors’. Protestors, as we all know from past events, come together to make a show of their concern, and then they go away.

But people who protect the land, air and water are people who’ve realized that being protestors doesn’t cut it anymore—the greedy wizards won’t change their methods and madness, no matter how many millions protest. The water protectors here in BC are going to come together from all over the continent and they’ll stay put for as long as it takes—even if it means having to put their bodies on the line.

* * *

Encounter at Hangman’s Lane

September 2016

Recently I went for my first-ever walk to Cayoosh Park with my sister and Missy, her little Chihuahua cross. It was a beautiful, blustery day. We circled the downed hangman’s tree and I thought about the men who’d been hung on this hillside, how the last thing they would have seen was this same spectacular vista I was seeing, the same impressive mountains and Fraser River.

I figured that from some locations down below people would have been able to look up to the hillside and see a body hanging. You’d think the poor souls might have been hung with less public spectacle, but I guess that was the point, to instill fear, to showcase that rough, harsh justice.

Anyway, just as I was mulling this macabre piece of local history, little Missy took off running. (Unfortunately, we hadn’t yet noticed the sign saying that dogs must be on leash.) Missy generally lives up to her name by being 14 pounds of sweet and delightful but not on this day. Maybe it was the variable weather and a sky churning with storm clouds, maybe it was the aroma of bear on the wind, or maybe the disgruntled spirits of hanged men were casting mischievous spells, but suddenly she was channelling her inner attack dog.

She streaked across the grass expanse like a white comet. My sister yelled and yelled but nothing could stop Missy, she was locked onto her target. Across the park, walking along Hangman’s Lane, was a spry, older woman with two dogs on leash. One dog was smaller and curly-haired, the other dog was mid-sized and quite stout. My sister and I rushed toward the scene.

In a dizzying display of agility, Missy charged and feinted, barked and dodged. The woman held tight to her dogs, who, though restrained, were bouncing around with this little white devil dog. Within moments the leather leashes became a tangled knot. What had just been a tranquil scene turned into a tornado of noise and confusion.

Before my sister could get hold of Missy, the bigger dog decided it had had enough of this foolish Chihuahua. It lunged, throwing its ample weight forward against the leash, and the woman fell face-first to the ground. Like a flipped pancake, I told her a bit later when we’d got to the laughing.

After I helped her to her feet and walked her home, she told me a quick story about another time she’d taken a fall. It was years ago when she lived in Edmonton, on a day when the streets were slick with silky mud, she in high heels, suddenly skating down the sidewalk, arms flailing as she tried to keep herself upright. Finally after what seemed like an eternity she went down like a deer on a marble floor. We figured anybody watching must have been laughing for days, and who knows, maybe when they recall it now they’re still laughing.

* * *

Insert Your New Ideas Here

June 2016

In less than 6 weeks the online passenger train petition has 1,150 signatures, and counting. (https://www.change.org/p/premier-gov-bc-ca-bring-back-the-north-vancouver-to-prince-george-passenger-train) The Facebook page—Bring Back the BC Passenger Train—has hundreds of Likes and shares so far. People are keen to have the service.

But as I connect with people and do research, one negative keeps cooling the excitement: even though population, highway traffic, and tourism have significantly increased since the train was cancelled in 2002, would ridership be enough to make a new service profitable?

To that negative train of thought (sorry, the puns abound) I would say this: it’s time to think beyond old-school revenue models. Why force ridership to be the sole profit generator? Let’s re-imagine the passenger train concept and find ways to maximize the infrastructure in terms of the incoming green economy.

Here’s an exciting template: The Canada Post Corporation is struggling financially and quality of mail service has eroded. Its future looks bleak. But the clever folks at Friends of Public Services have some fantastic ideas for refitting the organization which will transform it into a centre of community care and economic development.

They propose that post offices be turned into publicly-owned banks, which would invest in solar panels, green building, renewable energy, local farming, etcetera, in communities all across the land. Post offices could also be charging stations for electric/solar cars.

Presto, a struggling industry could be rejuvenated and revitalized, value added to a national infrastructure, and Canada Post is highly relevant again. Not to mention the spin-off in job creation.

That kind of thinking can be applied to anything, especially railways. In India, they’ve recently started running their first-ever solar-powered trains, with the solar panels being located on the rooftops. Or how about building solar canopies above the track for the segments of the line that are oriented to the south and west and get maximum sun? What about creating solar farms along the route?

Did you know that Bill Gates is the largest shareholder in CN Rail? Mr. Gates, who hails from nearby Seattle, is well known for his generous philanthropy, not to mention the revolutionary ideas…Hmmm…Dear Mr. Gates, how about you exert your considerable influence and make a little passenger train one of your pet projects? How about turning this undervalued gem into a showcase of green technology?

On a humbler note, recently on a social media forum someone mentioned that there used to be a show for the tourists where an outlaw gang would ride up to the BCRail passenger train on horseback and pretend to be robbing it, which sounded like a blast to me. Wanted Dead or Alive: The Infamous Gold Rush Gang.

There’s no reason why a passenger train can’t be smart, green, profitable, and even fun sometimes. We humans are nothing if not resourceful, intelligent and inventive so let’s dream big, because dreaming is a form of planning. If you come up with an idea, share it on the Facebook page—where there’s a will, there’s a railway.

* * *

 Time for an Online Petition

March 2016

Recently this paper reported the latest developments in the ongoing passenger train campaign (DoL asks communities to get on board, March 16th) and I’d like to suggest that if it’s not already being planned, it’s the perfect time to take the campaign to social media.

An online petition would transcend the distance between the communities along the passenger rail service line. It would be a great tool for revealing unknown pockets of support, gathering more energy and awareness of the issue, and magnifying the voice of the people.

In May, 2017, we’ll be voting in the next provincial election and a groundswell of public opinion would go a long way toward getting the matter on the political radar. Politicians assume there’s a multiplication factor to petitions: for instance, for every 10 people who write a letter, there’s 100 more on side who can’t/don’t/won’t write a letter. Same goes for online petitions. For every 100 people who add their names, there’s many more on side.

These days, politicians pay close attention to social media—they can’t afford not to. Ignoring social media, especially in advance of an election—can cost them dearly. Reinstating the passenger train is a specific, achievable goal which will affect numerous ridings.

A quick perusal of the Change.org website reveals that setting up a petition is pretty straightforward. The website walks you through the process step by step. Each step comes with tips for making the petition a success. For example, when choosing a title, it’s best to keep it brief and to the point, such as “Bring Back the North Vancouver to Prince George Passenger Train”.

The next step is to include the email addresses of those who can make the change happen, such as railway executives, Premier Clark, politicians at all levels of government, First Nations chiefs—basically everybody with influence and decision-making power. Having a prominent British Columbian on board to lend support would also help—anybody know the esteemed David Suzuki?

The Change.org website explains why online petitions work: “…[W]hen you specify an email address for your target, each time a supporter signs your petition, an email is automatically sent directly to that person. Governments, companies and individuals value their reputations and feel accountable to their neighbours, constituents and customers. When hundreds or even thousands of emails arrive in their inboxes, the message is very hard to ignore.”

In the 14 years since the passenger line was cancelled, there’s been a sea change in society, in large part due to the power of the internet. Democracy has evolved; people expect rail corporations and governments to be responsive and responsible. The province itself has changed. Population has grown, Prince George is now the site of the University of Northern British Columbia, the province is a prime destination for global tourism, and fossil-free modes of transportation are top priority in protecting our environment.

* * *

More Evolution of the CBC Required

January 2016

I’m a CBC fan since forever. I started listening to Radio One programs when Peter Gzowski hosted Morningside and you could hear him chain smoking in the studio. When I started watching CBC TV we had rabbit ears for tuning in black and white hockey games. At that point programming hours would finish then the screen would revert to a test pattern of the head of an Aboriginal Chief.

As my life has progressed and society has changed, so has the CBC—to some degree. I’m the first person to sing the praises of all the journalists and foreign correspondents, and in general I’m proud of its high-quality programming and documentaries. Our national broadcaster is critically-acclaimed worldwide.

But.

The mothership, as it’s affectionately called, is showing its age. If I hear Peter Mansbridge or Wendy Mesley use the phrase “visible minority” on the nightly National news one more time when referring to non-white people I may have a stroke. Those two words reveal much about white privilege and blind spots. There has never been a homogenous majority in this country and when I hear ‘visible minority’ I want to yell at the TV: As compared to what, the invisible majority?!

CBC discussion panels showcase this problem further. When Mansbridge or Mesley gather their pundits, you can bet they’re all white. Another news program that really needs an overhaul is Power and Politics. Day after day, month after month, predictable white pundits give their predictable opinions on the important matters of the day. In the weeks after the Paris terror attacks Power and Politics ran daily segments about terrorism and the Middle East which did little more than stoke fear. Why didn’t the program include any Muslim Canadian pundits in those discussions? Why were the experts in Middle Eastern culture all white? Watching that program makes me think the CBC has forgotten about balanced reporting, not to mention irony.

And if this diversity-avoidance is allowed to continue, how soon before the CBC loses its ability to become relevant to younger generations? If the CBC wants to keep the interest and attention of Canadian viewers—and by extension the political will to fund its continued existence—then it needs to look and sound like the real Canada.

Younger generations are more informed because they’ve grown up with that thing called the Internet. They know way more about the world than my generation ever did. They’re media savvy, privilege savvy, race savvy, everything savvy, and they’re not going to accept phrases like visible minority or panels of all-white sparkle ponies trotting out their all-white expertise. If the CBC isn’t evolving as fast as it should because it’s afraid of alienating its base of long-term Boomer generation supporters like me, they can breathe easy. We’re along for the ride until the very end. And we’re eager to see the end of embarrassing old media and its sanitized, whitewashed perspectives. Time to get with it, CBC, because it’s 2016.

* * *

We Lucked Out This Federal Election
October 2015

The election fairy waved her magic wand and now this riding has a strong Liberal MP from a majority government led by a Prime Minister with significant ties to the west. I’d say it’s time for celebration and it’s time for making the most of our good fortune.
We all know about broken promises and the blood sport that is the political arena, but let’s be hopeful and optimistic, as Trudeau talked about in his victory speech on election night when he referenced PM Wilfred Laurier’s Sunny Ways.


It was surprising to hear him say such a thing, wasn’t it? Sunny Ways? Hope and optimism? What modern politician talks about that? After I mulled this, I decided that he isn’t asking us to trade our brains and political acumen for some mindless aw-shucks happiness, he’s asking everybody to let go of negativity and cynicism and be co-creators in the way the country moves forward. And I want to believe—no, I need to believe—that such a paradigm shift is possible so I’m extending my trust, as are so many Canadians.
Right now, in this honeymoon phase, there’s reason to believe that trust is well placed. Trudeau has shown a high level of emotional intelligence and social responsiveness, not to mention vision and courage. The Liberals ran a positive campaign not solely as strategy, but because there’s an intrinsic value in doing so. And given their success, I’d say there are some very smart people on his team including Gerald Butts, his behind-the-scenes Principle Advisor.
But that said, the people have given the Liberals a majority mandate because we want the promises turned into policy—gender equality in Parliament, a nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations and reinstatement of the Kelowna Accord, electoral reform that could see the end of first-past-the-post representation, the legalization of marijuana, adjusting Canada’s international reputation and reclaiming our pride, climate change responsibility, being smart on crime instead of simply tough on crime, investment in our infrastructure, and so many more.
New policy won’t happen overnight and there are bound to be bumps and disappointments along the way so it’s wise to keep our eyes on the long game. Pay attention to the news but question that which would try to enflame cynicism, dumb down the issues, or separate us behind Us-and-Them fences. There’s a good possibility that right, center and left can coalesce into something remarkable. Trudeau and his team aren’t just thinking outside the box, they’re kicking the box to the curb; if even half their goals are manifested, the country’s political landscape could take an historical leap forward.
Back to this riding and what we want to see—what is top of the wish list? It’s a very big riding so let’s make sure that the Honourable MP Sidhu gets to know this town and some of its incredible people, and that he’s impressed upon to make our needs a priority. Carpe diem, this is a time of golden opportunity.

* * *

Truth and Reconciliation
June 2015

The Truth and Reconciliation commission just ended and now the government must follow through with its recommendations. Top of the list should be making it mandatory that the history of residential schools is taught in the grade school curriculum.
Two weeks ago I was in a Fraser Valley classroom and the teacher asked the students (all non-Native), whose ages ranged from 19 to 25, if the history of residential schools should be taught in schools. Of the ten students, two said yes, eight said variations of no. “They get enough handouts already,” one student said and the rest agreed, parroting what they’ve heard many times before from people just as ignorant. Further discussion revealed the students had little or no actual knowledge of residential schools, let alone the horrors that occurred inside them or the terrible repercussions that ensued.


Without education and awareness, it’s a rare human being who can connect to the suffering of others. Once when I was traveling in Asia in the early 90s I met a white man from South Africa who hadn’t been home in years. He said he was so ashamed of his country’s treatment of blacks that he couldn’t be a part of his homeland. In later years, all through that country’s truth and reconciliation proceedings, I thought about him. He was only one man but he was the conscience of an entire nation.
Many other nations have had to come to terms with horrors in their past. In Germany they don’t avoid the Holocaust, instead they have created vivid reminders for all people to see, out of respect to Jews and a public commitment that skinheads or other radical haters will not be allowed to flourish again. In Mexico City’s National Palace there’s a massive mural by the world-renowned painter Diego Rivera depicting the suffering of indigenous peoples. The mural is hard to look at, the way it grabs you and does not flinch from the facts.
Here in Canada, what happens next? Do we move forward without meaningful change or appropriate healing? Do we allow the racists to continue being ignorant, insensitive bullies? Will we trade reconciliation for more cowardice?
This country must acknowledge First Nations suffering, understand its historical roots and the consequences to the social fabric. Residential schools were not schools, they were prisons. Children were stolen from their families and turned into slaves for indentured labour. They were treated like animals and an estimated 6,000 died. The whole ugly brutality lasted well over a hundred years and resulted in cultural genocide.
Candidates vying for election in this fall’s federal election would be wise to include a commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s recommendations. Many people are fed up with the political dithering and avoidance that does not reflect how they feel. It’s high time this country grew up. No nation on earth gets to call itself a progressive, multicultural nation just by uttering the words. We only get to call ourselves great when we’ve made ourselves humble before the truth.

* * *

The Benefits of Flying Solo
May 2015

It’s time to say this: people who are in a couple can have some pretty glaring deficits—only the deficits aren’t talked about because our society pushes the couple as the ideal social unit. I wouldn’t even bother with this topic except I’m tired of how single people are treated. Case in point, try being the only single woman at a party full of couples—you can feel like a rogue missile.


Too often singles don’t fare well in the media. Movie plots use tired, convenient tropes about the maladjusted loner. Romantic comedies push the fiction that you’re nobody until you find somebody. Harlequin Romance has made an empire out of selling mate fantasies.
But here’s the skinny from my real life observations. Couples can be terribly boring. As long as they have each other they don’t feel the need to develop themselves. Consequently, they lack many things: how to be comfortable in your own skin; how to manage your shifting emotional terrain; how to open your mind and maintain the value in meeting new people; how to embrace different experience and points of view; and how to connect with, and contribute to, the wider world.
On the psychological terrain, couples often have trouble thriving. Most obvious is the tendency to become controlling and jealous. Over the years I’ve listened to many coupled folk bemoan their mate choice, their spirits dying a thousand tiny deaths as they succumb to their misery. Or, on the other end of the spectrum, the single friends who’ve bought into the madness and spend their lives pining for the unicorn otherwise known as their soulmate.
Sure, we’re wired for love and physical intimacy, the biological needs are strong. But when people believe the couple is their only option, at what cost? My hat’s off to those who manage to grow and thrive within the couple paradigm, but for those of us who can’t, don’t, or won’t, it’s time we got a bit more respect.
Most of my friends are single, admirable and contributing to society in a myriad of interesting, positive ways. Our sense of belonging and connection is strong. Yes, there can be some lonely hours to get through, but as for me, I’m so content overall I often rub my hands together in glee, like I’m getting away with something.
And I’m not the only one. Singles now make up between 30 and 50 percent of the population in Western cities. While this does, in fact, represent isolation for some, it represents liberation for many others. It’s not a one-size-fits-all world, there’s room for all of us. Diversity—not uniformity—makes for a balanced society. So when you see a single person, please think twice about feeling pity, or wondering who among your single friends you could hook them up with, or the worst, fearing that they want to steal your mate. Instead, try seeing a healthy, happy person who should be valued and appreciated instead.

* * *

Grave Mistakes
April 2015

When Chinese labourers were brought to the west coast in the 1880s by the Canadian Pacific Railroad to work on construction, they were paid one third the wages of other workers and sent into the most dangerous situations. Thousands lost their lives. Then for ensuing decades, they were treated terribly; federal and provincial governments subjected them to decades of legislated discrimination. Racism is a chronic, shameful truth in our collective history.


Appropriate redress for the errors of the past are long overdue and in recent years some efforts have been made. In 2006, after sustained legal pressure, PM Harper offered a formal apology and token financial compensation to Chinese Canadians for the egregious head tax. In 2014, Premier Clark also offered a formal apology and a few prominent citizens had the opportunity to publicly air the pain they felt. While these events are a good start toward healing, there are lingering grievances where more redress is required.
The issue of Lillooet’s disappeared Chinese gravesites is one such example. Our civic leaders and citizens are being left to shoulder the responsibility of correcting this matter and this is patently unfair. Federal and provincial governments don’t get to host a couple of press conferences, offer an easy apology, then wash their hands of further involvement.
The multi-cultural society that Canada claims to be is, as ever, a work in progress. Elected politicians must do their part. Our provincial honourable minister, Jackie Tegart, should be bringing pressure to bear where pressure is due. Furthermore, federal MP hopefuls for the newly-created riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon should be pressed to advocate on Lillooet’s behalf when elected.
And where is BC Railway in all of this? To all appearances, BC Rail has been silent and officials have shirked their obligation. It always amazes me how railway companies, even to this day, conduct their business with such blatant impunity in this country. It’s time for the railways to become modern corporate citizens within the communities they traverse, whether that’s ensuring public health and safety or making appropriate, timely redress for past mistakes.
We now live in a highly interconnected world and harmonious relations are more important than ever. The sooner this grievance is fixed to the satisfaction of the Chinese Canadian community, the better. Tourism is key to sustaining the local economy and the reason that so much community effort went into the welcome kiosk.
So it was very disappointing to learn that there was a problem. But this disappointment fades in comparison to civic pride. Utmost in people’s minds is a desire to correct the problem. Nobody wants to think the welcoming kiosk or proposed adjacent park are sitting overtop the unmarked graves of Canadians. I wouldn’t want my cemetery removed from the public record and rendered invisible. I wouldn’t want my grave desecrated, driven over or walked upon. Redressing these historical mistakes will take a bit more time, effort and money and it requires involvement and financial support from all culpable parties.

* * *

Dear Mrs. ISIS
February 2015

     International Women’s Day is coming on March 8th and I just wanted to write and let you know that you’re in my thoughts. I rarely see you on the news and when I do, you’re hidden, a black ghost on the move. Of course I have no idea what your life is truly like, but I know it can’t be easy being married to an extremist.


During the Arab Spring, I saw your sisters on the news almost daily. It felt good to see their faces, see them out in the streets protesting alongside husbands, children and neighbours. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran, cell phones sent out images, we heard all the people calling for their rights. There were brutal crackdowns, people were gassed, jailed and killed, but still the protests kept going. We held our hopeful breaths: change seemed imminent, the dictators would topple. The Middle East was rising up.
But now, silence again. Except for the mobs of gun-toting black-clad extremists bellowing ultimatums from their sand castles. I keep wondering about those men, in between their brutality and murder, when they’re without their buddies, when they are just men again, men who need to go home, change into clean clothes and sit down for a meal. When they come home, Mrs. ISIS, how is it for you?
All the laws and severe punishments against women, a thousand prohibitions keeping women fearful and invisible. And ever since the Arab Spring, oppression has increased. According to Farnaz Seifi, a female blogger now living in exile, Iranian censors have been hard at work—type the Farsi word for “Woman” into any search engine and nothing comes up.
Where’s the wisdom in men asserting they can be effective all on their own? What are they so afraid of? Women help make a community strong, they help make society balanced, sane and livable. Women help make the future bright.
This is how Ban K-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, sums up the importance of women: “Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”
But extremist Islam wants no part of this. And now that journalists are prime targets, there’s even less chance that someone can witness what’s happening to you. I’ve googled and see there are courageous Middle Eastern women continuing to press for rights, but I see nothing from the women who wear the burka.
I’m praying for you, Mrs. ISIS. You may be hidden, but you are not forgotten. And you may not get to celebrate International Women’s Day so I want you to know that I shall light a candle for you. It’s the smallest of gestures but as the founder of Amnesty International said, it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

* * *

Good Cyber Hygiene
February 2015

     In the early days of the internet it all seemed so innocuous, didn’t it? We surfed along, had fun, and were fascinated by the information super-highway. And now, only twenty years later, cyberspace is a dangerous place. Malicious software programs constantly patrol the web looking for weak spots in servers, websites and passwords. When bugs get in, they steal your identity and banking information. They can attach to everyone on your contact list then spread like wildfire.


Some bugs are designed to simply wreak havoc. Other bugs are designed to sit quietly in the background and wait for a remote signal. Without your awareness your computer could be a member of a botnet and called upon to attack websites. Apparently there are some botnet “owners” with as many as a million computers at their disposal.
Due to all the threats, operating systems have to be updated constantly. When my computer’s connected to the internet there’s so much clickety-click noise, I have to wonder, is it being updated or is something else going on?
These days, maybe some paranoia isn’t such a bad thing. Consider this: I’m working on a fictional novel and need to research about terrorism, Guantanamo Bay, CIA, and other related subjects. Thanks to whistleblowers we know there’s a massive Canadian spying program acting like a drag net fishing for terrorist activity.
If I come to the attention of such a spying program, how would it know to filter out innocent people like me? It wouldn’t—and then someone could be investigating my activities. Current laws protecting online privacy are sketchy at best. If my behaviour can invite surveillance, at what point do I begin to censor myself? Then free speech takes a nosedive. Just how close are we to George Orwell’s 1984 anyways?
Despite the many pitfalls, how to be as safe as possible? For me, I’ve realized I better up my game, starting with passwords. I use Password Checker which helps to create strong ones. Because it’s impossible to remember them, I store them on a zip drive which I attach to my key chain. Before I get on the internet I insert the zip drive into my computer (or with an attachment, my cell phone) and look up the password. Then a quick copy and paste and I’m in. This method makes it relatively easy to have strong passwords and change them every few months. And as a back-up I write the passwords down, in pencil.
I now use two-step authentication on my Gmail, regularly run Malware Bytes scans, and no longer leave my internet connection open when I’m not using it. I’m cautious about the sites I visit and have learned how to regularly clear cookies. I think before I click, especially if the link is attached to an email. At this point in time, nothing exists to keep the average user completely safe but I’m doing what I can and hoping for the best.

* * *

2 thoughts on “2015 – 2016

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