Lost & Found

I am one of those folks who keeps all my passwords written down.  I know lots of people use online password software these days, but it seems to me that if you need a separate password on almost every internet site that you visit in order to protect your data, that having all your passwords on the internet isn’t the smartest thing.  Considering how good hackers are at what they do, why should I give them a helping hand?

Starting at least 10 years ago, I realized that my method of post-it notes wasn’t going to cut it any longer and I made a spreadsheet that I saved onto a thumbdrive after I printed it out.  And since I often needed passwords at home as well, I printed two copies.. always on really bright paper (I kept my office copy in the middle of a binder, so the bright color helped me find it).  Any changes got penciled in and then every year or so, I would update the file and print new copies.

About five years ago I was cleaning up in my room and ended up once again picking up my password printout off the floor.  In fact, it was two versions… I don’t remember why.  As I picked them up I thought to myself “I should put these someplace safer where I’ll remember where they are”.  You know where this is going.  The next time I needed those sheets, I couldn’t remember where I had put them.  I spent A LOT of time looking for them, but clearly wherever I had put them, they were definitely safe.

Fast forward five years.  I’m doing a massive cataloging project in my studio and a couple of days ago, I emptied out the drawer in which I keep my stencils.  Now I open this drawer a lot to get to various stencils but I haven’t actually dug down to the bottom of the drawer for quite some time.  As I was sorting through everything, I found the password sheets.  What possessed me to put them in the stencil drawer?  I have never ever put anything else in there for safekeeping.

This experience has made me realize a couple of things.  #1 – I need to use my stencils more often.  #2 – my password situation is still out of hand.  #3 — every time I say to myself “I’ll put this someplace I’ll remember it”, I should just slap myself.

Have you ever permanently misplaces something?

82 thoughts on “Lost & Found”

  1. My youth . . .

    Interesting turn of phrase there, VS. “Permanently misplaced” sounds like something a politician would say “Sorry folks, I permanently misplaced the election. But thanks for your donations. I’ll put them to good use as I contemplate another run for office at my island retreat on Tahiti.” 🙂

    I probably have some items I’ve permanently misplaced but don’t know yet because I haven’t needed or wanted them all this time. I’ve also had some things turn up that I THOUGHT I had permanently misplaced because they were in a spot I’d never considered looking.

    I seem to have permanently misplaced one of my winter mittens–super thick, used for XC skiing or skating when it’s really cold. Had to buy a new pair last month.

    Both my wife and I permanently misplace some winter gear about 40 years ago while on a New Years’ trip to Grand Marais. Most likely left a pair of skates and some bib overalls at the now-defunct Tomteboda Motel.

    And I have a sock that went missing about two years ago that has never turned up in someone’s sock drawer or behind the dryer or stuck inside a sweater due to static cling.

    Ah; life’s little mysteries. Keeps it interesting, huh?

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have a little box in my closet that I stick individual socks in when I’m sorting laundry and I can’t find their mates. Then when I eventually find the mate, I go to that little. This works pretty well however for many many years I had a little Easter design sock in the box. It was cute and I thought someday it’s going to show up. A couple of years ago when I was going through my serious get-rid-of-stuff phase I thought if the sock hasn’t turned up in eight years it’s not gonna turn up and I got rid of it. I’ll give you all one guess? About a month later when getting rid of a T-shirt that I hadn’t worn for years, the missing Easter sock fell right out. I was so mad.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Not permanently, thankfully, but just about every week we have to search for something Robin has misplaced—her keys, her glasses, a hat or gloves, something she had been working on, etc. The search takes from a few minutes to several hours. I have less trouble with this because once I have established a “home” for my things, I rarely change it. I don’t rearrange.

    The items that drive me nuts are the ones that have just mysteriously evaporated. I can think of some books, some tools and some artwork I never would have consciously discarded but which I haven’t seen for years and never in our present home.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I think that was Robin. She complained that she had tried to post and came up anonymous. It’s been so long since she last commented that things have changed, she’s lost her WordPress password, and it no longer works to post with an iPad from a browser.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Hopefully not permanently misplaced, but…my great-grandfather wrote and self-published 2 books, one a memoir of homesteading in South Dakota, the other a kind of anthology, including articles he’d written for the hometown newspaper, his own cowboy poetry, and a transcription of a diary kept by his father of a riverboat trip. I knew I had some manuscripts, so I contacted the SD Historical Society to see if they wanted them. They asked me a bunch of questions, so I pulled out the box…and couldn’t find the diary. I’m also missing a couple of nice letterpress books, one of which is the Winter Book that was written by Meridel LeSueur. I have a clear memory of them being in a particular place, but they are not there anymore, which means I’ll have to tear my bedroom apart looking for the ‘safe place” I moved them to (so safe no one can find them, including me!). Sigh.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I remember being shown my mother’s photo albums from her college days, possibly before. Captions written in white ink, which was a marvel in and of itself to me. I cannot imagine she discarded them, but they have yet to appear through several reductions in that household and I am beginning to fear the worst.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I was wondering the same thing, Bill. Thanks for checking it out, saved me the effort.

      Got today’s Wordle in four tries, despite once again not getting a single letter from my first guess.


        1. WORDLE was purchased today by the New York Times from the engineer who invented it. I will bet we must pay for our fun soon.


    2. I don’t know about using a cryptex for role playing games but it featured very highly in the Da Vinci Code. Considering I researched this photo just last night at about 9 o’clock, I am a little embarrassed to say that I’m having trouble retrieving the thread of how I got from lost and found to a cryptex

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In looking for the identity of the header object, I noticed there are several reproductions of the Da Vinci Code cryptex available for sale. The cryptex is not something devised by Da Vinci or any other ancient, apparently, but entirely the invention of Dan Brown.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I posted on facebook last week, a rare thing for me to do, that I was the only unwordled person in America. That provoked confusion from two of the 36 friends I have. They still don not get it after my daughter posted an explanation.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. “Permanently” implies that I’ll never find it again. So, I’m hesitant to say, ‘yes.’ However, “Lost for extended periods of time while I frantically tear rooms apart because I’m sure that I left it in a specific place and why would I move it someplace else because that would only set me up to fail as I’m doing so well to myself already because I continue to outsmart myself and be my own worst enemy,” yes, that’s pretty accurate. I’m a ‘pile person.’ I know which pile something I want is in. If I try to out-think myself by putting something in a place that ‘I know I won’t forget,’ it will inevitably lead to me losing it.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    VS, just yesterday I discovered one earring missing. This is a handmade polymer clay piece that I like a lot, so I am really unhappy about this. But it must be somewhere near by the place I keep them because it disappeared when I was not wearing it. I have been chanting the old prayer/poem that a Catholic co-worker taught me:

    St. Anthony, St. Anthony,
    won’t you please look around
    Something is lost
    And needs to be found.

    She believed in the power of the saints to sell her house and manage her life. (St. Joseph buried upside down in the yard, St. Anthony to find things, St. Jude to help lost causes, and on and on). So why would it not work? Who am I to say.

    I have an antique watch that disappeared 25 years ago, and I never found it. There is a long list of lost things behind that one.

    Re: Passwords, I do use an electronic service that I can print out. I use it both ways, but the only list I lose is the paper one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have a pair of earrings given to me by a friend who has since passed away. They were special before but they are even more special now. They are little pigs made of polymer and they dangle and I love them. About 10 years ago I lost one of those earrings. It was winter and I’m sure it caught on a scarf. I searched for days and days for it — in the car, underneath the seat, between the car and the house, all over where I keep the coats and scarves, everywhere. I finally gave up but I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the lone remaining earring. A couple of months later when the snow started to melt I actually found it in the front yard. And then I remembered that Ion the day in questio I had actually taken a mid-delivered piece of mail over to the neighbors. In all my searching, I had never remembered that piece of the day.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. So many things. I’m sure I will think of a specific one in time.

    Recently I’ve been a bit troubled by a rock from the Big Lake that I had kept for a time. It was very dark gray, almost black, with some white mineral lines in it. It was flat and smooth, about 3/4-inch thick and somewhat trapezoid shaped. I used it for a soap dish. One day someone was describing the use of a similar flat rock for smashing garlic cloves and it caused me to go on a hunt for this rock which I knew I had kept for awhile. The trouble with rocks from the Big Lake is that I feel guilty for taking them. That’s why I said I keep them for awhile. Guilt usually gets the best of me (except when it comes to agates) and I often return the rocks to the lake. I’ve done quite a bit of this in the past few years. Sometimes I can remember returning individual rocks but I have no memory of returning this one. I still think it’s somewhere around here but I can’t find it.

    The thing I really miss, which I think is indeed gone forever, is my girlish figure. I found quite a few pounds and they have decided to stick with me, hiding my girlish figure. I wish they’d leave.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Reminds me of my best high school friend’s mom from New Zealad – she would warn us not to overeat, as we wanted to keep our “girlish figgars”.

      Yes about the few #s – I was once advised to not think of “losing” weight, as you will find it; or dropping” wt., as you will pick it up. We want to SHED…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OT – Norma Waterson, the matriarch of the Watersons, passed away yesterday at the age of 81. She had been in poor health for quite some time and succumbed to pneumonia. A huge loss to English traditional folk music.


    1. The English and Irish folk music community must be about as divided as the nations–I’ve been into Irish and Scots music since I was in high school, but never heard of these English performers! RIP, Norma Waterson.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, the Watersons were a great inspiration and influence to lots of people we all know from different backgrounds, including Celtic music. Here’s perhaps a better example of their fabulous harmonies:


  9. Clementine was “lost and gone forever” but she was never mine. Ben needs to exercise caution herding his ducks to water. We don’t want to lose his farm reports.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. The Danish poet, Piet Hein, has a poem about losing a glove. It goes like this:

    Losing one glove
    is certainly painful,
    but nothing
    compared to the pain,
    of losing one,
    throwing away the other,
    and finding
    the first one again.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Hi Jenny, We’re at least two baboons who are familiar with and love Piet Hein’s Grooks. He was a master of pithy sayings. Welcome to the trail.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That is why I have a designated sack for unmatched socks, slippers, mittens, and such. Also a special niche in a drawer for unmatched earrings.

      I have a couple of earrings I turned into wineglass charms, figuring if the first earring turns up I can convert the mate back. One earring became a zipper pull on a hoodie..


  11. I’ve favorite earrings, rings – would have sworn I knew where I’d lost them (in the car, in my bedroom), and have finally decided these things have a life of their own and migrate when it’s time.

    Right now I’m seeking my dumb phone, an LG flip model that decided to migrate some time last week. It should have been in a small outer pocket of purse, but I found the pocket unsnapped. I hardly ever use it, but when I need it, I need it. Will probably buy a new one in La Crosse, where there’s a Best Buy on Thursday, but it just adds another layer of anxiety in an already overloaded week.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Shortly after the beginning of the pandemic shutdown, my driver’s license went missing.

    After a few weeks of it not just showing up someplace odd, I figured, ok, I’ll just order a replacement online..

    And that’s when I found out that the driver’s license people had my SSN wrong (but voter registration which cross references with your DL had it right, go figure).

    And that is how I ended up standing in a very long, very slow line at the University DVS for hours with all the other masked up people.

    That DL has yet to show up.

    (side note, when the s&l was a baby, my annual “this is how much SS you could expect at this point” statement showed that my DOB was actually 2 years after I was born. So that was an interesting trip to the Federal Building to straighten that out- the woman there assured me that my parents must have written it down wrong- I know for a fact that my parents got my SSN shortly after I was born to open a savings account, but sure lady, the most likely explanation is that my parents put down the DOB of their first child 2 years in the future. I have a certain apprehension about trying to collect on SS when I get old enough.)

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Today I went on a mad scramble to find some continuing education certificates I thought I had put in my CEU folder. Nope. Not there. I had to request a copy from the organization that put on the training. They had it. Whew.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. my life is a misplaced object
    to make it more interesting i now have 12 mini storage units and 3 storage trailers full of stuff that may or may not be where the missing item is
    i too have a wife who throws away stuff and denies it
    she knows i’ll never figure it out and i really didn’t need it

    i look forward to organizational splendor

    my passwords are a formula that can be unmasked by a smart thief but i’ve been told most of them aren’t smart and so far it’s been mostly true

    i have a go to switch for when needed and so far that’s all i need

    i hate those websites that require 9 digits or more

    no arguing with them just let them try to reboot when needed

    word press has a long code but word press is an odd duck

    love hate mostly one rather than the other relationship there

    Liked by 2 people

    1. tim, I can’t imagine in my wildest nightmare trying to keep track of all of that stuff. Can all of those storage units, plus the trailers, really be cheaper and/or more efficient in keeping track of it all?


  15. I will share my password strategy. I used to use a pretty standard password, but then everyone started requiring capital letters and symbols and everything else, and passwords got harder to remember. I figured I would have to write them down. So at one point I thought of three words, and designated them first, second, and third. Then I selected three four-digit numbers, and designated them PIN, HP, and CP. PIN means my ATM card PIN. HP is four digits of my home phone number, though I’m not telling you which four. CP is four digits of my cell phone number. Then when I selected a password I would write it down as firstPIN, or firstHP, or secondCP, or whatever combination I had chosen. If they required a capital letter, I’d write down, for example, ThirdPIN, with the capital T at the beginning tipping me off that I have to capitalize that particular letter that I always capitalize in that third word. When they started requiring special characters, I would just add the special character at the end. I don’t try to code that. Then I just e-mail my password list to myself and keep a printed copy handy. If someone hacks my e-mail or finds the list it will be meaningless to them.

    Most of my passwords for the kind of accounts that no one would really want to hack are firstPIN. Accounts that have financial information like stored credit cards get more complexity.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have to get a Real ID at some point, and I’m not sure what I need. They say you need something that proves your legal presence in the U.S., so maybe birth certificate? I know which drawer that should be in, but I’m sort of afraid to look there, because I’m not sure it actually is there. If I don’t look for it, it sort of like Schrödinger’s cat. It’s both there and not there.

    My original SS card is laminated and they won’t accept it. I laminated it maybe 40 years ago. Who knew you couldn’t do that?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. What if I order a new SS card and they ask me for my birth certificate? What if I order a new birth certificate and they ask for my SS card, and then tell me they can’t use it because it is laminated?

        I would rather not open that box. I’m scared.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. If you go to the state website there is a page for the real ID. It’s actually very clear -/ there are three categories and you need a certain number of things from each category (5 total if I’m remembering correctly) and there’s a long list in each category. I didn’t have any trouble — followed the list and it was really straightforward. I know others have had issues but I felt like the website was very very clear.

      Liked by 2 people

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