Remember that old clubhouse in the vacant lot of your childhood neighborhood that the local kids hand-built from scrap wood and castoff rusted sheet metal, with "KEEP OUT" scrawled in red paint on a sign nailed over the threshold, which you could only cross by whispering the secret phrase of the day?
OK, my childhood never really had that, either. But as this millennium's second decade blazes to a close and the tangible machinery of my life increasingly vanishes into the vapory world of binary code, it feels like several new secret forts pop up every month. Not only does each online account demand its own covert entry key, but with cybercriminals stomping on the gas for data breaches every year, it's becoming more and more important to be able to create unique, hard-to-crack passwords for each one. It's a tall order to balance security with memorability—let's explore how to do it!
Just before the month began, I detailed my household's plans to not buy anything during the month of October. You can read the whole scenario here, but the summary is, simply: we wanted to take a break from consumerism, and attempted to use money only on bills, fixed costs, and two highly organized grocery trips. And, we did it. Except when we didn't. Here's how it went:
I mentioned last week that I'd traveled to my hometown for my grandmother's funeral, and to help begin the process of cleaning and organizing her home where she'd lived for the last fifty-two years. I found all sorts of interesting stuff (more to come soon), most of which was still as functional as when my grandparents bought it decades ago, with only a bit of dust or rust to show.
So, when I stumbled across this old booklet in a filing cabinet, I was particularly drawn to the quote on the back, which begins, "It's unwise to pay too much...but it it's worse to pay too little."
Previously on ManMadeDIY.com: Chris wonders whether or not he should stop smooth skinning it for the winter and grow a manly beard. Reader response is decidely positive, with 82% of voters saying, "Go for it." (Grow for it?) Chris keeps on not shaving.
So, there's my face. Seven days of not shaving, and the half-beard I have to show for it.
Thankfully - the worst is behind me: most of the itching has subsided. Well, some, at least. I've stopped touching my face and thinking there's a furry creature attacking my head. And most importantly, I'm passed that weird inbetween stubble stage where my beard looks like it belongs on an 80s movie villain and I should have a ponytail and wear a white blazer with the sleeves rolled up and a giant cross earring.
So, I just got back from a week of traveling and learning at the (excellent) Alt Summit, and with airports and hotel rooms and red-eye flights, and (let's be honest) general vacation-brain and laziness, I haven't shaved for a few days.
And...I'm thinking about keeping it, and growing a beard. So, I thought I'd see what you thought, and I hope you'll share your vote.