Albanian Currency

Several trips to Albania between 1992 and 2001 gave me the opportunity to eat a lot of burek (*belch*) and Gjirokaster cheese (*gogësimë*), among other things, and pay for them with Albanian Lek. What they’re using today is quite different, but these are the notes and coins that I was familiar with.

At the time, it was about 100 Lek to the dollar. That made dinner on the street supremely cheap. Wish I could go back – I miss a lot of people there.



No idea

Use Strong Passwords!

The incidence of email hijacking is on the rise – spammers have discovered that many email accounts are child’s play to get into. Once done, the victim’s entire address book is scarfed up and used to send out spam, phishing solicitations or malware.

First of all, I hope these wastes of human cytoplasm find themselves buried beneath 7 kilometers of burning camel ejecta in Bolgia 11 of the Eighth Circle of Hell (also called Malebolge, reserved for those who perpetrate fraud.) Students of Dante will remind me that there are only 10 Bolgias. I just created a new one for cybercriminals, so there.

Now that I have that off my chest…

Use strong passwords! published a list of the 25 most common passwords, which I reproduce below:

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. 1234
  5. qwerty
  6. 12345
  7. dragon
  8. pussy
  9. baseball
  10. football
  11. letmein
  12. monkey
  13. 696969
  14. abc123
  15. mustang
  16. michael
  17. shadow
  18. master
  19. jennifer
  20. 111111
  21. 2000
  22. jordan
  23. superman
  24. harley
  25. 1234567

I won’t go into a Freudian analysis of this list, although that topic would be rife with opportunities for sarcasm; however, each of these passwords would be cracked instantly by the average scammer.

Simply adding a few numbers or special characters changes the landscape radically; below is a table of variations on “password”, along with the time required for the average desktop PC to crack it1:

password instantly
password1234 37 years
Password1234 25,000 years
password 1234 333,000 years
Password!1234 26 million years
 Password 1234 51 million years
P@ssword 1234  465 million years
 This Password Is Mine  5 sextillion years

So here are some simple rules about creating passwords that you can use to keep your private accounts safe from hackers:

  • Never use a dictionary word
  • Capital letters are good
  • Special characters are good2.
  • Combinations of capital letters are even better
  • Adding spaces is best of all (see footnote). A sequence of random words, such as “wolf aardvark tapioca wellsfargo” would take 633 decillion years to crack (that’s 633,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.)

So use some common sense with passwords. Try the most secure option within the limitations of whatever website or application you are using, and you’ll most likely be safe from even the most determined of hackers.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Edit: Related article – 10,000 Top Passwords

1 These figures are calculated over at “How Secure is my Password“. Check it out – it will tell you instantly how strong your password is.
2 If allowed – some system administrators – even financial institutions, if you can believe it – only allow letters and numbers, which insanity irritates me beyond measure.

A Token Effort

Inspired by a post over at Teresa Burritt’s Frog Blog about “token sucking,” I remembered that I had a few of these floating around in my drawers:

Top Row, Left to Right: NYC Small, NYC Large, NYC non-perforate, Salt Lake City Lines Large, Pasadena City Lines
Bottom Row, Left to Right: Philadelphia, Conestoga Transport Co., Toronto Transport Commission, Salt Lake ULATCO token (dug this one up with a metal detector in the 70’s)

Betty Crocker, by Betty Crocker

“Early 1950s era commercial for Betty Crocker Spice Cake Mix….hosted by Betty, in person!! From 1949-64, the fictional Crocker, was played by actress Adelaide Hawley (born Dieta Adelaide Fish), who had studied piano and voice at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester before entering vaudeville. From 1937 to 1950 she hosted THE ADELAIDE HAWLEY PROGRAM, a daily talk and new program that reached an audience of over 3 three million daily. So popular was Ms. Hawley as General Mills’ living trademark, she was was considered one of the “most recognizable women in America”, second only to Eleanor Roosevelt. After being dropped by General Mills, she returned to school and earned a diociorate in speech education from New York University in 1967. She moved to the Pacific Northwest with her second husband, Naval Commander Laurence Gordon Cumming and taught English as a second language until her death in 1998 at age 93.”

Text from the YouTube page. Found at Frog Blog.

The Disclaimer

Pursuant to this recent entry, and even though it may hold no legal water at all, I hereby set forth this disclaimer and apologia.

This blog claims no copyright for any images posted here unless explicitly mentioned. This blog is a labor of love, and is not meant to be monetized in any way. Its only purpose is to share things of beauty and lasting value with the world at large. If you are the copyright owner of any image found here and object to its being displayed, a simple message will effectuate its immediate removal.

By the dessicated skull of Mogg’s grandfather, there is no need to get attorneys involved; the world is complicated enough already.

©2008-2012 Fortunata

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Vintage Hamilton, Ontario

Found at hensleyhamilton1.

Vintage Hamilton, circa 1925. Click to enlarge.

Also found this posted on Facebook; the comment by the poster there read, “The info on the photo I believe is incorrect. Where the vehicles are turning would be John St., not James St. The large building in the background on the left was the Bank Of Commerce building at the SW corner of King & James. This was apparently a postcard – the original photo had franking marks on it, which I have removed.

Google maps appears to bear him out:

The current corner of King and John.

From the other side of King, looking toward James Street.