Excerpts from a nightmare

In Focus column by Andrew Tripp, Nov. 19 Boundary Creek Times

Well, it finally happened. There I was, sitting comfortably at my desk, enjoying the luxury of being able to do almost everything over the Internet, including paying bills, buying camera equipment and arranging my cremation, when my mind went blank.

I was asked, as I had been thousands of times, for my PIN, which stands for Personal Identity Number but should actually mean Poor Irate Nincompoop, something we will likely all become at some point in this age of heightened communication.

Alas, my treasured identification number was not at the front of my cerebral cortex at that moment, which resulted in my punching in numerous numerical and alphabetical combinations, based on what I was sure the password contained (my birth date, my address, my puppy’s name; all undeniably airtight!).

Unfortunately, none of my attempts were successful and I was banished from the website that housed my entire financial existence, left unable to ascertain whether or not my lottery winnings had in fact been deposited to the correct Swiss bank account. To make matters worse, the 800 number I was supposed to call was not responding.

While this is something that happens to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people daily, I still felt extremely vulnerable and a little bit silly at that point. Yet, I knew it would happen one day, so maybe it’s a good thing I remembered to write my password down!

The only problem is I don’t recall where.

Hmm…maybe those lottery winnings aren’t where I expect them to be!


I often wonder how some people survived without social media; how any of the millions of wise and philosophical users of Facebook ever found a way to share their deeply profound wisdom with others. Personally, I am unable to begin my day without spending an hour or two perusing the numerous hard-hitting and insightful articles (posts) that smother the Internet, written beautifully with childlike grammar and punctuation, without a hint of bias or self-importance.

The recent acts of terrorism in Paris have spewed forth an angry social media tirade from both racial/religious profilers and their opposing faction that believes we should all love each other, regardless of our deeply-rooted spiritual and societal differences. Many, including a number of U.S. states, are calling for the Syrian refugee welcome mat to be rolled up and put in storage, while the so-called libertarians choose to point their fingers at the Americans as being the cause of ISIS retribution and are demanding that we adopt a more open refugee policy.

All I know, is that I don’t really know enough to comment on what NATO should do in regard to ISIS, and I’m not about to be swayed by the social media frenzy that inevitably materializes when something like the Paris attack occurs. As is usually the case, it appears there are arguments to be made for both viewpoints, but when so much convoluted and pontifical “information” is shared on social media, the ability to form an educated, unbiased opinion, becomes increasingly difficult.

Has social media made this a better world? The jury is still out on that, but because many of us prefer to turn to Facebook for much of our “news of the day”, the ability to form an opinion based on fact and not conjecture appears to be headed for extinction.


One great thing about living in a dry climate is that one’s roof is seldom tested by the degree of rainfall that is all too common on the coast. The last couple of days have seen a lot of the wet stuff fall, so much so that at times I felt I was suddenly transported back to North Vancouver.

Somewhat inevitably, about an hour into the much-needed downpour, came the slow drip from my kitchen ceiling, and up into one of our two attics I climbed with trusty towels in hand. I discovered that water had made its way down between the the original structure, built in 1916, and the 1950’s addition; the house was generally well-built, but it’s obvious that waterproofing was not a priority to the builders. Or insulation for that matter.

Can you say “renos”?

Now where is that Swiss bank account number…….