Giuseppi Marinoni was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1937. He apprenticed with Mario Rossin during the early 1960’s. Mario was the head frame builder at Colnago. It was there that Marinoni learned everything he needed to know to build frames.
Marinoni came to Canada in 1965. He was a major figure in Quebec’s cycling community. He returned to frame building in 1974. Cycles Marinoni in Terrebonne, Quebec became one of only a very few successful North American frame builders. Jocelyn Lovell, one of Canada’s greatest cyclists, rode a Marinoni.
He was still riding strong into his seventies. In October 2012, Marinoni broke the hour record for riders in their late 70’s. He rode 35.7 km at Brescia, Italy. That is a challenging pace even for riders like myself in their late 50’s.
Montreal filmmaker Tony Girardin produced a documentary about Marinoni called The Fire in the Frame, a character study of the cycling legend. A reader of my blog was kind enough to let me know that the documentary would be playing here in Kingston. Maclean’s ran a story on the movie here. And Canadian Cyclist also ran a story about the movie here.
I think I know where I will be on June 7th.
The World’s Biggest Bookstore was neither the biggest, nor was it really all that nice of a store. But it was one that I had visited hundreds of times since it opened in 1980 on Edward Street in Toronto.
I wanted to walk by to confirm the news for myself even though I knew that the building had been demolished late last year.
And yes. It was truly gone.
Managing passwords can be a challenge. I know because I have 205 userid/passwords. Most of my userids are the same, although not all of them. And most of my passwords are unique, although not all of them.
Keeping track of dozens or even hundreds of passwords often leads to really poor password management practices like using the same password for all accounts or using simple, easy to break, passwords such as password, 123456, qwerty, abc123, letmein, monkey, myspace1, password1, blink182, richard (i.e., your own first or last name). Those password examples are amongst the most common passwords that people use with their online accounts. And they are very easy passwords to hack.
This is an example of the type of password that I could generate for my online accounts:
And for most of my 205 online accounts, I do not know my password. The passwords are generated by software. The passwords are strong and unique. And the passwords are easy to use and easy to manage.
How does that work?
Here are 5 things that I do to help manage my passwords.
1. Take Control
It did not take long for me to discover that I had a problem: too many online accounts, not enough passwords. I did the same thing that I suspect many people do, I tried to use the same userid and password for almost every online account. My password, although clever, was really simple. Too simple. And I never rotated passwords. Too much work. Too much bother.
Mat Honan’s story was a call to action for me. Even though by 2012 I had taken steps to better manage critical passwords for my financial accounts, I decided that I needed to take control and put a system in place to better manage all of my online accounts.
The first step is to recognize the issue and commit to taking some action.
2. Take Inventory
When I decided to take control, I thought I only had twenty or so online accounts. I went through my emails searching for strings like “password”, “login”, “userid”. I found over one hundred and fifty online accounts!
I made a list of them on a spreadsheet. And I put down whether the account was in use — most were — and I put down the password (if I knew it). Out of the one hundred and fifty or so accounts, almost all of them were in use and almost all of them used the same password.
I thought about how I would manage this inventory of userids and passwords. A spreadsheet did not seem like a very secure solution.
3. Get a Password Manager
I use 1Password. It is a great tool for Mac, iPhone and iPad. That said, there are many other great password managers out there. The key features that I wanted: secure, convenient and easy to use. 1Password will generate really strong passwords for you. And the concept is very simple: one password gives you access to all of your logins. You protect that one key and 1Password looks after everything else. It is far easier for me to remember one single password that is encrypted on only the software that I use. 1Password manages the authentication on my behalf. Strong, unique passwords for most of my 205 accounts.
4. Put Better Passwords In Place, One At A Time
It took me several months to migrate all of my accounts to 1Password. I continued to find new accounts as part of my web browsing. I made a commitment to strengthen 10 accounts per week until I was done. One a day and a few extra over the weekend. After about 20 weeks, I was done.
I would visit an online account, login with my old credentials, and then do a password reset. I would get 1Password to generate the strongest password possible for the login — some sites restrict the password length — and updated that userid and new password into 1Password’s encrypted password file.
5. Rotate The Really Important Passwords
This took a bit of extra effort and this was my approach. With 1Password you can highlight a login as a favourite. I went through all of my online accounts and I tagged the really important ones like my online banking account, my investment account and my email accounts as favourites. That list is a much smaller list, less than twenty accounts.
For those really important accounts, I change the passwords in December and in June.
I will also change passwords whenever a breach happens. I was exposed to the Adobe breach — I have a Creative Cloud Photography subscription with them — and all I had to do was change one password. Because I use strong, unique passwords across the vast majority of accounts, a hacker would not get very far with the Adobe password. For what it is now worth, the compromised password was:
The new one is just as cryptic. But I don’t remember it. I let 1Password authenticate on my behalf.
This cyclist was lucky. Although his Colnago was shattered, he survived a close encounter with a Jeep Cherokee.
Whenever I ride, I am very aware of my surroundings. And the possibility of a close encounter.
I’ve had a few really close calls lately.
On Saturday, I did a long ride. I was coming back from a small town called Wilton, turning off County Road 6 onto Maple Road, just by Burt’s Greenhouse, north and west of Kingston. Roughly 30 kilometres from home.
An elderly driver made the turn from the opposite direction and he seemed unable to share the road with me. He cut me off twice, the second time almost crushing me into one of the parked cars by the nursery.
My best move was to sprint out of his way. Fortunately I can sprint in excess of 45 kph and the elderly driver was well below that speed. I found a narrow slot beside him and sprinted away.
On Tuesday night, I did a short 30 kilometre ride. On the return leg, I was southbound on Howes road. This is a rural area where a lot of people have built homes in the country. It is a beautiful area to ride. Generally calm. Few cars.
My pace on this stretch of road can reach speeds between 35 and 45 kph. If I have a great tailwind, I will certainly be in the higher forties.
On a solo ride, that is a fast pace. If you hit something, or lose control of the bike, you are going to get hurt. Maybe even killed. So, my spidey sense was working overtime. I always stay really focused when I am on the road.
This type of cycling can be dangerous. Staying focused and anticipating danger is a definite requirement.
I could see, in the distance, two kids on bikes in the middle of the road. Unsupervised. No helmets.
In the province of Ontario, which is where I do most of my riding, bicycle helmets are mandatory for riders under the age of 18. I always wear a helmet when I ride. It could mean the difference between having a bad day and having a really, really bad day.
The two kids, without helmets, are circling the road, not paying any attention to oncoming traffic.
As I close in on the kids, I’m not sure what to do.
One of them sees me coming and, surprisingly, starts riding out to meet me on the road.
The other kid stops his bike on the side of the road. He is on the left side of the road. The kid coming out to meet me is on my right.
As I close in, the kid on my right abruptly turns around. I suspect he is going to try and race with me.
But what happened next could have ended very, very badly.
That kid makes a move to cut me off. And the other kid, who was stopped on the left side of the road does the same thing. Both kids trying to close my opening with their bikes.
I did not have time to do the math but I looked down quickly at my cycling computer: 42 kph. Distance to this improvised road block was now only ten to twenty metres away.
I won’t be able to stop in time.
I screamed in the loudest voice possible: “Watch Out! Watch Out!”
The kid that had tried to block my path on the right side reacted and he swerved his bike to the right.
I literally brushed his arm as I went through this impromptu blockade.
A lot of you wanna know why I call the guitar, Lucille
Lucille has practically saved my life two, three times
No kidding, really has
I remember once I was in an automobile accident
And when the car stopped turnin’ over, it fell over on Lucille
And it held it up off of me, really, it held it up off of me
So that’s one time it saved my life
The way, the way, I, uh, I came by the name of Lucille
I was over in Twist, Arkansas, I know you never heard of that
But happened and one night, the guys started a ball over there
You know started brawlin’, you know what I mean
And the guy that was mad with this old lady
When she fell over on this gas tank that was burnin’ for heat
The gas ran all over the floor and when the gas ran all over the floor
The building caught on fire and almost burned me up
Tryin’ to save Lucille
Uh, oh, I, I imagine you’re still wondering why I call it Lucille
The lady that started the brawl that night was named Lucille
And that’s been Lucille ever since to me
Lucille, B.B. King
I met B.B. King a number of years ago. I was traveling out of Atlanta. We were both in the lounge waiting for our flight. With a common interest in guitars, it wasn’t hard to pass the time away. He told me the story behind the name he gave to his guitars. It is a story that has been told many times but it was the first time that I had heard it. And I heard it from B.B. King.
B.B. King was a young man, in his early 20s. He was playing a nightclub in Twist, Arkansas. It was winter and it was very cold. To heat the nightclub, a large container was placed in the middle of the dance floor, half filled with kerosene. The kerosene was lit to provide heat. On that particular night, a fight broke out, and the pail was knocked over. The nightclub was set on fire. Everyone started running out of the club, including B.B. King.
When he got outside, he realized that he had left his guitar behind. He went back in to retrieve the guitar even as the building started to fall around him.
The two men that were fighting that night died in the fire. The fight had been triggered over a woman who worked at the club.
Her name was Lucille.
After that fire, B.B. King decided to name his guitars Lucille.
B.B. King was also a man of faith.
He attended Elkhorn Baptist Church and he was a student at Elkhorn School, affiliated with the church. He told me that a teacher at that school had a major impact on his life. I found out later that the teacher’s name was Luther Henson. Luther died in 2001 at the age of 101. Luther taught B.B. King that hard work, tenacity and faith were the most important things to have in a person’s character.
I keep one of B.B. King’s quotes about musical talent close to my heart: all musical talent comes from God as a way to express beauty and human emotion.
B.B. King died last week. He was 89.
In 1958 Bill May (Maton founder) introduced the MS500 Mastersound series to the world. Played by some of the biggest names in the business including George Harrison, the guitar has been prized by many for its revolutionary design and extreme playability. The tradition continues today with the re-issue of the MS500 series, which has been extended to include the world class MS2000 carve top solid body that even Bill would be proud of today.
Maton is still in business, building guitars. You can find them here.
George Harrison borrowed a Maton Mastersound MS500 from Barratts music store in Manchester during the summer of 1963. Although Barratts is now closed, there is an interesting history of the shop here.
The Mastersound that George borrowed is the one pictured above. He only used it for a few months. His other guitar was being repaired at the time.
The guitar became a collectible and it was on loan to the Beatles museum in Liverpool for many years.
The guitar came up for auction last Friday at Julien’s Auction and it sold for $490,000 to an undisclosed bidder.