Set the stage:

It’s past bed time. The stalling has commenced. While I wait for the child to brush teeth I open my computer.

It is my fault.

He walks in. Toothbrush in mouth.

“Papa. How do you make the computer do things? Like, how do you make it answer questions?”

Ah, I remember. I was writing up a script the other day and he was asking about this. Because he knows how to play games. He knows how to search the internet.

So, I pull up a terminal, type python and he says, “Yeah! That!”.

Okay, so I know he’s stalling, but He also knows he’s got me.

We start with what a variable is and add up the kids ages. I type their ages and then he types in the command to add them up.

He then takes the keyboard and wants himself to be a bigger number. After he types it and tries to change his brother to a word we see what happens.

I teach him about the up arrow so he can take a few less seconds to type things and also see that only one variable has changed.

We talk about the error message and how strings need to be encapsulated.

He puts the string in quotes but gets a new error.

Not frustrated yet.

This is were I teach him about casting variables as a type. I should have taught him how to figure out a type, but I didn’t think about that until writing this. Oh well, there will be more times.

Seeing how he can concatenate the words he wants to make a silly word. he wants to make the word ‘malvin’

He changes the variables, remembering the quotes.

Ooops. Almost there. What went wrong I ask.

Figured that one out pretty quick.

What next?

Bed. That was a good start for the evening.

‘;–have i been pwned?, you’ve heard of it, right? Let’s pretend you haven’t. It collects and lets people know if their email has been found in a data breach or credentials are up in a paste.

I want to check to see if my email is there. Cool. I can go to the website and type in my email address and see where it’s been collected. Trust me. It’s been collected.

Now, let’s say I want to check on everyone in my family after I hear about a breach in the news? Or I run IT for a small org that has me do everything. Or I am in charge of making sure those in the C Suite are kept safe.

What can I do? I can pay a vendor a lot of money to “protect” me. I can pay for identity monitoring.

I can use the API.

I can also find a free script to run that will check this for me and give me the info I need with the freedom to change it for my needs.

There are many scripts out there that will do this. Here is one of them. Written in python.

By me. Using the API mentioned above.

Written a while ago – but updated recently do deal with the new API (which does cost $3.50/month to use – more on that here) I think it’s a good little ditty that will check one email or a set of emails from a file.

Who is this for?

First it was just for me, then my thoughts moved to the audience for this would be the family techie who is always watching out for the other, or the IT team of one for that small but very important organization without the huge budget.

Check it out…

What more do you need?

No, really, what more do you want from it? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

My family, like many has been in stay at home for a while now. To the point where we are hearing about opening things up again – for the economy!™ Trust me. We want to get back out there. We want to mingle. We want to go to a restaurant. We want to go to a park and see our friends.

We have a 3 year old who for the first time is understanding a birthday party. And we want to give him it. But it’s in June.

We have camps contacting us about how we feel about whether we feel comfortable sending our child. We have the Y asking how we feel about starting up classes soon.

And my gut answer today is no. It is, I am sorry, no. I don’t feel comfortable going back to these things yet, no matter how much I want to. Not even for the economy! ™

Here is why. See. I know I am not the only person here. I know I am not the only person with kids and with parents. I want my kids to see my parents. They dearly miss their grandma who is close and those who are far. I want them to safely see each other. And we can’t. We can’t do that in May. We can’t do that in June if the kids are in the camps that they really want to reopen – because nothing has changed.

Yes. Those who are dying may get to a hospital, but the rules and ways for that to happen are too slim to risk my mother for that.

Listen, I trust my governor. He speaks with honesty and more honesty and I believe when he says he’s working for the best and if what’s happening isn’t for the best, they will work to change it.

I trust my mayor. He and the town are doing all they can to help everyone out.

I trust my doctor. She is who I will go to when I need to ask questions.

But this is where the trust stops – and I need more trust than that. I need trust that If my doctor says – hey, you or your family need a test – that my family will get it. No questions asked.

And you know what? I don’t trust my health insurer or the federal government to provide that unless we are damn sure to become a statistic. The government meant to protect us all wants nothing to do with us. They don’t want to help. Nothing new has come out to help people when we do open up. No guaranteed help for those who need it. No help to detect and prevent in all the time we have been asked to stay inside. Only blame.

The only reason my health care provider is providing testing is because it was mandated. Until the day it was noted they would be paid back, it was considered part of our deductible, and to this day, we need to get our sick body to a CDC approved testing site. And, while I am in the midwest, I am in a major metro area where there isn’t one.

So, my doc can try to help our family. My local government is trying to keep us safe, but until the insurers want to help and the feds are more worried about keeping people healthy and alive than how they are looking, I can’t open up and go back to trotting around.

I don’t want my kids to make my mom sick. I don’t want to make my mom sick.

I know there will be tests. There will be things we can do to keep everyone safe. Until that comes about… Until it’s available to all… I don’t know how to properly move forward.