And it’s a source of considerable irritation, too.

I have a squirrelly memory.

I was glancing through pdb’s blog, and I saw this quote:
Like a wise man once said to me, “I can sketch you out a diagram of the interactions of the nine basic forces in the universe. But I don’t understand economics, and anybody that claims they do is a clottin’ liar.”

That quote is from the Sten series of books, by Alan Cole and Chris Bunch. More specifically, it’s a quote from the Eternal Emperor to his spymaster, Ian Mahoney. I haven’t read those books in at least five years, probably more.

I was watching the movie Soldier with Kurt Russell, and I caught a glimpse of a tattoo on his arm that read “Tannhauser Gate”, and I immediately mentally linked it with this quote from Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner:
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.”

I haven’t seen Bladerunner in ages.

I’m sitting in a dentist’s office twenty years ago, and I read a pamphlet left on the table. Two decades later, someone on TFL asks a question about an obscure group, and I can remember the city the group is based out of, and the name of a previous leader from that pamphlet, read twenty years previously.

Yet, I can’t remember faces or names worth a damn. I can’t pick a critter out of a line-up to save my life.

Bloody frustrating, is what it is.


Meditations on the Combat Mindset

15 thoughts on “And it’s a source of considerable irritation, too.”

  1. Hmmmm, LawDog? Sounds like you’ve got a ‘photographic memory’? Unfortunately some parts of it are OVER EXPOSED!

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

  2. ‘Dog, I am in the same boat. Massive memory for worthless facts and trivia, but can’t match names and faces for beans….

    Speaking of that universe, it would be pretty cool to get a version of Sten’s little sticker, would it not? The ultimate concealed weapon…

  3. Bro. ‘Dawg, I do unnerstand. I am exactly the same way.

    Dear Ol’ Pop called me a “Fount of Worthless Information”. I can tell you every address and phone number I ever had. I can recite my DL#, SSN, checking account number, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security code numbers.

    Don’t ask me the last name of the people across the street, whom I greet and speak to on an almost-daily basis.

    I think law enforcement type critters tend to deal with people contextually. It’s the actions, not the face; the crime, not the name. Plus, we have to be able to quickly recall precise violations of code, from volumes that most lawyers will never even see.

  4. Reminds me of an email I got from a friend this morning with a few little one-line jokes about getting old…

    “At my age, the definition of ‘getting lucky’ is remembering where I parked my car!”

    I used to laugh at people who lost their glasses when the spectacles were right on their faces or those hapless individuals who lost their cars in the WalMart lot. NO MORE…I have joined their ranks! Yikes!

  5. At one point I managed rental properties. I began to think of people as “re-paint, auger toilet”, the guy across the way was “fix pilot light, replaced smoke alarm”, and their neighbor, “file unlawful detainer, crack monkey son” not their proper names.

  6. Gotcha, janean. I used to call slow-moving anythings “arthritic” — until I got the club card at Osteo-“R”-Us.

    – NF

  7. I know that problem. I have that problem.

    Well more or less. I do faces okay, but names? Yikes!

    I’ll be somewhere with my wife and say “Look at that fellow, I know him from somewhere. Arg! What is his name?”

    To which she reponds, “That is your brother, David.”

    Or on a really bad day, “You’re looking in the mirror again dear.”


  8. Heh. I’m just glad to find that I’m not the only one with a memory like that.

    And twenty years from now, while I’m trying to remember family member’s names at Christmas, I’ll remember this post instead…

  9. You’ve described my life. As I say, “If it’s trivial, I know it”.

  10. What’s the difference between economists and meteorologists?

    Meteorologists can agree on what happened yesterday.

    Love the blog, ‘Dog. 🙂

    Oh, got a critter story from the hometown here for you, too.

  11. Personally, I have yet to see hard proof that economics is a science; get three economists(?) together and you’ll get three different predictions, and all will be wrong. And each one of them will be able to tell you why it turned out different, and why theirs SHOULD have been the right one.

  12. “I was watching the movie Soldier with Kurt Russell, and I caught a glimpse of a tattoo on his arm that read “Tannhauser Gate”

    Haven’t seen Soldier in several years, but there were a number of other sci-fi references sprinkled throughout, including a discarded spinner aerocar from Blade Runner, and a derelict T-800 Terminator exoskeleton.

    The cutesy nods to other, good, scifi movies didn’t keep Soldier from sucking, though.

  13. “sten”, it’s been too long since i last read that series, i’ve got ’em all and here i go digging into many boxes of sci-fi paperbacks. thanks, (no sarcasm, i enjoyed them and expect to again.)

  14. Wow. That’s my favorite quote/scene in Bladerunner.

    I’m like that, too, in some ways. I seem to have keen retention for certain detail, and other aspects are ever lost in the ether– things like “I’ll have no trouble remembering where i hid this.” Ha! I think I’m simply more apt to remember big-picture than specifics.

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