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Cranky Cuss

Cranky Cuss
Ossining, New York, United States
February 28
I am the author of "Send In the Clown Car: The Road to the White House 2012," currently available on Amazon and CreateSpace. I'm currently semi-retired after 23 years in a corporate environment. My motto: The conventional wisdom has too much convention, not enough wisdom. Corollary: Even Einstein was wrong sometimes, and you're not Einstein.


JULY 7, 2011 4:45PM

Mind Playing Tricks On Me

Rate: 34 Flag


It isn't so astonishing, the number of things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so.

-       Mark Twain


 My mind is playing tricks on me.

-          Geto Boys


There’s been a lot of talk here about court cases the last few days and today I got an unexpected example of why eyewitness testimony is considered so unreliable.


I was sorting through some papers – a very late spring cleaning, if you will – and I was delighted to stumble upon a screen print of the Open Salon front page from March 11, 2009.  It was the first time my ugly mug had appeared there and I had forgotten that I kept a souvenir from the occasion.


In case you’re interested, the top 10 most read that day were: Heather Michon, Saturn Smith, Cymraeg, Sandra No Longer Miller, Amy Tuteur MD, David Decker, Jodi Kasten, fingerlakeswanderer, 1_Irritated_Mother and mistercomedy.  One of Scott Mendelson’s movie reviews was on the front page and OEsheepdog had just posted a comment.


But what made me gasp in surprise was: I had a different avatar.  It was a caricature of me by my daughter Michelle, as my current one is, but it was much cruder.  The pencil drawing was fainter, my nose was pointed and my hair was long.


I don’t, for the life of me, remember ever using that.  I don’t, for the life of me, remember ever updating it.  If you had put me on the witness stand and placed my hand on the Bible, I would have testified that I have used the current avatar since Day One.  If you had hooked me up to a polygraph, I would have said the same thing and probably fooled the machine since I would have absolutely believed that I was telling the truth. Makes me wonder what else about my life I’ve remembered incorrectly.


The human memory is a frail and very inefficient storage device.  Use that as an excuse the next time you forget your significant other’s birthday.


God bless the potholes

Down on Memory Lane

Hope some real big ones open up

Take some of the memories that do remain.

    -          Randy Newman


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woah - a smile on the old avatar! Certainly not in keeping with the crankster theme...
Same square glasses and very cool dude.
Ah, but it just wouldn't be Cranky without that stubborn stubble.
You're right, what's stored in memory is strange. I remember the tiniest details in things that interested me 40 years ago and have no idea what I ate or wore yesterday. I remember many small details in posts I read here on OS two years ago and they pop into my head when I return to the blog. At the same time I can't recognize the face of someone I was introduced to if we didn't talk or if it wasn't an interesting conversation.

I doubt I would have remembered if you changed your av. I am sad that you lost your mouth though.
Almost too friendly and not fusty at all.
Thank Gawd you got a haircut!

I just got home and exhausted but this avatar of yours is kind nifty.
Cool. Maybe you could switch them back and forth depending on your mood. I do understand the memory thing. My husband and I have apparently lived a totally different life than I thought we have.
You're not as cranky in the original. : )
You're lucky. I remember everything in minute detail. It's not a good thing. I wish it weren't that way. Your daughter can DRAW!
Isn't getting old a bitch?
One of the several features that do not improve with age. If I were the worrying type I'd be discouraged that memory goes in but one direction hereon in.
I like your author tag, Cranky. It's self cancelling, so no worries - you're even. March 2009 - wow, that was way before I joined in.
Yeah, no smile!! NO SMILE!! :D
Looks like a rough first draft. Nice to see both you and your avatar have refined those rough edges. Okay. At least the avatar has:)
I hear you. Memory is not a reliable thing. But, if you tell the truth it is pretty reliable. Liars really mess up with memory, I've learned.

I like the crude drawing too- it captures you in some profound way. It's the hippy Cranky. Michelle has talent.
The only name I know from that old front page aside from yours is OESheepdog
But don't for the life of you forget to pay your taxes!

We all have a little bit of "selective memory." Ya think?!
YEP!!! Good example, and fun reading. But honey - that face... that FACE!!!!
I wonder if you don't remember that avatar because when you were starting out, you focused more on content and building a readership. And after that was solid, you thought to change your avatar. So your first avatar wasn't in focus of those early blogging days.

Perhaps human memory isn't an inefficient storage device. Perhaps it's too efficient, working very hard to capture what we --in the moment--deem important. Photographs have frames and focus to show point of view. Humans have biased memories. Personally efficient.
"Mind Playing Tricks On me" by the Geto Boys out of Houston is one of the best rap songs from that era.
Not only did I enjoy this post for the very surprising look at your first avatar (makes me feel the same way as when I see yellowed photos of my shaggy-haired parents in the '70's), but also because you make such a great point. It's funny how we remember things. Thanks for giving me some food for thought today....
Memory is selective for good reason.
Unfortunately I can't remember why.

"Press FRed(tm) please send."
I like both of them. Like you, I forget a lot of things these days.
I also belong to the CRS club. -R-
see: i always knew you were cuddly r. :)
I notice there's a small hole in your forehead in the old version. Perhaps that's related to your memory loss?
I just knew you were a former hippy dude.
Hilarious, yet fascinating.

I look at my own brain-memory device as having a certain capacity. In with the new, out with the old. For example, songs I figured out and memorized on guitar in the past. Not only can I no longer remember how to play them; can't even remember that I once knew them, until I hear the old song used in a movie, or... etc.

Which brings up the antithesis to my theory. It's ALL in there... somewhere, deep down.. every danged moment, from birth. Ever have a memory of early childhood triggered by a smell? Certain perfumes, bacon frying, tomato vines... and BAM: vivid flashback of some scene from when I was 3 feet tall.
The brain is a strange and awesome device. Fun post.
I've read the human brain has 100 billion neurons, each with a tendril connected to the tendrils of other neurons. You'd think with a network like that, we'd have bionic memories and never forget a thing. But, as you point out Cranky, we do; our memories too often disappear behind the barracade of some gated community and disdain to invite us in.
That's him, officer! The third cuss from the right!
Useful cautionary note. (Glad you changed, whenever it was.)