May 7, 2008

Wednesday Wanderings

I used to have a near photographic memory. I could recite back entire passages of books I had read. Names, dates and history were at my immediate beck and call. I could describe from memory the details and troop movements by regiment in the Battle of Chicamauga. The order of battle at Shiloh or the names of each of the Zulu Impis that attacked the 24th Foot at Isadhlwanda was on the tip of my tongue. I could tell you the first dozen Roman Emperors and the dates they ruled along with the names of their wives and children. I would sit on the couch shouting the answers to nearly every question on Jeopardy. I could memorize details for tests -- the periodic table, metric/English conversions, foreign words and phrases. I possessed an almost encyclopedic knowledge of part numbers -- customer, competitor, and of the various companies for whom I have worked. I was a virtual walking phone book -- pizza places, customers, relatives and friends.

No more. Every day I find my vaunted memory fails me. I could sit in business meetings and later relate the conversations verbatim in trip reports. Now I have to take notes. Is this a function of age? Like my vision, is my brain just getting weaker? Is it a question of no longer focusing so intently? Am I out of storage capacity and facts I no longer need are stuffed away, harder to access? Is it all still in my brain, a rusty dusty file cabinet of useless details stored in the basement? If I actually found my self in a discussion of the Boer War, could I discuss the role of Jan Smuts, one memory stirring another? Is this something I should be concerned about? An emotional mixture of paranoia and hypochondria makes for some crazy self-diagnosis.

Hah, Woody lost the Congressional race. I am not in his district, but his ads ran every commercial break. They were filled with distortion and in some cases outright falsehoods. Maybe he should have concentrated on running against his opponent instead of "George Bush's mess".

The weather has been great, but it looks like rain is settling in for a few days. I mowed last night. That is almost as good a guarantee of rain as washing the car. Now the weeds will grow even faster.

Did you see the pictures of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations at a high school in Californica? They hoisted the Mexican flag above an upside-down Stars and Stripes. If Mexico is so great, why don't they just go back?

Am I the only one who enjoys the feature from the past few Fridays -- guess the lyrics?

Well, I can no longer avoid working on my sales presentation. It is going to be a disaster. We are limited to six slides, but have 45 minutes to fill. I expect a thorough grilling.

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