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Return of the Knave
Drink It Black
Saturday, 4 October 2003
DRInk, DRI Inc
There is nothing specifically linking the items in a band's back catalogue to help in remembering their names and the order in which they were released. At least not in the visualisation exercise I'm thinking of.

This one was probably designed for remembering shopping lists and it consisted of visualising a favourite room and strategically placing the things around the room. You then had to enter the room where you would see the bunch of lettuce on top of the computer, the two medium tomatoes on the mantle, a block of Bega cheese in the closed-off fireplace and so on. You are encouraged to exaggerate the characteristics of each object or cluster you encounter to make it more memorable.

This might be a tad tedious when conjuring tacos ingredients but the problems in recalling a discography are different again:

ABBA had too many compilations and Arrival and Voulos Vous lost among them. This was de rigeur for the most successful artists though, which is why you really have to think about whether you want High Tides and Green Grass if you've got Rolled Gold. The upside is that there are those obscure Creedence tracks that were NOT anthologised that I can look forward to hearing one day on community radio, or when I stumble on an a treasure at some record mart.

The AC/DC page I went to helpfully listed all their releases in alphabetical order. I'm enamoured enough of Angus to look this up in the first place but the thought of Brian Johnson is enough to make me look elsewhere after a first attempt to get a chronological listing of original recordings.

I get to D.R.I. website and find a good page with all their releases listed in the order I want them in, with accompanying album covers and track listing that makes the page far longer than any webpage design instructor would allow (but that's alright).

So I should be satisfied right?! Well the problem is I hadn't counted on the abstract nature of many album titles.
(I'm not using HTML to list them as that'll fuck up my font like it did last time)
Thrash metal exponents D.R.I. (a pain typing those punctuation marks!)have released in order:
Dirty Rotten (1982)
Violent Pacification EP (1984)
Dealing With It (1985)
Crossover (1987)
4 Of A Kind (1988)
Thrash Zone (1989)
Definition (1992)
D.R.I. Live (1994)
Full Speed Ahead (1995)

It's not insurmountable. If I was using this method I'd imagine myself as being Dirty Rotten, I am responsible for Violent Pacification as my booze bottle is strategically placed to break when an approaching thug attempts to punch me in the gut. I insist on Dealing With It by wrapping a filthy bandage around the cut and hurriedly making a Crossover when I hear the approaching sirens.
On the other side I encounter 4 Of A Kind, the members of a metal band in identical clobber who are keen to hear to hear my story. I point back across the road and they nod and murmur "Thrash Zone" and that makes me feel better. I thumb into my sticky little black book and with my chewed pencil stub scrawl this Definition; when I open up the book to D for Definition I see an entry for D.R.I. Live (and I remember how much lead those dots have used) and remember the gig tonight. "Full Speed Ahead" I cry, leaving the bewildered bad boys trailing in my wake.

Posted by berko_wills at 5:49 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 4 October 2003 5:58 PM NZT
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Splutter
David Lee Roth needed 21 stitches to his head while practising a 15th century samurai martial arts workout and hit himself with a staff.

I'm still laughing. Not even Spinal Tap could match that.

In other news..

Advertisements to soak up the lifestyle of New Hampshire could get interesting.

Posted by berko_wills at 3:40 AM NZT
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Wednesday, 1 October 2003
Spill in your lap
Sorry, this memory thing is slowing down my posting rate as I've been looking for certain lists that the Web has not yet furnished (which in no wise suggests I have lost faith in its power as a first rate tool)

According to Full as a Goog a good blogger posts an average of 14 times every month so I'm doin' alright I reckon.


Posted by berko_wills at 4:04 PM NZT
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Saturday, 27 September 2003
Drink to forget
I've lost count of all the memory books and pamphlets I've read, I couldn't for the life of me regurgitate chapter headings or index words of any of them and if you asked me to draw one of their illustrations from memory, I'd be stuck. I'm no Jim Morrison so I'll not to be able to tell you what page a paragraph is on.

So it's all been a waste of time?

Well my memory for sensible things might never have been outstanding so I'll settle on a brain that performs well enough at pub quiz nights - even with added alcohol - and gives me such an endless supply of tangents for my writing. Other than that, there's not much I can do.

Still want to hear some memory tips?

Okay let me see how well I can recall the different techniques for retrieving information from our memory banks:
Use a phrase in place of the list to remember. 'Every good boy deserves fruit' works though because the notes themselves correspond to the first letter of each word in the phrase/clause/sentence.
This doesn't work for a great gulp of information like:

Radioactive substances occur in nature, and in all of them nuclear changes take place that result in three kinds of radiation: Alpha rays can be stopped by a sheet of paper, beta rays can just about get through aluminium foil, but gamma rays travel across space with so much energy that they can penetrate even lead.

There you'd be better off just finding some little ditty combined with wordplay to remember the relative strengths of the three rays; something similar to 'the mites go up and the tites go down' for remembering which are stalactites and stalacmites.

So this method works best for listed items?

Well they always drag out the formal lists that are required to be learnt by rote, such as the periodic table but you should be able to use it for remembering anything.
Suppose you had some reason for remembering the track listing of Stranglers IV Rattus Norvegicus you'd be in trouble
  • Sometimes
  • Goodbye Toulouse
  • London Lady
  • Princess of the Streets
  • Hanging Around


  • Peaches
  • (Get A)Grip (On Yourself)
  • Ugly
  • Down In The Sewer



  • Even given that you are familiar with the vintage punk album, there are two songs beginning with the letter 'g' and what if your Strangled chronology conjures up "Go Buddy Go" instead? Or "Dagenham Dave" or "Don't Bring Harry" for the d instead of "Down In The Sewer"?


    Posted by berko_wills at 1:03 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2003 11:26 AM NZT
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    Thursday, 25 September 2003
    Swell chap (aka swells and swill)
    I'm still giddy from Ella's comments [theatrical stage kiss with Stravinksy looking suspiciously on]

    What would the stipulations be when contemplating youthful life over eons. Not to be bored? Not to upset the equilibrium established by a cycle of life and death? Not to crowd out our descendants in the marketplace of ideas and every other habitable space?

    As far as the self goes, I would imagine that you would still fare better if you look after the health of all facets of body, mind and spirit. Yoga and meditation and some more aerobic workout as well. (this is purely conjectural you understand)

    But, as much as Eastern religion contemplates existence without memory of what has gone before, I would like to know who I am in some sense, and that includes childhood and possible past lives.

    To that end, I've flagged memory as an essential to any proposed longevity. Spending a sesquencentenary reciting lists in order to remember where I left my hat doesn't hold much appeal. So (in the next daily instalment) memory exercises without a net.


    Posted by berko_wills at 4:54 AM NZT
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    Tuesday, 23 September 2003
    Pun gent
    And if my link to Persian blog (to your left there) made you reconsider Iran as a nation of fundamentalists then wait till you meet the self-styled punk bitches!

    Can you imagine how brave they are in their fuck-you'dness in a land where women's subservience is doctrinaire while the subcultures they do identify with emanate from a land that perpetually threatens their home (and if you think the language is blue, you should read the arabic ;-))

    Hey and thanks for posting replies. It's more fun that way.

    I'll be back after this thunderstorm to ruminate on eternity yet again.

    Posted by berko_wills at 1:19 AM NZT
    Updated: Tuesday, 23 September 2003 3:37 PM NZT
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    Saturday, 20 September 2003
    Peat
    Okay I didn't want to dwell on this but tell me this is not uncanny: Slim Dusty dies one week after Johnny Cash. I mean... And I know all you hardbitten rationalists are going to say "Hey he was 76; it's just coincidence"
    but really, if you were a big country music fan in the outback right now you'd be reeling at this double whammy.

    What does it mean?

    I know I believe in magic despite having my last clear magickal experience twenty years ago. An Angry Penguins concert at the Shaftesbury was where I met Ally and moved into my first full-fledged sharehouse. That whole episode made me feel that calling it all 'coincidence' was really pushing it; especially remembering the state I was in and the circumstances that led up to it.

    It's mainly my belief system that qualifies me as a '100% Neo-Pagan' (thanks for the quiz, Ella)rather than conclusive results with a pendulum in Kalbarri, an old takeaway container filled with inky water at Sam's, or the odd horoscope that seems to pin exactly what I'm going through at the time. But I'd like to know what's going on right now.

    Posted by berko_wills at 11:07 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 21 September 2003 3:31 AM NZT
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    Wednesday, 17 September 2003
    Black hole
    I'm not yet at the age where I scan the obituaries looking for my name - or the names of those people that my failing memory still recalls - so I'm not given to marking the passing of each new celeb who drops off their pedestal. But this does seem something of a watershed year for death (and ties in with my immortality post).

    You know, when television was in its relative infancy we would have been treated to a Katharine Hepburn special, a Bob Hope special, a Death Wish festival.. hell, we probably would have got one or two old episodes of Beverley Hillbillies to commemorate the passing of Buddy Ebsen. Now that we're into more rigid formatting (can't miss any of the twenty billion home repair/auction shows or bachelor/survivor/stupido programs that fill scheduling these days)those days are gone and it's left to the evening news to give us a brief rundown of a life richly lived.

    It's interesting that Bob Hope and Leni Riefenstahl both pegged it at 100+ in the same year as they represent two of the greatest propogandists for their respective sides. To me, Leni was the greater artist.
    I'll probably talk more about 100 year olds at a future time.

    And what inspired all this morbid musing? Why the passing of The Man In Black o'course. (I've long had his website bookmarked but its being hit by some seriously heavy traffic at the moment). Now we'll all have to wear black; this is the death that really hit me. Johnny Cash represents a bridge for me and my parents' generation and, I suspect, for generations on either side. He was universally respected in a way that Charley Pride or the Butthole Surfers could never be.
    It is further tribute to Cash that there was a LOT of articles about him before he died. It was kind of spooky opening up the IT liftout and seeing 'pages Johnny Cash has bookmarked'. It was published around the time he died.

    Posted by berko_wills at 3:50 PM NZT
    Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2003 3:55 PM NZT
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    Thursday, 11 September 2003
    Gaping maw
    Boy was I happy when I checked my blogsite and saw that all the links were showing. Thanks boffins!

    Let's tie up some loose ends, shall we: I thought you wouldn't want to read about what I read about for too long. But I do just want to set the record straight as far as my childhood reading went:

    1. I was able to read comic books before the great Marvel-ation of 1973;
    2. My sister and I had our own subscriptions.

    We started both getting Jack and Jill and then Playhour and Robin. Once it appeared we'd both outgrown sentient hot water bottles and the Magic Roundabout, Robin I think started getting Princess Tina and I waited expectantly each week for Lion and Thunder. I don't know why this was considered more acceptable than the American superhero books. Maybe it was because there was a mix of stories featuring soccer teams and funny strips like Mowser the Priceless Puss and his enemy James the Butler. In any case, I was allowed to start buying Marvel westerns before Dad relented and let in the 'cape and tights characters'.

    At high school I spent my pocket money on choc milk and - continuing my Jeckyll/Hyde fascination - the Incredible Hulk, (among many others).

    My fledgling obsession with music carried on into my late teens and my first sharehouse. Some guy we knew had a huge pile of NME's out on the verge for collection and I took as many as I could so that that was all I read for weeks on end.

    Rolling Stone I pretty much only picked up for special editions but Q became a firm favourite.

    And I read horror anthologies and discovered a wealth of late nineteenth century (out of copyright) horror writers. This coincided with an ongoing interest in the occult and metaphysics.

    I'd kind of developed an interest in compendia of facts and almanacs and it was in the Whole Earth Catalogue that its founder Stewart Brand exposed me to the idea of being comprehensive in my reading. His thinking was that you should know the type of soil under your feet and the names of the clouds above your head. So I was actually mad enough to pursue this goal, more or less.
    I probably haven't read that publication or report but I just might have too.

    Posted by berko_wills at 3:58 PM NZT
    Updated: Sunday, 14 September 2003 2:03 AM NZT
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    Saturday, 6 September 2003
    Wake
    If you wondered why my frenetic pace of blogging was slowed to a crawl; it's a technical issue as you'll no doubt notice - long term viewers of these escapades - there is no hypertext at all. Even in spots where it seems to provide all the context.

    As to which hitch is glitch, the Tripod boffins are working on that now. Perhaps in an effort to mask my cursing, the HTML for capital [letter after 'e'] has been replaced in all parts by a patch of scribble, which also affects the code for hyperlinks.

    There is so much good stuff in town now we are spoilt for choice. Lou Reed is in town and David Bowie is simulcasting himself into a cinema in George Street and will even answer questions after the show.
    Presumably when he tours Australia early next year, he will forego the second encore to stand and talk to a cinema audience in the New Hebrides.


    Posted by berko_wills at 7:41 PM NZT
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