Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Bridget Spitznagel
Bridget's posts

Post has shared content
Exercise suggested by Charles Johnson, copying out a writer's work longhand to learn their voice.

I've done similar to this exercise, though not by hand. When I was starting out I rewrote chapters from Zelazny, Gregory Mcdonald, John D. MacDonald, Hunter S Thompson -- typewriter, but from memory. Did Gregory Mcdonald several times, I really wanted to learn how he wrote dialog.

Post has attachment
something something the world's information.


When I visited the Carmel of St Joseph I bought a medal of St Therese (n.b. these are extremely inexpensive things) and clipped it onto my rosary for lack of a better place and later someone gave me a medal of St Faustina's divine mercy image which I clipped onto the other medal's little ring but they jingled so eventually I took it off and put it on my car keys instead and quite soon after that was when I ended up giving that rosary away (as one does?) so I was congratulating myself on having moved it to something that I still had, and then I had my car inspected (as one does) and got my keys back, and noticed a day later that it had wandered off. I do not know when (checked the floor of my car under the steering column and my pocket, since my keys spend most of their time in those two places.)

I do not seem to be very good at hanging onto things. (probably surprising no one.)

Post has shared content
politics? not politics? you decide

Post has shared content
what did i just read

today's joke at my expense: (jokes at my expense are a thing that happens)

someone gave me a free copy of Resisting Happiness a while ago so I was reading a bit towards the end this morning (and eating Grape-Nuts) which was about "what are you good at" and stuff, so I was reflecting on what am I good at (software engineering, and trying to get people to get along (cf. the Prayer of St Francis (so-called))

anyway I was hanging out in church (after confession, which i went to because of reasons) thinking about random things, such as "how to not compare oneself favorably to other people" (possibly by remembering the ways one has screwed up at least as bad as they have) and got back on the subject of "explaining one group of people to another group of people" (which I do often).
This isn't really "rewarded" behavior, I just do it because it's there and someone ought to. And it then seemed to me that the word for this is "bridge building", and then, more accurately, that I spend time trying to be a bridge between people (who do not understand each other.)

so then I was like "lol" because I remembered that when someone asked in December or January what the onset of depression had been like, i.e. was it sudden or happened over time and how much time, I had explained (to at least two or three different people) that "in retrospect it is like one of those science competitions where each team builds a bridge out of a restricted set of supplies, and then weights are added to each bridge until eventually it breaks [which was the situation in late November]; like that but you are the bridge." At the time I was just trying to explain gradual accumulation of massive stress, but in hindsight it is more amusing.

so here was the joke:

"why are you surprised by this? it's in your name."

Post has shared content
One thing bothered me about Hidden Figures...

I loved the movie, except for one thing: every time they showed the machine room with the IBM 7090, there was a punch card reader (I think a high-speed model which would have been from 1964, two years later than Glenn's flight, but that's a minor detail)... but no reproducing punch.

They couldn't have done backup calculations without one. I can't find any photos of a machine room at Langley from that period, and technically a reproducing punch wasn't part of the mainframe so could be located elsewhere, but they must have had one, and it would definitely be placed next to the reader if possible—and certainly if they were starting with an empty machine room as the film showed. Every time they showed that machine room I was looking for one and never saw it; it was like a movie set in present day showing a keyboard inexplicably missing the space bar.

(There were also no key punches anywhere I could see, but you could explain that away by saying punching went on in some room that was never shown, though I imagine they would have been in the (human) computer room that was prominently shown.)

I hate it when I fixate on something like that and it keeps pulling me out of a movie. (I can usually manage with present-day pretend computer interfaces by imagining the movie's actually set in a near-future when for some reason we've all collectively decided we love interfaces with plenty of useless graphics, and text saturation-contrast that makes our eyes bleed.)

I've heard some folks guffawed at the line, "Euler's method? But that's... ancient." It didn't sound that strange to me. "Ancient" was maybe a strange word to use, but what word would be right? "Something you learn in school and never use again?" "Crufty?" "Inapproximate as compared to more modern algorithms, but well within the tolerances needed for this application?" I think "ancient" seems plausible, at least.

Post has attachment
Lanky Guys weekly podcast (an explanation of the upcoming Sunday readings) is good stuff.
Where to find: is sort of website-like (once upon a time the whole web was pages of lists of links hahaha) but I think the usual approach is either on iTunes (don't ask me how I have no idea) or in some Android app that knows how to listen to podcasts (I have been using Pocket Casts.)

I should probably post something but don't really have anything to write about.

Every so often I feel like "I should get a reality check on my current list of Weird Sh Stuff" (trying to cut down on the casual swearing) "from a professional", which usually[1] takes a while to line up, and I reckon that chorus is coming around on the guitar again. I should make a list, maybe.

[1] I'm extrapolating from a tiny data set. This makes it sound like I know what I'm doing.
Wait while more posts are being loaded