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Saturday evening, Shelly and I went out to the Castle to do some danng,a nd hooked up with S, her other boyfriend, nekidsteve, nihilus, phyrra, and their friend and housemate. (Tried to shoot you an IM, johnnymoon, but you weren't online and it was a really spur-of-the-moment, last-minute thing...)

The main DJ sucked. The alternate DJ ruled. There's a life lesson in there somewhere, that I'm too lazy to dig out. Anyway, the alternate DJ played the Second Best Song to Dance To Ever Written1, which I've heard before but didn't know the name of. Shelly talked to him after. Turns out the song is by a band called Wumpscut, and the song is called Wreath of Barbs. (Note: direct MP3 download; 6.3 megabytes.)

datan0de, if you aren't familiar with this song, you should be. :)

In old-school computer hackerspeak, a situation can arise between a computer and a peripheral which is called "deadlock" (or, for those of you who hail from MIT, "deadly embrace"). Modern computer protocols have largely done away with it, but generally speaking it's a situation where a computer and a peripheral stop talking to one another because each is waiting for some sort of response from the other.

There are two basic varieties of deadlock: "starvation," in which the computer and the peripheral are each waiting for data from the other, and "constipation," where the computer's buffer is full and it's waiting for a signal from the peripheral to receive the data, and the peripheral's buffer is full and it's waiting for a signal from the computer to receive ITS data.

It seems the same sort of thing can happen between two people, especially if some kind of problem has existed between them. ach ends up feeling marginalized by the other, and each ends up feeling that the other wants nothing to do with him--so each ends up not reaching out to the other.

Computers can be rebooted, and there's no hard feelings. With people, it's a bit more tricky.

So. We had a blast at the club, except for tension etween phyrra and I. I can tell she doesn't feel comfortable around me, so I don't try to impose on her, so she feels like I'm avoiding her, so she feels uncomfortable around me, so... starvation deadlock.

And there's no reason it should be this way. phyrra is a warm and wonderful person who I like very much. Just so y'all know. :)

And, just as a bonus, I bring you, courtesy of felisdemens, English As She Is Spoke, the worse English dictionary and phrasebook ever written. From the site:

This 1883 book is without question the worst phrasebook ever written. The writer, Pedro Carolino, who was Portuguese, did not particularly speak English, nor did he have a Portuguese-English dictionary available. Instead, he worked with a French-English phrasebook and a Portuguese-French dictionary. The results, I'm sure you'll agree, are staggering.

This text is that of a book of excerpts compiled a few years after the book was first published. Anything that looks like an error is, in fact, the way it actually appears in the book. I've transcribed the complete text of that book; I do not, unfortunately, have a copy of the original. I'm sure you'll notice bits that look like typos. They're not; that's all part of the fun.

The phrasebook contains such useful gems as a handy list of common English colours (White, Gridelin, Cray, Musk, and Red), popular English games (Foot-ball, Pile, Bar, Mall, Gleek, Even or non even, Carousal, and Keel), handy English phrases ("Give me some good milk newly get out," "He burns one's self the brains"), and English idiotisms and proverbs ("He has fond the knuckle of the business," "So much go the jar to spring that at last it break there"). This stuff predates Engrish by a good century, and is, if anything, even more bizarre. Great stuff!

1All decent, God-fearing people know, of course, that in the great cosmology of Songs to Dance To, nothing can compare to the pinnacle of human achievement, Front 242's Headhunter v1.0.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Computers can be rebooted, and there's no hard feelings. With people, it's a bit more tricky.

Heh. Yeah. Any ideas?
Sep. 13th, 2005 02:51 am (UTC)
Very cool song- thanks for the heads-up!

However, in usual fashion you miss the mark by just a leeeeetle tiny bit. Everyone who owns boots knows that the best song to dance to yet produced by the human race is Ministry's Stigmata. At least, everyone who equates "dancing" with "stomping cities into dust with one's Mighty Boots of Stompfiness!!"

Oh yes, I have burned my self the brains many a time to that track, and have left indentations in the planet to mark the occasion! :-)
Sep. 15th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
"However, in usual fashion you miss the mark by just a leeeeetle tiny bit. Everyone who owns boots knows that the best song to dance to yet produced by the human race is Ministry's Stigmata."

Ah, but you see, I have a terrible secret. My terrible secret is: I don't own a pair of boots. Stompfy or otherwise. So it would stand to reason that I don't know what everyone who owns boots would know.

And now that you know my terrible secret, please go stand by your stairs so I can protect you.
Sep. 15th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
Ha hah! Touche'! I have no stairs in my house!
Sep. 13th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
If you like Wumpscut and Front 242, you should check out Paul's show, "On The Edge". He's been playing those old saws for -- how long as it been? I've been listening for eight years at least. I even got to guest DJ once, and would love doing it again.

For those out of range of a high school radio station signal in Seattle, they now stream. They've been getting quite a following over the years. Even got voted best high school station -- in New York City!

I know, I know, it's only for a few hours a week, but the man has a truckload of CDs he brings every time. Quite a collection.
Oct. 17th, 2005 08:39 pm (UTC)
In my operating systems class last year, we had a chapter on deadlock handling. We were told at the time that neither Unix or Windows had any sort of system for handling deadlocks, and just expected an administrator to eventually notice that processes weren't moving and kill one.

We used to get deadlock errors every few days on our database server here at work, but I can't remember seeing one for several years. I don't know if that's due to the newer version of MS SQL Server, or because we started programming to mitigate the bad locking problems in the database model of our old (3rd party) software.
Oct. 25th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC)
Database queries would tend to bring up a whole new realm of potential deadlock conditions, now that I think about it...
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )