Heavy losses sweep world markets

You can’t miss all this stuff in the news at the moment.  My dad tried to explain what sub-prime lending was .. anyway, the BBC has a description that explains it too.  Check it out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5144662.stm

What is sub-prime lending?

Put simply, it is loans to people who have patchy credit histories or cannot prove their incomes.

Sub-prime lending, which has become increasingly popular in the US and UK, takes several different forms.

In its simplest form, it involves doorstep lending – small amounts of cash loaned to people usually on low incomes and then collected from their own homes.

But there are also sub-prime mortgages.

This is when people borrow against the increased value of their homes, often to pay off other borrowings.

The term can also apply to mortgages taken out by people who are not attractive to mainstream lenders because of their credit history or employment status.


Salford Curry Contest

Shawn send me this, and I just had to share it:

If you can read this whole story without laughing then there’s no Hope for you. I was crying by the end.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly.

For those of you who have lived in Salford , you know how typical this is. They actually have a Curry Cook-off about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Albert Park Show in Salford.

Judge #3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was visiting From America.

Frank: “Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge’s table asking for directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Oldham Indians) that the curry wouldn’t be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted”.

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:
Judge # 1 — A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 — Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.
Judge # 3(Frank) — Holy ****, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These people are crazy.

Judge # 1 — Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli tang.
Judge # 2 — Exciting BBQ flavour, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 — Keep this out of the reach of children. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich manoeuvre! They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Judge # 1 — Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.
Judge # 2 — A bit salty, good use of chilli peppers.
Judge # 3 — Call 999. I’ve located a uranium pill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I’m getting pissed from all the beer.

Judge # 1 — Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a curry.
Judge # 3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 200kg woman is starting to look HOT…just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chilli an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1– Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2– Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chilli peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

Judge # 1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to **** myself if I fart and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Shareen. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone ice-cream.

Judge # 1 — A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).
Judge # 3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing- it’s too painful. Screw it; I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1– The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2– This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot curry?
Judge # 3 – No Report.


T-Mobile Ameo

I have seen a few recent blogs about this now it’s been release in the US and thought I should speak up.

When I first saw the Ameo (aka HTC Advantage) I wanted one .. really wanted one.  It looked like it would do everything I wanted.


I want to blog on the run, read rss, do email and surf.  I have had a few windows mobile devices and this looked good especially with 3g.  At the time T-Mobile was the mobile firm to go with and so I did.  I have now been using it since April 2007.

Here is the spec:

Operating System Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Phone Edition
HSDPA/UMTS Tri-band 2100 MHz and 850/1900 MHz
GSM/GPRS Quad band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Processor Intel PXA270 624 MHz with ATU Graphic Chip W2284
Dimensions 133.5 (L) x 98 (W) x 16 (T)mm, (with keyboard- 20mm)395g
Memory ROM:256 MB, RAM:128MB, HDD:8GB, MiniSD card slot

The 8gn micro drive is very nice, as it the 5” 640×480 resolution screen.  The two cameras are quite fun and the main camera takes some good picture even with the flash.


Oh the other thing is it has but in GPS which works well with Co-Pilot (but Co-Pilot is pants, use Tom Tom Instead!)

The keyboard is magnetic which is another nice thing, but I you can’t use the Ameo as a phone with out a headset (I must admit you would look stupid talking into something this big!) . Actually have a nokia as my phone (I used it to take the pictures) 


So what do I think.  I do like my Ameo, but the battery life is pant, and to be quite honest, Windows Mobile 5 is just not good for this device.  It badly need a WM6 upgrade, which is due sometime but T-Mobile will not tell me when. The US versions already have WM6 so it can’t be that hard!?

Something that is really annoying is that when the battery dies and the charge it up again, it comes up in flight mode. it take a few minutes of messing around to get it out of flight mode

To be honest as soon as the HTC Shift comes out my Ameo will be on ebay as I am really going off portable devices with  only Windows Mobile on as they make things very restrictive.


I checked out Exchange 2007 Edge Transport server and it wasn’t able to inspect a message header and smart host a message to another server.  As a result I am now using MailMarshal.

I found something interesting yesterday.  After my friendly AD guy (Matt) created me a system account that I could use in SQL to permission MailMarshal, I discovered some lazy programming :-|

Basically with MailMarshal 2006 you can’t use Windows Authentication mode in SQL, you need to use SQL Server and  Windows Authentication mode

Tube Rage II

Okay so todays moan is for the earphone wearing guy to my right on my Train.

If I wanted to like to the tinny cr@p coming out of you earphones I will by the CD. I don’t want to hear “tish, tish, thump, thump, thump” I can even hear it when I have my earphones in. Just think if I can hear it, how loud is it for him?

Why are they called earphones or headphones anyway? you can’t call anyone on them :-)

Maybe its just me, but when I listen to music on the train, I am respectful of the people around me as I am sure they don’t want to listen to my choice of music.

You know sometimes I wish I had a pair of scissors to cut the headphone cable to free us all from tinny music hell.

Thank god, Mr Tinny music got off at Kings Cross … ahhh can you hear that? Just the sound of the train …