The Curry Experiment – Entry 1.



I recently discovered two things about Asda that had previously passed me by. Firstly, it is cheaper than Tesco by quite some margin so I went a bit mental with my purchasing of coffee and washing stuff. Secondly though, and most importantly in terms of the study that is to follow, they do a rather extensive range of chicken-based curries. Not only is this a very good thing in its own right, but it is incorporated into the first point as it costs a mere £7.00 for 2 main courses, 2 rice and 2 sides.


Having made these discoveries thanks to Chris Franks’ lack of motorised vehicular transport, I have decided to sample each of the dishes on offer and publish my findings for literally nobody to read on this ‘ere blog type thing. If nothing else, and it is nothing else, it gives me the ideal excuse to lard my arse up on curry whilst affording me the opportunity of adding content to the aforementioned yet much neglected blog. It’s worth bearing in mind that my chilli tolerance is not up to the standards of the likes of Mark or Franks, indeed I’m very much a mid-range man when it comes to spicy food, so it’s going to be rather interesting to see how I cope at the top end of the scale.


Anyway, the line-up that will either satisfy my hunger or fuck my insides up beyond medical help, in order of mildest to fuckest-uppest (thank you, Simon Pegg) is as follows:


  1. Chicken Korma (1 chilli rating)
  2. Chicken Dopiaza (2 chilli rating)
  3. Chicken Tandoori Masala (2 chilli rating)
  4. Chicken Jalfrezi (3 chilli rating)
  5. Chicken Bhuna (3 chilli rating)
  6. Chicken Madras (4 chilli rating)
  7. Scorching Hot Chicken Vindaloo (5 chilli rating)


At this juncture it is worth pointing out that a) my fridge now contains solely beer, curry and milk, and b) the experiment is already underway and the result was as follows:


6: Chicken Madras (4 chilli rating).


Holy Christ on a stick, this is tasty yet rather warm. That was a bit of an understatement actually, in truth I was sweating so much that I got a pint of milk and wrapped a towel around my head, the latter adding an authentic Indian feel to the proceedings. It’s a really pleasant dish to begin with, very tangy and with plenty of chicken that actually tastes like chicken, but the heat builds to a crescendo of dribbling that I have not experienced for some time. Well, about a fortnight actually, the curry in Akbars in town left me rather moist around the head, but that’s beside the point. The actual heating process, and this goes for all of the dishes, is a bit of a bugger as you do have to do both the main course and the rice in 2 stints each, but it’s still easier than twatting about with various spices, herbs and whatnot and cooking it myself. As far as my taste returning goes, that took roughly an hour once I’d finished. To conclude, this was a bit overly spicy for me, however those with more of a taste for the hotter dish will probably find it quite agreeable.


Further test results to follow…





Barack Obama – White House Correspondents’ Dinner 2013



You’ve got to love him, if for no other reason that he delivers a cracking address:




Blocked Torrent Sites



So Virgin Media, amongst others, have blocked access to Kick Ass Torrents as well as The Pirate Bay in a bid to protect against copyright infringement, or so I’ve been told anyway. The “Get Fucked, You Big Cheating Pirate Scumbag” message is now shown when trying to access anything in the domain, making it impossible to search for or download torrent files , regardless of whether the content is an infringement of copyright or not. Still, those big bombs worked in Japan in 1945 so it’s worth employing the same tactics in a web-based environment.


I’ve heard that there is a way around it, using some sort of third party routing site, but this sort of behaviour would be desperately irresponsible, probably being the precursor to the final days of modern civilisation whilst simultaneously making a mockery of the UK’s biggest ISP’s efforts to eradicate this reprehensible behaviour. But, to quote one pro-piracy leader, “This is the latest in the continuing Internet whack-a-mole farce,” and it’s probably fair to say that the High Courts and the ISPs will continue to play catch-up for a long time to come.



Nurburgring Crash 2



BMW drivers – up your arse for ages, get past, crash 2 corners later. Priceless!



Nurburgring Crash 1





Using Gmail’s SMTP Server To Route Outgoing Mail



As promised, here’s how to set up routing your outgoing mail via the Gmail SMTP servers. As I previously said, this is a useful fault-finding tool or workaround, however it does replace the sending address in the main body of the email as coming from the Gmail account. That said, anybody replying to any emails sent this way will still be replying to your main account. I’ll be using Outlook 2007 as an example.


  1. Go into Tools – Account Settings – [Account Name] – Change
  2. Change Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) to
  3. Click More Settings
  4. Under Outgoing Server tick the box for “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.
  5. Select “Log on using” and enter your username and password in the boxes below.
  6. Under Advanced change the Outgoing Server (SMTP) port to 465.
  7. Under “use the following type of encrypted connection” select SSL from the drop-down box.
  8. Click Ok, then Next, then Finish.


And that’s it! So the next time that BT block your email for spamming because somebody’s spoofing your email address and then deny any knowledge of it, you can use this to prove to them that it’s a problem with their SMTP server.



Call-Centres & Virgin Media Superhub Awfulness



It’s been another one of those weeks when talking to Asians has been both a necessity and an enormous annoyance. Don’t get me wrong, I am generally well-disposed towards Asians, indeed one of my very good friends is Pakistani, however putting them into a call centre when they speak little more than a smattering of English is not great. Top that off with the certainty that they will treat the customer (me) like an imbecile, despite being told repeatedly that I work in IT and I do actually know what the problem is, and it’s a recipe for me losing my rag entirely. It’s just as well that I suffer fools gladly.[1]


Anyway, the first exchange took place with BT. This is to be expected as the BT helpdesk staff are notoriously bad at their jobs, talk down to everybody, deny responsibility for absolutely everything and have to work with some of the worst systems of all time. My step-father, LJ, was having problems with his mail, namely floods of undeliverable responses to emails that he hadn’t sent flooding into his Outlook mailbox and then BT Yahoo blocked him from sending mail due to suspected abuse. Well, unless he’s become a secret purveyor of performance-enhancement drugs then it’s fair to say that he hadn’t sent them. Couple this with the fact that there was no sign of him having sent them in either his Outlook or webmail sent items folders and that both virus and malware scans turned up nothing and it’s odds-on that his email address has been spoofed. But no, the wonder-kid from BT blamed Outlook (or Outlook Express as he insisted on calling it,) then Norton (I asked him at this point whether he’d ever seen a computer before) and then the computer. Brilliant, you unbelievable fucktard, you get Bully’s star prize for wildly inaccurate guesses and all-round incompetence. Anyway, after much toing and froing (yes, Microsoft, that’s how one spells the phrase, shove your spell-checker up your collective arse) he conceded that maybe I was right and that there may be an issue with the BT Yahoo SMTP server. The good news was that their specialist in third party software may be able to help and the first part of the consultation would be free. Exactly what this third party software was supposed to be remains a mystery but, desperate to speak to pretty much anybody else but this fool, I gladly accepted. Imagine my glee when a very Geordie voice answered the call when it was transferred; I explained the problem to Paul in Longbenton who immediately agreed with me, organised the account being reset and had the whole lot working again within 10 hours. Not 10 working hours mind you, 10 real hours, and this after he warned me that it could take up to 48 hours. Very good, Paul, that’s what customer service is.


It’s also worth mentioning that it’s possible to temporarily relay outgoing mail via Google’s Gmail servers, provided that you have a Gmail or Googlemail account of course. This does have the drawback that any mail sent shows as coming from the account that you use, for example Dave St Hubbins [mailto: [email protected]] rather than the BT account that it’s really using, however the actual mailing address for replies etc. is correct and for testing purposes or as a workaround this is quite useful. I’ll post a separate entry on how to do this later on.


The second brush with the bearded ones came tonight when the wireless went off on my router. Fortunately I have a spare Virgin Media Superhub still in its box following their previous feeble attempt to correct a network issue with a new router so it seemed like a fairly simple task to get this working. I plugged it all in and dutifully rang the number on the box to have it activated, then got somewhat lost in the extensive maze of push-button options. Anyway, I somehow navigated my way to somebody who could almost hear me, probably understood a little of what I was saying and almost entirely failed to give comprehensible instructions. Eventually we reached the understanding that the first step was to completely undo the whole plugging-in process that the instructions said to do, so I did this. Some 15 minutes later we accomplished the unthinkable – broadband through the piece of cheap tat Netgear twattery. This, unfortunately, was just the beginning.


The Virgin Media Superhub is bloody awful. I mean truly dreadful, utter dross. The menus are designed for children, mostly made up of pretty pictures in 3 woeful menus, and the advanced menu is the exact opposite. It took me roughly an hour to connect my phone and PS3 to the wireless, only to find that the crappy thing doesn’t support DLNA for streaming content from my NAS boxes. The boxes themselves do show up, however any thoughts I may have of accessing the actual files are thwarted by 2104 errors and the internet is strewn with reports of this sort of issue. The answer, it seems, is to disable the wireless on the Superhub and use it in “modem mode,” namely as a modem with a second router handling the wireless and actual routing. Brilliant, a brand new piece of kit that doesn’t support one of the best features in home networking, Virgin Media have somehow managed to trump their own stupidity. Still when they eventually get around to trebling my broadband speed to 60Mb for free, something that they should have done 5 months ago but are now projecting doing between May and July, the Superhub’s set up and ready to receive this magic porn-fest. Tossers.[2]

[1] I don’t suffer fools, gladly or otherwise.

[2] That’s irony.



Graham’s Fucked-Up View Of Christmas (but he’s right though.)



BODMAS – It’s Really Quite Simple.



Right, time for some very elementary mathematics from somebody who has not progressed much further than said standard.


Once again Facebook and Yahoo Answers are proving that the users of said platforms are largely retarded. Using the power of copy and paste, here is tonight’s so-called “tricky” question from Peter Griffin of Quahog, Rhode Island:


I Bet 95% will fail to answer this simple question !!

10 + 10 X 0 + 10 =

A = 10
B = 0
C = 200
D = 135
E = 20
F = 125

G = 30

What is the correct answer ? …



Now, aside from the fact that the person asking the question deems it necessary to capitalise “bet,” a common-or-garden vowel, and also seems to think that following a perfectly executed question mark with an erroneous ellipsis, this is really quite simple. Somehow, though, it is causing arguments on Facebook and wars between some small mathematics-based countries.


The answer, however simple it may be, is proving difficult to explain. Of course, if it was easy to explain then this question would not be presenting itself now, in the same way that nobody asks what the sum of 6 and 3 is. This proves that either the level of teaching is dreadful or that the students are stupid or don’t listen. Or all three.


Anyway, consider the acronym BODMAS. Or BIDMAS. Or BEDMAS. Or PEMDAS. They’re all the same thing but the words making them up differ. Whichever you use, they are the order in which operations are performed and the order is as follows:


Brackets (or parentheses)

Orders (such as 22, also referred to as exponents)






Therefore, in the sum above there are implied brackets around 10 x 0 as this operation must be performed first. Rewriting the sum (showing my working-out) should simplify things (although Facebook proves otherwise.


10 + 10 x 0 + 10 =


10 + (10 x 0) + 10 =


10 + 0 + 10 = 20


So, the answer is E. For some reason there seem to be issues with remembering to add the first 10. There’s no reason for this, other than stupidity of course, but there’s certainly a lot to be said for “showing your working-out” if you forget something as elementary as this. Anyway, if you don’t believe me then try the following:



  1. Google it. The top answer is a pretty picture, plus it’s right. Do not look at Yahoo Answers though, it’s where the people who don’t understand Wikipedia go to die.
  2. Put the equation into an Autosum formula in Excel. This too gives the correct answer, unsurprisingly.


Tomorrow we’ll be covering German sentence structure, in particular the “verb, comma, verb” and “time, manner, place” rules. Not really, I can’t be fucking arsed.




Haunted lift prank hilarity.





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