Archive for February, 2009

All right, Goodwin, I think you know what to do

February 27th, 2009

I’m not British, but I lived in England for almost nine years, so I keep an eye on the BBC news. I was reading today about Sir Fred Goodwin. Fred Goodwin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2004 for, let me check… services to medicine… no… services to the community… no… for services to education… no…. services to banking. Yes, that was it. Because becoming a multi-millionaire isn’t reward enough in itself.

Anyway, just under five years later, Sir Fred is on the naughty step for being the world’s worst banker (according to Newsweek).

What is making the news this week is not the Sir Fred’s failure at Royal Bank of Scotland, but the news that his punishment for such spectacular failure is a pension worth £16 million – a pension which he has refused to give up, much to the chagrin of people who want to see bankers pay for their mistakes.

Oh, for the days when a knight of the realm knew what was expected of him when he committed an unacceptable faux pas.

Musing #40

February 19th, 2009

Listening to cool music doesn’t make you cool. People who compose cool music are cool. When you listen to cool music in your car at top volume with the windows down, nobody thinks you’re cool. That’s because you’re a twat.

Dear God…

February 19th, 2009

I read in the news today that oil workers who survived a helicopter crash in the North Sea are thanking You for the miracle of saving them.

Assuming they are right and You got involved, wouldn’t it have been easier for You not to let the helicopter crash in the first place?

And would that be the same You who let fifty people die in a plane crash in New York last week?

Answers via burning bush or vague metaphors in an ancient book, please.

How I got my name

February 18th, 2009

Many people ask why I am called “Nobby”. Usually they ask with a snigger, but I quickly point out that it is spelt without a K.

Well, one day years ago, my friend Manahan The Magnificent saw an ad on TV in which one character addresses the other as “Nobby”. The next day, MTM found me, characteristically, on a pinball machine and shouted “Hello, Nobby” and it stuck. I have no idea why. Anyway, years later, I added the prefix “The Great”, because I am.

Here is the ad that started it all.

Mashed Potatoes

February 16th, 2009

Whenever I make mashed potatoes for guests, their initial observation seems to be, “Oh, you aren’t making them out of a packet.”

No. I make them out of poh-tay-tohs.

Anyway, in my munificence I have decided to share my recipe for scrumbalicious mashed potatoes with you.


  • A fist-sized potato for each person (some people have bigger fists – they need bigger potatoes)
  • Butter (preferably Irish, but whatever local muck you can find will do)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Some kind of grainy mustard, like Dijon
  • Milk
  • Ground black pepper

Optional ingredients are:

  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Sautéed onions
  • Chopped spinach (fresh, not canned or frozen)
  • Grated cheese

Last night I went with chopped spinach and grated cheese.


  • Chop the potatoes into small chunks, this way they boil faster and you are going to mash them up anyway.

  • Boil the potatoes until they are cooked through, but not too soft (test with a fork) – it should take ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Drain the water then stir in the chopped spinach
  • Place the pot on a very low heat and cover for five minutes – spinach just needs to wilt and it’s easy to overcook it, just let the heat of the potatoes do the job

  • Stir in large knob of butter
  • Mash the potatoes, but leave small chunks
  • Stir in milk, mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper
  • No, I don’t know how much of each. What am I? Gordon Fucking Ramsay? The picture below will give you an idea considering the pot contains two fist-sized potatoes.
  • What do you mean, “Whose fist?” – mine of course!

  • Yes, I know this dish isn’t for people who are on a diet. Did I say at the beginning this was low-calorie mash?
  • Stir in a fistful of  grated cheese (I prefer Emmental)
  • Last night I served it with pan-seared wild salmon
  • I say “pan-seared” because it sounds posher than “fried”

Sorry about the quality of the last photo. I didn’t realise it was slightly out of focus until this morning and by then it was too late to retake the shot, as I don’t own one of those fancy, medical cameras. Anyway, I had to sharpen the photo using Photoshop, so it is a little grainy.

And, no, I didn’t add salt. Did you see salt in the list of ingredients? That’s because I didn’t add salt.

Anyway, there you go. Stop complaining about the salt and just go try it.

Musing #39

February 7th, 2009

You are definitely middle-aged when your moles have grey hairs.

Credo II

February 1st, 2009

I have created a slide show for my Credo post. I think it comes across better with visuals.

View more presentations from tgnobby.

Musing #38

February 1st, 2009

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.

Teach a man to fish and he’ll sit on his arse, drinking tea from a flask, for the rest of his life.

Sea kittens

February 1st, 2009

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are campaigning to replace the word “fish” with the phrase “sea kitten” in an effort to create better PR for sea kittens and thus improve their chances of having fishing sea-kittening banned.

Well, this is a fine kettle of sea kittens!

I’m not very familiar with their campaign, so I feel a bit like a sea kitten out of water in writing this post. I wanted to know more, so I went to their website on a sea-kittening expedition but at the risk of being considered insensitive to PETA’s ideals (a cold sea kitten, if you will), something smells sea-kitteny around here. Their logic seems to be that cuddly things should be protected for the sake of their cuddliness and if you give something a cuddly name, it becomes cuddly and therefore should be protected. This logic seems spurious. PETA have some strong arguments for the protection of certain sea kitten species and I feel they weaken those arguments when they come out with a campaign such as this. It makes it all too easy to mock PETA, like shooting sea kittens in a barrel, thus drawing attention away from any valid arguments they might have.

PETA seem to believe they can turn the whole world vegan. If so, they are living in a sea kitten bowl. My opinion doesn’t matter, of course, but my ballog is a small pond and I’m the big sea kitten in it.

Still, if PETA’s campaign does not succeed, I’m sure they will come up with something else.

Plenty more sea kittens in the sea.

A sea-kitten yesterday

A sea-kitten yesterday