Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas (to all our valued clients!)

On the phone Friday afternoon, for a spot of last minute off-the-cuff legal advice before the world shuts down for the next two weeks, the lawyer wishes Mine Host a "Merry Christmas" before engaging in a brief 45 seconds or so of chitter-chatter about what our respective Christmas plans are.

Thus the phone call extends into an extra 6-minute chargeable block.  This really puts to the test Mine Host's seasonal "goodwill to all mankind" resolve.

Call rate is charged at $48 per 6-minute block.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Twit Twitters a Tweet

Copied below is a brief twitter exchange from earlier this week.  It is between two well known people and has attracted a minor amount of attention from the news media.

One quick read of it and the phrase "we've a couple of anti-gun crazies here" leaps into the head.
Several people have taken umbrage at Mine Host's assessment.  Some of them quite a deal of umbrage.
This has been somewhat puzzling.

Clearly both of these pundus are in the anti-firearm camp. But that is a side issue.
I've made inane banter with all who've brought it to my attention, believing they can see what I see.  However many remain cold, or even somewhat cross.  Perhaps some people are far more laymen when it comes to firearms that you'd imagine.

A thought popped into the head just now;
Am I the only one who can see the glaring error in the tweet?   (It is glaring to me).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Serious Breach

Any venue with a liquor licence must maintain a "Manager's Register."

This register must be available at all times for inspection by an officer of the Liquor Licencing Division (all police officers hold the office of "Liquor Inspector").

The register must show that at all times there is a licenced manager on duty.  (i.e. someone who holds a "Licenced Venue Manager's Licence" - sort of like a driver's licence).

For each manager the register shows:
Time started
Time finished
Licence no.
Name of manager

The Wayside Tavern downloaded the register from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

On a certain evening a police officer from the (cough) specialist Liquor Enforcement section of Qld police called to inspect the register.

As a result of his inspection he issued a citation to the Wayside Tavern, reason: The register incorrectly formatted.

The specific breach:  The columns for print name and signature were separated by a single vertical line.

The citation stated that these columns must be demarcated by a double vertical line.

In case anyone missed it above:  The Wayside Tavern was using the Manager's Register downloaded from the website of the Liquor Licencing Division.

It should be noted here that nowhere in the Queensland Liquor Act is there any mention of what such a register should look like, or what information it must contain, the act merely mandates that a manager's register must be kept.

You couldn't make it up!

Premier Campbell Newman:  Keep-on-firing-them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Clueless Partisanship

When Mine Host was a nipper in school, one dictionary that we were not allowed to use was the "Macquarie Dictionary".

The teachers would not allow it, for exactly the same reason we kids loved it:  It contained all the swearwords, obscenities, foul language plus any & all "rude" words.

Oxford was the only dictionary allowed, though Cambridge was not actively discouraged.  Webster was prohibited on the grounds of being being the anti-christ (as it should be - Mine Host is a John Quincy Adams supporter, and thus of the belief that Noah Webster should have been thrown down a well or something.)

But Noah Webster, even if incredibly misguided, was at least fair dinkum about language.  The teachers at school recognised his (misguided) efforts, but regarded the Macquarie Dictionary as nothing more than a sick joke.

Credible dictionaries are collaborative efforts by a large group of scholars.
The Macquarie dictionary has only ever had input from pretty much one person.  Ever.

This fact was not known when we were at school.  It became obvious several years later when the person who writes it made a series of television appearances, salaciously using foul language, right there on TV, without a thought for decorum or decency.

Mine Host, watching this, thought: that ain't a bad way to get out of being arrested for using foul language, or being hauled before some commission for swearing on TV; write yourself a dictionary, put all the obscenities into it, then strut around in public using those same words.

When the public was shocked by the language used, the author of this dictionary feigned ignorance, and cluelessly stated (paraphrased): "I didn't realise words such as Faaahk, Can't, & others were considered bad"

Being too clueless to realise some words are too foul for television, or decent society, is not what one should profess, not when one aspires to being an arbiter of the English language.

There are also significant differences between the Macquarie definition of many words, and the Oxford/Cambridge definition of those same words.  One can imagine Mine Host's distress upon arriving at a courthouse for a hearing, to discover that the Australian courts use the (choke) Macquarie dictionary as the final arbiter of a definition.  Oh-My-God!

Given the above mentioned public demonstrations of cluelessness by the author of that dictionary, Mine Host knew how reliable the Macquarie was going to be.

This brings us to the recent incident that brought reputational fallout to the Macquarie dictionary such that it likely will never recover any of the former gravitas it may once have held:

The Prime Minister used a word wrongly in parliament.  (Yep, the same Prime Minister who is a qualified lawyer, a profession that owes its very existence to the fact that words have meanings, didn't know the correct definition of a word!)

This caused the Prime Minister some embarrassment.

The author of the Macquarie Dictionary sprang into action, announced that the meaning of this word had "changed", thus the Prime Minister had been "correct".

This event had an air of rushing in to protect an ideological comrade, rather than an authentic attempt to codify our language.

So the committee (cough) of the Macquarie Dictionary had an extraordinary meeting to change the definition of this word, thus making the Prime Minister "right".

This sort of stuff used to happen in the Soviet Union.

It does not happen in free countries.

The pages of the Macquarie Dictionary are too small to use for dunny paper, but they are of just the right size to use for rolling cigarettes.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Do I look like a walking calculator?

One of the drinks in the bar at the Wayside Tavern is priced at $10 (Ten Dollars).

On a quiet afternoon, one of the regulars is in a school of four, and orders 4 (four) of this drink.

When the barmaid serves up the 4 (four) drinks [@$10 each] the customer asks what the total price will be.

The barmaid smiles sweetly and announces that she'll just have to "...go back to the cash register and check".

.... Back at the cash register she reads the total, looks up and cheerfully announces that "Four of those will $40".

So continues life behind the bar!

Friday, December 07, 2012

No Lifting....!

The Occupational Health and Safety officer mentioned in the previous post was a tad over-zealous when he mandated "4 points of contact" for anyone climbing a stair/ladder, but once he'd made the blunder he wasn't going to back off from it.

His aim was to make it impossible for anything to be carried up the ladder.

In his excitement at being able to make life hard for a business, he failed to notice his directive was actually impossible.

The purpose of the Wayside Tavern's ladder access to the loft was to carry stuff up, or to carry stuff down.

Combine this with the fact that the carrying/storage was for commercial purposes and he couldn't resist issuing a directive that would prevent use of the loft.....

.... For despite the his job title his main interest is not to improve safety, but to hamstring businesses.

Being too lazy/incompetent to write such a manual himself, he issued a directive that the Wayside Tavern was to write a procedure manual for climbing a ladder.

You couldn't make it up!

To Premier Campbell Newman:  Keep-on-firing-them!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Safer Workplace

A government inspector, from the "Office of Occupational Health & Safety" made a visit to the Wayside Tavern.

He was there to inspect an area in the back of house that had "been reported" as having an "unsafe" method of climbing into a loft.

The inspector assessed the ladder used to get to the loft and as it was simply a common step-ladder, declared it "unsafe".

The inspector issued a requisition that a new ladder be installed, this one to have "bannister rails" (would you believe?), and that the employer was to write up a formal "ladder climbing procedure" (to be signed by any/all staff before they climed this ladder).

Included in the procedure was to be the requirement that any person climbing this ladder must at all times maintain 4 (four) points of contact with the ladder.

.... Anyone wondering why the new state government is going to fire 20,000 public servants, will have part of the answer by reading the above.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Customer Confidentiality

One of the staff from the Wayside Tavern struts into the bank.
This person is often entrusted to carry a deposit to the bank and deposit it over the counter, and that is the full extent of their involvement with banking matters.
They are not a signatory or in any way authorised on any bank account belonging to the Wayside Tavern.

Upon fronting the counter this staff member enquires of the teller:

"Does my boss have any bank accounts that I don't know about?"

The teller gazes at their screen and taps some keys on their console.
"Yes, here's an account which you probably don't know about"

"I didn't know that particular account existed" says the staff member, looking at the screen, "I'd like to know what activity there has been on that account."

"There's actually a fair bit of activity" responds the teller, "in fact too much to tell you about.  The account also maintains a significant cash balance!"

The teller then prints statements for the year to date (nine months worth), and hands them over the counter.


Clarification:  The major sin in this tale is by the bank.
The staff member's sin is most minor alongside that committed by the bank officer.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Did he really want the job?

An application for an executive level job progresses through the following stages:
  • Emailed application from the applicant, including resume & cover letter.
  • Return email & brief email exchange.
  • A few telephone calls from Mine Host to applicant.
  • Skype call.
  • Face-to-face interview.
For an interview with a particular candidate, Mine Host travelled 1700km.  A not particularly long distance in the scheme of selecting key staff.

The candidate was bordering on 60 years of age. An ideal age for executive level applicants.

The candidate brought his sister into the interview.

Oh boy!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

You want me to serve THAT?

This happens from time to time, happened again today:
Fresh bar staff on the payroll.
Is either new to bar work, or new to the sharp end of the bar trade.
Induction goes well, lots of enthusiasm, doesn't have to be told anything twice, actually understands why we do some things (as opposed to doing it "because the boss says so")
Then when presented with a real live blue collar customer, in a public bar, she spins around and barks indignantly:
"You want me to serve that....?"

 Crikey we lose some promising staff that way.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Union Air

Air France!
With a particularly unhappy dose of the flu, I boarded a flight that was to be of 15 hours duration.
My throat felt like razor blades.  I looked forward to a drink of water, which would have been a lifesaver!

It was 10 hours into the flight before a cabin crew came near to me, and grudgingly provided a drink of water.

I saw the cabin crew for the second time just before landing, when they distributed a "feedback on our cabin service" card, then whisked it away before I could fill it in.

Thus Air France will forever hold a special place on Mine Host's list of unhappy memories.

The only people to arrive rested were the cabin crew.  Their union is retarding that airline, & their national reputation (such as it may be, cough).

Monday, November 05, 2012

Bayonet Charge!

Overheard by one of the candidates during a presidential election debate:

"...we've... got less horses & bayonets nowdays..."   and:
"... submarines.... you know, those ships that go under the sea..."

There are many differences between the US Navy and ours (eg, the US Navy does not have a swimming test - if you can't do two laps of an olympic pool while fully clothed, it is no impediment to enlistment) however, if the informal rules on misuse of teminology are anything like the same, there are a whole lot of sailors right now seething that when they used the wrong word, they had to buy a 24-pack of beer for every man on the boat, while the clueless commander-in-chief gets off scot free!

And... is any reader with a source inside the US armed forces able to confirm the commander-in-chief's statement that bayonets are no longer issued at the ratio of one per grunt?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

ABC hubris

Favourite moment of the ABC's tally room coverage of the recent Northern Territory election:

When it became clear that the ALP government had been voted out, a distraught Kerry O'Brien instructed (yep, instructed) a member of the new government, to not change any of the policies of the [defeated] ALP, because the voting pattern had indicated an affirmation of ALP policy.

You couldn't make it up!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cash Burning Hole in Pocket!

In an undisclosed overseas country, Mine Host props up the bar, his only accompaniment a glass of champagne.

In the almost empty bar the late night conversation is between two foreign (western) women and the bartender (a local).

Mine Host cannot help but overhear the bartender talk to the two women of the sad tale of a proposal for a resort development by a foreign entrepreneuer.  A development that had been scotched from afar, by the national government acting under pressure from various groups.

The bartender's meaning:  A great opportunity lost for the people of his district, in the form of jobs, brand naming of the district on the international tourist scene, and ancillary development, jobs businesses, etc.  Perhaps his kids wouldn't have needed to have moved away, or overseas, to find a life.

The response of the only of the two of the vapid western women still able to string a sentence together:
(She'd completely missed the bartender's meaning.....)
"Haha, the [overseas developer] will just have to go & spend all his money at home on fancy cars, luxury holidays & new villas, ha ha ha ha....."

The bartender, bland faced, said nothing....

Mine Host near choked on his champagne.  Yes, people really are this stupid.  Seeing a resort development only in terms of how much money it will make for the developer (making money is baaad).... and being stupid enough to think that 100% of the cost of constructing the resort was discretionary disposable cash burning a hole in the developer's pocket.

One supposes that there are, somewhere, developments that are not done with borrowed money, but such circumstance would be very rare.

Even less likely would be a developer, who when stymied by vapid western green groups, just spends an equal amount of money on lifestyle.


Have either of the two women mentioned above ever heard of the phrase "raising capital", or thought about the meaning behind that phrase?

Have either of them thought of how they seem, laughing to a resident of a district with limited economic propects, at how the district, on the whim of already affluent pressure groups, being arbitrarily denied a life-changing chance at some of the properity enjoyed by those same two women?

They walk among us........

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Stupid. Got a degree, but still stupid.

It is of constant amazement to Mine Host how many people consider themselves to be "worldly-wise" and "broad-minded" whilst actually being as dumb as a box of rocks.

The gurus behind security have just been added to that list.

Doubtless these code writers have a tertiary education, likely a swish degree in something difficult.

Since the date of the previous post, Mine Host has been at a geographic location he's never before been to.  Attempts to log in to blogger are met with:

[Looks like you are attempting to log in from an unusual location]
[Please type in the name of the city where you usually log in]

Fine.  A security measure, in case some russian hacker in vlottastock or somewhere has obtained username & password.

So Mine Host types in the name of the town where he usually logs in.

However the really excellent blogger software stated that Mine Host had entered the wrong town.

Mine Host is many things, but he is aware enough to know which town he is in.  However to satisfy the gods of blogger he enters every town where he has logged in to this blog.

Nothing worked, all were the wrong town.

To cut a long story short, login attempts were refused until just now Mine Host typed in the name of a distant city, the same distance from him as Cairns is from Melbourne.

Bingo!  Blogger recognised it as the usual location.

No it isn't you university educated morons.  It is merely the city where his ISP stores many of their servers.  There is no reason for any person to imagine that this place is being logged as the "city where you usually log in".

To repeat:  These blogger security people not only went to university, they passed their exams!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Video Evidence

After a few months on the payroll at the Wayside Tavern, Gertrude Frump presented with a medical certificate, saying she had sustained a back injury at work, and would be unfit for any duties until such time as the second coming occurred.

In her claim she made much of the "injury" that happened to her "at work", and of how she could now barely bend over, was unable to perform even basic household tasks, blah blah blah.

Workcover phoned to:
1/. Request paperwork on her rate of pay, etc.
2/. Request any other information regarding the "injury".

Mine Host assured Workcover he'd forward payroll details, and mentioned that the claim was bogus.....
..... the security camera footage of the hours and days subsequent to the "injury" did not show any sign of a back injury.
...... she was shown for the several hours after the "injury" leaping about like a young gazelle, handling heavy loads, etc. until her shift ended.
......a few days later she helped carry an entire lounge suite up the back stairs of the Wayside Tavern.  This took more than an hour, and was heavy lifting the entire time.

Thus Mine Host offered to make copies of all this damning CCTV evidence, and forward it to Workcover.

The young lady from Workcover said guardedly that they "like to see these sort of things", as it was of invaluable assistance in uncovering bogus claims.

Several CDs containing 6 hours of very damning video files were posted to Workcover.

Several days later, having heard nothing from Workcover, and with curiosity consuming him, Mine Host telephoned the young lady.

The Workcover inspector lady at first had no recollection of who Mine Host was, or to what he was referring.

When it became clear that Mine Host was not going to be put off, and was wanting to know what Workcover inspectors thought of the video footage, she remembered the case, and the video files.

In a heated and antagonistic tone of voice she curtly barked at Mine Host:

"That video supports her claim!"


Gertrude Frump, due to being "unable to perform even the simplest household tasks, because of her work injury", was on full worker's compensation for 6 months.

During that time she left her husband of 20 years, spending the 6 months living in a house shared by several single tradesmen.  She did all the housekeeping and cooking for them in return for a free room, bed with whichever housemate she chose, and payment in cash.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Volunteer Plumber

Vandalism to the premises by members of the public is a never ending battle for publicans.
This criminal activity is usually conducted out of public view.   In these times of security cameras, vandalism is mostly inside the toilets, where not only are there no security cameras, but a little bit of personal privacy is granted.

A common activity is to smash a beer glass into a toilet bowl, then defecate copiously upon it, creating a nasty & very septic booby trap for the cleaning staff, as the only way to clean this is painstakingly, by hand.

There is a very special place in the heart of all Wayside Tavern staff for the anonymous ghosts who perform such acts, as we've all had a go at cleaning up these types of mess.

However, sanctimonious refusal to allow security cameras anywhere near the toilets is a two-edged sword!

On a certain evening one of the guards, patrolling the gents toilets, happens to interrupt a male person in an act of vandalism.  The guard advises the event via two-way radio.

Mine Host & two more guards attend post-haste.  There is a lot of pent-up vengeance being brought to this incident.

The male person is being detained by the guard who caught him.

The offender had ripped open the supposedly man-proof cistern cover, reefed a handful of pipes from the cistern, twisted them, dropped them into the toilet bowl, then defecated upon them.

The vandalised plumbing is still in situ.

The three guards subtley edge closer to the male.  Well aware of the precariousness of his situation, the offender is visibly shaking with fear.
There are no cameras in here, no witnesses, and no cops.

The guards advise the male person that he will remove, with his bare hands, the damaged plumbing from the toilet bowl, sanitize it, repair it and fit it from whence it came, then clean out the toilet bowl.

The offender states that he's "Not putting [his] hands in there!"

In a realistic tone of voice, the guards state that unless he does, they'll thrash him to within an inch of his life.  The menace in the air is palpable.

The guards don't much mind which way it goes.  They've had their turns at cleaning up after animals like this.

The offender realises from the look in the eyes of the guards that whichever of the guards who hits him first will punch him on the point of the nose, but be aiming for the back of his head.

... for those who haven't been around violence, this does not mean that he'll be hit from behind.....

The offender turns white, and shaking with fear, proceeds to do as ordered.  The supervision is most intense!

After the repairs are complete, the offender is removed most forcefully from the premises and advised to never return.

So continues life behind the bar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Commercial Awareness

There are some things to not do at a job interview.
Some examples:
  • Wear sunglasses pushed up on top of the head.
  • Dress casually.
  • Overtly display necklaces/gold chains.
  • Say stupid things.
Recently an applicant for a senior role remarked in conversation that were he as "rich" as Gina Rinehart, he'd use the money for "good" instead of being "greedy and wanting more".

This automatically vetoed his job application.

That Reason: It demonstrates lack of commercial awareness.

The Wayside Tavern is a commercial enterprise.
The Wayside Tavern is self funding.

The very minute the Wayside Tavern stops making a profit, it ceases to exist.
The very minute the Wayside Tavern stops making a profit, every member of the staff loses their job.

Thinking of money as something to give away, is fine for someone on the dole, in the armed forces, in the church, etc., but not in a commerical business!

Almost every business in the land (almost certainly this includes Gina Rinehart) is mortgaged or otherwise beholden to lenders.

If a business is valued at (say) ten million dollars, it does not mean the owner has the option of converting it all into $10,000,000 in banknotes tomorrow morning, putting it under a mattress, and spending it on beer, snacks, dancing girls or perhaps giving $10,000,000 to the needy.

A business is a treadmill, demanding inordinate amounts of the owner's time, without regard to a social calendar.

A business valued at (say) ten million dollars has two options:
Stop trading, in which case there'll be not much left after the fire sale, and the owner will quite likely have to get a job.
Pursue profit, in the hope of keeping one's head above water (financially).
This latter is a constant battle.

In a key role, in a commerical enterprise, there is no room for someone who is not commercially aware!

Heck, this bloke probably believes that all that money in the cash register in Grace Bros. is "pure profit - cash in hand, not bad work if you can get it?"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Noisy Street March in the City

In the big smoke on business yesterday, Mine Host (and everybody else in the CBD) couldn't help but hear a noisy mob on the street below.

Windows were popping open everywhere, as people strived for a better view of the unfolding event below. Police were at the scene.

Yep! Sailors of the R.A.N. marching to a brass band, through the streets of central Cairns!

A similar event happened yesterday in Sydney, but a vastly different mob, with a vastly different outcome, and a vastly different level of public support. As reported by Boy on a Bike.

Going Viral

One could post about the advisability of clicking on the wrong part of an unsavoury website, or the benefits of keeping one's anti-virus up to date......

..... but it is when all your auto-storage of passwords is consigned to history that the full impact of losing one's usual computer hits home.

One could post on the joys & hardships of trying every password combination possible, only to be locked out of websites by this message: Account suspended due to too many password attempts.

... Mine Host has now winched up a bucket of water from the memory well, and has drunk the elixir contained therein. All passwords are now stored in the super safe location of an A4 page blu-tacked to his office wall, in a word document in every computer, on a card carried in his briefcase, inside his suitcase, and just about everywhere else except tattooed upside down on his tummy.

Regular posting will now resume.....

Thursday, September 06, 2012

How to Withdraw a Job Application

On the phone to a shortlisted applicant for an executive level position, Mine Host apologises for being a couple of days returning the call. He offers one of the most well-used cover stories there is: "I've been a bit tied up with a few contracts".
Translation: "I don't have to explain myself to you, and I won't be"

"Are you some sort of Gina Rinehart type?" asks the applicant.

Mine Host laughingly states that there are "many differences" between him & the minerals magnate Gina Rinehart.

The candidate then kills their application:

"Glad to hear you're different to her. I just don't understand her greed. If I had that much money, I'd be using it to help people, rather than being greedy with it!"

That did it, Mine Host is many things, however he is not silly enough to let someone with such a mindset to get anywhere near his rice bowl.

How can anyone with that attitude expect to be hired for a job that requires them to do some actual thinking?

UPDATE: There have been a few emails from distant acquaintances, (who it should be noted, aren't in executive level positions) expressing puzzlement at "what is wrong" with the above statement by the job candidate.

For the information of those who are fortunate enough to have not faced the bailiff, the receiver, or had a "no coffee no biscuit" interview with the bank, and thus perhaps have not had economic reality enforced on them, tomorrow's post shall bring enlightenment!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Kafka in Qld

It is after closing time. The customers are all off the premises, only staff remain.

At the exit from the premises, a few staff & some police chat idly, watching the the crowd disperse.

Twenty minutes elapse.

A woman approaches from out of view further along the street, reaches into her handbag and removes a bottle of liquor and takes a swig.

A police officer writes her a ticket for drinking in public. He seizes then destroys the alcohol.

The police officer then walks over to the nearest member of Wayside Tavern staff, and with the words "I'm sorry mate, but I have to do this" writes the staff member a ticket for $600 for "Allowing liquor to be removed from the premises after hours."

The staff member is struck dumb, he's spent the past 20 minutes chatting to the police officer. In that time they haven't seen this woman, she's just walked along the street from somewhere else.

All of this is supported by the Wayside Tavern CCTV.

The staff member has a choice:
1/. Pay the $600 personally, or
2/. Challenge the fine in court, at a cost of say $5,000. (If he wins he will be unable to claim any costs.)

This is not a typical example of what can happen to individuals under the provisions of the Queensland Liquor Act.

It is an actual example.

This type of thing happens several times every year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Billy Goat Gene

A challenge for anyone who fancies putting together a really complex venn diagram:

Make one of which elected ALP politicians have rooted which other ones. A very large sub-group would be those who have walked out on a spouse in favour of rooting a fellow elected ALP parliamentarian.

The urge to seemingly root anything that moves, without regard to any sense of propriety, seems to be limited to that one political party. (The sub-group of elected ALP parliamentarians who have been convicted of having sexual intercourse with children won't be the smallest group in the venn diagram project - just saying)

Wonder what causes it? And why no other party has the same scale of compulsion the ALP does?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cops are Fair

Scene: Regular meeting between liquor licencees & police, to discuss bad behaviour by the general public.

Dominant comment by officer in charge of police:
"The town will get out of hand unless we stop bad behaviour, and stop it now! I want to see you licencees showing "zero tolerance" for bad behaviour. Don't allow any bad behaviour. From now on police will not be tolerating bad behaviour from anyone!"

The officer in charge then swivels his head, giving all of us the "fish-eye" stare that afflicts cops. He is implying that we publicans are soft on bad behaviour, with resulting flow-on effect giving the town a public disorder problem.

**** ****** *****

Three days later:

Scene: Telephone call to the police station.

Mine Host: "Someone's just come past on the street and smashed a security grill and a window.
The whole event was captured by our street cameras, it is brilliant footage and very clearly shows who he is. We'll make a copy of the CCTV & bring it over to you so he can be charged!"

Police: "Er.... this happened tonight? ..... He's gone home now?.....Um... are you making an insurance claim?...... You're not?..... Er... then do you really need to bring us a copy of your CCTV?..... This sort of thing happens all the time... It is no big deal... It is only a smashed window... ....What do you want us to do about this?.... "

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Channel 10 - Back on the Air!

A couple of weeks ago TV station Channel 10 commenced broadcasting for the first time since sometime in March (a break of about 5 months.)

... or so it would seem to anyone frequenting the Wayside Tavern!

In March Channel 10 was tuned out of every television set at the Wayside Tavern (all 110 of 'em) This isn't difficult, just one tweak at the master control.

For in March the host & hostess of a mid-morning TV show on Channel 10 made belittling & nasty comments about a Victoria Cross recipient.

These comments were made on air.

Channel 10 is free to air what they wish.
Mine Host is free to boycott any channel he wishes. And so he did.

A couple of weeks ago the airhead themed morning TV show was cancelled.
Thus Channel 10 is now back on the air at the Wayside Tavern!

In public circumstances (such as a TV appearance) a VC recipient is representative of all who have served, and of all who fell.

To publicly denigrate, belittle, and show disdain to a VC recipient, (going about quiet enjoyment of his life) is extremely offensive.

One of the two philistines, George Negus, is an experienced foreign correspondent & television journalist, with decades of reporting behind him.

He knew better. He has no excuse. He deserves to be shunned from polite society. That is, whenever he appears in public, or private, all should turn their backs to him. (Similar to when military cadets "shun" one of their own for a breach of honour).

The hostess, lacking Negus' worldly experience & perhaps not as capable of meeting the challenge of understanding the discretions & norms of wider society, still should have known better.

Confronted with community & viewer ire (on a grand scale) and with sponsors withdrawing cash from the programme, they each gave a Claytons apology.

They then went on to make some incredibly stupid statements. All of which indicated a total & complete tin ear for the sentiments of decent society. Example: They claimed to be "anti-war", as if that implies a free pass to insult & sneer at the memory of war dead.

Columnist Andrew Bolt (a Channel 10 presenter, whose own show hasn't been seen at the Wayside Tavern during Channel 10's blackout) made possibly the stupidist excuse for them Mine Host has ever read:

Mr. Bolt, who is himself apt to make contentious comments at times, but always conducts himself as a gentleman, does himself no credit by saying that morning TV is a difficult gig, and saying nasty stuff is okay, as it can be "very difficult to think of things to say to fill the hour".

Bunkum! When faced with air time to fill, one is not compelled to say horribly nasty things about people.

The remarks in question were not said in isolation. The hostess, whose media career has rightly disappeared *poof*, did not just suddenly decide out of the blue to say nasty stuff about a national hero.

This sort of comment is built up over time. It was something she was comfortable saying.

In all the months (before spontaneously airing it) the remark was germinating in her psyche, at all the gatherings it (or similar) was aired, to all the people in her social & work circles who conversed with her, not one of them had seen fit to pull her up or correct her.

This speaks volumes.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


"..and how will you be establishing credit with us sir?"

So spoke the receptionist handling Mine Host's check-in to a fancy hostelry in USA.

First impressions are meaningful. Sometimes a first impression is too bad to recover from.

Mine Host's nostrils flared. Never would he dare to speak to a client with such phraseology. Offended, nay borderline riled, Mine Host presents his credit card, vowing to not spend one brass razoo at this hotel beyond the room charge. Extending the stay? Not a hope, buddy!

The receptionist, with that one abrasive phrase, has guillotined any chance of Mine Host raiding the mini-bar, dining in-house, or using the telephone.

In a case of most unfortunate timing, Mine Host had spent the previous hour regaling his travelling companion with tales of how the American hotel industry is a world leader in how they handle matters at reception.

First impressions count.

It speaks volumes for the hospitality of the people & positive atmosphere of the nation, that most anyone who has visited the USA is actually able to recover from the first impression that is dished out by the immigration officer at passport control.

Using the scientific sample size of every border crossing he has ever made into the USA, Mine Host authoritavely states that commnist countries, with all the frigid baleful glares they could muster up for a representative of a "non-fraternal" nation, were never as unwelcoming as is the typical immigration officer with which one is confronted when entering the USA.

For a contrasting and very positive first impression, visit New Zealand, which has possibly the world's most friendly & disarming passport control officers.

First impressions count. One enters New Zealand feeling positively buoyant!

Friday, July 27, 2012


In the USA on business, Mine Host is delighting in the constant reminders of the quaint cultural differences between his crass homeland and the delightfully charming United States of America.

Each day, and at almost every interaction with a local, one is thrilled at the delightful reminder of what a thoroughly polite person is the ordinary Joe or Josephine in the street.

Ozzis can be polite & charming, but there is a special something about the courteous manner of US citizens.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Everbody, at least once in their life, should see Disney's Electric Main Street Parade.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fight called off

Any boxing fan's heart would have been gladdened at the recent prospect of the great nation of South Korea engaging in a spot of whaling.

Besides the joy of seeing the usual suspects have conniptions at the idea, Mine Host was somewhat looking forward to the vicarious thrill of watching the Sea Shepherd organisation take on some South Korean fishermen.

It'd be a brief contest. The first good whack in the gizzard & Sea Shepherd runs crying to teacher.

Koreans, for those who've never familiarised themselves with the breed, are a very tough bunch. Sea Shepherd on the other hand are a pretty gutless collection of hippies & other dickheads, with serious form when it comes to running from a fight (a fight they started).

Alas it is not to be. The government of South Korea has announced they'll not be whaling after all.

Hah! Fooled all you worldwide people didn't they...!!

So we won't be treated to the sight of oxygen theives whining at the outcome of them sailing up to some Korean workingmen on the high seas, and trying to destroy these men's livelihood & property.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Salvo for the Salvos

For those who really did have too much time on their hands recently, there was a brief bit in the news about some pop star braying on...

... about how people intending to donate money to them, should first consider the attitude of the Salvation Army toward homosexuals.

Fair enough. One would presume that this is already considered by those whose sympathies lean heavily toward homosexuality.

Mine Host is not keen to give to the Salvation Army, for similar reasons.

Specifically their attitude toward those who are not Christians. At one stage in a previous life of Mine Host, the Salvation Army called for an army of volunteers to assist with good works in a time of crisis....

.....the local community arrived by the horde. The Salvos refused them. Not for their ethicity, but because they were of a non-theistic religion. The packaging of relief parcels, & other desperately needed good works, remained forever incomplete.

Mine Host has never given to the Salvation Army since.

Grudgingly Mine Host allows them to shake the tin once a week in his bars (the only persons allowed to do so), but doesn't put money in himself.

On occasion, Mine Host has offered to evict and never readmit the Salvation Army, when some of their younger members have gone too far in badgering patrons for money.

While the angry & outraged pop star may bang on loudly about the attitude of the Salvation Army toward homosexuals (they aren't impressed by them & prefer to not have them as members) one can only imagine the spluttering incandesence this pop star must have toward Islam.

A religion in whose name homosexuals are strangled by hoisting them with a crane.

A google search for this pop star's proportionate condemnation of Islam brings up ... .... ... nothing.

.... If you're in down & out in Brisbane (& presumably other cities) the Salvos are often the only people who will give you a feed, and they'll always do it.....
....If you're on the front line defending this country, the nearest civilians will be the Salvos, right up there close, providing cups of hot tea, & a friendly non-military word for a digger, and they've always been there..

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Girly Boys

The 2006 soccer world cup: Australia, not previously a noted soccer nation, made it through the group stage into the knockout rounds, rather an achievement.

When the Australian team was defeated in the first knockout round (which was only by the skin-of-their-teeth) they took it like men. The victors in that match, Italy, went on to win the contest.

Though they defeated the Australian team, the Italian team was unable to play better, winning only by resorting to crying like babies and pretending to be injured and sobbing in pain after clashing with Australian players.

In Mine Host's worldview, sport is underpinned by two basic tenets:
1/. Sportsmanship
2/. Courage

The Italian team has neither. This reveals an acute and chronic lack of masculinity in Italian culture.

Mine Host grew up knowing only two sports: Rodeo and Rugby League. These two sports are known for many things. However they are not known for producing crybabies.

Indisputably, Italy is made of softer stuff.

Result: Mine Host, & doubtless every other Australian with red blood in their veins, views the Italian soccer team with justifiable contempt.

Those with too much time on their hands the past couple of weeks will have noticed the occassional news item about the Italian soccer team. (Yawn)

Apparently there was some sort of soccer contest in Europe, or something. (Yawn)

Anyway, the news items were about how various suburbs & ethnic groups in our otherwise great nation, were supporting the Italian team.

It defies belief that any Australian would be seen dead supporting this bunch of effeminate, lacy panty wearing eunuchs.

If this once great nation has entire suburbs & ethnic groups who have no shame about being publicly seen supporting a disgraced team of pansies, then the multicultural experiment has gone way too far!

This nation was built by hand. One feels for the ghosts of the men who cut cane by hand along the Queensland coast, for they must be mortified to think that such effeminate conduct was done in the name of their "old country".

For those who live the easy 21st century life in the inner city suburbs of the big smoke, a lifestyle that owes its thanks to generations before them who toiled in the sun by hand: Showing support for the feminine cissies of the Italian soccer team clearly demonstrates you are not people worthy of inheriting the land that my ancestors built by hand.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Working for their Members.... 2

Qld trade unions, mostly the public service unions, have of late engaged in much renting of garments.

They have protested outside parliament house, made hot & furious comments into TV cameras, and stated how terrible things are now in Qld... blah blah blah...

This the the squealing of the spoilt child who is told they can't have an extra dessert.

Under the previous government the public service, particuarly the clerical functions, enjoyed the status of "most favoured child".

Where were these unions (supposedly so concerned about their members) when under the erstwhile state government nurses were going weeks (& months) without pay?

That was the time to go on strike, to stand in "solidarity" with their sisters who toiled in hospitals, to really kick up a fuss, etc.

Instead there was nary a peep.

So why the sudden (& hypocritical) whingeing now, over lesser issues?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Working for their Members......

The groovy new government in the mighty state of Queensland, is coming up with lots & lots of much needed changes.

Things which due to the inertia of modern politics, we never dared imagine we'd ever see happen!

A proposed law will be that trade unions will not be able to make donations to political parties without this first being put to a vote of the members of that union.

This concept of members having input into what is done with their money is new for trade union leaders.
They can barely grasp this principle.

A horrifed trade union leader was on TV the very night this proposed law was suggested.....

..... without any sense of irony, he said that having members vote on political donations would be undemocratic.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Day 1 - So far it Works!!

Lovely spring day today! Birds chirping, warm sunlight. Mine Host strolled barefoot in the garden, basking in the warmest & most pleasant day in weeks!

Obviously Mother Gaia is pleased about the carbon tax, and is smiling upon the world!

In other carbon tax news, this site has been blessed by the economic insight of James, who in yesterday's comments provides the valuable suggestion that Mine Host may wish to consider some equipment maintenance.

Gee, why didn't I ever think of that! Maintenance! Who'da ever thunk it?

Guru James suggests also that having the living daylights slugged out of you financially (the carbon tax) will "incentivise" (now there's a word for you) one into an "upgrade" of equipment. James, clearly more a believer in the "stick" than the carrot, makes no mention of where the money will come from for said upgrade.

Nor does James provide any insight into a source for the money for his next bright idea: "New Equipment which uses less electricity".

James hasn't thought this one through.

Mine Host knows where this money comes from:

Yep! Price Rises.

Price rises are how businesses (including the Wayside Tavern) will fund the extra costs caused by the carbon tax. Price rises are how the supplier discussed in yesterday's post, and his suppliers, will fund these things.

Somebody has to pay. It will be the final consumer (and can only ever be).

Australia is about to start sending hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars overseas, to purchase fresh air.

This concept, called by the govt "buying carbon credits" is known elsewhere as a "gift to an overseas country".

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tomorrow it Begins.....

As the first move in an act of economic hari-kiri, tomorrow Australia unsheathes the big knife, ready to disembowel itself (economically).

Yep! The Carbon Tax.

Mine Host, like many, had little clue about how much damage this tax was going to do.

Then yesterday one of his suppliers drops by the office for an informal chat. This man is very worried, & with good reason.

The product supplied by this man, a non-saleable item for which there is no alternative, currently costs the Wayside Tavern $20,000 per year.

Tomorrow that price rises to One Hundred and Seventy Thousand Dollars per year.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gillard Stops the Boats!

....Australian fishing boats that is.

The Mother-of-all-Marine-Parks is to be created, by turning what seems like just about every square mile of Australian owned ocean from..... er... open ocean into "Marine Park".

Thus for no reason other than an impractical thought bubble that got turned into statute, life has been ruined for people (commercial fishermen) whose contribution has been to work hard all their life, pay tax, and provide food.

On a morning news programme a morbidly overweight middle aged woman, unknown to Mine Host, but likely a minister or lackey thereof (state or federal) announced, through beady piggy eyes, jiggling jowls, & a baleful glare, that this guillotining of their productive life actually presented an "opportunity" to commercial fishermen.

There are many words for the effect on people when their livelihood is being eliminated by statute, but "opportunity" is not among them.

She used the word "opportunity" at least six times.

It is fortunate indeed for Mine Host's TV set that there wasn't a boot or brick handy. This slug of a female was calmly & callously announcing the end of productive people's livelihood (done for no valid reason) as if it were a positive.

(It is not as if the laws were changed to reduce the need for lawyers, accountants, humanities lecturers, or cultural outreach officers, all of whom are a net drain on society - this is the spiking of people who are net contributors to society)

Any criminal defence lawyer worth their salt knows that extremely overweight women are at all costs to be kept off a jury, as they are a particularly harsh & unsympathetic lot. Being on a jury is one thing, one can imagine how much worse it can get by letting people of such unsympathetic character input into nation decision making.

It is disgusting that the members of the government will go on to receive pensions & other comforts, whilst the (former) fishermen go on to penury.

As a noted economist said last week: The only reason Australia has a two-speed economy is that despite its best efforts to do so, the federal government has not yet managed to wreck the mining industry.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

He's Working on Your Case Right Now....

Scene: Telephone conversation.

Mine Host
Junior who works for Mine Host's Lawyer.


Mine Host: [answers the phone] Hello.

Law firm junior: This is Junior Lawyer, on the team of Mr. Bigtime Partner, whom you've been repeatedly attempting to contact by telephone. Regretably he's not available today, is it okay if he telephones you on Monday, or is there something I can help you with today?

Mine Host: There is little you can do today, thank you, just so long as Mr. Bigtime Partner took the required action to handle the opposing lawyers before yesterday's 5pm deadline.

Law firm junior: ......[...extended silence...].........[...very extended...]......

Law firm junior: .....I've written into Mr. Bigtime Partner's diary that he should phone you on Monday..

So continues life as a client of one of the nation's leading law firms.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's for Lunch?

Newshound Mine Host, refers in this post, to the following newspapers:

Melbourne Argus
Queensland Country Life
Daily Telegraph
Sydney Morning Herald
Melbourne Age

Beat that! (for diversity)

Mine Host, an occassional visitor to the (very) big smokes of Sydney & Melbourne, has long & deeply loathed Fairfax newspapers The (Melbourne) Age & the Sydney Morning Herald.....

....because...... you can't read 'em on the train!

Printed on very large sized pages, reading them in the confines of a crowded commuter carriage is no easier than would be folding bed linen.

Good news arrives: These two newspapers shall, early next year, be turned from broadsheet into tabloid. The "able to read aboard trains" market, long the sole domain of the Telegraph or the Sun-Herald, shall finally have some diversity.

This change of page size brings to Mine Host's mind a previous occasion when a broadsheet switched to tabloid:

The major newspaper in Qld is the "Queensland Country Life" (excepting a narrow strip down the coast, this newspaper reigns supreme in Qld) These days a part of the Fairfax empire, QCL was at the time printed on second-hand presses purchased from a newspaper in the far south, the "Melbourne Argus".

For a generation or more, the rural folk of Queensland read about their engagements, obituaries, cattle prices, average yield of the mango crop, etc. on pretty much the same pages as those upon which the Argus had brought the news to generations of Melbourne residents. For reasons that shall become apparent below, those broadsheet pages are fondly recalled by rural Queenslanders who handled them.

Occasional reader, fair dinkum newspaperman, and Melbourne local Bernie Slattery may chime in, on comments below, to give a brief report about the Argus - with focus on the printing press of course.

When the Argus presses reached the end of their economic life, the QCL switched to what is now known as "tabloid" size.

Oh Boy! This change of press size brought plenty of negative reader feedback.

The new smaller sized "Country Life" irritated readers, complaints were many in number, vehement in emphasis!

..... for it transpired that in rural Queensland, where they know what they really want in a newspaper, the new tabloid sized pages were "too small" to wrap a cut lunch properly.

Update: Definition of a "Cut Lunch" (prompted by Dave from Tacoma, in comments)

A "Cut Lunch" is a fulfilling & adequate lunch
For which the consumption of requires no cutlery or crockery
Is prepared at the same time as breakfast
Is carried with one to work, school, the factory, office, wherever
Is of a sufficient robustness to withstand knockabout treatment.
Is cut to size so as to fit into one's saddlebag, lunchbox, or other container.

Usually this is sandwiches (& perhaps some fruit and/or cake).

I'm certain the concept, if not the name, is well known to Dave & other Americans.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One Law for Her, Another for the Rest

Cause of much mirth to Mine Host over the past week or so has been the misguided panic of a coterie of journalists, in regard to the ownership of a pair of newspapers in the deep south.

Yep. The buying of shares in Fairfax by one of Australia's smaller scale mining bosses: Western Australian Gina Rinehart.

Newspapers, as in those printed things you read, are going the same way as the horse & carriage.
The Fairfax newspaper company in particular is so ineptly run, that the only thing people are prepared to bet upon is the actual date it will go bust.

Then along comes someone who actually buys shares in the failing company, and who actually believes in newspapers. (Gina Rinehart)

How do journalists at Fairfax greet their saviour?

With screeching panic, that is how. They bray like donkeys about how terrible it is that she is buying shares.

.....this does not assist one to believe that Fairfax journalists are a particularly bright bunch.

But then, anyone who follows circulation & readership figures (& wickedly compares those to copies sold) will have long known that the numbers of readers being shed by the two main Fairfax newspapers is quite an achievement in its own right.

The journalists at Fairfax are objecting to the very person who is likely to save their jobs.

Except of course, they'll be expected to (ugh) work for their money. Gina Rinehart has the look and manner of one who will not be indulgent of staff indolence.

Mine Host's favourite parts (in a mini-saga that downright bristles with instances of dickheadsmanship)?

1/. The insistence by the Fairfax Board of Directors, of whom none have signed a charter of editorial independence that Gina Rinehart must sign such a document as a condition of getting a seat on the board.

This pre-requisite of quill-must-meet-parchment or you don't sit on the board, has never been required of any other board member.
The only directors to ever so sign their name, were already members of the board when they just up & decided to sign.

2/. The insistence by a coterie of journalists that Gina Rinehard sign "the charter". Or else what....?

For there isn't one such document. There are two. One for the Sydney Morning Herald, and a different one for the Melbourne Age.

These really skilled investigative journalist types, could perhaps brush up on their facts before publicly engaging their mouth. Which of the multiple charters are they insisting she sign?

The same (cough) journalists who can't get it right about the number of charters-of-editorial-independence, simultaneously, & without any sense of irony, are screeching about quality journalism.

Fairfax is known as "fewfacts" for a very good reason. These same (cough) journalists who declare they are producing "quality" journalism, more than anything else are cut-&-paste clerks. They get most of their actual, you know, news from an AAP feed. Occasionally they'll camouflage the AAP feed with a bit of a re-write.

One thing is certain: The sooner the sheltered workshop calling itself Fairfax gets a real boss, the more chance that it may be saved, along with the jobs of some (undeserving) journalists.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Olympic Glory Thwarted!!

Dad in Cleveland Street, Sydney, 3rd of February 1954. This is the first day of Queen Elizabeth II's visit. It is the first time a reigning monarch has set foot in Australia.

By taking this photograph of Dad holding a .303 with fixed bayonet, the unknown friend/relative unwittingly destroyed dad's chances of representing Australia in olympic swimming.

Note: That Lee Enfield is loaded. (Put that in your pipe & smoke it, Olympic Committee pansies!!)

In the nearly 60 years since, dad has never made olympic selection in anything. He now realises that it was due to being photographed with a rifle.

The "Nuremburg defence" seems to have cut no ice with Olympic selectors: "The Sgt. ordered me to do it!" "That's no excuse son, your Olympic swimming career is over!"

Dad wasn't a bad shot. When on the range they were given a magazine each to fire, just to familiarise themselves with the Owen gun. He fired the entire magazine at the steel post beside the 100yd target, hitting it with about half his rounds.

The range officer was speechless.

Dad did even better with the .303, which just happened to be his favourite shooting rifle. The army tested them on the rifle range at 300 yds. Dad, who'd been "Cock of the Walk" the entire year before in his hometown, was accustomed to shooting at 600 yds, thus put in a... .. rather impressive performance, on his ear.

He was a "master marksman" for the rest of his time in the Army.

This is not the first time this event has been written up on this blog.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another Olympic Career Ruined!

Not the first young woman to unwittingly make a poor decision that would affect the rest of her life;

With "one shot - at 150 yds", my Aunt, by posing thus in 1950, stopped both this rabbit and her chances of making the olympic swimming team.

The careful observer will have noticed two things:

1/. Aunty is using the same Brno that I am holding in the previous post. Somewhere in the intervening 40 years dad has fitted a telescopic sight, and I'm using a 10-round magazine, whereas Aunty is using a 5-round flush fitting magazine. (She's a far better shot than I)

2/. Lady rabbit shooters wore far more fashionable shoes in 1950 than they do today!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dog Food

  • One of Mine Host's chores as a kid was to gather dog food.
  • Here he is posing with some freshly obtained dog food
  • It has just been unloaded from the wagon it was collected in.
  • This photo is principally of the wallabies.
  • The brno is there simply because that was easier than leaning it against something.
  • This photo was taken by my Grandmother.
  • Mum helped arrange the pose of the wallabies.
  • ... thus they both unwittingly conspired to destroy my chances of Olympic selection.
  • The angle is quite low, to make me appear taller, as I wanted to seem like a "big kid".
  • Should any moisturiser-using pansy from the Australian Olympic Swimming Committee make so much as one crack about this photo being inappropriate for showing to Mine Host's "grandmother or mother"; then....
  • .....they'll wish to god they'd stayed at home to select dogs & cats for the annual pet show.
  • That is guaranteed!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nappy Change Time!

Recently two members of Australia's olympic swimming team, in the USA for training (Australia has no swimming pools?) posted to facebook, photographs of themselves holding crossed shotguns or pistols (in a local USA gunshop.)

These off-duty photographs sent members of the following groups bonkers:

  • Journalists
  • the swimming team hierarchy
  • The Australian Olympic Committee
Journalism, an occupation in which the cohort of clueless & chattering types is a considerably larger percentage than for most occupations, declared in print & on air, that the "weapons" the swimmers had posed with were the same as "those used in the Port Arthur massacre".

Well, the scary ballistic stuff does come out the end with the round hole in it, but that is about where the comparison to the port arthur weaponry ends.

... But, gee.... why bother to research actual facts, when you can just make it up? After all.... "guns is guns, right?"

Then some feminised bedwetter in the olympic hierarchy (seemingly a masculinity-free zone) declared that the swimmers should only post photos on facebook that you'd want to "share with your mother or grandmother"

...... which is exactly the sort of photograph the swimmers did post on facebook!

The nadir of this farce occurred a few days later when the swimmers returned to Australia. Confronted at the airport by a phalanx of journalists, one of the swimmers stated that it had just been a "bit of fun" & he said he was sorry if anybody had been offended by the photos.

Actually the swimmer's apology was rather a grovelling one. He didn't apologise for the photos, but only for inadvertantly offending anyone who'd seen the photos.

This got the morning TV wankocracy babbling about the "lack of sincerity" in the "clayton's apology" etc etc etc.

What the "journalists" overlooked was that this apology was a sign of the swimmer's lack of character...
.... for in this instance he had nothing to apologise for, and he should not have apologised at all.

Were Mine Host (who has never represented Australia in swimming) to be confronted in similar circumstances about posting on facebook a photo of himself nursing a firearm, he'd advise the journalists, and especially the Australian Olympic Committee, to go & have their nappy changed.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Life's too Short!

Mine Host asks an opinion of his litigation lawyer:

The result, for which Mine Host was billed circa $900, completely ignored one of the two connected circumstances for which advice was required.

Legal advice is like a 100 metre sprint. Stop halfway & you've got nothing.
Legal advice must be complete.

Mine Host is no ingenue around lawyers (their arrogant belief to the contrary notwithstanding.)
Due to hard & expensive experience, instructions by Mine Host to lawyers are:
  • In writing.
  • Concise.
  • Bullet pointed.
Consequently, lawyers who crank up a dispute with Mine Host over the exact nature of their instructions, discover the dispute is quite brief indeed! (These fellers know all about the power of the written word! Nyeh nyeh nyeh!)

How did this particular lawyer handle Mine Host's ire at being billed for an advice that was not only incomplete, but had gone off on a tangent?

The junior who wrote it was a very young female who had been admitted as a solicitor for only a few months. She bristled up properly. (Most unwise, when one is a greenhorn)
The firm was a national firm. Heavy hitters. One of the nation's leading law firms.

Her written response, when asked why she had ignored half the client instructions:

"I decided that I did not have to adhere to your instructions"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Giving away the Farm

A not insignificant area of high quality rangeland in Australia's north is being made available, or "produced", for intensive agricultural use.

There are many problems facing the developer/s of this land: Distance to markets, fauna pests, remote area logistics & consequent high costs, etc.

Mine Host has a familiarity with this patch of land. In total it is not a big area, as far as releases of agricultural land go. About a hundred thousand acres. But in high rainfall & tropical climate. Irrigated, it will be a food bowl.

There is nothing new in this release, except for journalists, who have come down with a case of "gee whiz" & are writing about it as if they have only just discovered Australia has an undeveloped north. (This will be because those journalists have only just discovered that Australia has a vast undeveloped north)

This patch of land has been earmarked for this release, more than 30 years ago, possibly longer. There are no surprises. The people who owned it, & everybody for at least a thousand mile radius has known of the impending land release, just not when it would happen.

Except journalists in the deep south. You know, the "informed & investigative" class.

The (current) federal government has been in negotiations with the government of Communist China, for "the chinese" to be allocated every last acre of this land release, for "the chinese" to farm as they see fit, and for "the chinese" to do as they wish with the resultant farm produce.

This is an outrage!

Mine Host has, for the past several weeks (long before [cough] journalists) "discovered" the event, been lobbying everybody he can pin down.

Mine Host is not without ears to bend, knowing lots of political heavy hitters from both major parties & also industry representative bodies.

This land must not, under any circumstances or conditions, be farmed by anybody but Australians, using practices approved by the relevant state Department of Primary Industries.

In the manner of all previous agricultural land releases, this land should be balloted to Australian farmers, conditional upon them (a) living on their allocated land, and (b) developing it as productive farmland.

Anything else will be as good as treason.

Monday, May 28, 2012


New Office-in-Charge at the police station.

Without informing anybody else, he orders several police officers (male & female) to dress in mufti and of an evening mingle through the pubs. New OiC then calls a meeting between him and the town's main liquor licencees.

At this meeting he berates us no end, about the sort of stuff that the constables had seen in & around pubs (when out of uniform).

Apparently the constables-in-mufti had observed behaviour that people don't exhibit when there is a uniformed copper around.

Gee Sarge, ya don't reckon?

Anyways, the new O-i-C (at this special meeting) berated us publicans about how men had urinated in the street, right beside undercover police ladies, etc etc etc.

And now he, the new broom, was going to knock this sort of conduct out of the publicans of the town......

... about here Mine Host hit his pins to enquire just which publicans had been observed engaging in street activities?

The meaning went right over the head of the really intelligent and brainy new O-i-C. Actually it ran deeper than that.

In his mind publicans knew this was happening, condoned it, and allowed it to happen.

The meeting was to "let you publicans know" that "this stops now!"

I don't know what this dickhead thought he was going to achieve by treating some of the town's leading businessmen like street hooligans (except to convince all of us that he was a dickhead).

Gee, we don't have any power outside our own buildings, and we aren't the ones with the guns & powers of arrest!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Cardboarders

Buenos Aires, when socialising in neighborhood steakhouses, applauding tango musicians, sleeping in soft beds, tipping cabbies extravagantly, browsing wine shops, and hankering after nubile and alluring Argentine honeys, is fine when one is weighed down with Australian dollars at the current extremely favourable exchange rate.

For some, life in the world's greatest city is one of grinding & hopeless poverty. Poverty such as cannot be imagined in Australia, where what passes for poverty is affluence by Argentine standards.

In Ozziland, those living in "poverty" are apt to die from obesity. In one of those trendy cultural differences, morbid obesity is not as prevalent among those Argentinians who experience chronic poverty.

During a short post-lunch stroll, Mine Host snapped the above photo. Not being crass enough to approach the subject to both destroy their dignity, and confirm their social status, Mine Host has merely deemed the fellow to be possibly a member of what is known as "the cardboarders" (that is the best translation I could get anyway). These chaps, many of them former white collar workers suddenly retrenched years ago, eke out a hopeless existence collecting discarded cardboard and turning it in.

There is dual melancholy in this. That what was one of the world's most developed nations has been so badly mismanaged that so much human talent & skill is wasted in such manner, and that people live in such miserable circumstances.

As the fellow in the photograph is walking all accross town searching for cardboard scraps, countless people in Australia will be, at the exact same moment, (whilst filing their nails, or slacking off for a smoke break) be bitching about how hard done by they are to "have" to front up at their workplace for eight hours.

Makes one ashamed of one's countrymen. I'd like to do a level swap, a planeload of cardboarders exchanged for a planeload of bludgers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Argentina (again!)

Mine Host's positive opinion of Argentina is well known.
Visiting Buenos Aires on business (as you do), Mine Host has just hoed into the above tucker. (Yes, a rare lapse from Mine Host's usual teetotal regimen!)

Somewhat hindered by his spanish being limited to learnt-on-the-run, suitable-for-instructing-taxi-drivers, Mine Host has yet to master conversing with waiters. A propensity to tip, combined with the obvious respect he holds for professional gentleman waiters, has meant that dining is usually a positive experience.

Don't be fooled by the unique Argentine style of plating. Despite the spartan presentation, the food & wine are top grade. The ambience is most pleasant.

In contrast to what one is always told, I've never yet had a waiter in Buenos Aires recommend that beef be cooked well-done.

By the way, that is a large plate. That steak is quite a lot bigger than it looks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Guilty - unless proven Guilty!

Still astonished at the current federal govt's brassy manner of promulgating their newly discovered concept of "innocent until proven guilty", Mine Host's mind drifts to some more laws that work the opposite way:

Specifically the Qld state worker's compensation laws. Under which an employer is 'obliged' to ensure a worker suffers no injury, either at the workplace, or work related.

Under the state laws, if any injury whatsoever happens to a worker, the employer is to blame, and may be sued for allowing the injury. Such litigation is in addition to the regular worker's compensation scheme.

It should be noted that being sued for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, for minor or fabricated injuries is a regular occurrence for Qld employers. Mine Host has been subject to at least three such lawsuits.

Employers have no defence, as none is allowed under the law. If an injury occurred, the employer was negligent.

Were a meteorite to strike the workplace & injure a worker, the employer can be sued for not preventing this from happening.

You couldn't make this stuff up!

Anyone who is wondering why the newly elected Premier of Qld has pledged to "rip up" at least 18,000 pages of legislation that was created by the previous govt. can now see why.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hypocrites! (appendix)

Further to the preceding post on the .... er... flexible attitude of the (current) federal government to the somewhat flexible.... concept known as "presumption of innocence", paraphrased here is the closing paragraph of a post from October last year:

"In the glossary from the Fair Work Ombudsman, the employee is termed "the complainant" and the employer is termed "the wrongdoer".'

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Through gritted teeth Mine Host has been over past weeks listening to the news.

One of the government politicians has got himself mixed up in a most salacious scandal, involving impropriety on a grand scale. Hookers (platoons of them), missing money (by the wheelbarrow load) etc.

The government has a majority of one vote in the parliament. If the scandal claims their frisky comrade, the government will fall. Thus the government is most anxious to water down any righteous anger from the public.

Thus various members of the (current) federal government have been banging on endlessly and most indignantly, about how it is some sort of natural right to be presumed innocent.

Don't these ... er.. people... read their own laws? The ones they voted into existence only a couple of years ago? The one that was one of their big election promises?

Yep! The "Fair Work Act".

Mine Host has, in his spare time been brushing up on his facts. At least one entire section of the Fair Work Act declares an employer guilty the very second an empoyee (present or past) makes an allegation. To "get off" punishment for the offence, the accused (employer) has to disprove their guilt.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Federal Budget in One Phrase

"We've run right out of money!"

This in the middle of a mineral boom!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I do my bit for the feds

Wow, the federal government is going to pop $830 into parents' bank account, for every school age child. (Likely this will happen a month or so before a federal election, or something)

This money is to be for *cough*cough* education expenses that the parents may incur.


Mine Host (& every other poker machine operator in the nation) is salivating at this news.

Merry Christmas! (to me!!!)

Will this money be blown on poker machines, grog, tattoos, new TV sets & the like?

You betcha it will!

And that is exactly what the federal government wants people to do with it.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Notice that Never Was

A recent post on serving notice, by Legal Eagle, at the site she shares with Skepticlawer (she of the minimum two thousand word blog posts!) brings to mind Mine Host's favourite story of having notice served!


A fellow seated himself at the bar of the Wayside Tavern.

It was 6 p.m.
The bar was very busy.
The bar staff were flat out.

The stranger asked for Mine Host, & then the manager, both by name & was told that neither was on the premises.

The fellow pondered this for a few moments.

He then said that this abscence presented him with some difficulty. He was there to "serve notice" (at this point he waved an envelope) and had to serve it urgently, as he had been "supposed to serve it last week."

The barmaid was very busy & didn't catch everything he was saying. It was peak hour.

Later she noticed the fellow was gone.

He had left his envelope sitting on the bar, among the scattered newspapers, betting stubs, beer coasters & other detrius of a busy trading day.

This wasn't unusual, people usually leave things, including their money, on the bar while they go next door to buy something, or go outside for a smoke.

The papers/envelope were swept up and thrown into the rubbish bin when the bar was cleaned later on.

We know all this from a review of the security cameras.

For several days later the barmaid hesitantly mentioned that she may have "done something she shouldn't have".

Does just dropping the papers on the bar in a busy pub count as serving notice?
What was the particular legal matter referred to in the papers?

We have no idea whatsoever. It all went out with the rubbish many days ago.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Just Where is he from...?.....!!!!!

Scene: Wayside Tavern Office
Time: Very late at night (11pm+)
Mine Host
2nd Chef (arrived 5 mins ago on the bus - first time he's been out of the big smoke in his life!)

Mine Host & newly arrived 2nd Chef are engaged in quiet small talk.
DJ appears at the doorway that leads to his office.

DJ: "I'm putting the kettle on, anybody want a cuppa?, I'm having coffee"
Mine Host: "Yair, I'll have a cuppa please."

(then comes the line that he will never live down, that has us still talking a year later, and gets a rollicking laugh from everybody we tell it to.):

2nd Chef: "I'll have a latte please...."

Hmmm.............. his horizons have certainly been very narrow!

Monday, April 30, 2012

False Media Reports

Of recent days much airtime & column space has been devoted to "shootings" & the like.
The streets of Australia are being painted as the scene of "drive-by shootings", "bikie vendettas" etc.

Rubbish! The news media should stop making things up. It is not true. These things didn't happen. These things cannot happen.

For in 1996 Australia had very strict gun laws imposed. To stop this sort of thing.

Thus the press is making it all up. Reading such poppycock is bad for the blood pressure!


Or perhaps every poltician who voted for the laws, and every member of the public who supported/supports such laws, is wrong. Plain wrong.

What have gun laws achieved, except the disarming & subsequent harrasment of law-abiding citizens?

Every politician who voted for such laws, and every citizen who supports such laws, should hang their head in shame. Utter shame.

Not only for getting it wrong, but for being so blindingly stupid.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

With friends like these...........

One of the benefits of the introduction of television service to the outer reaches of the nation is the televising of the Anzac Day march.  The televised march has usually been from the southern city of Brisbane, but with the introduction of multiple TV channels, we can now watch excerpts of the marches held in other (deeper in the south) cities.

Favourite part of the televised ANZAC day march?

The Military Police (or Provost Marshal's Corps, or whatever their real name may be) were preceded by a banner that accross the bottom had a slogan that read something like:

"Always with the troops, Always supporting the troops"

Leaves me speechless.

Mine Host's recommendation:  The returned servicemen former M.P.s meet after the march at a pub where no other returned servicemen are drinking at.

Being as none of the marching former M.P. Anzacs looked as robust as they used to be, and they no longer have the wrath of hell backing them up.

Memories are long, and the support the provos provided to the troops will be well remembered by those on the receiving end of that (*cough*) "support".

(Footnote:  The changes to blogspot?  They really suck!  -  After over 7 years of using the same format, I was quite happy with it, and am finding the new format heavy going.  Posting isn't as easy anymore, perhaps I'll change to another site, I'm not sure I'm prepared to go to the extra work that blogger is now putting me to).  I run close to half a dozen blogs, & they've all become hard work.

Does anyone have any recommendations/comparisons?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breathing Trouble inflicted

Mine Host has lately been seething aplenty at the narrow-mindedness and obtuse stupidity of his urban TV-watching comrades from the deep south.

These are the people whose uninformed & ill-considered outcry (over cruelty they saw on their TV screen) led to the federal government mindlessly killing a productive industry. The northern cattle industry.

An industry Mine Host once worked in.

There is one universal sin in that industry. Commission of which will bring all walks of life together against you, and will have you ostracised, cast out, shunned, etc.

Cruelty to an animal.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

So picture this:

One of the men was sitting, pulling the wings off a fly. The boss, a big gruff and rough type, saw this and was troubled by the needless cruelty.

The boss roughly issued an order to the man:
"You kill that fly right now!"

The man laughed & released the fly.

The boss broke the man's nose.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pause to Think

There's certainly some second thoughts going on about the advisability of going on strike.

The closure of Norwich Park mine has thrown quite a scare into some of the fellers. They've got it very good, and know it. It hadn't occurred to them until BHP just up & shut the mine, that there could possibly be a downside to biting the hand that feeds them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reference Check

Mine Host's preferred industry association has a partnership with a recruiting company.

This firm phones one day to conduct a reference check on a former employee, as they have a client with a position vacant that matches this former employee's qualifications & experience.

Mine Host gives very accurate answers to the questions he is asked. This is not well received, as the answers are rather negative. (The former employee left under the... ah... most questionable of circumstances)

Mine Host emphatically does not recommend the employee, and states that under no circumstances whatsoever would he re-hire the employee.

The recruiter stops there... pauses..... then says:

"This isn't a very good reference, I'm going to have to keep calling more people on the list until I finally get a positive reference, as we have to place this person in that job!"

Mine Host makes a note to never use that firm to fill any vacancies. Ever.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Rafferty's Rules

As will be known by every employer who has sponsored migrant workers, the dept of immigration is very arbitrary in the approvals process.

The people of Australia quite likely have a (reasonable) belief that there are a clear set of immigration rules and standards, which each and every employer sponsored migrant has to adhere to.

Ha ha haha hahaa...........

There is not. Each application is handled by a case officer.

There are rules, yes, but it is up to the case officer to interpret them how they wish.

Mine Host has often had the experience of having three concurrent migration applications lodged, each handled by a different case officer, and having to meet three entirely different sets of standards. Each of the three applications will require entirely different paperwork, with almost no documents in common.

Believe it or not, the case officers pretty much make it up as they go along.

They will change the rules as the application progresses. Arbitrarily.

Or they will not. It is all up to the case officer handling the application.

If the public knew how capriciously administered the immigration process was, they'd be marching on parliament house, armed with flaming torches and accompanied by baying hounds!

The way the immigration dept handles the various employer sponsored immigration programmes is a joke. Heaven knows where the blame lies, ministerial incompetence, or perhaps disinterested leadership.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Simple Directive

In the office with the Manager, for a stern interview, Mine Host starts the conversation in as offhand a manner as he can.

There is only one point of discussion, the major item. The matter of the manager's daughter being shacked up in the presidential suite with a boyfriend, both of them eating their heads off at Mine Host's expense. None of it paid for.

The subject is not addressed head on, for Mine Host is crafty.

Mine Host has noted that one other staff member is permanently housed in guest accommodation, as are other staff temporarily, from time to time.

Mine Host issues a directive that "All guest rooms are to be made available for the use of paying guests. It matters not if a guest does not check into that room and the room lies vacant for a whole year. The purpose of guest accommodation is to house paying guests, and that is the business we are in."

Rather than carry out this directive, the manager chose to summarily resign their position.

This was somewhat unexpected.

Mine Host stated that if this was the manager's considered position, then all he could do was give the manager as long a notice period as they wished.

The manager announced that they would work out one month's notice.

Stand by for the next, and most unusual, development.......