Saturday, February 26, 2011

It has started Again

Industrial Relations Laws took a retro step a year or so ago. The "Fair Work Act" was voted into being.

Mine Host is now experiencing his first "Unfair Dismissal" claim of the Orwellian-named Fair Work Act.

We'll see how things pan out. Both of Mine Host's experiences of being a victim under the previous Unfair Dismissal legislation were bitterly unfair experiences.

Mine Host at this moment appreciates how the mafia came into being. They filled an essential need.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fashionable Lady

This photo of a lady from one of those overseas (foreign) countries is published here to contrast with a well dressed & alluring photo (her own press release, by golly) published on Musings, by Kae, one of the better weblogs read by Mine Host.

This other photo of the same lady is a split screen (Mine Host couldn't be bothered snipping the other half off). This mock-up poster is perhaps created by a supporter of the other (better dressed lady). She is actually the predecessor of the sloppily dressed one. Or perhaps it was created by a comedian (some public figures really leave themselves wide open to lampooning).

For a side bet, does anyone know if the better dressed lady ever allowed herself to appear in public looking & acting like a slob?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nagoya, who'd you ever know in such a big City?

(Gratituous snapshot of Nagoya Castle - Proud of this photo, Mine Host had it blown up to poster size, printed on photographic paper & kept it on his wall for years.)

Dinner hour has come & gone. The bar is full of Japanese youth. A most unusual sight in these parts. They seem to be a group, led by a well built fit & burly Australian.

Mine Host engages the Australian in conversation, who reveals that the group is a Rugby Union tour, from a university in the city of Nagoya.

Conversation with the Australian coach/tour leader is peppered with bursts of Japanese language as the coach answers queries from team members, or gives running commentaries/explanations to the group at large.

It transpires the Australian is a lecturer at the university in Nagoya, has been there many years, & has made a life there.

Mine Host remembers Nagoya, scene of some of his youthful exploits. The Australian-teaching-at-uni-in-Nagoya is garrolous, cheerful, & good conversation, though Mine Host is tempted to mention his own visit to Nagoya.

... Particularly the most culturally memorable part. He visited (at the invitation of the Headmaster) to a private school, Shukutoku girls high school. The visit was accompanied by much surprised gasping by the students & staff.

Apparently boys never visit to Shukutoku. Mine Host has never been (before or since) the object of such unbridled curiosity, or treated as such an honoured guest.
A demonstration of baton twirling was bunged on, & a student detailed to escort Mine Host around the school.

Mine Host, who had never seen (before or since) an inner city school, marvelled at the dearth of open space, dirt (where do the girls play?) & the high rise buildings. The final photo is of the adjacent Shukutoku University.

Ahh... finally people who would be able to appreciate what it meant for a boy to enter a Private Girls School in Japan. ("So What? You visited a High School, is that supposed to impress someone?" is the response most Australians give)

However Mine Host did not regale the tale, fearing it would get some polite nods & feigned interest. Nagoya is a big city. The group finished their drinks & went to bed, their bus left early in the morning.

Two days later an article in the local paper caught Mine Host's eye:

Rugby Union team visits from Japan. Overnighting in town recently, from Nagoya in Japan, was the Rugby Union team of Shukutoku University......... (etc etc)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Some shall be More equal than others

It is reputed that guests, especially celebrity guests, are apt on occassion to make to their hotel some very unorthodox requests.

Mine Host had never encountered this.

Occassional celebrities stay, enough of them that it isn't a talking point. (i.e. there is no gushing of: "Guess who was staying in-house here & checked out just this morning.....?)

Politicians are even more regular. Many Ministers know Mine Host by first name, (nobody has ever asked Mine Host's surname)

Recently Mine Host experienced his first unusual request from a public figure:

Politicians of all levels & all stripes are regular guests of Mine Host's top class hostelry, guess which party (or side of politics) this one is.

The offspring of a professional politician, who at a young age inherited the seat (& fast track to ministry) from their parent.

Some ministerial staff will double or triple check booking arrangements. For higher level public figures protection teams will make advance visits to scout out the premises, for lower level protected politicians phone calls & floor plans suffice.

However for a simple short stay, the staff of this minister made countless phone calls, emails, faxes, etc. All seeking endless verbal reassurance of just the one request:

That due to the Minister's station in life & high rank, the minister must be accommodated in a room on a higher floor than the floor where accompanying staff are booked, and that the staff would be in rooms directly below the Minister's room.

George Orwell's "Animal Farm" has a chapter where the Pigs start walking on their hind legs only. Mine Host has a very clear mental image of this, formed in his childhood when he first read the novel. This image, complete with colour, motion & sound, replays in his head on endless loop whenever this particular Minister's name is heard.