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!