Sunday, March 06, 2016

Cause not matched to "cure"

(Now former) Premier of NSW Barry O'Farrell resigned over minor inconsistencies in his recollections (or not) of receiving a bottle of wine as a gift.   Several years beforehand.  In what was the first few days after he was voted into office and busy forming government.

Way out of perspective?  You betcha!

The authority which fearlessly nabbed him, the NSW anti-corruption commission, ICAC, was not formed to root out the odd undeclared gift of a bottle of plonk.

However an entire week of Commission hearings was devoted to nothing but the very peripheral and very throwaway issue of one bottle of wine.  (Wonder what the real story was, politics is a dirty game - he was brought down by a bottle of wine?  Yeah right!)

However...... nobody should be sorry this fool is out of power.  He deserves every bit of public humiliation he gets;

For early in his premiership he did this, which some may remember:

In response to a pedestrian being beaten to death in an unprovoked attack on the street at 10pm, O'Farrell brought in tough laws to prevent any future attacks.

He legislated pubs to cease admitting patrons at 1.30am, and cease serving liquor at 3am.
All bottle shops in the entire state must cease sales at 10pm.

There are further rules on glass in pubs after 11pm, spirits (including single malt scotch) can be served after midnight only if it is mixed with Coca-Cola or other sugary fizz.

In O'Farrell's mind this is going to prevent a street mugging at 10pm?
Neither victim, nor killer, had been inside a pub that night.

Thus Mine Host is justifiably of the opinion that Barry O'Farrell is a buffoon.
Mine Host's opinion is correct.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Self Control

Ian Levers, President of the Queensland Police Union, has admitted striking people on duty.  When provoked.
Mine Host, on occasion a fierce critic of Qld Police, no admirer of their ethos, and a regular objector to many of Mr. Levers' statements, is here in full agreement with Mr. Levers.

The average Qld Police uniformed officer has, in Mine Host's opinion, exhibited commendable self-restraint when provoked, to the point they are compromising themselves.

Some of the spitting, sneering, invading personal space, etc that Mine Host has seen dished out to officers who are doing nothing more than walking the beat, should have resulted in a clobbering.

Most, nay all, cheek shown to police officers would not be exhibited toward any other two fit young men.  Were the same two officers copping abuse etc be not in a police uniform, but a t-shirt, they'd get very little cheek.

One only has to see how little cheek is given to, say, bikies to comprehend the difference.

The police should have respect.  When they fail to react in the face of intense provocation, they are exhibiting weakness (in the eyes of those insulting them.)

Mine Host believes the coppers should, when spat at, or insulted, get those nightsticks out and use them, and use them properly.

If giving curry to a copper resulted in the same scale of flogging that one would receive from a woodchopper or shearer, then there'd be a whole lot more respect for the police.  And a whole lot more listening when they speak.

Mine Host cannot fathom why the police don't belt people who actually ask for it.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Photographic Discrimination

Due to the Wayside Tavern being in an extremely remote location, Mine Host requests all job applicants include in their application a photograph of their "hospitality face".
In evidence that a goodly portion of the population is incredibly stupid, this request is more often than not assumed to mean that Mine Host is hiring based upon looks, rather than upon merit.
A near daily event is a snarky no-correspondence-will-be-entered-in-to email from yet another job site, closing Mine Host's job ad.
These your-advertisement-is-deleted emails all say the same thing:
"Your advertisement breached our guidelines for posting ads,"
"Your ad asked job seekers for a photograph, this is illegal/inappropriate/whatever."
No it isn't.  There is no law preventing an employer asking for a photograph through a job ad.  (A couple of the stupider Human Rights Commissions in some states publish "guidelines" saying that employers "should not" ask for a photograph)
However, there is no law against it.
Nor is asking for a photograph prohibited by the terms and conditions of most job websites. (Mine Host has become adept at reading those "terms & conditions")
This does not prevent moronic 22-year old web administrators with no-life-experience from closing down Mine Host's advertisements, regardless of how carefully worded the request is.
Words have meanings.  The phrase "hospitality face" means just that.  It is not another way of saying "only beautiful people need apply"
An extremely handsome or attractive person may have the most inhospitable of faces.
Some examples below of people who could be considered attractive, but whose resume, on the basis of their sour look, would be binned by Mine Host:

 Below this are some photos of people who may not be considered the most attractive, but who all are showing a fantastic "hospitality face"



Anyone notice the difference?
If you do, you're ahead of most people Mine Host speaks with.  The concept seems to be too difficult for some to grasp.

So continues life as a misunderstood employer in a land full of dimwits who, incredibly, are allowed to vote.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Password Protected

The careful observer will have noticed this blog has not been updated for a few months.

Was this due to the blog host being indisposed?  Or suffering from writer's block?  Or just plain lost interest?

None of the above!

Mine Host's computer had one of those Windows auto updates, which caused the "remembered" passwords to no longer be remembered by the system.

... the blog was locked....

For reasons too numerous to go into here, password recovery was not an easy option.  Instead every day or two yet another password and user name would be tried.

Cracked it just now!

Normal posting to resume forthwith!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Magic Document!

In this mighty land Australia there are enough unproductive, unnecessary and pointless administrative tasks that are mandatory, thus Mine Host has little appetite for electively embarking upon pointless stuff.

Then was discovered the power of the "Organisation Chart"
At first this phrase had no more meaning than the: "Yabba Dabba Doo Chart"

Mine Host had to enquire of his Accountant what is an "organisation chart"?

"Sort of like a family tree mate, but of the staff in the business.  It is like those charts you draw in the army, showing which rank commands which platoon, etc etc."

Thus Mine Host finally grasped what is an "organisation chart".

Unable to see the point of wasting the time to draw one, Mine Host paid little attention.

Then came the era of sponsored overseas staff.  The really switched on and alert (cough) Australian Immigration Department insisted upon every application being accompanied by an "organisation chart".

For, y'see, the existence of an "organisation chart" is proof that a business is actually operating.

Once Mine Host grasped the significance of this document, and that the vampire of 90% of irritating and pointless questions from the Immigration dept could be stymied by the garlic of a brief 15 minutes spent generating a chart in Microsoft Excel ....  he commenced churning out "organisational charts" faster than T-models coming off the Ford Motor Company production line.

The effect has to be seen to be believed.

The Immigration Dept has a most unhealthy both-hands-inside-the-pocket-of-their-overalls fascination with an "org chart".

And not just them, it'll shut up no end of pesky authorities, including supposedly savvy corporations (eg, banks).

You couldn't make up stuff like this.

The chart above was whipped up by Mine Host in response to a demand by the Immigration Dept.

Y'all ain't gonna believe this, but the chart above was accepted as proof the Restaurant Manager is actually working as a ..... restaurant manager, & not as say, a chambermaid or bartender.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Election Gaffe #2

Era:  Current, during the recent Queensland state election campaign.
Scene:  Driveway of the Wayside Tavern.
Cast: Driveway staff, driveway customers.

Couple of cars in the driveway, occupants being served by driveway staff.  Few people & miscellaneous off duty staff lounging about.

Unknown member of the public walks up, dressed in over the top Squattocracy themed clobber (the sort of ridiculous stuff that only TV soap operas could possibly imagine Australian graziers actually dress in)

The enigmatically dressed stranger speaks;
"Hi" (not a good word, gay overtones, could lead to a beating)
"I'm Rupert Poonceton, the LNP candidate for the electorate of Dilligaf  "
(This doesn't mean much, except to Mine Host, as due to the inspired Australian naming system, most electorates have a name that has little or no geographic or historical connection to the electorate - The seat may as well be called "Robert Redford", as the name has no local recognition)

Just then a young bloke drives up in a Toyota (meaning a landcruiser 4wd with a flat tray back)
The vehicle reeks a little, but this is nothing to remark upon, work vehicles occasionally have somewhat of a pungent tang to them.

As the cheerful young driver alights, the prospective member for Dilligaf introduces himself in his signature metrosexual fashion, then wrinkles his nose and speaks:
"I say fellow, yonder conveyance is giving off a most pungent odour, what is it that assaults so my olfactory senses in such a malign fashion?"  (perhaps not quite his wording, but very much how he sounded)

Not the actual vehicle or driver referred to in this post.
"Pig's blood mate!  Shot a coupla porkers yestaddy 'n' 'avven got around to hosin' 'er orf yet.  She's been in the sun all day, bittuva stench, but I'll give 'er a good slosh with the hose when I get 'ome 'n' she'll be apples!"

"Er... are you certain that vehicle is entirely sanitary?  Should you be allowed to drive around in it with unwashed blood on the back?"  Spoke the candidate, exhibiting clueless political judgement.

That last sentence cost him probably Twenty votes.  You could feel the votes hitting the ground.

With this the hopeful candidate flounced off, probably to locate a health inspector or somesuch to demand that an infringement notice be issued to the young feller driving the unwashed and stenching Toyota.

The really peculiar part?
The hopeful candidate was raised in the district, yet has spent so many years away as a political advisor to the National Party, with the result that he is now totally disconnected from his root culture.

A deeper message is contained in this post.  It is a real life parable on the advisability of allowing political staffers to be preselected for seats in parliament.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Election Gaffe #1

A snap election has been called in the state of mighty Queensland.
The current state government has a thumpingly large majority.  The election is pretty much about how much the opposition will eat into this majority.
Sideshow:  Will the Premier, who has been in parliament only one term, retain his seat?  The marginal electorate he represents is likely to have everything thrown at it by the opposition and unions, in an effort to remove the hardcase conservative (in their eyes) and replace him with one of their own.
Not helpful to the ALP attempt to remove the sitting premier:  The ALP candidate put up against the Premier is a bland under-achiever.  The same under-achiever who lost the seat to him.
Back to the point:  The Premier has today announced that he will "create" 200,000 jobs in Qld if re-elected.

There may be some difficulty with this.
1)  The Premier's increased red tape makes doing business more difficult.
2)  For any real improvement in employment the Fair Work Act has to be abolished.  Unfortunately for the Premier, the job-killing Fair Work Act is federal legislation, which he has no control over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


This bread (well, bread-to-be) came from a plot of about 2,000 acres.  The paddock was about 3,000 acres, but not all was cleared for farming, the lesser quality soils weren't bothered with - example the part in the photo.

Dumping wheat on the ground is far from ideal.  It was not common practice.  However it has to be harvested when it is ready, there was only 200 tonnes of on-farm storage, and there is a time frame in which to deliver it.  The depot closes on a certain date, and that is "it" for deliveries for that season.

I forget the yield.  I kept a ledger of every truck that loaded, there was about 3,000 tonnes handled this way.  It went about 17% protein, which is about par on that country.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Card Fees

Mine Host's mobile phone rings.  His number is a state secret, thus the caller is likely quite important.

The caller is actually some cute salesgirl for some life insurance company connected to American Express.

The cute voiced girl blunders onward with the sales pitch.

She misses the verbal clue from Mine Host that he is not happy with the call, but is prepared to listen.

She drones on, Mine Host tunes out.  Eventually she gets to the part where Mine Host has to verbally agree to her charging money to his American Express card.

He says "No".

Mine Host calculates that she has taken up Seven minutes of his time.

He informs her that he will divert to a competitor's card the next several thousand dollars that his customers wish to put onto their American Express card.

Waste Seven minutes of Mine Host's time, have several thousand dollars diverted to Visa or Mastercard.

Something for American Express to think about.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Just Dessert

The Wayside Tavern makes most desserts from scratch.
The standard of our dessert is a matter of quite some pride in the kitchen brigade

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


A little kitchen theatre. Actually a routine part of cooking.  Quite spectacular to watch.  Sometimes far more flashy than it looks, sometimes not so much.
So continues life under the long tall Chef's hat.

Long night, early morning

The current slower economy means there are only Five chefs working at the Wayside Tavern.  However there is still plenty of work to be done.
After the kitchen has finished serving up the restaurant orderd for the night, and the washing up is done, the work is not over.

Everyone is tired.
Any kitchenhands have wearily knocked off.
The waiters are closing down for the night.
The last stragglers of diners are in tete a tete over the remnants of their wine.
The front office is reconciling their shift and ready to go home.

But the chefs are straight into the work of preparing for the following morning's breakfast.

Breakfast starts early, nothing like being prepared, no nasty surprises first up.
So continues life under the long white Chef's hat.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On the Shelf

Segment of the top shelf in the Wayside Tavern's bar.

A most serious accusation has been levelled at the Wayside Tavern.
Specifically, of stocking only the cheapest and roughest whiskies.

Judge for yourself.

Pictured above is a segment of the single malt section of the top shelf in the private bar.
There are plenty more, but this is a fair guide to the range and variety of styles regularly stocked.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Market Forced

Two large supermarket chains (gee, wonder which two that would be?) have branches in town.

On the recent Queen's Birthday public holiday, and all other public holidays, especially the Easter/Anzac Day week, the staff at each of the large supermarkets keenly anticipated the big money they'd get for working public holidays.

It was not to be.

Regular staff a each of these two large supermarket chains (gee, wonder which two that would be?) were miffed to discover they were not rostered on to work on any public holiday.

The work (shelf stacking, etc) was all done by juniors.  Schoolkids who (of course) aren't at school on public holidays.
The public holiday rate for juniors is a whole lot less than that which must be paid to adults.

The supermarkets shafted their regular staff, but saved thousands of dollars.

So continues life for ordinary workers in a nation with prohibitive penalty rates.

Monday, June 09, 2014


We must be republicans.  The Queen's Birthday public holiday is today.  We are all at work.

Actually not all.  Public holiday pay rates are so high that half the services of the Wayside Tavern are closed.  Mostly only salaried staff are at work.
Any regular staff who are required are the best performers.

Marginal staff are rostered off.

The wage (yes, singular) for Australia is fixed centrally, by a one-size-fits-all commission.  The Orwellian named "Fair Work" Commission.

Were it not for the ill-considered decisions of this commission of underachievers, everybody would have a full week's work.  As it is, most staff will have a light pay week, missing one day of work (& thus one day of pay).

Message to the underachieving inferior intellects on the Fair Work Commission:
Who benefits from the current arrangement?
Staff who lose a day's pay?
Salaries who have to work harder?
Customers who discover the services they want are today priced into closure and not available?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Banks feeling Heat?

"Any publicity is good publicity"
The sentiment behind this very common saying is very sound.

Unless you're a bank, in which case the saying is:
"Any publicity is bad publicity"

In the past couple of weeks, Australian mega-bank Westpac announced a profit that was remarkable in size by just about any metric ones wishes to use.  (eg, percentage of deposits, percentage of loans extended, blah blah blah)

Concerned (justifiably) that making lots of money at the expense of the Australian public (only the most ingenuous or foolish harbour thoughts that banks are there for their intended purpose - to facilitate the economy and public economic benefit) Westpac mounted a survey of customers ("We've just made a record profit that'd choke a horse; do you feel (a) ripped off, (b) extremely ripped off, or (c) totally cheated out of your money?")

Mine Host knows this as he is not a Westpac customer yet received a mysterious telephone call:

The call was a survey about the "customer service experience" of his dealings with a Westpac staffer by the name of; Mr. Rapacious Lender, a business banking manager.

The only contact with Mr. Rapacious Lender was several weeks beforehand when the Wayside Tavern's accounant had telephoned once with a most basic enquiry.

The telephone surveyor was somewhat stunned to discover that nobody in "the household" had ever dealt with, nor even met, Mr. Rapacious Lender, nor was any member of "the household" in any manner a customer of Westpac.

It would seem that one phone call was sufficient for Mr. Rapacious Lender to report Mine Host & the Wayside Tavern as "new customers" to HQ in the big smoke.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I'm not that crook of a Shot.

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard
This photo mock-up is a reaction to last night's federal budget delivered by the opposing political party.
Mine Host struggles to comprehend the mentality of those posting this picture all over the junk medium of Twitter.

1/. Julia Gillard was not the Prime Minister at the last federal election.  Her own government fired her from the job some time beforehand.

2/. That aside, the government of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd (the fellow with whom she job-shared the role of Prime Minister) was so bad that even someone who has had a frontal lobotomy could not maintain a straight face to post the above photo.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Playing at being Grown-Ups

Spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, Jen Psaki
This woman is 36 years old, has never held any previous job except as a political staffer, and thinks this is an appropriate response to a tense geopolitical crisis.

What fool appointed her to this position?

She didn't get to this level of stupid in one day, she'd have to have been exhibiting the signs for a long time, possibly all her adult life....
.... yet someone appointed her spokesman for the State Department.

What is next?
#Putin. ur like unfriended dude, take ur army guys home lolz @statedeptspox

Embarrassing for citizens of the U.S.A.
Comedy for the rest of us.  Well, it would be if it wasn't so serious.

This picture reveals a much deeper message about the Obama administration.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Never Seen One of These Before

Encountering as an adult, something we've never before imagined existed, is quite an experience.

Things that you never imagined - such as the time changing arbitrarily by an hour.  (Yes, some places in the world actually do this - a most surreal event to be present for).

And then sometimes you encounter an implement that you've never even seen used, but it can't be that difficult - surely?

Mine Host encountered this when once when the boss instructed him to use a pitchfork and move some hay.

Pitchforks are objects that appear in Little Golden Books, and nowhere else.
Actually using one is nowhere near as easy as it looks.
It's like fixing 4 x knitting needles 10cm apart, then with the resulting contraption trying to pick up a pile of drinking straws.

But pitchforks are a unique implement, used only in labour intensive farming enterprises.  It is to be expected that outsiders may be unfamiliar with them, and may take some time to attain basic proficiency.

However some implements are universal.  Or so you'd think.

Mop & Bucket, for example.

On the Wayside Tavern staff was an eager 22 year old Zimbabwen citizen.  He had speed, energy, enthusiasm, and if called in to work unexpectedly, would arrive within 20 seconds, still dressing himself as he ran down the stairs.

This particular day Mine Host had occasion to ask the lad to mop up a liquid spill.  It started well.  Young Mr. Zimbabwe dashed to the laundry, returning at a trot with a mop & bucket.

.... then it all came apart...  He had no idea how to use them.  Yes, he'd seen mops & buckets, but had not the faintest clue what to do with them.

... Turned out he had no idea how to use a broom either.  He didn't even know which way up to hold a broom, or anything else about it.  Keen though he was.

From this starting point, instructing someone on the use of a broom, is not all that easy.

The mop & bucket took quite a bit longer.

So goes life in the pub trade.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Market Evidence

"No worker on a 457 visa is paid a salary higher than the going rate for Australians doing the same job."

The above statement is proved by Immigration department (federal govt.) reports.

It is not true.

Plenty of 457 visa holders are paid above the going rate.

Government reports are lies?  Hmmm.... well.....Yes and No  (in the best traditions of "Yes Minister").

Mine Host knows the government reports are falsified.  The government knows the reports are falsified.

How is this done?

As part of the application process sponsoring employers must provide "Evidence" of the going rate the vacant job.

However, you are not allowed to submit any evidence that shows a pay rate below a figure set by the immigration dept.

You couldn't make this up!