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!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Journalism - the valueless degree.

Even the most inattentive could not possibly have missed the deplorable decline in the standard of journalism since it became a degree course.

The above photo and caption were published today on

The best the kid who wrote the caption can hope for is to use the excuse of "I made a typographical error and one word was omitted."

In which case they should be sacked on the spot, for using bad English.

Alternatively the (cough) journalist who captioned the photo is (as are 99% of "journalists") clueless on "army stuff" and has written the caption exactly as they intended.

In which case they should be sacked on the spot, for gross stupidity.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Enemy Within

In the state of (say) mighty Queensland, a position as (say) an Appeals Court Judge becomes vacant.

The Attorney-General of the state confers with the president of that same Appeals Court, regards who to fill the vacancy.

The President of the (say) Appeals Court suggests two "acceptable" candidate judges:
  1. Her husband, a (say) man, and
  2. One of her friends, also a bloke.
Subsequently the Attorney-General appoints someone else.


Incensed that her advice was treated as just that, the President of the (say) Appeals Court finds the nearest microphone and sounds off no end about how the Attorney-General has a "bias against women" pointing out that the A-G has just appointed a male judge.

Stunned at this effrontery, the Attorney-General points out that the President of the (say) Appeals Court did not recommend even one female for the vacant position, just her husband & her mate.

At this comment by the Attorney-General, the court President then hits the roof, as do half the judiciary.

How dare the Attorney-General reveal to the public the two-faced hypocrisy, cosy nepotism, and the complete lack of judicial neutrality that seemingly abounds in mighty Queensland!

From the mass pile-on against the Attorney-General, one cannot but conclude that Judges consider themselves above the ethical standards that apply to the rest of us.

Gee, what a surprise!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Slowpokes on the Information Superhighway

This arrived in the mail on the 28th of January.  It is from a doofus corporation who can't seem to get much, if anything, right.

The address wasn't even correct.  (They are somewhat inept at that corporation).

It was a bit of a tedious grind in the office on the 28th of January, so Mine Host, seeking distraction, decided to give Trip Advisor (a doofus corporation that can't get much right) a call to see what they wanted.

The phone number didn't work.   Just how inept is this corporation?

Why send it at all if it arrives a month after the expiry date of the enclosed offer?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Reason #1 for banning email

My email inbox, a couple of days ago:

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Express Service II

Every now & then dumb backward easily-fooled yokel Mine Host is telephoned by a certain sophisticated smart suave hip savvy Credit Card company.

This credit card company uses high pressure sales techniques and suggestive terminology to pull the wool over the eyes of dumb easily fooled backwoods Hick McGullible Yokelman Mine Host.

The calls always come from the credit card company's call centre in the Philippines and go exactly like this:
"Hello Sirrrrr, this is Mariel from Amerrrican Express business services, I see that remittances to you from Amerrrican Express have been declining"

"Very observant of you Mariel, to notice that"

"Sirrr, Yourrrr business is declining..."

"No, my business is not declining, just that less money is being put through your credit card"

"..... Hmmm.... Sirrrr... I am here to help you, that is what Amerrrican Express is all about ([choke, splutter]) do you have signage outside yourrrrr business announcing that you accept Amerrrican Express?"

"No signage outside"

"Ah, well Sirrrrr, if you had signage displayed outside yourrrr business you would not be missing out on all that Amerrrican Express custom.  Passing cardholders would see signage, and bring theirrr custom to yourrrr business"

"No, I get the customers regardless.  This is a hotel, it is expected that we accept all major credit cards"

"..... I see Sirrrrr.... do you have signage at the point of sale?  So that people know they may use Amerrrican Express"

"No, no, and no.  Most of my customers are account customers, & pay direct into my bank when I send their monthly bill.   Those who do pay by card on checkout usually ask which cards I accept, then riffle through a tight packed card folder & get out a card.  They barely notice which card it is"

"..... Sirrrrr, are you saying that people are carrying more than one brand of credit card?"

(Where do they get 'em from?)

"Yes Mariel, I am saying that, just-about-every-person-on-this-planet does.  Usually if anybody is concerned about the card, they ask which has the lowest credit card surcharge"

(Now we're getting to the heart of the matter)

"Sirrrr, do you charge the same fee for Amerrrican Express as you do for other cards, say Master or Visa?"

"No I do not charge the same fee, I charge double for American Express, because your fee is double"

"...... (pause)...... Sirrrr, if you reduce your surcharge for Amerrrican Express to the same rate as other cards, there would be more payments made via Amerrrican Express."

"Undoubtedly, but I'm not going to reduce my surcharge for your card, I get the payment regardless, just via a more friendly card."

"....Sirrrr... you would increase your business through Amerrrican Express if you did reduce to the same rate as other cards"

"Reducing the fee is easily done, when you reduce your fee, I'll reduce mine.  Simple"

(This technique must work on some dupes, as they really push it hard)

.... (Dialogue now repeats the above 4 lines for several minutes).....

So continues life behind the front desk.