Beagle watch

Today, I learned that there is a security company in Gauteng called Beagle Watch. I have a number of issues with this.

To the uitlanders, allow me to explain. Here in SA, many people have their house alarms connected to an armed response security company. That means that when your alarm goes off – most likely because you forgot to switch it off before letting the dog out – a friendly man with a gun will show up at your door in case you’re in trouble. I’ve actually yet to hear a story of anyone actually being saved by the friendly man with a gun, but perception is everything and if it helps you sleep more soundly at night to pay a man with a gun to be on-call, then that’s great.

There are all the usual suspects (pun intended) on the scene: ADT, Princeton, Fidelity, Chubb. And then there are the regional services as well. They claim to understand the local crime problems better than the bigger, less personal entities. One of these local offerings is Beagle Watch in Randburg:

Response Time

The best in class response times! No matter what the emergency, Beagle Watch will be there first!

A Dedicated Team

Proactive security is our focus – we are the only company dedicated to the prevention of crime in your area through continuous, 24 hour, high visibility patrols.

Continuous and 24 hour. Colour me impressed.

But when you choose an animal to name your security company after, you want one that’s ever-vigilant, alert, attentive, powerful and quick to react.

I have a beagle. It’s really none of those things.

And so the name really doesn’t instill any sense of confidence in me. I’m only warning them about this after the well-documented collapse of Sloth Security in Constantia back in 2013.

The badge is also a problem:

It’s like they got an 8-year-old to draw a beagle. Three beagles.

Beagles do have moments where their senses are piqued and they’re ready for action. These moments usually relate to seeing a squirrel in the park and generally only last for 3 or 4 seconds. But a key feature of a momentarily alert beagle is the elevated tail. This is an evolutionary hangover from when they used to be powered by electricity, much like dodgem cars. Also, they always face left when they are ready to go. See?

Squirrel-spotting beagle

A beagle with a tail as depicted in the Beagle Watch logo is depressed, tired or depressed and tired and is certainly not going to offer any resistance to local criminals.

Also, you’d never get three to line up in such an orderly fashion. At least one would already be asleep or foraging for food.

My suggestion to Beagle Watch (and I will be forwarding them a link to this post so that they realise their error in nomenclature), is that they change the name of the business, soonest. And it doesn’t have to be a train smash of process. A simple, carefully applied daub of black paint on each of their vehicles turns Beagle Watch into bEagle Watch: the genus Aquila possessing all of the qualities one looks for in a neighbourhood security company. And they also have an aggressive beak and talons, filling the crims with a sense of fear and dread. Everything that a beagle doesn’t.

Mark my words: you can watch the crime rate in Randburg drop like the proverbial stone.

I’m frankly amazed that no-one has come up with this idea before.

Beware the vegetarian lions

The draw for the qualifying rounds of the CAF Champions League – the CAF version of the UEFA Champions League – has been made and both the local teams involved now know their opposition.

Orlando Pirates travel to the Seychelles for a tie against Light Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns… well… they face:

Leones Vegetarianos Fútbol Club

Because if you’re a Spanish businessman and you’re setting up a football club in Equatorial Guinea in 2001, you’re going to want to scare off the opposition by naming them after the King of the Jungle, Panthera leo.

However, imagine that you are Spanish businessman Juan Manuel Rojas and you’re setting up a football club in Equatorial Guinea in 2001, and you want to scare off the opposition by naming them after the King of the Jungle, Panthera leo  – but you don’t agree with their dietary choices!

Well then, you name that club Leones Vegetarianos.

Admittedly, slightly less terrifying than their carnivorous cousins, somewhat weaker and paler, and with an interesting odour, but importantly STILL LIONS. HEAR THEIR ROAR!

Interestingly, if you think that “The Vegetarian Lions” is a rather implausible idea, then you obviously overlooked “The Light Stars”. Our sun is a tiny example of the genus and it weighs in an estimated 1,989,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.

The best of luck to both SA teams.
I can’t wait to see who they’ll draw in the next round.


I usually write posts on here in the afternoon or evening ready for publication the following morning.

This time though, it wouldn’t have made any sense to do that, because I wouldn’t have known what to write.

The jury was still out. Overnight deliberations.

Although we lost, physically, the first football game post knee surgery went well last night – but it’s always the morning after that the truth really comes out, isn’t it?

The great news is that I’m writing this post from a static bike at the gym. I’m cycling through Monument Valley. So things can’t be that bad, can they? And yes, I’m taking it easy because yes, I am a bit stiff here and there, but the knee is certainly no worse than anywhere else.

I am unscathed.

Thanks to the guys for taking me back so readily and with such open arms. Not that I ever expected anything else.

Next week, we go again.

Land Line Less

We’re getting rid of our landline. I know that millions of people have done this already, but there was a landline here when we bought this house, and we’ve just… kept it.

No longer.

The eventual arrival of fibre in our residence meant that we no longer needed a home phone line connection and could move to VOIP. And while I was adding up the cost benefits of making that switch (I worked it out to be a saving of about R150pm), I came up with a third plan: no house phone line at all. The cost benefits of that one are even better: it costs nothing to not have anything.

Who knew?

Anyway, the long and short of it is that we’ve cancelled our Telkom line and they’re going to send us a final bill and cut us off very shortly. If I understand the process correctly, they’ll then send us some more bills and I have to go and shout at them in their posh new walk-in centre in Cavendish.

Some ridiculously poor customer service will then ensue, with a distinct lack of returned phone calls (to our cellphones (or… er… not)), and there will some more shouting from this end.
Anyway, we should be all sorted by July next year, with the threatening letters from misinformed debt collection agencies tailing off by the end of 2022.

I can’t wait. It’s like we’re living in the future.



I was wandering through Facebook yesterday when this popped up:

I was rather concerned, because these are allegedly targeted ads* and I’m not the kind of guy who needs a Premium Silicone Ring (honest).
Oh, and I’m not into archery, either.
At first, I thought that it was that thing attaching his wrist to the bow, and I was intrigued as to what sort of positive effect a Premium Silicone Ring would have on an archer.

It was only after clicking through that I realised that it’s the thing around his ring finger.
It’s literally a rubber ring.

The website does seem to assume a good deal of prior knowledge, but basically, it appears that these are posh tap washers with which you replace your wedding ring when you are doing something that might be adversely affected by your wearing of a wedding ring.

Like holding a baby:

New Parents – Will not scratch or pinch your new baby

like a wedding ring then. Or:

Attorneys, airport staff, security personnel – do not have to take them off when passing metal detectors

like a wedding ring then. Or:

Chefs and kitchen staff – Hygienic, safe and easy to clean

Seriously, I’ve had two new babies of our own, and I’ve held many more from friends and family and I’ve yet to scratch or pinch one with a ring. I’ve been through countless metal detectors and I’ve had to take off my shoes and belt, but never my wedding ring. And yes, traditional wedding rings are hygienic, safe and easy to clean. Who knew?

Do people really scratch babies and set off metal detectors with their rings?
This is news to me.

Work and sport stuff is a bit different, I suppose.

Mechanics – makes access into tight spaces easier, easier to clean – does not create a short!
Woodworkers – Safer when working with rotating machinery

Fair enough, but is there a real need to wear any sort of ring when you’re wrist deep in a gearbox or fiddling with a lathe? Just take it off!

Rugby players – Safe comfortable and permissible jewellery in competition

Because it’s always important to let the hooker know you’re a married man (careful now). Talking of which – there’s a His and Her’s [sic] Combo Set.

Don’t forget your better half! Buy a His and Her’s set. Also perfect for a soon to be wed couple – so they don’t take their valuable new bling with them on honeymoon.

Because there’s generally nothing a Bride wants more than to hide her wedding ring away as soon as she’s hitched.

Step up your game. Our Original Silicone Rings are a classic and timeless take on silicone rings. Each of our silicone rings are made from the finest grade silicone, providing comfort and style. Our Silicone rings will serve as the perfect silicone wedding band or as your active lifestyle ring, whether you are on the job, in the gym or conquering the great outdoors.

Are they actually punting these as an alternative to a traditional wedding ring?

“I love you so much, darling, and I always will. Here’s R140 worth of UV-stable, brightly coloured rubber.
Why, yes: it does look like something you might get from a Checkers Christmas Cracker, but you can wear it while you’re swimming. Much like a gold wedding ring. But cheaper.
Much, much cheaper.
Darling? Darling?!?
Where did she go?”

I dunno. Maybe I’ve missed the boat on these Premium Silicone Rings, but I really think that what they’ve done is to come up with a product that nobody needs, while attempting to conceal that fact by coming up with a number of implausible scenarios in which their product will allegedly outperform a metal ring.

It’s nonsense and will never sell.

Mind you, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that Power Balance bracelets were once a thing.


* Why am I seeing this ad?
One reason why you’re seeing this ad is that Freeform Silicone Rings wants to reach people interested in Hunting, based on activity such as liking Pages or clicking on ads.

There may be other reasons why you’re seeing this ad, including that Freeform Silicone Rings wants to reach people aged 25 to 45 who live in South Africa. This is information based on your Facebook profile and where you’ve connected to the Internet.
Eish. Broad brush.