Beagle news

According to this comment, I should be thinking of Colin as clickbait. The rationale, as the commenter goes on to explain, is that revenue from the Google ads clicked upon by people coming here to see photos of Colin could be used to pay for replacement furniture. It’s a good plan, but there’s going to have to be a lot of clickage to sort out all the damage.

Earlier this week, the dog discovered the joy of digging up the lawn. Turns out that it’s actually very good at it too. Let’s make no bones about this (pun intended), I KILL MOLES WITH A SPADE for doing exactly the same thing. And then on Monday evening, I spent an hour repairing the wire from the alarm contact on the front door because it had been chewed through (the wire, not the front door) (yet). While there’s no actual proof that this was the dog, sources indicate that they are around 99.999% certain it was Colin-related.

Beyond. Reasonable. Doubt.

Look, I’ll admit it. It looks fairly harmless, doesn’t it? It’s clever though. Devious. It has already learned the power of public relations and it poses, looking mournful, underloved and completely innocent, as soon as it sees a camera or cellphone. It has naked selfies on the iCloud and will rightfully expect widespread pity when its account is hacked.

Don’t be fooled.

Once the camera is gone, the mischievous, destructive escapologist reappears. Things get dug, chewed, eaten, damaged. The dog isn’t where you left it and you’ve no idea how it got where it is. Your daughter has been partially devoured. Colin is about 1o weeks old. Apparently, “it gets better” by the time they’re about 10 months old.

Something is going to have to give.

6 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in from your comments, project colin

Those M3 roadworks – the details

Following this post and several (or more) attempts to get some sort of clarity on what exactly was going to be done to the M3 in Cape Town from our elected representative, I finally got an email from Michelle Talliard. Michelle is the Senior Secretary to the Director : Asset Management & Maintenance, no less.

Here’s the skinner:

The road works have begun but they are being done outside of peak hours.  The inbound section is being doing between 09h30 and 16h30 and the outbound section will be done between 08h30 and 15h00.  The Stop/Go is incorrect and will be removed.  There will only be single lane closures in each direction.  The project manager will follow up on the incorrect signage.

The works on the M3 will happen between the Trovato link off ramp and the Klaasens Road Bridge on both carriageways and between Bishopscourt Drive and Boshof Avenue on the inbound carriageway only.

Currently work is taking place on the inbound carriageway between the Klaasens Road Bridge and the Trovato Link off ramp.  Minor works are also taking place on the shoulder between Bishops Court Drive and Paradise Road, but these are not disrupting traffic at the moment.

That first bit – between the Trovato link off ramp and the Klaasens Road Bridge on both carriageways – is not actually a lot of road, as far as I can work out. Basically just over the brow of the Edinburgh Drive hill to the Chart Farm as you’re heading out of town. Still, take away one of the two lanes in either direction and it’s going to mean delays.

The second one – between Bishopscourt Drive and Boshof Avenue on the inbound carriageway only – is longer, but mildly confusing in that neither of those two roads actually intersect with the M3. But I think that they mean between the first set and last set of robots that you encounter on your way into town each morning.

Despite their efforts to keep it out of peak hours, it’s going to make daytime traveling a nightmare, so Rhodes Drive past Kirstenbosch would seem to be the obvious detour for inbound traffic and “something through Claremont and Kenilworth” for stuff heading south. Good luck with that one.

Lastly, if you’ve driven up Edinburgh Drive away from the city recently, you’ll have enjoyed the near-authentic off-road experience twixt Struben Road and the footbridge at the top of the hill. But it would appear that there is to be no rehabilitation work done to this bit of road, despite the fact they will be rehabilitating all around it.

I don’t make the rules.

4 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in learning curve, this is south africa

Sounds like a melody

This song has been an irritating earworm for me for the past week or so and I’ve actually no idea why. Yes, we’re looking at the cream of Deutsche electrosyth-pop here, albeit upon their return to the limelight (as witnessed here in Cape Town), but they had bigger hits than this, which aren’t repeatedly occupying my auditory system. So why this? I don’t know.

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It was previously a little known fact about Alphaville that they like to make their audience feel as uncomfortable or awkward as possible. You can see the rows columns of German fans cramped in front of the performance, all lined up back to back with little or no bum room, doing their best to look happy, despite being very uncomfortable.
And then, behind the band, a pocket of people forced into the back left hand corner (probably best viewed at about 2:13), and being made to stand and dance, despite feeling very awkward.
Also, it’s only 4ºC in that factory. Everyone is wearing bulky coats and looking uncomfortable and awkward. Those who chose to ignore the bulky coat dress code are looking uncomfortable or awkward, and cold.

Consequently there is little, no or even less audience participation, despite the best efforts of the band to get some sort of Rammsteinesque energy in towards the end of the performance. Everyone just sits there, shivering.

Still, great song. I’m going to be humming it all week.


Leave a comment | Tagged , , | Posted in music

A Horrible Story

Gaza, Iraq, ISIS, Syria, Ebola, Ukraine, Ferguson, most MH flight codes: we’ve been bombarded with bad news for the past few weeks. And yet still nothing quite prepared me for what I read yesterday in the Newcastle Chronicle (or “Ronnie Earle” as the street vendors advertise it). It was a tough decision whether or not to share this on here, but I feel that I am writing for an educated, broad-minded and mature audience, and if I’m going to sweep things like this under the carpet, then who else is going to share it, and consequently, how will be people become informed and how will individuals affected by this sort of horrific event find closure?

That said, despite your educationitude, your broad-mindedness and your maturity, I will warn you now that what you are about to read is a no-holds barred, graphic description of a tremendously harrowing and distressing occurrence, so please be ready for what follows.

Jimmy Cragen, of the Fossway, Byker, Newcastle, found his cans of Fosters were empty after being stored in his garage.

Yeah. I know. Deep breaths.

Jimmy opened a case of the amber nectar only to find some of the cans were completely empty and the rest were almost empty with only a few drops sloshing about inside.

I had to stop here the first time I read the story (yes, I’ve managed to get through it more than once). I think it was the thought of Jimmy’s sheer disappointment, together with the lonliness of the remaining few drops in those cans which made me – and I’m sure you too – contemplate the solitude of being. I simply had to take a moment out before I could continue. And then I continued.

There was only one full can but that has lost its fizz and had no pressure.

I’ll admit it. I broke down here as the one last glimmer of hope was cruelly extinguished in a lack of fizz and complete absence of pressure. Can you imagine Jimmy’s joy as he found the one remaining full can in the pack, and then his absolute despair as his happiness was crushed under the jackboot of misplaced dreams of carbonation.

JS45093310Jimmy’s long suffering wife, Can. Sorry, sorry – it’s “Ann

Do this next bit in a Geordie accent and it sounds a million times better.

Jimmy, 53, said 10 cans were affected by the disappearing booze.
“It’s a mystery what happened to the lager but it’s not there. I couldn’t believe it when I went to get a can and realised that every one of them had nothing or almost nothing in.

I am in the habit of stocking up on cheap 50p a can lager and drinking it at home after they banned smoking in pubs. I like to have a big supply and will often have loads of slabs piled up on top of the dishwasher in the garage. These ones were bought at Asda last Christmas and have been sitting around waiting their turn.

I never noticed anything wrong when I carried them home. When I went to open the first few cans I thought nothing of it, crushed them and threw them away but I realised it was a lot of them, not just one or two, and knew something was wrong.”

There are approximately 36 things I need to question in the quote above (who else here has a dishwasher in their garage? “Ah park me car in me kitchen, me.”) but the lager-based ones which stand out head and shoulders of the others include the fact that his lager was bought eight months ago, the fact that there was no appreciable difference in the overall mass of the affected cans at the time of purchase and the fact that when he discovered that “the first few cans” were completely devoid of lagery goodness, he “thought nothing of it”. This suggests that Jimmy has some sort of (presumably undocumented) threshold level when it comes to overall expectation of wholly-filled cans in a pack of lager. I’ve attempted to describe this here:

Number of empty cans in pack of lager Action required
0-1 Crush empty cans.
2-3 Think “Something is wrong here”.
4-6 Look confused. Swear a bit.
7-9 Tell Ann. Kick cat. Swear some more.
10 Phone local newspaper immediately.

So when this next happens to you, you now know what to do. I have to say that my “do something” threshold is much, much lower than Jimmy’s. I’ve generally kicked the cat before I’ve even got to the dishwasher in the garage, let alone find a disappointingly empty can of lager.

A spokeswoman for Heineken, which owns the European rights to the brand, said they needed to see some of the cans before they decided what to do:

“We take quality control very seriously and want people to enjoy Foster’s in first class condition. It is very rare that we have problems with our packaging and when Mr Cragen contacted us, we advised him to send us two cans as samples so we could investigate his complaint further and ascertain the cause of the issue. Mr Cragen has yet to send the cans and it is difficult for us to help him further until we examine the products concerned, and understand how they have been stored.”

On a dishwasher. In a garage. Since last Christmas. What could possibly have gone wrong? Listen, pet. It’s either the poor general standard of your canware or the aluminum fairies have been hanging around in Jimmy’s outhouse again, stealing bits of your tins. And then what of the floppy, flat one? What happened there? Was the bubble man off that day? How could you do this to Jimmy? Have you seen how displeased it’s made his wife? Can you even imagine how screwed up his face must be?

This is heinous. Action must be taken.

For Jimmy’s sake – and for your own well-being and enjoyment, I’m launching the #BoycottFosters hashtag right now. I might even organise an online petition.

That’ll learn them.

1 Comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in in the news, that's a bit mad, uk

It’s coming…

Signs like this one have appeared all over Claremont and Newlands in Cape Town:


Some of them also bear the legend “Plan your route”. That’s all well and good as far as advice goes, but until they tell us exactly where and when things are going to be happening, it’s going to be quite a difficult thing to actually do.

The M3 is definitely one of the roads being rehabilitated, but these signs are all over the place: I saw one of them on Palmyra Road – which would surely be one of the M3 alternatives for people “planning their route”.

If the council are really going to rehabilitate both of them at the same time, they’re more stupid that I thought.

1 Comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in in the news, this is south africa