Every so often I’m asked to evaluate a working tool that just jumps out from the rest and says “Take my money!”


The Klarus XT30R definitively fits within this category. When I received this well-packaged torch, I immediately dove into the packaging to see what there was to fiddle with. Out came a slim, comfortable and well-balanced torch that’s apparently suitable for hunting and tactical applications. Personally – I’ve found it to have many more applications than that.

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What it REALLY costs to own a firearm

 Many of my friends have asked me if they should buy firearms for personal defence. It's actually not an uncommon question for anyone who carries a self defence weapon.

After numerous discussions with these same friends, I've come to the conclusion that it's largely a question of whether or not you can afford it. The general response is "can I afford not to?" Well, that's because people aren't understanding my question.

I don't mean can you afford it in terms of risk - I'm talking about cold hard cash. One of the often overlooked realities of firearm ownership is that it's damn expensive and that's a fact.

Let's look at someone new to firearms and what they're likely to spend in their travels from unarmed to legally armed AND capable. Assume that you're going to go with a reliable 9mm pistol for self defence. Something light and off the shelf that's concealable, practical and usable. A Glock 19 would be a perfectly respectable choice for that. Right there you're in for R 9500 and if you're not familiar with firearms, you shouldn't be buying second hand. So let's stick to new prices for now.

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Money money money

Well now we all know that I'm passionate about learning to work better with money. To handle what little there is of it a bit better, to budget wisely, save as much as possible and understand the way credit works and more often than not doesn't work.

I've made it a hobby as much as a passion to understand how the banking systems work in SA, where the credit pitfalls are and how to invest wisely as possible with a reasonable return.

One of the things I've always struggled with is finding a way to keep track of and make sense of it all. To date I've tried quicken, mymoney, microsoft money blah blah blah blah. I've looked at little products that the banks promote here and there - with no luck.

So here's the rub. What I'm after (and I believe everyone should be) is a simple to use product that's secure, web based and shows me what I have, where it is and what it's worth. A straight forward way to keep track of my assets and personal value. At the same time it's nice to have the ability to spot any shortfalls in my planning - such as insurances, or perhaps retirement investing etc.

Recently while fraustratedly banging away on my keyboard I came across www.22seven.co.za A really nifty website that I've never heard of. It claimed to link your bank accounts, home loan, car loans, dischem card, fanatics points, clicks club card and pretty much anything else you can think of. In all it seemed a bit too good to be true really - all for free? AND of course it could interface to your bank account directly to bring in your statement and categorise your spending.

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Windows 10 - Should you or shouldn't you?

Windows 10 is in early release stages and many people have already noticed the little “do you want to upgrade” notices popping up on their screens – so the question of course is – do you?

To be fair, for many years here in South Africa the average consumer has been wary of Windows releases and erred on the side of caution to let the rest of the world figure out the bugs and bits before taking the plunge.

I can prattle on for quite a while on the security updates and the new features – including thankfully the return of a startbar and programs menu – but that’s not the issue here and you can easily find that information online.

So far we’ve tested Windows 10 in pre-release and have to admit that, well – we like it. It’s slick, everything is easy to find and yes it’s stable. In South Africa we have to of course warn you that the download of the upgrade will definitely dent your bandwidth and of course – be patient. Do not switch your machine off (or go through load shedding) or disconnect from the internet during the upgrade – that would not be pretty and may well need a technician to get things sorted out again.

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Parallel Worlds

John changes channels

Sue irons his shirt.

The children are sleeping

as they playfully flirt

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