Well, after doing our courses with Urban Dive and several dives at Miracle Waters my children and I were all qualified as PADI Divers and ready to move to more advanced levels. Only problem is that Miracle Waters being a lake is not as spectacular a place as the Ocean. Our dive instructor suggested making our next qualifying dives "Happy Dives" and invited us to a weekend at Sodwana Bay.
So last weekend we kitted up the Prado did the long drive from Johannesburg to Sodwana Bay, leaving at 02H00 in the morning on Thursday for a weekend of Diving.Arriving late on Thursday we booked into the House our group of eight had reneted at the Sodwana Bay Lodge. The house was splendid with a terrific view over the lake and bush. Everything you could think you would need was provided making it possible to self cater or have your meals at the restuarant.
We did five dives over the weekend, two on Friday, two on Thursday and one on Sunday morning.
Our first dive on Friday morning was done in great conditions and everyone had a great time doing the "Peak Performance Bouyancy" speciality. On this dive we saw numerous fish and met our first Loggerhead Turtle. This dive has really gotten me hooked and all I wanted to do was keep diving. Seeing the plethora of sea life and species diversity at Sodwana is an amazing experienceand highly recomended to anyone.
By the second dive that afternoonthe wind had picked up a bit and the swell with it. None of us were ready for the motion of the boat which could catch you unawares and induce motion sickness on the unsuspecting. Nevertheless, we managed to pull through and had a great second dive. I was amazed at how the Dive Maters know where they are and where they are headed. They seem to know exactly where we would find fish, eels and other critters.
Next day the wind still had not subsided and we ventured out bright and early in the cold knowing full well that our wetsuites were going to be damp from the previous day. A cold morning wind and a damp cold wetsuit are not the best of things to encounter at 06H00 in the morning. Regardless we all pushed on and this time we were expecting the motion sickness. The visability on this dive ws dramatically reduced but even so there was plenty to explore and experience. The afternoon dive was also soon come and gone and then the reality sunk-in. We only had one more dive to do for the weekend.
In the afternoon we had a special treat arrange for us a visit to SharkLife . We had a great 1 hour presentation on Sharks and got to ask loads of questions. It was very informative and I highly recomend that anyone who is afraid of Sharks visit the center in Sodwana to learn more about these incredible creatures. They also have many interesting ways in which you can become involved in helping conservation and Sharks in particular.
We woke early again at 05H00 to get to the beach at 06H00 and kit up for our last dive. Again braving a slightly colder morning but the wind and swell had dropped making it all worthwhile. This dive turned out to be one of the best. We dropped in and swam for hundreds of meters over a carpet of corals. Fish siting was less, but it seemed that we saw more eels, slugs and things I cannot name. It's amazing how quickly fifty minutes under water goes by. It was a very satisfying dive for the last dive of the weekend.
Good time was had by all and we cannot wait to go on our next scuba diving adventure.
I don't know whether it is mid-life crisis or just me needing to get more active or just the fact that I just purchased a 4x4 vehicle, a Toyota Prado 2010 TX V6 Petrol edition. Anyway I have decided that I am going to take up two new sports, namely 4x4 off roading and scuba diving.
So, because I now have the car I have started a whole new learning curve. Having learned to drive in the army in a Rinkhals Ambulance I have some off-road experience, but since practically nothing stops the Rinkhals and my current driving skills are better suited to driving on Tar, I have decided that I must learn to drive all over again.
So my first learning curve has been above the car and about 4x4 Driving. The internet is a great resource and soon I found 4xforum.com which is run by Andrew St.Pierre White.Andrew has a whole range of very interesting and informative videos available for download to paid subscribers. The videos are very professional and I have learned much from them.
So far I have taken the car out on minor off road excursions, nothing difficult and have a good feeling for the vehicle. Even so I don't think I am confident or should I say I do not understand the actual limits of the vehicle. So I am off to take a full advanced course in 4x4 with the Stoney Ridge Off Road Academy in March. Should be good fun, I am sure that I wlll learn much as John is reported to be one of the best 4x4 instructors in South Africa. I hope to improve my driving skills so that I can take on any obstacle without risking the saefty of family, vehicle or environment. It should also be a fun, action packed weekend where family can enjoy.
As a I go along my 4x4 learning curve and adventures I will update my blog site which is sadly not getting much love of late.
Next is the Scuba Diving. I recently was on a trip to the far Northern Coast of Kwazulu-Natal and visited Sodwana during my travels. I noticed that many people were out doing diving and so I decided that I too had to get out on the ocean and under its' surface to experience what I only see on the National Geographic Channel.
After speaking to a few dive schools and instructors in my area I finally decided to go with Urban Dive on Beyers Naude. Before doing anything, diving is something I want my son and two daughters to do with me, so last Friday we had an introduction to scuba lesson for the two girls who are aged 10 and 12. They enjoyed it so much that they did not want to come back to the surface of the 3m deep pool. This week Friday is my sons turn and if everyone is happy then we start on a learning curve to become PADI Certified Advanced Divers.
All this new stuff is going to cost a packet, but I look forward to achieving what is the foundation that will allow me to achieve some of of life goals such as doing the Cape to Cairo and Cairo to Cape route and diving places around the world.
So you're feeling the pinch and to make matters worse, electricity prices just increased and now your electricity bill is starting to look much like your monthly car repayment. You've tried everything to bring the electricity bill down. You installed energy saving bulbs where possible, you cut back on the number of hours your pool pump runs, you only boil the kettle with enough water to make the number of cups of tea or coffee you want to make, you're more aware of the number of lights burning in the house. You ardently switch them off and tell the kids not to leave the lights on.
You've managed to reduce the electricity bill to some extent, but you cannot seem to reduce it further. So what more can you do?
Well, here's a nifty gadget that I recently installed in my home. It's an electricity monitor that shows me in real time, exactly how much electricity we are using in the home. This gadget is so accurate that you can see changes in the power being used every time you turn an electrical appliance on and off in your home.
When I first purchased the electricity monitor, I was thinking, "Well let's give it a try." In all honestly, I was sceptical, every year I buy a small mountain of gadgets. Some work, most don't and of those that work, I often lose interest and they sit in a box somewhere. Still in perfect working order, just never used. I must have a garage sale one day. I'm sure I can clear some mega space and make a small fortune back.
Anyway, I installed the electricity monitor and started playing with devices in the house. I was shocked to find out how much things like a kettle, under floor heating, plasma television and other devices draw. I was even more shocked to discover how much I saved when I turned off all the devices in my home that I normally leave in standby mode.
Now don't get me wrong. I thought I had done as much as I could to cut back on the energy we use in the home. But after 1 month when I got my electricity bill, I noted a R500 saving. I was amazed, but still sceptical. "Perhaps it was just a fluke.," I thought to myself "The municipal reading was likely just an interim reading. Let's wait and see next months bill."
Well, to my delight the next months reading came and it was R556 less than my average bill used to be. So I followed this for two more months and had similar results. I can only conclude that with the help of the electricity monitor, which is situated in our kitchen where we all can see it, we managed to cut our electricity bill by an average of R500 a month.
Now me, being the entrepreneurial techie, and already have a business in prepaid metering . I saw a business opportunity. So I contacted the manufacturer and arranged distributorship and to have a shipment of these electricity monitors imported into South Africa. I reckon if I can save money, then I am sure that anyone can do it. The electricity monitor is so simple to install, it did not even need an electrician. Just clip the sensor around the main line incoming to my electricity distribution board and hey presto the LCD screen showed me how much electricity we were using. Knowing this,I am convinced that others can do just the same and that I can sell these units to help them solve a very real problem.
Anyway, the electricity monitors are on there way to me and I've built a website from which people can find out more about this wireless electricity monitor device and where they can make purchase their electricity monitor. To launch the product, I've arranged a very good price and am offering free shipping to anywhere in South Africa until the 31st of August 2009. Since I don't have the units to ship yet, I am giving anyone who places a pre-order a 15% discount from what the recommended retail price will be after August and free shipping.
The first shipment should arrive in South Africa on or around the 15th of August, so anyone who orders now will get a good discount for their patience and I will extend this offer until the end of August to make sure that everyone gets a good and fair chance to take advantage of this amazing offer.
I'm hoping that others will try the electricity monitor and realize the same savings I've made. I mean my savings paid off the capital expense I paid on the unit in under 2 months. So, if you are looking for ways to cut back and to save energy, here's something you must try today. The electricity monitor comes in single and three phase models so it can be used in residential and commercial properties. It's easy to buy from our electricity monitor website and need no electrician to install.
All I want for Christmas is Costume Jewellery
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Nearly Christmas and if you are like me, then you have not even started to think of what to add to your Christmas list. Every year I promise myself I will start to build my Christmas list early and to buy gifts early so as to avoid the madness of the Christmas rush. Famous last words.
This year there is something different for me. I've just launched my own website retailing Costume Jewellery. So I guess you know what lots of people in my family will be getting this Christmas. Let's hope none of them see this post.
The website, called Jewellery For Sale , is retailing high quality, unique costume jewellery, also called fashion jewellery . There's something for everyone and I'm working hard to bring online more products. Currently there is a good selection of bracelets, bangles, necklaces, rings, earrings, pendants and other fashion accessories. Everything needed to enhance your personal style.
The items we're stocking have been carefully selected for their quality. So far every one of our customers has remarked that the jewellery is so authentic looking that it is difficult to distinguish between what is real "fine" jewellery and what is costume jewellery.
The Costume Jewellery business is huge. This year, taking into consideration the current market, I think people will be looking for Christmas Gifts that won't cost an arm and a leg but also will not be considered as cheap. I think when you see this Costume Jewellery Collection, you will agree that it's an excellent idea. The beauty of giving jewellery to your special lady is that jewellery is timeless. It's the style that determines whether your gift of jewellery is received in the same spirit in which it is given. Simple attention to detail and consideration to details such as her personal style, or an outfit she loves, whether the Jewellery is suitable for formal or casual occasions can make a big impression.
Every bit as beautiful as “fine jewellery”, costume jewels hold the power to turn heads. Whether one adorns ones self with costume jewels for the desire of attention or one own attraction to glittering beauty, there is no denying that the low price tag, enormous selection of pieces and near look alike qualities of costume jewels are a powerful force behind why these exquisite imitations are so popular.
Costume jewellery is extremely fashionable, exquisite and extremely affordable. Don't for one minute think that your special lady will not hold the same emotional or sentimental fascination for a costume jewellery piece you have given her as she would with "fine" jewellery. Our experience shows that our fascination with the real thing spills over and rubs off on costume jewellery to the extent where even the most notorious of public figures bare no shame in displaying their costume bling. What matter is that you gave it with the correct intent and took the time to think about what you chose.
For those who don't know what to choose, I've put in place Jewellery Gift Vouchers. So you can still Give the Gift of Love but just let her choose what she wants. Naturally, it's always better if you choose for her, because then it means more as it's something you chose. I think it's a girl thing. Every girl loves to know that her man actually took the time to think about her.
Costume Jewellery is extremely affordable, but to help make it even more affordable I've also started the Jewellery Club. Joining the Jewellery Club will not cost you anything, but will automatically give you a 5% discount off all your purchases.
So what are you waiting for, visit Jewellery for Sale today and get buying. Or perhaps you have a better idea?
Digging around to see how many people are having Facebook woes. I found that there's actually a whole movement starting in opposition to Facebook. I'm not one to join the club, but I do think it is worth observing whether or not people do really count. Found this video entertaining and peppered with some real truths.
Last week I tried to enter my Facebook account after not having entered it for about a week because I was just to busy with other stuff. To my surprise I got a message that my account had been disabled by an administrator.
That's like really weird because I had not done much with my account for over a month. The occasional visit to just see what people were doing, but no strange activity. Or should I say nothing strange or spammy.
Ironically, the last thing I actually did do on my Facebook account was pay for some Facebook Ads. So I guess Facebook is in the practice of cutting off paying customers.
Anyway, I wrote to Facebook. Well let's restart that. First I had to really dig around to find anyone to write to. Then once I found an address I wrote a message explaining that there must be some error. Either somebody hacked my account or some worm or something had been playing havoc.
Do you think I got an answer. Yeah, like hell. Still no reponse. So I thought, “Well, if this happened to me then it must have happened to others.” Well, spot on. I found that even Internet greats like Chris A. Heidelberg have had their Facebook accounts terminated under the same very strange circumstances.
So, here's my thoughts on Facebook.
Facebook, you suck big chunks. We all understand your need to Police the system, but when users cannot get hold of you to voice a problem or what they believe to be an error, then you really suck.
I'm not the first, there is a growing disatisfaction with Facebook growing on the Internet and it does not start with me. I think this Gorilla of Internet, if it continues in this way, will soon have to change tune. People do have other options to Facebook.
Once every 10-years an opportunity presents itself that has the ability to genrate massive wealth for anyone willing to work at it. South Africa is growing at an amazing rate and the nation has undergone some amazing transformations in the last 10-years. Virtually every level of South African society has been touched by it. I've said it before, I'll say it again ... The national media campaign that proclaims South Africa to be a land "Alive with Possability" is spot on.
Opportunities are everywhere. So much so that I must often go about with blinkers on to avoid seeing the opportunities that exist. For my entrepreneur nature makes me want to seize each and every one of them.
Then, every now and again, I see an opportunity that is really remarkable. The type of opportunity that only presents itself once every 10-years. When I see this type of opportunity I invest and commit. I've recently been introduced to such an opportunity and have made my investment and am committed to building it.
How to give medical persons your loved ones contact details when you can't do it yourself. This idea is so simple, so cheap that anyone in the world, with a cellphone can do it. I received this as a forwarded message from one of the residents associations in Johannesburg and thought that it would be best for me to blog it as apposed to mailing it on. Quite ingenious, but then the siimple things usually are.
Apparently this is a standard procedure all paramedics follow at the scene of an accident when they come across your cell phone.
ICE - "In Case of Emergency"
We all carry our mobile phones with names and numbers stored in its memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends.
If we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of an emergency? Hence the "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) Campaign.
Helping People to Build Wealth with Investor Networks
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
There are many ways to build wealth. I personally like to invest in immovable property, stocks and Internet real-estate. Others like to build bricks and mortar businesses while I like to build online businesses on the Internet real-estate I own.
This week I announced to the members of the Property Investor Network that we are expanding. For the past months I've finally gotten round to building on some of the Internet real-estate I own. As a result a new cluster of websites has sprung up.
The success of the Property Investor Network has encouraged me to build more investor websites aimed at helping people build wealth. So I've build four more websites in addition to the Property Investor Network.
I dunno how many of you have watched Barak Obama's campaign over the past months. Brilliant, simply brilliant.
I am really stoked to see how, young people are getting behind change and how so many people have been inspired to cast their ballot and how the Internet is being used as a tool to connect and bring people together.
I was watching Obama's speech at ST. PAULS and could not help but think to myself. The Obama campaign was run on CHANGE. I think that if he does become the next President of the United States, that it will be the first really clear indicator that there is a movement under foot that is seeking to oust the ways of the past.
I think it is really incredible that a black man and a woman have been able to run for office. It's inspiring stuff, even without the issues they are campaigning on. Despite the historical importance of this, I see so many things akin to South Africa in both Senators speeches, that I cannot help but wonder.
Where will South Africa find leaders who truly inspire and can rally a nation to work in unison to improve the now and build for the future? Take time out to watch and listen to this speech and see if the issues resound with you.
Landlords Petition Minister of Housing on Rental Housing Act
Friday, 06 June 2008
Landlords are organizing to petition the Minister of Housing to make amendments to the Rental Housing Act that will restore the balance of power between landlord and tenants rights.
Property Investor Network, South Africa’s largest online community for property investors has a prepared a petition document with the background, problem and recommendations as seen by property investors and is asking members of the property industry and landlords to sign the petition which they plan on presenting to the Minister of Housing.
According to the Rental Housing Act, after legal termination of a lease, the Landlord is entitled to repossess the premises. However, in cases where the Tenant refuses to give up possession in a voluntary manner, the landlord may not resort to self-help schemes. The Gauteng Unfair Practice Regulations stipulate that if the Tenant breaches the lease and the Landlord wishes to deprive the Tenant of access or full use of the dwelling, the Landlord must:
Give the tenant seven days’ notice in which to remedy the breach, and