But first . . .


Kevin: ‘The Utah 529 plan now has a sixth option which is split among the S&P 500, vanguard small cap, vanguard midcap, and Vanguard international growth and value index funds. That’s pretty good diversification and still the lowest expense ratio. I think Utah is still the best 529 plan.’

☞ Good advice. Folks interested in these plans may want to check out savingforcollege.com. It’s been newly enhanced with a ‘compare’ feature and a way to request up to five state 529 information packets direct from the site.

And now . . .


My friend Steve Tomlin, entrepreneur and estimable venture capitalist, imagines a Christmas bell on our front door. (We have no bell; we have a wreath.) He further imagines our efforts to entice Leona Helmsley to come over for a holiday drink. (We don’t know Leona Helmsley; we’re OK with this.) Having thus imagined the set-up, Steve suggests we lure her to our door by messengering this note up to her suite: “A Noel gong gets a fast eggnog, Leona!”

Sharp-eyed readers will note that this odd exhortation is a palindrome. It has two humps and can walk for days without water. Wait, no, that’s a pachyderm – a palindrome. (No, wait, that’s a dromedary. A pachyderm has a trunk, but I’m straying from the point.) Saturday was a palindrome – 12/21! Indeed this whole year has been a palindrome – 2002!

I know about Abba and Madam, I’m Adam. Everyone knows about them. But a 30-letter palindrome? And themed for the holidays? And not just gibberish? (Sure: ‘A Santa’s rats top Nat, as Satan pots tars at NASA’ – thank you, Jim Kalb – but what does that mean?)

Hats off to Steve Tomlin for this inspired work.

I know you have wrapping to do . . . ‘My name is Andy T / and I’m rapping you this present / may your two thousand and three / be so very, very pleasant. The ribbon here is red / and the wrapping paper’s pleated / and to all you [dum-tum dum-tums] / I say [expletive deleted]’ . . . but if you care to send in a holiday-themed palindrome of any length, it will, of course, be appreciated.


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