I have pointed out before that there’s no such thing as stale bread if you have a microwave – it’s a miracle! But today I want to point out now how much bread is wasted simply because we forgot the bread! Right? You come into the kitchen with the dinner plates, thinking about dessert and debating whether or not to make coffee . . . the place is a mess because cooking for eight people is no tidy affair . . . and off on the windowsill, or still in the oven, is this beautiful loaf of French bread.

We forgot the bread!

We turned off the oven that was heating it, we went to parsley the vichysoisse, we remembered the salt and to light the candles – doorbell! late guest! dinner’s served! great conversation, great chicken, what’s for dessert? how do you take your coffee? We forgot the bread!

An entire Seinfeld could be baked around this common human experience – you can just see Kramer brandishing a 30-inch hardened loaf, accidentally knocking something, and then himself, down with it. The banter over the French. And the crust. George would certainly have some insights to share. But Seinfeld is over, there will be no new Seinfelds, and I just have to get used to that.

So we got our $5-a-share dividend from CN Friday, and those of us who bought more of the stock in the last couple of weeks (see June 4 and June 25) at around $5.80 were pleased to see that our 80 cent investment (which is essentially what it was, less the extra $5 we had to put up briefly to play) closed Friday at $1.37, up 71%.

I’m not selling here, even though I love a quick 71% as much as the next guy, because Uncle Sam would take 40% of it and because it’s possible – possible – the stock could be $2 or even more a year from now when the shares I bought earlier this month go long-term. But neither would I rush to buy more at this price. Theoretically, I guess it’s still a good value, what with $2 or so a share in cash, no debt, an American Stock Exchange listing, and interests in some tiny, iffy, dot-coms.

After all, management owns a lot more of CN than any of us, so they have an incentive to make the stock grow. But they also just got a huge dividend themselves, so they won’t exactly starve if they fail – to them, as to some of us, this may be gambling money. And by now the cash horde is so small (around $10 million or so, I think), management could easily fritter it away over a period of years just by drawing large salaries and/or propping up the dot-coms. So it’s not a sure thing. I am fully prepared to see CN shrivel from $1.37 to nothing, and if you own it, you should be, too.

$65OOPS!
Susan Parkes: ‘In your 7/5 column you said that SIMPLE plans allow each employee to contribute up to $6,000 of earnings in 2001. It’s $6500!!!’

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