Willis: “The point of a dishwasher is to wash the dishes at a temperature that kills the bacteria and removes the oil/grease/wax stains the bacteria hide in.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, I paid good money to subscribe to this web site. How come all the stuff here isn’t ABOUT money?

OK, then, buddy, how about The Wall Street Journal? Which charges an even higher subscription price and recently ran a feature article on dishwasher-loading.

You will recall, we have been talking in recent days about dishwashers that double as cabinets, and tables with flaps that fold up so the dishes can be washed in place without having to clear, or then set, the table. (Sound impractical? What if the dishes were glued to the table, so they didn’t move as the soapy jet stream hit them, nor be re-centered or re-set? This gets better all the time.)

Joel Williams: “The washable house has been thought of before — by Popular Mechanics, back in 1950. For a picture, see my site — January page.”

This is great. The 1950 caption, as you’ll see when you visit Joel’s page, was: “Because everything in her home is waterproof, the housewife of 2000 can do all her cleaning with a hose.” And here we are in 2000 and what progress have we made really? Sure we’ve put a man on the moon — but have you been there? Worse, Scotch Guard, the one truly great invention of the last century when it comes to hosing down the furniture, has recently been taken off the market. We’re sliding backwards!

As for the table with flaps that fold up, washing all the dishes in place, Mark McMillion writes: “I was reading in the latest issue of Forbes about raising kids to be unspoiled by riches. The article mentioned that in billionaire Les Wexner’s house here near Columbus, Ohio, the dining room table lowers to the floor below where the servants can clean and clear it. How about that?”

An outstanding idea, although in Charles’ and my case, the folks on the floor below us are not our servants, they are retailing executives, and might be more than a little surprised to see our dining room table — which Charles designed, by the way — come rumbling down at them through their ceiling.

Meanwhile, that little portfolio of five stocks I mentioned March 14 is still up 35%, which has nothing to do with washing dishes but does suggest you can clean up even if you don’t think about money every day. You know: a watched pot, and all that. I plan to continue to hold most or all of my own position in these stocks. So does the smart person who recommended them to me. But after such a large and rapid run-up, I hereby absolve myself of any responsibility for your continuing to hold them (not that I accepted any responsibility in the first place).

As for Calton (CN), with which we did even significantly better, it seems to have fallen back to what may again be an interesting price. I know nothing, but if you still own some, I wouldn’t rush to sell at these prices. (Note that “these prices” may be deceptive — there has been a 1-for-5 reverse split. The $6 shares today are actually about $1.25 in terms of the pre-split stock. We started buying at 60 cents or so, started selling around $2.50, and declared lunacy at $6 ($30 after adjusting for the reverse split). Now, as I say, it’s back down to the equivalent of $1.25 or so ($6 on the new stock). It’s riskier than it was, because some of the company’s cash has been invested in Internet ventures. But the boss still has millions of reasons — namely, his own shares — not to screw it up.


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