SMALL PRINT

John T Bennett: ‘In Firefox, hold down ctrl and hit it either + or – . With Internet Explorer, click View and then text size.’

Michael Axelrod: ‘There are many other reasons to switch to Firefox as well.’

KOOL-AID

Dan: ‘I have long enjoyed your thought provoking comments. This makes it hard not to come back to your column anymore. Which is my first response to your anti-church columns of late. I am a Christian and I vote my conscience. That does not make me a whacked out drone who thinks Bush II is the greatest man since Jesus. Your columns do not adequately portray American Christians. In fact, you seem intent on reinforcing negative stereotypes that serve no purpose but to further separate the reds and blues in this country. This is really troubling, as what we need is coming together on values that we all share, not focusing on the differences. I want to threaten never to read your column again, but I know I will. Just don’t know why you want to bash one specific group because you don’t agree with them. Maybe I’ll boycott a week or so.’

☞ Thanks, Dan. My intention is not to offend, let alone bash. And I totally agree that – as I read the Bible – true Christians are nothing like the ones in power who relentlessly favor the rich over the poor, reject every plea for clemency (even mock the condemned, as Bush did Karla Faye Tucker), abuse the environment, and, far from turning the other cheek, rush to war even when not attacked. (Iraq did not attack us.)

GOOGLE EARTH

Risë Vandenburg: “We are loving Google Earth like no other software we have ever had.”

Brad: “I found the Google Moon site today.  To see the best part, keep hitting the plus key (zoom in) until you reach the highest level.  It made me laugh!”

MARRIAGE $$$

Sue Rinne: “I’m 43, and only beginning to think about saving for retirement.  Oops.  Luckily, a previous employer was thinking about it for me, so I have $60k in a pension fund.  Luckier still, I married a wonderful man a couple of years ago.  He began thinking about retirement only a couple of years before I did.  Feeling anxiety from his slow start in this area, he is now a zealot for savings, and immediately upon our marriage he gave me $3000 and told me to open a Roth IRA (my first, at the age of 42!)  Here’s my point:  Next time you update your investment book, one piece of advice might be this:  Get married.  John and I were ‘together’ for almost 17 years before we got married.  For a variety of reasons, we never shared a home.  That meant we had two sets of living expenses.  Now we have one.  For the 5 years immediately preceding our marriage, we lived 250 miles apart.  That cost us a little in phone bills and travel expenses, but it cost even more in boredom-and-loneliness-prevention tactics for me.  I bought CDs, books, and clothes not because I needed them or even wanted them, but because I was bored and – sometimes – lonely.  Most importantly, I am now somewhat responsible for someone else’s financial security and future.  When I was single, I spent what I wanted to and saved nothing, because I was only hurting myself.  It was nobody’s business if I hit 65 without a penny in the bank – and, frankly, I thought much more about the present than about that distant future.  Now, my husband and I are in this together and THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR ME.  I am responsible to him – as he is to me – for our financial picture.  I’m also more future-oriented.  We are looking forward to a lovely, comfortable retirement by living off of one modest salary and investing the entirety of another modest salary.  We’re catching up quickly!  So, for some of your readers, the best advice might be: Get married.

☞ Or, for those of us forbidden by law to marry: “live together.”  Thanks, Sue!

 

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