Monday I told you about iPING for reminders and wake-up calls and such. I don’t know why, but currently you can only set up reminders as far out as “monthly.” Why not annually, for birthdays? I assume they’ll add that, but in the meantime: [writes my great friend Joe, who created it] is the easiest of ALL the birthday reminder services. It’s the only one that lets you type the year instead of having to choose it from a drop down list (of 100 year choices). It requires half as much time to enter a birthday reminder as the other services. It gives more reminder choices. In short, it’s the BEST!”

Just how Joe is going to compete with all the giants who could do this with a billion dollar market cap tied behind their backs, I don’t know. But a friend is a friend, and he’s never forgotten my birthday.

(Paul Johns: You might want to check out as well. It has some features, such as hourly news and stock prices, that iPing doesn’t offer.)

Yesterday we lived light on the land with Dorothy, the financial success who’d just as soon wash her own clothes.

(One of the randomly rotating quotes you see here each morning comes from Herbert Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Ogden Mills. When someone suggested you could live comfortably on $50,000 a year — a huge sum back then — he replied: “On $50,000 a year you can’t even keep clean.”)

Today, following a faintly similar theme . . .

Lorraine Baldwin: “Thought you might be interested in a success story. In 1987, professors at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, hit upon the idea of sending cheap solar cookers to sunny third world countries. They’re made of cardboard covered with aluminum foil, fold up, cost $2.00 to manufacture, and last quite awhile if they do not get wet. The people from here go to these countries and teach the women how to teach other women to use them. The thing that really hit me was that, previously, the women had to walk up to six hours a day to find wood to cook their meals. And the supply of wood is always dwindling. If you are interested in finding out more about these cookers, and the work this organization is doing, the address is Solar Cookers, Intl., 1919 21st St., Sacramento, Ca. 95814. ”

And if you and I don’t have to worry about stuff like that (there will be electricity on January 1, 2000, there will be electricity on January 1, 2000) — because we live in the information age, not the Sahara — well, here’s an economical wood-saving tip from the other end of the spectrum: the $2,000 Enyclopedia Britannica, and then some, for

Tomorrow: Underappreciated Vegetables

Friday: Underappreciated Stocks

What a week!

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