SAVINGS BONDS WITHOUT THE MILES

Alan Waldock: ‘I just noticed that from the end of this year, Savings Bond Direct will no longer be available for online credit card purchases of bonds (ref. your column of, inter alia, May 16, 2002). We will still be able to buy online from TreasuryDirect, but they don’t accept credit cards. No more frequent flier miles. Ah, well, it was fun while it lasted.’

THURSDAY’S TIMBER SUGGESTION

Jim Maloney: ‘Re your reference Thursday to ‘the increasing irrelevance of paper in a world ‘ pixels,’ I’d have to agree with Steve Jobs, who upon the launch of Macintosh in 1984 said, ‘The paperless office is about as likely as the paperless bathroom.”

Lak: ‘Finally, a column about personal finances, although if the job market persists the way it has, I won’t have too much money to invest … I advise corporations on technical stuff besides my job at an university, and opportunities collapsed around March 2001. So, I see your point about how the macro stuff affects us, but still … a personal finance column once in a while is good.’

Sue Hoell: ‘I know a little bit about timber investment having been the senior staff appraiser for the Montana Department of Natural Resources for the past several years. Plum Creek Lumber is a large land owner in Montana. It may be a good choice for investment in that PCL acquired ownership of vast areas of historical railroad lands. Unlike some timber, logging, and milling operators, PCL isn’t dependent on logging U.S. Forest land which can be restricted by environmental impact policy.

‘Buying raw timber land directly may also be a good choice since it often sells for prices lower than logged land. While a savvy investor would prefer un-logged land, ‘Parked out’ selectively logged land with slash removed is preferable for rural residential use. After a tract has been logged, the logging roads allow new rural residential buyers to actually look at the property up close and personal to make a purchasing decision. One caveat regarding buying timberland directly is that the cost of gaining access to the trees while minimizing environmental impact can sometimes be greater than the income generated from logging. Stay away from steep slopes, areas near surface water and areas a long distance from a mill.’

BISHOP’S ROOK TO DIVORCE COURT

Uther: ‘Tell Gloria that the Episcopalian church was founded on divorce. Henry VIII founded the Church of England in order to divorce his then wife (Catherine of Aragon) to marry Anne Boleyn as the Pope at the time wouldn’t grant him a decree of divorce. Makes it hard to argue that a bishop shouldn’t have gotten divorced.’

Mark D Hiatt: ‘Not to put too fine a point on it, Gloria, but there wouldn’t *BE* an Episcopalian Church if it weren’t for divorce. I’ve never been so proud to be an Episcopalian.’

 

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