Jake Berzon's blog

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A feelgood story about Barbara Rona, a friend from our Temple in Los Angeles, who survived the Holocaust - online version is here.

Barbara Rona with Marilyn Russell

A month and a half has passed since my last blog entry. I have neglected you, my dear readers and I am truly sorry. To show my remorse, I will attempt to summarize some of the more noteworthy events, which have transpired since my last update. Fortunately (or not) more has happened than would be prudent to include in a single update, but I will do my best with it.

A dozen eggs

It has been more than three months since I wrote anything of substance on individual stocks or the general market. (The story about me spending $100 on Live World Productions penny stock doesn’t really count, does it?) No, I have not been sleeping; I have been following through on my plans for the year and am happy to report that as of a week ago, Friday, January 22nd, I have accomplished what I have set out to do just over a year ago. Allow me to elaborate...

Positions sold from my 2009 portfolio marked on top of the S&P 500 chart

After only 9 months at his new dream house in Aurora, Colorado, which he took much pains, time and money to set up just right, my cousin Jacob is moving again. What could possibly motivate a single father with three kids to move again so fast? You would never guess.

Colorado dream house for sale: 6 bedroom, 4 1/2 bathroom, energy-efficient, pet-frendly

Most mortgages issued in the US are due on the first of each month, are amortized monthly and carry a grace period of 14 days. Payments on these mortgages could be received by the mortgagee all the way through the 15th of the month, yet they must be credited, as if they were received on the first - no late fees charged and no additional interest accrued.

Pay off mortgage early

It's easy enough to move your settings between two working Windows machines running Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 or later. Microsoft has a tool for that - the "Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard." It is easily accessible from Start>Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office>Microsoft Office 2003 Save My Settings Wizard.

Microsoft Outlook Logo

Today, a short history note on an obscure little company with a long history, surprisingly capable and agile management team and uncertain future. LiveWorld, Inc. (LVWD), which now trades in Pink Sheets, is one of the very few remaining survivors of the 2001 dot com bust. The company got started from the ashes of Apple's short-lived eWorld, the successor of Apple's original 9 year adventure into online services, AppleLink.

Live World logo

Last Saturday I finally got my long awaited Extech EC400 ExStik Waterproof Conductivity, TDS, Salinity, and Temperature Meter from Amazon. (I ordered it on November 11th with the free Super Saver shipping.) I needed it to test the Salinity of a soil sample. Well, it would not turn on. I measured the four CR2032 batteries that it came with - they were of three different brands and as Billy Crystal in his role of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride would say, "mostly dead."

Extech EC400 ExStik Waterproof Conductivity, TDS, Salinity, and Temperature Meter

Five years ago I identified this as the most likely scenario for the next decade and moved to the wheat country (Colorado Eastern Plains) shortly thereafter. Under every scenario I can imagine for the next decade (short of Socialism), productive wheat farm ground bought to currently yield at least 3% after expenses will be a good and defensive investment.

Wheat cent - a penny thought

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