Online Edition Bonus Dialogue
Odds and ends
I disagree with Stefanie Wedin’s e-mail [May
2006] regarding “No interest in interest-only
loans.” I purchased an interest-only loan to
buy my “starter” home in Monterey,
California. This type of loan afforded me the
opportunity to get into the real estate market
with the lowest possible payment. I sold that
home after three years with a $250,000 profit.
I don’t know, but in my book that’s a pretty
great return on investment, and I did it all
thanks to an interest-only mortgage!
In the “Tech Connection” section of the May
2006 issue, a reader asked, “How do I make
sure right away that my new computer
doesn’t get viruses?”
Although the response that followed was
thorough, it was entirely focused on
Windows-based PCs. Considering that more
than a few of your readers are Mac users, and
that Costco has sold Macs at its warehouses,
a short paragraph addressing the same concerns for Mac owners would have been useful. For example, “There are currently no
known viruses or spyware for the Mac, but
antivirus software is available to protect you
when they (inevitably) hit the platform; Mac
OS X also includes an effective firewall.”
This information may also have been
useful to those shopping for a new computer;
some people may want to consider the differences in security between the two platforms
when making a buying decision.
Senior Editor, Macworld
Los Altos, California
Hearing is believing
It was an ad for your Hearing Aid Center
that got our attention and changed our lives.
My husband, Bill, made an appointment,
got his test and walked out a changed man. He
has had his new hearing aids since February
and has had a new take on life ever since. He
can hear me speak in our truck while we
travel. He’s never been able to do that.
A few weeks ago he called me on his cell
phone to let me know he could hear spring
now. The birds were singing and he could actually hear them. The coolest thing is that last
weekend our 10-year-old granddaughter came
to spend the night. He said it was truly the first
time he had been able to hear her speak.
Thank you, Costco.
The Costco Connection JUNE 2006
I just read Suze
to Deepak Chan-drasekhar (“Ask
regarding how to
reduce his taxes now that he took her advice
and paid off his mortgage. I was very disappointed that she didn’t suggest that he invest
in other human beings by giving more to
charities. Donations to worthy charities
would allow him to take the gift as a deduction, thereby reducing his taxes. The money
goes where he chooses, rather than to the
San Jose, California
Doing what you love
In one of your past articles, I read about
a Costco member who created the Web site
www.ptcruiserclub.org. He had everything you
wanted to know about the PT Cruiser, but it
was consuming about 30 to 40 hours a week
to keep it up to date.
He changed the site to members only,
and charged $40 per year for a membership.
Five thousand members later, he quit his job
and focused on the Web site full time.
From that idea, I have created two Web
sites that provide services to the general public:
NSTradesmen.com and MaritimeClassicCars.
com. Both sites have been recently launched.
I read The Connection each time it comes
out and think back to that article that had this
profound influence on my life, and it may
mean early retirement. I will keep you posted.
Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, Canada
The story about Mike Challis and his Web
site for PT Cruiser fans appeared in the
December 2001 Connection.
Thank you for the great article in your
January issue [“Give us a call, mister piano
man”] about Mark Miller, a piano teacher
who gives lessons by phone all over the
world from his studio in Barrington, Illinois.
After reading the article, I went to Mark’s
Web site, www.pianoweb.com, and listened
to all the interviews, music, etc.
I was so impressed that I contacted
Mark, bought a piano and started lessons in
January. Now, only four months later, I can
play many songs and I’m learning chords
and music theory. The Costco Connection is
really top on my list for information about
so many things.
Elizabeth (Betty) Walkiewicz,
I must begin by admitting that I didn’t read
your March “Editor’s Desk” column ... sorry
about that. But the responses you good-naturedly published in the “Dialogue” section
of the May Connection prompted me to send
you this thought, as one editor to another: No
matter what you write, there’s someone out
there who will misunderstand you, bridle
with righteous indignation and write to tell
you what a stinker you are.
Being offended seems to have become a
national pastime in the United States. You
could publish the text of “Mary Had a Little
Lamb” in your column and someone would
send a letter protesting how you’ve demeaned
Mary, contributed to animal abuse and overlooked the contributions of underpaid
It’s a tough job, writing the monthly editor’s letter. But someone’s gotta do it.
Kathryn Smiley, Editor
Firsts: The Book Collector’s Magazine