Daily Archives: July 7, 2014

Icing on the cake

Have I got a deal for you!

Have I got a deal for you!

Before trading was stopped, the Crumbs cupcake chain’s stock had dropped from $13 to 27¢ and today it announced it’s closing what few of its stores remain. The one in Greenwich closed long ago. The best way to make money on a hare-brained scheme like this is to be the underwriter.* The next best way is to be a stock broker, and foist the crap on stupid clients.

* “A holding company called 57th Street General Acquisition Corp. acquired Crumbs and took it public in June 2011 at a price of $13 per share. Crumbs had 35 locations at the time.”  Yet at the same time the company’s shares were being peddled to the public…

“Crumbs’ troubles began in mid-2011, when it was orchestrating a massive expansion, according to former Crumbs President and CEO Julian Geiger. Same-stores sales started declining as the cupcake market was rapidly growing more crowded and analysts began warning of a possible cupcake bubble.” That’s called in the parlance, “getting out while the getting’s good.”

UPDATE: The underwriter was something called Ladenberg Thurman, associated with Securities America. I’m no longer in the stock fraud business, but if your grandmother lost money on this deal, she might want to consult with an attorney member of PIABA, Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. 

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Russia prepares for war

 

Sock Troops

Sock Troops

Soldiers provided with heated barracks, showers and, for the first time ever, socks. We’d better get over there and sneak some fluoride in their water quick, or we’re doomed.

Respiratory illnesses and skin diseases in the Russian army have declined considerably after the military installed showers and washing machines, built warmer barracks and replaced tsarist-era foot wraps with socks, military officials say.

The improvements — which come amid President Vladimir Putin’s large-scale reform of the military — caused overall disease rates among soldiers to drop nearly 13 percent last year compared with the year before, chief military doctor Alexander Fisun told the Izvestia newspaper in a report published Thursday.

The decline was mostly due to a drop in respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, and skin diseases — two categories that together account for a vast majority of soldiers’ ailments, the report said.

An unidentified Defense Ministry official attributed the army’s improving health to the construction of better-insulated, warmer barracks, replacing the foot wraps — or portyanki, which Russian soldiers had worn for centuries — with socks, and installing washing machines and about 40,000 shower stalls last year for soldiers to use, Izvestia reported.

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Attention, Brunswick soccer players (and GA girls)

 

Athletic supporter

Athletic supporter

Teams that forbade sex during World Cup failed to advance to elimination round

The Moscow Times reports that a new study published in “Quartz,” has found a link between sex and success at the World Cup.

The study says that all of World Cup teams that imposed a ban on sex failed to advance past the Round of 16 in the knockout stage of the event.

Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, both of which banned sex during the World Cup, each fell short and were eliminated in the group stage of the competition. Mexico and Chile also banned sex for their players, and both teams were eliminated in the Round of 16. Mexico lost to the Netherlands while Chile fell to host Brazil.

Meanwhile, teams such as Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and the Netherlands that have not banned sex or have only placed minor restrictions on sex each advanced to at least the quarterfinals.

Restrictions on sex range from team to team. Brazil, for instance, has a restriction that says players may have sex but with no “acrobatics.” Costa Rica, on the other hand, allows players to have sex as long as it’s “not all night.”

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Big Bird

 

Pelagornis sanders

Pelagornis sanders

Dr Dan Ksepka, science curator at our own Bruce Museum, has led a study reconstructing the largest damn bird that ever existed – that we know of.

 “Anyone with a beating heart would have been struck with awe,” said paleontologist Daniel Ksepka of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, who led the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This bird would have just blotted out the sun as it swooped overhead. Up close, it may have called to mind a dragon.”

 

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Well it’s their life – what’s left of it

British retirees flee to Tenerife, where they become alcoholics and party til they drop – literally. As theses pictures show, alcoholics don’t age gracefully.

Pete Lackey, 60

Pete Lackey, 60

Cheryl Williams, 56

Cheryl Williams, 56

(Mr!) Gordon Steele, 70

(Mr!) Gordon Steele, 70

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Jesus was a liberal

 

Especially when there's no longer an employer mandate?

Especially when there’s no longer an employer mandate?

Poll: Jesus is anti-gun, pro- higher taxes and in favor of Obamacare and CO2 reduction. The good lord himself didn’t weigh in on these issues, but those who know his will voted in his stead.

I stand corrected.

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Disagree with Obama? You’re a racist!

 

Here comes the Prez

Here comes the Prez

4th of July float carrying an outhouse labelled “Obama Presidential Library” is the most popular float in the parade, but critics – of course – say it’s racism.

Personally, I think making fun of the reigning monarch is exactly in keeping with the spirit of our Independence Day celebrations, but I’ll concede that some might consider the float to be a protest that’s disrespectful of the office of the presidency (those same people would have been Tories back in 1776, but never mind). But racist? The only possible reason for even bringing up the subject of race here is because the current president is a white-African American. Mocking him has nothing to do with his race unless, of course, that’s the only significant thing about him.

Which, come to think of it ….

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Long past time we imposed legal fees on losing parties

Fat narcoleptic Andrew Robert Rector sues ESPN for broadcasting his image at a ball game. $10 million in damages to his reputation, he claims. If he thought he was injured before, wait until he sees what world-wide internet exposure does for his image.

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NOW’s war on women

 

From this to hairy armpits and free condoms; progress

From this to hairy armpits and free condoms; progress

Little Sisters of the Poor make NOW’s “Dirty 100 List” for opposing providing contraception to its insured workers. Because the Little Sisters employees people of all faiths, and serves the needs of all elderly, needy people regardless of faith, they don’t qualify as a religious employer exempt under ObamaCare. Thus, according to NOW, they must provide insurance coverage for birth control pills.

If NOW was ever relevant – a dubious proposition – it has gone over the edge in a screaming wail of madness.

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Who says?

Would you hire them?

Would you hire them?

Well Greenwich Time does: “A startling number of Millennials are overqualified for their jobs.” Perhaps that’s so, but the only “evidence” the paper gives for this conclusion is that a large number of college graduates can’t find work that requires a college degree. From what I can see of the current college curriculum and the product turned out by our universities, that’s an entirely predictable result and not the least bit startling. A degree in victim hood or shaving one’s nether parts hardly qualifies one to undertake a job that requires precision of thought or clarity of writing.

Let alone design a rocket ship.

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War on women at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

 

'Cause I can't afford the men

‘Cause I can’t afford the men

WaPo analysis shows that Obama pays male staffers 13% more than female workers, while his wife pays men 48% more.

But it’s about the narrative, not the facts.

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When is a price reduction not a price reduction?

Ho hum

Ho hum

When the price remains the same. Reported today under price reductions is 20 Langhorne Lane, with a “new” price of $5.995 million, exactly where it started back in January, 2013. While it’s true that half-way through this long saga the price was raised to $6.2 million in a counter-intuitive attempt to stir buyer interest, it quickly returned to this price and has stayed there ever since.

This property was part of the failed empire building of Mr. Tsoi, a Chinese refugee from the Maoist reeducation camps who came up from NYC and attempted to transform himself from a performance artist to a real estate developer. Patriot Bank – who else? – aided him in that attempt and loaned him millions and millions of dollars to construct a half – dozen medium quality homes, all of which fell to foreclosure. A few are left – there’s one on Byfield, for instance, but General Tsoi himself is long gone, as is the management team at Patriot who extended these loans.

The current owners bought the property from Patriot for $1.1 million back in February, 2012 and as part of the deal received a $3 million mortgage in return. Will they make their money back? Who knows, but the location is far, far up Round Hill Road, which is no longer a fashionable or popular address, the style is the already-dated neo-shingle look, and if the interior has been finished, then a more energetic broker is needed because in the past 18 months she hasn’t managed to post photographs of it.

Just saying.

Remembrance of things past: what's more attractive to buyers on a sweltering day in July than pictures from the spring of 2013?

Remembrance of things past: what’s more attractive to buyers on a sweltering day in July than pictures from the winter of 2013?

Snow in the background, unfinished porches and stickers on the windows - ready for its new owner! And has been, for a looong time.

Snow in the background, unfinished porches and stickers on the windows – almost ready for its new owner! And has been, for a looong time.

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New Old Greenwich listing

 

110 Shore Road

110 Shore Road

110 Shore Road, Old Greenwich, $3.895 million. Just  few preliminary pictures are up (I’m sure more will be forthcoming soon), but I remember this as a beautiful restoration/re-build back in 2005, when it sold for $3.919 million. While it’s true that what someone paid for a property is irrelevant to what it may be worth today, up or down, it’s always smart marketing to charge a little less than the previous price because it conveys the sense of a bargain. That might even be the case here.

Or not, but I look forward to seeing it Thursday.

From the original 2005 listing

From the original 2005 listing

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