April 20, 2015

A Gustaf Adolf Cedergren Just Slipped Through My Grasp

Christies Auction Silver Sailor Decanter

There was an auction at the London, South Kensington branch of Christie's yesterday that I missed because I was too busy with the bedroom set that finally arrived for the home renovations.  I lost one of the items I wanted very badly because I forgot about it and never got around to putting in an absentee bid!  It's not a huge deal but it is an oversight that shouldn't have happened.   The treasure-that-got-away was a silver-mounted cut-glass claret jug made by Gustaf Adolf Cedergren in St … [Read more...]

Spending the Afternoon at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

Roman Sarcophagus 240 to 260 Common Era in Marble

I went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City to see the new Rodin exhibit with Aaron and Jimmy.  You already know Aaron, but Jimmy is a mutual friend from college.  I had a fantastic time, especially in the 17th, 18th, and 19th century furniture exhibits, for reasons that will be no surprise to the regular readers of this blog.   After having lunch and browsing the paintings, sculptures, furniture, and historical artifacts, we headed over to Hall's, where I augmented the fragrance co … [Read more...]

The Posting Schedule May Slow This Weekend Because The Family Has Houseguests

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

My family is having a houseguest fly in from Houston this weekend, but since the house is still under renovation, we had to improvise.  An extra bed was put in the formerly empty guest room, which had been vacated as part of the redesign, and we spent all day yesterday running around Overland Park looking for linens that we liked since the bespoke ones we ordered from Eastern Accents as part of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder discount haven't shown up, yet.  At the very least, we have another … [Read more...]

Brooks Brothers Creates a Genius Father Day Gift Item Called the Golden Fleece Performance Polo Box Set

Brooks Brothers Fathers Day Golden Fleece Polo One of Every Color Gift

From a business marketing perspective, and as a consumer, this impressed me so much.  This afternoon, I stopped by the Brooks Brothers store in Kansas City to pick up four shirts I had made that I'd designed last month.  At the register, there was a brochure for a new gift service that the merchandising team at Brooks Brothers put together that is brilliant.  For Father's Day, you can buy a package containing either Original Fit or Slim Fit Golden Fleece polo shirts that contains one of every co … [Read more...]

MIT Student Creates Amazing New Material Called LiquiGlide

LiquiGlide MIT Invention

MIT PhD candidate Dave Smith and a team of mechanical engineers and nano-technologists at the Varanasi Research Group spent two months in a lab creating a new material called LiquiGlide.  It is a coating of non-toxic material that allows you to get every drop out of a bottle.   H.J. Heinz needs to buy this now and pay the team a couple of hundred million dollars in shares of stock for ownership.  It would be an enormous market advantage, especially among the poor and middle class; you could bu … [Read more...]

An Interactive Look at the Unemployment Rate Figures for the United States

Unemployment Rate in the United States

I've been looking through Google's data sets, including this one on the unemployment rate in the United States.  If you go to the source, you can manipulate the charts to see other types of economic indicators, as well.  You can even view the unemployment rate by metropolitan area. … [Read more...]

Survey Says Fox News Viewers the Least Informed … NPR Isn’t Much Better

Giant Death Robots Nuclear Missile Civilization V

The stupid.  It burns.  It burns badly.  Farleigh Dickenson University did a survey, asking 9 questions of its sample.  On average, Fox viewers could answer only 2, NPR listeners 3.5.  I wondered, "How hard could this test be?" so I found the questions online.   These were ridiculously easy.  Maybe all is lost and I'm hanging out in Tyre before the great fall, oblivious to the ignorance around me. The Farleigh Dickenson University Survey Question 1. To the best of your knowledge, have the oppo … [Read more...]

Obama Has Overseen the Slowest Federal Spending Increase Since Eisenhower in the 1950’s

Federal Spending Under President Obama

I have to applaud Rex Nutting over at The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch site.  He wrote a piece that explains the budget figures of the Federal government in the United States and, specifically, how those budget figures are influenced by various Presidential administrations.  It's the sort of thing that you take for granted everyone knows then you realize, often with horror, that almost no one knows it.  That explains a lot of the terrible thinking you see in the broader popul … [Read more...]

The Investment Banks Have Failed America

Morgan Stanley Investment Bank Facebook IPO from Americasroof Under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License

The news wires are afire this morning because Alistair Barr of Reatuers is reporting that Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs, the lead underwriters on the Facebook IPO, all cut earnings forecasts for social network giant during the IPO roadshow.  Even worse, the banks then allegedly passed this information on to only a handful of huge institutional clients, while continuing to hawk the stock to everyone else on the old terms. How did someone, somewhere, in the underwriting syndicate … [Read more...]

The 30-Year Treasury Bond Yield Continues to Amaze Me

Analysis of 30 Year Treasury Bond Yields for Inflation

This afternoon, I purchased some additional shares of Berkshire Hathaway for the KRIP plan as I did general maintenance work on the portfolio holdings, examining dividend yields, look-through earnings, global distribution of assets, et cetera.  I noticed that the 30-year Treasury bond yield is now 2.8%. This is beyond insane.  The Treasury bond yield was 2.99% last September when I mentioned that we should rename them, "Financial Suicide Bonds" for the sake of truth-in-advertising.  What ra … [Read more...]