OT: Scotch, SCOX and Shorts
August 4, 2006
Seeing as how the only real discussion of note is the continued distribution
by SCO of ELF (for which I than sk4399 and others), I feel this mostly OT post isn't
inappropriate late on a Friday with little to discuss.
When I first migrated from the daily Slashdot posts about SCO to Yahoo! Finance because Slashdot has seen fit not to post daily, I had never invested in anything other than filling out 401K forms that I never rebalanced. As I and other like me descended on Yahoo we encountered some financial types who explained things like "painting the tape", "death spiral", "short selling" and other alien terms. In the summer of 2003, as I continued to see the shareprice rise against all reason, I was appalled at what "investors" would spend their money on. Despite my certainty that the shareprice was inevitably going to fall, I did not put any money into SCOX or the market at all.
However, I had a friend from college that had sold his soul and gone the MBA route. I knew that he invested. I told him about SCOX and he explained even more to me about short selling. He did his own due diligence and shorted some around $13. As the share price continued to go up, even after the SCOSource fiasco, he didn't doubt because he had done his own research. In fact, in mid-October, the day before the PIPE deal, after market close he put in an order to sell some SCOX short at a ridiculously high price of over $20/share. His thought was to adjust that price downwards after the market began trading the next day so that he could get the highest possible price. By the time he checked in, it had already filled at almost the highest price SCOX has ever sold at since McBride took the helm. He was already well in the money when he looked.
Eventually, he was forced out of his short around $11, I believe. Nonetheless, he tells me he made thousands of dollars. He asked what he should do to pay me back, and I said, "buy me a beer." Well, we never got together. I never got the beer. Wasn't really that concerned about it, though I did plan to remind him he owed me one if I ever saw him again.
As anyone who can use Yahoeuvre can ascertain, not only am I a single malt fan, but I have participated in just about every OT single malt thread the SCOX board has ever had. I've tried many different single malts over the years. Some by going to Duke of Perth in Chicago, some at friends' houses, some by just taking a risk and buying a bottle I'd never tried. While I've had sips of $500 bottles, I mostly stick to less than $100 for something I'm going to keep in the house. I prefer my single malts peaty and, of course, Islay's tend to be my favorites.
I had found a personal favorite in Ardbeg 17. Their 10 yr was acceptable but nothing special. Their 25 (24?) was very good, but, in my mind, not as good as the 17. Nothing I had found for under $100 was as good, IMHO, as Ardbeg 17.
Back around the time the SCO fiaSCO was first starting, I had gone through nearly 3 bottles of Ardbeg 17 yr. The last bottle had about 3 sips left and my financial situation was such that I would not be buying a replacement any time soon. I had been nursing that bottle for nearly a year.
In late summer 2003, we had a party at my house. Family and friends. My wife suggested, in front of everyone there, that I should let her father try the Ardbeg 17 I raved about. In the four years we had been married and the 2 years we had dated, I had never seen her father drink scotch. I swallowed the wince and asked my father-in-law if he would like some. He said yes. I asked if anyone else would like some and two neighbors who were there answered affimatively. My father-in-law and one neighbor asked for theirs over ice. The other, who was a scotch drinker, asked for his neat. I poured two fingers for the three of them--leaving none for me. (Remember, I did not feel comfortable enough financially to be able to purchase a new bottle in the foreseeable future.) My father-in-law walked over to the kitchen sink and proceeded to fill his glass to the brim with tap water. I was not able to hide the wince, but luckily no one was looking at me.
The neighbor who was a Scotch drinker tasted his and raved. He explained to the other neighbor how really good it was. The other neighbor, a dedicated beer drinker I had never seen touch any liqour, tried his and also raved. He said something like, "If I was drinking this <stuff> when I quit hard liquor, I probably wouldn't have quit." My father-in-law nursed his and eventually poured half of it down the drain.
A few months later, I went to replace my Ardbeg 17. No luck. I had seen it in few stores anyway, but none of the ones who had carried itin the past had any in stock. This continued for nearly a year until I found out that Ardbeg had shut down at one point about 18 years earlier. The Ardbeg 17yr did not exist any more and would not exist for some time to come. Plus, when it did exist again it might not taste the same.
I tried not to let this realization affect my relationship with my father-in-law.
This Tuesday, as I pulled into the driveway, I noticed a package on the front porch. "Odd, " I though, " I haven't ordered anything." When I got it, it was from the old college friend. The last package I remember getting from him was religious tracts posted from Roswell, New Mexico over 10 years ago, so I wasn't sure what to expect. So, it was with some trepidation that I opened the package.
Given the set-up in this over-long post, I'm sure that I cannot convey the surprise and elation when I found a bottle of Ardbeg 17. He is now in Texas and had gone into some liquor store in some small town in northwest Texas and found 2 bottles sitting on the shelf. He'd never tried it, so he bought one for himself and one to repay me for the SCOX tip.
See, this long rambling story wasn't completely OT.
I'd love to say that I'm having some tonight, but I can't. I poured a finger for myself and one for my wife Tuesday night. The bottle is now locked away for special occasions only. I can say that I hope that SCO soon provides me with a special occasion soon.
Source: Investor Village SCO Board [ http://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=1911, https://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=1911&mn=3170&pt=msg&mid=228865 ]