The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 11-24 Placket or Gauntlet? Mid-Life Crisis. 500 Monkeys. Reverse Mortgages and much more.

Placket or Gauntlet? Are they in or out? And the Post Office performed !


It doesn’t happen that often that a misplaced letter gets delivered, but it does happen. The latest that I saw was that a postcard mailed July 4, 1943 – yes 1943, was delivered about a week ago. I guess that the card could have fallen behind a table or caught in a bag or maybe just ignored. What I think would have been important was the postage on the card. And the card was delivered without postage due !

And then I read about the proposal letter that was delivered 60 years later. As it happened, the people got married anyway. I wonder what would have happened if it was a Dear Jane letter instead. Now that would have been worth being the fly on the wall when the envelope was opened !


Of course, we have to wonder if those people had a mid-life crisis. Yes, of course there’s an important reason to ask this.  A study was recently published that determined that apes also have midlife crises. Sure, they may not be able to ditch their wives, buy a shiny red Ferrari, or pick up a 21-year-old at a bar. (as if we are !)

“The midlife crisis is real,” said Dr. Andrew Oswald, co-author of the study of 500 chimpanzees and orangutans published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Great apes go through it also, so it is inescapable for the average person.” Now I fail to see how the result in this last quote is irrefutable. I mean, climbing a rope, staking out my territory or eating a nice banana somehow does not resonate with me.

This is Los Angeles ! I’ve been told that you don’t have to buy the Ferrari to be able to try for the 21 year old at the bar. Here you can rent the car for a day – and it will be far cheaper than buying one anyway. All the guys know this rule.

Back to the monkeys… the researchers were quite forthcoming in admitting that the apes were not really good at answering questionnaires. But they did say that we humans should not be too upset about the midlife thing – why? because apes have it too. And our universities spend money on this??


And Black Friday really makes me think, very briefly, about the excitement that some people have from going shopping at midnight. I understand, somehow, about the people that stay in line for a week in order to be first in line to buy something. It’s fun to win the first prize. So that accounts for about a hundred people at a couple of hundred stores. But what about the other tens of thousands who get up, or stay up, to get a discount that they can clearly get up to mid-day the next day. I don’t get it – at all. But the retailers know that this works because shoppers are what they are. I have to imagine that it takes a couple of days for the employees to get their body clocks realigned. I’m looking forward to hearing some of the shopper tales of excited bliss. uhh.. not so much !


Here’s something I clipped from someone’s newsletter. I’d like to give credit but I can’t remember where I saw this. Get this  CALIFORNIA CORPORATIONS WHICH LAPSE are still subject to annual minimum tax until formal dissolution. New California law (AB 318) now levies an additional $2,000 penalty (on top of all other interest and penalties on delinquent taxes) for failure to file within sixty days of Franchise Tax Board request.  Please check with your CPA and get this looked after. The FTB is after you !


Have you ever watched “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” (aka Triple D) on the Food Channel ? It’s a must watch. Here’s a foodie who travels around the country going to restaurants recommended by viewers. This isn’t fancy restaurant dining – this is exactly what the show names is – Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives ! Now, I’m trying to figure out how to make a triple D trip to Memphis and St. Louis to test all of the barbeque restaurants that they have highlighted. I think I’ve tried many of the ‘que restaurants in the LA area but the thought of Memphis really does it for me ! So who is up for the trip?


Did you know that you could buy a home with a reverse mortgage? So after your down payment, you never have to make a mortgage payment ! Or if you’re a veteran, you may be able to buy a million dollar home with ten percent down in some parts of California. You still have to qualify but the benefit is there for vets. And I’m arranging a loan for a couple whose financial planner told them that it’s worth it for them to pay down their mortgage in order to save over $1000 per month – yes, $1000. Ask me about it.The magic number is 818.305.4695.

Oh yeah – placket or gauntlet? Which do you prefer ? Actually, they are both the name for the little button on men’s shirt sleeves…. the one just up from the cuff. How is that for a trivia question that you should win?

Have a better week !!


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q: Why do ships and aircraft use ‘mayday’ as their call for help?

Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
The earthquake in Washington obviously was the government’s fault.
Be kind to your dentist. He has fillings, too.
A: This comes from the French word m’aidez -meaning ‘help me’ — and is pronounced, approximately, ‘mayday.’



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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695



November 25, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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