The View From The Golden Dome

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

Weather. Lessons Learned. Burmese Pythons. Rules.. Stupid Ones.

From time to time, weather happens whether you want it or not. And we here in lalaland are really spoiled babies. And complain – yes we do.. all the time. In the summer, it’s too hot, of course. in the winter, like this week, it’s too cold. For the record, this weather would be considered balmy by most Americans – especially at this time of the year. Consider this, in my home town of Winnipeg, aka Winterpeg, the forecast for tonight is minus 25 celsius. At that temperature, it doesn’t make a big difference between celsius and farenheit. The scales converge at minus 40 degrees.

I remember those days – and that’s one of the reasons I’m not there anymore. At minus 25, aka 25 below, the moisture in your breath freezes on your scarf, hat, or beard. Your car, having been outside in your garage overnight, has the tires frozen with a flat edge. In the morning, you have to drive a couple of blocks before your tires are round again. Your engine has a block heater that must be plugged in so that your engine does not freeze. I remember being at some event when I was in my teens, and the event was stopped for 30 – 45 minutes so people could go out to their cars and run the engine for 10 minutes. And people would still walk a couple of blocks in that cold unless the wind was blowing. If the wind was blowing, the temperature with wind chill, could hit minus 60 or minus 65 degrees.

So why would people live there you may ask? The Chamber of Commerce can extol the virtues but there is a constant population of 600,000. The important thing is  – I moved !! Quit complaining that it’s cold and put on a sweater !!


My grandfather moved there in 1905. He had his reasons – probably someone he knew from Romania moved there before he did, and painted a good picture. So my grandfather made the trip.

My grandfather was a unique man. He taught me a lot without forcing lessons. He had a great sense of humor, and he absolutely loved his grandchildren. He and my grandmother would come to visit, and he would be wearing a suit, as men did in the 50’s. We ‘forced’ him to loosen his tie, and take off his suit coat. He marveled at the miracle of television, and he loved cartoons, and Superman comics.

I never saw my grandfather lose his cool, but I did see him love his family. And when invited into his office to sit on the sofa while he was working with clients,  I saw how he treated his customers in his store, with respect and honor. He was a man of honor and we found out just how honorable long after he died.

In the 1930’s, international trade in some industries, was established by referral and by prior relationship. My grandfather, in mid 1939, ordered a large quantity of goods from the Black Forest region of Germany. The goods arrived and my grandfather was about to send payment when, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, war was declared on Germany by virtually every country including Canada, and my grandfather could not send payment. Eight years later, my grandfather travelled to Germany, searching for the manufacturer who had shipped him the goods, without luck.

Honor. Respect. Fairness. Some things I learned from my grandfather.

We learn a lot from our families – good, bad, indifferent. We retain what we want to retain. Sometimes, we don’t know that we are learning, or how or when we learned it. Think about what you learned from your grandparents, or your parents. Did you even realize where that specific ability originated? Or how you avoided something? Interesting thoughts.


This week, in Florida, about 800 people have received permits for the annual python hunt. I didn’t know that pythons are not a native species to Florida nor did I know that pythons are extremely prolific. And smart. In the ten years since the annual hunt started, only about 2100 snakes have been caught. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers a prize to the person who harvests the most pythons. I wonder if the winner gets a trophy or snakeskin boots?


Meanwhile, on the mortgage front, Washington has come out with yet another set of rules that will make your life more difficult. Definitions that are not clear, disclosures that don’t make sense, and more. What will eventually happen is that getting a loan could be more difficult, and small loans will only be available from the big banks. And if you don’t fit inside a continuously shrinking box, you will not be able to get a loan. These rules are being promulgated by people who know nothing about mortgages. But that’s not really a surprise, is it? Many Washington rules are invented by people who know nothing about real life. They listen to the lobbyists. Now that must be educational? ! NOT.

If you want to get a taste of who is running Washington, take a look at the job descriptions of the openings at some of the federal agencies. Most are directed primarily at other civil servants and with very short time frames when they are advertised. Interesting.

In the meantime, pick up the phone and ask me some questions. Prices in some areas have been increasing. Your property may help you now. The magic number is 818.305.4695. Use it today ! You owe it to yourself to see how much money you can save!

Have a better week.


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Weird laws: Guess where… Greece, Rome, South Carolina, Dubai

Illegal: Pinball for minors

Illegal: Eating and drinking near landmarks

Illegal: Sharing a hotel room outside of marriage

Illegal: Stiletto heels


In order – South Carolina, Rome, Dubai, Greece

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



January 13, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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