The View From The Golden Dome

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

Best News. Oldest Person. Biggest Party. Lost Heads… and much more


The best news is that hockey returns on Saturday. For those of you who don’t understand hockey, think about your football season being cut in half AND no news about the ‘athlete arrest of the day’ from the football world. There’s something missing from real life.

Now, I’m not one of those people who can cite statistics, salaries, and schools the players attended. And I don’t care if a team is at the top or the bottom, and I usually don’t care about any team in particular. And I will not usually know the names of more than one or two players on one or two teams. OK – so you don’t understand. Simple. I love the game. And to me, it’s about the game, not the personalities. Sure, everyone wants a Wayne Gretzky on their team, but it’s a joy to see a great player, regardless of which team he’s on.

Last season, the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup. That’s a title you want because it’s yours forever. There are other titles that you don’t want – and that last forever. Those are the ones that will be attached to people like Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong. And then there is the title that you are guaranteed, within a relatively short time, to lose – that of the oldest person in the world. That title belongs, today, to Jiroemon Kimura, a Japanese man, aged 115 years, 274 days as of 18 January 2013. By the time you read this, there could be a new champion. He has lived in three different centuries. That’s a tough feat to duplicate.

And so I was curious and learned that the person with the longest unambiguously documented human lifespan is that of Jeanne Calment of France (1875–1997), who died at age 122 years, 164 days. I’ll bet that they gave up active sports before they were 100 !

 

Meanwhile, I see that  we are approaching the biggest party celebration of the year – bigger than Thanksgiving, bigger than Christmas. It is of course, Super Bowl Sunday ! I think that starting next week, you will start to see totally irrelevant minutiae about every player on every team. I purposely say “you” because many of you will consume that stuff. I know that I won’t. I watch the game for three reasons – the commercials of course, the advertisements, and of course, the chicken wings. I may record the game just to get past the football so I can enjoy the ads – and the chicken wings.

 

Chicken wings were a waste product just 25 or 30 years ago. Last year, more than 1 Billion wings were consumed on Super Bowl weekend. That means that 500 million chickens sacrificed themselves so we could enjoy the game. What pure unselfish acts! We have so much to be thankful for !!

 

The good news is, I guess, that they didn’t lose their heads – for us. Did your parents ever tell you that if your head wasn’t screwed on tight (or right), you would lose it ! Mine did and I still haven’t figured out how mine is still attached. Well, at Chicago O’Hare, they found a few loose ones. to be exact, 18 ! Now I could wax eloquent about the positions of the heads. Were they looking up, thereby signaling an improvement in the economy? or down? Were they looking at each other, because they were lonely? or looking away? It turns out that this collection of heads had been used for anatomical study in Rome, Italy. They were being shipped to a crematorium in the Chicago area for disposition. According to U.S. Customs, human body parts are shipped all the time.

A couple of years ago, a shipment of about 60 heads turned up in an airport in Arkansas. The number is approximate because there were some partials in that shipment. So two questions arise from this:  #1 – are there no disposal sites in Italy or elsewhere in Europe and #2 – how would Ichabod Crane have reacted to these discoveries?

 

Of course, we all think we know people who are headless. According to an NBC-WSJ poll,  as Obama begins his second term “just 35% of adults think the nation is headed in the right direction (down six points from last month); more than seven in 10 are dissatisfied with the current state of the economy; and 60% believe the coming year will be a time to hold back and save because of harder times ahead. Also, a second inaugural is always different than the first. But it’s also true this isn’t Jan. 2009. “If 2009 was all about hope,” NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D) says, “2013 is about the ability to cope.” What’s more, just 14 percent of adults approve of Congress’ job (which is near the all-time low in the poll), while 81 percent disapprove (which is close to its all-time high). Too bad those heads were destroyed before they could be re-assigned !

 

On the mortgage front, rates have risen about 1/2 point since the all time lows about three months ago. However, they are still in the 3’s. And they will go up. What will you think when rates hit 5 again. People will be going crazy saying how they will only take a 3.5 rate. Memories will be very long, and there will be consumer pushback eventually. So, don’t be one of those people.

Call me today at 818.305.4695. Let’s see what your options really are ! 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoid of the Week:

How did Picasso keep warm in his early days? By Burning his paintings!

First American novel to sell more than one million copies was — Uncle Tom’s Cabin !

Most popular sport on earth – soccer. Played by more than 100 million people in more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

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

 

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January 19, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

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