The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly 1- 26 Horsepower. Cars. Carbon Paper. Copier Problems.

I was thinking about cars the other day, and remembering one of my dad’s sedans, a Chrysler, in the early ’60’s. It had a lot of horsepower – lots of big horses – and cruised really nicely, and fast. Of course, there was the time that the Highway Patrol chased me for 36 miles before catching me. It was all about horses. Yikes, my son reads this and I never told either of my kids this story. Oh well..

The concept of horsepower is very interesting. I think it evolved into some formula that an engineer invented. But think about it. I was in Eastern Europe a few years ago, on a voyage of discovery of my family roots. And I saw what horsepower was really about. There was an order to things. Here, the order started with the basic Yugo (I did see a couple of those) and progressed to Maybachs and more. In Romania, things were even more basic. And this is the way it was.

The entry level vehicle was a horse drawn cart that had solid wooden wheels. I can’t imagine the bone jarring ride that resulted. Next was the horse, cart with wooden spoke wheels, followed by horse cart, wooden spoke wheels with scrap rubber on the wooden wheels. Understand that these carts were used for commerce – hauling everything from trash to animal waste to anything else you could imagine. So the next level up was horse, cart, rubber tires followed by, you guessed it, two horses, cart, rubber tires but the cart was bigger than the one horse cart. We have now evolved into a two horsepower vehicle. I was really amazed to see this in the 21st century – probably as amazed as people became in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s in North America as the horseless carriage became dominant.

So horsepower, at the beginning of the 1900’s, truly was reflective, I think, of a comparison with what horses could actually do. You can go into some banks today and see a team of horses pulling a stagecoach. That was four or six horsepower. Change.


So to finish the speeding story, the officer told me to come to his car. He asked me how fast I was going and I said about 75 mph. His response was something like “come on son ! Look at the steam coming from your engine !” That’s pretty funny now but not quite so much in 1963. So when I told my parents, my mother was, of course, furious. My dad, pulled me aside later, and asked how fast I was really going. So I told him the whole story, including the steaming engine. And then told him I got it up to 110 mph. My Dad looked at me, grinned, and said “How did it ride?” For the record, my fine in traffic court, was $25 !.  I seem to recall that the Chrysler had about 305+ horsepower. No team of horses could get to the speed that I reached.

I don’t drive nearly that fast anymore, even on the freeways.

And back then, there weren’t any copiers. I remember seeing my first Xerox machine. It was a single sheet feed and pretty big. I seem to recall that it could have been a Model 660.  But it was a marvel. Before that, there were dozens of women, sitting in rows with typewriters, typing multiple copies of documents, using carbon paper. (google it if you don’t know what those were)!  And corrections had to be made on all of the copies. I remember going to an insurance company and seeing the typing pool. A full floor of typists – with manual typewriters. I’m sure you can see a sample of this memory in some old movies.

And today we have high speed copiers that do everything from copy, to scan and sort and email and everything else. Eventually, your lease ends and you return your copier for a newer, faster, more efficient model. And your old copier is bought by a company that re-leases or re-sells them. CBS was curious and bought a few machines. What they found was shocking!

These new copiers that scan, copy and email all use hard drives. When you turn in the old copier, you’re handing over around 20,000 pages of your records – still on your hard drive. CBS printed off the hard drives and found police records, medical records, and a whole lot of private information. And this was on every copier they bought.

This was enlightening. Scary. Take a few minutes and watch this video – and then take action to protect your corporate and private information.   . Don’t think about it. Click on it now. It’s safe.

And no, we don’t have it so bad here. I was just reading that in South Africa last week, that there was so much rain that a river flooded and broke through some fences surrounding a farm. Apparently 15,000 of the farm animals escaped. So now there are a lot of hungry crocodiles in the neighborhood. So, just because it looks like a rock, you might not want to step on it.

The bond markets threw some rocks Friday and rates did not like the rocks. This could be the shock that you needed to get your home purchase moving. You need to be pre-approved and I can definitely work with you on that. Give me a call today 818.305.4695 or send me an email and we can look after things. And if you’ve been sitting on the fence about your refinancing, I think it’s time to get moving. Don’t let the ship sail without you. Here is the magic number… 818.305.4695.

Have a better week.


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words. Here are some of them.

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach


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




January 26, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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