The View From The Golden Dome

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

Magic Word. Long Necks. Monster Fish. and more…

From time to time, we hear people speak from the dais and wonder how they gained the knowledge that they have. I’ve spoken to some of these speakers and have found that it usually starts with something they learned from someone else. I know people who learn from their grandparents, and others who happened on a book, or heard a comment from someone, or just discovered something they thought was interesting. And I remember hearing a woman speak a few times, and after the usual niceties, she always began her talk with one word. And when that happened, the audience was ready. The magic word – so !

And now, that is how I begin.


So… it turns out that the largest animal ever to walk the Earth was the sauropod. This was a long necked, long tailed dinosaur whose neck reached up to 50 feet in length, about six times longer than our friendly giraffe, the animal with an immensely long tongue (ever been to the zoo?). While we tend to think that elephants are big, this animal was 10X the size of the elephant (I don’t differentiate between the African and Asian). So scientists, wondering how they were going to provide content for my blog, decided to analyze the fossils (there are no currently living sauropods) and compared them to their nearest living relatives – birds and crocodiles. It turns out that the scientists decided that the big dinosaurs had light bones, hollow, and with tendons, ligaments etc. situated in such a way that they could support the neck.


Visualize a large sports arena that is open span. These buildings are actually supported by a wide base, like the sauropod, with wires and beams (ligaments, muscles, tendons) supporting the center of the building (the head).


The scientists have three theories about the long neck – the animals could feed on leaves high in the trees, they could graze on grass that isn’t readily accessible (sort of like beer that’s in the fridge and I don’t want to get off the sofa), or that the long necks could have been attractive to others. C’mon, what do scientists know about being attractive? Introduce me to one, who is age appropriate, attractive  – and single, and I may report back to you– or not !


Of course, the long necks could have evolved into the long necks of today. I think they call them ‘nosy people’. ! You know the ones – they are always craining their necks trying to pick up on the latest gossip.


I don’t think that sauropods went swimming in Lake Tahoe unlike their cousins in Loch Ness, but evidently, others are invading the lake. Actually, recently, some huge fish have been caught in Lake Tahoe. Remember those cute little goldfish that you bought for your kids. You know the ones – they ended up doing the backstroke so you flushed them down the toilet. And then went to buy others as replacements before the kids noticed.


Well, guess what ! Some people decided to dump their goldfish in Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. And you know it!  Monster fish !!! They found one that was 1.5 feet long and weighing more than four pounds. Now you have to be careful if you let your kids or grandkids go swimming in that lake. Are the goldfish are primed for payback? Will they capture your kids and keep them on display? or even worse, will they make them into fish food?

The reason that we know about small goldfish is that their growth is restricted by their environment (your fishbowl) and the food they are given to eat.  Actually, goldfish are part of the carp family, and they were bred for their color. Koi are also related somehow, and we’ve all seen some pretty big koi.


I remember going into an office building in Orange County in the early 1980’s that had an artificial stream running through it. I had to walk over a bridge to get to the office I was visiting, and as I stepped on the bridge, dozens of koi would swim over, looking for a meal. And I’m aware of other buildings that have koi ponds. And we are always fascinated by their knowledge of food sources (you and me) and by watching wild fish just swimming around.


But the problem in Lake Tahoe is that the goldfish eat the native species and the native vegetation. I saw a comment that goldfish would be edible (they are part of the carp family) if they were kept in clean water for a couple of weeks to allow the mud and junk to flow through their systems. As for me, I’ll pass on that experience.

In other news of note, I bring back to the table two train wrecks: Lindsay Lohan and Congress. Enough said.


In the mortgage world, loans continue to get done, and the lenders are gettingincreasingly stupid, thanks to government and political regulations(?). A client, well past 71, had over a million dollars in his IRA, The mandatory distribution, by law, is about $50,000 annually. The lender’s underwriter wanted a letter from her financial planner stating that there was enough money in her IRA to take the minimum distribution for at least three years !  ???? I got that request waived. Stupidity prevails but you must persevere and just supply what they ask for. Money is available. Rates are great. Now pick up the phone and call me 818.305.4695

Have a better week !


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Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

According to some spiritualists, the human aura cannot be photographed through polyester.

How many stars in the Seven Sisters (aka the Pleiades)? About 250

Mongolia is the only country where horses outnumber people.


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

March 2, 2013 - Posted by | general interest, real estate, stuff, whimsy | , , , , ,

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