The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly #473 Routines. Revolutionary. Storm Chasers? Lions and so much more…


I was wondering how my routines started. I know that I can put my pants on one leg at a time because I’ve tried several times over the years to jump into them – and I could never make it work. I guess I could do it if I was to lie on my back and do it that way, but that’s cheating. Think about it – change your routine. See how strange you’ll feel and laugh.

The next routine to change is the way you brush your teeth. Start at the other side of your mouth and don’t give up. Start laughing. What an amazing way to start your day. Changing your routine and laughing. And what else can you do… and because it’s routine, you don’t even think about it. Going for a walk – start with the other foot. When you step off the curb, use the other foot. Use the other hand when you’re holding your water glass, or beer. At your favorite restaurant, you know, the one where you order the same thing every time – order something different.

All of this sounds totally revolutionary. But think about it. You’ve been doing the same thing, the same way for as long as you can remember. And odds are that your kids learned their habits from you. That’s scary ! You cloned someone ! (And they said it couldn’t be done.)

And consider all of the other routines that we ignore. Watch mama duck with ducklings – they all follow diligently, whether it’s in the water, or in single file, crossing the road, holding up traffic. Of course, then everyone with a camera jumps out of their cars to take a photo. How cute ! All those people jumping out of their cars. Routine. The better photo would have been of all those people taking the photo of the ducks.

Recently, I received an email with the obligatory photos attached – of four legged animals. A pride of lions basking in the sun – on an asphalt road with traffic backed up both ways. Interestingly, to me anyway, was that there weren’t any people outside their cars lining up to take photos. I wonder why the habit didn’t take over. Actually, I figured it out quickly. Get the photo and get eaten, but get the photo at any cost? Cowards 🙂

And then there are the storm chasers. What’s that about? How close can I get before I’m sucked up into the tornado? Duh.. I guess that was too close, he says, going in circles. Let a camera get sucked up, stick a homing device on it, and see what happens. You can find it after. Much more logical I think.

While we’re on death wishes vs fun, how about those people who jump off mountains and have winged suits on. They fly down the mountain at immense speed, and then land, if they can, in a serene valley, five minutes later. All of the people on their support team are really excited; the videos are really amazing; the occasional impact and bouncing off the rocks, well, they are never shown. I think they should be shown. That could be really cool. A modern day saga of Humpty Dumpty. Except now, all of the Kings Horses and All of the Kings Men would be ambulances, paramedics, surgical teams, and funeral directors. Now THAT would be an amazing reality show.

And to me, one of the best reality shows just ended. The Olympics. And NBC continues to abuse the American public by delaying events for twelve hours or more. And the public will watch to see the skiers tumble, the ice skaters fall, the bobsleds crash, and the American hockey teams get beaten, again, by the Canadians. But, the hockey games were shown in real time – I guess the public demanded it and got what they asked for. Twice.

Remember that there is a simple beginning step if you need money to expand or purchase a business; or to get a mortgage to refinance or acquire a new home. The magic number is, (musical fanfare please!)  818.305.4695 !!

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

As I was lying around, pondering the problems of the world, I realized that at my age I don’t really give a rat’s a** anymore.

..If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
.. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat.
.. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while
.. A tortoise doesn’t run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years.

And you tell me to exercise?? I don’t think so.

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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

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April 26, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, small business, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly #472 Burning Tool. Jailed ! Most Corrupt…. and so much more..


The other day, I was thinking. And that was a strange and uncomfortable experience. And I know that because so few people actually think about what they do. I actually did learn to think when I was a kid. I was forced to because there weren’t warning labels on everything.

I remember I had this iron etching pen that got really, really hot so we could burn designs in wood. That was really cool. Who knew about stuff like that? And It probably had a short cord, possibly to remind us to turn it off or unplug it. Actually, I think the cord was short enough to reach the curtains. The ‘toy’ probably came with some designs inked in pieces of wood, but I only remember burning anything and everything made with wood. No warnings on that.

And of course, we had chemistry sets. I do remember that it had some recipes, or formulae, of course. One time, I was across the street playing in this kids house. I can’t remember his name. I was merrily playing with the chemistry sets – mine and his – and brewing stuff in test tubes and cooking the mixture over a bunsen burner (no warning labels). The next thing I remember was the kid’s mother running downstairs yelling “is everyone OK” repeatedly. She told me that there was a big explosion… and that it was time for me to go home. No warning labels.

I’m guessing that some of you may have had similar experiences and results. Innocently of course. If that had happened today, we likely would have had every law enforcement agency between Los Angeles and DC coming at the house with weapons out. No ability today for kids to innovate innocently. How sad !

I read recently about someone who had forgotten to return a video… for nine years. Now this woman, not a suspect but the accused, had received a few letters demanding that the movie be returned and she ignored them. So the video rental place went to the local magistrate who issued a warrant for the woman’s arrest. By a coincidental series of events, the woman was reporting a crime at the police station, saw there was a warrant, and unceremoniously, put the woman in jail. In the meantime, the video store had been closed for a few years.

The good news is that the police did not actively go out hunting for the accused. The bad news is that warrants never expire. I don’t know the law but I think the accused should be made to hunt down the former owners of the video stores, bow down before them, ask for forgiveness, and return the video… or pay them for it, with nine years of interest, of course. Then she be made to stand on a pile of wood, and recite the entire dialogue of the movie. I have to think of the proper penalty if she misses one line of dialogue.

Meanwhile, the annual report of the countries with the most corrupt public sectors, has been published, complete with interactive map. And the website is free! The most corrupt countries, tied for 175th spot are Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan. The USA is #19, Canada and Australia are tied for 9th position. And Denmark and New Zealand are tied for #1 with the least corruption in the public arena. What this means, simply, is that you will think that several European countries might be dangerous, but they are decidedly less corrupt than the USA.

So while we’re talking about dangerous things, there is now photographic evidence that some species of crocodiles, that denizen of the deep, that distant cousin of the dinosaur, can climb trees. Not even bears are safe anymore !

I’m not a crocodile and not a bear, but I am excellent at sourcing financing for your business or your real estate. By now, you know the magic number by heart… 818.305.4695. I look forward to your call.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

“If I owned Texas and Hell I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.” – Philip Sheridan

 “I like children.  If they’re properly cooked.” – W.C. Fields

 “Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is blissfully ignorant.”  – John Simon

 “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work.  I want to achieve it through not dying.”  – Woody Allen

 “If God did not exist it would have been necessary to invent him.”  – Voltaire

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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

 

April 24, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, small business, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 2-15 Fine Dining. Living Long Loving. The Olden Days. And so much more….


The other day, while dining at that fabulous high end restaurant, yes, Costco’s Food Court, I sat at a table with a delightful lady who insisted that I was a kid. And I was ok with that, of course. But when she offered that her daughter was 73, I was shocked, because this lady certainly did not look 95. And she told me that when her husband came to the table, that I was not to mention that she had been married for 77 years, to the same guy. This gentleman was a spry 97, who moved like a 70 year old. And he still works part time.

 

She told me that his employer thinks he’s only 75 ! When I asked her for the secret of living as long as she has, and in such great shape, she said that she likes to breathe regularly ! And then she says that she married the best guy in the world. After I left, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend several years ago, after my divorce.

 

Steve asked me how many couples I knew that were as much in love with their spouse as they likely were when they got married. I think that I couldn’t get past six or seven. In the ensuing years, I think I might have been able to add two or three more couples. The rest, we decided, were complacent.

 

This isn’t a criticism but an observation. And I truly hope that you are one of those special couples, and that your Valentine’s Day was special. And that the couple who have 77 years together, also had a special day.

 

On the other hand, I was talking to another friend who had made a deal with his wife. They agreed that Valentine’s Day was over rated and that they could have a great dinner a week later. Of course, if you’re in the path of this week’s eastern and southern snow storm, you’re not going anywhere anyway. And I hope you survive the repercussions !

 

I remember, back in the olden days before cell phones, that there was a snow emergency in Winnipeg, and the emergency broadcast system said that telephones were to be used for emergencies only. I had a date that night so I decided I should call to tell her that I would not make it to pick her up. Her father answered the phone. I asked for his daughter, whose name I can’t remember now, and he said “Are you the police?” uh no. “Is this an emergency” uhhh..”get off the phone” and he hung up. I wonder if his daughter got the hint that I wouldn’t make the date.

 

I wonder if that was a turning point in my life? Maybe I should have become a cop so I would never have another dad-enforced broken date !

And here are a few more things that we didn’t know about in 2013. For women, smelling a newborn baby feels as good as drugs to addicts or cheeseburgers to those just breaking a fast. I don’t know if the smell is before or after the poop. Maybe it’s just the smell of the powder. But I like babies – until the diapers are loaded. A 10,000 year old mammoth trunk found in Siberia still had enough stuff that could be extracted to get the species going again. Heart disease patients with a positive attitude are more likely to exercise and live longer. The most positive patients exercised more and had a 42 percent less chance of dying during the follow-up period. I hope that I won’t ever be the exception to the rule! The oldest globe of the world dates from around 1500. It was drawn on ostrich eggs. I think it may not be edible !

 

Wolves howl to bring lost wolves back to the pack and to express the quality of their relationships. Come on – are their wolfpack therapists who figured this out? Give me a break !  Men howl to express their conquests on Saturday night. No therapist required for that knowledge ! Dolphins apparently have a signature sound that identifies them like a name. Scientists don’t know how they get their names. It’s so simple – how do those dweebs miss it ! The dolphin moms simply get the latest waterproof edition of the baby name book. Everyone knows that – now.

 

If you or someone you know needs money for their business or for a residential mortgage, I am still the guy with the magic number 818.305.4695. Memorize it ! Pass it along ! Make it work for you too !

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Mark Twain.  “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” – Dorothy Parker

“I didn’t like the play – but then I saw it under adverse conditions — the curtain was up.” – George S. Kaufman

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” – Mark Twain.

“Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.”  – Gore Vidal

“Liberty is the right to do whatever the law permits.” – Charles Monteiscu

“If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.” – Rita Mae Brown

 

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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

 

March 15, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, small business, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 2-8 Stupid Tourists. Passports. Biggest Killers. Magic Number.. and so much more….


I find it interesting that Americans, as a whole, don’t travel internationally. Actually, I would guess that a vast number of people have never left their home state, or to be generous, their home state and the one adjacent. In spite of that, Americans are regarded as being rude and demanding when they travel. I wonder if we are as rude as the French are rumored to be.

 

I think it’s the stupid tourists who are rude. They travel to visit a different culture, and then they want everything the same as it is at home. Why bother to travel? Stay at home and look at pictures on the internet or tv. You can download a bunch of photos, put them in an album and then label the album Bucharest or Budapest – yes, those are two different cities in two different countries. And then you can go to your local restaurant and have your same meal with your same friends (who also have never travelled) and you can leave the same cheap tip for your waiter as you always do.

 

However, if you do travel, spend money, and the natives won’t hate you quite as much. I remember the last time I was in Paris, and someone asked if I was American. I responded in my grade school French and I made a friend. Make an effort, and have some fun. But do you even have a passport – one that is current? Well, 61% of you will only sleep in your own bed according to the State Department statistics from early last year. I actually read a comparison of the passport states and the presidential election results from 2012. It was interesting enough to comment on, but I have a severe allergy to politics. You can go here to look for yourself.

 

There are 10 states where more than 50% of the citizens have current passports: Can you guess which is the most passported state: The answer is revealed elsewhere in this issue. Here are #’s 2 – 10.

Massachusetts – 59%, Alaska – 58, NY – 58, Connecticut – 56, California – 54, New Hampshire – 54, Vermont, Washington and Maryland – all at 51. Which state has the most?

 

Of course, one of the reasons you don’t travel is because of all the cool things that you don’t want to know about in some countries – like Dracula’s (aka Vlad the Impaler) Castle in Romania that is about 1000 years old (according to the tour guide), or that place in England where all those big rocks are in a circle and are said to be more than 70 years old (Stonehenge) or ski areas in the Alps that have been used for hundreds of years (even before the modern Olympics – that was started in 1896), and so much more. Get your passport because the government needs your fees.

 

I use my passport frequently. One of my friends insists that I need a passport to go from the Valley into the City (Los Angeles) for many reasons. But I don’t really believe him anymore! Try giving a bank teller your passport for identification. Most of them will freak out and ask for a drivers license because they have never seen a passport before.

 

Meanwhile, in other news, it seems that windows are one of the biggest killers of birds on an annual basis. No, don’t run out and buy a Mac – the windows that I’m referring to are the glass ones. Science News says that between 365 and 900 million birds are killed annually by flying into glass. I mean, that’s a big range. Lots of room for mistakes with that statistic! But the biggest bird killer are those nefarious, evil, creepy, skulking four legged critters know as…. cats. Those allergen carrying animals kill about 3.7 Billion birds annually. I’m sure that  there is a range in that number as well. The good news is that those felines keep the predator robins under control. Who knows how many worms and bugs they annihilate!

New Jersey is at 63%.

The important thing is that you know, and recognize, that my specialties are loans ($50K to $5MM) to businesses anywhere in the country, and California real estate loans. The magic number is the same – 818.305.4695.

Have a better week!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

“She got her good looks from her father.  He’s a plastic surgeon.”  –  Groucho Marx

“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep.  What do you want, an adorable pancreas?” – Dorothy Parker.

“I do not want actors and actresses to understand my plays.  If they will only pronounce the correct sounds I will guarantee the results.” – GB Shaw.

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.  Luckily, this is not difficult.”  –  Charlotte Whitton

 

 

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 Les Berman CMC
       
Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

 

March 2, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, small business, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 1-10 Three More Weeks. Disappearing Things. Kid in the Bottle. and so much more…


It’s started already. I guess that’s ok because it is three weeks away. But how can they start talking about it and postulating when they don’t even know who will be in the Super Bowl? Ok, so the ads will cost about $4 Million per minute. I thought that was interesting especially since I have absolutely no interest in the game itself.

 

I do remember a great Pepsi commercial where the kid sucked himself into the bottle. And the old Budweiser ads – the frogs, ‘wassup’ and others. Of course, the ads with Danica Patrick were very watchable as well. I hope they make me think that their $4 million was well spent, not that they really think what I care because I’m outside the prime demographic now.

 

The former inhabitants of parts of Illinois and Ohio would not care either. But they were sharks – yup, a shark nursery was found in them thar parts. They were so old that neither Lewis nor Clarke found them. However, the scientists who did examine the fossils, somehow determined that the sharks were in nurseries, not day care, but shark nurseries. And sharks still raise their juveniles, aka young snakes, in shark nurseries.

 

As those sharks disappeared, others are postulating about the things that will disappear in our lifetimes. Some say the Post Office is all but history and it will be gone within 30 years. And newspapers too. The younger generations do not read newspapers. Everything is electronic – but they will rue the day that newspapers are gone. After all, what will be used to wrap the fish?

 

Britain is planning to phase out checks by 2018. And when the US follows suit, what will the Post Office deliver, because bills won’t be mailed. I like writing checks. Confuses people today. Books and land line phones will go away. Bookstores are closing now – books come electronically now. And landline phones are virtual antiques now. How about a rotary dial phone sound when it rings? I really can’t remember, can you?

 

I don’t know enough about the music business to comment on that entertainment mode disappearing. There always has been music, and there likely always will be some. But the artists, as we know them, may be replaced by one hit wonders because the industry wants instant success. No one will be given a chance to develop.

 

And with all of this electronic stuff, handwriting as a form of communication will disappear. Most kids can’t write very well anyway. And they don’t write, they text. And spelling – forget it! Grammar has already disappeared. And people can’t tell the difference among their, there and they’re, now. And the last thing that will happen, is that our privacy will be a thing of the past. If you want to take the time, you can usually find out anything about anyone, today!

 

And it was 50 years ago that the warning labels were first put on cigarette packages. Recently, I heard and read a number of 1940’s and 1950’s ads for smokes. Back then, the advertisers could and did say anything they wanted about their products. A survey of all the doctors said they preferred Lucky Strikes. Who ever challenged the companies? Today, if they sneeze the wrong way, a boatload of consumer advocates will threaten litigation, class actions etc. just because. Oh well. C’est la vie !

 

Looking for financing to expand your business? or for real estate? call the Magic Number and we’ll get you moving – with the money… 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

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 Les Berman CMC
        Financing Business and Real Estate since 1980
       
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

February 5, 2014 Posted by | business, general interest, humor, real estate, small business, sports, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 1-4 Census or Senseless. WWII Numbers. Colorado jobs. Turing.. and much much more


Some days, I just have no idea what to write about, and fortunately the Census Bureau, sensing that, came to the rescue. The U.S. Census Bureau projected that on Jan. 1, 2014, the United States population was 317,297,938. This represents an increase of 2,218,622, or 0.7 percent, from NY Day 2013. In January 2014, one birth is expected to occur every 8 seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds. The projected world population on Jan. 1, 2014, is 7,137,577,750, an increase of 77,630,563, or 1.1 percent from New Year’s Day 2013. In January 2014, 4.3 births and 1.8 deaths are expected worldwide every second. India added 15.6 million people over the one-year period, which led all countries, followed by China, Nigeria, Pakistan Ethiopia, and North Dakota (just seeing if you’re reading this).

 

Since we’re playing with numbers, I think that those numbers that demonstrate the resilience and the strength of the American worker are amazing. When it’s crunch time, no one can be as efficient or productive as the people who know they are being relied upon by so many others to step up to the plate. And it’s this kind of productivity that will return the U.S. economy to its leadership position in the world. Consider the following:

 

During the 3-1/2 years of World War II that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, the U.S. produced 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 military trucks. We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany. (Yes, WW2 actually began in 1939 but US direct involvement did not begin until Pearl Harbor. The US had been manufacturing armaments for the Canadians and British since 1939 at least).

 

Production is coming back to the USA, albeit slowly. And it’s happening because of the efficiency of the American worker. Admittedly, a lot of production will never come back to our shores, but more jobs are coming back every month. And American ingenuity creates even more opportunities.

 

Colorado can be the beneficiary of 100,000 jobs, and generate about $67 Million in tax revenue because the people voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana. California is apparently considering a ballot measure in 2016. I wonder if the ‘holier than thou’ negative campaigners will be at the front of the line to take some of the tax revenue generated when the measure passes. I would bet that they will be there with their hands out, arguing for a bigger slice of what could be a billion dollar tax pie. And I wonder if a  union will try to organize these agricultural workers.

 

Meanwhile, the Brits are finally recognizing the work of Alan Turing. Alan Turing is credited with cracking Nazi Germany’s Enigma code, in the process shortening World War Two, and saving countless lives. He was also a mathematical genius, the father of the modern computer and much of his ground-breaking work was conducted at the University of Manchester. The Brits of the day did not approve of his relationship with another male. What they did to him would be called torture today, and ended in Turings suicide. Google his name for details – it will shock you !

 

Need financing for your real estate, or business? The magic number is still 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.
He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.
A calendar’s days are numbered.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.

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 Les Berman CMC
       Financing Businesses and Real Estate for 35+ years
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

January 30, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, small business, sports, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment