The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly #477 Disgusting Indulgence. Hey Mikey ! Big Turtles. and so much more….

After a disgustingly indulgent day, I remembered a commercial from back in the olden days. “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing !” I remembered the phrase but had no idea about the product. And I couldn’t remember when the ad campaign began. So, I did something totally out of character… I did research. Hurt my brain doing that !


There seems to be a question about when the ad originated. So we’ll agree that it originated in 1969 or 1970. Right around the same time as that other classic – “Mama Mia, thatsa spic..ymeatball !. And those were both Alka Seltzer ads.

Of course, there were other memorable ads from the olden days that still resonate today, and we can’t remember what the product was or when it came to our attention first. Here are a couple of other mindblowers.


How about “a diamond is forever“. That slogan has been around since before the days of the movie. That was actually coined in 1947. The ‘gimme a break, gimme a break’ came out in the 50’s but didn’t get traction until the ’80’s as the Kit Kat bar became wildly popular. Of course, we all had opinions of what was popular and what wasn’t.


wasn’t even aware of this slogan – “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” that came out in the 1960’s. It may never have aired in Canada because at that time, the conservatives in Canada made the bible belt of today look tame. Or, perhaps I didn’t understand the nuance. Nah.. didn’t air in Canada !! By the way, electrolux was a vacuum cleaner.


Of course there was the “Hey Mikey… he likes it!” . I never remembered what it was promoting, but I do know that all of us have borrowed that phrase forever. And it really has been forever. That one rolled out in 1972. And just so you don’t have to look it up, that was the promo line for Life cereal. I didn’t have that cereal then or since. So Mikey, you tried hard but you didn’t get me!


How many times have we said, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Back in the late 80’s, when Life Alert came out with that slogan, it was supposed to be serious. Then as we matured (we mature, we don’t get old), it became a funny line. Now, that we have over matured, some of you are wondering what would happen if you were to fall and you couldn’t get up. The answer is simple… either stay in shape or get your hip replacement now !!


So many of these ad campaigns were clever, or intelligent, or humorous. And so many of them became parts of our daily speech, not as intended of course, but effective for the ad agencies that developed them. “This is your brain on drugs” and the frying egg, always made me want a fried egg. And of course, that started the comparisons to so many other things, such as the day you entered prison and the day you left. But it wasn’t fried eggs. Or “Where’s the beef”.

And one of the best, that’s used in everyday speech, is “what happens here, stays here”. Just insert the city that you want to protect you, and you know it will !


In the meantime, have you heard the story of the 10 foot turtle? This one is almost too hard to believe. In 1849, a fossilized bone is given to the Academy of Natural Sciences, now at Drexel University. There were no records of who donated it or where it was found. So 162 years later, a man was fossil hunting in Monmouth County, New Jersey and sees something sticking out of the river bank. He digs it out and sees that it is a fossilized bone.


He takes it to the New Jersey State Museum and shows it to a curator who immediately knew thatit was the humerus (that’s science speak for an upper arm bone) of a turtle. Curator humorously suggests that fossil hunter take it to Drexel University, and fossil hunter eventually does. At Drexel, they look at the ‘new’ bone and pull out their old bone. And amazingly, they fit together perfectly. So what are the odds that a 70 million year old fossil, broken in two parts that are found almost 200 years apart, would be reunited. So the scientists, from this one bone, decided that the turtle in question was about 10 feet long. That must have been one fine soup !!!


Remember, that when you need money for your financial home (either business or residential), call the guy with the shiny golden dome (that’s me). And the magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Questions that Haunt Me:

If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? ( Why  did you just try to sing the 2 songs above?)


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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
Voice: 818.305.4695


July 12, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly #478 5 year old. Importance of Children. Zebras. Flying Birds…. and much much more.

One of the more interesting articles that I’ve read this week tells about the five (5) year old boy who was playing with his dad’s XBox. The dad, not having allowed the little guy to play with the XBox, was a little surprised, and asked his son how he got into the game console. The 5 year old promptly showed his dad how he hacked into the game console system in about two minutes. Being good people, they told Microsoft, the developer of the Xbox. how a five year old could hack in. And Microsoft fixed the bug, and sent the 5 year old a bunch of games and a one year subscription to something I don’t understand.


The moral of the story is simple : if you are having any kind of cell phone, tablet, or computer issue, you can usually get an answer now from a 5 year old, and almost always from a 7 year old. This, friends, is why children and grandchildren are extremely important to those of us who can’t find the ‘on’ switch.


Meanwhile, in the science world, researchers have discovered why zebras have stripes. I know you have wondered if zebras are black with white stripes, or white with black stripes. I am sure that you asked your parents and grandparents, your teachers, and anyone else over the age of twelve for the answer to that question. People have experimented with painting horses in stripes to see if the offspring would be born with stripes, but I think that was more likely to have happened in Appalachia, or some other states south of the Mason-Dixon line. These people were definitely not schooled in the science of animal husbandry. And while we’re on that topic, why is it called animal husbandry? Did the people who came up with that term, know something that we don’t want to know.


Anyway, the paint experiments didn’t work. But what the researchers did find, is that the stripes confused the biting insects, like tabanid biting flies and tsetse flies, that are so common, and vicious, on the plains of Africa. The bugs are confused by the stripes, and leave the zebra alone. Some striped antelope are also relieved of the bug plague too. Of course, the zebra spokesman, in giving the results of the study to the herds of his pals, also said that if the researchers had really wanted to help, they would have come up with something that also would confuse lions.


And scientists have recently discovered why larger birds fly in a V formation, and why smaller birds fly in swarms. They fly in swarms to confuse predators who have to focus on a target for accuracy. If you watch dolphin or whale shows on tv, they show how small fish do the same thing. Of course, then comes a whale with an open mouth and there goes that fish swarm.

The V formation is used because it conserves energy. The wings each create some kind of upwash, or draft, and the following birds have less resistance. Also, because birds can’t spell very well, they avoided the bar in A and E formations.


The Census Bureau reported that in 2012, 22 million people worked for federal, state, and local governments. So now you know where your tax money is going – you’re paying the salaries of all of those people, some of whom actually work hard, others do hard work, and the rest… you make the decision.


Remember, if you need money for any legitimate reason – business purchase or expansion, real estate purchase or refinance, or if you’re buying a home, call the guy with the shiny golden dome – me !! themagic number 818.305.4695.


Have a better week.


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:


Why do they call it an asteroid when it’s outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it’s in your butt? (you might have to think about thisone)!

Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough money?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?


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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
Voice: 818.305.4695


June 18, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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 !


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

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

Les Berman Weekly 11-3 Lucky! TV Ads. Gangs. Cagney. Detroit and much more

We are so lucky. Of course, we escaped the wrath of Sandy, and hopefully, all of your friends and family did too. But that is not the cause for our minor celebration. The amount of election rhetoric, and I would say that it’s 99% negative or hateful, or both, that we get here in California is ugly. Can you imagine what would happen if we were living in Ohio?? And all of this is over 18 electoral college votes! In some ways, I’m glad I’m living here in lalaland. Everyone, including the candidates, knows the state is voting democrat, so they don’t even bother to come here. And isn’t that a victory for us?!


As I was driving home today, I was thinking how I would react if I lived in Ohio. I would not answer my phone. I would record every TV show so I could skip past the political stuff. I would have a trash can by my mailbox with instructions to deposit all political stuff in it. If a phone call did get through, I would tell the caller that I’m voting for the other party just because you called me too many times. I would have warning signs at my door bell saying that the door knocker or ringer may be subject to water cannon or water balloon attacks, regardless of the party they represent. And of course, I would have the “Don’t tread on me” photo right beside it.

In Wisconsin, a woman voted by mail and did not vote for either Senate candidate because of the negative advertising against each other. An independent polling company found that there were 25,647 TV adsin the 30 days prior to October 26, and 99 percent were negative. I have yet to hear a positive ad here in Los Angeles, and that could be because I tune them out or turn them off.


Did you hear the sighs of relief in the last week? Every one was preceded by – “I’m so sorry about the loss of life and devastation on the east coast, but I have really enjoyed the days without the ads and the candidates faces showing up everywhere. How said is it that it takes a catastrophic event to shut those people up. I wonder if the political advisors are hearing the push back from the people. And I wonder how they will handle the next campaigns, which are coming, of course in less than two years. Did the US Supreme Court make an error when they allowed the super-PACS and the corporate contributions? I think that the people think so.

Is our election system so broken that it can’t be repaired? or won’t be? This negative stuff cannot have been in the minds of the country’s founders. But who can and will cure this disease? Certainly not the politicians. A committee of five people from the can likely come up with workable solutions within a week.


Meanwhile, off the coast, people have found that gang formation is not limited to the two legged types who shoot on sight if your colors are wrong, or if you make the wrong signs with your hands etc. Here we have smaller hermit crabs, always on the lookout for a newer bigger home. So what do they do – they form gangs to kick their larger cousins out of the big comfy shells that they are living in. And then each of the crabs in the gang moves into a bigger home, and everyone lives happily ever after… well except for the big guy who got evicted. The reason for the need for bigger shells… basically for the same reason that humans want a bigger house … It’s easier to raise more kids when you have more room. Sadly, or not, the biggest crab that just got evicted, will likely serve as a meal for something that is running around on the beach where this conga line eviction just happened. So next time you’re on a tropical beach where hermit crabs play, consider leaving some shell like potential homes for those little guys !


Still on the animal track, I wonder how many rats were drowned in New York and the tri-county area. I mean the four legged ones. I understand that they are pretty good swimmers. And after this apocalypse, we will lose this phrase for a while “you dirty rat!” (with apologies to James Cagney fans who think he said that line – he didn’t, but apologies anyway). A bad line in a good place 🙂


Meanwhile, back in Detroit, one family is about to lose their control over international traffic. The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario is owned by one family, and has been for several generations. It carries $120 Billion in trade annually, and that is fully one quarter of all US-Canada annual trade. So the governments of Michigan and Canada made a deal. Get this – the entire cost, including overruns will be paid by Canada. All costs will be recouped by bridge tolls. The bridge will be built using Canadian and US steel, requiring and getting a waiver from Buy America. Steel from other countries cannot be used. The New International Trade Crossing has the support of Governor Snyder, the Governments of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, the Chambers of Commerce of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, as well as automobile manufacturers, building trades and steel workers unions and farm organizations. In fact, the only real opposition comes from one company trying to protect its current monopoly on the Ambassador Bridge. I am sure that the families whose homes are on the congested routes to the old bridge will see home values increase substantially as the new bridge, which is away from homes, nears completion.

So there is great agreement on that. Now if only the NHL would get back on the ice !


I had a call a couple of weeks ago on a referral from a CPA. The gentlemen was very anxious because his significant other was in failing mental health and he needed to refinance her clear title home to get enough money to pay for her care. He thought he had a power of attorney (POA). Most of my lenders declined because of loan amount or their concern about the type of POA or both. One of our lenders evaluated the reason for the cash out loan and the loan to value, and told us they would likely make the loan. The paperwork is in progress.

The lesson here is simple. Ask the question. I’m sure you were told, and you have told your kids, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” So please pick up the phone and call me at 818.305.4695. Or email .Ask your question. And yes, I answer the phone on the weekends.

And to everyone, with special emphasis in the tri-state area, have a better week !!



Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q:  Do you know why sailors reply Aye Aye when given an order?

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool

A. The first Aye is to say that the order has been received and understood.
The second Aye says that it will be carried out. (Every sailor and Marine
knows this apparently, but being neither, I didn’t !)



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


November 3, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment