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 3-16 Ides of March. Sick Mummies. Scottish or Scotch? Lake Whillans.

Alas and alack. They told him, repeatedly, Julie, don’t go ! Julie don’t go ! Beware the Ides of March !! Yet he did, and Julius Caesar met his destiny at the hands, or knives, of Brutus (not the one of Popeye fame). And so went another Emperor. So, according to my calendar, yesterday marked the 2057th anniversary of the termination of the reign of Emperor Julius Caesar.. and so began the reign of the next guy. But thanks for the reminder from Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, and of course, hats off to Ed Sullivan as well. And Happy St Patty’s Day!


Around the same time, approximately, within an eon or two, the inhabitants of planet Earth were looking for some Lipitor.


Researchers, led by a physician at the University of Missouri, examined 137 mummified bodies and found a lot of them had hardening of the arteries. Notwithstanding that a couple thousand years had passed, and every part of the mummified body had hardened, the medical condition was still evident. What they, and of course, I, found most interesting was that the eating habits of those people were vastly different from what we eat. They didn’t have much in the way of packaged meats or prepared foods, donut shops, sushi places, or McDonalds. Yet the incidence of artherosclerosis (I had to throw in a medical term just to prove I can copy type) was present in the same ratio, basically, as it is today.

The mummies were from diverse populations – Egyptian, Peruvian, Pueblo, and Aleutian and ranged from 1800 BC to the early 20th century. So my conclusions from these findings are very straightforward – eat whatever you want because odds are that you will die anyway. And take Lipitor.


Meanwhile, back in merry old England, yet another group of scientists has found more than 50,000 burned (or cremated for the genteel) bone fragments buried at Stonehenge. Although they were found 100 years ago, they were set aside by the archaeolgists of the time, as being unimportant. The fragments were of men, women, children and even a newborn infant. They are not able to extract DNA at this time. And the scientists have now been able to date the earliest fragments to 2500 – 3000BC. Nearby, remains of hut sites, tools, pots and lots of animal bones suggests that those were the site of a seasonal work camp for the builders of Stonehenge. Perhaps, rather than our current “bring your own booze”, at that time it was bring your own cow, or pig. The archaeologists have decided that more excavations are necessary.

I believe that eventually, they will find that there was a deep pit at one side of Stonehenge, and it was filled with water. That was for the kids who would dare each other to jump from the highest part of the rock.


In other news from ‘over there’, a creature with a long snake-like body, many legs, and a voracious appetite has been discovered near Loch Ness in northern Scotland. For my uninformed readers, Loch is Scottish for Lake. And Scottish is what the people are called. They are not Scotch. You drink Scotch. You cook with Scotch. You dance with Scottish. And really, does it matter in the context of discovering what this new found monster is about. Not one bit. But you have read every word. And I welcome you.

Anyway, that monster lives on a leaf and is related to the sawfly. The importance of this discovery and the other seven previously unknown species found on the 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate in the County of Inverness, Scotland is simple. Previous researchers liked the Scotch more than the Scottish !


More on the reports from the unknown. Gee, you’d think that Captain Kirk (I’ll bet he had some Scotch in his background) had been nosing around. Lake Whillans is a body of water located on the southeastern edge of the Ross Sea, which, as we all know, is on the western side of Antarctica. There are more than 300 large bodies of water that have been identified under the White Continent (yes – so called because of the snow and ice and you knew that). I know you’re going to ask, so I will tell you that they are kept liquid by geothermal heat and pressure. Some of these lakes are pristine and may have been in place for thousands of years. There is a chance that they host organisms unknown to modern science. I think Kirk, Scotty, and Spock have to make some decisions before some jokers try to investigate and accidently unleash another Pandora’s Box of catastrophe on our planet. Or, perhaps those lakes contain the secrets that Ponce de Leon was searching for before he died of old age!


Rates are slowly creeping up in spite of the efforts by the government. What a great time to buy a home – before rates get up there again. When I bought my first home in Los Angeles, I paid 12%, and was happy to get it. When rates hit the fives, you’re going to hear screaming from every corner of the country. So don’t scream, act now. Call me. Today 818.305.4695.

And in other activity, I am representing funds that are available for structured financing on commercial projects anywhere in the country. If it makes sense, we might have the money for you. But you won’t know until you pick up the phone. 818.305.4695.

Have a better week.


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

If it’s illegal to drink and drive, why do bars have parking lots?

How does the guy who drives the snowplow, get to work?

Why do they call it a ‘building’? Isn’t it a ‘built’?

Why is ‘verb’ a noun?


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


March 16, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, real estate, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 10-27 Perfect Child. Bone Fragment. Big Oil. Roadblocks

When I was a little kid, I was a perfectly behaved child. That lasted until I was six months old. But there is some help for you, according to the Pediatrics journal. What was really interesting was that when I googled that phrase, better behaved children, there were thousands of articles. I’m absolutely amazed (?) that there are so many people who need help with this. I thought we all had perfect children. I’m impressed that so many people think that both French and German kids are well behaved, and then wonder why. Do you think that it could be because wine is always on the table? More wine, less whine !

According to the research report, a test group got an average of 27 minutes more or 27 minutes less sleep every night. That 54 minute swing was significant. The sleep deprived were found to be more impulsive and irritable, were quicker to cry, lose their tempers or get frustrated. Those with more sleep had a better handle on emotions and were more alert in class. Now, the researchers did not get the same conclusion that I did. And here it is – if you, the parent, get an extra hour of sleep each night, you’ll be in better shape to cope with the sleep deprived kids who won’t go to bed !!+

While we’re on kids, do you remember when yours started to talk? Grunts, gestures, sounds and eventually words and sentences. And once they started, they have not stopped. Except possibly when they are sleeping. So now, scientists have evidence of white beluga whales talking and they have recorded sounds. In one instance, a diver was in a whale’s enclosure and came out of the water asking who told him to get out of the enclosure. Then they heard the whale saying “out, out, out.” In the 1970’s, there was a beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium that made sounds like garbled Russian or Chinese.

I lived in Vancouver then, and I can tell you, absolutely, that when it comes to making sounds like garbled Russian or Chinese, that expertise is also mine !


Scientists come up with amazing information. How can they tell me about the owner of a bone fragment – one that is only 3.3 million years old?! Someone found a complete shoulder blade of a child that old. And then another scientist spent 11 years flecking sandstone away from what remained of her bones. ELEVEN years. And from these fragments, the scientists are telling me that this child, walked upright and also was adept at climbing trees. So I get the part about the shoulder blade and it being positioned in a way that could make tree climbing easier. But how do they know that these fragments are 3.3 million years old – and not 3.2 million. I mean, what is 100,000 years in that timeline. Did they find a calendar near the bones? I don’t think so. So what would Mr. Darwin have said?


While we’re at it, have you been to the Galapagos? I think that some species there have not changed in thousands of years. I’d really like to get there in the next year or two. I’ve always been fascinated with what I’ve read or seen about those islands. I may be asking for contributions pretty soon !


Perhaps, some millions of years ago, some flora and fauna got caught in a big hole and that was the beginning of oil. And then about 150 years ago, someone figured out what to do with the black gold. And eventually J.D. Rockefeller figured out how to get control of oil production and Standard Oil was born. So where am i going with this. I am fed up with everyone picking on big oil and big business. Guess what people. Get your collective heads out of the dark place. Without ‘big’ oil, investing in refineries, investing in pipelines, employing tens of thousands of people, our gas prices could be double what they are today. People take risks, and those risk takers are allowed to earn a return on their investment. And the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. And millions of people agree with this, because they have bought stock, with their savings, in big oil and big business. And these investors are also entitled to a reward for their investments.

Yet our government insists on putting up more and more roadblocks to any kind of business. I don’t understand it. What is wrong with making a profit! Why does government take a simple three  page form that no one read, and make it into a 12 page form that no one will read. If there are people who do not want to take a risk, then don’t do it ! But don’t criticize and hate those that do take a risk, and win.

I met a married couple in 1997. He bought his first share of stock in 1931. He was making pennies and invested everything he could. His wife told me how much money they were giving away every year, and what kind of tax problem they still had. I estimated that their portfolio was worth $25 – $30 Million. They didn’t take risk – but they bought stock in companies that did. And they didn’t sell anything – buy and hold. It worked! So quit your complaining and do something. It’s easier than ever to make conservative investments. Don’t want to do it. Your option, but please, shut up !!


It’s all about planning. A client of mine believes in planning. He owns two houses – one that he bought when he was in his late 20’s, and another that he bought about 15 years later. He called me after being turned down by his bank and asked what I could do. He was prepared to pay income taxes for one more year so that we would have a solid two year history. He had looked at the analysis that I had sent him, analyzed his tax cost vs savings on mortgage payments and made his decision to proceed. He’s paying taxes so he can free up locked in capital, and pay a ridiculously low interest rate. And he’ll use the freed up money to invest in other opportunities.

What is your situation? If you want to see accurate figures, call me at 818.305.4695 and spend 15 minutes with me. I’ll create a detailed analysis for you and give you the tools necessary to make a decision. Whether your situation is simple or complex, you have to have the numbers. And this is something that I give you without any obligation. This is part of the value added service that I give to my clients and friends. Pick up the phone – you have everything to gain !

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

Broken pencils are pointless.

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.


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


October 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment