The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly #480 Learning. Jeans. Shoes. and Wine… with much much more !!


Every day that I learn something has to be a good day. Recently, a friend told me that she was going shopping with her girlfriend to buy jeans. Now you and I know that jeans are an integral part of everyone’s wardrobe. Male and female.

I bought jeans because they fit and were comfortable, and I needed them comfortable because of the weight I packed on after my knee surgery. And the good news is that those recently purchased jeans will be too big shortly. But you don’t care about my jeans – you want to know about her jeans !

I understand enough of the female psyche to know that women cannot go shopping by themselves. Sort of like women having to go to the restroom in groups. On the restroom trips, do you girls hold hands together over or under stalls? or is it constant conversation that can’t be interrupted? or for some other secret sisterhood rite that can never be disclosed to us mere males?

So what was the purpose of the shopping trip? Apparently the girlfriend’s workplace had decided to have casual Fridays. And the call went out from the girlfriend to help her find jeans that she could actually sit in for most of the day.  Guys !! Stop laughing ! Think about it for a minute. Girlfriend likely had skin tight, can hardly breathe jeans, that highlighted some of her better assets. But she couldn’t sit in them.

Now I love tight jeans on a woman who should wear them. Not so much when they shouldn’t wear them. Fortunately, we males have as many different opinions on who should wear what, as there are males. So I have to be careful. And I don’t know the outcome of the shopping trip because I was not invited to observe and comment !

And another favorite topic, about which I really don’t have an opinion, that matters, is shoes. Women’s shoes. I have friends, mother and daughter, who have lots of shoes. Now I don’t know if they could compete with Imelda for numbers, but that’s not what shoes are about. They told me, in graphic detail, that there are shoes and there are shoes. I learned that they have shoes that are three block shoes. Those are shoes that would kill them if they were to walk three blocks in them. They have shoes that are suitable for long distance walking, with “long distance” having definite boundaries. Vacation walking requires a specific type, as do charity events. And there are definite placement of the shoes in the closet. As for me, a couple of blacks, a couple of browns, a couple of walking and athletic shoes. That’s adequate. There is a difference. Good thing !

Meanwhile, I am less than amazed at yet another discovery that came from an amazing experiment withthat juice of the vine — wine ! As little as one glass of wine is enough to interrupt communication between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex, the two parts of the brain that control behavior. The breakdown could explain the disinhibition, aggression and social withdrawal symptoms associated with being intoxicated. The part that does not amaze me is that I really don’t understand any of those big words in the previous two sentences. I think it means that drinking wine could affect your behavior, and help or cause you to do different things !

The reminder – if you need capital for your business, or anything else, or a mortgage for your home, call this guy.. the guy with the golden dome. Yes, the magic number remains :818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized? (I am so guilty of this one !!)

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance? (guilty again!)

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, ‘It’s all right?’ Well, it isn’t all right, so why don’t we say, ‘That really hurt, why don’t you watch where you’re going?’

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       

BRE#00924913
NMLS 227675

Voice: 818.305.4695

February 7, 2015 Posted by | fun, general interest, humor, real estate, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

 

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 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

 

 

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 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 1-4 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.

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 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

Les Berman Weekly 10-26 Bitching & Complaining Day, Ben Franklin, Jersey (Island), Neanderthals and much much more…


Coming soon to a house familiar to you is the North American Bitching and Complaining About Sleep Day. Actually, we may even call it an international day, just for fun.. or not. Daylight saving time will go away for another year. If you’re on top of things and have world clocks, you are going to have a lot of fun.

 

If you’re in Beirut, Ittoqqortoormiiot, Torshavn, Andorra La Vella, Paris, Podgorica, Jerusalem, or anywhere else in or near Europe, you are changing your clocks today, in your time zone. I know you’re curious about time changes, so let’s start with the guy on the 100, Ben Franklin. When he was in Paris in 1784, he wrote an essay entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”: he was all about saving candles by using morning sunlight. Apparently his essay did not get a passing grade but they put him on the $100 bill anyway.

 

Then there was a New Zealander (aka Kiwi) who got into the back files of the library, likely found Franklin’s essay, and in 1895, proposed the same thing, except revised for New Zealand use, to the Wellington Philosophical Society. For those who are geographically challenged, Wellington is in New Zealand. And if you don’t know where New Zealand might be (No – nowhere near Old Zealand), you might be, according to Bill Engvall, a redneck !

 

Anyway, the concept of DST did not gain much traction until Kaiser Wilhelm figured out that there could be fuel savings. And once the Germans changed, the British and other countries on both sides of the trenches immediately followed suit. That includes the USA. But it went away after WWI until FDR brought in War Time, a permanent change from 1942 until the end of that war in 1945.

 

At this point in time, no one really cared about the rest of the world, (as demonstrated by the total lack of geographical awareness by most Americans under age 62), and the US allowed random time changes around the country. So cities, states, trains and buses all decided which time standard they would follow, and yes, people missed their connections frequently. And no, it really was your fault for not knowing that you changed time zones when you crossed the street. You couldn’t complain, sue, or shoot anyone.

 

So finally, Congress, in the days when they actually cooperated, established the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to be followed by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Well, it sort of helped because states could opt out at will. So Hawaii and most of Arizona found will, and opted out of DST. So now you know why you may be complaining next week when the US and Canada do the spring forward, fall back thing, or, as is said in other countries (of which there are many for those of you who are geographically challenged), push the clocks forward, gain an hour here, shift the clocks etc. But I want to leave you with this final comment. Stop complaining and do what Congress has ordered you to do !!

 

Meanwhile, across the land and over the pond, back towards an ancestral homeland (for some) in England, and the island of Jersey,(aka Old Jersey)  the only known late Neanderthal remains in northwestern Europe have been rediscovered. Although excavations in the area had begun back in 1910, I think they were covered up because it may have started another war. My theory is that because Jersey is so close to Normandy, France, that the people who found these remains, were getting ready to prove that Neanderthal descendants were still alive and well in France.

 

Of course, for those of you who know about the great love between the French and the English, you would know that it would have started with words, and would have ended up with an invasion of sorts. Can you imagine the effect on England if that had happened? Excellent Cuisine. More rudeness. Better dental hygiene. And being able to drive on the right side of the street. But there would not have been a resolution on the existence of Neanderthals because I believe they are present on both sides of the Channel and possibly even in Loch Ness !

 

Need money for a critical real estate acquisition, commercial or residential? Call me today at 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Things I have learned from visiting the South

.

It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!

“Jawl-P?” means “Did y’all go to the bathroom?”

People actually grow, eat, and like okra.

Fixinto is one word. It means I’m fixing to do that.

There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper

 

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
       Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

November 12, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 10-12 Recall? Spider Webs. Exercise ? Blame Game. Golden Dome… and much more


So, the children in Washington still don’t know how to play together. I said before that their mommy’s need to come out and give those kiddies a good whuppin’ . And then they should be sent to their rooms, stripped of all electronics of course. I don’t write about politics because there really is no point. My only comment is that those who drafted the Constitution  made a grievous mistake by not providing for the recall of those elected to Federal office. I suspect that if a constitutional amendment was to be put forth today, that it would get approved in all 50 states in record time. But no federal politician would want to risk upsetting their own electoral annuity. Lily Tomlin said ” No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up !”

 

However, there are far more interesting things being revealed in today’s world. Being a person who is hair impaired, I have suffered the unbounded joy of doing the dumb dance when I unsuspectingly walk through a spider web. It’s not a major issue but I have learned some new dance moves as a result. But the big question has remained unanswered until now ! Why don’t spiders stick to their own webs. This arachnological mystery was solved by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Costa Rica. Spiders have oily, hairy legs, and delicate movements that allow them to move across their webs. I’m sure we all know people with oily, hairy legs, or at very least, hairy legs, but those we know are devoid of delicate movements. Ergo, people cannot avoid being entangled in the webs… of any kind !

 

Meanwhile, scientists are now claiming that exercise may be as effective as drugs in treating coronary heart disease and stroke. I can tell you that I have enjoyed the benefits of regular exercise in improving my health and preparing for and recuperating from my surgery. And I never believed the doctors who told me to get off my ass, and do something. Interestingly, only about one-third of adults meet the recommended level of physical activity in the US and in the UK.

 

Having been incarcerated for the last three weeks while recovering from my knee replacement surgery, and having been dumb enough to watch too much TV, I can tell you unequivocally, that the pharmaceutical companies spend tens of millions of dollars, promoting their current drug concoctions. It felt like every other ad was for this pill or that one, or for incontinence remedies or help, or for some other possible psychosomatic need. Now I understand that some people do get sick… but these ads would convince people that they are sick, or nearly sick, or that they should be sick. Maybe, instead of watching that next talk show, or reality show, you and your significant other should get off the couch and walk around the block.

 

Now, I’m not saying that you have to talk to each other. That might be going too far ! And there is nothing in the medical research that addresses that issue. Hmmm… maybe I can get a few million bucks from one of the pharmas to study the correlation between conversation with your longtime spouse and the increased murder rate in that same demographic !

 

Therapists could assign the blame to the parents of the client and to some previously inconsequential event in their childhood that had to do with a shoe that had a scuff mark on it; psychologists would determine that the act of murder has roots in prehistoric times and the use of an animal bone as a weapon; and psychiatrists would prescribe drugs from the pharmas that funded the study.

But maybe exercise will help you. It has helped me, and if it could help me, it definitely is worth your consideration !!

If you’re looking for money, for real estate or for corporate situations, call the magic number 818.305.4695 and speak to the man with the golden dome !

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

You do not need a parachute to skydive; you only need a parachute to skydive twice.

I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
    Money Specialist   
       
NMLS ID 227675
 
Voice: 818.305.4695

October 27, 2013 Posted by | business, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 10/5 Smart Guy, Hospital Bill !!! , Dangerous States, Chicken Nuggets… and much much more…


I like to think I’m a smart guy, or at least an intelligent guy. My daddy said I was ! mommy said I was; my aunt’s said I was; my kids never said I was but they never said I was stupid (so I am grateful for that). But there is one thing I don’t understand. Yes… just one thing… at least right now. Ask me again in 20 minutes.

 

I just got my bill from the hospital. I guess I would have had a heart attack if the bill had been presented so that the total, rather than the negotiated, charge, was on the front page. I guess that they do that so they can’t be accused of soliciting patients. I looked at my bill very carefully, as you are supposed to do, and decided that the hospital was fully entitled to every penny of the six figure plus bill. I had superb care and received superb treatment from the staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

 

But this is the part I don’t understand. Every hospital, including Cedars-Sinai,  has negotiated rates with insurance companies and Medicare. Why do I receive a bill for the 100% amount, which does not get paid, rather than a bill for the negotiated rate? I don’t mind either way but I’m really curious. So if any of you are hospital administrators or CPA’s that work with hospitals, I’d appreciate an email and I’ll run it next week.

I guess if I was an oil baron from a foreign country and was coming here for treatment, I would be paying full tariff, but I’m neither an oil baron (darn it !) nor from a foreign country (well, recently anyway).

So, in other news, I saw a listing of the most dangerous states in the USA. Of course, I would have thought that my home state was up there on top: they’re at the bottom for education so I thought that California had to be at the top for something, besides taxation and Los Angeles Worst Roads in the Nation trophy. The article described the causes of crime – low levels of education, low income, etc. No surprises there! In order, the three states with the worst crime records, are (cue the drum roll)… Tennessee (bet that one surprised you!);  Nevada (easy pickings) and Alaska (I guess all the crazies come out with the spring thaw!).

 

Sometimes, you have to be slapped in the head with the obvious. Remember the TV commercial from years past where some character was trying to find which part of the chicken could actually be identified as the ‘nugget’ ! Of course, the nugget location could not be found…. until.. a report in the American Journal of Medicine published their findings.

 

I will admit that I have, in the past, had nuggets. I was hungry and the drive-thru was there. I will also admit, that I will never do that again. And I hope that you and your spouse will also take that pledge, because when you read this, you will never subject your kids (or yourselves) to this things again.

 

Suck it up... here it comes… The first nugget was about half muscle, with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves. Close inspection revealed cells that line the skin and internal organs of the bird, the authors write in the American Journal of Medicine.

The second nugget was only 40 percent muscle, and the remainder was fat, cartilage and pieces of bone. In fairness, the authors indicate that breast meat and thigh meat are identified as muscle, so that’s ok. Here’s the rest of the ‘good news” : “It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them.”

 

In fairness to chicken producers, and there are a lot of them, they did respond by saying that the size of the sample used by the study authors was too small ( I agree), and that some large chain restaurants have changed the ingredients to be mostly white meat. The chicken producers also said that nuggets are a good source of protein for kids who are picky eaters. Read the nutritional charts at the restaurant to get an idea of what your kids are eating. And if you don’t understand what you are reading, check it out on Wikipedia. Everything is explained there but do not be embarrassed. A lot of your friends have no idea what they are reading either !

 

Money makes the world go around, and if you might need some for a good project, real estate or otherwise, please call me at 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

 

Paraprosdokiansare figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.

In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
    Money Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

October 20, 2013 Posted by | business, chicken producers, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 8-17 Foreign Cars, Super Techie, Olinguito, Dolphins, Corruption … and so much more


I’m sure that, unless you’re totally from another world, you have noticed the huge numbers of foreign cars that are on the roads in the US and Canada. Some of those foreign cars are now made in here, but I’m guessing that most are still made offshore. So, being the advanced thinker that I am, I wonder if they each have a secret device built in, much the way our cell phones do.

 

I think cell phones can be tracked anywhere, at least on TV cop shows they can, so it is logical that cars some how cooperate with someone. Here’s the scenario with one country’s cars. Let’s say that the two Koreas somehow set aside their differences and become one. I know – it won’t ever happen but this is my story, not yours.

 

A bad guy, a super techie, discovers that all Korean made cars that have been shipped to Canada and the US have a stop chip, buried deep in the inner workings of the car. The stop chip is the one that disables the car slowly. The people who designed the chip were kind people – it only will work when the car is going less than 30 mph. Supertechie decides to create  a little havoc, having sold his knowledge to the highest bidder, of course. He enables that chip, and every Korean made car in North America stops running. Of course, chaos ensues, and no one can figure out why only those cars are disabled.

 

Of course, this is conjecture (another big word) but can you imagine this happening. Is this enough reason to buy American – of course not ! But isn’t it fun to think how this could create traffic jams on the scale of Carmageddon forecasts. One could make a movie or TV show out of this scenario. Oh yeah, that’s already been done. Oh well…

 

Meanwhile, in the deepest darkest jungles of South America, a new mammal species has been found – again. They call it an olinguito, about 14 inches long with a tail about the same length. It belongs to that group of animals that includes dogs, cats and bears. Actually, this is not the first time it has been found. There was one at the National Zoo in Washington and then it was shipped to at least five other zoos to get it to mate, unknowingly, with another species called olingos. Didn’t work – and it eventually died in the mid ’70’s. The North Carolina museum is selling olinguito stuffed animals for $15 to benefit habitat preservation. Good old American opportunism at work !!

 

Meanwhile, in the depths of the ocean, there are dolphins that we all think are so cute. They can be trained, they’ve been shown to work together to hunt for food, and they are definitely fun to watch as they swim alongside boats of all kinds. They’ve even been known to protect people from sharks. Recently, dolphins escaped from 20 years of captivity. According to the Washington Post, other dolphins, which had been released when the others were captured, recognized the calls from their old tank buddies, and reunited with them almost immediately. So now, we can safely say that someone has the memory of a dolphin rather than having the memory of an elephant. This is worthy of note only if you have a really good memory ! Huh.. about what??

 

And the five most corrupt institutions according to a survey in 107 countries done by the Berlin based Transparency International are as follows: Police (no surprise); Judges (really??); Public Officials and Civil Servants (I think Washington is right in there with the best of them); Political Parties (I’m shocked); and of course, the citizenry (because they are afraid of reprisals if they report anything). I’m guessing that nothing in this report would have surprised you – well, unless you’re a totally naive ‘do-gooder’ .

And remember to call me with your questions… any questions at 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

The  moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year.

The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust.

Due to earth’s  gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters.

Mickey Mouse is known as “Topolino” in Italy. (Remember Topo Gigio on the Ed Sullivan Show).

Soldiers do not  march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a  vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down. (I just print them – I don’t verify them).

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

August 31, 2013 Posted by | business, general interest, humor, stuff | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Les Berman Weekly 7-27 TV ads, Long Science Experiment, Arachnologist Says, Mortgage Planning… and much more


I’m sure you’ve seen the TV ads with the kids being interviewed by the adult. It’s cute and most of it is not scripted. I think that in the next set of commercials, the questions should be a little different and here are some examples. Do you think it’s better to have a dog or money? Do you prefer apple juice or Coke? Do you think it’s ok to wear your sister’s clothes if you’re a boy? or your brother’s clothes if you’re a girl? Kids are so real. (Look for the results of the Cheerios commercial. on YouTube)

 

This series of ads is likely patterned after Art Linkletter’s “Kids say the darndest things” . You can find many of those shows on YouTube of course. And here are two things you never knew – his real name is Gordon Kelly, and he was born in 1912  in a small town in Canada (of course) called Moose Jaw.  And that city has a current population of 35,000+.  I think I may have been there once, or at least passed by it because the Trans Canada Highway goes right past it. And, the name, I found out, was originally an Indian name that meant warm breezes. In the summer maybe !

 

Meanwhile, over in Dublin, Ireland, the second longest science experiment in history has concluded. Of course, the excitement over this has been, well, somewhat underwhelming but worthy of note… here. It began in 1944 . Asphalt, which appears to be solid, at room temperature, is in fact moving. And what happened on July 11th, was that the asphalt actually dripped. It only took 69 years for that drip to happen, but it did. No one knows the origin of the experiment but who cares. The only thing we didn’t really know is that asphalt is actually liquid.

Roads are covered with asphalt, likely in combination with something else, theoretically to make it more solid. I live in Los Angeles. And the conclusion of this experiment should be examined very carefully by the streets department.

 

Los Angeles roads are the worst in the country. There are more potholes in LA than there are good stretches of road. I’ve watched crews “repair” the potholes – one guy shoveling the stuff off the truck and three guys telling him where to put it. I’ve watched them tamp it down with shovels, or by having the dump truck roll over it a few times, or with a vibrating machine that is reminiscent of the weight loss vibrating belt machines of the 30’s and 40’s.

The smart money would call in the same location right away so that in five years, when it may come up on the repair list again, it will need to be patched again. There are roads where the asphalt  has moved out of the traffic lane and looks like a wave between lanes. Or roads that are continually patched, rather than properly engineered and repaired with cement. Oops, that could be a different union.

 

And in other interesting news, an arachnologist – ha .. can you figure out what that is? – has revealed the results of twenty years of his working with spiders. The findings are straightforward – spiders don’t bite with a couple of exceptions. What are thought to be spider bites are likely to be bites or stings from other arthopods (I love copying big words that I will use in conversation never) like fleas. There are only two spiders that bite – black widows (they have red markings on their underside) and brown recluses.

 

While there are anti-venoms for widow bites, the old treatments are worthy of mention, and perhaps might have been more fun, especially if you didn’t actually have a widow (that’s not a mispronunciation by  a young kid having trouble with her “L”s) bite. The treatments included whiskey, cocaine, and nitroglycerin. No, I don’t know if the nitro was used to blow something up, or not.

 

And for those of you who are horrified with the thought that the naming of the black widow is racist, please get a grip ! For one thing, the spiders are black, dark black. If you still have trouble, you can call it lactrodectus. When you call emergency and say you were bitten by a lactrodectus, I would guess that they will have no idea what you’re talking about, and you may have to utter the common name in order to save your life. And according to a map published by National Geographic, these spiders do not cross the border into Canada. Or perhaps Canada’s insect defense system really works well.

 

And if you are still having problems with the name of the insect, it is referred to as a widow because some members of the family, eat their mates after mating. So, either join the club or use the latin name !!

 

And a reminder ! Buying a house, whether it’s your first time and your tenth time, is tough. There are many issues involved and the most important consideration is the financing. You have to plan ahead… sometimes as much as a year. Today is the day that you contact us to discuss the roadmap to home ownership and for the move up buyer. There is a magic number to the best in mortgage planning – 818.305 4695.

Have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Intelligent people have more zinc and  copper in their hair.  (I’m in trouble !)

A comet’s tail always points away from the sun.  

The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent.

Caffeine increases the power of  aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when  knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.

 

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist   
       
NMLS ID 227675
 
Voice: 818.305.4695
The CS Mortgage Group of AFFG
Beverly Hills   Encino
Email: les@lesberman.com

August 11, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lazy ! Driven By Dollars. Healthcare – Yikes. And Mexico passes the USA.. and more….


Sometimes I just get lazy. It will usually happen on that day of the week that ends in ‘y’ – and not just the letter ‘y’. It’s the all encompassing ‘y’. Why get out of bed this morning? Why am I still tired? Why don’t I go back to bed? Why did I eat that stuff last night? Why should I talk to those people that I really want to ignore? Why aren’t my clothes… enough. I know that I’m not alone. I see it everyday, everywhere. And then I meet the ‘other’ person.

 

The ‘other’ person is somewhat similar to the energizer rabbit, or your dog when you go for the leash, or walk in the door, or your toddler when you come back and they run to you babbling incoherently trying to tell you everything that has happened during the day – in seven seconds. I wonder what gets the ‘other’ person up.

So I examined the psyche of the ‘others’. Some are driven by the need to finish a creation: the book they are writing; the sale they have been working; the internal reward they receive when a thought process is finally understood by the tough student. And then I wonder if there is a let down after those goals have been reached.

There are those driven by dollars: some grew up in poverty and are driven to succeed; some grew up with wealth and want to accumulate more; and yet some are driven to accumulate the dollars so they can give it away.

 

I knew a man many years ago who told me that he had enough money that the next four or five generations of his family could live off his wealth and would never have to work (and he quickly added that he would not let that happen). So in the conversation, he said that it is just a game now – what can he do with each deal. And he was a genuinely good guy. One of the things that I liked most about him was that he was giving away more than a million dollars annually – and this was more than 30 years ago.

 

And then there are the “A-” types who work hard, accomplish things in their own jobs, and never go beyond that. Perhaps it is a function of not having an entrepreneurial spirit, or fear, or lack of support from their families. Or all of the above.

And sometimes I just get lazy !

 

Healthcare is always a topic that is at the forefront of everything these days. Recently, a study was published that said “The United States spends the most per capita on health care across all countries, lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and many other health outcome measures,” The study was many pages long, was a 20 year study, and had big words that I didn’t understand. Bottom line is that if you want to get sick and don’t have health insurance for whatever reason, you’re better off living in any of several European countries where you will get equal or better care for a fraction of the price.

 

From my own observation, and things that I have read in the past, in the USA, we develop new procedures and medicines (the side effects will ruin another part of your body), sell them at huge prices domestically, and at much lower prices in foreign markets. Take a look at medicines. They brand names are substantially cheaper in Canada than they are here. There are charts from legitimate Canadian pharmacies that will give you comparative costs. I have not looked in Europe. If you want to read the study, it is here .

Meanwhile, a 23 million year old lizard was found trapped in amber in Chiapas, Mexico. The discovery was more important because the amber contained the entire lizard rather than fragments. Someone had good eyes because the lizard beast was less than two inches long.

 

Mexico has been in the news for other things too. Mexico has moved past the USA to become the world’s most populous, obese nation. Wow… they beat us… and this is from the United Nations report. And we know the UN Reports are always accurate and without bias (oops.. did I say that ???). Apparently almost 70% of adults are overweight and childhood obesity has tripled in the last ten years. And one-third of Mexican teens are obese. So the numbers are that 32.8% of Mexican adults are obese, whereas, the figure for American adults is 31.8%. The best part for me is that none of my kids are contributing to the US statistic. I’m not so sure about my standing !

 

Today is the International Clean Off Your Desk Day ! I had something extremely profound to share with you, and I can’t find the notes. Next week !!

 

If you’re concerned about your overall health, you’ll click here

 

If you’re concerned about your mortgage health, you’ll call me at 818.305.4695 ! The landscape has changed. You have to plan for your purchase. Don’t get caught like a recent client who made a very substantial top line income and wrote off everything, paying almost no taxes. He wrote an offer on a property because he thought he had great income, only to find out that he had no income that would qualify him for a mortgage. He didn’t get the house. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in his shoes if he told his wife the truth. Call us now, not when it’s the 11th hour. 818.305.4695

Have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Zero is the only number that cannot be  represented by Roman numerals

Kites were used in the American Civil War  to deliver letters and newspapers.

The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at  the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world  to bring in the new year. 

Drinking water after eating reduces the acid  in your mouth by 61 percent

 

Get Heathier Faster

Follow Me on Twitter

Put Me on Your Email List

Join Me on LinkedIn

Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist   
       
NMLS ID 227675
 
Voice: 818.305.4695
 
Email: les@lesberman.com
 

July 21, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment