The View From The Golden Dome

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

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.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

QUESTIONS THAT HAUNT ME!

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

 

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June 18, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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 2-1 Phil. Stupor. Mistakes – Big Ones. Waxy Ears…. and so much more….


Here we are at the beginning of February 2014. I keep wondering how I got here, and how my kids got to be so old. I haven’t aged a bit – but they sure have !!

 

And it being the beginning of February, we also have the celebration, or not, of the Groundhog, good ole’ Punxsutawney Phil. Now personally, I don’t really care if Phil wakes up for the party and sees his shadow or not. But it might be a lot more entertaining than spending six hours in a comatose state, watching the Stupor Bowl and every bit of analysis, right down to, and including, the minute by minute temperature gauge.

 

Of course, for the last 21 years, the best part of the 2/2 celebration has been the TV repeats of the Bill Murray, Andie McDowell movie – Groundhog Day. I don’t know how women feel about the movie, but for most guys, it’s about achieving the perfection that is needed to make that great connection with the great woman. I know that all of us realize how many hundreds, thousands , or tens of thousands of mistakes we made when trying to achieve. And of course, as time goes on, our memories dwell on that ideal person, who is still the same age in our minds, as she was back when we made all those grievous errors.

 

And then the married guys reflect on the magnitude of a mistake, or supposed mistake, that their spouse blew so far out of  proportion, that it made the Civil War civil in comparison. Of course, the person who committed the grievous crime, knows that their spouse or significant other did not understand the intent of their gesture and did not admit, when it was explained, how minor the transgression was. It did create a minor increase in the economy because you paid for more flowers, counseling, a new diamond ring, and a new car. You did realize that was far less expensive than what you really wanted – a divorce !

 

I remember some of my better errors throughout history, and some that I heard that others perpetrated. One of mine was forgetting the name of my date. That was sort of embarrassing but I got bailed out when someone called her by name. And I think that was on New Year’s Eve. Or a guy who forgot he had a date. The girl decided that she liked the guy enough that she went to his house and rang the bell. He had no idea he had a date scheduled but went out anyway. They got married a few years later.

 

And then there was the time that I said something that I shouldn’t have. Took me a while to cure that one. Or the time when I wasn’t driving yet, and a girl asked if my prior night’s date had been cold. Now women speak a different language. I interpreted the word one way, and she, of course, meant it literally. So my answer, needless to say, was wrong!

I wonder if we of the male species, get into as much trouble by saying yes. Have to think about that.

 

And back to the things we didn’t know about a year ago. Yes, many of them we really don’t care about but you will read them anyway! Commonly used words on Facebook indicate gender, age, and some personality traits. Women will use “excited” a lot whereas guys tend to take the easy way and just swear. The moon is about 100 million years younger than previously thought. Uhh – I don’t care ! And there are species of a mouse in Costa Rica that just sing to protect their territories. I guess if one of them were to win American Idol….

 

Some monkeys lower their voices to keep others from hearing what they are saying. Did they learn that from people or vice versa? Four new species of legless lizards were found near LAX around the oil derricks. Think of all the questions that would arise from that discovery – like, are you sure it isn’t a snake? The Earth will be habitable for another 1.75 billion years (+/-) but I think life forms might be a little different after some idiot unleashes the big nuke. The waxy buildup inside the ears of dead whales are an indication of how much pollution they have been exposed to. HA ! From the same buildup in my ears, my mother could tell me how long it had been since I washed, and she was probably right !

 

And finally, for today, a reminder that if you need money for your business, business real estate, or any other real estate, the magic number is 818.305.4695 !

Have a better week!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY

Save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate!*

 

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

 

February 24, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, 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

Les Berman Weekly 12-14 Hold Please. Traffic. PISA. Titan. Buddha and so much more…


So, I had to get some information from a government agency. At best, that’s a daunting task, as you know. I called the 800 number and was given a pretty complete menu of options, none of which could answer my question, and there wasn’t an option at any time of speaking to a live person. I gave myself a couple of options… hang up, guess at the answer, or press 0 and see if I get booted out of the system. I pressed 0, and got in a queue that they said was 31 minutes. And all of this for an answer that would take less than one minute. And I was on hold for 63 minutes – because I needed the answer to the question.

I made an amazing discovery about Los Angeles traffic. During the week, it’s very light at 6 AM. The corresponding discovery was that I really don’t like having to be somewhere at 630 AM. Especially because it’s still dark and cold.

I’ve learned other things lately. The PISA, (not pizza) rankings came out recently and scored students in 65 countries on different skills – math, science, and reading. Asian countries took the first seven slots in math. The highest ranking western country was not the USA (#36) nor was it Canada (#13) or the UK (#26), but it was Lichtenstein. And I would bet that most of my readers could not find that country on a map. Geography was not part of the testing.

In reading, the highest scoring western country was Finland (#6) and the first five slots were Asian countries. This testing was done on 15 and 16 year old students. Canada was #9 and the USA was #24. And in science, the highest scoring western country was again Finland #5, Canada in 10th spot and the USA was at #28, with Asian countries all taking the top spots.

These statistics are worthy of mention because concerned parents in the US will gravitate towards charter schools, and the stronger demands made on the students. Eventually, parents will realize that homework, actually completed by the students rather than with parental ‘assistance’, is a necessity. Perhaps a longer school day is an option, and without question, better paid teachers are a necessity.

There will always be kids who rise to the top regardless of circumstance, and these kids will likely be leaders in the future. I am curious as to the racial demographic in Ph.D. and M.D. programs in the top schools in the USA. The objective would not be to exclude students, but might be an incentive for more education funding here at home. Are we witnessing the beginning of the decline and fall of the American empire? A scary thought.

Meanwhile, a NASA spacecraft flying around Titan, a  moon up there near Saturn, has detected traces of the chemical used in the manufacture of propylene, that most important ingredient in food containers and car bumpers. I’m guessing this could become useful information for my great grandchildren. The article was a full page in length but I covered the essence.

And then, the journal Antiquity has published findings that establish an earlier date for the birth of Siddhartha Gautama who became Buddha. This is notable because there are approximately 350 million followers of Buddhism, making it one of the world’s great religions. The site at Lumbini is by tradition, the birthplace of Buddha. One of the remarkable facts is that the site was largely abandoned from about 250 BC until 1896.

The archeological findings reflect the nonviolence and nonoffering traditions of the Buddhist religion. As they excavated beneath the known sites, they found earlier existence of a shrine which pushed back birthdates about a hundred years, and more or less reinforced the Nepalese estimate of the Buddha’s birthdate to about 623 BC.

Home loan rules are changing again (January 10), and for the worst, thanks to our friendly legislators in DC. So if you’re thinking about refinancing your property, call me today. I do answer calls on weekends. The magic number.. 818.305.4695

Have a better week!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender.

Web Page — Female, because it’s always getting hit on.

Subway — Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

Hourglass — Female, because over time, the weight can shift to the bottom.

Hammer — Male, because it hasn’t changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.

Remote Control — Female. Ha! You thought it’d be Male. But consider this — it gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

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

December 28, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 4-13 Olympics. Doping. Spelling Bee. Easy Math. And Factoids.


SO… there’s a lot that has happened in the last week. Did you know that the Summer Olympics are coming up in a couple of years – 2016? If you care. But for the record, they are being held in Brazil, and if it’s anything like Carnaval, it’s going to be quite the event. However, the Olympic Committee, in their great wisdom, eliminates sports from time to time, and substitutes them with others.

The sports headed for the scrap heap, in the 2020 Games, currently are baseball and softball, and wrestling. Baseball is likely being eliminated because too few countries play the game and the US always wins (I think). Wrestling is being eliminated, I think, because the eastern bloc countries frequently won the golds, and were caught up in a huge doping situation in the last two Olympics. My question, especially as it relates to wrestling, is why eliminate a sport that was around in the original Olympics and definitely since the beginning of the modern games in 1896.

 

It is easy to keep wrestling in the games – just penalize the countries that were doping in the last two Olympics, and restrict their participation in that sport for the next Games. But wrestling is now considered a fringe sport. And it must compete with other contenders for space in the 28 sports. And here they  are – the contendas (pronounce it with a Brooklyn accent) – it must compete with seven other contenders — baseball and softball, squash, karate, wakeboarding, sport climbing, roller sports and the martial art of wushu.

 

Now I don’t know much about wakeboarding. I wonder if it’s a relative of waterboarding? If so, it will be very popular (but is the winner also the loser?). Then there is sport climbing – give me a break. Roller sports – that could be fun. A sophisticated roller derby perhaps. And then there is wushu. Is that served with broccoli and ginger sauce? I don’t know – never heard of it.

 

I would like to propose a couple of other options. Some of these might be unique to North America, but perhaps not. How about remote control channel changing? The first set would be with batteries. The second set would be without batteries and without assistance from the family. And the contestants would all be positioned in a well worn sagging Archie Bunker type chair.

 

I think two other games to consider would be tiddlywinks, and pickup sticks. The cheating scandalwould be with secretly weighted tokens in each game. And extra couple of grams could make the difference ! Bottom line is that the Olympic Committee, in my opinion, will do whatever is more beneficial for their own, how should I say this, hmmm.. bank accounts !

 

In other stunning news, the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest has brought in a change to their format. I looked up some of the winning words from the past, and decided that a couple of the easiest words since the contest began were knack (1932), therapy (1940), and initials (1941). Of course, at the other end of the spectrum are words like eudaemonic (1960), esquamulose (1962), staphylococci (1987), chiaroscurist (1998), autochthonous (2004), appoggiatura (2005), cymotrichous (2011) and guetapens (2012). ( I hope I typed those correctly.)

 

I can’t even pronounce the post 1960 words and for sure, I don’t know what they mean. Now, the kids are being tested on vocabulary too. C’mon, did we ever care what words meant when we used them. If it turned out that the word we used was a “bad” word, our parents definitely made sure we knew about it. Shock ! Awe! Warnings and then spankings.  Of course, then we would say it quietly on the school ground. Our friends would ask what the word meant, and we would say that we didn’t know, but we got whupped for using it. And it became a stealth word ! So how are these kids supposed to put these words in their vocabulary. They are eighth graders  – or younger. Hmmm.. they are going to walk around and say something like – yesterday, the esquamulose crept up behind the autochthonus and beat it on the head with a guetapens. And they will win the contest. Please Scripps, eliminate the vocabulary section and do your part to keep the country dumb !

Here’s something I just read about – and you likely didn’t know this either. Aren’t I a wonderful font of information today?

 

Sometimes you need a math problem solved and you don’t have your calculator handy. If you open up Google, you can put math problems right in the search bar and it will give you the solution! It gives you the answers for very simple equations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but it also gives the answer for very complicated math problems like calculus or trigonometry. Wow !!

Because Google seems to have an answer for everything, it has become a very valuable resource. That’s exactly what I want to be for YOU with all your housing and financing needs. Call me today at 818.305.4695. I have a huge menu – residential purchase and refinance loans, bridge loans on commercial, multifamily, industrial properties, and even on zoned land . The phone is the magic device. Try it today . 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

Have you noticed since everyone has a cell phone these days. No one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

 

 

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

April 14, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, real estate, sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 3-9 Ship Drivers. Sherpa. Shy Animals. Green Veggies… and more


Sometimes, we wonder about who is driving the ship. It doesn’t matter if the ship is your home, your business, or the country. We wonder. Other times we assume. And I learned in third grade, I believe it was Miss Barkley, that one should never assume because it makes an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.  Interestingly, back then, one could say ass and not get vilified for it, reported to the ACLU, charged with racism by the Association of Sedentary Solitarians (aka A.S.S.), or even worse, by the donkeys grazing in the back 40.

 

I was listening to a speaker the other day and he said that a leader has to be a Sherpa. He went on to explain that when you are climbing Mount Everest or trekking through the Himalayas, the leader is usually a Sherpa tribesman. And you put your absolute trust and confidence in that Sherpa because his mandate is to bring you back alive. And you don’t question his leadership. You have absolute confidence in this man, and you may have just met him.

 

Outside of Nepal, the Sherpa is a metaphor for a person who you believe has the ability tosteer the ship. Your Sherpa might have been a memorable teacher, a mentor, your supervisor or boss, or a political leader. In the earliest part of your life, your Sherpa was your mom or dad, and that changed as you changed. I challenge you to think about your current Sherpa. And don’t choose someone because he/she is a popular entertainer or {{shudder}} a politician. Think of someone who has made your life different or better.

 

And also, while we’re in Nepal, we have to look for our friendly guy, stuck up there in the snow and cold, shunning contact with homo sapiens, yes, our friend, the Yeti. People have seen him, tracked him. Briefly. And obviously wondered how often he gets to visit his cousin, Bigfoot. I’m guessing that he can’t board at Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu because there is a rule put forth by the TSA that all travelers must be clothed or caged. Especially when you have to remove your belt and shoes. We all know that Bigfoot has been developing a resurgence of interest in the Western USA and Canada due to his success on many TV commercials. I’m sure Bigfoot’s agent is trying to claim the same success in Yeti-land.

 

So while we’re deeply engrossed with shy animals, there was recently an instance in England (this couldn’t happen anywhere else) where a garage caught fire and was destroyed when two turtles awoke from hibernation, and in their lust to mate, they were thought to have been moving at high speed (?), knocked over a heat lamp, which set fire to wood chips, and the rest you know. The turtles, one could say, were cooked ! And just last June, on a Pennsylvania highway, traffic was stopped as a bull and cow were consummating their relationship in the middle of the road. I can just imagine how many people told their kids to look away because they might see something that the parents found offensive. In California, kids would have been recording this and posting on YouTube and Facebook within seconds, and showing their friends what the animals were doing.

 

Now, I realize that we are all different, fortunately, but I willingly look at people who are not hair-impaired. I don’t find you people to be offensive… well, not all of you. But the best story ever happened when my kids were young, and my son, maybe five or six at the time, had a friend over for a play date. At some point, the visiting young boy commented on my lack of a coiffure. And I calmly said – “See .. this is what happens when you don’t eat your green vegetables !!” Shortly after, the visitor went home and minutes later the phone rang. The little boy’s mother was asking my wife (I was married then) what had happened because her son had come home demanding that he be given green vegetables immediately !!!

 

And sometime later, when my kids were older, we were standing in line for some ride at either Knott’s Berry Farm or Disneyland, and a young boy behind us said, in a Shakespearean whisper – “Mom – that man has no hair!” And I turned around, very casually, the mom being so embarrassed, and said to the boy the same line about green vegetables. As I was turning back, I saw the mom’s mouth drop open, not knowing how to react. I turned back to my kids, and they were both on the ground, laughing their heads off.

 

So, use your best assets when you market. My blog is entitled The View from the Golden Dome, and the reference I believe, is obvious. I have had people forget my name (how could that possibly happen?) but they would call a networking group or Google “Golden Dome” to find me. Use your assets, whatever they are. And have a sense of humor. I don’t believe that people can survive without one.

And remember why you are reading this. You know I’m in the real estate financing field. Residential purchases and refinancing in California; bridge loans on commercial properties across the United States. Yes, you need to ask the question but you can’t do it if you don’tcall 818.305.4695. Now !

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week: 

Why isn’t there mouse flavored cat food ?

Shouldn’t there be a shorter word for monosyllabic?

Why are they called stands.. when they are made for sitting?

Why are there flotation devices under airplane seats, rather than parachutes?

 

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

 

 

March 10, 2013 Posted by | business, general interest, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 12-28 Leadership? Nope. Disgust? Yup. Madoff? Worse


Leadership – Merriam Webster’s defines it as follows:  the act or an instance of leading. We have a President who is pushing us over the ‘fiscal cliff’ and we have the opposition Speaker, right beside him. I am so disgusted with these people, as are many of you. I don’t know what the solution is. Can we fire them all? Can we have a multi billion dollar recall initiative? Does it matter?

By the time you read this, Washington may have come up with a patch that will push everything off for another few months, and then we will repeat the stupidity.

Obviously, the Speaker does not have the support of his party to enter into any negotiations. And the President obviously feels that this is no big deal and goes on vacation. That’s a crock. The country has been in distress over this issue for the last three or four months, at least, and Mr. President goes on vacation?  What’s that about? That does not demonstrate leadership to me.

 

These elected people (I refuse to call them leaders) have no respect for the people. That’s obvious. They suckered us into voting for them and now they have told us to shut up – they will do what they want. And then in 18 months, they’ll come back at us, trying to buy our votes, and blaming the other side. And they’ll get elected again because the people will believe their lies. I am at the point where I believe that all politicians are pathological liars. They will say and do anything to get elected.

 

I have the solution. It’s really simple. But I would bet that there isn’t anyone in Washington with the intestinal fortitude to actually act on this. Here it is. ” Mr. President. Mr. Speaker. The country needs this issue resolved now. Please follow me” and they would follow me into a room and would receive the following instructions : “Gentlemen – on the table in front of you are two pads of writing paper and four pens (in case you run out of ink). If you need more paper, you have to do what the rest of the country does – and use the backs of every sheet. You will be sequestered here until you reach a decision for the country. On the table, in point form, are the lists of what becomes effective on January 1. ”

“Neither of you will be able to communicate with anyone outside of this room. You will be provided with water and three light meals of one sandwich each, per day, until you have worked this out. You will be provided with one five minute bathroom break per hour. The lights in the room will be kept on until you have reached a solution”.

” Mr. President, because you have other responsibilities in running this country, you will have access to a texting device that will have two operating keys – a Y (for yes) and N (for no) so that you can answer issues of paramount importance. You will not, however, be allowed outside of the room for any reason.”

“And one other thing. You will notice that there are no chairs at the table. We have found in the past, that meetings are far more productive when everyone is standing. And because you have held the country up for ransom for so long, you are encouraged to solve these issues quickly. I am showing you a doorbell device. When you have reached a solution, please press the button.”

And the door is closed and locked.

I wonder how long it will take them to resolve the issues.

 

Think about what would have happened if we still had leaders like Truman, Clinton, Inouye or Dole. I believe that the fiscal cliff would not exist. At worst, it would have been a hill – and any of those leaders could have steered both sides down a common road – the road that was best for the country.

 

We all know that there will be some kind of deal at the 11th hour. And it will likely be a deal that kicks the can down the road for a few more months… and here we go again. And I just read that the debt ceiling will be reached on Monday. You can be sure that there won’t be any agreement on that either.

 

Holiday retail sales were lower than any year since 2008. Stocks are selling off- but it’s really a good time to buy I think. Banks are making huge profits because of excessive margins on their mortgage rates. What a confused and confusing marketplace.

 

This is what I see. People blindly vote because they actually believe the crap that comes from the mouths of politicians. If your kids told you as many lies as do the politicians, you likely would give them a good whuppin’ – except those of you who are so far to the left that you also believe all the lies. People don’t know about the issues. Here is the same challenge I threw out in September and October. And I challenge you to throw that at each and every candidate that runs for public office of any kind.

The question that I dare you to ask, and in return, demand a one word answer – either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Here’s the question – Mr / Mrs Candidate – If you do not deliver in total, on every promise that you make during this campaign, within one year of being elected, will you resign this office and never hold public office again?

 

You will not get an answer. Politicians have approval ratings barely above used car salespersons. They are in this only for themselves – they could care less about “we the people’. Call their offices. Harass their staff. Demand action. And don’t take the platitude answer – well it’s up to (fill in the blank!). Tell your elected official to get off his fat can, and go to work. Why is he/she on vacation when the country is falling off a cliff? Where is the responsibility? Where is the leadership?

Madoff is in jail because he scammed people out of billions of dollars. The Washington politicians make Madoff look like a prince.

I can assure you, that if you were to take off while your business was in crisis, by the time you got back, your business would be gone, your company would have failed, and you would be collecting unemployment insurance. Oh yeah – you can be sure that someone would be suing you – big time.

Are we witnessing the decline and fall of the American Empire.  I fear so.

Washington – you disgust me ! All of you ! Both parties !

 

Have a better week. If you can.

 

Les

 

 

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

 

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