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?’

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

Les Berman Weekly #475 Real Invitation. Confusing Things. Jeans. Warren Buffett…. and so much more !!!


Here’s a genuine invitation to my readers. On Tuesday, March 18, my improv group will be making its debut at 72 North located in Pasadena at 72 North Fair Oaks. Show starts at 730PM. The bar food is up to you and the beer is cold and wet. Come have a few laughs.

There are some things in life that confuse me. Actually, there are a lot of things that do. And this week my favorite confusing thing is jeans. As they pertain to women, of course.

I do understand why it is necessary to have a few pair of jeans. (I actually know a guy who has over 30 pair. No further comment.). I fully understand that some of them might be of different sizes to allow for those things that women endure… and blame men for them. But I really don’t understand why someone would spend a lot of money, as in more than $100, to buy torn, or frayed, or holed jeans.

I don’t think that they look very good. My mother used to patch jeans when they had holes in them. I think they were iron-on patches, and they were either brown or black. We weren’t allowed to be different by having one of each color. And we weren’t embarrassed either. And consider this.

We know that most of the jeans are made in Asia somewhere. I really don’t care exactly where or who or what. But picture this – concentrate a little. The people at the sewing machines are diligently following a pattern and do their job very well. They deliver a nice pair of jeans in whatever color. They could be sized for guys like me, or could be the skinny jeans that my daughter would wear. And you know all of the variations thereof.

After the jeans are finished in the sewing room, they go to another area where the workers proceed to put holes in them, or shred an area, or fray them. The finished bottoms of the legs are made to look like a pair of jeans would after walking in them if they were too long. Wow – a factory that destroys a garment that was just completed!!

I have never been to a garment factory but I’m using my imagination (that still works!!). So here is another group of workers, diligently pounding the jeans and destroying them, all in the same design. A designer planning the destruction of a garment – ha! The resume of Madame designer says that her expertise is in destroying the integrity of a garment so that it sells for more money. I would not hire her in a minute. But I would laugh. But back to the workers…

Can you hear their conversation?? They are talking about the crazy people who buy clothes that are half destroyed rather than buying whole garments. I could write a screen play about what these people are likely saying. And as you think about it, you are starting to laugh as you imagine what they are saying in their language. Laugh about the silliness of fashion. That’s the best…

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett has taken a 15% salary increase. OK, so he’s one of the wealthiest men in the world. His stock is the most expensive on the NYSE. He’s made a lot of people wealthy, and his companies employ hundreds of thousands of people. So his salary is now $485,606. Is it too low or too high? I’ll swap him the salary for 1% of his assets. I would be happy either way. I guess he’s entitled !

When you need money for your financial home (meaning home or business), call the guy with the shiny golden dome… me ! 818.305.4695

Remember to wear green on Monday – St. Patrick’s Day !!

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they ‘slept like a baby’ when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie, but you’re ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

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

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

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Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

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

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

Les Berman Weekly 9 – 7 Greetings, Kisses, Hugs, Wine Tasters, More Stupid People… and much More


So, I was watching people greet each other the other day. The variety was interesting. Of course, there were many handshakes. It is widely believed that the handshake originally was showing that the participants had no weapons in their right hands. I guess, that would be ok if you were both righties !

 

My dad taught me that a firm handshake is a sign of confidence, but to be aware if your shaking partner had rings on his / her hand. I also have since learned that Japanese tradition is for a limp handshake, that Russians usually won’t shake hands with the opposite sex, and the Swiss, politely, always shake hands with women first. So before you travel, learn the custom.

 

And no discourse on greeting could continue without a bit of history of the kiss. The Romans were the first to recognize different kinds of kisses – the baseum which was a kiss on the hand or the cheek; the osculum which was a kiss on the lips with a closed mouth and was commonly used with relatives; and the saveum, which was a kiss of passion.

 

I saw a lot of handshakes: handshakes with a one arm hug, many baseums or basei, and many other forms of greeting. I saw high fives, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and lots of hugs. Hugs had kisses attached sometimes, but the funniest greeting, to me, is the two armed hug, with pitty-pats on the hug victim’s back. To me, those are also the phoniest. I don’t know why. It’s my opinion, and as you know, my opinion is the only one that matters – here.

 

One greeting that has withstood the tests of time, has been that of having a glass of wine, beer, or alcoholic beverage with someone. But that custom also gave rise to a new profession. The successful beverage tasters, the ones that detected something that was strange in the beer, never knew they were successful, because what they detected was the poison that the bad guys had intended for the employer.

 

Recently, at an archaeological dig in Bulgaria, a ring that was established to be about 600 years old, had a small cavity drilled into the top of the ring. It was from this small cavity that the poison was delivered into the recipients food or drink. One of the archaeologists thought that ring could explain the deaths of many noblemen in that area from the 1400 and 1500’s.

 

So the tradition of tasters has continued. There is always an expert oenophile at every table (I call them ‘know it alls’) and that person will knowingly swirl a taste in her mouth, and then pronounce that the wine being tested is perfect. Now, I know nothing about wine – it’s just not something that interests me. I figure if it’s cold and wet, it likely will be ok with me.

 

One time, and only one time, I was asked to taste a red wine. So I did as I saw others do. I sniffed it (I don’t know why), then took a sip, swirled it around my mouth, and then spit it out. And the table waited for my assessment. I then took a deep breath, and very knowingly, pronounced the verdict. It wasn’t cold enough !! And then the pretzels were flying my way … By the way, no one, since then, has ever asked my opinion about wine. Justifiably.

 

Have you noticed stupid people in cars? Now that’s a dumb question, isn’t it? Where do people get their drivers licenses? A siren… flashing lights… To the uninformed, those are telling you to put on your right turn signal, and slowly move to your right, carefully, so the police, ambulance or fire trucks can pass. Sirens and flashing lights are not telling you to stop where you are, freeze, and block traffic, and possibly cause someone to die because you are stupid and don’t know traffic rules. People like that should lose their drivers licenses, and be forced to take drivers ed again. And a written exam, in English !! That would prevent you from ever driving again, legally. And all you do gooders who disagree…. I hope that none of these idiots who can’t read local traffic signs and rules, never cause you any hardship !

And you know how to reach me and ask your mortgage or finance questions… 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Now that I’m older here’s more of what I’ve discovered:

It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser.

Some days, you’re the top dog; some days you’re the hydrant.

I wish the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of them.

Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

Accidents in the back seat cause kids.

It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere

 

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

September 24, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, humor, real estate | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 8-31 Concerts. Shrieking. Cute. Spock… and so much more


There are things that I don’t understand. And when I ask, no one has an explanation. So here goes.

 

Many of us either go or have gone to concerts. Some tickets are well over $200 from what I’ve been told. So you go to the concert, and what happens. You blew your $200 or $400 as the case may be, simply because you have entered a scene that sounds like “Sing Along With Mitch” or “The Ray Conniff Singers”. Everyone at the concert is singing along with the stage act. Or shrieking. Or crying. Or standing around, amazed at what is going on around you, and being absolutely unable to hear the stage act.

 

I think, that most of these people are of the female gender. I have never see a video clip of a male doing these things. Now I understand that this is not anything new. The shrieking and screaming was evident in clips of Sinatra (some of my younger readers may never have heard of him), and definitely of the Beatles. I don’t get it. Why bother to spend that kind of money to scream and sing along? It isn’t rational.

 

I wonder what Mr. Spock would have said in observing such behavior. I can see his quizzical look. And then his pensiveness before coming out with a somewhat meaningful statement. But, I think you get the drift.

 

I haven’t been to a concert other than at the Hollywood Bowl, or the Greek Theater, because, at least at those venues, it seems that the audience is there to be entertained, rather than to be the entertainment.

 

So while I’m questioning the activities of the female of the species, I was in a restaurant the other day, and while waiting, I was watching two young girls interact. Oh stop it ! – I was hearing bits of their conversation !! Now, we males have always heard women of all ages, saying to others that their hair is cute ( WHAT???) or shoes, or whatever. I began to wonder what would happen if one said something complimentary to the other – and I think women can find something to comment on regardless of how obscure it might be (and most men cannot so we shut up) – and what if the other said nothing in return. I don’t think that would ever happen but what if ???

 

Would female #1 ignore the slight, or would she repeat the compliment to female #2? Would female #2 find something to compliment, like a button placement or something equally obscure, but just to pay back #1. I don’t understand that stuff.

 

Do my male readers find something to say, even if it’s not true? Is that the ‘right’ thing to do? I mean, if there is something special, I will say something to the female, but I don’t say anything just to be heard? I think I remember in “The Little Rascals” movies where one of the boys paid a compliment to a girl by saying something like “You don’t look as fat as you did last month” ! Even I could never say that to anyone, regardless of whether or not I was thinking it.

 

What if the female was wearing something you really did not like. The three questions are: what would you say if you are married? and what would you say if you’re dating? and what would you say if you’re married and want to stay married?

 

I saw someone a while back that I had not seen in at least five years. I almost said “Wow, you’ve put on weight” but I managed to keep quiet. Or what do you say, or think, when you see someone wearing something that is absolutely wrong? My daughter read me the riot act one time, actually more than one time – but one time that is memorable  !

We were going out for dinner and I walked out of my room and she said nicely “You’re not wearing that” which became “You’re NOT wearing that” which became “You’re not wearing THAT!” . I finally got the hint.

I hope my female readers answer some of my questions. Please …

 

To those of you who observe Rosh Hashanah, I wish you a Happy New Year ! To those who do not observe, I still wish you a Happy New Year! To those who know someone who observes, I wish you a Happy New Year. I think I covered everyone.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Now that I’m older here’s what I’ve discovered:

1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2. My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran.

3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

4. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

5. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.

6. If all is not lost, then where the heck is it ?
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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695
Email: les@lesberman.com

September 16, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, humor, stuff | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 7-20 Accomplish? Medical Care? Water Sports. The Catch ! and much much more…


Did you accomplish anything this week? I don’t mean the lucky stuff, like getting to and from work without having an accident. But that is pretty good I guess. Did you do something commendable? And that includes virtually everything whether or not you actually received a pat on the back. Did you do something that you feel was worthwhile, whether it was recognized or not? Tell me what you did !

 

And while you’re thinking about that, I have to say a little more about medical care. One of my regular readers argued with my position from last week. He came up with several excellent points, but if I was to publish them here, you would never read me again. Let’s be honest about this. When I write things here, I am always right. Period. (My kids never bought in to that line, so it’s up to you if you want to !)

 

In a 2010 report by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, the United States, despite spending twice as much on healthcare, came in dead last compared with six peers – Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. And in a pair of studies focused on obesity and physical activity. Those studies, published in the journal Population Health Metrics, found rising obesity rates in nearly all of the hundreds of U.S. counties it studied between 2001 and 2009, but they also found that many Americans are becoming more physically active.

 

Counties in Kentucky, Georgia and Florida all reported major increases in the number of people getting sufficient physical activity, which the team defined as 150 total minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Now odds are that my readers are not in any of those progressive counties. So my message is get off your rear end and do it.

 

I started a couple of months ago and I’m swimming long distances now. My motivation was that my surgeon told me that my recovery from knee replacement surgery will be much faster and easier if I strengthen my quads and hamstrings. So, after I figured out that my lack of a six-pack didn’t matter much, I found that swimming was a lot easier on my joints than would be doing dry land exercises.

 

OK, so you don’t know how to swim. Lame excuse !! At most public and private pools, there are teachers who will get you going, and work with you. Last week, a 40+ woman was taking a swim lesson because she wanted to regain some strength and health. The teacher was actually quite good I thought. And guess what, I don’t look that good in a bathing suit either. But I feel great.

 

Back in the early 70’s, and living in Vancouver, I was a consultant to a company that was importing, from Australia,  the swim goggles (they were not patented or trademarked)  that are everywhere today. They were selling about 5000 – 8000 pair a year, mostly to swim clubs, and making a profit of about $3.00 each. I think they were retailing for about $6 or $7.00 each.  I went to the sporting goods show in Anaheim with the goggles. One product. Just one product. I had some conversations with one of the largest sporting goods distributors in the country, and came away with a signed order for one million units. Really !!

 

Yes, of course there was a catch. They would only pay 79 cents a unit. So I went back to my  company and said .. wow, look at this!! And they said they couldn’t do it because their cost of per unit was about $3. So I said, in shock, “you mean you never got prices to manufacture domestically?” And they said “why would we?” etc etc. Stupid is as stupid does. Right ?

 

Finally, they got their prices and said they would not sell to that company because they could only make 10 cents per unit (remember – 1 million pieces), and why would they do that when they are making $3.00 per (say 8000 pieces). The big distributor said they would not sell to the swim club market so these guys could continue to get their $3 profit.

 

Here’s the end of the story… The Vancouver company said ‘No” and the big distributor went elsewhere and went on to sell millions of units annually.

 

Now there is a moral to this story. I just don’t know exactly what it might be ! Oh yeah… get in the water and swim for your health. You can wear goggles too !!

 

Rates continue to move up, down and sideways. If you want something that you’ve never had before – a mortgage health review and a mortgage plan, you need to call me today. 818.305.4695.

 

And if you want to learn how to eat and be healthy, and build a business on good health, go to this website and check it out. I have !!

Have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines  because it doesn’t smoke unless it’s heated above 450F.

The roar that  we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but  rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.

Nine out  of every 10 living things live in the ocean.

The banana cannot reproduce  itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man (or woman).

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July 27, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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

 

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Voice: 818.305.4695
 
Email: les@lesberman.com
 

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

Les Berman Weekly 6-1 Asteroid. Aftershock. Wooly Mammoth. Glow in the Dark Cockroach. And a Monkey with Colorful Attributes !


I’m certain that you were out there today to make sure that the asteroid missed us. This event, with its moon in tow, just missed hitting planet Earth today, by a mere 3.6 million miles. So asteroid 1998 QE2 was big enough to wipe out a good part of the world’s population. OK, so that could have been a major issue, but to those of us who survived, the question would be whether or not our insurance would cover the catastrophe. My sources told me that if the asteroid or a meteorite scored a direct hit on your house, you would be covered. Of course, I think the insurance company would have insisted on a copy of the policy which, no doubt, have been incinerated. Likely along with you. So who cares? right? But this is where it gets interesting.

 

If your house was demolished by the aftershock or by shockwaves from the impact, too bad… you’re on your own. I wonder if this would be declared a disaster area?  Similarly, your auto policy would likely cover a direct hit, but none of the peripheral stuff. So the advice would be to make sure that you read the scientific parts of your on line news, do your calculations, and if you’re right… run like hell !

Of course, we don’t know if the impact would cause a global warming event, or if it would be followed by an ice age. I mean, maybe, except in southern California where the weather is always pleasant. Think of the possibilities.

 

Eons from now (eons are slightly shorter than “a long, long time”), perhaps some space alien archaeologist would discover some remains of something, just like they did recently on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. These people discovered the remains of a wooly mammoth, estimated to be from 10 – 15,000 years old. That in and of itself, is extremely noteworthy. Even better was the discovery of blood that was so well preserved that it flowed freely from this carcass. The muscle tissue of the animal was so well preserved that it looked like fresh meat.

 

Is this important? Of course it is. If a wooly mammoth could be cloned a la Jurassic Park, the scientists could win a huge award from the X Prize. That would be cool, especially if it was put on display where we tourists could be taken (in more ways than one) on tours.

 

While we’re discussing animals, it seems that in 2012, a number of previously unknown specieswere discovered. Those would include a glow in the dark cockroach, a snake that eats snails, a meat eating sponge, and a monkey with, yup, bald, blue testicles. Now the natives have known of this monkey for some time and have hunted the monkeys because they are, apparently, good eating.

 

I wonder if you guys have known of this primate from the time when we were younger and more naive, and unfortunately, too frequently ended up with blue balls. (I sure hope this gets past the spam blockers). There is no evidence that the lesula monkey, native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo has any special properties other than as meat. I would, however, guess that no research would have been done on this topic anyway!

 

In other news from the science department, it has been announced that it has only taken 168 years to identify the pathogen that created the Irish Potato Famine, killing an estimated one million people. The scientists have postulated that the pathogen in question is now extinct. I have no idea how they would know that, but I’m easy and I’ll go with the flow. I wonder why, with apologies to those of Irish descent, if there was a shortage of potatoes, would they not have remembered the words of the late Marie Antoinette, and just eaten cake instead of potatoes.

 

It truly would have been ironic, I think, that if the Irish were able to change their diets to coincide with the words of the late Queen, and saved themselves, that the Queen’s execution would have been somehow rescinded. Food for thought ! (very bad pun !!)

Once more, it’s time for the blatant commercial. I am in the business of providing mortgages – every kind: VA, conventional FHA, jumbo, reverse, etc. If you are thinking about buying a home, or refinancing, you really should be calling me – today. 818.305.4695.

And please, have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

How many times is it appropriate to say “What?”, before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

 

 

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June 2, 2013 Posted by | fun, humor, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , | 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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April 14, 2013 Posted by | fun, general interest, real estate, sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment