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 #474 Classic. Speed Limit. 9mm Glock. Hackers… and so much more…


Sometimes I’m in a hurry. A classic example happened the other day when I left about 10 minutes late for an appointment. Traffic seemed to be moving ok and then it happened. And we have all experienced this driver. And we have all experienced similar emotions.

This driver was, well, not only was she driving the speed limit (when does this happen??) but she was actually driving five miles per hour under the speed limit ! At first, I thought I should be polite – I know… totally out of character, right ?… and I did keep the proper distance behind the car and, to use the television version, the alleged driver. I looked at my watch and saw that I was falling further behind. I drover closer to the subject car; and then I flashed my headlights, driving closer.

To no avail. I drove closer, virtually tailgating. I was late. And still 25 mph. And getting later. I reached to my side and was ready to pull out my 9 mm Glock. I thought I could fire a warning shot through the back window and the front windshield, hoping she would pull over. I thought this would be a really good move because I was getting really late. And then I remembered that I haven’t taken shooting lessons in a long time, actually since I was 14. And further, as I was making another move, I realized that I had to pursue a different resolution, even if my heart rate was accelerating, for I remembered that I don’t know how to shoot a gun and, even worse, I don’t even own a gun! So much for that fantasy.

But back to Jane Q. Citizen at 25 mph. She maintained her even speed until the road divided into a four lane road. I then accelerated past her, as did the other 5 cars behind me. And then something rude happened, or at least I think it was rude. One of the drivers behind me, probably as he was passing her, blew his horn. Obviously that driver was frustrated, but to blow your horn at someone who was driving the speed limit is rude. I think that driver should have remained angry and taken it out on someone at home. Like the punching bag with the image of your favorite politician on it. Or someone else that you hold in high regard – like a used car salesman, or your favorite divorce attorney !!

I did get to my appointment of course.

With the recent and ongoing incidences of hacking events worldwide, I return to an article in the NY Times from 2012 that dealt with secure passwords. Here are some of the rules: If your word is in the dictionary, that’s the same as not having one. Never use the same password twice. The password should be at least 14 characters long and should have a passphrase to remind you what it is; jam on your keyboard using the Shift and Alt keys, and then copy the password onto your encrypted thumb drive that you keep with you. or have a password manager. Here’s the link to the article. It’s still worth reading !

And if you want to get back at the hacker, sic the torvosaurus gurneyi on him. That would make old science meeting new science, because the old science thing was bigger than the tyrannosaurus rex and was around about 80 million years before T. rex. The t.g. was on what we now call the European continent. I wonder if European ancestors got so angry with the T.g., that they still harbored a grudge when T rex and homo sapiens evolved. Lindsey Lohan wanted her name mentioned again.

While you’re contemplating the dates and time frames, you should have a money thought. And when you have a money thought, you have to think of me. Because I am the gateway to money. For business financing or residential financing, please call the magic number – 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Questions, Questions. Questions.

Can you cry under water?

 How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to ‘put your two cents in’… but it’s only a ‘penny for your thoughts’? Where’s that extra penny going to?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

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

May 2, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 2-15 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

 

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 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 11-30 Turkey Day Calories. Black Friday- Really? Saber Tooth. Loud Commercials… and so much more…


So you ate about 4500 calories worth on Thursday, but you may only have gained one pound. And then you went shopping after turkey dinner, and on Friday, and in so doing, lost three pounds because you were so aggravated that you had to walk from the far end of the parking lot, and lost two pounds working your way through the crowds. So far so good. And at the end of the shopping mania, you found that you had spent far more money than you intended, but you ‘saved’ so much more.

 

I do know that my daughter was excited about shopping today. To me, the most amazing thing about that is that her husband was going with her. The shopping gene hit him somehow. And that’s really noteworthy because he devours all sports. And I never knew that a sports fan could have the shopping gene too. But, I know she was doing well because when I texted her one word – “Winning?”, her response was ‘Yup”.

I did my own Black Friday shopping today. I bought some detergent. And saved almost $3.00. I contributed to the statistic. ! Did you?

 

Yesterday, I was listening to satellite radio and they were talking about a race among three people going from Manhattan (the real one in NY) to Washington DC by car, train or plane. My first thought was ‘why would anyone want to go to DC?’ and then I realized that the politicians are likely out on holiday so it might be ok. Now, I don’t know who won the race, and it really is irrelevant. The real news story would have been here on the west coast – car, plane or train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

 

And then I remembered that there is no train from LA to Vegas, and there may never be. So my thoughts changed to Los Angeles to San Diego. That would have been much more fun, even with sigalerts.

 

Do you remember that last December, all television broadcast media was supposed to reduce the sound volume of commercials to the same sound level as the TV shows? When I was house bound while recovering from my knee surgery, I found that many commercials blasted louder. Maybe they do that to wake up the viewer who has fallen into a catatonic state of bliss while watching daytime TV.

 

I know this kid was not interested in our foibles of the day. Around 24,000 years ago, this toddler was playing, but we don’t know what he was playing. Maybe it was chase the saber-tooth tiger, or don’t step in the mammoth stuff. The burial of an Upper Palaeolithic Siberian boy was discovered along with numerous artifacts in the 1920s by Russian archaeologists near the village of Mal’ta, along the Belaya river. But it was recently that they were able to extract DNA that showed this kid had genomes found today in western Eurasians and some that are unique to Native Americans. One of the interesting discoveries was that this little boy did not share any DNA with any east Asians. The scientists offered hypotheses as to eventual mixing of genomes with East Asians, but those hypotheses might just be marginally better than the one I might give as to the outcome of next June’s Stanley Cup winner.

 

So while you’re contemplating that, I will remind you that I am available for your real estate financing needs – mortgages for your purchase or refinance of your home or commercial property. The magic number is, of course, 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

More “South” stuff…

“Cut on the air conditioning” means, “Please turn on the air conditioning.”

Women carry “pocket books” not purses.

“That will cost 4 dollars and 12 cent.”  Not 12 “cents.”

“I’m bar-be-quing this weekend.” Oh, so you are cooking a pig?  Anything else is “grilling”.

 

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

December 16, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 11-23 Cold. Storm Windows. Outdoor Hockey. Super Dino. Wine Cellars in History… and much much more..


So, I was trying to figure out why we, here in southern California, think that 60 degree weather is cold. I grew up in a climate where the weather would go down to minus 40 degrees and we dealt with it. You dressed for it, and you knew that it would warm up in a day or a week, and we just waited for it to happen. And we never complained… unless it stayed that cold for more than a week. And it did sometimes.

 

Allow me to describe some of our preparations for the season, and I’m going to guess that many of you will have huge question marks about terminology. But that’s ok – you can google everything. In no particular order, because, I can’t remember, we took down all of the screens covering the windows, and replaced them with glass windows. That would create an insulation barrier that would help to keep the house warm. That was in addition to the dual pane windows we had.  I think my dad called them ‘storm windows and doors’. After all, we took the screen doors off and replaced those too.

The curtains were heavy material and that formed another layer of insulation.

 

Then, my dad would make sure that the tank was full of heating oil, the furnace would be serviced and tuned up. I don’t remember being cold, in the house. The cars would have the antifreeze refreshed and the snow tires installed.  And every car had a block heater that had to be plugged in – so the engine would start. The block heater would keep the engine warm so that the oil wouldn’t freeze solid. There would be an electric plug sticking out of the front of the car, and we had lots of fun telling summer visitors that the cars were actually electric: the cars were cheap but those long extension cords cost a small fortune !

And we brought the winter clothes and boots out of the basement storage area, and swapped them out with the summer stuff. And then we waited for the snow to come and for the winds to blow.

 

Of course, when the snow came, it really did. We played hockey on outdoor rinks. And that was life in Winnipeg. And we walked to school most of the time, both ways, in the snow,

 

Now, it gets down to 50 here in Los Angeles, and I reach for the warmer coats and hats. Either my blood has thinned, or I’ve become a wuss. Those who know me best, vote for the latter ! But really, we know it’s cold in LA when the water coming out of the tap is actually cold !

 

Apparently, it hasn’t always been like this. Some 98 million years ago, the climate was pretty conducive to providing sustenance to everything that populated the land. National Geographic described a dinosaur that as a toddler, weighed some four tons and was as long as a school bus. It predated T. Rex and was much larger. They know all this because someone found a few toes and some other bones, and decided that this was a missing link between the dinos that came before and those that came after. How do these people do that? I understand when a complete skeleton is found (check the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles), but how do you reach conclusions from fragments of a four ton toddler?.

 

Meanwhile, in more recent history, archaeologists were working some ruins in Israel and came across the wine room. While the wines were long gone, the residues were there. And through analysis of the residues, it was found that the wines all had the same ingredients – there were actual recipes 3700 years ago. These included honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins used as a preservative. The recipe was similar to medicinal wines used for 2,000 years in ancient Egypt and probably tasted something like retsina or other resinous Greek wines today.

 

What is interesting to me is that the excavation team found two other doors leading to new rooms. And they can’t open those rooms until the next excavation season – in 2015. What’s up with 2014? I want to know what’s behind the door on the …. right ! or do I want the one on the left? What should I do? what to do? Audience. Help me ….

 

And if you are looking for real estate financing, for your residential or commercial property, call me today ! And if you know any veterans or foreign nationals, please have them call me. The magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

More southern stuff:

Going to “The” Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as goin Wal-Martin’ or off to Wally World.

You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good beef stew or chili weather.

Fried catfish is the other white meat.

We don’t need no dang Driver’s Ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive!!!

I’m having my “picture made” means “I’m having my picture taken

 

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 Les Berman CMC
        Real Estate Loan Specialist   
       
NMLS ID 227675 BRE #00924913 
 
 
Voice: 818.305.4695
 
Email: les@lesberman.com

December 10, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 11-16 Get Annoyed. Confusing Legalese. Great Gags. Phone Etiquette. Hair Cloning. and 125 Years… and much much more…


How often do you get annoyed because either there are stupid people doing stupid things, or smart people doing stupid things because it’s in the employee handbook? In which case, it goes up the line to supposedly smart people who are trying to dumb it down to the lowest common denominator (uhh.. that’s a math term)!

 

Let me give you today’s example. My regular readers may remember that I had knee surgery two months ago. So today I received a letter from an insurance company that said “please be advised that your notice of claim has recently been received…” and the next sentence says “please review your policy and let us know of all benefits in your policy you believe you might be eligible to receive.”

 

OK – you have my claim. It is for specific benefits. And now you want me to review the policy, written in purposely confusing legalese, and tell you what I’m claiming. Excuse me. Is there a little redundancy here. So when I called the insurance company to ask why, they said that not everyone knows what a claim is.

 

And again, if someone does not know what a claim is, either they should not be allowed out in public without a guide, or if it’s too late for that, perhaps the person who submitted the claim should assist.  And so we went in a circle. But I was polite.. and started to have some fun confusing the person on the phone.

 

And then, I was reminded of one of the great gags that my son did when he was a teenager. Someone had called our home line, and that was in the olden days when you answered the phone and just said hello without knowing who was calling. My son proceeded to carry on a conversation for 10 – 15 minutes with… a wrong number. And I still chuckle over his sense of humor. And I am guessing that he still does silly things like that, and I have to guess because his wife doesn’t reveal those secrets !

 

And while we’re on phone etiquette, if there is such a thing anymore, I would like to impart upon you, some wisdom that has worked for me for a very long time. Sometimes, you messed up and paid a bill late, or not at all, and you had somewhat of a legitimate excuse. Most people will call the creditor with a belligerent attitude, and then get really mad when you don’t get your way. And the person on the other end really digs in their heels and will not budge. And then you get really mad and it gets worse.

 

I used to counsel mortgage clients who had these issues, to call, and be super sweet. The people at the other end of the phone line are usually surprised by politeness, and tend to want to be helpful. After all, the previous 22 callers cussed at them and called them every nasty word. Most of the time, my clients were successful, and all because they decided to go out of character, and they were polite. It works. Try it next time !

 

Meanwhile, a team of researchers at Columbia University Medical Center published findings recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that should interest many of you, both men and women. They were able to clone follicles of hair and regrow them on lab mice. That in and of itself is wonderful for some of you hair impaired people who actually want hair. The agent that was used to generate the growth were discarded infant foreskins. So, in the future, as this becomes a standard form of procedure for hair growth, the jokes will start and many of you will call each other by that very obvious name…  ____head ! Yes, you read it here first ! (Now that is in very poor taste – but I know you laughed!)

 

On a somewhat serious note, which for me is extremely rare, I would like to salute the 125th Anniversary of a meeting that was attended by 33 men in Washington D.C. In 1888, these men gathered to found a society that would explore the world and tell everyone about it. 125 years later, we’re carrying out this mission in ways they never dreamed possible. I doff my hat to those men who founded the National Geographic Society. Over the years, I have enjoyed countless hours of my own exploration as I devoured the monthly magazine, and then the numerous NatGeoTV channels. I don’t know if I will ever get to the Serengeti or the Galapagos in person, but because of these men, I have been there several times both in print and on TV. We do owe them a huge thank you !

 

My three primary areas of real estate lending – veterans, foreign nationals, and  people needing private money loans for their commercial deals. And all of the regular buyers and refinance homeowners too.The magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

THINGS YOU LEARN LIVING IN THE SOUTH

You carry jumper cables in your car – for your OWN car.

You only own five spices: salt, pepper, mustard, Tabasco and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports and motor sports, and gossip.

You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.

You know what a “hissy fit” is.

 

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

 

December 4, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 11-8 YEsterday. JFK. 3 C’s. Cheeseheads. Rubber Duckies… and much more


It seems like it was yesterday, and I guess, when you consider that the planet is billions of years old, and our existence is a dot in time in that continuum, then the murder of JFK 50 years ago does actually seem like yesterday.

 

I was in high school in Winnipeg when the first announcement came over the PA system. And I remember the hush that swept through our class. Understand that this was in Canada, but even we identified with the youthfulness of JFK. And then the sobs from a couple of kids, who, as it happened, were Americans. I don’t remember what time it was, but I do remember thinking that if it was the ‘commies’ that shot Kennedy, then we, in Winnipeg, should be safe. After all, I was in Canada and no one hates Canadians. The possibility of war was real.

 

We used to go home for lunch because we had an hour and a half before the afternoon classes began. And yes, I walked home, in the snow, (uphill both ways of course), had lunch, and walked back to school. The TV was on and the chaos of Dallas was mind boggling!

 

I didn’t realize then that Kennedy had an immense influence on the cultures of both the USA and Canada. Kennedy didn’t wear a hat. My dad and his brothers stopped wearing hats (except on cold days). Jackie did wear hats but I have no idea if my mother did or not. Strange to think about now. He was a cool president and a role model.

 

The aftermath, to this day, is pretty amazing. The Warren Commission, Oswald, Ruby and so many more parts to the puzzle that have not been solved, or rather, have not been disclosed. There have been volumes written about conspiracies, cover-ups and collusion – the Three C’s. And some of the official records have been sealed for 100 years. So those of us who were around in 1963 will never know the truth, rather the truth that you will be told.

 

I don’t understand why the ‘truths’ cannot be told now. Did the FBI or CIA or Secret Service screw up? or was this a fluke? We’ll never know, and with the volumes of hypotheses that will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks, we’ll know even less.

 

The only thing that I know for sure is that this act of violence changed the free world forever… and for the worse. We can’t turn the clock back, but we can aspire to return to Camelot.

 

Meanwhile, in that bastion of good people, known somewhat affectionately as cheeseheads, or to some of you, as Wisconsin, there is legislation being considered to allow gambling on a small scale. We can’t all flock there, unless we’re migrating, but a bill legalizing rubber duck races is up for consideration before the state Senate’s Workforce Development Committee. And this happened because someone in the Wisconsin Department of Justice determined that, yes, duck races are, in fact, gambling !

 

Now, if you have never partaken in a rubber duck race, you know it’s extremely competitive, of course. You get a rubber duck with a number on it. You place it in a moving body of water, like a river or stream,  and then you yell, eat hot dogs, and drink cold beer, until the first duck crosses the finish line. And the owner of the number on that duck wins a prize of some kind. But most people don’t really care unless they are under eight years of age and are tired of drinking beer.

 

And I’m sure there have been instances when someone with scuba gear has attempted to move his duck to the front of the floating flock, and I’m equally sure there have been alligators and sharks involved as well. But Sheboygan Wisconsin is taking this to a new level, having determined that rubber duck races are, in fact, gambling. Wow… I think that some of those government people have the holes from the Swiss cheese, in their heads !

 

How would they deal with the golf balls being dropped from a helicopter? Same concept except that a chopper hovers over a parcel of land with a hole and flag, and the chopper guy dumps the bag of golf balls. The numbered ball closest to the hole wins the prize. everything else is the same : the yelling, the hot dogs, and definitely the beer !

 

In the meantime, if you or someone you know, is a veteran of the US Armed Forces, they should talk to me about some of the extraordinary financing opportunities for vets. And similarly, if you know immigration attorneys or investment advisors that work with foreign nationals, I have financing programs for them too. The magic number… 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED LIVING IN THE SOUTH….

“Ya’ll” is singular; “All ya’ll” is plural.

You measure distance in minutes (that’s here in LA too).

You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.

All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.

You know what a DAWG is.

 

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

December 1, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Les Berman Weekly 11-2 Flushed. Cool Underwear.Mean Woman. Chips Are Up… and so much more..


So the BTA is having a meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss flushes and water usage. Yes, the Europeans have decided that they are using too much water per flush, and some members are proposing compressed air to assist the disposal. The British Toilet Association is considering new guidelines for disposing of your stuff so as to reduce water consumption. That’s not the humorous item… a toilet association? couldn’t you come up with a different name? Do any of these resonate? The Water Closet Association. CAB – Commode Association of Britain; CRAB – Crapper Association of Britain; PTCIA – Pull the Chain Improvement Association. And of course, the BBC – the British Bureau of Crappers.  I really need a 6 year old to help with the porcelain goddess humor. Do you have someone you can volunteer?

 

Mean – while, a woman in Fargo had planned to hand out candies and letters to kids on Halloween. The letters were telling fat kids that candies weren’t good for them and being overweight was not a healthy lifestyle. Talk about bullying!! When I was a little kid, I would only have received her letters… the bitch ! But we would have done our thing to her house – door bell ringing and then taking off, or if we wanted to be really bad, we would have teepee’d her house. And what’s remarkable is that she publicized her action before the big night. Whattabitch !!

 

But there is good news out there for those of us who cannot find enough junk to eat. Lay’s is announcing that they are coming out with a chocolate covered potato chip. Personally, I think the combination is a little gross, but only because I haven’t tasted one yet. And I will sample them at some point. I just can’t see it,,, sitting in front of the tv with beer and chocochips. I have to guess that they tested the product in several markets with several people. They forgot to ask me… again.

 

In other very important news, a new line of underwear is about to be marketed for both men and women. I would guess that, because women shop more often than do men, the product will be given to men much more frequently. Now, I must admit that I had thought that this type of product should have been invented a long time ago. I know people who should line up for this as soon as it hits the store. A company is coming out with a line of underwear that absorbs passed air, flatulence, aka gas. Any other four letter word would not get past the spam filters 🙂 The product has been developed by a British company. Women can buy Shreddies in briefs, high-leg briefs or shorties, while men can purchase support boxers, adjustable support boxers, hipsters and briefs. I’m sorry but I don’t know when it will hit the store shelves nor do I know what shorties are.. But it will be a very popular gag gift with serious meaning.

 

I used to think school field trips were pretty cool. A group of private school students from the Los Angeles area was on a field trip in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, an area well known for its fossils. When I was a kid in Winnipeg, I had found a few fossils of spiral snails and other small things. The Legislative Building in Winnipeg is built with limestone blocks. I remember walking around the building and finding the fossils embedded in the limestone. That was absolutely exciting, and would still be today if I went back there.

 

So this kid happens to look under a rock outcropping and sees something that looks like a bone. He went around the other side, picks up  a rock, and finds a skull. It turns out that the kid discovered the smallest, youngest and most complete duck-billed dinosaur of its kind ever found. It took a couple of years to get the permits, and then 1300 hours to chip away the stone from the dinosaur bones. The dino is now on display at the Alf Museum in Claremont, CA. I hope the kid has a statue right next to dino. Or at least a photo and recognition. What a field trip that was ! Lucky guy – so jealous 😉

 

I remember taking my son out to the Santa Monica Mountains a couple of times to do some fossil hunting. I don’t think we found any but as I recall, the Thrifty store had ice cream. A fitting discovery on a hot day I think.

And when you are thinking real estate loans, call me first especially if you are a veteran or a foreign national. The magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED LIVING IN THE SOUTH….

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you’re two. We do like a little tea with our sugar. It is referred to as the Wine of the South.

“Backwards and forwards” means I know everything about you.

The word “jeet” is actually a phrase meaning ‘Did you eat?’

You don’t have to wear a watch, because it doesn’t matter what time it is, you work until you’re done or it’s too dark to see.

You don’t PUSH buttons, you MASH em.

“Ya’ll” is singular; “All ya’ll” is plural.

 

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

November 19, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, 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

 

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 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