The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly #479 Soap. Explosion. Tombs. Tarzana… and much more


There are many things that I do, whether I like them or not. Every now and then, I make my bed, or wash my car, or even do my laundry. I haven’t found the formula yet that will have someone do all of that for me. And then there are the things that I do like to do, and I find that activity amazing. I like to take showers. No, I’m not going to get graphic but I’ve wondered about all of the soaps that are formulated for each square inch of your body. So with you understanding that my body may be bigger than yours (this week), we have to embark on a quest for knowledge.

 

I visit my brother’s house with some frequency, and I know that they are somewhat pleased that I decide to use their shower. I look at the array of soaps, cleansers, washers, conditioners, gels, body washes along with the loofas, sponges, and wash cloths, and I have instant admiration for my sister in law. How does she know that soap A when combined with D will not cause a cataclysmic explosion? I know that medicines come with lists of reactions when combined with other meds, but I didn’t see such things on soap labels.

 

Now, in fairness to my hostess, I have to disclose that I use one kind of soap. It comes in a bar shape, is not perfumed, and is actually contoured to my abundant body. And I believe it (the soap) is made in America. I’ve been told that women will use different soaps depending on the mood they are in. I think I understand that, sort of… well… maybe ! What if they just want to get clean? How will they ever know what to use?

 

But all of this leads to what I know. And what I want to know. I know my soap works because no one has ever told me that it doesn’t. Or maybe I know a lot of polite, very polite, people ! What I want to know, and I’ve likely wanted to know this since I was first given a bath by someone at the hospital when I was born. Why does soap sting when it gets in my eyes?

 

I have learned to cope with the pain because it doesn’t last long. I wouldn’t take vicodin for that. What I really want to know is why no one has come up with the painless shampoo formula. I mean you can buy chicken nuggets, devised by food scientists to make you believe that those things are healthy; or bread that is full of wood fiber and the stuff that is used to make yoga mats. C’mon scientists… it’s time !! Painless shampoo !!

 

I wonder if the inhabitants of the recently excavated Egyptian tombs had the same problems. That was only 3300 years ago. But they had things that were used for different purposes, some of which should be used to day. Or maybe they are but we don’t know about that. They found some interesting things in this tomb, including colors. Despite it having been looted a few times over the centuries, the looters left behind the evidence that a family, likely to be servants in the afterlife, was entombed along with the dignitary. I wonder if they were locked up because the servants got soap in the boss’ eyes?

 

I’m the money source. If you need funding for your business, for an acquisition, or for anything business related, you need to call the magic number. Our residential group has all of the regular types of mortgages AND, now, a stated income loan at decent prices. All of this is available at the magic number… 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

QUESTIONS THAT HAUNT ME!

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

If people evolved from apes, Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

If people evolved from apes,why are there still apes?

Whose idea was it to put an ‘S’ in the word ‘lisp’?

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Voice: 818.305.4695

July 16, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly #476 Sales or Marketing? Flap? Rockfish? 70% Better… and so many more questions…


On occasion, people will interchange the words “sales” and “marketing”. So, to end the confusion, partially, I will refer you to the grocery store ads for this week in the Los Angeles area. The food ads are all about marketing.

 

One of the stores was featuring boneless flap meat. Not being familiar with the term, I decided I better investigate. Now that term, flap meat, seems sort of gross. Flap meat. Would you use that to slap someone? That’s the image it presents. In an article from 2005, it is described as an unflatteringly named cut that comes from the less tender regions of the animal. Since then it has been described in other ways but it is a tough piece of meat that can be flavorful if cooked properly. So why wouldn’t the beef industry give it an attractive name, like sirloin tip. Oh darn.. that’s what it used to be called before the flappers got involved.

 

Moving right along, I notice that rockfish is on sale. That is such a plain name that not even the venerable Wikipedia has an explanation for that one. So other market names in accordance with FDA rules are Pacific red snapper, rock cod, black bass, and Pacific ocean perch. And there are about 70 different kinds of fish that come under that one name. And the article says that it’s not fraud because the FDA approves it.

 

The FDA approves it ?! So the same agency that prevents us from having medicines in common use in other countries; and the same agency that approves genetically modified foods for human consumption, allows multiple names for the same product to confuse the consumer. The industry therefore, is allowed to change the names to “fraudulently” confuse the public and avoid prosecution because a government agency allows it. This is marketing !

 

Then I saw an ad for Boar’s Head Blazing Buffalo Chicken Breast. That is so straightforward. For the uninformed, perhaps that would be a mixture of pig meat, burnt buffalo, and part of a chicken. Do we know better? I’m not sure.

 

I had a product a while back, I believe it was a non-stick food spray, that had a slogan emblazoned on the package – 70% better. No asterisk, no referral to something else on the container. It just said 70% better. I wondered about that and it gave me time to reflect on what it could be better than. I wondered if it was better than butter, or extra virgin olive oil (where do they find the extra virgins please), or if it was better than flap meat or a mixture of pig meat, burned buffalo etc. No conclusion on this guessing game.

 

At the other end of the marketing spectrum, one store was featuring red apples. Other stores featured galas, delicious, Fuji or Granny Smith. I know those brands because the apple (not the phone / computer / tablet apple) people have been promoting those apple types forever. I don’t know – red just is not descriptive enough. But it is better than wormy !

 

And then there is that marketing classic – imitation crab meat. Amazing – they tell the truth and then sell tons of the product. I’ve had the imitation stuff and real crab. The fake doesn’t taste anything like the real one – not even close ! All of this creative marketing is convincing me to become vegetarian. Well… maybe just to eat more vegetables… maybe !

The difference is that sales people sell what the marketing people conjure up !

And then there is the couple in Wyoming who got a permit to build a pond on their property. It provides water for their horses, stocked it with trout, and brought in their ducks and geese. And this was done with a state permit. They complete everything and get a letter from a state agency saying they did everything properly. Yup, then they get a letter from the Feds threatening a fine of $75,000 / day for violating federal law. Hmm.. that seems like a cluster thing. So the latest is that he has federal politicians telling the federal agency to…go away. And they might never be able to eat real fish… by any name.

 

And this is your call to action – financing for small business, real estate loans – residential and private money. Call the magic number 818.305.4695

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They’re going to see you naked anyway…

Why is ‘bra’ singular and ‘panties’ plural?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

 

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

 

June 17, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, 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 12-14 Hold Please. Traffic. PISA. Titan. Buddha and so much more…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a better week!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Les Berman Weekly 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 10-19 Sugar. Wild Children. #2 Commercial Day. and Ginger. Lots of Ginger. and much more….


So I was wondering about all the major upcoming events that will turn our North American world on end. No, don’t get that excited. Elected officials in Washington are not resigning. But, we have the International Day of Wild Children coming up, followed immediately by the North American Bitching and Complaining About Sleep Day.

I’m sure that you’re familiar with these celebrations. The first is better known as Halloween.

It is a proven fact that ghosts, ghouls, vampires, werewolves, and the like all live forever. (I may have read it in the National Enquirer .) Halloween dates back to Celtic rituals a couple of thousand years ago and our very own Census Bureau is here to help us with some Halloween-related numbers. For example, there are about 41 million kids, age 5-14, who might be on the streets throwing eggs and begging for sugar. And a number of them will stop in at the 115 million occupied houses across the nation. And some of those houses are in terrifying places like Tombstone, AZ, Sleepy Hollow, IL, Kill Devil Hills, NC, Casper, WY, or Scarville, IA, or wherever Bob’s ex-wife’s attorney lives.

Halloween does contribute to the economy. Doting parents will spend about $3 Billion on costumes for their kids, and perhaps another $300 Million on costumes for their pets. I’d love to see someone putting a costume on a cat ! And it lasting more than 45 seconds. The visual is hilarious. Dogs are really much more understanding. But the big money is spent on candy.

Now we don’t buy the candy for ourselves: we buy it to give to kids who will indulge and have those amazing sugar highs. We give it to kids who will climb walls faster and farther than any cat ever could. This is the payback for everything that any kid has ever done to you, and to the parents who tortured you with similar ‘gifts’ when your kids were younger. Understand this payback… your kids may have been out on Halloween for 10 years. But your payback lasts until you’re 90! Superb !! And all under the guise of celebrating Celtic rituals !

By the way, the candy merchants are pretty happy at this time of the year. You buy about $2.5 Billion of those sugar loaded bombs every year. And I know that you pick out the good stuff before the first ghoul appears at your door. I know you do because I used to do that too. And then what do you do when your wild kid finally crashes and goes to bed. Of course,,, you sneak in and either take the best stuff from the trick or treat bag, or, if you’re really mean (translate to “really care”), you take the whole bag and plan to dole out a few treats over the next week, being sure, of course, to take the best stuff for yourself.

Any way you look at it, you, the parent, are guilty of contributing to the sugar high of a minor.

I did hear that used clothing stores have lots of Halloween costumes from prior years, at prices that are a fraction of the new stuff. How bad can they be – they have only been worn once ! Maybe you can spend $3 rather than $30.

The evolution of Halloween is worth researching – and far too long to repeat here. Suffice it to say that with the huge flow of immigrants from Europe in the second half of the 1800s, the celebrations became more entrenched. But the big party cycles grew immensely from the 1920s to the 1950s. And then, as many of us came of age in the 1950s, Halloween exploded,  and has become the second biggest commercial holiday in the country. So, my final comment is “Booooo !!”

In Scotland recently, a claim was made that Scotland had the highest number of redheads in the world. That headline caught my eye because I’ve known a few reds throughout history. Of course now, there are ginger pride days. After a big parade in Edinburgh Scotland, with about 200 gingers taking part, there was a gathering in Breda, Holland last month that was attended by about 1600 redheads. There hasn’t been any definite research into the numbers of ginger heads (and when did they start to be called ginger anyway), but the guess is that I haven’t met enough of them. I do remember playing connect the freckles with one redhead when I lived in Vancouver. That was a never ending game !

So, this Halloween, I’m going to be looking for the best chocolates, for myself of course, and, to make it even better, with a ginger headed person of the female persuasion who can play connect the freckles.

And remember, need money. Have collateral? Call me today 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED LIVING IN THE SOUTH….

A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one’s seen before.

If it grows, it’ll stick ya. If it crawls, it’ll bite cha.

“Onced” and “Twiced” are words

 

 

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

October 31, 2013 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly … 8 – 2 A Story Worth Reading… and more


So… I heard a story on the radio and was so impacted by it that I pulled over to the side of the road and tried to capture everything.

The story is told about a football player at a major football school who would brag to everyone about his classy upbringing and about all that his family had. He was a very good athlete, a running back,  and had lots of potential. He would talk about his big house and the cars, and because he was from the south, he found it necessary to mention the household staff – maids and cooks and butler and whatever else they had. And he was a very good football player.

 

One day, an old man came to the university practice field, and was asking about the star athlete. The athlete was told that an old man was in the stands, looking for him. He looked over, and ignored the old man. Not a wave. No head nod. Nothing. And the old man watched the practice, and waited in the stands, looking at the star athlete. But the star athlete went directly into the locker room, passing right by the old man, not even acknowledging his father.

 

A couple of weeks later, there was a pep rally prior to the big football game. It started in the gym, or field house, or whatever those places might be called. An old man in well worn clothes, appeared at the gym, asking about his son. And somebody went over to the big 6’4″, 280 lb nose guard (I don’t exactly know what that is either) to tell him about the old man being at the door. The big guard looked over towards the old man, and jumped up, rushed over, and embraced the man. He was so excited to see him, and he half dragged, half carried the old man to the coach and the microphone. He asked for the microphone and when given it, he said ” Hey everyone ! This is my daddy and I’m so excited and happy that he could be here. Please say hello to him” and the gym erupted in cheers and applause.

 

The moral of the story is simple: If you want to succeed in life, be yourself !! There are people who really know you.

 

I sat in my car, listening to this story, stunned. And pensive. And sad. Sad because I know some like the running back. And happy, because I know many like the big nose guard.

 

And as I write this, I’m still stunned. Do you know the running back? Do you know the nose guard? Send this to him or her – if you can.

 

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Airports at higher  altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density.

The  University of Alaska spans four time zones

The tooth is the only part of  the human body that cannot heal itself.

In ancient Greece , tossing an  apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant  she accepted.

Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright  to the song Happy Birthday.

Get Heathier Faster

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

 

August 19, 2013 Posted by | general interest, sports, stuff, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 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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 Les Berman CMC
Real Estate Loan Specialist   
       
NMLS ID 227675
 
Voice: 818.305.4695
 
Email: les@lesberman.com
 

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

Les Berman Weekly 5-3 Loser ! Crybaby! Illiterate kids. Major Reminder !


In the meantime, while everything was going on, flight schedules screwed up, student visas ignored etc, we missed some worldly astonishing events. It was reported that a football player, who was quite full of himself (is that a surprise?) was not drafted in the top 10, as he thought he should be. So what did he do? He fired his agents. Yes.. he fired his agents !  Perhaps, if he had tried harder, or worked harder, or if he was a better player, he might have been drafted earlier.

 

This is yet another example of a loser blaming others for his doing poorly. We see this all of the time. “It’s not my fault – you set me up. You didn’t make me work hard. You didn’t make me do my homework. You didn’t teach me how to think, do math, be a doctor, a lawyer or candlestick maker.”

 

I remember when my kids were little, that they would have school projects. They asked that I help them build, create, letter, paste or whatever because their friends’ parents were doing the project for them. My kids had to do their own stuff. I will admit that I helped when they asked for ideas – no, I didn’t tell them what to do but I did ask them questions that would help them focus.

Their work looked like an eight or ten year old did it, not like that of the 35 – 40 year old parent. Personally, I was disgusted because the parents said they did their kids work so they would get a better grade and it would be better for their self esteem. What a load of camel dung ! Boo hoo hoo !

 

It was the parents who couldn’t bear to see Johnny or Betty make a mistake by having a less than perfect (as done by a parent) project. So as that continued, a generation of kids grew up thinking that everything had to be prepared for them. A generation of kids who think they are entitled to everything, and prove to be incapable of thinking independently. Mommy and daddy aren’t there to think for them, or won’t be.

 

And then the education system was changed so that “No child is left behind“. What stupidity is that? The administrators, possibly the grown up kids who never had to do anything for themselves, decided that every child should be promoted in school, regardless of their capability. This is moronic at best. If a kid can’t handle the work, or do the work, or understand what is required, keep him / her and make them repeat the grade.

 

But nooooo…. let the kid move to the next grade where he might not be able to read, or do arithmetic, or know the language. And then those kids will be stuck with a larger group of non-achievers who in turn, will be severely disadvantaged educationally, when they are finally let out of school. But it must be budgets – the schools might get more money from the state by having every student pass to the next grade. What stupidity ! Put functionally illiterate kids on the street and into a death spiral where they would be low income earners, or long term unemployed. And then the government will be forced to support these people forever. We pay for our mistakes. Invest for returns early – why wait and pay for your mistakes. You’ve seen them for a generation. Now that’s a dumb statement. We’re talking about government – and that in and of itself, is dumb !!

 

Look at the thousands of jobs that are available. And the employers say they can’t get competent applicants (leaving off the wage level discussion). A few years ago, I was working with a woman who wanted to buy  a house.

She told me that she had $44,000 in her IRA that she could use for a down payment on a house. I said then as I say now, show me the evidence. This woman worked on a production line and made a decent wage. She called to confirm that she was faxing the IRA statement and it actually had $48,000 (approximate). The IRA statement arrived. It said she had $4800 – the woman couldn’t read !  This would be an example of results of ‘no child left behind” . What crap. Government is killing opportunity for many of these kids.

 

I told my kids when they were young that they would never have control of their lives until they stopped blaming others for their own problems. I am extremely grateful that they heard what I was telling them.

As for that football player – he’s starting his career as a loser. Want more? Try harder ! He’s disgusting ! Yet someone will still give him a $10 Million contract -or whatever. Boo hoo hoo !!.

 

Just a reminder… I help people with mortgage loans. VA, residential  nationwide. And bridge loans on commercial properties throughout the country. Ask the question 818.305.4695. Odds are you won’t even have to pay me back !

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

 

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

 

 

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NMLS ID 227675
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May 4, 2013 Posted by | business, general interest, real estate, sports, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

And the door is closed and locked.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Have a better week. If you can.

 

Les

 

 

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 Les Berman CMC
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NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

 

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