The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly #477 Disgusting Indulgence. Hey Mikey ! Big Turtles. and so much more….


After a disgustingly indulgent day, I remembered a commercial from back in the olden days. “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing !” I remembered the phrase but had no idea about the product. And I couldn’t remember when the ad campaign began. So, I did something totally out of character… I did research. Hurt my brain doing that !

 

There seems to be a question about when the ad originated. So we’ll agree that it originated in 1969 or 1970. Right around the same time as that other classic – “Mama Mia, thatsa spic..ymeatball !. And those were both Alka Seltzer ads.

Of course, there were other memorable ads from the olden days that still resonate today, and we can’t remember what the product was or when it came to our attention first. Here are a couple of other mindblowers.

 

How about “a diamond is forever“. That slogan has been around since before the days of the movie. That was actually coined in 1947. The ‘gimme a break, gimme a break’ came out in the 50’s but didn’t get traction until the ’80’s as the Kit Kat bar became wildly popular. Of course, we all had opinions of what was popular and what wasn’t.

 

wasn’t even aware of this slogan – “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” that came out in the 1960’s. It may never have aired in Canada because at that time, the conservatives in Canada made the bible belt of today look tame. Or, perhaps I didn’t understand the nuance. Nah.. didn’t air in Canada !! By the way, electrolux was a vacuum cleaner.

 

Of course there was the “Hey Mikey… he likes it!” . I never remembered what it was promoting, but I do know that all of us have borrowed that phrase forever. And it really has been forever. That one rolled out in 1972. And just so you don’t have to look it up, that was the promo line for Life cereal. I didn’t have that cereal then or since. So Mikey, you tried hard but you didn’t get me!

 

How many times have we said, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Back in the late 80’s, when Life Alert came out with that slogan, it was supposed to be serious. Then as we matured (we mature, we don’t get old), it became a funny line. Now, that we have over matured, some of you are wondering what would happen if you were to fall and you couldn’t get up. The answer is simple… either stay in shape or get your hip replacement now !!

 

So many of these ad campaigns were clever, or intelligent, or humorous. And so many of them became parts of our daily speech, not as intended of course, but effective for the ad agencies that developed them. “This is your brain on drugs” and the frying egg, always made me want a fried egg. And of course, that started the comparisons to so many other things, such as the day you entered prison and the day you left. But it wasn’t fried eggs. Or “Where’s the beef”.

And one of the best, that’s used in everyday speech, is “what happens here, stays here”. Just insert the city that you want to protect you, and you know it will !

 

In the meantime, have you heard the story of the 10 foot turtle? This one is almost too hard to believe. In 1849, a fossilized bone is given to the Academy of Natural Sciences, now at Drexel University. There were no records of who donated it or where it was found. So 162 years later, a man was fossil hunting in Monmouth County, New Jersey and sees something sticking out of the river bank. He digs it out and sees that it is a fossilized bone.

 

He takes it to the New Jersey State Museum and shows it to a curator who immediately knew thatit was the humerus (that’s science speak for an upper arm bone) of a turtle. Curator humorously suggests that fossil hunter take it to Drexel University, and fossil hunter eventually does. At Drexel, they look at the ‘new’ bone and pull out their old bone. And amazingly, they fit together perfectly. So what are the odds that a 70 million year old fossil, broken in two parts that are found almost 200 years apart, would be reunited. So the scientists, from this one bone, decided that the turtle in question was about 10 feet long. That must have been one fine soup !!!

 

Remember, that when you need money for your financial home (either business or residential), call the guy with the shiny golden dome (that’s me). And the magic number is 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Questions that Haunt Me:

If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? ( Why  did you just try to sing the 2 songs above?)

 

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

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

Les Berman Weekly #478 5 year old. Importance of Children. Zebras. Flying Birds…. and much much more.


One of the more interesting articles that I’ve read this week tells about the five (5) year old boy who was playing with his dad’s XBox. The dad, not having allowed the little guy to play with the XBox, was a little surprised, and asked his son how he got into the game console. The 5 year old promptly showed his dad how he hacked into the game console system in about two minutes. Being good people, they told Microsoft, the developer of the Xbox. how a five year old could hack in. And Microsoft fixed the bug, and sent the 5 year old a bunch of games and a one year subscription to something I don’t understand.

 

The moral of the story is simple : if you are having any kind of cell phone, tablet, or computer issue, you can usually get an answer now from a 5 year old, and almost always from a 7 year old. This, friends, is why children and grandchildren are extremely important to those of us who can’t find the ‘on’ switch.

 

Meanwhile, in the science world, researchers have discovered why zebras have stripes. I know you have wondered if zebras are black with white stripes, or white with black stripes. I am sure that you asked your parents and grandparents, your teachers, and anyone else over the age of twelve for the answer to that question. People have experimented with painting horses in stripes to see if the offspring would be born with stripes, but I think that was more likely to have happened in Appalachia, or some other states south of the Mason-Dixon line. These people were definitely not schooled in the science of animal husbandry. And while we’re on that topic, why is it called animal husbandry? Did the people who came up with that term, know something that we don’t want to know.

 

Anyway, the paint experiments didn’t work. But what the researchers did find, is that the stripes confused the biting insects, like tabanid biting flies and tsetse flies, that are so common, and vicious, on the plains of Africa. The bugs are confused by the stripes, and leave the zebra alone. Some striped antelope are also relieved of the bug plague too. Of course, the zebra spokesman, in giving the results of the study to the herds of his pals, also said that if the researchers had really wanted to help, they would have come up with something that also would confuse lions.

 

And scientists have recently discovered why larger birds fly in a V formation, and why smaller birds fly in swarms. They fly in swarms to confuse predators who have to focus on a target for accuracy. If you watch dolphin or whale shows on tv, they show how small fish do the same thing. Of course, then comes a whale with an open mouth and there goes that fish swarm.

The V formation is used because it conserves energy. The wings each create some kind of upwash, or draft, and the following birds have less resistance. Also, because birds can’t spell very well, they avoided the bar in A and E formations.

 

The Census Bureau reported that in 2012, 22 million people worked for federal, state, and local governments. So now you know where your tax money is going – you’re paying the salaries of all of those people, some of whom actually work hard, others do hard work, and the rest… you make the decision.

 

Remember, if you need money for any legitimate reason – business purchase or expansion, real estate purchase or refinance, or if you’re buying a home, call the guy with the shiny golden dome – me !! themagic number 818.305.4695.

 

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

QUESTIONS THAT HAUNT ME!

Why do they call it an asteroid when it’s outside the hemisphere, but call it a hemorrhoid when it’s in your butt? (you might have to think about thisone)!

Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough money?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

 

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 Les Berman CMC
      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
Voice: 818.305.4695

 

June 18, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

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

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

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

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

Les Berman Weekly #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 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 11-2 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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

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

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

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

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

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

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

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    Money Specialist   
       
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Voice: 818.305.4695

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Have a better week !!

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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