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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      Business and Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
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July 16, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 9-21 Doctors. Hospitals. Procedures. Knees… and much more, of course.


Way back in prehistoric times, before my kids were born… actually in the 1800’s, a guy by the name of Louis Pasteur came up with some interesting ideas. And he got some of his ideas from a couple of doctors who, as early as 1847, had suggested to their fellow physicians that it would be a good idea to wash their hands between patient examinations or surgeries.

 

However, it was de rigeur at the time for physicians to demonstrate their prowess by using the same bloody frock cloaks with detritus of past operations and examinations. Now I’m sure that you are totally grossed out, and, at the same time, thankful that your ancestors survived the doctors. But it does get better.

 

So in the 1860’s, another doctor, Joseph Lister, began to experiment with the concept of cleaning instruments, and his hands, after surgeries. What a strange idea that was ! The disinfectant he used was also sprayed on the incisions. While he couldn’t quantify the success with his experiments, he did continue. And in 1866, a patient was brought to him after having being run over by a wagon wheel (it was attached to the wagon at the time). The badly broken leg would normally have resulted in death but Lister used the disinfectant during the surgery and the post operation phase. The boy survived, the leg healed, and the practice of medicine changed forever.

All because one British surgeon thought it would be a good idea to clean up his stuff before starting the next procedure. So, on behalf of all of us, I send a shout out to Joe !

 

This is important to me because a couple of weeks ago, I started the pre-op process at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. It was interesting, to say the least. I went in and encountered reception desk #1, where a very nice lady said that I had to register and to please follow her. And I did. Down the hall, around the corner to the first waiting room. When I was called a few minutes later, all of my information was entered into the computer, verified twice, and I was given a wrist band.

 

I was then sent to the next window, where my wrist band was checked again, and I was told that they were busy there so I could go to another office for the same procedure. They gave me printed instructions, perhaps because guys never ask for directions, and I went out the door, turned left, then right, up the elevator, past Starbucks (yup – right there in the hospital), down the hall, through the doors and then…. I was lost. Instructions were missing and room numbers had stopped. So back I went, found two ladies in white, who told me that the room I needed was behind the construction area. Like I should have known??? So next room. Waited and was called in for the first session of blood testing. My wrist band was checked twice. The needle went in and I dared to ask a question.

 

I said that I had to give a unit of blood for my upcoming surgery – and are you doing it here. No, the nice lady said. That’s a different place. And I said.. you mean they’re going to needle me again??!! Yes, the lady said. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to do it all at once, and spare me more needles. Yes, the lady said. But that’s not how we do it ! OK…..

 

And then I was done. Out the door, past the construction zone. Down the hall, past Starbucks down the elevator, down the first hall, past where I started and on to the next room. I was getting nervous because I had never been drained of my life force before. I said to the woman, after waiting for a while, that I was nervous, that I didn’t want to see people being drained of their life force, and I didn’t want to watch it happening to me ! And she thought I was kidding. My wrist band was checked three more times.

 

So the next lady leads me into a room with all these reclining couches and I was lucky – no one was being drained. Once again, I went through my nervousness with this delightful lady, who assured me, that I would be ok. I lay down. They removed my shoes (I asked for that ). And gave me a warm blanket. And then I said – Wait ! I have to do something… and proceeded to put on a sleep mask so I couldn’t possibly see anything. Ouch ! the needle was in and I was clenching my fist every 10 – 15 seconds. And then I heard these words being directed towards me. The lady said… you’re almost done, and when you’re finished, there are cookies in the next room. And I thought COOKIES !? If they had told me this at the outset, I think my nervousness would have disappeared. Cookies and juice ! Wow… just for being a good boy. Cookies !!! How amazing !!

 

All of this was in preparation for my knee replacement that happened this last Wednesday (this is being written in advance). Because I’m either still in the hospital, or in a drugged out pain killer state at home, you won’t know any more until next week. Of course, with all the pain meds, I may not know anything until next week either !

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

What?? Do you really think you need them this week, of all weeks?? Ok ok…

 

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

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

These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . .I go
somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I’m “here after”.

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

HAVE I SENT THIS MESSAGE TO YOU BEFORE……….??????

 

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

October 8, 2013 Posted by | business, general interest, humor, medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Les Berman Weekly 9-14 William. Ugly. Plastic Surgery. weddings and much more !!


I believe that it is critical that we know that William is retiring from the Air Force to spend time with his wife and son, and to attend to some royal duties in the UK and abroad. Yes, he served seven and a half years, but, nonetheless, he is retiring. Of course, I’m talking about Prince William, with Kate and little George. Enough royal news for this week. Would you be more interested in Miley Cyrus?

 

In other relevant news, someone decided that the blobfish is the ugliest fish in the sea. It sort of looks like a very small Jabba the Hut. Others might think there is a similarity to Kilroy, of WW2 fame. And some might even thing that it looks like their Uncle Bert or Aunt Mary. Or even themselves on a rough day !

 

There are some fascinating news on the medical front. From Japan comes word about their newest plastic surgery ‘must have’. The lines in the palm of hands are being changed by plastic surgeons with a basic knowledge of palmistry. Apparently, Japanese are big on palm reading. This is, therefore, a simple way to change your life ! You think?

 

Want to change your eye color permanently? That’s a short procedure. Of course, the process was originally developed to combat some eye diseases. I had not heard of this one, but I’m sure it won’t be too long, maybe just hours, until you see one of these happen !

 

Now, we all know that there have been procedures for fat reduction for sometime. But on your toes? And shortening of toes as well. These procedures are done so that you can wear that magnificent new shoe. Ahh vanity, thy name is woman ! I wonder if my feet can be beautiful.. without pain. Probably not but…

 

And continuing with more cosmetic surgeries, may I offer you… moustache transplants. These are very common in Turkey, and the process is the same as for the top of head hair transplants. I thought it was worth mentioning, not for me, but for others I know well. If I had wanted to do something this bizarre, I think it would have been done 25 years ago. Nope, Bald is Beautiful ! And I know that God only made a few perfect heads… the rest he covered with hair!

 

Have you ever seen people whose mouths are permanently sad or angry? the corners of their mouths turn down.  And even when they try to smile, at best the mouth goes horizontal. Of course, the solution has been found in, of all places, South Korea. There is a surgery that will turn the corners of your mouth up… or down (for that dour British look!). The advertising, loosely translated, says if you have droopy mouth, call us. Or if you want a permanent smile, we can do that too !!

 

I have always liked women with great smiles and dimples. That sort of goes along with my ‘thing’ about women in jean skirts. Well, the plastic surgeons are at it – creating dimples where none have been before. Just make sure that Uncle Mike or Aunt Susie don’t greet you at the next family gathering and pinch those beautiful new cheeks. I wonder how much that loving pinch would cost?

 

And then there are weddings. People do different things because it reminds them of where or how they met. I’ve seen photos of underwater weddings because they met at a swimming pool; weddings in a tree house because that’s been a wish since Darla and one of her boyfriends wanted to do that in ‘The Little Rascals’. There are weddings on skis, or in hot air balloons;  in a cave or in front of some strange monument – the super huge donut near LAX, the Oscar Meyer Weiner truck etc., – or bungee jumping, or how about parachute jumping. Of course, there is always the option that was exhibited recently, when the newlyweds went hiking and camping. The story is that she didn’t like something he said, so apparently she pushed him off a cliff. And so she was a widow ! I think a divorce might have been more meaningful, especially for the groom. Same thing with those mysterious disappearing people on cruises.

Big event mid week. Yes, you’ll know all about it next time.

And yes, you should call me for any real estate related financings – and others too. 818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

The world only beats a path to your door when you’re in the bathroom.

If God wanted me to touch my toes, he’d have put them on my knees.

When I’m finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play chess.

It’s not hard to meet expenses . . . they’re everywhere.

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

 

September 29, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

And the door is closed and locked.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Have a better week. If you can.

 

Les

 

 

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Real Estate Loan Specialist
       
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

 

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

Les Berman Weekly 11-3 Lucky! TV Ads. Gangs. Cagney. Detroit and much more


We are so lucky. Of course, we escaped the wrath of Sandy, and hopefully, all of your friends and family did too. But that is not the cause for our minor celebration. The amount of election rhetoric, and I would say that it’s 99% negative or hateful, or both, that we get here in California is ugly. Can you imagine what would happen if we were living in Ohio?? And all of this is over 18 electoral college votes! In some ways, I’m glad I’m living here in lalaland. Everyone, including the candidates, knows the state is voting democrat, so they don’t even bother to come here. And isn’t that a victory for us?!

 

As I was driving home today, I was thinking how I would react if I lived in Ohio. I would not answer my phone. I would record every TV show so I could skip past the political stuff. I would have a trash can by my mailbox with instructions to deposit all political stuff in it. If a phone call did get through, I would tell the caller that I’m voting for the other party just because you called me too many times. I would have warning signs at my door bell saying that the door knocker or ringer may be subject to water cannon or water balloon attacks, regardless of the party they represent. And of course, I would have the “Don’t tread on me” photo right beside it.

In Wisconsin, a woman voted by mail and did not vote for either Senate candidate because of the negative advertising against each other. An independent polling company found that there were 25,647 TV adsin the 30 days prior to October 26, and 99 percent were negative. I have yet to hear a positive ad here in Los Angeles, and that could be because I tune them out or turn them off.

 

Did you hear the sighs of relief in the last week? Every one was preceded by – “I’m so sorry about the loss of life and devastation on the east coast, but I have really enjoyed the days without the ads and the candidates faces showing up everywhere. How said is it that it takes a catastrophic event to shut those people up. I wonder if the political advisors are hearing the push back from the people. And I wonder how they will handle the next campaigns, which are coming, of course in less than two years. Did the US Supreme Court make an error when they allowed the super-PACS and the corporate contributions? I think that the people think so.

Is our election system so broken that it can’t be repaired? or won’t be? This negative stuff cannot have been in the minds of the country’s founders. But who can and will cure this disease? Certainly not the politicians. A committee of five people from the can likely come up with workable solutions within a week.

 

Meanwhile, off the coast, people have found that gang formation is not limited to the two legged types who shoot on sight if your colors are wrong, or if you make the wrong signs with your hands etc. Here we have smaller hermit crabs, always on the lookout for a newer bigger home. So what do they do – they form gangs to kick their larger cousins out of the big comfy shells that they are living in. And then each of the crabs in the gang moves into a bigger home, and everyone lives happily ever after… well except for the big guy who got evicted. The reason for the need for bigger shells… basically for the same reason that humans want a bigger house … It’s easier to raise more kids when you have more room. Sadly, or not, the biggest crab that just got evicted, will likely serve as a meal for something that is running around on the beach where this conga line eviction just happened. So next time you’re on a tropical beach where hermit crabs play, consider leaving some shell like potential homes for those little guys !

 

Still on the animal track, I wonder how many rats were drowned in New York and the tri-county area. I mean the four legged ones. I understand that they are pretty good swimmers. And after this apocalypse, we will lose this phrase for a while “you dirty rat!” (with apologies to James Cagney fans who think he said that line – he didn’t, but apologies anyway). A bad line in a good place 🙂

 

Meanwhile, back in Detroit, one family is about to lose their control over international traffic. The Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario is owned by one family, and has been for several generations. It carries $120 Billion in trade annually, and that is fully one quarter of all US-Canada annual trade. So the governments of Michigan and Canada made a deal. Get this – the entire cost, including overruns will be paid by Canada. All costs will be recouped by bridge tolls. The bridge will be built using Canadian and US steel, requiring and getting a waiver from Buy America. Steel from other countries cannot be used. The New International Trade Crossing has the support of Governor Snyder, the Governments of Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, the Chambers of Commerce of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, as well as automobile manufacturers, building trades and steel workers unions and farm organizations. In fact, the only real opposition comes from one company trying to protect its current monopoly on the Ambassador Bridge. I am sure that the families whose homes are on the congested routes to the old bridge will see home values increase substantially as the new bridge, which is away from homes, nears completion.

So there is great agreement on that. Now if only the NHL would get back on the ice !

 

I had a call a couple of weeks ago on a referral from a CPA. The gentlemen was very anxious because his significant other was in failing mental health and he needed to refinance her clear title home to get enough money to pay for her care. He thought he had a power of attorney (POA). Most of my lenders declined because of loan amount or their concern about the type of POA or both. One of our lenders evaluated the reason for the cash out loan and the loan to value, and told us they would likely make the loan. The paperwork is in progress.

The lesson here is simple. Ask the question. I’m sure you were told, and you have told your kids, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” So please pick up the phone and call me at 818.305.4695. Or email toles@lesberman.com .Ask your question. And yes, I answer the phone on the weekends.

And to everyone, with special emphasis in the tri-state area, have a better week !!

Les

 

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Q:  Do you know why sailors reply Aye Aye when given an order?

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool

A. The first Aye is to say that the order has been received and understood.
The second Aye says that it will be carried out. (Every sailor and Marine
knows this apparently, but being neither, I didn’t !)

 

 

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

 

November 3, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment