The View From The Golden Dome

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

I did get to my appointment of course.

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

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

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Questions, Questions. Questions.

Can you cry under water?

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

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

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

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

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

Les Berman Weekly #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 1-25 Scandalous. Sugar. Asteroids and Elephants… and So Much More !!


It’s absolutely scandalous. My vision, or perhaps hallucination, has been destroyed. I just learned that legions of Girl Scouts do not, and have not made, the legendary Girl Scout cookies since pre-historic days. They are, in fact, made by Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidiary of… ready.. Keebler and by ABC Bakers, a George Weston company.

 

And for all these years, I had these crazy visions of Girls Scouts (GS) , in a long line, cutting, and shaping, and forming all of those varieties of cookies. I thought that Lucy and Ethel got that job on the chocolate candy conveyor because they wanted to emulate the Girl Scouts. Now, I have to change my head process and envision a bunch of elves running around and doing that job. So disappointed. And I’ll bet someone will tell me that Santa Claus isn’t real either. Or that they found the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean. Or that TinkerBell never forgave Peter ! What else can burst my bubble this week?

 

So let me tell you a few things about Girl Scouts. They do not make cookies. Nothing else matters. The cookies are now free of trans fats, and therefore, don’t taste as good as they did previously. And the GS can decide which bakery they want to use because, the bakeries may make different cookies. And each bakery can give different names to the cookies. I actually found a list of about 40 different types of cookies that have been discontinued.

 

Now there’s something wrong about that. Removing sugar highs from kids? That un-American. It’s heresy. It’s not fair! It’s poor sportsmanship. But really, Thin Mints make up 25% of the total sales, followed by 19% from Caramel deLites (from ABC)/Somoas (from LBB) – so the name for the same cookie depends on the bakery. And the number of cookies per box, which has not only dropped over the years to save money, varies based on where you are in the country! The dark underbelly of the industry… How will each of the GS learn to look after their husbands and treat them the way our grandmothers treated our grandfathers, if they don’t actually bake the cookies. I’m sorry that I had to reveal this truth to you! Buy GS cookies anyway please!

 

I was looking at other things we didn’t know a year ago. How about this one. 2013TV135 is the name of an asteroid that will hit us on April 13, 2036 according to some Ukrainian astronomers. NASA scientists disagree. In 22 years, I’ll be a lot older than I am today, and I probably won’t remember that I wrote this, so please put this in your computer calendar and call me to tell me who was right.

 

Other scientists have determined that all mammals urinate for the same length of time – 22 seconds. They named this the “law of ……” If you are going to time yourself, I don’t want to know.

 

And fossil evidence showed that our friendly Neanderthals used toothpicks. We are not told the name of the brand that they chose.

African elephants are able to understand hand gestures, even if not trained to do so. I wonder how many of them did not understand the gesture for ‘stop’! And what happened to those trainers?

 

And other scientists have decided that birds locate food in the morning but don’t eat it until later in the day. So what’s the deal with the early bird and the worm?

 

Kissing is the ultimate test for a relationship. Well, it’s actually a taste test. I guess non-smokers must have a slight advantage in this contest. The study also said that more kissing increased the quality of the relationship but did not necessarily indicate an increase of the kind of activity that would cause this edition to be blocked as spam !

 

My son-in-law grew up in Brighton and his soccer team is in to round 4 of the English FA Cup. I hope his team wins Saturday !! Go Brighton & Hove Albion Seagulls !!

 

You all saw my announcement a couple of days ago. Business loans are highest on my agenda now. Real estate loans still get done. Ask me how I can help you – anywhere in the country. The magic number remains the same – 818.305.4695.

Have a better week !

 

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
The second mouse gets the cheese.
When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

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

February 17, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Les Berman Weekly 1-17 Don’t Understand. Technology. We Didn’t Know…. and much more


There is a constant stream of new things that I don’t know about, or that I don’t understand, or both. I used to think, when I was younger, that my ideal companion would be a really hot woman. As I matured (because I haven’t gotten any older), my ideal companion had become someone who was intelligent (yeah – hot too, but in a different way). Now, my ideal companion would be someone who could show me how all of these new programs work, and that person would likely be about seven years old, with their two front teeth missing or maybe eleven.

 

I would be perfectly happy to supply ice cream and candy as the parents permitted. And maybe even a puppy.

 

The speed of technological development truly amazes me. Kids are coming up with new applications daily, and while many won’t happen, those that do will make substantial changes in the world. I know how Facebook works, and I understand how they make money. Twitter – I don’t get it. Pinterest and instagram – no idea. But then I hear about medical developments that astound me.

 

How about a pill sized camera that you can swallow? It will transmit images of your internal organs as it takes the journey. And I was just talking to someone the other day who is involved in a company that has a hand held device that can be used to detect breast cancer. Imagine a Tupperware type of party where the women are gathered around, and scanning themselves with images being transferred to a computer for reading. So the cost of a breast exam goes from hundreds or thousands of dollars to ten or twenty dollars.

 

I’m looking forward to driverless cars. There are so many people on the freeways that aren’t paying attention anyway, this could make our roads safer. Think about the Jetsons. The futuristic food processing is here (I hope it reaches me a little faster please!), and the little space cars will not be that far off. And for those of you who are old enough to remember Dick Tracy comic strips, the wrist radio is a fact today, as is Maxwell Smart’s secret phone. Or how about the secret weapons from the early James Bond movies. All routine stuff now.

 

Bottom line, I need to borrow a seven year old – or maybe an 11 year old please!

 

So here are a few things that we didn’t know at the beginning in 2012. The morning after pill doesn’t work in woman weighing more than 176 pounds. Being bilingual can delay the onset of dementia by 4.5 years. (I wonder if babbling is a language – for 60 year olds). A group of Neanderthals in what is now Spain, cannibalized neighbors including young children (and stuff like this does hit the News every now and then). Chimpanzees can locate fruit trees and locations going back about three years (no big deal – we can find our own fridges too!) Sixty percent of lice are now super lice and are resistant to current treatments (i don’t worry about that anymore. And that’s another story for another time). Astronomers found a galaxy whose light took 13 billion years to get here. They don’t say how they know how long it took, nor do they say if it still exists. Come back to this blog in 13 billion years for the answer! Eucalyptus trees absorb gold through their roots and is shed through its leaves and bark. A chemical found in chilis does something to our bodies to prevent weight gain. (I don’t believe this because the residents of a country just south of the USA eat a lot of chilis and they have a higher incidence of obesity than do Americans.)

 

Big announcement coming out mid week next week ! Watch your email . It’s a good one. And while you’re waiting, need money? The magic number is  818.305.4695

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

 

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Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

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

February 14, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, real estate, sports, stuff, 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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Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

THINGS YOU LEARN LIVING IN THE SOUTH

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

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

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

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

You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.

You know what a “hissy fit” is.

 

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Read and Follow Les Berman on the Web

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

 

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