The View From The Golden Dome

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

Les Berman Weekly 2-15 Fine Dining. Living Long Loving. The Olden Days. And so much more….


The other day, while dining at that fabulous high end restaurant, yes, Costco’s Food Court, I sat at a table with a delightful lady who insisted that I was a kid. And I was ok with that, of course. But when she offered that her daughter was 73, I was shocked, because this lady certainly did not look 95. And she told me that when her husband came to the table, that I was not to mention that she had been married for 77 years, to the same guy. This gentleman was a spry 97, who moved like a 70 year old. And he still works part time.

 

She told me that his employer thinks he’s only 75 ! When I asked her for the secret of living as long as she has, and in such great shape, she said that she likes to breathe regularly ! And then she says that she married the best guy in the world. After I left, I recalled a conversation I had with a friend several years ago, after my divorce.

 

Steve asked me how many couples I knew that were as much in love with their spouse as they likely were when they got married. I think that I couldn’t get past six or seven. In the ensuing years, I think I might have been able to add two or three more couples. The rest, we decided, were complacent.

 

This isn’t a criticism but an observation. And I truly hope that you are one of those special couples, and that your Valentine’s Day was special. And that the couple who have 77 years together, also had a special day.

 

On the other hand, I was talking to another friend who had made a deal with his wife. They agreed that Valentine’s Day was over rated and that they could have a great dinner a week later. Of course, if you’re in the path of this week’s eastern and southern snow storm, you’re not going anywhere anyway. And I hope you survive the repercussions !

 

I remember, back in the olden days before cell phones, that there was a snow emergency in Winnipeg, and the emergency broadcast system said that telephones were to be used for emergencies only. I had a date that night so I decided I should call to tell her that I would not make it to pick her up. Her father answered the phone. I asked for his daughter, whose name I can’t remember now, and he said “Are you the police?” uh no. “Is this an emergency” uhhh..”get off the phone” and he hung up. I wonder if his daughter got the hint that I wouldn’t make the date.

 

I wonder if that was a turning point in my life? Maybe I should have become a cop so I would never have another dad-enforced broken date !

And here are a few more things that we didn’t know about in 2013. For women, smelling a newborn baby feels as good as drugs to addicts or cheeseburgers to those just breaking a fast. I don’t know if the smell is before or after the poop. Maybe it’s just the smell of the powder. But I like babies – until the diapers are loaded. A 10,000 year old mammoth trunk found in Siberia still had enough stuff that could be extracted to get the species going again. Heart disease patients with a positive attitude are more likely to exercise and live longer. The most positive patients exercised more and had a 42 percent less chance of dying during the follow-up period. I hope that I won’t ever be the exception to the rule! The oldest globe of the world dates from around 1500. It was drawn on ostrich eggs. I think it may not be edible !

 

Wolves howl to bring lost wolves back to the pack and to express the quality of their relationships. Come on – are their wolfpack therapists who figured this out? Give me a break !  Men howl to express their conquests on Saturday night. No therapist required for that knowledge ! Dolphins apparently have a signature sound that identifies them like a name. Scientists don’t know how they get their names. It’s so simple – how do those dweebs miss it ! The dolphin moms simply get the latest waterproof edition of the baby name book. Everyone knows that – now.

 

If you or someone you know needs money for their business or for a residential mortgage, I am still the guy with the magic number 818.305.4695. Memorize it ! Pass it along ! Make it work for you too !

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

“Brevity is the soul of wit.” – Mark Twain.  “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” – Dorothy Parker

“I didn’t like the play – but then I saw it under adverse conditions — the curtain was up.” – George S. Kaufman

“Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” – Mark Twain.

“Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.”  – Gore Vidal

“Liberty is the right to do whatever the law permits.” – Charles Monteiscu

“If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.” – Rita Mae Brown

 

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

 

March 15, 2014 Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, medicine, real estate, small business, sports, stuff, Uncategorized, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

More “South” stuff…

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

Women carry “pocket books” not purses.

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

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

 

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

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

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


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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Have a better week !

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

More southern stuff:

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

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

Fried catfish is the other white meat.

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

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

 

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

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

Weather. Lessons Learned. Burmese Pythons. Rules.. Stupid Ones.


From time to time, weather happens whether you want it or not. And we here in lalaland are really spoiled babies. And complain – yes we do.. all the time. In the summer, it’s too hot, of course. in the winter, like this week, it’s too cold. For the record, this weather would be considered balmy by most Americans – especially at this time of the year. Consider this, in my home town of Winnipeg, aka Winterpeg, the forecast for tonight is minus 25 celsius. At that temperature, it doesn’t make a big difference between celsius and farenheit. The scales converge at minus 40 degrees.

I remember those days – and that’s one of the reasons I’m not there anymore. At minus 25, aka 25 below, the moisture in your breath freezes on your scarf, hat, or beard. Your car, having been outside in your garage overnight, has the tires frozen with a flat edge. In the morning, you have to drive a couple of blocks before your tires are round again. Your engine has a block heater that must be plugged in so that your engine does not freeze. I remember being at some event when I was in my teens, and the event was stopped for 30 – 45 minutes so people could go out to their cars and run the engine for 10 minutes. And people would still walk a couple of blocks in that cold unless the wind was blowing. If the wind was blowing, the temperature with wind chill, could hit minus 60 or minus 65 degrees.

So why would people live there you may ask? The Chamber of Commerce can extol the virtues but there is a constant population of 600,000. The important thing is  – I moved !! Quit complaining that it’s cold and put on a sweater !!

 

My grandfather moved there in 1905. He had his reasons – probably someone he knew from Romania moved there before he did, and painted a good picture. So my grandfather made the trip.

My grandfather was a unique man. He taught me a lot without forcing lessons. He had a great sense of humor, and he absolutely loved his grandchildren. He and my grandmother would come to visit, and he would be wearing a suit, as men did in the 50’s. We ‘forced’ him to loosen his tie, and take off his suit coat. He marveled at the miracle of television, and he loved cartoons, and Superman comics.

I never saw my grandfather lose his cool, but I did see him love his family. And when invited into his office to sit on the sofa while he was working with clients,  I saw how he treated his customers in his store, with respect and honor. He was a man of honor and we found out just how honorable long after he died.

In the 1930’s, international trade in some industries, was established by referral and by prior relationship. My grandfather, in mid 1939, ordered a large quantity of goods from the Black Forest region of Germany. The goods arrived and my grandfather was about to send payment when, on September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, war was declared on Germany by virtually every country including Canada, and my grandfather could not send payment. Eight years later, my grandfather travelled to Germany, searching for the manufacturer who had shipped him the goods, without luck.

Honor. Respect. Fairness. Some things I learned from my grandfather.

We learn a lot from our families – good, bad, indifferent. We retain what we want to retain. Sometimes, we don’t know that we are learning, or how or when we learned it. Think about what you learned from your grandparents, or your parents. Did you even realize where that specific ability originated? Or how you avoided something? Interesting thoughts.

 

This week, in Florida, about 800 people have received permits for the annual python hunt. I didn’t know that pythons are not a native species to Florida nor did I know that pythons are extremely prolific. And smart. In the ten years since the annual hunt started, only about 2100 snakes have been caught. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers a prize to the person who harvests the most pythons. I wonder if the winner gets a trophy or snakeskin boots?

 

Meanwhile, on the mortgage front, Washington has come out with yet another set of rules that will make your life more difficult. Definitions that are not clear, disclosures that don’t make sense, and more. What will eventually happen is that getting a loan could be more difficult, and small loans will only be available from the big banks. And if you don’t fit inside a continuously shrinking box, you will not be able to get a loan. These rules are being promulgated by people who know nothing about mortgages. But that’s not really a surprise, is it? Many Washington rules are invented by people who know nothing about real life. They listen to the lobbyists. Now that must be educational? ! NOT.

If you want to get a taste of who is running Washington, take a look at the job descriptions of the openings at some of the federal agencies. Most are directed primarily at other civil servants and with very short time frames when they are advertised. Interesting.

In the meantime, pick up the phone and ask me some questions. Prices in some areas have been increasing. Your property may help you now. The magic number is 818.305.4695. Use it today ! You owe it to yourself to see how much money you can save!

Have a better week.

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Weird laws: Guess where… Greece, Rome, South Carolina, Dubai

Illegal: Pinball for minors

Illegal: Eating and drinking near landmarks

Illegal: Sharing a hotel room outside of marriage

Illegal: Stiletto heels

 

In order – South Carolina, Rome, Dubai, Greece

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

 

January 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments