If the Terminator Is a Bird-Watcher, He Watches With a Pair of These

The newsmagazines worry ceaselessly about the differences between men and women.

Here’s one difference Time and Newsweek have overlooked: binoculars.

Women don’t give a damn about binoculars. Men, even those with no earthly use for enhanced opticals, go ga-ga over binoculars.

This is where Mike Rivkin, native-born San Diego entrepreneur, enters the picture. He’s counting on the men of America to beat a path to the 800-number of his Sunset Cliffs Merchandising Corp.


He says he’s just acquired the last load of 3,500 pairs of military binoculars manufactured at the Carl Zeiss factory in East Germany before the Warsaw Pact went kaput and the factory at Jena was closed.

He’s placed ads in Shotgun News, Salt Water Sportsman, Marlin, Safari Club Intl., the house organ of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, etc.

No wimpy binoculars! Once the favorite of Berlin Wall border guards. Waterproof, lightweight, night-capable, crystal clear, 7x40 power.

Guaranteed to withstand a nuclear explosion! Did these Warsaw Pact boys think of everything or what?


“You can imagine yourself as a U-boat commander in the North Atlantic using the periscope,” says Rivkin, 36.

Practical Sailor newsletter says Carl Zeiss and the Japanese-made Fujinons are “in a class by themselves.”

Word has it (no joke) that Gorbachev and Erich Honecker have Carl Zeiss from Jena. (You’ll have to trust me; that kind of information is hard to veri-



Rivkin is not the only one selling Carl Zeiss. Any good camera or sporting goods store handles them. Yes, but those were made at the West German factory.

Ray Acevedo, manager of Bob Davis Camera Shop in La Jolla, says he can get you into Carl Zeiss binoculars from West Germany for $1,000 to $1,100.

He doubts that the East German variety, for all its glitzy reputation (used by the KGB, etc.), is as good.

Rivkin says bushwa: The East German binoculars are the McCoy, and at half the price (he’s retailing at $500).


He used to sell sporting goods. He ditched that to hawk Carl Zeiss as his only product:

“We’re betting the farm on it, but we think binoculars are not going out of style. Men need binoculars.”


You learn something every day.


* The Escondido Times Advocate has awarded an editorial “rose” for innovative campaigning to Escondido City Council candidate Vivian Doering.

Doering startled a candidates forum by standing on a box, delivering a blistering attack on the incumbents and then singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” while her sons accompanied her on the violin.

* George Milne, 52, a teacher in Encinitas, is feeling a little older these days.

He was discussing Thomas Edison with his eighth-grade students at Diegueno Junior High when one youthful member of the compact-disc generation asked:


“What’s a phonograph?”

* Stung by accusations that Sea World is pushing Budweiser beer too aggressively at patrons, the theme park’s general manager has written a three-page letter to local editors and news directors.

* Call it the perfect marriage of location and topic.

Round-table discussion set next month for Rancho Santa Fe: “Wealth Preservation Seminar.”


* Hoist on his own (political) petard.

Ex-Councilman Bill Mitchell, a congressional would-be in the 49th District, feels he’s being penalized for being virtuous.

He’s abiding by the city’s political sign ordinance, while some of his opponents are plastering signs everywhere.

Then again, Mitchell should follow the ordinance. He was a co-author when it passed in 1984.


Rock-Hard Devotion

Your government at work.

Rep. Randall (Duke) Cunningham (R-Chula Vista) has been unanimously selected by House pages to be the speaker at Friday’s Page Class Departure Ceremony.

Which of Cunningham’s skills endeared him to the pages? His legislative acumen? His rhetorical flourishes? His visionary approach to democracy?


Not quite.

The pages like Cunningham because he keeps them well stocked with a jawbreaker candy called fireballs.

Tony Perry’s column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 544-6032.