September 28, 2021

7 mistakes to avoid before buying a home

Despite your best intentions and degree of financial literacy, it’s possible to make regrettable mistakes prior to purchasing a home. Some missteps are bigger than others, but all can cost you in the form of more expensive mortgage financing or – worst of all – a denied loan.

When you are preparing to claim a home and obtain a mortgage loan, it’s crucial to position yourself as a favorable borrower candidate who demonstrates creditworthiness and good financial common sense. Problem is, being human means we are prone to make mistakes, even at the worst possible time.

Take the time to understand and avoid common errors that can result in serious borrower remorse.
Read about the seven mistakes that can cost you when buying a house, my latest topic for The Mortgage Reports, available here.

September 20, 2021

Taking the scenic (and surreal) route across Mulholland Drive

For Cineversary podcast episode #39, host Erik Martin tackles a tantalizing but tricky cinematic text, David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, which celebrates a 20th anniversary this year. Joining Erik this month are two terrific guests: Dennis Lim, director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and author of the book David Lynch: The Man From Another Place; and Chris Rodley, a UK-based filmmaker and editor of the book Lynch on Lynch. Erik, Dennis, and Chris claim a front-row seat at Club Silencio as they attempt to make sense of the movie and examine why Mulholland Drive is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the movie in 2021, and more.

Dennis Lim
Chris Rodley
To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsBreakerCastboxPocket CastsPodBeanRadioPublic, and Overcast. Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to

September 13, 2021

Even a lingering pandemic can't kill Halloween

In 2020, Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn, Illinois, proved that a commercial haunted attraction could operate safely and successfully, despite the pandemic—and without compromising on scares. Fans rewarded that commitment to quality by coming out in droves and selling out most dates on the calendar, with no resulting cases of coronavirus reported.

This year, Midnight Terror plans to up the fright factor by going bigger and better than ever for its seventh consecutive season while also implementing COVID-19 safety precautions. It will nearly double the number of days on its schedule from last year, operating across a record 22 dates beginning Sept. 24 and ending Oct. 31. Additionally, Chicagoland’s favorite Halloween destination will add more actors, animatronic props, rooms, and special effects to its labyrinth layout, which boasts two connecting haunts under its roof, each with a different theme but both included with a paid ticket.

Read my latest story for on this commercial haunted attraction by clicking here.

September 8, 2021

RCM: A modern Rx for maintenance

Traditionally, most hospitals have maintained their equipment per manufacturer recommendations or some form of preventive or scheduled maintenance based on regulatory or equipment need. Problem is, these approaches do not address a system’s need to be managed for minimum failure as opposed to the failure of a system’s components.

The solution? Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM), an organizational-level strategy that can enhance the maintenance program in a facility by following four key principles: (1) preserve system function; (2) identify failure modes that can impact system function; (3) prioritize the failure modes; and (4) choose suitable and effective tasks to control the failure modes.

RCM as a concept started snowballing in 1960, when the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline industry studied why conventional maintenance approaches were inadequate for contemporary aircraft. They determined that many equipment failures could not be prevented or reduced by simply abiding by the “right age” principle, which espoused that every piece of complex equipment has an ideal time at which complete overhaul is needed to ensure reliability and safety. Before long, RCM principles and best practices—which called for balancing resources used with the inherent reliability expected of a given piece of equipment—were put into practice by the military and health care industry.

Learn more about RCM and its effectiveness in health care settings by reading my latest article for Health Facilities Management, available here