Blog Directory Martinspiration

Classic movies deserve birthday parties, too

July 15, 2018

Many folks forget their wedding anniversary date or spouse's birthday and end up in the doghouse. But it's easy to remember a major milestone date of one of your favorite films: just listen to Cineversary, a new podcast that celebrates an important birthday of a movie classic.

Every month, the show spotlights a different film currently observing a joyous jubilee--everything from a 20th to a 100th anniversary. Host Erik Martin (who serves as moderator of CineVerse, Oak Lawn's weekly film discussion group) interviews film scholars, critics, historians and fans to discuss why each spotlighted movie is worth celebrating all these years later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the picture today, how it has stood the test of time, and more.

For its inaugural episode, Cineversary honors 2001: A Space Odyssey, marking its 50th anniversary in 2018. Martin interviewed Barry Vacker, professor of media studies at Temple University and author of the book Specter of the Monolith, which was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey. In August, Martin will feature a different guest to talk about the 25th anniversary of Groundhog Day.

To hear the July episode in a browser, click here. Cineversary can also be streamed or downloaded using Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, PodBean, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

For more details on the Cineversary podcast, visit


Living inside out

July 9, 2018

If you want to enjoy the great outdoors this summer, you don’t need to travel beyond your own backyard. Simply bring all the comforts of the indoors to your patio, deck or other outdoor area via furniture, appliances and other amenities designed for alfresco enjoyment. Then, kick back and enjoy the sunshine or moonlight in style.

Discover why having an outdoor living area can make your home feel bigger without having to do major construction and how it can significantly add to your home’s resale value if you’re looking to sell by reading my newest article published in The Daily Herald, available here.


Your fridge, stove, washer and other appliances are getting smarter. Here’s why

July 2, 2018

It wasn’t so long ago that Americans thought of their home appliances as basic, boxy, bone white workhorses that simply got the job done. But today’s homeowners want more than mere functionality in their cooking, cleaning and cooling machines. They want a wealth of Internet age bells and whistles built in. Thanks to rapid innovation and more affordable technology, their expectations are being exceeded, say the pros.

Learn about the latest technological advances and cutting-edge features built into today's home appliances by reading my newest piece for The Costco Connection, found here.


The 411 on home security systems

June 24, 2018

Don't get alarmed, but consider that a burglary happens once every 13 seconds. In fact, 2.5 million burglaries occur each year, with two-thirds of those being home break-ins. A person is home during a burglary nearly 28 percent of the time; one out of four of those at home are harmed. A home security system can monitor your home against these threats.

But there are a lot of home security providers and options to pick from. With so many choices, it’s easy to get confused. Lacking knowledge, you could end up spending more money than you need to. Worse, you may find your home under-protected.

Learn about the different home security systems and companies by reading my latest article on this topic for The Mortgage Reports, available here.


Space: the final frontier

June 17, 2018

In the average American home, closets, garages, attics and basements will only get you so far. Sooner or later, you’re bound to run out of storage space for all the accoutrement you collect. And that’s when clutter takes over, making rooms appear disorganized and design-challenged. Fortunately, there are creative ways to solve your storage troubles – if you’re prepared to think outside of the closet box, according to the experts.

Learn how to transform wasted nooks and crannies into sneaky storage spaces around your home by reading my latest article for CTW Features, published here.


HEL vs. HELOC: which is right for your borrowing needs?

June 11, 2018

Owning a home isn’t cheap. Making monthly mortgage payments is tough enough. Then, there are other costs that can add up quickly. These include maintenance and improvement expenses. Thankfully, you can pursue funding options to help pay for these bills. Two of the most popular are a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). But which is better: a home equity loan vs. a HELOC?

That depends on your needs and goals. Each option involves tapping into your home’s appraised value to borrow money. Each has its pros and cons. Digging into these differences can help you make a more informed decision.

Get the 411 on each option by reading my latest piece for The Mortgage Reports, accessible here.


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