The best breakfast cereals

August 31, 2011 – Who doesn’t love a bowl of their favorite cereal?

As a kid, I thought breakfast was the best meal of the day because of cereal. Of course, I grew up when Corn Pops were called Sugar Pops and that was a beautiful thing.

Cereal not only filled your tummy back then, but it also entertained you. Remember reading the cereal box while eating? My sister and brother liked to do the same, so we had to take turns with the Frankenberry and Count Chocula boxes, and take turns getting the prize inside the cereal box.

For many adults like me, cereal remains a favorite comfort food, and it’s still a special treat to sit down with a bowl of Lucky Charms or Coco Krispies. It just makes you feel like a kid again. I like healthier cereals, too and a nice bowl of Crispex with a sliced banana usually does the trick.

So what are the top breakfast cereals of all time? According to the Ranker.com community, Frosted Flakes and Honey Nut Cheerios top the list at one and two respectively. And a few crazy people said Grape Nuts, which came in at no. 22.

View the complete list here, but I warn you, it will make you run for your bowl and spoon!

What is a correspondent mortgage lender?

August 30, 2011 – There are a few ways to secure mortgage financing to buy a home. The most common method is making an application through one of three entities: a mortgage lender, a mortgage broker or a correspondent lender.

To the borrower, the differences in these three may seem nonexistent because their outcome is the same. Once the loan funds, however, the differences become clear.

Correspondent lenders operate much like mortgage lenders who originate and fund loans in their name. The difference is that once a loan settles or closes, a correspondent lender does not accept monthly payments or service the loan. Instead, they sell the loan to another mortgage lender or to a secondary marketing agency, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This helps them avoid the market risk lenders have by holding onto the loan, and guarantees they’ll make their money without carrying the risk of loan default.

Working with a correspondent lender provides another option to borrowers when searching for the right home financing. Some experts believe that correspondent lenders combine the best advantages offered by both mortgage lenders and brokers because they use all available aspects of mortgage negotiating and funding.

Before you finance your next home, be sure to research all three entities so you can decide which one will work best for you.

The modern resume

August 29, 2011 – The one thing we can count on in life is that nothing stays the same.

That goes for resumes too.

I just read a report over the weekend from www.ragan.com that simply choosing an overused font for your resume like Times New Roman may give potential employers the idea that you are lazy or difficult.

My resume features Times New Roman, and I can assure you that I am neither. I chose it because it’s clean and readable. Who knew that I could be considered uninspiring for using it?

My obsolete font choice can be easily rectified, according to the article, by selecting a more modern font such as Georgia. It also states that in the age of social media, we should make our resumes interactive, and build a storyline around them to bring it to life for those who read it.

That’s fine advice if you want a job in a creative industry like marketing or graphic design. But what if you’re looking for a position in the accounting or actuarial field? I don’t think it would go over that well if your resume were too out of the box.

Everyone wants their resume to stand apart from the competition, and if you’re a bit of a risk taker, the article gives a lot of unique tips you may find useful. They seem distracting to me, but judge it for yourself by reading it here.

Goodnight Irene

August 28, 2011 – First it was the earthquake and now it’s Hurricane Irene. What a week we’ve had here in Southeastern Pa.

We’re usually pretty safe here in our little corner of the world, but we’re being slammed right now with high winds and flooding rains like everyone else along the east coast.

Pretty much everything has been cancelled in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, so here’s a few appropriate tunes to keep you occupied – if you still have electricity.

Stay safe.

The real magic bus

August 27, 2011 – The Who may have sang about it, but it was the memory of John Lennon that brought it to life.

This magic bus, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, is a non-profit, state-of-the-art audio and HD video recording studio on wheels. The bus travels the country, visiting schools, musical and technology conferences and other events.

Why didn’t I know about this? it’s not like it just started rolling; it’s been active for 14 years, providing young people with free songwriting and multimedia production workshops. Yet I just discovered the project on Facebook today.

Next stop for the bus? Elmsford, N.Y., for two student recording sessions on Sept. 25 and 27.

Visit www.lennonbus.org for a full schedule and more information. You can also view projects created on board.

With all of the music and art programs being cut from schools across the country, with the help of the Lennon Bus, there may be hope for our creative future after all.

Over the Rainbow and then some

August 26, 2011 – Yesterday was the 71st anniversary of the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

I’m an old movie fan, so it’s easy for me to say that it’s one of my all time favorites. But even those who don’t care for the old black and whites love “The Wizard of Oz”. After 71 years, families still gather around to watch the story of Dorothy and her three friends find their hearts’ desire.

So, it made me wonder what other entertainment icons stand the test of time? Here are a few I came up with; feel free to add your own.

Movies:
“Casablanca” springs to mind immediately, along with “Citizen Kane”, although it’s not one of my favorites. And I have to give honorable mention to anything by Alfred Hitchcock, and to the wonderful family movies made in the 1960s such “The Sound of Music”, “Mary Poppins”, and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, to name a few. I know I catch them whenever they are on.

Singers/Bands:
How about Frank Sinatra, or anyone in the Rat Pack to start? They are still wildly popular today. You could also include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan in the mix because all of their music still has a strong audience, even though many of the songs were recorded 50 years ago. I wonder how many people 50 years from now will be listening to Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake?

Books:
This is probably the easiest category because schools will always push the classics on students, although they probably won’t really appreciate them until they are adults. So, what books stand out? How about “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Jane Eyre”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Anna Karenina”, and “The Bell Jar”, to name a few? I would be remiss not to mention Judy Blume because I know that young girls in the future will still be captivated with “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?”. And something tells me the Harry Potter books will stick around for a long time, too.

The man who killed John Lennon

August 25, 2011 — It’s hard to believe that 30 years ago today Mark David Chapman, who gunned down John Lennon outside of the Dakota apartment building on Central Park West in 1980, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Upon his arrest, Chapman said he killed Lennon to gain his fame. Instead, he became infamous, and the world lost a great talent and peace advocate.

Since his sentence began, Chapman has been up for parole six times, and each time it has been denied. His next hearing is scheduled for 2012.

For his last parole hearing, Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono wrote a letter that stating that if Chapman was released, “I am afraid it will bring back the nightmare, the chaos and confusion once again. Myself and John’s two sons would not feel safe for the rest of our lives.”