Waterford Cypress Award

The Waterford Environmental Committee is sponsoring a contest that will honor residents' ecology-friendly landscaping. Gold, silver and bronze plaques will be presented to the winners.

Contact Lynne Shineman for an entry form and submit it by May 28th. Judging by an independent expert will take place on May 29th. Lynn's Email address and phone number are available on the Waterford message board.

Waterford Coyote

I noticed a posting on the Waterford message board yesterday regarding a coyote that a resident had seen in the neighborhood. At first read, people who have moved here recently from urban areas may think coyotes are scary and dangerous. Our experience is that they aren't.

My Post Office - Ace is the Place

One day a couple months ago, I was in line in the Leland Post Office and got so frustrated with the slow moving, grumpy clerk that I got out of there. I went down the road to Ace Hardware, where I should have gone in the first place. Now, I do all my postal business at the hardware store.

New Real Estate Trends Page

My most recent piece presented real estate statistics for Waterford. I have received so many positive comments about it that I decided to publish the data for both Waterford and Magnolia Greens on a readily accessible, dedicated page. You will find the link to Real Estate Trends at the top of the home page, just under the amijohn logo. You can go there from here too.

I'll update the information every month and, as time allows, I'll add some illustrational graphics. I hope my neighbors in Waterford and Magnolia Greens will find this information useful.

What's the Resale Value of Your Waterford Home?

If you are like me, you want to keep an eye on the resale value of your home in order to stay ahead of the game, in case you want, or need to sell. I stay up-to-date by looking at the completed sales of similar homes in Waterford.

I gather real estate sales data for the most recent six month period from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database and put it in a spreadsheet. Then I calculate the average price per square foot that was achieved during that half year. I also consider the number of bedrooms and come up with averages for three and four bedroom homes. My experience is that more detail than that just fogs the issue.

It occurred to me that my research might be useful to other Waterford property owners, so I am offering it here. I've also created a separate spreadsheet for townhouses. My intention is to update both monthly.

The Time Has Come For a Flat Income Tax

Back in 2011, Warren Buffett wrote an attention-grabbing New York Times opinion piece about taxation. It concluded with this sentence: “It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

He’s right of course, we should all pay our fair share and the rich haven’t been contributing enough. Our legislators in Washington have given the very wealthy preferential treatment for years. 

Multi-Tasking at the Wheel is Dumb

I'm lousy at multi-tasking. For instance, when I'm reading the text crawling across the bottom of the TV screen, I miss what the talking head is saying. If I focus on the screen, I miss the moving text. Or, if I'm trying to talk with someone on the phone and  the door bell rings at the same time, I'm apt to hand the phone to the UPS guy.

John Jakes' "North South Trilogy" - Recommended

I somehow missed-out on the North and South TV mini-series - maybe because I never had much interest in our Civil War. My disinterest was probably the result of the ADHD that plagued me during my high school years. In the meantime, however, I enjoy reading an occasional novel based on a historical event or period.

The Internet of Things - Simplified

If you read what I posted yesterday (10 Emerging Technical Innovations That Seniors Will Appreciate)you already know I don't try to keep up with everything that's coming down the tech pike. However, lately I've been hearing more and more about "The Internet of Things" (also referred to as "ITT")  and wanted to know more about it.

10 Emerging Technological Innovations that Seniors will Appreciate

At this point in my life, I'm don't get fired-up about new technology like I did when I was a youngster of 50 or 60. I'm more selective these days. Most of my focus is on making life easier on my aching bones, and on all the other frailties connected with being old. I'm still interested in new stuff, but my enthusiasm is cursory if I think it won't affect me one way or the other during my lifetime.

Having that pre-disposition, I was especially interested in today's HuffPost Next 10 article by Ann Brenoff - and I think you'll find it worthwhile too.

Hate - Pass it On

I guess we all receive them. Emails from friends and acquaintances, usually in an extra large font, containing something somebody thinks is wisdom, or funny or provocative. Whatever it is, it has been relayed from one to many, many times and usually ends with PASS IT ON or something similar.

I get my share of that sort of stuff, and I generally read it - at least diagonally - before I move it to the trash folder. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I shrug and sometimes I am offended and get really pissed-off. 

Net Neutrality for Non-Geeks

I worked in the information technology field for much of my business life, and I still spend more time than I probably should on the computer every day. In spite of that, I've been unable (maybe even unwilling) to keep up with everything going on in the information world. I don't tweet or text, and I don't have a FaceBook account. I just don't want to be that connected.

10 of My Favorite Gadgets

I’m a gadget nut, and I guess lots of people are. That’s why there are so many websites where one can see and buy the latest gizmos. Here are some I either own or urgently need.

Port City Daily - My Favorite Local News Source

We haven’t subscribed to a local newspaper for a couple of years. There’s been no need to receive the paper editions of any of the conventional daily newspapers since The Lady started getting all her coupons via the web.

I’ve been doing all my news reading on the Internet for about 10 years. Mostly, I read Google’s compilations - customized to match my interests. Google’s local coverage is not as extensive as I’d prefer, however. A few months ago, I discovered PortCityDaily.com and it quickly became my primary source of local news.  I like the way it’s formatted and enjoy the crisp writing style that the editor there seems to favor. The Scene is especially useful. It's a calendar of events and activities in the area - posted by readers. There's a button that will take you there at the bottom of the Home page.

I’ve added a link to Port City Daily in the sidebar. Check it out.

Waterford Gates Update

The April Waterford Master Residential Association Newsletter included the following report on our gates:
"CEPCO reported issues with gates at Veranda Court, Brook Crossing, Atrium Way, Royal Palm Way and Waterfall Way. The Board approved a total replacement of the gate mechanism for Brook Crossing."
It tightens my jaws every time I hear about another problem with those gates. The association could do so many good things with the money we are wasting on them. If you missed my piece on the subject last month, here's a link: Why Waterford's 20 Gates Are a Waste of Money .