High and Dry in Waterford

Back in July, I posted my thoughts on flood insurance, (Do Waterford Property Owners Need Flood Insurance?). My opinion was, "If your bank doesn't force you to buy it, save your money."

I had some second thoughts about the subject last week when we got about a foot of rain.

Real Estate Trends - September

I've updated the charts for Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest with September sales data. Click here or on the Real Estate Trends link at the top of the right sidebar to view them.

Life On the Reef

The tranquility of the reef was exactly what they were looking for. The gentle sway of  the sea grasses, the slow, rhythmic undulation of the waves and a plentitude of hideaways in the coral. The  Parrotfish, Wrasse, Grouper, and swarms of other colorful fish found a happy home there. The water was warm, the food plentiful and the neighbors were generally agreeable.

Where's My User Guide?

We have a file box where we keep manuals for all the devices and gadgets we own. There are folders for categories of stuff, such as Appliances, Tools, Computers, and Audio/VideoIt may sound like an efficient system - but it doesn’t work.

Waterford Flood Precautions

After the rains of the past few days, and with more to be expected in the days ahead, it is reassuring to know that the Waterford board, CEPCO and others are taking the necessary steps to keep our canals within their banks. 

The following message from Dr. Patterson just landed in our E-mailbox. 

Smart Watch - Exactly What I Don’t Need

Being “on time” is important to me. I was taught that it’s impolite to be late, and I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that I’m a thoughtless clod when I’m tardy. I drive The Lady nuts with my punctuality obsession.

Google's Earth View - A Feast for the Eyes

Most of us are familiar with Google Earth, the exploring software that gives us a bird’s eye view of any place in the world. It’s great for looking down at big cities and interesting landscapes, or for nosing around to see what kind of neighborhoods old friends live in.

A newer Google product, Earth View, is a collection of 1500 gorgeous, very high definition, satellite images from Google Earth. The unique, eye-in-the-sky perspective yields spectacular pictures of places you may be familiar with - and places you may never see otherwise.

Free Washington Post Online for Amazon Prime Subscribers

We use Amazon Prime a lot. The Internet actually changed the way we do much of our shopping, and Prime made purchasing online even more appealing. It’s worth the $99.00 annual fee just to get free two-day shipping for many Amazon articles. (I know. I know. The cost of shipping is, at least partially, incorporated into the prices, but Prime does drive the total cost down.) Other Prime benefits, such as free video and music streaming are icing on the cake. 

Real Estate Trends - August Update

I've updated the charts for Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest with the August sales data. Click here or on the Real Estate Trends link at the top of the right sidebar.

Fixing my Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

My doctor has been monitoring the development of an aneurysm in my abdominal aorta for a couple years. This year my annual ultrasound and a follow-up CT-scan told him it was time to take action. The bulge had reached 5.1 centimeters (roughly 2 inches), which put it in the ideal repair window (between 5 and 5.5 centimeters).

Waterford's Gates - More Good Money Out the Window

Our homeowners association expects to spend $32,440 on our useless gates during the coming year. 

I just looked-over the proposed 2016 WMRA budget and found that we anticipate spending $15,000 on repairs to our gates next year, and we also expect to need $17,440 to replace some.

During the first seven months of 2015, we’ve already spent $7,607 for gate repairs and $9,524 for replacement.

Those gates are a money pit. As I noted in an earlier piece, Why Waterford’s 20 Gates are a Waste of Money, we spent almost $130,000 on repairs from 2010 through 2014, and there’s no let-up in sight. Every year, we budget large sums for maintenance and replacement without questioning whether it truly makes sense. Why can’t we at least look into other security alternatives? 

Obviously, we haven’t smartened-up yet. 


Yesterday, our pest control guy was here to do a scheduled treatment and noticed some stinkhorn fungi in our mulch beds. The technician told me that his company frequently gets calls from customers for help finding whatever has died in their yards. Usually it isn’t a dead animal that is polluting the air. It’s stinkhorn.

wikiHow - The Place to Go When You Need to Know

One of the beauties of the Internet Age is the information we have at our fingertips. A little Googling and we can learn about most anything. 

Real Estate Trends Upgraded

In response to reader requests, I have created some additional trend charts for Waterford and Magnolia Greens. The new graphics are based on the number of bedrooms in the sold properties. You can visit the Real Estate Trends page by clicking here or on the What's Your Home Worth? link in the sidebar.

Stay Cool With a Credit Freeze

One of the smartest things we ever did was put a freeze on our credit information at the three major credit agencies. It wasn’t difficult to do — just took some forethought and a little time. The benefit has been peace of mind.

Now, even if someone gets ahold of our personal identification information, they can’t use it to open bank or credit card accounts, or to do anything else that requires a credit check.