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.

Biking Correctly

I see it often; someone on a bike riding on the right side of the street, but facing traffic. I also see bike riders ignoring stop, yield and pedestrian-crossing signs, or demanding priority over pedestrians on sidewalks.

Many residents of Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest enjoy getting their fresh air and exercise by biking through the quiet neighborhoods. That’s great, but there are more than a few who don’t know - or choose to ignore - the traffic rules and courtesies that apply to biking. 

Real Estate Trends as of July 31, 2015

I've added July sales data from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database to the Real Estate Trends pages. Sales data for Waterford, Magnolia Greens and Brunswick Forest can be viewed here, or via the link in the sidebar.

If you have comments or questions about this information - or about anything else on this blog, please let me hear about it. You can either leave a comment below, or send me an Email.

Special Leland Police Services for Residents

Did you know that the Leland police will keep an eye on your home when you are away?  I didn't, until I  landed, quite by chance, on the Resources page on the town's website. We live in relatively safe communities here along US-17, but bad or unexpected things can happen, and it's comforting to know that a police officer will check our house daily when we're gone. All a resident needs to do is go to the "While You're Away" page and fill-out and submit the form there.

There's another valuable service offered on the Resources page. A senior who is residing alone can complete a form on the "Are You OK?" page and a police officer will check-in with them every day.

(In my opinion, the "Are You OK?" service is a good solution for someone who is alone temporarily. If an elderly or handicapped person always lives alone, Life Alert and similar services are preferable because the subscriber can call for help immediately with the touch of a button.)

The Big Pharma Rip-Off

Last week, 115 cancer experts published a scathing petition addressed to the major pharmaceutical companies; accusing them of heartless profiteering with their "wonder" drugs. Some cancer patients are forced to sell their homes to raise the money for their medicines. People are paying as much as $150,000 per year to stay alive, and that's a damn shame. It's also par for the course. Big Pharma has been ripping-off Americans for years.

Do Waterford Property Owners Need Flood Insurance?

Every year about this time we receive the bill for our flood insurance premium and The Lady* and I have a discussion about the need for the policy. I think we would be safe without it. She, on the other hand, believes it would be unnecessarily risky if we drop out of the program. To date, she has always remained unconvinced and each year we’ve mailed-in yet another fat check.

This year I decided to be better prepared for our annual debate by doing some research. Let me share with you what I’ve learned and how it applies to our homes in Waterford.

El Galeón is Coming to Wilmington

A really tall, tall ship is coming to town in August.

The El Galeón Andalucia, a full-scale replica of a Spanish tall ship will be docked at the Port City Marina, near the Wilmington Convention Center, from August 13th to the 23rd.

According to, the Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust (WHET), is showcasing the five deck, two-master as part of their ongoing efforts to promote the orderly development of property and recreational activities along the Cape Fear River. 

You can read the PortCityDaily article, here.

El Galeón also has an interesting website. Here’s a link. 


Our board of education recently decided that kids in this part of Brunswick County will no longer be required to wear uniforms. The vote was 4-1 to abolish the uniform requirement which had been in place at four schools since 2009. Sixty-one percent of parents responding to a survey last month did not support continuing the uniform policy.

That got me to thinking about uniforms, and why we seem to have mixed feelings about them.

Check it at Snopes

A while back I received an eMail, kindly relayed by a concerned friend, warning me to quickly add our cell phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry.  According to the message, all cell phone numbers are to be released to telemarketers in the near future and we will be charged every time they call us.

Food for Thought

As it does every year on July 4th, Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest disgusted me. It's not that I'm a nutrition fanatic. I celebrated our independence yesterday by consuming a couple brats, and a bunch of other stuff I shouldn't have. 

I enjoyed it too!

Real Estate Trends - Update

June sales data from the Brunswick County Tax Assessor's database has been added to the Real Estate Trends page and can be viewed here, or via the link in the sidebar.

There's been so much interest in this information that I modified the page to include the Brunswick Forest neighborhoods. Unlike Waterford and Magnolia Greens, the neighborhoods in Brunswick Forest are listed as separate entities on the tax database. I analyze them individually as well.

If you have comments or questions about this information - or about anything else on this blog, please let me hear about it. You can either leave a comment below, or send me an Email.

Senior Discounts - Where to Find Them

I receive a newsletter every week from personal finance guru, Clark Howard. The one that landed in my email today linked to an article on his website. It, in turn, linked to an article on another website, Mogul. The Mogul article sent me on to a blog piece authored by Steve Herman (whom I’d never heard of in my life). The journey was long, but worth the effort.