Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A “good walker": Pronation



Journal Entry 12/28/09
: Weight = 175 lbs; Curb coinage = $.47, Canister coinage = $2.02

Journal Entry 12/29/09: Weight = 174; Curb coinage = $.89, Canister coinage = $1.95; Two fun finds included a new quarter along a curb that was just shinning forth with a big welcome; and just before were two dimes lying side by side in a parking lot.

Feature Entry: Pronation and a “good walker.”
In this series that focuses on the meaning of “good walker” several have defined a good walker as one that is biomechanically sound. To them, a good walker is one that has conquered the pronation battle. Walking pronation means rotation of the foot during ambulation. In overpronation the foot rolls inward while walking, and in underpronation the foot rolls outward. People with high arches tend to underpronate. Those with flatter feet are apt to overpronate. Eventually, walkers with improper pronation experience one or more painful symptoms including lower back pain, ankle pain, knee injury, and foot/toe pain.

One blogger waxed poetically about the design of the foot, “The foot is a marvel of function design. Leonardo da Vinci called it "The greatest engineering device in the whole world". Each foot is a complex of 28 bones arranged to form 4 arches, held together by over 100 ligaments, and activated by some 20 muscles.“

There are many ways to correct improper pronation during walking. Selecting a proper fitting full support walking shoe is the point of beginning. A store totally devoted to jogging and walking shoes usually have a trained sells associate that can help you pick the right shoe for your pronation style of walking.

Note: the photo above is from a recent walk in Wilton CT. I'm not sure if I am over or under pronating but walking on snow is a rare treat for this New Orleans moneywalker.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Walker Series--the Good Walker Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar

Journal Entry: Just returned from a five day Christmas trip to New England, specifically Wilton, CT. The first thing upon returning was a 90 minute walk. Had great success on the curbs and found $.80. Being a Sunday, the Mid-City car-wash canisters were loaded, retrieved $5.04 in coins. In the stack of mail was a receipt from Baptist Friendship House, the group that ministers to battered women and their children. In the last two months we have donated $200.00 in found coins to their effort to bring counseling and comfort to these families.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker read in a Brookner novel about a "good walker." I found the simple phrase to have intrigue and it aroused my curiosity about what others might describe as a good walker. By Googling using Google advance, many interesting hits were found. The key words were "walking" and in the exact wording section, "good walker." One hit featured the 1918 S Good Walker Walking Liberty Silver Half Dollar. It consist of 90% silver. In numismatist lore, the coin is known simply as the "walker" coin. The obverse image representing Lady Liberty is considered the best design ever issued by the United States mint on a silver coin. That is why this image was used for the American Silver Eagle starting in 1986. I didn't find this coin, but I may want to buy both the half-dollar and the Silver Eagle for my hobby.

Future blogs will explore other aspects of what it means to be a "good walker."

We took a few walks in Connecticut, but no money was found. It is good to back in New Orleans.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa giving thought to starting his flexibility program

Journal Entry: Weight = 176.2; Coinage = Curb finds $.38, Canister finds $2.16.

Feature Entry: Santa will be at rest for a few days. He will begin his new flexibility exercise program on January 2. Stay tuned for the results. Those hamstrings need help.

Merry Christmas from the MoneyWalkers

MoneyWalker

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is walking recommended for people with Arthritis?

Journal Entry: 12/19/09: Coinage = $3.95, .81 curb finds; 12/20/09 Coinage = $1.80; 12/21/09 Coinage = $1.83; Average Weight = 175.5

Feature Entry: Should people with arthritis participate in walking programs. It is known that hard physical work can lead to joint pain and arthritis. According to writers of About.com, If you have arthritis, exercise is essential. Exercise is important for healthy joints and provides these benefits as well

• increases energy levels
• helps develop a better sleep pattern
• helps with weight control
• maintains a healthy heart
• increases bone and muscle strength
• decreases depression and fatigue.
• serves to improve self-esteem and self-confidence

Moving your joints daily helps keep them fully mobile. Strengthening the surrounding muscles helps support the joints. Also, joint movement transports nutrients and waste products to and from the cartilage, the material which protects and cushions the ends of the bones.

If you have inflammation, consult with your physician. Water aerobics is also highly recommended and may be recommended for some suffers of arthritis. Also, a gentle stretching program is highly encouraged.

MoneyWalker

Friday, December 18, 2009

Civility and Walking

Journal Entry: 12/17 Weight = 175.6; Curb coinage = $1.08, Canister coinage = $2.23; Glass bottles = 2; Ground Scores = 2. Note: a lined man’s extra large jacket was found on a recent walk, washed, smoothed, and placed on the garment pole. It lasted less than 30 minutes.

Journal Entry 12/18: Weight = 175.2, $1.31, all curb coins; Ground score = 1; Glass bottles = 4; Best coinage find = a quarter from one newspaper stand and a nickel from another by its side.

Feature Entry: Civility and Walking

Encounters with others while walking is a given when the walks are in busy urban confines. Things can go wrong so I try to walk with civility. I have had an unread copy of Stephen L. Carter’s book, Civility, Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy in my library for many years, but an episode from this morning’s walk motivated the MoneyWalker to actually read a few pages. Among the gems was this comment: “Civility has two parts: generosity, even when it is costly, and trust, even when there is risk.”

The episode involved a cigarette lighter and what was to be my first ground score of the day. I was zooming through the parking lot of a Starbucks parking lot checking for change. At the same time of the lighter sighting, I spotted a stranger walking along the sidewalk just below. With civility I said “Good morning!” as I reached for the lighter. He announced with a non-hostile also civil voice, “I was just about to pick that up.” He was not of my race, but my response was an easy one, “Please, you take it!” I gave it a high toss for an easy catch and we both went on our way. Then he yelled back, “And it works too.” That is connecting, that is civility.

There are threats to civility; Dogs that bite—Territory infringement— Indifference to others-- The turning automobile-- An attitude of preferring isolation--Racial profiling. I remember when one snarly beast charged and I yelled at her apparent owner, “Keep your dog on a leash!” She yelled back, “It’s not my dog mister!” Another time at 6 a.m. I was cutting through a huge restaurant parking lot and the owner ordered me to stay off of his property.

It is not always easy being civil, but it is the right thing to do. What? Yes dear, I can be better at remembering to pickup my clothes.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Walking as a prevention of cancer?


Journal Entry: Average weight over last seven days = 177.0 (yikes!); Coinage 12/11 = $1.88, Coinage 12/13 = $2.04, Coinage 12/14 = $3.59, Coinage 12/15 $2.81, Coinage 12/16 = $.66. Note the $1.88 and $.66 totals were vacuum container free. The MoneyWalker will not turn his back on the generous agreement with the Mid-City Car Wash’s generous policy of leaving their vacuum bays unlocked and their non-harassment management policy, he continues to find more enjoyment in finding curb coins.

Feature Entry: Walking as a prevention of cancer?

Medical research continually indicates that chronic tension and anxiety attacks the immune system. Many medical researchers have found that cancer cells openly reside in our body but are arrested or held harmless by a healthy immune system. We also know that individual decisions such as a good night’s sleep, stress management, eating healthy, and exercise lead contribute to the body’s immune functioning.

Thus walking appears to be an important weapon in the war against cancer. Not only does walking assist in weight control and keeping the body physically fit, it provides an excellent way to shape emotional energy thus reducing the effects of chronic tension. While there is no scientific evidence that links the habit of walking with cancer prevention, it is logical to assume that the practice of systematically walking as a life style habit helps the body’s immune system in keeping dangerous cancer cells at bay.

MoneyWalker

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Meditation walking vs. money walking

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.2 (Second day of consecutive losses); Coinage = $3.08 (great day for quarters, found money in most of my money spots) 83 pennies, 4 nickels, 8 dimes, 5 quarters (amount also included 29 cents (1 quarter and four pennies) from a long residual walk to the post office and the grocery store; Ground scores = 10; Glass bottles = 3. Residual walking is a great way of “walking green.” Retrieved a Barq’s root beer bottle with this inscription: “Please recycle—NY-MA-OR-ME 5¢ MI 10¢ IA-VT-CT-DE 5¢.” Also the beverage contains calories = 160 for 12 oz serving.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker is beginning to receive e-mails from friends that deal with the culture of walking. This act of friendship is appreciated. One wrote:
“I thought of you the other day when I found a quarter and a penny during my daily walk. I almost never see any coins and these were in a lovely and very quiet Japanese garden, which seems the unlikeliest place to find them. I left them for a moneywalker to find.

My enjoyment of walking is very different from yours as you explained it in a post about the middle of last week. (I am, as usual, behind on my Trollope post reading.) I walk for the physical feeling of walking and the enjoyment of the minute changes I see every day. I have a lovely park to walk in with various gardens (rose, perennial, lilac, formal, Japanese . . . you get the idea.)

Another sent me a website on how to do “meditation walking.” From that site (http://www.wikihow.com/Do-Walking-Meditation) was this advice:
“Many Buddhists incorporate walking meditations into their routine. Some people find meditating easier to do while walking than while sitting still for extended periods of time. You can also take the opportunity to Ground and Center as you walk: Imagine that every time you put your foot down, it connects with the center of the earth”

Both comments stimulated this thought, is the MoneyWalker vulgarizing the act of walking by searching for money? “Ground and Center” is a meditation process that “ … is a visualization and meditation exercise you can use to focus yourself on the present and learn to feel more whole, more aware.” I’ll give the question more thought, but for now the MoneyWalker is a little to giddy about finding $3.08 to worry about it.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Testing what you know about caloric expenditure and exercise mode

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.6 lbs and barely holding off holiday eating; Coinage = $2.73, 98 pennies (one wheat), 8 nickels, six dimes, 3 quarters (two residual quarters from the day before, one from a newspaper vending machine and one from a coin vendor at a pay parking lot); glass bottles retrieved = 8; Ground score = 1.

Feature Entry: A caloric expenditure exam question: Which of the following exercisers expended the most calories during a one mile exercise bout?

A. Marathon runners running one mile
B. Regular exercisers walking one mile
C. Obese subjects walking one mile
D. All expended the same number of calories per mile of exercise
E. Obese subjects and marathon runners expended the same amount of calories and statistically more than the regular exercisers.

The above question was posed as a research question by noted exercise physiologist Dr. Mark Loftin of the University of Mississippi. According to Loftin in a forthcoming article is D, all three groups expended the same number of calories for a one mile bout of exercise. Of course the marathon runners were essentially twice as efficient as the obese subject in that they covered the one mile in more than half the time as the obese walkers.

So crawl, creep, waddle, walk, jog, or run, just put in the miles for a healthier you.

MoneyWalker

Monday, December 7, 2009

Walking, the Common Cold, and Your Resolution System


Feature Entry: Walking and the Common Cold

Crud, heck, darn, fooey--the Moneywalker has an upper respiratory illness also known as the common cold. It has affected his “resolution” system. The symptoms include runny nose, congestion, mild sore throat, minor aches and pains, but no fever. But worse, I just don't have the resolve to hit the road.

The question is not if, but should I exercise with this condition. The answer is not equivocal but generally positive according to Naomi Sklar, M.D. She states that mild-to-moderate exercise (i.e. walking) when sick with the common cold does not appear to be harmful. In clinical trials, subjects were able to engage in exercise during the course of the illness without any negative effects on severity of symptoms or performance capability. She suggests that if the symptoms are “from the neck up,” moderate exercise is probably acceptable and, some researchers would even argue, beneficial.

However, Thomas Sevier, MD in the Journal of Athletic Training indicated that elite athletes should monitor symptoms and adjust training schedules with more rest.

But if you have the flu, the advice is definite, no exercise. Experts recommend that you concentrate on healthy nutrition and on drinking large amounts of fluids. My mom used a fresh squeezed lemon, 12 oz. of hot water, mashed aspirin, and a little sugar. Today, Ms MoneyWalker is more apt to use water and electrolyte replacement drinks like Gatorade in order to prevent dehydration. Once the flu has completely run its course, the walker can slowly re-initiate a walking regiment.

Some people confuse the common cold for influenza. And for good reasons, there are over 200 different types of coronaviruses and rhinoviruses. Some result in more serious symptoms than others. The key to knowing if you have the flu is body temperature. If you have a fever, you should check with your physician to determine if it is safe to exercise.

Journal Entry: Weight = 176.2; Last coinage = $.58; Currency find = $5.00 along a curb near a convenience store; Glass bottles = 21; Ground Scores = 10 Finding a five makes for a nice walk and helps cure the symptoms gained from an assaulted resolution system. With Ms MoneyWalker's concurrence, I should be back on the trails tomorrow with mmune system and resolution system both in all points go mode.

MoneyWalker

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Finding an Indian Head Penny

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.6; 12/1 coinage = $2.73; 12/2 coinage = $2.77; 12/3 coinage = $.87; Total Glass bottles = 20 (3 broken, one near a school bus stop); Total ground scores = 18 (mostly hardware that only my Grandfather would want); Significant find = 3 quarters in a drive through car wash coin return; Once in a life-time find = 1899 Indian Head penny in near mint condition.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker’s fitness walk was nearly over and there it rested an 1899 near mint condition Indian head penny (note, the photo is a stock photo, the actual find is in better condition and is an 1899, not an 1898.) For more than one hour, my thinking was spent sorting through various competing ideas for my blog. The battle for eliminating rather than generating blog ideas was unusual in that I had been experiencing a “blogger’s block” for several weeks. Then boom—all the great ideas were blown away by this once in a life time find.

An Indian head penny that was minted 110 years ago must be dealt with. It was such a long time ago. So long, that there were no Indians living in the state of Oklahoma because it didn’t receive statehood until 1906. In the year before 1899, my grandfather would have been 25 years old, but he could not have listened to a phonograph record or enjoyed a coca-cola or viewed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Columbia Phonograph company and the Pemberton Medicine Company (inventors of Coca-Cola) didn’t begin until 1899, the same year the Eiffel Tower was created.

President Grover Cleveland signed into statehood the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington. Clemson University was started that year, the same year as the Johnstown Flood that killed 2200 people. Adolf Hitler was born April 20, 1899 and the English poet Robert Browning died Dec. 12, 1899. Also, the Wall Street Journal was started that year.

Symbolically, it was all there in that glorious one cent piece just waiting in a turned over Tupper Ware container outside of a thrift store dumpster waiting for the MoneyWalker to make his rounds.

MoneyWalker

Monday, November 30, 2009

Anthony Trollope and Walking

Feature Entry: What Anthony Trollope Knew About Walking, Smoking, and Good Health

In his 17th novel, The Claverings, Trollope demonstrated his understanding of the need for walking as one way to practice weight control by the following account of Reverend Clavering: “Thought not yet fifty, he was becoming fat and idle,--unwilling to walk, and not caring much even for riding as the bishop had left to him.” AT seemed to have liked the Reverend, but he also scolded him for his habit of smoking five or six cigars a day.

The U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control must like these passages.

Journal Entry: Weight = $176.2; Coinage = $.92; Ground Scores = 10; Glass Bottles = 13; Best coinage find = a dime and penny scatter; Two good recent finds = a dollar bill on a shuttle bus transporting our party to the Ole Miss/LSU game last week-end and a second dollar bill found while taking a utility walk to help a friend.

Bobby

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Culture of Walking and Interviews Related to Anthony Trollope

Journal Entry: Weight = 176.6; Coinage = $.63; Glass bottles = 3; Ground Scores = 4; Bad experiences = 1, a Burger King window warden copped an attitude with the MoneyWalker. I guess the ventrial striatum has a mean streak. Makes me wonder if all that "dropped" change is accidental?

Feature Entry: I admit it, this blog started as a fitness blog with walking as the exercise medium of choice. It has migrated to a “culture of walking” blog with fitness and nutrition as a component but not sole focus. The MoneyWalker belongs to an on-line group that systematically reads and discusses the full 47 novel canon of Anthony Trollope. Trollope’s life-like characters were often portrayed as active walkers. We are currently reading _The Claverings and my self-assigned tasks is to report how, when, where, and why his characters walk.

One member asked today if I collect novels and other literature that feature walkers and the culture of walking. Another asked if money walking was as effective as scenery and other outdoor delights in terms of maintaining the motivation for walking. My two responses follow.

Culture of Walking and Literature:

Jan: “Bobby, do you seek out/collect literature on walking?”

Bobby: “Jan, concerning collecting literature on walking, in the sense that you collect literature on people that write about trains, I am just beginning to examine the literature that is available specifically devoted to what I am now calling "the culture of walking." Although not aware of specific cases, I am certain that this term has been used by others. For me, while reading a Brookner novel, _Lewis Percy_, I noted that her books all utilize walking as a coping strategy for her protagonists. In an attempt to define the phenomenon, the expression "culture of walking" came to mind. In fact the recent walking list posted on this group came from cataloging all the ways and reasons that Lewis Percy walks.

I do have a modest collection of books that specifically address walking. Jordan Rubin's _Perfect Weight_ relies heavily on walking an exercise partner for obtaining and developing the perfect weight. Harry J. Johnson, M.D. has _Creative Walking for Physical Fitness. Similarly, John Pleas has _Walking_, a guide to walking. Both are books about walking as exercise. Of course there are endless books for hikers.

However, none of these books capture the essence of the culture of walking. I will want to be more vigilant for works of this type. If Mary, Shirley or others know of such books, I am in your gratitude for their names.”

Walking and Motivation:

Jill: ”Overland Park (although rather boringly white bread) is blessed with wonderful places for walking -- formal paths, paths in office parks, a lovely arboretum, little paths in little parks, and, trees, trees, wonderful trees. Walking is one of the joys of my life. The older I get, the more I regard it as a positive blessing. I am going to have to try "money walking," although I wonder whether this might interfere with my love affair with our Gorgeous Trees --
stunning in every season. What say you, Bobby?”

Bobby: “Jill, the purpose of my walks is to maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index). Inherently, I find walking boring. I walk about 300 days a year, mostly from my house in mid-city New Orleans. After dozens of walks, the neighborhood becomes overly familiar and lacks stimulation. In my blog, the issue of motivation is frequently mentioned. In part by accident and in part by the influence of a friend that is a leading neural psychologist that is also a money walker, I began to search for dropped coins along my walking routes. It is amazing how much money people leave on the ground and in other "money spots."

Any walkers out there that knows of literary sources that feature the "culture of walking?"

Note, The Moneywalkers will be treking the curbs and byways of Oxford, Mississippi during the following few days.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tribute To An Original Money Walker

Journal Entry: Weight = 176.2; Coinage = $.178, 37 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass Bottles retrieved = 13; Ground Scores = 3; Best coinage = two quarters found in a newspaper vending machine. One of the best feelings in the world is when a blind inquiry performed with a searching finger into the coin return cavern is met with a yes.

Feature Entry: James Clovis Shepherd was born November 17, 1942 in the high plains of Texas, the second son of a Baptist minister. As an adolescent, like many PKs, he was dually defined—one by his salvation and one by original sin. At age 11 he moved to my home town with his family, his father was the pastor of the First Baptist Church. We became best friends and remained that way for life.

For several years after each church service, James and I alternated Sunday lunch invitations; one Sunday my house, the next Sunday his house. We had the entire afternoon before regrouping and heading for the mandatory Sunday evening services. Probably from boredom, we developed the habit of taking long walks.

Then it happened, we began to discover discarded soft-drink bottles. In those days, bottles could be returned for two cents a bottle. A movie costs a dime and a gallon of gas about a quarter. The big four were Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, R.C. Cola, and Seven-up. But we also found Hines Root Beer, Nehi Orange, and Squirt bottles. There were other brands from areas “out of market” that could not be redeemed. These ground scores became our “rare pop bottle collection.”

We never knew how many bottles we would find; some days only one or two, others we needed a large sack to carry them. Over time we became incredibly proficient at spotting redeemable “pop bottles.” Later as a young father, my children still remember their embarrassment as I stopped the car and directed them to retrieve a bottle for their own collection.

The bottles that James and I found were redeemed at the grocery stores in our small town. The grocers were annoyed when these two toe-headed boys came lugging into their store a wash-tub full of dissimilar, stained, and unmatched pop bottles. But we learned that if Brother Shepherd came with us, they always smiled and were happy to make the exchange. Usually we saved until we had 100 bottles, a net of $1.00 a piece. The money went into a private bank and saved until we could do something special such as a new ball glove.

Two years ago this original money walker died after a gallant battle with a very rare form of cancer--Carcinoid Syndrome. Thanks my friend for all you were and continue to be.

MoneyWalker

Monday, November 16, 2009

The best time of the day for a walk

Feature Entry:
Anita Brookner’s (Anita Brookner won the Man Booker Award for British Literature with Hotel Dulac) protagonist Lewis Percy from the book of the same name was a complete walker. He walked to form resolutions, to reflect, to combat sadness and boredom. He walked when he was joyful, when he was sad and to maintain good health. Usually he preferred evening walks but also walked early and midday.

The MoneyWalker prefers early morning walks, but he frequently takes midday and evening walks. Evening walks are problematic with daylight savings time due to low visibility. Not only can motorists not easily see the walker, those searching for coins can’t find coins. Since the MoneyWalker prefers curb sides to sidewalks, midday walks have the advantage of having more car-free curb space than early morning walks.

Still, the best time for moneywalking remains early in the morning. The word stealth comes to mind. I will allow the blog readers to provide their own explanation for that word.

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.6; Coinage Nov. 14 = $.41, Nov. 15 = $.52, Nov. 16 = $1.84; Total glass bottles = 12; Total ground scores = 9; Recycled three garments since last post. People in our multi-cultural neighborhood are now well aware of the frequent opportunities and I sense that some are repeat customers.

Welcome to Corkym, our newest follower. Join the conversation.

MoneyWalker

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Charity and Money Walking

Journal Entry: Friday Walk = $2.67, Saturday Walk = $.45; Weight = 174.0; Glass bottles = 15; Ground Scores = 6; Recycled clothes = 1 shirt. Yesterday, I met Jason, owner of both the Mid-City Car Wash and the Canal Blvd. Car Wash. From his office at the Canal Blvd. location, he came right up, introduced himself, and asked if I was the “MoneyWalker.” How could this stranger have known?

It happened this way. After earlier meeting Jason’s employee Eddie who is manager of the Mid-City Car Wash, I dropped by a copy of a donation cover letter ($100 from coin finds) that I had sent to the Friendship House for Battered Women. Eddie had indicated that his company might want to donate to the organization. The letter had found its way into Jason’s hand. Jason indicated that he had observed me earlier at the Mid-City location and appreciated my tidiness and care in not disturbing his customers. Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out more than five dollars worth of quarters and gave them for the cause.

2 Corinthians 9: 7 indicates that God loves a person who gives cheerfully. As God has blessed me, the small amount of change found on the streets of New Orleans hardly makes a dent in the poverty and social problems of our area, but it does show and communicate a concern for the poor and less fortunate. Jason and Eddie are doing their part as they work with the MoneyWalker.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The woods, a natural workout


Journal Entry: Weight = 174.8; Coinage = $2.73 from Monday and $.68 from Tuesday; Total bottles = 32; Ground Scores = 15. Monday is always a good day at the car wash. The manager has given his permission for the searches, only ask that I be tidy. One other person also searches and leaves a mess. The manager is a great guy and knows that all finds goes to my battered women's charity. He has asked his boss to also donate.

Feature Entry: For the last two days Ms. MoneyWalker and I are at the "farm." Today, I cleared the trails anticipating Thanksgiving and the arrival of my grandson. The photo (not mine) is of a Tung Oil tree. Our woods are full of them. Years ago, Tung oil was a big cash crop in theses parts. The oil is used as a wood stain and sealer. It is still on the market but synthetics have lessened the demand. Working in the woods provides a natural work out. Still, can't wait to get back to my urban walks and the moneyspots.

Tonight, we are grilling fresh redfish caught my by excellent country neighbor. City life? Country life? tough choice.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Photography and Walking

Feature Entry: Photography and Walking

Having Google to help explore the culture of walking provides interesting and unexpected results. Using Advanced Google, I fed in “walking” on the first line and “finding objects” on the exact phrase line. One of the interesting hits produced a photography group that takes walks with their cameras while searching for worthy photographic shots. The moderator has a blog and followers posts their favorite “finds” or photographs on the web, as the one above.

http://blog.webshots.com/?p=927

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.8 lbs. (I’m putting all the left over Halloween candy in the freezer, I have zero resistance to its position on the kitchen cabinet); Saturday’s coinage = $1.75, Sunday’s coinage = $4.66 (wow, I found a new money spot, if I tell you, I will have to kill you.) collectively 154 pennies (1 wheat), 20 nickels, 25 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 26; Ground scores = 6 (recycled a perfectly good man’s dress shirt from one of the walks)

MoneyWalker

Go Saints!!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Milestones, Walking, Weight Loss, and Vitamin D

Feature Entry: Milestones, Walking, Weight Loss, and Vitamin D

The MoneyWalker started his blog on January 5th of this year. This week he posted his 150th blog. The purpose of the blog then, and still remains, is to provide science-based encouragement and techniques for those attempting to lose weight or maintain weight loss all through the medium of walking. Since reduced motivation has been repeatedly reported as one of the leading causes of sedentary recidivism, the MoneyWalker has proposed the bizarre but highly effective technique of searching for lost or abandoned money as a method for sustaining the motivation for a daily walking workout.

Today’s post is to lament the fact that Ms. MoneyWalker now insists that we both take a calcium supplement that contains Vitamin D. She knows that I won’t take the horse pill sized supplement without massive doses of reinforcement, both negative and positive. But it is my own fault. I am the one that subscribed to Consumer Reports monthly newsletter “On Health.” After 150 posts, my aging brain finds it increasingly difficult to self-generate feature topics.

She and I both read this month’s headline article, “The ABCs of vitamin D: How much do you really need, and what’s the best way to get it?” They claim that Vitamin D is “shaping up to be the nutrient of the year—if not the decade.” With data from a host of sources, scientists are convinced that vitamin D plays an important role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, certain cancers, autoimmune infections, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, 77 percent of Americans have insufficient amounts, a dramatically new increase.

Why the increase? There are many theories, but being dark-skinned, live in an high latitude area with less sun, being middle-aged, overweight, and/or taking medications are suspected reasons, among others. And then the bad news for the MoneyWalker, not even the sun gained from a daily exercise walk provides enough Vitamin D according to data from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And not even eating a balanced diet seems to be enough.

While not all experts agree that adults should take Vitamin D supplements, most do, and that is enough for Ms MoneyWalker. “What was that?” “Yes, dear, I took my Os-Cal 600 + D calcium supplement last night and this morning.” “Yes, yes, I am fully aware that it contains 50% of my recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, and that their laboratory uses Dз rather than the less potent D₂.” “Uh huh, I know that it takes effort on your part to place the supplement on my nightstand with a glass of water…” “Yes, I could have at least said Thank You!”

Journal Entry: Recent weigh-in = 174.6 lbs.; Coinage finds last two days = $.69 and $.67 respectively; Total glass bottles retrieved = 10; Ground scores = 6; Best coinage finds = 2 wheats, one each day; and a quarter in one of the USA Newspaper vending machines, always a great feeling to feel the unambiguous feel of a quarter in the coin return slot.

MoneyWalker

P.S. to the Numismatatist, Ms MoneyWalker and I appreciated reading about the role of exercise in your family's remarkable history. Readers of this post will want to read her comments from the second from last previous post.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Giving Shape to Emotional Energy

Journal Entry: Weight the last two days = 175.0; Coinage = $1.75 Monday and $1.15 today; Glass bottles = 29; Ground Scores = 6 (one being a perfectly sound pair of scissors); Best coinage find = two quarters and a dime at a Wendy’s, it had been a long dry spell at Wendy’s.

Feature Entry: Giving Shape to Emotional Energy

Our protagonist Lewis Percy is a good guy, but he worries too much. His creator, Anita Brookner said that he had to guard against “wasting his emotional energy.” She nearly makes energy sound like a commodity that can be bought or sold, saved or squandered. Brookner may be on to something. It seems we are always trying to shape our emotional energy with money and the things it buys including ice cream, chocolate, or a new fashion shirt or blouse.

There can be negative consequences when we attempt to buy our emotional energy. An overspent credit card is one and a bulging waist is line is another. How does Lewis handle his stress and anxiety? He walks! He has a habit of regular walking as a way to pace his living. He walks to the store, the bank, the post office and to his job site. He walks to combat sadness and boredom. He walks when feeling joyful and walks to relieve sorrow. Sometimes he walks for romance with his girl friend and sometimes for male companionship.

We all must deal with the emotional realities of our lives each day. How we chose to live can lead us to waste our emotional energy or accumulate it. Walking leads to the latter, it helps us to pace our living in healthful positive ways. Finding a little money along the way is just a sweet bonus.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Exercise as Medicine

Feature Entry:

In Today’s Parade Magazine, a physician observed that has patients seem to follow his prescriptions more faithfully than when he just offered his advice. An actual scientific study asked this very question. In Spain, half of a group of 4000 patients were given general advice to exercise, while the other half got prescriptions to do so. Six months later, those with prescriptions were more active. The results were published in Archives of Internal Medicine. It seems that walking is receiving serious consideration as a “medicine” for many of today’s illnesses.


Journal Entry: Weight = 175.4 lbs (yikes, too much Halloween candy); Coinage = $.44, 29 pennies, 1 nickel, and one dime; Glass bottles retrieved = 8; Ground scores = 9 including a perfectly good umbrella; Best coinage find = three different multiple penny scatters. The weather is beautiful in New Orleans, but the picture of walkers was taken this summer in Vienna, Austria.


MoneyWalker

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Eating healthy candy this Halloween



Feature Entry: Eating healthy candy this Halloween

The MoneyWalker loves candy, he loves chocolate, and he love loves figs. So why not leave the Hersheys and the Reese’s in the bag and reach for a bag of Figamajigs. These fat-free fig bars are covered in dark chocolate. They come flavored with almonds, raspberries and mint and were named Healthiest Candy of 2006 by Forbes and given a Healthy Snack Award by Shape in 2007. The nutrition editor of Readers Digest informs us that dried figs are a nutritional powerhouse and pack more health benefits than most dried fruits? They’re full of fiber, calcium, potassium, and iron. Plus, figs are sweet to boot, especially when dipped in chocolate! Look for other great treats for Halloween and other times by checking out their recommendations.


Journal Entry: Current weight = 175.0; Total coinage/paper last four days = $6.89. One find was a crumpled dollar bill; one walked netted four curb quarters; and this morning’s walk yielded an asphalt nickel and a wheat penny. Also, a check for one hundred dollars was submitted to the New Orleans Friendship House, an agency that provides shelter, resources, and spiritual and personal counseling to battered women and their children. Moreover, several articles of clothing have been washed and recycled to needy citizens in the Mid-City area of New Orleans.

Happy Halloween!

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interaction Statistics and Weight Loss



Journal Entry: 10/26/09: Coinage = $1.26, 96 pennies (one wheat), 4 nickels, 3 dimes; Glass bottles = 8; Ground scores = 3; Best coinage = 3 asphalt coins (coins hammered away from New Orleans’ asphalt streets). It has turned chilly in New Orleans, a perfect time for a light jacket. The MoneyWalker placed a washed light jacket on a special hook on a street pole with this sign attached, “Washed, please take!” The jacket, a ground score from an earlier walk, had been retrieved from a curb site. It lasted on the pole less than 30 minutes. Someone is walking warming today. Giving back is a good feeling.

Journal Entry: 10/27/09: Weight = 175.2; Coinage = $1.26, 41 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 2; Ground Scores = 2; Best coinage find = a fence find consisting of one quarter and two pennies. Tip: I have found that people throw coins away, usually pennies, especially along the fences that separate the drive throughs of fast food franchises from establishments next door. So, when I check drive throughs, I look especially closely next to the fences as well as the areas near the pay windows. This morning the MoneyWalker found a quarter and two pennies along the fence of a Burger King drive through.

Feature Entry: Interactive statistics and weight loss

The MoneyWalkers just returned from a five-day mini vacation to the beaches of Destin, FL with three other couples—great friends. We have been taking this twice yearly trip for several years. We all met years ago at the University of New Orleans’ Faculty Women’s Club. Five of us are professors and all are teachers, three from public schools. Although representing different disciplines, our long friendship is due in part to a respective appreciation of statistics.

At Destin, the women enjoy shopping and the men hang out, take walks, philosophy, and read. Two of us enjoy checking out the thrift stores for used books and brick-a-brac treasures (the MoneyWalker collects small ducks, small boats, and cassette tape recordings). One book from an earlier post was _Perfect Weight_ by Rubin Jordan, 2008 (Siloam Publishing). Chapter 11, “Think for Your Perfect Weight” reminded me of interactive statistics and weight loss.

The chapter featured a testimonial by Carol Green, and executive chef from South Africa. Carol, after years of dieting and sporadic exercise still found herself to be consistently 20 lbs overweigh. She finally found a third step that has brought her back to her perfect weight—to eat while relaxed: “How you receive your food is important. Make every meal an occasion. Pray over your food. Eat calmly. Eat with joy every bite.” It was the interaction of diet, exercise, and stress management that produced the desired result.

She noted while studying to be a chef in Lyon, France that most French citizens eat hearty amounts of eggs, butter, and cream, but weren’t overweight. She noted that “French people ate their meals sitting down. They weren’t in a hurry to eat, preferring stimulating discussion and a leisurely pace with their knife and fork along with a glass of Bordeaux, even in the middle of the afternoon. No matter what they had pressing on their schedules, the French took their time whenever a meal was served.” We Americans can learn from the French. Too often, we eat on the run, wolf down our meals, and fail to appreciate the food or the time to prepare it.

In summary, it is the statistical interaction effect that might be missing from our attempt to lose weight. It is not just exercise and diet that needs our attention, but also stress free eating. Why not eat better food, sitting down, while enjoying stress-free and stimulating conversation.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Money walking as an art form


Journal Entry: Weight = 172.4; Coinage = $3.16; 71 pennies, 9 nickels, 10 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 4; Ground score = 1; Best coinage find = 2 quarters in USA Today vender.

When this hobby began two years ago, finding thirty cents was considered a good walk. Now, sometimes it seems that finding money is an art form. Photo taken recently from New York Museum of Modern Art. Don't miss it.

Found one wheat in all the pennies.

Off to see friends for a few days.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lewis Percy and the Culture of Walking Cont.


Journal Entry, October 17, 2009: Weight = 173.6; Coinage = $1.63, 53 pennies, 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass Bottles = 1; Ground Scores = 3

Journal Entry, October 18, 2009: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $2.85, 145 pennies, 2 nickels, 11 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 3; Ground scores = 6; Best coinage find = three dimes and ten pennies from a residual walk to purchase a newspaper, an eight block walk. Also my alias friend at the 17th street canal bridge is now just leaving the pennies on the embankment barrier at ground level, not throwing them down onto the concrete apron that lines the sides of the canal; 50 pennies and 1 nickel. This new behavior has happened several times lately. Also, an excellent series of dime finds were experienced during the afternoon walk, just after the Saints defeated the New York Giants.

Journal Entry, October 19, 2009: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $2.07, 57 pennies, 3 nickels, 6 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 8; Ground scores =2; Best Coinage find = a wad of change left out at the car wash.

Journal Entry, October 20, 2009: Weight = 172.4, Coinage = $.88, 18 pennies, 1 nickel, 4 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 2, Ground scores = 1; Best Coinage = a hunch find of pennies thrown against a retainer wall.

Feature Entry: More Percy Walker and the Culture of Walking

Anita Brookner’s (Booker Award winning novelist) protagonist Lewis Percy, like most of Brookner’s leads are avid walkers. What follows are a list of what Lewis thinks about or attempts to accomplish with his long walks:

1. Giving shape to emotional energy—resolution walking
2. Walking and stress management
3. The habit of regular walking
4. Places that Lewis walks
5. Walking as a way to pace living—reflective walking
6. Utility walking—to the store, the bank, the post office
7. Walking to combat sadness; boredom
8. Walking as a way to shape reality
9. Walking and joy; walking and sorrow
10. Maintaining good health
11. Walking and romance
12. Companion walks
13. Evening walks

I wonder if Lewis is a money walker? I don’t think so! In future blogs, the MoneyWalker will be exploring in more depth several of these cultural aspects of walking. But in the meantime, having found seven dollars and forty-three cents in four days of fitness walking is noteworthy and yet another way to look at the culture of walking. For the walkers that follows this blog, are there are other aspects similar to those of Lewis that guides your walking? Do you have different ones?

MoneyWalker

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Ventral striatum and money walking


Journal Entry: Coinage = $1.57, 57 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles picked up and deposited in the dumpsters = 8; Ground scores = 2, 1 nearly new t-shirt that will be washed and recycled in the MoneyWalker street-side give away program and one profressional grade 3/8” socket; Best money find = one 11 penny curb scatter followed two houses later by a two penny scatter.

Finding money this close together but apparently unrelated is called a grouping. Why is a money find of 13 cents more rewarding than the .62 cents (two quarters, one dime, and two pennies) found at the McDonald drive-through? You must ask my ventral striatum. As for me, I prefer the quarters, my ventral striatum, the brains reward center is busy during the 4+ mile urgently and intensely searching for money.

As it turns out, the ventral striatum is wired with neurons that are connected with other parts of the brain that deal with problem solving. In the MoneyWalker’s case, the problem is finding money. But there is another issue that effects the firing power of the ventral striatum—competition. When others are trying to solve the same problem and when the problem is difficult to solve, a successful coin score registers much stronger than if the coin is relatively competition free. When a problem is solved the ventral striatum is happy. (Caution, keeping the ventral striatum happy is very "addicting" and is the source of the MoneyWalker's intrinsic motivation strategy.)

Now back to the debate. Who goes walking up to McDonald drive-throughs looking for coins? Just crazy people like the MoneyWalker. On the other side, people walking along the street are always subconsciously vigilant concerning coins and money. Most people will stop, bend down, and pick up something as value-less is a modern penny; and definitely a nickel, dime, or quarter. Thus, a penny scatter along a curb will often register stronger and longer than two quarters at the drive-through as for as the ventral striatum is concerned--more competition.

At least that is my SWAG theory (scientific wild-assed guess) SWAG theory belongs to many, but one being B.B. Suran, Ph.D.. Check out his funny and informative essay.

MoneyWalker

Monday, October 12, 2009

Anorexia and the Walking Culture


Journal Entry: Weight = 174.4 Coinage = $1.17, 37 pennies, 1 nickel, 5 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass Bottles = 2; Ground Scores = 2; Best coinage find = .46 at the Mikimota restaurant and Sushi bar drive up. I regular check this money spot but rarely score. This morning’s 1 quarter, two dimes, and one penny made me forget how much I dislike sushi.

Feature Entry: Anorexia and the Walking Culture

Yesterday, the MoneyWalker stated that Barbie, now 50, was a role model for us all. In the nicest of way, The Numismatist, and Ms. MoneyWalker agrees, suggested that yours truly was misinformed and provided misleading if not dangerous advise; that Barbie was anorexic for crying out loud.

For most, turning 50 is a milestone. Looks improve for some; others keep their girlish figures or rippling abs. Still others pull together a wardrobe that expresses their personality. But it's rare to have all three - unless you're made of plastic and your name is Barbie (NYT partial quote). Born Barbara Millicent Roberts on March 9, 1959, in Willows, Wisconsin, Barbie, the 12 inch doll is the top-selling toy in the world. What say you readers? Is Barbie a worthy role model? Is she anorexic?

As for the MoneyWalker, he must recant on this issue. If Barbie influences some members of the walking culture to pursue walking in order to obtain unhealthy thinness (anorexia), then Barbie cannot be held as a role model.

According to the American Psychological Association
“The cardinal feature of anorexia is refusal to maintain body weight over a minimal normal weight for age and height. (APA, 1987, p. 65)

In their chapter of Louis Diamant’s edited book, Psychology of Sport, Exercise, and Fitness: Social and Personal Issues, 1991, J. A. Prout, R. V. Kappius, and P. S. Imm indicated that 14% of anorexic patients over-exercise and are characterized by an obsessive impersonal ego-dystonic urge to move (ego-dystonic, a person's behavior, thoughts, impulses, drives, and attitudes that are unacceptable to him or her and cause anxiety). Prout et. al. indicated that anorexic individuals that are exercise compulsive walk great distances, rarely settle, have a sense of inner restlessness, and spend their time doing vigorous physical exercises. Such exercise finally leads to exhaustion and then depression.

Our protagonist Lewis Percy often fell into this walking trap:
“As he walked along the Fulham Road his pace slackened and his euphoria…gradually ebbed away, leaving sadness and confusion in its wake.”
He also had an eating disorder.

Anorexic? Be careful out there.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Newspaper headline warnings and reminders


Journal Entry: Weight = 174.4 (Weight up, week-end company gets the MoneyWalker too often.); Coinage = $2.02, 82 pennies, 3 nickels, 8 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass Bottles = 12; Ground Scores = 2; Best coinage find = one dime on a “hunch” detour.

Feature Entry: What follows are several newspaper headlines with a few comments:

Holiday shopping season is near!” It is time to develop a firm holiday strategy for portion control. The MoneyWalker will practice his habit of first taking a beverage glass and not sit down at holiday parties. Then he will make extra efforts to mix and mingle. It is very hard to eat, talk, and hold food saucers. Also, he will avoid the cheeses and concentrate on the fruits and vegetables. Also, he will double his intention to weigh every day.

“Mattel creates a more diverse Barbie!” Yes, but she is still thin. She obviously practices portion control, eats a healthy breakfast, and regularly exercises. She is a role model for all of us.

“The best revenge!” In Joy Hirdes’s Friday Times –Picayune feature “A personal look at living well,” she featured Mandy Vicknair, a teacher’s assistant. Mandy, a grandmother dropped seventy pounds in a spin class. Mandy talks of the importance of gaining family support for losing weight: “I told my family, this is hard for me but y’all have to help.” We must be firm with our "enablers" and tell them to cool their negativie insistencies.

“High BMI can cut women’s life expectancy!” Says Maria Cheng, AP medical writer, “Being fat in middle age may slash women’s chances of making it to their golden years. For every one-point increase in their Body Mass Index, women have a 12 percent lower chance of surviving to age 70 in good health when compared to thin women.” Other studies have found the same for men.

It is early, but the MoneyWalker is developing his holiday strategy now. Can't wait to show off my six-pack abs come this January.

MoneyWalker

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Culture of Walking--Creative thinking


Journal Entry, Oct. 8, 2009: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $.86, 26 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes, 1 quarter.

Journal Entry, Oct. 9, 2009: Weight = 171.0; Coinage = $1.14, all pennies, 1 wheat, 1 asphalt; Glass bottles = 9; Ground Scores = 4; Several penny scatters and a big haul at the 17th street Canal.

Journal Entry, Oct. 10, 2009: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $1.78, 18 pennies, 3 nickels, 7 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottle = 1; Best Coinage find = bumper crop of curb finds, 24 cents residual found walking to a neighborhood garage sale. For my son-in-law, purchased the book How to Live with a Neurotic Dog.


Journal Entry, Oct. 10, 2009: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $1.78, 18 pennies, 3 nickels, 7 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottle = 1; Best Coinage find = bumper crop of curb finds, 24 cents residual found walking to a neighborhood garage sale. For my son-in-law, purchased the book How to Live with a Neurotic Dog.

Feature Entry: While reading Anita Brookner’s book Lewis Percy, the MoneyWalker was stimulated to write in the margin, “a walking culture, through the observations of Brookner and her characters.” Her characters walk early and often. On page 12, it was about shoes, about the elements, and about loneliness: “Conscious now of the dark, of the cold, and of the thin soles of his shoes, worn out with all the walking he imposed upon himself…”

To have fun, Google the expression “the culture of walking.” I especially liked this one by Bryan Appleyard a British blogger. He observed:
Nietzsche wrote somewhere that 'Only thoughts which come from walking have any value'. Nuanced and understated as ever - but he's onto something. I'm convinced there's an essential link between thought - in particular the processes that turn thought into words - and walking. And I suspect that the thoughts and language of a walking culture take different shapes from those of a sedentary culture, i.e. the one we now inhabit.


Reminder to self—it is time to buy new walking shoes. Then if I can just capture a few well shaped walking thoughts for my blogs perhaps I can get beyond these writing blocks that are beginning to plaque the MoneyWalker.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Walking Culture, a time for rumination and nobility of thought



Journal Entry: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $.69, 9 pennies, 1 dime, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 5; Best Coinage find = 64 cents in curb finds, two quarters, a dime, and four pennies. The MoneyWalker’s ventral striatum, the brain's reward region, is joy filled with all monetary finds, but finding coins along the curbs provides the most satisfaction. Two coins were especially nice, an old quarter and later an old dime; old in the sense that they had been ‘walked over’ many times and were laden with street corrosion.

Feature Entry: Anita Brookner, the winner of the prestigious UK Booker Award, has written more than twenty literary novels, all featuring lead characters that are dedicated walkers. The MoneyWalker is a big fan. The current read is Lewis Percy. Lewis, like all of her characters, battles with a hostel vortex of depression. Each chapter chronicles his “will to meaning” as a defense against being dragged under to a life of misery.

One of Lewis’s most successful strategies is his constitutional habit of taking long walks:
“Whatever the reason, he was not anxious to get home without some kind of interval rumination, some time to call his own. The idea of covering a long distance appealed to him. Gentlemen in Trollope, to whom he was devoted, even more than to his early heroes, covered vast distances and were thus able to sustain their noble thoughts. He resolved to walk home regularly, and to tell Tissy to expect him an hour later than his usual time.”

Thus, two of the benefits of those that subscribe to the culture of walking is the opportunity gained for rumination—time to reflect on serious matters of the mind; and second, to find time for noble thoughts.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Culture of Walking, Part I





Journal Entry, October 4, 2009: Coinage = $2.62. These totals represent pocket change from the MoneyWalker’s trip to Connecticut, New York, and D.C. Just over a dollar in change were found on the streets of New York City, about 80 cents in one location. It is difficult to find lost money during random virgin walks regardless of the venue.

Journal Entry, October 5, 2009: Coinage = $3.21, 121 pennies, 8 nickels, 11 dimes, 2 quarters; Bottles retrieved = 14; Ground scores = 3. Most of the coinage was found in the infamous canisters at the car wash. The plane landed at 12 noon and by 2 p.m. the MoneyWalker was walking the curbs. Two extra pounds of body fat had to be measured and reduced.

Journal Entry, October 6, 2009: Coinage = $1.35, 105 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 quarter; Glass Bottles = 4; Ground Scores = 5; Best Coinage find = a long lost quarter in an asphalt crevice. The MoneyWalker doesn’t break stride, but he always looks extra careful in the cracks and crevices. Big day at the seventeenth canal.

Feature Entry: When travelling, searching for lost coins is not a necessary motivation device. In a city like New York, the visual excitement is more than ample. It is fun to walk in the Big Apple. Move away for Times Square and the tourist and you will find that the streets are filled with “professional” walkers.

The city has a culture of walking. These folks walk fast paced and with a mission. Time is money. And walking is usually the fastest way for most destinations in that Manhattan is a compact city. There are taxis galore, but most people walk. Moreover, the visual vistas are magnificent with ample parks, interesting architecture, and culturally diverse people with their dress and personal habits. Compared to most U.S. regions there are few overweight people, nor dogs.

The next several blogs will feature other aspects of the culture of walking. Many thoughts will be taken from the British author Anita Brookner that peppers her excellent literary novels with protagonists that are avid walkers.

In the mean time it is back to the big four for the MoneyWalker—daily weighing, a heart smart breakfast, portion control menus, and a four mile zoom walk.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No cell phones, no diets, no problems


Vacation Entry: No weight, no coinage, no ground scores, no bottles retrieved, no best coinage retrieved; just loads and loads of quality time with grandchildren in Connecticut. The orange bedroom with red and white accent colors belongs to one of the three. Will be back on the air soon.

MoneyWalker

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Money Dreams

Journal Entry September 23, 2009: Weight = 172.6; Coinage = $.91, 41 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes; Ground Scores = 8; Best coinage find = two dimes found at Lowes Home Store parking lot. By parking in the farthest spot from the door, I was able to add steps for fitness and search the parking lot for coins, thus the two dimes.

Journal Entry September 24, 2009: Weight = 172.2; Coinage = $1.37, 17 pennies, 2 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 6; Ground Scores = 3; Best Coinage find = 3 quarters at a university parking lot, one with a self pay vending arm that lifts as you exit. Takes only quarters. I arrived just after a class break with heavy exiting. What is the psychology? Oophs, dropped a quarter, but with all these people behind me, let it go. Another quarter was found during a residual walk to the post office.

Feature Entry: Last night I dreamed that I found a small wad of one dollar bills at the Mid City Car Wash. This led me to Google to see how the pros interpret dreams about money. We will visit only one aspect, finding money on the street. They say: “Finding money: Realizing something valuable; gaining power; release from stress or 'down' feelings - in that we feel excited and uplift on finding money.” I say: “The MoneyWalker is spending too much time thinking about his new grossed out behavior of searching for token coins in the Mid City Car Wash vacuum cannisters.” Ms. MoneyWalker agrees.

We may be off the air for several days, visiting grandchildren out East.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Legacy of Gumption


Journal Entry: Weight = 173.4; Coinage = $ .71, 26 pennies, 2 nickels, 1 dime, 1 quarter; Glass bottles retrieved = 1; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = 2 nickel, 2 penny scatter find on a back lot parking space.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker was recently honored to have been selected to give the keynote address at the University of New Orleans Founders Day Club (formerly Louisiana State University in New Orleans). The title was The Legacy of Gumption. Gumption is a bit crude but UNO has always been the working persons’ university for the LSU System.

On this morning’s walk, I noticed a series of abandoned automobile tires scattered along a side street in a warehouse district of Mid City. A thought came to me that in the four years since Katrina we have been striving to clear debris, not add debris to our recovering city. Maybe the tires are a sign of real recovery, that we are getting back to our basic nature of being “the city that care forgot.” Anyway, the tires reminded me of my boyhood home in the high plains of Texas and my farmer-boy roots. Not that we would have ditched the tires for others to attend to, but we would have disposed of them in some creative way.

At the Founders Day meeting, a sociology colleague had indicated an interesting finding from his recent study. The so-called middle class neighborhood of Gentilly Terrace was “coming back” much slower than the more down-and-out neighborhood of Hollygrove. The though counter-intuitive came to mine before he explained his thesis. The middle class folks kept waiting for the state and federal government to come forward with their various assistance programs—Road Home money, Recovery Money, Small Business Loans. The promised money was slow in coming if at all and still they waited. Not the Hollygrove citizens. Either not believing the feds, or conditioned not to expect a bail-out, they rolled up their sleeves, gathered their friends and family members and went to work rebuilding their homes and businesses from their own resources. They had gumption, just like we farmers in Texas.

Perhaps it is gumption that drives the MoneyWalker to walk rather than to pay the high prices of fitness club membership. And maybe it is gumption that led to the realization that money can be found along the paths of the Mid City walks. And maybe it is gumption that helped the MoneyWalkers move a notch or two up the proverbial ladder of middleclass. Anyway, I suspect that fellow moneywalkers have their own rich legacy of gumption. If so, salute!

MoneyWalker

Monday, September 21, 2009

Recidivism Continuied


Journal Entry: Weight = 172.8; Coinage = $.44, 14 pennies, 4 nickels, 1 dime; Glass bottel retrievals = 3; Ground scores = 1; Best coinage find = a shiny dime on the "neutral ground" in front of my house as the walk ended. Yet another man's shirt was successfully recycled.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker’s last blog ended with this question, “Is the MoneyWalker heading back to 180 lbs, if not higher?” Is he in the full thralls of weight loss recidivism? As readers will recall, his weight losing trek began with an unacceptable weight of 180 lbs reached over a year ago. By utilizing the MoneyWalker’s four principles of weight loss/weight maintenance, he had lowered that poundage to 169.8, just 1.8 lbs from his body mass index goal of 168. But having moved into the 160s was too much for him and he slipped right back up to yesterday’s weight of 174.

First, the answers to both questions is no. He is not heading to 180 and he is not experiencing weight loss recidivism. But he has experienced what Barry Gumbine in his book Obesity calls a lapse. A lapse is a short term slip away from healthy eating and healthy activity. Gumbine placed a lapse in the middle of a four point continuum of behavior:

(a) Healthy eating/activity >> (b) Slip/lapse >> (c) Relapse >> (d) Collapse

A relapse occurs when all weight loss created by a regiment of healthy eating and physical activity is regained. The final stage is collapse and suggests that all attempts of healthy eating and activity have been discontinued and even more weight is gained away from the initial baseline.

Knowing how to successfully deal with a lapse is an important strategy for losing and maintaining weight loss. Having reached a sub-goal, people watching their weight are vulnerable to weight-control lapses that left unchecked will lead to full blown recidivism. Psychologically, the walker must overcome the temptation of taking food rewards. It is easy to rationalize food binges after successfully reaching a major weight loss goal or sub goal.

Later the MoneyWalker will talk about cognitive counseling theory and how to use psychological cueing and “self talk” to avoid allowing a lapse to become a relapse or recidivism. Understand that as social animals we will be confronted with numerous overeating episodes that can lead to lapses and relapses. What follows are a two tips to avoid serious lapses.

1) Identify and avoid high risk situations if possible.
2) If not possible, plan ahead about how you will avoid over eating.

In my case, I plan in advance to take small portions of only the food that has eye appeal. If it is a stand up affair with hor d’oures, I keep one hand occupied with a beverage. It is very difficult to eat holding a beverage glass. After the event, I go back to the basics: weigh every day, eat a healthy breakfast, take a motivated 75 minute walk, and consciously practice portion control at the next several meals.

MoneyWalker

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recidivism and Weight Gain.

Journal Entry, September 16, 2009: Weight = 171.2; Coinage = $1.86; 59 pennies, 7 nickels, 5 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved and riposted = 9; Ground Scores = 0 but an earlier man’s shirt (Claiborne designer series) was placed on the clothes horse and lasted less than 30 minutes. Best coinage find = a three coin scatter (nickel and two pennies) found in the darkness of 6 a.m. A glimmer of moon light reflected a roundness and size with just enough cues to be recognized as a coin. Next to the nickel were two pennies. This was an unexpected find and it excited the MoneyWalker’s VS, the ventral striatum, the brain’s center that emotes pleasure as a result of an accomplishment.

Journal Entry, September 19, 2009: Weight 172; Coinage = $1.49, 14 pennies, 1 nickel, 8 dimes, 2 quarters; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = 2 quarters at the bottom of the coin return tray at the drive-through car wash—very rare.

Journal Entry, September 20, 2009: Weight 174.0; Coinage = $3.21, 151 pennies, 3 nickels, 8 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 9; Ground scores = 7; Best coinage find = 5 coin scatter including one quarter and one nickel following a hunch into an isolated parking lot.

Feature Entry: It is no secret that the MoneyWalker has been in a funk recently. I think it started when Ms. MoneyWalker created a spreadsheet with prioritized and dated tasks for yours truly. I could tell she meant business. Spread sheets make me feel corned.

But it could have been my weight. After dropping below 170 and just 1.8 lbs from my goal of 168, the score BMI (body mass index) tables indicate as my upper range for my age and height, and bragging about it on this blog; I promptly zoomed right up to 174, 6 lbs overweight. Just a year ago I was hovering around 179/180. But having worked so hard to break below 170 and then regain so quickly, the question for myself using “cognitive cuing,” had I descended into recidivism, the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after having previously conquered or extinguished that behavior? In the evening of the day that I dropped below 170, at about 8 p.m., I remembered that a big piece of cheese cake was in the fridge, down it went. But still, the weight gain could have been just the random up and down fluctuations usually caused by water loss or retention?

The MoneyWalker will complete his comments about recidivism in the next blog and answer the question, is the MoneyWalker heading back to 180 lbs if not higher?

MoneyWalker

Monday, September 14, 2009

No News is Good News

Journal Entry, Sept. 13, 2009: Weight = 172.2; Coinage = $3.29, 134 pennies, 5 nickels, 12 dimes, 2 quarters; Ground scores = 9; Best coinage find = 2 quarters at the Burger King on a residual walk.

Journal Entry, Sept. 14, 2009; $.97, 57 pennies, 4 dimes; Glass bottles = 3; Ground score = 1; Best coinage find = 3 dimes at the Pop Eyes drive through.

Photo feature, all those pennies and not a single wheat. Moreover, the MoneyWalker hasn't found paper currency in weeks and weeks.

Fair readers, it was a slow news day.

MoneyWalker

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Finality and Death and Dying

Journal entry: Weight = 173.3; Coinage = $.71, 36 pennies, 1 dime, 1 quarter; Glass bottles retrieved = 2; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = a 2 coin curb scatter consisting of a quarter and a penny.

Feature entry: Some believe that “all philosophy springs from the phenomenon of death.” On my morning walk, I came upon an automobile wreck. It was raining and had been all night. A light weight SUV coming off the interstate onto one of my walking streets had flipped onto its top. It was surreal--no police, no on-lookers, or no ambulance was present. I feared the worse—I feared finality!

Elisabeth Kȕbler-Ross’s “On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy, and Their Own Families” opines that all of us should make it a habit to think occasionally about death and dying before we encounter it in our own life. Indeed, the foundation of most faiths is that the finality of death is a myth, that we either live on spiritual in an another state (in heaven), or that we are resurrected for this world to live in another time and place.

Still, we humans are hard-wired to seek mortality, or at least to live as long and as well as we can. That is one of the primary motivating factors driving the MoneyWalker’s continuing habit of a constitutional walk. Death comes in many forms, sometimes expectedly during a terminal illness or sometimes unexpectedly from an accident.

The three leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Other leading causes include chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, and suicide. Research is clear, an active exercise program coupled with a balanced low-fat low caloric diet can forestall death and extend the quality of life.

As for the accident, it remains a mystery. Upon arrival to the scene, there were no passengers or driver in the car or in the nearby asphalt and green spaces. Soon a nurse stopped, then another samaritan, and finally we heard a firetruck coming. Assuming the authorities were in control and not seeing anyone injured or worse, there was nothing to do but to walk away and deal with my reflections of …finality.

MoneyWalker

Friday, September 11, 2009

Movie Review: Julie and Julia

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.2; Coinage = $1.80, 70 pennies, 4 nickels, 9 dimes; Glass bottles = 8; Best coinage find = a dime and penny at Rally’s Burger parking lot.

Journal Entry: Movie Review: Julie and Julia, a dramatic comedy about the life of Julia Childs starring Meryl Streep. Caution, watching this terrific movie will add five pounds to your waist line by just watching the delicious food coming out of the oven. The Julie part was very funny and moving as Amy Adams cooked and blogged her way in and then out and then back into her marriage. Amy portrayed the rewards and the difficulty of preparing a daily blog. Trust the MoneyWalker, for all of us that enjoy food, a wholesome funny movie, and the trials and tribulations of the blogging game, you will want to see this dramatic comedy.

I am buying Ms MoneyWalker the book,"Mastering the Art of French Cooking."

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

KFC –It must have been “Finger Licking Good”

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.2; Coinage = $1.91; 96 pennies, 2 nickels, 1 dime, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 7; Ground score = 1; Best coinage find = .93 in a KFC drive up, 3 quarters, a dime, a nickel, and 3 pennies.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker found an unusually large amount of change in the local KFC drive through. It made me thing of their tag line “finger licking good.” But what about the calories? Not too bad: Drumstick = 110, breast = 140, fries = 294, biscuit = 74; and coke = 139 or about 750 calories for a two piece with fries, biscuit and a coke. Cut the fries and drink water and the meal comes in at a rather decent 325 calories. Also, congratulations to KFC and their new policy of posting the calorie count of their menu within their KFC outlets.

All that, but I still can’t get past the image of the customer’s Pavlovian response in anticipation of that chicken so that total focus is lost on anything else including the retrieval of all that change.

MoneyWalker

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Brad Pitt for Mayor!



Journal Entry, September 7, 2009: Coinage = $1.11, 31 pennies, 4 nickels, 6 dimes; Glass bottles = 9; Ground scores =6; Best coinage find = a well tanned dime from a heavily walked curb.

Journal Entry, September 8, 2009: Coinage = $3.03, 98 pennies, 4 nickels, 11 dimes, 3 quarters (yes these finds reflect an early morning raid of the vacuum cannisters of the local car wash); Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 2; Best coinage find = a nickel and 3 pennies in the curb in front of a coffee shop featuring the likeness of Brad Pitt (see photo above), also a dime was found in the Times Picayune vending machine at the building.

Feature Entry: Brad Pitt for Mayor!, he has my vote. Brad and Angelina Pitt are among the many national personalities that have given their time, money, and energy for the rebuilding of New Orleans. Among their worthy contributions is the rebuilding of the Upper Ninth Ward, the so-call “Musicians Village.” With their leadership, many of the City's musical treasures, the musicians, were able to return to New Orleans and rekindle the French Quarter music scene. This multi-sponsored Habitat for Humanity project has attracted many volunteers including the MoneyWalkers.

Just down our street is Warren Easton High School. This public and chartered high school is the recipient of thousands of dollars contributed by Sandra Bullock. The Moneywalker’s famous car wash is just five blocks away.

Perhaps more important to the recovery of New Orleans are the thousands of college students, high school students, church groups, and general population that continue to flock to the city and volunteer their vacation time for the recovery effort. One Idaho high school group totally “gutted” one of my properties two years ago.

Brad, you are a symbol of the great good will that we have experience from all parts of the U.S. and abroad. Thank you!

MoneyWalker

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creating a Living Trust Fund



Journal Entry, Sept. 3, 2009: Weight = 172.8; Coinage = $1.60; 135 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes; Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 9; Best coinage find = 135 pennies in three stacks on a bridge guard (I have no idea)

Journal Entry, Sept. 4, 2009: Weight = 173.2; Coinage = $1.75, 60 pennies, six nickels, six dimes; Glass bottles = 8; Ground score = 1; Best coinage = the six dimes, six nickels, and 49 pennies found at the car wash.

Feature Entry: Ms MoneyWalker is putting forward convincing evidence for changing our will to something called a “living trust.” We have read that the heirs of our modest estate will save much time and expense in not having to go through probate. However, I’m banking on my walking regiment to forestall the need for such a document for many years.

One problem is the upfront time required to dutifully and accurately record each and every item for the Living Trust. The question is, just which ones of my children will be the proud owners of all my Ground Scores such as the ones featured above.

MoneyWalker

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Patience and Confidence

Journal Entry, Sept. 1, 2009: Weight = 171.8; Coinage = $1.18, 18 pennies, 3 nickels, 1 dime, 3 quarters; Bottles = 3; Ground Scores = 4; Best coinage find = one lonely nickel in an asphalt crater in the middle of a street crossing.

Journal Entry, September 2, 2009: Weight = 172.6; Coinage = $.82, 42 pennies, 4 dimes; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 3; Best coinage find = a dime in a gas bay at a service station.

Feature Entry: Those that study health and fitness usually include a spiritual component. This past Sunday, the MoneyWalker attended a Bible study with a theme of confidence and patience. The text for the message was James 5, verse 7: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.”
The text has two important messages for moneywalkers. First, when the goal is to lose weight, be patient with time. Don’t fall for the quick promises of diets featured on glossy front covers of magazines at the grocery line. Plan to lose one or two pounds a month with a slow but reliable reduction of caloric intake and an increase in aerobic exercise. Second, carry yourself with confidence knowing that you can and will be successful.

As for the Spiritual component, believe in something larger than yourself. For me, it is faith in a supreme being. For others it might be a secular belief. What is important is to avoid a vacuum of belief in which you take on the world without anyone but yourself. Boredom, depression, loneliness, disillusionment, and often poor health including poor eating habits are usually the result. Be patient, be confident and you will lose weight.

MoneyWalker

Monday, August 31, 2009

Katrina Remembered

Journal Entry, August 31, 2009: Weight = 169.8, Coinage = $3.29, 129 pennies, 8 nickels, 6 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 8, 2 broken; Ground scores = 8, one recyclable shirt; Best money find = 29 cents including 1 nickel and 24 pennies. Recycled a box full of baby clothes discarded after a week-end garage sale in the neighborhood. Also, the MoneyWalker has finally dropped below the 170 lb threshold.

Journal Entry, August 30, 2009: Weight = 170.8; Coinage = $ 1.55, 15 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters.

Journal Entry, August 29, 2009: Weight = 171.6; Coinage = $ 3.67, 150 pennies, 7 nickels, 9 dimes, 6 quarters. Note, the high coinage on Aug. 29 and Aug 31 is a direct result of refining how a local car wash vacuum is searched. Received a letter from the New Orleans Friendship House for battered women and their children acknowledging $210.89 donation from the MoneyWalker, all from change and a few bills found during money walks.

Feature Entry: During Saturday’s morning walk, a large contingency of police, firefighters, and media representatives were spotted preparing for a 9 a.m. 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina commemorative. To memorialize the loss of lives, a commemorative park has been created in Paupers Field, the final resting home of 108 unidentified bodies left in Katrina’s wake. More than 1000 New Orleans people drown in the flood.

The service was filled with moving prayers, lively music, and stirring speeches by our city, state, and federal leaders. It was a moving experience and tears flowed unashamedly from the MoneyWalkers. It is interesting to note that these homeless troubled souls provided a great contribution to the rich culture of our historic city as a result of their death—a must see commemorative park at the foot of Canal Street. The park, designed in the shape of the massive storm, will remind the world of the fragileness of our great treasures including the fragileness of the greatest of treasures, the person human.



The MoneyWalker

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sugar, Sugar--Remembering the Archies

Journal Entry Wednesday, August 26, 2009: Weight = 171.6; Coinage = $1.45, 30 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 dime, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 11; Ground Score = 3; Recycled shirts = 2.
Jounral Entry Friday, August 28, 2009: Coinage = $1.55; 15 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 8; Ground Scoes = 3; Best coinage find = 2 quarters and one penny found in a discarded travel case. There is was on the curb, a partially unzipped suitcase, obviously discarded. A quick peek inside revealed the change.

Feature Entry: Remembering the Archies:
Ah sugar, ah honey honey
you are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you
Oh honey honey, sugar sugar..............
You are my candy girl


While checking the drive through at McDonalds, the loudspeaker asked, “How many sugars and cremes with your coffee? I wanted to answer for the driver, “None thank you!” The American Heart Association (AHA) are social marketing experts and they have helped us avoid over consuming the two bad fats: Saturated fat found in fatty meat, ice cream, and butter; and, Trans fat, those immoral fats found in cookies, crackers, French fries, and donuts. Concurrently, they have taught us to eat the good fats like olive oil, legumes, and nuts. These champions help keep our arteries pliable and elastic while the Trans fats harden them.

Now they have added another mantra. In addition to “keep it fat-free,” they now remind us that “It’s the sugar stupid!” It was time AHA, until now you folks have been noticeably timid regarding sugar intake. About your only advice has been to “minimize” our intake of beverages and foods with added sugars.

The MoneyWalker is happy to report the change. Yes, the AHA has declared war on sugar. They now recommend that women should not consume more than 100 calories, about six teaspoons a day, men no more than 8 or 9 packs. To put that number in perspective, 2004 data indicate that Americans consumed 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, essentially 350 calories from sugar along. Most think that we have increased the intake in 2009.

Sugar is everywhere, not just in our coffee. Soft drinks and other sugar sweetened drinks are the main sources. Many whole grain breakfast cereals are high in sugar. Fat-free frozen yogurt is an enemy. Cereal bars are the enemy. Low-fat cookies are the enemy. And watch out for these Trojan horses: honey, brown sugar, raw sugar, tubinado, molasses, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.

How bad is just one 20-ounce non-diet soft drink? A = 100 calories, B = 150 calories, C = 200 calories, D = 250 calories. The answer D, 250 calories in just one innocent soft drink; that is 21 packs of sugar. One Big Gulp wipes out an entire one hour fitness walk.

Folks it’s time to join the MoneyWalker and declare war on sugar. Say no to the Archies and all that sugar.

"More coffee?"
"Yes please!"
"Sugar? Creme?"
"No thank you!"


MoneyWalker