Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Winning the Calories War

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.0 lbs; Coinage = $.40, 20 pennies, 2 dimes; Glass bottles retrieved = 3; Ground Scores = 1; Best coinage find = a "walk over" coin found curbside of an "occasional street."

Feature Entry: Readers must excuse me for being a little giddy over the 173.0 weight entry. Coming back from a cruise, the MoneyWalker expected a steep weight gain, not a weight lost. Since the goal of this blog is to support those attempting to lose or maintain weight lost, a calorie chart is supplied in Wendy Bumgardner's great commercial blog. It answers the question: "How many calories will I burn for each mile that I walk?"

Using her chart, The answer for the MoneyWalker is a function of my body weight, walking speed, and distance travelled. The MoneyWalker burns about 100 calories for each mile walked. Since my walks are generally 4 miles in length and given my weight of 175, and given my pace of 4 miles per hour, each morning's walk results in a 400 calorie burn. You may chart your calorie burn using the chart on her web site. However, 100 calories per mile is a good rule of thumb.

A pound of fat equals 3500 calories. As for daily consumption, two thousand calories for women and 2,500 calories for men are considered weight neutral. A person will neither gain nor lose weight with those consumption levels. To lose 1 pound a week a person will need to expend 3500 more calories than is consumed that week, whether through increased activity or decreased eating or both.

To lose weight remember the big four: weigh and record each day; eat breakfast, take a one hour walk; and practice portion control.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

MoneyWalking in Europe

Journal Entry, May 26, 2009<: $.49. After 20 hours of flight and airport time, arrived in New Orleans with just enough time and energy for a quick walk. Found a quarter and a few pennies at the local car wash.

Journal Entry, May 27, 2009: Weight = 175.4; $1.06, 21 pennies, 3 nickels, 2 dimes, @ 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 3; Ground Scores = 1; Best Money find = 8 cents, 3 pennies and a nickel on the University of New Orleans Parking Lot while returning a book on the Czech Republic. It is late Monday afternoon and jet lag is just around the corner.

Journal Entry, May 28, 2009: Weight = 174.4; $1.04, 29 pennies (one wheat), 2 nickels, 4 dimes, @ 1 quarter; Bottles = 5; Ground Scores = 2; Best Find = a sun burned quarter in a curb near Delgado Community College. Hallelujah, the 174.4 weight was the same as departure weigh-in, no weight gain after all that eating; more about that later.

Feature Entry: The Numismatist has observed that is difficult to find money while doing vacation walks in the U.S. After spending two weeks in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, finding money is even more troublesome in these mature civilizations. Net take was 3 Euro cents, one Euro penny and one Euro two penny, all found in Nuremberg. Maybe it is because of the Euro value. These pitiful excuses for currency are so expensive relative to the dollar that no one dares lose even one of them.

Another problem is novelty. With both ancient and different architecture from New Orleans, it was difficult to focus. Yet on moneywalks, the intent was to focus on street curbs, newspaper stands, cigarette machines, and telephone booths. Nada! The cities visited supported very few newspaper dispensers but there are zillions of cigarette dispensing machines. Still none gave up a single Forint or Euro.

As for weight gain or loss, the MoneyWalker experienced a real success story. The first week of our trip was on a river cruise along the blue Danube River from Budapest to Nuremburg. We ate three great meals a day with numerous snacks and beverages. On a European river cruise, the clue to weight maintenance is moderation and restraint coupled with numerous walking excursions into the interesting cities. We also had ample free time in several of the ports-of-call. I always took a zoom walk during this period. I was able to see the "back yards" of these ancient but touristy places.

The second week comprised a rental-car excursion through the Czech Republic. Each morning I continued my habit of zoom-walking while looking for Czech Forints. Again, nada.

In terms of coinage, the Blue Danube is certainly no 17th Street Canal, but then we can’t have it all.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Journal Entry: July 10, 2009

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $.40, 30 pennies, 1 dime; Glass bottles = 3; Ground Score = 1; Best Coinage find = five pennies in a car wash bay, fifteen from the entire compound. The MoneyWalker enjoys finding pennies, but a walk is more complete when a few quarters and dimes are added to the mix. As the photo suggest, MoneyWalkers are off soon on a European get-away. Watch your calories and continue the walks


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seven Ways to Meet Your Lover

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $1.31, 36 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 7; Ground Scores = 4; Best Coinage = a dime left in a parking validation coin machine's coin return slot. These machines are replacing the traditional coin meters.

Feature Entry: Fidelity is an important family concept to the MoneyWalker, but I must confess that I am in love with walking. What follows are seven ways that you can meet up with a good walk. Walking will allow you to enjoy a few guilty eating sins while burning calories and still losing weight. What follows are seven ways to meet your lover with apologies to Paul Simon.

1. Get up early by habit—a four mile walk begun at 6 a.m. can be completed by 7 a.m. This gives the exerciser enough time for a nutritious breakfast, quality family time, and a newspaper read, and still be at work at a prescribed appropriate time.

2. Noon walking— Going out with the gang is usually a positive experience, but lunches are often not friendly to ones waist line. Noon walking alone or with a friend can burn many calories and still leave enough time for a quick lunch.

3. Car parking—People spend excessive amounts of time looking and waiting for a parking spot strategic to the front entrance of their work place. Why not reverse the practice and park several blocks or even a mile from work and walk in. In some instances we can save parking decal cost while contributing to the goal of 10,000 daily steps. Just leave home a little early. After work, the walk to the car can be used to de-stress.

4. Residual walking—The MoneyWalker talks a lot about residual walks. The first impulse for shopping and chores is to use the car. Often restaurants, the post office, library, bank, drug stores, grocery, hardware, and other destinations are an easy walk. Not using the car is green-gracious and allows you to steal calories.

5. Coffee break walking—some are lucky enough to have a several minute coffee break in the morning and afternoon. Fore go the water cooler gossip and take a five minute out, five minute back walk. You might be surprised how far you can walk in five minutes. Plus, you will not be tempted with one of those ubiquitous sugary snacks.

6. Going to meetings in a different building—many jobs are with organizations that have campus type building arrangements. If a meeting is in a building several blocks away—walk, don’t drive.

7. Vacation walking—finally the big day arrives, it is vacation. Vacations are a great time for hikes and nature trail walking. But most of all, vacations allow leisure time, a friend of the walker. Maintain your habit of an early rise and a one hour zoom—the new sights will stimulate.

Do you have other ways to meet your lover? Maestro please..

"Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
Oklahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky."

The MoneyWalker
Journal Entry, July 9, 2009: Weight = 173.0; Coinage = $1.31, 36 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 7; Ground Scores = 4; Best Coinage = a dime left in a parking validation coin machine's coin return slot. These machines are replacing the traditional coin meters.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Altruism and Found Money

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.0; Coinage = $.89; 14 pennies, 1 nic, 2 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved = 4; Ground Scores = 3; Best coinage find = two walkover coins that had been missed on repeated walks over the last several months, a dime on the ground near a paper vendor and a quarter semi buried in dirt along a curb. Good job foveal receptors! Best Ground Score = a pair of wonderful red size large woman's capris. These will be washed and recycled.

Feature Entry: Yesterday, the MoneyWalker presented $208.00 to the Baptist Friendship House of New Orleans. All but $90 was the result of finding coins and paper currency during MoneyWalking excursions over the last six months. The $90 was from the sale of china plate ware retrieved from the MoneyWalkers’ rental property flooded by Katrina. The plateware owners had abandoned the house which had received 7 feet of flood water. The plate ware somehow survived. After washing and sanitizing the china, it was sold through a consignment store. Our split was $90.

There are many worthy ways to dispense of found money and other “passive” streams of revenue. Vacation funds, gifts to family members, general family needs such as groceries, a rainy day fund, and a college fund are excellent ways to invest found and passive revenue streams. Yet, the Moneywalker has selected to give found money to a charity that ministers to battered women and their children.

The remainder of this blog entry will list reasons why philanthropy was selected as the outlet for the money. First is civic virtue—good citizens have a responsibility to help others in need.

Second is a need for individuals to contribute to a civil society that seeks to meet pressing social issues rather than to continually count on state and federal agencies.

Third, the MoneyWalker understands that giving to help others is a rich source of personal happiness. Finding a ten dollar bill brings an immediate source of satisfaction, but true happiness is found by giving to others. Thus, giving provides an “enlightened self-interest” which helps me experience an individual personal need.

And fourth, giving to others without expected reciprocity is a high form of altruism, a selfless concern for the welfare of others.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monopoly and the Americanization of Grandchildren

Journal Entry, July 6, 2009: Weight = 175.0; Coinage = $.78, 38 pennies, 3 nickels, 1 quarter; Best Coinage Find = a solo quarter on an occasional street 1 block detour.

Journal Entry, July 7, 2009: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $.67, 37 pennies, 3 dimes; Glass bottles retrieved = 14; Ground Scores = 5 including a nice soft sponge “baseball” that has been washed, sanitized and given to Jackson Lee Thompson, aged 1 year and also known as the General; Best Coin find = 15 penny throw-away scatter half way up in a drive-through of a burger joint, they seemed to have just thrown the pennies out the window on the way to the pay window. My image is of a driver and passenger counting their change in preparation of payment, dividing their change into “real” money and pennies, and then throwing the pennies out the window just before arriving at the pay window.

Feature Entry: This week-end Ms. Moneywalker and I had the pleasure of introducing our 14, 11, and 8 year old granddaughters to the American Classic game of Monopoly. They had played before, but became discouraged due to the length of the game. We played the short version where the deeds are dealt rather than bought. After shrewd trades, monopolies were created and cut-throat action began. We had to play the next night as well. A case can be made that even the accumulation of paper money has the power to stimulate the ventral striatum, the brain's satisfaction center.

What a bunch of barracudas. Wall Street, watch out!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quarters in Bloom

Journal Entry, July 5, 2009: Weight = 175.0; Coinage = $1.34, 34 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 3 quarters; Bottles = 11; Ground Scores = 7; Best coinage find(s) = three quarters, each unlikely finds. First quarter was retrieved from a grassy cut-through path, second from a curb along a street section without houses or commerce, 3rd from an equally isolated curb and nearly in the street, just outside my visual sweep. A chance glance spotted it.

Finding a quarter for the MoneyWalker is as beautiful as a flower in full bloom.


Saturday, July 4, 2009


Journal Entry: Weight = 173.8; Coinage = $.65, 25 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 dime, 1 quarter; Bottles =3; Ground Scores =2; Best Coinage Find(s) = 17 total cents on a “occasional” street, 1 dime and 7 pennies over a five block stretch. See stoop-sitting below.

Feature Entry: The New Orleans legacy of “stoop-sitting” is back. A stoop is a front porch with lots of places to sit and “hang out.” After Hurricane Katrina, Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose’s (author of One Dead in the Attic) stoop became an unofficial town hall and community center. In his neighborhood, people gathered to sing songs, talk about “how did you make out?,” have a cola or stronger, vent, solve the cities problems—it was therapy. But then the stoop has always been those things in New Orleans. The stoop is where for generations New Orleanans have clustered as friends, neighbors, and family to talk.

Yesterday, I discovered that the tradition is alive and well while walking and searching on an occasional street (a street that is neighborhood dominant rather than business dominant, and one that I take only occasionally). Rather than an early morning walk, I took an early evening venture.

What a treat! Even in the oppressive heat, it was just like it has always been. Stoop after stoop was filled with friends and families talking and sharing and venting, and eating, and…doing what they have been doing for three hundred years. After Katrina, stoop-sitting slowed for awhile, but its departure was brief. Stoop-sitting and walking, two great stress reducers.

I like walking in New Orleans! Who said that first? Was it Fats Domino?


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sound Repeating Swing

Journal Entry, July 1, 2009: Weight = 175.0; Coinage = $1.39, 114 pennies (one the new 2009 Lincoln penny), 3 nickels, 1 dime; Glass bottles retrieved = 7; Ground Scores = 1; Best coinage find = a nickel on a totally graveled road in the country woods; a miracle of vision to pull this acid-crusted nickel out of the millions of look-alike rocks.

Journal Entry, July 2, 2009: Weight = 174.4; Coinage = $1.18, 18 pennies (one wheat), 3 nickels, 6 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 3; Ground Scores = 4; Best coinage = 66 total cents at the Burger King near Delgado Community College. Had been shut out at the BK for a long time. Drive way produced 45 cents and parking lot a 3 coin scatter, 2 dimes and a penny.

Feature Entry: Finding the BK loot reminded me of a former colleague. He was an old school physical education professor, one that loved sport for sport sake; he was a great golf instructor, but couldn’t write the scientific stuff. Golf, I couldn’t do, but understood the nuances of motor learning and control. For promotion, as well as friendship, we collaborated on a methods golf piece called “A Sound Repeating Swing.”

When we learn, faulty behaviors are placed in long term memory as well as the good ones. The successful golf player develops a sound swing by suppressing the bad motor behaviors while favoring the good ones. A repeating swing implies the player can do the suppressing over and over so that he is consistent from one golf outing to the next. If it sounds easy, it isn't.

This friend died recently and the MoneyWalker had the pleasure of writing his obituary for our campus newsletter. It was titled BT, a man with a sound repeating swing. That is the way BT lived his life as well as the way he played golf—appropriate reliable behavior.

It is the same with finding money. To find the coinage the walker must put in the miles by walking the curbs, knowing the hotspots, and put in the time. Same with weight loss—weigh every day, eat breakfast, practice portion discipline, and exercise--all to form a habit that is both "sound" and "repeating."

BT, rest in peace!