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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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)


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.


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.


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.