Wednesday, January 27, 2010

President Obama set to promote money walking in his State of the Union message?

Journal entry 1/26/10: Weight = 171.4; Coinage = $2.14, 44 pennies, 5 nickels, 7 dimes, 3 quarters ($1.06 curb coins); Glass bottles = 9; Ground scores =2. Significant find = 3 different newspaper venders provide a quarter each. Phone returns with newspaper stand returns usually yield one coin per 50 attempts.

Journal entry 1/27/10: Weight = 170.4; Coinage = $3.03 (a good day for both traditional finds and vacuum canister finds. Also, two different utility walks provided $.54 cents from four different sites.) 33 pennies one wheat, 4 nickels, 5 dimes, 8 quarters.

Feature Entry: President Obama set to promote money walking in his State of the Union message.

The MoneyWalker has it on good authority that President Obama will promote savings in his 9 p.m. Eastern first-ever State of the Union address and that moneywalking will be the featured method. Unnamed sources indicate that he will plead for all Americans to not only take a daily constitutional walk as a way to salvage the hobbled health care reform (we want need the reforms because we will all be so healthy); and in anticipation of all the savings to families from finding money during the walks, he plans to shelve his plan for a three-year domestic spending freeze.

Caution however should be exercised before putting any stock in the rumor that the MoneyWalker is being feted to become the new MoneyWalking Czar.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Walking Socks, A Comparison

Journal Entry 1/24/10: Weight = 172.6 lbs; Coinage = $2.59, 64 pennies, 4 nickels, 10 dimes, 3 quarters

Journal Entry 1/25/10: Weight = 172.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.62, 22 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 5 quarters; Glass bottles = 4; Ground score = 1 ( a commerative gold New Orleans Saints Fleur de Lis medal attached to a black ribbon—go Saints!!

Feature Entry: Walking Socks, a comparison

Should walkers worry about walking socks? Yes, blisters, foot wear and tear, dry feet, fungus prevention, and foot odor are problems that can be aggravated with bad socks, and largely prevented with good socks. Walking socks can be bought as “low cut,” “ankle length” or full tube.

The MoneyWalker takes pride in being frugal. When he became a serious walker he purchased professional quality walking shoes but went to the Sams Club for his low cut walking socks, six pairs for ten dollars. Believe it or not, they were comfortable. Their problem was durability. After a few walks, the big toe came popping out. Ms MoneyWalker, a more studied shopper, came to the rescue and bought him a pair of Wigwam F 1062 White dri-release Marathon Ankle Length socks. Made of 75% polyester, 15% cotton, and 10% stretch nylon. This composition provides excellent wicking and dryness. Price, about $9.00 a pair.

Beginning to understand the value of quality walking socks, he then purchased a pair of Experia by Thorlo. At $13.99 a pair, these are the Cadillac of walking/running socks. They are composed of 66% specially engineering polyester for moisture wicking. They have an anatomically engineered “aero-dynamic” fit and are sold, like shoes, with specific sizes. Mine are 10. 5 to 11.5. Toes and heels contain extra padding for additional protection from pounding.

So what is the verdict? After walking in all kinds of conditions, both wet and dry walking, I prefer the Wigwams. Both the Experias and the Wigwams provided excellent wicking, but the Wigwams won for comfort. Still, those Sams Club walkers at a buck six bits a pair--maybe a good pair of toe nail clippers…….


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Give me five!

Journal entry: Weight = 172.8 lbs; Coinage = $8.28, 1 five dollar bill, 151 pennies (one wheat), 7 nickels, 11 dimes, 1 quarter.

Feature Entry: Give me five!

Today’s money walk was one of those high-five, give me five type of days. It started with a super find of a “penny dump” of just over 100 pennies with two dimes mixed in for good measure. And then just down the street, just resting, was a damp five dollar bill. Moreover, the coinage walk even without the five was $3.28. So give the ‘ol MoneyWalker a high-five.

Where did this ubiquitous physical gesture come from? It was not that for back. Phrases.Org indicates that it began in the college basketball conferences in the U.S. during the 1979/80 season when the University of Louisville player Derek Smith claims to have coined the term. The 80s found the gestures zenith in the 80s, became less popular in the 90s, and has rebounded in the 21st century as a major symbol of celebration and congratulation both in and outside of sport situations.

But then how can the MoneyWalker not mention the NFC Championship Game this Sunday. “Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say ‘day going beat ‘dem them “Saints?”

Whoooooo! “Give me five!, Dog”

The MoneyWalker is fired up!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Five Quarter Walk and A Selected Terminology for Money Walkers

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.98, 48 pennies (one wheat), 3 nickels, 1 dime, 5 quarters; Glass bottles = 4; Ground score = 1. Significant coinage find = five quarters in one walk, all unrelated is very unusual; one from a car wash vacuum canister, one from a car wash coin machine return, one from a newspaper vender coin return, one from the base of a pay telephone, and one from a curb scatter (one quarter, 2 nickels, 3 pennies).

Feature Entry: A Five Quarter Walk and A Selected Terminology for Money Walkers

What follows is a glossary of terms that defines where and how coins are found, the methods of how they are found, and other terms related to the process of finding money and other things of value while walking or jogging for exercise.

1. Coinage—all the money found on money walk.
2. “Curb coins”—a generic term meaning all coins found on a fitness walk except coins found in car wash vacuum canisters.
3. Curb coins—coins found along the curbs of city streets.
4. Base coins—coins found at the base of automatic machines such as pay telephones, newspaper vending machines, gate controlled pay parking lots, etc.
5. Drive-through coins—coins found at drive throughs of fast food establishments, banks and drug stores.
6. Vender coins—coins found in the coin return slots of newspaper and other types of automatic vending machines.
7. Phone coins—coins found in return slots of pay phones.
8. Canister coins—coins found in pay vacuum canisters at car washes.
9. Parking lot coins—coins found at parking lots such as grocery stores.
10. Crevice coins—coins found in cracks in asphalt and concrete surfaces.
11. Asphalt coins—embedded coins in asphalt pavement that must be “chiseled” out of the entrapment before retrieval.
12. Walk over coins—coins, usually along curbs, that have been “walked over” many times before being found.
13. Scabs—coins that have been driven over by cars and are filled with scabs and nicks or coins that have been exposed to the elements and contain evidence of corrosion.
14. Warped coins—abuse coins that are bent and must be straightened before coin counters will receive them.
15. Cross over coins—coins found while crossing from one side of the street to another and found outside of the curbed area.
16. Utility coins—coins found on walks to the grocery, bank, library, or other utilitarian purposes.
17. False positives—objects that initially look like a coin to the extent that the money walker is required to “break stride” for confirmation or rejection.
18. Wheats or wheaty—pennies that were coined between 1909 and 1959 and that feature wheat stems in the engraving.
19. International coins—coins found in the U.S. but that are from other countries.
20. Money spots—locations that repeatedly provide coinage for money walkers.
21. Hot spots—locations that repeatedly provide large amounts of money.
22. Super find—a find of $.50 or more in one location except for money found in car wash vacuum canisters and fast food drive throughs.
23. Scatter—a find of two or more coins in one location.
24. Grouping—a confined stretch of walking territory where two or more coins are found relative close together but appear to be independent losses.
25. Hunch finds—coinage found while following a hunch detour from an established walking route.
26. Passive income—any found money or money gained from selling or bartered ground scores.
27. Ground scores—items of value that have been lost or abandoned other than money.
28. Sidewalk coin--a coin found on a sidewalk.
29. Other
30. Other

Some of the above terms where borrowed from others that actively seek to find coins and other things of value while walking or jogging. The MoneyWalker invites additional terms that accurately define the kind of coins we find or the methods we use in finding them.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Walking

Journal Entry 1/18/2010: Weight = 173.4; Coinage = $1.84, 64 pennies, 4 nickels, 5 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 8; Ground scores = 2.

Journal Entry 1/19/2010: Weight = 172.4 lbs. Rest day, no walk.

Journal Entry 1/20/2010: Weight = 172.4; Coinage = $1.33, 43 pennies (one wheat), 3 nickels, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 3; Ground Scores = 2; Super Find (a new journal entry label) = 2 quarters, 2 nickels, 3 pennies in one glorious curb scatter found in the last minute of a 90 minute walk. A super find is defined as a significant find of coinage in a site other than a fast food drive through or in a car wash vacuum canister.

Feature Entry: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Walking

One of the things that distinguished Martin Luther King, Jr. was his “freedom marches” (walks) to draw attention to the cause of achieving a higher level of equality for African Americans. In New York City, a great walking city, one of their culturally societies is the NYC Discovery Walking Tours. This past week end they featured a walk titled the Martin Luther King, Jr. Walking Tour of Harlem to mark the birth of Dr. King (January 18). The tour of Harlem included stops at the Apollo Theatre, Lenox Lounge where Billie Holiday performed and the site of the NYC assassination attempt.

To learn more about the NYC Discovery Walking Tours check their web site:

As the MoneyWalker has matured into what Spirduso calls a “young” senior, he has learned to appreciate the contribution of Dr. King more and more each year.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Methods of Providing Motivation to Sustain the Daily Habit of Walking

Journal Entry 1/16/10: Weight = 172.4; Coinage = $2.05 (curb coins = $1.04, canister coins = $1.01) pennies = 75, nickels = 7, dimes = 7, quarters = 1; Glass bottles = 16; Ground scores = 6.

Journal Entry 1/17/10: Weight = 172.0; Coinage = $.51, 31 pennies, 4 nickels; Glass bottles = 5; Ground score = 3.

Feature Entry: Methods of Providing Motivation to Sustain the Daily Habit of Walking

In the last post, in a tone reeking of esoteric overstatement, we featured Charles Baudelaire and his notion of flâneur—that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it”—as one of the many reasons people site to explain their motivation for taking a walk. Google’s Blogspot product that allows individuals to easily, inexpensively, and quickly create their own personal blog request that bloggers create a “personal profile.” One of their profile questions involves learning the bloggers favorite hobbies. The number one hobby response is walking. But how many of these will actually systematically walk several days a week over the year? Probably as many that will sustain their blog throughout the year, less than 5%.

Back to the flâneu, the MoneyWalker is infatuated with the concept—walking an area to experience it. The flâneu is an elegant source of motivation to sustain interest in walking. Walking to experience the serenity of nature, the constitutional walk for good health, walking to give shape to one’s emotions, and utility walking for daily needs such as groceries have all been cited as motivational reasons used to sustain the habit of daily walking.

As for the flâneu, the MoneyWalker uses it on vacation, while visiting strange or different places, or as a change of pace for walking in his own neighborhood. But he doesn’t believe that flâneu can provide permanent motivation to sustain the habit of walking for fitness and weight management. Lost coins are recurring and in constant state of replenishment, the neighborhood is irrelevant. But what happens to a flâneu walk when the novelty of the neighborhood passes? For the MoneyWalker, the motivation also passes.

There is another motive for walking that may rival the motive of finding money as a method to sustain the regular habit of walking for exercise. In today’s Parade Magazine, dog walking was compared to gym membership and the amount of exercise each type of participant obtained weekly over a sustained period. Dog walking won hands down. Dog walkers burn much more calories week by week and month by month when compared to people that buy and utilize gym memberships.

Let’s see, picking up dog poop or sorting through the gunk found in carwash vacuum canisters—tough call! But not for me, I'm a MoneyWalker.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fantasy Interview with Will Self, Author and Walker

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.0: Coinage = $1.57, 57 pennies, 1 nickel, 7 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 5.

Feature Entry: A fantasy interview with Will Self based on an online conversation between Geoff Nicholson and Mr. Self. Both authors have written books about walking and are avid walkers. Source of the imaginary interview can be found at

MoneyWalker: Do you consider yourself a good walker?

Will Self: That is not the way I would describe my walking. As a psychogeographer I have written books about urban hikes around London some of distances up to 100 miles. So, if a good walker means that I have the stamina to walk long distances while maintaining awareness, one may suppose that I am a good walker.

MoneyWalker: In other interviews, you describe yourself as a modern flâneur. What does it mean to be a flâneur?<

Will Self: The term flâneur comes from the French masculine noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", "loafer"—which itself comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll". Charles Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur—that of "a person who walks the city in order to experience it".

MoneyWalker: As a psychogeographer as well as writer is it fair to stay that you walk in order to experience the cultural, literary and historical aspects of London and other major urban conclaves.

Will Self: Yes you may say that, but rural areas as well. Because of the term's usage and theorization by Baudelaire and numerous other thinkers in the fields you identified as well as economic, cultural, and historical fields, the idea of the flâneur has accumulated significant meaning as a referent for understanding urban phenomena and modernity.

MoneyWalker: In French Canada flâner is rarely used to describe strolling or other high minded objectives and often has a negative connotation as the term's most common usage refers to loitering.

Will Self: Well in my younger days I did quite a bit of walking while loitering, usually stoned or trying to find a source for that purpose. I can’t recommend that today for safety as well as legal exigencies.

MoneyWalker: You have said elsewhere that there are similarities between walking and sex. Can you elaborate?

Will Self: Yes, both are basic, simple, and repetitive capable of great sophistication and elaboration. Both provide sources of pleasure that can feel like hard work.

Note: The photo is the actual office of Author Will Self.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

“Happy Days Are Here Again” and Harry Reid

Journal entry 1/11/10: Weight = 172.8 lbs (sixth day in a row of weight reduction, you have to like those digit scales that weight in 1/5ths of a lb); Coinage = $.48, 13 pennies, 1 nickel, 3 dimes; Glass bottles retrieved = 11, Ground scores = 9 ( one being a cassette tape for my car collection, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on one side and Revel’s Bolero on the other).

Journal entry 1/12/10: Weight = 173.8 (weight up thanks to a “calorie in the bank” splurge); Coinage = $.33 but one wheat, 18 pennies, 1 nickel, one dime (two nice two penny curb scatters); Ground scores = 6; Glass bottles = 7

Journal entry 1/13/10: Weight = 173.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.30, 60 pennies, 4 nickels, 5 dimes; Glass bottles = 2; Ground scores = 6 (one like new Office Depot desk chair with two broken casters easily replaced from Office Depot, Ms MoneyWalker wants it if the casters are forthcoming.)

Feature Entry: “Happy Days Are Here Again” and Harry Reid

The coinage is down, but there is one piece of great news. Ms. MoneyWalker, the person that provides the moral center for this blog and all other aspects of the MoneyWalker's lifestyle and daily behavior. By moral center I mean the core set of behaviors and ethics that are all things good and true. Yesterday she shared a research article that will change my life forever.

The article, something she just blurred out without intention, provided evidence that web searching for one hour each day helps delay aspects related to dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. It seems that the active use of brain cells used during the searches helps prevent synapse deterioration and other critical brain function.

Think about it, if one hour is good, how much more good will two or even three hours a day provide. And what about Freecell, Solitaire, and Minesweeper, these games must be even better—and all now played guilt free. "Yes, dear I'll wash the car just as soon as I finish this web search of how Jay Leno's return to his regular late night spot will increase the ratings of NBC."

No her gaff will not rank with Harry Reid’s recent misspeak, or NBC's decision to take Jay into prime-time, but to borrow from the Dem’s favorite song, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”
Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again
Altogether shout it now
There’s no one
Who can doubt it now
So let’s tell the world about it now
Happy days are here again.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The MoneyWalker Cookbook

Journal Entry 1/9/10: Coinage = $1.47, 57 pennies (two wheats), 1 nickel, 6 dimes, 1 quarter; Ground scores = 4; Glass bottles = 5.

Journal Entry 1/10/10: Weight = 173.4 (4th day of continuous measured decrease); Coinage = $4.04 (both car wash locations delivered), 94 pennies, 12 nickels, 24 dimes (may be a record) 4 quarters. Of the total, 66 cents from traditional curb coins.

Feature Entry: The MoneyWalker Cookbook

Many fitness writers publish their own calorie friendly cookbook. Ah, the glorious image, The MoneyWalker’s Cookbook. But not to worry, it won’t happen. Instead expect to put up with an occasional recipe which begins with this post.

Franks and Onion Sauté (Serves One)(Less than 200 calories)


1. Two premium franks
2. One medium onion, a ground score onion if possible (see January 8, 2010 post)
3. One tablespoon of olive oil
4. One glop of yellow mustard (please, no Grey Poupon)
5. Two to four Tums


Fill a sauce pan to half level with water. Bring water to a boil and cook franks for three minutes. Set aside. When cool, cut into ¾ inch pieces. Clean onion of outer skin and coarsely chop into one inch pieces. Heat oil in a 9” skillet and add onion pieces. Cook two minutes stirring continually. Add the franks to the onions and continue sautéing until the onion and the outer skin of the franks begin to blacken. Remove from heat and transfer to plate. Add a glop of yellow mustard on the side and enjoy. Goes well with one slice of toasted 7-grain bread. Use Tums as needed.

This recipe is not recommended for date night.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Something to be Said About Going Stealth

Journal Entry: Weight = 174.2 lbs ( third loss in a row); Coinage = $.12, a nickel and seven pennies; Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 6 including a nice yellow onion that must have escaped someone’s grocery sack. Will the onion be eaten, not if Ms MoneyWalker has a say.

Feature Entry: Something to be Said About Going Stealth

This morning the chill factor was 15 degrees, a very very cold morning for New Orleans standards. Still I layered up and put in the time, but found only $.12 cents instead of the usual plus dollar finds. Finding money while walking still remains a pleasurable marvel, one of disbelief that so much money is left behind each day. But finding money is not easy, to be successful one needs all the sources of accomplishment—art, science, luck, and politics (more details later).

As for art and science, the skill of finding money, two aspects must be followed. Moneywalkers must put in the time and learn where people lose money. I use two types of walking habits in order to get in the time. First is the constitutional walk of 90 minutes every morning starting at 6:30 a.m. on most mornings. This early, the MoneyWalker usually has the streets and parking lots for his self. Then during the day, several mini walks or utility walks are added to the total. Walking to local stores and places of business rather than riding are easy examples. But even when travelling by car to a destination, I park in a remote spot and then search the lot as I come and go from the central destination. A lot of coins are found using this system.

Yet there are social and psychological costs that must be paid when using daytime coin searches. One happened yesterday. The end point was a doctor’s office. The selected parking lot was a drug store two blocks away. In using the free lot, I avoided the more convenient parking garage, earning even more "passive income" by saving the fee, and added steps to my daily total.

Then it happened. As I was checking the drug store parking lot using my zoom walking and highly focused visual scanning technique, a person right out of central casting (a street bum) asked me something about a cigarette. Feeling a little annoyed in having to break stride and visual focus but remaining civil I responded, “I don’t have any cigarettes!” He responded back, “No, what I asked was, can I give you a cigarette?” Through my embarrassment,I knew this was a gracious gesture. "Thank you, but no," I said. Yet, the irony and humor did not escape notice.

There are coins to be found during the business hours of a day, calories that can be burned, but it is not good on the ego to be perceived as a comrade by the brotherhood of the street. Shame and guilt are always very close to the surface when practicing non normative behavior. These types of scenarios happen quite a lot during day walking and assuming the posture of one searching the streets. Finding money is an art form, but there is something to be said for going stealth during the process.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Psychology of Daily Weighing

Journal Entry 01/06/10: Weight = 173.8; Coinage = $1.24, 44 pennies, 2 nickels, 7 dimes; Ground Scores = 4; Glass bottles retrieved = 11.

Journal Entry 01/07/10: Weight = 173.4; Coinage = $1.31, 31 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, and 2 quarters; Best find = a curb quarter spotted while walking to the barber shop.

Feature Entry: The Psychology of Daily Weighing

The Consumer Reports ratings of Bathroom scales is in. See the February 2010 issue. Digital models are better than Dial models and the Taylor 7506 is rated a best buy and cost about thirty bucks. I know, boring!!

Yet, the MoneyWalkers weigh every day. Ms MoneyWalker isn’t a walker but she follows the big four methods for weight loss/weight loss maintenance, e.g., daily weighing, high fiber breakfast, daily exercise, and portion control. Her exercise regiment is stair climbing for cardiovascular, dumb bells for strength, and body stretches for flexibility. She is a suave 5’ 6” 117 pounder that nearly everyone under estimates her age. (Hint: she carries a Medicare card.)

Experts and authors of fitness/weight loss books and articles usually do not recommend daily weighing. They site lack of scale accuracy, normal daily weight fluctuations (water retention), and the danger of negative reinforcement as possible reasons. The MoneyWalkers however believe that the advantages offset these potential negatives. Here are our reasons for the daily practice. Incidental, the new digital models are much more valid and reliable than the older dial models.

First, daily weighing provides instant accountability concerning food and beverage binging. We are both guilty of short periods of time when we overeat in an unrestrained way. Our digital scales are accurate within plus or minus 1 lb 87 to 100 percent of the time and provides read-outs in fifths of a pound.

Second, we find that daily weighing reinforces our daily exercise, in my case the daily walk. The scale a little up, take that walk; the scale a little down, keep up the good work. Thus, the scales provides both negative and positive reinforcement, both important for creating habit strength.

Third, some recommend that the wardrobe fit be substituted for daily weighing. But we find that daily weighing provides more transparency of the effectiveness of a continuing weight loss or weight maintenance program than wardrobe fluctuations. Actually, we use both methods.

Finally, we find that daily weighing informs the psychology of weight loss/maintenance. Binge with calories, the shadow knows. Blow off a few workouts, the shadow knows. If one is aware that the morning ritual of the scales await, it is easier to maintain fidelity to the program.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Julia Roberts and Losing Weight

Journal Entry: Weight = 173.6 lbs; Coinage and Paper Currency = $2.81, 35 pennies, 3 nickels, 8 dimes, 1 quarter, and the year’s first paper find, a one dollar bill. Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 2.

Feature Entry: Julia Roberts and losing weight

Last night the MoneyWalkers watched Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the ten year old romantic comedy Notting Hill. Julia played herself, a multi million a picture movie star while Hugh played his usual self effacing character, this time an owner of a book store in the Notting Hill of London. Julia, tired of the phoniness of Hollywood allows herself to be invited to a birthday party in a home with common friends of Hugh. After group shock ends at having a famous movie actress in their midst, the group of eight are served dinner with brownies as desert. There is one left, who will get it? A game is devised to convince all others that because of a spate of bad luck during the last year, that person should get the brownie. All told their story and Hugh declared the winner. But Julia had not had her turn. Quoting Julia, “I have been a movie star for 11 years, which means basically that I have been starving all that time in order to keep a star’s expected figure.” She was given the brownie.

As I enter the New Year and make my annual resolution to lose enough weight to satisfy the Body Mass Index tables for my age, height and weight, I thought of Julia’s comment. Is the walking, the calorie consciousness, the habitual weighing, the journal entries, and all the other things required to hold the waist line in check worth the work?

For the MoneyWalker, the answer is yes, I don’t look like Hugh Grant, but my waist size is the envy of many of my friends, and my health check-ups continue to feature ideal blood pressure and heart rate data. I can not recommend nor practice a starvation diet like Julia’s character follows, but I will continue to rely upon the MoneyWalker’s big four program for maintaining or losing lbs:

• Weigh every morning and log the weight in a journal
• Eat a nutritious low calorie breakfast
• Exercise by walking at least one hour every day
• Practice portion control when eating lunch and dinner meals

Happy New Year from the MoneyWalkers

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Minimalism and Ground Scores

Journal Entry: Weight = 175.0 lbs; Coinage = $2.87, 72 pennies, 7 nickels, 8 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles located, picked-up, and stashed = 14; Ground Scores = 6, best GS was a clear plastic ruler for my Herrenzimmer office.

Journal Entry: Minimalism and Ground Scores
Yesterday the MoneyWalker talked about the joy of ground scores. In the same blog, he reported finding 8 quarters on his fitness walk, a big money day by any standards. These quarters were found inside a carwash trash barrel, but not in a usual way. With a quick nearly causal glance, I noticed a quarter in a glass container, something that resembled a small candy bowl. Beside the bowl was an identical glass container, but broken. The spotted quarter commanded a closer inspection. The bowls had obviously been thrown away even though one contained the quarter. The close inspection paid off. Just below the glass containers were seven more quarters, a couple of dimes, a nickel or two and a few pennies. They gave the appearance of having been in one or both of the dishes prior to having been thrown away. Careful to avoid collateral damage, the coins were retrieved, but why were they thrashed?

Perhaps the car’s owner was a want-to-be minimalist, a person that feels that clutter and the pursuit of “extra stuff” robs them of their energy and causes them senseless work and stress. Minimalists are hyperkinetically concerned with burden producing excess—excess debt, excess energy, excess friendship, excess food, excess possessions. It’s easy for a minimalist to feel the weight of possessions as liabilities. Thus, a minimalist would never imitate the MoneyWalker and blog about the joys of “ground scores.”

Back to the found quarters of yesterday, a minimalist rather than seeking to accumulate seeks to always to “tidy things up a bit.” So off to the car wash, vacuum the carpets, and clean out the trunk. Without inspection, with no concern for edits, the strategy is for all junk including those awful twin candy dishes to be thrown into the trash can. The fact that they contained a cache of coins was somehow forgotten or ignored.

It has been reported that $300,000 is lost each day in the United States. If so, some of the behavior that leads to lost money must surely be linked to the notion that many people just don’t won’t to be bothered by excessive stuff in their pockets, closets, homes, offices or automobiles. Out it goes and sometimes with stow away discs in the form of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

As for Mr. MoneyWalker, he extends his thanks to the minimalists; Ms MoneyWalker on the other hand has their full sympathy.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ground Scores and Recycling

Journal Entry: Coinage 12/30/09 = $1.32; coinage 12/31/09 = $1.25; coinage 1/1/10 = $3.02; coinage 1/2/10 = $3.22; Average weight = 174.7; Total glass bottles = 19; Total Ground Scores = 16

Feature Entry: Ground Scores and Recycling

This blog entry is about “ground scores,” the non monetary things that the MoneyWalker drags home, and how this habit is good for society’s need to recycle. Wendy Bumgardner writes a professional blog for, the New York Times group of professional bloggers. Her blog is about fitness walking. It was she that provided the term ground scores and ask her readers to report some examples. CmAmy responded with this comment which framed the issue about walking and recycling:
I've been dogwalking for years at 4 am, so, yes I've found lots of coins, dollar bills, even some tens and twenties. But my best finds have all been "from the Curb". Maybe it doesn't count, as they can certainly be traced to their owners, who put them out to the trash! My favorite is a beautiful metal statue, fashionably rusted, that I call my "harvest lady" - she is wearing a sunflower styled hat and holding a rounded pumpkin dish. She looks great in my fall garden every year. I've also picked up an old scrolled wrought iron chair that only needed a bit of soldering, a farm bench, an antique bookcase, my list goes on and on. Walking is evidently great for recyclers!

The featured photo of a door handle is a recent ground score. I found it on a discarded door beside a trash dumpster. Later I retrieved the door with my pickup truck, removed the handle and lock mechanisms, and then installed them on a Katrina damaged door on the ground level entrance of my New Orleans home. Home Depot displays the same “KwikSet” unit for $129.00 dollars. Rather than end as clutter at land fill, the lockset is now a totally functioning part of the MoneyWalker’s homestead. Now a little paint and we are good to go.

By Googling “the value of recycling”, the following comment was found:
By transforming waste materials into usable resources, recycling reduces landfill and conserves resources, provides a way to manage solid waste while reducing pollution, conserving energy, creating jobs and building more competitive manufacturing industries.

Other issues included “living green,” “recyclable waste,” “rechargeable batteries,” “composting,” “electronic waste,” “cigarette butts,” “junk mail,” and “emissions.”

The MoneyWalker is not sure about how to interpret the CO2 greenhouse effect data. It may be true that the so-called greenhouse blanket in the atmosphere that keeps our planet warm is growing too thick—that we are becoming too warm. Moreover, according to some, the deforestation, automobile emissions, Freon escapes, and other emissions are radically increasing the warming process. The data, whether fact or fiction is beyond my understanding, but personal recycling is good citizenship, even if greenhouse warming is just a natural cycle in the historical pattern of climate change.