Monday, March 29, 2010

Cancer Prevention and Walking

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.6 lbs. ( a typical week-end increase, we should all watch more carefully our week-end consumption of unfriendly foods and beverages); Coinage = $1.81, 46 pennies (one wheat), 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles = 1; Ground scores = 6; Best coinage finds = three different curb quarters, what fun.

Feature Entry: Cancer Prevention and Walking

The MoneyWalker is a two-time cancer survivor, one non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the other Prostate. Friends were amazed how quickly I recovered from both treatment bouts. Truth is, I was in great physical shape previous to both cancers. Seven years out on the former and two years on the latter, I am reported to be cancer free.

In the last post concerning the culture of walking and Anthony Trollope, the writing master talked about walking up to an old deserted Irish house that had been victimized by “premature aging.” What an apt metaphor for those of us that have been are now currently ravaged by cancer.

Can walking help prevent the occurrence of cancer? With my own negative case studies aside, in a pilot study, researchers at the University of Bristol of the United Kingdom have reported that moderate exercise such as walking, if conducted three or more times a week, may reduce cancer risk for several prevalent forms of the disease. In 37 out of 51 subjects, regular exercise cut the risk of colon cancer by 40 to 50 per cent; 30 percent reduction in breast cancer risk was reported; and 40% for lung cancer. Concerning breast cancer, the benefits are greater for post-menopausal women. Also there was no reported benefit of moderate exercise to reduce the risk of rectal cancer.

The researchers also found that exercise can help people recover from cancer and reduce the fatigue that accompanies many of the cancer treatments. Exercise also was found to improve the mood of recovering cancer victims. Although these are very preliminary data and much more research is necessary, their results are promising.

Biologists and chemists tell us that without premature decay, all humans should live to be 120 years. I don’t know if I want to live that long, at my current age, the MoneyWalker would welcome another 30 + healthy years on this fair earth, that is as long as Ms. MoneyWalker was along to share the benefits.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Glorious Culture Walk

Journal Entry March 27, 2010:Coinage = $3.42, 172 pennies, 7 nickels, 11 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles spotted, bent for, carried and canned = 17; Ground scores = 9; Favorite coinage finds = several curb scatters found during “detours”.

Journal Entry 3/28/10: Weight = 171.0lbs (still in quest of those elusive 160s); Coinage = $4.29 171 pennies (one wheat), 4 nickels, 13 dimes, 4 quarters (all the money spots delivered); Glass bottles = 16; Ground scores = 11.

Feature Entry: The Glorious Culture Walk

The MoneyWalker is usually so focused on spotting coins that he is oblivious to one of the glorious aspects of walking—participating in and observing the culture of our place, in my case the great neighborhoods of Mid-City New Orleans. This past Saturday provided a rare late afternoon walk. Suddenly breaking through was the unmistakable percussion of New Orleans Jazz. The sound was too poignant to be ignored. It was a porch wedding reception in one of the gorgeous homes of New Orleans. The men in their tuxedos, the women dressed to the nines in their wedding spring-inspired gowns, azaleas in full bloom, the beaming groom, the radiant bride all combined to tempt the MoneyWalker to stop and crash the party.

Anthony Trollope’s great Victorian fiction stories defined a different culture walk, the walk of discovery. From the MacDermots of BallyCloran, Chapter One “Ballycloran House as First Seen by the Author), page one, Trollope defined a similar house that had fallen on bad times:
“Now, in such a situation, to take a walk is all the brightest man can do, and the dullest always does the same. There is a find of gratification in seeing what one has never seen before, be it ever so little worth seeing; and the gratification is the greater if the chances be that one will never see it again. Now Drumsna stands on a bend in the Shannon; the street leads down to a bridge, passing over which one finds oneself in the Count Roscommon; and the road runs by the well-wooded demesne of Sir G..; moreover there is a beautiful little hill from the demesne, river, bridge, and village can all be seen; and what farther agreements than these could be wanted to make a pretty walk? …. Presently the fragments of a bridge present themselves…About thirty feet from the gap a tall fir had half fallen, and lay across the road, so that a man should stoop to walk under it. … Well, I walked up the deserted avenue, and very shortly found myself in front of the house. Oh, what a picture of misery, .. of premature decay.”

Trollope crept in, nearly fell into the wine cellar through rotted first floor timbers, and then marveled on the long ago spender that had given away to the harsh elements of nature. Such had been the case of the Mid-City mansion some years earlier before someone with deep pockets and perseverance restored the wedding site to its former splendor.

Then, as well as now, the walker is favored that allows him or herself to be invigorated by the culture that provides backdrops for the daily walk. All of our neighborhoods provide amazing sights, sounds, smells, and vistas, all edited by the people, the best feature of all. We MoneyWalkers must be careful not to lose sight of our own personal savannah—the glorious culture of our neighborhood.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Trip to the Bank with a Bag of Coins

Journal Entry 3/23/10: Weight = 170.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.25, 50 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter.

Journal Entry 3/24/10: Weight = 170.6 lbs; Coinage = $3.53, 63 pennies, 8 nickels, 10 dimes, 6 quarters.

Journal Entry 3/25/10: Weight = 171.6 lbs; Coinage = $2.44, 59 pennies, 9 nickels, 9 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 9; Ground scores = 5; Best coinage find = a gas pump coin, a quarter. Caution, there are coin finds to be found in the gas station pump drive-thrus, but the drivers are not pedestrian friendly. Also, the practice of looking for coins at gas drive-thrus warrants a high stealth alert. Some attendants have been instructed to discourage non drivers from walking in the areas.

Feature Entry: A Trip to the Bank with a Bag of Coins

The MoneyWalker knew that it was time, time to go to the bank with a bag full of found coins. He had gone earlier in the week, but the coin counting machine was “broken.” “Broken?” I said, “Well not really broken, it just isn’t counting correctly,” she said. So much for my default feeling of machine fidelity. How troubling that all those found coins, carefully cleaned and straightened, and then lugged to the bank might not be counted correctly.

But in went the coins. Clingedy, clingedy, clingedy went the machine as the coins tumbled in. It was a very satisfying sound and the entire process very reinforcing. The machine gives a print-out of totals with frequency distribution by coin denomination. A month of walking yielded $51.15 and a total of 2,070 coins. And who was the king of coins, the denomination that yielded the highest net value of the five denominations—penny, nickel, dime, quarter, coin dollar? And the winner was the lowly penny yielding 35% ($17.35) of the $51.15 or 1735 coins. Next was the shiny dime yielding 32% ($16.60) or 166 coins. Third was the king of coins, the quarter yielding 20% ($10.25) or 41 quarters. Finally, the new dollar coin accounting for 2% of the total from one coin. But here is the concern, recall the repaired coin counter and fidelity—there were no one dollar coins in my cache. Also, these data are skewed. On several occasions, I have used the collected coins to make change from paper dollars. Now that I am using descriptive statistics for the coin finds, future reports will account for the times change are extracted.

Two thousand and seventy coins and one month of walking, a surprisingly high number when you do the frequencies. Also, all found money is donated to the Baptist Friendship House, a Christian ministry for battered women and their children.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Incorporating Walking into Everyday Life

Journal Entry 3/20/10: Weight = 170.4 lbs.; Coinage = $.50, 10 pennies, 4 dimes; Glass bottles = 17; Ground Scores = 8.

Journal Entry 3/21/10: Weight = 171.4 lbs; Coinage = $4.04, 99 pennies, 10 nickels, 8 dimes, 7 quarters; ( one super find, 2 quarters, 1 nickel, 2 pennies in a curb scatter); Glass bottles = 16; Ground scores = 5.

Journal Entry 3/22/10: Weight = 172.6 lbs; Coinage = $ 1.59, 39 pennies, 2 nickels, 6 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 4; Ground Scores = 6.

Journal Entry 3/23/10: Weight = 171.8 lbs; Coinage = $1.25, 50 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 19; Best coinage find = a quadfecta on a long range errand run, a curb dime at the doctors park, a nickel find in the candy machine return at the hospital, a quarter find at the service station’s air station, and two pennies at the hardware parking lot. Money is everywhere looks if one looks carefully

Feature Entry: Incorporating Walking into Everyday Life

The 3/23/10 journal entry that describes how the MoneyWalker found $.42 on one run of daily chores led me to consider how to find natural and interesting ways to increase the number of steps taken each day. My goal is take 12,000 steps daily, the number derived by exercise physiologists as the amount required to keep weight at or near the recommended Body Mass Index.

The MoneyWalker follows three strategies to reach the 12,000 step goal—daily 90 minute fitness walk, residual green walks that involve walking to complete chores near my home in Mid City New Orleans, and Parking-lot walks (instead of parking as close to the destination as possible, I park as far from the desitnation as possible) when a destination is beyond the logic of a residual walk. The motivation for incorporating this much walking into my everyday lifestyle is multifaceted. Two important hinges drive the behaviors. First, is the desire to stay physically fit and avoid weight gain. These are both intrinsic motives and lack the power to sustain the 12,000 step behavior. The second hinge is extrinsic and involves a “bizarre” habit of searching for money while performing the exercise. Past blogs have defined how the brain’s pleasure center, the ventral striatum, seems to be hardwired to demonstrate pleasure when a lost coin or paper currency is found. Moreover, the pleasure derived from finding coins is highly reinforcing. The link to walking is obvious, the more you walk, the more money you find.

But is there that much money out there to be found? One estimate is that people in the U.S. lose $300,000 every day. Finding money is a learned skill. When the MoneyWalker started, his average was about .25 cents for a one hour walk. Now his daily walk, although now a 90 minute walk, yields more than $1.50 a walk.

Later we will reinforce many other benefits from incorporating walking into your everyday life including fitness, weight management, prevention of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and more personal joy and tranquility. Also, we will more fully discuss specific ways that each of us can find the time and the will to complete the walks.


Friday, March 19, 2010

A St Patrick’s Day Walk and a Katrina Site Revisited

Journal Entry 3/17/10: Coinage = $1.21, 36 pennies, 2 dimes, 3 quarters (one super find [.50 or more]); Glass bottles = 6, Ground Scores =3. Best coinage find = 2 quarters in a newspaper machine.

Journal Entry 3/18/10: weight = 171.2; Coinage = $1.83, 78 pennies (1 wheat), 6 nickels, 5 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 4; ground scores = 3. Best Coinage = a quarter curb fine.

Journal Entry 3/19/10: Weight = 172.0 lbs; Coinage = $3.33, 108 pennies, 6 nickels, 12 dimes, 3 quarters; Ground scores = 4 including a sack of discarded washed jeans and shirts; Best coinage = a four penny curb scatter.

Feature Entry: A St Patrick’s Day Walk and a Katrina Site Revisited

St Patrick’s Day has come and gone, for the MoneyWalker it provided an excuse to walk to Finn O’Cool’s Irish Bar and Grill in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. New Orleans may be the epicenter of St Patrick’s Day celebration, much more so than in Ireland. About all the Irish do is serve a special potato pan cakes. I know, I’ve been there on St Patrick’s Day.

We will call the walk a culture walk rather than a money walk or even a fitness walk. Finn's provided a New Orleans spectacle of color and costume. There were hats, pantaloons, blouses, belts and every accessory that have ever been worn by the celebrating Irish and Irish want-a-bes; all in bright hues of green. Finn was making a fortune selling Guinness.

I contrasted the scene to one from October 2005, about two months after Hurricane Katrina. Mid October was the first time after six weeks of mandatory evacuation that New Orleanans were allowed to return to check their water logged property. It was impossible to stay, there were no utilities, food, gas, or any basic services. The MoneyWalkers drove in, began gutting our home, and then drove back the 50 miles to our temporary home in Folsom, LA.

But before leaving, I walked the Mid City neighborhood to survey the damage. The city was a ghost town—no cars, lights, people, just the erry sound of silence. And then unbelievably, there on Banks Street was this sign:

Finn O’Cool’s Bar

Open for Business


With his gas generator blaring and double front doors wide open, Finn O’Cool was open for business. He was one of the few non-flooded businesses to re-open, certainly in Mid-City. What a contrast to my walk of this Wednesday, these four and one-half years later. No one can use the word "brilliant" in just the right way as the Brits and the Irish.

Finn O’Cool, this Guinness is for you!! Indeed your sign captured the recovery spirit that has defined New Orleans' great come back


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Walking and Cognitive Health

Journal Entry: Weight = 170.8 lbs.; Coinage = $2.91, 96 pennies, 8 nickels, 8 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved emptied and placed in a container = 5; Ground Scores = 3; Best coinage find = a curb quarter walking back from a St. Patrick Day Parade (New Orleans has a parade for everything.)

Feature Entry: Walking and Cognitive Health

It has been long known that a systematic regular walking program is good for the health and proper physical functioning of the bodily processes. But can walking actually help the brain perform better for cognitive functions? Apparently so according to C.H. Hillman et al in the 2009 March 31 edition of Neuroscience (Vol 159 (3), pp 1044-54). Using ten year old students walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes at 60% of their maximum work capacity, subjects experienced an “exercise induced” change in performance on an “attention demanding” reading task. Loftin and Eason (1988) found similar results with college adults on a math task; and, Diamond (2009) with various cognitive tasks with older adults.

With the children, the authors concluded that a moderate acute exercise walking program is a contributing factor for increasing attention for cognitive functions by affecting specific underlying brain processes. In this sense, acute means that the brain works better just after exercise because no one knows how long the effect lasts. They define the stimulation provided by walking as being a major contributor to what they call positive “cognitive health.”

Cognitive health is a hot issue in the neuroscience journals and in the popular media. People are living much longer and a healthy brain is imperative for quality of life. Ann McIlroy, writing for the Toronto Globe and Mail quotes scientists that define in lay terms how acute exercise assists the brain processors to work more efficiently. One, exercise induces activation helps the brain to pay attention to what we are doing and to get the job done. Second, after exercise, the brain has greater ability to help us focus and avoid distractions. Third, being in the acute exercise state helps the brain helps us to subdue inappropriate impulses. And fourth, the exercise helps the brain to mentally manipulate information needed to solve a problem or complete a task.

One explanation is that walking helps to warm up the brains circuits, especially in the prefrontal cortex, the region that some call the CEO of the brain. Given that the prefrontal cortex is heavily innervated with both motor and cognitive neurons, by stimulating the motor neurons through cardiovascular exercise, we are priming the cortex so that cerebral systems are more completely engaged.

Move over Sudoku, serious literature, computer mind games, crossword puzzles, and blogging; make room for the daily walk as a major preventive of senility and a complete ally for cognitive health both now and throughout the lifespan.


Note: special thanks to Bill Yates, a Tulsa, Oklahoma physician for his excellent blog that frequently features articles about neuroscience.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Walking and Being in a Funk

Journal Entry March 10, 2010: Weight = 172.8 lbs; Coinage = $.73; Best coinage find = a five penny curb dump.

Journal Entry March 11, 2010: Coinage = $.91, 51 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes; Glass bottles retrieve = 4; Ground scores = 6.

Journal Entry March 13: Weight = 171.0 Lbs. (water loss from hard gardening project, not real fat loss); Coinage = $1.37, 52 pennies, 4 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 12 (yuk!); Ground scores = 2.

Feature Entry: Walking and Being in a Funk

Yesterday, the MoneyWalker did not take a walk. He was in a funk. It wasn’t his back or his ankle, or even his tooth extraction from two days ago. It wasn’t the national political backbiting or the rampant corruption of our local politicians; nor was it caused by a fight with Ms. MoneyWalker. It wasn’t from going off of antidepressants because he doesn’t take them or any other medication. It wasn’t from playing too many games of FreeCell or Solitary even though I spend far too much time with these mindless time wasters.

It was from being scolded by a window warden at the local Burger King. The guy came from inside and screamed at me in the parking lot. O.K, O.K…. I get it, you want the pitiful dribble of dropped change. Who wants to “damage” others with your own behavior? It made me feel corrupt.

Suddenly, I didn’t want to walk anymore, and scrunching around for street pennies made no sense. It had lost its motivation. And blogging, who needs it or worse, who reads it? Tireless searches for inspiration and novelty and relevance of message just didn’t seem worthwhile. And I didn’t weight or eat a healthy breakfast either; and I pigged out for three evening meals in a row with each featuring a big helping of desert.

In her blog the Happiness Project, author Gretchen Rubin talks about the “arrival fallacy,” the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. Well I’m a very successful at finding money while walking and conversely maintaining an enviable waist line in the process. Then why am I in a funk. I told Ms. MoneyWalker about my woes and she said that she was in a funk herself. What? Ms. MoneyWalker in a funk? Can’t be!

I blogged for information on the depression that we call a funk. I found the rantings of Dr. Virago and how she felt after gaining tenure at a Midwestern university. Quoting Dr. Virago: “I have no enthusiasm for anything I do right now, whether research, teaching, service, or blogging. I keep putting things off and then feeling them hang over my head. And what do I do instead? I Facebook. Why? Some might say it's for the instant gratification, and they're probably right. But it's also for the sheer mindless, time-wasting, numbness-inducing state it puts me in. Time slips away effortlessly when I piddle around on FB.”

She goes on about how she berates herself and then goes on a work tear without real accomplishment or satisfaction. She works to punish herself. And then she stopped running and promptly gained 20 pounds as a result. Moreover, her funk has lasted most of the semester, a really long time. She explains that after the push to gain tenure, a major goal, her post tenure goals are less clear—a sense of deflation, a sense of staleness sets in. She finished by saying that it will “take every atom of will power in my body to make it through the semester.”

This is not my first funk nor will it be the last. Jeff Bridges in his acceptance speech was euphoric, but he said that life is like bowling, it is a mixture of strikes and gutter balls.

Another Google found the writing of Joy1 with the title “Throwing Depression to the Curb.” Here is the way Joy moves past being in a funk:
1. One is I start to PRAISE the LORD as much as I can including the singing of praise music
2. Treat myself with some kindness such as taking a nap or getting her nails done, or picking up an iced coffee, or taking some extra time to read a book.
3. Do something physical such cleaning a closet or going for a bike ride, or walk just to get the endorphins moving.

So what did the MoneyWalker do to begin the process of breaking out of his funk? First, I begin weighing again and this morning I took a long money searching walk. Then, I took on the front garden by totally reworking the ground cover. My back is sore, but I can already feeling the funk slipping away.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Journal Entry March 8, 2010: Weight = 173.2 lbs; Coinage = $4.40, 165 pennies, 13 nickels, 16 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 10; Ground scores = 6 including two recyclable shirts and a neat five string guitar with just two strings missing.

Journal Entry March 9, 2010: Weight = 172.6 lbs; Coinage = $.80, 25 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 quarters; Glass bottles retrieve = 11; Ground scores = 2. Today’s coinage find included a “roller.” A roller is a coin that is dropped but then rolls a considerable distance from the original drop. Rollers can be hard to find for the person involved in the drop. The MoneyWalker looks for rollers when cars are in the queue at the burger drive thrus. I just swing wide of the thru way with a sharp focus in the area on the passenger side of the cars. This morning’s roller was a quarter. Once they're dropped, round and round and where they stop, nobody knows.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The 2009 Oscars, MoneyWalker Style

Journal Entry March 5, 2009: Weight = 171.4 lbs; Coinage = $1.43, 78 pennies, 4 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass Bottles = 3; Ground Scores = 3 which included a new electric juicer.

Journal Entry March 7, 2009: weight = 171.8 lbs; Coinage = $ 6.29 (an absolutely fabulous day for finding money) 154 pennies, 8 nickels, 21 dimes (this must be a record), 9 quarters; Glass Bottles = 9; Ground Scores = 8. Best Coinage Find = a “super find” of three quarters left in a vending coin return.

Feature Entry: The 2009 Oscars, MoneyWalker Style
Tonight is the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Such an event led the MoneyWalker to review the 150 or so MoneyWalker blogs created during the year 2009. Forty blogs passed initial screening and evaluated with a one, two, or three ranking. The highest was a one and was awarded its merit based upon reader comments, originality, creativity, and importance to the theme of walking, health, or finding money, and miscellaneous attributes. There was one judge and selected the winners with full bias and partiality.

And the winners are:
1. Best Actor: The Ventral Striatum and Money Walking, Oct 15 2009
2. Best Actress: Recidivism and Weight Gain, Sept 20
3. Best Supporting Actor: Sweet Baby James, Experiencing Flow, April 25
4. Best Supporting Actress: Four Excellent Behaviors Plus Two, March 30
5. Best Picture: Ode to the Curb, August 14
6. Best Director: Proustian Thinking, May 18
7. Best Foreign Language Film: Slum dog Millionaire and the Psychology of Money, April 5
8. Best Animated Film: Overriding Atkinson’s Law of Least Effort, April 22
9. Documentary Feature: Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory & Weight Loss, May 16
10. Adapted Screen Play: The Dopamine Release, Feb. 9
11. Original Screenplay: How to Maintain Weight Loss, January 7

The Oscars are coming on in a few minutes so must sign off. FWIIW, I didn’t like Avatar, did like “The Blind Side” and “Julie and Julia.” I was “satisfied” with the “Princess and the Frog,” Disney was very kind to New Orleans since much of it was inspired by our city. Sandra Bullock is a big friend of New Orleans and has given heavily to local charities. Got to pull for her.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Walking and Dog Bites

Journal Entry: Weight = 172.4 lbs.; Coinage = $3.43, 93 pennies ( one wheat), 10 nickels, 5 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved and placed in disposal = 14; Ground scores = 5 including two nice articles of clothing for the charity yard sale or the recycle pole; Best find = 18 pennies from a boutique car wash cleaning area, one of those places that details your car, not a drive thru.

Feature Entry: Walking and dog bites

The New York Times owns an interesting internet company called Pull up and it will list more than 750 topics of interest. NYT has experts in all of today’s popular topics such as walking, jogging, health promotion, and even how to create or improve an existing blog.

One of my favorites is Walking hosted by Wendy Bumgardner. It is a complete “guide to walking” and features walking, weight loss, training & workouts, and shoes & gear. In today’s feature she called herself a “happy walker.” She says that walking cheers her up. But some things irritate her including unleashed dogs, dangerous strangers, poisonous and irritating vines and critters; thistle weeds for example. I’m with her; there is nothing more irritating than taking a short cut only to fill my socks and warm-ups with prickling stickers. She also worries that she might sprain an ankle or twist a knee. Yikes!!

Wendy’s articles are well researched and trustworthy. Occasionally she talks about finding money and useful objects. In fact, she gave me the concept of “ground scores.” The MoneyWalker highly recommends her.

In the mean time, the MoneyWalker avoids unleashed dogs by changing directions and moving out of harm’s way. Occassionaly I have carried a stick to ward off menacing canines. Bumgardner reported that most people that are bitten or nipped receive bites from petting someone else’s dog that is on a leash. Dogs are often cute and coddly but they can be a problem, so be careful.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Conquering the Abyss

Journal Entry March 1, 2010: Weight = 171.4 lbs; Coinage = $1.74, 24 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 5. Much of the change was found in an abyss and a dime was found in no man’s patch of ground followed on a hunch.

Journal Entry March 2, 2010: Weight = 171.6 lbs; Coinage = $.98, 53 pennies, 3 nickels, 3 dimes; Glass bottles retrieved = 14; Ground score = 1; Best coinage find = 11 coin “penny dump” in a street curb.

Journal Entry March 3, 2010: Weight = 171.8; Coinage = $4.15, 125 pennies, 11 nickels, 15 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottle = 1; Ground Scores = 3; Best coinage find was a quadrella grouping (finding a quarter, dime, nickel, and a penny all within one block of one another, but not a scatter.)

Feature Entry: Conquering the Abyss

These walks produced a need for several new Moneywalker terms—“coins of the abyss”, ”maverick coins”, “penny dump”,“clear shot”, and a "quadrella find". This past Sunday, two quarters, two dimes, and a few pennies were retrieved from a deep crevice between Rally’s Burger Drive Thru and the Rally’s main building. To retrieve the coins required a long yellow # 2 pencil and a slightly bent stainless steel table knife (both ground scores.) The technique was tricky and required that the coin be wedged between the bevel of the pencil and the slightly bent blade of the knife. Both the wedge and the knife bend were required to sustain a pinching posture long enough time and with enough force so that the coin could be lifted safely from the depths. The technique took several tries to learn with frequent plunges by the coins back into the abyss. But finally it was conquered.

The abyss is a good metaphor for weight gain. It is good to remember the four ways to keep off the weight--daily high fiber breakfast, weigh every day, exercise, and smart portioning of food.

On the same Sunday walk, I also found a dime in a patch of ground in the middle of nowhere—not a curb, a vending machine, a drive thru, or any logical spot. Someone must have dropped it a random way. I have found coins like these before, just random finds. I call them “maverick” coins.

While walking, I sometimes engage in self talking. Monday’s walk reminded me of a self talk observation. When I see a burger franchise drive thru wide open without one or more cars in the queue, I call the coin search opportunity a “clear shot.” For breakfast serving chains like Burger King, such opportunities are rare. I had a "clear shot" at a Burger King this morning. Then right down the street by a curb was a eleven penny pile of pennys. When people throw away pennies in a systematic pile of coins, these are not lost coins but dumped coins, thus a "penny dump."

Finally, sometimes I find four coins in a scatter or a grouping, all of a different denomination. Such an occasion occurred during this morning’s walk. The Aussies have a horse racing betting term, the quadrella. The successful better wages the order of the first four finishers. For me a "quadrella" is finding the four denominations of coins—penny, nickel, dime, and quarter in one find or in a grouping.

Ms. MoneyWalker believes, and perhaps unarguably, that the MoneyWalker is growing dangerously eccentric; being dragged further and further into the vortex of the moneywalking abyss.