Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Joy of Christmas, The Joy of Walking

Feature: The Joy of Christmas, The Joy of Walking

One of the MoneyWalker’s followers sent an off-list link to an article from the current issue of the Economist, perhaps the world’s finest news/commentary magazine. The article, “The Joy of Walking," discusses the moral, legal, and financial aspects of Walking in England, Europe, and the U.S. A few quotes follow:

• From “Song of the Open Road”, Walt Whitman wrote:
Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

• The modern traveler will approach the bridge across the river Wharfe with a different purpose. A sign at its foot heralds the start of the Dales Way, a 76-mile (122-kilometre) trek through some of the prettiest parts of England.

• The joys of walking have long inspired poets and writers. Some have spoken of the sense of freedom that comes from leaving the city behind; the delicious choices offered by forked paths that lead through deep woods or over hilltops.

• Walking seems to set the mind free for contemplation. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” The Welsh writer Lloyd Jones, who was inspired to produce his first novel by a 1,000-mile trek round his homeland, said that “The moving landscape provides an absorbing diversion which frees the mind and gives us a fresh viewpoint, and we’re most at ease with the world when we walk because everything is happening at a manageable pace.”

• Some politicians like the ability to ponder the great issues of state as they plod. William Gladstone, a Victorian prime minister and moralist, was an enthusiastic daily walker, opening a route up Mount Snowdon at the age of 83. While mired in the euro zone’s financial woes this year, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, chose to spend her summer holiday walking in the south Tyrol.

The MoneyWalker will allow the Economist’s commentary to speak for the “Joys of Walking.” He will comment on his own personal commentary on the “Joys of Christmas.”

• Sharing the food preparation with Ms. MoneyWalker on Christmas morning. Her roast turkey and pecan pie are unbelievably delicious. Ditto for her homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing, and baked sweet potatoes. I pitch in with Paul Prudhome’s great Corn Maque Choux. It takes hours of prep time, but so worth it. The cooking is amplified with ample amounts of well “seasoned” eggnog and an appropriate amount of time under the mistletoe.

• Reading the Christmas story before blessing the food to the visiting MoneyWalker clan while keeping Christ in Christmas.

• Quality time with the grandchildren and watching them play with their toys.

• Listening to our church’s great choir and musicians perform the spiritual and classical songs of the season.

And then to combine the “Joys of Walking” with the “Joys of Christmas,” he will take a long walk at twilight to burn a few Christmas calories while enjoyed the neighborhood lights and decorations; and perhaps spotting a few loose coins.

Merry Christmas everyone! Keep Walking!


Today’s Weight = ????

Today’s Money find = $1.43

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dude, Don’t Stop Walking?

Dude, Don’t Stop Walking?
‘Dude’ is one of those ubiquitous universal words currently in vogue. It is used in every possible corner of the globe, in every possible situation. “I aced my exam, Dude!” “Did you get that raise you were looking for at work, Dude?” Or, maybe it’s your nickname as in Jeff Bridge’s Dude Lebowski from the 1998 cult bowling film.

However, there are limits to its use. The Moneywalker is as engaged as the next person in the cultural life of our times including the slang that we use. Still, sometimes the “great unwashed” go too far. On a recent wedding trip to honor our nephew, Ms MoneyWalker and I checked into a 3.5 star Ft. Worth, TX hotel. After settling in, I approached the twenty-something at the front desk with a routine issue. His greeting, “How can I help you Dude?”

I wanted to reply “Did you say ‘Dude’? I’m old enough to be your grandfather, Dude!” It would have been a waste of time; I can hear his smart-back answer, “Whatever, Dude!” Way too subtle for him to understand not to use slang terms in discourse with people of older age brackets, of higher social status, or of greater responsibility. I like my daughter-in-law’s restraint. She only uses the word when she needs a pejorative put-down such as: “Dude, the line forms at the rear!”

As we approach the holidays and then New Year’s resolution time, these psycholinguistics lessons lead back to walking and weight control, how about a few “dude” reminders, but just for your own self-talk.

"Dude, have you stopped weighing?”
“Dude, is that your fourth glass of nutmeg?”
“Dude, your waist line is losing the battle!”
“Dude, don’t stop walking!”


Today’s Weight = 175.6 lbs.

Today’s coinage = $1.26

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Game Day Walking

Free lancers in the Quarter

Game Day Walking

What can regular walkers do to avoid the staleness that comes from the routine of sameness? The MoneyWalker has been walking five or six times a week for several years. Even the enjoyment that comes from finding money along the walking paths can lead to melancholy thoughts of “is that all there is?” One boredom buster is the special event walk.

Today’s walk into the New Orleans’ French Quarter qualifies. A Sunday visit to the French Quarter is always dynamic, especially on an NFL Game Day. What a treat watching Saints and Detroit Lions fans partying with their pre-game optimism.

Today’s walk was a “Nazarite Walk” meaning that is was a long disciplined walk where finding money was secondary to physical fitness and viewing the sights of the Quarter. Even without an NFL game, the 75 degree clear skies and the usual treats of the historic streets of Royal, Bourbon, Decatur, and Chartres assured the walk’s success.

Visual and auditory delights were bountiful. One photo opt was a latticed iron balcony covered with tropical vegetation and Saints paraphernalia. Royal Street was a Carnegie Hall rival with excellent musicians playing their harmonic notes for dollar tips. One nonchalant Saints fan parking his white 30 year old Lincoln Continental on Bourbon Street for no apparent reason other than to show off his “over-the-top” Saints tuxedo with black and gold shimmering sequins. There was a momentary traffic jam but no one seemed to mind. Of course the watering holes on Bourbon Street were jamming with mind numbing versions of “When the Saints go marching in.”

Game time! Can someone help me with some musical notes… ♭♮ ♯...I can faintly hear “When the Saints go Marching in" from the Super Dome.


Today’s Weight = 175.8 lbs
Today’s money find = $.44