Saturday, February 26, 2011

Journal Entries and a Super Money Find

Journal Entries: 2/15/11 to 2/26/11

Note, be sure to note super find on 2/19/11

Feb. 15: Weight = 173.4 lbs; Coinage = $.55, 25 pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 13.

Feb. 16: Wt. = 171. 8 lbs. (yea, year low weight); Coinage = $1.23, 53 pennies, 3 nickels, 3 dimes, 1 quarter; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 6.

Feb. 17: Wt. = 172.6 lbs.; Coinage = $1.42, 37 pennies, 1 nickel, 5 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 5.

Feb. 18: Wt. = 173.4 lbs; Coinage = $2.89, 89 pennies, 4 nickels, 13 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 14; Ground scores = 4.

Feb. 19: Wt. = 173.0 lbs; Coinage/bills = $35.89 (found a twenty, a five, and 3 ones in a wad along a curb side), 119 pennies, 10 nickels, 12 dimes, 20 quarters (16 in a car wash detailers trash can); Ground scores = 8.

Feb. 20: Wt. =174.4 lbs; Coinage = $.56, 31 pennies, 3 nickels, 1 dime; Glass bottles = 6; Ground scores = 5.

Feb. 21: Wt. = 174.0 lbs.; Coinage = $.87, 57 pennies, 3 dimes; Glass bottles = 2; Ground score = 2. Note, also found was a 1976 French franc.

Feb. 23: Wt. = 174.2 lbs.; Coinage = $1.67, 92 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter.

Feb. 24: Wt. = 174.0 lbs.; Coinage = $1.69, 64 pennies, 1 nickel, 5 dimes, 2 quarters.

Feb. 25: Wt. = 173.4 lbs.; Coinage = $.75, 40 pennies including one wheat, 1 nickel, 3 dimes.

Feb. 26: Wt. = 173.2 lbs.; Coinage = $1.81, 76 pennies including one wheat, 5 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 quarters; Glass bottles = 4; Ground scores = 5.

Note: the MoneyWalker submitted $120 dollars to his two charities—The New Orleans Friendship House for Battered women and their children and to the University of New Orleans Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the UNO Founders Day Club.

Happy Mardi Gras and happy money walking. Look for the next feature blog on “nested motivation” and examine your own method for staying motivated for losing and keeping off unwanted body weight through exercise.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

“Police your Diabetes"

Feature Entry: “Police your Diabetes”

Last month a very close acquaintance asked me to drive her for a first-time session with a gastro endocrinologist. It was the last in a long line of medical specialists that she had seen in the past few years. Because of type 2 diabetes she has received treatments for the following conditions:
Damage to her retina—she has lost one eye.

Damage to the kidneys—she only has 48% function and experiences serious water retention.

Damage to her nerves that control food digestion in the autonomic nervous system —she can eat very few foods and experiences chronic diarrhea.

Damage to her heart—she has atherosclerosis and has had a heart attack and received quadruple by-pass surgery.

Damage to the nerves and vascular system of her legs—she has gangrene and may lose her toes if not her feet.

I have known this fantastic lady for fifty years. Even with her many damaged bodily functions, she is mentally alert as ever. What a shame she has ignored the well known life-style causes that lead to and aggravate diabetes. As a registered nurse, she was well aware of the risks of high cholesterol, exercise avoidance, and an unhealthy diet.

We are starting to understand much more about the killing disease. Type 2 diabetes begins to develop as long as 13 years before diagnosis according to researchers reporting in Lancet, June 8, 2009. Authors of the study, “suggest that measures to stave off the disease include exercising more and eating healthier food. Practicing these habits might be more effective before this unstable period.” the authors conclude. Red wine in moderation also appears to have beneficial effects on HDL levels. Although some disagree, the authors recommended that beef consumption be limited to 3 oz. per day.

As for the cause of type 2 diabetes, Robert J Ferry, Jr. MD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, explains that Diabetes mellitus is a set of related diseases in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar (specifically, glucose) in the blood. Says Ferry,”Glucose in the blood gives you energy to perform daily activities, walk briskly, run for a bus, ride your bike, take an aerobic exercise class, and perform your day-to-day chores.”
Other important points include:

In a healthy person, the blood glucose level is regulated by several hormones, including insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a small organ between the stomach and liver. The pancreas secretes other important enzymes that help to digest food.

Insulin allows glucose to move from the blood into liver, muscle, and fat cells, where it is used for fuel.

People with diabetes either do not produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or cannot use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes), or both (which occurs with several forms of diabetes.

In diabetes, glucose in the blood cannot move into cells, so it stays in the blood. This not only harms the cells that need the glucose for fuel, but also harms certain organs and tissues exposed to the high glucose levels.

Type 2 diabetes is usually controlled with diet, weight loss, exercise, and oral medications. Pre-diabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and of heart disease or stroke. Pre-diabetes can typically be reversed without insulin or medication by losing a modest amount of weight and increasing your physical activity. This weight loss can prevent, or at least delay, the onset of type 2 diabetes.

There are alarming and somewhat ignored statistics about diabetes. About 17 million Americans, 6.2% of adults in North America, are believed to have diabetes. About one third of diabetic adults do not know they have diabetes. About 1 million new cases occur each year, and diabetes is the direct or indirect cause of at least 200,000 deaths each year.

What is worse, the incidence of diabetes is increasing rapidly. This increase is due to many factors, but the most significant are the increasing incidence of obesity and the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles.

The causes of adult diabetes are well known: high blood pressure, high blood triglyceride (fat) levels, high-fat diet, high alcohol intake, sedentary lifestyle, obesity or being overweight and genetics.

What should we walkers take away from this information? Same old excellent advice—follow a healthy diet so as to control blood sugar levels; do not smoke; and regularly exercise.

Like so many things, avoiding being a victim of diabetes and its horrible complication is in our hands, we must “police our behaviors.”


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cancers Hate a Healthy Body

Feature Blog: Cancers Hate a Healthy Body

In a recent blog, the MoneyWalker boasted that “cancers hate a healthy body!” The observation was based on my own anecdotal data in that I am a long term survivor of bouts with two different cancers—Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Prostate.

Both were discovered at Stage II, thus relatively early. The Lymphoma resulted in throat surgery to clear the base of tongue tumor from occluding breathing. Treatment required near toxic doses of chemotherapy and radiation. Friends were amazed at how quickly I returned to work and how well I looked.

Four years later and totally unrelated, prostate cancer was diagnosed. Using da Vinci robotic prostatectomy method, out went the Prostate. Again, doctors and friends expressed pleasant surprise at the speed of recovery and my high state of general health. Those remarks continue today.

But what about objective data, do exercisers have higher survival rates than non exercisers? Other than correlational studies with their inherent problems with cause and effect, few controlled studies exist.

Michael Feuerstein reported in his edited Handbook of Cancer Survivorship a 2006 Australian study which utilized 526 cases of individuals with colorectal cancer. Those who reported regular exercise prior to diagnoses had improved cancer-specific survival (73% 5-year survival) as compared to non exercisers (61% 5-year survival). Moreover, cancer-specific mortality was higher in those with higher body weight, percent body fat, and waist circumference; all factors that can be positively influenced by physical activity.

In a second study, 816 patients with Stage III colon cancer observed increases in recurrence-free survival, disease-free survival, and overall survival in association with increasing volumes of physical activity. After controlling for extraneous medical and demographic variables, those exercising 18 MET-hours per week (equivalent to one hour of brisk walking 6 days a week), had a 49% chance of reduction in risk of recurrence or death compared to those with less than 3 MET-hours per week over a three year period following surgery and chemotherapy.

Harvard School of Public Health researcher Stacey A. Kenfeld presented research indicating that getting regular exercise reduces hormones associated with causing prostate cancer. Moreover, the mortality rate for men with prostate cancer who exercise is 12 percent less than men who do not. Examples of recommended exercise include three or more hours of jogging, swimming or biking per week. Walking four hours or more also has been shown to reduce prostate cancer risk.

Using Meta analysis to analyze the literature on exercise and cancer survival rates, Margaret L. McNeely and colleagues identified 14 studies from more than 300 that met strict criteria for research and statistical design standards. Cutting through McNeely’s esoteric findings, those that exercised before, during, and after diagnoses and treatment faired better than non exercises in terms of quality of life especially in terms of fighting fatigue. Although the trends were positive, there were not statistically significant differences in survival rates between the exercisers and non exercises.

In summary, in terms of cancer, while anecdotal evidence abounds, and while a limited number of studies support claims that exercisers recover faster, survive longer, and have a higher quality of life than non-exercisers, more and tighter controlled studies are needed.

So for now, you will have to trust the MoneyWalker, “Cancers hate a healthy body!” When diagnosed, if you are in good physical shape and a regular exerciser, your body will positively respond to the required treatment faster and more completely than if you were “out-of-shape” before treatment. Moreover, you will experience fewer of the negative side effects of chemo treatment, surgery, and radiation than those that have been non-exercisers.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Journal Entries and Rationalization

Photo from Edge Hill University

Journal Entries and Rationalization

The MoneyWalker follows the blogs of several walkers including Roy Bayfield, a college professor at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, Lancashire UK. He teaches Educational marketing and Brand development. His blog, “Walking Home to 50” chronicles his walks from the Northwest of England back to his boyhood home of Brighton. Besides his witty entries, he documents his walks with excellent photographs. In his recent blog he inadvertently provided one of the banes of walking for the purpose of losing weight—rationalization to overeat:
“I stayed the night in Horsham, a chilly experience - arriving in the dark, walking around wearing every layer I had with me to find the Malt Shovel, which turned out to be as nice a pub as I have ever been to. I had a pint of Surrey Pilgrim, figuring that I had earned it by walking through that county to arrive here in Sussex.” (Emphasis added.)
Sadly, the MoneyWalker uses this excuse to overeat all too often.

Journal Entries:

Feb 10, 2011: Weight = 174.0 lbs; Coinage = $.99, 29 pennies, 2 nickels, 1 dime, 2 quarters; Glass Bottles = 1; Ground Score = 1.

Feb 11: Weight = 173.0 lbs; Coinage = $.40, 25 pennies, 1 nickel, 1 dime.

Feb 12: Weight = 172.8 lbs.; Coinage = $1.10, 35 pennies, 3 nickels, 6 dimes.

Feb 13: Weight = 173.4 lbs.; Coinage = $3.40, 100 pennies (1 wheat)(one Canadian penny), 7 nickels, 8 dimes, 5 quarters; Glass bottles = 7; Ground Scores = 2.

Feb 14: Weight = 173.6 lbs.; Coinage = $3.95, 135 pennies, 8 nickels, 12 dimes, 4 quarters; Glass Bottles = 12; Ground Scores = 3.

Remember, you aren't required to eat the whole box of Valentine candy in one setting.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Journal Entry: February 9, 2011

Journal Entry: February 9, 2011

Weight = 174.4 lbs.; Coinage = $1.02, 42 pennies, 1 dime, 2 quarters; Glass Bottles = 8; Ground Scores = 4.

Coming soon, a Feature Entry to be titled, "Cancers Hate a Healthy Body."


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Journal Entry February 8, 2011: Street Smarts

Journal Entry: Street Smarts
February 8, 2011

Weight = 175.2 lbs.; Coinage = $.83, 28 pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes, 1 qt.; Glass Bottles = 6; Ground Scores = 2.

Today’s Journal Entry is inspired by runner Kevin Castille who has formed "lofty ambitions while running ... he continues to shine while taking to the road." Times Picayune, Monday Feb. 7, 2011. Only two ground scores were brought home by the MoneyWalker as he “took the road” this morning. One was a good one. Earlier, he had found a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner at curb side because the back wheels had broken off. Otherwise this Consumer Report Best Buy ran perfectly. The ground score this morning was a pair of wheels mounted on an axle that was long enough to be fitted on the vacuum. With the wheels “repurposed” the vacuum is now ready for the forthcoming yard sale--price $5.00. Any takers?

To see the latest Feature Blog about how to practice Bricolage walking, that is finding and recycling or repurposing discarded items, check the following link:


Monday, February 7, 2011

Journal Entry 2/7/11: A Long Walk Home

Photo by Gary Aurebach

Journal Entry: A Long Walk Home

Feb. 7, 2011: Weight = 175.6 lbs; Coinage = $2.00, 30 pennies, 2 nickels, 1 dime, 6 quarters (one super find of 2 quarters found on a hunch detour); Ground Scores = 15.

One find was a hard back book by Tom Hendrix titled If the Legends Fade about the journey of Te-lah-nay, an Oklahoma "healer" and her long walk back home to her ancestral origin of northwest Alabama. Episodes from her walk will be a "feature" in a future blog. The book was in a trash bin at a car wash.

Another find was a nearly new red California Innovation Reusable Thermal Grocery Tote. Amazon sells them for $29.99 and define it as "The perfect size thermal tote to take on a picnic, camping trip or grocery store. The tote is fashionable with comfortable carry handles. Its rugged exterior construction ensures a leak proof interior. Keep ice for up to 2 days!" It was curb side waiting for the garbage truck.





Sunday, February 6, 2011

Losing Weight While Gaining Substance

Photo provided by off list follower (Jan)and a reprint of Millett's Gleanners. My take from the photo is that it represents the essence of the MoneyWalker's blog--exercising for fitness while gleanning the coins and treasures that others leave behind.

Journal Entries: Jan 16, 2010 through Feb. 6, 2011

Note: The MoneyWalker is starting a new posting practice. Starting with this post, he will write separate “journal” posts and “feature” posts. The journal posts will post current weight, coinage, glass bottles deposited in appropriate containers and off the street, and ground scores collected for recycling.

Jan. 16: Wt = 175.0 lbs; coinage = $1.66, 26 pennies, 4 nickels, 2 dimes, one dollar bill; glass bottles = 4; ground scores = 6.

Jan. 17: Wt = 175.0 lbs, coinage = $1.50, 50 pennies, 2 nickels, 4 dimes, 2 quarters; GB = 2; GS = 2.

Jan 18: wt = 176.0; coinage = $.69, 29 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 1 qt; gb = 8; gs = 2.

Jan 20: wt = 176.0; coinage = $2.28, 83 pennies, 5 nickels, 7 dimes, 2 qts; gb = 8; gs = 5.

Jan 22: wt = 176.6; coinage = $1.17, 27 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 1 qt; gb = 3; one international coin.

Jan 23: wt = 174.6 lbs; coinage = $.88, 33 pennies, 1 nickel, 5 dimes.

Jan 24: wt = 175.8; coinage = $1.16, 41 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, 1 qt; gb = 17; gs = 9.

Jan 28: wt = 174.6 lbs; Coinage = $1.34, 54 pennies, 4 nickels, 6 dimes.

Jan 29: wt = 174.6 lbs; coinage = $1.26, 26 pennies, 1 nickel, 2 dimes, 3 qts.

Jan, 30: wt = 174.4; coinage = $1.10, 35 pennies, 5 dimes, 1 qt.

Jan, 21: wt = 174.4 lbs; coinage = $1.27, 37 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 qts.

Feb 1: wt = 174.4 lbs; coinage = $.95, 48 pennies, 2 nickels, 2 dimes, 1 qt.

Feb 2: coinage = $2.25, 100 pennies 1 nickel, 7 dimes, 2 qts.

Feb 3: coinage = $1.33, 23 pennies, 2 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 qts.; gb = 14.

Feb 5: coinage = $2.36, 66 pennies, 5 nickels, 12 dimes, 1 qt; gb = 6; gs = 10.

Feb 6: wt = 175.0 lbs; coinage = $1.38, 63 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, 1 qt.; gb = 4; gs = 6.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Bricolage Walker


Feature Entry: The Bricolage Walker

Our personal history can sometimes be a chronicle of what might have been. The MoneyWalker enjoys his money theme, but he could have been the BricolageWalker. A Bricolage walker is a person that makes good use of objects that are found while walking, things that everyday folks discard or leave behind.

This somewhat esoteric word is pronounced brē’ kō-lӓzh’, and means “something made or put together using whatever materials happen to be available. Bricolage is used in diverse and interesting contexts including management theory, literature, and recycling.

M. Afzalur Rahim in his “Current Topics in Management, Vol. 12, 2007 book suggested that bricolage behavior is an important aspect of creative problem solving: ““people facing difficult and uncertain situations use whatever resources they have at hand to reach their goals.” George de Mestral (an avid walker) invented Velcro after a long walk aggravated by cockleburs stuck in his trousers. While removing the burs he noticed how their hook like properties interacted with the threads of his pants. Eureka, Velcro was invented. And the Apollo 13 astronauts used duck tape, discarded paper and other articles to patch their troubled spacecraft to rescue themselves from the troubled moon flight.

In recycling, there are community bricolages. They bring together people of all ages to discuss and learn how to re-use unwanted items. There are bricolage competitions. Designers compete to see which can create the most useful or interest object from whatever materials are at hand. The featured photo was from the Korean YEOSU-EXPO SILO Recycling Competition.

In postmodern literature the bricolage technique has resulted in a new genre which uses bits and pieces of older writing methods to produce new literary styles; stream-of-consciousness writing for example. Old tools from realism, characterization, tidy plot lines, romanticism, etc. are used but in unconventional ways.

The bricolage walker is at heart an environmentalist. The walks are for fitness and weight control, but the motivation to sustain the walks over multiple months and years of walking is the anticipation of finding objects discarded or lost by others and then recycling or repurposing them. Claude Leví-Strauss defined bricolage materials as"… elements which can be defined by two criteria: they have had a use.... and they can be used again either for the same purpose or for a different one if they are at all diverted from their previous function."

Finding money remains supreme, but more and more, the MoneyWalker’s “excitement of the walk” is the anticipation of finding useful interesting recyclable objects. He stores the treasures in his large basement, recycles them or repurposes them at his leisure, and then conducts a yard sale of the objects with all profits going to the New Orleans Friendship House for abused women and their children.

If you thought Ms MoneyWalker had trouble with a husband obsessed with finding dirty bent coins, don’t even mention the basement.


postmodern literature,

SILO Recycling Competition for YEOSU-EXPO / G.Lab* by Gansam Architects & Partner

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Ventral Striatum Celebration Syndrome

Photo from eScienceCommon of Emory University

Feature Entry: The Ventral Striatum Celebration Syndrome

The Ventral Striatum is part of the cerebral area of the human brain. It is wired to other parts that direct action to complete specific goals. Once the goal is achieved, the ventral striatum begins firing rapid bursts of electrical impulses as if in celebration of the accomplishment.

Specific goal directed behavior is labor intensive in terms of attention. Neuropsychologists use the word “controlled” rather than “automatic” to define this type of attention. Controlled attention is slow, demanding, serial, and volitional (can be turned on or off). It is mentally fatiguing as compared to automatic attention which is below the awareness level, fast and relatively pain free in terms effort.

The MoneyWalker uses the ventral striatum as a key aspect of a motivation system to persevere in the walking habit. Each 4 to 5 mile walk begins with a goal to find lost coins. Active controlled attention processes guide an active search for coins along curbs, in parking lots, coin dispensing machines, and dozens of other places where people lose coins. When a coin is found, a mental joy occurs. The ventral Striatum is leading a celebration in the brain. The feelings of celebration are highly reinforcing.

What follows next is a gift to the discerning neuroscientists that might chance upon this blog. I call it the ventral striatum celebration syndrome (VSCS). As stated, searching and finding a lost coin along curbs, streets, and other byways is attention demanding. The endless figure/ground combinations are loaded with false positive coin finds. Also, the constant scanning and sweeping of the human eye over block after block of terrain is moment by moment fruitless, but suddenly a coin registers on the foveal region of the retina. After quick confirmation, the ventral striatum leads a celebration of victory.

It is the victory celebration that presents the problem. After years of experiencing money finds, the MoneyWalker has learned that many times multiple coins are lost, not just one coin. What often happens is that the additional coins are not detected. If not careful, the finder will just walk away after the initial find leaving other coins in the general region undetected. It seems that the cerebral functions that control visual searching join the celebration and stop their vigilance for finding coins. The entire scan and search attention demanding process seems to say, “Mission accomplished, Miller time!” I am not sure how many coins I have left behind because of the syndrome. Now after a coin is find, I force the control processes to continue the search even when they want to party.

O.K. neuroscientists, go do your work. The MoneyWalker has done the heavy lifting; the research question has been framed. Get yourself a grant, collect the data, and get it published before someone beats you out. Need another rationale, what about cell phones and driving? I wonder what happens to a driver’s attention when the screen announces a long awaited important call. Could that accident inducing distraction be caused by the VSCS?

When that “accepted” letter from Attention, Perception & Psychophysics comes in the mail, the celebration inside your head is being conducted by your ventral striatum. And just try doing some other work during the party. Don’t forget to give the old MoneyWalker a plug.