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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June '09 Month End Report

Days since inception: 546
Cash balance: $12.24 (all time)
Cents per day: 2.2418 (since inception)
Predicted day for $1,000,000: Thursday November 7th 124,137 AD

= 1,077.59 oz of Gold @ $928.00 (as per Nymex close near month)
= 14,271.44 barrels of oil @ $70.07 (as per Nymex close Light Sweet Crude near month)
= 73,664.82 oz of Silver @ $13.575 (as per Nymex close near month)

The big push in June has sliced just over 17,000 years off the projected completion date. I have managed to get my cents per day rate since inception over the psychological 2 cents per day mark. I have some travel plans during the next two months, it will be interesting to see if the new hunting grounds will accelerate or derail my quest. I will give a few clues to my destination a little closer to departure date.

I have set myself a target of $15 in total by the end of July. I will have to get lucky with a few quarters here and there, but fortune favors the brave...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $12.24

Monday, June 29, 2009


With June drawing to a close, I can look back with a good sense of accomplishment as it has been a reasonable month. I have not crunched the final numbers yet (that will be done in time for tomorrow's Month End Report). It seems to me that the really tough part of my quest is not actually finding the money, but instead spending it in a timely fashion before the grim reaper of inflation destroys my purchasing power.

Lately all I read and hear about from the enlightened economists is that we are in a deflationary environment. All I can surmise from that is, these economists have never done the family grocery shopping. Sure it may be cheaper to buy a car, but I don't buy a car every week. Sure house prices may be cheaper, but I don't buy a house every week.

Digging through the Sidewalker groceries at the weekend, I found that I was the victim of a most heinous crime, yes SHRINKAGE! I'm not sure what the technical term for it is, but this is how I define it. Paying the same price for less product due to stealthy packaging changes. Either my hands are getting bigger, or there is something more sinister at play.

Most noticeably have been my breakfast cereal boxes getting thinner, my ice cream box getting smaller. However my favorite was the peanut butter jar. It looked the same and felt the same, it smelt the same and cost the same, all except the new massive concave bottom robbing me of 2 oz.!

So as you can see my grocery bill has not been going up, I have just been getting less and less product. This is a deterioration over time, it will only become apparent to most people when the weekly grocery shop turns into a daily event!

The most famous case of this over the years was the 5 cent Hershey chocolate bar. They kept the price at 5 cents for so long that if you compared a bar from year to year, it would give you a great visualization of inflation via shrinkage.

For further reading on the subject click this link to

So tomorrow when I recalculate how long it's going to take me to pick up my million, I'll really be wondering how many tubs of peanut butter it will buy me when I finally get there.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $12.20

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sidewalker Mailbag #2

It's Friday, so that means it's time once again to open the Sidewalker "virtual" mailbag. I'm happy to make this a regular Friday feature as long as I keep on getting the correspondence. So I will keep you waiting no longer, here are this weeks offerings:

"I'm pretty sure I saw 10c on 5th & Hudson this morning, but "Ron Jeremy" the friendly neighborhood hobo probably got it!"
- VanessaG5484 New Jersey, U.S.A via Twitter
[LS: This is scary, I think I know that guy. The hobo that is!]

"You got me to thinking, H1N1 is one (of many) reasons why I choose not to pick up coins, bills are one thing - credit cards are good!"
- visualdeviant Nevada, U.S.A. via Twitter
[LS: This one had me panicking for a while until I did the research, and discovered it is very difficult for a virus to exist for any length of time on a metallic surface.]

"I recommend @LukeSidewalker - clever twitter handle, funny idea and charmingly funny to read what he's doing."
- BarbaraHauck Arizona, U.S.A. via Twitter
[LS: Thanks Barbara, another one to file in the "Flattery will get you everywhere" category!]

Just to show that we are fair and balanced here at Castle Sidewalker and the blog is not all shameless self-promotion, I just pulled this little gem from the mailbag.

"@LukeSidewalker you have THE stupidest twitter I've ever seen. Well done, you really capture the spirit of twatter."
- saltwatersound U.S.A. via Twitter
[LS: Errr, thank you for the interaction, I guess. I appreciate the help in keeping me well grounded. I hope your day improves!]

Have a great weekend

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $12.06

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I've just learned along with the rest of the world that Michael Jackson is no longer with us having died of a cardiac arrest and been pronounced dead at a hospital in Los Angeles. With that in mind I will not spout any nonsense about finding coins today.

Michael Jackson was a talent without parallel as he dominated the world of pop in the 80's. Unfortunately his private life was not so successful, from pet chimpanzee's, to personal theme parks, dangling his children over hotel balconies and countless cosmetic surgeries; to name but a few of the bizarre episodes that plagued him. He was obviously a troubled soul away from the spotlight on the stage.

There are countless other outlets that can write an obituary many times better than I. Here are two of them, depending on when you were born click the appropriate link:


-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $12.06

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cellular World

The other day I received the following email:

Dear Commander Sidewalker,
I noticed that a good percentage of finds take place in front of bars or restaurants.
How do you attribute this? Is this one of your tips for those who may take up the cause of becoming rich slowly? Or are you just a fan of boozing and eating?
Just curious.

-BGK Jersey City, New Jersey, USA.

First off let me just say I love the "Commander Sidewalker" label, flattery will get you everywhere! This reader is very observant and must have been checking out my Cash Trail Map in the side bar to the right. I do indeed find a lot of coins outside of bars and restaurants, and as always I have my theories, correct or otherwise. In this day and age the vast majority of people carry cellular phones, when they ring in a bar or restaurant they dash outside and rip their iPhone from their pocket with accompanying loose change falling on the floor like confetti at a wedding. They start to bend down to pick up the change but because the average attention span is measured in nano-seconds these days (are you still with me!?) they get sidetracked talking about the latest elimination on American Idol. The conversation then concludes, phone back in pocket, return to bar, coins left on ground for Luke.

Now onto the second part of the e-mail. Yes, I used to be a big fan of drinking and eating out (and during those days you can assume that I was not a penny-finder), but not so much so these days since Sidewalker Jr. and Little Miss Sidewalker took up residence at Castle Sidewalker. It is safe to say I have gone from being a net dropper to a net picker-upper; but just to keep it all relative, that does not cover the cost of having two extra permanent residents at the castle!

Staycation update: Still stuck in the Netherlands!

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.77

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Karmic Merry-Go-Round

For every Ying there is a Yang, for every Zig, a Zag. The forces of Karma are relentless in their search for equilibrium. And so it came to pass today that I had to take my medicine and address some imbalances in my Karma account. I was doing nothing more sinister than buying a bagel, but sometimes a simple task such as this, is all Karma needs in order to make it's presence felt.

Allow me to set the scene for you. The bagel has been ordered and I have it in custody, off I go to the cashier. I hand over three crisp dollar bills to settle the $2.49 transaction, and the cashier gives me two quarters and a penny in change. Nothing too crazy there right? Wrong. On closer inspection I see that my change is one quarter, one penny, and one whole Hong Kong Dollar. Struggling to contain my elation at the mistake the "dimwit" in the deli had made, I rushed home to share the news of my windfall with Mrs. Sidewalker. Well let me tell you, on returning to Castle Sidewalker it did not take long for that elation to turn to deflation and then spiral into full blown self-loathing misery! The reason for the mood swing? The ever pragmatic Mrs. Sidewalker pointed out that my one Hong Kong Dollar coin was worth about 13 cents US, leaving me as the dimwit and 12 cents out of pocket. I think that was Karma trying to balance out for my post on how to deal with finding foreign coins. Now if I can only resist the urge to shove that Hong Kong Dollar coin into the nearest parking meter my Karma account should be in good standing!

In other news, I'd like to thank Peter Backx for his very generous article about my blog that can be read by clicking this link to Streamhead. Meanwhile my search for a footwear sponsor continues, so if you know of any company that may be interested please let me know...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.77

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences

"Unintended consequences", now that is a term that has been tossed around recently by the mainstream media in reference to the bailouts of the financial system. As my march to a million had a rain delay this weekend I was left gazing out of the upper-most window of the citadel at Castle Sidewalker pondering whether or not I had any of these unforeseen outcomes in my quest.

Below is the description of the law by Konrad J. Friedemann (you might have to wait for another rainy weekend if you want me to find out who this guy is!):

“the proposition that every undertaking, however well-intentioned, is
generally accompanied by unforeseen repercussions that can overshadow
the principal endeavor.”

And if you require further reading on the subject, a good place to start is this entry at Wikipedia.

I can imagine you sitting there reading this and scratching your head thinking, what has this got to do with picking cash up off the sidewalk? Well allow me to be the beacon of light in your hitherto foggy Monday morning. If you look over to the left you will see my last Twitter post has my running total at $11.66 (at the time of publishing). However, in choosing to walk (see post: Sixth Cents) in order to collect these orphaned coins, the result has been an accelerated deterioration of my footwear (twice the normal rate) and with a replacement cost of over $40 a time; well you don't have to be Einstein to see where I'm going with this...

The quest continues for now, but my frugal genes leave me deliberating the wisdom of continuing after the impact of this unintended consequence on my wallet.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.66


Friday, June 19, 2009

Heads or Tails?

Whether or not to pick up a coin that is showing tails? That is the 64 cent question today. A lot of people have contacted me to say they would not pick up a coin showing tails because it brings bad luck. Now I do not live a life without superstitions, but not picking up a tailed coin is definitely not one of them. As you are well aware, I'm on the slow track to riches ($11.36 in ~18 months). I could not possibly afford myself the luxury of this superstition without severely compromising my mission.

The basis of this superstition is best described thus;
Heads for good luck, tails for bad luck. Especially when coins showed the faces of a ruling monarch, it was an easy step to the idea that face up meant the spirit of the ruler looked favorably on your wish or bet. -As described on

I think the person who got the masses to believe that picking up a tailed coin is bad luck was in all probability an ancestor of mine. He was probably just as broke as I am and considered this little piece of scaremongery a stroke of Sidewalker genius, and a little something for future generations of Sidewalkers to reap the benefits!

Either way keep on walking by those tailed coins as it leaves more for me to find and further bolster the Sidewalker Fund.

I leave you superstitious types with this question though. How superstitious are you? If you came across a tailed silver dollar in the street...

Have a great weekend.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.36


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sidewalker Mailbag #1

As promised yesterday I have a sampling of some the correspondence I received after my Foreign Exchange post. Opening the Sidewalker mail bag is like opening a box of chocolates; you're never quite sure what you're going to get. Thanks for the quote Forrest, and you were spot on as you can see from the selection below.

"Luke, you should put your foreign coins on Ebay. Everything sells on Ebay, over here I saw a 1 pound coin sell for 5 pounds!"
Mr. P.Judges - London, England.

"Hey Sidey, Perhaps you could travel to Germany and spend your Euros in the new gold vending machines they have there as reported in the Daily Telegraph"
Mr. L.J.Stingone - New Jersey, U.S.A.
[LS: That is an interesting article, and a subject I may address at length in a separate post at a later date.]

"Mr. Sidewalker, From the writing of the blog we can safely ascertain you had no formal schooling, however your interpretation of the law as set forth in Step 3 of your procedure is 100% correct. If only we knew who you were and where you lived you would be brought to justice at the earliest opportunity. Expect a visit from your local FBI field team in the not too distant future."
Mr. John C. Dugan, Comptroller of the Currency - Washington D.C., U.S.A.

In other news, we are experiencing some very poor weather in the local area at the moment and I don't foresee finding any money today as I'm housebound. So short of rummaging down the back of my sofa the finding streak appears to be ending today.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.36

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I've been thinking about what a great run I've been on recently and why that came about. I like to think that revitalizing the blog has played a major role in reversing my fortunes. If you take a look at the blog archive (below in the right sidebar) you will see that I was muted for almost a year. The reason was documented in my post of February 21st 2009. I'd like to say the break gave me a chance to recharge the batteries blah, blah, blah, but that is not the case. I was just beaten down by the "system". However us Sidewalkers are a resilient breed and I'm back better than ever picking up street cash on a daily basis of late. You may think it is incredible that I find some money every day, but I like to turn that on it's head and say I think it's incredible that you walk by it everyday without picking it up!

I see some tough days of agonizing in my future, as the Sidewalker Fund balloons towards $15 I can no longer justify leaving it in the jar on my bedside table (just to the right of my bus pass and in front of my alarm clock; in case you were wondering). Controlling funds of this size comes with great responsibility. This means I will have to do some soul searching and get mentally prepared to dance with devil once again as I put the monies to work. Any suggestions what I should do with it? Note to self, avoid any Madoff-like ponzi's.

Tomorrow I will be opening the "virtual" mail bag at Castle Sidewalker as I have had some interesting responses to my prior post on what to do with with foreign coins that I feel compelled to share with you, so keep an eye out for that post.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.36

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Extraneous Substitute

Yes you guessed it from the the title of the post; today I am going to deal with the topic of Foreign Exchange! More specifically how I deal with the situation of finding foreign coins on the sidewalks of America in response to a question posed to me on Twitter by e1tje. The location of Castle Sidewalker is on a well beaten path of many an international traveler, so I am highly qualified to answer this question. I have an easy to follow three step procedure for such an occurrence which I am more than happy to share with you for free.

Step 1.
Search your local sidewalk for foreign coins. Once you have located a foreign coin proceed to Step 2.

Step 2.
Identify the coin's country of origin, followed by the denomination. Then look up the value of the coin in U.S. Dollars on a table such as this one here.

Step 3.
Determine if the weight and shape is comparable to a US coin. If it is comparable and the value calculated in Step 2 is less than the US coin (normally the case), then stuff it into the nearest vending machine* whilst wearing a smile as wide as the Mississippi. Otherwise put it in that cookie jar of interesting artifacts you have collected and never look at it again.


-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.27

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sweet Tweets

I'd like to thank you all for the messages of encouragement I have received on Twitter since I joined the network. I have also received a lot of messages from people saying how much money they are finding. I find it fascinating just how much cash is laying around out there as we sit watching GM, Chrysler and the State of California going bankrupt. Not for one minute am I suggesting their ills could be cured by making their employees go on a sidewalk cash hunt, plus that is the kind of competition I don't need! It is intriguing though knowing all this free cash exists, but is it too widespread and too small of a denomination to help anyone in these hard times?

When I have more time I will try to do some Sidewalker math and calculate how much cash I believe is on the sidewalk at any given moment in America, unless there is a reader out there who would like to do my dirty work for me and suggest a total with accompanying methodology?

In other news, things are rolling along quite nicely at Castle Sidewalker and between the four of us we have amassed $1.12 so far this month, far exceeding my hoped-for 2 cents per day average for June '09; and we still have 15 days to go. Our latest finds can be seen on my Cash Trail map in the side bar to the right. It looks like Hoboken, N.J. is the town that just keeps on giving!

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.27

Saturday, June 13, 2009

10 Signs you'll know I've reached a $1,000,000

I'm feeling rather buoyant after my latest finds and I'm accelerating towards my goal, so just in case you are too lazy to check in on the blog every day to follow my progress (shame on you), I have made a convenient list for you to print out and tick below. The more of these things that happen, the closer to my goal of finding a $1,000,000 I will be. So just keep an eye out in the media and check these things off as they occur if you want to be an armchair Sidewalker follower. The day you have all ten checked off you can rest assured I have found my 100,000,000th penny.

□ 1. I will have more Twitter followers than Ashton Kutcher.

□ 2. You will see me on Oprah.

□ 3. There will be no more loose change on the floor of America.

□ 4. A loaf of bread will cost you $2,000,000.

□ 5. My latest Twitter follower will be the Great Great Great Grandchild of my first Twitter follower.

□ 6. I will be invited to participate in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here 57.

□ 7. The photographic rights to my retirement party will be sold to Hello! e-magazine.

□ 8. Sidewalker Jr. and Little Miss Sidewalker will have soda every night with dinner. (See Tumbleweed Times post)

□ 9. George Lucas will be suing me.

□ 10. You will be buying Sidewalker's Own brand lemonade at the supermarket.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.08

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flaming Pantaloons in D.C.!

The Fire Department of Washington D.C. was stretched to the limit yesterday as a firestorm of spontaneously combusting pants broke out on Capitol Hill. The Washington D.C. Fire Chief said, "We are not sure who started the inferno, but we have narrowed it down to two possible sources, Ken Lewis CEO of Bank of America (BAC.N) and Ben Bernanke the Federal Reserve Chairman". In a bizarre move the Fire Chief went on to give the responsibility of concluding the investigation of the conflagration to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. And these clowns want me to deposit the full $11.06 of the Sidewalker Fund in a bank!? Strange times indeed. The full story can be read here from CNN.

In other news, it gives me great pleasure to announce the first coin find by our very own Little Miss Sidewalker yesterday. I was in the middle of berating her for crawling around on the floor of a bar (before midnight) when she came up to me and spat a dime out of her mouth. Not the preferred Sidewalker method for retrieving a coin in that situation as I discussed in my post yesterday, but I have come to accept that Little Miss Sidewalker marches to the beat of her own drum. Ah the joys of fatherhood.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $11.06

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shaking the money tree

Here is something to ponder. I think we all agree that money does not grow on trees. However in analyzing my found coin data I see a lot of my finds taking place at the base of trees. This can mean one of two things, either money does indeed grow on trees or the dog population of America is passing legal tender.

While I'm on the subject of ferreting around at the base of trees looking for coins I'd like to make one thing clear. As with all adventurous pursuits that have an element of risk, collecting street booty is not without its problems. When a company such as Odyssey Marine Exploration finds sunken treasure they have very sophisticated machinery to retrieve the treasure from a hostile human environment. This is exactly how we treat our hazardous finds at Castle Sidewalker. For example the repatriation of a coin at the base of a tree needs a technique that we like to call "hands off salvage". This technique involves a pickle grabber and a Ziploc bag, I think you can visualize the rest of the procedure...

Also I would like to thank Team Charity for the invite to their fund raising event on Friday, unfortunately I will not be able to attend. Details of the event to be held in The Shannon Lounge, Hoboken can be found here.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.95

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tumbleweed Times

Whenever we find a quarter it is greeted with quite a fanfare here at Castle Sidewalker and a spontaneous party normally breaks out, not an outrageous party exactly, but just to give you an idea of the level of revelry Sidewalker Jr. and Little Miss Sidewalker might just get some soda with their gruel instead of the usual tap water.

Mrs. Sidewalker found a quarter today in the murky depths of a puddle (big time overnight rain in the area), at the base of a parking meter. I remember growing up, if a quarter was dropped the traffic would be stopped until all available hands had corralled the errant coin. These days it seems just the fact that it fell in a puddle precluded it from being picked up.

So as I proudly watched my kids quaffing soda tonight, it got me wondering how long it will be until we see dollar bills blowing down Main Street U.S.A. like tumbleweed?

Staycation update: Still stuck in The Netherlands!

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.92

Monday, June 8, 2009

Opposable opinions on generations

Recently I have been wondering why there is so much change lying on the floor. I thought maybe the pool of potential picker-uppers has been diminishing. Which led me to come up with this theory, it is a little tenuous so try to stay with me and hear me out!

I came across a study that concluded if you push a doorbell with your index finger you are over 30 years old, and if you push a doorbell with your thumb you are under 30 years old. The rationale behind this comes from the proliferation of texting devices that are now part of our every day lives. The under 30's have grown up with these devices and are very comfortable texting with their thumbs and can probably text the full works of Shakespeare on a cell phone in a single morning. The over 30's used pen and paper for letters to communicate over long distances and in the extreme circumstances that they had to make a phone call when they were out, the hunt was on for a phone box (usually found in a pub back in the day), that had a rotary dialer perfect for the index finger.

So this is the tenuous bit. The under 30's have lost control of their index fingers, so if they were to pick up a penny they would have to bend down and use two thumbs, thus looking very stupid and also taking much longer. This my friends is one reason why there is more change on the sidewalk, the under 30's just can't pick it up and maintain their cool at the same time!

So if you want to have a bit of fun next time you are out, ask your group of friends how they would ring a doorbell, then confidently tell them how old they are.

Are you an Indexy or a Thumby?

The full story without the Sidewalker bias can be read here

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.66

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day +65 Years

I'm going to keep it brief today. This is a post to reflect on the events that took place 65 years ago on the beaches of Normandy. A time to think about all those brave young soldiers who walked onto the beaches never to walk off of them so the likes of you and me can Tweet, blog and generally exist in a better world while they picked up the tab by making the ultimate sacrifice. If you get a chance today just take a moment to reflect and pay tribute to the massive undertaking that played out on the sands of Juno, Sword, Omaha, Utah and Gold beaches in 1944.

Thank you.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.64

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The perils of T.M.I.

Here at Castle Sidewalker we are always trying to push the boundaries of money finding by using all the new tools that modern technology has to offer us, not only to find the money but to deliver the news of the finds in a timely manner to the blog. As you saw just a couple of days ago I started my Twitter account. Well it would appear my novice status with this medium only took two days to come to the fore. If you click on my Twitter updates in the sidebar to the right you will notice an error of epic proportions in my first four Tweeets. In my giddy eagerness to utilize this new tool I think I inadvertently robbed myself of a find and ergo I'm the tool! I had got a text message from a very good source that there was an assortment of coinage littering the sidewalk at 14th and Washington St. in Hoboken. Even after my last post stating that I would only Tweet for finds I could not resist and expanded my mandate ad hoc, but it seems my Tweet about a tip off actually became the tip off (for someone), because when I got to the location I only found two Budweiser bottle caps and an empty packet of Marlboro reds.

I'm ready to take the flack, in fact I'll save you the trouble. Greenhorn Sidewalker, Rookie Sidewalker, schoolboy error Sidewalker! The only redemption being the cent I found as I walked home with my tail firmly between my legs.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.28

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Feature!

I have taken the plunge and decided to join Twitter. This means that I will now be posting my money finds in real time. They will be posted on my Twitter account which can be followed by clicking here or on the link in the sidebar to the right. If you do not want to join Twitter my five latest posts will be fed directly to the blog in the section to the right. I only started this new feature two days ago, but if you take a look you will see I have already tweeted 11 cents! I will not be using it to log my every move, just as a tool to let you know as soon as I've found money, unless as my avid followers you request to know every time I sneeze, go to Dunkin Donuts or use the "facilities"!
I will still keep my Cash trail map updated.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.27

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sidewalker takes ownership stake in GM...

...along with every other taxpayer in the U.S.! I have been dreading this day for some time. The day that is when someone I don't know, acting on information I'm not privy to, decided that I invest in General Motors. How come the "faceless few" never invests my funds in healthy companies?

I don't watch a lot of business news as I'm sure you're aware of if you have been a reader for some time, but I did come across this little gem on CNBC. One of the talking heads said "There is a silver lining to the GM chapter 11 bankruptcy, they are the number one car and truck seller in the U.S.". Lets think about this oral buffoonery for a second. If loss per unit sale is an irrelevance let me go on record as saying, you pick the product and Sidewalker Enterprises will be the number one seller of said product in the U.S., with the "doesn't matter what you lose" provision in place. And to think CNBC is a major source of business news for the majority of the Nation.

I don't like to rant but I could not keep a lid on this one. No money found since the last post, some money lost to Detroit though...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $10.15
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