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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Month End Report September '09

Days since inception: 638
Cash balance: $22.55 (all time)
Cents per day: 3.5345(since inception)
Predicted day for $1,000,000: Sunday January 18th 77,339 AD

= 993.54 oz of Gold @ $1006.50 (as per Nymex close near month)
= 14,220.70 barrels of oil @ $70.32 (as per Nymex close Light Sweet Crude near month)
= 60,808.76 oz of Silver @ $16.445 (as per Nymex close near month)

Although I did not reach my target of $23 by the end of September, I fell 45 cents short, I did manage to knock 7,000 years off my predicted completion date. I started off the month at the U.S. Open. Also, this month marked the first time we found paper money on the sidewalk when Mrs S. snagged a buck in the parking lot at the Malibu Diner in Hoboken. Is this further evidence of inflation? My Shopping with Sidewalker feature showed a month on month decline in prices, is this further evidence of deflation? And by the end of the month I had dogs living with cats, and cats living with dogs (see post below). These are indeed interesting times as we, as a nation, seek our 'new normal' in a testing economic environment.

For the sake of nice round numbers I will make my target for the end of October $25.In the next couple of days I will post about the investment decisions we have taken for the Sidewalker Fund. Let's hope the fun we had in September continues on into October and the Halloween season.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $22.55

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Dog Shelter Never Lies

I must admit on the odd occasion I see the business news channels it really makes me laugh. When these programs want to discuss the state of the economy they invariably trot out some blowhard economist, who has attended Harvard Business School and is currently employed by one of the tax dollar guzzling big banks. He or she more than likely has two homes, several cars, a base salary of at least $500k plus bonus (if their institution can wring any more money out of us peons).

You will hear them talk about leading indicators, budget deficits, GDP, inflation, deflation, trade balances, (un)employment, money supply; the list goes on and on (I don't want to loose readers, but you get the idea).

With my hand on my heart, I tell you I could do their job by making four local phone calls a month, lasting less than a minute each. I call my local homeless dog shelter and inquire about their occupancy rates. Their answer tells me all I need to know about the health of the economy. No business school, no big salary, no holiday Castle Sidewalker in the Hamptons for me.

So if you want to know how the economy is doing pick up the phone, make the call to the dog shelter and consult my handy guide below.

1) They have one dog - You should start taking dance lessons to learn the Charleston. The roaring 20's are upon us once again. Buy, buy, buy this party ain't never going to end.

2) They have a couple of strays - Go refinance your permanent residence to buy a vacation home in Florida. Then refinance the Florida home to buy a mountain lodge in the Rockies. Rinse and repeat.

3) They are half full - You won't get a pay rise this year, but it shouldn't stop you buying a jet ski and an ATV, both of which will get used once, before becoming garage ornaments.

4)They have a couple of spare kennels - Your salary will get cut in half, but it rocks that you still have a job. Your two next door neighbors will soon be jobless and buying groceries on their credit card.

5) Every kennel is taken - If you are not yet, you soon will be jobless and penniless, going without food so your wife and children can eat. You'll take down the kitchen cabinets to burn as firewood, and you'll be looking to sell the copper piping from your plumbing, if you could only find a buyer. Everyone on your street will soon stop paying their mortgage.

6) They sent the overflow of stray dogs to the cat home - Watch out when this happens. We will be dangerously close to the event horizon of a financial black hole. I hope it's not tomorrow.

So go ahead make the call, I sincerely hope your local dog shelter has plenty of vacancies. And when they answer you, think of that blowhard economist on the TV...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $22.54

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sidewalker Mailbag #7

It's Friday so that must mean it's time to open the mailbag at Castle Sidewalker. I'm going to take a departure from the normal format this week. After my recent posts on tax, I received this correspondence from a fellow Sidewalker in the United Kingdom. In this day and age where we are always looking to abrevi8 evry thng mainly due 2 twts n' txt, I thought the following letter should be viewed in its entirety. To give it some context, it was inspired by my FiLife article on tax.

Dear Luke,
I know nothing of tax and to be honest that’s for the best. If I did I would have exploded long ago I suspect. However, consider this:
A company earns a pound/dollar (the existence of which you inform me proves it has already been taxed).
The company pays corporation tax or the US equivalent and employers’ national insurance.[LS: Social Security in the USA]
The company pays an employee who donates income tax and employees’ national insurance.
The happy employee spends half of what is left. The price of the item the employee buys includes VAT, GST or whatever it is.
The employee invests the remainder for the children – obviously paying tax on any interest earned.
On receiving their inheritance the kids pay inheritance tax.
Spending what’s left involves paying VAT, GST etc etc.

My point: if you can get 67c for a dollar take their arm off.

Meanwhile, in this country at least, the “glorious leaders” are out buying houses for their ducks out of taxpayers’ money (though not their salary which is, of course, paid by the taxpayer).
Obviously, I’ve got not a clue if the above is correct but suspect it’s not too far from the truth. If you can allay my concerns I would be most grateful.

Your loyal correspondent,

LS: Thank you 'Loyal Correspondent' for taking the time to share your observations. As for allaying your concerns I fear I will disappoint you. At this point I feel I could only exacerbate said concerns. I'm sorry my friend from across the ocean, "We're all taxpayers now..."

In other news, Mrs Sidewalker found our first dollar bill yesterday (or should that be our first 67c bill). It looks a little out of place in our 'change' jar!

And I still need help and comments with my investment portfolio in the post below this one, all comments welcome.

Have a great weekend...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $22.57

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Silence Please Ladies & Gentlemen

It is with great honor I stand before you today as the Chairman and Chief Bottle Washer of the Sidewalker Fund. It gives me great pleasure to welcome each and every one of you to this, the first meeting of the Sidewalker Fund Investment Committee.

For those of you that have been following my quest for some time, you will know that I have often mentioned this day. The point at which we now stand is where the Sidewalker monies have swollen to a total that they must now flee the relative safety (assuming my bank doesn't go belly up) of the Sidewalker checking account. These coins we brought in off the street, were first nurtured back to usefulness by an extended stay in the Sidewalker Change Jar before Jr. and I deposited them in the bank.

It is time these coins repaid my faith in them (and their free board & lodging at Castle Sidewalker), and to that end we must put them to work. It is at this juncture I realized that the burden and responsibility of controlling such funds was a task that could not fall on one man's (mine) shoulders. So I have drawn up a short list of possibilities to allocate the $21 and change. I urge you to look over my list with due care and attention, then leave your suggestion in the comments section please.

So, in no particular order here are the suggestions.

Option 1: An ING Certificate of Deposit
Pro - These CD's are FDIC insured up to $250,000
Con - The yield sucks and who is insuring the FDIC?

Option 2: Buy 5 shares of Citibank (C.N) at $4.50
Pro - With a 52 week high of $23.50 there could be lots of upside potential.
Con - Major perpetrator of today's financial mess. Next Lehman perhaps? Lots of downside potential.

Option 3: Buy 1 American Eagle Silver Coin .999 fine silver
Pro - I get rid of my dollars before the Federal Reserve Bank devalues them to zero.
Con - It is a shiny piece of metal with a nominal value of $1.

Option 4: I go to the Borgata in Atlantic City and put it all on Black
Pro - I get to feel like a rock star for the time it takes the ball to settle.
Con - Tough to explain to Mrs Sidewalker why two years of sidewalking has yielded nothing when it lands on Red.

Option 5: Buy a Mario's Pizza Value Card for $20 that is redeemable for $30 worth of pizza, and sell it for $25 to the Hoboken Paddler
Pro - An easy $5, my very own printing press.
Con - Slightly unethical, borderline illegal for dealing in unofficial currency.

So what option should I go for? Have I missed an option out? What say you?

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $21.27

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Three Times a Charm

Having taken over 24hrs to get over my outrage posted yesterday, I have some more pleasant news today (from my perspective anyway!). I had my third article published on the FiLife website. The website has some really useful financial tips and tricks mostly delivered in a manner relating to families, life stages and everyday living. To be honest I'm rather flattered that they think my articles bring some value to their readers. When they plucked me from obscurity (true, some may say I'm still there) to write my first article, The Penny is Dead, Long Live the Penny, I thought it was a bit of harmless fun and I welcomed the opportunity with open arms. Then when I was offered another chance at literary immortality with my second article, Dollar Advantage: U.S. Open, I started to have delusions of grandeur.

So tonight everyone, I would like you to take pity on poor Mrs. Sidewalker, as she has to live with a husband who's head has swollen to the size of a small European principality due to the publishing of article number three. It can be viewed by clicking the link below. Enjoy.

A Dollar Found is Worth 67 Cents by Luke Sidewalker

As always comments welcome, good and bad.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $21.27

Monday, September 21, 2009

Outrage Dead Ahead?

I just want to preface this post by reiterating that all four of us residing at Castle Sidewalker are apolitical (mainly because, as taxpaying non-nationals we can't vote), but when I see something wrong I call it, no matter what part of the political spectrum it originated from. I urge you to read the whole post, as it has far reaching implications for all of us.

Last week I was hanging out in the lounge with Little Miss Sidewalker and she knocked the television remote control on the floor for the umpteenth time (I know I should move it higher out of reach). The fall of the remote caused the channel to change, I can't remember if it landed on Fox News or MSNBC. Anyway the anchor of the show was talking to Elizabeth Warren, the chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel, that keeps tabs on the TARP program.

They were discussing about the banks jacking up interest rates to as high as 30% on credit cards without warning. The anchorwoman asked Elizabeth Warren why Congress would not move to curb this loan sharking activity. Mrs. Warren replied, "The public do not have enough lobby dollars to win that battle." Let me just type that again to make sure you get the full gravity of the sentence, she said, "The public do not have enough lobby dollars to win that battle."

Two things jumped out at me from that statement. Basically she is saying that the banks have more money to shower on our elected Representatives than we the voting public have, thus ensuring an outcome favorable to the banks. So what is the point of electing these people if we don't have enough money to give them to look out for our best interests? Something is very broken here. Don't we the public pay their wages to be there on our behalf and work for our best interests in the first place?

Secondly the interviewer just breezed on through after that statement. Has pay-to-play become so ingrained in us, that the anchorwoman did not even pursue this thread with Mrs. Warren? She just shrugged it off. Yep, that's right, me and you don't have enough money to persuade our elected Representatives to have our back.

Does the notion that the general public has a need for lobby dollars abhor you? It should do...

Rant over.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $21.16

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Trifecta of Life for a Sidewalker

There are three certainties in the life of Luke Sidewalker.

1)Finding money on the sidewalk

Number three I'm OK with. I'm very comfortable with my own mortality. It is the relationship between one and two that is my problem. It had not occurred to me, until it was pointed out to me the other day, that the IRS (the taxman in the U.S.A. for my overseas readers) treat found money as income! I'm not an accountant, so if anyone believes this statement to be false I'd be more than happy to hear from them (fingers crossed).

If it turns out to be true then the question is, how much money do I have to blog about finding before the IRS arrests me on tax evasion charges? And if I do get arrested, could I just not say that I dropped all the money I found on the sidewalk on the way to court? Which leads to an even bigger question, if they treat found money as income, can I use money that I've dropped over my lifetime as a tax loss/deduction?

Knowing the tax code here I would probably have to pay tax on the found money, and the lost money would just be 'my bad'. Maybe I could just employ myself as a coin collector, but then I would be saddled with a payroll tax no doubt!

This post has created more questions than answers. Help anyone?

In other news, my Staycation is looking for a hit from Norway, so if you know anyone located there please forward them the link. Thanks.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $21.05

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sidewalking in Antarctica

It is not often I ask for help from you, but today I have a request. My good friend The Vulcanologist is attempting to go on a geological expedition to Antarctica and he needs your help.

He is so determined to get on the trip he is happy to waive his anonymity in the process. I told him I would do this on the understanding that all cash finds on his trip would be sequestered to the Sidewalker Fund! Then he told me the trip was to Antarctica, hmmm not many coins dropped there, and if they are dropped they are soon covered in snow. So we came to a compromise. He would find me a pet rock from the unspoiled continent and it could become my familiar that I've been searching for. Plus the added bonus of, if he is there, he and his tons of rocks will not be moving apartments (again).

So enough blather, this is what needs to be done. You need to click the link below, register and vote for Mark Couch. Thanks in advance from me and The Vulcanologist for all of those that participate.

Also any promotion of this endeavor amongst your network would be very much appreciated. I think he needs this to go viral, in order to have a shot!

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.94

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shopping with Sidewalker #2

I've just returned from doing the monthly research for my grocery shopping feature. Wow, that is all I can say....just wow. Ever since I fled the nest of Mama and Papa Sidewalker several decades ago I have been doing my own grocery shopping. I always look for a bargain and, most likely as you do, I load up when I see one. As long as my total bill came within an acceptable range week over week I never broke down the individual cost of items. So let's just say this little exercise has been an eye opener as to how much base prices gyrate month over month.

Just to reiterate, this is not a budget exercise, these are base prices without coupons or loyalty card discounts (both of which I use on my actual shop, as opposed to this virtual shop). It is intended to look for evidence for inflation or deflation in the weekly grocery shop from a baseline perspective.

Below are this months prices. The amount in brackets is the change from last months report.

$2.79 {-$1.70} 1lb Land O' Lakes unsalted butter
$2.50 {-$0.79} 1 dozen Eggland's Best large grade 'A' eggs
$1.33 {-$0.33} 2 liter bottle of Coca-Cola Classic
$3.95 {-$0.80} 5lb Perdue Oven Stuffer whole roaster chicken
$9.99 {No Change} 12 pack of Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper
$3.19 {+$0.69} 1 loaf of Wonder Bread Classic White
$3.79 {No Change} 2.5 Gallons of Poland Spring drinking water
$2.79 {No Change} 6.4oz. Starkist Chunk Light Tuna in water
$4.98 {No Change} 2lb of 80% lean ground beef
$3.19 {No Change} 5.6oz. Aquafresh Triple Protection toothpaste
$1.29 {-$0.70} 1lb Seedless White Grapes
$3.49 {No Change} 5lb Idaho Potatoes
$2.29 {No Change} 3 Bars of Dial Soap white
$27.99 {+$2.50} Nestle Good Start 2 Natural Cultures 9-24 Months baby food
$2.99 {No Change} 12 oz. box of Kellogg's Cornflakes
$2.99 {-$0.50} 11.3 oz Folgers Classic Roast coffee
$5.49 {No Change} 3lb Uncle Bens long grain rice
$1.79 {No change} 4 pack 9 Lives cat food
$2.69 {-$0.30} 50 oz. Ajax laundry detergent
$3.49 {+$0.30} 5lb Domino Pure Cane Granulated Sugar
Total: $93.00 {-$1.63}

As you can see 10 of the 20 items this month had a price change, resulting in an overall reduction in the total of $1.63. So for the time being the pendulum swings to the deflation side...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.94

Monday, September 14, 2009

One down, one to go

It was a momentous day at Castle Sidewalker today, and I'm not referencing the 15 cents I managed to pocket. Today was the first day at school for Sidewalker Jr., I played the part of the proud father admirably well! I sent him on his way with his rucksack full of supplies for the coming term. I cautioned him that school would probably be a barren wasteland as far as finding change goes. Last time I checked pre-K was largely a cashless environment, so I tempered his expectations accordingly.

When I picked him up his teacher said, "His ability to draw rainbows is somewhat behind that of his classmates, however his grasp of Keynesian Economics is formidable for one so young!" This disappointed me greatly, as I have always been a big fan of the Austrian School of Economics, obviously my hours of tutoring had not permeated the depths of his unfettered noggin. Oh well, each to his own, he is on his own voyage of discovery now and I'm looking forward to hearing his many 'tales of the classroom' in the years ahead.

Now all I have to do is get Little Miss Sidewalker into a school and I may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In other news, keep an eye out for the second Shopping with Sidewalker feature which will be posted tomorrow.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.89

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Staycation Newsflash!

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programing to bring you news that Luke Sidewalkers Global Staycation has finally arrived in Antigua after a record 108 days stuck in Utrecht, Holland. The full story can be found on my staycation blog by clicking the link above or in the sidebar to the left.

I will shortly be looking to the good people of Canada to propel me on the next leg of my 'stay at home' global trip!

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.69

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sidewalker Mailbag #6

Today eight years ago a lot of friends of mine were taken from me prematurely, they are in my thoughts and they always will be. In an attempt to continue on in a 'business as usual' mode, as I believe would be their wish, I will go ahead and post the Mailbag.

For various reasons the Sidewalker Mailbag has been left unopened for some time. Which is quite shocking when you think I have never found a bill in the mailbag, nor do I anticipate doing so at any point in the future. So lets enjoy our bill-free perusing, and see what turns up.

"@LukeSidewalker thank you for one of the most original blogs on the internet & GRRRR for not doing the Euro sidewalker on vacation. "
-DarthSpacegrass from Tehran, Iran (apparently!) via Twitter
[LS: Thanks Darth it is always nice to be missed. I was hoping to give real time updates whilst on vacation but I just couldn't quite figure it out. I hope to have that nut cracked by the next time I cross the ocean in February next year.]

"@LukeSidewalker Welcome back! Just wanted to let you know I picked up a quarter, then gave it to a guy who needed change for the bus :D"
-JayEeeEhN from Online, USA via Twitter
[LS: Just another example of the good that can come from sidewalking! JayEeeEhN consider your Karma bank account to be well in credit from that selfless act.]

"I would say 'penny loafers' but that may be too cheeky!"
-WritnWit from Alabama, USA via Twitter
[LS: This was in response to my suggestions for footwear, as mine were deteriorating at an accelerated rate due to excessive sidewalking. Very inventive suggestion WritnWit.]

"Dear Luke, I was recently traveling North on the N.J. Turnpike when I had to answer the call of nature. I pulled into the next service area to remedy my situation. On looking into the urinal I immediately thought of you. There at the bottom of the drain was a nice shiny penny. What should I have done in this circumstance? Is this the ultimate Sidewalker conundrum?"
-Cap'n Tinkerson from Baltimore, Maryland USA via e-mail
[LS: Cap'n, you know the Sidewalker mantra is 'no coin left behind', however there are exceptions observed by even the most ardent sidewalkers, me included. I think you have come across such a scenario where even I would be forced to turn the other cheek, pardon the pun. Although, if the Sidewalker Fund stood at $999,999.99 and I was in that restroom...]

I can't believe someone looked into a urinal and thought of me! Should I be pleased or annoyed?

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.43

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Join the Circus...become an Economist!

Since our return from the trip to the United Kingdom I have seen a big drop off in the number of coins laying around our streets. Either I'm going blind or did something in the economy change in our absence? Is the lack of coinage a sidewalker thing or a circumstance of the broader economic environment?

I did a little research and it appears some of the eminent economists amongst us have been making noises that they think the 'great' recession of 2007-2009(?) has ended. If that proves to be correct that is fantastic news for all of us in America. However this is the same bunch of analysts that never saw the financial tsunami coming in the first place; even as it washed over their (and our) heads, sweeping their bonuses and our jobs out to sea.

Maybe I have encouraged everyone to pick up the loose change, thus explaining it's disappearance from the streets, and that extra money in the pockets of America has dragged us back from the edge of the dark abyss of total and utter financial meltdown?

As always there is a caveat and I think it can be best illustrated with this jest I found in the comments section over at The Big Picture:

A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What does two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”

Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What does two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”

Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What does two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says “What do you want it to equal?”

My personal recession has shown no signs of receding to date. How about yours?

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.43

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prepare Trumpet...and Blow!

If you own a trumpet you may as well blow it, that's what I say! So here is my effort at blowing my own trumpet.

You may recall about a month ago I got my first ever article published on It must have gone down well with them as they invited me to do another piece, this time about my trip to the tennis. Please excuse my self-indulgent glee, but the fact is (and remains so for the time being) I'm not a writer and I find this all very exciting!

So without further ado here is the link to my second article:

Dollar Advantage: U.S. Open by Luke Sidewalker

As ever comments are welcome, good or bad.

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.32

Monday, September 7, 2009

Flush in Flushing?

I've lived in the New York area for 15 years and I've never been to the US Tennis Open, that is until Friday last week. I managed to score a ticket to the Arthur Ashe Stadium. I took the 7 train from Times Square and 45 uneventful minutes later (of which I'm thankful for) I arrived in Flushing, Queens. As I walked to the main gate I saw that the "official" event magazine was on sale for $17 or ~19 months of sidewalking, ergo I sit here typing from memory! There was a crowd at the main gate so I skirted the perimeter fence to enter from the South gate, a fortuitous decision as I found 2¢ under a bench in Corona Park on the walk around.

The security guards at the entrance confiscated my sunscreen in the name of the war on terror, or some such. At the time I thought it was just to make me pay a heavy premium for USTA approved sunscreen on the inside. Wrong. I took my seat in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, an impressive venue of 23,157 seats of which precisely 0 are in the shade. In another case of unintended consequences the Open has become a great place to develop skin cancer!

I saw Daniela Hantuchova (pictured above, sadly not a Sidewalker original) win her match in straight sets. At which point my stomach suggested it was time to go visit the concession stands. $12.50 and a hot dog and Pepsi later my hunger was satiated and my wallet was hungry!

After eating I took a stroll down the Walk of Champions, I had a double take when I saw the picture of Roger Federer's 2003 success. Whilst celebrating his victory with a fist pump he had covered half the Nike logo on his shirt, so from a distance he looked like a debonair movie star from the 1930's complete with compulsory cigarette in hand.

Still struggling with the sun on my unprotected face I almost bought a Lexus just to get in the shade, but after paying $5 for a Ben & Jerry's ice cream I was a little short of ching!

I found another penny in the higher regions of Arthur Ashe Stadium as I was trying to crawl under my seat to get out of the sun. So with all the money floating about I only found 3 cents, I put this down to a combination of very keen grounds staff and the prevalence of plastic. With the winner of the singles tournament bagging $1.6 million this year maybe my quest could be expedited by taking up professional tennis. What do you think?

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.31

Friday, September 4, 2009

A W(h)ale of a Time

We are finally back from our European expedition, it is great to be within the walls of Castle Sidewalker once again. That being said we also had a fantastic time on our trip, even though we did not find any ancient Roman coins as we had hoped to, we did find £1.13 and €0.05 boosting the Sidewalker Fund to over $20 after converting the currency at some favorable rates with our family over there.

Mrs. Sidewalker left a week or so ahead of me with the kids and they found £0.07 in Sherwood Forrest, the old hunting ground of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. Perhaps they were so successful at robbing the rich that they didn't miss the coins found by Mrs. Sidewalker. It was during this leg of the trip that Sidewalker Jr. came out with this little gem. One morning whilst putting on a pair of socks he said to his Grandma, "We don't wear socks in America because it is Summer there!" It gave us a chance to explain to him what 11° more of Northern latitude will do to a climate. And yes he was running around sock free today shouting "Look Mommy it is Summer again", so perhaps we need to go over that lesson once more.

I finally caught up with rest of the family in Wales and with the Grandparents present to look after the children it gave Mrs. S and I a little freedom to explore the local area. We read a leaflet about the oldest pub in Wales called the Skirrid Mountain Inn so we took a stroll down the country lanes to find it. The first mention of the Inn dates back to 1100 AD, it has apparently been open every day since then, that is until we turned up and after 909 years of continuous service it decided that Tuesday August 25th 2009 was an ideal time for a day off! We did return later in the week to enjoy a great homemade steak and ale pie.

Mrs. S was in a rich vein of form as she proved by finding £1.01 in the Llanwenarth Hotel and Restaurant a beautiful place located high on the Eastern bank of the River Usk halfway between the towns of Abergavenny and Crickhowell.

Fear ye not, I did actually find some money also. We were on a day trip to Monmouth, the birth place of King Henry V, so it was fitting that I found 5 pence whilst taking Sidewalker Jr. to see his first game of cricket. (No I'm not explaining the rules here!)

All in all it was a great trip and we will be returning in February next year to attend my sister's wedding. As we were leaving the security area at Heathrow Airport yielded some more small change. All the locations of our finds are dutifully plotted on my Cash Trail Map located in the sidebar to the right. --->

With the Sidewalker Fund now boasting over $20 in the coffers I will have to call a meeting of the investment committee and we will have to allocate the funds, but that can wait till next week as I feel another wave of jet lag about to wash over me...

-Luke Sidewalker
-Current balance $20.26
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