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Mindconnection eNL, 2012-02-05

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In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

2. Product Highlight

2014 update: This product no longer available.

 

You can buy a cheap scanner and completely waste your money, or you can buy a quality scanner at a reasonable price and be very happy with it.

We like the Canon CanoScan 9000F Flatbed Scanner.

We offer it at substantial savings, too.

It's fast, reliable, and accurate. It even looks great. With the Canon 9000F high speed, hi res flatbed scanner, you will enjoy high-speed scanning for everything from photos to documents, to even 35mm film--all with superb quality (machine res of 9600x9600!).

The all-new Auto Document Fix feature automatically analyzes and corrects both text and images so your document text will remain clear and your pictures will maintain color tone and contrast. For additional ease of use, the Seven EZ Buttons enable you to scan, copy, or create a PDF faster than ever.

If you think you'll enjoy scanner frustration syndrome and learning new cusswords, then do not buy this scanner (get a cheap, crappy one instead). But if you prefer a good user experience, get the Canon CanoScan 9000F Flatbed Scanner.

 

CanoScan 9000F
Flatbed Scanner

 

 

3. Brainpower tip

When you fail to plan, brainpower is dissipated. This is true for several reasons:
  • Some of your mental cycles are devoted to remembering what else needs to be done and thinking of those things rather than what you're doing at the moment. If you schedule things, those cycles are freed up.
  • Any time you need to react to a situation, you are in reaction mode instead of execution mode. The situation is controlling you, rather than the other way around.
  • When you plan, you can have the needed resources at the required time. When you fail to plan, you must divert some mental cycles to resource acquisition and usually in a rush. Classic example: You are changing a ceiling fan. You forgot a screwdriver, so come down off the ladder to get it. Because you were in a rush to get the screwdriver, you forgot to bring the pliers also. A planner would have assembled all of the needed tools together, probably the day before.

Of course there are many other reasons. No need to wear you out with a list. The important fact for you here is that good planning makes best use of brainpower. Good planning takes place on multiple levels:

  • Meta schedule. Deciding what you want to do with your life. Long-range planning, with timelines.
  • Daily schedule. Deciding which activities to do, in what order, and how much time to devote to each. Any good calendar tool, such as Microsoft Outlook, helps facilitate this and make it a snap to do. You can add items to any given day as far ahead of time as is practical.
  • How to. Merely scheduling things is only one aspect of planning. If you scheduled a trip, for example, you also need to plan the route, plan what to pack, etc. If you schedule a job, you need to plan how to do that job and determine how to have on hand the needed resources to do the tasks that compose the job.

A final note on planning. I use MS-Outlook, and have the birthdays of all my aunts and uncles set up with reminders and their phone numbers. Each of them gets a birthday call from me. As their generation is not going to be around much longer, I consider this important.

 

4. Finance tip

Several readers report having been swamped with credit card offers recently. I have had this same experience, myself. Always shred these, do not just toss them in the trash.

You can reduce the number of such offers by calling the credit card offer "opt out" number, which is 888-567-8688. This doesn't guarantee you won't get more offers. It guarantees only that companies with a program of wasting money by sending to people who don't want their crap will send you their crap.

Many of these credit card offers contain come-on loans designed to rope you into borrowing funds you don't really need. The terms are usually stated as 0%APR. But the loans are not interest-free.

In small print (somewhere unobvious, too), you'll find additional terms. For example, there may be a $400 transfer fee or a 5% activity fee or some other fee.

While the loan might be good for your particular circumstances, be sure to calculate the cost of borrowing accurately. That begins with, but does not end with, locating all of the various fees and calculating how much those amount to.

Now, here's where things get interesting. That 0% loan has a limited period for the 0%. After that, you pay the 17% or whatever rate on your credit card. But gee, if you borrow $5,000 at 0% and then have just $500 left at 17% that still works out to a low rate, right? Maybe not. The loan agreement must explicitly state that your other charges are not included in the final balance. If they are, then even if you paid off your card every month you will owe interest on those balances.

Yes, our friends the banksters are very good at this slight of hand thing.

So if you decide you want this great financing, follow these recommendations:

  • Call the bankster biz that is offering the loan. Ask about how the loan affects the normal balance and vice-versa. Ask about how you pay off the normal balance while there's still the loan amount outstanding. Ask about all fees and other costs that may apply. Ask how this affects your credit limit. In fact, pore over the promotional material and write down a question about each bit of information in that material; do this before calling. Ask the rep to e-mail or snail mail you the agreement in simple terms.
     
  • Make an Outlook appointment (or whatever calendar tool you are using) for 90 days prior to the end of the 0% period to see where you are with the loan and what it takes at this point to pay it 10 full days before the limit. Get going on that, so you are on time.
     
  • Make an Outlook appointment (or whatever calendar tool you are using) for 30 days prior to the end of the 0% period to go about paying this off within the next 20 days.
     
  • Make an Outlook appointment (or whatever calendar tool you are using) for 9 days prior to the end of the 0% period to verify that it has, indeed, been paid off.

5. Security tip

Do you vote Demopublican? If so, please reconsider based on the following information about how these people are robbing us and greatly diminishing our financial security. And if you don't have financial security, you don't have much security at all.

This is about three stooges who brought down Wall Street.

  1. Franklin Raines was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae. Raines was forced to retire from his position with Fannie Mae when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae's accounting activities. Raines left with a "golden parachute valued at $240 million in benefits. The Government filed suit against Raines when the depth of the accounting scandal became clear.
     
  2. Tim Howard was the Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae. Howard "was a strong internal proponent of using accounting strategies that would ensure a "stable pattern of earnings" at Fannie. Investigations by federal regulators and the company's board of directors since concluded that management did manipulate 1998 earnings to trigger bonuses. Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004. Howard's Golden Parachute was estimated at $20 Million.
     
  3. Jim Johnson was formerly an executive at Lehman Brothers and was later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO. Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million." Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae. Johnson's Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million.

Where are they now?

  1. Franklin Raines now works for the Obama Campaign as his Chief Economic Advisor.
  2. Tim Howard is a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama under Franklin Raines.
  3. Jim Johnson was hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee.

Obama surrounds himself with dirty people. Not only that, he makes the worst sort of white collar criminals his financial advisors! While he has taken sleaze to new levels, the sleaze has been SOP for decades at the White House. It must stop. But it will not stop until enough voters refuse to vote Demopublican.

 

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

"Thanks for the great information on pecs. But my problem is abs. How many situps should I do every day to get a six-pack like yours?" -- Sam

Sam, it's good that you want to work on your abs. I do exactly zero sit-ups every day. In fact, I do exactly zero sit-ups period. That's a particularly bad exercise. It works mostly your hip flexors, but also is not biomechanically a good idea. Do sit-ups long enough, and you'll have back problems.

Your first step in having great-looking abs is to address your nutrition. You want your body fat to be under 8% and preferably under 6%. For women, a higher figure is OK unless they are doing competitive bodybuilding.

For a man to have 8% or lower bodyfat is not particularly challenging. Just eat your six small meals a day, with an emphasis on nutrient-dense/calorie-sparse foods.

If you are doing front squats properly and can do them twice a month, additional ab work is desirable but not necessary. You'll have nice abs and that six-pack, if you do nothing other than the squats and eating properly.

Age 50.

If you want a really strong core with really strong abs, and if you want to be able to flex your six pack so that it shows up even if you're wearing a tee shirt, then you need to do some dedicated ab work.

Abs are skeletal muscles, so they need recovery time. I do a dedicated ab workout once per week. Here is that workout.

  • Hanging leg raises. I do three sets of six, adjusting the speed and "squeeze" on the last two of every set to make it intense. If you can't do these with your legs straight out, then bend your legs. Stretch the other direction after each set, so you don't throw your back out of whack.
  • Body curls. I do three sets of six, adjusting the speed and "squeeze" on each rep to make it intense.

How to do them

Hanging leg raises. I have a bar suspended from a girder. You just need something to grab onto and hang from. The underside of hotel stairway steps will work, if you're traveling. To do one rep:

  1. Grab the bar.
  2. Lift your legs straight out. Stop when parallel to the floor.
  3. Curl your knees to your chest.
  4. Uncurl, extend your legs straight out, and lower to start position.

Body curls. I use my weight bench, but you can use any chair. I lie on the bench with my ankles hanging over the bar (as if the bar is set for bench pressing) and my upper back hanging over the other end of the bench. If you use a chair, your knees can go over the chair back while your body rests on the seat with your upper back hanging off the seat slightly. To do one rep:

  1. Hyperextend backwards so you drop a few inches.
  2. Leaving your legs stationary, curl your body toward your thighs.
  3. Squeeze hard as you come up, and stop when further motion is not possible.
  4. Return to start position.

Now, there is something I do every day. Actually, often during the day. To prevent a paunch due to tendon slack, I consciously suck in that gut. Pulling your belly flat just is not something people tend to do. But it's a good habit to develop. Just make a point of pulling in your abs, especially if you've been sitting for a while. Pushing with the flat of your palm can help you do this effectively.

If you want a good-looking midsection, don't crank away with the sit-ups. Good diet and general conditioning will take care if it automatically. If you want a great-looking midsection, you'll have to do some extra work. But don't get into a "more is better" mode. There is training and there is overtraining. The abs workout I described above, if done no more than once a week, should provide you with maximum results.

At www.supplecity.com, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:

  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

7. Factoid

Butterflies taste with their feet. Members of CONgress spend with both hands and both feet.

8. Thought for the Day

If you respond rather than react, you won't over-react.

Please forward this eNL to others.

Authorship

The views expressed in this e-newsletter are generally not shared by criminals, zombies, or brainwashed individuals.

Except where noted, this e-newsletter is entirely the work of Mark Lamendola. Anything presented as fact can be independently verified. Often, sources are given; but where not given, they are readily available to anyone who makes the effort.

Mark provides information from either research or his own areas of established expertise. Sometimes, what appears to be a personal opinion is the only possibility when applying sound logic--reason it out before judging! (That said, some personal opinions do appear on occasion).

The purpose of this publication is to inform and empower its readers (and save you money!).

Personal note from Mark: I value each and every one of you, and I hope that shows in the diligent effort I put into writing this e-newsletter. Thank you for being a faithful reader.

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