Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2002-07-12

In this issue:

  1. New product line
  2. Brainpower tip
  3. Finance tips
  4. Health tip
  5. Fitness tip
  6. Thought for the day


1. New product line

Folks have been asking why we don't sell fitness supplements, when the eNL offers such good health and fitness advice. After all, the mind-body connection means a healthy body makes for a better mind. That made plenty of sense to me, so we now offer a line of nutritional supplements, all of which I have hand-picked. A lot of the stuff we could be offering--well, we don't. I read supplement reviews fairly often, and have a pretty good idea of what's snake oil and what's not. I have tried most of the stuff we are offering. To best serve our loyal readers and customers, we negotiated a deal with a distributor so we can offer a good discount from retail. Save money, look and feel better. Visit and look for the nutrition category. Start improving the physical environment of your brain.

If you don't think nutrition for the brain matters, simply stick your head under water for three minutes and then see if you are able to think as clearly as before doing that. Because of a lack of oxygen, you will be lucky if you are still alive, much less able to think! This may be an extreme example, but it drives home the point.



2. Brainpower tip

About a week ago, I picked my first ripe tomato off one of my seven-foot tall tomato plants. "Normal" plants in this area are about two feet high and are just getting little green fruits. And my honeydew melon plants are now sprawling beyond their trellises and are bearing large fruits.

Am I just lucky, here? No. To get such phenomenal results, I spend the non-growing season building the soil, and I am very careful about what I put into it. No fertilizers or pesticides, for example. A large toad lives under the bonnet of a kale plant, and a healthy-sized garter snake lives in the stones that form the garden walls--they get free room and board, in exchange for eating garden pests. I also have a flock of birds that stop by every morning to drink the dew. While they are there, they eat the aphids, slugs, and other bugs.

What does this have to do with brainpower? Plenty. How do you spend your "off season" time? What do you put into your brain? I am very careful not to watch the news or read the newspapers, both of which are invariably biased and quite negative. I have never watched Sienfeld, and couldn't tell you who got off the island. The only Friends I care about are my own.

What about current events? When you can tell me how I personally can do one thing about war in the Middle East, then I'll take the time to read up on it. I don't care who robbed what store, how horrendous a traffic accident was (I've seen 'em before), or what Hollywood celebrity is shacking up with someone else's wife. None of this "information" does one thing to improve my life or my outlook on life. What about being able to converse? Well, who wants to talk about things that are just irrelevant? There are far more interesting things in life.

By subscribing to magazines and journals, you move up to a higher standard of journalism. That isn't to say you can believe everything you read there. But, you are one step removed from the hyperbole and nonsense that sells television and newspapers.

I also feed my mind with recorded books. These are free at the public library. I go through several each week, as I listen to them while doing anything that doesn't require intense concentration. I also listen to them--rather than to the mindless croonings of some musician--in the car, though when traffic is especially tight I prefer silence.

If you think about the garden of your mind and really take care of that soil, you will have plenty of produce. Write down some things you can do to improve your harvest (I've suggested plenty, here), and try implementing them for two months. You will be smarter when that time is up. If you prefer a less powerful brain, just go back to the old ways. Personally, I don't think you will. But, that's up to you. Write to me at This e-mail link and let me know how this went for you!


3. Finance tips

"The economy" won't improve any time soon. The fundamental problems that have caused it to be so bad for the last 15 years are still here. Now, some folks claim we had a booming economy during the eight-year hell commonly referred to as "The Clinton Years." The government started tracking the number of layoffs in 1995. Every year since, we have set a new record. I don't see record layoffs as the sign of a "booming economy," but then again I'm not in charge of propaganda. The fact is, the economy started tumbling about the time the Japanese balloon popped, and began tumbling faster when Bush #41 signed into law the largest tax increase to date. Bill Clinton broke that record twice. Since a tax increase is actually a wage decrease, we can thank these two guys for cutting our wages.

Anyhow, we are not in a cyclical situation, though the stock market is bound to rebound in a cyclical fashion. This means you can't wait for the economy to improve, but must do things to improve your own situation. Here are some things you can do:

  • Examine expenses for waste. For example, eating out is very costly, and not just because the food tends to be loaded with sugar and fat. Eat simple meals at home, and use the savings to pay down debt.
  • Convert non-deductible debt to deductible debt. If you have a house, you can usually get a home equity loan. Use it to pay off your other loans, starting with the smallest ones first. You start with the small ones so you can simply eliminate the hassle of making those payments. Do not put credit card debt on a home equity loan, though, unless you really think through all of your spending patterns--otherwise, you risk losing your home.
  • Re-evaluate your 401(k), if you have one. The limits have just shot way up. Also, you can have an individual 401(k) if you have your own business--sideline or not.
  • Declare "Skinflint Month." This is a special month where you try to live as cheaply as possible. You buy food, only, and zap your entertainment budget. Yes, it's Spartan. But, it shows you what you can live without and it gives you extra savings you can use to pay down debt. Plan this month carefully, then execute it. No shopping, no going out, etc. Leave cash and credit cards at home when going anywhere. Brownbag your lunches. Before spending a dime, ask if not doing so would jeopardize your job, home, or health.
  • Think of what it is you really like to do, and think about how to turn that into spare income. One of our readers did this and now makes $900 a month moonlighting.

4. Health tip

In our last eNL, I gave tips for testing male fitness, as a general sign of health. One of our readers wrote in asking why I didn't mention a test for female fitness. Not being female, I have never studied this subject. I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to give you a snowjob by making something up. I will tell you how I, being single, unscientifically assess a woman's fitness. Keep in mind, these are just my perceptions.

  • Calves. These should have a full muscle belly and good definition. One reason women wear heels is to make their calves look better. Wearing heels all the time deforms the calf structure unless the woman purposefully stretches her calves daily. So, assess only in bare feet or athletic shoes.
  • Posture. A slouch indicates a weak back.
  • Belly. Young women should have flat bellies. Women who've born children aren't necessarily unfit if their bellies aren't flat. Model-perfect isn't a good indicator of fitness, anyhow. A belly with a smooth symmetric curve to it (as opposed to a hanging paunch) is attractive.
  • Arms. If these bring up visions of Ethiopia, she is undermuscled. I like big arms with "the vein" running down the middle of the biceps.
  • Face. Excessive make-up is a sign she's insecure, is covering blemished skin, or is using make-up to make up for some deficiency we aren't supposed to notice. Sagging jowls and/or lack of a smile are also indications of being less than fit.
  • Strength. She should be able to squat at least her own bodyweight--this strength measurement doesn't change by gender. Women lack the upper body power of men (such as it is), but can often outswim them and outrun them.

What if you are a woman who doesn't meet the above? Well, there's a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way. Focus on your exercise program and diet. By that, I don't mean going through the motions of tossing some weights around while you starve yourself. I do mean challenge those muscles and don't eat processed "foods."


5. Fitness tip

The conventional wisdom is we have to lift weights to build muscle and run on a treadmill to build our cardiovascular system and burn fat. Pretty boring. Many other activities can make up part or all of this routine, provided you don't take a haphazard approach. These require almost no money, and you can actually hire out your services to others--get paid to exercise! Here are some items to start you off:

  • Mowing. If you have a powered mower that's getting up in years, replace it with one that requires you to push it. That's great cardio.

  • Raking. Take a break from that lat pulldown mahcine, and rake your yard instead. If you don't have a yard, volunteer to do this for someone else, or for a church or school. If you don't have a rake, buy one. It's a cheap investment in exercise equipment. You will also need trash bags for what you rake up.

  • Weeding. Digging dandelions and other weeds up will work your muscles far more than going through the motions on an exercise machine can do. Get a dandelion digger, a bag, and some gloves. Do this for no more than 20 minutes the first time you try it. You'll be doing lots of squatting and bending, unless you cheat and sit on the ground. No weeds or no yard? Read the raking tip again.

  • Litter picking. Select a place where you aren't going to be overcome by fumes or traffic, and pick up litter. You'll need a bag, of course, so don't forget one--I also recommend workgloves. Pick the litter up with a combination of bending, and squatting. This is a fantastic lower back and leg workout. My mom put me though this during my entire childhood, and I had no idea I was working out--I just felt good because I was doing something to improve the world around me.

  • Dog walking. If you don't have a dog, offer to walk a couple of the neighborhood dogs for either goodwill or cash. Besides the exercise, you'll have a new friend or two who will adore you.

  • Hiking. Rather than have friends over to sit around and solve the world's problems while snacking on junkfood with the television blaring in the background, ask them to go on a one-hour hike with you. It's great cardio, it's relaxing, and it has other benefits you will discover. My sister and I do this when visiting.

  • Kayaking. You can rent a kayak. It's great exercise, it's safe, and it's fun. Be sure to schedule this on a back workout day. Another activity my sister and I enjoy....


6. Thought for the Day

Education is the process of absorbing what others tell you--putting the light bulb in the socket. Learning is what happens when you understand that information--turning the light bulb on. Intellectual growth occurs only when you stop staring at that light bulb and see what it illuminates.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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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