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Mindconnection eNL, 2002-11-19

In this issue:

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


1. Featured product

Did you know the Christmas season is the time of the highest suicide rates in the USA? I don't know about other countries, but I suspect there isn't much difference. The reasons are fairly obvious, and they are all on top of the shorter, darker days we already have to deal with. Christmas brings us big changes in our routines, mingling with relatives and acquaintances we don't see often or maybe don't even like, bad food, late hours--stress is just extremely high. Plus, there's the mindless shopping and standing in line and the anticipation of the big bills for it all....

Some of us deal with this by boycotting Christmas. That cuts the problem off at its source. But, not all of us have that option. The next most effective approach is to be able to deal with the stress it brings. Mindconnection has an outstanding course on stress, and it costs less than a single dinner. Why not buy it, today? Here is the link, which you may need to paste into your browser:

You also might want to get yourself some posters or prints to help lift your mood, while anticipating the longer, sunnier days ahead.


2. Brainpower tips

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to drop 50 points in their IQ as soon as they get in front of a computer? People younger than I am have told me, "Well, your generation grew up with computers, mine didn't." (I don't look my age--see for free info). That age excuse is lame. In fact, age is not a factor at all. Attitude is the only factor at work, here.

In my early years of martial arts training, using the phrase "I can't" would get me a whack with bamboo stick. The mindset needs to be "I can."

Do you remember Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek? I watched a later movie of his, wherein machines attacked a lunar exploration crew and hitched a ride back to the earth, where they would replicate and take over. Koenig, of course, saved the world. His most memorable line, one that comes back to me any time the computer seems daunting, is this: "I don't take any sh-- from a machine."

Brainpower is maybe 50% ability and 50% attitude. Don't let a subject intimidate you. Embrace it. Learn its basic concepts. If you don't understand something, ask, "What are the three main concepts?" or ask, "What is the general structure of this thing?"

Simply freezing up and assuming you can't is a sure way to render yourself incapable.


3. Finance tips

Now is the best time to buy a car, if you are thinking of doing so. Why is that?

First, consider what is driving the present situation ( no pun intended):

  • The pundits are saying, "Everyone who wanted a car bought one in October."

  • People refinanced their homes and bought vehicles over the past few months because interest rates were so low. Now, that card has been played. Even lower interest rates will have no effect.

  • Car dealerships are desperate.

Some of the goodies out there:

  • New car prices are slashed. I just bought a new car, and the MSRP was down by several thousand dollars since I looked at the car in August!

  • Financing terms are great. You can get 0% financing, 1.9% financing, and other lucrative deals, often with no payment for 30, 60, or 90 days. One manufacturer has an offer where you pay nothing for the first six months!

  • Dealers are throwing in goodies as they can. For example, they'll shave their margins on dealer-installed items if such an item will clinch the deal. Get a spoiler "at cost" (you don't really know their cost, but this is the lingo) or get an upgrade you want anyhow for 10% off their normal price as a condition of your buying the car.

  • Any car with a five-speed will bring you a big bargain over the automatic. I'm not referring to the huge extra lifetime cost of an automatic or to the upfront discount you normally get with a five-speed. I am referring to the fact that manufacturers push these cars because the higher fuel economy of these cars is an easy way for manufacturers to meet federally-required fleet standards. Dealers must sell them, and they don't want to carry the inventory.

  • A sedan with a five-speed is a steal, right now. Expect to save as much as $2500 over the same car burdened with an automatic.

Some tips:

  • Don't buy an SUV, unless you really have a purpose for it. These vehicles are way overpriced--the margins are just enormous. The Explorer was $15,000 profit per vehicle last year--if you have that kind of money just to give away, please contact me immediately! SUVs also don't meet the same requirements cars do for emission standards or fuel economy.

  • Buy a five-speed. Not only do you save money upfront and throughout the life of the vehicle, but you are that much more in tune with your vehicle while undertaking what is one of the most dangerous activities the typical person does (statistically speaking).

  • You can really deal. Walk in with a list of three to five folks you know who are talking about buying a car. Show the salesman the list of names and say, "I will write my name on your business card and hand it to each one of these folks, after I take them for a ride in my new car. Show me a cherry, and make me a deal."

  • Never buy on your first visit, no matter how good the deal seems. They will make a better deal on your second visit, and things get really sweet on that third visit.

  • Be aware that car salespeople will talk one set of numbers to you and then give you a different set when they go to close the sale. The closing numbers are always higher. When you catch them at this, they act all confused. I have saved as much as $4500 by walking through the calculations at each step. When you deal hard with these people, expect this tactic to be employed repeatedly. They figure you might catch them once, but they'll keep doing it. Itemize each item on a pad of paper, and clearly label each mathematical calculation.

  • Ignore the advice about not trading in your car. I have made out like a bandit with every trade-in. You just need to leave the trade-in out of the equation when discussing the new car. If they ask, "Are you trading in," tell them it might be a consideration and then change the subject. Trading in is great, because you don't have to run an ad and endure all the hassle and risk that comes with it. You should be able to get the Kelly Blue Book number, but keep in mind it may not be accurate for your zip code. Use it as a starting point, and also investigate what cars like yours are selling for at retail.

 Always be pleasant throughout the transaction. Car salespeople are people, and they respond well to being respected. They may hate having to come down in price for you, but they will be more likely to do so if you treat them respectfully. Theirs is a stressful job, and folks who show some understanding and respect do get favors. Folks who go to the dealer with an attitude might not get a deal, no matter how hard they bargain.

If suggest saying something like, "You know, you've been very helpful and informative. I really like this car. But, you are going to have to help me get behind the wheel. It's the money." This has always worked for me.


4. Health tip

Recently released research claims you don't really need to drink all the water "the  health nuts" are telling you to drink. The research claims you get enough water from the food you eat. This research is bunk. Ignore it. I could go into the reasons why, but I really hate dissecting utter stupidity. Suffice it to say, these are the same folks who told us eggs are bad for us.


5. Fitness tip

Do you know what a rotator cuff tear is? You probably do. It's pretty painful, and somewhat disabling. It's also preventable. The key here is to work the rear deltoid, and this is something most gym rats don't do. Most people overwork the front deltoids by pronating during their bench presses and yet their rear deltoids, even after years of lifting, are usually not much thicker than a few sheets of paper. As a result, the shoulder is unstable. Not only is it unstable, but the ligaments are artificially shortened in the front and so it is just a rotator cuff tear or shoulder dislocation waiting to happen.

The cure is not to stop working your shoulders. The cure is to work your entire shoulders. Several good exercises exist for the rear deltoids. These exercises all involve moving your arm toward the plane of your back against a resistance.

My 70-year old uncle is a retired iron worker with enormous rear delts. How did he get those? From picking things up off the ground. Whether you have weights or not, all you really need to do for good rear delt development is to think of how an iron worker picks up rebar and do something similar.


6. Thought for the Day

Why wait until next year to make your New Year's resolution? Why wait until Christmas to give something to someone you love? We have no guarantee of tomorrow. If something is good, where is the benefit in purposely not doing it?


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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