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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-10-21

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In this issue:

  1. Reader Feedback
  2. Product Highlights
  3. Brainpower tip
  4. Time tip
  1. Finance tip
  2. Security tips
  3. Health tip/Fitness tip
  4. Thought for the day

1. Reader Feedback

Our last issue resulted in a torrent of feedback. What was great about this was the feedback was all positive! Thanks, loyal readers, for giving back this way. I very much appreciate your support. Don't be afraid to tell me when I'm off the mark, though, either. I want to ensure you continue to get a high-quality "must read" eNL. -- Mark L.

2. Product Highlights

Let's take a look at some really cool products Mindconnection has. Readers have actually told me they didn't know what Mindconnection was really about. Well, that's due to the chronic "underpromotion" in these eNLs. You'll get tidbits here and there, but not a lot of information about what we offer. I still don't like the idea of crass promotion, but, darnit, we have some outstanding products and it's a good thing for me to tell you about them.

So, each issue will now provide that kind of information. Here, I'll try to provide a kind of  overview.  You'll find much more on our Website.

We have behavioral courses produced by a licensed psychologist.

One of these is our Compulsive Overeating Course, which helps you get at the roots of compulsive overeating. There are reasons we "pig out." Unless we address those reasons, no diet in the world is going to make much difference in the long run.

To see more about this course, click on the cute little critter at right. To see all of the courses, go to:

We offer Crystal Reports tools. CR is a software program used for "Business Intelligence." It's been written up in the Wall Street Journal, among other places. CR has some big holes in its functionality, and we have products that fill those.

The developer is actually a friend of mine in New Zealand. We first bandied about the idea of these tools while he was visiting my home in Kansas in 1998. Now we have become the 600 lb gorilla of this category. And we are aiming for 800 lbs.

For information and free tutorials on Crystal Reports, see our subsidiary at

We also offer Electronic dictionaries, sports supplements, and electrical training courses. I'll tell you more about those in a future edition.


3. Brainpower tip

Get your rest!

New studies come out all the time to prove what we already know: adequate rest makes you smarter. One of the latest studies showed that adequate sleep produced a 30% increase in memory retention over a group that had "normal" levels of sleep.

Mindconnection does offer a Curing Sleeplessness course, for only $17.97. Click the link below for more information:

4. Time tip

Last week, I MC'd a conference for the 7x24 Exchange. This is a group concerned with maximizing the uptime at critical facilities. Such facilities include data centers, power plants, banks, hospitals, and credit card processing companies.

Most of the folks involved are facilities engineers, facilities technicians, or their vendors. These are the people who keep the physical plant running.

Their work is extremely complicated, and they have to do detailed work within small "windows" of time. In short, they can't stop in the middle of a project and run to the hardware store. If you have ever done that, this tip will strike a chord with you.

One of the "cool tricks" these folks use to minimize the amount of time actually needed to do a job is called "staging." For example, they will do a mockup of the item they are working on and walk through the procedure. When they are done, they know every tool and part they will possibly need. When they start the job, they are then able to go right through it.

I use this same trick to pack a suitcase. I set the case on the floor, and then decide what I need for each day. I lay this stuff out next to the suitcase. When I think I have everything, I just "walk through" the items sitting out right in front of me. This is a vast improvement over my old way (just start filling the suitcase). Since I began using this method, I have been able to bring less and never forget one item.

You can apply this technique to any project. While it may seem like an extra step, it's really not. How many times have you wasted time questioning what you did? Or reworking what you did? In the suitcase example, have you ever packed, only to unpack and repack?

Whenever you are doing a job that has many steps or is new to you, you will most likely save time by staging.


5. Finance tip

Many of our readers have fallen prey to an organization that has lower ethical standards then the Mafia. So, I thought it would be good to address that here.

The OMB released a report showing the Incompetent Revenue "Service" has been "servicing" innocent taxpayers by sending out notices that are incorrect 94% of the time. Since that report, the IRS has had a hiring freeze and now has even less people to issue notices when they aren't busy stealing IRS computers or using those computers (they stole 4300 in 2001) to visit gambling and p*rn sites (that usage accounts for 50% of their online time). So, the leaner staffing means you can expect an even higher rate of errors from these mathematically-challenged, ethically bankrupt inDUHviduals.

While we're all glad our airline pilots aren't this incompetent, there isn't much we can do about the IRS because our "elected" officials in the Senate and Congress are afraid of getting personally audited if they do the jobs we hired them to do.

Never, ever, trust what the IRS sends you. Never, ever, take their explanations at face value. Most of the time, the person you are talking to is just trying to close the case and could care less about the truth or following the Internal Revenue Code.

Most folks simply pay up. This reaction merely propagates the incompetence and the resultant financial hit. When the IRS contacts you about anything, insist they show you all the facts--not just their calculations. Ask them for the Internal Revenue Code reference. IRS employees use the IRS Manual (which is policy), not the IRC (which is law). Force them to follow the law--they aren't used to doing so.

6. Security tip

If you run Quicken or some other financial program on your computer, you are at risk for some major financial pain. But, not if you know how to protect yourself. How can you make your computer more secure from data theft and other nasty things that happen from hacker invasions?
Install a LinkSys router. I've had mine for years, and just installed one for a neighbor the other day. It includes a physical firewall that renders your computer invisible on the Internet.

You should also run a software firewall. But, don't do just one of these items--together, they form a moat of protection.


7. Health tip/Fitness tips

Here's a kind of pop quiz. You are now at your computer, most likely. Are you hunched over? If you are in the infamous C posture, you are setting yourself up for back pain and other problems that will seriously hamper your ability to enjoy life (or, at the very least, enjoy making others miserable--ha, ha!).

Sit in a chair such that your back maintains it natural curve. Your butt should be pointed out slightly, so the small of your back is actually forward of it rather than directly above it. Most people sit with the small of the back actually behind the butt. Shoulders back, chin up. You know the drill.

Unfortunately, most "computer furniture" is horrendous for your posture. It's too low, and it's simply not set up for computer users. Remember those Aerelon chairs from Herman Miller? It got ergonomic awards for its design, but it forces you to choose between a C posture or cutting off the circulation to your biceps femoralis (hamstrings). It is one of the least ergonomic chairs ever made. Disregard awards and manufacturer's claims--those are pure B.S. Instead, look at the mechanics of the chair and how it forces you--or allows you--to sit. That is all that really counts.

If you need to replace your chair or buy a lumbar support, consider that a cheap investment. Visits to the chiropractor or the back surgeon are much more expensive. And, most of us don't consider the pain all that desirable either, but there are those folks out there who think that's just dandy....

8. Thought for the Day

 Be aware of your own preconceptions. We all tend to see what we want to see. To get around this, take the "devil's advocate" approach to your own views. Then, you can form a more complete and accurate view of reality. In this era that seems like one big transporter malfunction, this approach is almost not optional.


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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