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Mindconnection eNL, 2003-12-13

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In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

This is America, speak Spanish!
Spanish is increasingly moving to prominence in the USA. Some folks think that's bad, and some folks think that's good. Folks who truly think will equip themselves with an electronic Spanish translating device and/or give one as a gift.

[The handy unit pictured at right is very popular, and it's loaded with features. You eNL subscribers can get a $10 rebate off the sale price! Just buy the unit, and send the confirmation e-mail back with a request for $10 back (unlimited qty!). ] --outdated material, noted in 2012.

Update: It has been many years since this issue ran.

"In all my purchases on the net, I have never had a company like yours pay so much attention to me as a customer! Your ease of transaction, fast shipping, and the follow up emails are of a level I can honestly say I have never experienced before. You have a great company and I would definitely rate you guys AAA+++!" -- Joe Kupper, Normandy Beach, NJ



2. Brainpower tip

Many people feel it's essential to watch the television news, listen to the radio news, and read the newspaper. This is, they claim, how they "find out what's going on in the world."

But, there are two major problems with the news you get from these sources:

  • It's overwhelmingly negative.
  • It's usually flawed--inaccurate, misleading, or downright false.

That first property is obvious. The news is negative. And negativity drains your creative energies. If you want to be smart, tune out the news.

That second property is not so obvious. But, let's take an example. The Federal Government is reporting some pretty high productivity statistics (good news, for a change!). They measure productivity by dividing the total output by the number of workers.

Now, think about this. Joe works 30 hours and makes 100 widgets. Mike works 60 hours and makes 101 widgets. According to the government, Mike is more productive than Joe. Yet, Joe is more than twice as efficient as Mike. How can he be more productive? The quantity the government is measuring isn't productivity. It's a meaningless number that nobody can use for managerial or economic purposes.

The correct way to measure productivity is to divide the total output by the labor hours used to produce that output.

How do productivity and efficiency differ? Productivity measures the total product out the door--completed work. Efficiency measures the amount of work done, regardless of how much completed product there is--it is process-oriented. Productivity and efficiency move in the same direction. Thus, you cannot have the disparity logically arrived at by the government's method of calculation.

When the official statistics concur with reality, that is usually coincidental. So, why read those statistics in the first place? Doing so simply wastes and warps brainpower that can be better applied to more useful pursuits.

3. Time tip

Does it seem like half your day is gone before you get anything done? You were busy as heck, but your To Do list just sat there? This is a common problem, and there's a good cure for it.

The root cause of this is poor task design. That is, the task is not logically thought out with the employment of the least steps and the work materials in the most efficient physical locations or order.

Here's an example. Most people use their computer mouse with their right hand. They also have to use their right hand to operate the 10-key pad, the delete key, the Page Up and Page Down keys, and the arrow keys. So, they move their hand 8 inches from the mouse to the keyboard and back. This goes on all day, adding up to perhaps several miles of wasted motion each year. The fix for this is to use your mouse with your left hand. As an added bonus, this reduces carpal tunnel stress dramatically.

Think of other common tasks you do repeatedly, and look for wasted steps: making a sandwich (how is your kitchen laid out and where are your dishes and utensils relative to the working area), opening your mail, stapling papers together, sending a letter, and backstabbing a coworker. You can be more efficient at each of these things, thus saving yourself enormous amounts of time. I was joking about that last one.


4. Finance tip

The new IRS commissioner is focusing on audits and collection--with a vengeance. The underlying assumption here is so many Americans are untrustworthy that we need an organization larger than our Army and Navy combined to ferret out the cheaters.

One problem with that assumption, aside from its sheer effrontery, is the fact that this group that is sitting in judgment of the rest of us managed to steal 4300 government computers the year before last. This year, the General Accounting Office found that these folks--when they aren't busy stealing government property--spend half of their at the office Internet time surfing p*rn and gambling sites.

So, the situation is a bit illogical, don't you think?

Your single largest expense--larger than what you pay for food, clothing, and shelter combined--is taxation. Think about that. Then, do something about it.

My city council recently tried to vote themselves a raise, while they are already making above average council pay. I let my councilman know the Enron model is not appropriate, and I also wrote to the mayor.

When a measure comes up for spending, ask how it will be funded. Don't ever vote for a tax increase for any reason--our taxes are already punitive. Instead, force your elected officials to make hard choices. This is the single best thing you can do to improve your finances--and those of your children.

We need to applaud President Bush for restoring some sanity to our federal taxation fixation. Now, we need to take the fight to the state and local governments. If we don't do that, we will simply work more hours for less pay. Think of every tax increase as a pay cut, and you'll be thinking clearly.

5. Security tip

This time of year, many people are engaging in the traditional Christmas gift exchanges. That means people are out later shopping, and are often carrying packages.

If you are a Christmas shopper: Be aware that having your hands full with packages makes you an easy target. If you must walk far with packages, keep one hand free or use a cart.

Whether you are a Christmas shopper or not: Be aware that muggers sometimes use the "would you open my car door for me" ruse or some other trick to get you off balance.

The good news is, for most of us, your mind knows. If you get a sense something is wrong, something is out of place, or you just feel uncomfortable, say something, like, "I don't want to give you this flu bug." And walk off. When you get that odd feeling in your stomach, this is actually your "other brain" talking. Your autonomous nervous system is fascinating--read about it sometime. It picks up those cues--don't let your big brain over-rule them.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Eat carbohydrates and proteins together. For example, have a little peanut butter on that apple. Or have a meal replacement drink. Why do this? There are several reasons. Here are some:
  • You need carbs, fats, and proteins. The no carb, no fat, or no protein diets are the products of sick minds. Ignore these. Not one of these diets is sustainable, and all carry very high health risks.
  • Protein will blunt the insulin response of the carbohydrate.
  • The carbohydrate improves the cellular uptake of the protein.
  • They taste good together (there's a reason for this!).
  • You feel full faster when you combine carbohydrates with proteins, so your total calorie consumption is less than if you ate them separately. Unless you have something else wrong with you and you just eat for the heck of it.

Just make sure you eat quality carbohydrates. The less-processed, the better. To prevent the traditional 10 pound fat gain this holiday season, avoid highly-processed grains (flour-based products, such as bread, bagels, rolls, croutons), sweets, corn (it's been modified over 5,000 years to be high in sugar and very fattening--it's what we feed cattle before slaughtering them) root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, beets), and fruit juices.

Good carbs come from whole grains (do not confuse this with "multi-grain"), whole fruits, green vegetables (spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, broccoli, green beans, etc.), and a few other sources.

Note: Most of the diet bars, sports bars, protein bars, etc., are junk. You can find good ones here:

7. Thought for the Day

Through the holidays, nerves are often frayed (too many people watching the news!). We're tired, we're out of our routine, people are in our space, we have to pee....

You can give in to the temptation to blurt out the negative feeling, and pass it on to someone else. Or, you can choose to pause and then say something nice--creating a positive feeling that comes back to you.

If you're tempted to tell Uncle Louie you can't stand his war stories, pause. Then, tell Uncle Louie something positive about him (Hey, are you working out? You look great!). Use this as a lead-in to change the subject.

If you can't think of something positive about Uncle Louie, ask Uncle Louie if you can get his advice on something (it may be best if you say, "Let's go for a walk and talk about this. It's really your opinion I want, and I don't want to share this problem with everyone else."). 

This will satisfy the need that originally drove him to tell the war stories. Something to think about.


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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