Bookmark and Share

Mindconnection eNL, 2005-04-22

Past issues

Please forward this eNL to a friend!
Free bonus:$125 shopping spree.

In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

This column is normally devoted to giving you information about products we offer. But recent events have caused me to realize there's a valuable aspect of Mindconnection that I should talk about, instead.

I've got a trip planned to visit my buddy Tim, later this year. Tim runs, and I've been an advertiser since his very early days. In one of our recent conversations, I mentioned how I regret the passing of Jim Daniels--though that was now many years ago. Jim's eNLs carried great lessons for all Webmasters. Tim said he had also learned from Jim, and he then went on to talk about "the survivors." Remember, Tim's been in this business since its early days. He's dealt directly with thousands of Webmasters and e-businesses. Most of the firms on his client list have disappeared over the years.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been using a tool that detects dead outgoing links and I've been cleaning those up. Many of the links on Mindconnection were put there back when Joe Garcia was our linkmeister--that was in 1998 and 1999. About 80% of the Websites listed have bit the dust. And now I can look at many of the names of the sites as I go and predict with fair accuracy that they bit the dust. Others aren't so easy, but quite a few seem obvious in hindsight.

There's an air of quality about the sites that have survived. Characteristics of the survivors include such key things as simplicity and offering something of value to the visitor, rather than trying to hype or glitz your way to sales.

Tim and I are both in this for the long haul. We know there's no free lunch. We know to offer something that solves people's problems, makes them feel good, informs them, or entertains them.

The various Websites under the Mindconnection umbrella attempt to do that at every turn. And this eNL is always chockful of useful information. Not all of the information is useful to everyone in every eNL. But it's my hope that something in each one proves helpful to every reader. If you can forgive (or even enjoy) my sometimes biting style, then we can continue our relationship--I just hope it's rewarding for you.

This eNL requires research and effort to put together. You can help me make that research and effort worthwhile, simply by forwarding this eNL to people you know. Suggest they sign up for it. The more subscribers I have, the more research and effort I'll do--meaning you get rewarded for helping me.

But, don't stop there. Think of your own personal quality endeavors. What are you offering of value to others when you talk to them? Sometimes, the most valuable gift you can give someone is the gift of listening to them. It makes people feel appreciated, and it lights up their day. I know when I get encouraging e-mail from readers, it always lights up my day.


2. Brainpower tip

There's more than one way to solve almost any problem. How open are you to other methods? Last night, I attended a workshop on creative thinking, and we did many exercises that drove home the fact that multiple solutions can--and usually do--have equal validity.

Some people solve problems mathematically, others via pattern recognition, some intuitively, and so on. Factors that affect how any individual solves problems include culture, knowledge, and experience. None of these is inherently better or worse--that is, my cultural norms are not inherently better or worse than the cultural norms of someone in India. They are just different.

Just about any mountain has several routes to the top. Suppose a given mountain has 27 routes to the top. Which route is the best route? That depends on many factors.

For example,:

  • Where are you starting from? Someone on the east face might not want to hike 3 miles to get to the west face, so east face routes work best for that person.
  • What do you want to achieve? Someone after a tough climbing experience would prefer route 17, while someone after an easy ascent would prefer route 25.
  • What are your constraints? John doesn't have a tent, but he does have a climbing partner and climbing gear. He takes the tough, short route. Ingrid has a tent, and only one arm. She prefers to take the hiking trail.

As you climb your metaphorical mountains, remember this example.

3. Time Tip

Fix problems in their early stages. Recently, I was talking with a person who is the secretary for a professional organization. He takes the meeting minutes and then sends them to the Webmaster. But, the minutes come with such intense and crazy formatting that they are unusable. This formatting was never an issue until this person began taking the minutes.

Now, the problem isn't that he's an idiot--he's actually quite bright. The problem is in his method. In talking with him, I suggested he use the "Paste Special / Unformatted" feature. He had never heard of it. His solution had been to have his secretary at work re-key the entire document! This is a huge waste of time. It's "fixing the problem after the product is built," rather than eliminating the problem at its source.

Just so you get the context here, this is one difference between Porsche and Toyota. The Porsche people fix the problems after the cars are built, but the Toyota people eliminate the source of the problem. That's one reason why Porsches are very labor-intensive and productivity at Porsche is lousy, while Toyota is the highest productivity automobile maker on the planet. You can find details about this in the book Lean Thinking. Get it here.


4. Finance tip

Many financial advisors are saying you can--and should--protect your assets with a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) or a Family Limited Liability Company (FLLC).

They often exaggerate the benefits, so that they can sell you their services in setting one of these up. Yes, it's true that a typical creditor of a limited partner can't touch the assets of the FLP. However, that creditor can get an order that gives the creditor the right to any distributions made to the limited partner. This is of limited value. If the assets truly belong to the family, then this is as it should be.

However, there is zero protection from the long, strangling arm of the American Taliban (AT). If you don't know who those criminals are by that name, simply sit down on April 15 each year and think for a few minutes. It might not be so bad if they didn't create alleged debts out of broadcloth and then engage in vicious and psychopathic behavior to collect on those alleged debts. When they see one of these trusts, they see it as a challenge.

The largest dog on record was an English Mastiff. He weighed 323 lbs and was over 8 feet long. If you can imagine yourself peeing on his turf and then dealing with his reaction, you get a semblance of what you are in for when the AT believes you have set up an FLP or FLLC to thwart them--they won't like it when you pee on their turf.

If your motives are pure and you can document that you created the FLP or FLLC for sound reasons that had nothing to do with stiffing creditors, then go ahead. If you use an FLP or FLLC to intentionally hinder or delay creditor claims, it's going to cost you. If the creditor is the AT, it will cost you dearly.

5. Security tip

Many people believe that lighting up their yards at night improves their home security. In some neighborhoods, the light pollution (a phrase astronomers are using all the time, these days) has gone beyond good taste and well into absurdity.

The truth is that most break-ins occur during the day, not at night--at least in the USA. Burglars don't want to encounter a home owner at home in the USA, because the government here hasn't put the brakes on our natural rights of self-defense. Not so in the U.K. or Australia, which is why their burglary rates have been soaring ever since their criminal protection acts went into effect.

A criminal is much safer breaking into a home when the homeowner is miles a way at work, than trying to sneak in at night with the possibility of being confronted by an armed homeowner in fear of his/her life.

By putting these lights all around your yard, you probably aren't increasing security. But you are letting the electric utility and the manufacturers of these lights rob you--your behavior says you literally have money to burn and don't mind burning it in their direction. What sense does that make?

Use your home security money where it counts. Putting good deadbolts on your doors is one smart thing to do. Another is to keep your weapons and your marksmanship well-maintained. Don't think that a call to 911 is going to stop a violent criminal--by the time the cops finally arrive, it will be too late. Similarly, don't think that some lighting around your yard will ward off criminals--if anything, some will appreciate the light. You may deter the more sensible night-time criminals, but the truly whacko ones won't care how much light you have.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

This is the time of year when many people are desperate to lose the extra body fat they gained over the holidays. If you didn't gain extra fat over the holidays, congratulations!

Most people think that if they do aerobic exercise in combination with a fad diet and some herbal concoctions, they will get to their ideal weight.

There are some problems with this line of thinking:

  • You have to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat. Aerobics is not the fastest way to this. Trust me--I am genetically predisposed to being fat. But, I'm at 6.5% body fat as I write this. I do not do aerobics. Worried about my lungs? Don't be. I just took a spirometer test about a week ago and, as usual, was off the charts. There is more than one solution to a problem, remember? Aerobics isn't the solution. Proper weight training is far more effective on all counts.
  • Fad diets don't work. They typically cause a loss of lean tissue, and they typically leave you fatter once you are off them than before you started.
  • Most herbal concoctions simply do not work.
  • Most people's idea of "ideal weight" is delusional. And, it's irrelevant. What counts is your body fat percentage. Buy a body fat caliper to see where you are.

So, what should you do? Portion control should be your first line of defense. If you are a typical American, you eat about 30% more than you should. To lose the extra fat, cut your portions by one-third. It is that simple.

If you go to a restaurant, ask for a second plate and then put half of your meal on that plate and ask the waiter/waitress to dispose of it. Eat the other half. No desert, either. By half, I mean half of each food item--no picking and choosing. Steak portions are nearly always double the appropriate size. I like to get the smallest steak on the menu and split it with someone. Failing that, I cut it in half and eat only half.

Some would say this is wasteful. But which is more wasteful? Preventing the problem upfront, or trying to fix it after the fact with pills, surgery, and so on? Remember Porsche vs. Toyota. It is very wasteful to over eat.

Many people say, "Yes, but I compensate for that big meal by eating less later." Oh, sure, you do. That's why you have the extra fat to lose, right?  :)

And, no, your overeating will not help a starving child in India. Eat the right amounts, and you will prevent many problems--medical, financial, emotional, and so on.

7. Thought for the Day

Life's all about choices. Choices have consequences. Think through the consequences before choosing.


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.

To subscribe, change your e-mail address, offer your own tidbit, tell us how much you love this eNL, ask how to put us in your will <grin> or to (gasp) unsubscribe, write to This e-mail link

Let other potential readers know what you think of this e-zine, by rating it at the Cumuli Ezine Finder:


Articles | Book Reviews | Free eNL | Products

Contact Us | Home

This material, copyright Mindconnection. Don't make all of your communication electronic. Hug somebody!