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Mindconnection eNL, 2005-05-02

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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

Quality Update
This is a follow-up to the previous eNL, in which I told you our #1 product is quality. And I told you I've been using a tool that detects dead outgoing links and 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 then have since bit the dust.

That project is now completed, and I deleted over 100,000 dead links! That's a lot of Websites that went under. We are still here.

If you are going to buy anything online, check out Mindconnection first. There's a reason why we have outlasted so many others. We just may have what you are looking for. We always have the "mojo" that has allowed us to walk past thousands of fallen competitors.


2. Brainpower tip

Does it seem like there's an epidemic of behavior that is petty, rude, and downright mean?

Such behavior may seem to be "normal," these days. We need look only to accounts of road rage and powerful government bureaucrats to support the contention that people are, well, contentious.

How much brainpower do people divert to fueling their contentiousness? Here's one way of looking at it. Let's say you are an attorney, and you bill $150 an hour for your services. You get in a fight with somebody over something inconsequential, and you stew on that. Total time involved: 3 hours. Total cost: $450. Total benefit: 0.

Now, not everyone bills at $150 an hour. One CEO made $83,000 per hour, last year. Do you think he spends time in petty squabbles?

But for most people, time is not money and they can't just bill $150 for an hour of work. They work 40 or 50 hours per week at a job, and their income depends on their employer's wishes.

Or does it? If you divert brainpower into engaging negative behavior, the "vibes" do carry over into your work--limiting your potential advancement. Further, you are not spending that time developing as a person, preventing problems, and so on. So, you are going to spend more (to fix your problems) and get less. Your anger and negativity has the same effect as a wage cut.

We have the power to choose to love--or to hate. That is, we can choose to project kindness or to project contempt. Someone has a bad day and snaps at you--what do you choose to do? You can snap back, which gives you nothing. Or, you can say something like, "Gosh, I'm sorry you're having a rough day. I hope it gets better for you."

Of course, there are those people who just need to be confronted about their behavior--but again, you can choose to do that with or without rancor. You can be assertive without being aggressive.

We aren't necessarily trapped into whatever behavior we find ourselves doing, unless we let ourselves be trapped. But many of us are trapped. And we're trapped in a room constructed of something negative, such as pettiness or hatred. We're trapped because we simply cannot find the door. Fortunately, it is within each of us to not only see that door, but to throw it wide open.

When you feel put upon, frustrated, victimized, inconvenienced, rejected, sh** upon, insulted, dehumanized, disrespected, or in some other way at odds with another person or the world--you do have the power not to let circumstances fill your head with brain-deadening panic, fear, rage, or anger.

Sometimes, using this power seems beyond us.

But usually what happens is we get the negative feeling and then assume that's the way it is. The fact is, those feelings come right away and overwhelm the conscious mind. Those feelings do not have to be your "final answer." Let the feeling do its thing, then take control. You can keep negative events from sapping your spirit and using up your available brainpower. The more you try, the more often you will succeed.

3. Time Tip

Learn to relax. This seems counterintuitive. But, what happens when you are rattled?

A customer contacted me, today. She was making a purchase her boss wanted her to make for two people in her department. She didn't take the time to read three lines of instruction for ordering that product. But, at least she e-mailed me. I e-mailed her back, then called her.

I tried to walk her through this simple procedure, but she kept jumping ahead of me. Because we had to keep emptying the shopping cart and starting over, this 40 second process took about 5 and a half minutes.

Then, she e-mailed me later asking me to e-mail her a receipt. The system sends receipts out automatically, but she tried to print hers out and accidentally deleted it. To "save time,' she has her e-mail client set such that deleted items are gone for good. She asked me to snail mail her a paper copy, and I told her that was very time consuming. I e-mailed her a replacement copy.

Her problem is she's got too many demands on her time. So, she works frantically to keep up. My advice to her would be to slow down and work at her capacity. This way, she won't spend time fixing mistakes. I have been in her mode many times, myself. I have to stop and realize that's what I'm doing, then correct my behavior.

If you find you are doing things over, following up to correct mistakes, following up with "oh, I forget to tell you" messages, overlooking key information, or making other "I'm rushed" mistakes, then you need to stop what you are doing. Get up, walk around, take a breath. Yes, this takes up time. But, it relaxes you. Then, return to what you are doing and ask yourself what is the most urgent item you need to do. Do it, while ignoring the rest. If you can't decide which item is most urgent, just pick one at random (or alphabetically, if you prefer).

Then, move to the next most urgent item. Repeat this until all of the urgent items are completed. Of course, not all urgent items may be doable at the moment--perhaps you need a resource you are waiting for, or you need to reach a particular person.

Once you have completed the urgent items, ask yourself (or your boss, as the case may be) which of the remaining items is most important. That is, which item will provide the most benefit or prevent the most pain if you do it. After you do it, move on to the next.

Yes, you'll have a queue of items waiting to be done. So be it. You can do only so much. The rest will just have to wait.

Just remember, if you try to work too fast, you end up working half-fast. Say this out loud: "I will not work too fast, because doing so results in half-fast work."

Now you get the picture.


4. Finance tip

With their never-ending gall, CONgress has handed us another jolt. The new bankruptcy law prevents citizens from discharging their debts and getting on with their lives. Members of CONgress, who spend like there's no tomorrow and have run up an enormous national debt while making four times the wage of their average constituent (with an option to raise that wage when they feel like it), have decided ordinary citizens must be "accountable."

The winners in this game are the banks and insurance companies--who are doing quite well, thank you very much. Now, I am a firm believer people should pay their debts (though I don't believe employees of a particular federal agency should be allowed to make up false debts they assign to citizens and then make people pay, but that's another issue).

However, something like 80% of bankruptcies are due to illness, job loss, or a combination thereof. That is, these people went bankrupt because they had enormous medical bills and/or could not work. The picture that CONgress painted was very different. They pretended that people who go bankrupt--that is, people so down and out they are willing to ruin their reputations and destroy their credit so they can afford to eat--are free-spending fools who deserve what they get.

CONgress needs to repeal this terrible law, but that kind of decency and civility probably won't happen. It's the Golden Rule: Those who have the gold make the rules.

But, there is some protection still left. Qualified retirement plans such as 401(k)s still enjoy nominal protection from creditors. However, a creditor can take your other assets and thus force you to liquidate your retirement funds anyhow. So, it's really just a shell game.

Also, a state court can tap retirement funds for certain purposes. And nothing protects any asset from the claws of the American Taliban. I can't mention the official name of the AT here, but you can figure it out if you think of what federal agency is the most powerful, most feared, greediest, and most corrupt. It's the same one that stole 4300 computers from their own offices one year, and held toddlers at gunpoint in a daycare center in another year. These folks are the Freddy Kreugers of the Feds. But, I digress.

Bankruptcy, while a lousy option, used to at least be an option. Now, it really isn't available to honest people who need it. My guess is the percentage of low-lifes and scammers getting bankruptcy protection will skyrocket, as will the number of people choosing suicide, crime, or the underground economy as their way to deal with crushing debt.

Now, I'm a merchant and I don't want to get stiffed. But there's a cost to being a member of society, and sometimes getting stiffed is part of that. I can tell you I have been screwed many, many times by the credit card companies with all of the little games they play for the sole purpose of ripping off merchants. But, I have never had a customer use bankruptcy to leave me unpaid. So, I think this law went the wrong direction.

Besides, nobody ever prevented a system failure by eliminating a safety valve.

How can you avoid bankruptcy? Since illness is the number two cause of financial devastation (the AT is number one), visit and learn how to take care of your body. Don't fall for the misinformation that leads people into thinking they are healthy when they are not. Learn the facts, and practice accordingly. You can't afford not to. Especially now that Congress has all but declared war on the middle class. What were they thinking?

5. Security tip

Cell phones are great. I keep my own county Sheriff's phone number on my cell phone.

Some years ago, I encountered a lunatic who thought I had cut him off in traffic or something on an eight-lane highway in the metroplex. I have no idea what his problem was, but he followed me for over half an hour as I took my various exits from one highway to the next, getting to where I was going.

I had spent that time pretty much ignoring the guy. He spent that time making angry faces and gestures at me and trying to intimidate me. Either that, or he was trying to show me what a complete imbecile he was. I tried smiling and waving, but he stayed angry so after a while I just refused to look at the fool.

When I was about 10 minutes from my final exit, I called the Sheriff and told the dispatcher a road rage lunatic was trying to force me off the road. I told the dispatcher where I was, and she told me I'd have to call the local police for help. I told her I was barreling down the highway at 65 MPH and could not look up that police station and asked her to patch the call through. She said, "Sir, if there hasn't been an accident, we can't ask another city to send a patrol car out there."

I told her, "Well, there's not going to be an accident. There's going to be something very deliberate. I have a 5-cell flashlight in my car, and it's the least of my weapons. Now, you can have an officer intercept this fool or I will simply pull over and clean out the gene pool. Your choice."

She then told me to take exit 10 (or whatever number that was) and there would be a squad car heading that way from the other direction to meet us. I said fine, and gave her the license number, description of the car, and description of the driver.

When I got to that exit, I did a last-second maneuver that allowed me to proceed down the highway (I actually wanted the next exit) and committed my persecutor to that exit. I called the Sheriff back and told the dispatcher what happened. She told me to hold for a moment, then she told me they had nailed the guy and she asked me if I wanted to file a complaint. I gave her my address to which to mail the form.

Do you have an emergency number programmed into your cell phone? If so, great. But, don't rely on the police to come save you--it's not their job. Use the cell phone as an added security measure, only.

The only reason I had any assistance from the police was I had it on record they left me no choice but to very violently confront a person who was threatening me. That would me bad PR and probably a serious lawsuit, so they decided to help me instead.

I would much rather have the police handle these things for any of us, but each of us must be prepared for police assistance that falls into the category of late or never.


6. Health tip/Fitness tips

Earlier in my harangue against our parasitical CONgress (which, I must admit, does have a few good people in it), I mentioned that medical costs are one of the primary causes of financial devastation.

Some things aren't all that preventable. For example, you fall and break your back. Or, consider for example my good friend and mentor Don B., who is a veteran. He's got health problems from the years of his life he gave to this country. Not much he can do about that, now. He gets some VA benefits and the gratitude of those who know he served.

But most chronic diseases are preventable for most of us. At the same time, they are often financially devastating because the costs often exceed the insurance benefit limits before healthcare professionals can bring the condition under control. We can surmise that you can prevent financial devastation by preventing (or properly coping with) the disease--and it behooves you to do so.

These illnesses that cause people to lose their assets--including their homes--include heart disease, recurring cancers, strokes, depression, and diabetes. All of these diseases have one thing in common--excess body fat is a huge risk factor for all of them. Many guides exist to tell us what "ideal" levels of body fat are, and those guides are wrong. If you want to see a body that has an ideal level of body fat, look at a sprinter. This is not 18% body fat on a man. It's more like 6 to 8%. Do not accept the delusional excuse-making of the "experts" (who are paid by the people who want to sell you the very things that make you fat) to justify the fat lifestyle.

Smoking is also a risk factor for these illnesses, but it's an insult to anyone's intelligence to tell them they need to quit smoking. 'nuf said on that subject.

If you are sick, or a loved one of yours is sick, then learn about the illness. Most doctors are too busy to keep up. So, it's your job to do the research and provide your doctor(s) with updated information. Just be sure you include the sources. Much of what passes for information is pure hokum.

Even very smart people fall for total BS. Mensa is the high-IQ Society, but you wouldn't know it by the things some Mensans say. Now there's a Mensa member promoting the raw food diet as the cure to all illnesses.

The big flaw in his position is our teeth are made for mush. Humans simply have lousy teeth. I was talking with my sister (who is a healthcare professional--a Physician's Assistant, which means she can prescribe meds and is above an RN but below a doctor) about this, and she said that in cultures where there's a great deal of raw food eaten, people's teeth are worn down to stubs.

The "ideal" diet contains a mix of raw and cooked foods. Some food preparation methods are not healthy, but all raw is not healthy either. That's just one example of the "alternative medicine" hype that's out there. In fact, there is no magic bullet. Even if you do everything right, we have polluted water in our pipes and contaminated food in our stores. And that's just for starters!

I'm not saying all "alternative medicine" is crapola. What happens is the crapola folks call their quackery alternative medicine though it's nothing of the sort. You can narrow your search by looking at the facts provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

So, weigh things carefully. Approach with a combination of open mind and healthy skepticism. Look for the facts behind the assumptions, and filter information carefully. Then, you can present to your doctor useful information instead of a bunch of stuff s/he will simply ignore.

You can contact associations that are devoted to your illness or to the health of a particular organ. They have tons of information, plus credibility with doctors. You may find them from a link at the American Medical Association Or, just do a search at (I'm liking Google less and less, these day) and go to their Websites. Type the disease name or organ name, followed by a word like association, society, or fund. Think of some of the ones you know, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, or American Kidney Fund.

You can also try the words Alliance and Union. For example, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and the National Taxpayers Union.

7. Thought for the Day

What would happen if you told one or two neighbors, "I'm really happy to have you as a neighbor. I mean that." If you don't know the answer, there's only one way to find out. I suggest you do it. A few kind words can make everyone feel good. And people remember things like that. Good friends don't just happen--you make them.


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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