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Mindconnection eNL, 2007-03-18

Past issues

In this issue:

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

1. Product Highlights

Save a page
No, I'm not talking about those kids who run messages all over the Capitol. I'm talking about scanning and saving an entire page of print.

The RC700 is a pen-style full-page, fast scanner that provides monochrome scanning in a remarkably compact and light form.


This is an incredible bargain at only $197. Click the picture for more information.


It can store 100s of pages, and scans each one in just seconds. Now you can scan your letters, color documents, pictures and bring them into Paperport software (included with the RC700).

2. Brainpower tip

Use the right tool for the job. You've probably heard the expression, "To an idiot with a hammer, all the world looks like a nail." When you try to misapply what you're used to using, the results are normally poor.

But if you adopt this approach as your normal practice, guess what? Your brain begins the shed the neural connections you have stopped using. Keep your "brain muscles" strong by flexing them. When confronted with a problem, don't automatically react with the same old same old.

You develop brainpower and arrive at better solutions by adopting an approach like this one:

  • Define the problem. What is it, really? It's seldom what it seems to be.
  • Determine the cause. It is almost never what it seems to be.
  • Look around for possible solutions. Make a list.
  • Think about which solutions are the most effective. Start shortening your list.
  • Think about the cost of implementing a given solution. Shorten your list more.
  • Pick a solution. Implement it and monitor the results.

The most common approach is to start with a solution. This usually just makes matters worse. The federal government, for example, throws money at a problem and skips any kind of analysis. That's because the process is politicized and results don't matter. It's the spending that counts.

3. Time Tip

4. Finance tip

Consider your discretionary spending. A good exercise is to keep a list of every item you buy for one week. Then, sit down with that list and analyze it for the following:
  • Was the item essential? If not, why did you buy it? What was the real value?
  • Was the item really worth buying?
  • Does use of the item actually hurt you? Examples include fast "food," highly processed foods, cigarettes, and probably many common household cleaners.
  • What is the annual cost of that item, and can you express this in terms of something you really value? For example, how many months of prepaying your mortgage is this equivalent to?
  • What's the lifetime of the purchase? Things like music, ringtones, and movies don't last long in terms of usage. Dinners out last for, well, one dinner out.
  • How many hours did you have to work to be able to buy this item? To determine that, subtract your federal, state, and local income taxes from your hourly wage. For most people, this amounts to just over half of their hourly wage (another 35% of your income goes toward other taxes, including the dozens of taxes embedded in the product or service you bought).

Now, this analysis doesn't mean you should be a cheapo. For example, many people try to economize their travel by staying at fleabag motels, using cheap luggage, and so forth. Investing in the right stuff so that trip is a success is a good use of your money.

The key here is to identify things that you can really do without, so that you can have more of the things that matter.

5. Security tip

With the so-called national "elections" about to break wind on us once again, you can expect phone calls from all sorts of people wanting to part you from your money.

Some will tell you that they are trying to stop Hillary (from being back in the White House for a third term), as though this is possible. Hmm. When you consider the long history of machinations by the Republicans and Democrats to put her there, this defies logic. We could have a Dewey Defeats Truman situation again, but that isn't likely.

My point isn't to analyze this so-called contest, but to bring up the fact it's a vehicle for fraud disguised as fund-raising. The fundraising scaremongers on both sides are calling this charade a "pitched battle" and an "important election."

You can expect calls from people pretending to be fundraisers or pretending to be political pollsters. They'll ask you a handful of seeming innocuous questions, and slip in one that gives them some previously unknown fact about you. For example, they'll ask if you are a two-earner household. What they're really asking is if your house is empty during normal business hours.

You see, they call under the guise of being just another polltaker at a time when polls are hot. They use the "poll" as a front for getting the information they really want. They need just one tidbit.

My recommended self-defense is to just hang up on these people.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

7. Miscellany

  1. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie."
    I don't know how that information can possibly be useful, but it's kind of interesting.
  2. We don't run ads in our newsletter. We do get inquiries from advertisers, all the time. To keep this eNL coming, go to and do your shopping from there (as appropriate).

  3. Please forward this eNL to others.


8. Thought for the Day

We should start fining people who commit acts of gross stupidity. That would pay off the $9 trillion national debt in about a week. Maybe sooner.


Wishing you the best,

Mark Lamendola


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