Bookmark and Share

Mindconnection eNL, 2007-04-01

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 Highlight

Save a page
Spring is here, and with it comes the annual panic over losing the ten pounds of body fat gained over the holidays. Even those of us who didn't indulge in holiday calorie binging are looking to lean out for summer. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when we are pummeled by ads for "weight loss" products that don't work.

The key to losing body fat is to take in fewer calories than you expend. Period.

We do sell fatburner supplements, and they actually work. For example, customers report great results with the Nitro nighttime fatburner. But these products are not foundational. That is, you can use them to gain an edge but not as the foundation for your nutritional plan. That would be like weedwhacking around your shrubs but not mowing your lawn and calling that "lawncare." You have to take care of the major component, here!

What you need is a solid plan for controlling how much you eat. It's that simple because the dynamics of fat gain and fat loss are that simple. It takes 3500 calories to make a pound of fat. You can't easily burn off 3500 calories via exercise (run a treadmill for an hour, and you may burn 200 calories--how many hours are there in your day?), but you can easily reduce your caloric intake by a sufficient amount. And that is the key to making those pounds drop off.

This is just one of the many reasons we like a good MRP (Meal Replacement Powder). The Lean Body products are low-calorie, nutritious, tasty alternatives to the typical mid-day fare. If you are eating six meals a day, make three of them an MRP. If you are eating three meals a day, what the heck are you thinking? Click the image at right, and try one of these MRPs. Use it as part of a solid program, and you'll be on your way to having a body that is lean and healthy.  

2. Brainpower tip

When I look at the results of federal agencies, it's difficult not to conclude that whoever runs those agencies must be the offspring of humans who mated with vegetables.

Even very bright people, placed into a federal agency, produce mediocre results. They spend 98% of their efforts overcoming needless hurdles, inefficiencies, mind-numbing processes, and astounding stupidity.

These same people often produce excellent results in other environments, so it's not them--it's the system. Note: some agencies don't follow this pattern. For example, the Forestry Service is outstanding. Contact your local agricultural extension, and you might actually start thinking government is functional.

Sadly, government is not our only source of stupidity. You've probably, at one time or another, found your own efforts completely neutralized by an idiot boss or by some company policy produced in a vacuum by some clueless drone VP. Or worse, a temporary CEO who is just there for his $10 million sign-on bonus.

A danger here is we can make the wrong comparisons. If we use this far end of the competence spectrum as our "yardstick," we can easily feel smug about our own leaner, more intelligent approach to doing things. We will consequently over-rate our own efforts and forego improvements that can make them even better.

The tip is this. Analyze things from an absolute perspective rather than a relative one. Rather than thinking, "I do this so much better than the morons over at XYZ," think, "I do this well, but how can I do steps A, B, and C better?"

When you approach your work with the goal of continual improvement, you'll find increasingly efficient ways of doing things--and doing them better. Not only will this make you look smarter, the mental exercise will make you smarter.

And finally, don't ever despair about your mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. Just count yours as tuition in the school of hard knocks and see what you can learn so that you do better the next time. Anybody who asks more than that of you isn't living in reality.

3. Time Tip

4. Finance tip

Most of us know by now that a typical SUV costs 3 to 4 times as much to buy fuel for as a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry.

Note: With a 5-speed transmission, synthetic oil, and my fuel-conscious driving habits, my Camry gets nearly 40 MPG on the highway. You do not need a hybrid car to be "green."

We also know that an SUV generally costs more to insure than a standard passenger car. And SUV owners have sadly discovered that their land barge is more likely to be dinged and dented while parked (because it takes up so much room).

Some of us even realize that if every American SUV owner dismantled his or her SUV with a blowtorch and bought a Civic or Camry, the United States would no longer need to import oil. That's a huge cost of SUV ownership that affects everyone (which is why CONgress, in its standard stupidity mode, gave tax incentives for buying SUVs).

What some people are starting to see now is a cost of SUV ownership includes the damage such a heavy vehicle (equivalent to 3 or more cars, in many cases) causes their driveways and garage floors.

Yes, for years, everyone has paid for SUV-induced damage to our roads, public lots, and highways. SUV owners got a free ride on that score, because everyone had to pay for the repairs. But now SUV owners are being hit with huge bills--often more than half the price of a decent car--for property repair. I don't feel a bit sorry for them. If you drive an SUV and are offended by this, then you are "shooting the messenger" instead of seeing the problem.

I use SUVs as just one example of hidden costs in the things we buy. Here's a second example: Buy anything with high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oil in it, and you are looking at enormous medical bills down the road. Many long-term hydrogenated oil consumers now spend more on colostomy bags than on fruits and vegetables.

When the guy who mows his lawn every day complains about profligate SUV owners, well, that's just stupid. But let's think about the real message here. It's not about demonizing SUV owners. It's about looking for the hidden costs in our purchases.

What are some other purchases that hold huge hidden costs? Think about this when you buy things.

5. Security tip

With airport "security" now including what amounts to strip-searching, the days of being discreet about having a laptop, PDA, or other expensive device (which may contain sensitive data) are gone. How can you protect these devices from being stolen off the conveyor while you're standing there in your stocking feet?

The answer is you can't. But, there are some things you can do to reduce the danger. Also, keep in mind that it's just assumed a business traveler is carrying a laptop or PDA. So if you look like you're a business traveler then you're already a target. If you don't look like a business traveler, that has its drawbacks as well.

Some things to consider:

  • Don't carry keys or coins. I have no idea why people with carryons do this. It's stupid. Put that stuff in your carryon bag before you enter the security area. I have a clip in my bag just for keys, and I hang them there. I don't carry any coins. I don't buy "food" at the airport, so I don't need to make change.

    If you have the irrational "need" to put that "hydrogenated oil suffused" garbage into your body, at least use a credit card to purchase it. A better choice is to travel with one of the few varieties of non-toxic meal bars. Most products of this nature are junk that will diminish your health. The ones we offer are actually fit for human consumption, and can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Put your laptop or PDA on the conveyer last. This way, it's almost guaranteed to still be in the scanner when you are at the other end and there to grab it as it comes out.
  • Always be polite to the TSA people. My experience is that they actually watch over my stuff. I suppose if you're unkind they may "accidentally" not care what happens to your things. I've heard comments that these people are incompetent morons, but I have found them to be  unusually competent for federal agency employees. I have found them to be conscientious and helpful, and don't mind telling them so.
  • Don't be surprised. It amazes me how many people seem surprised that they have to present their ID, show their ticket, take their shoes off, etc. You know this is coming, so prepare for it. Come up with a way to do these things with minimal effort, so that you aren't pulled aside while your camera, cellphone, laptop, or other devices are sitting in a pan waiting for someone else to pick up.
  • Keep the actual data on a USB fob drive or similar removable drive, not on the laptop. I don't do this myself, but it's probably best if you are carrying highly sensitive data. It's harder to steal a little drive from your pocket or the inside pouch of a soft-sided briefcase than it is to just pick up a laptop and run off with it.
  • Purchase and use data locking software and devices. Also, encrypt the data on your drive (removable or otherwise) so that any stolen drive is simply a piece of hardware. It's annoying to lose a $40 drive. It can be catastrophic to have confidential data stolen and used.

You have to protect your valuables so that they aren't sitting there unattended and free for the taking. Running after the thief isn't an option--trying this may get you shot. Yes, probably the TSA people can catch the thief for you. But why give them the extra work and hassle to begin with? They aren't your private security team. Their job is more focused on preventing the nutcases from getting on the planes.

Protecting your person

Now, let's look at your personal safety. Interestingly, we are now disarmed to make us "safer" (as if this is logical). This bit of federal "thinking" has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for criminals.

As there aren't enough air marshals to cover all flights and the ones we do have stick out like sore thumbs, you can't count on any kind of protection from the same federal government that chose disarming you as a "protection" strategy.

After the Entebbe debacle, I developed a self-defense protocol. I used to travel with a buck knife that was barely at the legal limit of 3.5 inches of blade, just for the sole purpose of ramming that blade into the thigh of a hijacker--swiftly and with no "telegraphing." I had practiced the technique on props I made for the purpose of practice, and had developed it to where I was pretty well assured of splitting a femur. Scratch one terrorist.

This was a viable and reliable means of protection, until the new "security" rules came into effect. Now with "security by stupidity" in place, the balance of power has shifted to the criminals.

What I did in response was get some folks together to practice "unarmed" ways of dispatching plane cabin criminals. One premise behind this is that any fool who attempts to take over a plane today is effectively facing a plane full of citizen air marshals. So, you don't have to be necessarily lethal. You just have to make the first counterstrike, and it needs to be effective enough just to allow time for your fellow passengers to get out of their seats and beat each hijacker to a pulp.

Arrange half a dozen chairs to simulate an airplane interior, and see what it takes to disable a hijacker. A tightly rolled magazine makes a nice baton. A laptop can be used to block a knife attack (using a plastic martial arts "breakaway" practice board is more economical than using an actual laptop for practice). A seat is perfect for body-slamming a terrorist backwards onto, thereby breaking his back. But you have to get the motion down through practice.

Until such time as the FAA issues passengers guns with rubber bullets or issues real weapons to the flight crews, we are left to fend for ourselves with whatever weapons are available. Anything can be used as a weapon (yes, even a paper airline ticket can be used to swipe and slice across a terrorist's eyes).

Not fighting is not an option. Fortunately, 99% of Americans realize this and our sheer numbers will be sufficient in most cases to thwart any attempt to take over a passenger plane. But don't rely on that alone.

Even though our present security strategy is flawed, it contains some elements that were long overdue. Things are improving, and eventually we'll be where we need to be. The disarming part goes against history (first attempted hijacking was stopped by an armed pilot) and common sense, but other parts are moving forward nicely.

Each of us can help by being alert to suspicious behavior and reporting it to the authorities. That doesn't mean blurting out accusations. Be discreet and factual. If you're in flight, do what the flight crew or other officials ask of you--they are on that same plane and they rely on you.

A couple of examples of how to help:

  • During boarding, I noticed a man was sweating profusely even though it was actually chilly in the terminal and on that plane. I typed a message on my laptop, noting what I observed and what seat the man appeared to be in (I was actually off by one row). I pressed the flight attendant call button. When the flight attendant arrived, I handed him the laptop. He read the message, and headed up front. A little while later, that passenger was escorted off the plane. The flight attendant later told me that passenger was on some kind of federal list and should not have been allowed to board..
  • In another case, a passenger was simply belligerent--he had been told to shut off his cell phone, stop standing in the aisle, etc, and argued each time. This was a big guy, and he just radiated hostility. At one point, he muttered the N word in reference to the flight attendant as the FA walked away from him. I was in the back row with some other guys. The FA told us there was no air marshal on the plane. He asked us if we would help him restrain a particular passenger if necessary. We all agreed. He said, "Well, I want you men to watch me and then wave when I point to you." A minute later, he had Mr. Belligerent looking our way. We all waved. No more problems with that passenger.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

This Supplecity article applies mainly to teens, but has implications for a wider audience as well:


7. Miscellany

  1. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used in place of the milk. The truth is that milk doesn't really "do a body good" and television "does a mind bad." Limit your intake of both, and you'll be better off.
  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


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 comments @ (paste that into your e-mail client, and remove the spaces).

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!