Bookmark and Share
Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2009-01-18


In this issue:
Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Miscellany | Thought for the Day


1. Product Highlight

Multimedia projectors at lowest possible prices
Multimedia projectors are crucial to today's presentations in business and education. We offer a range from economy to high-performance, including ultraportables and network-ready.

And we have them on sale now!


Get the multimedia projector that is right for your application and your budget:



We've worked with suppliers to get the lowest possible prices on LCD projectors and DLP projectors. Check them out while these deals last. Yes, we even beat the "big boys" like Amazon and Newegg.

  • If you need a projector, we'll save you money.

  • If you know someone who might need a projector, why not save them money? Tell them about this projector sale.


Bonus Bonus Bonus

Special sale on iTravl translators:

  • Slashed prices
  • FREE shipping (we pay UPS Ground for you).
  • $155 Accessory Pack only $10.
  • Other accessories on sale.

Type and translate random sentences in both directions, in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


2. Brainpower tip

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”

-- Mark Twain

Here are some other good quotes from Mark Twain, worth thinking about:

  • “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
  • “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.”
  • “There is no distinctly Native American criminal class save Congress.”
  • “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

3. Finance tip

In the last issue, we looked at the subject of beating bank draft fees.

There's another kind of fee to also be aware of. You may have received a solicitation for 0% APR checks you can write against your credit card. Hmm. Interest free money. Sounds too good to be true. And it is.

Read the fine print, and you find such things as:

  • 4% transfer fee. This means the bank will charge you 4% of that loan. Not a bad price, if you need the money. But that depends on how long you take to pay back the loan and when the 0% offer ends. If you pay it back in 90 days, that's a 16% APR loan.
  • Normal interest rate and fees apply if you miss a payment or are late on time. On the entire amount, retroactively. So, that 0% becomes 21%. OK, so roll the dice baby....
  • Some other "Gotcha."

These offers are not quite what they seem to be.

If you're in a cash bind because people owe you money, this is fairly cheap capital--provided you take a year to pay it back. If you have a high-interest loan on something else, this may help you reduce expenses if you are diligent about making those payments on time (to do that, use Outlook and make appointments for payments).

If you're in financial trouble, for example, you got laid off, then adding credit card debt to your woes isn't a smart move. Instead, contact your bank for assistance.

For example, they may have a mortgage assistance program that will suspend two months of mortgage payments. You still owe interest for those months and your loan extends two months longer. But banks do this to give people some breathing room. Don't count this as free money, because it's not. Count it as a loan to help you make it through a rough time.

4. Security tip

With an $11 trillion debt and an incoming president who seems impervious to mathematics, logic, and a basic understanding of economics (therefore not really changing anything over his predecessor who took his predecessor's $5 trillion debt and more than doubled it), the old "gasoline on the house fire" metaphor aptly describes current economic policy.

So, while the economy struggles to get its legs under itself, the govt is kicking it in the knees (or a little higher and to the center, if you prefer). And what the American govt does to the American economy, it does to the economies of the world. Yes, our readers in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries are nodding their heads. (Sorry, friends, it's nothing personal and it's the American CONgress, not the American people doing this to you.)

Unless there's some huge change, we're going to see a slow recovery from the shenanigans of 2008 and a weak response to the staggering debt inflicted on us by the US federal govt. It's doubtful, but possible, that one or more of the following will occur:

  • We pull out of Iraq.
  • There's a massive rollback of our stifling federal regulations.
  • A new invention hits the market and it's something that has a root effect on the economy.

The most likely thing that will happen is people will simply become optimistic. One reason for speculating this as likely is that in November, the American people chose yet again to give the Demopublicans yet another run at things. This defies all logic, but it is what happened. So, we do not need rhyme or reason for things to occur a certain way.

In fact, I predict the economy will be vibrant again soon, and for no reason whatsoever.

But until that happens, people are under financial stress and looking for relief. This makes them easier prey for con artists, and I don't mean only members of CONgress. I mean other crooks, as well.

Your first line of defense is this. Don't give out information, simply because someone asks for it.

  • The IRS does not call, mail, or e-mail people in an effort to give them back overpaid taxes. IRS employees are too busy stealing computers from their own offices (source, GAO), watching X-rated movies on the office computers they haven't yet stolen (source, GAO), and running scams like the Hoyt Fiasco. They aren't going to take time out of their busy schedule to do something like send you money. Besides, they have all the information about you already and don't need to get more or "confirm" your SSN, name, address, or bank account information.
  • So you won a prize. Yippee! Now all you have to do to claim it is provide information about yourself. Nine times out of ten, the only "prize" you'll get is coming home to find all of your belongings are gone.
  • At the store, the clerk insists on having your SSN on your check or c/c slip. Stop. The store has no need for this info. Don't give it out. If the clerk insists, ask for the manager. It's more likely that clerk is running a private scam than that the store is using your SSN for any reason whatsoever. Help fight crime by reporting such behavior. If the manager says it's store policy, cancel the transaction and leave. Report the incident to corporate headquarters. Report it also to your card-issuing bank, call the service number on the back of the card to do this.
  • Same as previous, except now they want your phone number. Making this a condition of accepting the card is a violation of the c/c policy. The store personnel may insist, and may point out that online stores require this information. Well, yes, they do--but not for c/c purposes. It's required for shipping purposes (UPS and FedEx require a phone number) or to contact you if there's a problem with your order. The key here is delivery. If you are buying something in person, nobody needs your phone number or address. But of course, no matter how you pay for it that information is needed for delivery.

Do things on a "need to know" basis. That's a primary principle of security.

5. Health tip/Fitness tips

After the last issue, several readers wrote in saying that the "How Calories Become Fat" article was helpful but it doesn't explain my physique.

As noted in the previous issue, that's me off to the right, at age 48.

I started working out in 1977, and haven't missed a workout, since. But for about 20 of those years I did a workout much like what you see the typical gym rat doing. Circuit training, usually low-intensity, full body three times a week. I also had the body of a typical gym rat. Moderate musculature, high body fat (about 18%).

In 1996, I moved to my present location and met Sandy Miller. Ms. Miller introduced me to an entirely different way of training. The core principle is intensity. You can read about it here:

You can see the results off to the right.

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders
I'd also like to note that I don't do carb-restrictive diets. I was stunned the other day to learn that this kind of nonsense is still being propagated. Don't do those diets. They aren't sustainable, and they aren't healthy. I eat plenty of fruit, and you can see I'm not exactly the Pillsbury Doughboy. If you want to lose fat, cut back on the size of your meals just a little and over time that fat will come off. If you want to gain muscle, train hard.

6. Miscellany

  1. The quarter has 119 grooves around the edge. CONgress has 119,000 ways to tax that quarter.
  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.

7. Thought for the Day

Sometimes, making 10% more effort makes 100% more difference.

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 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!