Bookmark and Share
Past issues

Mindconnection eNL, 2009-05-24


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


1. Brainpower tip

Amazing fact: some of the money you pay in taxes isn't wasted. Some of the more elaborate estimates go as high as 5%.

In this tiny sliver of tax dollars that go to legitimate purposes, there is a gold mine for brainpower: your public library.

Some highlights:

  • Books. Of course. See our book reviews at
  • Audio books. You can get these on cassette and CD. Many libraries also have MP3s available for download.
  • Movies on DVD. A wide range of intellectually stimulating material is available.
  • Guest lectures.
  • Research tools.
  • Periodicals.
  • Reading areas and meeting areas.
  • Cultural and other events.

It's also worth noting that Mensans are, demographically-speaking, disproportionately represented among library users (and book buyers). All Mensans have a genius IQ (by definition). Frequenting a Mensan "nourishment center" can't hurt. Don't be afraid to ask others for reading recommendations; you are likely to get one from a really smart person.

How to make it better:

  • If your library doesn't have a particular item, go online and buy it. Donate it to the library when you're done.
  • Join your Friends of the Library or similar support group.
  • Make a six-month commitment to volunteering. There's always plenty to do--just returning materials to the shelves for half a Saturday every other Saturday would be a big help.
  • Use your library's Website.

Library manners:

  • Leave your cell phone and other gadgets at home or in the car. If you want them on you, then make a habit of putting them on vibrate before leaving for the library.
  • Handle every bit of library property with extreme care so you return it in as good of condition as when you checked it out.
  • Bring back materials when you're done, rather than waiting until they're due. This helps keep things in circulation.
  • While most people have forgotten the "whisper rule" for libraries, this doesn't mean you have to. Set an example.
  • Dress appropriately, so by your propriety you help send the message that the library is a place deserving of respect.
  • If you drive to the library, don't use any of the near parking spaces unless you have a special need; leave those for others if you are able.

2. Finance tip

Your personal share of the Porkulus Package is about $66,000. It's amazing to me that the average American will call the police about the theft of a $600 digital camera, but simply accedes to the theft of $66,000. What can you buy for $66,000? Why not go into a Lexus dealer and trash a $66,000 car, and while laughing maniacally say it's no problem to pay for it.

Personally, I don't have $66,000 to just throw away. I wonder where so many other people get the money to afford this? If you have that kind of money to throw away, please throw it my way.

What's especially bad about the Porkulus is it's "the gift that keeps on giving." Like some kind of venereal disease that just won't go away, its symptoms will return again and again and we'll get the bills for it. If you look at what's in the Porkulus Package, you see it's institutionalizing waste and handouts (to the employers of lobbyists) so that the pain just doesn't end.

What can we do about this enormous financial load? Write the President a short note expressing your dismay at being robbed this way. Ask what can be done to repeal bad legislation like this and what can be done to repeal bad legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley. If enough people do this, he might understand that the average American isn't fine with being robbed on such a colossal scale. Whether he will care or not is a different question. But first, let's work on getting him to understand that our pockets aren't nearly as deep as he thinks they are.

3. Security tip

In our last issue, I mentioned using a PO Box as a security measure. I also said, " of the themes repeated again and again is to not let your name and your address appear together anywhere."

This can also apply to PO Boxes. Items are addressed in your name for a given PO Box, someone trying to find you can send a bright red envelope (or something else that stands out) to that Box and then just watch the Post Office for a few days to see who emerges with it.

Now, the odds that someone is going to go through that kind of effort are pretty remote. But for some people, not remote enough. What's the defense measure? There are several, actually:

  • You can simply make up a name that you use for receiving mail. Then, that name and your PO Box go together. A drawback here is you have to use your real name for several different purposes so this measure isn't completely effective.
  • You can swap with a friend so that you use each other's boxes and then meet once or twice a week to swap mail. If you and your friend don't have matching descriptions (for example, different race, gender, or height), anyone on stakeout will probably not figure this out. But could. A drawback of this method is it's even more inconvenient than just having a box.
  • A variation of the previous defense is you swap with a friend in a different city, and you each simply forward each other's mail to your actual addresses (using a fake name at the destination for added security).
  • You can get a PO Box in the name of a corporation. Form an LLC and use the name of the company in Item 1 of the PO Box application. You can use your own name in Item 3 and Item 14, since you're the owner of the company. Your friend could forward your personal mail to this corporation.
  • Form the LLC as above, but use a made-up name as the legal name of it. For example, Pat Lee Meyers, LLC. Send yourself a couple of letters addressed to Pat Lee Meyers (drop the LLC) and perhaps later to just Pat Myers at that PO Box, and you should be able to receive letters to this fictitious name. That gives you the advantages of our first defense, legally--though it still won't work for tax purposes and similar unless you are legally changing your name to Pat Myers.

If you need measures more secure than these, you really have problems. You should consult with a security consultant.

In the USA, most states now formally recognize your natural right to self-defense--despite the efforts of the Save the Criminals Movement to make violent crime safe for every offender. If you live in a civilized state that recognizes this basic human right (I think only four still see the potential victims of violent crime as deserving of their fate), visit your local firing range and inquire about obtaining a Right to Carry permit.

What I like about RTC is it follows the logic that a firearm is a tool for self-defense. Putting a wrench in the hand of an untrained mechanic is asking for problems. But in hand of someone who has trained, practiced, and passed exams, it's a useful tool. Firearms are the same way. Get the training, or don't get the firearm. RTC ensures you are properly trained and can prove it.

4. Health tip/Fitness tips

This is the time of year when people who "lost weight" (instead of reducing fat in a sustainable manner) are dealing with loose skin. What you want, instead, is a nice rippled look. What can you do about loose skin from rapid "weight loss?"

Here's an article with some answers:

You can avoid this problem entirely, however. Rather than rapidly diet down as a panic response to warm weather--and consequently have that loose skin, follow the helpful advice at to have a sustainable lifestyle. If you are facing the battle of the bulge, start by eating smaller portions. If you cut just 50 calories from each meal, you'll cut 300 calories a day (assuming you are eating six small meals per day). In one month, you'll lose two pounds of fat. This is essentially my method, and as you can see it works pretty well.

Fitness supplements for bodybuilders
Since we're talking about skin and summer, here's an informative accounting of a recent experience of mine.

My thumb got infected and swelled to three times its normal size. Based on the timing, I couldn’t trace this back to any particular incident. I really want to know what I did or may have to for that to have happened, so I can take measures to ensure it doesn't happen again. But this defies analysis.

During the in-office surgery to let that gunk out of my thumb, the doctor noticed a red dot on the palm of that hand. He excised a small, hard-shell tick that had almost completely burrowed into my palm. These ticks have a toxin that deadens nerves, so they can burrow into your skin undetected—even the skin on your hands. Possibly, such a tick entered my thumb and either died there or left a trail of nasty bacteria on the way out. We'll never know.

What came out of that thumb included hard mass, not just gooey pus. It felt like a metal rod being dragged through my thumb. The bulk of it was an old infection that was a deep down in there. How is this possible?

It had existed at a very low level, as my body apparently was very successful at clamping it down. Some stress or other factor tipped the balance in favor of the infection, and it took off as if a switch had been thrown.

I'd had a minor itching and then a minor swelling on that thumb for a few days prior to the "hyperinflation," and just kept an eye on it. When it suddenly swelled up, I figured the time for "wait and see" was over. And it's a good thing. Prompt reporting to a doctor and prompt care by the doctor kept it from turning into a two-week stay in the hospital.

I also did everything the doctor said to do--100% compliance. So, this event turned out to have no serious consequences. But it easily could have.

Take the time to look at your hands for any kind of unusual patches or bumps (and check your ears and nose in the mirror). These could mean anything from skin cancer to a tick attack. See a physician promptly. Do not wait for it to "get better," because it probably won't.


As regular readers know, I'm 48 years old in the picture (above, right), taken in December. I don't diet down for summer. I don't have good genes for maintaining a lean body, I really have to be conscientious and disciplined about it. That doesn't mean I suffer, eat bland foods, or starve myself.

At, you'll find plenty of informative, authoritative articles on maintaining a lean, strong physique. It has nothing to do with long workouts or impossible to maintain diets. In fact:

  • The best workouts are short and intense.
  • A good diet contains far more flavors and satisfaction than the typical American diet.

Nor does it mean being hungry all the time (you are less hungry on six small meals a day than three large ones), being weak from hunger (on a proper dietary regimen, you will have much more energy than otherwise), or "giving up pleasures" (I have no idea where this concept comes from, unless a person considers being sick a "pleasure.").


5. Factoid

In 1836, a paddle steamer carrying a circus menagerie was shipwrecked off the US coast. Some of the sailors
launched a raft, but were drowned when an elephant jumped into it. In 2009, CONgress conducted a circus and passed the Porkulus Package. This weight of this boondoggle is drowning an economy that was already struggling before this despicable act was performed.

6. Product Highlight

Translators for GIs and other Deployed Troops

This is pricey, but we actually do a brisk business with this device.

Created specifically for U.S. Military personnel deployed to Muslim countries, the Ectaco GI-5 electronic translator provides two-way communication instantly in English, Arabic, Dari, Farsi, and Pashto.

It has voice output, speech-activated phrasebooks (21,000 categorized phrases) in  Arabic, Farsi for general translation, and speech-activated combat phrasebooks in  Arabic, Dari, Farsi, and Pashto. The five-language dictionary contains over 1,010,000 words. Color touch screen, virtual keyboards with full character sets. About the size of a smart phone, similar controls.


Comes with 19-item extensive accessory kit:



We don't run ads in our newsletter, despite getting inquiries from advertisers all the time. This eNL is supported by sales from Please shop there, as appropriate.

7. Thought for the Day

It takes less effort to plan and execute than to save a project that's in trouble due to lack of planning and execution.

Please forward this eNL to others.


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.

Wishing you the best,
Mark Lamendola
Mindconnection, LLC 

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!