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Mindconnection eNL, 2018-01-21


In this issue:
Good News | Product Highlight | Brainpower | Finances | Security | Health/Fitness | Factoid | Thought 4 the Day

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1. Good News

Item 1. A proposed rule would allow small businesses to band together to purchase medical care plans. Read the full story here:

Item 2. One year after the end of Barry Soetoro's jihad against the American economy, the number (and percentage) of employed Americans has sharply risen and even Wal-Mart has increased wages.

Item 3. In the year since the end of Barry Soetoro's jihad against American civil rights, many new firearm freedom reciprocity laws between states have been passed. Now single mothers can take their children across most state lines and not go to prison for the "crime" of protecting them.


2. Product Highlight

Ectaco 900PRO Galaxy Speech to Speech Pocket Translator

My feline companion enjoys using hers to Skype people; it's right at her eye level when set on the floor. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate Cat-onese.

But it has over 30 common languages (people languages). It's very easy to use.

We have it on sale now in our Amazon store. Just click the picture at right for more information or to buy. See below for feature highlights.

You can buy from us with confidence. We've been making online customers happy since 1997.

  • Speech to speech translation (no Internet required) for over 30 common languages; Language learning programs for most of them.
  • Photo translator. Quickly snap a picture of any text you see and have it translated instantly, no Internet connection required.
    Extensive talking dictionary and phrasebook with human pronunciation; Talking picture dictionary with pronunciation for all words.
  • Compatibility with Android OS; Hi-res screen
  • Wi-Fi.
  • Smart QWERTY physical and virtual keyboards.
  • Speech input.
  • Video player with AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP support.
  • Voice Recorder; SDHC card support of up to 32 GB.


Available now, in our Amazon store.

3. Brainpower tip

It's not just your native brainpower that matters anymore, but also how you extend it through digital devices:

4. Finance tip

Online purchasing is part of almost everyone's life today. Mindconnection, LLC has been selling online for over 20 years. So here's some advice from both sides of the transaction.
  • If buying on Amazon, look at the seller rating. Anything below 95% means that merchant is not doing a good job on Amazon (our rating is 100%), most notably with customer service. Other marketplaces have seller metrics; eBay, for example, has the Top Seller rating (which we also qualify for). See Amazon store. See our eBay store.
  • Don't always buy from the lowest-price seller. Never buy from one that has a "too good to be true" deal or that is way out of line with the other prices. That's how you get merchandise that is stolen or counterfeit; it has no warranty.
  • If buying outside the marketplaces, for example on a company's own site, look for the trust symbols. Does it have an SSL or similar security seal? Better Business Bureau logo? Does it have an address and phone number? Does the site look clean and professional, or does it have spelling errors and other issues?
  • The standard return policy is you have 30 days from date of delivery to ask for return instructions if you want a refund. This does not apply to warranty exchanges. This is more than enough time for any reasonable person to decide whether to keep the product. Some credit card companies provide their own return policy, for example 90 days. When a customer buys from a site that has a 30 day policy, that customer is agreeing to those terms. Using the credit card company to steal extended terms the merchant did not agree to is dishonest. Merchants are forced to use credit cards to reach their whole market, they have no choice. The customer does have other choices, so is not forced into 30 days.
  • If your order is late or you received it and there's some other problem, first contact the merchant (even if Amazon or other marketplace). The vast majority of online merchants will be glad for the opportunity to fix a problem.
  • Don't file a complaint with the marketplace (or credit card company) unless the merchant refuses to make things right, has cut off communication with you, or has failed to provide any substantiation of a promised fix to the problem. For example, if your order never arrived and the merchant says, "My bad, it slipped through the cracks" you should get a free upgrade to expedited shipping or a discount for your hassle AND you should get a tracking number within one business day.
  • Understand that margins are thin. Many people believe online merchants make at least 50% on each order and have practically no overhead. The reality is most online merchants are losing money, because they are selling at razor-thin profits and don't know all of their costs. Typically, the price you see is the best a merchant can do. But you can ask for a volume discount and probably get it.
  • Understand that returns are hugely expensive for merchants, for several reasons. One return might wipe out the profit from the next four sales. You can help keep prices down and service up (and good merchants in business) by carefully shopping before buying. Questions before buying? Ask the merchant. Issues after the sale? Ask the merchant, who is hugely motivated to help you to avoid a return unless one is actually needed.
  • Understand that it is your right to return something, unless the merchant has a "No Returns" statement for that product and it's clearly displayed. Even then, the marketplace or your credit card company will enforce your right of return if the product is significantly not as described or there is some other compelling reason.
  • Problems happen. If you receive an item and it doesn't seem to work correctly (or at all), reach out to the merchant and/or the manufacturer's technical support. Many times, we get a product returned because it's "not working" but it works perfectly. The customer just did not understand how to use it. Or, as with 10 meter radios, the customer had no clue what he was buying and believed it was a CB.
  • If the merchant's policy on exchanges of DOA or "arrived defective" items is you ship the original to them first, there is understandable reason for that. It's mostly a trust factor. So call the merchant and politely ask that a replacement be sent first or at least in parallel. Most merchants will agree to that, since that call proves you're not a shyster. But don't pay for the return shipping; this is not a buyer's remorse situation, it's a return of defective merchandise for a replacement. The merchant should pay for that, even if it means losing money on this order.
  • Many credit card companies consider online fraud to be a profit center. They actively encourage it through a variety of means, with the cost being borne 100% by the merchant. This raises prices for everyone. In our experience, we have found Visa to be the culprit every time.

    We've never had this theft abetting from Amex, Discover, or MasterCard. Of course, not PayPal either. But we've had several cases in which the customer used Visa and then filed a dishonest chargeback. In those cases, facts didn't matter, and an obvious theft that was fully documented still got decided in favor of the thief. PayPal is our payment processor, and they have a professional team to represent us. Even with that high caliber help and all the facts on our side, we've been stolen from by Visa cardholders. We have considered not accepting Visa; that would mean zero fraud if we did.

5. Security tip

Security "experts" advise changing your password often. Many companies, such as most banks, force this on their users. So let me ask you a question.

How many times a year do you change the locks on your home or have the doors rekeyed on your car?

Think about it.

6. Health tip/Fitness tips

One reason often given for not having a systematic training program is "Working out takes too long."

People with that reason have a good point, if they are basing their point on what they see many people do.

Here's the kind of workout they are talking about:

  • Stretching. 20 minutes.
  • Warm-up exercises. 20 minutes.
  • Cardio. 45 minutes.
  • Perform circuit, hitting every muscle group. 60 minutes.
  • Cool-down. 20 minutes.

Total time, not counting breaks and lolly-gagging around: 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Total gym time, including changing clothes, showering afterwards, and walking around with a water bottle for a bit: 3 hours, 30 minutes.

Add 30 minutes round-trip travel time, and it's a 4-hour event! And it happens 2 or 3 times per week.

Some flaws:

  • Never stretch before lifting. A muscle can't push, it must contract to move a limb. So you are shortening the muscles when training. Stretching them before lifting weakens them at the extension, hugely increasing your risk of injury to joints, tendons, and ligaments while undermining the contraction phase.
  • To warm up, just do one light set of an exercise for the muscle group(s) you are working. That should take 90 seconds, not 20 minutes.
  • Real athletes don't do cardio. Your body adapts to the stresses put on it. Cardio is at the wrong end of the intensity range; it conditions your body to store fat and minimize muscle.
  • Circuit training and whole body workouts are fine for physical therapy when recovering from a coma. But you simply do not have the energy to properly train every muscle group in one session. The attempt results in a suboptimal or even counterproductive training session.
  • Cool-downs are not necessary if you are training correctly.

A variation of this theme is the person is on split routine (very good), but instead of taking 20 to 30 minutes to stimulate the muscle (into the adaptive response), the person spends 2 or 3 hours annihilating the muscle.

The endocrine system then suppresses testosterone and elevates cortisol. So instead of burning fat and building muscle, you are storing fat and tearing down muscle.

Lose weight, be strong, burn fat, gain muscle

Lose weight, be strong, burn fat, gain muscle

Top photo taken 16SEP2016, just days before 56th birthday; bottom photo taken 3 days after 56th birthday

Eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney says, "You want to stimulate, not annihilate, muscle." If a guy with that training credo wins the Mr. Olympia eight times, maybe he is correct?

In fact, he is quite correct. Your body adapts to the stresses placed on it. But only to the extent it is capable. If you tear down muscle too much (you are actually bursting cells open during training), you exceed the body's ability to recover and grow.

There's another downside to long sessions. Again, your body adapts to the stresses placed on it. If you had to design a car to go from Dallas to Duluth (on I-35) on a single tank of gas, you'd have a big gas tank and a small engine. Your body does the same thing; it increases fuel storage (body fat) and decreases engine size (muscle) when you give it an endurance challenge.

But if you had to design a car for top speed in the quarter mile, it would have a tiny gas tank (actually a fuel cell) and a big engine. Usain Bolt has high-intensity workouts, only. And he doesn't do cardio. Take a look at him.

There's yet another downside to long sessions. Your mind adapts to the perceived effort ahead. Instead of putting out full effort and making each rep count, you pace yourself so that few, if any reps count. That pacing and lack of intensity is why people can go so long. Doing it correctly, you simply cannot go that long. My calf workout, which I do twice a month, takes me less than 15 minutes.

I train six days each week, except sometimes on calf or squats day I realize I don't have it in me to train those muscles because they are already sore from something else (such as climbing). Each of those training days, I try to make every rep count (except my warm-up set). I use the same kind of split routine that pro athletes (including, but not limited to, pro body builders) use.

There is some variation on which muscle groups to train on the same day. For example, I do back and biceps on the same day. Some people do triceps and biceps on the same day, working chest and back together on another day. Each approach has logic to it. So don't get hung up on exactly how to split the routine. Here is mine:

  • Calves or squats (I alternate each week). About 15 minutes.
  • Back/biceps. About 30 minutes.
  • Abs. About 15 minutes; look at my abs and you decide if this is enough.
  • Chest/triceps. About 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Shoulders. About 20 to 25 minutes.

Yes, I listed only 5 workout sessions. But I rotate the upper body ones such that I train 6 days per week (the one I did that Sunday I will do again the following Saturday, the one I did that Tuesday, I will do the following Sunday, etc.).

Notice, not one of these exceeds 30 minutes. Add them up (using typical times) and you get a grand total of 1 hour, 45 minutes for the entire week. Plus that is a productive hour and 45 minutes.

Because these are short, I don't work up a sweat. So no shower is needed afterwards. Also, I train at home using equipment that cost me less than a year's membership to a gym. I have saved thousands of dollars that way, but also hundreds of hours of driving time. Those savings sound perhaps exaggerated, but understand that's across my 40+ years of never missing a workout.

So when someone says training takes too long, I am sure that person is talking about those long, often counterproductive gym sessions. Focused, effective training does not soak up much time.

It's important to understand that I'm not talking about just shorter workouts. They have to be more intense, with nearly maximum tension on the muscle. Getting there requires focus and real presence of mind. For the vast majority of people, this state of mind is akin to "an acquired taste." Pay extreme attention to what you are doing. That is the way to succeed. Else, you'll try to make up for poor training by doing more of what's not working. Which will just waste your time.

One way I can gage I've done it right is this kind of training generates massive amounts of lactic acid. Lactic acid is part of the adaptive response, so even though the muscle group you trained for "only" 20 minutes hurts for a day or three afterwards you know you nailed it.

Where can you get 30 minutes a day if you don't already train? Consider these complete wastes of time:

  • Watching the news. It's nearly always negative and nearly always wrong.
  • Arguing with people in social media. Who really cares what they think? Disconnect!
  • Making special trips to the store. Each one probably wastes more time than you'd spend training.
  • Using the brainwashing machine. That's what I call television. I stopped subjecting myself to this in 1990 and do not miss it. One bit.
  • Fighting with your significant other. Here's a test. Try to recall what you fought about each of the last five times you had a fight. Can't remember? There are alternatives to fighting, and they'll save you enough time to "budget" your workout.
  • Having inconsistent bedtimes. Huge time-waster here, because being sleep-deprived lowers your IQ, lowers your efficiency, makes you more prone to error, and generally reduces what you can get done in a given day.

Train hard. Train smart. Don't train long.


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.

7. Factoid

Officially, the Vietnam War began following the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. The fighting over there actually started in 1955.

8. Thought for the Day

The need to belong often takes on such outsized importance that it precludes the need to think.


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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. Please pass this newsletter along to others.

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