Back In the Gym, Starting Yoga & Best Brunch In Santa Clarita

Back in the Gym

If you have been following my personal blog, you know the last few months have been difficult. I have lost 2 friends to cancer (both under 50) and I have been dealing with severe nerve pain in my back and left arm caused by a bulged disk.

3 months into the nerve pain, I have finally felt some relief. I tried everything from acupuncture, cupping, chiropractic, traction, decompression and finally deep tissue laser. I think the totality of all these treatments had something to do with the pain receding.

The fallout from the nerve damage is that the muscles that were affected which were my entire left arm, left shoulder and left chest muscle have severely atrophied. Apparently if the nerves are not working properly and not sending signals to the muscles, then you lose that muscle and strength.

So my left arm has lost about 3 inches in diameter and when you wrap your hand around my bicep area is feels like mushy muscle and bone. I also hardly have the ability to form a muscle by flexing.

So now that the pain is under control, I felt it a good time to get back into the gym to try and rehab the muscle. It is incredible how weak my left arm is. I could barely get 10 reps with a 20 pound dumbbell where before I could do 50 pounds. My tricep is probably the worst. I could barely pull down a 5 pound plate with my left arm.

The good news, I think, is that 1 day a after working out my muscles are sore. I am assuming that means there is hope for rehabilitating the atrophied muscle.

This has been a very frustrating situation as I did not feel Kaiser provided me with any information to assist along the way. I had to do all my own independent research and the only good treatment and advice I received is when I spent my own money on doctors of my choice. All Kaiser wanted to do was give me pain meds, put an injection in my neck and then surgery.

Starting Yoga

I tried Yoga with my wife a few years ago. My wife is a huge Yoga person. I think she refers to herself as a Yogi. I did like Yoga, but I did not like the amount of time it took. I mean, you have to leave 30 minutes early to get there 15 minutes before the class so you can hopefully get a spot in the room at Yoga Works in Valencia. Then if you did get a spot, you were sure to be crowded by a late arrival who then squeezes between you and the person next to you. Then you have an hour and 15 minute class. All in the time commitment was almost 2 hours. Sorry, but some of us have a job and have to work.

I was told that Yoga would be helpful, but I did not want to go into a Yoga Studio. So my wife did some research and found that Yoga Works has an app with 1000 Yoga classes on video. We tried it for the first time last night and I loved it. I loved it because they have classes as short as 10 minutes. You could choose what type of class by difficulty and by type and length.

What i really liked is that I just had to roll out the Yoga mat on the floor of my living room, attach my Mac computer to the HDMI cable and hit play for it to show up on our TV. No setup, No driving and no 2 hour commitment. This, i can do!

Best Brunch In Santa Clarita

Two weeks ago we went out with my wife’s friends. They told us about a place called Bonefish Grill in Valencia at the Town Center Mall. We were aware of the restaurant, however had never been there. What was surprising is that they served brunch and my wife’s friends raved about it.

So we went and the brunch was absolutely amazing. For $20 you get endless drinks. The drinks include mimosas of several variations (Tropical Fruit, etc) as well as Bellini’s, Sangria’s and Champaign. Oh, yes, and you actually get food too! I am a huge lover of eggs Benedict and they have several types including one that is a surf and turf eggs benedict that has lobster and filet mignon in it. Yum!

I am afraid to recommend this place because I don’t want it to get crowded and spoil it for me. We have been there twice and like to sit in the bar and it is wide open seating. The service is amazing and they just keep bringing on the drinks and are not stingy at all.

This past Sunday, my daughter’s boyfriend flew in from Hawaii where he is going to college and we literally camped out at Bonefish Grill for 3 hours. We were there so long that we ordered lunch. As we all drove together, one by one, the kids slowly disappeared. First, my son Justin had a friend pick him up and left. Then our daughter and her boyfriend left. So it was just us for the last hour, after which we needed to take an Uber home as our daughter had taken our car.

So if you ever want to find me on a Sunday morning brunch, make sure to swing by Bonefish Grill in Valencia. At least until I discover another new brunch location.

RV’ing At Carpenteria, Getting Sick & Working From Home

My wife and I love to get out to the Beach and take out our RV when we can. We hate the summer time for this because it is so crowded and not to mention hard to get a camping spot. What makes matters worse, is that neither of us are good planners.

So what I end up doing is every other day or so, I will go to Reserve America and look for last minute RV spots. What I have found is that people do cancel trips, even those trips booked out 6 months in advance which is what it takes to get some of the prime, beach front RV spots.

That is what happened for this weekend. It was last Tuesday and I took a look online to see what might be available and much to my surprise, there was a beach front RV spot available at Carpenteria and I snatched it up right away without seeing if we would even be able to go.

Well, we were able to make it and it turned into an awesome weekend. The weather was great, we had a great spot and Carpenteria State Beach is only an hour’s drive.

Here is the photo I posted on Facebook.

Weekend At Carpenteria
Weekend At Carpenteria

Now, the beach can help me forget about life for a while and allows my wife and I to plan the future, but that is short lived and we are quickly back to reality. What I am referring to is that if you have been following my personal posts, you may be aware that I suffered a bad back and shoulder problem.

Out of the blue, I started losing muscle in my left arm and started experiencing some pain. The pain was not like muscle soreness and was a type of pain I can’t explain. It got worse and I went to the doctors finally and after a couple doctors visits and then finally an MRI, it turns out I have a bulged disk in my L5/L6 and what was supposedly causing the pain.

I was told it was either surgery or get better naturally. So I started aggressively going to Accupuncture and the Chiropractor. I did this for several weeks until I had a bit of easing of the pain, but it then worsened where I had to start taking some pain meds. I had terrible pain from the middle of the back which radiated all the way down my left arm and caused 3 of my fingers to go totally numb. And this was the condition I have been in for about 8 weeks.

Then, while camping in Carpenteria this weekend, I noticed that I did not have to take my pain medicine at hour 6 which was about how often I needed to take the pain meds. That was Friday morning. Normally, I would wake up in a lot of pain, and the pain is what would wake me up around 3 am. But I woke up Saturday at 6 a.m., and not in pain. I was so confused.

Then Saturday I did not take any pain meds and here we are Monday and still no pain meds.

I am glad the pain is gone, but now I feel sick, tired and just worn down. My wife, who had her own bout of nerve related issues, says now is the healing time and why I am feeling sick and tired.

And while I could not get myself into work today, I am sitting here with my Mac on my lap while is rest in bed and knock out this blog post and try to reply to some of my clients emails.  That is the one thing about owning your own business, that when you are not able to come in, business comes to a halt for the most part.  I still have my reception staff answering the phones, but I am the one that people want to speak to and I understand that.

I am just glad for technology that allows one to stay connected and hope to be back in the office on Tuesday. Actually, I will need to go in regardless as there are several time sensitive issues I need to work on.

So if you are reading this and I did not happen to return your email today, this is why. I really try to keep my clients and future clients informed about what I am doing and think that I am probably the only one that is so transparent with his life in the legal services arena.

I think people are so secretive these days. Really, try to find out personal information about someones life that provides legal services. Most have a business page where they post, but very few make their personal lives available to their clients.

Why do I do this? Because I want people to know that I am a real person just like them, and not just a guy on the end of the phone.

And I know that people read these articles, probably more than I think. I often get comments or an email where a client or even a prospective client emails me and starts the email off with a comment about a recent personal post I wrote and I think it just makes me more relatable.

I hope you are having an awesome Monday. 🙂

Child In College, Death of a Friend and Lots Going On

Today was an interesting Monday. Still reeling from learning of the death of on of my best friends yesterday, my daughter is heading leaving for college tonight and my wife is gone on a work trip to Georgia for the entire week.

Yesterday I wrote about losing a best friend of mine. It was very difficult to hear the news and today was a rough day.  It was nearly impossible to get into the work groove and I just felt like I was totally out of it today.  What makes it even more difficult it that they have recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia and they are quite a bit away.

What will be interesting to see what happens is if the service is this week. My wife is about 2 hours outside of Atlanta working until Thursday this week, so I may have to fly out alone to Atlanta and meet my wife so we can attend the service in Georgia and then possibly fly home together over the weekend. We have nothing planned and there are no details as of now.

On top of this, our daughter is moving out today as her first day of class at UCLA is this Thursday. She was supposed to move out over the weekend, then today and now that it goes into the evening it appears this has been further delayed until tomorrow.

It appears flying the coop is much more difficult than she thought.  And, by the way, this is a little bit of payback during her younger years when she would get mad and say she is moving out, which happened just about every week from when she was 13 to about 16.  Now that she is 20 she is a bit more grown up.

I hope to keep what I am feeling and what I am going through in my mind for later so that when I come across people that may not be feeling well or going through tough times, or just not being nice that perhaps they are also going through something that effects the way they are with people.   I know today I was pretty short with people and wanted to chop off a few heads of people that irritated me.

Thanks to my wife, who kept me thinking clearly and told me not to say anything i will regret later.

Talk to you later. Tim

Losing A Good Friend To Cancer Is Like A Punch In The Gut

Today I learned that one of my best friends, Mauricio Saint Martin, lost his battle with cancer. It is a tough pill to swallow as he and his wife, Susanna, were just at our house this past mothers day to hang out and have drinks.

He had been battling cancer for a about 2 years, and the updates we got seemed to point to nothing less than positive news along the way. They had aggressively treated it and it had been caught early. Even after surgery at one point, they had said the cancer was gone.


It is interesting how we as humans handle these things or maybe it is just me. I am a little closed in and don’t like to talk about these types of things.  Even now, this Sunday morning receiving this information, have nobody to talk about it with.  Mauricio and his family had recently moved to Georgia so they are quite a bit away from us.

And my wife had just left to Georgia this morning for a week long work project so she is not here to talk about it. She was equally good friends with his wife, Susanna and we had planned on seeing them soon and their new place in Georgia.

I had just learned that he had passed and I was on the phone with my wife who was at LAX and i knew she did not know yet. She was about to get on a flight with Delta to go to Georgia and I did not want to tell her then news just before she got on a 5 hour flight with nobody to talk to.

So I will most likely be breaking the news to her after she calls me to tell me she landed. I know she will understand why I didn’t tell her, even though i already new.

So this is my only outlet, to turn to my blog and just write what is happening in my life.  It really makes you think about life. Mauricio is just a few years older than me and I am 45. It seems much to early to be losing friends of my age to cancer.

How we respond to learning bad things is another thing. I had two different reactions at the same time. My first was to just say fuck it.  Life is what it is and there is no rhyme or reason to who cancer takes.  My dad died as a result of cancer at just 57 and sometimes is seems life is just unfair. My “fuck it” attitude makes me think negatively as far as what we try to achieve in life.  It makes me want to throw in the towel and stop trying to achieve the high goals i have in life.

But at the same time I also felt this motivation to step on the gas on the things I want to achieve in life and realize that I just might not have the time I think I have to get everything done.  I have always felt that I will live to 90 or so and that I have all this time to do the things I want.

However after receiving news like this it makes me feel that life could end tomorrow and I better get to it and do all the things I want to accomplish and fast.

It also makes me thing about leaving a legacy. Yes, we have all our financial matters in order, meaning we do have our life insurance policies set up that would handle everything in the event of death, but what about the income I produce. If I were to die today, everything would end.

In fact, my first thought about my friend Mauricio dying is if the family would be okay financially as he was the breadwinner of the family. I could not imagine leaving my wife behind without some type of succession plan financially.  What kind of legacy would I leave behind? And of course i have no idea how to talk to friend who have recently lost their spouse and father and would be afraid of coming across insensitive.

For sure there is a range of emotions right now. Anger, doubt, to give up, to fight harder, sadness. The next couple of weeks will be tough especially with my wife gone.  But I will have to continue to show up to work and for the rest of the word life just goes on without much notice.


Easter 2016, Moscow Mule’s, Lost 10 Pounds & Pullups

Realized today that I had not written a personal post in a few weeks, so this one is a bit of a hodgepodge things to discuss.

First off, how was your Easter? My family and I had a great Easter for 2 reasons. First, we had some great friend come over. These are friends we have had for a long time and are just super easy to get along with. You know how there are some friends that you feel you need to entertain and some that are just there that you get along with so well that you don’t have to thing about “entertaining”. Those were the friends that we had over.

And we are a bit sad too because we learned that they will be moving to Georgia in about a month. So we will only have time for one more get together before they move. We did promise to go out an visit them in the future.

But talk about housing pricing differences. They purchased a home in Buford, Georgia for $450,000 that is 4,000 square feet, brand new and that does not include the 2,000 square foot basement it comes with. That is a lot of house for the money. Have to say I am a bit jealous…

Moscow Mules? Have you heard of them? I had not, but I won’t forget about them. A Moscow Mule is a cocktail that has bourbon, lime juice and ginger beer. My friend, Mauricio, was the one who told me to purchase the ingredients and he was the one to make them. It was pretty simple. Mix bourbon and lime juice. I would say fill a large mixer with ice and then add bourbon up to the half way point. Then add a splash or two of lime juice. Get that all mixed up and then pour that in a glass of ice about half way up and then add the ginger beer for the other half.

I have to say these were some super tasty drinks. It had a really good flavor. I have to admit that I did indulge probably more than I should have but they were just really, really good. Did I say they were good?

Thankfully, I did go to bed early because I had the gym to get to in the morning. Which I did go to, in fact when earlier than normal and hit the 6 a.m. training class. I was glad to get it out of the way earlier and may make this my new time slot.

But in addition to the 4 times per week personal training classes I hit, I also go to the gym now on my own at least 4 additional times. I really like doing the heavy weights and the personal training is more lighter weight, cross training. This way I get a nice mix of the two.

I did lose some weight which is good. I was down 10 pounds this last weigh in. Plus I gained a decent amount of muscle. I have to say I am pleased with how the working out is going. I am not really dieting, but am making good eating choices. This has helped with my pull-ups too. I now can do sets of 10 pull-ups and try to do that every other day. I use a technique called “kipping” which give you a little momentum to get your body up. I am able to do 4 sets of 10 pull-ups in this fashion and then follow that up with some dead hangs and slow negatives to really get a good burn.

So all in all pretty good last couple of weeks. Business is picking up. The book I am writing is coming along, the family is healthy so no real complaints. Except I could use a few extra hours in every day to get the things I need to get done, done.

Talk to you later.

Heading To Seattle Washington

It is just before 6 a.m. on a somewhat rainy Saturday morning.  I am sitting in the Bob Hope Burbank Airport Gate B-5 heading to Seattle, WA.  Why? Because my wife who works as a consultant was supposed to come back yesterday, but ended up having to stay another week.

Because she had to be back at 8 a.m. on Monday and due to last minute flight arrangements, the only flight back to Seattle was on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. which meant she would have only been home one day.

So, instead of having her come all the back, I decided I would fly out to see her and visit Seattle.  A little impromptu get away for the weekend.

Our weekends are not normally very exciting.  I usually just end up going to the office to catch up on work most of Saturday. Sunday is the normal household duties and getting ready for the week.

So it should be a fun weekend.  I told my wife it was her job to make reservations or at least figure out what we are going to do while I there.

I booked my tickets on Thursday so the prices of flight tickets were pretty expensive.  I think the airlines have this all figures out to get you on price.  The cost to leave at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning was twice the cost of leaving at 11 a.m.  They know you want to get there for the weekend. Then there was the Friday option.  The morning was cheap and the evening was twice the cost. Again, they knew people were leaving and trying to get out of town.

Well, getting ready to board and will see you in Seattle.


1 Week Seems Like A Long Time – Day 8

I don’t know if it is because I am so much more productive due to having more energy or what, but this last 8 days have seems liked they took a long time.  Like it was a long week, but no in a negative way.

I got so much done this week.  Because I am sleeping better, I am sleeping less.  The quality it better.  So I am only sleeping about 6 hours a night.  And I feel better after 6 hours than I would after sleeping 8 or 9 hours before.

My day now typically starts at 6 a.m. and ends around 11 pm or midnight.  I try to go to sleep earlier and my body just isn’t interested.

Now I have been alcohol free for 8 days now. I was not a problem for me to stop, but just to break the bad habit.  Was not so much that I needed to drink as I just turned it into a habit and would drink everyday because I had nothing else to do.

The first real test of not drinking will be this Saturday night. We are going out to dinner with friends so will have to see if I have what it takes to not drink.  I just think I will see everyone else drinking and having a good time and not want to miss out.

It is my goal not to drink because I am feeling to good.  I don’t want to jeopardize what gains I have made in my health, even though it has been just one week.

Not much to report from Yesterday, I just did a leg and shoulder workout with my wife.  This morning I am going to the 8:30 training and it will be a weight day again.  That works for me.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Feeling Better & Sleeping Better : Day 5

I have to say that just 5 days in I am feeling much better and sleeping much better.  Today I was a little run down, a little tired.  There was no personal training today, but my wife and I did go to the gym and did your heavy lifting day with the weights.

Tomorrow is the cardio day.  James O’Rourke does his training with weights on Monday and Friday and Wednesday and Saturday are reserved for cardio days.  The cardio days are more like a Cross Fit class with weights and a lot of motion.

I already notice myself getting stronger and even losing a little weight.  Today I mistook a pair of pants that I have not worn in a while for a pair I do wear all the time.  I don’t wear the other pair because they just didn’t fit well.  Yep, too tight.  Today I put them on by error and they fit.  I only noticed they were wrong because they were still a bit snug, but they fit actually pretty good.

I think just a quick post tonight, getting late but still wanted to post an article as this was my plan to keep me on track and motivated.  I was just about to go to bed, then remembered I was going to write a post everyday to track my fitness, how I feel and to remind me to eat well and everything else.  So far, so good. It seems to be working.

Valencia Workouts Getting Serious With Survival Of The Fittest – Day 4

So it is only day 4 of working out.  Is that right?  Started Friday, worked out then, and Saturday, took Sunday off and again today.  Yep, just day 4.

I have to tell you that the whole diet thing is hard.  I do very well during the week when I am busy with work, etc., but the weekend proves challenging.

This past weekend I tried to stay busy, but no matter what I did, I would feel hungry.  I swear was saying, “When will the weekend be over?” lol.

Anyways, today is Monday and a holiday. My youngest did not have school, so i decided to sleep in a bit and hit the 8:30 personal training class at Ignition Fitness.  That went well, we did another 4 rounds of high rep weights after warning up.

But I have always liked to get strong.  So tonight, I went back to the gym and did a heavy, low-rep chest and triceps workout.  The personal training is good for the high intensity stuff so I can lose weight, but I still want to get strong.  I think the two will work out well.

Well, that is all for today, not a whole lot to report.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Valentines Day 2016, No Flowers For My Wife & Doing The Little Things

So today is Valentines day.  My wife and I don’t buy into the hype of the holidays, not after being married now over 20 years. Now most people would say this is the most important time to do things, after all these years, but I don’t agree.

I think Valentines is like very other holiday such as Christmas to get people moving in a certain direction. And that is to spend money.

For Valentines day it is buying expensive gifts and overly marked up flowers.  It is going to a fancy restaurant and making this huge day of it.  I think it is sad.  Just my opinion.

My wife is very pragmatic – very down to earth.  She also does not buy into the hype.  In fact, this year, as she has said the last few years is don’t spend money on flowers. So I didn’t, sort of.

What my wife hates is buying flowers that will only die in a couple of days.  But she does not bat an eye when I buy her plants.  Especially her favorite plants, Hydrangea’s and Tulips.


So I got her two of each which she loved and will be around until she forgets to water them.  Don’t tell her I said that.

I try to do the little things that matter when I can.  I am in no way perfect, but I try to do the little things that my wife wants or appreciates.

For instance, we had to do our weekly shopping on Sunday.  I know she was not feeling good on Saturday night and didn’t go to bed until after midnight.  I knew she would be sleeping in.  I, on the other hand am a morning person and up at the break of dawn.

So I headed out early and did our weekly shopping at Traders Joe’s.  Then I mowed the lawn. All before 8 a.m. (This is Sunday, mind you).  So when she woke up, those two things were done and gives us more time to just be together.

Tonight, I cleaned up the kitchen.  Not a big deal, but I could tell that we both just wanted to go upstairs and rest so I just got it done.  And I got a big “thank you for doing that”

It is the little things you do all the time, not a big spend on flowers, dinner and gifts all rolled up into one day per year.

So we spent the day at Home Depot getting little projects that we completed around the house. Cleaned out the garage, again.  I swear, we clean it out every other month.  It just doesn’t make sense to me.

Well, this is day 3 of working out and is was just a day of rest. No gym today. Felt this body needed a little rest. Tomorrow is a big cardio day with the personal trainer.  Got to get a good nights sleep.

Talk to you tomorrow.