Day 1 – Personal Training With James O’Rourke In Valencia

Today is my first personal training day with James O’Rourke in Valencia.  That is actually a lie, because about a year ago my daughter wanted to change gyms because the training staff at LA Fitness was hitting on her and we were introduced to James O’Rourke who at the time was doing personal training at Big Johns in Valencia which has now closed.

At the time I was not looking for personal training for me (even though I needed it) but signed up with him because my daughter wanted me to work out with her.  How could I say no? I hung in there for about a month or so, but when your head is just not into doing something, it sure effects your motivation.  So I stopped going.

When I decided this time to start working out and to get a personal trainer in Valencia my first call was to James.  When I met up with him to talk about my new goals, I could not believe it that it was almost a year ago that I started the first time.

Man, I always think, “what if i stayed then? I would be in amazing shape!”  Okay, I am over that now.

Well, the reason for this article was to introduce you to James O’Rourke with Survival of the Fittest  (that is his business Facebook page)

The other thing I want to introduce you to is the new gym we are at called Ignition Fitness in Valencia. I will talk more about that in tomorrows article.

How Today’s Training Went:

Today was weights day.  Thank god.  Not that it was easy by any means, but the cardio days can be very tough, especially for me.  I am in very poor cardio shape.  You know this if you read my article about my kids and I running the Spartan Race a few weeks ago.  I get tired after just a few minutes.

So today I got there a little early and warmed up.  For me the warm up seems the hardest.  So I did 10 minutes on the stair climber just to get sweat going and it seemed to help.

Today’s workout was weights and hitting every body part.  We started with 150 sit-up/crunched and then pushed this box with weight on top around the gym.

We then did 4 rounds of weights hitting every muscle group.  Because you are moving from one exercise to the next, there is a definite cardio component to it.  This is why I signed up.  I am the guy that does a set and then takes 2 to 3 minutes of rest and never breaks a sweat.

I needed this type of workout infused into my regular gym days, where I still like to go heavy and take a few minutes break in between.

The great part about working with James is that he corrects you.  Even If you have worked out since high school like I have (so for about 20 sum odd years) there are still some things to be corrected on.  Today I was doing seated dumbbell shoulder presses and he said it was better to stand.  I said, “for some reason, i have always sat for dumbbells and stood for barbell presses”  His reply, “Yeah, that is how it was done in the 80’s!”  Lol

So one day down and feeling good.  I think the personal training, new gym and writing daily about working out will keep me in the game.

Tomorrow I am going to talk about the new gym Ignition Fitness in Valencia.

Here was today’s check-in on Facebook.  Talk to you tomorrow.

Really, Really Starting To Work Out This Time

Okay, so I may have had one or two false starts at working out.  Okay, maybe 4 or 5, but I swear this is it.

How do I know?  Because I am taking drastic measures this time.  Last time, I just said, “okay, time to start working out again” and then it would only last for a few days.  I think I was failing because I didn’t make a real plan.

This time, i took measures for success.

First, I hired a personal trainer.  I did this so I would have some accountability.  The accountability is from both a financial one ( I paid up front for 3 months of training) and second, from a personal, well thought out commitment I am making this time.

I had to ask myself, “why did I want to start working out again”?  The reasons this time around were about health.  Health to the point of the fact I am now 45 and I need to have good health If I plan on making it to old age.  That and the fact that I just have not been feeling “healthy” for a long time.  And what frustrates me is that just 4 years ago, I weighed 75 pounds less and felt great.

In addition, I decided to change gyms.  I thought I needed a change of scenery (and plus this new place is where the trainer does his thing).

The last thing I decided to do is to write about my progress.  Not necessarily every day (although that is the goal) but often enough that it becomes a habit, just like working out.

So here we go.

Tomorrow will be my first personal training day.  The last 3 days, I did go to the gym on my own, mostly just to test myself if I was really committed.   These last few days I have eaten right, and even decided not to have my evening cocktail, um cocktails, which proved more challenging than I thought.

Do you know how much more you get accomplished at night if you don’t spend the time with a cocktail in your hand in front of the TV?  Even now, here I am after 9 p.m. writing this article (because I can’t sleep). Usually, I would be watching TV and ignoring the family. (sorta).

But not today.  Got home from work, cleaned the house, made dinner, paid the bills, watched tv for a bit with the wife and now just trying to find something to do to pass the time. Weird!

More tomorrow. Promise.

Super Bowl & Making A Wood Gate With My Son

I am not a big fan of sports. In fact, the only sporting events I watch are the final games such as the Super Bowl.  So the family and I watched the Super Bowl yesterday, but it was just me, my wife and our son.  Our daughter ended up going to a Super Bowl party with her friends.  I have to admit I did enjoy it. I really liked the half time show.

I made our Sunday a son and father do-it-yourself project day.  About a year ago we moved into our Valencia home and it was built around 1997 or so.  I think it was the only house in the area that absolutely no upgrades were added and certainly no updates since it was built.  So we have been doing lots of projects here and there.

This weekends project was the small side gate that leads to our backyard.  It was in really bad shape and had never been taken care of.  It appeared that all they did was put more and more paint on it.  On Saturday I thought it might be easier to just sand it all down, but there was so much paint that it was very difficult to remove.

Come Sunday morning I decided it would just be easier to build a new wood gate.  Something I had never done before.

So I made a supply list and headed down to Home Depot.  It did not take much to make the wood gate.  Just a few 2 x 4’s, fence posts, screws, hardware and some stain.  It took my son and I approximately 6 hours to get the gate made.  For a first time gate builder we did pretty good.

Here is the before and after with our brand new gate.

old gatenew gate

Overall it was a good family weekend. Glad to have spent the time with my son in building something.  At least I got him off the computer for a few hours.

Talk to you later. Tim

My First Spartan Race – Mud, Rain, Wind and Cold

Yesterday, on January 31, 2016, I took my family down to Vail Lake in Temecula for our first family Spartan Race.  I had signed up myself and my 2 kids for this race about a month ago or so. ( my wife is a Yogi and not into these types of things)

A few days before the Spartan race, I could see on the weather app on my phone that it was showing 100% chance of rain and for the temperature to drop about 20 degrees.  Turns out the weather man was right.  And it was strange that the day before and the day after (today) are totally clear.

Anyway, it turned out to be the coldest, muddiest, windiest, rainy day you could have.  It was about 50 degrees out and pouring rain.  The wind was blowing so hard through the canyons that rain was horizontal.  The combination made for very uncomfortable conditions.

They say a picture says a thousand words.  Here is the before and after photos.


Per the Spartan website, the race was to be between 3 and 5 miles and with 25 or so obstacles. While on the course, we spoke to a few people who have done spartan races in the past and I guess the joke is that the mileage is always over 5 miles for the Sprint and that they just try to get new people by saying it is 3 miles.  Got me!

What made the course so hard is the rain which then turned the dirt to mud.  I think I spent as much time sliding down the hills as I did trying to claw myself up on all fours.

Here is a picture of my son on the rings and you can see the mud is just crazy.


The short story is that I did not train enough for this race.  I am so sore this morning while i write this, it is crazy.  I know I will be more sore tomorrow most likely and should have worn a long sleeve shirt to work because I have so many scratches and bruises on my arms it looks terrible.

I am just glad that my kids did not have a bad attitude about the experience. Even though they were freezing and shivering for almost 3 hours, they said they would do it again.  I just kept telling them while we were on the course that this build character and most likely we will never have to experience these extreme conditions again.

Well, one could hope.


Valencia Personal Injury Attorney Experience

So this personal post is going to be another rant.  I’m sorry. But if you are interested in learning what to do after being in an vehicle accident, you will learn from this article as well.

My wife was involved in a pretty bad car accident about a month or so ago.  While she was driving to downtown Los Angeles she came to a stop on the freeway and looked up in her rear view mirror to observe a young woman driver looking down at what she can only assume was her cell phone and coming at her at about 40 miles per hour.

There was nothing she could do and the driver of the other vehicle never even looked up before hitting my wife’s car.

Okay, so that was the setup.

I work in a building on Turnberry in Valencia where there are several professional business’s. Because there is someone in our suite that is a personal injury attorney, I naturally just knocked on his door.  He said not to worry about it and he would take care of it.

Over the next couple of weeks I would check in with him every week to see what we should be doing and asking what is being done.  I assumed he was taking care of it as he stated.

Then my wife and I started noticing something.

The Chiropractor where she was going after the accident said she could not get a call back from the attorney and that several weeks had gone by.

So we went to the attorney’s office and spoke with his partner who I was told by the other attorney was handling the case.  I walked in and asked what information they needed from us for the accident.  He says, “what accident?”  I said, “you guys are handling my wife’s accident!” (my wife is standing right next to me).  Then, in the most rude manner you can think and with a disgusted look on his face, he says, ” I have no idea what you are talking about.”

This was the attorney who the chiropractor had called for weeks without any answer.

What made me mad is how rude he was.  Think of the person in your life you hate more than anything and that would be how he looked at us.  And we were supposedly their clients AND i have worked in the same building as them for 4 years.

I just couldn’t get over how rude he was.  The other attorney was in a meeting so I left a message on his phone and told them we would be looking for another personal injury attorney for our accident and explained how disgusted we were with his partners behavior.

The worst thing is that they never gave us any advice during this entire process.

So my wife contacts another personal injury attorney in Valencia and has a consultation.  During the consultation, this attorney cannot believe that we were not provided with any advice on how to handle the car accident.

Here is what was explained to us about how to handle the car accident. (none of this was told to us by the previous attorney and would have been helpful being right after the accident)

Advice Given From Valencia Personal Injury Attorney

  1. Take time off of work if needed – When my wife got in her accident she was in a lot of pain.  But she felt she needed to go back to work.  This is despite the fact that my wife had a concussion and was nauseous from the concussion.  This new attorney said she should have taken all the time off she needed because the loss of wages is recoverable.  Had we known that, my wife would have taken time off instead of going back to work the next day.  over those days and weeks immediately following the accident, she even put aside her chiropractic care for work even though she was in so much pain.
  2. Go to a real doctor – Not saying other doctors are not real, but my wife immediately went to a chiropractor right after the accident to get adjusted.  Our family is religious about chiropractic care. But she did not immediately go to our Valencia Kaiser until she began feeling super nauseous.  After encouraging her to go (where she learned she had a concussion) she was told to take time off work and that rest was needed.  The personal injury attorney said that you should always go to a MD to have your condition checked out after the accident.  So we did this part correct.
  3. Take pictures of the accident – My wife did this perfectly. She took numerous photos of both vehicles showing the damage that occurred.  The attorney said this was helpful.
  4. Get a police report – When my wife called me from the scene of the accident, she said that a police officer witnessed the accident and was handing it.  Being that I am retired LAPD I knew that a report should be taken.  It turns out that the police officer that witnessed it was off duty and did not work that area so no report was taken. What should have happened is that he should have called for the CHP to come out and take an accident report.  Fortunately, this was a rear end accident so the blame is obvious, but in other types of accidents this might not be the case.
  5. Hire a Valencia Personal Injury Attorney – It is not about being compensated for being injured is it is getting good advice on what to do immediately following an accident.  Had we had the information that was provided to us on day one, we would have handled thing differently.  My wife would have taken the time off necessary to get treatment and feel better before going back to work.

You want to know what pisses me off the most?  I provide so much free information to people going through divorce in California with all our videos, podcasts, free consultations, etc.  I explain to people everything they need to know and usually am not compensated for it and most of the time don’t even know who the people are who watch our videos, etc.

Then, when my family needs help, we don’t get it.  We hire a personal injury attorney to give us advice and take care of us and it does not happen. We trust that someone has our back, especially since we work in the same building and have known each other professionally for years.

But even without all that, common courtesy and decency dictates that these things happen anyways.

Shame on you.  You know who you are.  And when I called you out on it, you didn’t even take the time to walk to my office and apologize.  You want to pretend that everything is okay.

Wait until our paths cross in the building.  I will let you know exactly how I feel about you.

Point of story?  Don’t assume that your friends and colleagues have your back. Do your due diligence and find someone that will take care of you.  Don’t assume that everybody will do what you would do.

I treat my clients like I treat my family and anyone else for that matter.  I greet the person who cleans the toilets in our building the same way I greet anybody else.

I did not want to give names here, but if you are interested in knowing who we ended up with for our personal injury attorney in Valencia just shoot me an email.  My wife very much liked her.

End of rant.



Moving My Mom & Visiting My Brother

Well this weekend went by fast. My middle brother, Todd, and I went up to Apple Valley to help my mom pack for her move to San Diego.  Packing and helping move someone is not my idea of a well spent weekend, but it was a good time to visit both my mom and my brother.

We made the best of it and got out there at around 11.  Todd and I had a plan to have everything packed by 5 pm so we could hang out, relax and go to dinner.

We had to hustle to get everything done by 5, but we were able to make it with no little left over things that needed to be taken care of.

Finally, we were able to sit down and relax and have a few cocktails.  Around 6 pm we decided to go have sushi.  So I told my mom and brother, I would just order up a Uber ride.  That is my go-to service when i need a ride somewhere for whatever reason.

But to my surprise there were no cars available at all!


So what I had to do is just leave the Uber app on for about 15 minutes before a driver finally appeared. It then took about 20 minutes for the driver to arrive.  I guess it does not pay to be an Uber driver in the desert.  But we did eventually get a ride and I even asked the Uber driver for their phone number so we could call her when we were done with dinner, just to make sure we had a ride home.  That worked out well.

It is already Sunday late afternoon and I am home.  Just enough time to sit down with the family for dinner and write a few words on my blog here.

I think we will sit down and bing-watch our current netflix series we are watching which is Person of Interest. We started it about 2 weeks ago and are on episode 25 of 90.

Talk to you tomorrow.

3 Day Weekend, 13 Hours & Not Going To Santa Barbara

My 3 Day Weekend – Not

While it is a 3 day weekend for some, it certainly is not for me.  I don’t think I have had a 3 day weekend since I have started this business.  Because when you are a business owner, you are always working.  Our offices might be closed, but I am always working.

Point in fact, I am sitting here at home writing this article and earlier in the morning was recording videos and posting them on my Divorce661 Facebook page.

When I even hint at complaining about feeling like I am always working, my wife is always there to remind me of all the good things that come with owning a business. And she is right.  My wife works hard.  She is up by 5 and out the door by 6 to be in Los Angeles by 8.  She takes the Metrolink and isn’t home until 7:30 p.m.  At least my business has the flexibility for me to leave the office as necessary to take our son to his tutoring and the other activities he needs to get to.

The thing about owning a business is that it is always on your mind.  For me, I am always thinking of how to generate business.  Always thinking about marketing and much of that occurs in the evening or on the weekends since most of my Monday through Friday during business hours is spent working with clients.

13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi

Today I took my wife and son to see the movie 13 Hours – The secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I really enjoy movies that are based on true stories and this one said “This is a true story” it did not say based on so I assume they stuck to much of what actually happened.  The other thing I enjoy is watching military type movies and thrillers.

This is probably from my having been in the Military.  But this movie kept you on the edge of you seat and was a great, great movie.  My wife even said she wanted to see it again and I there were no complaints from our son.  And I won’t get into my personal politics or feelings about what happened in Benghazi.

Not Going To Santa Barbara

My birthday was this past Wednesday on the 13th.  We did not do anything fancy, in fact we did nothing and was just a regular day.  So my wife said we could do whatever I wanted on the weekend.  So I booked three nights in Santa Barbara at an RV Resort names Flying Flags.  I had never been there but saw a friend post on Facebook how much they liked it there a few months ago.

I could tell that my wife was pretty exhausted from the week and decided to call it off.  I made up a story about having a lot of things to do for the business.  My wife is way tougher than me and would never say anything, especially if it was something I wanted to do.  So I knew that if I did not call it off, she would not either.  She would just go and not complain.  In fact she would just make the best of it and you wouldn’t know if she was not feeling well or not.

So we did not go to Santa Barbara for the weekend and just stayed home. She slept 10 hours and did not wake up until 9 am on Saturday which proved to me that I was on track and she needed her rest.  Right now in fact we put on a movie from Netflix and I just looked over and while I write this she has passed out and is sleeping.  It is only 5 p.m. I knew she needed to rest.

As much as feel like I am working, I do enjoy writing these personal posts.  Not so much for other people to read them, which people like you obviously do, which is great.  But I actually enjoy writing just for writing. And perhaps when I am gone one day, these articles I write can be viewed by my wife and children as sort of a diary.

My daughter who is in college now just returned from the gym at LA Fitness and went by Wal-Mart to grab a few things from the house.

Well enough of the personal posts, I have to get back to uploading videos to my blog and to Youtube.

Talk to you tomorrow.  Tim


My Birthday, Challenging Clients and Providing A Valuable Service

Yesterday was my birthday, but you wouldn’t know it.  It was just a regular day. I guess that is the way it has been and is when you are in your 40’s.  Son went off to school, daughter is off to college and the wife is off to work by 6 am and does not get home until 8 pm.

For me, I just ended up working, but was trying to take it easy.  The plan was to work a half day or remotely as I did not have any clients coming into the office.  I was hoping to go for a run and hit the gym, but in the end spent my day handling clients, new clients and having to tell potential clients they were not a good fit for our company.

It was not an overly difficult day, but I had to handle clients that we have had for a while that have just been super challenging.  Clients we just can’t make happy no matter what happens and tend to complain even when things are going well for them.  I am just glad these types of clients are few and far between because I get tired of being a punching bag and just because you paid us for a service does not give you a right to speak to people that way.  I do a pretty good job of interviewing our clients to make sure they are a good fit for us, but sometimes people slip through the cracks.

I also had to tell someone who was interested in our service that he was not a good fit for our company.  It started of with free phone consultation.  I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with him and we came up with a plan to prepare a request for order for him.  He later emailed and made an appointment.

The appointment was for yesterday at 10.  Around 8:30 I received and email from him saying he was canceling the appointment. No reason, just canceling. Then around noon he emails me again and is questioning the price I quoted him for our service and said it did not make sense, “and to explain it to him so it makes sense.”

This is a red flag for me right away.  I have dealt with people in the past who do not see the value of what we do and that makes for a poor relationship and never turns out well.  Folks who are not willing to pay for our experience and knowledge in our profession are always problematic, complain and take too much of my time.

So I cut him loose by responding to his email by explaining exactly that and advising him he was not a good fit for out company.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, we are the ONLY Corporately Registered Legal Document Assistant Company. One needs to be registered as a Legal Document Assistant to perform these functions without the supervision of an attorney.

There are other “paralegals” out here, but they are not registered or licensed as we are, to do what we do.

So if you want to roll the dice and work with someone who does this part time or works out of their home to save a few bucks, go right ahead.

But don’t be surprised when the results are poor and the service bad.

Just Venting Today And New Years Resolutions

I don’t know where I got it from or when it happened, but I have always had a thing with needing to be on time to things.  Probably from the Marine Corps and further amplified by working as a Police Officer for LAPD where you respond to calls and when you get somewhere matters.

And this translates into me thinking that everyone thinks the same way I do which can cause frustration. For instance, if I tell someone I am going to be somewhere at a certain time, I am.  And if something happens that prevents me from getting there on time, like my wife, I get frustrated, but more than that fell a sort of panic set in.  It is weird.

I think part of my New Years Resolution for 2016 will help.  I had only one new years resolution.  And that was to just try to make the best out of every situation.  When things don’t go my way or if things don’t go the way I had planned, to just make the best of it.

This has helped in many ways.  I don’t get so frustrated or panic stricken if am late or things don’t go my way.

A perfect example is right now and why I decided to write this post today.  I have an appointment with my computer guy today at 9 a.m.  I got in early to get some work done before we go offline for a few hours while he swaps out a computer.  It is 9:35 and he is still not here.  I text him and he says it will be another 30 minutes.  Keep in mind that i book morning appointments so there are no delays from previous calls.

So normally I would be pulling my hair out, and caught myself getting a little frustrated.  Thankfully, I did catch myself and took a deep breath.  How to make the best of this situation?  By realizing that nothing I do will matter. So might as well relax and realize not everyone is the same as me and the world will still go round and round, even if he shows up late.

On Another rant and just venting is in regards to where my son attends high school.  He goes to Valencia High School and we have had a terrible time with his Counselor, Ms. White.  I don’t know why people stay in jobs that they obviously don’t like.  We have had so many issues with her that when we asked for a different counselor the Principal said he would step in.  That didn’t work either as he has the same philosophy it seems.

I once went in to meet with Ms. White and she refused to even step out of her little office. Instead, while i stood 5 feet away, advised another staff member to tell me something.  I said to her, “she can’t even step out of her office 5 feet to tell me that?  So rude.

So starting the 2016 semester, we needed to have Ms. White sign a form so our son can take a class at Valencia Tutors.  When she refused to sign the form, we advised Valencia Tutors and they said, “is it Ms. White”.  Yep, she sure has a reputation for being difficult and downright worthless.

Okay, done with the ranting.  Still waiting on the computer guy.  Breath!

Talk to you tomorrow.  Tim

More Podcasts, Videos And Blog Posts To Come For 2016

So today is January 6, 2016 and you know what is remarkable is I did not get sick all of last year and in fact I haven’t been sick for a couple of years. But yesterday just five days into 2016 I caught a cold I don’t know what to make of this.

But I’m still plugging along, when you own your own business you can’t just not show up for work.

This year I’ve made a commitment to do a lot more marketing especially in the way of video marketing and so far this year I’ve produced on a minimum at least five videos per day which I’ve then turned into a podcast episode followed by uploading to YouTube and Facebook and any other social media platform that I’m a part of.

We’ve always done well with our our marketing but this year I think will do much better as I increase the number of videos that we make.

I know this is true especially sense yesterday I uploaded a video at about 7 AM to YouTube and by 9 AM I received a call from a potential client who watched the video and became a client because of that very video. It’s things like these that convince me to spend the extra hours every day to get this marketing up so people can learn from it, find us, and hopefully ultimately utilize her service to help them with their divorce.

So if you follow our blog podcast or YouTube channel you’re going to see tons of content being posted and uploaded every day.

Have a good day, enjoy the rain California, and we’ll talk later.