Tim Blankenship @ Divorce661.Com Weekend Review 8-2-15

I think I decided that these “Tim’s personal Blog” posts will have a little more structure.  Things like, ” family, work and random stuff” since I am so all over the place. At least you will know where my mind is at.  So let’s try this.

My Divorce Paralegal Business:

Okay, it is now Sunday and the weekend went so fast, as always.  This is especially true since I worked most of the weekend. Not with work with customers, but in the things one does when you own a business.

For me, that usually equates to marketing and coming up with new ideas for getting exposure and finding a way to assist people with family law related issues affordably.

One thing I have been talking about for a few months now is developing a membership website where people can login and pay a nominal monthly or one time fee to get all the information about divorce that I have created over the years.  Essentially a site where someone can pay a small fee and access my brain via recorded videos where they can do everything from learn how to file for an uncontested divorce to taking their divorce case to trial.

I think having everything on an “on demand” how to site will be huge. I’ve been talking about it for about a year and don’t know whey I have put it off.

The Family:

So aside from working on my business this weekend, I had to help my mom purchase a new car. All i want to say is that it is the same BS for the last 30 years buying a car.  Why don’t car salesman reailze that the best way to sell a car is to focus on the customer and not on yourself.

So here is what happened.  I called a local Valencia Hyundai dealership here in Santa Clarita to begin the process of purchasing a vehicle for my mom. We had the exact vehicle she wanted so this should have been quite simple.

Well, leave it to a car salesperson to mess it all up.  This could have been the easiest sale of his life. But instead, this turned out to be a complete waste of our time.

What happened is that this Hyundai salesperson did not disclose all the facts about the vehicle.  We were looking for a Hyundai Tucson GLS that had a back up camera. He told us that the Hyundai GLS did not come with a back up camera and that we had to upgrade to the SE version which had the back up camera and a bunch of things we didn’t want at an additional cost of $4,500.

the short story is that all he wanted to do was sell us a vehicle he had at his dealership.

So, here is what happened.  It was late on a Saturday night and put on Facebook that I was disappointed with the care buying experience at Valencia Hyundai and my friends response from people saying they could sell me a car to friends that had husbands who could broker a deal to people who said, “use Costco.”

So I went to the Costco website and entered my info.  The next morning I received a call from the closest dealership to my mom. She lives in Apple Valley so the closest Hyundai Dealership was Ontario Hyundai that was a Costco approved dealership. The person that called me was named Brian Webb with Romero Mazda Hyundai in Ontario CA.  His Cell number is 909-618-2461.(You know what? I am going to write a totally separate post about Brian Webb at Romero Hyundai Mazda) because he deserves the recognition of doing an awesome job.  Click on that link.

By the way Brian Webb, if you ever change dealerships or phone number email or call me and I will update this post….

How do you explain excellence? By referring people who you would refer your own mother to. I really hope this and the article specifically about Brian Webb at Romero Mazda Hyundai help with his career.

The short story is I logged into Costco and was provided the closest Costco approved dealership. Brian Webb emailed and called me at 9 a.m. on a Sunday and by 4 p.m. my mom was driving home in her new Hyundai Tucson with all the perks she wanted.


So I literally did not leave the house this entire weekend.  It was all spent on the phone, text and email. It is now Sunday at about 5 p.m. and I still have a lot of work to do for the business.j

Until tomorrow. Tim

Tim Blankenship @ Divorce661.Com | 7-31-15

So here we are at the end of July 2015 already.  My son who is still in High School is going into 11th grad this year is complaining about having just 2 more weeks until back to school is here.  And our only “vacation” if you can call it that in the last week of summer before he returns is here already next week.

Work wise, this has been a very busy week.  It seem summer is over, which is just a tad slower, and the calls and new client are picking up again as they do each year.  You can read about my explanation of the “divorce seasons” by checking out the article I wrote in the Santa Clarita Magazine this month. You can click on that link to read it.

Another thing i have been working on is looking for office space in Santa Clarita for the last couple of weeks.  I have been at the same location for 4 years and just wanted to know what else is out there as my lease is coming due at the end of this year.  I don’t necessarily want to move, but wanted to see what else was out there.  Plus, I think it will help in my negotiations of my new lease when I express that I am leaving..

I was very disappointed in my search for a new commercial office to lease.  I drove around and scoured different parts of Santa Clarita, wrote down broker’s numbers and address’s and made up a list of properties i was interested in getting information on.

I will tell you that this must be a very underserved market.  This is because I could not get hardly anyone on the phone.  I left message after message about setting up times to look at office space and nobody would return my call.  I did get a hold of one broker who was the broker for the building and even set up a time to meet at the location.  Then, about 1 1/2 hours before the meeting, he called and said something came up and had to cancel.  By the way, this was on a Friday at 4 p.m. for the appointment in Santa Clarita and his office was in Universal City.

I even told him I thought he was canceling because he did’t want to make the drive on a Friday.  He didn’t say otherwise. He promised to call me on Monday, but of course I never heard from him.

I guess that is all you can expect from someone who is named after a mass murder. Thanks Richard Ramirez!

Okay, just one more whining complaint.

I have written over 1200 blog posts, recorded 700 or so videos and probably as many podcasts and I talk to people every day on the phone and help answer their questions.  Some become clients, some don’t.  But I don’t let that stop me from helping people.

I emailed a local business owner a few days ago who helps people with college planning.  I have even spoke with him in the past and he knows who I  am.  I asked him a quick question about the how income impacts grants.  Something that would have probably taken 3 minutes of his time.  Did he respond?  Nope.  Not a word, just totally ignored me.

I won’t let it stop me and from helping any and all who call me. Not how i operate.

Well the weekend is here and I don’t have any real plans.  Owning a business means I will most likely be working, probably doing some marketing and getting the word out to people about our business so i can help as many people as possible.


Camping In Grays Valley Independence California (Part 1) | July 30,2015

I have been posting now for 3 days on things me and my family are doing and enjoying it a bit.  It is late on Wednesday about 10 p.m. ( i say late because i have been up since 4 a.m.) but wanted to get a jump on my daily post. Plus because I slept so awful from having things on my mind, I thought this might help with sleep.  (and the 1 or 2 shots of Jack Daniels )

I like writing these posts because I don’t have to be so official… Not that I am too much with my other articles, videos and podcasts, but  sometimes i just like to write.

I mean i will spell things correctly because there is a red line under them if i don’t, but as far as punctuation and (capitalizing the i) I am not going to take the time.  I say that because my wife and daughter are curious what i am writing about the family and correcting me on this.  So don’t expect it here.

So I changed my format a little bit and instead of just using the title of my name and divorce611 and the date, I put a little title that references what it may be about. I am sure this will change over the days and months but will try to keep the dates right.

My wife and I are not good planners.  I am not a good planner. I see my friends on Facebook over the summer posting their awesome summer vacation photos and understand that they probably made these plans several months or years ago and get jealous. Our plans are made about a week out, usually the day before we do anything which is usually camping in our motorhome.

Shockingly we made plans to go go camping about 3 weeks out.  AND got a camping spot at a supposed awesome place at Grays Meadow which it in the mountains outside of Independence, CA.

Now I am always concerned when I am able to get last minute reservations for a ‘hot spot with awesome reviews” but we are just going to go for it.

If you are not familiar with Grays Meadow in Independence, CA, it sits at an elevation of about 9,500 feet.  I read all the reviews and articles and the place looks amazing.  Most are what people refer to themselves as “minimalists” which means they are totally satisfied in a tent, cooking outside, maybe not even cooking, hiking and living on the land.  I am sure that people define “minimalist” different.

One thing is for sure.  The place looks awesome. We are staying in a campsite that has a river running right behind. From the photos it looks like we can fish from the site.  We’ll see with the drought and all here in California.

There are so many awesome photos of Grays Meadow that I will just post one here and them provide THIS LINK to google photos… You’re welcome!

I am going to be talking a lot about Grays Meadow because of the elevation. I said it is at 9,500 feet and the “minimalists” use this as a starting point to get acclimatized to Mount Whitney.  From what I understand, they will stay here a day or two to get ready for the big climb.

We are just here to camp and fish and hike for a few days and i am concerned about the elevation.  I have good reason to be.

When I was in the Marine Corps during Desert Storm in 1990 right after high school, I was first deployed to Okinawa, Japan at Camp Hanson.  Here, we assigned as the second amphibious task force to attack Iraq.  Okay, not the purpose of this post (and will discuss further later i am sure) we later deployed to Mount Fuji, Japan.

During our training we were able to train with the Japanese military, and later we deployed to Mount Fuji which sits a 12.388 feet elevation.  Camp Fuji is at the base of the mountain, but we did have the opportunity to climb Mt. Fuji at some point.

Man I can get off topic.

Anyhow, the purpose of bringing this up is that I do get AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) otherwise known as Altitude Sickness.  I did not know it at the time in my prime at 19 years old but I had a very negative effect at this altitude.  It was only through the last 20 years, and most recently in the last 2 years, that I don’t feel to good at high altitudes.

The interesting thing to learn is that is has nothing to do with age or how good of shape you are in. I was 19 ( or 18 can’t remember) and out of breath, had headaches and was disoriented at 12,000 feet. Okay, the bottle of Dom Perignon we bought in Tokyo, Japan a few weeks prior did not help with the whole altitude thing when we drank it is a celebration of our climb to the top of Mt. Fuji.

Okay, have gotten way off topic.  The point is I don’t do good at high altitude.  I have done some research on high altitude that i will discuss in other posts.

Good thing I made this part 1. We are about 2 weeks from our camping at Grays Meadow and already have talked about many things,

If i can remember, i want to talk about what you can do to eleviate high altitude or AMS symptoms that I found useful on the internet.  I will also discuss whether they actually worked as there is not a whole lot of discussion on the internet about it.

Even the Yelp reviews of Grays Meadow don’t say anything about the altitude or getting ready for that for us normal people, so want to make sure to discuss it.

Talk to you tomorrow.




Tim Blankenship @ Divorce661.Com | July 29, 2015

Every once and a while I am not able to sleep. I will go to bed just fine and then wake up super early, not on purpose, sometime around 3 or 3:30.  Today it was 3:45 a.m. when I woke up and despite my best intensions, cannot fall back to sleep.

What happens is that I wake up and my mind instantly starts thinking about the day and I can’t stop thinking.  I will usually lay there for about 30 minutes and then just get up.  So here I am at about 4 a.m. writing this post.  At least I will be can get some marketing done early which is good because I have a busy day.

Today I not only have to run a business but also handle all the kids from morning to night.  My wife works a lot of hours and this week she is traveling far to job sites and is out by 5 and gets home late around 8 p.m.

So after this post I will be making breakfast, and lunch for all of us.  My son is going to summer and school and tutoring and I have to drop him off and pick him up 3 different times throughout the day.  He is redoing a few classes so he can have a 3.0 GPA so he can get into a specific college that the FBI recruits from.

I am glad he has chosen the FBI over a street level cop like I was with LAPD for 13 years.  I have one kid in college and the other is college bound. So glad they have their act together. Much more than I did at their age.  Probably why I ended up in the Marine Corps after high school.  Nothing else better to do. More on that I am sure.

Well, off to start my day.  It is now 4:25 and I have one cup of coffee in me.

Oh, by the way, totally remembering my mom’s birthday today.

Tim Blankenship @ Divorce661.Com | July 28, 2014

Today is Tuesday July 28, 2015 and i was reading the post I wrote for Monday and realized I had left out the single most important, yet devastating, thing that happened over the weekend.

I guess I did a good job blocking it from my mind as it was something that was very upsetting.

Our beloved labrador who we had for just over 10 years had to be put down.  He got cancer which resulted in tumors in and on his body.  It started about 8 months ago where we noticed little bumps on his skin which later, and quickly, turned into large tumors on his skin.

We opted for surgery as we thought the tumors could be removed, but about three months after the surgery the tumors began popping up all over his body, despite being on 24/7 steroids which were supposed to shrink the tumors.

We took him to Happy Pets in Valencia where we have been going for a while last Sunday and Dr. Johnson said it didn’t look good and if it were her dog she would opt to euthanize. We decided that we would give it a week so we could have a few more days with him, and later that week on Friday at 5:20 we took him to put him down.

You love pets, but this part is so hard.  This is the second lab we put down in 2 years.  The other one got cancer also, but he was much younger, just 7 years old.  The hardest part was the kids, who have known the Scout since they were 4 and 7, so basically their entire lives.

Scout RIP 7-24-15
Scout RIP 7-24-15

When our last lab died, Saber, we were convinced by our daughter, Aundrea, that we needed another dog. So we have an almost 3 year old lab named Hudson.

Here is a picture of our Scout (along with our Hudson as a baby who terrorized Scout)

So, like i said, for me to write an article on a Monday after a traumatic event over the weekend, i must have really blocked it out on Monday.

I have to say that on day 2 of writing these more personal posts, i am really enjoying it as a sort of recap to the day or even to log in and write a few sentences during the day as my crazy busy days permit.

I think another way of coping for me was to decide to take our 3 year old lab out for a run every day.  This was day two of our runs and because I have not ran in a while, my legs are really sore. Definitely limping around the office today when going to get coffee in the kitchen.

Today has been a super busy day and have started 2 new divorce cases, working on a new Request For Order and answering all the phone calls that come it from new potential clients.  I tell ya, the summer months slow down a bit due to the kids being out of school, but now that they are starting to go back we are already picking up the pace.

Until tomorrow.  Tim

Tim Blankenship | Santa Clarita CA | July 27, 2015

Well, I have finally started what my wife urged me to do about 2 years ago.  And that was to start making personal entries, or blog posts, on to my blog.  She said it would be a good way to just write about myself and our family and a way for people to connect.

My over 1200 blog posts i have written over the years have been strictly work related and I never really talk about me or my family. It makes sense to have some personal entries where i can just write.  I mean, i have made over 800 videos and podcasts and my reasoning is that if people watch me or listen to me and say, ” i don’t like that guy”, well i just saved myself some time from having them have to call me.  I think these personal entries will do the same thing. And also so that my clients and readers of the blog see me as a real person.

That is probably one of the biggest things i wanted to accomplish with my business. I wanted to have a personal service.  Not some online, virtual type of service but a business that people could get real help and talk to real people to get the answers and help they need with issues related to divorce.

So today is Monday, July 27, 2015, and I just got back from a walk/run with our dog Hudson.  Until this past Friday, we had two dogs, the other one’s name is Scout, and we had to put him down on Friday unfortunately. He had cancer and tumors all over his body.  He had surgery to remove some a few months ago, but more just grew back despite having him on steroids which were supposed to shrink the tumors.  This weekend was a hard one to get through.

So I decided that I would make this Monday the day I start running again.  I have been an avid runner and hit the gym regularly, but an injury in 2014 to my shoulder took me out of the game for a while.  Then honestly, I just got lazy and it was hard to get back into.

So today I took our other, younger lab, Hudson  for a run. He is going on 3 years old and since Friday, when we put Scout down, he has been acting a little strange.  A little depressed i would say. This happened to Scout when we put our first dog down “Saber”.  Scout became depressed and we had to get his mind of things by walking him more etc.  So this is what I am going to do with Hudson.  Keep him busy (and me busy) and take him on  runs every morning.  Well, at least that is the plan.

Having just returned from my run, and still sweating, i am writing the article from my house while I wait for my son, Justin, to get out of summer school at Valencia High School.  My first appointment today at the office is not until 10:30 a.m., so i have some time to work from home before picking him up and then going to the office.

It is nice to have the ability to work from home for an hour or two, or just to have the flexibility.  I have everything to run my business from my home, but i do prefer to work from the office.  Is is just after 8:30 a.m. and I received an email from both my employees that they have arrived to work. It is nice to have staff so the business keeps on running smoothly.

I guess it is time to start doing my marketing.  I spend probably 6 out of every 8 hours working on growing the business by writing blog posts. social media, recording videos and podcasts and then uploading them. This is how i have grown the business over the last few years and people who find us usually say they found us online reading some article or watching a video or listening to a podcast.

My mom’s birthday is coming up on July 29th and I am making a point not to forget.  I am usually bad with birthdays, my excuse is that i am working all the time and super busy, but that is no excuse. Maybe these blog posts will be a good way to remind myself of things.  One could only hope.

I think that is it for this mornings post, time to get ready to get to the office.  Gladly I live in Santa Clarita and my office is only 5 minutes from my home.  Until tomorrow.