The Accident

The Accident

This story comes as I was taking a hot tub soak in my San Diego abode overlooking the sea, deep in contemplation over the many scars I’ve accrued over the years. Not from any fights, mind you, or any feats of valor, but from the incredibly dumb escapades I’ve had with my good friend ‘Al’ (cohol). Hands wrecked from punching through walls, TV screens, and windows, burns from late night belligerent cooking, and all manner of scrapes and slashes from falling from various heights.

Then my eyes landed on one set of criss-crossing scars I got from before my music career took off – the one from the accident I had as a young kid just out of high school. The one that almost ended my music career before it got off the ground.

There isn’t some great story behind it – some moron who was drunk at noon decided to do some donuts in a cul-de-sac as I was passing by. Once a neighbor yelled about calling the cops, he burned rubber in an escape attempt, losing control and clipping me in the process. I was sent flying, my leg now bent in a direction it was very much not supposed to be in.

I landed, dazed, and remember only the sounds of yelling before waking back up in a hospital the next day. My knee was absolutely shredded, the bones broken and the ligaments torn to the point that they didn’t know if I was going to ever be able to walk without a crutch.

I decided that this was not an acceptable state of affairs, so I began many months of grueling rehabilitation and physical therapy, all at my and my family’s expense. The guy in the truck was thrown in the can for reckless endangerment, but walked away no worse for wear, while I was stuck on my butt for the better part of a year.

Lucky for me I had my music to keep me comfortable, but my family was in dire straights for a long time while I was getting back on my feet. If we had access to a good personal injury lawyer at the time way out in our corner of nowhere, we’d have avoided a lot of heartache.

So, while ruminating on all of this, I decided I’d help my local San Diego readers find an auto accident attorney if they find themselves in a similar situation. A local guy who comes very highly recommended by some friends is Chris Villasenor and his office, Villasenor Law offices.

There’s a ton to like from what I’ve heard about the firm. Patient, conscientious, and highly communicative, they have everything you want in a PI lawyer. Checking out their Yelp page, Jonathon S. testifies to this in writing:

Great attorney in all respects. Chris and his staff are very helpful and communicative, contributing to a fluid experience from the onset. Moreover, with his expertise and thoroughness, Chris was able to secure an excellent resolution for my personal injury case. I highly recommend his services.

Villasenor’s offices also do a bang-up job with contract law. A peek at their Google reviews has a number of good things to say about their work in the field:

“Over the last 10 years, Chris Villasenor has created several contracts for my company that protect me in case a dispute with a client or contractor crops up. He has also reviewed contracts from my potential clients or partners and made recommendations on ways they needed to be revised in order to protect my best interest. Chris was also very helpful and informative when my husband & I were faced with a real estate dispute while purchasing our current home. Chris is trustworthy, professional and a great legal resource in times of need AND he’s become my attorney of choice!”

So, if you’re in the Mira Mesa, Poway, or the greater San Diego area and need a personal injury lawyer or business attorney, these are your guys. Don’t get stuck with a bill that might crush your dreams and do the smart thing – sue the pants off the guy who had the temerity to crash into you.

Villasenor Law Offices

(858) 707-7771

12396 World Trade Dr Ste 211, San Diego, CA 92128

An Unwanted House Party

An Unwanted House Party

Through my years as a wannabe and then fully fledged rock star, I’ve attended a number of disastrous parties. Things getting thrown out windows, hit with blunt objects, and not a few buildings getting burnt to the ground in some particularly boisterous affairs. If I’m being honest, the disastrous parties were often times the ones that were the most fun, though my lawyer would probably advise against me saying so.

While I was mostly partied out by the time my time in the limelight came to an end, that wasn’t the end of the parties. Not only did my band mates continue their youthful shenanigans, I had some rather unwanted guests in a number of the properties I had bought over the years stage some parties of their own.

Who are these uninvited guests, you ask? Not hippies, not grungy punks, not even star-sucking sycophants looking to lap up any crumbs of clout they could steal from my plate. These guests were of an even more invasive species I’ve had to deal with.

Termites! The little critters invaded not one, not two, but three of my residences and establishments over the years, including my favorite home in southern California. This presented a pretty big problem for me, as at the time I was going through a bit of a health kick and believed most pesticides were basically evil.

One major thing I wish we had at the time was an environmentally- and health-conscious movement in society at large and pest control in particular, like we do now. As it stands, when it comes to natural removal of termites and other creepy-crawlies for my Southern California enterprises, I always call the same guys: Natural Science Exterminating.

The Garden Grove-based company prides itself on its use of natural remedies to not only remove pests once they’ve infested a building through tenting and spot removal, but also preventing infestations from occurring in the first place. They use a number of naturally derived and plant-based chemicals that the plants use to ward off pests themselves to give your home a reprieve from damaging insects, so you don’t have to worry about your pets getting poisoned or gigantic swarms of bugs coming crashing through your roof as you sleep.

When my homes were host to such unwelcome house parties, I had to just clench my teeth and allow the smelly exterminator to tent them up for a week. Once they took the tent off, I couldn’t go into the houses without my skin crawling from the thought of all the chemicals that were pumped into the walls and how every time I touched something I was now doomed to a painful cancerous death.

You don’t have to go through the mental torture I put myself through (I am a bit of a hypochondriac, admittedly, so you might not do it regardless). Natural Science Exterminating offers free termite inspections in Garden Grove and its surrounding areas, so if you’re like me and can’t stand the thought of every chemical monstrosity known to man being sprayed all over your possessions, give them a call.

Natural Science Exterminating

(800) 246-7378

11642 Knott Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841

A Quick Note Of Appreciation

A Quick Note Of Appreciation

Hey guys! Just stopping by for a quick post today because I’m shoving off for yet another sailing adventure. I’ve almost perfected my sailing skills to the point that I can take the thing out of the marina, but we’re taking it one day at a time.

Today, I was ruminating on how much my life has changed since the divorce, and how incredible the family law attorneys I used were to leave me with as much of my shirt on as they did, considering the water-tight case my wife had when we separated. The firm (Shuff Law Firm) comes with two thumbs up from me.

Since I’m running short on time today, I’ll let some other clients of their speak their piece about them:

Laura K.:

Shuff Law Firm was recommended to me by a dear friend and I highly recommend them to you!

Joe, Tamara and their entire team work with the utmost professionalism coupled with a genuine care for their clients needs. This Father- Daughter team brings many many years of experience to the table! They’ll represent you with integrity, honesty, and a great energy, yet will not be steamrollered by opposing counsel.

Most recently, Tamara held my hand during an incredibly tough situation while believing in me and the justice to prevail. Her kind heart keeps her honest and her experience keeps her strong!

I can’t recommend Shuff Law Firm enough!

Kelly G.:

My highest respect and regards for this law firm, in which I am extremely thankful for the level of professional care, support, advice and representation I received during a most difficult divorce. Tamara is the first lawyer that actually understood the complexity of my situation AND took action.  Her support staff were caring and timely.  I highly recommend this law firm to all my friends and anyone who is need of understanding and intelligent help. I am forever grateful

Finally, Jeff H., the guy who convinced me to use the firm:

If you want results?  This is the firm and people that will get your Family/Divorce situation/case solved effectively, efficiently, and the best.  I used 2 other lawyers prior to coming to Tamara and her father and they completed what I needed to be done in a short period of time and without the BS associated with family courts.  Could I have been lucky with my situation? Maybe – BUT what I have learned in business is over communication, being straight forward (hearing the GOOD and the BAD), and relentless (like TAMARA was and is) is the best medicine to quell the sickness of this not so fun process of divorce.  I would AND have recommended this firm to EVERYONE on the planet.  Seriously the best people in the business and I would be more than happy to give you a personalized reference about how ecstatic I am that I was referred and used Shuff Law Firm to CLOSE my case swiftly.  Thank you Tamara for everything you did for me and my family – words cannot express to you how impressed and overly satisfied i am with all you did.  I know you will do the EXACT same for all of your clients in the future! JEFF

Quite a mouthful, Jeff, but he certainly gets the point across. Regardless, if you are in Orange County, I would most certainly recommend the Shuff divorce attorneys, based in Santa Ana.

You can find them here:

Shuff Law Firm

(714) 834-0175

2107 North BroadwaySte 301Santa AnaCA 92706

Cultivating a Legacy

Cultivating a Legacy

As I travelled the world as a young man, the one thing that always really got to me was the feeling that America was…lacking something that almost every other country had. A rock-solid connection to a shared history, perhaps you could call it.

In other words, a culture! Hah!

It’s a pretty common observation, I know, but whenever you’d walk out into a city like Budapest or Prague, you could see thousands of years of history built straight into the very essence of the town around you. With each block came structures that were built hundreds of years ago by people who knew that they’d never get to use them, but knew that future generations would.

There’s something to that concept that got lost in translation as people packed their bags and moved here. It may be because we got all the poor buggers of Europe moving over here in the early days whose idea of adequate shelter is a thatched roof on a pile of rotten logs, but whatever the case may be, I feel we got short-shifted in the exchange. Their houses and the landscaping surrounding their dwellings captured a feeling, a spirit, a people! Ours are…pragmatic. The frontier spirit, I guess.

Since our first tours out to Europe and then my own personal travels to places like North Africa, India, China, Southeast Asia, and Japan, I’ve been determined to grab a little of that time-transcendent energy and put it into a home that my family can use for generations to come. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know the family aspect of my life can definitely use some work, but I do believe I have the house and its landscaping worked out perfectly.

The perfect generational house has to have the permanent, opulent yard to match, and for that I found an incredible company to help me get my plans worked out just to my liking, Torrey Pines Landscaping in La Jolla. Those guys have made some genuinely incredible landscapes over the years, and they’ve helped me on more than one occasion work up some landscaping plans that would be fit for a minor Asiatic prince, harem and all.

For the real major jobs, the company provides a full CAD (computer aided design) mockup of what the yard is going to look like, and as changes are made or requested, you get real time updates on how those changes are going to affect your landscaping without the need to just visualize it in your head. This leads to you being less stressed during construction and makes it way easier for everyone since you’re way more likely to fall in love with the design instead of making last minute adjustments.

So, if you’re looking to reclaim a little of that Old World spirit in your abode to pass on to future generations through some landscaping in your La Jolla home, I can’t recommend Torrey Pines Landscaping enough.

Torrey Pines Landscaping Company

(858) 454-1433

5560 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121

The Rock Star’s Gambit

One addiction I got into while on tour (don’t worry about the many others) was an obsession with gambling. Every night in the bus we’d get a poker game going with the boys in the band and the roadies, with the driver and security joining in once we reached the hotel for the night. I can still remember the thrill of victory during a night drive from San Francisco to Tucson as I finally took the pot, only to realize a split second later that we had played up until we were a half hour away from the venue and I hadn’t slept in 32 hours.

That night’s show was frantic, to say the least.

As my other addictions were, ahem, taken care of over the years and I got older, the desire to gamble has always stayed with me, lurking beneath the shadows, ready to raise its pernicious head whenever the opportunity presented itself. Instead of kicking it with more yoga like everything else, however, I realized I could use this particular impulse for some constructive use in my post-retirement life.

That constructive use? Buying businesses for cheap, turning them around, and then selling them again for a healthy profit. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those skeevy dudes who buys otherwise healthy businesses, guts them to improve accounting profits then sells them to a competitor. I’m way too vain to not leave the company way better than when I found it.

That being said, even at a discount, a lot of these businesses don’t come cheap, and every single one of them is a major gamble I take with what income I get from the residuals from my touring days. The thrill of making the purchase, seeing what mess I’ve brought upon myself, and laying out a plan to turn the company around scratches the same itch I get from playing the tables at Morongo or Caesar’s. I just have the added benefit of really helping some of the employees I inherit.

There is one risk I never, ever take when buying one of these enterprises, however – not buying business insurance. I have very little stomach for lawyers, and even less for the litigious morons our society seems to spit out at an ever-increasing rate, so ensuring every company I take on is one of the primary first steps I take once I’m in control.

During a search for insurance providers for my most recent acquisition, I came into contact with a local star who really put the other agents I’ve worked with to shame with his attentiveness and solid workmanlike spirit – Byron Galindo. His Venice Beach-based insurance firm knocked it out of the park during our initial discussions about the nature of the business and how they could serve our specific needs.

As a natural gambler, if there’s any risk I would advise any young man never to entertain, its going through life without some insurance where you can get it. So much of life is random happenstance, and if you voluntarily invite greater risk than normal, its best to have a way to mitigate it at least on some fronts.

For that, I recommend insurance. If you’re in the Venice Beach area, I’d further recommend looking into Galindo Insurance.

Byron Galindo Insurance

(310) 823-5073

214 Pier Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90405-5423