Entries Tagged as 'Advice from the Conejo Networking Pros'

Got Porous Bone? It May Be Time To Pour On The Resistance!

I have spent the last couple of years researching Osteoporosis and ways in which bone density can be retained or remodeled.  Following is an extremely brief summary.

Osteoporosis means (literally) “porous bone.”  It is a disorder in which the density and quality of the bones are reduced, making them fragile.  Osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture and often occurs with NO SYMPTOMS and progressively.  In fact, the first symptom may not occur until the first fracture.  The most common occurrences are at the hip, spine and wrist.

If you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, we recommend speaking with your physician about your course of treatment.  In addition, we urge our clients to research the benefits of resistance training to aid in the possible retention and/or remodeling of bone.  Having said this, it’s important to note that there is a definite methodology associated with lifting weights to achieve this end, so that the results can be accomplished without injury.

Following is a very good article on Bone Remodeling, Osteoporosis and Training:  Bone Remodeling, Osteoporosis and Training

At My Health Studio, we can assist you with development of a program that can increase your bone mineral density and reduce bone mineral loss.  If you need help putting together a program, please contact My Health Studio at 818.889.3737 – www.myhealthstudio.com.

Tips for Avoiding Family Feuds When a Loved One Dies

Personal property, which includes jewelry, dishes, furniture, books, tools, computers, pictures, paintings and collections, often cause many more challenges than assets objectively worth far more.  Personal property is more likely to have sentimental value and meaning to the beneficiaries far beyond its cash value.

In my family there were arguments, bad feelings and estrangement over who took glass milk bottles.  I have seen litigation costing tens of thousands of dollars start and stop with the dispute and resolution of the distribution of photographs and figurines, worth perhaps a few hundred dollars.  I have had sixty-year old siblings get into fistfights over dishes.

Personal property can cause nightmares for a Trustee charged with gathering and protecting assets of the estate.  Personal property rarely has a paper trail showing who owns it.  It is often small and easily transported.  It is unusual for there to be a written record of everything in an estate before the Trustee makes one.  Family members, often with a feeling of entitlement, will take personal property before it is recorded.  Such property is said to “grow legs” and wander off.

Disappearing property is a problem that can tear families apart.  For example, say that one child takes a distinctive necklace from her mother’s jewelry box without telling her siblings.  The siblings are angry when the necklace cannot be found.  Pictures of their mother wearing the necklace are produced to show that it hadn’t been sold or lost.  Now the family is upset, suspicious of each other and distrustful.  Future disputes become more difficult to resolve and are more likely to lead to fights.  The necklace itself can’t be worn for fear of it being seen.  (This is especially true with the prevalence of photographs being posted on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and GooglePlus.)  Add the emotions of a parent’s death and you have a situation rip for an explosion.

Tips to Avoid Personal Property Issues:

  1. Trustees should act swiftly to secure valuable, sentimental or financial, personal property.
  2. A quick trip through a house with a video recorder can help create a quick record.
  3. Include more than one person when opening and inventorying safe deposit boxes and jewelry cases.
  4. If a reception is to be held in the deceased person’s home, moving valuables to a locked room can prevent wandering property and subsequent problems.
  5. I encourage Trustees, when possible, to distribute personal property quickly.  It removes liability from the Trustee and often helps reassure the beneficiaries that things are progressing smoothly.

Managing personal property is just one part of the complex job a Trustee undertakes when administering a Trust (or a Personal Representative during a Probate), but it can be a critical in setting the attitudes and expectations of the beneficiaries for the rest of the process.

Michael E. Garner
Cornerstone Law Center

Fat Burning Strategy: Use Active Rest

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises?

Every minute of a workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and burn more fat.  Don’t waste precious minutes sitting and taking long rest periods between exercises.  Those who train with me are used to hearing my request to have them pace between exercises in a circuit.  While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest. Perform an activity such as brisk pacing, knee lifts with punches or side-to-side ab twists for 30 seconds between exercises to turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.

Weight Lifting – A Great Strategy for Fat Burning

Focus on the Negative!

I’m not talking about the negative thought but, rather, the process of lowering a weight during resistance training.  Every time that you perform a weight lifting repetition you are using three types of strength.

  1. Positive strength: lifting the weight.
  2. Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
  3. Negative strength: lowering the weight.

Many folks completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control.  However, the negative portion of each repetition is just as important as the positive, perhaps even more so.

Focus on the negative segment of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each rep count.  If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.

Multi-Generational Planning . . . In Reverse

Generally we think of multi-generational planning as moving from parent to child to grandchild, and so on.  Recently a trend has developed where savvy children are encouraging, and even funding, their parents and grandparents to plan or update their estate plans.

Children are often concerned about protecting their inheritance from a parent’s second or third spouse.  Some want additional protections from divorce or lawsuits in their own lives.  Others want particular heirlooms or other family legacies to stay in the family.

Many times people just don’t want to think about a time when they will be gone, and so they avoid doing any planning at all.  Surveys generally show that over 50% of the population fails to plan for what happens after their death.  Now, I see adult children trying to prevent problems by getting their parents to do the planning, in some cases paying for the plan themselves.

I think there is some justification in this, as it is the children that will primarily benefit from the planning.  They can avoid the time, costs and expense of probate.  They avoid the years of fights with siblings.  They benefit from well-crafted asset protection.

One item of particular sensitivity is the transfer of a business from one generation to the next.  Often that transfer takes place over years as value and control change hands.  Failure to plan the transfer of a business to the next generation can cause a series of problems.  Businesses can lose significant value (80% or more) when the owner is suddenly disabled or dies.  This decrease in value due to sudden disruption hits professionals, such as accountants, financial planners, medical professionals, and attorneys particularly hard because clients are often tied to a particular person and it takes time to transfer their trust and confidence to another professional.

When there are multiple beneficiaries who will inherit a business, often causes conflicts.  These conflicts are heightened when some of the beneficiaries are involved in the business and others are not.  Issues such as a fair valuation of the business, use of business revenue (as dividends or to grow the business), control and interpersonal differences – difficult to resolve in isolation – become amplified by grief and other emotions that accompany tragedy.

Even casual attempts at planning can cause problems.  For example, Bob’s son asked me to consult with him and his dad.  Bob (the father) owned a business that was worth about $2 million dollars.  Bob also owned a building with a net worth of about $4 million.  The business was located in, and used the building to run the business from.  Bob’s son was involved in the business but Bob’s other two children were not.  The answer of how to divide Bob’s estate seemed simple and so Bob’s trust gave the business to his son who was working in it and the building to the other children.

When we analyzed the situation, it was revealed that the business was not paying anything close to fair market rent (about 20% of fair market rent).  This created a conflict and a fairness issue.  If the two children were to raise the building’s rent fair market value then the business would become only barely profitable and the business’ true value would be significantly less than $2 million.  If the rent was not raised the other two children would not receive fair value on their inheritance and their actual inheritance would be worth considerably less.

We were able to present several solutions to Bob and his family and resolved the conflicts in Bob’s original plan.  In addition, with the true value of the business revealed Bob and his son were able to make changes to the business that increased both its profitability and the value of the building.

Thanks to his son’s actions, Bob and his family were able to avoid facing a problem at the worst possible time.

By acting before a crisis arises and seeking the expertise of trusted advisors you can mitigate or prevent problems for your family and yourself.  The key is to do the planning before a situation develops.

Michael E. Garner

Ever Considered a Pet Trust?

Do you have a pet dog, cat or horse?  Are you concerned about what would happen to them if you died?

If you live in California (or one of the other 40 states with similar laws) you can create a “Pet Trust.”  Passed in 2008, Probate Code section 15212 sets out the guidelines for creating a pet trust.

To begin, identify your pet.  Then pick one or more people you trust to care for the animal and manage the money (the “Trustee”).  Finally, choose where you want any left over money to go following your pet’s passing.  Pretty simple.  Even better you can include your pet trust in your revocable living trust, create a stand-alone trust, or create it with your Will.

A few of words of warning:

  • First, the law is relatively new and unchallenged and, in my opinion, poorly drafted, which ultimately means it is open to interpretation and challenge.
  • Second, the pet trust statute allows almost anyone to petition the court about the trust or the trustee or just how things are being managed.
  • Third, if the pet trust holds more than $40,000 the trustee must provide accountings not only to the future beneficiaries but any nonprofit charitable corporation [that cares for animals] that asks.
  • Fourth, any beneficiary, the court or any nonprofit charitable corporation [that cares for animals] may inspect the animal and where the animal is kept – that may be okay for a public kennel, but not so good if your pet lives in your Sister’s home.

As with any Trust, you want to make sure the attorney drafting your documents is experienced and explains all of the issues involved with a Pet Trust.  Otherwise you may be giving legal headaches to the person you want to care for your 85 year old parrot.

Michael E. Garner
Cornerstone Law Center, Inc.

It’s Coming, It’s Closer, Did You Feel It?

More important than did you feel it, but are you prepared?
As you might know earthquakes don’t wait for you to get ready,
they come when they want and with as much power as they want!

Today’s quake was a 4.4 – close to our homes, schools, businesses and churches. Have you been aware of the recent earthquakes shaking all over the globe with great strength and magnitude. The experts have been saying that we are long over due for the BIG ONE in our area.
Don’t wait until it hits to think about what you need, GET PREPARED NOW!

Go to our site www.emergencysupplypacks.com.  We have a 72 hour emergency supply pack that will provide for one person.

And don’t forget that for a limited time we are offering a price lower than ever before!
For Conejo Networkers our ESP™ promotional price is $54.00.

It is important that you are organized with what you need to take after a disaster has hit.  Proper planning and organization will make a major difference in how you and your family survive the first 72 hours of an emergency.

Be Aware and Be Prepared!!
Organize for Everything!!

**Note:  For every ESP™ sold we will donate $4.00 to Soldiers Angels Military Organization.

“ESP” Emergency Supply Packs

Let us help you be more “Aware and Prepared” for any emergency or disaster,
with our ESP™, a 72 hour Emergency Supply Pack.

Our ESP™ is a sturdy easy to carry backpack that is fully loaded with the major essentials to survive for 72 hours after a disaster.

Don’t be caught empty handed when a disaster pushes you out of your home,
office or school!  Order your ESP™ today.

Emergency Preparedness

“Be Aware and Be Prepared”

Don’t be left unprepared for a small or major disaster.

Purchase your ESP™ Now!!  Don’t wait and be caught without your main essentials to survive for the first 72 hours of a major disaster!

Don’t Fall Prey to Phishing e-mails

cnet.com’s take on the phishing game.

7 Ways to Edit Yourself for Social Networkers

* If you wouldn’t say it to a client or boss – don’t say
it where they can read it either.

* If you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother – don’t say
it on your public posts.

* If you wouldn’t say it to a police officer – don’t post it
on your social networks. For that matter, don’t do it either.

* If you plan to lie to your boss – don’t put the truth where
they can see it.

* If you plan to go out and get drunk and know you have a
tendency to post while drunk – give your phone to a friend
to keep for you.

* Learn how to use privacy settings and understand how visible
your posts are on different social networks.

* If you want a place to vent – create a completely different
identity for yourself to do that. Name no names in your
posts, and make no connection to your other profiles or
email addresses.

To read the article by Nicole Hernandez,
How You Use Social Media Can Kill Your Business
By Nicole Hernandez (c) 2009

Nicole Hernandez is a web developer with a specialty in web
standards and accessibility. She is the owner of Website Style
and publishes technical articles on her blog called Beyond Caffeine

Send Your Press Release to Online Distributors

This is a great resource for distributing your press release. You will have to sign up to be on their email list, but if you’re serious about marketing your website, do it.

My Health Studio Exercise Classes


Ditch the Workout, Join the Party!

Zumba® and Zumba Gold® Classes ($10 Per Class – Walk-Ins Encouraged – Instructor: Esta McIntyre, NASM CPT/CES)

September Schedule:

Mondays – 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.

Thousand Oaks Best Western Inn ~ 75 West Thousand Oaks Blvd. ~ Thousand Oaks, CA  91360

Zumba® fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a dynamic fitness program that will blow you away. The workout begins with simple steps… . As the class warms up, the music pulls you in… whether or not you know the steps, the sweeps you into the Zumba® party atmosphere. This class burns calories like crazy!! Zumba® participants achieve long-term benefits while experiencing exhilarating, energizing, movements that inspire and uplift. Prepare to get hooked on this dynamic and effective fitness program after your first class. The goal is simple: We want you to want to love working out and to get hooked. Zumba® fans achieve long-term benefits while experiencing an absolute blast in one exhilarating hour of caloric-burning, body-energizing, awe-inspiring movements. We’ll incorporate moves for beginners and advanced Zumba® lovers!



Just Move For Life ($10 Per Class – Walk-Ins Encouraged – Instructor: Esta McIntyre, NASM CPT/CES)

September Schedule:

Wednesdays – 6:30 – 7:30 P.M.

Thousand Oaks Best Western Inn ~ 75 West Thousand Oaks Blvd. ~ Thousand Oaks, CA  91360

Do exercises classes bore  you? Come in for some laughs and fun while getting/staying in shape!  This is a class for everyone (beginners and beyond)! Burn calories! Participants who incorporate compound movements into their exercise routines achieve long term benefits in less time.  We emphasize FUN and movement.  Simple compound movements, low impact, easy walking patterns, aerobic combinations and resistance routines are performed to music from the 50’s to present.  The workout changes each week.  The intensity level can be adjusted to your personal ability. The goal is simple:  We want you to want to get fit and love doing it!

Steve Jobs’ ’12 Rules of Success’

I’ve always believed in Rule #1…that’s what Oak Creek is all about:

1. Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Click for more gems from Jobs.

Ink Cartridges & Our Environment

Recycling reduces the demand on Earths’ limited natural resources enabling us to utilize land for open spaces rather than landfills. When you recycle your printer cartridges with Crazy Inkjets you are making a commitment to improving environmental and public health for generations to come. If we don’t recycle today, there will be little left for us tomorrow.

Environmental Facts

Inkjets and laser cartridges are accumulating in landfills worldwide at an alarming rate.

Did You Know?

  • More than 300 million printer cartridges end up in our landfills on a yearly basis. That translates into more than $450 million being thrown away.
  • Approximately 90% of printer cartridges are recyclable but only 20% are being recycled. Excess ink and toner can filter into our water supply.

Civic Responsibility
Crazy Inkjets enables you and/or your organization to stand up and be counted as those who are making a difference. Work within your local community to engage awareness that printer cartridges are recyclable and have a monetary value.

Computer Graphics Classes Start August 18th

There is still room in several great Multimedia and Graphic Design classes being offered in the Fall Semester at Moorpark College, starting on Monday August 18th…

Motion Graphics – MM30
In this class you will learn from Mathew how to create stunning Motion Graphics for TV, Films and the Web. Take your computer graphics and video projects to a whole new level. If you thought Photoshop could help you create coolness, wait until you see what After Effects can do.
Wed 6:00pm

Interactive Design – MM50
In this class you will learn to really use Flash for both fun and work. We will explore various types of interactivity by creating simple games that can be played on not only computers, but handheld electronic devices, and even the Wii… We will learn to create dynamic and stunning websites that even incorporate interactive video, using Flash, HTML and a bit of javaScript…
Thur 6:00pm

Computer Illustration – GR26
In this class you will build a solid foundation in Adobe Illustrator. You’ll start with a tour of important menus, tools, and palettes, then explore selection tools, drawing tools, layers, the pen tool (a lesson unto itself) as well as transformations/ distortions, type tools, and modifying paths and shapes. You’ll be surprised how quickly you begin to master this challenging but rewarding software application.Check out the Flyer – http://www.turbocurl.com/moorpark/gr26_fall2008.pdf MW 10:30am – 1:00pm

Desktop Publishing I and II

Publishing brochures, newsletters, reports, and other print pieces can be a challenge without the right tools. Along comes Adobe InDesign with all the features and flexibility and you’ll need to publish professional-quality layouts. This course will impart a working knowledge of the main InDesign tools and features, everything from basic features to using master pages, importing and manipulating objects, controlling text flow and style, to graphic effects such as transparency, drop shadow, and feathering. Your InDesign training will leave you with an understanding of the software and a slew of great portfolio pieces. Taught in Com 151 – PC lab. Instructor: Nancy Haberman MW 1:00am – 3:20pm

Design Fundamentals – GR M30
In this class you will establish a firm foundation for taking on intermediate graphic design classes (Graphic Design 1 and 2). Looking to establish a career as a freelance designer? The course provides you opportunities to hone your design process, as you research each project, develop concepts, work with iterative feedback, and begin to develop quality pieces for your portfolio.You’ll explore the challenges of designing posters, logos, magazine covers, book layouts, 3D designs, and brand identities. W 06:00pm

Announcing BRAND NEW MAC lab… COM109 is being outfitted with brand new 24” iMacs with 4GB of RAM.

Learn to Design and Produce Your Own Marketing Materials

Moorpark College Classes begin August 18th, 2008 (8/18 through 12/17 Thursdays, 6-10:50 p.m.)

This 16-week course surveys the Adobe Creative Suite. Students are introduced to the creative and practical applications of: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. Upon completion of the course students will have been introduced to strategies and tools enabling the creation of business cards, stationery, postcards, greeting cards, brochures, and multi-page publications.

Students must register before August 15th to be assured a seat in the class which begins Thursday, August 21st. Course Information: GR M23 – Course # 73355 – Instructor – Nancy Haberman.

The college encourages registration online, however, students may register in person at 7075 Campus Road in Moorpark, off the 118 freeway at Collins Dr.

Be Aware of Changes Ahead in Lending

Here is a major FNMA announcement that goes into effect on August 1 2008.

Probably the most critical part of the announcement effects those sellers that are planning on keeping their existing home as a rental and buying another property.

The new guideline states that if a seller wants to keep their existing home as a rental when they purchase another home the following applies:

1. A copy of a fully executed Rental Agreement.

2. A copy of the receipt of a security deposit from the tenant and deposit into the borrower’s account.

3. There must be 30% equity in the existing property documented by an appraisal.

If all these are satisfied FNMA will continue to permit up to 75% of the rental income to offset the mortgage payment.

If they do not meet these guidelines rental income may not be used to offset the mortgage payment and both the current and proposed mortgage payments must be used to qualify the borrower and they must have 6 months PITI reserves for both properties.

This will have a huge effect for those that were planning on keeping their existing homes as rentals waiting for prices to come back.

If you have any buyers sitting on the fence the better move now before this goes into effect on August 1 2008.

Step One for Bloggers

In order to actively participate in many blogs, including the Conejo Networking blog, users must first “register,” and subsequently “login.”

While anyone can view our content, a variety of levels of control over the blog can be assigned by an administrator(s). In order to contribute content to the blog, you need to be “logged in,” where you’ll have access to a contributor’s interface, called the “Dashboard.”

The Dashboard provides access to writing tools, and web content can be saved and managed for timed uploads, and published as desired.

In this article, let’s get logged in and turned on.

  1. Make certain you are on the home page of the blog, and not the home page of the main site. Type or paste this address into your browser: http://conejonetworking.com/blog/. Since you are reading this, you may already be on the right page, however, if you intend to follow along step-by-step, you may want to print this post.
  2. When you’re on the blog home page, bookmark it in your browser so that you can participate frequently.
  3. Set up your email program to accept email from (admin@oakcreekmarketplace.com). The email you’ll receive will include a password which you must use in order to “Login” the first time. If for any reason you don’t get the email, contact Nancy Haberman to gain access to the blog.
  4. Register-on the bottom right, click on “Register.” You’ll register one time only.
  5. From the Dashboard, click on “profile,” top right, where you’ll be able to set a custom password known only to you.contributor dashboard
  6. Click on the “Profile” button. Here you can modify some of your personal settings and reset your password in order to maintain privacy.

You are now free to move around the blog

Now that you are registered and logged in, you are free to write and manage your posts and comment to the posts of others, a great way to participate in online discussions. Check back frequently for more tips for bloggers.

Establish Credibility in Your Field of Expertise

We’ll need a whole lot more than this little article to list all of the reasons to use the blog, so we’ll periodically explore ways to build our businesses and help our networking partners by using the Conejo Networking website and blog.

After years of working with different types of businesses, our design team has found that a large number of customers prefer to manage their own websites. In order to do so, there’s a learning curve, but by using a blog, even beginners can jump right in and create and publish content.

The Conejo Networking website and blog are benefits extended as part of your membership dues. Think of the blog as your very own business newsletter. There are no fancy programs to learn, no more printing bills. Once you take advantage of the marketing opportunities afforded by using the internet, new leads and business will materialize out of the ether.

Your company and the products and services you offer can be presented in a number of different ways. By writing an article, or a “post,” and choosing relevant categories where your article will appear you are able to use the very same tools and marketing technology used by every large corporation and media outlet in the modern world.

Establish credibility in your field. Inform, educate, persuade and entertain your readers. The blog provides a perfect opportunity for our members to publish on a regular basis.