Disaster is a Moment Away….

I remember when I enjoyed my blog and could come up with wonderful ideas to write about. Then multiple years went by, my spirt has been driven into the ground, and I’m still the same old sarcastic person.

I have been neglecting my blog duties to a shameful degree. With the lockdowns and the pandemic, you’d think that I would be writing up a storm! But I’m not.

And to pour salt into the wound, I’ve had my blog up and running for over 11 years…..I should be famous by now.

Keep in mind, people don’t flock to a blog about worthless and useless advice. It is a tough market.

What have I been doing during this pandemic? I watched my photography business ground to a halt. I read a lot of good books, built a custom hot tub with a 4 foot waterfall, travel only a little, stayed inside during the colder months, sent a lot of time outside during the good months, walked a lot on the treadmill, and ponder life’s meaning quite a bit.

Currently, I’m working on rebuilding my website http://www.hellriegelstudio.com. I really thought that during the pandemic that I would rebuild my website, learn to edit videos, and post more videos on YouTube. But I didn’t. Bad Kevin. There were too many good books to read.

So dear readers, I’ll have to get back into this blogging and building my new website. Until then, remember you don’t have to be sick to get better!

Rain and Misery: Another Great Day to Be Alive

As usual, today is a wonderful day of grayness here in the Seattle area. Add in Covid-19 restrictions and the adventure of a lifetime awaits you here in Seattle.

Now, we all know that it is February and the Puget Sound area doesn’t have much to offer. Sure, you can take a nice walk around the Soos Creek Trail with your dog or maybe a jaunt in the rainy mist around Green Lake with the neighbor’s cat, Mr. Whiskers but it still is cold and damp.

Mind you, it is better than Texas or New York City with their snow and ice. At least here, I can enjoy my hot tub with no Covid restrictions. At least my dog Bella will hang out with me even if the neighbor’s cat, Mr. Whiskers won’t. (He’s a bit of a snob when it comes to the humans he associates with).

Enjoy your awful time in Western Washington or wherever you may be. Hopefully, you aren’t in Arizona enjoying some sunshine and warmth. That would just further depress me.

Sunshine? We don’t need that!

“New Year? New You?”: Happy New Year!

Image by PixArc from Pixabay

I thought I’d get a jump on wishing you all a Happy New Year. As you know, I totally biffed the 2020 Christmas greetings. Like a 48 year old former skateboard champion that is fat and out of shape; I crashed and burned on the halfpipe of life and forgot to really doing a nice holiday greetings to my dear readers. I can feel your disappointment.

Now I’m trying to make amends for my lack of enthusiasm during the holidays with this blog post. As you all know, I have already discussed in a previous post how I don’t belief in New Year’s Resolutions for myself. However, I’m still here to help you because we all know that YOU really need help.

My wonderful attitude of helping others may have brushed off onto my daughter and that is going to be a problem for me. She is set on making New Year’s resolutions and making new goals for everyone (which includes me). Jeez, if you thought I was annoying with my life coaching, you should meet her. I can’t help every former Boeing employee find their own direction and purpose in their retired life, but I can help the one slacker I know in Arizona with my worthless advice. (Poor bastard is adrift…he’s lucky to have me.)

My daughter has adopted that awesome Life Coach attitude but her focus is ME. I’m in trouble.

She wants me to exercise more (I’m already doing that), she wants me to do positive affirmations and tell myself I’m young and healthy (I’m not), and to limit my alcohol intake (I’ve run out of whiskey so that won’t be a problem).

All noble goals to be taken seriously. And you know how serious I am.

However, using New Year’s as an excuse to create a reason to be better is a foolish endeavor. You should always be trying to improve yourself throughout the year. Why wait for this special day? And on top of all this, you end up failing and the next thing you know, January is the month of all your personal failures. Ew. No thanks. If I’m going to fail, it is going to be a year round event! Why limit it to a single month? I want to be a failure all the time.

Enjoy your private New Year’s Eve Party at home and think of all the things you aren’t going to change because it is a New Year. Instead, think of all the things you will be improving throughout the year. And when you fail, that is OK, you’ll still have eleven other months to try again and fail again.


Pandemic Christmas, New Year’s Resolutions, and More!

You would think that I (as an amazing blogger, writer, photographer, handyman, life coach, etc.) would have accomplished so much over the past 8-9 months since the COVID pandemic has started. Together, we have been enduring the COVID pandemic since March. And right now, as I look back, reflect, remember and analyze my choices, I really just think “Oops…I wasted some time over the past 9 months!”

Then, from the bottomless pit of despair, I remember that I did manage to read a lot of good books (Thanks e-readers) and my custom hot tub is operational (but not complete). You can’t win them all but at least I can now read a book in my hot tub.

Let’s look back at what I didn’t do, shall we? I didn’t rebuild my photography website, I didn’t shop for Christmas gifts, and I didn’t learn a new language. But again, I did enjoy the good summer weather, and I squeezed in some safe travel. I personally like social distancing because I hate people. I don’t hate them in an evil Bond villain way…I just dislike crowds. So the less people I see, the better. Makes me sound like a Grinch, doesn’t it?

Photo by ExposureToday from Pixabay

So now we have come down to Christmas and I didn’t do any shopping. Luckily, my wife took over those duties a great many years ago. I have to thank her for that. I hate buying presents unless someone has told me what to buy. Thank goodness for gift cards.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

“Dreams are just goals without a deadline.”

This would be a great time to reflect on what I can do in 2021. I’m not making any New Year’s resolutions because that would be simply ridiculous. Everyone knows that I’d fail at that simple assignment. My commitment to you and myself: No New Year’s Resolutions for Me! However, that won’t stop me from making resolutions for YOU to follow. I mean, look at you. You are a mess and definitely need my life coach skills.

Follow me for more tips on how to get your life back on track!

Behold, the Rain is Here!

Whoa. What a Crazy Weather Weekend…

We are definitely back into the dark, deary days of fall here in the Pacific Northwest. It is 8:18 am here on Monday morning and seems a bit more dark than normal. You just know that today, you’ll be turning on all the lights inside the house to keep your depression at bay. Maybe you’ll be lucky and commute to your vacant office, where you and your spider friend, Ralph will discuss the GDP and stock market over a cup of morning coffee.

Watching the weather report this morning didn’t help either anyone’s mood. All the local news stations agree that this week is going to be rainstorm after rainstorm, following by another weather system bringing more rain. What does that mean? It means you’ll never see the sun again.

By now, you should have all of your rain gear out of summer storage. The rain boots are no doubt clean from all the rain we’ve had over the past 72 hours. The only person I know who won’t be getting out his rain gear is my jerk friend who moved to Arizona two years ago. I’m sure he will post a nice photo of gorgeous sunshine, filtering through his palm trees and bouncing off the water of his swimming pool. No one needs your desert oasis photos, ok?

Wind? Sure, we have that coming too. We even had lightning hit one of our ferries and knock it out of commission. Add that to your morning commute across Puget Sound on a miserable rainy day! Did I mention it was raining?

The good news, we have all been here before and we’ll survive it. Good luck on your Monday adventures.

As If Your Life Isn’t Already Messed Up Enough….

It is Friday already. My, oh my….where has the week gone my dear readers? If you are like me, the week has flown by and you are at a loss of what to do for the beautiful fall weekend. Note: We have rain and more rain in our forecast.

May I suggest watching some nice cat videos on YouTube?

If that doesn’t work, you can always think of all the mistakes you have made in your life. All the missteps, the missed career opportunities, the sales you failed to close. Reflect on all those negative things so that you can return to work with a new lease on your work life!

Home Office – Must Have Items! (A list of the prefect items…..)

It has been roughly 7 months since COVID shutdown numerous corporate offices around the USA and the world. Recently, Starbucks said their corporate office employees won’t be returning to work in the headquarters until the summer of 2021 and maybe even beyond that. Perhaps you thought it was going to be a short work assignment in your spare bedroom and now it has become a prison sentence.

Now, as a self-employed photographer, I know what it is like to work from home and I’m here to give you a few tips. I have an extremely messy home office that is organized in a delightful chaos theory manner. I have a desktop computer, file cabinets, boxes, postage stamps, and empty coffee mugs in this man cave. Over the many years I have been working in my home office, I have developed a “Must Have Item” list that makes working at home a much more enjoyable experience.

Must Have List:

Cat: Your cat should sleep on your desk (preferably right on your keyboard) to keep you from using your computer at all. The cat should just lay there, draped across your desk, with its tail in your face.

Dog: Your dog can be located in your office or in the backyard. The dog must bark at EVERYTHING. A leaf that falls from the tree? The dog must bark. A squirrel running along the top of the fence? That dog better be barking at it! Your phone ringing? The bark will wait until you answer the phone and then the dog should bark repeatedly.

Printer/Scanner: This wonderful tool should fail to communicate and work with your computer at all times. Hopefully, you’ll get so upset that you purchase a second one. Once the second one actually works, then the first scanner/printer will magically start to work again. That’s until they start talking to each other and decide to strike and both won’t work at all.

Kids: You need at least two and they should fight as much as possible. Bonus points if they start arguing during a Zoom or Teams Meeting when you are the featured speaker. And why the hell aren’t you doing their school work for them since you are now the teacher as well?

Neighbors: Hopefully your neighbors like to mow their lawn every other day and your office window is right there so you can listen to it. Maybe you will be lucky like me and have your dog go crazy and bark uncontrollably at the mere sound of the lawnmower starting up. Even better if your neighbor likes to mow at odd hours….7 am and then 8 pm the next day, followed by the 12 noon mowing for no reason whatsoever.

A Bar: After everyone and everything drives you nuts, it is nice to have your fully equipped bar (or just a nice fridge stocked full of beer) handy.

Good Luck with the next 18 months….you are going to need it!

I’m sorry, did I interrupt your whining?

Sure, it is now fall and summer is dead and gone. Throw the last scoop of dirt on this summer; it is gone and buried. Now I know I’m a little late on complaining about summer being dead but we did have a nice September. And since I am unemployed at the moment (since March due to COVID), I keep wearing tee shirts and shorts and forgetting what day it is. Heck, I don’t even season it is or month or year it is.

Luckily, my neighbor mention Halloween and trick-or-treaters so we must be in October.

All of this won’t keep me from whining about losing summer. The deck chairs are put away, the cushions are moved to the storage shed to hang out with the spiders, and the deck will most likely be wet and miserable for the next nine months of Seattle rain. Oh joy.

We also pulled the boat out of the water and got it back on the trailer. We winterized and have it stored in the garage. We are all sad now. Even the ducks and the seagulls that like to poop on the boat are sad. Just a sad end to summer.

What would you like to whine about today?

Don’t Hate the Negative Nancy in your Life!

It’s a nice rainy day here in the Seattle area. We have the September rainstorms rolling through again so we are back to our normal doom and gloom weather. Yet another reason for you NOT to move to the Puget Sound area. It is a disaster here. Stay away.

Speaking of disasters, I’m enjoying the various posts across social media about how to get rid of the negative people in your life. How negative people are “bad” for you and your dreams. It’s not negative people you should be getting rid of, it is toxic people. Poor negative people are getting blamed for a host of problems and it isn’t their fault.

Let’s chat a bit about negative people. We all have that friend or family member who is a negative person. If you are lucky, you have more than one in your life! Negative people like to remind you that the world is falling apart and that we are all going to die soon. If we didn’t have all those negative people with their negative thoughts, we would never be moved to improve ourselves or our situations. Be happy that we have negative people. They help us to make us feel better about ourselves. You can say “At least I’m not that Negative Nancy. Her life sucks.”

Use those negative people to make your life better. Enjoy their misery. Let it motivate you to do better, improve your life and society.

Just remember to thank them for their negatively. They desire at least that from you!

I am thankful for those negative people in my life. They have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be.”

Threats of Poetry….

Being married to me is probably a curse for my wife. The other day, I mentioned that I would start writing poetry for her. Considering I have no background in poetry, I don’t read poetry, and I probably couldn’t tell you what good or bad poetry is, this statement probably scared her to death.

Her answer: “No, that’s ok. I’m good.”

I’ve discovered that writing poetry is very hard. Sure, I’ve only spent three minutes on the whole poetry project. Honestly, it was too hard to even think of writing poetry much less than actually writing it. I’m not inspired looking out my window to the view of trash cans and recycling bins, nor does the endless rain showers of the Pacific Northwest bring majestic words to paper for me.

I’ll just say my poetry writing is another failed attempt of unleashing my creative side. And remember, failure is good.