Why Making New Year’s Resolutions makes You a Loser!

It’s the Last Day of 2012 and I’m not going to reflect on 2012 and I’m not making any resolutions for 2013.  Why bother?  New Year’s Resolutions are for losers.  We all have the same resolutions to lose weight, make more money, save more money, pay down debt, write more on your blog, eat less bad food, watch less TV, work smarter, make less mistakes, be a better parent, be a better spouse, be a better person.

How does making New Year’s Resolutions make you a loser?  Ideally, we should follow the Japanese business of “continuous improvement” (which was made famous from Imai‘s 1986 book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success).  We should be improving ourselves and our lives all the time but that doesn’t mean we will.  Humans are creatures of bad habits and laziness.  We like the road well travelled and the path of least resistance that makes our lives easy.

That isn’t a bad thing.  The best part of your life is your “free will”.  You can choose to be the person you are.  You don’t have to be a good person or a bad person but you can choose to be a good person or a bad person.  However, if you chose to continually to improve yourself, won’t you become a better person in the long run?  Won’t those worthless resolutions become actually accomplishments?

If you want to make resolutions, by all means go ahead and make them.  Set some goals for yourself that won’t make you feel like a failure.  Don’t become a loser by making unrealistic goals or resolutions.  Make them obtainable but keep in mind you should be moving towards continuous improvement in your life.

As your favorite source of Worthless Advice, I wish you the very best in 2013.

Opening Up those Family Lines of Communication

My wife asked me the other day, what do I do all day long.  I wanted to tell her the truth that I usually do nothing but watch TV and read blogs, but that isn’t entirely true.  I usually try to think up of ways to amuse other people with my witty commentary and open the lines of communication between family members.  For an example, the other night, we had a post Christmas celebration with some family friends.  Their children are now 22 and 24 and are both males.  One has a serious live in girlfriend and the other one is in his final year of college.

After a fun evening, they were on their way out the door and I saw the After Christmas Sales Ad for Toys R Us.  I asked the older one (with the serious girlfriend) if he wanted to look through it for some good toys.  However, this was a joint ad flyer with Babies R Us as well as the Toys R Us section.  I told him he should take the flyer home, circle a few of the car seats and baby strollers and then leave it out where his mom could find it.  He would depart to his home two and a half hours away.  She would freak out, frantically call and text him numerous times (which he could ignore and chuckle to himself) as he drove home.

See?  Doesn’t that help to open up the lines of communication in the family?

Like I said, I’m a communications expert in family relationships.

Holidays: A Time to Be a Lazy Bum

I admire all the bloggers that can blog over the holidays.  I have no ambition during the winter break when my children are off from school.  All I feel like doing is watching TV or surfing the internet (I try to stay off Facebook) and wasting hours of my time.  I even like to troll through Craigslist looking for free items or photography equipment.  For me to think about writing and producing a blog entry worthy enough is an overwhelming task.  Thank goodness my blog is about worthless advice; everything I write about is worthless so I don’t have a standard to uphold.

Since I don’t have any standard to uphold, I can ramble on and on about all sorts of uninteresting things.  Let’s recap what I have and haven’t been doing.

Living in Seattle, we have lots of rain with the temperatures in the 40s degrees F which results in me not going outdoors much.  Sure I could rake up some branches or trim a bush but why bother?  It’s cold and wet outside.  I don’t want to be out there.  To think about it, I’m not looking forward to removing all the holiday lights either.

On a more positive note, I have been making progress in the garage cleaning department.  I still have a huge TV but I did manage to sell the fridge and the wine cooler fridge.  My son and I are building him a TV stand with a shelf for his various gaming consoles and games to reside in.  While it probably would have been much simpler and easier to buy a TV stand from IKEA or Mor’s Furniture, we actually have been having fun building this project.  Currently, it is primed and is ready for the classic black spray paint to be applied.

Finally, the house is in a pretty clean state of affairs due to the fact that we hosted all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our home and we had to keep it clean.  If we didn’t keep it clean, it would be an overwhelming mess and I would be writing this from my car or the library.  That is the good thing about the holidays, it forces us to keep the house in a clean “less cluttered than normal” status.

The worthless advice lesson for today is: Wear your Pajamas all day long and relax!

The School Holiday Sing Along (or better known as punch to my head would be better than this crap) Holiday Assembly

I hate singing and I hate Sing-A-Long Caroling style assemblies.  I know that my singing sucks and should be left to people who are either professionals or are really good at it.  I purposely left out the people that enjoy singing because someone might enjoy singing but that means they are most likely just as bad as me.  Just picture Johnny Cash performing at Foslom State Prison.

Every year at our children’s school the last day of school has a “Sing Along” before the Christmas break.  They start an hour before school is dismissed and it is an hour of the worst children’s singing around.  This isn’t a pleasant experience in which you would be listening to the voices of the angels singing your favorite holiday tunes in perfect key.  No, this is every off-key student, teacher, and parent singing to every holiday song the music teacher dragged out five minutes before the concert started.  We have a majority of Christmas songs, a few Jewish songs, and a Kwanzaa song.  Most of the kids don’t know what a Kwanzaa is and they only know Hanukkah because of Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song on Saturday Night Live!

The worst part is listening to them scream the lyrics of the songs instead of singing them.  I might as well be at the zoo listening to the monkeys scream.  At least monkeys shut up from time to time so they can throw their poop and eat.

After about seven years of going to these caroling Concerts, I came in for the last song but managed to trick my daughter into believing I was there the whole time.  She tried to call me out by saying I came in late.  I quickly rattled off some Christmas songs we had “sung” and she was convinced that I was there the whole time.  This year was no different.  She didn’t notice I was in the back 30 minutes after the concert (I use that term loosely) started.  My wife on the other hand was like a rookie at the first day of summer camp and comes in the front left door right where everyone can see her.  She is a little hard to miss with her red hair.  Again, she’s a rookie but you never come in the front door where everyone is looking.  You have to look for the back door.  If it is locked, you gently knock on it and some kind parent will let you in.  You sneak in and no one is the wiser.

After I suffered through the rest of the Sign & Torture Along Songfest, my daughter never did asked me if I was there the whole time.  In her mind, I was there the whole time.  That is the difference between being a “good” parent and a “great” parent.  If your child thinks you were there the whole time, you were there the whole time and therefore you are a good parent.  On the other hand, my wife is the parent who comes in late and is lumped in with the other parents that didn’t show up at all.  This fact clearly demonstrates that those parents really don’t love or care for their children because they chose to stay at work and provide for their families a warm home and a hearty meal.

If you want to know more about Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, feel free to read below:

Kwanzaa: A seven day celebration (actually pretty cool life lessons – see below)

Click on this link to visit the History Channel’s page about Hanukkah http://www.history.com/topics/hanukkah

As always your comments are welcome and enjoy the holidays!Image

The Garage of Insanity and Tomb of Treasures!

Be hold, the garage of junk and treasures awaits you!  Much like the Island of Misfit Toys, my garage is full of useful and never to be used items.  With the holidays fast approaching, soon I’ll have more junk added to my collection of treasures.

Perhaps you wish to venture into the Tomb of Treasures?  We have a big screen Sony TV that weighs more than a baby elephant and still works!  Hmmm, perhaps you’d like the small portable 13 inch version that sits on a shelf (with remote too!).  Or a wine fridge which I recently saw on sale at Home Depot for $177 but now I merely use for it as a table in my garage for more junk!

I also have a lovely black side by side fridge that many have said they wanted but never picked up.  We also have a lovely assortment of camping and backpacking gear, a train set that I was suppose to work on for the past five years, and a bunk bed (soon to be headed to the cabin).

I also have an awesome old time steamer’s trunk….so awesome it is in my garage collecting cobwebs and dust.  Actually, I had it on Craig’s List for sale but everyone interested flaked out on me.  Jeez, just come and pick the trunk up already.  You know you have some hooker’s body you need to dispose of in some backwoods lake. Everyone knows you have to get rid of the body before she starts stinking the place up.  Once that dead hooker smell gets into your car seats it takes FOREVER to get rid of.  Psst…You know the voices in your head want you to buy that steamer trunk!

Of course, if you had the fridge/freezer & steamer trunk plan, you could have freeze the body until a free spot in your “disposal of dead hookers” schedule opened up.

We also have various pieces of wood, cans of nails, and whatever the family has decided to toss into the garage.  Looking for a 1” plastic pipe? I got it.  Need a strip of beige carpet?  I have that too!  Looking for an extremely large work table with metal legs?  Oh, I have that ready to be delivered to your home!

Come ye faithful, enjoy a tour of the Tomb of Treasures and see the wonders that await you!  I’m positive you’ll find something you desire!

Worthless Gifts for Your Friends: Making the Most Out of Christmas

Christmas is around the corner and I haven’t been good to you.  I haven’t helped you in the least bit in your holiday shopping.  What kind of planner am I?  Everyone and their drunk uncle seems to have a creative Christmas List of “Must Have Items”.  But does that really help you?  Doesn’t it just make you a slave to the latest trends?  It makes you lazy and slow.  My list is much more helpful and productive.

Worthless Gifts for Your Friends:

Napkins from Fast Food Restaurants.

Let’s face it.  Most of your friends are slobs and need napkins.  If they have children the need for a napkin is even greater.  Those little beasts always have messy hands or snot running down their noses.

Mini packets of ketchup, mustard, and that pink sweetner stuff for ice tea.

Do you know how annoying it is to carry around a ketchup bottle?  Well, it is really annoying.  So giving your friends portable, serving size ketchup packets are a perfect gift.

A Cat

They don’t do much but eat, poop, and meow a lot.  My cat is available if you need one.

Beer Coasters

I use to collect these things because I love the designs and artwork on them.  That means since I like them, every other beer drinking man should also like them.  If they don’t, they are slobs and you should dump them.

Cookbooks

They look good on the window sill for the babes.  Of course, after your guests taste the crap you call a gourmet dinner they know the cookbook was for looks.

Video Tapes

This shows you are “Old School” and they are really a cool size for building forts with your nephews while Grandpa snores away.

Traffic Signs (Stop signs, yield signs, etc.)

I prefer the “No Parking” signs right in front of my house.  Keeps the rift raft (like your relatives) away from my nicely decorated house.

Refrigerator

Who doesn’t want an extra fridge for the garage?  I love my friends so much I am willing to depart with my my two extra ones sitting in my garage this very minute!  I have a wine one and a nice black side by side model.

I’m Dreaming of a Rainy Christmas

Christmas in the Pacific Northwest is not dry.  On the west side of the Cascade Mountain Range, we get our fair share of rain which seems to happen for 10 months out of the year.  People in general love to complain about the rain (yet we still have people moving here from out of state) but for all of the folks that live here, the rain is a part of our lives and we accept it.

I personally would like to have more snow and less rain during Christmas time.  Snow enhances the beauty of the Christmas lights we have on our house and in Seattle, shuts down the whole city.  Since I don’t have to commute to a job, I really like the snow.  Call me “selfish” but I like to have a day or two in the snow with my kids, sledding and building snow forts.  Let’s be honest, I really don’t want to work.

With the coming of snow, the news coverage is insane with the reporters stationed at the bottom of every steep hill (right in front of the STREET CLOSED sign).  People are always sledding down and having an awesome time.  I’m not the only one that is enjoying a day off from work; think of all the school staff happy that the students are home with their parents and they can sleep in.  Snow brings joy.

Howwever, rain is much more common in the Seattle area for our typical Christmas weather.  The Christmas lights are still very appealing and festive.  Our cul-de-sac is great (except for one family who doesn’t do anything).  My neighbor Dan is way ahead of me in the Christmas lights display.  My friends come over to take photos in front of his house because it looks so awesome.  Everyone asks if I’m trying to compete with him (since my house is second best) but I know I can’t.  I just can’t keep up with the sheer amount of lights he has.

Dan’s display does inspire me and today in the pouring down rain, we added to our display.  We added some multi-color lights to the vine maple tree, and some more strings of purple and blue lights throughout the bushes.  If it wasn’t pouring down rain, I might actually be able to post some photos online.  But as you guessed it, it is pouring down rain so I’m not going outside to take photos.  Sorry, I’m just going to stay inside and enjoy the gas fireplace and not watch Frosty the Snowman.

Why You’ll Survive WITHOUT Any Retirement Savings

Devastation of Debt: Planning for Retirement

Isn’t that a great term?  I was surfing on the internet for retirement planning and came across the term “devastation of debt” which I just took an instance liking to.  It has such a morbid feeling to it.  It also makes you think about debt.  Good debt. Bad debt.  It’s all debt to me!

With credit card debt soaring and the housing market is still nowhere near the bubble highs of 2007, the term “Devastation of Debt” is so comfortable to embrace.  Scary, huh?  What about the looming “Fiscal Cliff” we are hearing about?  Maybe that was the Mayan End of the World prediction?  Perhaps the Mayans knew that a great empire (republic) in 2012 would have 12 trillion dollars in debt and that their great nation was in trouble.

Not everyone you know is in such financial trouble.  Some people are doing it right and we should applaud them.  We also need to keep them in mind later in life when we need a room (or at least a warm garage to sleep in).

 Your Retirement Plan should include:

1.       Successful Friends or Relatives:

Keep in good graces with friends and relatives that have a retirement plan.  Let’s face it; you don’t have a retirement plan that is why you are reading my Blog of Worthless Advice.  I can think of a good friend of mine that has both a pension plan AND a 401k plan.  Now, that’s smart planning.  What is smarter planning? Me being his friend!

2.       Vacation Home:

No, you shouldn’t have a vacation home but your friend/relative should.  Hopefully, it is a home where they don’t visit very often and they wouldn’t mind you using it a lot.  Remember, out of sight equals out of mind.  They don’t see you sponging off of them means they won’t be bothered by carefree leech lifestyle.

3.       A Car with Tinted Windows:

If you need a car, get one with tinted windows.  The darker the better. If you get stuck sleeping in your car, at least the dark tinted windows will keep you from waking up too early.  And when you are sleeping in the parking lot of your local Wal-Mart, the security guard’s flashlight won’t wake you up either.  Now some people would recommend a van but that’s a young/middle age guy’s homeless vehicle of choice.  If you plan to work as a carpenter, painter, handyman, etc., it might be a good idea.  However, if you have to commute to a real job you want a vehicle with good MPG (in case your friend’s house is far away from your place of employment).

4.       Sleep in a Good Neighborhood:

This can apply to sleeping in your friend’s garage or in your car.  By taking my advice, the car with tinted windows will be very handy.

5.       Join a Fitness Club:

I don’t care if you stay in shape but you should stay clean.  For a low monthly fee, you can get a hot shower (with unlimited hot water and free towels).   Most of them are open long hours and closed only a few days a year.  Side note: I’d complain about those two days a year they are close.  Hey, you pay the monthly dues so you can have access every day of the month.

6.       Food Courts:

What a great source of food.  Half eaten sandwiches, free fries, and unlimited soda refills!  Always have a soda cup and a book with you.  This makes it look like you are so bored you come to the mall to have a soda and read a book.  Sit down next to some people who look like they won’t eat everything.  When they are about to leave, offer to take their tray over to the trash can.  They will be delighted you are so nice and you get their leftovers.  Bonus: you are keeping all that food from going to waste!

If you have other Worthless Advice Tips, please be sure to leave them below!