Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Category Archives: blogging

National Hot Tub Day – March 28 – Worthless Tips to Make It Awesome!

sa-1807454_1920.jpgAh, March 28 is National Hot Tub Day according to some random website I stumbled upon when I was bored one evening (who says this internet isn’t helpful and only spreads “fake news”?).  Throw on your speedo, thong, or your bikini, play some Kenny G, and hit the hot tub because it is National Hot Tub Day!!

On a side tangent, I noticed that romance writers love hot tubs.  They write the hot tubs into their stories all the time.  Yes, I read romance novels.  In between rapid reading of my gun magazines, truck magazines, and muscle car magazines, resides my collection of romance novels.  Since I am a caring and sensitive guy (just ask my imaginary stalker Cyndi), you know that I am a great fan of romance novels.

But let’s get back to the focus of National Hot Tub Day and that is Hot Tubs.  Hot tubs are a wonderful way to soak away your problems and worries.  It’s like a vacation at your own home.  I like to make sure my hot tub is properly maintained.  Lucky for me, I don’t have sensitive skin, just sensitive feelings.  OK, we know I don’t have any feelings but we still want to have some nice hot tub water.martini-1117932_1920.jpg

Lately, we have had some cold and rainy weather.  After all, it is Seattle and we don’t get sunshine until July.  I’ve been feeling cold lately, so I love to enjoy the hot tub when it is chilly out.  My muscles and joint loosen up and I can just sit there and float.  For roughly 15 minutes, I can just relax.  I can pretend I’m at a ski resort or on the beach on the island of Kauai.

Tips for Successful Hot Tub Party Day:

  • What if you don’t have a hot tub? Find a friend or a neighbor that has one.  Then invite yourself over on National Hot Tub Day.  You owe it to them to honor this day!

  • Avoid Alcohol – Wait, what? Yes, we all know I enjoy a nice whiskey but alcohol and hot tubs aren’t a good mix.  Hot Tub water dilutes your cocktail too much.  The warm water in your hot tub can speed up the process of inebriation, and can increase your chances of a hangover

  • Avoid Falling Asleep in the Hot Tub – you should focusing on the soaking and relaxing of the hot water.  Enjoy this moment, save sleeping for your bed.

  • Have Music – What to play?  Some Depeche Mode? Some Kenny G? Some Lady Gaga remix?  The theme from the movie “Jaws”?  It’s up to you, but don’t keep that stereo or iPhone too close to the hot tub.  You don’t want your imaginary friends to knock it in.

  • Have Extra Towels Available – you know some goofball will forget his towel and then wander around your house looking for one.  That’s a good way to ruin your hardwood floors.  Have a stack of old towels ready for him.

  • Clean! – Keep the area around your hot tub clean.  Vacuum up all the lose dirt, dog hair, old fern leaves, and candy wrappers.  You don’t want to drag all that stuff into your hot tub.

  • Take A Shower – Encourage your guest to shower BEFORE they come over to hot tub.  The less body oils, old sweat, stripper dust, and daily dirt you have coming into the hot tub, the better!  It cuts down on chemical use.

  • Check the Chemical Levels – You should be doing daily or weekly check of the chemicals.  Use those water test strips.

Those are my awesome (or rather worthless) hot tub tips for National Hot Tub Day!  I know you won’t bother to play attention to them but at least pretend you read the whole blog post and give it a big “LIKE”.  Can you do that?  Thanks!

 

 

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Manhattan – My kryptonite….

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Just to be clear, Manhattan, the cocktail drink is my kryptonite.  Not Manhattan, one of the five boroughs of New York City.  Sure, Manhattan and New York City are fabulous.  However, this post is about the drink.

Let’s be frank…I enjoy whiskey and scotch.  So a Manhattan has whisky in it so of course, you know I’ll enjoy it.

Cocktail drinks bring up certain emotions and memories.  One of my favorite memories of the Manhattan cocktail drink is having one with my cousin Stephen in Manhattan.  Stephen is more of a little brother than a cousin.  So whenever I enjoy a Manhattan drink, I think of him.  Manhattan is my signature cocktail drink with him.  A memory to savor, enjoy, and fall back into the depths of my fond memories of New York City.

The Manhattan cocktail isn’t my downfall, however, it does bring me to a sentimental place.  The place where happiness and good memories intersect into a valt of feelings.

Feelings Meme

Another cocktail drink I enjoy….Vodka Lemonade.  A sip of a nicely blended Vodka Lemonade brings me back  to the numerous summers on the shores of Lake Entiat at Lincoln Rock State Park with my family.  You can also add Maui to the memories of Vodka Lemonade.

Since I lived in and visit Hawaii often, I always like a Mai Tai cocktail.  I don’t like to drink too many sugary drinks, but a Mai Tai does hit the spot.

What drinks instantly bring you back to a fond memory?  Or perhaps a band memory?

And as always: Drink responsibly.

 

 

 

Writing Your Novel Tips! Worthless Advice that won’t help you in the least!

Well, I have no helpful writing tips for you and your upcoming bestselling novel.  This is my worthless advice blog, remember?  If you want some helpful tips, you might as well just click over to someone who is helpful like: Jenna Morcci.  She’s an author/writer/blogger I stumbled upon, while I was watching YouTube.  Before you judge me, my YouTube viewing is called “research.” While I was “researching” something…. (Truth be told, you know I was wasting time with Mr. Whiskers by my side, trying to figure out something on YouTube when Jenna Morcci’s writing videos came into my feed).

Let’s get to the point….She is hilarious!  Well crafted videos that are a bit sarcastic, but helpful on writing.  She’s informative, delightful, and has some great writing points.  Hmm, she could be more helpful than my worthless advice blog and that could be dangerous.  Perhaps, she could be my arch enemy?  Nah, that would involve me thinking too much of plot lines, character development, and how to write more than two sentences together and thus make something worthwhile.  One of my favorite videos is at the end of this post.

To combat her cleverness, I probably should throw together a witty list of “How to Write a Novel” tips.  Here goes my worthless advice tips list that won’t help you at all:

  1. Write in a Safe Space.  Yes, go to your safe space.  This could be an extra room in your house, under the stairs, the local coffee shop, or the pub down the street (see item #2).
  2. Consume large quantities of alcohol.  All the great, successful writer were drunks.  Why should you be any different?  Drink up!  You could even have a signature drink!
  3. Play music appropriate to your writing style.  Feeling romantic? Play some love songs.  Your story takes place at an all night rave?  Throw on some EMD trance music.
  4. Read.  Heck, you can’t write if you don’t read.  Read your genre or just read the classics.  Just don’t sit around and do nothing.whirlpool-1580294_1920.jpg  Pick up that Kindle and read!
  5. Soak in a Hot Tub – this is a wonderful way to relax, brainstorm, and not write.  You are in a hot tub, how could you write anything down?
  6. Surf the internet.  Remember I said not to sit around and do nothing?  Well, start surfing that internet and enjoy learning about how to snowboard in New Zealand.  It won’t help you write but you might end up with a great storyline, a blog post, or a new place to visit.
  7. Watch YouTube videos.  This is an awesome way to learn a new skill…how to change out a wheel bearing, how to paint your house, how to waste time watching You Tube videos about how to be successful.  It’s always just a big circle; watch a video and never write that next great American novel.
  8. Play with your cat!  What can you distract you more than your cat?  So cute, so cuddling.  It makes you want to watch cute cat videos on YouTube!  Am I right?  You know I am.
  9. Chat with your Imaginary Stalker Cyndi -You know you haven’t been paying enough attention to Cyndi and she doesn’t like that.  She will get you back….and she is your #1 fan!

Luckily, I know none of these tips will help you to become a better writer.  I know they won’t help you doing anything that moves you along to becoming successful, or happy, or the pride of your family.

Here’s a link to Jenna’s videos.  If you like a snarky attitude, you like to write, and you think I might actually have some good advice for you, just click on her video!  I don’t get paid to say how much I enjoy her videos, but she is pretty funny.  She should at least take me out to dinner for all of the web traffic my blog will be sending her…. No, I’m not in love with her…. (my wife will roll her eyes when she reads this part…).  Until Jenna comments on my blog….I bid you a fond farewell.

 

I may have to give up the News, Facebook, and all incoming messages of Doom and Gloom.

I enjoy comedy shows and how they point out the craziness of today’s current events.  I enjoy reading Facebook posts of my friends as well.   However, I have noticed a trend of people giving up Facebook.  I can understand that.  I may have to give up on Facebook, the news, and my favorite comedy shows.  Perhaps, I will think of only rainbows and unicorns.  Keep myself upbeat.  You know what I’m talking about, right?

The news channels are telling me what is going on out there in the world.  Facebook is full of ranting and raving, hurt feelings, and cat videos.  And folks, it’s not pretty watching and reading all of that.
I should just relax with my family and not watch the news. Sit back and appreciate what I have. It’s a good plan isn’t it?

I’ll even stick to my plan of not talking about my family in my blog posts.  However, I’ll keep you informed of how my cat Mr. Whiskers is doing and how Cyndi (my imaginary stalker) is staying in the stalking business.  Maybe I’ll slip in a good story of how much I appreciate my two blog readers, my wife, and my kids.

I will continue to offer worthless advice. With the name of my blog containing “worthless advice”, it is hopefully oblivious to my two readers that this blog is meant to be funny. I know I fail at being funny, but I try.

Leave your comments below…give me some feedback on what I should be writing about.  It will only take a minute.

Welcome Back….

OK…I’ve been off the radar and blog posting for a while.  I got busy, then lazy, and then I lost the spirit to write.  However, I’m getting back into the Blog Posting Game!! Yeah, let’s start posting again.  Chat about worthless advice and everything else that crosses my mind.  You can give me suggestions (blogging ideas) in the comment section below!

Latest Developments:

My Dad passed away at the end of October.  I’m in the middle of helping my Mom sell off stuff that she won’t use and our family (my siblings) won’t use.  This includes a 2008 Smart Car with less that 5000 miles on it, a 2010 Airstream Bambi Flying Cloud 19 trailer (in awesome shape), and an electric boat (about 19 feet long, currently on Anderson Island, WA).  We also are selling my Dad’s old Hasselblad camera equipment.  That prompted me to sell my old Hasselblad camera equipment as well.  Slowly, my son and I are posting items for sale on eBay and Craig’s List.

That’s it for now.  Again, thanks for reading!

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Meet my friend Craig’s List

Since it is summer time, we have a few chores around my house that we need to finish up.  One is clearing out the “treasures” (worthless crap) we have accumulated over the years but have no good use for anymore.  Granted, at one time I thought I did need a huge pink “Hello Kitty” desk for my office to be a successful blogger, but now I know I don’t (mainly because I’m not a successful blogger).  Besides, my imaginary stalker Cyndi said she would gladly take it off my hands anytime I needed her to.

Unlike my worthless advice I offer to you my dear readers, some of these items are good, usable items.  And you know I really hate making the trip to the local garbage dump when I know a lot of my treasures could have a second life with someone else.  That’s when I turn to my friend Craig’s List.

Sure, some people are scared of Craig’s List (because who isn’t scared of meeting a stranger in a back alley for new flat screen TV?) but when you want to avoid making a trip to the garbage dump, Craig’s List can be your best friend.  Now that I don’t have a truck, it is hard for me to take large items to the garbage dump, donation center, or the recycling center.  Instead of me asking my friend to borrow his truck, I throw everything up on Craig’s List for free.

Today, I got rid of some really cool solar water heater panels.  They aren’t as bad as having a broken down wash machine in your front hard, but solar panels were nice but a wind storm had knocked them over and the glass was destroyed.  I had a few problems setting up the solar water heater system last year, then replacing the glass seemed expensive (4 ft x 8 ft sheets), and they didn’t fit into my “White Trash Theme” I have going on in the backyard, so I decided to get rid of them.  Now, I’m sure I could have sold them on Craig’s List but sometimes that is more of a hassle that the money I’d make out of the project.

This morning I posted the ad and within 30 minutes, two guys came and picked them up. As a bonus, they also picked up all my other free junk out in the driveway.  It was awesome.  I just saved myself about $50 in dump fees and a trip to the Bow Lake Transfer Station.

If you are worried about people coming to your house, you can also put your treasures on the corner of your neighborhood with a “free” sign on it.  I have a neighbor who is gone 11 months of the year so we usually put all the items in front of his house.  Plus, I have an awesome view of watching people gathering up my “treasures”.

That’s your worthless advice tip of the day!  Keep on getting rid of those treasures!

Summer Camp for Adults? Cash on In!

FullSizeRenderSummer is here and a few years back I read about Adult Summer Camps.  I didn’t pay much attention to the Adult Summer Camp craze because I was too busy being, you know, a parent.  Besides, I’ve done my fair share of camping, backpacking, and attending summer camps as a young Boy Scout and also as a Boy Scout troop leader.  Oh, and don’t forget my trips to various Girl Scout camps with my daughter as well.  So you can imagine, I’m not too interested in sleeping a musty old cabin eating bad food at the dining hall as an adult because we now have an Adult Summer Camp opportunities abound.

So, you see, the idea of Adult Summer Camp doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, I can see that it is a great idea because it already exists and someone is making some money.  However, I believed these “summer camps” are called business conventionsand trade shows and held in places like hotels.  Usually  you have to attend because your job requires you to.  Or you could go for pleasure and attend something like Comicon.  You know, a place where you can dress up in a costume just like you do on Halloween.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is a hobby and hobbies are something you enjoy doing and I strongly encourage you to attend a convention if you want to.  I just don’t understand why someone wants to head out to the woods and go back to summer camp.  I’d much rather head to a hotel and enjoy the pool and spa services.

Of course, I’m a fool for not cashing in on the Adult Summer Camp craze.  I know a number of experts (aka friends) that could assist me in creating a new summer camp.  If someone wants to pay me to attend a summer camp, who am I to stop them?

What courses would I offer?  The list is endless!

  • Lawn Mowing and Lawn Care
  • Complaining & Whining
  • Photography
  • House Painting
  • Blogging
  • Cheap Vacations
  • Car Maintenance
  • How to Fail
  • Drone Flying (and Crashing!)
  • Home Beer Brewing (and its sister course Beer Drinking)
  • How to Be Depressed in Your Life without Mental Illness
  • Boating and Floating
  • Camping Basics
  • Candle Making
  • Wine Drinking
  • Scotch and Whisky Drinking

Pretty much whatever you can imagine, we could offer it as a course.  I could rent some old summer camp, set up some old army tents, get some retired school cook for my mess hall, and we would have our summer camp up and running in no time.  Daily Field trips to the local pub for inspiration would be a must.  Hands on experience (like painting my house) with a touch of reality (see my highly regarded course “How to Fail”).

I know you are dying to sign up.  For only $1499 per week, this summer camp experience can be yours.  You can send me cash anytime.  I promise to save your spot for you.

Have a great idea for a course?  Want to be a part of a winning team (or you need a job for the summer)?  Let me know!  Frankly, I need all the help I can get.

 

 

 

 

Regrets, Regrets, Regrets

 

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How did I not see that big yellow bus full of nuns?

We all have regrets.  We regret eating that extra piece of pizza last night.  We regret buying the neon yellow polo shirt in 9th grade.  We regret running that yellow light and hitting that school bus full of nuns while eating a burrito from Taco Bell.  We regret sleeping in on Saturday.  We regret our career choices.  Regrets are all around us.

Do you have regrets?  Most people with a conscience have something they regret.  Whether is about their life choices or the day old sushi they ate, regrets are all around us.

However, you need to let go of your regrets.  You can’t predict the future.  So if you knew now that making a certain choice in the past would turn into a regret later on, you wouldn’t have made that choice.  Fairly simple, right?  You didn’t know it would be a regret so why beat yourself up about it?  Let that regret go.  Acknowledge it, learn from it, move on, and let it go.

Why are regrets important?  Regrets help to improve your critical thinking and your decision-making abilities.  Your experience, whether it is good or bad, helps to lead you on a path of self discovery and awareness.  (Man, that does sound like I know about regrets).

6 Tips to Make Your Life Regrets Disappear!

  1. Don’t think about them.  Why does everyone dwell on the past?  You made a mistake, you learned from it, now get over it.  Let that crap go.  Unless you’re my wife, then you hold onto it forever and remind me about it all the time.  That’s called “Life Coaching” your spouse.
  2. Don’t settle.  Stop your whining.  If you want that mega yacht, then figure out a way to be a huge success and buy it. (Hint: Don’t have a Worthless Advice Blog; it doesn’t pay anything).  I don’t have a clue on how to buy or steal a mega yacht so you are plum out of luck with me helping you.
  3. Use Positive Affirmations.  Because using negative ones won’t be getting you into Camp Happy Thoughts.  And at Camp Happy Thoughts you can put a positive spin on anything!  You wasted five minutes reading my blog but it was for research purposes so it was really an adventure into educating yourself.  See?  You are a winner already!
  4. Set Deadlines and Goals in the Future.  Isn’t that a stupid statement?  When else would your deadlines and goals be?  In the past?  I like to set unrealistic goals like “I’ll move to the country and retire in five years.”  Notice I didn’t say in 2021 that I was moving or retiring.  If I give a solid year date, then I might actually have to do it. This way I am planning but not really planning.  I won’t be disappointed when I forget about that goal.
  5. Eat an Elephant.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Every task starts with a first step just like that journey out to your car when you need to get to work.  How do you take on those huge, insurmountable tasks?  I don’t know about you, but I set up a deadline that I’ll ignore (see #4).  Then I tackle that task one step at a time because that sounds like I’m doing something smart.
  6. Find a Mentor.  Or in your case, the drunk at the end of the bar will do.  Mentors are great, if you can find one.  I had mentors and they helped me become the successful advice blogger I am today.  Successful…ha ha…sure…really successful with imaginary stalker Cyndi as my only true follower.  Find someone that is mildly more successful than you is easy.  In fact, they only need to appear to be successful.  You can listen to them, feel awesome that they are sharing their nuggets of wisdom with YOU, and become the awesome individual you were destined to be.

Make your regrets disappear.  Get over them.  Forget them.  And enjoy your life!

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Probably should have watched where we were going….

I’m Trying to Make My Advice as Worthless as I can

Really, I’m trying to make my advice as worthless as possible but it is hard.  Writing this stuff is hard.  If I go off the deep end like I did the other day about “Marrying your husband was a huge mistake” post, people think I’m depressed about my life.  I understand my sense of humor is a little off.  After watching Oprah and Dr. Phil all these years, I thought I would be much better off in my life.  You would think after reading all those Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar’s books, I would now be larger than life.  They clearly should have produced a powerful man living the dream instead of a mild manner worthless advice blogger.

However, because I don’t have a 100 foot yacht docked on Lake Union, I can say without reservation that my Worthless Advice Blog is a damn good one.  If my advice was actually helpful, all four of my devoted readers would be living in waterfront mansions on Mercer Island and be showering me with praise.

So here we all sit at the computer, reading about nothing, and learning nothing.  It’s all in a days work here!

 

 

 

Pet Peeve: What Kind Of Quality do You Want?

One of my pet peeves is when people say they want a “quality” product. What does that mean? Quality is a noun, not an adjective. (Don’t worry; that’s it for the English lesson). When anyone says “I want a quality product at a good price”, I’m the guy that has to comment and say “What kind of quality do you want? High quality? Low Quality? Medium Quality?  Because quality doesn’t mean anything until you throw an adjective in front of it.”

If you want low quality, then say that. Admit to yourself that you want some crappy dollar menu item and that price is a concern and taste is secondary.  It’s ok. Sometimes I like a heart attack patty hidden between two buns as much as the next guy.

If you want high quality, then be willing to pay the price for it. Say you want it, accept into your heart and pay the price.  You get what you pay for.

Don’t be afraid to throw in that adjective “high” in front of the word “quality.”  I promise you; it is OK to do it.

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