Tired of having a home? The Guide to living the Homeless Lifestyle (the Correct Way)!

I sometimes worry myself about how I can even figure this stuff out…..

Ok, maybe you just can’t handle the whole “owing a house or renting an apartment” thing.  Maybe you are more suited to living in your car or in a shipping crate by the railroad tracks.  Perhaps that is more of your housing style, however, what will you do about showers, laundry, and sleeping arrangements?

Not to worry dear readers, my worthless advice about “How to Be Homeless” will give you all the awesome advice (or perhaps worthless advice) you need to be successful as a homeless person.

In addition, my tips will allow you to save money and become a success in your personal and professional life.  Remember, homeless doesn’t mean you are jobless!  And homeless doesn’t mean not having a vehicle either!  It only means you don’t have a home!

Shall we begin?

  1. Be Clean: Join a 24/7 Fitness Gym with shower facilities that has many locations.  A hot shower, free soap and shampoo, free towels, and a shave?  And you exercise too?  Sign me up!
  2. Dump Your Garbage.  Learn where all the public parks are located at.  Free garbage service and access to some interesting bathroom options.
  3. Learn where all the Starbucks ae located (Just kidding…there is one on every corner).
  4. Hide right under their Noses: Find Fire Stations or Police Stations to park at.  You can certain park your car in the visitor parking lot for a few hours or overnight.  Who is going to check?
  5. Hang out in Plain Sight.  Park your Honda right at the Honda dealership or  Honda Mechanic’s Garage parking lot.  One more care isn’t going to be noticed.  Or if you have a white van, put a made up delivery company logo on your van…your van is now a delivery van.  Park it in the back of a UPS store.  You now look like you below there.
  6. Enjoy Food: Not having a home means your food budget is now huge!  You can eat out all the time or you can eat healthy salads you make in the backseat.  Yum!
  7. Visit relatives/friends during the holidays.  Bless them with your presence for two or three nights.
  8. Find locations off the beaten path that offer free power. Invest in a long extension cord from that rest stop bathroom to your car.
  9. Find 24 hour Laundromats.  Do laundry, drink beer, and watch TV.  Everyone wins here!
  10. Find 24 hour Businesses.  You can park in their parking lot and they will never know.  People are always coming and going and your car will look like an employee’s car.
  11. Get a Post Office Box for your mail.  But ideally, pay everything online.  Have auto deposit and auto pay systems set up.

Enjoy these eleven awesome “How to be Homeless Tips!”  Remember, you don’t have to let society dictate to you on how to live your life!  You can still have a nice car or van, be a clean person, have a good job, and be a productive member of society by using my proven system!

Happy Homelessness!

Do you have some awesome advice?  Well, keep it to yourself.  We want only worthless and sarcastic comments below.  Hmm, maybe you can add a few tips…go ahead…comment below and hit the “Like” button too.

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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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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.

 

 

 

 

How about those odds? A story of unbelievable odds that will ruin your gambling dreams!

A few weeks back, my brother called me at 6:30 in the morning to tell me he saw my old car in North Seattle. He had recognized the old bumper stickers on it and knew it was my car, so he had given me a call. I must admit, that was kind of a fun surprise to know that my old 1983 Mercedes Benz 300D (Turbodiesel) was still running. My brother wanted to tell the current driver that the Mercedes Benz use to be owned by his handsome brother Kevin (OK, I added the handsome part) but wasn’t able to catch him.

It was a fun car to have. Sunroof, power windows, great fuel mileage. It was a tank but still a fun car.

The next day, I’m traveling back home from South Seattle College (former South Seattle Community College) and I roll up to a traffic light. As I am slowing down, I noticed a yellow Mercedes Benz in the left turn lane.

It is my car.

It has my bumper stickers on it and the same chrome rims. It has a few more dents but it is still running.

I rolled down my window and signaled for the driver to roll down his window. We chatted briefly in which I told him that my brother said he saw that car yesterday in North Seattle. The driver told me that he lives in North Seattle and that he was there yesterday morning.

It now has 500,000 miles on it (good old German engineering), huh?

Now, one has to wonder what the odds are that my brother would see my old car on Wednesday at 6:30 am in north Seattle and then the next day, I would see my car at 11:10 am in south Seattle? We haven’t seen this car in 14 years, yet in two days, two brothers see the same car and it was formerly owned by one of them? Seattle isn’t a small town…the car is now 32 years old…my brother saw it in on Wednesday morning and then I saw it on Thursday morning. What are the odds?

Washington D.C. Trip – 2014 – Vacation Mode and Lost Time….

As always, just hit the “like” button below. Boost my self-esteem while you can.

As you can tell from my posting pattern, I’ve taken the summer off. In Washington State, the kids don’t get out of school until June 19th or 20th so I’m usually still in a work mode when they get out of school. I’m usually trying to finish up a few jobs and I really don’t get my “vacation mode” on until July. This time, July did start and I was out of work mode but not into my “full vacation mode”. I’m in a limbo mode of where I think I can do a billion things, yet in reality my vacation mode will kill all hope of accomplishing any work.

This limbo mode of thought results in me having the misguided notion that I will accomplish more than is really possible. For example, I thought my office would be cleaned by now (it’s not), and my yard projects would be done (they aren’t). I have a whole summer to do things; yet I don’t.

What is a person to do when this happens? Clearly, take a vacation! You need to decompress (as least I do) and get into vacation mode.

This vacation, I took a trip to Washington DC with my 15 year old son Hayden and meet up with my cousin Stephen for four days. That was on the 4th of July and that was a fun way to spend the 4th of July. We did all the memorials; we ended up renting a car only because I had to take a side trip to Charlottesville, VA (home of UVA) to visit a friend and his family. I did notice that people on the East Coast don’t seem to know how to use their blinker on their car when they are going from one lane to another. As you know, my mind reading skills are poor to none. So when you don’t use a turn indictor (your blinker), I get annoyed to say the least.

The weather in DC wasn’t bad at all. Sure, it was hot 93 degrees but the humidity wasn’t bad. Nothing worse than Hawaii and I didn’t feel like I was overheating and about to die. The museums are great and it is easy to get around DC either by subway or walking. We stayed in the Georgetown area and had a Trader Joe’s right by our condo we stayed at. We were also a few blocks from Watergate. Lots of history right at our doorstep.

Watergate
Watergate

I’ve also just finished Netflix’s “House of Cards” with Kevin Spacey. It makes it a little more interesting watching the first season, visiting DC, and then watching the second season upon my return to Seattle.

Personally, I just love the architecture of the East Coast cities and countryside. Compare to Washington State, everything is old. As long as it isn’t falling down on me; I like it. I’m that tourist guy that takes photos of row houses and brownstones. I imagine being a famous novelist and living in them; soaking up the city around me. Then I trip over the uneven sidewalk and reality sets back in.

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Two things I regret is not researching (or remembering certain things about congress, our capital, general US history, etc.) and not going through my blogger/reading list to see who lived in the East Coast. I would have loved to meet some of the bloggers I follow. Oh well, maybe the next trip.

Other sarcastic observations: Women (teenage girls, overweight women, older ladies, sexy stripper types, moms, teenage daughters) seem to wear short “shorts”. In Washington State (where we don’t see the sun), we hardy see the short “shorts”. In fact, we have been having a heat wave for the past four weeks with gorgeous weather (except for two days last week full of rain) so I have been observing no short “shorts” on women like the East Coast.

I also may not hang out in a lot of tourist areas in Seattle. Well, to be honest, I hardy get out of my cul-de-sac and never visit the beaches of Seattle. Yes, we do have beaches here, and lakes, and rivers, and outdoor swimming pools. We just go swimming in the months of July, August, and September.

Anyway, I’ll post more (in a mad dash to get something posted in July 2014) for you in the next few days (or hours).

US Capitol Building
US Capitol Building

I love Seattle Traffic!!

Kevin Hellriegel

I love Traffic in Seattle!

I love heavy traffic and that is why it is so wonderful to live in the Seattle.  You get a constant stream of cars, trucks, and crazy motorcyclists on the freeway at all hours of the day and night.  There are usually great bottleneck areas like coming into downtown Seattle from South King County and going into Bellevue either from the north end or from the south end.  Since I live in the south end, I particular like either Interstate 5 or Interstate 405 for heavy traffic; it is so fun to be stuck in it!

Why do I love traffic so much?  It gives me more time to listen to audio books!  Let’s face it, if my commute was a few minutes each way to work and then back home again, I’d never get any of my audio books finished.  However, with a 45-60 minute commute to a job site (that’s each way).  I can get through an audio book in about a week or less.  You can’t do that working in your home office.

Sadly, I usually have my assistant with me and therefore can’t listen to my audio books when in the vehicle with her.  It falls into that category of being “rude.”  Besides I can use that time to talk about work and her lousy job performance.  See?  Use that time as reflection period in which to have a daily job performance review?  She certainly is lucky, isn’t she?  Man, I’m certainly a genius when it comes to time management!

Sometimes, she pretends to be asleep but I can usually get her to snap back to attention by slamming on the brakes, screaming and cussing at the other idiot drivers, or playing my music just a little too loud.  You have to have that perfect volume on the car’s stereo where it sounds like the song right before the current song was a soft song.  This gives the illusion that the current song is too loud and that you never touched the volume control.  While in reality, I’ve been switching channels and adjusting the volume up and down in no particular pattern other than to drive someone crazy.

I suppose you could talk about important issues of the week during this commuting time.  However, it is much more fun to have a full blown discussion of why my position is correct and her position is incorrect.  Even if she is correct and I agree with her, I still like to argue from the other point of view.  Debate is a great thing!  And it helps to keep me awake on the drive home.

As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome!

 www.hellriegelstudio.com

Renton Honda, Extended Service Warranty Plans and why they both suck!

Renton Honda sucks!

I would have to admit that this is one of my more passionate blogs because it deals with a very distasteful experience I had with Renton Honda (which sucks).  In fact, after reading about my experience I hope that you’ll become a wiser person from my mistake.  I would put this up as one of my Top Ten Stupid Car Mistakes.  So dear reader, please read, learn, and become a better consumer from the lesson I am about to share with you about Renton Honda (which sucks).

 Our car lease for our 2008 Honda Pilot VP was coming up at the end of February 2011.  My wife and I had discuss about keeping the car but decided against it.  We went out and purchased a used Toyota Highlander with cash and now have no payments.  Since our lease wasn’t due until February, we decided to ask Renton Honda (which sucks) if they’d be willing to take the Pilot back early.

 I met with the Used Sales Manager; he gave me the song and dance about the car being worth this much, etc, etc.  It really didn’t matter to me at this point because I was going to turn it in February anyway.  I was ready for them to jerk me around but if they didn’t and I could turn the Pilot in early, then that would be a good thing.  If I can save four months of lease payments, I’m happy!  If not, I’ll enjoy the car for a few more months.  We decide to take their offer, turn the car in early, and save the four months of lease payments and car insurance.

 Then my wife reminds me that we are going to get the extended warranty plan refunded back to us in full.  Or so we thought.  Yes, dear readers, this is where my Top Ten Stupid Car Mistakes comes in.  Back when we first leased this brand new 2008 Honda Pilot VP model from Renton Honda (which sucks), we were pressured into purchasing the extended service warranty for $1500.00.  What?  Are you crazy, Kevin?  You did what?  Is Kevin losing his ability to sniff out bullshit?  You must be asking yourself these questions, right?  Kevin the Eagle Scout, the University of Washington Business School graduate got sucked into an extended service warranty?  What has the world come to? 

Yes, I was the big sucker that day.  Actually, I did resist the pressure cooker sales tactics for a while.  The finance manager (aka The Closer) pressured us into this extend service warranty contract with the promise that if we never used it, we’d get it all back in full.  I clearly remember stating to him that Hondas are great cars, why would I need this?

 His answer, again, was that if we never used it, we’d get all of our money back at the end of our lease.  Then comes the scare tatics….but what if the transmission goes out or the brakes screw up…you are as the lessee have to cover that.  Hmmmm.  That’s not a bad deal then for the extended warranty now is it?  If I don’t use it, I get all of my $1500.00 back when I return the car after the three year lease is up.  Sure, I’m not earning interest on my $1500.00, however if something does go wrong, I’ll be covered.  It’s my wife’s car for work…I want her and her business clients to be safe…I’ll do it BECAUSE I’ll get all of my money back, right?  Yes, that is correct.  That is what I was told by the Renton Honda’s (which sucks) Finance Manager when I was signing the lease papers for a three year lease from Renton Honda (which sucks).  I was buying peace of mind and security for my family.

Flash forward to present day…we return the Pilot to Renton Honda (which sucks) and discuss with the new finance manager about getting our money back for the extended warranty.  Sure, we’ll get it back AFTER they pro-rate our plan.  Say what?  Excuse me?  You said pro-rate?  Why pro-rate?  Is it because we are turning in the car four months early?  Oh no.  The extended warranty plan is a five year plan and you need to keep the Honda Pilot for five years for you to get all of your money back.  What?  Are you serious? 

Why in the world would I purchase a five year warranty for a car I planned to keep for three years?  Does that make any sense at all?  Do I look like a complete moron and I can’t see that five years is longer than three years?  Is 5 years > 3 years?  Gee, I think it is.  So, three years ago, I was a complete idiot and couldn’t figure that out? 

No, I was lied to and cheated by Renton Honda (which sucks) because they used a classic scam (their extended service warranty plan) and they told me was such a great deal.  If I don’t use it, I’ll get all of my money back.  That is what I was told.  Well, that is not the case, is it?  I’m not getting all of money back, am I?  Nope.  Instead I’m getting cheated out of my full $1500.00 because I was lied to by Renton Honda (which sucks).  They are giving me back $646 because of the mileage on my car (it has 33,873 miles and we were allowed 12,000 miles per year).  We are right on target for the lease agreement so why am I not getting all of my money back? 

I lived up to my end of the agreement.  I fully insured the car, I did the oil changes, I kept the mileage on target for the lease agreement and I’m getting screwed over by Renton Honda (which sucks).

Did I mention that Renton Honda sucks?

Am I upset?  YES!  I’m very upset that I was lied to and taken advantage of.  I was told to my face that if I didn’t use the extended warranty service plan I would get it all back at the end of my lease.  Why would anyone with any decent ethics sell me a service product that had a five year requirement when they fully knew ahead of time I’d be returning the car in three years?  It is because they are dishonest and have no ethics.  Renton Honda (which sucks) is full of liars, cheats, and thieves.  I will never do business with them and hope you learn from my lesson.