Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Category Archives: Children

It’s a beautiful day for Track Practice!

Ah, today is the first day of my daughter’s middle school track practice.  Of course, we live in Seattle and it is raining. Oh boy, nothing like being wet and miserable for track practice.

Our family isn’t much for running. My brother completed at the high school date level but he is the only runner in the family.  I’m always surprised when my kids went out and joined the track team. It’s a no cut sport so they make the team no matter what.

My daughter has stated she doesn’t like to run, however, she is joining the track team as a show of support for her friend. Kudos to her!

The other nice thing she said: we don’t have to go to any of the track meets! Yes!!!!  It is truly an awesome thing to tell your lazy father (little old me) that he isn’t required to go to any track meets. Yippee!

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a watching my kids compete in their various sports….as long as it is sunny outside and I’m comfortable.  And I don’t mind being in a pleasant indoor, heated arena.  You know, sports like volleyball, swimming, basketball.

With my daughter saying I don’t have to attend her track meets, it really means I don’t have to be out in the rain, in the wind, or in the typical miserable spring weather we have in the Puget Sound area.  It also mean I avoid sitting on an uncomfortable outdoor metal bench and watch my daughter run in the forementioned miserable weather.  Instead, I can sit on my big butt on the couch and watch afternoon talk shows and order a pizza via my smartphone.  Heck, I might even have a hot cocoa and flip on my gas fireplace while I stare out my living room, watching the rain pour or drizzle down.


Thanks again daughter for giving me a get out of track jail free card!  I will truly enjoy staying home and not watching you not run.

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Let’s Kill the Leprechaun – Tips for a Successful St. Patrick’s Day!

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Yippee!  It is St. Patrick’s Day, the day second only to Halloween for a day where you can get drunk, dress in a bad costume, and act like a fool!  Well, to be clear….I usually make a fool out of myself on Valentine’s Day and National Hot Tub Day (why isn’t National Hot Tub Day a Federal Holiday yet?).  However, back to the point of this worthless advice blog…St. Patrick’s Day.  In the good old United States of America, we all become Irish on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).

Lucky for you, I’m part Irish so I can offer my three blog readers and my imaginary stalker Cyndi (who wears sunglasses on the darkest, winter, overcast days) great advice on St. Patrick’s Day.

Tips to be the Best Fake Irish Person You Can Be:

  • Randomly yell “Kill the Leprechaun” when you are out at the bar, drinking with your non-Irish friends.  Wear a green wig…everyone likes people that wear wigs.
  • You can also yell “Kill the Leprechaun” at your child’s school.  Make sure you have singled out that redhead music teacher (no one likes her anyway).
  • Get a Redhead Spouse….just make sure she isn’t the music teacher you just made fun of.
  • Make EVERYTHING green…green…green!…make green pancakes…….make green beer…make green cats….

food-PANCAKESgreengreen-beer-2103313cat-GREEN

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, You should always talk in a stupid “Irish” accent….or a “Scottish” one or an “English” one….no one in America can really can tell the difference anyway.  Just say “Top of the Morning!” to everyone.
  • Wear cheap plastic shamrock necklaces.  Everyone likes it when the “Made In China” necklace breaks, and those stupid beads and shamrocks are all over the floor, making you slip and fall.
  • Wear your green throng underwear (I’m talking to you gentleman readers.  Ladies, you can wear whatever you like).  Heck, ladies you can even enter a St. Patrick’s Day bikini contest!  Nothing puts the “Saint” back into St. Patrick’s Day like a visit to a bar in a bikini!  Click on this link for a Bikini bar video!
  • Drink Irish whiskey…or wine…green beer…or whatever…it doesn’t matter…just be that annoying douche bag who drinks too much.  Kind of like how you are every other day of the year, annoying…and drunk…but really just annoying.
  • Oh, don’t forget to wear something green….like the lettuce you have stuck in your teeth.  Nothing like getting your vegetables and sadness all in one day.

But you know something that rocks on St. Patrick’s Day?  This Lego video!

And if you just need to mellow out…enjoy this video!

You wasted your St. Patrick’s Day reading this blog, but at least you helped me get my readership numbers up.  And be happy that I didn’t make this post into a history lesson.  Leave me a comment or a link to a funny cat video.  Please, and write in an Irish accent…

One more video…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to distance yourself from Family & Friends – Your Worthless Advice Tips

Ah, social media…isn’t it fun?  Social media is the prefect way for you to avoid your family and friends.  Why should you meet them in person when you can just do all of your social interactions online?  Remember, all that matters in life now is how many “likes” you get and how many “Oh, I’m so jealous of your life” comments you receive.

Distance Yourself: If you had any friends, this is a wonderful way to keep them a good distance away from beach-1869523_1920.jpgyou.  Remember when you liked to see people in person and interact with them?  No more.  Instead of meeting with them at the local bar, just post a photo of your drink.  Make sure the drink is artistically placed and the background is out of focus.  Preferable you have a tropical background so you get lots of “likes”.

Meeting up with friends in person is so overrated.  Stick to drinking at home.  By yourself.  On your couch.

What about family and seeing them during the holidays?  Oh, the dreaded holidays where you are forced to see your relatives for once or twice a year and pretend you like to hear the story about their cat, Mr. Pickles.  (Mr. Pickles is nothing compared to my  Mr. Whiskers…but we all know that and I’m getting off subject here).  How do you deal with your relatives when you are stuck there with them?

Easy…sit on the couch and check your phone every 15 seconds. beer-422138_1920.jpg I mean, you drove all the way over to your Aunt’s house, why actually be “there”.  Your body can be there but in reality, we all know that looking at your social media accounts are much more important that actually talking with your relatives.  Who cares about that awesome Thanksgiving dinner?  Who cares that this might be the last time you see Uncle Milton?  (Who really cares about Uncle Milton anyway…you aren’t included in his will).

Post as many photos of the gathering you can so it looks like you are having fun.  Remember, social media is here to make others feel bad.  You need to make it look like your family gathering is much more fun and exciting than your friend Sarah.  (Not that you’ll actually ever see Sarah again since you are going to never physically see her again.)  Be sure to add a bunch of fun filters to the images as well.

Bonus Worthless Advice Tip: Always have your headphones on.  Listen to some electronic dance music.

Heck, it’s Friday night….time to ignore your co-workers and sit on your phone.  Scroll through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter….those are where the real social interactions are happening!

Enjoy your weekend!  To make your life easier, just click on the like button below.  Make my social media day…and if you want to comment, please go ahead.  Make sure your comment makes me jealous that your life is so much better than mine.  Thanks…go ahead, make me feel bad.

 

 President’s Day/Mid-Winter Break in Chelan

In the greater Puget Sound area, a fair number of the private and public schools have the President’s Day week off. No one knows for sure why we take a whole week off (considering we just had two weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s Day).   I use to hate having another week off so soon after Christmas, but I have grown to love it over the years.  The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, which makes this week a good break for vacation trips.  Airfare prices arent too bad and it seems only our local schools do the “Mid-Winter” Break.

The past few years, we have gone to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island), California.  This year, my daughter is doing club volleyball and my son is doing a college program during his senior year so a family trip wasn’t going to happen. My son still has classes this week, while my daughter doesn’t.  So no out of town, flyaway trips for us.

This year, we did manage to get away to Lake Chelan.  We traded overcast, rainy skies for snow and gray skies.  The drive over was decent; roads and highways were wet and snow free.


As you can see from the photos, the lake appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared.

Then on a drive up to look at a piece of property, the clouds rolled in and went from blue skies to thick clouds (or fog) conditions.

Uh, the road is somewhere out there.


During the winter, the towns of Chelan and Manson slow down. Some of the businesses are mostly the summer type, catering to the tourist families from the west side of the Cascade mountains and stay open during summer months only.  In the winter, the local wineries and their tasting rooms switch to the Friday-Saturday-Sunday limited hours schedule due to the slowdown in suburban mom traffic.  As an example, a few weeks back when my wife and I came to Chelan, we were the only ones at the Benson Vibeyard/Winery’s tasting room.  A nice quiet afternoon to enjoy the view and a bottle of red wine.

Overall, Chelan and Manson are both great getaway locations.  Lots of wineries, a bowling alley, a few pizza and burger joints await the hardy visitor.  Snowshoe or cross country ski in the morning, do a few wine tastings in the afternoon, head out to dinner, and cap it all off with a night of bowling.  What could be more fun?

The Cold Freeze is Over! (And I’m not talking about my blogging vacation either!)

For the past couple of weeks here in the Seattle area, we have enjoyed a nice frosty cold spell.  It was so cold, we had numerous days of the temperature dropping in the 20’s (F) and even into the teens.  That is pretty unusual for us.  It cause my little fish pond to freeze over. Don’t worry; the goldfish are still going strong under the ice.

It also cause Lake Josephine on Anderson Island to mostly completely freeze over.  The other sister lake, Lake Florence, also was frozen over from this recent cold spell.  Again, pretty amazing stuff for our mild martime Puget Sound climate area.

We broke up some of the ice by the dock.

Winter is coming….

Bella on the ice!

Now, when I took these photos, the ice was 2-4 inches thick and clear.  That will support my dog’s weight of 37 lbs with no problem.  It could support me…but why take that chance? My son and I happily stayed on the float section of our dock.  I didn’t want to fall through the ice, die, and leave you (my dear blog readers) sad and depressed, right? In this case, instead of my usual “Safety 3rd” motto, I bumped it up to #1. Heck, safety is no accident.

(Here is a link to some ice information.  It isn’t for Washington State. Click HERE to Ice Safety information).

My dog Bella enjoyed the ice and chasing the ball for hours.  My son flew one of our Phantom 3 drones over the frozen Lake Josephine as well, hopefully we will have some drone video to post in the next week or so. 

Now, the weather has warmed up into the 40’s (F) and the ice is disappearing.  Until next year….I bid you a fond farewell my frozen lake friends….

Thanks for reading, please comment below on my amazing blog post about ice safety in Washington State, Anderson Island, or just how darn funny and good looking I am.

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.

 

 

 

 

Thank You Idiot Parent Dropping off Your Kid at school today; you make my day even more miserable than it already is.

Parent drop offThe last day of school was last Friday and it was the last time I dropped off my spoiled little princess for the school year.  Sure, we should make her walk the half mile to school but we don’t.  We would much rather subject ourselves to the misery of the Student Drop Off Line in the morning.  You would think that after 180 days of dropping off their kids, more parents wouldn’t be complete idiots when it comes to dropping off their kids in front of the school.

Seriously, they have had 180 drop offs.  Can’t they figure this out by now?  But every morning when I drop off my princess, some moron in front of me stops short and plugs up the whole system.  It really isn’t that difficult to figure out that you drive all the way to the end of the semi-circle driveway and then drop off your kid.  You don’t stop at the beginning and let them out.  When you drop them off at the beginning, it stops the whole flow.

See all the free space in front of you?  Use your common sense and move up.  See all the cars behind you WAITING for you to move?   That’s because we aren’t morons and can see that there are other parents that are dropping off their kids too.  We know that we need to move as far up as possible so that the whole system works.  You, on the other hand, are a complete moron who thinks of no one but themselves.

I bet you hate puppies and snowflakes too.

Maybe next year, you can figure out this incredibly easy drop off system.  Until school starts up again in the fall, I bid you a fond farewell.

Dear Graduates: Welcome to the Real World (oh, by the way…it sucks!)

Dear Graduate,

Congratulations on making it through four years of a bad dream called high school. You’ll be glad to know that your life is now beginning a new chapter. It is totally easy from here on out.  It is a world full of responsibilities, disappointments, happiness, failures, success, and misery that await you.  Sound fun, doesn’t it?

I could tell you to follow your heart but if you are anything like me, that would mean you want to hang out with your cat Mr. Whiskers, drinking scotch, while reading a nice novel. Yup, that’s my dream and if I followed it I would probably be living in a tent under the freeway overpass.  But at least I will be following my dream and living the life I was meant to live, right?

Instead you need to think about a few things. (And you thought you were done with thinking…)

Now, you might be on the path to college or you might be headed to a fulfilling career at a fast food restaurant. Whatever path you chose, make sure you are good at what you do. Enjoy it, and do it to the best of your ability so that you do a fantastic job. I’m not saying you should love your job, but you should be good at it. No one likes a half ass employee working for them or a college student in their class that doesn’t care about the course.  Enjoy the work so it doesn’t seem like work.  No one likes the slacker.

Keep in mind, it isn’t entirely possible to follow your heart and chase your dreams.  If you could follow your heart and have some crazy dream of doing nothing (like I do), you wouldn’t get very far.  You have to get out there and make your mark. You have to live life so you can see how futile and depressing it can be. See? Living in your parents’ basement, playing “Call of Duty” on your  xBox isn’t such a bad idea now, is it?

Think of the future: yeah, because it is now.  I would suggest you have your midlife crisis before the age of 30. You don’t want to be do it when you are in your mid to late forties. Rediscovering yourself at that age is sure fire way to end up broken-hearted, downtrodden, and despressed…you know, just like me.

Don’t worry; life won’t go according to your plan. Have a good moral value system and that will be your guide. Life’s path isn’t a straight line; it has ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and challenges to overcome.  Follow the compass and read the map.

I’m hoping you learned something from a bitter old man by reading this. Worthless advice doesn’t write itself, follow that dream and remember “Would you like fries with that?”  

Whoa! Dropping some Acid in the Garden

Don’t worry; this isn’t a journey into the mind of a drug user or a bad acid trip.   

 It’s about killing those pesky weeds in your garden, flower beds, and yard by using our household pal Vinegar.  Tired of spending your hard earned dollars on expensive, commercial chemical weed killers?  Try using vinegar to kill those unwanted weeds.

Why vinegar?  Vinegar is a natural weed killer you can use in your yard without worrying about killing off your pets or kids.  It is inexpensive, non-toxic, fast acting, and doesn’t cause long term damage to the soil.  It works best on warm, dry days. I know finding those days here in the Seattle area might be tough, but when they do come, whip out that spray bottle of vinegar and kill those weeds!
I have my own special receipe that I use to make a custom weed killer.

-Quart of vinegar

-1/4 cup of salt

-1/4 tablespoon of table salt

I usually mix this up in a quart spray bottle I purchased from the local grocery store. Shake it a few times and now you are ready to kill the weeds.

Keep in mind, that this natural weed killer is non-selective.  It will also kill your grass, flowers, and other plants you love. Be careful when you are spraying.

Some weeds, I will cut down and then spray the remaining stump of the weed with my natural weed killer.  This is very effective for dandilions. 

It is easy, cheap, and non toxic. Good luck and enjoy!

Whoa! Dropping some Acid in the Garden

Don’t worry; this isn’t a journey into the mind of a drug user or a bad acid trip.   

 It’s about killing those pesky weeds in your garden, flower beds, and yard by using our household pal Vinegar.  Tired of spending your hard earned dollars on expensive, commercial chemical weed killers?  Try using vinegar to kill those unwanted weeds.

Why vinegar?  Vinegar is a natural weed killer you can use in your yard without worrying about killing off your pets or kids.  It is inexpensive, non-toxic, fast acting, and doesn’t cause long term damage to the soil.  It works best on warm, dry days. I know finding those days here in the Seattle area might be tough, but when they do come, whip out that spray bottle of vinegar and kill those weeds!
I have my own special receipe that I use to make a custom weed killer.

-Quart of vinegar

-1/4 cup of salt

-1/4 tablespoon of table salt

I usually mix this up in a quart spray bottle I purchased from the local grocery store. Shake it a few times and now you are ready to kill the weeds.

Keep in mind, that this natural weed killer will also kill your grass, flowers, and other plants you love. Be careful when you are spraying.

It is easy, cheap, and non toxic. Good luck and enjoy!

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