Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Category Archives: Kauai

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!

 

 

Manhattan – My kryptonite….

glass-1183437

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.

 

 

 

Kauai Beach – Papa’a

Kauai Beach

Happy Monday! Enjoy this image of Papa’a Bay Beach on Kauai.

 

Pajamas in Public…Just Say No!

I recently wrote about my travels to Kauai and how I disliked the airline system.  Upon talking with my FAA friend today, he mentioned that I had totally forgotten to mention how much I hate passengers who wear their pajamas while traveling.  Mind you, it isn’t just airline travel I see this trend happening in.  I also notice it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, and even at my kids’ school (most often parents being the offenders).pajamas in public2.jpg

It floors me to see grown ups wearing Hello Kitty pajamas at 3:20 pm in the afternoon.  For example, I was walking my daughter home with her friends and two adults were putting something in their car wearing their pajama bottoms like khaki slacks.  It is 3:20 in the afternoon and I have to see your Hello Kitty pajamas?  How old are you? Three years old?

Getting back to the air travel pajama problem, I really don’t think that as an adult I need to see your pajamas.  The only acceptable people that are allowed to wear pajamas on an airline flight are children under the age of 5.  If the kids are in Kindergarten, I’ll cut them some slack.  However, first grade and above, you need to put on your “big boy” pants and act respectful.  Heck, the next thing we’ll see is teenagers wearing diapers and pooping their pants on a cross country flight.  How would you like to sit next to that mess on a five hour flight?

So grown up and stop wearing your pajamas around like they are a pair of jeans.  Society made sweatpants so you could wear pajama style clothes in public.  Sweatpants are marginal more acceptable to wear in public.  You really should wear sweatpants when you are working out at the gym or jogging in the park.

Places I don’t want to see you wearing your pajamas:

At my kids’ school

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Post Office

Shopping malls

7-11

Liquor stores

Pizza parlors (really any kind of restaurants)

Again: Grow up, wear some jeans, some khaki slacks, or even a kilt or skirt.  Leave the pajamas at home so I can keep my lunch down.  Just give me one day where I don’t get grossed out by your lack of compassion to my sensitive stomach.pajamas in public

Costco Shopping Cart Rage – Why am I not in Jail?

We all have road rage once in a while. You know what I get? I get shopping cart rage. I feel like the Incredible Hulk. You know what the Hulk does? He smashes things. I just want to take my cart and smash it into the people around me. I am the most frustrated when I’m shopping at Costco. Don’t get me wrong, I love Costco. I just hate the people that shop in Costco.Shopping Cart Neme for Blog Post

Of course, one might argue I have Intermittent Explosive Disorder but I don’t carry out my crazy thoughts. I just imagine doing them.

Let’s go over some Shopping Cart Pushing Etiquette:

  1. While pushing your cart and you want to stop and look at something, get the hell out of the way. Don’t stop in the MAIN aisle. Just pull that cart into one of those side aisles, then walk back and look at the item.
  2. Don’t walk slowly (like you don’t know where you are going) at Costco. You’ve been to this suburban Costco 345 times before (unless you are a tourist in Hawaii) and you know exactly what you want. Go find that big tub of ice cream and that mega pack of filet mignon and get it in your cart. Move quickly; those steaks aren’t going to fry themselves.
  3. Oh, you just saw your friend you haven’t seen in a week? Don’t have a conversation in the middle of the MAIN aisle. Again, use a side aisle. Get your two carts (that are blocking 75% of the main aisle) out of the way. Use some common sense.
  4. Don’t want to take your cart in the big vegetable or dairy cooler? That’s OK…just don’t leave it in the entrance, parked in everyone’s way. Do you think this a good spot to park? Do you see anyone else parking their cart there? No, you don’t. Park it on the side where everyone else parks.
  5. Don’t park your cart sideways…ever. You don’t need to pretend that your cart broke down while making a left turn. You aren’t driving a car. Get the cart out of the way.
  6. Don’t park your cart in the middle of the aisle and leave less than a cart width on either side. I can’t get past you. Oh, but trust me, I’ll try. I’ll get going at a fast clip and sideswipe your cart like a drunk driver on the interstate. Don’t test me.
  7. Finally done shopping? Then head to the cashier. See all the lanes ahead of you? Pick a lane. It doesn’t matter which lane, just pick one. Commit to that lane and stay there. Your cart is full of frozen waffles and buckets of laundry soap… it’s heavy; don’t jump lanes.

I know the people that should be reading these tips aren’t reading them, but do your part and send this blog post to them. Share the information, be part of the solution.

 

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Windows are for Winners! (and that’s why I’m sitting here by the window!)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines (whom should be sponsoring my blog)

On my recent trip to the Big Island, I left a few days before my wife and travelled by myself. Like many others, I love to take vacations and fly in airplanes. I enjoy sitting, looking out the window at the clouds, think about my cat Mr. Whiskers, enjoying the landscape below, with the knowledge that in a few hours, a new adventure awaits for me. When my wife and kids travel with me, I give up the window seat to one of them. I’ll get stuck on the aisle seat or the middle seat (I’m usually stuck in Coach because this blog isn’t a national success as of yet and I can’t afford First Class).

So, the highlight of the flight was when the little kid next to me wanted to look out the window. He asked his mom if she would ask me if I could change seats to the aisle seat.

What? First of all; man up kid, you are five years old…talk to me yourself. Stop being a whiner. Second, I don’t want to sit by the aisle because I know this kid and his mother will have to go to the bathroom 15 times during the flight, Third, the flight attendant will bump my elbow EVERYTIME she goes by with the drink cart, Finally, you know some lady will need to get something out of the overhead bin (right above my head), it will be too heavy, and she’ll drop it on my head (thus awaking me up and annoying me). Just leave me alone.

I turned to the kid, raise my left hand, slowly pulled the shade down, and said to the kid.

“Windows are for winners and you aren’t a winner.”  Then, with a smile on my face, push the “Play” button on the podcast I was listening to (“How to be a Sarcastic Jerk Podcast Episode 167), closed my eyes and started my vacation.

(if you haven’t figure this out by now…this didn’t happen…work of sarcastic fiction…well, the flight and vacation to the Big Island did happen).

Again, why hasn't the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Again, why hasn’t the Royal Kona Resort asked me to blog for them?

Kauai, Maui, Sunny March Weather in Seattle! Oh My!

IMG_5778Yesterday, we had some beautiful sunny March weather here in Seattle. I was actually out on my back deck enjoying the sunshine and working on my suntan. It must have been about 65-70 degrees out. Even after we “sprung” ahead into Daylight Savings Time, I got some stuff around the house accomplished. So spending a few minutes on the back deck with my wife and daughter was a treat that was well deserved.

We usually, have pretty gray weather around here in March but not lately. Last week, we went hiking in the sun.   I have been able to preserve my Hawaii tan for a lot longer than I thought I would. Yes, dear readers, I was gone for two weeks to Hawaii in February. I spent a week on Kauai with my daughter visiting my parents and then we flew to Maui and join my wife and my son for another week. Life is rough.

My last trip to Hawaii was two years ago and that was to Kauai. I haven’t been to Maui in 15 years. To be honest, both are wonderful places but I prefer Kauai. I admit I lean towards Kauai (since I went to school there and lived on Kauai as a teenager). My wife likes Maui because she use to live there. As I always say, Hawaii is a great place to visit but not as fun to live there.

Koi Fish Pond

Koi Fish Pond

What? How can I say that? How can I say Hawaii isn’t an awesome place to live? When you take a vacation, everything is awesome. I’m relaxed, I don’t worry about money, and I’m living in a nice condo resort with hot tubs, swimming pools, and sunny beaches. I picture myself relaxing and drinking every day of my life if I lived in Hawaii. Heck, every time I’m on vacation I think how wonderful it would be to live in Washington, NYC, Eastern Washington, etc. Where ever I am at, I can picture me enjoying living there. My family and I would be hanging out at the pool every day. In reality, you have to work or you would be retired. Ah, retirement. But you would be doing the same thing as you would be doing now. Just in a warmer, humid climate.

Now, I’m not turning down the opportunity to move to Kauai or Hawaii in general if someone offered me a job there. Both my wife and I know what it is like to live there.   But rest assured dear readers, I’m still a few years away from retirement, I haven’t won the lottery, and my online business hasn’t taken off where I can retire from school photography just yet.

Do you have a place you wish you could move to? What is holding you back from moving or even taking a vacation?Kaua'i -  The Garden Isle

The Holidays are here…Are You Ready?

I have to admit, I don’t feel stressed out about the holiday season…yet. We have all the parties scheduled on the family calendar and my wife has figured out the gifts for the kids. I was even proactive and purchased my wife’s Christmas gift for her this past week (a week ahead of schedule). I have pretty much given up on guessing what she wanted about ten years ago. I ask her to create a list for me so I can avoid feeling like an idiot on Christmas morning. Honey, you don’t like the gun rack I got for you? Camo ain’t your favorite color for a nightgown?

Some wives would say “You should know me by now and know exactly what I want”. Really? Isn’t that a recipe for disaster? Would you trust your husband?  This is the same guy who burns water and can’t cook a hot dog correctly.  I know who I am: I’m a moron when it comes to gifts and presents. My wife is way too smart to leave her present up to chance. She knows I am clueless when it comes to gifts. Sure, you can buy your wife a new car, a diamond necklace, or maybe even plan a trip to Kauai and you would be safe. But can a husband really think what his wife wants? No, he can’t. Those gifts are fool proof. Who wouldn’t want those things?

Yes, I’m safe and sane when it comes to the gift department. Why try to disappoint my wife? She doesn’t deserve to be disappointed (seriously, being married to me is already a disappointment). Let her enjoy Christmas morning with a gift she really wants. The wish list makes life so much easier and safer. Of course, I must admit those fuzzy Hello Kitty bathroom slippers would look pretty good on her feet….

Enjoy your day!

Kevin Hellriegel

Merry Christmas!

Welcome to The Fat Ass Dad’s Weight Loss Challenge….

Welcome to The Fat Ass Dad’s Weight Loss Challenge

Yes, I’ve decided to drop some weight before our family’s trip to Maui in February 2015. Now, I know you are like Cyndi (My Imaginary Stalker) and think I look awesome all the time. It’s true; I do look fantastic. Sure, I’m now a bit older and I have a few extra pounds around my gut (SNL Middle Age Man Skit “You’re staring at my gut, aren’t you? I’m working on it”). However, let’s be realistic; we all need to get into better shape. I know everyone admires my huge arms, my broad shoulders, my beautiful smile, my charming wit, and my slick bald head. Yet, my big fat belly doesn’t do the rest of me justice. It needs to go.

Last Christmas, my friend and I noticed we both had risen to new heights on the bathroom scale. I think after the holidays I tipped in at 240 lbs. I skipped the Five Stages of Grief and did a little something about it. I dropped my weight down to 225. However, last summer (July 2013), I was 213 lbs. Currently, I’m coming in at 226 lbs. My goal is 200-205 lbs. by the time I walk on that plane for Maui in February.  I want to wear that neon green speedo on the beaches of Maui and embarrass my kids.  Did I just make you puke it your mouth a bit with that visual?  Good….

I’m putting it out there. I now have published my goal weight on my blog for Cyndi and my three other followers to read about. Don’t worry; my wife doesn’t read my blog so she doesn’t even care if I publish it. She would probably like it that I now have Cyndi and three followers holding me accountable. Heaven help me.

So where does the Fat Ass Dad’s Weight Loss Challenge come in? Over the past nine months (and years), a few of my friends have all talked about losing weight, eating better, drinking less. I decided it is time for the rubber to meet the road. I went ahead and challenged (invited) them to stop talking and do something about it.

The Rules:

There are no rules and we don’t talk about….just kidding, you have to have a Fight Club reference, right?

We have a $40 buy in so basically I’ll be winning $160 in February. They have no self-control. It will be easy money. (This is called trash talking and it is what men do to each other to encourage them). I also plan to sabotage their efforts with pizzas and beer.

I’ll give them false hope by saying things like:

“One more beer won’t hurt.”

“A bucket of hot wings isn’t that bad.”

“Man, you are looking trim. You got this contest in the bag…here, have another piece of cheesecake.”

The Weigh In (Start Weight) is an honor one. We have told each other our starting weight and our goal weight. I set the official end date of February 16, 2015. As you know, my start weight is 226 with a goal of at least 205 but I’d like 200. I have to crush it and take it all.

I’ll maybe give you a progress report once in a while. I don’t want to tip my hand to the other losers involved.

 

Your comments, exercise tips, healthy snack tips, are welcome. You can also post your weight loss stories if you like. And if you have any extremely bad weight gaining recipes, send them over too. I’ll change the title and send it to the rest of the Fat Ass Dads and tell them it is a low fat recipe.

Things to Demotivate You….

Sigh. It is hard to keep motivated when you have a blog about worthless advice. I find myself distracted by all the happiness and goodness of the world. Once in a while, there is some stupid financial advice you can cling to to Demotivate you. My favorite: Make more money and spend less. Whoa. Heart stopping advice.

Facebook doesn’t help either. People are always updating their Facebook status with “I’m having a great time with my family on our trip to Maui”. Or “I just won $300 at the casino and I’m currently up $600”. No one admits they have just lost their kid’s college fund (if they even bother to start one). No one says they hate their overbearing uncle during the family reunion on Kauai. I thought you were suppose to over share on Facebook? Isn’t that what your Facebook friends want?

You don’t want to be happy all the time. You want to get upset and be angry. Oh, does that offend you when I say something like that? Should I be happy all the time and have positive thoughts all the time? Should I shrug my shoulders up and say “Oh Well” when there is a school yard shooting? Should I not be angry when there is injustice in the world?

You can’t be positive all the time. There are times when you won’t be happy. I know I won’t be a billionaire in my chosen career path. The numbers just don’t support it. I can make a very comfortable living but I won’t be flying on a private jet from photo session to photo session. That doesn’t upset me. I’m ok with that.

I do wish I was a better blogger and a better writer. I wish I could have the dedication to sit down between my other projects and write a bestselling novel. However, I accept the fact I’m lazy and making excuses for not doing the things I should be doing or the things I want to do. I own my failures and understand that in their own twisted way they help to motivate me.

I’m sorry, I’m suppose to be talking about demotivating you, not helping you! Silly me, trying to better the world through my logical thought process. If something is really important to you, then you should do them. Unless it is a meth habit, you shouldn’t do it. Highly addictive and it will cause you to make bad choices. Most of the time, you hurt your family and friends. Hmm, maybe you shouldn’t do what you want, right?

I want to run my car into the stupid driver in front of me but I don’t. I want to sleep in but I get my butt up and work. I’ll work late to catch up when I fall behind. I don’t get to do whatever I want because I’m a responsible adult with grown up bills to pay. Sigh. Now, I’m feeling more demotivated. I’m glad I was about to work though this “up and happy” moment.

Back to life and reality!! To the freeways!

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