Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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

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.

 

Ready for some Spring Cleaning? Degrease your Kitchen Cabinets with Kitty Cats!

Sorry that this is a worthless advice tip…..and it doesn’t feature any kitty cats.  Well, just a picture of a cat; that’s it.

For the past few months, we have decided to clean up and get rid of a lot of stuff that has accumulated over the past 13 years here in our mansion.  Part of this cleaning focus stems from my Father passing away and my Mom needing help to get rid of stuff.  In December, my son and I flew to Kauai to help my mom tackle the office and help close down the photography business.

When I came home, my son and I were in agreement that we needed to clear out the clutter. His words were something to the tune of “Please don’t leave me with a bunch of stuff to get rid of when you die.”  Now, I’m not planning on dying soon but I do want to remove clutter and clean up.  My wife is fully onboard and my daughter thinks we are “messy” so she fully agrees as wellcat-468232_1920.jpg.

Today I noticed a slight build up of kitchen grease on the very top of our kitchen cabinet above the stove.  I did a quick YouTube search and came across this helpful video (see below) I thought I’d share with you.  This isn’t my video or my house.  Enjoy the video and if you have any cleaning tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

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.

 

Your Cooking Sucks – Wow Them with Your Personal Signature Meal!

Let’s face it…you suck as a cook!  But if there is one thing you need is a “signature meal” to wow your potential partner.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about a “signature cocktail drink” you should be able to make all the time.  Now we will discuss having a signature dish.  If you can cook, that means you just step up a notch on the ladder of life.

Dinner.jpgBut if you can’t cook, you can still trick them into thinking that you know how to cook with a signature dish.  That one dish you can cook with your eyes closed AND it tastes amazing.  You need a foolproof dish.   A dish that any moron (like myself) can make.  It needs to be easy and tasty.  A dish that melts in your mouth, that causes the taste buds to explode with desire for the next bite!

If you are a really bad cook….I suggest a slow cooking process like a crock pot meal.  My friend Mark is an excellent cook and he gave my wife (who is another excellent cook) a recipe for Mississippi Pot Roast.  Easy, simple, and very tasty.  Even I could make it; it’s that easy.

Plus you’ll have leftovers you can make some sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch at work!  Double score!

Keep in mind that a crockpot recipe is a slow cooking recipe.  Always read the recipe and pay attention to the cooking time.

Now throw in a decent bottle of red wine and a wonderful tossed green salad (hey, we need our vegetables, right?).  You have yourself your signature dinner and you are one step closer to closing the deal!

Do you have an easy recipe you’d like to share?  One that won’t make your guest puke?  Share it in the comments section below!

My Prefect Gift: My Stories

Have you be on vacation lately?  Do you feel that you have to buy souvenirs for all your friends and relatives back home?  You know, all those schmucks that didn’t come with you on your dream vacation?  And now they want a gift from you?  An expensive trinket that means nothing to them but costs you a fortune.  A trinket to prove your friendship?

No, my dear worthless advice blog readers…this is when we put down our foot and say “No more worthless gifts”.  Let me enlighten you, dear readers to a gift that keeps on giving to my friends and relatives…my stories!

How can my stories be a gift?  Upon my return from a trip, I’ve noticed my kids usually ask this question: What did you bring me?  When they were younger, I use to be able to get away with bringing them restaurant napkins or maybe some airline peanuts.  Heck, when they were younger you could bring them a hotel brochure and they would be impressed.  But now, they want more.  You know…things like a tee-shirt…a snow globe…a boxed set of Chinese throwing stars…a new Dell Alienware laptop….typical things for kids.

family-591579_1920Instead, I bring them my exciting stories of making Kona coffee in my hotel room, ordering a sandwich at a beachside deli, and how the old lady almost ran me over at the cross walk.  I let them know that my life is exciting and dangerous; yet can be boring and mundane at times.  Clearly, my listeners will learn from my engaging and entertaining stories and appreciate them more than a dull old trinket from my Maui vacation trip.

Who wants a seashell lei when they could instead feel the salt spray on their face as they listen to how I walked along Wailua Beach on Kauai at sunrise?  Their mind will hear the crashing of the waves on the beach, the Hawaiian music floating across the lobby of the hotel, the soft gentle trade wind will kiss their face, and their eyes will begin to squint when I mention the bright sun reflecting off the golden sand.  Truly, my vast stories have awoken them from their mindless slumber and taken them on a journey like no other.

1 palm-tree-2095813.jpgMy stories of coconut palm trees swaying in the wind will delight the young and old alike.  Maybe I should even talk about the annoying tourist at the bar?  You know the guy that talks way too loud and complains about being there?

Yes, dear readers, you are welcome!  (I know you want to “Thank” me for sharing my stories) in my blog.  In fact, leave a comment about this post or your favorite story below in my comments section.  And if you’d like to do a guest blog entry, send me a private message.

 

 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?

Worthless Travel Tips – Best Worthless Advice Tips for Your Next Airline Flight!

plane-50893_1920Let’s face it, you hate people, I hate people, and we really hate sitting next to them in the airplane.  Sure, we all wish we could afford First Class but we can’t.  However, we can use certain techniques to maximize your seat space on the airplane.

  1. Bring Your Own Smelly Food – Since the airlines want to make a profit, one of the first things to go was the food service.  But this is an awesome time to bring your own food along!  And it had better be extremely good and stinky.  We all know that the stinky food is the best food!  Pickled eggs, sauerkraut, sardines, garlic bread, cat food, and maybe some strange food that would make a billy goat puke is just what you need on your next flight.
  2. Stake out the Armrest – the seats and the armrest aren’t getting any bigger on airplanes these days and you need to stake your claim to them.  As soon as you sit down, stretch out and take as much space as you can.  When your neighbors arrive, just cough a lot, and wipe your hands all over the armrest.  Ha, these armrest belong to me now.
  3. Take Those Shoes Off and Let Those Stinky Feet Breath – why should your feet be trapped in your shoes?  These flight is the beginning of your vacation.  Take those shoes off and relax.dirtyfeet
  4. Don’t Brush Your Teeth – nothing says “I don’t care about life, you, or your comfort” than skipping the brushing those pearly white teeth.  Your mouth should smell and taste like the inside of a elementary school dumpster on a hot spring afternoon.
  5. Don’t Shower – Again, you want to push people away.  With your awful breath, you can add to the sensual pleasure by not taking a shower for a few days before your flight.
  6. Dress Poorly – dress like a slob AND make sure you wear the wrong travel clothes.  Pants that are too tight – check!  Coats with not enough pockets – check! A big hat that gets in the way – check!bum
  7. Have a HUGE Carry On Bag – The heavier, the better.  Just like all the unsolved resentment you carry around in your soul, your carry on bag should be just as heavy.  Make sure that you can’t lift it over your head.  Ideally, your bag should make a professional weightlifter pop a blood vessel as he lifts it.
  8. Talk to EVERYONE…be loud and proud!  Everyone wants to hear about how you had an awful time on the taxi ride to the airport, or how Aunt Megan thinks you drink too much.  Make new friends by asking questions that are way too personal.  Remember, make them feel uncomfortable and they will scoot away from you as far as their little seatbelt will allow.

As always, I know these eight awesome travel tips will really bring you to the top of your worthless life.  What better way to make it to the lower bottom of life?

Oops..It’s Valentine’s Day – What is your best memory?

 

valentine-1146573_1920

Images courtesy of pixabay.com

Well, I totally forgot to wish my imaginary stalker Cyndi a “Happy Valentine’s Day” to her and I’m sure I’ll be paying the price.  At least Mr. Whiskers and my wife will be happy that I remembered them this year.  But poor imaginary stalker Cyndi was left out.

As a kid, I hated Valentine’s Day at school.  We were forced to buy corny Valentines and pass them out to the kids in our class.  You wasted half a day (of valuable education time, might I mention), coloring your valentine’s box (mailbox for your valentines) so other students could toss them in with the same care as you reserve for throwing out an used napkin.

 

I was a shy kid and I’m sure other students thought I was the strange kid in the class.  Perhaps I wasn’t as strange as the “Horse Girl” (she thought she was a horse and would neigh and gallop around the playground, but on the plus side, she kept the lawn trimed nicely).  And I didn’t smell like that one kid with the messy desk in the back row.  But nevertheless, I’m sure other kids made fun of me because, heck, I’m a shy dork.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the other, poor schmuck kids that get stuck in this holiday torture.  So small children, I wish you the best during this day of candy and fake love, may you grow up unscarred by the education system of today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning: Terrible Valentine’s Day Ideas for that Special Women in your Life

Since you are reading this blog post, I’m assuming you have that special woman in your life.  It might be a girlfriend or a wife (hopefully, not your mother…ew) and you are desperate for a great Valentine’s Day gift, so you decided to visit my blog.  How easily you have been fooled into thinking that was a good idea.  You poor misguided soul….valentines-day-1182250_1920

If you really want to find a great gift, I’d suggest reading another blog that might actually be helpful.  Perhaps one without the title of “worthless advice” in it?  However, if you must continue to read, we should dive into a few things that will help you find a decent enough Valentine’s Day gift.  I’m not promising that this is the prefect gift; I’m merely saying that these gifts might save you from a night sleeping on the couch on Valentine’s Day.

First, I’d suggest aiming for a gift that aligns with your significant other’s lifestyle.  If she likes to run, give her some new running shorts.  She likes to cook, perhaps a nice crock pot would be a helpful addition to her kitchen.  On the flip side, if she hates cats, don’t buy her a kitten.  (I’m honestly hoping you aren’t that much of a moron to buy her a cat….)

You’ll actually have to brainstorm and come up with some ideas of what she likes to do.  I can’t possibly save your sorry ass all the time.  Come on, man…think about her hobbies?  She doesn’t have any?  Nothing at all?  Then you are doomed.

But wait, we can salvage this holiday (created by the evil greeting card companies, candy companies, and of course, the florist industry) for you to look like you know her.

  1.  Does she like to travel?  Buy her a new set of luggage…then take her on a trip to see your overbearing mother.  Did you remember to call your mom?  You didn’t, did you?
  2. She eats, right?  Then buy her a gift certificate to her favorite restaurant.  Just make sure it is some place you’ll enjoy as well.  You have to eat too, am I right?
  3. Alcohol – it’s easy and you know she likes to drink.  Skip your cheap beer and get her something she likes.  Spruge on that good bottle of Washington state wine.
  4. A Mason Jar of Flavors – grab that old Mason jar out of the recycling bin, write down some “favors/chore coupons”, and you are in business.  You can put down a coupon for a bad back rub, a free car wash, a night of bowling, you’ll empty the dishwasher, etc.  Just stack the coupons to make sure it is stuff you can handle.  Skip the “I’ll wax your moustache” coupon.  It won’t end well.
  5. Does she read? Easy gift time…Kindle.  Or even a nice, old fashion book with pages that turn.
  6. Candles – this is an easy way to burn your home down.  May I suggest you Go with those fake, battery operated candles?  Save yourself the visit from the local, good looking firefighters.  You don’t need that competition.
  7. Perfume – go and order some of her favorite perfume right now.  None of that cheap stuff.  Get the stuff you both like.
  8. Skin Care – You can’t go wrong with that anti-aging wrinkle cream.  Nothing like tellling your signficant other “Hey, you are getting old, here’s some greasy cream that hopefully helps reverse the ravishes of time.”  Oh, sure that seems like a wonderful idea.

I wish you the best of luck this Valentine’s Day.  You’ll certainly need it after reading this blog.  But it’s not too late…you still have time to find a good blog that will help you.  Quickly, exit out of this worthless advice blog.  Find somewhere that will help you find the 7 Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas.

You know what would make my Valentine’s Day?  You “liking” my post below.  That’ right, push the “Like” button.

necklace-518268_1920

Images from www.pixabay.com

 

 

Learn How to Make One Cocktail Drink – Your Signature Drink…

cocktail-518712_1920Everyone once and a while, I get out of my cave and have a nice evening out.  This to could be to a friend’s house for dinner, maybe a show, or even a fantastic dinner with my wife.  Depending on the season, I will try a new cocktail drink to broaden my otherwise quite dull drinking range.

And when I do that, I might come across a new “signature drink” I’ll try for the season.  A couple of winters ago, it was the Candy Cane Martini.  During an early summer fundraising party, my friend Mark made amazing Lemon Drops for the attendees and that became a summer favorite.  Vodka Lemonades remind me of camping on the Columbia River at Lincoln Rock State Park with friends and family, so those were popular one summer.

However, my “go to” drink is the Manhattan.  Easy to make and not too difficult to master.  And one of my favorites because it reminds me of my cousin Stephen and New York City.  (Here’s the point when you should be hearing some sappy music and a tear should come to your eye as I take you down my memory lane….)alcohol-MANHATTAN.jpg

What is your “Signature Cocktail Drink”?  What one drink can you make and be know for?  Does it bring you back to a certain time or memory?

 

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