Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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

Tag Archives: cats

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.

And You Thought Your Cat Has It Rough!

It’s a sad day in America when you don’t have enough space in your car to have your cat ride on the inside of your SUV. But on the plus side, the cat gets first dibs on those tasty bugs that smash into the windshield! Yummy!

At least my imaginary cat, Mr. Whiskers gets to rid in a comfy cage to his vet appointments.

Not Mr. Whiskers....

Not Mr. Whiskers….

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/weird-news/picture-captures-leashed-cat-riding-car-hood-ohio-n329396

http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/nbcNewsOffsite?guid=nc_cattiedtoc_150324

It’s OK to Be Selfish

Do you sometimes put yourself on the back burner? Does your family come first at the sacrifice of your own well being?

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are making the commitment to lose weight and improve their health. I’m in the same boat. I’m working on dropping weight and trimming down. I want to be selfish and feel better about myself. But is it really being selfish?

You don’t get into shape only for yourself. You get back into shape for your loved ones. You do it for your spouse, your kids, your family. You want to be healthy so you can be with them for years to come, to drive them nuts and crazy with your oddness, your creativity, your love.

So be a little selfish. Do something for yourself that will benefit you and your family. It can anything: working out, reading a self help book, painting a photo, whatever. Just do a little selfish act that makes you happy and helps you improve your well being. Because when you are happy, your family will be happy.

Thanks for reading!

Thanksgiving is over….

Thanksgiving is over and it is Black Friday. Our family doesn’t partake in Black Friday shopping. Instead, we sit around and enjoy whatever movie happens to flow across our Netflix account. We lounge around and relax, enjoy the gas fireplace, and watch the rain come pouring down.

Just a nice holiday weekend to enjoy with the family. Enjoy your holiday weekend as well!

Pumpkin Protein Shake Recipe for you whiney pumpkin lovers!

Oh, all the rage is pumpkin spice, right? I’m not a big fan of the pumpkin spice lattes but I do love pumpkin pie. I also thought a pumpkin protein shake wouldn’t be too bad. I didn’t want a lot of sugar in my protein shake since I’m doing my Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge. (I’m headed to Kauai and Maui in four months so I’m trimming down and toning up!). I was concerned that the canned pumpkin I was using was for pumpkin pies and would have lots of sugar. It actually isn’t bad in the sugar department.

A quick internet search got me to a website that had a pretty good pumpkin protein shake recipe. I wish I had bookmarked the page for you but as a lazy American male; I didn’t. Here is the basic recipe that I use these days.

1 cup Non Fat Milk
3/4 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt (because it’s the “in” thing to use)
1/2 cup to 1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Mix
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
3-6 ice cubes (optional)

Whirl all that up in your blender and you are good to go.

You can adjust the recipe to fit your individual taste. Don’t even thinking of commenting about how much it sucks. It isn’t a real ice cream milkshake, so no whining that it doesn’t taste like that McDonald’s pumpkin milkshake, ok?

Everyday my recipe is a little different because I’m lazy and don’t measure everything perfectly. Maybe (if the mood fits me) I’ll share my peanut butter banana protein shake recipe with you in my next post.

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My Latest Addiction….

Yes, I have a new addiction…well, I can’t say it is new but rather it has moved to a new level and taken a sidestep.

I love the smell of coconut.

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I found myself recently out of my manly “Extra Clean” scented body wash (I’m not quite sure what “extra clean” is really suppose to smell like but whatever it is, I like it). So while I was at the Fred Meyer store, I happened upon the soap and shampoo section. There, being the nice smelling gentleman I am, found myself at the coconut scented bottle section.

To be honest, this isn’t my first experience with coconut scented body wash. My daughter has some and I have used it. It just smells so good and makes me smell as fresh as a tropical vacation. If I could, I would use it all up for myself and never share it.

As I looked over the various bottles of coconut joy, I decided I needed to smell the scent each bottle had to offer. Honestly, I didn’t want to have an overpowering coconut scent (like a cheap cologne) or worse, have a bad coconut scent (like rotting coconuts) if I used a particular product. So naturally, I flipped open a few lids, waffed the sweet smell of coconut towards me, and enjoyed its heavenly tropical scent. Any reasonable person would have done the same, right?

As the enticing smell of coconut filled my head with visions of me on the beaches of Kauai, I noticed a lady watching me, then she started walking towards me, coming down the aisle towards me. Clearly, she was aware that I was enjoying the sweet smell of coconut a little too much in the store. Just like any good coconut addict, I hid what I was doing, did a quick sidestep, and made a path to the checkout with my coconut scented body wash. Luckily, I gave her the slip, made my purchase, and got the heck out of there.

Is it worth it? Is my latest coconut body wash worth it? According to my wife, cat, and my imaginary stalker Cyndi, yes, the coconut scented body wash is heaven in a bottle. Actually, I’m not sure my wife cares but I like to pretend my cat and my imaginary stalker Cyndi do care that I have a wonderful tropical scent now.

What is your latest addiction?

As always, your bottles of coconut scented body wash are welcome. Or you can just leave a witty comment below!

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Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge Update October 3

A couple of days ago, I came in at 215 lbs. That is 11 pounds under my starting weight of 226. Not bad since we all started the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge around September 4. Of course one whiny father waited until after his birthday to start because he couldn’t resist stuffing his fat face full of cheeseburgers, fries, ice cream, birthday cake, and Pacific Northwest microbrews. I guess my advice was deemed worthless advice when I muttered the word: moderation.

Besides my weight loss, I’m not sure of everyone’s weight loss progress. Only two of my friends (Mark and Kris) have reported to me their weight loss. I suspect some of the Dads are hoping I forgot about it (or them) and will let this little contest faded away. But unlike my belly fat and my hair, we are all in this for the long haul.

Now, one of the Dads would like us all to have a little get together to meet all of the participants in the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge. I’m hoping it is so he can size up the competition and see if he has a decent chance of winning. In my opinion, he could take it all. He has the most to lose and as a result would come out a huge winner.

However, if he wants to get together to talk about our “feelings” in regards to this contest and the underlying reasons behind why we are doing it, then I’m out. I’m not here to talk about personal motivation nor dive deep into some psychology babble about how my kitty cat doesn’t love me anymore and that’s why I’m fat. My personal motivation is that I have a pot belly. Sure, it doesn’t look huge because I have broad shoulders, massive biceps, and a killer smile. On top of that, my sculptured back is hard to miss. Throw my extremely good looking muscular legs that make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a twig stick man, then it is easy to miss my belly fat. But it is there. And it is disappearing.

So you can see, I know my motivation. I don’t need to talk about my feelings. Feelings are for your special “girlfriend” you like to talk to. Sure, some people might refer to her as a whore but who am I to judge? She could be a hooker or a therapist. I’ll be neutral and use the term “friend”. Talk to your special friend about your feelings because we know your spouse doesn’t care (or your male friends for that matter) about your personal motivation.

One method I have found useful of avoiding talking about your feelings, yet will allow you to loss weight, is doing a few lines of coke off your special girlfriend’s ass. However, I think the preferred method nowadays is crystal meth. Again, not my cup of tea but to each their own, right?

All joking aside (and it is a joke people…just say “no” to drugs), the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge continues. I’m going to continue to eat my daily salads, eat my protein, and do a killer workout.

As always, your sarcastic thoughts, gems of wisdom, and worthless advice are welcome.

Loon Lake Vacation: A week of our family together and we didn’t kill each other!

Loon Lake Vacation: A week of our family together and we didn’t kill each other!

This summer, instead of spending a week on the Oregon Coast, our family went to Loon Lake in Eastern Washington.  Sure, it isn’t Southern California with Disneyland but I wanted to go somewhere to read a book, play some board games, swim, canoe, and just plain relax.

Eagle on our lawn!

To be honest, I have never been to Loon Lake but with the handy dandy internet it appeared to be a good choice. 

Where the heck is Loon Lake?  Loon Lake is about 26 miles north of the city of Spokane and an easy drive north from the downtown Spokane area on U.S. Highway 395.  As I said before, we have never been to Loon Lake but I did do some research on the internet, asked a few friends (who where from the Spokane area), and it turned out to be a good choice.  We rented a house right on Loon Lake with the thought that we would have another family come with us.  As it turned out, no one else could make it (or maybe they just didn’t want to spend a week with me?).  Nevertheless, we had a nice family vacation with just the four of us.

The other bonus (of Loon Lake) was our mobile phones didn’t work (no cell signal) and we had no wi-fi/internet at the house we had rented.  We were disconnected and it was very nice to be out of the loop.  No Facebook, no Google searches, no email; just books to read, games to play, canoes to paddle, and a warm lake to swim in.

Our house was located on the east shore of Loon Lake so we had a sunset to admire every night.  The weather was a mix of sunshine, rain, and thunderstorms.  We had some awesome lightening storms a few nights while we were at Loon Lake.

The wildlife around Loon Lake is abundant.  We had a bald eagle that landed on our lawn with a huge fish one morning, lots of ducks, loons, etc.  The fishing is Loon Lake is supposed to be very good as well.  They stock it with silver salmon in the spring and our neighbor mentioned several other kinds of fish.  I’m not much of a fisherman, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the list of fish mentioned.

One drawback to our vacation house was the lake was a bit shallow off our beach and dock area.  You could swim but it took a while for you to get to a deep enough spot to swim.  It was only five feet deep 50-75 yards off our beach and it was very mucky (if you put your feet down and tried to touch the bottom).  If we come back to Loon Lake, I would like to have a vacation house with a beach with a steeper slope and less muck off the beach.Loon Lake house

We brought a canoe and this allowed us to paddle out to a swim dock (that one of our neighbors had anchored in deeper water).  We had a great time jumping off the float and swimming in the deeper water.  In August, the Loon Lake water is very clear and warm.  It was warm enough that I wish I had brought along my snorkel gear; I’m sure I would have enjoyed myself for a few hours swimming around.

Loon Lake is a fairly large lake at 1,100 acres.  It is about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide with a depth of 100 feet at its deepest point.  You will see jet skis and water ski boats driving around, but it wasn’t too busy during the week we stayed.  I wasn’t annoyed by the noise and most of the time; you can’t hear a ski boat on the other side of the lake.  I’m not sure that Loon Lake has a public boat launch or a public beach.  Perhaps the lack of a public boat launch keeps the crazy boaters off the lake?

loon Lake, Washington

If we come back to Loon Lake next summer, we will most likely come a week or two earlier in the month of August and look for a smaller cabin/house if it just the four of us again.  The house was too large for us.  We will look for a smaller house, maybe one with a hot tub.  We would also be nice to have a water ski boat (but I haven’t been waterskiing for about 18 years or longer).  Or some loud jet skis!  So if you have either, you are already invited for next summer’s Loon Lake vacation.

Boy Scout Camp: Camp Meriwether – The Camp of Broken Dreams, Tears, and Crybaby Hill

Boy Scout Camp: Camp Meriwether

  In June, I took over as Scoutmaster for my son’s Boy Scout troop.  This was my first Boy Scout camp where I was in charge as the head Scoutmaster.  In year’s past, I have always been the Assistant Scoutmaster; not the guy in charge.  I’m happy to report that this year things went smoothly at summer camp.  No major issues to report.  The new First Year Scouts (that have recently joined our troop) weren’t too homesick and our older scouts weren’t too much of trouble makers this year.  No fires to report; no hazing; only one scout who wandered off in the middle of the night; and only one disrespectful scout (who won’t be coming back) because as I told him “There is a new sheriff in town.”

  We had 19 scouts and 6 adults attend Camp Meriwether (located on the Oregon Coast near Tillamook) this summer.  It was nice to go back to the same Boy Scout summer camp again this summer.  Again, we were luckily enough to have a great campsite with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.  It is quite a bonus to wake up and see the surf crashing on the beautiful sand beach each morning.

  Boy Scout summer camp is in no way a picnic.  It is fun but it isn’t a vacation.  A vacation would entail me actually relaxing, sleeping in a comfortable bed, drinking a nice bottle of beer (or scotch) and having some really good food.  In reality, Boy Scout camp is me having to walk at least five minutes to a flush toilet, ten minutes to a hot shower, and waking up every morning at 6 am.  Not exactly my ideal vacation.  I also have to supervise 19 Boy Scouts who are mostly teenagers or pre-teens.  Imagine herding cats and you now know what Boy Scout camp is like.

  Some of the Boy Scouts are good; some are misdirected.  They are typical teenagers.  They want to sleep in (but they can’t).  They stay up too late.  Their nerves on at their last shreds of working and they begin to annoy each other.  They don’t take enough showers.  Some scouts like to take two showers a day while others don’t shower for the whole week.  Throw four boys into a cabin and it looks like the room was tossed by some overzealous vice cops on a drug bust; the cabin is just plain awful.  God knows if they actually brush their teeth or not.  Wash their hands?  One can only hope.

  On the plus side, we had great weather with mostly sunshine and no rain.  The food isn’t bad but I wouldn’t eat it long term.  To be fair, Camp Meriwether has the best food I have experienced at a Boy Scout camp.  Overall, the Scouts (and the adults) had a positive experience. 

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