Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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

Tag Archives: children

Hey…it’s Friday…everything will be ok, right?

It’s Spring Break here in our house and my daughter has spent the past week in Washington D.C. with her school group. She’s an 8th grader and has really enjoyed the trip.  The tour is organized by one of the teachers that seems to love to take a group of 8th graders every year back to D. C. and do a whirlwind tour.

Only two kids have been lost.  Both of them were boys and both of them had their mothers as their mini-tour group leader.  It looks like those helicopter moms left someone behind.  That goodness they don’t work in the military.   I can’t wait to hear the whole story and then to hear their (Mom’s) version of the incident.  Of course, after I heard the stories from my daughter, I really wanted to text the moms about what happen…but I didn’t. I didn’t even post a question on Facebook about how they managed to lose their own kid.  They shall remain nameless.

Have a great weekend.  Don’t eat too many French fries!

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.

Oh, it’s Yard Sale Season? The Best 7 Worthless Advice Tips to make it a HUGE success!

It’s summer here and that means there are a fair amount of yard sales in my local community.  It’s like a gold rush of junk and the everyone wants to sell their treasures!  I enjoy a good garage sale like the next guy (if that guy happens to be a hoarder).  You can find some good tools, cheap books, dangerous toys, out of style clothes, and dead Nana’s ashes.

Perhaps you want to sell your Treasures?   Follow my Tips for Huge Garage Sales!

  1. Get Rid of Your Spouse and Children – You don’t want your sentimental, sappy husband or your whining kids mucking up the sales process with their cries of “But that was my favorite bike” or “I still need that hammer to fix the gate” or “I need that heart medication to survive.”
  2. Sell High Quality Items –  Sure, that is pretty easy right?  You know what sells?  Your neighbor’s stuff.  Like their brand new lawn furniture or their ECHO weed wacker.  Or that bratty kid’s bike down the street.  Just slip them into our inventory, price them dirt cheap (like your wife’s perfume), and watch the money roll in.
  3. Advertise Your Yard Sale –  Make sure to make a big sign and hot glue it to the neighbor’s car down on the corner.  Hey, if he is stupid enough to park image2his car on the public street, then it can become a good spot for a nice sign to direct traffic to your awesome garage sale.
  4. Put on Some Music – Have your nephew and his gangsta rap music group have a concert outside.  Nothing like a bunch of swear words to get those Buyers itching to buy!
  5. Selling on a Hot Day?  Some would suggest selling lemonade…I would add Vodka and get the sales party started.  Everyone knows that liquor helps to loosen up those tight purse strings.  And what could go wrong with vodka infused lemonade at 9:32 am?
  6. Need something for the Husbands to do?  Husbands get bored at garage sales.  To combat this, start a craps game in the backyard.  Everyone loves craps!  Remember the longer they are playing, the longer their wives are at the garage sale buying your stuff!
  7. All Sales Final – Don’t forget to remind your customers that all sales are final.  They are stuck with your treasures now!

After those final customers sober up, you can get rid of the reminder items on Craig’s List for FREE!

Do you have some awesome tips or a story to share?  Leave them in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Why I hate Grocery Stores, Children, and Old People

Yesterday, my wife convinced me to go to the local grocery store to purchase ingredients for dinner.  Normally, I don’t mind making a quick stop at the grocery store because I’m fairly familiar with the store layout and I’m in and out in a few minutes. Well, on a normal day, I would have been in and out. Yesterday, it was POURING down rain (I know that is a major surprise in Seattle), the store was unusually crowded on a Saturday afternoon, people were parking like dumbasses, and I was in a (slight) hurry.  All of these factors mean that my trip would be doomed from the start.

Please note, I’m middle age myself and I go with the flow. Some might call me old. I don’t get upset with traffic; I just accept it. I know that it does no good to rush around the store just to gain 30 seconds, push old folks out of the way, and get out of the store just a little faster.  It doesn’t work to be a jerk.

But then again, maybe I should have rushed because the other customers in the grocery store were just pissing me off.

I just want to tell people: “Please, just move your cart out of the way. I’m just trying to buy some tomato sauce.”  It isn’t that much of a challenge to be courteous to other shoppers, isn’t it?

“Oh, please, could you walk a little slower for me?” This is what I’m thinking to the old guy in front of me…I know that is terrible but he was weaving back and forth.  Just pick a lane, please, pick a lane before I shove you into the potato chip display.

Then, I have to deal with a guy that parks his grocery cart in the middle of big aisle. It wasn’t a small side aisle. It was one of the major aisle where everyone walks through. This aisle is already blocked by the grocery store’s dairy employee’s huge cart, and then I have to watch another grandpa slowly pushing his cart with his granddaughter in tow (who just stared at me like a zombie).  I know she was thinking “Hey, I don’t care that your wife sent you to the store, you are on toddler time now.”  All I can think is that I’m just want some French bread…just MOVE!

So I get my bread, I’m headed to the check stand and there are four checkers. Yes! I can’t do the 15 items or less line; that’s ok. I pick a line. And now Murphy’s Law kicks in. My line turns out to be the slowest line.

Side note: I usually pick a male cashier. They tend not to talk as much as female cashiers and their line moves faster.  This theory was proven wrong yesterday.

Mr. Chatmaster Chad decided he would scan an item, comment about the item, chat about the item, then finally give the item to the bag boy to actually put in the bag. I was totally tricked and deceived. As the other lines zoomed by, I just stood there. I knew I should jump lines but I was in that state of denial.  You know, that thought that I was almost there, so close, my items almost to the scanner…almost….there…  Chatmaster Chad can’t possibly go any slower, right?

I’m pretty sure Chatmaster Chad found a way. The discussion about that cool new microbrew? It happened.  I’m pretty sure my teeth were ground down a bit more just standing there.

I know. I’m a horrible person. This situation isn’t that bad. But I just wanted to tell them to shut up and get the transaction done.  I just wanted to go home.  I wanted to get my groceries and get out of there.  Does that make me a terrible person?  Probably not.  I was calm and didn’t throw a temper tantrum.

Don’t you love long lines?  I know I do!

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

This morning, I did some quick brainstorming ideas for your last minute costume rush!

1. Overzealous Sports Fan: just wear your favorite team’s jersey and paint your face.  Scream at all times and talk about how the next week is going to be awesome when we crush our rivals on Sunday!

2. Disenfranchised Employee: Have that look of discontent across your face, shake your head, and carry your coffee cup around.  Mumble how the company is going to shit and no one cares anymore.

3. Pissed off Dad: basically the same as Disenfranchised Employee but replace coffee cup with a bottle of beer (or glass of whiskey).  Ask when the hell these kids are cleaning up their mess.

4. Douche Bag Frat Boy: wear a Tank Top with some Greek letters, some dark sunglasses, carry a red solo cup, and say “Bro” at the start AND end of every sentence.  Bro, you know what I mean, bro?

5. Wear a very short skirt and be a “sexy” whatever.  Wear the apporiate color skirt for the costume: white for nurse, red for firefighter, black for witch, etc. Skirts can be mixed in with Overzelous Sports Fan to make Sexy Overzelous Sports Fans. Flashing your breasts to random strangers is optional, especially if you are a man.

6. Prescription Drug Mom: just grab that Zoloft and float through life. Start a sentence and just never let it finish….. 

7. Overworked Mom: Frazzled hair, disconnected husband, multiple children, minivan, attempt to balance career and home life. Optional: “surprise baby”. You know the one that was the “oops” kid…but you forget that one at home….

8. Hipster: wear a goatee, mismatched clothes, bowling shoes, white T-shirt with vest, and a fedora. Basically, every male movie friendzone character you have seen for the 1980’s.

9. Inappropriate Sexual Comments Guy: Just sneer and jeer at all the women at the party, add in at the end of every conversation “That’s what she said.”  Then talk about how big those “melons” are. If you like to have your face slapped, pinch a few ladies’ butts and see what happens.

10. Absentee Father/Baby Daddy: This guy is at every party….he just isn’t there.

Pig out and enjoy your kid’s candy! 

 

How to Foil the T-Shirt Thief: Decoy Shirts

Image from http://www.mainstreetts.com/t-shirts.jpg

  Who wouldn’t be insane witImage from http://www.mainstreetts.com/t-shirts.jpg

I have a T-shirt thief in my house; my T-shirts have become her pajamas and I only get to see my old friends as I do the laundry.  However, I have a clever plan to foil this T-Shirt thief.  Well, more like limit the shirts she decides to use.  I have a decoy drawer of shirts!  To give you a little history of men and their love for T-Shirts, I have two drawers of T-shirts (Tee Shirts).  Why two drawers? I have two drawers because everyone knows men NEVER throw their T-shirts away.  Unlike my worthless advice, my T-shirts never become worthless.  If a man does get rid of a T-shirt, it is clearly a mistake or an accidental lapse of sanity.  Who isn’t insane with your T-shirt collection is in consent danger of being stolen?

Keeping that in mind, I put all of my least favorite shirts in the top drawer and move my nicer shirts to the bottom drawer.  We won’t talk about the other stack of T-Shirts in my closet; those are back up T-Shirts and we don’t need to talk about those.  Then there is the guest closet with the T-shirts that I only wear during the winter months because clearly they are used underneath my sweaters.  Those T-shirts aren’t allowed to mingle with the summer T-shirts.  Everyone knows Summer T-shirts have sarcastic sayings so you can express your brand of humor to the world and show everyone how clever you are.

Now, I have my T-Shirts in two drawers which allows the thief to use my least favorite shirts as pajamas.  She ALWAYS gets the T-shirts from the top drawer, thus never accessing the bottom T-shirt drawer.  So the good T-shirts go in the bottom drawer.  She gets to use some of my T-Shirts and I get to keep my favorites hidden away in a safe location.  It’s a fair deal, right?

Organizational Tip: Instead of stacking your T-shirts one on top of another, put them sideways in your drawer.  This way you can see the different colors of shirts quickly.

Another Tip: Always organize your shirt drawer by color.  All the red shirts go together, blues, greens, etc.

I think I failed to make this a worthless advice blog post with those two awesome tips.  Oh well….

Summer Camp with the Boy Scouts at Camp Meriwether SUMMER 2015

Sure, we look good now....but wait until we return!

Sure, we look good now….but wait until we return!

At the end of June and beginning of July, our Boy Scout Troop headed down to Camp Meriwether located near Tillamook, Oregon. This was our third year there and this was probably my last Boy Scout summer camp. It was a bittersweet trip. Sure, I complain about summer camp and how the kids behave, their lack of good hygiene, and the sleeping conditions (hey, it’s not my comfortable bed at home). Don’t get me started about how far I have to walk to use a shower or flush toilet. But it is Boy Scout camp; not a hotel on Kauai.

This being my final summer camp, I had a pretty mellow attitude. I gave all the scouts and adult leaders (of our troop) custom paracord bracelets (made by one of our scouts) as a gift. I believe most of the scouts liked them. Of course, one of the older scouts took his apart to make a clothesline. So much for my $6 gift lasting forever and bringing fond memories of camp back to him. I found this was a bit annoying considering how long it takes to make the bracelet and that I paid for it.

Custom Troop 480 Paracord Bracelet

Custom Troop 480 Paracord Bracelet

Of all the times we have gone to Camp Meriwether, we have had some great weather. Cool and comfortable during the evening, not a lot of bugs (due to our campsite location), and not blazing hot during the day. Meanwhile back in the Seattle area, they had record high temperatures and it was uncomfortable. Sometimes, it is nice to get out of town.

Highlights: The scouts had fun building sand castles during the beach party. Some of the scouts and leaders did the Polar Bear swim on Thursday morning.  I averaged 22,000 steps per day and didn’t have my daily ice cream thanks to my friend Dan who was on a “camp diet”.

Overall, it was the best summer camp I have been to as a leader. It makes me almost want to go back next summer….almost.Right on the beach! Evening Flag ceremony Father and Son time!

Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!

Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?

 

Back to School and a Ruined Labor Day Weekend

Here in Washington State, our school kids don’t go back to school until the last week of August or the first week of September. In fact, my kids went back to school on August 28. In comparison, the Seattle School District started yesterday September 3, 2014. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than starting August 28, going to school for two days, and then having Labor Day weekend off. It puts a bitter taste on the last week of August and Labor Day. You can’t milk summer out for a bit longer. Instead, you must think of getting your kids back in time for starting school on Thursday before Labor Day weekend.

It isn’t like anything is done the first two days of school when you have Labor Day weekend right there. Everyone knows that Thursday and Friday (before the Labor Day weekend) are “throwaway” days of education. You might as well let the kids watch TV because they sure aren’t paying attention to the teachers during those two days of school.

Labor Day Weekend wasn’t ruined for me. I always have fun. This year instead of heading to Anderson Island for the three day weekend, we went camping at Sun Lakes State Park. It was a good choice because we left the rain behind. Sun Lakes is located on the eastern side of Washington, roughly three hours away from our house. While western Washington might be experiencing rain and misery, the eastern side of the state will have sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Well, maybe not unicorns and rainbows but you get the idea. The weather is nice. We don’t have lots of rain and huddle under blue tarps. In eastern Washington, we don’t do the “blue tarp” camping made famous on the west side of the state. In eastern Washington, you slap on the sun block (SPF 45) and a big hat

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What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

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It's all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

It’s all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

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On the negative side, it was windy in the evenings and the state park was full. Truth be told, it was very windy and miserable in that respect. The first night was bad. The tent was flapping around, keeping both myself and my wife wide awake. You would drift off to sleep, and then a gust of wind would pop up and wake you up. The second night, the wind was just as bad but I wore my ear plugs and I enjoyed the evening a bit more.

Sun Lakes State Park has a few different lakes within the park boundaries. On Sunday, we hiked along the Deep Lake Trail which was about 2 to 2.5 miles round trip. It goes right along the lake and is an easy hike. There is an opportunity to do some cliff diving or jumping off the cliff edge but we didn’t do it this trip. Perhaps next time we can jump off some basalt rock cliffs into the water below, have a scary monster grab us and drag us under.

I did manage to get some swimming in Sun Lake itself with my daughter and her friend. The weather was a bit cloudy, the wind was blowing, and the water was a little colder than I would have preferred. However, it was probably going to be the last swim of summer so I toughed it out. I’m not a little baby (well, I really am but I try to act tough).

My son and I also did a twilight walk where he was almost hit by a bat. Lots of bats on the Park Lake Trail, however I can’t complain about the bats because they keep the bug population down. Go bats!

Overall, the camping trip was a good one. No flat tires, no lost sleeping bags. The drive home wasn’t too bad. I’d go again but probably opt for a RV campsite further and with less wind.

 

Thanks for reading and your comments are always welcome!

How to Stop Your Kids From Whining and Be an Awesome Parent!

 If you didn’t know this already….kids whine and they whine a lot.  They whine about the color of their shoes, they whine when they are hungry, they whine when you forget to pick them up from school three times in row. 

Most likely, they learned the whining from your spouse (or ex-spouse).  Don’t worry; you aren’t to blame.  All the bad traits come from your spouse.  They are probably big whiners and passed this annoying behavior onto your children.  While it might be too late for your spouse to change, you can at least mold your mini-me into the person you were too lazy to become.

You can keep your kids from whining by following these worthless parenting tips from your favorite Uncle Kevin (or your Cousin Kevin or your Idol Kevin…you pick which name you like best for me).  In a short few hours, your child will stop whining and you’ll be able to leave a nice comment for me below.

 Listen to Your Child:

Whining is usually a call for attention from your child.  This means you should probably put down your smartphone and pay attention to your child for one brief moment.  Listen to them for that few seconds so they feel important and loved.  You aren’t actually going to do anything besides listen to them for a few seconds, so don’t worry if you were a little slow on getting that Facebook post up; you still have time to post how cute your child is or to share the latest blog post from Kevin Hellriegel’s Worthless Advice Blog.

Play the “I Don’t Know You” Game

When your child begins to whine, play the “I Don’t Know You” game.  To play, you simply pretend you don’t have a clue who this whining kid is next you.  It is really fun at the shopping mall when security comes and takes your child away.  The whining stops immediately and is replaced with the look of utter terror on your child’s face as security drags your kid away.  It truly warms one’s heart when your child realizes you aren’t going to save them.  Then the whining will stop for sure.

Schedule “Whining” Time

Allow your kids to whine.  Of course, you won’t be there to hear them but at least they can whine.  I personally like to schedule whining time outside, in the rain, on a Thursday afternoon when I’m not home but the kids are.  Whine away, kids, whine away because your parents aren’t listening.

Ignore Them to Discourage Whining

You could listen to them or you could ignore them.  Just like you ignore the salad on your dinner plate, you can ignore the whiner.  The whining won’t disappear but you can at least toss it into the trash just like the salad.

Have a Whining Bank

If they want to whine, just let them know they are taking a loan from the Whining Bank.  To pay back this loan from the bank, they get to work for you doing the worst of the household chores: picking up dog poop, changing Grandpa’s diaper, eating leftovers from three weeks ago (because we don’t waste food in our house you spoiled whiny brat!).  If they don’t want to do chores you can introduce them to Vinny the Chores Enforcer and his baseball bat.

Overschedule Your Child

There is nothing better than having your child doing too many activities causing them to be too exhausted to even think about whining to you.  As an added bonus, you can then be that martyr parent that is so busy.  You can talk about how busy you are driving the kids around from place to place and you have no time for yourself.  Yet you have time to post comments on Facebook.  Every heard of reading a book while you are at the tennis lesson

Add a few of your whining comments below and complain about how unfair I am.  Go ahead…whine away!

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