Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: Hawaii

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!

 

 

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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.

 

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?

Kauai Beach – Papa’a

Kauai Beach

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

 

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

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.

IMG_4271.JPG

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!

IMG_4269.JPG

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!

Dad & Daughter Roller Coaster Trip Day 3: Magic Mountain

X2 roller coaster - Flickr photo

X2 roller coaster – Flickr photo

You knew I’d milk this roller coaster trip on forever in my blog posts didn’t you?  On our third day of our adventure, we bid farewell to the City of Sacramento and flew on Southwest Airlines to Burbank Airport in the Los Angeles area.  I do like flying into the smaller airports because it is easier to get in and out in a timely manner.  Both Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines flew into Burbank Airport so this worked out well for us since our return flight back to Seattle was departing from Burbank.When I was planning this trip, I wanted to fly in as close as I could to Six Flag’s Magic Mountain Park and Burbank was the closest major airport for me.  My original plan was to fly into Sacramento, rent a car, visit friends in the Sacramento area, do the Six Flag’s Discovery Park, and then drive to Magic Mountain.  That plan fell apart when the cheapest rate I could find on any rental car website or kayak or hotwire or anything was close to $800 for a short five or six day rental.  It was expensive due to the fact I was picking the rental car up in one city and returning it in another.  My original plan also produced a lot more driving and car time that we wanted to do.  We are vacation for the rides not to be taken for a ride by the rental car companies.

We used Fox Rent a Car which had some terrible reviews online but we fine for us.  It was a short ride from the airport to the rental car company base.  We got a sporty little four door Mazda 2 with only 500 miles on it.  Not a bad little car for the two of us.  I thought about having my daughter drive it but considering she is only 11 years old and it would be her first time in LA traffic, I decided against it.Aww! Sunshine!

Now, when you are visiting amusement parks in February Six Flag’s system of parks might not be open seven days a week.  So our only window to visit Magic Mountain was on Monday February 17 (President’s Day).  The park hours are limited as well from 10:30 am to 6 pm and the water rides are usually shut down.

Since we had purchased season passes at Discovery Kingdom the day before, we merely had to park our car for the outrageous sum of $20 and walk though the main gates of Magic Mountain without purchasing new tickets.  I remember passing by Magic Mountain 20 years ago thinking I’d get to it one day.  Finally, this day had come.  Finally, I had a kid who wanted to ride the big scary rides.  Finally, I had a roller coaster ride partner that wouldn’t wimp out on me.  I was finally here.

To be honest, I like coming on the off season because the lines are much shorter.  The newer rides had the longest rides which ate up a lot of our time.  X2 is the latest redesigned ride and it was awesome but the line took forever.  When a sign says the wait will be 45 minutes, that is OK.  When it turns into 75 minutes, then I get a little pissed off.  We didn’t make it to the Full Throttle ride because we ran out of time and the ride looked scary long.  In fact, we had to skip some rides due to running out of time and having to ration our time for the rides that we heard were awesome.  However, on others we rode it three times just because we could.  Goliath, Tatsu, and X2 were my favorites.  I tried to look up my daughter’s favorite ride but the Magic Mountain website is down (sorry folks!).

Waiting for X2 - almost there!

Waiting for X2 – almost there!

Definitely need to have two days at Magic Mountain (even in the off season) to get to all the rides into your schedule.  I can’t imagine how it is on a busy summer day with more people wandering the park, trying to get in as much as possible.  The lines have to be almost impossible.  We didn’t even get to the wooden roller coasters since they aren’t my favorites because we ran out of time.  Personally, I like the speed and loops of steel roller coasters so skipping the wooden ones wasn’t an issue for me.

As anyways, your comments and sarcastic witty comments are welcome.

 

Oh Man, Where are the Followers and What Do They Read?

The other day I was reading a blog posting about how one of the bloggers I follow on WordPress just got his 11,000th follower on his blog.  In July 2013, he only had 6,000.  He wrote a brief “success” blog about how and what he did to reach 11,000 followers.

I am a bit jealous of his success. In his humble opinion, he isn’t the world’s best writer or blogger. His blog is so poorly written it is hard to read and gives me a headache.  I want to take my red ink pen out and correct it like a murderer/slasher on a 1990’s flick.  A lot of his problems are due to the run on sentences, bad sentence structure, and terrible grammar.

Yet, he has some great stories and 11,000 followers so I can pretty much suck it, right?  I have measly 400 or 500 followers so I really can’t say how to build up a huge following, can I?  Of course, my blog is built on Worthless Advice so maybe I’m killing myself and my blog?  He spins his tales like a drunken sailor (his description of himself) and people love it.  Imagine what he could do with a ghost writer living on Kauai?

What is the secret to his success?  He uses a bunch of tags that the magic internet search engine spiders love and brings in his type of readers (followers).  Even if his blog post has nothing to do with those tags, he still uses the same tags and categories over and over again.  Now, I’m not sure he is making money online but he has written a book and has self published it.

Oh, and a lot of his terms are about sex, crime, and drugs.  His life experiences are downright scary.  So we do know what the general public is looking for, don’t we?  And I don’t have anything against others blogging and writing exactly what they want to write.  I admire anyone willing to throw themselves out there and open themselves and their writing up for the world to see.

Your thoughts and comments?

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