Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: holidays

Holidays…are they over yet?

Hopefully, your various winter holidays turned out the way you wanted.  Some of you are chasing the childhood dream of the perfect holiday…to recreate that feeling you had in your youth; waking up celebrating and opening gifts.  Perhaps your parents were awesome, the presents wonderful, the food mouthwatering, which resulted in your family making every holiday an amazing one.  Then again, while you may remember your holiday as a fantastic voyage of deightful winter images, others are trying to build a magical time to wipe away the nightmares of holidays past.  The bad food, the disappointed underwear gift from your grandma, and the ruined dried out turkey for dinner.

Whatever, you maybe feeling during this time of year, I hope you survived it.  Personally, anything that happens after Thanksgiving (American style) is a blur for me. It seems as if we rush through the days of December, we haphazardly trip over Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa in our final push for the New Year’s Eve Day Party (which is really the only holiday party we honestly all enjoy).  Sorry, did I miss any holiday in my politically correct post?
But we don’t enjoy the coming of the New Year, do we? We think about our past year and what we wanted to do. We think of the hours we wasted on frilivous smartphone games, bad movies, and worthless advice blogs we read.  Do you have regrets? Possibly you do.  Does that make you dread the new year?

But wait, we have a New Year and a new set of goals in a few days!  And this will be the year we accomplish all the things we failed to do over this past year.  Or at least we tell yourselves we will.
So get get out there and prepare for the new year! The holidays are over, enjoy the coming of 2016!

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Halloween 2015

Yes, Halloween is tomorrow! Are you excited? Ready to get your freak on? 

No? Me either….

This year we didn’t even bother to get the Halloween decorations out. Sure, we made a quick trip to the pumpkin patch with our Girl Scout troop a few weekends ago. This is where I paid $12 for a pumpkin. Ironically, that “special pumpkin patch” pumpkin was trucked in and placed there by a farm employee; it wasn’t grown there on the spot like everyone wants to believe. So I guess we know who got “Tricked”, right? Just me and my wallet, that’s all.

Our family did however, want to carve a few pumpkins (so we can at least pretend we care about Halloween).  We went ahead and purchased a few more pumpkins at the local grocery store which is a mere 2 minute drive from my house. That 2 minute drive was in comparison to the 30 minute drive I had previously done for my $12 pumpkin. And guess what?  The pumpkins at the grocery store were $4 each.  Yes, my $4 grocery store pumpkin was the same size as the $12 “farm/pumpkin patch” one.
I know, it is all about the “experience”, right?  Everyone wants to drive 30-40 minutes, walk around a muddy field, look at a bunch of dirty pumpkins, carry the dirty pumpkin, buy the pumpkin, overpay for the pumpkin, and then drive back home for another 30-40 minutes.

My daughter is actually into carving pumpkins and turning them into Jack-o-lanterns. I was pretty impressed with her ability to slice and dice up these pumpkins.

Now the pumpkins are carved and ready to be kicked in by some teenager’s shoe on Halloween tomorrow night. We strive to make it a pumpkin smashing good time!

  

Ten Great Reasons why I hate Frosty the Snowman

This is actually the first time I have re-posted one of my blog entries.  However, it was requested by one of my three followers so I thought to myself (as I talked to my cat out loud): Why not post it again?

 

Ten Great Reasons why I hate Frosty the Snowman!

It is the Christmas season and the wonderful time of holiday TV specials has begun.  I like most of the Christmas TV specials like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the Grinch who stole Christmas, etc.  However, the one Christmas Special I can’t stand is “Frosty the Snowman”.

  1. Really what is Frosty the Snowman?  He is a bad LSD trip of some whacked out meth head.  The only redeeming quality of Frosty the Snowman is Andy Griffith is the narrator of the cartoon.  The rest of it I hate.
  1. Frosty always says “Happy Birthday”.  Really?  What is he a homeless bum who thinks every day is his birthday?  Is he too drunk to remember it isn’t everyone’s birthday?  Does he need a reason to drink?  “Oh, it’s someone’s birthday!  Let’s go out to Appplebee’s and get wasted!”  That one saying drives me nuts.  “Happy Birthday?”  It’s winter and almost Christmas, I’m not thinking of your birthday, I’m thinking about Christmas presents, Christmas cookies, and egg nog.
  1. He is a cry baby whiner.  There is a scene where he is all sad that the kids are leaving to go back home.  Oh, poor homeless snowman.  Jeez, stop your whining.  Man up, build a snow house and make a snow dog to keep you company.
  1. He sleds by just getting on his belly and sliding down a hill.  Seriously, we all know that Frosty would be jumping on his belly, knocking the wind of his snowman lungs, and cursing up a storm for being so stupid.  He would be doing a belly flop into three inches of snow.  Don’t you think that would hurt?  Darn right it would.
  1. And really, Frosty wouldn’t be sliding down the hill.  Instead, a big pile of snow would build up right in front of Frosty and he would stop in three feet.  Frosty isn’t going anyway fast.
  1. Frosty is just a homeless bum.  After the kids go home to their families or single mothers.  He just wanders around after dark without a purpose…just like the guy who lives under the overpass.
  1. And do I darn mention the sequel “Frosty Returns”.  Do we really need more of Frosty’s inane drunk babblings of “Happy Birthday”?
  1. Frosty promotes smoking.  In this day and age of Political Correctness, why hasn’t someone digitally erased his corncob pipe?  Seriously, if they can change E.T., then they can change Frosty.  It’s a cartoon!  It can’t be that hard.
  1. Frosty likes little kids….too much.  He hangs around kids all day long in a nice pedophile way.  Creepy just like Michael Jackson and his “Jesus Juice”.  Next thing we know Frosty will want to invite the boys and girls over for a nice sleepover in his snow bed.  Just plain creepy.
  1. And in the song, doesn’t Frosty die?  Sure, he melts away and in a Star Trek world he comes back.  But in the lame TV holiday special he makes it to the North Pole with Santa and lives on?  This is all after he puts Karen into life threatening situations (like the refrigerator train car).  Karen takes a long trip ride in a freezing cold refrigerator car were most people would be a Popsicle at the end of the trip.  Hell, why can’t Karen be a normal kid that just sticks Frosty on the train, sends him on his merry way, and forgets about him in 10 minutes?

Frosty the Snowman sucks.  This is one holiday special I wish was lost forever in the depths of CBS television studios.

 

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!

Thanksgiving is Over! Bring on the Old Fat Guy in a Red Suit!

Ah, the big Thanksgiving holiday here in America is over.  You can now bring on the Black Friday sales and the endless hours of holiday music.  Who can wait for the crowds at the malls and the endless lines that are produced by Black Friday?

 As you can imagine, I’m not one who gets up early to get the best deals on Black Friday.  My family is lucky that I even buy them anything at all consider how uninspired I am when it comes to gift giving.  I really haven’t a clue on what is a good gift.  I know you aren’t supposed to give kids liquor or cigarettes but beyond that I’m pretty clueless.

 If you talk to me, all you get is a bunch of worthless advice on what people want.  Sure, I seem like an expert because of my awesome blog (and I probably am) but gift giving is not one of them.

 I do know that some people frown upon the idea that all gifts are worthless.  I can tell you that you can find worthless gifts everywhere if you look hard enough.

 Where to Find Some Worthless Gifts:

Garage Sales – totally awesome place to find gifts that are totally worthless.  Plastic containers without lids, clothes that are too small, too big, far too ugly, broken toys, empty Mason jars, etc.

Hardware Stores – While this might be the perfect store for a man, for a woman it is the worst.  What woman wants a hammer for a gift?

Auto Part Stores – Almost as bad as the Hardware Store.  No one likes new windshield wipers or motor oil as a gift.

Things you shouldn’t buy as Gifts:

Artwork – your taste in artwork is not the same as your friends.  Of course, you can certainly use some bad artwork to annoy your friends.

Clown Related Items – this stuff is just scary.  I grew up watching The Poltergeist movies and Stephen King’s “It”.  Clowns scare me to death.

Ashtrays – I don’t smoke so I have a total bias against ashtrays.  Hence they are totally worthless to me.

Garden Items for Apartment Dwellers – I don’t think your cousin that lives in an apartment in New York City really needs a shovel.  Unless he is a serial killer, that shovel is worthless.

Bathroom Scales – unless you are shipping large packages, don’t bother buying a scale as a gift.  Your spouse doesn’t need to be reminded about how much they ate over the holidays.

Stuffed Animals for Adults – you aren’t a redneck at the country fair.  Just leave the stuffed animals for the children under ten years old.

 Enjoy the rest of the weekend and good luck with your holiday shopping.  I know you’ll need it.

Thanksgiving 2013

Thanksgiving is tomorrow here in the United States and I’m usually out of town with no internet access.  This year is different, this year fate has told me to stay home with the family and enjoy the wonders of my neighborhood.   As you know, this also allows me the chance to write a blog post and reflect what I should be thankful for.

Am I thankful for family, friends, or a great dinner?

Dinner brings on a set of interesting items to discuss.  Now that friends and family know we are in town, our Thanksgiving dinner has ballooned from a reasonable dinner of eight to a huge dinner of 21-23 people.  I assume the range of possible guest attending is due to the guest’s lack of commitment to our dinner.  I really don’t mind a huge gathering because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  No gifts involved but lots of food and good drink to make everyone healthy, wealthy, and wise.  I feel like a Viking getting ready for a raid after I gouge myself on a turkey dinner and fine drink.

Ready the oars!

I’m also fortunate to have a wife who knows how to cook a turkey and other side dishes.  The meal will be worth it.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy the time with your friends and family.  That’s if you can stand your family.

The School Holiday Sing Along (or better known as punch to my head would be better than this crap) Holiday Assembly

I hate singing and I hate Sing-A-Long Caroling style assemblies.  I know that my singing sucks and should be left to people who are either professionals or are really good at it.  I purposely left out the people that enjoy singing because someone might enjoy singing but that means they are most likely just as bad as me.  Just picture Johnny Cash performing at Foslom State Prison.

Every year at our children’s school the last day of school has a “Sing Along” before the Christmas break.  They start an hour before school is dismissed and it is an hour of the worst children’s singing around.  This isn’t a pleasant experience in which you would be listening to the voices of the angels singing your favorite holiday tunes in perfect key.  No, this is every off-key student, teacher, and parent singing to every holiday song the music teacher dragged out five minutes before the concert started.  We have a majority of Christmas songs, a few Jewish songs, and a Kwanzaa song.  Most of the kids don’t know what a Kwanzaa is and they only know Hanukkah because of Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song on Saturday Night Live!

The worst part is listening to them scream the lyrics of the songs instead of singing them.  I might as well be at the zoo listening to the monkeys scream.  At least monkeys shut up from time to time so they can throw their poop and eat.

After about seven years of going to these caroling Concerts, I came in for the last song but managed to trick my daughter into believing I was there the whole time.  She tried to call me out by saying I came in late.  I quickly rattled off some Christmas songs we had “sung” and she was convinced that I was there the whole time.  This year was no different.  She didn’t notice I was in the back 30 minutes after the concert (I use that term loosely) started.  My wife on the other hand was like a rookie at the first day of summer camp and comes in the front left door right where everyone can see her.  She is a little hard to miss with her red hair.  Again, she’s a rookie but you never come in the front door where everyone is looking.  You have to look for the back door.  If it is locked, you gently knock on it and some kind parent will let you in.  You sneak in and no one is the wiser.

After I suffered through the rest of the Sign & Torture Along Songfest, my daughter never did asked me if I was there the whole time.  In her mind, I was there the whole time.  That is the difference between being a “good” parent and a “great” parent.  If your child thinks you were there the whole time, you were there the whole time and therefore you are a good parent.  On the other hand, my wife is the parent who comes in late and is lumped in with the other parents that didn’t show up at all.  This fact clearly demonstrates that those parents really don’t love or care for their children because they chose to stay at work and provide for their families a warm home and a hearty meal.

If you want to know more about Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, feel free to read below:

Kwanzaa: A seven day celebration (actually pretty cool life lessons – see below)

Click on this link to visit the History Channel’s page about Hanukkah http://www.history.com/topics/hanukkah

As always your comments are welcome and enjoy the holidays!Image

Christmas is almost here! And I need more time!

Sure, the major gift giving holiday is almost here and I have yet to figure out my Christmas card situaton.  As a photographer, I usually like to send out a photo Christmas card with a highly entertaining holiday newsletter.  Well, in my opinion it is highly entertaining.  Needless to say, I don’t have a family portrait for the holiday card, I don’t have a decent newsletter written (the first draft is awful) and Christmas is a mere nine days away.

The New Year’s card option is looking really good right now.

From the seat of my car, written on my phone, I was wish you all the bewt this holiday season!

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