Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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

Tag Archives: life

Summer Camp for Adults? Cash on In!

FullSizeRenderSummer is here and a few years back I read about Adult Summer Camps.  I didn’t pay much attention to the Adult Summer Camp craze because I was too busy being, you know, a parent.  Besides, I’ve done my fair share of camping, backpacking, and attending summer camps as a young Boy Scout and also as a Boy Scout troop leader.  Oh, and don’t forget my trips to various Girl Scout camps with my daughter as well.  So you can imagine, I’m not too interested in sleeping a musty old cabin eating bad food at the dining hall as an adult because we now have an Adult Summer Camp opportunities abound.

So, you see, the idea of Adult Summer Camp doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, I can see that it is a great idea because it already exists and someone is making some money.  However, I believed these “summer camps” are called business conventionsand trade shows and held in places like hotels.  Usually  you have to attend because your job requires you to.  Or you could go for pleasure and attend something like Comicon.  You know, a place where you can dress up in a costume just like you do on Halloween.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is a hobby and hobbies are something you enjoy doing and I strongly encourage you to attend a convention if you want to.  I just don’t understand why someone wants to head out to the woods and go back to summer camp.  I’d much rather head to a hotel and enjoy the pool and spa services.

Of course, I’m a fool for not cashing in on the Adult Summer Camp craze.  I know a number of experts (aka friends) that could assist me in creating a new summer camp.  If someone wants to pay me to attend a summer camp, who am I to stop them?

What courses would I offer?  The list is endless!

  • Lawn Mowing and Lawn Care
  • Complaining & Whining
  • Photography
  • House Painting
  • Blogging
  • Cheap Vacations
  • Car Maintenance
  • How to Fail
  • Drone Flying (and Crashing!)
  • Home Beer Brewing (and its sister course Beer Drinking)
  • How to Be Depressed in Your Life without Mental Illness
  • Boating and Floating
  • Camping Basics
  • Candle Making
  • Wine Drinking
  • Scotch and Whisky Drinking

Pretty much whatever you can imagine, we could offer it as a course.  I could rent some old summer camp, set up some old army tents, get some retired school cook for my mess hall, and we would have our summer camp up and running in no time.  Daily Field trips to the local pub for inspiration would be a must.  Hands on experience (like painting my house) with a touch of reality (see my highly regarded course “How to Fail”).

I know you are dying to sign up.  For only $1499 per week, this summer camp experience can be yours.  You can send me cash anytime.  I promise to save your spot for you.

Have a great idea for a course?  Want to be a part of a winning team (or you need a job for the summer)?  Let me know!  Frankly, I need all the help I can get.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Graduates: Welcome to the Real World (oh, by the way…it sucks!)

Dear Graduate,

Congratulations on making it through four years of a bad dream called high school. You’ll be glad to know that your life is now beginning a new chapter. It is totally easy from here on out.  It is a world full of responsibilities, disappointments, happiness, failures, success, and misery that await you.  Sound fun, doesn’t it?

I could tell you to follow your heart but if you are anything like me, that would mean you want to hang out with your cat Mr. Whiskers, drinking scotch, while reading a nice novel. Yup, that’s my dream and if I followed it I would probably be living in a tent under the freeway overpass.  But at least I will be following my dream and living the life I was meant to live, right?

Instead you need to think about a few things. (And you thought you were done with thinking…)

Now, you might be on the path to college or you might be headed to a fulfilling career at a fast food restaurant. Whatever path you chose, make sure you are good at what you do. Enjoy it, and do it to the best of your ability so that you do a fantastic job. I’m not saying you should love your job, but you should be good at it. No one likes a half ass employee working for them or a college student in their class that doesn’t care about the course.  Enjoy the work so it doesn’t seem like work.  No one likes the slacker.

Keep in mind, it isn’t entirely possible to follow your heart and chase your dreams.  If you could follow your heart and have some crazy dream of doing nothing (like I do), you wouldn’t get very far.  You have to get out there and make your mark. You have to live life so you can see how futile and depressing it can be. See? Living in your parents’ basement, playing “Call of Duty” on your  xBox isn’t such a bad idea now, is it?

Think of the future: yeah, because it is now.  I would suggest you have your midlife crisis before the age of 30. You don’t want to be do it when you are in your mid to late forties. Rediscovering yourself at that age is sure fire way to end up broken-hearted, downtrodden, and despressed…you know, just like me.

Don’t worry; life won’t go according to your plan. Have a good moral value system and that will be your guide. Life’s path isn’t a straight line; it has ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and challenges to overcome.  Follow the compass and read the map.

I’m hoping you learned something from a bitter old man by reading this. Worthless advice doesn’t write itself, follow that dream and remember “Would you like fries with that?”  

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!

I am wrong.

I was wrong, I am wrong, and I’ll be wrong in the future. I have made mistakes and I’ll continue to make mistakes. I’m not perfect. And I’m sorry that I have made mistakes that have hurt people and the mistakes I’ll make in the future that will hurt people.

One of my greatest regrets is my failed relationship with my stepson that has lead to his current path of destruction. I’m not perfect and I made mistakes in how I raised him. However, I do remember that I had a very tough relationship with my father when I was a teenager. My brother also had a tough relationship with our father when he was a teenager. Mind you, my father and I never came to physical blows and I never had any physical confrontations with my stepson either. It was a verbal disagreements and heated discussions between my father and me. I think my stepson just doesn’t believe that I do love him; I just don’t love the choices he is making.

Am I to blame for all the problems my stepson has? Did I cause him to do poorly in school? Over the years, I went to a lot of parent teacher conferences, paid for math tutoring, sent him to summer school, and encouraged him to switch schools to complete his schooling. We went to Cub Scout camp together and canoed on Cooper Lake. We had some really times over the years.

One of my favorite moments I have of him is when after three years of his basketball team loses every game, they won! You would have thought they won the NBA Championship! It was a wonderful game to watch.

Was I to blame for him blowing off work? Did I not set a good example as an owner of a small business? Where did he think our home came from? How did he think we paid for his bedroom? He never had to share a room with his little brother or sister while he was growing up. He had his own bathroom and didn’t have to share it.

How did we pay for our family trips to Disneyland and Hawaii? Did we do it by skipping school, sleeping in, and not having a job?

So now I really have to dig deeper to find the answers. How did he come to hate me so much? Am I really that bad of a parent? Should I have put my foot down harder? All I asked was to pass high school and have a job (any job). When that didn’t happen, I wasn’t the one who kicked him out of our house. I must admit, I didn’t lobby for him to stay either. Seriously, one has to make an effort to do something…complete school, find a job, etc.

Tough love is hard. I can still love him but I refuse to accept his bad behavior. Things will improve and he will turn his life around. I have the belief that he will become a better person.

Talk about a pathetic blog….

Let’s face it…my blog is boring and the only other losers paying any attention to it are the guys trying to get me to visit their blog site. I mean, really who is going to follow the exploits of me?

Uh, today, I got up brushed my teeth, ate some breakfast, had some coffee, etc. Oh yeah. Exciting. Be still my beating heart, this blog is just too amazing!

Anyway, for the two people following my blog (thanks Grandma and the prison inmate in Alabama), I finished the patio in the front of the house AND managed to take 1.09 tons of trash to the dump today. My little Ford Ranger Pick up was a low rider and we looked like the Clampetts mowing from one end of the valley to the other.

The front yard is coming together and at the end of June, I’ll be going after the deck repairs and enhancements.

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