Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: New York City

Learn How to Make One Cocktail Drink – Your Signature Drink…

cocktail-518712_1920Everyone once and a while, I get out of my cave and have a nice evening out.  This to could be to a friend’s house for dinner, maybe a show, or even a fantastic dinner with my wife.  Depending on the season, I will try a new cocktail drink to broaden my otherwise quite dull drinking range.

And when I do that, I might come across a new “signature drink” I’ll try for the season.  A couple of winters ago, it was the Candy Cane Martini.  During an early summer fundraising party, my friend Mark made amazing Lemon Drops for the attendees and that became a summer favorite.  Vodka Lemonades remind me of camping on the Columbia River at Lincoln Rock State Park with friends and family, so those were popular one summer.

However, my “go to” drink is the Manhattan.  Easy to make and not too difficult to master.  And one of my favorites because it reminds me of my cousin Stephen and New York City.  (Here’s the point when you should be hearing some sappy music and a tear should come to your eye as I take you down my memory lane….)alcohol-MANHATTAN.jpg

What is your “Signature Cocktail Drink”?  What one drink can you make and be know for?  Does it bring you back to a certain time or memory?

 

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Two reasons why airline travel sucks!

Upon a recent flight home, I have discovered that I really don’t like how the airlines run their business.  The staff is friendly enough, but the baggage and meal situation drives me nuts.

Yes, I understand that the airlines have cut certain perks to keep their airlines afloat.  The meal service I can do without.  I’m ok going three to six hours on a domestic U.S. flight without a meal.  I can easily bring my favorite protein bar, a few snacks, or gum to tie me over.

However, the baggage limit and extra baggage cost drives me crazy.  If you can carry on your bag, the current fees I have come across have been $25 to $50 per piece.  Fairly simple math means that if I check in a bag twice, I have to add $50 to my ticket.  I would much rather prefer the option of paying the slightly higher ticket piece that includes a piece of baggage or having a discounted ticket that clearly states that this ticket has no checked baggage.

If you had a bag/no bag option, you’d feel less ripped off.  You know that you’d be able to check in one bag if you had picked that option.  I know I can fit my stuff into a 25 lb carry on for a week stay on Kauai.  On a business trip to New York City, I know I’d need more clothes and a larger bag and I’d pick the ticket with bag option.  I would gladly pay ahead, spend the money, and forget about it.  Money spent is money forgotten.  Pay the fee in the ticket and you forget about it.  Nickel and dime me to death and it drives me crazy.  I also remember those annoying nickels and dimes.

It just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  What happen to the K.I.S.S. formula (Keep It Simple Stupid!)?  One ticket, one checked bag equals easy flight.  Instead, it is buy the ticket, pay for your bag to fly, spend money on top of your airline ticket, do your business trip or vacation trip, go back to the airport, check in, spend more money for your bag to go back.

It’s bad enough the weight you are allowed to take has dropped from 70 lbs to 50 lbs per checked in piece.  You also lost the two pieces you use to take for free (at least they were included in the ticket cost).  Now you get nothing; just a carry on piece.  So the airline has dropped the weight by 140 lbs per person.

I’m not saying that I want everyone to bring a cage full of chickens on the plane; I just want to be able to bring one lousy checked piece and include it in my ticket cost.  If I know I’m going on a short trip, I’ll get the cheaper ticket without the baggage.  Don’t make me pay the baggage charge at the start of my airline trip.  It just gets me pissed off that the whole airline industry has gone to hell.  It reminds me of “the good old days” and I’m too young to be thinking of “the good old days.”  It is a slap in my face.  It reminds me that airline travel is a big pain the ass compared how it once was.

Sadly, we aren’t safer anymore.  We recently had a grandmother bring her loaded handgun through TSA’s awesome screening process at a major American airport.  Heck, if grandma can make it through what else makes it through security?  Yet, I can’t take my bottle of water through security while travelling with my whole family?  Seriously?  Does that make sense?

ImageEnjoy your next flight.

Cyndi – My Imaginary Stalker!

As a lazy blogger, I really have to thank Cyndi, my imaginary stalker for helping me stay on task.  I realize that life does get in the way of my blog and I don’t contribute to it as much as I should.  Sadly, this punishes the people who need my wise and amusing words more than anyone else..YOU my dear reader.  So please accept my deepest apologizes when I say I’m sorry for not being able to write as much as I should.

Do I sound like a whiny little complainer?  Oh, my life is so tough and so hard…whine, whine, and more whine.  Actually, if the blog was truly important I’d write in it everyday with my two followers hanging on to every word I managed to spill forth from my humble keyboard.

Hmm, narcissism approaches…or is it the fear that my blog is one of the millions out there that is deadly boring.  Really, what do I have to offer to the average reader besides my charming and sarcastic wit and humor?

I observe that at least Cyndi is a true die-hard reader (even if she is imaginary).  And boy, is she good for the old ego!  She never complains about my work (of course, it would be helpful if she offered a bit of advice once in a while).  Perhaps, I can expand on Cyndi’s life to bring her into more of an active role as a stalker and give her some background in which my other two readers can feel like they know Cyndi.  I think Cyndi deserves a little background and to become a little more human.

I would say Cyndi is in her mid-thirties (hey, she’s my stalker..I can make her into my imagine), she has two children, and a good husband.  She lives in the suburbs and dreams about living in the big city.  She doesn’t want to live in the big city but she dreams about it due to watching too many love stories set in New York City.

Perhaps if I had a novel or something publish, Cyndi could come to a reading…pen in hand.

Ah, enough of building our imaginary stalker Cyndi for one evening.

Back from NYC

Ok, my two dear blog readers.  I failed to mention that I was leaving town for a week to NYC to attend my cousin Stephen’s graduation from college.   I know this probably upset my stalker Cyndi greatly and my deepest apologies for that.  I had every intention to write my blog every evening on my trip with a nice green tea or perhaps a whisky to get the creative juices flowing.

However, I got back a week ago and I didn’t write a thing during the trip or since I’ve been back.  It was my first trip to NYC and I was busy most of the time.  Pleas keep in mind, my knowledge of New York City is based on CSI: New York, Law & Order, and numerous terrorist movies created by Hollywood.  I also based my knowledge on various subway/gang movies I’ve seen over the years.  As your little worse case scenerio mind can think, I imagined the absolute worse when I got to NYC.  I thought there would be thieves, thugs, and whores on every corner.  Sadly, my dear readers, it wasn’t as bad as one would (or could) imagine.

I did most of the usual tourist things…walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, stroll thru Central Park, ride the subway, visit Little Italy, see Ground Zero and Times Square.  I was impressed and amazed at the architecture, the large buildings, the cities within the city itself.

The one thing I was warned about was the large  amount of walking you’d do while in New York.  Heck, they weren’t kidding.  I walked an amazing distance.  It was like hiking in the Cascade Mountains.  You know those short 15 mile round trip day hikes to Snow Lake or Gem Lake?

So the neighborhood my cousin and his wife in is a nice area, a few blocks from Central Park and not far from the Mayor of New York’s “official” residence.  The mayor of New York doesn’t actually live there since he is a multibillionaire and perfers his own place over the official residence.  Who could blame him?

Enough of my rambling thoughts for this evening.  We’ll pick this up later.

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