Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: online business

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!

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Washington State Unemployment 9%…how to cut costs if it happens to you?

Man, oh man, are we for some rough times in this country of ours.  The Seattle economy is probably doing better than most areas of the United States, however, it is still pretty bad.  According to the United States Department of Labor, Washington State has a 9.0 percent unemployment rate in October, 2010.  The national average is 9.6%.

http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&tdim=true&dl=en&hl=en&q=unemployment

 How does a 9% unemployment rate translate into everyday life?  Everyone knows someone that is out of work, struggling to make ends meet.  You just need to look at the recent data on the economy and it is enough to make you jump back into bed, pull the covers over your head, and call it a day.  I was getting depressed reading about this stuff.  I’ve put in a few links that I pulled data from several websites about unemployment and the economy.

 Now, being self-employed for close to 18 years, I really don’t know about being unemployed.  Back in the early 1990’s, I did get laid off from AMR (the parent company of American Airlines).  That was the last time I had a “real job”.  I haven’t worked a 9-to-5 job in a very long time (since the AMR job).

Do I miss having a 9-to-5 job?  Yes and No.  Yes, I miss having a company pay my health insurance.  No, I don’t miss the ability to choose my own hours and my vacation time.  Yes, I miss having the chance to leave work and leave my work at the office.  Being self-employed, you always think about work.  You think about stuff you should be doing and thing you ought to do.  You are always thinking about your business.

 However, I’d love to have a business where I don’t have to get dressed up and go to work to make money.  I want the freedom to sit in my office in my pajamas and make money.  Yes, I’m back to my rant about making money online with a killer blog and enhanced website that practically prints money while I sleep.  Hey, who wouldn’t want that?

 How am I weathering this recent economic depression?  I have cut spending in both my personal and business life.  I have looked at all my expenses and cut everything I can. I trimmed my cell phone plan costs down by using a cheaper plan and by cutting off text messaging.  I’ve paid more attention to where we have the thermostat adjusted to as well.  Another simple change we have done is to switch out old light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (and I got those FREE from a friend!).

 While cost cutting is good, other expenses have risen.  Case in point, my health insurance rose $154 a month!  Now, I just received a new notice that my plan is being phased out.  I now have the choice of paying more for a lesser coverage plan.  Lucky me!

 http://www.esd.wa.gov/

http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.wa.htm

http://www.workforceexplorer.com/cgi/databrowsing/localAreaProfileQSMoreResult.asp?viewAll=yes&viewAllUS=&currentPage=&currentPageUS=&sortUp=&sortDown=&criteria=Unemployment+Rate&categoryType=employment&geogArea=5301000000&timeseries=&more=More+Areas&menuChoice=localAreaPro&printerFriendly=&BackHistory=-1&goTOPageText=&ID=45531

http://www.workforceexplorer.com/cgi/dataanalysis/?PAGEID=148

Making Money on the Internet?

Truth be told…I’d prefer to be not talk to anyone during the whole day of work.  I’d like to sit in my comfortable little office, surf the internet, do some work, and not see anyone.  You can safely say I am an introvert in an extrovert’s career.  All of my “jobs” have me taking control and interacting with people to create a livable income.

The deal is…every job I do is that way.  My school photography business is me interacting with a vast amount of people everyday.  Look at my real estate business, again, I must interact with people and sell myself.

Jeez, I much rather sit at home and not have to see anyone.  Email is such a good alterative to seeing people face to face and having to deal with them.

Yet, I enjoy people!  I enjoy my friends and family (to a point).  I like to create a nice family portrait or make a preschool student laugh.  I love to show my real estate clients new properties and tour houses with them.

 What a conflicted individual I am!

So what does this have to do with making money on the internet?

 Well, considering I’d like to be a home body and do projects around the house.  I was wondering if I could have an internet business that produces some income where I make money without having to leave my home.

At this moment, I’m open to suggestions (serious and humorous suggestions are welcome) about possible internet businesses.  I don’t know anyone that makes a decent living or part time living as an internet marketer or entrepreneur so this is a new challenge for me. 

Ideally, I’d like to have an internet business that I can be making money wherever I am located.  If I’m on vacation to Kauai, I want to make some money.  Perhaps I’m in Florida visiting some UW college friends; I want to be making some money off my internet business during my visit.  Let’s face it; I want an auto-pilot business where I don’t have to be there to make the money.

If you know of a real internet business that fits these business goals of mine, please let me know!

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