Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: school

Let’s Kill the Leprechaun – Tips for a Successful St. Patrick’s Day!

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Yippee!  It is St. Patrick’s Day, the day second only to Halloween for a day where you can get drunk, dress in a bad costume, and act like a fool!  Well, to be clear….I usually make a fool out of myself on Valentine’s Day and National Hot Tub Day (why isn’t National Hot Tub Day a Federal Holiday yet?).  However, back to the point of this worthless advice blog…St. Patrick’s Day.  In the good old United States of America, we all become Irish on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).

Lucky for you, I’m part Irish so I can offer my three blog readers and my imaginary stalker Cyndi (who wears sunglasses on the darkest, winter, overcast days) great advice on St. Patrick’s Day.

Tips to be the Best Fake Irish Person You Can Be:

  • Randomly yell “Kill the Leprechaun” when you are out at the bar, drinking with your non-Irish friends.  Wear a green wig…everyone likes people that wear wigs.
  • You can also yell “Kill the Leprechaun” at your child’s school.  Make sure you have singled out that redhead music teacher (no one likes her anyway).
  • Get a Redhead Spouse….just make sure she isn’t the music teacher you just made fun of.
  • Make EVERYTHING green…green…green!…make green pancakes…….make green beer…make green cats….

food-PANCAKESgreengreen-beer-2103313cat-GREEN

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, You should always talk in a stupid “Irish” accent….or a “Scottish” one or an “English” one….no one in America can really can tell the difference anyway.  Just say “Top of the Morning!” to everyone.
  • Wear cheap plastic shamrock necklaces.  Everyone likes it when the “Made In China” necklace breaks, and those stupid beads and shamrocks are all over the floor, making you slip and fall.
  • Wear your green throng underwear (I’m talking to you gentleman readers.  Ladies, you can wear whatever you like).  Heck, ladies you can even enter a St. Patrick’s Day bikini contest!  Nothing puts the “Saint” back into St. Patrick’s Day like a visit to a bar in a bikini!  Click on this link for a Bikini bar video!
  • Drink Irish whiskey…or wine…green beer…or whatever…it doesn’t matter…just be that annoying douche bag who drinks too much.  Kind of like how you are every other day of the year, annoying…and drunk…but really just annoying.
  • Oh, don’t forget to wear something green….like the lettuce you have stuck in your teeth.  Nothing like getting your vegetables and sadness all in one day.

But you know something that rocks on St. Patrick’s Day?  This Lego video!

And if you just need to mellow out…enjoy this video!

You wasted your St. Patrick’s Day reading this blog, but at least you helped me get my readership numbers up.  And be happy that I didn’t make this post into a history lesson.  Leave me a comment or a link to a funny cat video.  Please, and write in an Irish accent…

One more video…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why it is OK to Scare Kids…(and other big babies)

My wife tends to disagree with me on some of my parenting theories.  She thinks that I shouldn’t be the big, bad, scary and intimidating father to my daughter’s (who is age 13) friends.  I, of course, disagree.  I’m not mean, big, bad or scary to my daughter’s female friends…just to her little male friends.

I want those kids to fear me.  I want them to know that if they mess with my little girl that they will have to deal with me.  Is that really wrong?  To be honest, I’m not threating them or verbally scaring them….I just look scary.  That is the key…look scary to future suitors.  Nothing wrong with looking scary, right?

Sure, I’m a very articulate individual who enjoys a good conversation but sometimes the best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut.  He who talks first, loses right?  I want to be that father that is sitting in his chair when the daughter comes in with her friends and the boy just looks at me and knows he should be fearful.  He should think “Hmm, I probably don’t want to upset her dad…he just looks scary.”

It isn’t like my daughter is dating so I shouldn’t worry….yet.  However, why not plan for the future and lay the foundation now.  The farmer doesn’t wait until the summer to plant his crops; he plants his seeds in the winter.  I’m planning for the future.  I’m planting the seeds of fear and respect in the minds of these 11 year old boys now so they know not to mess with me (or my daughter later).  Hopefully, when they get into middle school and high school my reputation as a scary, frightening father grows into an almost unbelievable legend that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Of course, my professional as a school photographer isn’t exactly a job that scares kids.  I also don’t have any tattoos, nor do I talk “ghetto” or “white trash”.  The best I can do is speak Hawaiian Pidgin English from my school days on Kauai.  Furthermore, it’s not like I’m from SEAL Team Six or on the SWAT team. The only scary thing about me is my bald head and the fact I practice aikido (a non-violent martial art).  I suppose someone unfamiliar with it could possibly think I am a weapon of death and destruction.

Any thoughts on making myself a little bit more intimidating to the youth of today?  Any tips, suggestions, ideas?  Come on….leave a comment or two!  And thanks for reading!

Moron or Mentor…your choice!

Sometimes, you need a little guidance and direction in your life.  You feel a little lost?  Perhaps you need a little direction in your life?  Do you have that nagging feeling that you aren’t headed into the best years of your life?  In my vast time surfing the web, scrolling through thousands of tweets, and reading numerous Facebook posts, I see a common thread of having good mentors in your life.  However, are we listening to Mentors or Morons?

Yes, the good old mentor, a beacon of guidance and coaching that can help lead us on a path of success.  Of course, reading my worthless advice blog won’t help you in the least bit, but that’s ok with you, right?  You need someone to listen to and it might as well be me, right?

You could argue that my advice is pretty solid on a number of issues like business, family life, and how to keep your imaginary stalker Cyndi happy, but my cat Mr. Whiskers might disagree on my cat raising skills.  Perhaps that is where the moron part comes in?

In your everyday life, you will come across people with great ideas, smart as a whip, highly intelligent.  And then other times you come across people that are complete morons and you wonder how they are still alive.  The most annoying mentors are the ones that seem pretty dumb yet they somehow have a huge following and make money.  How is it possible?  I don’t understand it.  My blog of worthless advice is a joke but I spew out the same nonsense they do, and non of my three followers have made me rich. (Cyndi my imaginary stalker doesn’t have a lot of money….)

Mentors and gurus are people we look to for guidance on how to live our lives or to run or business.  We can also throw in the term Life Coach because frankly I haven’t a clue what the hell they do anyway.  I should become a Life Coach or a Guru (after I repackage a bunch of old self-help programs as my own).  I’d be awesome at it.IMG_7749.JPG

Either they are brilliant or the they are morons and the line between the two is very thin at times. Much like my blog is based on what I loosely term as “advice”.  That’s why most of the posts are worthless.  But it is a worthless advice blog.

My Mentor/Guru motto: Get out there and roll around with the bears and butterflies! (Another phrase I invented that I’m sure will become an internet sensation!)

“Get out there and roll around with the bears and butterflies!” means whatever I need it to me at the time someone decides to ask me about it.  I’ll be vague and talk about mentors.  It will be prefect.

Ah, another successful “life” post!  Have an awesome day my readers!

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!

Worthless Advice: Back to School Tips from Your Uncle Kev

I sometimes forget that I am here to help my readers in their life.  Now, I know everyone doesn’t have kids in school and some of my readers look to me as an inspiration to when they make the choice to have children.  Seriously, I am an awesome father that knows how to raise awesome children.  Who wouldn’t want some worthless advice from me?

For those of you with children, you will probably learn from my worthless parenting advice that you have been raising your children all wrong.  Yes, you are incorrect in the way you parent your offspring.  Perhaps there is still time for you to reverse those bad parenting habits you have learned from the so-called “experts” out there.

One of the major things we worry about is when our kids go to Back to School and whether they will survive.  Will they be able to make it through a day without us?

To prep your child for the first day of school (and the beginning of another exciting year of learning! Oh yeah!), you should set up an imaginary school at home.

 Bullying:

Have your children dress up in the worst possible clothing combinations and make fun of their clothes.  This teaches them that bullies come in all shapes and sizes and they aren’t safe anywhere….even in their own home!

Lunch:

Ask your kids what they want for lunch.  To simulate a school lunch, take these tips to heart.  If they want hot pizza, make sure it is cold and half cooked.  If they want a cold sandwich, warmth it up so it taste terrible.  Make sure the milk is warm too.  Nothing like that taste of spoiled milk to ruin your child’s appetite!

School Supplies:

Do you get those crazy school supply lists?  We do.  I merely view them as suggestions.  If every parent bought everything on the list then the teacher would have way too many school supplies.  You should be that one parent that holds out and refuses to be a puppet in the educational supply purchasing machine complex that is controlled by our robot overlords.

Backpacks:

One way to strengthen your child’s back is to overload their backpack with useless stuff.  Throw in their favorite rock you collected from your back yard.  Add in a brick from the neighbor’s walkway.  Have them take cans of food back and forth to school.   What doesn’t break their little spines and spirits makes them stronger!

Reading:

Did your kids read during the summer?  Well, if they didn’t your kid is probably in the same boat with about 80% of the other kids in their class.  Not to worry, you can still have them read a cereal box or an old phonebook.  That counts as reading doesn’t it?

Good luck with your student this year!  Only 179 more school days for my kids until Summer Vacation 2014.

First Day of School! Happiness returns to my Home!

Back to School!Today was the first day of school for the Kent School District here in the rainy Puget Sound area.  To be honest, I cannot remember any first day of school being so rainy.  Sure, maybe we did have a rainy day on Kauai when I was a kid but usually in the Seattle area we luck out with no rain on the first day of school.  Most years, we enjoy a nice September of great sunny weather (and wish our kids were out of school in September instead of rainy June).  Last year, we had awesome sunny weather until October 1st.

That doesn’t mean that our Labor Day Weekend is always good.  We’ve had Labor Day Weekends full of solid, miserable rain where we were stuck in the lake house the whole three day weekend.  On the bright side, this upcoming Labor Day Weekend is looking fairly good according to the TV weather folks.

Yet happiness has returned to our household with the first day of school.  Over the summer, the kids did argue and have a few fights.  I know that is shocking considering what an awesome father I am and how well behaved my children are.  I also may have forgotten to feed my daughter lunch a few times during the summer.  But in my defense, she is 10 and knows how to make a sandwich.  Besides, I was doing yard projects and my hands were dirty….well, not really I wear gloves…gotta keep my hands soft.

The kids returning back to school is always a mixed bag for me.  I like having my kids around but I need them to go back before I go nuts.  The internet and Xbox can only entertain your kids so much during the summer before you actually have to do something with them.  You know, take them to a beach, do a vacation together, etc.

However, our summer is now over.  It just blew by in a hasty mess of activities, summer camps, vacations, and trips and still left me with the feeling that I didn’t do enough with my kids.

So for the next 9 months of school, I’ll plan a really fun summer of 2014.  We’ll do a bunch of hiking, road trips, vacations, river rafting, and stay weeks on end at fancy resorts paid by my hugely successful Blog of Worthless Advice!  So hit that “Like” button now.  Make some insane comments and have your cute photo below this post!

8 Things You Should Do to Make Your Kids More Self-Reliant at School

I like to teach my kids one positive thing each day of their miserable little lives.  Going to school is an excellent way to show them how to overcome adversity; the adversity that I help make for them!  Sure, you could home school your kids (and I admire anyone who takes that challenge on…but really I can barely take care of myself and you want me to teach my kids something?  Isn’t that what the TV and the Internet is for?) but then you’d miss out on using these 8 Great Parenting Tips.

I created this helpful list that will make sure your kids learn something at school besides “book smarts”.  These eight great parenting tips will make them learn “street smarts” as well teach them some common sense.  Actually, we live in the suburbs so they might not learn “street smarts” but I would argue it will make them more self-reliant (totally awesome skill to have…especially when their father clearly doesn’t care about them).

  1. Forget to give them Lunch Money (or put money in their lunch account).  Have you ever forgotten your lunch at home or forgot money to buy a lunch? Why not give that same experience to your kids?  Remember how you had to beg others for spare change or maybe get an apple from them so you wouldn’t starve?  Once you “forget” the lunch money, your kids will learn how to negotiate with their friends to get something to eat.  Trade a favorite pen for three raisins?  Great deal!  Is your kid shy?  Hungry is a great way to motivate your child to overcome their shyness, learn to talk to others, and get something to eat!
  1. Forget to Turn in their Field Trip Permission Slip.  I always remembered the poor kid that had to stay behind in the main office while the rest of the class went on an awesome field trip.  Even if the place we were visiting sucked big time (like the sewer plant), we’d still come back and tell that loser kid that it was the best field trip we had EVER been on.  It was great.  We could say things like “Remember that time on the field trip when…Oh, yeah.  You didn’t go on it.  I bet you still had fun back at school, sitting in the main office, doing worksheets, having a school lunch with the secretaries.” Loser.
  1. Forget to pick them up after school.  Kids are always running late and taking forever to do things (like put their shoes on….even after you told them ten times you were leaving in five minutes).  They are always making you late or holding you up.  This is the time to return the favor.  I usually wait until it is pouring down rain and then “forget” to pick them up.  Nothing like spending 15 minutes in a cold downpour to teach them about being prompt and on time.  Which leads us into:
  1. Have them underdress/overdress for school activities (or the weather).  Don’t you hate it when you leave the house, it is nice and sunny outside, then it turns miserable and you are underdressed?  Or you forget your raincoat and it is pouring down rain?  You should always send your kid out in the wrong outfit.  Is it cold out?  Have them wear flip flops and shorts.  Is it blazing hot?  Make them wear a wool sweater and long pants.  Pretty soon they’ll learn to pay attention to the weather forecast and figure out what to wear.
  1. Miss their School Parent-Teacher Conference.  By now, you know if your kid is smart or as dumb as a box of rocks.  They need to learn that you are way too busy to waste time talking with their teacher about how good (or bad) they are doing.  That is what the phone or email is for.  Why do you really need a face to face conference with a teacher who your kid is only going to see for 9 months?
  1. Don’t send them with School Supplies.  Again, if they learned anything from my suggestion #1, they should be able to get by without you wasting any more money on school supplies.  Teachers know that at least one kid isn’t going to be bringing school supplies; that is why teachers ask for so much.  Your kid should know how to beg or borrow or trade for their school supplies.  This builds negotiation skills they’ll when they need to buy a car later in life.
  1. Forget School Photo Day.  One of my personal favorites (since I am a school photographer).  Nothing like being in the school yearbook looking like a clown because your parents didn’t brush your hair and you worn that dirty T-Shirt.  Your kids will love to be used as an example by other parents when their little brat argues with them about what they are wearing on School Photo Day.  They can flip open the yearbook, point to your kid’s photo and say “See?  Do you want to be like this kid?  He looks like he fell out of a garbage can!  I bet he smells like it too.”
  1. Don’t save/pay for their College Education.  Do you want your kids to feel entitled?  This is what happens when you save up for college.  Worst yet, you pay for college without saving for it.  This is probably the worst gift you can give your kids.  They are going to off to college without a care in the world, they are going to party up, and they won’t be paying for it.  Is that preparing them for the future?  Are they going to study harder when they are paying the college tuition bill or when you are paying for it?  Are they going to care more or less about getting good grades when they are paying that huge tuition bill or when you are doing it?  Teach them something about the responsibility by making them pay for college themselves.

Don’t hold back on making sure your kids learn how to be self-reliant in life.  Review these eight simple parenting tips and commit them to memory.  Make sure you are being the best parent you can be by reading my blog for future great parenting tips.

What do you think about 8 Things You Should Do to Make Your Kids More Self-Reliant at SchoolFeel free to leave your sarcastic comments.  You know you want to…

Pajamas in Public…Just Say No!

  I recently wrote about my travels to Kauai and how I disliked the airline system now.  Upon talking with my friend today, he mentioned that I had totally forgotten to mention how much I hate passengers who wear their pajamas while traveling.  Mind you, it isn’t just airline travel I see this trend happening in.  I also notice it in the grocery stores, at gas stations, and even at my kids’ school (most often parents being the offenders of good taste).

  It floors me to see grown ups wearing Hello Kitty pajamas at 3:20 pm in the afternoon.  For example, I was walking my daughter home with her friends and two adults were putting something in their car wearing their pajama bottoms like khaki slacks.  It is 3:20 in the afternoon and I have to see your Hello Kitty pajamas?  How old are you? Three years old?

  Getting back to the air travel pajama problem, I really don’t think that as an adult I need to see your pajamas.  The only acceptable people that are allowed to wear pajamas on an airline flight are children under the age of 5.  If the kids are in Kindergarten, I’ll cut them some slack.  However, first grade and above, you need to put on your “big boy” pants and act respectful.  Heck, the next thing we’ll see is teenagers wearing diapers and pooping their pants on a cross country flight.  How would you like to sit next to that mess on a five hour flight?

  So grown up and stop wearing your pajamas around like they are a pair of jeans.  Society made sweatpants so you could wear pajama style clothes in public.  Sweatpants are marginal more acceptable to wear in public.  You really should wear sweatpants when you are working out at the gym or jogging in the park.

Places I don’t want to see you wearing your pajamas:

At my kids’ school

Grocery stores

Gas stations

Post Office

Shopping malls

7-11

Liquor stores

Pizza parlors (really any kind of restaurants)

  Again: Grow up, wear some jeans, some khaki slacks, or even a kilt or skirt.  Leave the pajamas at home so I can keep my lunch down.  Just give me one day where I don’t get grossed out by your lack of compassion to my sensitive stomach.

 

 

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