A Request for the Book Club Lovelies…

Phil Taylor:

A reminder from Emily of Nerd In The Brain that us indie authors live and die with our reviews. If you’ve read a book by an indie author please go online and give it a review.

Originally posted on Nerd in the Brain:

thesneakertree

sleepingangel

I will be off and about in the world playing with dinosaurs and things today, but I have a wee favor to ask of the Book Club participants for the weekend.

If you have finished reading The Sneaker Tree or The Sleeping Angel, would you mind writing a quick review for the book on the author’s Amazon page? It really helps writers out to have reviews for their books on the page….it helps with future sales, and we all want  Phil and Margarita to become best-selling authors, don’t we? (You can click on the book pictures above to be taken straight to their Amazon pages.)

So, go ahead and tell the world how much you enjoyed these books…you’re sure to get happy karma points and things. :D

I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to your weekend!

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Canada: Elaborate Winter Theme Park or Dangerous Adversary?

You know how people talk about the elephant in the room when they’re referring to something that’s obvious but everyone is pretending to ignore? Canada is the elephant in North America. It’s there but we don’t really pay it much attention, unless Rob Ford goes nuts or…umm…or…uhh..well, I guess there isn’t anything else that makes us notice Canada. I’m also not sure that Rob Ford isn’t a theme park character anyway. (Rob, if you’re reading this, get well. I’m rooting for you)

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Canada has been a particularly big elephant to ignore in my life because I’ve never lived more than a 2 1/2 hour drive from their border. I live in New York, but I’m closer to Toronto than I am to New York City. That being the case I’ve always had a good view of Canada but from a safe distance. Sometimes I throw things at it. All those sunset pictures you’ve seen on my blog? That’s Canada on the other side of that lake looming ominously, maybe even leering at me.

Just like going to Disney, as soon as you cross the border into Canada you know you’re somewhere “different.” It’s kind of like where you just were but things are slightly off. As soon as you cross the border into Canada it’s snowing. It could be the middle of July and the entire country is blanketed in snow. I’m not even sure it’s real snow. I think they just produce the fake stuff for the tourists. But is there an even more sinister reason they’re trying to “snow” us?

reddit.com

reddit.com

They also seem to be using that newfangled metric system that everyone was so jazzed up about years ago. Basically that means that all their numbers are in a different language the same way the Smurfs had their own weird little language. I have no idea how to tell time in metric either.

Speaking of different languages, the province of Quebec speaks French! I don’t think that’s an accident either. I think that Quebec is the secret headquarters of Canada. They speak French because they know that all the Americans are too lazy to learn it. They speak French right out in the open, in front of Americans! Arrogant bastards. Since we can’t understand them, they’re free to talk about their secret plan to invade America.

If it were any other country, that type of subterfuge would be worrisome, but we’ve seen their “army” so we’re not too concerned.

popdoctor.com

popdoctor.com

Another oddity that most people don’t know is that their primary export is not maple syrup or Tim Horton’s coffee, it’s comedians. Seth Rogen, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, John Candy, Alan Thicke, Michael J. Fox, Howie Mandel, Martin Short and Justin Bieber are just a few of the thousands of comedians and comedic actors and actresses that have been sent across the border to infiltrate and warp the American culture. Seriously, if Justin Bieber isn’t evidence that the Canadians are trying to destroy America then I don’t know what is.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor and want to alert everyone to the looming Canadian threat then please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. Canada is no laughing matter. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursdays! The Phil Factor Goes To Washington!

Remember the government shutdown last year? Here is the little known story from Oct. 12, 2013 of how I solved it.

Segway

Yes, that’s me on a Segway in front of the White House. I headed down to D.C. to see if I could help with the “Shut-down.” The company that rents the Segways made me wear the helmet. You know me, I’m a “live life on the edge” kind of guy. If the helmet wasn’t mandatory my flowing locks would have been flying free in the breeze as I busted through the door and sped onto the floor of Congress to give them the best kind of Philibuster.

I buzzed down the aisle on my rented chariot with security guards chasing hopelessly in my wake, surprised congress people  jumping out of the way, coffee spilling willy-nilly in every direction. At the front of the room President Obama paused from what appeared to be a heated discussion with John Boehner and turned to see what the buzz in the room was about. Clearly, as you can see from the picture, he appeared pleasantly surprised to see me. Either that or he just loves Segways. 

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After letting Barack and a few congress-people try the Segway with disastrous results, I decided to get down to business and took my place at the podium. This is what I said:

Listen you idiots. Stop screwing around. In this social media, technology-at-our-fingertips age, we are all about five minutes away from governing ourselves American Idol style by text message voting. If you old, rich people can’t show us that you can be useful you’ll all be out of jobs the next time we get a chance to vote. As for the debt ceiling, don’t raise it or extend it. Fix it. The government is one of the largest, most poorly run businesses in the world. Ten years ago nobody in the U.S. had ever heard of Greek yogurt and now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry! If somebody can make a profit convincing us to eat live bacterial cultures you can make a profit with the government, which as far as I can tell is a room full of live bacterial cultures. (my stern gaze pans over the audience) Get some business people in here.”

“Secondly, let’s address the healthcare debate. Guess what? Lots of Americans need health care if you want them to grow up to be productive tax payers. Republicans? Didn’t you all participate in a vote about this whole thing a year or two ago? And now you want to take it back? How do you explain that? Were you drunk when they took the vote? That’s like, when, in the heat of the moment, you blurt out ‘I love you’ and then in the harsh light of day you’re stuck with the consequences. In the immortal words of Beyonce, you decided to dip but now you wanna trip. If you didn’t like it then you shouldn’t have put a ring on it. Booyah! Seacrest Out.”  

I stretch my arm out and dramatically drop the mic on the floor of Congress. There is a stunned silence as I walk down to my Segway, and carefully strap on the helmet, Then as I step onto my 21st century steed and buzz up the aisle, John Boehner, with tears in his eyes,  rises to his feet and begins a slow, singular clap that is soon joined by another and another and another until I am swept onward by a building crescendo of applause. As I raise one hand to fist bump Nancy Pelosi the spell is broken when I lose my balance and crash into the last row of seats before the exit.

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This one was for Georgina who wanted me to write about the government shutdown. As always, if you enjoy your weekly Phil Factor I would love it if you would share it by any of the social media buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Wordless Wednesday: 3D Street Art

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Some more awesome art that you can find randomly around my city. I posed for that. It’s the ultimate selfie. It’s about 8 feet high. Have a great Wednesday!

~Phil

Interview with the Fabulous Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor:

Thank you to the wonderful Emily of Nerd in The Brain for featuring The Sneaker Tree in her book club and for interviewing me!

Originally posted on Nerd in the Brain:

thesneakertree

The ever-so-awesome Phil Taylor agreed to answer lots of questions for us, and he’s done a splendid job! I hope you enjoy reading his responses as much as I did. :D And without further babble from me, let the interview begin:

What inspired you to become an author?

I’m not sure why, but when my mother passed away I began writing. I was always a writer in one way or another, but deciding to write a fiction novel was/is different. For me, writing takes an emotional energy and her passing spurred that in me.

Was it difficult to actually begin writing your first novel?

Not at all. A few events occurred in the lives of myself and my close friends over the previous year that were unconnected but oddly coincidental and tied together by my friendships. The pieces for the plot of White Picket Prisons just sort of fell into…

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Other Stuff There Should Be Nobel Prizes For

They’ve been handing out Nobel Prizes all week long, announcing two or three every day. This may come as a surprise to you, but I didn’t get one. It sure as hell came as a surprise to me. There’s even one for Literature! Is The Phil Factor not Literature?

wdptrs.com

wdptrs.com

All my life there’s been awesome participation trophies and ribbons that have given me the belief that I deserve an award for everything I do. Adulthood has been kind of a let-down in that regard. You probably have some Nobel Prize-worthy attributes that deserve recognition as well. The fact that you read my blog is evidence of your good taste and wisdom. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will use my executive powers to create several other Nobel Prizes.

The Nobel Prize for Growing Up: When I see celebrities and professional athletes who have fame, fortune and teams of people managing their “brand” and they still screw up and do stupid things that get them arrested, it drives me crazy. I believe there should be a Nobel Prize for growing up successfully when you don’t have all the advantages in the world. You know who has already earned a lifetime ban from this award? Justin Bieber.

The Nobel Prize for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Ok, admittedly I’m only including this so I get a Nobel Prize. I think it is a vastly under-appreciated skill to grill it just right so the bread isn’t burned or under-done and soggy and has the perfect crispness. That is my gift. You know who has already earned a lifetime ban from this award? Justin Bieber

The Nobel Prize for Social Media: I am terrible at Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t know what to say. Every time I go to write a status or tweet I think to myself, “Why would anyone care if I said this?” Even I am bored with my own Facebook. Yet there are people who effortlessly post on and off all day without giving it a thought and are usually charming and funny. Guess who’s not eligible for this award? Yeah, him and Amanda Bynes.

The Nobel Prize for Best Co-Worker: There are probably millions of people that deserve this award. Everywhere you work there’s always that person who spontaneously brings in coffee and donuts every Monday. They always remember birthdays and circulate a card. If someone has a death in their family this co-worker has already sent flowers and included a card with everyones name, and later will say, “Oh, don’t worry about it. Just give me a couple bucks whenever.” They are the social glue of the office. Without them the office milieu wouldn’t be as tolerable every day.

The Nobel Prize for Doing a Job Nobody Else Wants: Whether it be working at a fast food restaurant, a teacher of middle school kids, or cleaning out septic tanks, there are millions of people doing jobs you couldn’t pay most of us enough to do. Yet people are doing them cheerfully without getting paid nearly what they should be.

The Do-It-Yourself Nobel Prize: Like I said, we all have unique, special things that we do every day that are under-appreciated. What should your Nobel Prize be for? Put your answer in the comments.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by Facebook, Twitter or re-blogging. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday! The Angry Biebers!

Bieber

(10/5/2013) You know how when a sitcom goes on too long and gets desperate for laughs the writers make the characters exaggerated caricatures of themselves in an effort to try to squeeze a few more laughs out of the tired, stereotyped, cliched neuroses that we originally found endearing when they were expressed much more subtly early in the show? (How I Met Your Mother for example. Seriously, Ted should have met the mother two seasons ago and wrapped up the series then)

This past week Justin Bieber became a caricature of himself and by proxy all celebrities. Yes, I will mock him here, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Karla Cripps of CNN.com said it best:  “Just when you thought you might enjoy a week without any news of Justin Bieber annoying the world, along comes evidence that the most beloved/disliked self-involved teenager on the planet has broken one of the most sacred unspoken rules of travel — don’t use your bodyguards to carry you up the Great Wall of China.” The entire article can be read by clicking the hyper-linked CNN.com above. That’s right, the perfectly able-bodied twenty-one year old Bieber asked to be carried up the stairs at the Great Wall; and his flunkies did it! It’s that kind of attitude that explains why Selena Gomez broke up with him.

Sometimes I think this happens with celebrities and it isn’t necessarily their fault. That’s right. I say don’t blame celebrities for their idiotic behavior. It’s our fault as a society.

Celebrities are great.  When the director says “action!” they’re incredibly talented and very entertaining. They’re funny, musical, and sometimes even emotionally moving when their words and actions are scripted for them. It’s when they go off-script and improv, such as in everyday life, that they tend to lose perspective.

Just like Robin Williams and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, I would hold the Bieber close and say, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault” as he sobbed on my shoulder.

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Yes, I know you’re saying to yourself, “But Phil,” which is an odd thing to say to yourself, “why isn’t it celebrities fault when they act like out-of-touch-with-reality caricatures of all bad celebrity stereotypes?” Wow, that’s a mouthful. Thanks for asking. I’ll tell you why. In response, I’ll ask you a question: If you have a dog and you’ve never taught it to sit or stay, is it the dogs fault that it runs around like rabid gerbil high on Candy Corn M&M’s when you have company over? No! It’s your fault because you didn’t train your dog. The dog doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. People need training just like dogs.

If you take a normal, human two year old and spend twenty years fawning over them and bending the rules for them of course they’re going to think they’re the center of the universe. It’s time we start raising our celebrities to be real human beings. That’s why my next book will be titled “The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Celebrity.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will pass a law stating that until age 30 all celebrities must be accompanied 24/7 by a behavioral psychologist who will hit them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper any time they do anything vaguely out of touch or ego-centric. Don’t worry though, the training won’t be all punitive. They’ll be rewarded with pieces of candy when they perform appropriate behaviors in public. Before long our celebrities will all be nice, normal people that won’t frighten your children.

If you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s related to a Nickelodeon cartoon from the 90’s called The Angry BeaversAbout two years ago my son & his friends started a band and they all had Justin Bieber haircuts so I suggested they name their band The Angry Biebers. I thought the idea was much funnier than they did.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please indulge me by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil