Pennsylvania! Too Weird to Remain a State?

You know how every now and then the people in Quebec start chattering about seceding from Canada and becoming their own country? I wonder why Pennsylvania doesn’t do that. Sometimes I also wonder why the United States doesn’t forcefully eject Pennsylvania from the union.  Political commentator James Carville once famously said, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.” Pretty funny. That guy should have a blog. Sadly though, his statement is an insult to Alabama.

Some Possibly True Facts about Pennsylvania:

50% of the population is Amish: I love the Amish for their craftsmanship and mysterious culture, but if any group of people should have their own country it’s them.

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50% of the population carries guns all the time: This isn’t the Amish 50% either. The northern part of the state is so rural and backwoods that if they had a flag it would be red flannel. If your pick up truck doesn’t have a gun rack it won’t pass inspection.

50% of the population is drunk 100% of the time: According to Pennsylvania liquor laws, if you want to buy beer to take home to consume you must buy a case of 24. Considering how many people own guns in the state, that’s a scary thought.  Also, you’d have to be drunk all the time to want to live in Pennsylvania. I think there’s probably lots of people who want to leave Pennsylvania but they’re too drunk to find their way out. How’s that for a quote. Take that James Carville.

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a fireworks store. Thanks to all the beer, guns  and fireworks there’s plenty of dead cats available. On the northern Pennsyltucky highways there’s a fireworks store every hundred yards. The hundred yards between them is filled with billboards telling you that there’s a fireworks store coming up. That’s right, you can’t buy a small amount of beer but you can buy enough fireworks to invade the Ukraine. Fortunately for us in neighboring states the Pennsylvania residents aren’t allowed to buy these fireworks themselves.

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50% of the billboards are for other things: There’s also billboards, yes, literally billboards, for certain types of massage parlors. Is the reason there’s so many of these because people from Pennsylvania don’t want to sleep with other people from Pennsylvania? Possibly. Either way, it probably leads to less Pennsylvanians, which I don’t hear anyone complaining about.

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So, based on all those facts, Pennsylvania seems rather… unique. At a family reunion Pennsylvania would be the weird uncle that you tell the young kids to stay away from. Truth be told though, I have some wonderful friends in Pennsylvania and when their probation is up I’m sure they’ll move. Sorry about this Pennsylvania. I was just kidding.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share it by Facebook, Twitter, or reblogging. Unless you’re in Pennsylvania of course. I’m sure there’s some state law against it.  Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! The Perfect Day Is A Green Day

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(4/6/13) The day began like any other.  I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. My work day was uneventful and without stress. At the end of it I was looking forward to seeing my favorite band with my fifteen year old son who has become a fan himself.  As soon as I walked in the door he was eager to go in hopes of procuring a good spot to stand near the stage.

Being an adult male on the wrong side of forty, my desire to stand in line for hours before concerts is several years in the rear view mirror. Being an adult however, I used my super ninja Dad skills to plan when we would get there, where we would park, and which entrance we would use to minimize our wait time and any discomfort I might experience. Unfortunately the universe had gotten wind of my plans and locked the entrance to the arena I had planned to use. My son and I were forced to wait outdoors in the cold for forty minutes without coats. Ugh. Not a good start.

When we did get inside we were pleasantly surprised to weasel our way into a nice spot only fifteen to twenty feet from the stage. After an opening act that appeared to sleep walk through their set list, the arena and it’s 10,000 temporary denizens became quiet. That was when I had two distinctly ‘old man thoughts’ which I’m now embarrassed to admit. First I thought,  ‘After three hours on my feet my back is going to be aching.’  Then very quickly I also thought ‘I’m going to regret not having earplugs.’   After a brief intermission following the opening act our headliner Green Day stormed onto the stage in an explosion of light and sound and my crazy old man thoughts were completely forgotten.

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Green Day has been my favorite band since the early 90′s. This was my fifth time seeing them live. The tour had been delayed by three months while front-man Billie Joe Armstrong was in rehab. Billie Joe took the stage like a man making up for lost time and I’ve never seen their show better. Make no mistake, it is a show. Green Day does not play concerts. They put on shows.

With the frenetic energy of a Tazmanian Devil on Red Bull, Billie Joe seemed to feed off the crowd and the crowd seemed to be drawing energy from Billie Joe. From the first note he seemed to delight in orchestrating the crowd with hand gestures and exhortations. Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool seemed to enjoy our participation as much as we did theirs. It wasn’t as if they were playing music for us so much as they were playing it with us and us with them. From bringing audience members up on stage to sing or play instruments to sitting down and letting their 10,000 back up singers finish a song, the night felt like one big party none of us wanted to leave.

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It wasn’t just great music either. Green Day  puts on a spectacle that goes beyond the mere playing of music. There are enough strobes to wake a coma patient. There’s the zany, costume and kazoo-laden performance of their campy song King for a Day. Then there was Billie Joe first assaulting his eager audience with water from fire department grade hoses. The next weapon in his arsenal was a device that shot streamers of toilet paper far into the crowd. Lastly, when he ran out of Cottonelle, he pulled out the big gun, literally, firing t-shirts all over the arena at all-too-willing targets.

It was a two hour and twenty minute performance that took my breath away. It also took the breath away of bassist Mike Dirnt who could be seen catching his breath between songs during the encore. While he was catching his breath he was also putting his fist to his heart and mouthing Thank you to audience members repeatedly. We expressed our gratitude to the band with our cheers which were as sincere as their thanks.

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As my son and I drove home with our ears still buzzing we talked happily about all of our favorite songs and parts of the show. As I listened to my son I began to reminisce. I realized that I had gone to see my first Green Day  show before my son was born and now we went together. Talk about the circle of life! It brought a happy, little tear to my eye. When I got home I was still too mentally wired from the show to sleep so I grabbed my Kindle, a glass of red wine and, courtesy of Mrs. Phil, the most delicious chocolate cupcake I’ve ever had and I put my feet up and reclined, reading myself to sleep with a smile on my face. The perfect end to a perfect day. A Green Day.

As always, if you enjoy what you read please hit the Facebook ‘Like’ or Share button and by all means, leave comments if you like. What was your favorite concert ever?

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Colors Women Can See That Men Can’t

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I could never be a good interior decorator, nor could I pick out bridesmaids dresses. As a man I’m only capable of recognizing about 4 colors. Women on the other hand recognize a whole spectrum of colors that men can’t even see. It’s like women are on hallucinogenic drugs all the time. Maybe Google glass could help me see these colors.

10. Eggshell- man word: white

9. Ecru: Isn’t this the other bird that kind of looks like an ostrich?

8. Auburn: It’s a place in Alabama and why say auburn when you can say reddish brown?

7. Sea foam: Sounds like frothy water to me

6. Teal: Very popular and well known, but it’s basically the snobby name for bluish green or greenish blue

5.  Chartreuse: That’s just too many letters for something as simple as a color.

4. Cobalt: it’s a bad Chevy car and too many letters just to say “blue”

3. Lavender: Isn’t this just a laundry detergent scent?

2. Puce: Sounds like a great word for vomit. “Oh my God! Did you see that some puced all over the bathroom? I’m not cleaning up that puce. I did it last time.”

1. Fuchsia: Might be a shade of pink or a celebrity baby name.

Have a great Tuesday everyone! If you can think of some more good female colors and jokes feel free to add them in the comments. ~Phil

 

 

#MondayBlogs: Don Charisma

I’ve decided to start a new feature on The Phil Factor. I was inspired by Rachel Thompson of Bad Redhead Media, who every Monday on Twitter encourages people to share Twitter handles for bloggers they like and she retweets them. I do this, but not everyone who reads my blog follows me on Twitter, so I figured I’d take Rachel’s idea to my blog each Monday so you might have a chance to discover someone new and interesting.

Today’s blogger is Don Charisma, which may or may not be an assumed name. There are two reasons I love his blog: 1) his tagline: “because anything is possible with Charisma”, and 2) he’s a brilliant photographer.

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Blogging seems to be about writing about ones self, but Don provides spectacular pictures with explanations about the place and how he took or created the picture. And he has his own logo, see it there in the bottom right of the picture?

As I said, blogging is often self-indulgent, and that’s ok, but let’s take a day a week at least to show some appreciation for the time others take to entertain us on the interwebs. After you visit Don at: DonCharisma.org why don’t you do your own #MondayBlogs ?

I’ve hashtagged the title so that when this shows up on Twitter it will be retweeted by the awesome Rachel over at Bad Redhead Media. You can find me on Twitter: @ThePhilFactor and you can find Don @Don_Charisma    Have a great Monday! ~Phil

 

Smells Like Biebs Spirit: Bad Celebrity Fragrances

I think that if I get any more followers for my blog and my Facebook author page I’m going to have to have my own cologne. As idiotic and unbelievable as it may seem all the colognes and perfumes on this list are real. I’d love it if you add your comments or humorous tag lines for them in the comments section.

Justin Bieber: I imagine that Justin Beiber smells a lot like pot smoke and monkeys. On one of the pages promoting his perfumes the description says “Designer Justin Bieber…”  Designer? Really? The only thing he’s designed lately is the downfall of a promising pop music career. He has 6 perfumes for women. Well, maybe not women. I think he’s catering to the Hello Kitty crowd. The way he’s been acting the last 18 months you’d think he’s promoting a fragrance called Someone Should Punch Me.

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Donald Trump: The American billionaire tycoon has both cologne and perfume so apparently he’s finally out of the closet with his bisexuality. That’s cool Don. We don’t judge. Supposedly it has “notes of mint, cucumber and basil.” That doesn’t sound like perfume, it sounds like a salad, as if The Donald wants his tossed. If he had a cologne that smelled like actual money? That would be the world’s best aphrodisiac. Donald I know you’re reading this and my blog is copyrighted. You’re going to have to buy that idea from me.

David Beckham and Derek Jeter: There are many, many more athlete inspired fragrances but I chose these two names because you’d know them. A perfume or cologne based on an athlete? No thanks, I can produce my own sweat.

Lady GaGa: Ugh. Just ugh. 

Britney Spears: Of course she has her own perfume. It’s called Circus Fantasy. Brilliant. Who doesn’t want to smell like carnies and elephant dung? But it’s not just Circus. It’s Circus Fantasy. Who hasn’t fantasized about a romantic rendezvous at the circus? Maybe in a clown car.

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Neil Gaiman: Although he is wildly popular, the fact that a middle-aged, British author who doesn’t write romance novels has his own fragrance, shows you the difference in humor between America and England. His fragrance, Neil Gaiman’s Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat was actually based on a blog post he wrote in 2007 .

Hmmm….a blog post that spawned a perfume? I wonder what The Phil Factor cologne. would smell like? Imagine the ads…The Phil Factor, for when you want the smell of sarcasm with subtle notes of chlorine, coffee and red wine. Just so you know that I’m not completely without a soul, I toyed with but ultimately chose to leave out jokes about Rhianna and Michael Schumacher’s fragrances. Also, thank you to my friend Karen for suggesting the idea for this post.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below. And please share your ideas and jokes by leaving a comment. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

 

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday! The First Rule of Phil Club

(6/1/2013) Gentlemen, or should I say, Phil Taylor? Welcome! Welcome to Phil Club. I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today. This, (holding my arm up and sweeping it around to encompass the room)  is Phil Club. The first rule of Phil Club is that you talk about Phil Club.

Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated writer: “Wait, wait wait. In Fight Club the first rule of Fight Club was that you don’t talk about Fight Club.

Me: “I’ll cut you some slack because you’re new. Did I say this was Fight Club? No, I said Phil Club. Phil Club is a gathering of all the talented and powerful Phil Taylors from around the world. Phil Taylor is an esteemed name that for generations has been the moniker for more famous and creative people than any other single name. We talk about Phil Club because it’s awesome! We’re awesome!”

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Phil “The Power” Taylor, world’s best darts player: Excuse me mate, but I was told there would be bangers and mash  ‘ere. I’m not staying if I can’t eat.

Me: (exaggerated sigh) Listen ‘mate’, don’t get your bollocks all up in a knot. We’ll get to the food, but not before we get to our main order of business. Since darts isn’t even a real sport you’re lucky I let you in Phil Club at all.

Phil “The Power” Taylor: Hey wait a minute! You…

Me: Call me back when it’s in the Olympics, dart boy.

Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns nose tackle: What’s the second rule of Phil Club?

Me: Aaah! Finally a wise soul amongst us. Well, besides me I mean. Thank you Phil. The 2nd rule of Phil Club is that with great swag comes great responsibility. It is incumbent upon each Phil Taylor not to embarrass the family. By the way Phil, how many Pro Bowls have you made it to?

Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns: Hey, that’s not fair. I’ve only played two years.

Me: Security!

Phil ‘The Philthy Animal’ Taylor, Motorhead drummer: I’m with Phil. When do we get to the fish and chips I was promised?

Me: Oh great.  Another Brit. You guys gotta stop watching Harry Potter. You’re all starting to sound the same. It’s driving me completely barmy. We’ll get through our rules and then pick a nominee and we’ll eat alright?

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Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated writer: So what are the rest of the Phil Club rules? I was promised a jumbo shrimp buffet and I’ve got a deadline.

Me: Phil, you’re damn right you’ve got a deadline. I expect a complete write up of Phil Club in Sports Illustrated this week. Rule #3 of Phil Club is that  all Phil Taylors should follow each other on Twitter and retweet everything all the other Phils post. That way, at some point Twitter will be nothing but Phil Taylor stuff. First we conquer Twitter and then the world!

Phil Taylor, Sports Illustrated: This is stupid! I’m not writing about Phil Club in Sports Illustrated.

Me: No shrimp for you! Now to our final order of business we need a nominee to run for President. Not of Phil Club, but of the United States. Any suggestions?

Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns: Yeah, I vote that we vote you out of Phil Club. You’re kind of a jerk. Anyone else agree?

Phil Taylors: (Raucous cheering and shouts fill the room)  Here, here! Get rid of him! Security!

Me: (Security takes me by the arms and begins to drag me away from the podium) You can’t do this! Don’t you know who I am! I’m Phil Taylor! (dragged from the room to the sounds of thousands of Phil Taylors cheering and eating.)

As always, if your name is Phil Taylor or if you enjoy The Phil Factor please hit the Facebook  and Twitter share buttons below. May you all have a very Phil day.

Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Ways Not To Die

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The guy in the picture is comedian John Pinette. You may not recognize him or his name, but you probably know him from one brief role. Remember the Seinfeld series finale that was two episodes? Remember the plot was that Jerry and his friends were put on trial for making fun of and not helping an obese man who was being carjacked. That obese man was comedian John Pinette who I met once at a comedy club in Boston. He died yesterday. I have no plans to follow him. I didn’t write this in time to save John, but maybe I can help you. Here are ten ways to postpone your death as long as possible:

10. Don’t run marathons. A study came out last week that basically said that running long and hard actually damages the heart. It also showed that on average marathoners had shorter lifespans. Stick to your local charity 5k and don’t run too fast and you’ll be fine. So far I’ve got this one covered. There’s a little sticker on the back of my car that says “0.0″

9. Don’t grow a long beard: Fortunately for most of the ladies reading, this one is easy. In 1567 Austrian Hans Steininger had the worlds longest beard at 4 feet. One day his house caught fire and in his haste to escape he tripped over his beard, falling and breaking his neck. Me? Just a short goatee. I’m good.

8. Hydration is important, but not too important: You know all those diets and health studies that advise drinking a lot of water? In 2007 Jennifer Strange of California died of water intoxication while trying to win a Wii console. It was a radio station contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” where contestants drank as much water as they could and tried to hold their wee the longest. That pretty much sums up a regular day at work for me.

7. Dark chocolate and red wine: This one’s no joke. Red wine and dark chocolate in small amounts each day are good for your heart. Everything else in the world causes cancer.

6. Don’t be too stubborn about being right: A guy working in an office in the Toronto Dominion Center told visitors that the glass windows of the building were unbreakable. To prove it he threw himself against the window, which popped out of it’s frame and he fell 24 stories to his death. To his credit, the glass didn’t break.

5. Don’t date Oscar Pistorious: I’m pretty sure that guy’s kind of a jerk.

4.  Floss your teeth! Apparently regular flossing can add 3-5 years to your life. I wonder, if I floss three times a day do I add 15 years to my life?

3. Beavers don’t appreciate selfies: In 2013 a Belarusian fisherman was killed when while attempting to take a a picture of himself with a beaver. The beaver bit him, severing an artery and the man bled to death. Lesson: always ask permission if you’re including someone, or something, in your selfie.

2. Baby got back: A study done at Oxford University showed that women with a more junk in the trunk are at lower risk for heart and metabolic diseases.

1. Read The Phil Factor: I fancy myself to be at least moderately humorous at times and I hope you do too. Studies show that regular laughter leads to a longer life. Take two Phil Factors and I’ll see you in 50 years.

If you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please share by hitting one of the social media buttons below. Have a great day! ~Phil