Indie Author Friday: Aloada Bobbins (Haylee Alexandra)

Most of you know her as Aloada Bobbins, but her real name is Haylee Alexandra and in case you missed it, she published her first book Tiny Tales and (very) short stories: A collection of Six Word Fiction last July.

It’s a cute and whimsical collection of six word stores that spring from one word prompts with waggish illustrations intended for a young or young at heart audience. Being one that is challenged by word or character limits I certainly appreciate Haylee’s brilliant gift of brevity. Also go follow her blog. You can find her book on Amazon. It’s her birthday this week, go give Haylee some comments and book purchases!

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

I’ll NEVER BE LIKE MY PARENTS

Hey everybody, I found a new, funny blogger and I was his first follower this morning. Let’s give a warm welcome to Darryl Callahan! Go read and follow him

Darryl Callahan Media


Remember when you were a kid and your parents gave you crap for something, grounded you, punished you, smacked you, and you thought your parents were the worst parents ever. Growing up did you ever tell yourself “I’ll never be like my parents.” Now that you’re a parent or maybe just an adult now do you find yourself saying things that your parents did? Do you catch yourself saying things your parents did, or notice yourself sounding like your parents?

Growing up my parents would say things throughout my childhood, things like “I brought you into this world I can take you out of it.” They would say “when you have kids they will be twice as bad as you.” If you’re a parent and your child really gets under your skin sometimes, knowing how you felt during those times as a child why would any parent wish their kid…

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Throwback Thursday! Retirement Advice for President Obama

I was apparently ahead of my time when I wrote this three years ago. There’s some funny references in here that were more pop culture relevant in 2014.

03/01/2014) This week all the news programs aired a video of our President and Vice-President jogging around inside the White House in their shirts and ties. The idea of the video is to support Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to fight obesity in the U.S. It’s ironic that to reduce obesity she wants us to sit down to watch a video.


This is just embarrassing. For cripes sake Obama! This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen a President do, and that includes Lewinsky. You’re the leader of the free world, allegedly, and you’re spending time making clownish videos? That’s very Putin-like of you. C’mon! You’re better than that! That’s not what I want to see my President doing. Joe Biden? Sure, make all the lame Youtube videos you want. You’re the V.P. I didn’t even know you were still alive and most Americans confuse you with this ventriloquist dummy:

That’s why when we saw the video we were surprised to see your legs moving.

President Obama, I’m disappointed in you. Yes, you are the President, but we all know that Michelle wears the pants in the family. We just didn’t know that she was going to make you prance around the White House in them. I don’t want to see that. I want my President to be presidential!

In the past in this space I’ve ranted against President Obama having just a bit too much fun while on the job, but after some time and consideration I think I’ve changed my tune. His term is up in two years and we can’t vote him out, so why shouldn’t he have some fun? Heck, look at all the fun Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is having? Once that guy got into office he went full on Charlie Sheen and he’s still got his job.

President Obama, here is what I’m proposing you do. Turn over the reins to Joe Biden. He’s done nothing of note for six years. Give him a little thrill. It’ll be the high point of his life. Then you go on a farewell tour like pro athletes do when they announce their retirement. Hell, if you’re already sitting around the White House making goofy videos you might as well be retired.

No, wait, even better. Barack, you know what I think you need? A road trip. No, not the kind you take as President with a full security detail, but the kind where you just hop in a car with, oh, I don’t know, maybe a random blogger, and just take off. I’m serious. You probably haven’t gotten drunk in years. I’ll be your designated driver. I’ll just pull up outside the White House late after Michelle is asleep, throw a pebble at your window, you climb out, run across the lawn, hop the fence and we’ll be off to destinations the CIA won’t be able to find you in. I’ll introduce you to the ladies as my cousin Barry. Maybe we’ll hit Spring Break in Miami or something. (Hey everybody, just for fun click the CIA link up there.)

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Picture credit: pichore.com

Wordless Wednesday: Green Day Gallery

You can also head over to my Instagram to see more pictures . @thephilfactor. Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

 

 

Music Monday! Catfish and the Bottlemen

I’ll be seeing these guys as the open for Green Day tonight! They’re from the U.K. originating in Wales actually. Last year they won the Brit Award for best British Breakthrough. Catfish and the Bottlemen were founded in April 2007, when Ryan Evan “Van” McCann and Billy Bibby began playing guitar together at Billy’s parents home, a bed & breakfast in Llandudno, Wales. They promoted themselves by by playing in parking lots outside other artist’s gigs, including bands such as Kasabian.

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

Me and Billie Joe Armstrong

Picture courtesy of HD Report

This isn’t quite Janis Joplin‘s Me and Bobby McGee. Depending on when you were born, you may not even know that song reference. Just to be clear, I’m also not old enough to remember that song on the radio. When I was very young my dad would just sit down with his guitar and sing songs. Most of it was country music. My dad wasn’t a cowboy, he was a straight ahead, square, suburban dad with a 9 to 5 job. There was nothing country about him, except his love of country music. Oddly though, when I plumb the dark recesses of my memory for pictures of my dad, the one that always comes up is him walking around the house with his guitar playing and singing Me and Bobby McGee.

“Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans”

Back in the 1960’s when my dad wore a younger man’s clothes, Janis Joplin was one of the counter-culture icons of the decade right alongside Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac. Looking back now, it seems odd that my dad had a little rebel in him. Maybe inside of his straight-laced facade he had a heart that yearned to break free of the constraints of his ordinary world.

Fast forward to 1990. Once a year my friend Bob and I, now separated by geography, shared our love of music by mailing each other a cassette tape with a cross section of all the new music we had been listening to. Yes, we we’re dudes that sent each other mix tapes. Go ahead and get your jokes out of the way now. On the tape in 1990 was a song by a then unknown band named Green Day. I liked the song, but not enough to put it on my list of music to buy. But, in early 1994, I remember the day. The sun was shining and I was driving in my car and a song came on the radio. “Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once?”  Boom. I was hooked. That band Bob had sent me a song from four years earlier had almost single handedly just ushered in the era of “pop punk” music with their song Basketcase

On the success of their Grammy winning music and the Broadway play American Idiot based on one of their albums, Green Day has been one of the biggest touring bands over the last two decades. But when I saw them in 1997 in a small,dingy venue, they weren’t yet the iconic band they would become. In May of 1997 my friend Gooby and I met a couple of my co-workers and went to see Green Day. Gooby and I forced our way toward the front of a crowd that was packed tighter than proverbial sardines. It was a writhing, jumping, sweaty mass. So sweaty in fact that Gooby’s wedding band slipped off of his finger and fell to the floor. We stayed until after the crowd and band had left the venue and we searched the floor in vain for that small, gold band. Also, did I mention that on that May night in 1997 my wife was pregnant? She was pregnant with this boy:

He was twelve in this pre-show picture when I took him to his first Green Day concert and surprised him with a spot in the pit up near the stage. It’s no surprise that eventually he turned into this kid:

In 2013, the last time my son and I saw #GreenDay together, I wrote this very popular post, The Perfect Day is A Green Day.  Since 2013 we have also seen the versions of the Broadway musical American Idiot twice. Once, done by a local theater group that included two of my son’s friends. Just before the play started, the guitarist in the orchestra fell and hurt his hand, leaving him unable to play. After the play, my son’s friend, who had played the main character said he thought of suggesting my son step in for the injured guitarist.

This post is titled Me and Billie Joe, is it not? Guess what, Billie Joe Armstrong has two sons, both of whom are accomplished musicians just making their own way into pop culture over the last couple years. So, while Billie Joe Armstrong was on tour the last 20 years embodying my rebel spirit and counter-culture feelings with his music, he was also being the same suburban dad I was, raising his boys to love music. As the kids these days would say, Billie Joe Armstrong is my spirit animal.

One of my hopes is that someday I’ll get the opportunity, even if by e-mail, to interview Billie Joe, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt of Green Day for #ThePhilFactor. In person, over a beer would be pretty cool too. So, if any of you have any contacts…

Why all this sudden blathering on about Green Day? On Monday, two days from now, and almost exactly twenty years from when I left my pregnant wife to go see Green Day for the first time, my son, who she was pregnant with then, and I are going to see Green Day in concert again. It will be my sixth time. Green Day has spanned the last 25 years or so of my life and the entire 19 1/2 years of my sons life. My son and I have grown up with Green Day and although they don’t know it, Green Day has grown up with us, and we’ve had the time of our life.

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Indie Author Hugh Roberts and his book Glimpses

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

“If you’re looking for a thoroughly entertaining read, Glimpses is the book for you. Each story has been cleverly crafted; through Hugh’s wonderful imagination, he has the ability to whisk you away to many different worlds, past, present and future. Every story makes a compelling read and just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, Hugh masterfully reveals a brilliant twist. With bite-size and longer stories, Glimpses is a must-read. I loved it.” – Esther Newton, Writer, and Author.

The above was not written by my, but pulled from Hugh’s Amazon page.  Hugh is a frequent visitor to #ThePhilFactor and if you haven’t met him yet, you should head over to his always interesting blog, Hugh’s Views & News.

Have a great Friday!~Phil