After 16 years of trying to be funny, I’m thinking of branching out. Over the last 15 years I’ve traveled more than most, but not as much as some. I love traveling and I love dreaming of new places that I want to see up close. I’m considering starting a travel blog incorporating reviews of hotels, attractions and restaurants, interviews with real travel experts, and humorous stories about things that have occurred in my travels. Would this be a blog/website you’d want to read? Or are there too many travel writers out there? I’d love your feedback, comments and suggestions. If you were to have only one travel blog/website to read, what would you want to hear about? Please vote on my poll and share your thoughts in the comments.
Ok, I think they’ve removed the poll option from the admin options. I’ve installed a plug-in for polls and I don’t like it already. If you think I should add a travel blog to The Phil Factor portfolio, please hit like and if you’re feeling generous, I’d love comments with suggestions about what you like when you’re reading travel reviews or articles.
Do you know where the grass is always greener? I do, and I’m going to tell you.
Today could have been a day like any other, but it wasn’t. I woke up, fell out of bed and dragged a comb across my head. Then I slathered some SPF 100 on my face and I looked in the mirror and said to myself, this is it. This is the day. The day that I mow my new lawn for the first time. This is the fifth house that I’ve lived in since I began The Phil Factor fifteen years ago and I anticipate that this will be the last one. Then again, I thought the same thing a year ago, so we’ll see. I like to stay one step ahead of the law.
It’s not that I love mowing the lawn. It’s just a chore like any other, but I do like my lawn to look good. What made today important was that it was to be the first mowing of the year for my new lawn. It’s spring in the northeastern United States and lawns don’t get mowed much earlier than this because of the weather. It literally snowed here yesterday, but today the sun was shining. Because of the coronavirus I may not be able to get a trim on the hair on my head, (what do you think? Should I go man-bun?) but I’ll be damned if my lawn is going to look shaggy.
At 8:30 I pulled on a pair of badass plaid cargo shorts and my favorite baseball cap. “Phil, isn’t 8:30 a little early to cut your lawn. Won’t it disturb the neighbors who might be sleeping in? you may be thinking to yourself. Yes, 8:30 is a little early to start mowing your lawn, but that’s the point. It is, as my kids would say, “a baller move.” I want everyone in the neighborhood to look out their front windows thinking, who the feck is out cutting their lawn today? And at fecking 8:30? Apparently when I’m a baller I imagine that my neighbors are Irish and they like to swear.
As I stood in my garage poised to push my lawn mower and my baller-ness out into this strange new frontier of suburbia, I paused, took a deep breath and imagined the first few guitar riffs of the ScorpionsRock You Like a Hurricane, then I reached out and hit the garage door opener as the vocals start,
It’s early morning, the sun comes out
Last night was shaking and pretty loud
My cat is purring, it scratches my skin
So what is wrong with another sin?
Then in my mind I skip the next verse and go straight to…
Here I am
Rock you like a hurricane
Here I am
Rock you like a hurricane
And with that chorus ringing in my mind I pushed my lawnmower out in to the sun and fired it up. Because I’m a baller.
Me cutting my lawn today was the equivalent to a fighter throwing the first punch. All the other suburbanites had been waiting. Of course nobody wants to cut their lawn, and if everyone else’s lawn looks a little overgrown, it’s OK if yours does too. So being new to the neighborhood, I threw down the gauntlet, because I’m a baller. I imagined that all over the neighborhood wives were suddenly saying to their husbands, “Honey, the new guy is cutting his lawn. Ours is kind of long. Why don’t you go out and cut ours today?” I don’t care that I pissed off every other guy in the neighborhood and ruined their Saturday. You know why? Because I’m a baller. I’m now the mother fecking alpha dog of this cul-de-sac. That’s right mo fo’s, because, say it with me, I’m a baller.
Two things: first, thank you to the Scorpions for my use of their song, which is also my ringtone, and secondly, when some lawn mower company steals my ‘leaving the garage with the mower scene set toRock You Like a Hurricane‘ idea, prepare to be sued for copyright infringement. You know why? Because I’m a baller, and the grass is always greener in my yard. You know what would be a total baller move by you right now? Clicking the Facebook or Twitter share button below. That would be baller A F.
Have a great Easter and a great Passover or just have a great day, because you’re a baller!
Yes, on this very day, at this exact time, on April 3rd in 2005, I put my writing legs up in the stirrups, leaned back and gave birth to The Phil Factor. Yes, the image was meant to make you cringe a little. If my blog was a person it would be starting to curse at it’s parents and experimenting with alcohol while failing geometry.
My Blogger sidebar before I moved it over to WordPress. I love that at the bottom it shows 2005.
Yes, I know that over the past year I haven’t blogged as often as I used to. I’ve had a lot of real life going on in my life and I’ve discovered that for me writing is something I do a lot of when I’m happy and not as much when I’m stressed. I’m starting to feel a bit more settled as all the changes in my life have become the norm for me. So, as I traditionally do, I will copy and paste my very first blog post so that if you missed it, you can enjoy it as if you’re watching a re-run from an old show.
What Up Dawg? Is it just me or is everyone sick of Randy Jackson’s act on American Idol? How many times can we hear, “What up dawg?” Or his other favorite, “It was a little pitchy in spots,” or “It was just ahh ight for me.” The dude is like one of those action figures where you squeeze him and he has three pre-programmed phrases he rotates through. Nearly as bad is Paula Abdul. Has anyone else noticed that this season she seems drunk every week? She loves everyone this season and seems to find an excuse to physically grab Simon Cowell every week. Considering her recent charge of leaving the scene of an accident after she clipped another car on the freeway, how ironic is it that her big 1988 hit song, Straight Up, included the line “caught in a hit and run”?
That’s how I introduced myself to the blogging world and I was rewarded with ZERO comments or likes. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my longtime blogging friend Jennifer of Not Quite Perfect ,and other blogs, who has been blogging longer than me and is still at it. Visit her site and give her a like or comment.
Lastly and most importantly I’d like to say thank you to all of my blogging friends who have made this the wonderful, welcoming blogging community that it is. I have appreciated every read, like or comment over the past sixteen years. Without you, I probably wouldn’t have lasted a year.
Cheers to all of you and I hope we can share a glass of champagne some day. Have a great weekend! ~Phil
I’d like to wish a sincere Happy Holi to my Hindu and Hindi friends out there! Thank you for all your views of my blog over the past several years!
Last evening the Hindu holiday of Holi began. It is the annual Spring festival of colors. So, why am I wishing a Happy Holi or होली होली to readers of my blog? Because I have many Hindi speaking readers. Just to be clear though, not all Hindi speaking people are Hindu and not all Hindus speak Hindi, but the majority of each is also the other, got it? Hindi is a language and Hindu is a religion.
So what exactly is Holi? It’s a Hindu Spring festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over the darkness. It is a time of forgiveness and repairing relationships. Holi is not only a celebration of Spring, it is also a known as The Festival of Love, celebrating the eternal love of Radha-Krishna, the masculine and feminine realities of God. And it involves drinking a lot of Feni, a lot of fireworks, and everyone getting covered in colorful powder.
So why do so many Hindi speaking people read my blog? Because of three posts about हिंदी सेक्स over the last three years my blog has become a hotspot for the Hindi speaking crowd. I imagine that in India there are entire internet message boards dedicated to discussing फिल फैक्टर (Phil Factor). What posts are those? I’m glad you asked:
The rest of this post will be in Hindi in deference to my many Hindi speaking readers and friends. होली मुबारक! फिल फैक्टर दुनिया का सबसे अच्छा ब्लॉग है! मेरी किताबें खरीदें और आप अपने सपनों के साथ मिलेंगे!
This is my bi-annual reminder that tonight in the United States we move our clocks forward by an hour and my reminder to you that it’s stupid. I’ve been posting this every Fall and Spring since 2006 and will continue to do so until we do away with Daylight Savings Time.
When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law getting rid of Daylight Savings Time. I don’t know if all other countries do this. I do know that not all the U.S. states abide by it. Daylight Savings Time was created about 120 years ago to give farmers more daylight in which to do their work in the fields. Call me crazy, but why the hell didn’t someone just suggest that the lazy ass farmers drag themselves out of a bed a little earlier each day? Because those cud chewing, overall wearing, udder jerking lay-abouts can’t be bothered to set their alarm clocks we’re all stuck changing time?
I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but about fifteen years ago the U.S. Congress, in another colossal waste of their time and our tax dollars, extended daylight savings time by a few weeks on either end.
First off, why isn’t it called daylight spending time since we are using more daylight in the summer months? Secondly, at this point the farmers (except the creepy Amish ones) all have electricity and alarm clocks, which may not have been the case 120 years ago. I can get away with saying that about the Amish because my demographic data shows that for some reason I have very low readership among the Amish. I guess they just don’t get me.
Reportedly the reason Congress did this is to save energy. How will changing our clocks twice a year save energy? Don’t we set our thermostats and use heat based on the outdoor temperature, not how light out it is? I’d like to save the energy I expend changing my clocks! I’d like Congress to tell me when I get that back. Congress has again proven to be the biggest collection of morons outside of…well…I guess I can’t think of a bigger collection. Why doesn’t Congress set their alarm clocks an hour earlier so they can get up early and get more of this important work done?
B.T. dubs, if we set our clocks ahead an hour now but we turn them back in the Fall, over the course of a year what difference does it make? If we learned anythying from Marty McFly it was that we shouldn’t muck about with time. Also, according to statistics, the day after we change our clocks there are more workplace injuries, car accidents, and for the day, a 10% rise in heart attacks.
I for one am not going to go for this stupid daylight savings time thing anymore. I don’t work at a farm or for Congress, so I told my boss that for 6 months I’ll be to work an hour early or late, however it works out. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, this is going to change.
Alas my fifteen year blog plea has finally been heard by legislators on both sides of the Atlantic! In the U.S., a move to break the much-despised clock-changing habit has been advanced by me and a bipartisan group of senators, whose “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” would make year-round DST the law of the land. State-level measures along those lines have passed in California, Florida and many other states. The European Union voted to abolish Daylight Savings Time, but of course they screwed that up, because they’re Europe and no one knows who’s in charge.
If you’d like to support my bid for President or Sexiest Man Alive, please hit the Facebook, Twitter share button below, but hurry because you have an hour less to do it in this weekend. Or is it an hour more? Have a great weekend! ~Phil
Come on, 70’s and 80’s kids! You know the words. Sing along with me! 🎶 Love, exciting and new! Climb aboard, we’re expecting you! 🎶 As a young, naive kid I never realized what a sexual innuendo that was. But now I do and I want more!
With Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, love is in the air and damn it, I wish it was in the sea as well. As someone whose childhood occurred in the 70’s and 80’s I have fond memories of watching the long running hit tv series The Love Boat. If you’re not overly familiar, it was obviously about a cruise ship with it’s regular crew, but the rest of the cast was different b-list celebrities each week that would play the roles of horny vacationers on a cruise trying to hook up. It was 250 episodes of 80’s corny cheesiness, and it was good.
Despite the fact that even before Covid, cruises were already floating petri dishes of disease, people still love cruises and the cruise culture unlike anything else. Cruises weren’t the big thing when The Love Boat was on TV, but they are now. And that is why I’m creating this literary call to action.
Remember all my claims of psychic abilities? Today, just out of the blue, The Love Boat popped into my head and I decided to watch an episode of it on CBS All Access during my lunch hour. After that stroll down memory lane, I decided to write this post. Just now as I’m writing this on Thursday night, looking for pictures to use, I came across a news article about The Love Boat cast reuniting TONIGHT , live, to benefit a charitable cause. I swear on my own life that I did not see or hear anything previously, but there it is, the ghosts of Love Boat past were speaking to me. Also, in doing my research I discovered that Florence Henderson/Carol Brady was the most frequent Love Boat guest with 9 appearances. Coincidentally, if we’re playing six degrees of separation, I can be connected to Florence Henderson with only one person between us. Coincidence or fate? I think you know the answer to that.
Artist Andy Warhol
At first it was just a whisper like a soft summer breeze through the willow trees and it said, Phil, we need you. Then I heard a ships fog horn in the distance. Then once again Phil, we need you… When the universe speaks to me, sometimes I listen, so I replied: “Seriously, what the f*ck Rich!” (Rich is my neighbor who sometimes talks to me through the hedge like Tim Allen’s neighbor Wilson on Home Improvement.)
1980 Tom Hanks
The voices replied, “If you build it they will come…”
And I was all like, “I don’t have a cornfield to mow down. Who is this?”
The voice said, “It’s me, Gavin McLeod, Captain Stubing. We need you Phil…”
“You need me? First of all, how are you talking to me? You can’t be a ghost if you’re not dead. Oh my God Captain Stubing! Are you dead? Did you die? Are you speaking to me from the other side?!!?”
Not Gavin Mcleod’s ghost replied, “No I’m not dead you idiot. This is 5G and my signal is fantastic. But we need you to bring back The Love Boat.
“But I can’t bring back The Love Boat. I’m not some network big wig.”
With his signal fading Captain Stubing whispered, “You’re Phil. You can do this. And besides, I gotta go. I’ve got a booty call with Betty White. And trust me, there’s nothing like a little Betty booty….” and then he was gone.
Fear not intrepid reader, I’m not going to nostalgically ramble on about a TV show from my childhood. I’m going to propose action. I want action from you and I want action from Netflix. I believe in you and I believe in me. I also believe in Netflix. Netflix brought us The Tiger King and now I want, nay demand, that Netflix bring us the king of the sea, The Love Boat. Let’s get the ball rolling by you clicking THIS LINK to go sign my petition at Change.org.
Together we can do this! Use one of the buttons below to share to your social media until we get enough signatures to persuade Netflix to produce the new Love Boat! Come on! You know you want to! Share… your friends will think it’s a hoot.
Have a great Valentine’s Day and may your love be exciting and new, just like all those Love Boat episodes! ~Phil
Because the National Football League has yet to issue a cease and desist order to me and because it’s funny I’m re-posting this classic that I wrote a few years ago. Enjoy and Happy Sunday!
See? The Phil Factor really is the Official Blog of The Super Bowl
(01/31/15) I’m not saying that The Phil Factor is The Official Blog of The#SuperBowl, and I’m not saying it’s not. What I am saying is that I want to get a cease and desist letter from the National Football League’s lawyers.
For those of you not from the States, or from the U.S. but you just don’t care, this weekend is the championship game of the National Football League, otherwise known as the #SuperBowl. I’m hashtagging those words, linking to their site, and making a point of using the phrase ‘Super Bowl’ because the NFL (No Phil League) literally tries to sue anyone who uses the phrase “Super Bowl” without paying them millions of dollars to do so. (I’m putting the words Super Bowl in bold print on the off chance that they’ll be more noticeable when someone from the NFL is looking at the internet.) Some networks even prohibit their announcers from saying Super Bowl out of fear of being sued by the NFL. Comedian Steven Colbert has taken to calling it the Superb Owl.
I call bullshit. I don’t care who you are or what entity you’ve created, no one gets to own words. When I’m elected President, or #SuperBowl MVP (Most Valuable Phil), whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating “No people or corporations can own words.” It’s a stupid idea that someone can own the right to the words #SuperBowl. I’m pretty sure that the words super and bowl were around long before American football. In fact, on Downton Abbey last week Mr. Carson was bringing soup to the Earl and Countess in this big, ornate dish and the Earl said, “Why Mr. Carson! That is the most super bowl I have ever laid my eyes upon!” Downton Abbey happened a hundred years ago, so there’s your proof that someone else used the phrase first.
What if I really do own a super bowl? You know, one of those cool ones with a picture at the bottom that you can’t see until you’ve eaten every drop. That is truly a super bowl. Or what about the people who invented the Perfect Bacon Bowl? That has got to be the superest of bowls. If there were a vote I’m pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl beats out football as the best kind of bowl. I’m also pretty sure that the Bacon Bowl people aren’t going to sue me for mentioning their product. In fact, they might even send me a free Bacon Bowl maker for mentioning it (hint, hint). Click on the video below. The song is a hilariously awesome and may sound more than a little like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
I’m also sure that the folks in the legal marijuana states of Washington and Colorado think their bowls are pretty Super too. Is the NFL going to sue anyone there who says to their smoking buddy “Man, this is one super bowl“?
I’m not afraid to say any word I want. And by the way National Football League, what in the hell makes you so arrogant to think that you have to police the world to make sure no one uses your phrase? I would like to hereby announce that I am legally forbidding anyone from referring to themselves as the official anything of #ThePhilFactor unless I declare it. There you go National Football League. I dare you to declare your #SuperBowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. You know what though? I’m not going to sue you if you do. They’re only words. If you think my blog is so awesome that you want to affiliate yourself with it, great, but it’s going to cost you. In fact, nevermind. The title is already taken. I’m officially declaring that the Perfect Bacon Bowl is The Official Super Bowl of The Phil Factor. And if the Perfect Bacon Bowl people wanted to buy advertising space in my sidebar I’m not opposed to that.
As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor, which is the #SuperBowl of blogs, please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great #SuperBowl weekend! ~Phil
Spoiler alert, in case you didn’t know, TODAY is Groundhog Day. Who doesn’t love this movie? Especially since Bill Murray’s character was named Phil. Coincidence? I think not. Also, here’s another spoiler alert, today, February 2nd, 2021, I added a new question at the end of this post that I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on.
This post was originally written for #ThePhilFactor on Feb. 2, 2006 and I now post it every year, over and over, just like Phil’s Groundhog Day in the movie.
(Feb. 2, 2006) Last week I waxed philosophic about the idiocy known as The Dr. Phil Show. This week, and today in particular it’s Punxsutawney Phil. Groundhog Day the movie: Good idea. Groundhog Day the tradition: Stupid idea. The dimwitted people of Punxsatawney, Pennsylvannia have been shoving a rodent through a hole in a tree stump for almost 200 hundred years to find out if there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Hey morons, you live in the Northeast! There’s always 6 more weeks of winter! Check the calendar! It says that Spring starts on March 21st. That’s 7 weeks from now. You don’t need a rat being spooked by his shadow to figure this one out. At this point I’m getting tired of all these wanna-be Phil’s trying to horn in on my fame. If, coincidentally, a shot were to ring out in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania today and a certain rodent were to explode in a puff of fur, I was kidding when I wrote this. No harm meant, just a joke. You’ll all be my alibi right?
Here’s the big question: If you could have one day of your life to do over and over, what day would that be and why? As always, if you enjoyed this vintage Phil Factor feel free to share it via the social media buttons below. Have a great day! ~Phil
Seriously, good morning, happy Sunday and how are you doing? I’m trying something new. I just wanted to check in with everyone. No story or humorous opinion piece today. Let’s just check in with each other as people.
I know the pandemic is wearing thin on everyone’s patience, but in some ways I think it has also unified the world. I know that I get readers from all over the world, but often our experiences and perspectives are somewhat different because we live in different areas of the world. Different televisions shows, different music, different political climates, different daily news. We truly can’t really understand someone else’s perspective. But…the pandemic is one thing we all have in common. Everyone has experienced an impact on their lives because of the pandemic, and for most of us, it hasn’t been good. In the comments I’d like to hear how you’re holding up. Obviously I’ll tell you in my writing here, but why don’t we all read and reply to each other in the comments. Let’s offer emotional support and maybe even suggestions about how ways we’ve found to cope.
Oddly, due to a quirky situation with my job last January I had to start working from home two months before the rest of you started quarantining. Ironically, just two days before the first cases of Covid were found in a community just north of New York City, I had passed through that area while doing my job.
In May of last year I had to have my 83 year old father admitted to a memory care residence and haven’t been able to really visit him in person because of Covid. We had regular window visits until both winter and Covid hit his residence. I’m feeling some guilt that I can’t do more with him. He’s confused and frustrated about why he can’t go home, and I can’t even take him out to dinner or for a visit at my house.
My wife is not only a medical provider but she is also in active treatment for cancer, which impacts her immune system. I’m relieved however because this past week she received her second dose of the Covid vaccine. For the first nine months of the virus though it was a worry. And in the summer my son, who lives on the other side of the country had a serious ankle injury requiring surgery and I traveled to see him twice to help him out with medical appointments etc.
If you haven’t traveled during the pandemic, it’s definitely different. In the airports most of the stores and restaurants were closed or limited. None of the flights I took provided us with a real meal, only snacks. I didn’t really have any worries about increased exposure to the virus while traveling. Everyone wore masks and the fight attendants provided us with disinfectant wipes. On only one flight were we packed in every seat like normal flights.
As if the impact of the virus wasn’t enough, in the United States, we couldn’t just do the pandemic, we had to add in seismic political upheaval. Hopefully everyone is tired of that and just decides to stay home.
So now, I’ve just started a new job, which is a very good thing, but I am expected to travel when there are customers that are willing to have me visit. I’m not worried about that or catching the virus. Honestly, I do worry a little, but only a little. I have irrational confidence in my immune system, but I do have to be realistic. I’m on the wrong side of 50 and naturally my immune system probably isn’t as strong as it was in my youth. I mask up everywhere I go and instead of the colorful and entertaining ties I used to wear, I’m going to try to find colorful and entertaining masks. My first memory association with the pandemic is the Netflix series Tiger King. How great was that? And how long ago does that seem now?
So that’s my pandemic story. What’s yours? And how are you holding up? Is there anything me or the blogging community can do to help? One thing I know that helps everyone’s spirits when we’re stressed is interaction with each other in the comments section on our blogs. Let’s try to do that a little more. As bloggers we are a unique community, so let’s pull together and look out for each other. Have a great Sunday! ~Phil
After sending my spit to 23andMe in early December I waited with great anticipation to see what insights I could glean from my genetic analysis. Would I actually be Pat Sajak‘s nephew as I might have once claimed in an effort to impress girls? Or even worse yet, related to one of you? Would I have a genetic marker for a terrible disease? Would my ancestry come from countries I hadn’t anticipated? Or would I learn a bunch of obscure, weird stuff that no one really needs to know?
The answer is of course that I learned a bunch of really weird stuff.
Yes, I learned the mundane things like 99.6% of my ancestry is from the British Isles. I’m Irish, English and Scottish. No surprises there. But there was one tiny surprise. Apparently my great, great, great grandmother must have gotten jiggy with someone during her spring break in Finland back in 1820. 0.3% of my DNA is of Finnish ancestry. Who knows, maybe I’m heir to the throne.
Now let’s get to the weird stuff!
-My genes show that if I eat asparagus, I’m likely to be able to notice that my urine smells bad later. Oddly, I’ve never been an asparagus eater anyway.
-I’m less likely than average to have a bunion! Check. No bunions yet! I think I may pursue a career as a foot model!
-I have slightly higher odds of disliking cilantro. I don’t even know what cilantro tastes like.
-My muscle composition is common in elite power athletes. Quite obviously I have used my superior muscles for blogging. I typed this whole thing in two minutes and eighteen seconds.
-I’m likely to have “wet earwax”. Oddly, I really don’t ever have earwax, but if I did, I wouldn’t want it to be wet. Eeew!
-I’m less likely to have a fear of heights. This checks out. I’m typing this from my treehouse
-I’m likely to be bitten less frequently by mosquitos. I’ve never once had malaria
-I’m less likely to have stretch marks! That’s true. I have three kids but the skin on my stomach is as pristine as porcelain.
-I’m likely to wake up at 7:32 a.m. They are way off on this one.
-My big toe is likely longer than my second toe. That’s true. Like I said, foot modeling career here I come!
Yes, those were all insights that I gained from my genetic analysis. There were others that were less interesting, like maybe a slightly higher likelihood of eventually coming down with certain diseases as I age, which is the case with everyone. I didn’t find any shockers or any new family members (Sorry Pat Sajak). But as I said, look for my feet in national ads soon. Maybe I’ll be a foot double for some actor with hideous feet! The possibilities are endless! My gene analysis has opened up a world of opportunity !
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor.