Category Archives: Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursdays! P.T. Phone Home

(Nov. 8, 2014) Funny thing; I just discovered that my texting device has an app to make phone calls too. Isn’t modern technology great? What will they think of next?

You like to think that you’re immune to the stuff…oh yeah. It’s closer to the truth to say you can’t get enough. You’re gonna have to face it. You’re addicted to”  your phone?

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I got a new phone this week. I admit it, I’m a phone addict. The first step is admitting you’re powerless over your phone. I think as a society we’re addicted to our phones. For some it may be the constant contact with family and friends, for others it’s the constant access to information, some people never want to be out of touch with their job, and some just like goofy little games.

Cell phone addiction is a problem though. It distracts us from our jobs, our driving and our loved ones when they’re sitting right in front of us. So how do we cure our phone addiction? You get yourself a NoPhone!

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According to the campaign on Kickstarter, “Phone addiction is real. And it’s everywhere. It’s ruining your dates. It’s distracting you at concerts. It’s disrupting you in movie theaters. It’s clogging up sidewalks. Now, there is a real solution. With a thin, light and completely wireless design, the NoPhone acts as a surrogate to any smart mobile device, enabling you to always have a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment. Never again experience the unsettling feeling of flesh on flesh when closing your hand.” The feeling of “flesh on flesh when closing your hand”? Isn’t that what you get when you hold hands with someone? Ugh (shudders) who wouldn’t want to avoid that?

I was going to come up with a list of other hilarious placebo products for a variety of addictions when I realized that it’s already been done. The NoPhone idea isn’t crazy, it’s brilliant! Think about it, for smokers there’s the e-cigarettes, for diabetics, technically not an addiction, there’s all kinds of sugar-free treats, for sex addicts there’s plenty of …ahem…devices and dolls. I don’t think alcoholics should have non-alcoholic beer, but hey, it’s out there too.  For the cleaning/germ-o-phobe addicts, send them to my house! Our society is full of placebos and surrogates for our vices. What’s that saying? Fake it till you make it! Here’s my million dollar idea; my Kickstarter campaign kicks off next week. Why not put a big, black box in someones living room to cure them of television addiction? With all the flat screen TV’s now, I think you could just paint a black rectangle on their wall.

In all honesty, this post was just an excuse for the E.T. picture at the top. If you haven’t yet, please vote for my book cover in the AllAuthor.com Cover of the Month Contest by clicking THIS LINK. The cover that’s in 1st place right now is laughably bad, and yet it got about 100 votes yesterday to move from 3rd to 1st. They can’t possibly have better blog friends than I do, can they? I didn’t think that was possible. You’d better go show them how wrong they are!

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

TBT! The Afterlife To-Do List

(01/17/16) Yesterday I wrote that it’s disconcerting to see so many people possibly more famous and probably wealthier than me, pass away and it has made me realize that it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Steve Jobs FitBit didn’t help him avoid death, what chance do I have? That’s right all you FitBit nuts, the Grim Reaper is coming for you no matter how many steps you take today.

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That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting the Big Brother house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would Big Brother be if the ten dolts were locked up in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.

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List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want every one there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Me: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for almost 11 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regular schedule after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die?

(This paragraph isn’t part of the throwback) Also, before you transition to the great beyond, would you mind clicking THIS LINK and voting for my Time To Lie book cover in the AllAuthor.com Cover of the Month contest? You click the link and hit vote. That’s it. No logging in, handing over your email or Facebook nonsense. If you’ve voted before, you can vote again each day. Thanks, I’d really appreciate your help.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

 

Throwback Thursday! The Top Ten Things YOU Need to Survive The Zombie Apocalypse

( Oct. 28, 2014) This weeks Top Ten list is a first for The Phil Factor. I’m thrilled to have a Top Ten list by indie zombie author Marie Lanza. Some of you will remember Marie from her hilarious interview here back in January. Since January Marie has released her first full length novel, Fractured: Outbreak Zom 813 and The Colony: Isolation which is the second installment in her Colony e-book series.

Marie Lanza

Marie Lanza

Last time Marie appeared here on The Phil Factor we had a fun interview, but this time Marie was kind enough to agree to participate in my Top Ten Tuesday with a list of the Top Ten Things YOU Need to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.  Here it is:

1. Weapons – Guns, Bullets, Knives, Swords, Machete, Shovel – It all works. Guns will always draw attention, so if you can, using your other weapons is best. Plus, it will help conserve bullets. Avoid non-lethal deterrents; pepper spray or stun guns, you’ll only hurt yourself and possibly be more flavorful for the zombies!

2. Running Shoes – As much walking and running as you’ll be doing, a good pair of shoes is essential. With everything you’ll be dealing with, who wants to suffer from blisters?  Those high-heeled shoes you’ve been dying to wear… ‘nuff said. Unless they’re spiked heels… put those in your weapons pile.

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 3. Bite proof clothing/protective gear – Leather, arm & leg guards. This will help when you’re fighting in close contact with the infected. Fashionable and practical.
 4. Physical Fitness – In both The Colony e-series and my novel Fractured, my characters are strong physically. During the apocalypse, you’ll get winded from the day to day running. Zombies don’t get winded.  Idea for my new workout video: 20 minute workouts for the Zombie apocalypse.
 5. Technology – GPS system, Two-way Radios. In my novel Fractured these were essential for communication for Harmony and Dan to keep in touch with their families. Don’t forget batteries!
 6. Food – MREs, canned food. This stuff will last forever.  Leave the farm fresh salmon behind!
 7. Water – Water bottles, Canteens, Camelbak, Water Purification equipment. You may be able to get away with no food, but no one can survive without water. Water bottles are key. If water sources are potentially contaminated, you don’t want to question whether or not you’re drinking to your own death. Boil anything going into the canteens, camelbaks and even the water you’re filtering through water purification equipment. But the questions remains… does even boiling it kill the virus?
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 8. Lighting – Flashlights, Flares, Candles, Glow Sticks and of course, lighters and matches. In a pinch a mag-light or a flare can make a good weapon!
 9. Storage – Backpack, tactical belt or vest, easy to handle and easy to run with. Don’t make the mistake of duffle bags, over the shoulder or anything that’s not easily carried while you’re running. These items could also get caught on something easier than a backpack, tactical belt or vest. Leave the roller bags at home.
 10. Misc Tools – Swiss Army knife, can opener, duct tape, scissors, batteries and solar chargers.  Look for ‘101 uses for duct tape in a Zombie filled Wasteland’ at a bookstore near you!
Wow! It doesn’t get much better than that. Zombie survival advice from one of the world’s foremost experts! I have to say, I read Marie’s novel Fractured: Outbreak ZOM 813 and I was not disappointed. I’m a Stephen King fan and I loved Marie’s novel. If you want to know what it would be like to survive day to day after a zombie apocalypse this is the book for you. In addition to enjoying Marie’s fantastic novels you can also find her on her radio show The Dirt which you can find on iHeart Radio and TradioV. By all means make sure you also follow Marie on Facebook and Twitter. Like I said though, if you like a good, no, great zombie survival story check out all Marie’s books on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions.
As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor and want to help your friends survive the zombie apocalypse please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below.

TBT! Happy Diwali! or दीपावली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं !

In the “States” and many other countries we’re all excited about Halloween, but we’re overlooking a big holiday tomorrow. Because of the continued popularity of my post Real Sexting Conversations to Read in Hindi? I thought I would branch out my humorous holiday coverage to include the Hindu holiday of #Diwali, which is tomorrow. Before we go any further, Hindi is the language that is spoken by most, or is it moist, people in India? Let’s face it, everyone in India is probably moist all the time. It’s more overpopulated than Miami during Spring break and the average winter temp in India is 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 C). Ok, Hindi is a language and Hindu is a religion. You can speak Hindi without being Hindu and vice-versa, but most people who speak Hindi happen to be Hindu.

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I figured that because so many Hindi people also visit my site for dating advice, like I gave in my post How Ron Burgundy Will Save Hindi Sex , that I would continue to court their growing influence in the blogosphere by writing about one of their biggest holidays. For the rest of you, here is some info to help you understand why this is such a big holiday: Diwali, or Deepavali, as it is sometimes called, (look, I know there are a lot of people in India, but why can’t you all agree on one name for the holiday? The rest of us have Christmas period. We don’t call it anything else.) is the Festival of Lights. It’s a celebration of light over darkness, or good over evil. Good over evil? Awesome. Who isn’t down with that, right? It’s like having a Batman holiday. It’s also an official holiday not just in India, but in eleven other countries. Let’s face it, if you’re not down with Diwali then you ain’t jolly. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a saying in India.

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Why would you need “eye health safety tips for Diwali”? Because it’s like our Fourth of July/Independence Day in the States. On Diwali, all the Hindus get lit! They don’t get lit in the sense of drinking a lot, or do they? I imagine that the Feni will be flowing freely in Mumbai tomorrow as they celebrate the Festival of Lights by lighting candles and fireworks until the wee hours of the morning. Something like one tenth of the Earth’s population is in India, nobody has more than 6 inches of personal space, and on one day each year they all start fires. I don’t see how that could possibly go wrong! The fire departments in India earn their keep on Diwali. There are literally tons of fire accidents on Diwali, so read this article to help you stay safe and alive tomorrow. No one wants to leave Diwali in a funeral trolley. That’s not a saying in India yet, but mark my Hindi words, this time next year some marketing dude in India is going to make this the tag line for a public service announcement.  Here it is in Hindi: कोई भी एक अंतिम संस्कार ट्राली में दीवाली छोड़ना चाहता है. And tomorrow, someone in India who reads this will say it to their friends moments before one of them blows off a finger or two with firecrackers.

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I love the angry baby memes. I wonder if one day in 20 years we’ll see a picture of the angry baby then and now. Anyway, for those of you who are not Hindu, I hope you learned a little more about another culture today and for all my Hindi speaking readers, if you drink too much don’t get into a brawly on Diwali. Yeah, I could do this all day. दीपावली की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं ! <–That may or may not be me and my Hindi readers making fun of the rest of you. For all you Netflix watchers, go look up The Office episode about Diwali. Very funny. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost!

There’s two things I’m not sure if I believe in, ghosts and death. Well, I’m sure I don’t believe in my own death, and if by chance it does happen, I plan to overcome it by becoming a ghost. I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself What a weirdo! Hey, relax on the judgement there. I’m contractually bound to comeback after death, if I have one, a death that is.

Contractually bound? Yup. Nothing I can do about it now. It was many years ago in college. One night myself and two friends were drinking some adult beverages. You know how when you’re young, like 20 or so and you think you’re really deep even though you’re really idiots who don’t know anything? We had imbibed a few and got to talking about death and the afterlife.

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We all were curious to know if there really was life after death, so right then and there we Googled and then re-enacted a centuries old Druid ceremony complete with a circle of salt, candles under a full moon and signing a pact with our own blood, which was flowing easily because of the alcohol we had been drinking. Ok, no we didn’t, but I had you going there for a second, didn’t I? There was no blood signed contract, and there was also no Google when I was in college, but we did make a promise to each other that whichever one of us died first would come back and haunt the other two so we would know that there’s life after death.

I don’t know where those two college friends are now and don’t even remember ones last name. Hopefully, because of our vow, some sort of afterlife mojo will help us find each other to keep our promise. As far as I know, none of us has ever shown up to haunt the others. With Halloween in the air I got to thinking of this and what else I might do if I were to be a ghost.

Stars DEMI MOORE and PATRICK SWAYZE. Licenced by Channel 5 Broacasting. Contact Five Stills: 0207 550 5583/5509/5544. Free for editorial press and listings use in connection with the current broadcast of Channel 5 programmes only. This. image may only be reproduced with the prior written consent of Channel 5. All rights reserved. Not for any form of advertising, internet use or in connection with the sale of any product.

I know this may be hard for you to believe, but in my life I’ve been a bit of a practical joker at times. I’m pretty sure that if I ever come back  as a ghost I’m not going to take off my shirt and help anyone with pottery. Jeez, what a waste of an afterlife. I’ll probably be what we all know as a poltergeist. I’ll move a lot of peoples car keys just before they have to leave for work. During live televised events I’ll show up invisibly and give the President or the Pope a wet willie. I’ll be on the field at all my favorite live sporting events, helping out a little to ensure my favorite teams win. You know that feeling you get when you feel like someone’s behind you but you turn around and no one’s there? That’ll be me.  Who knows? Ghost Phil may even zip into the internet and follow the connection to your computer and cause embarrassing typos when you’re posting pictures.

So do you believe in life after death? Do you think there are real ghosts? Have you ever had an experience with what you think was a ghost? What would you do if you were a ghost?

Have a great Thursday, and no, you don’t have enough Halloween decorations up yet! ~Phil

TBT! Other Stuff There Should Be Nobel Prizes For

If you follow the news, you’ll know that it’s Nobel Prize season. In fact, according to the timer of the Nobel Prize website, the Nobel Prize for literature will be given out in about 90 minutes. Each day they give out a new one. I wrote this post originally in October 2014.

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?

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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, Bieber and all the Kardashians.

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 Thursday! ~Phil

TBT! The Guy Code of Conduct: Public Bathroom Etiquette

I went way way back in time for this one. This post is from October of 2006. I used to have an intermittent series of posts called The Guy Code of Conduct. This was one of the more popular ones.

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(10/2/2006) As is well known, women have the “never go to a public restroom alone” rule. Women also have several other rules devoted to their bathroom habits, but to imply that I know them would say something bad about me. I’m not sure what, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be good. Despite what women believe, we are not complete barbarians. There are some rules we live by when it comes time to answer the call of nature. In fact, The Guy Code of Conduct has an entire chapter devoted entirely to how, when, and where men eliminate metabolic waste. Here are some of those rules:

1. If you are intoxicated and it is after dark, it is entirely acceptable to urinate anywhere outdoors, just look out for other men who also might be out there urinating in the dark.

2. In a public restroom never use the urinal immediately next to another man if it is possible to go elsewhere, like two urinals down the row, in a stall, or in the sink. Whenever possible you must attempt to keep a three foot buffer zone between you and other urinating men.

3. In a public restroom never use the urinal next to another man unless there is at least one of those little dividers. If there is no divider and the stalls or sinks are full, just wait your turn.

4. If you are using a urinal immediately next to another man just stare straight ahead and do not speak.

5. Speaking while urinating is allowed under only two circumstances: a) if two men are peeing outside and there is an appropriate buffer zone between them, or b) if two men are using urinals and there is a divider and one empty urinal between them.

6. Things you should never pee on: the fire, electric fences, other men, women, your food. (This rule was first written by two cavemen named Ed and Thog during the Jurassic period and originally only included the reference to the fire. Over the years through trial and error the list was expanded to include the other items.)

There is also an index in the back of The Guy Code of Conduct which includes world records involving urination, such as distance, from the greatest height, volume, off of famous landmarks etc.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil