Category Archives: Uncategorized

Who Stole The “Reblog” Button?

If you hadn’t noticed yet, our “Reblog” button has disappeared. In the meantime you can use the “Press This” button for the same action.  Here is the official response from the WordPress developer

Hi everyone,

We’re aware of the missing Reblog button, and our developers are looking into it. We’ll update here once we have more information.

Thanks to John Howell of Fiction Favorites for giving me the heads up about this. Have a great Friday and feel free to “Press This”! ~Phil

The Winter Olympics: Is That Still A Thing?

Will I watch the Olympic opening ceremonies? No. I saw the Super Bowl half-time show last weekend. That’s enough pomp and circumstance for me for the month.  Is it just me or are the Olympic opening ceremonies just a cross between an elaborate drama club production and a marching band half-time show?

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Not only am I not interested in the opening ceremonies, but the Winter Olympics in general are the equivalent of televised Liquid NyQuil. You can’t possibly get me to believe that virtually every Olympian has overcome decades of great personal tragedy to reach their lofty goal.  I think the networks spend more time telling you about the athletes than they do letting you watch them.

Olympic Announcer 1: “Welcome to Seoul, South Korea! Here we are at the first round of the 10,000 Meter Cross Country Skiing Championship. The favorite in the event is the Swede, Signard Snuffleupagusmussen.”

Olympic Announcer 2: “Very few people know this, but Signard had to overcome decades of great personal tragedy to reach his lofty goal.”

Olympic Announcer 1: “You don’t say? How unusual!”

Olympic Announcer 2: That’s right Announcer 1. As a child, Signard was afflicted with near paralyzing ingrown toenails. His doctors told Signard’s parents that it was possible that little Signard would have to wear open-toed shoes forever. His hopes of being an Olympic cross-country skier looked hopeless. “

Olympic Announcer 1: “Also, in a frigid, Nordic country such as Sweden, there is no season good for open-toed shoes. Fortunately for the viewers we have a 30-minute video clip of Signard training with his specially made open-toed ski boots. What courage it must have taken!”

Olympic Announcer 2: As if that weren’t enough of a challenge Signard was born left-handed and still struggles to button his shirts properly to this day!

Ok, I may watch a bit of the opening ceremonies. All I’ve got to say is that the Winter Olympics need to be cancelled because apparently there isn’t a country in the world that can find a good looking winter hat for their teams to wear.  Also, I’m moving to the Phillipines. First off, the country is named after me, and secondly, they only have one Olympian. I’m pretty sure I could make the team there. Just by virtue of growing up in upstate New York I have better Nordic skills than everyone in the Phillipines.

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What’s the deal with the Biathalon? You ski for a bit and then you pull out a rifle and shoot at things. That sounds like terrorist training for Nordic countries.  Although, have you ever noticed that terrorist acts never take place in cold weather countries? If the Olympic committee wants to stop worrying about terrorist attacks at the Olympics they should just award the Games to Greenland every four years.

In my esteemed opinion almost all Winter Olympic events are just stuff kids do when they’re playing outside on Christmas break. Luge? Skeleton? Bobsled? Sledding, sledding, and more sledding! We could all do that!  Figure skating? That’s just toddler pageants on ice! Snowboarding? I bet you could go to any ski mountain anywhere in the world and find a dozen teenagers high on pot doing better tricks than Shaun White.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor in the spirit of the Olypmics please share it by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or other share buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Picture credits: funy-potato.com and adventure.howstuffworks.com

Throwback Thursday! How To Talk To A Cancer Patient (and her husband)

(Jan. 30, 2016) Few things make normally glib, sociable people  turn awkward like cancer does. Their smiles vanish from their face as soon as the word cancer leaves our lips. A brief uncomfortable silence occurs before they think of a question or a comment. During that all too brief moment, my wife and I cringe, wondering what unintentionally insensitive question or comment we’ll hear.

I’m here to say, relax. You being awkward doesn’t help us feel any better. You know what would make us feel better? Everyone acting normally. You may not run into me or my wife in the real world, but if you haven’t been already, you will certainly be touched by cancer at some point. I’m hoping this post will prepare you to be a more understanding friend or family member.

Cancer is not contagious: They’re not lepers. For cripes sake feel free to give them a hug and actually smile at them.  Radiation and chemotherapy don’t make them radioactive or give them superpowers. (I wish. She still can’t microwave food with her eyes and I still have to open all the jars) You taking a step back and having your face drop doesn’t make someone feel better. Ask about the treatment plan. Ask where they’re going for treatment. Offer to send a meal over. Maybe gift certificates for his and hers massages. Just don’t be afraid of it. We’re trying not to be and smiles are in short supply sometimes.

Picture courtesy my upper left arm.

Picture courtesy of my upper left arm.

Only Tell Stories of Triumph:  Guess what? We don’t want to hear a story about your uncle who succumbed to cancer after a brave three year battle. Do you want to hear the likelihood of surviving a plane crash right before you leave for the airport? We don’t want to hear how tough the side effects from treatment were. My wife is not your uncle. Every cancer journey is unique. If you have stories of friends and family who have overcome the disease and are living happily, fine, we’ll take those.

Reach Out: Sometimes people undergoing treatment for cancer have to miss some time at work. Usually not because of the disease, but because of the treatment. Even if they have family around, they feel alone and isolated from their work peeps. Remind them that you haven’t forgotten them. Call, text, and post funny things on Facebook and tag them. Or ask when you can visit!

Cancer is not a death sentence: Do not ask “What’s the prognosis?” What you’re really saying is “Are you going to live?”  I’d love to hear my wife tearfully respond, “The doctor said I only have forty years left.” It’s her second time with cancer. There are millions and millions of people out there who successfully overcome cancer time and time again.

Hopefully this didn’t seem too flippant for such a serious topic, but guess what? People with cancer and their families don’t need you to put a pink ribbon magnet on your minivan or for you to run a 5K. They just need their friends and family to be who you’ve always been. Years ago before my wife had cancer the first time, I was the awkward, avoidant person, not knowing how to address the elephant in the room. The most supportive thing you can do for someone with cancer is be the same friend or supportive family member you were before they had cancer, because when the cancer has been beaten they’re still the same person they were, only stronger .  ~Phil

Addendum: Two years after I posted this, my wife is doing well.

TBT! My Text Fight With Donald Trump

(12/17/16) Me and the Donald are going to have words. Well, maybe not words. Maybe just text abbreviations and emojis. In 2006, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Network Response act which allows every cell phone in the United States to get a text message warning of one of three types: A) Amber alerts when a child is missing and/or presumed kidnapped, B) Alerts involving imminent threats to safety or life. or C) Alerts issued by the President.

Yes, that’s right. The man who once tweeted:

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and also tweeted:

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Yes, that man will be able to text us all. The man is an artiste, is he not? He has a gift for language and I for one can’t wait to receive texts from him on a daily basis. Here’s how I imagine our first text conversation will go:

(As you read this imagine Donald Trumps voice)

From President Donald Trump: All Americans, there is an imminent danger that I am compelled to warn you about. Please disregard a little known blog called #ThePhilFactor. The content provided there about me is incorrect and Phil is a stupid jerk.

Phil: Hey Donald! What’s up? What’s your beef with me?

From President Donald J. Trump: Of course I knew you’d respond. Ur a self-serving attention whore who will do and say anything to get people to like u.

donald-trump-ff893430-d91c-4eab-a271-ebbb259dbac9

Phil: Donald, umm…. did you listen to your campaign?

From President Donald J. Trump: Look, u and I both know I can’t deliver on any of the ridiculous things I said during the campaign, but the rest of those losers, the Ma & Pa Kettles of middle America are dumb as rocks. We’d be better off if I put a wall up around them. It would be easy. We could probably trap them all in the Walmart on a Saturday afternoon.

Phil: So now you want to keep the Americans out of America?

From President Donald Trump: Yes. Absolutely. Look what they’ve done to the country. If Americans and immigrants hadn’t ruined this country, we wouldn’t have to make it great again!

Phil: Isn’t your wife an immigrant? She’s from Slovenia right?

melania-trump-refused-to-make-joint-tv-appearance-with-donald-after-video-leak-report-5754

From President Donald Trump: Oh u think ur so funny don’t you? U and Saturday Night Live think ur so funny when you mock me. Neither of u are funny or relevant any more.

Phil: Saturday Night Live? The American institution that’s been on TV since 1977 and has mocked every President since Gerald Ford? Not funny?

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump

From President Donald Trump: Yes, all comedians who make a mockery of the political process should be banned.

Phil: Did you say comedians or Canadians?

From President Donald Trump: Both. Most comedians are Canadians and they’re both foreigners. We should ban them all from our great country of North America.

Phil: The country of North America?

From President Donald Trump: Yes. Part of making America great again is making it bigger. We should have all of America. North and South America should all be ours so we can be bigger than Russia & China.

Phil: You do realize that this is a group text to the whole country, right?

From President Donald Trump: Shut up Phil. Bloggers. Bloggers too. I’m going to put a wall around all of you. I have to go. Me and Putin have a couples massage at 1:00 😉

Tell me, does that conversation seem far fetched at all? Having the ability to text everyone at once is pretty cool though. I think it would also be great for my blog. I could text all of you to let you know when I post, and after you read you could text me your comments. So from today forward, please leave your cell number in the comments section so I can start compiling a group text for us.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Thank You and a Question

I sincerely want to thank all of you who voted for my book, Time To Lie, in the AllAuthor.com November Cover of the Month contest. I didn’t win, but I did very well thanks to all your support.

Here’s my question: I’m looking to boost sales of my book with some kind of giveaway. I’m willing to offer a prize of an Amazon gift card or cards, there could be multiple winners. Does anyone have any clever ideas how I could connect those two things?

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

If You Haven’t Voted Yet, I Need Your Help!

My book cover for Time To Lie has been nominated for Cover of The Month on the website AllAuthor.com. There is weekly voting. My book has made it into the top ten in voting so far, but I’m still about 200 votes behind the leader and need to qualify for the next round.  If you haven’t voted yet, I’d love your support. It’s the quickest, easiest online voting thing I’ve ever seen. You don’t have to sign up for the website or login to Facebook, or give away your e-mail address. None of that. Just click THIS LINK and below the picture of my cover just click the orange VOTE bar.

What’s in it for you? 1) You can download three free sample chapters to see if you’d really like my book before buying. 2) You discover a new website with thousands of books you’ve never heard of that just might be your next favorite read. 3) My eternal gratitude and more of my idiotic comments on your blog posts. 4) If you want to go quid pro quo, I’d be happy to have you as a guest blogger, promote your book or re-blog a particular post that you want more exposure for.

What’s in it for me? If I win I get a membership to the website. If I finish 2nd or 3rd, my book will be featured on the website for a month. If you’re feeling like you’ve got 10 seconds to spare today, just CLICK THIS LINK and vote. Thank you so much!

Don’t worry, I’m not going into “every blog post promotes my book” mode, I just want to win this contest. Tomorrow I promise to write something possibly funny. Have a great Friday! ~Phil

Another Great Review for Time To Lie!

This is a review on Goodreads.com from a complete stranger who listened to the audiobook that somehow he got for free from a website that I’ve never heard of.

I am so glad I got the chance to listen to this one. A cheeky mix of a coming of age story for a young man, a guide to time travel and college parties. A very cool listen. If you are like me and loved Karate Kid then this story will make you laugh and definitely keep your attention for a few hours. The characters are very likable and you learn to like them more and more as the story goes on. There are so many pop culture and science fiction references/ shout outs sprinkled throughout this book that it gives it a kind of authenticity. With all the different timelines intermingled it lends a sort of confusion that is not confusing at all but gives this time travel tale a little something different. The main character’s sarcasm is so cheeky and fun that you cannot help but laugh at him, in a geeky way. If you are anything like me then you will love listening to the main character geek out in the college dorms and navigate his way through his freshman year. The narrator does a phenomenal job with this entire story, but especially the sarcasm. Each character has their own unique sound it gives them personality. There were scenes that you could really hear the urgency and tension in the narrator’s voice. What a great listen and I cannot wait for this series to be continued. I was provided a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for a honest review via Audiobook Boom. This is no way affected my opinion of this work.

There you have it. That’s a pretty great summary and endorsement. On Goodreads my book now has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.0. If you want a fun read, give it a try (here on Amazon)  and if you really want to make my day today, go vote for my books cover in the AllAuthor.com book cover contest. I’m currently in 13th place and desperately need votes. You can vote without logging in or giving your e-mail! Have a great afternoon! ~Phil