Category Archives: Uncategorized

Throwback Valentine’s Thursday! Top Ten Rejected Candy Heart Sayings

You know those chalky candy hearts that for the better part of a century have been shared on Valentine’s Day? They’re so cute with their little candy inscriptions of “I love you” or “Hugs” or other nonsense. I imagine though that there were some ideas that didn’t make it.

10. It’s not you, it’s me

9. Not a cold sore

8. Maybe Next Time

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7. Better late than never

6. It’s eczema. Yes, there.  I swear.

5. The Phil Factor

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4. My last test was clean

3. You paying for dinner?

2. Almost divorced

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1. It’s not yours!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! One of the things I’m in love with is comments. What are your funny ideas for rejected candy hearts sayings?

Have a great day, Valentine’s or otherwise! ~Phil

A Quick Poll. Please Help Me Name My Next Book!

The sequel to Time To Lie has been written and edited. I have sent it off to the publisher. I have tentatively titled it The Last Locked Door. I’m wondering if that’s a strong enough title to lure readers in. Many a book, movie or other product have been either successful or done poorly based on the choice of name. I want your opinion on the title The Last Locked Door. Vote in the poll !

Thanks everybody! I really appreciate your help. Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

The Magic of Emotional Intelligence by Magician James David

At 7:30 a.m. I boarded a flight to Detroit. I made my way down the aisle to the coach section where we were packed into our tiny seats like eggs in a carton. I found myself seated next to a young serviceman. Army I think. He was in uniform and had carried on a duffel bag as if he were headed back to his base. A moment after we had both gotten situated, a guy makes his way back from the first class section, stops at my row and says, “Go take my seat. I’ll switch with you. You deserve it.”  Woo Hoo! It’s my lucky day, I thought. He must be a fan of The Phil Factor. 

As fate would have it, he was talking to the young serviceman next to me. Little did I know that both the young serviceman and I were in luck that day. My new but extremely weary travel companion was magician James David. He must have pulled at least $40 in change out of my ear during the hour long flight. I’m kidding of course. His real trick was staying awake. He had performed until late in Buffalo the previous evening and then during the night drove over an hour to get to Rochester where his flight was leaving from and he hadn’t slept all night.

This is James’ third time appearing on #ThePhilFactor, but it’s his first as an author. You can read his other two interviews HERE and HERE

Me: I have yet to see a job listing for magician on LinkedIn. How does one become a magician as a career?

James: Hey Phil, well one doesn’t just get to pick a job as a magician from Linkedin.   You have to receive a letter from an owl saying you have been accepted to Hogwarts.  Everyone knows that Phil!!   However,  if you are not that lucky (like myself) then learning from a book or a website is a good place to start.  Once you master the basics of magic and get good enough at them you don’t have to “apply” for a job, the jobs just come to you.  When I started to get really good people would just ask me if I did this for a living and how much did I charge?  All I had to do was answer yes!  So the short answer to your question is LOTS of hard work and practice.

Me: What led you, a magician, to decide to write a book about sports team chemistry?

James: Long before I was a magician I was a basketball coach.   In fact, I started learning magic to entertain my students and my players when I felt like making the atmosphere a little more fun. It gave the kids and myself a mental break from reality. But as I learned more and more about magic, I realized magic and sports/life are identical.   What I mean is that they both have fundamentals.  The more you practice a skill set the better you get at it and the better you get at mastering the fundamentals the more it looks like “magic”.   The same is with building chemistry with someone.

I was turned onto the topic of emotional intelligence through a conversation I was having with a friend one day.  It fascinated me and the more I researched the topic, the more I realized it had to do with building chemistry.  But my coaching mind never shuts off and I just kept saying to myself, “This is team building stuff.”   From there I realized that building chemistry is the same as magic and sports.   There are certain fundamental of chemistry as well.  Those fundamentals are self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management.  If you work hard at them and developing emotional intelligence, you will build chemistry!  (It’s explained in more detail in the book)
Me: What has been your most unique or exciting experience working with sports teams?
James: Since I am by heart a basketball guy, my two favorite team to work with have been UCLA men’s basketball and the Portland Trailblazers.  I just loved talking hoops and being able to help professional athletes think about team chemistry in a different way.  But UCLA was my favorite team growing up and it was special to work with a historic program like UCLA because of its rich history in winning championships and because of their former head coach John Wooden.   In fact, John Wooden has a lot of high emotional intelligence principles in his coaching style which is what helped him win so many hearts of his players.   They loved him because of it.
Me: What does your book offer for someone who isn’t in sports coaching?
James:  It was funny you asked this question because when I was having people pre-read my book, I picked some people  that knew sports and some that never played.  One consistent thing I heard back from people was that not only did they learn how emotional intelligent relates to sports, but that it also relates to life!   You do not have to be a sports person to get the value of emotional intelligence. You just need to be willing to learn  and apply it.   When you do that whether you play sports or not, your life will improve.
Me: Thank you James. I appreciate you stopping by The Phil Factor again. Best of luck with your book and your magic.
If you’re interested in learning more about James you can find him at JamesDavidMagic and you can find his book on Amazon! Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

The Unemployment Diaries Day 3: Home Alone?

Apparently, if me and Macaulay Culkin had a baby, it would not be pretty

Day 3: Wife stayed home from work today due to illness. Suddenly being unemployed isn’t nearly as fun as it was yesterday. I guess I’ll have to start looking for a job.

Possible Job Thoughts: (this is an actual picture from the Notes file on my phone)

Run for President: We all know this is already a given, but the election isn’t until 2020. So even if I get the job, the paychecks won’t start coming in until 2021. It also takes time to build momentum, so I’ll need your help. Here’s what you can do: Whenever you share one of my posts on Facebook or Twitter, add the hashtag #PHIL2020.

Apply to Celebrity Big Brother: TV ads are teasing the new season of Celebrity Big Brother, but I don’t think it’s too late for me to jump on board. And why wouldn’t they want me? I have one of the longest running blogs in the world!

Wait, are you questioning my credentials of being “celebrity” enough for Celebrity Big Brother? Seriously? OK, if you want to, let’s do this! Here’s some of the cast:

Natalie Eva Marie. Who? Do you know she is? You probably don’t, but you know who I am. Boom. There’s one that I’m more famous than.

Ryan Lochte? Michael Phelps shadow much? A former Olympic swimmer who’s more famous for getting drunk at the Rio Olympics and kicking in the bathroom door of a gas station. Hell, there’s probably twenty rednecks in my podunk town who have been on the local news for the same thing.

Tamar Braxton? Apparently singer Toni Braxton  has a sister that no one had heard of until the Big Brother ads hit TV this week.   I wonder if Toni even knew.

Jonathan BennettYou could show up at any kindergarten class in a well to do American suburb and find four kids named Jonathan Bennett.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go through all twelve alleged “celebrities”. You get the idea. You’ve heard of me more than you’ve heard of them. CBS, get me on that show! And, one thing I have in common with all of the pseudo celebrities is that I’m unemployed too!

That’s it for today folks! Thanks for reading. Have a great Friday! ~Phil

#PHIL2020

The Unemployment Diaries: Day 1

For the first time in over 30 years, I don’t have a job. As will happen occasionally, if you work for corporate America, you get laid off. I’m not going to bash my former company. They treated me well for a long time.  What I am going to do is chronicle my adventures as I try to find things to do when I have nothing to do.

My initial impression of what happens to guys who lose their job is Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom:

I posted the picture of me at the top so you can see what I look like on Day 1. Who knows? Maybe on Day 28 I will have a beard and be walking around the house in a robe. Or maybe I’ll have a funny, kick-ass blog. I didn’t do it today, but I intend to go to video blogging occasionally. I’ve never done it, but have always wanted to.

Being without a job is freeing. I’ve spent over 30 years going to work at least 40 hours a week. So, having some time off is why I’m smiling in the picture above. Also yesterday, all alone in my house, I did a little bit of this:

I really did dance around my house for no reason yesterday, but it was to Green Day. I couldn’t pull off Tom Cruise’s slide across the floor in my socks because I have carpeting. If I could have, you would have seen it because I would have filmed myself sliding by the laptop camera.

You’re probably wondering if my Unemployment Diaries series of blog posts is just going to be references to 80’s movies. The answer is, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know where my mind will take me when I have this much unstructured free time.

So far today I endured a brief panic when I thought the toaster didn’t work. Briefly, I wondered if I could eat my dog if things got too dire. Fortunately I figured out the toaster issue. Her life is saved, for now. Actually, I probably won’t eat her. When I was on the phone with my former company’s human resources department being told I was laid off, my dog was in the corner throwing up on the rug. She knows how to read the room.

Then I had an argument with Amazon’s Alexa device which resulted in me shouting “Shut up Alexa” and storming out of the room. She is just such a fecking know it all. I fear that my relationship with Alexa may not survive this.

Stay tuned…  ~Phil

There’s No Happy Ending To This Massage

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In the immortal words of Indiana Jones, “Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?” Why couldn’t there be massages that involve little bunnies, kittens, puppies or panda bears? Yes, snake massages are a thing.

It started almost six years ago in Indonesia and now American celebrities are jumping on the snake massage bandwagon. There’s a woman in New York City, calling herself Serpentessa who charges $300 for a 75 minute snake massage with several boa constrictors. Serpentessa?!!? Really? She sounds like a villain in a super hero movie. She probably does a snake hiss anytime she pronounces a word with an S. I’m guessing that’s not her birth name. She’s probably Edith from Kansas City. (Click her name there to go see her website)

Just to be clear, I don’t have a snake phobia at all. As a kid I used to catch snakes and keep them as pets. My mom was not thrilled. That being said, I’m not getting a snake massage unless someone reading this gets a GoFundMe started and you all contribute enough to cover the cost of my massage and the travel to NYC. Then I’d feel obligated to go get it done and film it for my blog, which I would rename Phil Does Stupid Stuff. Here’s why I won’t choose to do a snake massage on my own: She’s doing it with boa constrictors! These are the snakes that squeeze the life out of people and swallow them whole. In the video below, you’ll see that the snakes are just languidly slithering over the victim person.

But what if  you sneeze and startle the snakes? Like you and me, if we’re startled, wouldn’t the snakes tense up? Or what if Serpentessa gets a phone call and leaves the room to take it? No thank you. That’s probably just what Sepentessa wants. She’s going to feed her enemies to the snakes until she can take over the world. Hmm…I wonder if I could send Donald Trump a snake massage gift certificate… Now, as a writer I’m picturing the scene: In the dark of night, in the hallway of the White House snakes slithering into the Oval Office….

This seems like as good an idea as Goat yoga. Just let me know when the GoFundMe has enough for me to go get that snake massage. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

I Know What You Googled in the Dark!

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while. This is my quarterly reminder that even if you have your computer in ghost mode or you haven’t signed in to Google, someone somewhere knows what you searched when you’re home alone. Big Brother may not be watching, but I am. So without further self-indulgent blathering by yours truly, these are not the most popular search terms that brought people to The Phil Factor, but they are definitely the most interesting:

Sex position for Tuesday: It’s a little known fact that certain sexual positions on certain days of the week lead to a higher rate of conception. I am the world’s foremost expert on this subject, so for a fee, I will advise. In response to this inquiry, the answer is The Blender Bender. You’re welcome. Enjoy.

Can sociopaths smell? clinical study showed that people with a poor sense of smell score highly on ratings of sociopathic tendencies. I would guess that most of you can’t even smell the aroma I’ve programmed my blog to give off when you open the web page. If you can’t smell it, then you’re a sociopath.

Doppelganger women fight: Every man’s fantasy, right? I’d say that it depends on the woman.

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Perks of being the Pope: It’s a little known fact that the Pope and I are old pals. We went to band camp together one summer and we still keep in touch. One of the perks of being the Pope is that he gets to drive the Popemobile, and he just loves to pull up to my house in that thing. He’s so smug.

What do kids get out of snorting Tide pods? I would guess not much more than their nostrils smelling like lavender breeze. Kids, if you’re reading this, stop snorting Tide Pods. Have you even tried drugs?

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Foot Fetish certificate: I used to be in charge of awarding the foot fetish certificates worldwide, but now apparently it’s Amazon.com. Go ahead, click that. I dare you.

Funny drinking charities: These are my favorite charities. Apparently, I am a funny drinking charity. Amazon author stats show that the only time anyone has ordered one of my books is when they are drunk. How does Amazon know that? Trust me, Amazon knows everything. EVERYTHING!

Celebrity nipples: So I’ve got an old friend who is a very well respected and confidential cosmetic surgeon, and long story short, Ryan Gosling has nothing on me, or is it vice-versa?

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil