Tag Archives: TBT

TBT! Hey Guys, We’re In Trouble

(09/27/14) If you’re a guy, reading this may save your life. Ladies, you should read this because you’ll thoroughly enjoy the perspective.

mqdefault

Guys, we’re in trouble. Throughout history men have been the dominant gender because of our advantage in size and muscle mass. I think that may be changing. In my never-ending quest to live forever I’m continually trying to stay in shape. Recently I joined a new gym. I tried a couple classes that approximate Cross Fit. Do you know who’s in these classes? Women. Every class, no matter how physically challenging, is about 80% women. Typically you think of fitness classes at a gym and you think of women in fluorescent spandex jumping around to peppy music like this:

aerobics2

That may have been true twenty years ago. The women in classes at gyms now aren’t “normal” women though. They’re some sort of super-breed of women. You know who’s going to survive the Zombie apocalypse? Female fitness instructors and their followers. Guys, we can do curls and chest presses all we want, but I’m telling you, the women in these classes can kick our asses. These women are doing chin-ups and juggling medicine balls in time to music while standing on one foot. If the women at gyms across the country decided to band together and take over the country there would be nothing we could do about it. We can’t even out-run them.

Some of you more crass and low-brow type of guys might be thinking, “But Phil, isn’t it awesome being in a class full of fit women in yoga pants?” No. No it’s not. It’s awful. Imagine yourself in a room with walls that are completely mirrors. Imagine everyone in the room moving fluidly and smoothly around you. Now imagine yourself flopping around on the floor, gasping for breath like a fish that’s been tossed on the deck of a boat. And you can see yourself in the mirrored wall. And everyone else can see you in the mirrored wall. It feels like that dream where you find yourself in public in your underwear and there’s nowhere to hide.

step

That picture above is how I feel after every class. Like I said, I’m not looking around at any one else. I’m just trying to survive. Guys, the reason we should be worried is 1) I’m convinced all the women are more physically fit than us. (You know, fantasy football isn’t exercise) and 2) About 20 minutes after the class ends and I can breathe normally, I feel like kicking the crap out of somebody for the rest of the day. I don’t care how attractive they are; I want no part of a pre-menstrual woman with more muscle mass than me. What if more and more women do these classes? And what if at one of the classes they realize that they don’t need us to open their jars anymore?

ecard

You know what? Screw the Marines, Special Forces and Navy Seals. If President Obama and the rest of the civilized world want to obliterate ISIS once and for all, they just need an army of fitness instructors and their followers. That would be the real definition of terror. Guys, for the good of all of us and for the survival of the male species I’ll continue to attend these classes in the hope of at least gathering intel so we know when the women plan to take over.  Wish me luck.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor or just hope to survive the Aerobics Apocalypse, feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Speedos, Cigs and Vespas: Why the Europeans are Better Than You

(09/20/2011) Believe it or not, TSA allowed me on a flight to Europe last week. I think they were hoping I only had a one way ticket because I definitely had an easier time getting out of the U.S. than back into it. My job took me to Spain and I managed not to get into a fight with any one from any country. Apparently The Phil Factor is universally adored.

The trip however, was an education.

1. Europeans are not afraid of lung cancer. How cool is that? In the long run that isn’t a bad thing either because it will result in fewer Europeans. Apparently word that cigarettes are bad for you hasn’t reached Europe yet. The Europeans love their cigs just about anytime of day anyplace they are no matter what they’re doing. The world class hotel I stayed in even had an entire floor of rooms set aside for smokers. Fortunately although I am not a smoker, I was graciously placed on the smoking floor so that I could enjoy the wonderful European ambience.

2. Europeans aren’t afraid of skin cancer either. Based on my observations I think  Europeans are in better physical shape than Americans and they are damn proud of it, especially at the beach in front of my hotel where clothing was optional. Unfortunately much of their pride in their bodies was sadly overestimated by the owners of many of those bodies. There needs to be an upper age limit imposed for beach nudity. And the dudes over there seriously love their Speedos. I saw a guy jogging in a Speedo, and he was smoking at the same time.

3. 9 o’clock is the new 4 o’clock: I think I figured out why the Europeans are in better shape than we are. They eat at weird times. They don’t lunch until about 2 pm and dinner until 9 or 10 pm. If I had to wait until 10 pm for my dinner, most days I would either pass out from low blood sugar or just plain fall asleep and miss the meal altogether.

4. The Euro rocks: The American dollar may buy less and less these days, but the Euro is awesome. One Euro is like $40 American! Do you know how many Speedos you can buy with a Euro? Me neither. I swear.  Apparently all the Europeans spend their Euro’s on Speedos, cigs and Vespas.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to travel to far away exotic lands through the power of reading you can subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle and follow me on Twitter @ThePhil Factor.

TBT! It’s Definitely Not The Cult of Personality

(03/05/16) I joined a cult recently. I knowingly and willingly joined this cult. Don’t worry, it’s not Scientology or the Amish. It’s a different, newer cult. I yearned to be let into their ranks, and now that I’m in the cult I’m certain it will drive me crazy. OK, crazier.

cults

It started the day before Valentine’s Day. My wife knew I wanted into the cult for about three weeks, but I wasn’t willing to spend the money. So, for my Valentine’s Day gift she bought me entry into this exclusive cult. She gave it to me the day before Valentine’s Day so that I could “enjoy it for the weekend.”

She got me a Fitbit. Yes, I’m one of those people now. I’m wearing the thin black wrist band. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing.

Fitbit-Charge-HR-position

All day every day I now know how many steps I’ve taken that day, my heart rate, how many flights of stairs I’ve walked up, calories I’ve burned, my current pulse rate, and the time. The only problem is that it sometimes distracts me from checking how many blog views I have that day. I remember back in the day when people just exercised until they were too tired to exercise any more.

My problem with this thing is that I don’t consider walking to be exercise. Walking is how our bodies were designed to get from one place to another! Now, if I walk a lot in a day I’m expected to feel good about it. I’m told to feel that I’m slimming down. I walked before I had this and I didn’t think anything about it. Now if I exceed my highest step record I’m a champion! Woo! Go me! That’s ridiculous. If you’re a completely sedentary person who gets winded walking around the house, then wearing a wristwatch that measures your steps doesn’t suddenly make you into David Beckham or Ronda Rousey.

You know what would be awesome? If in addition to counting my steps it also gave me a little electric shock when I did something bad for my fitness. Like for instance if, like a dog’s invisible fence, it could shock me if I got too close to a McDonald’s. Or maybe if it sensed that I was about to eat pizza a little message would scroll across it’s tiny screen: “Are you frickin’ kidding me fat ass! That slice is like a thousand calories! Put it down!”

Another problem I have is that I’m not entirely sure that I’m not on house arrest. I know that I’m not on house arrest yet, but like the felons that have to wear an ankle bracelet so they can be tracked if they leave their house, how do I not know that I’m being tracked by the government? That my movements aren’t being entered into a data base some where? We’re all being tracked every day by our cell phones, our GPS’s, public video cameras, and our cars, so I guess that although Edward Snowden and the American Civil Liberties Union would both have fits (but not Fitbits), I don’t care if the National Security Agency knows what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m pretty sure they don’t give a crap how many steps I’ve taken today.

So here’s where I’m at: so far, three weeks in I’m kind of addicted to my Fitbit, I like to check my pulse and my steps at least twice hourly. I like keeping score. I like feeling like I’m doing well even if I’m not doing anything different than I was before. Isn’t that what modern life is about with all our “likes” from strangers on the interwebs? Yes! More false and meaningless affirmation from an outside source! Excellent, now I don’t have to develop my own self-esteem!

So what are the cults that you’ve willingly joined and enjoy? Now don’t be stingy with the meaningless affirmations; give me lots of likes and comments! Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

TBT! If We We’re Having Coffee I’d Probably Want To Punch You

(02/28/15) On Saturdays many people post a “If we were having coffee…'” post as if they’re telling you what they would tell you if  you had coffee with them. This is my “If we were having a beer…” sarcastic version of that after a really annoying week.

wpid-img_20150227_205437.jpg

The Dress: Seriously? Why did the whole world spend all of Thursday staring at a picture of this dress on the internet? Is it blue and black or gold and white? Who cares?!!? Idiots! I’m doing internet research to find out what company makes this dress and I’m investing all my savings in them. Do horizontal stripes make my hips look big?

Audible books: I read a blog this week where someone went on and on about their audible reading. Guess what? It’s not reading! It’s listening! I don’t care if you listen to books on CD or the internet. It’s a great way to hear a story or learn something, but…You. Are. NOT. Reading. I listen to music on the radio, but it doesn’t mean that I’m singing. Reading is reading and listening is listening.

download (16)

The Sleep Number Bed: The ads are everywhere. Maybe even in the middle of the audiobook you’re ‘reading‘. “What’s you’re sleep number?” You know what my sleep number is? My sleep number is that I close my fecking eyes and go to sleep! It’s not rocket science. Why do I need a sleep number? If I have to do math just to get into bed, I’m pretty damn sure I’m not going to sleep right away. How long before “what’s your sleep number?”  becomes a cheesy pick up line? If I had a reason to pick anyone up I’d already be using it.

My lazy neighbors and lazy postman: It’s been snowing like crazy where I live for the last six weeks. My mailbox is on a post with three other mailboxes. Between the town snow plows and my neighbor with the snow blower, our mailboxes have almost been completely buried to the point that the post office refused to deliver mail for three days… until I shoveled the mailboxes out. Why am I annoyed by this? First off all the post office’s motto includes the words “neither snow nor nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Apparently that’s a big lie.  Secondly, I don’t have a working snowblower nor an intact rotator cuff in my left shoulder, yet I had to shovel out the mailboxes. How freaking long were my neighbors just going to not worry about getting mail? Lazy jerks. Abe across the street, you’re forgiven because I know your rotator cuff is torn too.

Speaking of Snow…Hey Boston, shut up. It’s snowing everywhere else in the northeast too. We’re just not whining about it on the news every day. That picture below is what the rest of us do when it snows. Get over yourselves.

Harvard_snow_2015_366x210

The “Reply All” People: This is a public service announcement: Do not hit ‘reply all’ unless you have been specifically requested to do so. The rest of  us hate that. If you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor, however, now is the time to show off your “Reply All” skills by clicking the Facebook, Twitter, or reblog buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

TBT! My Name is Inigo Montoya…Prepare To Fly?

Since I’m in Florda as you read this I thought I’d pull out this classic Phil Factor from April of 2013 to pay homage to the great state of Florida. Considering that the movie Patriot’s Day just came out, the second line is kind of eerie

fire-swamp

(04/20/2013) Wow it’s been a weird week hasn’t it? From the tragedy in Boston to the explosion in Texas to the nutjob sending poison-filled letters to politicians to American Airlines grounding a days worth of flights because of a computer ‘glitch’.  That is a lot of big news and unusual events. At the end of it all, I have to travel for work. Tomorrow I am taking my talents, such as they are, to Miami. You might think that with all the crazy events this week I would be nervous about flying. If you think that you’re wrong.

images-10

I’m nervous though. I’m nervous about going to Florida. You’re probably saying to yourself, but Phil, why would you be nervous about going to the Sunshine State? First off it’s weird that you said ‘but Phil‘ when you spoke to yourself. Secondly, you might wonder how any state with Disney World, aka the costliest happiest place on Earth, could be a scary place? How could I not be nervous about Florida? I’m not sure how, but Florida has seriously pissed off Mother Nature. There may not be a more cursed place in the world.

The entire state is like the Fire Swamp from the movie The Princess Bride. Remember The Fire Swamp scene in The Princess Bride? Westley and Buttercup had to battle a myriad of unseen dangers to get through. Florida is a lot like that.

Much like the lightning sand in the Fire Swamp, Florida has sinkholes. It’s like the entire state was built on Swiss cheese. Just like you’ve seen in a million movies where someone steps into quicksand, you could just be walking along happily and the ground apparently just decides on it’s own to open up and swallow people. That’s crazy. Why would you live somewhere that’s a possibility on any given day?

img_0283

The Fire Swamp had the R.O.U.S.’s, aka the Rodents of Unusual Size. Florida has  I.O.U.S. Insects of Unusual Size. In my research for this Phil Factor I came across two news articles. One referenced a Florida infestation of “giant mosquitoes” called gallinippers that are “20 times the size of normal mosquitoes.” Their bite is described as “being stabbed or having a hot nail driven into your skin.” Delightful huh? But it doesn’t end with mosquitoes. There are also giant, “rat-sized, tire puncturing” African snails invading Florida. That’s got to be all kinds of fun when you step out in your bare feet to pick up the morning paper.  And seriously remember the R.O.U.S.’s in the movie? Tell me those didn’t look and walk like alligators!

I know that this is a Throwback Thursday post, but I’m adding new material today. See that video above, that was actually filmed on Monday in a Florida town that I drove through.

In the immortal words of Prince Humperdinck, “I always think everything could be a trap…which is why I’m still alive.”  Wish me luck this week. If I survive the Fire Swamp known as Florida I’ll probably have some good material for next weeks Phil Factor. As always, if you like what you read here please hit the Facebook Share button and feel free to follow me on Facebook by clicking the ‘Like’ button up there on the top right. I’m adding this later, but just for fun, how about if everyone who reads this puts their favorite Princess Bride quote in the comments section?

Throwback Thursday! Rock You Like A Hurricane!

hurricane-meme

(Aug. 29,2011)  Well it’s hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere. Hurricane Irene ran up the East coast this past weekend and I hope with every fiber of my being that some forward think musician somewhere created a parody song titled “Come On Irene,” based on the 80’s hit by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

tumblr_mckzjz8XHM1r5i1xno1_500

Fortunately I don’t live in an area that ever gets any hurricanes although I felt some of the wind and rain from Irene. In the U.S., our weather people have a tradition of naming hurricanes with people names, such as Hurricane Phil, or Hurricane Betsy. Then the news people are astounded that people refuse to leave their homes when a hurricane is coming. Who is going to be afraid of Hurricane Betsy, or Tropical Storm Cecilia? Remember innocuously named Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, how’d that work out for everyone? Have you ever noticed that when people are interviewed as a big storm is bearing down on their area the homeowners always use the phrase “hunker down”? The interview always goes like this:

Reporter: I’m standing here with Joe and Jane Homeowner who plan on staying right where they are as the biggest storm of the century bears down on us. Joe and Jane, why are you staying put?

Homeowners: Well this little storm ‘taint nuthin. We’ll just hunker down until it passes. Now the storm of ’68, that was a storm!

I’m not sure I’ve ever hunkered down for anything. I think hunkering down best describes the pose my dog takes when she’s going number 2.  If you want people to flee to somewhere safe you have to give  a storm a name that sounds as scary as it is. Why not give it an intimidating name? How about something like Mega Hurricane Deathtron? That might get people out of their homes. Or maybe something simple like The Hurricane of Death? If the Hurricane of Death was headed for my house you can bet I’d get the hell out of the way. Then again, if they named hurricanes like that you wouldn’t have people selling post hurricane t-shirts that said things like “I Was Blown By Irene 2011.” When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will convene a special committee of writers to work on scary, new hurricane names every year.

If you enjoy my nonsense and still have your internet connection after the hurricane you can share this using any of the social media buttons below, follow me on  Twitter @ThePhilFactor and/or subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle. Have a great Thursday!

Throwback Thursday! Hotel Hell

(o8/16/14) Before you read the rest of this post I want you to know that I love staying in hotels. The room is always clean. You leave and come back and someone has made your bed. For these two things alone I would live in a hotel for the rest of my life if that were possible. But there are a few things that bug me…

Picture credit: driveaccord.net

Picture credit: driveaccord.net

Mandatory Valet Parking: I’m not worried about valet’s taking my car for joyrides like in Ferris Bueller. It’s not that great of a car.  I wish I went to a hotel with valets that cool. A hotel I occasionally have to stay at has mandatory valet parking. They are absolutely fanatical about it. The hotel feels the need to have full control of my vehicle, as if their parking garage is some sort of super secret military installation. I can see the lot where they’re going to put my car. It’s not a long walk and I’d prefer to just park it myself and walk in. That, however, is not an option. Neither is them handing over your keys if you need to go get something from your own car.  First the valet offered to go to my car and get what I needed. When I said I’d rather go rummage through my car myself they grudgingly allowed me to handle my own keys, but had a valet accompany me to my car to allegedly make sure I didn’t get myself run over. I think they’re hiding something. Maybe prostitutes turning tricks in my car during the night? He quickly took my keys back, probably to prevent me from seeing what they’re hiding, or from driving anywhere without tipping him. The next morning I wanted to put some things in my car before going to a meeting in the hotel. Guess what? This valet was so insistent about not giving up the keys that I gave up and just told him to throw it in the back seat. If I got my car back and they had converted it, adding all sorts of James Bond type modifications I’d be cool with that, but that never happens. It’s still the same crappy little car I brought there and I had to tip them for not letting me touch my own car for two days.

Picture credit: blog.memberclicks.com

Picture credit: blog.memberclicks.com

The Elevator People: These people are so annoying that this post was almost completely about them. The Elevator People are those people who just cannot relax about the elevator. If you’re standing with them waiting for an elevator they’re hitting the button repeatedly, like an angry woodpecker on Red Bull, until the elevator arrives. I imagine that if they’re in the elevator they pace furiously back and forth like a caged lion. They’re even more annoying if you’re in the elevator they want to get into. They wait in front of the elevator on their toes, ready to launch themselves into the metal box the moment those doors slide open. If you’re inside the elevator when it opens and you start to walk out you’re suddenly face to face with one of these tightly wound creatures because they had to charge into the elevator, never imagining that anyone might be inside. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law making it perfectly legal to punch these people right in the forehead if they attempt to enter the elevator before you’ve gotten out. Hey ladies, imagine if your guy was like this about sex. Just pushing the button over and over until the doors open and then rushing in immediately. Oh wait, we are like that.

The receipt under the door: Most hotels now have elves that sneak around in the dark of night to slip your receipt under your door while you sleep. I find that kind of creepy. Just leave me the hell alone while I’m sleeping! I don’t want to know that a stranger is lurking outside my door. This past hotel stay there was apparently a tremendous thunderstorm during the night that woke my co-workers. Not me. I slept straight through until…until I heard a what sounded like pack of monkeys foraging for food outside my door. From the time and noise it took I was certain that the monkeys, with banshee-like intensity, had dis-assembled the Sunday New York Times and page by page, crumpled it up and forced it under my door. In the morning, there were no monkeys, just my crumpled receipt and that vague feeling that I hadn’t slept well.

I hope you enjoyed your stay at The Phil Factor. I’ll have the valet pull your car up. As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil