Tag Archives: The Phil Factor

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Rock You Like A Hurricane?

Well it’s hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere. Hurricane ‘Henri’ ran up the East coast this past week and I hope that everyone in it’s path escaped without any mortal injuries. Then again, how threatening can anything or anyone named Henri be? That may be the least menacing name ever. The fact that there are so many Henri’s in France is why they’ve lost every war they’ve ever participated in.

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Fortunately I don’t live in an area that ever gets any hurricanes although I felt some of the wind and rain from Henri. In the U.S., our weather people traditionally name 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 Henri, or Tropical Storm Cecilia? Remember innocuously named Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, how’d that work out for everyone? And for cripes sake, why did we have a hurricane named Henri? Henri sounds more like a refreshing light rain on a pleasant spring day.

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.

Have a great and hurricane free day! ~Hurricane Phil

The Psychics First Date

As I mentioned in my post on Thursday, a lot of folks have been showing up at The Phil Factor to read my 2017 post Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Psychic Pick Up Lines. One of many questions I have about this phenomena is, are the people reading this psychics looking to upgrade their dating game, or is it non-psychics curious about the dating habits of psychics? Or could it possibly be singles on the dating scene looking for ways to prevent them from getting duped by smooth talking psychics?

Here is how I imagine a first date between two psychics would go:

A man in a turban and a purple velour cape sitting alone at a table in a swanky Italian restaurant. He stands up as he makes eye contact with a woman who has just entered and he gives her a little wave. She acknowledges him and starts to weave her way between tables. Her many chiffon scarves flow freely from her, brushing peoples heads as she passes.

Karnak the Magnificent: “Why hello Esmeralda! Have a seat,”  Karnak says as he pulls out her chair for her.

Esmeralda: “Thank you Karnak. This is a lovely restaurant. However did you choose it?”

K: “This is where my grandparents went on their first date sixty years ago. They’ve always told me the story of their magical first date, and I have a good feeling about you, so I thought it might be a good luck charm for us.”

E: Aww…that’s sweet, but it would be more sweet if your ex-girlfriend didn’t wait tables here and you weren’t bringing me here hoping to make her jealous.

K: “What? That’s preposterous! I love the food here!”

Esmeralda raises an eyebrow.

K: “OK, you got me, but the food is really incredible.” Nodding to waiter, “Yes, Cabernet for both please.” Turning to Esmeralda, “Besides, on your dating profile you said that you’re 28 when you’re really 30.”

E: “So we’ve both started this relationship with little white lies. Fair enough. Let’s try to turn our heads off and get to know each other the old fashioned way.”

K: “Agreed. So Esmeralda, where did you grow up?”

E: Chuckles, “Well, I grew up a little bit almost everywhere. My parents were gypsies who traveled with the circus all over Europe. They read the Tarot cards for a living. How about you?”

K: I was an orphan, raised by Tibetan monks in the mountains of Nepal. I immigrated here to the States with them when I was twelve. They came here to build a monastery in the Hollywood Hills. It’s actually right next to a Scientology resort. Tom Cruise came over and bought an alpaca from us once. So tell me about your travels in Europe. Which country was your favorite?”

E: “I loved all of Europe. It’s hard to pick just one country, but if I have to, I’ll say France. Our circus set up just outside of Paris for several months. The people, the food, the wine. I could see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night. That was a magical time. So Karnak, how did you come to realize that you’re psychic?”

K: “Huh? I’m sorry. I was lost in thought. What did you say Esmeralda?”

E: “You weren’t lost in thought. You were lost in my cleavage! I can read your mind you idiot. And yes, there are more tattoos. Very interesting ones in very interesting places.”

K: “Ok, if we’re going to get real here, let’s get real. Yes, you’ve been to Paris. Paris, Texas where you grew up. You can drop the hokey accent now Paula. Esmeralda? Please. You look like an Esmeralda about as much as I do!”

E: “You want to get real? You weren’t psychically drawn to my booth down at the boardwalk. You read my profile on Tinder and came and found me, hoping your hokey psychic line would get me!”

K: “Listen Paula, I also know that you’ve been wondering about what’s under my …ahem..(using finger quotes) “turban” all night long.”

E: “Listen Steve, yes, I know your real name, are you as hot as I am right now?”

Karnak/Steve: “You already know I am. My place is just around the corner. Let’s get our food to go.”

Esmeralda/Paula: “And when you say “you’re place” you really mean your parents house and we’re going to sneak in through the walk out basement door in back, right?”

Steve: “I’ve never been so turned on in my life.”

Paula: “Keep the turban on!”

As you can see, being a psychic certainly could be challenging on the dating scene. But if you could be psychic and read minds, would you?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

The Mystery of Psychic Pick-up Lines

Apparently psychics are very interested in dating. There’s nothing wrong with that. Soothsayers need soothing too. The reason I bring this up is that during the last three years I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to, yet one particular post that I wrote a few years ago seems to be getting a steady stream of visitors, not from the WordPress Reader, but from random internet searches.

It used to be that my post titled Real Sexting Conversations to Read In Hindi? from 2015 brought a steady stream of readers to my blog. Over the past three years when I neglected my blog and my wonderful gang of Hindi speaking followers, another post that I wrote four years ago has developed a cult following. The post, Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Psychic Pick Up Lines, has over 1700 views so far this year and has similar numbers for the last three years. 1700 views in six months for a post I published four years ago?!!? That’s nearly 300 views per month! I wondered what was going on, and then it hit me; psychics are looking for love and I’m going to help them damn it!

This guy is my favorite psychic, aside from myself of course

I’m not one to ignore a good thing. From here on out I’m considering making this a psychic dating website. Who knew there was such a market? Psychics probably did. Do psychics have trouble finding people to date? Shouldn’t they already know who likes them? Do psychics have to date other psychics, or do they prefer to date people who can’t read their mind right back? These are the mysteries of the universe that I will delve into in my post on Saturday. Be sure to come back for that. Then again, maybe me and my psychic friends already know who’s going to read my blog Saturday. Thank you. I’ll see you then!

Have a great day! ~Phil

The Streetside Mail Browsers (We hate you)

If you don’t know what a streetside mail browser is, then please, let me describe them for you. Also, streetside mail browsers don’t just ply their trade in the streets, some do it in their apartment building lobby. 

This is a streetside mail browser: It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you just got home from work. You wave to your neighbor as you stroll down to your mailbox. You pull the small stack of envelopes from the box. Oh! Look at that! A card from Aunt Viv! I wonder how she is. Ooh, is that a sales flyer for my favorite store? 20% off? Oh yeah! I can do some damage to my credit card bill at 20% off! 

What is wrong with you people? Who do you think you are? Could you be more arrogant and inconsiderate? What? Does it come a surprise that others find your behavior inconsiderate and rude? Let me give you the gift of seeing through another’s eyes: 

I’m driving down the street and I see you standing in the street in front of your mailbox. No big deal. I’ll swerve a little into the oncoming lane to get around you. Oh no! There’s a car coming from the other direction and you don’t see it because it’s behind you. So you just stand there browsing your mail like you own the fecking street. Are you kidding me? Where’s you’re awareness? You’re in the street. Oh my God you fecking idiot! Now I have to stop because you’re lost in dreamland reminiscing about Aunt Viv and that time her camp chair broke and she fell right on the ground. 

What? That doesn’t sound like you? What about when I take my dog out to pee and there you are reading all your mail in the street right across from my house and my dog ia going ape-shit because she thinks you’re going to come over and pet her. No, don’t wave and say hi. Just get the feck in your house. My dog can’t concentrate. I don’t want to be out here until you finish reading your mail you inconsiderate dolt. 

Or how about this? In the lobby of the apartment building, don’t stand there blocking ten other mailboxes. I just got in out of the rain and I have to stand there watching you look surprised that you already got a birthday card from your cousin Skeeter. Nobody cares. I’m not your friend and I don’t give a rat’s ass that Skeeter sent you a gift card for Hot Topic. Get your fecking mail and go to your apartment. You don’t own the whole world. 

This has been a public service announcement by The Phil Factor. Enjoy your day. The rest of us are glad there’s “no post on Sundays!”

Have a nice rest of your weekend! ~Phil

 

 

Do You Want To Learn To Travel The World?

Today’s the day! My travel blog, Philliver’s Travels, launched today with THREE groundbreaking posts you won’t want to miss!

  1. The Drunk That Saved Pittsburgh!– A funny story from my travels
  2. Travel Hacking with The Basic Travel Couple-Learn how to travel without breaking the bank!
  3. An Interview with International Travel Writer Bel Woodhouse– Have you ever wanted to live overseas? Learn what it’s like to live and travel internationally from an expert!

Like I’ve said before, The Phil Factor isn’t going away, but it will have to share my attention with Philliver’s Travels, and as always, I am very grateful for your reading and support. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Travel Tips You Must Know!

Happy Tuesday everybody. Well, I guess it’s more of a happy Tuesday if you’re getting ready for a trip this weekend. As a prelude to my new travel website and writing venture, Philliver’s Travels, this post is a preview of some of the content you’ll see there.

As we all know, travel is fun and exciting, but it can be a little less than fun when things go wrong. So, to kick things off for my new site, I collaborated with freelance travel writer and International Living magazine/website contributor, Bel Woodhouse , to give you some things to think about before you leave home.

10. Have a “Go-bag” You know who has go-bags? Criminals & smart travelers. (One of those two are my target audience. Which are you?) What I mean by a Go-Bag, is when you travel, don’t take your home phone charger. Don’t take your entire medicine bottle from the cabinet, and for cripes sake, don’t take your toothbrush from home! Buy an extra phone charger, travel toothbrush, tiny tubes of toothpaste, and a weeks worth of your meds. Put them in your suitcase and leave them there! ALL. THE. TIME. That way, you’ll have less things to remember to pack. If you leave things behind at your hotel when you’re heading home, you won’t be out of luck until you can replace those items. As a man that has bought my fair share and your fair share of phone chargers when I get to a destination, having a Go-bag is a smart move.

9. (From Bel) Always have a good old fashioned paper map. Don’t rely on technology. Batteries go flat, coverage gets spotty, phones are stolen. Paper doesn’t let you down. I’ve had one in 30+ countries and have never been lost, mugged or had anything bad happen. EVER.

8. Count your kids: Traveling as a family? This ain’t your local shopping mall. Don’t take your eyes off your little ones. If there’s anything Home Alone taught us, it’s that you need to count your kids wherever you go. MacCaulay Culkin was left home alone and look how he turned out:

7. (From Bel) Know where you are, where you shouldn’t go and how to get back to your hotel, accommodation or nearest taxi.

6. Do the Math! Growing up, I hated mathematics. When you travel, it comes in handy. Just because it seems like you have plenty of time to get to your gate, don’t be fooled. If you show up at the airport Friday-Monday, four days of the week, you need to factor in extra drop off luggage line time and the security line time. On those four days there’s a higher volume of travelers and lines will be longer and slower. Also, if you have connecting flights, book your flights with at least a one hour and ten minute window between the first flight landing and the second flight taking off.  Trust me on that one.

5. (From Bel) Keep the majority of your money on your person, not in your wallet in case someone lifts it.

4. How to tip the housekeeping staff: If you’re staying in a hotel or resort with daily housekeeping, tipping them is customary, but how and when you tip makes a difference. $5 a day American is pretty standard, but should vary depending on the hotel you’re at. Let’s say you’re staying five days, do you dole out that $5 each day or wait until the end of your stay? Don’t wait until the end of the stay. Leave at least a $10 tip the first morning and spread the rest out over the week. My reason? Sometimes if you tip well early, you get better service, like a few extra coffee pods, extra towels, chocolates on the pillow, or just a generally better room cleaning. These folks work hard. Don’t be stingy!

3. (From Bel) Have situational awareness. Take note of what and who is around you. I was in a market in Nicaragua and made eye contact with a guy, then held my camera close until he moved past me only to push over another young woman and steal her camera. Know who and what is around you and keep an eye on your stuff.

2. Talk to the hotel/resort staff before going out: Not every hotel has a concierge, but the staff at every hotel is knowledgeable about the surrounding area and they always have tips and tricks to make your adventures safer, less costly, and more fun. Ask them if there’s some not so well known restaurants that are secret gems.

1. (From Bel) The biggest thing -Always be polite, manners get you everywhere in every country. Show respect. You are a guest and you’re not entitled to everything you want. I have seen many tourists be invited by locals on free tours and into their homes for a meal just by being polite. It opens doors and means the world to people no matter what country you’re in. It is the difference between a traveler and a tourist.

Thank you Bel for visiting #ThePhilFactor and thank you for being part of my Philliver’s Travels blog launch this coming Saturday.

Bel: “I love helping any way I can when someone has the courage to reach for the stars and try to achieve a new dream, project or just have a creative outlet. If you have the courage to try, you can enrich your life in so many ways. I used to be in the Navy, now I’m living my dream life in the Caribbean. Anything is possible when you have the courage to try.”

I couldn’t have been luckier to find Bel on IG (@thetravelbag.guru) and she couldn’t be any nicer. Come back on Saturday for the Philliver’s Travels blog launch and my interview with Bel. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

 

My New Adventure: Philliver’s Travels

Good morning and happy Sunday. As many of you have seen on social media, I’m launching a new website on Saturday, May 1, Philliver’s Travels.  The focus will be on travel. Over the last 15 years, because of my job and my desire to get away from the dreary northeast of the United States, I’ve travelled more than most, but not as much as some.

A beach in The Bahamas from my trip three years ago.

Unlike The Phil Factor, which has been all about finding humor in everyday situations, Philliver’s Travels will have travel reviews of locations, attractions and hotels and restaurants, educational information on how to travel hack to take a vacation without having to empty your life’s savings, and of course funny stories about my travel experiences. For all the smart stuff about travelling internationally and travel hacking, I’ll bring in experts for interviews.

Fort Myer’s Beach, Florida, on the Gulf coast

The Phil Factor isn’t going away, but it will remain more of an occasional blog as it has been for the past two years. If you have enjoyed my humor here, I hope that you’ll visit Philliver’s Travels regularly for that same humor applied to travel and the people and places I go. You’ll be able to find me on social media through a new Instagram, @phillivers_travels.

This Tuesday I’ll be giving a preview of some of the content you’ll see on Philliver’s Travels with a brand new Tuesday Top Ten list of travel tips from myself and International Living‘s (IG’s thetravelbag.guru) Bel Woodhouse! Have a great Sunday! ~Phil (or should I say Philliver?)  Btw, how many of you get the Philliver’s Travels reference? I’m thinking that about 50% of you get it and the other half just think it’s weird. Let me know in the comments!

Should I Write a Travel Blog? A Phil Factor Poll?!!?

A beach in The Bahamas

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.

Thanks! Have a great day! ~Phil

 

Love Exciting and New… BRING BACK THE LOVE BOAT!

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

The Official Blog of The Super Bowl!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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