Tag Archives: The Phil Factor

Throwback Thursday! Just One Thing…

This story warrants a re-post because last week life and my dentist reminded me about it, again.

(Sept. 26, 2015) Many of you may not remember this scene from the 1991 movie City Slickers:

Or maybe you do. Jack Palance’s, character, Curly, tells Billy Crystal’s character that the “secret of life is just one thing.”  To which Billy Crystal replies, ‘That’s great. but what’s the one thing?”  Curly answers, “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.” This week I figured out what my one thing is.

It was the end of the school day at Cicero Elementary School. Bus number 186 was called over the P.A. system, meaning I could leave the classroom, retrieve my coat from my cubby and head outside to find my bus in line. Eight year old Phil gathered my papers and books, pushing them sloppily into an already overstuffed desk. I hurried a little extra because I was thirsty from playing outside in the sunshine during end of day recess and I wanted to get a quick slurp of refreshing water from the fountain in the hall before I left.  I rushed to my cubby outside the room, grabbed my coat and put my orange and black Baltimore Orioles Little League baseball cap on my head. It was probably a little crooked, it always was. I just didn’t have the knack of centering the brim over my face unless I was looking in a mirror. I didn’t care though. I was still at an age where I hadn’t yet learned that I should be self-conscious about how I was put together. That was something boys didn’t think too much about until they noticed girls.

I didn’t know it, but the next moment was the one that changed my life. I turned from my cubby and fought my way across the hall, dodging and weaving through other students flowing through the hallway like a swift moving river of four foot tall humanity. After successfully navigating the obstacle course I reached my destination. The hallway water fountain.

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Doesn’t that bubbling, gurgling water look refreshing? I thought so too, so much so that I leaned in for a drink a little too quickly. See that curved piece of metal above the bubbling water? I leaned over, perhaps slightly hurried and slightly distracted by the crush of students passing by and thoughts of my waiting bus, and as I did so one of my center front teeth hit that curved metal piece. Not hard, but hard enough that about one quarter of a tooth broke off cleanly and completely. One drink. One quarter of one tooth. One life changed forever.

Yes, I know it sounds insignificant, but we rarely realize the long term ripple effect of small moments when they happen. That one moment those many years ago helped me realize just how lucky I am.

On Thursday of this week, two days ago, decades after I broke that tooth, I visited the dentist because of that tooth. Complications related to that one simple moment have probably required me to have, literally, about 100 additional dental appointments over the years.  There have been countless procedures, needles, poking, prodding, and pain. Today I thought to myself that if I had one chance to turn back time and change one moment in my life, that moment when I broke my tooth might be what I’d choose.

When I started writing this I thought to myself, considering what others have endured, if my biggest problem in life has been a broken tooth that would plague me for the rest of my days, then I’ve been pretty damn lucky. Then I decided that I wouldn’t go back in time and stop stupid eight year old me from bumping my tooth, because from today going forward it will always remind me how lucky I’ve been so far. Weirdly, I think that the next time I’m in a dental chair because of this tooth, I’ll probably smile. Because of the dental work on the tooth it may never be a perfect smile, but it will be a grateful one.

So what’s your one moment? Your “one thing”? What would you change if you could? Or what life lesson did you learn from that one moment in time?

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor, please share it by hitting the Facebook, Twitter or re-blog buttons below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Phil, for inviting us to join you today. We are so excited to be featured on your blog:  The Phil Factor, where sarcasm gets drunk and let’s its hair down. We promise to be on our best behavior and not take any silverware.

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Here is an excerpt.

The general rose from his chair and walked around the room with his brow furrowed. He looked at Brad as if he didn’t see him. Then he switched the topic of conversation. “Tell me about the chopper. Military?”

“No, sir. Fast, though. Looked like an MD500. I’m not sure, though.”

“A corporate chopper. I’ll see what we can pick up. Now, the plan.”

The general laid out a map of the base on his desk. He circled Quarters twenty-three. “What’s it near, Sailor?”

“It backs up to the ball field.”

“Exactly. Rutherford wants to take out the President and eliminate you as a side benefit. I’m not sure whom he works with, but he has connections. The Agency will handle Bruce; we’ll make sure the President gets protected. Do you feel ready for another assignment, Sailor?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All right. At sunset, an airman will come by for your SUV. He’ll take it to a detonation site, and the team will remove and expend the explosive. They will check your car end to end for any other devices. Then they will return the car to you. Be sure to show the airman the tracking device that you found in the headliner. If it is as you believe, they will put it back into the car so that Bruce suspects nothing.”

Authors Bio.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books: Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books: Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Funny Tweets

A lot of people say “Twitter? I don’t get it.” If you don’t get it, the easiest thing you can do is to follow these ten funny people.

Now that you’ve started your day with a laugh, have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

 

Music Monday! Ride or Die with The Knocks & Foster The People

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

Fun With Search Terms: The Father’s Day Edition!

When most of us were kids, Google was our dad. There was no internet or search engines. If you wanted to know something you had two choices: break open that giant set of encyclopedias that your parents bought twenty years ago or ask your dad. Dad was supposed to know everything, right? Only now that we’re parents we know that our parents didn’t know everything and were making all their answers up.

Now though, we can search the internet for answers. Unfortunately, when you ask the internet questions,  sometimes the internet keeps those questions so a blogger can make fun of them later, like now. Today. That is what I’m doing. Here are the funniest/weirdest search terms that brought readers to #ThePhilFactor over the last three months:

Gary Spivey on Trump Impeachment: I will take any opportunity to post a picture of Gary Spivey, Psychic Medium because I’m jealous of his fame and fortune. And hair. We have a lot in common. We have great hair and both he and I have predicted a premature end to the term of he who shall not be named. Also, I predicted I would interview Gary for The Phil Factor this year. He knows it’s going to happen.

MTV music video font: From my old days working on MTV I stole their font and have been using it.

Philthy Animal Old: I take exception to Google deciding that my blog, or me in particular, is the answer to this search term. It’s like Google is mocking me personally.

Funeral Fun: That’s right! Need entertainment for your funeral? Just call 1-800-Phil-Factor! I will emcee with humor and empathy!

“phil factor” bill gates: Yes, I’m the Bill Gates of blogging.

Phil is leaving memes: You’re damn right I’m leaving memes. I’m a meme dropping machine. And I’m sassy.

real sexting conversations to read in hindi: This goes back to a post from 2015 and since I published that, the views and this search term haven’t stopped. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That’s ok. You Hindi speaking people feel free to fly your freak flag at The Phil Factor anytime you want. I’m here for you.

Have a great Sunday and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! The Top Ten Best TV Doctors

The medical drama or comedy is a staple of television lineups on just about any network, any night of the week. Who though, are the best television doctors of all time? Here’s my list. If you have other ideas, please leave a comment.

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10. Dr. Perry Cox, Scrubs: He was the biggest jerk ever on a medical show, but he was hilarious as he abused the residents. Scrubs was also a very underrated great show.

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9. House: Overrated show. If you watched the first three episodes you could see the formula every other episode followed: Strange symptoms, they think it’s something, but then almost kill the patient twice while trying to figure it out and in the end House has some brilliant insight and saves the day.  All that being said, Hugh Laurie is a great actor.

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8. Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman: A smokin’ hot woman out on the frontier saving lives? #badass

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7. Doogie Howser,MD: This is more of a lifetime achievement award for Neil Patrick Harris because he was so good on How I Met Your Mother.

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6. Dr. John Watson: Played impeccably by Martin Freeman, who is in everything.

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5. Dr. Spock from the original Star Trek show. Only the original will do.

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4. Dr. Meredith Grey: I think I saw the first episode and never watched it again, but people love it, so here she is. Spoiler alert: There will be no Dr. McDreamy.

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3. Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Suess Geisel. Dude could rhyme anything. He was a rapper before rapping was a thing. My kids had a Dr. Suess book I’d read to them in a rap cadence and they hated that. The guy that created the Grinch has to be on any list of doctors.

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2. Dr. Hawkeye Pierce, played by Alan Alda on MASH for 11 years. In the early seasons, about the only time his character didn’t have a martini was when he was in surgery.

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1. Dr. Who: Look, I know a lot of you Americans have never seen the show, but Dr. Who has a 50 year run going. You’ve gotta respect that. Also, not only does Dr. Who save lives, he saves planets and universes on a daily basis. They’ve changed the actor who plays the doctor twelve times and people just keep watching.

That’s my list. Who would you add or take away? And why?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Music Monday: Weezer doing Toto’s Africa

The story behind this is that a Twitter account, @weezerafrica, was started in December by a 14 year old Weezer fan named Mary. She says that she started the idea as a joke and incessantly tweeted Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo and others in the music industry and eventually the idea gained momentum with many,many people tweeting at Rivers Cuomo to cover the song, including David Paich, the keyboardist from the band Toto. Eventually she made the national news:

What you see in the song video at the top is Mary’s first tweet.

Have a great Monday! ~Phil