Tag Archives: The Phil Factor

More Chucky? Ugh.

Really USA and SYFY network? It took two networks working together to come up with the worst idea I’ve seen in years. Of course I’ve thought that every time in the last 35 years when each new incarnation of Chucky came out. There has been over 20 Chucky movies/shows etc. Is it really that good?

I’ll admit that in 1988 when the first movie came out, it was a good scary premise to have a possessed murderous doll. But seriously, wouldn’t something like that makes the news? After that first incident, wouldn’t everyone in the country be on the look out for ugly murderous dolls? And, he is the absolute ugliest doll ever. What kid would ever want that? And if any parent ever bought their kid a doll that ugly they deserve to be reported to child safety services.

Seriously? An ugly murderous doll had a kid? What other doll would sleep with that hideous raggedy ball of yarn? Not to mention, how does that even work biologically? Did someone knit some doll sperm?

Chucky Season 3

So now, you’re telling me that an ugly, demented My Buddy doll from the 80’s has been allowed into the White House? Well, I guess if Trump could get in, why not Chucky? This series really, really stretches the suspension of disbelief needed to make this premise work. Not to mention how badly that makes the Secret Service look! 35 years of murdering and they just let this maniacal troll doll walk into the White House?

Thirty years ago didn’t we all vow not to let our dolls have steak knives? How does he keep getting knives? And seriously, not once in the last thirty years could anyone throw this little freak into a wood chipper? It’s sh*t like this that happens when the writers go on strike.

Sorry about the salty language. I just really hate a weak premise. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

The Top Ten Scariest Movies of All Time

Feeling in the mood for some Halloween scares? Check out these classic movies on this list, created from a painstaking culling of countless online lists of scary movies. These are the ten that appeared most often on most of the lists. I posted this list last year and it resulted in a lot of suggestions for other great scary movies. Feel free to add your two cents in the comments.


10. Psycho (1960) Believe it or not, this one almost didn’t make the list. This is a classic that has spawned countless imitations.

9. It (2017) The Stephen King classic was brought back a few years ago and it is seriously creepy. There were at least five times during the movie when I got goosebumps because it was so creepy and suspenseful. Watching this will not help your clown fear at all.


8. Halloween (1978) Although Mike Myers later went on to bigger fame and fortune on Saturday Night Live and Wayne’s World, this movie has stood the test of time.

7. The Omen (1976) I never saw this, but if it’s got Gregory Peck it must be good. I hope it has Boo Radley too.


6. The Exorcist (1973) Talk about an ugly duckling! She later went on to become Miss Nevada. First time I saw this I was completely freaked out. me and my friends didn’t sleep all night. At the time I was also sure that a film like this would never be allowed in Canada.

5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) I’m sure this was terrifying for all the old timey folks in 1968. Ironically, Mia Farrow played Rosemary, a woman impregnated by Satan. Many years later the baby she adopted with Woody Allen would later marry Woody Allen. I’m starting to think that Mia isn’t a very good mother.


4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) I started this series with Part 3 but went back and watched them all. I find a villian who can get you in your dreams to be the scariest of all. Sadly, some idiots made a remake of this in 2010. Did anyone see that? Me neither.

3. The Shining (1980) A cool classic. Nobody plays crazy quite like Jack Nicholson.


2. 28 Days Later (2002) A zombie movie from 2002 before zombies were cool. I haven’t seen this one, but it showed up so regularly in my research I want to see it now.


1. Alien (1979) This one surprised me by being on almost every list. The suspense is painful and who can forget the tag line “In space no one can hear you scream.”

So what’s your favorite scary movie? Do you like being scared? What’s scarier, the books or the movies? What newer movies would you add to this list? Stay tuned next week for the top ten scariest TV series

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Ten Ways People Ruin Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. If I wasn’t a full grown adult I’d dress up and go Trick or Treating. I do have some pet peeves though about people who don’t share my love of this holiday.


10. “Fun Size” candy: There is nothing fun about a candy bar so small that it wouldn’t give a sugar rush to a hummingbird. For cripes sake! It’s once a year, you can splurge for the full size.

9. Turning Out Your Lights: Are you the house that turns out your lights and hides in a back room pretending you’re not home? We hate you and you deserve to have your house egged.

8. Making it about religion: Lighten up Francis! (If you know what movie that quote came from put your answer in the comments) The kids aren’t worshiping Satan, they’re worshiping a sugar buzz. Once someone in my neighborhood was handing out popcorn balls with religious notes attached to them. If I knew who it was I’d have called the police.

This isn’t me, but I wish it was

7. Handing out popcorn balls or apples or pencils or McDonald’s coupons. When I was a kid we were told never to take the apples because there might be a razor blade in them. Now the health food nuts are giving them out like candy.

6. Not having Halloween in your neighborhood: I hate when groups of parents decide they’ll have a neighborhood party or that the kids will trick or treat at the local shopping mall. Geez! How did these people grow up and at what age did the demon suck out their souls? Theirs are the kids who will rebel later and get arrested for egging houses or putting flaming bags of poop on someone’s front porch.

5. Not allowing re-visits: If a kid has the endurance and initiative to make a second lap around the neighborhood, more power to them! They’re getting exercise. If they have a different costume second time around I give bonus candy.

This is me on my way to work two weeks from now

4. Adults who don’t dress up: If you don’t wear something Halloweeny to work or refuse to answer your door for the kids tonight then just click out of this page, close your browser and don’t ever come back.

3. Women who think men don’t respect the sexy Halloween costumes: Memo to ladies: Men hate cutesy couples costumes. Let us be Batman or an Army guy and you can be the Sexy Nurse, Sexy Zombie, Sexy Football Player, Slutty Pumpkin. (Btw, if you get the Slutty Pumpkin reference put it in the comments) Whatever. We don’t care. Just dress up and let your inner sexy self out.

2. People who don’t decorate their house: I want to start a neighborhood where over the top Halloween decorating is mandatory. If you don’t, you have to move out immediately or the rest of the neighbors will egg and toilet paper your house every day until next Halloween.

1. The fixed Oct. 31st date: When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law mandating that Halloween will occur on the last Saturday of September regardless of the date. In September so there’s better weather for the kids to go out and on the last Saturday so we can all have parties, the kids can stay up late and we can all relax, sleep in and take down our decorations the next day.

As always if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor please feel free to share. Have a great Sunday!~Phil

The Monsters of Marymount Mansion: A Brilliant Book!

In 2013 I was at a work meeting in Florida when I received a tweet notification that @GregoryGAllen tweeted about buying my novel White Picket Prisons to read on his Kindle while waiting for a doctors appointment. I had no idea who Gregory G. Allen was, until I looked him up and discovered that he is an award winning actor, writer and director. As it turned out he is also an all around nice guy and one of my longest tenured social media friends.

Gregory and I a few years ago when I was in his neck of the woods and we met for dinner

Gregory has a new book, available for pre-order now and available everywhere tomorrow,  and it is garnering accolades like few books I’ve ever seen! It’s a brilliant young readers book with lessons about courage, individuality and acceptance. Here is my interview with Gregory about that book,

TPF: I saw in one of your social media posts that you actually started this book some time ago. What kept you from finishing until this past year?
Gregory: So actually…it was a musical I wrote in 1984 for a children’s theater company. I was a sophomore in high school and was part of this great company where the artistic director allowed us to write, direct, and act. I wrote a show called Dracula Bites at Dusk (yup….you can see where I got that title) all about Dracula and other Halloween characters having to live in the basement of a hotel and only going out on Halloween each year.
Jump ahead to the past ten years as I travel to schools with my kids’ books about not fearing people who are different and I had an Oprah “ah-ha” moment: I’ve been sharing this message since I was 14. So last fall I wrote on social media that I was going to do this book and get it out by this Halloween. I had no script from ’84…only a VHS tape that I can’t watch. So, I sort of started over. At first, I wrote it as a picture book like my three other kids’ books, but it needed to be longer so it became a chapter book instead.
TPF: The reviews for The Monsters of Marymount Mansion have been off the charts good. What surprises you the most about the incredible response?
Gregory: First off…I am so grateful for every single good review…you know how that is! I think what surprises me most is what different people get from the book because we bring our own lives to books as we read it. So now I’ve found through reviews that there are even more messages in the book that perhaps were not at the forefront when I was writing, but are just as important.
TPF: Your book, led by main character Toby, has a wonderful lesson about bravery and acceptance. Is the character of Toby based on a real person or persons?
Gregory: I think Toby is a little bit of me as a kid…but he’s any child that isn’t afraid to be themselves. The kid who wants to do something different and take a chance. For me…I wanted to perform: and for a kid that can often mean bullying. But I enjoyed singing on stage and getting that applause so I stuck with it. Is that bravery or ego. haha
TPF: Have readers uncovered or interpreted more messages or themes in the story than you intended?
Gregory: Yes! Wow…I answered this question before without even knowing it was coming. I will say a great one recently was by an author/dad friend of mine who saw the story as parents letting go and allowing kids to step out on their own. I loved that interpretation since I wasn’t looking at it from the point of view of the adults in the story.
TPF: You’ve written several books, some are young reader stories like Marymount and others have adult characters. Are you working on a sequel to Marymount? Or do you have other books that you’re working on?
Gregory: I’m not sure if this one will get a sequel. I guess perhaps we’ll see how it does before I decide. However, my first book which is now 12 years old always had a sequel in my mind. Shortly after I finished that book, I started the sequel and then life took me in different directions. I’ve actually gone back to it and it’s becoming a YA novel. I think it will be very exciting to challenge myself to go from adult books to kid books to now young adult.
Gregory, thanks again for letting me feature you and your books on my blog again. It’s always a pleasure to speak with you!
Here’s my official review: I wish that I had this book to read with my kids when they were young readers. I think every kid and their parents would enjoy this book. Five stars!

The Mothman Mythology, Does He Really Predict The Future?

This statue is in Mothman’s “hometown” of Point Pleasant, W.V. Check out those abs! Mothman is ripped!

In May of this year, I featured a lot of paranormal content to celebrate Paranormal Month, which I invented (copyright!). When you think about the paranormal you usually think of ghosts, demons, UFO’s and cryptids like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

But have you heard about the Mothman? I had heard of Mothman occasionally when consuming paranormal content, but it wasn’t a big topic. The Mothman never gets paranormal headliner status, except in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. That’s sort of his home region. Despite stories of a winged entity in the Point Pleasant area since the 1920’s, Mothman is still like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster’s little brother, forever in their shadow.

Mothman is an interesting character though because, unlike cryptids, which are usually considered animals that are unusual and difficult to verify, the Mothman (or Mothwomen) are considered to be sentient beings. (Yes, I said Mothmen/women plural. There have been a lot more sightings than people realize.)

The Mothman is often described as being a tall, hairy, winged humanoid being with glowing eyes. Some people have theorized that the Mothman is an alien.

2016 picture of a Mothman flying over Point Pleasant

The Mothman sightings that really captivated the country began in Point Pleasant, West Virginia from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, 1966. Author John Keel popularized local folklore about the creature with his 1975 book “The Mothman Prophecies.”

Interestingly is that shortly after the Mothman started appearing, so did reports of UFO’s and “Men in Black” (not Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones). In the documentary The Mothman of Point Pleasant there are several eyewitness accounts of unwanted harassment by the Men In Black.

Some believe The Mothman is a bad omen , only appearing when catastrophe is about to strike. There have been many claims that the winged, red-eyed creature was seen right before the Point Pleasant Silver Bridge collapsed early in 1967. That event took the lives of 46 people.

A great book by author JW Ocker with a chapter on the impact the Mothman has had on Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Over the last 50 years there have been reports of Mothmen or Mothwomen being spotted in Vietnam during the war, in Chernobyl, Russia before the nuclear plant melted down, and even a mothman near the Twin Towers before they were hit. Another was reported in August 2007 when the the bridge collapsed in Minnesota.

More recently, starting in the summer of 2011, reports of Mothman-like flying humanoids have been popping up in the Chicago area. The picture below is a map of where those sightings have occurred around Chicago. That’s a lot of sightings, so it’s definitely is not one or two crackpots reporting their hallucinations.

I find the century long story of the Mothman fascinating. If you look back at history, in every country humans have always reported seeing flying beings. Some were thought to be angels, some aliens, some predators. It’s another of those murky paranormal stories that seems to have enough widespread validation that something different is going on but we just haven’t pinned it down.

If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, there is a documentary titled The Mothman of Point Pleasant on Amazon for free. It’s interesting with some very detailed eyewitness accounts. Also on Amazon is a fictional movie based on what happened in Point Pleasant titled The Mothman Prophecies.  It stars Debra Messing and Richard Gere, who in the 6 degrees of separation game is only one person away from me. I wonder if The Mothman predicted that?

As they say, keep your eyes on the skies! You never know what you might see. What do you think? Are cryptids like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster real? Is the Mothman a member of an alien species that visits Earth to warn us of danger? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Ten Reasons Taylor Swift is Dating Travis Kelce Instead of Me

Pic courtesy of Glamour magazine, which I obviously have a subscription to.

Dear Travis Kelce,

(First, for my readers from other countries, Travis Kelce is a very good American football player) So anyway, Travis, you’re going to have to take this hit and date Taylor Swift. A month ago on your podcast, you mentioned that you wanted to give Taylor Swift a friendship bracelet with your phone number on it. Ugh, c’mon Travis! A friendship bracelet? Geez, how cringey is that?  Off the field, you seriously got no game. Fortunately for you, I won’t date Taylor Swift, so she’s all yours if she’ll have you.

Pic “courtesy” of The New York Times and Google.

This past weekend Taylor Swift went to Travis Kelce’s football game in Kansas City, Missouri. That single event nearly broke the internet. But it definitely did not break my heart, and here’s ten reasons why….

10. Believe it or not, my name isn’t Phil Factor. I’m Phil Taylor. If Taylor Swift married me and took my name, her name would be Taylor Taylor and that’s just ridiculous. But, if she took my first name as her married surname, her name would be Taylor Phil. I might consider letting her do that. It would be great fun at party introductions. “Hi, I’m Phil Taylor and this is my wife Taylor Phil.”

9. If she and I broke up she’d write songs about it and I’d write blogs about it. Does the world really need that?


8. The relationship would never work. She’d be jealous and insecure about my success. It would probably destroy her.

7. Mrs. Phil would probably kick both our asses , resulting in a lengthy and highly public trial, and I can’t go through that again.

6. Because of their well publicized feud over me, if I dated Taylor Swift I’d never get a shot with Katy Perry. (pause) Or would I?

Taylor & Katy in better times before they began fighting over me Taylor & Katy in better times before they began fighting over me

5. She’s too tall. At 5’11’, she’s taller than me, and well… there’s all sorts of ways that would be awkward. Like at red carpet events for instance: “Hi Taylor. Melissa Rivers here from E! network. Oh wait, stop the camera. Why is your chauffeur still with you?”

4. I don’t want to get stuck supporting that one hit wonder in her old age when she’s lost her marginal good looks and blown all the money she made from that one song that did ok.

3. She’s attractive and all, but she’s no Kylie Minogue. A little blatant pandering to my U.K. and Australian friends who’ve read this far. If you did, give me a quick shout out in the comments so I know that reference wasn’t in vain)

Kylie dailytelegraph.com.au Kylie     dailytelegraph.com.au

2.   I’m a pretty forgiving guy, but not once has Taylor’s agent called me and asked if she could be interviewed on #ThePhilFactor. I don’t pursue. I’m the pursued.

1. Taylor may be able to rhyme some catchy lyrics, but from what I’ve heard she’s a snooze when it comes to conversation. Apparently Taylor isn’t all that swift.

As always, feel free to share with your favorite Taylor Swift fan by hitting the Facebook share button below. Have a great Friday! ~Phil

That Time I Almost Won Season 1 of Survivor

Possibly me…

Every year when the new Survivor season starts I always wonder, “what if…”  What if that was me winning #Survivor?

Let’s take a little trip in the way back machine. It was September of 1999. The internet was so new that I was still getting a newspaper made out of actual paper! I’ve always been an avid sports fan and in the fall the first thing I’d do when I got my Sunday paper was to check the box scores from the Saturday college football games.

On page 2 of the sports section, I found a small classified ad looking for people to volunteer/apply to be part of a filmed game show where contestants would spend a month on a remote island competing for ONE MILLION DOLLARS! 

This is how my inner monologue went:I grew up camping in tents with my family every summer. I’m outdoorsy! I can’t eat pickles or mustard, but I’ve got no problem eating anything else. I know how to fish, so I can feed myself. I’m a young-ish man in decent shape. I spent a few years in college taking broadcasting classes, so I’m comfortable on camera. I can do this!  This is a no brainer. For a million bucks I can outlast a group of dolts on an island and parlay my new found stardom into a successful show biz career!”

Survivor Season 1 cast. Look at those dolts! I could have easily won.

With my inner voice cheering me on I began typing that email to the casting director at CBS, all but certain that I was on the road to riches and stardom. And then I talked to my wife…

How many men reading this know how that conversation went?

This is not me or my wife.

Her reply, which was justified, was “you’re not going to leave me home alone for a month with three young kids.” That was a fair response. I couldn’t argue with that.

Don’t we all have those “what if” moments in your life where you look back and wonder how your life might be different? #Survivor is low on my list, but… what if?  Do you have any of those moments or memories where you wonder how the direction of your life might have changed had you done something different?

Have a great Tuesday and think of me when you’re watching Survivor tomorrow! ~Phil

Jimmy Buffett and The Estes Method

Two things have been bouncing around my head over the past two weeks; Jimmy Buffett and  The Estes Method. At first glance, these two things have nothing to do with each other, or do they

Jimmy Buffett was a popular musician who filled the heads of millions and millions of boomers with his music celebrating the virtues of hanging out at the beach drinking margaritas. He is probably completely responsible for retirement communities like The Villages in Florida. I’m not looking to move to The Villages, but I enjoy his music, and I’m all in on his living at the beach fantasy.

The Estes Method: If you’re not familiar, it’s a technique created by paranormal investigators Karl Pfeiffer, Connor Randall and Michelle Tate. They created the technique aiming to more accurately capture communication from spirits. Previously paranormal investigators used “spirit boxes” to listen to what they hoped would be cogent auditory messages from the other side.

The “spirit box” is basically a radio that scans rapidly through A.M. and F.M. frequencies.

Paranormal investigators believe that otherworldly entities have the ability to manipulate and communicate through these radio signals. For the last two decades we’ve seen paranormal investigators listen to these static making machines and occasionally shout with joy when they hear what might be a word if you listen really hard. I’ve never been impressed by that. It could be any random word from a D.J. in Spokane bouncing off a satellite and accidentally reaching a random radio in Albuquerque.

What Conor, Karl, and Michelle did differently was to start having the person listening to the spirit box wear a blindfold and noise cancelling headphones to remove any outside noise or influence. Then they ask the “spirits” direct questions and hope to get relevant responses. In examples that you can see in Hellier and The Unbinding, they’ve had some surprising success.

So how does recently deceased musician Jimmy Buffett play into this? Some of you have already figured out where I’m going, maybe because you’re psychic, or just because you know how weird I am.

All of us who were fans of his music wish there were more Jimmy Buffett songs. Some tech heads are going to start making Jimmy Buffett knock off songs using A.I.  Not me! I’m going to collaborate on new songs with Jimmy using The Estes Method!

Here’s our first one:

Trudging through the snow, it’s miserable in Buffalo

I’m too tired to fight, I just need a flight

Three hours to paradise, I know fleeing life isn’t nice

But I just need sun and a rum drink with ice

That was all Jimmy. I heard it in the headphones. That’s all for now. Me and Jimmy will get back to work after we finish a game of beach volleyball and a couple margaritas! If you have an idea for a few more lines in the song, feel free to add them in the comments!

Have a great weekend! ~Phil (and Jimmy)

McDonald’s, Let’s Share The Shakes! Shamrock Shakes for the UK!

Dear Chris Kempczinski,

I am writing to you, the CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation,on behalf of my friends in the fine country we call England. Why am I, an American, taking up a cause for everyone in England? It’s because I like every single British person that I’ve ever met. Sure there is probably a fair amount of arses over there, but they are not the majority.

I’m not sure if you’re holding a grudge over that little colonial dust up a couple centuries back, but since then England has been a good friend to the United States. It’s time for you to drop that grudge and allow all the British McDonald’s customers to have the one thing they want, Shamrock Shakes. The States have them. Canada has them. Ireland has them. Why not fecking England?

What have the Brits ever done to you? From your picture I can see that you appear to be red headed, so it’s probable you have some Irish blood coursing through your veins. Are you possibly holding a grudge over The Troubles Ireland/England conflict that ended over twenty-five years ago? For cripes sake, drop that old grudge too and offer an olive branch. The Shamrock Shake in British McDonald’s would heal that old wound between the countries and bring people together.

There’s no downside. You would come out of this looking like a hero. Your England McDonalds would make even more money. You would be known all over the UK as the man who brought redemption and Shamrock Shakes to England.

So what’s it going to be Chris? A few sugary shakes in the UK, or infamy as the man who wouldn’t let the Brits have Shamrock Shakes? C’mon Chris, let’s share the shakes, let’s share the shakes, let’s share the shakes… I can hear the chant building across the land…let’s share the shakes!

To all my readers, I encourage you to share this letter to McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski on your social media until the clamor for British Shamrock shakes cannot be ignored. If you like a more personal approach you can copy and paste it into an email and send it directly to the CEO at his email:  chris.kempczinski@us.mcd.com 

Have a great day everyone! I hope you get your shakes!~Phil

It’s The Great Pumpkin Spice Latte Charlie Brown!

At this point, I’m not even sure people remember the Peanuts cartoons. Although, in doing “research” for this post I discovered that there was The Peanuts Movie in 2015. I’m sure that totally resonated with kids. Good grief, as Charlie Brown would say.

I was also going to name this “A Pumpkin Flavored Phil Factor”. It’s that time of year, again. Sigh.  It has begun. Pumpkin flavored everything is back in stores! WTH? Seriously, are pumpkins such a wonderful delicacy that we have to flavor EVERYTHING with them? Why pumpkin? Is there any other time of year where a flavor takes over the country for a couple months? Around the winter holidays why isn’t there nog flavored everything? Around St. Patrick’s Day we’ve got our Shamrock Shakes, but that’s about it. How about this? I’m going to give you a list of ten pumpkin flavored items below and you try to guess which one isn’t real.


2. Twinkies

3. Donuts

4. Candy

5. Soda pop

6. Potato chips

7. Pasta

8. Cookies

9. Vodka

10. Hamburgers

Guess what? They all are real! That’s too much pumpkin flavored stuff. What’s next, pumpkin-flavored fish sandwiches at McDonald’s? This time of year it’s actually an effort not to accidentally eat something pumpkin flavored. This madness must end!

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating that any company that produces a pumpkin flavored food item has to have it approved through a special sub-committee and if it is just too stupid of an idea they will not be allowed to sell it. If you know of any other odd pumpkin flavored foods or drinks please share them in the comments.

As always, if you enjoy what you read at #ThePhilFactor and want to support my bid for President, or Sexiest Man Alive, please hit the Facebook share button.

Have a great weekend! ~Phil