Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

TBT! It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice Latte Charlie Brown!

(08/31/2013) 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.

1. Coffee

2. Beer

3. Donuts

4. Candy

5. Soda pop

6. Potato chips

7. Pasta

8. Cookies

9.  Vodka

10. Smoothies

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 a comment.

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 or Twitter share buttons.

TBT! The “I Love All Four Seasons” People

Get ready. This is coming

(Sept. 10, 2016) We’ve all been in this conversation:

Other Human: Boy it sure is hot today!

Me: Yeah, but I’ll take this over winter any day.

Other Human: Not me! I love all four seasons! The fall colors are beautiful, and there’s nothing better than curling up in front of the fire on a cold winter night. And the Spring! All the flowers are beautiful!

Me: (imagining myself punching Other Human in the face)  What are you, fecking Snow White? The other seasons suck. You’re dead to me.

I’m not sure, but I imagine Snow White as the ultimate optimist. Her step-mother tried to kill her and she just went and lived with dwarfs until a Prince came along. And she sang and whistled happy tunes while doing housework! She probably loved all four seasons. I’ve never once sang and whistled while shoveling three feet of snow from my driveway.

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“Oh the Fall is so beautiful. I love the colors!” Yeah, well you know what? The colors on my 50 inch HD TV are gorgeous and I don’t have to go outside and pick the colors up off my yard for two months while inhaling mold and allergens. That’s ok though, you go ahead and frolic in leaf piles.

My problem is that I’ve lived in the northeastern part of the United States for my entire life. The first half of my life was my parents fault. But since I was liberated from their tyrannical control, it’s all on me that I still live here. I’ve grown sick and tired of damp, cool, Falls, cold, snowy winters, and Springs that are like living in England. (Yeah, sorry England, I hate to break it to you, but your weather is not great.)

I’m all about being an optimist and understanding others perspectives, but in February of 2015 the average temperature for the entire month in my hometown was 12 degrees. And not toasty warm 12 degrees celsius, whatever that is. It was 12 degrees Fahrenheit which is the manly American way of measuring temperature. We had over 100 inches (254 centimeters) of snow for the entire winter. Snow that had to be removed from driveways and roads. Yeah, you “I love all four seasons” people, how much fun was that season?

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That picture above this is me every Spring until about June. Yes, I know that rain is good for nature and all, but seriously, how can you “I love the four seasons” people actually love Spring? Who enjoys going around being damp all the time?

Admit it, none of you  really love all the seasons. You know who says that? Idiots and people who live somewhere that doesn’t really have all four seasons. So as summer turns into Fall, consider yourselves warned that if you engage in a weather related conversation with me, it’s not going to end well.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

TBT! I Think I’m Allergic To Allergies (Caution: This Post May Contain Gluten & Nuts)

(Aug. 29, 2015) Why is everyone allergic to everything? And why hasn’t modern medicine fixed these allergies? When I was a kid everything was made of gluten and nuts. The tags on our clothes said, “This clothing contains gluten and nuts. Every kind of nuts. There’s too many to count. Anyway if you get hives or can’t breathe, it’s purely coincidental. Suck it up and develop some immunity buttercup. Wash in warm water. Tumble dry on low.”  We even had toy guns that shot gluten and nuts. Now, everyone is either so allergic or so paranoid that you’d be on a National Security Agency list if you walked into an airport with a back pack full of gluten. Schools practically go into a full lock down if you walk in with a peanut.

And what is it with you fragrance allergic people? Where did you come from? When I was a kid we just smelled stuff and nobody broke out in hives. How about if you don’t like a smell you could just plug your nose so the rest of your office doesn’t have to go without deodorant. What ever happened to the concept of majority rules? Now we’ve become so politically correct that anytime one single little thing bothers one person, anyone within a ten block radius has to give up whatever the hell it is that patient zero is “sensitive” to.

I love this kid.

I love this kid.

That’s the worst when it isn’t even a real allergy and it’s only just a “sensitivity” to something. What’s that? You have a sensitivity to something? Do you break down crying when it’s around? It sounds like you have permanent PMS about one particular thing. (Sorry ladies, I know the struggle is real. Trust me, I know.)

Guess what? I’m mildly blue/green colorblind. Should I ask my company not to create any charts, graphs or marketing pieces in the colors of green and blue? No. Of course not! I suck it up and figure it out. I’d also like you gluten free people to try that. I don’t care if you’re allergic to gluten. Just shut up and eat food without gluten. Why does it have to be a big production? Why do the rest of us have to hear about it at every single frickin’ meal we eat with you? I’m lactose intolerant. Guess what? I don’t drink milk! You know what else? I let everyone around me drink all the milk they want.

GlutenAllergy-Graphic

How about if there were gluten free and nut free businesses? Hypo-allergenic schools? How great would that be? All the nut free/gluten free people could go to school and work and restaurants that they know are safe for them. Let’s throw the fragrance free nuts in there too. The rest of us could go about our lives enjoying gluten, nuts and smells anywhere we want. I’m not going to go so far as to suggest that the allergy crowd not reproduce, but I would like to see a law saying that they can’t reproduce with other allergy people. If the allergy folks reproduced with normal people eventually their mutant recessive allergy genes would be eliminated from the gene pool and in the future there would be no more problems with weird allergies! I’m a genius, right?

Ok, this was completely tongue in cheek. Yes, I realize it was completely insensitive. Yes, I know people have died from allergic reactions. Guess what though? We also need to be less sensitive about jokes. If everyone gets offended by everything and the comedians clean up their acts so as not to offend anyone, then comedy wouldn’t be fun. Remember the massacre at the headquarters of the French comedy magazine in January? Those shooters were  people that couldn’t take a joke.  If you are gluten or nut free I hope you can laugh at yourself a little and not show up at my house with guns. Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! It’s A Bieber World After All

(july 26, 2014) Wow. That is one pretty girl next to wheelchair-bound Justin Bieber!  Turns out it is a Bieber world after all and we’re just living in it. If you just got a panicked feeling and shouted “What? Justin’s in a wheelchair?” then you must be a Belieber.  And why wouldn’t you be?

BieberWheelchairPhil

The Biebs again proved how awesome he is by using Disneyland’s policy of allowing those in wheelchairs to go to the front of the line of rides and attractions. He claims he “tweaked” his knee playing basketball.  So in spite of his great pain and suffering, the benevolent Bieber allowed his handlers to wheel him past families and children in hours-long lines so they could get a good look at their hero. Seriously, how many celebrities take the time to do that for their fans. I was so impressed that I decided to write a song about him.

When Bieber Jumped the Queues (sing to the tune of Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee click link for video

Busted flat in Disneyland, waiting for a train
And I’m feeling jaded and mean.
Bieber thumbed a wheelchair down just before it rained,
And rode it all the way to the front of the lane.I pulled my hair from my head and said “That took no time!”,
I was fuming soft while Bieber jumped the queues.
Biebers handlers slapping fans, I was holding Bieber’s picture in mine,
We sang every song that Bieber knew. Bieber’s just another nerd turned into a kid who drinks the booze,
Nothing he does, nothing’s funny if it ain’t Bieber, now now.
And feeling good was easy, when Bieber jumped the queues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bieber, baby.
From the Canadian sticks to the California sun,
Hey, Bieber shared the secrets of my soul.
Through all kinds of weather, through everything that we done,
Hey Bieber baby kept me from acting old.
Ok, that was awful, but the main reason for this whole post was just to put that picture there. If you’re not from the States and don’t know the song, I apologize.  The phrase ‘Me and Bieber McGee’ has been stuck in my head since Thursday. What I really need is my friend Marissa Bergen, who is both brilliantly poetic and musical to take the idea and make a music video  like she did with a parody of Radiohead’s Creep. Have a great Thursday! Please don’t share this. It’s just terrible. ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Britney Baby One More Time!

This post from June of 2006 is truly a time machine. When was the last time you heard of Britney Spears in the news? Back in 2006 she was big news every week. Also, what’s funny about this is that you could have, at any point in the last ten years, deleted Britney’s name and inserted Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Charlie Sheen, or Kim Kardashian and it would be the same post.

(June 16, 2006) Is it just me, or is everyone tired of hearing about Britney Spears? No one this dumb has been this famous since Forrest Gump. When I become President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to declare a one year moratorium on Britney Spears news. I’m pretty sure that if we went a year without Britney news the sun would still continue to rise every day and life, death, and taxes would still go on.

I don’t know the exact statistics, but judging by the amount of publicity she has received over the last two years, I would guess that Britney has been married at least six times and hasn’t gone a day without being pregnant. Also, based on the frequency of media reports, I would guess that her many children are constantly in danger of losing their lives based on her stupidity. If she wants to drive down the Santa Monica freeway with her infant child on the roof of her car, feel free to call Child Protective Services, but please don’t put it on t.v. or the cover of every magazine in my supermarket. Unless her next husband is the Pope, I also don’t give a rat’s ass who she is or isn’t married to.

The next time Britney goes a day without being married or pregnant you can let me know, because that truly would be news. And if someone could manage to snap a photo of her where she isn’t crying with black mascara running down her face I certainly would appreciate it. For god’s sake someone, get the girl some Prozac and a makeover! The other day I was home watching ABC (All Britney Channel) when they tried to slip in some crazy story about a war in Iraq. How long has that been going on?

Throwback Thursday! A Spell Checkmate? What’s Your Kabaragoya?

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee wrapping up today, I thought you’d enjoy this classic Phil Factor.

(May 31, 2014) See what I did there with the title? That was clever right? For the first time in 52 years the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie.

Kabaragoya? That’s what’s wrong with the spelling bee. There has never been, in the history of planet Earth a practical reason for anyone to use the word kabaragoya in any context. The fact that I’ve used it twice in this paragraph is already a new world record. Here’s your chance to win something. I’m trusting that you’ll be honest. The first commenter to tell me what the word kabaragoya means, without looking it up, wins a free copy of one of my books. All three are in e-book format and the two novels are also in paperback.

spelling

It’s a good thing the contest ended in a tie. I doubt that any single spelling bee contestant has the muscle mass required to lift that trophy by themselves. It ended in a tie? Apparently after the competition was whittled down to two, the contestants both spelled twelve words correctly before it was declared a tie. Really? Twelve words? Are you telling me there wasn’t an adult somewhere in that room that couldn’t have cracked open a dictionary and pulled out a few more words?  How about if you asked the contestants to spell the word “girlfriend” or “social life.” I’m pretty sure those are terms they’re not familiar with. Did they have to declare it a tie because the competition is so physically grueling that the contestants couldn’t go on? Were they worried that the audience was in danger of literally dying of boredom?

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law mandating that if the spelling bee is down to two contestants and they’ve both spelled two words correctly the tie will be broken by a physical competition. The first contestant to successfully demonstrate any actual dance move wins. Moonwalk, Gangam Style, Harlem shake, anything close wins.

Now I know that you may be thinking that I’m just a mean jerk for mocking these kids. I may be, or perhaps it’s just green eyed envy. I was almost one of them. Almost… That’s right, as a 13 year old I was my school’s alternate to go to the county spelling bee championships. Had I gone and won, it would have sent me to the state championship and then the National Spelling Bee. We took a written test that we never got back, so I don’t even know what my kabaragoya was. It will haunt me forever. One more correctly spelled word, or a convenient “accident” to my in school competitor and fame and fortune could have been mine. Instead I’ve just got this blog, so please leave a comment to help me overcome the demons of a spelling bee past that has scarred me lo these many years.

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

Throwback Thursday! Dumb and …uhh What’s That Other Word?

(May 23, 2015) I like to think I’m a relatively smart person. Of course I like to think a lot of things about myself which aren’t true, but that’s a topic for another post. (Coming soon to a blog near you, Top Ten Lies I Tell Myself!) If you’re reading this, you’re obviously a very smart person too. (Top Ten Lies I Tell My Readers) Let’s, for a moment, be honest with ourselves. It’s impossible to know everything about everything, right? So sometimes all of us geniuses feel dumb in certain situations. Some more than others of course, but there’s no need to raise your hand right now. If you’re an adult with children and they can make your cell phone do technological cartwheels while you can barely figure out how to text without accidentally calling 911 then you know what I mean.

Admittedly, I had one of those situations where I felt dumb the other night. I know, I know, after putting me up on the pedestal that you have, it must be very upsetting for you to hear this about me. I had to call the cable company for technical support and the conversation went like this:

Me: Hi, umm,..I tried to turn my TV on but it’s doing that thing where there’s a message on the screen and it won’t turn on. Well, it’s on, but there’s no picture.

Tech Guy: Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?

The I.T. Crowd

The I.T. Crowd

Me: Yes. Same thing. It did this once before and the guy told me what to do and I tried that but it didn’t work.

Tech Guy: Hold on. Let me pull up your account. What’s the last four digits of your social security number, your mothers maiden name, the house number of the street you grew up on. No, not that one, the other one, and what kind of car did your fourth grade teacher drive.

Me: Blah, blah blah (gives information) Wait, was it what color was the house my fourth grade teacher lived in? Blue, no, wait, I think it was purple. Hold on, I’m going to try something. I switched the HDMI input and connected the satellite feed into my VHS player. That should work right?

Tech Guy: Ok, I see your account here. Oh, it’s you Mr. Taylor. Just set the remote down and step away from the television. Nope. Don’t touch it. No, that’s too close. Is there another room you can go to? Just wait there. We’re sending a guy out to your house. I’ll stay on the line with you. Just take deep breaths. It’s all going to be over soon.

Me: There’s just so many cords and wires! Why do there have to be so many? Why?!!? I just plugged the coffee maker into my chromecast. That will work, right? Dammit! Why does there have to be so many?

Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor, try to breath into a bag. There’s no need for tears. Someone will be there soon. (shouts to someone in the background “What the ETA? We’ve got a Code Zulu Banshee here! Code Zulu Banshee!”

Me: (sobbing) There’s just so many. So many wires. So many buttons. Why does there have to be so many? A man should not have to go through this to watch a few Friends reruns! You know Ross is the unsung hero of that whole show. You know that right? Ross fecking Gellar could figure this out! Why can’t I? You know he was a paleontologist before he was 30. That’s not easy. Neither is this. Wait, I think I’m on to something. What is it? White you’re right, red your dead? So if I switch…

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Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor. Our guys are at your house. They’re going to come in slowly. Just set the wires and cords down and let them help you. Don’t push any more buttons and this will all be over soon.

Cable company guys rush in and disarm me taking the remote  from my hand. Speaking into a mic on his shoulder “Headquarters, this is Captain Bravo, Tactical Response Team 1.  The scene has been secured. It appears that Mr. Taylor was trying to change channels with his garage door opener. We’ve given him the remote. Situation de-escalated. We’re returning to base.”

So what are the situations you feel stupid in? Do you avoid them? Do you just give up? Do you try to figure them out? The second picture in this post is Chris O’Dowd as Roy from the British sitcom The I.T. Crowd. If you have Netflix, I strongly recommend a weekend binge watch. As long as you’ve read this far, would you mind doing me one tiny favor? One of my tweets is up for Tweet of The Week in a Chicago Tribune poll. Could you click THIS LINK and vote for me?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil