Tag Archives: Throwback Thursdays

TBT! Other Stuff There Should Be Nobel Prizes For

If you follow the news, you’ll know that it’s Nobel Prize season. In fact, according to the timer of the Nobel Prize website, the Nobel Prize for literature will be given out in about 90 minutes. Each day they give out a new one. I wrote this post originally in October 2014.

They’ve been handing out Nobel Prizes all week long, announcing two or three every day. This may come as a surprise to you, but I didn’t get one. It sure as hell came as a surprise to me. There’s even one for Literature! Is The Phil Factor not Literature?

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wdptrs.com

All my life there’s been awesome participation trophies and ribbons that have given me the belief that I deserve an award for everything I do. Adulthood has been kind of a let-down in that regard. You probably have some Nobel Prize-worthy attributes that deserve recognition as well. The fact that you read my blog is evidence of your good taste and wisdom. When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will use my executive powers to create several other Nobel Prizes.

The Nobel Prize for Growing Up: When I see celebrities and professional athletes who have fame, fortune and teams of people managing their “brand” and they still screw up and do stupid things that get them arrested, it drives me crazy. I believe there should be a Nobel Prize for growing up successfully when you don’t have all the advantages in the world. You know who has already earned a lifetime ban from this award? Justin Bieber.

The Nobel Prize for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Ok, admittedly I’m only including this so I get a Nobel Prize. I think it is a vastly under-appreciated skill to grill it just right so the bread isn’t burned or under-done and soggy and has the perfect crispness. That is my gift. You know who has already earned a lifetime ban from this award? Justin Bieber

The Nobel Prize for Social Media: I am terrible at Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t know what to say. Every time I go to write a status or tweet I think to myself, “Why would anyone care if I said this?” Even I am bored with my own Facebook. Yet there are people who effortlessly post on and off all day without giving it a thought and are usually charming and funny. Guess who’s not eligible for this award? Yeah, Bieber and all the Kardashians.

The Nobel Prize for Best Co-Worker: There are probably millions of people that deserve this award. Everywhere you work there’s always that person who spontaneously brings in coffee and donuts every Monday. They always remember birthdays and circulate a card. If someone has a death in their family this co-worker has already sent flowers and included a card with everyones name, and later will say, “Oh, don’t worry about it. Just give me a couple bucks whenever.” They are the social glue of the office. Without them the office milieu wouldn’t be as tolerable every day.

The Nobel Prize for Doing a Job Nobody Else Wants: Whether it be working at a fast food restaurant, a teacher of middle school kids, or cleaning out septic tanks, there are millions of people doing jobs you couldn’t pay most of us enough to do. Yet people are doing them cheerfully without getting paid nearly what they should be.

The Do-It-Yourself Nobel Prize: Like I said, we all have unique, special things that we do every day that are under-appreciated. What should your Nobel Prize be for? Put your answer in the comments.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by Facebook, Twitter or re-blogging. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

TBT! The “I Love All Four Seasons” People

Get ready, this is coming

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.

You know what’s also great to do when the weather forces you inside? Reading a good book. How about a humorous time travel suspense story that’s been compared to “Back to the Future but without the DeLorean…” My new novel Time To Lie is available in Amazon in both Kindle and paperback!

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! It’s the End of The World…again

In honor of the giant Perseid Meteor Shower that’s happening Saturday night, I thought it might be helpful if I reminded people that if those meteors hit the planet, it could be lights out for the human race. Enjoy this classic Phil Factor from last year that addresses this very issue.

Don’t worry. I’ll save us all. According to some crazy ‘scientists’ and conspiracy theorists the world is going to end in about two to six weeks. It’s nice that they gave us a window isn’t it? Usually when crackpots are predicting our demise there’s a specific hard stop date. Now, because of the six week window we can procrastinate.  For instance, right now I don’t own a single device with a working keyboard, so here I sit holding a tablet with one hand and typing away with on the virtual keyboard on the screen with one finger from the other hand. It’s super annoying. If I thought for a second that I’d have to do this for the next year or two, I would go right out and buy a new laptop. Since the world is going to end, why bother, right? If in six or seven weeks we find out that the doomsayers were wrong, then I’ll deal with the situation.

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Here’s how they say that the world is going to end this time: Apparently every twenty-six to twenty-seven million years the Earth has had an “extinction event”. Apparently we’re due for one in the next 2-6 weeks. An extinction “event”? That sounds like something that would be on pay per view doesn’t it? Some half-assed scientist from somewhere kind of implied that there’s another planet, Planet X or Planet 9 it’s being called,  in our solar system whose orbit around the sun is so huge that it only comes close to Earth once every 26 or 27 million years. Don’t worry though, it’s not going to hit us. The problem is that Planet X, in it’s extended orbit, passes through a meteor field and in doing so, it’s gravity pulls many of the meteors with it as it continues in it’s orbit. When Planet X is closest to Earth, we will get completely shelled into oblivion by the meteors.

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So, the question is, if there is only 2-6 weeks left, what would you do? I don’t want to hear anyone say they wouldn’t pay bills or clean their house. And yes, of course you’d see family and friends. Get creative! This is the ultimate time to pull out that bucket list and get to work.

Me? What would I do? First I would attend a Donald Trump rally, walk up to him on the podium, and punch him in the nose. He’d appreciate that. He loves inciting violence. Then I want to travel to see the 7 wonders of the world, or at least the ones I haven’t seen yet. I’d skydive. Then, if we are going to be pummeled by meteors, I want to be sitting in a hot tub with a glass of wine when it happens.

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I think the fact that I just put that Rick Springfield picture on my blog should be seen as a sign of the apocalypse. I know contemplating the end of the world is kind of a bummer, so I’ll give you your happy ending right now. It’s not going to happen. I guarantee it. In fact, I will take credit for it not happening. As a candidate for President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I vow to you, Phil Factor readers and denizens of planet Earth, that I will make sure the planet doesn’t end in 6 weeks. Will you get that guarantee from Donald, Hillary, or Matthew McConaughey? I doubt it.

So in the comments, what are you going to do in the next six weeks just in case I’m wrong? Have a great Thursday! (there might not be many more!) Phil

Throwback Thursday! The Commute

Here’s a classic from March 16, 2006

“Another working day has ended
Only the rush hour hell to face
Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes
Contestants in a suicidal race”
The Police- Synchronicity

I am a commuter. I commute to and from my job each day. I’m not sure what qualifies one as a commuter. Does your drive have to be a certain distance or length of time? Why did someone bother to come up with a name for people who drive to work? Doesn’t that pretty much encompass almost everyone? You know who came up with it? I’m betting it was a bored commuter stuck in traffic on his way to work. Why not come up with name for the odd minority who walk, ride their bikes, or take a bus to work? Oh, that’s right, we already have a name for them. Losers! I’m just kidding of course.

I resent the wasted time I spend in my car and I would love a 5-minute bike ride to work with the wind blowing through my flowing locks and the bugs and car exhaust blowing through my teeth. Memo to cyclists: Having wheels does not mean you belong on the road. If there’s a sidewalk get your lycra shorts ass up on it before we hit you.

The speed limit also poses a special challenge for commuters. Well, it’s not the limit itself that is challenging. In fact I find it quite easy to surpass. That’s not much of a challenge at all. The challenge is coping with the commuters who obey the speed limit as if some deity carved it in stone on the hoods of their cars. (Don’t try to understand that last sentence. It just sounded good in my head) My philosophy is this: We only have so much time to live, and I don’t want to waste any more than I have to trapped inside a mobile tin can. I want to get where I’m going so I can enjoy what I plan to do when I get there, whether it be watching a sunset, talking to a friend, or feeling the sweet release of sending my morning coffee back out into that great big world. I fiercely resent anyone who steals precious moments of my life by impeding my ability to get where I want to go as quickly as possible. If you speed limit compulsives enjoy time in your car so much, then park it at home and sit in it. Preferably with the engine running and garden hose going from the exhaust to the driver’s side window.

The great philosopher called “They” say that you shouldn’t be so focused on your destination and “you should stop and smell the roses.” Here’s a newsflash for “they”: There are no roses by the side of I-90 heading into the city! If I stop to smell the roses a homeless person will probably run up and try to clean my windshield. Then again, if he can pry that cyclist off my bumper I’ll be glad to give him a dollar.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Retirement Advice for President Obama

I was apparently ahead of my time when I wrote this three years ago. There’s some funny references in here that were more pop culture relevant in 2014.

03/01/2014) This week all the news programs aired a video of our President and Vice-President jogging around inside the White House in their shirts and ties. The idea of the video is to support Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative to fight obesity in the U.S. It’s ironic that to reduce obesity she wants us to sit down to watch a video.


This is just embarrassing. For cripes sake Obama! This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen a President do, and that includes Lewinsky. You’re the leader of the free world, allegedly, and you’re spending time making clownish videos? That’s very Putin-like of you. C’mon! You’re better than that! That’s not what I want to see my President doing. Joe Biden? Sure, make all the lame Youtube videos you want. You’re the V.P. I didn’t even know you were still alive and most Americans confuse you with this ventriloquist dummy:

That’s why when we saw the video we were surprised to see your legs moving.

President Obama, I’m disappointed in you. Yes, you are the President, but we all know that Michelle wears the pants in the family. We just didn’t know that she was going to make you prance around the White House in them. I don’t want to see that. I want my President to be presidential!

In the past in this space I’ve ranted against President Obama having just a bit too much fun while on the job, but after some time and consideration I think I’ve changed my tune. His term is up in two years and we can’t vote him out, so why shouldn’t he have some fun? Heck, look at all the fun Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is having? Once that guy got into office he went full on Charlie Sheen and he’s still got his job.

President Obama, here is what I’m proposing you do. Turn over the reins to Joe Biden. He’s done nothing of note for six years. Give him a little thrill. It’ll be the high point of his life. Then you go on a farewell tour like pro athletes do when they announce their retirement. Hell, if you’re already sitting around the White House making goofy videos you might as well be retired.

No, wait, even better. Barack, you know what I think you need? A road trip. No, not the kind you take as President with a full security detail, but the kind where you just hop in a car with, oh, I don’t know, maybe a random blogger, and just take off. I’m serious. You probably haven’t gotten drunk in years. I’ll be your designated driver. I’ll just pull up outside the White House late after Michelle is asleep, throw a pebble at your window, you climb out, run across the lawn, hop the fence and we’ll be off to destinations the CIA won’t be able to find you in. I’ll introduce you to the ladies as my cousin Barry. Maybe we’ll hit Spring Break in Miami or something. (Hey everybody, just for fun click the CIA link up there.)

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Picture credit: pichore.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Throwback Thursday! You Can’t Handle The Truth

(09/12/2015) That’s right. You can’t handle the truth. But the truth is that I know. I know beyond a reasonable doubt…

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I was on a jury for a trial this past week. Shocking, right? Apparently they felt that my celebrity wouldn’t disrupt the trial proceedings too much. Actually, as the trial was going on, before the judge dismissed the jurors each evening he reminded us not to talk to anyone about the trial and not to share details of the trial on “social media such as Facebook, MySpace, or blogs.” I won’t give any specific information about the trial participants or charges here. I will however make fun of some aspects of the experience that I found humorous.

I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this, but I’m probably not like other people. For years now I’ve yearned to be on a jury. I came close once. This time however, I was chosen pretty quickly. When they called our names I was the second one and I literally had to restrain myself from fist bumping the woman next to me.

My joy was further extended when, in giving the chosen ones a talking to about the gravity and importance of our task, the judge became only the third adult I’ve ever heard to reference my favorite historical document, the Magna Carta. The first adult since my high school social studies teacher, Mr. Hampton, to reference it was me in my Nov. 2014 post Ten Useless Things We Learned in School.  My excitement about my Magna Carta involvement was somewhat tempered when I found out that being a juror does not mean that we get to sign the Magna Carta.

But Phil, you’re saying, give us the details, the crime, the C.S.I evidence. We want the good stuff! First off, the real crime is that the Baha Men didn’t have more long term commercial success, and yes, that is related to the trial. I do feel fortunate however to have been witness to one of the greatest moments in legal history, fictional or otherwise. First, my favorite moments in legal history are:

1) In the 1947 classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street, when Fred Gailey has the post office deliver the Dear Santa letters to Santa Claus in the courtroom. Genius! I want him as my lawyer.

2. From the 1992 movie A Few Good Men, the exchange between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson that contains “You can’t handle the truth!”

3. From  1992’s My Cousin Vinny“the two yutes…”

And now, for your consideration, I’d like to add the following to the list of greatest moments in legal history:

This is an actual exchange I witnessed in the courtroom between a cross examining defense attorney and a sworn under oath witness:

Attorney: So, you let the dogs out?

Witness: Yes.

When that happened, in my mind I pictured myself jumping up from my seat in the jury box and thrusting my fist skyward and “Yes! We finally know!” I didn’t do that, however I did look around at my fellow jurors to see if anyone else was trying to suppress a smirk. And nobody was. Then, the next day during deliberations I requested that the court transcriptionist read back a section of testimony that contained the exchange, not to hear the exchange again, but to refresh our memories on other details.  Nothing. No reaction . That’s when I thought to myself, this is definitely not a jury of my peers.  How many of you would have heard it the way I did?

You may not think much of this post, but damn, I referenced the Magna Carta, great movie courtroom moments, and possibly the catchiest song ever. It’s hard to beat that kind of entertainment and variety. If you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace button below. (Don’t look. There’s no MySpace button, but I laughed in my head when the judge said MySpace in court) Have a great weekend! ~Phil