Tag Archives: Throwback Thursdays

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”
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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

Throwback Thursday! Are The Berenst(e)ain Bears Proof of Time Travel?

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(08/15/15) “Hey Dad, I’ve got the coolest thing to tell you about. Do you wanna hear it?” Well of course, after a long work day, how could I turn down that offer? “Yes,” I replied, with as much half-hearted zest as I could muster, which wasn’t much.  He continued as if it wouldn’t have mattered what I said. “Ok, Dad, how do you spell (the name of that bear family from those books you read me when I was little)?” He actually said the name. I looked him in the eyes and with as much sincerity as was possible, I calmly said: “B-E-R-E-N-S-T-A-I-N.”  He looked crestfallen and stupified at the same time. I know, not an easy look to master, but my son is very talented.

His disappointment was because I spelled the name Berenstain the same way that is on the children’s books. Apparently, however, some believe that the spelling hasn’t always been that way. There are thousands of people all over the world, who apparently all have access to message boards on the internet, who remember that for many years the beloved cartoon and book bear protagonists spelled their last name B-E-R-E-N-S-T-E-I-N. So many people in fact that half of the Internets bandwidth is currently consumed by this discussion. Remember in the Spring there was that blue dress/gold dress thing? This is kind of like that, except it’s been going on for six years. Don’t believe me? Check this list of articles about it.

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The problem is, that so many people believe that it used to be spelled Berenstein that some have said this is proof that either we slipped into a parallel universe where some things are only slightly different than what we remember from the universe we were born into, or that someone traveled back in time and changed the spelling for some nefarious reason.  (Actually, I don’t know if the reason is nefarious. I just like using the word nefarious. Seriously, how many words can you think of that are cooler than that? I wish my blog was nefarious)

I believe both sides are right. The remembering of different spellings is proof of parallel (am I the only one who can never remember if the two L’s in parallel are in the middle or at the end? Thank you spell check)  universes and/or time travel. Yes, that’s right. I’m supporting the internet crackpots. Quick, how many of you already considered me an “internet crackpot”? Also, how many of you believe that I could use a little Ritalin to keep me on topic?

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Yes, you heard me. I believe there are parallel universes or alternate realities, but not in the sci-fi/Dr. Who kind of way.  It’s the time that we live in. Due to the plethora of media, different generations, different countries, or different groups have different realities. (Yeah, I used plethora, but it’s not as cool as nefarious) There is so much media that no one can consume it all, so we choose what we see and hear. Perception is reality and reality is like a telescope. It only sees what you aim it at. Prior to coming home today I had no idea there was a Berenstain Bears parallel universe theory, but there were thousands of people in the world who think this is a pretty important piece of information. That’s what they’ve aimed their telescope at. My telescope is aimed at McDonald’s, wondering if they’re bringing the wings back this Fall and when they’ll start offering breakfast all day long. Seriously, if breakfast food is all they had, I’d eat every meal there. Currently my cholesterol is so high that there are entire McNuggets floating in my bloodstream. Our universes are parallel to each other but we are seeing entirely different things.

Here’s the answer to the Berenstain Bears conspiracy theory: Hey children of the late 80’s and 90’s! Guess what? When your parents read those books to you, youwere four years old and didn’t give a rats ass about spelling. Your telescope was aimed at Tommy Bear, or whatever the hell his name was, and you were wondering if he’d fess up to eating the last cookie. Then twenty years later after you read about or met hundreds of people whose named ended in stein like Albert Einstein, Frankenstein, or Ben Stein (Bueller? Bueller?) you just assumed that the bears last name was the same. Just because some idiots made a typo in TV Guide thirty years ago does not make it a reality.

Look, I don’t know what else to say. I know I’m starting to verge into “Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!” crazy old guy territory, but c’mon! How can thousands of morons buy into this? Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t make it true. Guess what? I’m on the internet and I make stuff up all the time? Anybody remember ‘catfishing’? I invented that. All you late 80’s and 90’s kids, listen; Nickelodeon really was awesome when you were little, but nobody changed the spelling of the cartoon bears name, except Mrs. Berenstain Bear who went back to her maiden name  after she divorced Mr. Bear because of his drinking and “sex addiction”  problem and left him to get her own groove back. You’re adults now. Pay your college loans, get a real job, and shut the hell up.

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor, feel free to share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or re-blog buttons below. Do it quick before someone goes back in time and changes it. (Oh yeah, I am SO sharing this on those Reddit message threads) Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursdays Music!

On Mondays I do my Music Monday in hopes of introducing people to music and bands they may not have heard before. Earlier this week when I was reading T. Wayne’s blog, JoyfulProcessBlog, I sort of borrowed the idea to have a music Throwback Thursday. Go check out his blog, it’s awesome. Here’s a classic song from the 80’s and a shout out to all my Canadian friends who remember it.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil