Tag Archives: White Picket Prisons

Candy Crush Intervention

Like Angry Birds and Words with Friends another game designed for the tiny screen of our phones and the tiny span of our attention has seemingly captivated millions of people who would otherwise have productive lives. I was thinking of naming this post “10 Ways to Beat Candy Crush Saga” because I knew that as soon as that title showed up in Google searches I’d get about a billion hits. That would be a cruel joke to play on the millions of Candy Crush addicts.

I’m here today however to address two serious problems. First, the addiction to Candy Crush Saga. The first step is admitting it. The game is like a drug. At first the dealer, who is a tall, eccentric man with a monocle and orange hair, gives you a little for free just to give you a taste. You slide three jelly beans together and bam! You hear a jingle of approval. A positive connection is formed in the reward center of your brain. You repeat the action in seconds and get another positive result thus reinforcing that first connection. After you get hooked and your five lives are lost, unless you want to wait and risk withdrawal you have to pay to get the stuff again. After awhile, after the addiction takes hold, I hear nothing but anger and frustration, but they keep playing it. I’m not a Candy Crush player and I’m fatigued from hearing the distress and frustration of those who are afflicted. Screams of frustration in my house, Facebook posts from friends just hating their lives because they’re stuck on a level.

Candy Crush Saga players, please listen. You’re not only hurting yourselves. You’re hurting others too. The second serious issue is candy bullying. Enough already. It’s got to stop. If they can’t speak for themselves I will take up for the silent victims. What have those poor, innocent jelly beans done to you? You Candy Crush addicts are just like those mean kids with that bus monitor last year. You don’t care who you hurt. You just keep crushing and crushing with no regard for those around you.

It’s time for this madness to stop. Children ignored, jobs in jeopardy, husbands well…not getting their candy crushed. It’s madness. Madness I tell you! Imagine for a moment that you’re invited to a Candy Crush party by your best friend, which is weird because your friend doesn’t play Candy Crush, but you go anyway. When you walk in you actually look up from your phone for a second between levels and you see all your closest friends and family sitting in a circle. I’m there to help too because I know how much you enjoy my blog, but don’t call me Dr. Phil or I may have to punch you. They tell you that it’s time for you to delete the app, to commit Candy Crush Sagacide (trademark pending). Don’t worry they tell you. You won’t have to do it alone. Phil is here for you. I’m going to start a 12 step Candy Crush group. After you say “Hi my name is… and I’m a Candy Crush addict,” you’ll feel so much better, but you can’t say anything else for 30 minutes unless you pay me ninety-nine cents.

Hey, how cool is it that I embedded a video? Look at me getting all high-tech and whatnot! I did it because I care. As always, I appreciate you coming by and if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor and have a #CandyCrush addict in your life please hit the Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest share buttons below because that feeds my addiction to the page view numbers I get.  Also, if you haven’t read my humorous murder mystery novel White Picket Prisons, the newly edited version  is now available for only $2.99 on iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

My Name is Inigo Montoya…Prepare to Fly?


Wow it’s been a weird week hasn’t it? From the tragedy in Boston to the explosion in Texas to the nutjob sending poison-filled letters to politicians to American Airlines grounding a days worth of flights because of a computer ‘glitch’.  That is a lot of big news and unusual events. At the end of it all I have to travel for work. Tomorrow I am taking my talents, such as they are, to Miami. You might think that with all the crazy events this week I would be nervous about flying. If you think that you’re wrong.

I’m nervous though. I’m nervous about going to Florida. You’re probably saying to yourself, but Phil, why would you be nervous about going to the Sunshine State? First off it’s weird that you said ‘but Phil‘ when you spoke to yourself. Secondly, you might wonder how any state with Disney World, aka the costliest happiest place on Earth, could be a scary place? How could I not be nervous about Florida? I’m not sure how, but Florida has seriously pissed off Mother Nature. There may not be a more cursed place in the world.

The entire state is like the Fire Swamp from the movie The Princess Bride. Remember The Fire Swamp scene in The Princess Bride? Westley and Buttercup had to battle a myriad of unseen dangers to get through. Florida is a lot like that.

Much like the lightning sand in the Fire Swamp, Florida has sinkholes. It’s like the entire state was built on Swiss cheese. Just like you’ve seen in a million movies where someone steps into quicksand you could just be walking along happily and the ground apparently just decides on it’s own to open up and swallow people. That’s crazy. Why would you live somewhere that’s a possibility on any given day?

The Fire Swamp had the R.O.U.S.’s, aka the Rodents of Unusual Size. Florida has  I.O.U.S. Insects of Unusual Size. In my research for this Phil Factor I came across two news articles. One referenced a Florida infestation of “giant mosquitoes” called gallinippers that are 20 times the size of normal mosquitoes. Their bite is described as “being stabbed or having a hot nail driven into your skin.” Delightful huh? But it doesn’t end with mosquitoes. There are also giant, “rat-sized, tire puncturing” African snails invading Florida. That’s got to be all kinds of fun when you step out in your bare feet to pick up the morning paper.  And seriously remember the R.O.A.S.’s in the movie? Tell me those didn’t look and walk like alligators!

In the immortal words of Prince Humperdinck, “I always think everything could be a trap…which is why I’m still alive.”  Wish me luck this week. If I survive the Fire Swamp known as Florida I’ll probably have some good material for next weeks Phil Factor. As always, if you like what you read here please hit the Facebook Share button and feel free to follow me on Facebook by clicking the ‘Like’ button up there on the top right. I’m adding this later, but just for fun, how about if everyone who reads this puts their favorite Princess Bride quote in the comments section?

Dear President Obama

This is my open letter to you, President Obama, and yes, I know you’ll hear about this because Michelle subscribes to The Phil Factor on her Amazon Kindle  to read while she’s home alone when you’re on those “business trips.”

Look Barack, I’m glad you’re a sports fan. Good for you. You’re a regular guy just like the rest of us. What I’m not o.k. with is you going on ESPN every year to fill out your NCAA March Madness bracket. I’m not saying you can’t do one. Just don’t go on t.v. for 30 minutes to fill it out. 1) I don’t care about your picks unless you’re actually in the same office pool as me, and 2) IT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE PAYING YOU TO DO!!!

Here’s the deal: my taxes pay your salary, ergo, that makes me and every American your boss. Guess what? Wherever I’ve ever worked they frown on employees wasting time gambling. We usually hide the hours we spend researching our brackets from the boss. We don’t invite the boss to play, so that we can pretend we didn’t waste half the week filling out our brackets and collecting money from everyone. The boss knows we do it, but he or she also likes to pretend that their employees aren’t spending most of a week screwing off. But you, you don’t even pretend you’re working! You bring in Stuart Scott and set up a giant white board in your office and spend half a day explaining why Cals pick and roll has a real chance to give the Syracuse 2-3 zone fits in the 2nd round. Guess what Barack? I don’t care how much you know about basketball.

You know what I’d be really impressed with is if you pulled out a white board during your State of The Union address and showed a bracket full of evil dictators and communist countries that the U.S. is going to defeat.  If the whole world was hunky dory and we weren’t involved in any wars or recessions or gas prices were reasonable, sure, go ahead, take a breather and relax! It’s like as a kid, when your chores are done you can go out and play. But for the money you’re making I wanna see my President at work 24/7.

Just for being President for two terms you’re set for life financially and you get free lifetime security. That’s a pretty sweet deal. As part of that deal I kind of would like it if you didn’t treat that job like your own personal fantasy camp.  Since you took office there’s been more jocks in the White House than the Lambeau field locker room. Did I mention that me and everyone else are paying for that with our taxes? Yeah, now get back to work.

I’m not saying you can’t do an office pool with the cabinet. Remember when I said that the rest of us hide it from the boss when we waste work time on petty gambling? It’s when you get cocky and flaunt it in front of the boss that you get in trouble.  Here, if you’re so fond of petty gambling on the job, how about this: my NCAA bracket versus yours. You win, you get to stay President. I win, I get your job.   F3NQRYD6TB4J

If you’d like to support my NCAA tournament bracket you can check out my humorous murder mystery novel White Picket Prisons  on all the finest e-retailers. As always, if you like what you read here please hit the Facebook Like or Share buttons.

Would You Be Your Own BFF?

Imagine if you weren’t you. What if in some bizarre ‘fell down the rabbit hole’ kind of scenario you woke up as another person?  Maybe you’re a school classmate or a co-worker of your former self but you still travel in the same circles.  If you were given the gift of a third person point of view of yourself, what would you think?  Would you look at that other person and want to be friends?

You know that whether you’re a boy or girl, or a man or woman there is always that point when you either realize you want a person you’ve met to be your friend or you realize that you’ve become friends with someone. In the former scenario you usually admire something about the person such as their sense of humor or their friendliness to everyone they meet. You like how they make you feel and you want a little bit more of that action. In the latter it’s usually an acquaintance that you see regularly and through contact and mutual interests you find yourself enjoying their company more than others.

If you weren’t you and but you knew you, would you like you? Would you admire certain things about that other you? Would you laugh at your jokes or find them mean spirited? Would you like how you greet others? Is that other you cheerful and genuinely happy to run into people or does that other you just want to go about their business.  Would you treat people the way you see yourself doing so? Or would you realize that you are very self absorbed in the eyes of others? Would you willingly choose to hang out with you? What would you like about yourself? What would be interesting about you? What wouldn’t you like about you if you knew you?

If you fell down that rabbit hole into that third person point of view world and you came back, would you change?

Yeah, I know I usually just make fun of stuff, but I was feeling a little pensive this week. Maybe even self-conscious. Maybe I fell down a rabbit hole. Who knows? Maybe it’s a story idea in the offing. Anyway, as always, if you like what you read here I’d love it if you’d hit the Facebook like or share buttons. Btw, how do you like the new website? Like all of us, it’s still under construction but it’s getting there. Have a great weekend.