Monday, August 24, 2015

Pheaturing Maggie Björklund

Hey there, kids. Welcome to the Phile on a bloody rainy Monday. It's raining here in Florida and in California there's wild fires. Let's ask Native Americans to set aside their petty dislike of the white man to save California's forests with a rain dance.  I like this Foo Fighter guys, do you? The Foo Fighters performed a perfect 2-minute set at a Westboro Baptist Chuch rally. The Westboro Baptist Church, a super racist, homophobic hate group with terrible Yelp reviews protested outside of a Foo Fighters show in Kansas City Friday night, because they think the Fighters and their universally-beloved, Grammy-approved alt rock is a threat to America or something. Dave Grohl and his warriors of foo weren't going to stand for it, though. They fought hatred the only way they knew how: with 80s dance pop. They drove by in a pick-up truck and blasted Rick Astley's 1987 opus, "Never Gonna Give You Up" in a beautiful act of Rickrolling. The Foo Fighters are winning everyone's hearts with their summer full of public stunts. Looks, like I've got a confession to make... DAMMIT, STOP IT, DAVE GROHL!  Sam, hey, this story is for you... Jimmy Fallon's last injury went so viral, he hurt himself again. Thankfully, he's fine, and it's not as gross as the finger thing. Remember earlier this summer, when Jimmy Fallon explained in excruciating detail how he almost lost his finger when he tripped and caught his wedding ring on a counter? Now Fallon is at it (getting injured) again with a chipped tooth. He posted an Instagram photo from a dentist's chair and wrote, "Chipped front tooth trying to open tube of scar tissue repair gel for recovering finger injury. Thank you Dr. Jobe DDS! #BestSummerEver Brand new Tonight Show tonight." Poor Jimmy! Can this guy catch a break? Or is falling down just the latest social media power move in the late night wars  Apple's iPhone recall may at least partially explain your terrible photos. Your blurry photos aren't your fault, maybe! Do you have an iPhone 6 Plus? Did you buy it between the September 2014 and January 2015? Then your out-of-focus photos might not be all your fault! Apple announced that there is a defect with the front camera and they will be fixing it free of charge at any authorized retailer. You can enter your phone's serial number here to check if your phone is from the faulty batch, or if you're just not good at iPhone photography. Fingers crossed that it's Apple's mistake, and not due to your inability to focus long enough to take a picture! By the way, I don't have that problem... I am still using my iPhone 4s with the original operating system. Ha!  Here's a crazy story... FBI lets terrorist build a death ray, and arrested him right as he installed the final component. Disgruntled white men taking their anger out on society with big guns is nothing new in American society, but very rarely do those big guns merit the charge of conspiring to build WMD. Glendon Scott Crawford, a 51 year old KKK member from Galway, New York, was convicted on Friday on charges of distributing information with respect to a weapon of mass destruction, use of weapon of mass destruction, and trying to build and use a radiological dispersal device. Specifically, an X-ray weapon he described as "Hiroshima on a light switch," which he hoped to point at mosques and the White House. If this guy had only been Iraq in 2003, he could have justified the whole war. He is the first person to ever be convicted of this. A few years ago, Crawford and his accomplice... 56 year old Eric J. Feight (since convicted of providing material support to terrorists) approached the Israeli Embassy, the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, and the Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady to ask them if they would help him buy an industrial-grade X-ray device for the purposes of killing "enemies of Israel." These groups politely declined his offer and reported him to the FBI. By April 2012, the FBI had dispatched undercover agents who were secretly recording conversations with Crawford about his plans, which seemed sparked by his conviction that Obama had directed immigration authorities to bring in Muslims to carry out terrorist attacks. Naturally, his response was to plan his own terror attacks. In August 2012, Crawford then traveled to South Carolina to seek funding from Chris Baker, a KKK Imperial Wizard who also turned out to be cooperating with the FBI. But here's the weird part, and it factored into his defense attorney's arguments: the FBI was heavily involved in helping him build this device. A device assistant U.S. attorney Rick Belliss called "very real, very viable and very deadly." Crawford and his accomplice Feight both worked for General Electric, but when they became frustrated with the slow pace of their progress, undercover FBI agents apparently helped them acquire the necessary parts and even test a device to remotely activate the X-ray weapon, which would be stored in the back of a truck. When Crawford and Feight showed up to acquire the final component of their weapon, they were arrested by the FBI. The involvement of FBI agents have led Crawford's attorneys to argue that while he may indeed be guilty of disseminating information about WMDs, the government's involvement in this case is tantamount to entrapment. While I do hope this guy is convicted, it does raise the question: are X-ray WMDs real, and if so, why is the government helping terrorists almost build them?  A guy was arrested for insane behavior on the way to his 40th reunion probably didn't get laid much in high school. Marc Rehmar was apparently running late for his 40th high school reunion, so when he saw the plane begin to push away from the gate at the Denver International Airport, he busted through an emergency exit and ran toward the moving aircraft. Because life is not a romantic comedy, he didn't get to board his flight. Instead, he was arrested and charged with a felony count of endangering public transportation, along with a misdemeanor count of hindering transportation. That sounds like being charged twice for the same thing, but who am I to question the law? Either way, this reunion story is so darkly funny it belongs on an episode of "Louie." It's too bad he wasn't able to finally tell the girl from Honors Bio that he loved her, or whatever made him act so bonkers. Marc is out on $10,000 bond, so hopefully he can see what he missed at the reunion on Facebook.  This is a story for all you Harry Potter fans. J.K. Rowling commented on Harry Potter fan theory which is magical for nerds. J.K. Rowling has Harry Potter enthusiasts shooting celebratory sparks from their wands since she commented on a theory that Dumbledore might be death from "The Tale of the Three Brothers." The theory contends that Voldemort, Snape and Harry are the three brothers, with Dumbledore representing death. She didn't confirm it, instead calling it a "beautiful theory" that "fits" within the story. So now we will leave it to devout fans to scour the books and debate their findings in forums. Dumbledore did once tell Voldemort that "Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness." One thing we know to be certain about Dumbledore is that J.K. Rowling confirmed in 2007 that he was gay, so if he's also death, this guy had a very complex and nuanced life.  Speaking of Harry Potter, did you know there's a new book coming out? Here it is...

I bet it's a good one.  The other day I saw this picture...

And I wondered what does it remind me of. Then it hit me...

It's obvious, right? Hahahaha.  So, this whole Subway Jared Fogle mess. There's word that Subway knew what he was doing, and Subway ad kinda proves it.

Okay, that's dumb.  Remember when you'd go to summer camp as a kid and they'd make you write a letter home, so your parents would know that you're not dead? Well, for the rest of summer I am gonna show you some real letters kids wrote.

Awe. Nice kid. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...

Top Phive Things You Know You're Really 70 When... Vince McMahon Edition
5. You've managed to outlive practically every aging wrestler except that damn Hogan.
4. You've changed your entrance music to the theme song from "Matlock."
3. After you finally have a decent bowel movement, you wish it had been a Pay-Per-View event.
2. You think for a moment that your brand of mindless, raging buffoonery might not befit a man if your age... but then you come to your senses.
And the numb rome thing you know you're really 70 is...
1. Tomorrow you have a meeting with the undertaker (not the wrestler).

This is a semi-hard one. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, on Friday's entry I mentioned that Yvonne Craig who was Batgirl in he 60s "Batman" TV show has passed away. She was my first TV crush so I thought for fun I'd look for pictures of her. And then I discovered this...

You're welcome, gentlemen.

Ken Burns
Ken Burns is what happens when a powerpoint gets funding from the Kellogg Foundation and viewers like you.

The 39th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Suzi will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a singer and slide pedal musician whose latest CD on Bloodshot is "Shaken" and it is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Maggie Björklund.

Me: Hello, Maggie, how are you? Welcome to the Phile. 

Maggie: Hi and thanks for your interest in my music.

Me: Judging by your last name, I take it you are not American. Where are you from, Maggie?

Maggie: I am from Denmark. Born and bred.

Me: How do you say hello in Danish?

Maggie: Goddag, or hej.

Me: Okay, goddag. Do you still live in Denmark?

Maggie: Yes, I still live just outside Copenhagen in the country side.

Me: Have you ever been to Legoland there? We have a Legoland here in Central Florida now.

Maggie: Yes, I have been there. It is a lot of fun, it is the kids dream come true.

Me: You have a place in Seattle as well. What made you decide to come to America and pick Seattle?

Maggie: I have some great friends in Seattle, thats why it is my base when I am in America.

Me: I have to ask you about the Danish pedal steel guitar that you play, Maggie. When did you first decide that was gonna be your instrument to play?

Maggie: I started out as a regular guitar player, but along the way I bought a pedal steel from a friend. My first attempt at playing it was not a success, it was too hard to for me at the time, but some years later I tried again and was able to get some good sounds out of it. Then I fell in love with the instrument and its vast universe.

Me: Barbara Mandrell was famous for playing the pedal steel, were you a fan of hers growing up?

Maggie: I didn't know her when I was growing up, I didn't discover her until I started on the steel myself. But now I am a huge fan.

Me: You have to be a fan of country music though, right? It's mostly country that uses the pedal steel.

Maggie: It's traditionally used in country music, but tradition is there to be broken. There are some amazing jazz pedal steel guys out there, and it really can be used for anything you want. Your imagination is the limit...

Me: Was it a hard instrument to play? Do you play in sitting down or standing up?

Maggie: It is a hard instrument to play, yes. It takes dedication to learn how to master it. You have to sit down at a pedal steel guitar, since you use both your feet and your knees to work the pedals and the levers.

Me: What's the difference between a Danish pedal steel and say, an American pedal steel?

Maggie: There is no such thing as a Danish pedal steel.

Me: Ohhh. Haha. You have a new album out called "Shaken," which I downloaded from iTunes. It's a very relaxing album to listen to, Maggie. Is this your second solo album?

Maggie: Yes, this is my first solo album. It was great fun to make, and I am very proud of it and grateful for all the people who contributed to the making of it.

Me: You are in a band called the Darleens, right? How does the Darleens music differ to your solo stuff?

Maggie: Darleens was my first professional band. It no longer exist. Darleens was far more traditional country than my solo stuff, but I wrote most of the material for that band too. And I didn't play steel guitar on the first two Darleens albums. On the third one I put some one.

Me: You have done a lot of session work, and played with a lot of people like Jack White. Do you prefer to do your own music, or do you still enjoy playing and guesting on other people's records?

Maggie: I always enjoy doing session work. It is fun to dig into other peoples music and learn how they think and feel. But nothing beats making your own music and being in charge of how the musical landscape is drawn.

Me: I have to ask you about one song on your album "Insekt." from your "Coming Home" CD. What is an "insekt"? Is that an insect?

Maggie: In Dutch, do you always change a 'c' with a 'k'? In Danish insect is spelled insekt. I liked to use the danish word for it, knowing that it could be understood in English too.

Me: Cool. I was right. Maggie, I know you have to go. Thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun for you. Go ahead and mention your website and please come back when your next release comes out. All the best, Maggie.

Maggie: Thanks a lot! Yes my website is, I am on Facebook too. Best.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Maggie Björklund. The Phile will be back next Sunday with jazz musician Frank Carlberg. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pheaturing David Ackert

Hey, kids, good evening and welcome to another entry of the Phile. How are you?  A sorority kicked out a student for posting this bikini pic.

What has the world come to? A 19 year old college student had to leave her sorority after wearing a bikini... the wrong type of bikini. Belmont University rising sophomore Lauren Forsythe posted an Instagram photo that showed her wearing a bathing suit top with fake nipples. Forsythe told "Cosmopolitan" that she wore the bikini to fight double standards about women's bodies (specifically: men can wave their nips around in public; women can't). She told the magazine, "I know that had my boyfriend posted this photo, there would be no backlash whatsoever... even though it's the same cartoon nipple." Forsythe's sorority, Phi Mu Theta, said she would either have to take down the photo, resign, or go through a disciplinary process when school starts. Forsythe stuck to her nipple beliefs and opted to leave. The bathing suit Forsythe was wearing is called, perfectly, the TaTa Top. TaTa Top founder (which must be awesome to have on a business card) Michelle Lytle told "Cosmo" in an email: "it's unfortunate that a sorority would shame a member for taking a stand for something they believe in especially when that stand is for women's rights." It's crazy to think we live in a time when sorority sisters can't even post bikini shots. What has the world come to?  Have you heard of Dismaland? Banksy's new theme park, Dismaland, will teach you all about society's ills, but are there novelty popsicles? Graffiti artist Banksy has unveiled his most ambitious takedown of modern life and consumer culture yet: Dismaland, a full-scale parody of Disneyland. Situated in the rundown English seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare, "the U.K.'s most disappointing new visitor attraction!" is the result of a collaboration between Banksy and 50 other like-minded performance artists and installation artists. There are 18 incredibly depressing and unsettling attractions that send up theme park offerings to force patrons to stare at society's ills unblinkingly and just, like, deal with it. Attendees can visit Mini Gulf, an oil caliphate-theme miniature golf course made out of an old field hockey field; Water Cannon Creek, a water slide made out of an armor-plated vehicle once used to quell riots in Northern Ireland; Guerilla Island to take a workshop on how to hack billboards; and The Jeffrey Archer Memorial Pit Fire, in which a large ceremonial fire keeps burning thanks to books written by the area's former member of Parliament who was convicted of perjury in 2001. Run the Jewels is also scheduled to play a show there. Dismaland, which Banksy calls both a "bemusement park" and a "festival of art, amusements, and entry level anarchism" is open from this weekend until September 27. Unlike the real Disneyland, admission is cheap (£3, or about $5), but like the real Disneyland there will be very long lines to learn about how people are horrible and society is collapsing. But if you've been to the real Disneyland, you already know that.  Jared once went to a restaurant called Sticky Fingers and took a photo that hasn't aged well.

If it were possible for Jared Fogle to look worse, this photo would do it. This picture was uploaded to Twitter yesterday by a user called @BarstoolBigCat. It was taken at Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, a barbecue restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. A few years ago, Jared Fogle came through town, and because nobody at the time knew what a sicko he was, the staff of the restaurant was all too happy to grab this sweet photo. Luckily, @BarstoolBigCat was able to immortalize it before Sticky Fingers very wisely took it down. For the record, this should not be seen as an indictment of the restaurant. In fact, a Charleston local who shared the photo on Reddit gave this ringing endorsement: "…its good stuff and cheap." There you have it. Sticky Fingers Ribhouse: good barbecue at a great price that knows when to distance itself from perverts.  Caitlyn Jenner won't have trouble staying in headlines if she's charged for deadly Malibu crash after all. Her show "I Am Cait" is halfway through its 8 episode run, but Caitlyn Jenner may be in headlines much longer if her car crash case isn't dropped like we thought. Detectives concluded in July that Caitlyn Jenner was not texting or talking on the phone at the time of a Feb. 7 car crash on a congested Malibu highway, in which Jenner's car rear-ended a white Lexus, sending that car into oncoming traffic, killing driver Kim Howe. As a result of those findings, most media outlets and experts assumed that was the end of this chapter for Caitlyn (except for civil suits, of course), who has dominated headlines recently for much different reasons. That may all change now, however, as the LA County Sheriff's department is officially recommending that she be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Although Jenner was traveling below the speed limit for the road, the Sheriff's department says she was driving "at an unsafe speed for the prevailing roadway conditions." It's up to prosecutors to make the final call, however, so experts say that even with this recommendation, it's a fifty-fifty chance she'll actually be charged. The recommended charge is only a misdemeanor, and although it carries a maximum penalty of a year of jail time, Jenner would be unlikely to serve due to a clean driving record, however there is also the possibility of a fine. Technically, I cyber-promised Perez Hilton I wouldn't be reporting Kardashian news this week (I probably forgot at least once, though), but I thought this merited an exception since it's about a story in the real world.  With yesterday's data dump, Ashley Madison hackers have officially put out more than the site's users. Are these additional 20 gigabytes of husbands cheating on you? The hackers behind the big Ashley Madison security breach just released another 20 GB of data, twice the amount of their last leak. According to Motherboard, the data seems to include emails from Avid Life Media's CEO Noel Biderman (Avid Life Media is Ashley Madison's parent company). It's not yet clear how much of the data is user information. The data, uploaded to the same dark web site as the last dump, was sent with the message "Hey Noel, you can admit it's real now." This is probably a reference to Biderman, who, let's be honest, can probably admit it's real now. Sorry, Noel (but also you're the person we probably feel least sorry for in all of this, so). Hey, denial is something a whole bunch of people are probably practicing right now as their email addresses turn up on sites like, where you can search for yourself or anyone you know. Here's how to check if your spouse was part of the Ashley Madison leak without ever speaking to them again. Ever since hackers released the secret data of 36 millions users of Ashley Madison... the dating website for cheaters... millions of Americans have been wondering: "Is my husband or wife one of those people? And which is it: husband or wife? I need to know!" Well now you can find out without googling "What is the dark web?" Trustify, an Internet investigation site that seems to cater to people who think their partners are cheating, has a simple tool (so do a bunch of other sites) where you can enter an email address to see if you or your partner (or your friend or your ex) was stupid enough to use their real email address and name on a cheating website. Here's how it works. First, you enter the email address you want to search. Then, you either find out you weren't breached (or your hubby was never on the site) or you find out you were breached. At which point you have the option to tweet that information ("I took the Ashley Madison Hack QUIZ and I got 'I'm a cheater!'") or hire Trustify to investigate further or weep softly while wishing you'd never read this story.  Okay, so, you know those kinda fliers that people post on telephone poles where you rip off the bottom part? No, you will in a minute. Check it out...

Haha. Now do you get it?  Okay, so, I love my Mercury Milan, but if I was gonna get another car it'll be this one...

That's so freaking cool! I. want.  Speaking of cars, have you seen the picture of Trump driving down the road campaigning? No? Well, do I have a treat for you.

Hahahaha. That really made me laugh!  So, did you ever go to summer camp?  Remember when you'd go to summer camp as a kid and they'd make you write a letter home, so your parents would know that you're not dead? Well, for the rest of the summer I am gonna show you some real letters children wrote from summer camp.

A letter from their dauter. Okay, I haven't had a new pheature here in awhile so I thought I should debut one tonight. Let's see how this turns out. It's called...

1. Flying spiders are a real thing now, not just the premise of the latest Michael Bay movie. According a study published Wednesday in "Journal of the Royal Society Interface," large arachnids who live in the American tropics can glide with more agility than cats. They're known as "flatties," since their flat body helps them glide, probably into your face while you're sleeping. Scientists tested their abilities by dropping them from tall trees. Some could navigate their way to nearby trees after falling just 13 feet. In other words, run for your lives.
2. Lightning came down from the heavens and shat all over an airplane minding its own business. 
Being in an airplane on the ground is also scary now. Lightning struck a Boeing 737 that was just chilling at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Tuesday. A guy inadvertently filmed it on his phone while making a weather report for his wife, and this still shot at the moment of impact will probably mean the makers of Xanax can buy a new yacht this year.
3. A 15-year-old prank presidential candidate is more inspiring than any real presidential candidates. 
Brady Olson from Wallingford, Iowa, is running for president under the name Deez Nuts, and he's actually doing pretty well in comparison to other candidates. You can check out his official website here:, where he lays out his libertarian party platform, which is actually pretty consistent and well-thought-out for a meme who is trying to run our country. Even though he knows it's silly, he'll take the joke "[a]s far as America wants to take it." If things keep going the way they're going now, it looks like that's pretty damn far.
4. Dolphins are the latest addition to the list of things that are invading your privacy.
According to a Palestinian newspaper, Hamas caught a dolphin "outfitted with a camera and an underwater monitoring device capable of firing small arrows" off the coast of the Gaza Strip. They're accusing the Israeli government of spying on them, and have also accused them of using sharks, squirrels, and vultures in order to spy. Animals have historically been used by countries for espionage, so it is possible. Is this a Zionist conspiracy? Is Austin Powers becoming real life? Or did Hamas catch a dolphin who just happens to be an archery/photography hobbyist?
5. You can now discharge high speed lead projectiles and have a beer at the same establishment. Volusia Top Gun in Daytona Beach, Florida was approved the city commissioner to serve alcohol at their gun range's restaurant. It's only for people who want to drink after shooting, but still, any combination of guns and alcohol is a bad combination.

This is a real hard one. Let me know if you figure out out.  So, earlier I mentioned Jared that Subway douche. Well, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about him. He's a patriot, singer ands renaissance man. You know what time it is...

So... it would seem that Subway pitchman Jared Fogle pleaded guilty to having sex with children over the course of many years and being in possession of child pornography. Several of the children were as young as thirteen years old. I have a deeply personal connection with child molestation. I, myself was the victim of it at the age of thirteen. My mother's best friend, the woman who introduced my parents, babysat for me and changed my diapers, aged thirty, took my virginity when I was barely a teen (with my mother's permission) So... yeah... I've got a huge problem with this type of predatory behavior. I think anyone who has sexual contact of any kind with a child should be sentenced to spend five years locked in a room with me. No cameras, no TV, no phone, no bed. Just him, me, a chair, a toilet, shackles, a blowtorch and a pair of needle nosed pliers. I would take great pleasure in teaching this piece of shit the absolute limits of pain the human body is capable of enduring. At the end of those five long years I would NOT kill him. I would release him back into society carrying the mental and physical scars of what I forced upon him... mind, body and soul. Now... that's all I've got to say about that, you sons of bitches.

Yvonne Craig
May 16th, 1937 — August 17th, 2015

This is a cool deal. Today's guest is the author of "40 Years in a Mousetrap" which is the 38th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile, my good friend... David Ackert!

Me: Dave!!!! Welcome to the Phile finally, how have you been?

David: Pretty darn good! I haven't seen the sunrise in over a year. Does it still look the same?

Me: Haha. Yeah, pretty much. So, do you prefer being called David over Dave?

David: I like and answer to both. But if you call me Davy, I will kill you!

Me: Alright, full disclosure, you and I worked together at Star Tours until you retired. Do you miss working at Disney and Star Tours? Wasn't I the best coordinator you had? Hahaha.

David: Oddly, I do not miss Star Tours or Disney. What I do miss is working and talking with my fellow Cast Members. They were all wonderful. They kept me smiling. If it weren't for them I would probably be insane now.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your book "40 Years in a Mousetrap." You were there at Disney World just under forty years though, right?

David: I will let you know a secret, sort of. I actually started working at Disney in 1972. I worked at Disney for a 1 and a half years. Then I left the company to take a job at my hometown newspaper back in Kingston, N.Y. in the advertising department. I was laid off about a year later and decided to return to Disney in 1975. So, legally it was just short of forty years but in reality, it was more like 42 years.

Me: Where did you work when you first worked at Disney, David, and why did you leave and come back?

David: I was a ticket taker, back in the day when they had real tickets. The reason I left Disney was that while visiting Kingston during a vacation break, I saw a job listing for an advertising sales position for our hometown newspaper. I applied and was surprised when I found that I had the job. It was a great experience for a year or so. Sadly the economy went bust and I was eventually laid off. It was one of my Disney friends that talked me into coming back to Disney.

Me: What would the book be called if it was named after exactly how many years you worked for the company?

David: It would most likely be "39 Years and 3 Months in a Mousetrap." A very terrible title.

Me: You have been working on the book for a long time, am I right?

David: You could say I was working on it for forty years! I actually began jotting down little notes and ideas for my memoirs when I was bored out of my mind standing in front of Superstar Television back in the mid 80s.

Me: When and how did you decide to write a book, Dave?

David: This is going to sound very strange but it all started by my being suck in a very boring position and deciding to write down the names of everyone I have ever worked with at Disney. As I began writing down names from the past, various incidents that I had experienced with some of these people also popped into my head. I began to think, wow, this could make a really good story. Well, I began writing it down. Also, I ain't getting any younger, so I wanted to write my life at Disney down on paper before I forgot about it!

Me: Now it's out, are you happy with it?

David: Overall, yes. But the more a read it, there are little things that I think I might have told better. Like most artists, actors and directors, we are never completely satisfied with our work. The one thing I am not happy about is the many grammatical errors throughout the book. It was supposedly proof read, twice.

Me: I noticed the grammar mistakes, David. I told you I'd proof read the book! You never see grammar mistakes in the Phile. Haha. Don't you wish I proof read the book?

David: Yes, and that really did piss me off too. The publisher swore he would proof read it and that another editor would also proof read it. No way is that guy going to publish any new stuff from me without a final proof before publishing.

Me: What has the feed back been on the book so far?

David: Pretty good as far as I know. I know quite a few people bought the book. I don't think anyone outside of Disney have any knowledge of it. That's been the hard part, getting it promoted.

Me: That's what I'm here for. I read it, and really enjoyed it. And was surprised you mentioned me... twice. Haha. You couldn't mention everyone you worked with, right?

David: No, it would be the size of a telephone book! Plus I wanted to keep this personal. My feelings and my experiences. Plus I was afraid that if I mentioned too many people by name that I might get into trouble or offend someone somehow.

Me: I love the way you mentioned me in the book. You still have that Robin Meade book mark?

David: Yes, I do. Why wouldn't I? It is now on the wall of my bedroom. Hmmm, hmmm! No comment.

Me: I have been at Disney over 27 years and if I ever wrote a book I wouldn't know who to mention or what stories to talk about. Did you have a hard time trying to figure out which stories to put in the book?

David: There were some things I left out. They were either too boring or too personal. I would say, if you think it's funny or interesting, then others will too.

Me: I am surprised you didn't mention that you were on "America's Funniest Videos" right before you retired. I have a picture of you on that show...

Me: Did you think about putting that in the book?

David: Yes, but in the end I decided it would not be too interesting to most folks. Guess I was wrong.

Me: I am sure that is not the only TV show you appeared on in 40 years. I think I was just on the news and the Disney Channel a few times.

David: Most of my finest moments ended up on the cutting room floor. I guess my appearance on The Discovery Channel is the best known. That may be shown forever! No residual checks, darn it.

Me: So, your first job was in tickets. Was that your favorite job?

David: As I said in my book, the kennels.

Me: When you worked at the kennels you and your Cast Members made a 8mm film, am I right? "Kennel Wars" was the name?

David: Correct. It was shown at a Cast party. It was a big hit among all the drunken attendees.

Me: Do you still have a copy of it? You should put it on YouTube.

David: Yes. I am hesitant to put it on YouTube because I keep thinking that I can make some money off of it. Would you pay a couple of bucks to get a copy?

Me: Maybe. So, you tell a story of when you leant Britney Spears some money. What was that about?

David: "The New Mickey Mouse Club" was being filmed at the Studios. One day I was at Take Five for lunch and had a tray full of food that I was trying to pay for at the register. There was a bit of a holdup at the register because two young girls didn't have enough money to pay for their two ice cream cones. I was getting a bit upset so I told the cashier that I would pay the 40 cents the girls owed, which I did. The two little girls hurried off promising that they would repay me. One of those little girls was a very young Britney Spears!

Me: Take Five is the Cast cafeteria at the Studios by the way. Tell us the Jim Henson story which is a cool story.

David: It is a great story! It was an extremely slow day in early December. I was working in front of The Great Movie Ride and at this time the Christmas tree was in front of the attraction. A family had stopped in front of the tree to take a photo. A group of people, including Jim Henson, came walking by. Mr. Henson left his group and approached the family, he had spotted something that even I hadn't noticed. The little girl in this family just happened to be holding a Kermit the Frog puppet. He knelt down, borrowed the girl's Kermit puppet and proceeded to put on an entire skit for this little girl and her family, Kermit voice and all. It was wonderful! And no one witnessed this except for me and that family. I don't even know if they knew who he was.

Me: So, do you think you'll ever write another book?

David: Yes, mainly because so many people have told me that I should. It certainly isn't for the money. Ha!! I might write about growing up and my early experiences. I have also written some short stories, Hitchcock and Rod Serling kind of stuff.

Me: Are there stories you wish you added in this book?

David: Just one or two.

Me: I love the book cover, David. How did you come up with the idea?

David: At first it was going to be your standard mousetrap. I even made a few drawings but I wasn't satisfied by them. I wanted something more Disney, but of course, I didn't want to get sued. The balloon idea came like a lightning bolt out of the blue. It really did.

Me: And how and when did you come up with the books name?

David: That was even harder than the cover. At one time I had about 30 tentative titles. I kept asking my friends and co-workers which title they liked best. Eventually it came down to two, then finally one.

Me: David, is there one thing about working at Disney that you regret?

David: Other than working Jedi Academy for two years!! No, I have no regrets about anything.

Me: I have to tell you that the last chapter brought a tear to my eye. Was that a hard chapter to write?

David: Surprisingly, it seemed to just flow from me. I released all of my feelings. It drained me but by the end I felt a sort of freedom. It's hard to explain really.

Me: So, you have a hobby I have to mention... you collect autographs. How did you first get into this hobby and is there one that means a lot to you?

David: Somewhere in the late seventies I remember seeing an ad in "Rolling Stone" where for a fee I would be sent the addresses of some 50,000 celebrities. I got the list and was shocked to find that they appeared to be the actual home addresses of these people and not their agents. I remember witting hand-written letters to five celebrities as an experiment. I was pleasantly surprised when within three weeks, I had received four replies. I was hooked. You can't imagine the thrill of finding a large manila envelope in your mailbox then opening it to find what treasure might be inside. I have so many favorites, it's very hard to say which. I guess the wonderful hand-written letter from James Stewart is at the top. I also like the caricature Vincent Price did of himself and signed for me. Sadly, since 9/11 it is nearly impossible to get the home addresses of anyone now. But it is still possible to get autographs from through their agents.

Me: About how many do you have?

David: Probably 300 or more. Sadly, more than half of the people who were kind enough to send me their autographs are now no longer with us. I am so happy that they live again whenever I glance through my collection.

Me: Do you have Yvonne Craig's autograph?

David: Yes, I do. What made you ask about her? Just wondering.

Me: Ha! You should write a book about the autographs.

David: I guess I could. There really are some interesting tidbits I could tell. But it would only be a short story or an essay.

Me: David, thanks so much for being on the Phile, my friend. I cannot wait to see you again the next time you're in Florida. Tell the readers where they can get the book, and I want you to sigh my copy.

David: I will be glad to, if I can somehow get a chance. It's available on Amazon.

Me: All the best, and take care. You're welcome back on the Phile any time.

There, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and David Ackert. The Phile will be back on Monday with singer Maggie Bjorklund. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pheaturing Self Tort

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? I hope you're better than the silly jokester who got a tattoo so hilarious that his wife left him. No, it's not me. Stuart Valentino of Hampshire, England got drunk with his friend and decided to get a tattoo of a six inch penis on his thigh. Just so you know who we're dealing with here, Stuart is a perpetual prankster who once made a video where he ate cat poop. It was fake, but his wife Samantha hated it. She also hated it when her husband, who is a father of four, came home with a penis tattooed on his leg. It would cost £1,000 to remove, and due to the image's obscene nature, he couldn't even take the kids to the pool without offending everyone, especially his wife. Sick of his childish ways, she decided the inked dong was the last straw, and Samantha kicked Stuart out of the house. Stuart said, "I had no idea a joke could ruin my life," and also "I've been a dickhead." At least he's being honest with himself about what he is, which hopefully is the first step to getting his life back, and stop acting like a wanker.  A woman ran a marathon without a tampon to bring attention to... oh fine, here's a photo.

Okay, now can we all just be grown-ups about this? The night before Kiran Gandhi... a Harvard Business School graduate and former drummer for M.I.A. and Thievery Corporation ran the London Marathon back in April, she realized she was going to have the first day of her period during the race. The 26 year old first time marathoner was stressed about cramping and bleeding and the thought of a wad of cotton chafing her lady parts for 26.2 miles. Gandhi was running the race with a few friends to raise money for a charity called Breast Cancer Care. She decided to add another social mission to her run: to fight the stigma of periods and bring attention to the many women around the world without access to feminine hygiene products (a horrible euphemism probably made up by some man afraid to say the phrase "stuff to soak up yer period blood"). She achieved that by "bleeding freely" and letting her period blood run down the inside of her legs. I wasn't really on board with this until she used the phrase "bleed freely"... doesn't that sound fun? And dangerous. Damn, that puts Pheidippides collapsing and dying upon his arrival in Athens to shame... dude wasn't even dripping blood the whole time. Gandhi finished the course in four hours, 49 minutes, and 11 seconds, but I'm guessing her time is not going to be the main thing she remembers from this race.  A Missouri man brought his snake in a restaurant and claimed it was a service animal, which is impossible since service animals can only be dogs. Also, your service animal should not be able to swallow other service animals whole, expanding their belly to accommodate the outlined shape of the dog it just ate. He was surprised when the manager informed him he was not allowed to have it in the restaurant. It would be great to have seen his reaction when someone actually read the ADA guidelines explicitly stating that only dogs qualify as service animals. The winning question would be to ask him how he got his snake to wear that bright little vest telling people it's a service animal. Trick question, sir! Snakes can't wear vests. Allowing snake owners to claim them as service animals would really begin a slippery slope of what helps with depression. He could try to eat in a restaurant that requires coat and tie wearing just a leather vest, or claim that his rusty old Corvette is allowed to park in spaces reserved for those with physical disabilities.  A guy was arrested for giving his ex too many Facebook likes, and for being a complete psycho. This is a good example of a story that seems crazy at first, and then becomes a less fun kind of crazy the more you read. According to Northeastern Pennsylvania's Times Leader, 26-year-old Justin Bellanco was arraigned on Tuesday for violating a no-contact restraining order filed by his ex-girlfriend, April Holland. The form of contact was Facebook, still the best social network for creeping on your ex. Bellanco had clicked "like" on 22 photos and videos on Holland's Facebook page since the restraining order was filed on August 4th. This guy didn't even wait a week! He should have also been charged with looking thirsty. Also, I'm not sure why Holland didn't just block him, especially considering why she got the restraining order in the first place. A judge granted the order, which forbids Bellanco from contacting Holland for a year, after she reported that he had been stalking and harassing her and her friends. He even threatened the shoot her in the kneecap to watch her suffer, which is one of the classic relationship red flags. Holland also reported that she saw Bellanco lurking around City Hall after her hearing. So really, Facebook is the least creepy part of this story. In an ironic twist, court records show that in April 2014, Bellanco obtained a PFA (protection from abuse order) against Holland, claiming that she choked him during a domestic dispute. That PFA expired in April 2015, at which point he wasted no time in abusing her again. I really think both of them need to move on. I recommend Internet dating.  An expert found the 6 words women hate the most, and they're uncomfortably vaginal. I feel like I'm treading on dangerous ground here, but there's a pattern in these words that can't be denied. There are certain words that just make you cringe. Other words are more universally loathed, either because of how they sound or what they represent. In the interest of educating their customer base, underwear maker Knix Wear conducted a study to find the words that women hate the most. With the help of University of Pennsylvania linguist Mark Liberman, they surveyed 500 women to find out their most hated words. Speaking as a man, their results made me understand women even less than I do now. Here are the top 6 words in ascending order of revulsion: 6. Flap 5. Curd 4. Chunky 3. Panties 2. Squirt 1. Moist I'm not imagining this, right? There's a strong connection to vaginas in at least four, possibly five of these words. Language psychologist Paul Thibodeau of Oberlin College was more diplomatic about it, telling Yahoo Health, "The common denominator seems to be disgust, either toward bodily functions or sex." But I don't see "prong" on that list. Coming from an outsider's perspective, all these words seem much more closely related to female sexuality. Are women disgusted by their own bodies? Let me be clear: I'm not making a statement here, this is a genuine question. I really don't know what I'm talking about, but this is disturbing to me. If they are, I think they shouldn't be. Women's bodies are great! Every bit of them! Even the flaps. Oh boy, I'm in trouble. Moving on...
Did you see the latest picture of Donald Trump?

What is he thinking?   You know all about that Tom Brady deflate ball business, right? You wouldn't be surprised about it of you saw a pic from his kid's birthday party.

That's so stupid.  Alright, it's summer and all through summer I am showing you different bikinis or bathing suits you might find at the beach or by your local pool. Well, I have the last one to show you here.

Yes! Brilliant!

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

Love is a feeling of strong affection, but not that strong, unless that's what you're feeling too.

The 38th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

David will be a guest on the Phile next Friday.

Today's guest is an Australian music legend whose CD "Tortology" is available on iTunes. It's such a pleasure to have him here on the Phile. Please welcome... Self Tort.

Me: Hello, sir, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Self: This is weird, I sound like I am talking to myself. It’s a pleasure to be invited.

Me: I was gonna ask you what is the origin of your name, and then I realized Self Tort, like self taught. Very clever. Your parents must of had a sense of humor. It is your real name, isn't it?

Self: My parents showed their sense of humour by giving me the middle name of Keavil. Actually, Self Tort, strange to relate, is a pseudonym. I am actually a lawyer by day, and a “tort” is in legal terms a “civil wrong." Although I had some piano and guitar lessons I’m far from classically trained so the pun actually works on a number of levels. I wish I’d come up with the idea myself, but it was donated to me by a patron of the pub I played at on my first night as a “one man band."

Me: Self, where are you from, sir? You're Australian, right?

Self: Born and raised in Sydney, Australia.

Me: Have you lived in Australia all your life?

Self: Yes. Although I’ve loved the opportunities I’ve had to travel, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Me: You are the third guest I had here from Australia, but the first male. Congrats. Are you a fan of Keith Urban?

Self: That’s quite an honour. To be honest I’ve never really had the chance to listen to Keith Urban. Not really my style of music.

Me: Has anyone ever told you you look like Kenny Rogers or George Lucas?

Self: I’ve been getting the Kenny Rogers thing for years now. The responses have varied between “Hey, check out Kenny Rogers” to the more subtle approach by a German backpacker who sidled up to me at a bar and said, “You've got to know ven to hold them, know ven to fold them." I have actually written an unpublished article about the plight of being a Kenny Rogers’ lookalike. It’s in the blog section of my website, if anyone’s interested. When Kenny turned his beard into a goatee rather than full beard I was hoping he’d confess that he had done that to stop people asking him if he was Self Tort. I haven’t had any George Lucas comments, but just checked him out on Google and can see where you’re coming from. Of late I’ve been compared to an Australian performer Rolf Harris. He’s better known in England and Australia than in the states, but he had a Christmas song in the sixties about Santa having to use kangaroos to pull his sleigh (“Six White Boomers”) and had a hit in the early 70s with “Two Little Boys." Given that Rolf’s about 25 years older than I am, I think I’d prefer the Kenny or George Lucas lines.

Me: Yeah, I forgot about Rolf. I know of him very well. Let's talk about your CD "Tortology" which I downloaded from iTunes and really like. This is our second release, right?

Self: Yes, I released my first CD “N.I.C” in 2006. That title actually relates to my legal practice as, when I’m not at work, my clerk fills in the diary with the letters “N.I.C” to signify that I’m “not in Chambers," although most people think it means “not in court." It’s also been confused as a reference to my son, Nick. Thanks for downloading from iTunes, by the way.

Me: You're welcome. Did you write all the songs on it?

Self: I was the sole writer of 11 of the tracks on the "Tortology" CD. The track “Dark Eyes” was co-written with a female lyricist that I’ve become friends with over the Internet, by the name of Mel Barnett. She’s based in the U.K. She had the lyrics written and asked me to provide the music. That track also contains a tenor sax solo from another dear and talented friend, Alexis Van Eeckout from Belgium whom I also met over the net. The other co-write is “A Paris Tale” which was inspired by a short article I read many years ago in part of the Murdoch press. Unfortunately, the song had got to about 5 minutes in length and I was only half way through the story, so decided to call up the services of a “rapper” I’d met (yes, again over the net), to speed things along, so Joey Nickerson from Europe contributed some of the rap section lyrically.

Me: Well done on putting your name in the opening song, "Self Sufficient", Self. Was that done on purpose?

Self: No, the writing of the song’s title was an accident, but I think that the reference to “Self” in the title probably swayed me to make it the first song on the CD.

Me: Where was the album recorded, Self?

Self: I’ve done all of my solo recording with Stewart Havill who has a home studio on the north side of Sydney. I got to meet him as a result of us both being members of the Songwriting Society of Australia. I originally just intended to record about 3 songs that I had completed at that time. But Stewart and I seemed to click pretty well together and after a few sessions I felt I could get an album completed. It’s got to the stage now where I have a regular booking with Stewart every three weeks. That’s an incentive for me to keep writing. Stewart’s got a great ear, and we seem to complement each other. He’s willing to make suggestions, but is by no means pushy, and it’s worked well now for, I guess, about 7-8 years now. The final mastering was done by Don Bartley of Benchmark Mastering. Don is an absolute genius and has worked with some of the great names in the music world. To be honest, by the time the CD had got to the mastering stage I was pretty much sick of listening to the tracks on it, but Don has somehow injected some magic into them and I can now still listen to them without groaning.

Me: How long have you been recording and playing, Self?

Self: There was always music in my family. We had a piano that I used to fiddle around on as a kid. My parents sent me for piano lessons, but by that stage I’d have rather being playing football at the park with my mates so didn’t take it very far. I picked up guitar in the last year or so of school and in my early years of uni set up a band Sirrah with a friend who was a drummer. We played for about 4-5 years. In the 1990s I formed another band Mid Life Crisis in which I played keyboard and did some vocals. We were basically a cover band.

Me: And when did you first start to write music?

Self: In Sirrah, in the 70s I had written or co-written about half a dozen songs which we recorded. I didn’t sing in that band, but played lead guitar. I’ve played around with writing over the years but didn’t get serious about it till the late 90s. I wrote a song called “Mid Life Crisis” for that band and we used to do it live. It ended up being a track on my earlier “N.I.C” CD. I did a couple of songwriting courses in the late 90s and joined the Songwriting Society of Australia with a view to trying to improve my craft. I think though that having access to Stewart’s talent and equipment has been the real catalyst to my getting serious with songwriting.

Me: You perform as a one man band somewhere, right? Where do you perform?

Self: I perform at the Mortdale Hotel which is in the southern suburbs of Sydney. It’s actually my local watering hole. Mid Life Crisis had started to taper off. It was difficult for us to get together to practice, and, as a result when we performed it was always the same old songs. I somehow wangled my may into playing a couple of songs at the Mortdale Hotel one night and the publican liked it and offered me a residency one night per month. That was in, from memory, 2000 and I’m still doing it. Because of my “day work” I don’t actively promote the one-man band concept too much, but generally pick up a couple of other gigs a month, and I also do a fair bit of solo acoustic performances of my original songs in hotels and clubs in the inner city of Sydney.

Me: As a one man band, what instruments do you play, and do you do cover songs or your own songs?

Self: I use midi or mp3 backing tracks and do the vocals either accompanied by guitar or keyboard, depending on the song. On most nights I will do three guitar-based brackets and one keyboard bracket, but that can vary depending on the crowd and on requests. Most people in pubs want to hear what they know, so a large part of my repertoire is covers ranging from the early days of rock and roll, through the 60s and 70s and up to present day material. I do, though, throw in a sprinkling of my original material, and it’s pleasing when someone requests one of my own.

Me: On your albums, do you play all the instruments yourself?

Self: I generally start by working out the structure of the song and use midi to create a basic backing track. In general I leave the programming of the drums to Stewart and either he or I, or a combination of the two will work out the bass lines. I perform the vocals, harmonies, guitar and keyboards in the studio.

Me: I have to ask you about the other project you have called In Cahoots, is that a band or an album? You perform with other people on that, right? Who else is on it or in it with you?

Self: It’s a forthcoming album of co-writes. Since I started recording I have found a number of Internet sites where you can upload your music, receive reviews and provide reviews and responses to other artists. They become quite social communities and I’ve become good friends with a number of musicians on these sites. At one stage an Internet band was formed with a guitarist from Iceland, a keyboard player from the USA and myself on vocals. I’ve also co-written a number of songs with Mel, who wrote the lyrics for "Dark Eyes," with another British lyricist, Carol Douglas, and with a great lyricist Lex Zaleta from Tennessee. Generally these co-writes arise when either Mel, Carol or Lex come up with some lyrics and ask me to write the music. Although in one case I had music already written but had hit a mental block for the lyrics and asked Lex to help me out. I’ve also recorded two instrumentals with Alexis on sax, plus a number of one-off collaborations. I’m planning to put these together on a CD to be called “In Cahoots." With the exception of Alexis on sax, the playing on the CD will be me.

Me: Self, what music did you grow up listening to? Are their any bands you are into now?

Self: As the youngest in my family I had the benefit of soaking up the music that my elder brother and sister were into... early rock and roll and the early British Invasion. I love the music of the late 60s, early 70s particularly from the U.K. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, The Who, Cream, Hendrix etc. were huge influences on me. In terms of writing I was influenced by Jack Bruce of Cream, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Ray Davies of the Kinks and Pete Townsend. I also admire the work of Joe Cocker, Van Morrisson, Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello and Richard Thomson. I really am out of touch with current music trends. Radio in Australia seems to me to consist of greatest hits and classics or music that doesn’t grab me. I enjoy the indie music that I pick up from internet sites rather than listening to commercial radio.

Me: Self, do you ever come to to the States to perform? Any chance you'll play in Florida?

Self: I had my first visit to the States in 2010. There was a get-together of members of an Internet site that I belong to in Atlanta and I had a ball with a pick-up band comprising a Canadian drummer, an ex-pat Aussie now living in the states, and a keyboard player from the U.K. It was a real blast and there is talk of a reprise in 2012. Unfortunately, I was highly disorganised in planning the rest of the trip but had the chance to play a few open-mic nights and got up with some bands in Beale Street. I am hoping to return in 2016 and intend to plan the venture more carefully to get some solid gigging done. I didn’t make Florida in 2010 so would love to make up for that next year, so if you know of some venues that might be interested, please let me know.

Me: I will. Thanks so much for being here on the Phile, sir. I hope it was fun. Do you have a website you'd love to plug?

Self: The pleasure was mine, and I really want to thank you for your support of independent musicians. My website can be found at If people want to join my newsletter they can get access to exclusive free downloads. I’m still in the process of uploading tracks for sale, but the tracks for “N.I.C” and “Tortology” are all available via iTunes, Amazon etc. A physical copy of the CD can be purchased from

Me: All the best, and please come back soon. Take care. 

Self: Thanks again for the opportunity. 

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Self Tort for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Friday with author David Ackert. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pheaturing Charles Etienne From The Alpine Camp

Hey there, how are you doing? Welcome to the Phile for a bloody rainy Saturday. My favorite time to pretend I was going to exercise is when it's raining out.  Alright, so, Trump will pause his campaign to ruin a different branch of government. Donald Trump was selected for jury duty and will report to the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Monday. All this despite a busy weekend campaign schedule, which included giving kids helicopter rides at the Iowa State Fair. Which is a completely normal ride at the fair. In this case you win a prize for throwing stuff at immigrants from above. Coincidentally, Trump has yet to report for jury duty in New York because he claims the requests were mailed to improper addresses. But what do you know, he made it a point to show up when he's running for president. As for the case, it would be great if the defendant was female or Hispanic, just to see if the attorneys could keep a straight face while they screen him for bias.   I should save this for a Mindphuck, but can you find the rude word hidden in this Hunger Games poster? Hint: It rhymes with bundt.

Some graphic designer probably had a very bad today, because Lionsgate released this new Mockingjay Part 2 poster, and it totally looks like it says "cunt" over Jennifer Lawrence's nose. Well, either that, or some graphic designer had a great day because they purposefully hid the word "cunt" in a major motion picture advertisement, and nobody noticed it before it went out into the world. I'm an optimist, mystery graphic designer, so I'm hoping it was the second option. If so, good work! When Lionsgate comes out with the Power Rangers film in 2017, can you hide the words "vaginal cavity" in the poster? Thanks!  The world's worst rich kid got a Ferrari from his dad, and set it on fire for unimaginably selfish reason. If your hobbies include feeling self-righteous anger against the 1%, today is your lucky day. The hate in this story is uncut and pure. In March of 2014, a Swiss man went to a dealership to get his Ferrari 458 Italia valued. The car had been a gift from his father, a wealthy Zurich businessman, to go with his 14 other cars, including a Lamborghini. He was taking it to the dealership because, like all rich boys with their playthings, he had grown tired of it and wanted a new one. Unfortunately, the Ferrari was valued at a measly $193,500, not enough to cover the cost of a brand new replacement 458 Speciale. One of the dealers, with all of the class and integrity you'd expect of a sports car pusher, suggested he burn the car for the insurance money. The young dauphin agreed, and hired three accomplices to help him, including one from the dealership. They took the car to Augsberg in Germany to allay suspicion, and two of the accomplices set it ablaze while the owner and the other culprit were getting massages. Unfortunately, the whole thing was caught on a security camera. The information on this case has just come to light, because the German trial was concluded last week in Augsburg. The 20 year old was sentenced to 22 months probation and given a $33,000 fine, which is probably a smaller amount of money than he's ever seen before. The accomplices were given probations of 14-16 months each. Kind of a slap on the wrist, but then again, these people are above the law. In court, the young man admitted that all this happened because he didn't have the courage to tell his father he didn't like the Ferrari anymore. But it's okay. I'm pretty sure he got the message.  Hey, good news. Toy Story 4 will be a love story between Woody and a woman that's not Ms. Davis. The Toy Story franchise will carry on in the name of love, diving into the love story between Woody and Bo Peep. Never stop at a neatly resolved trilogy when you can churn out another movie and make zillions at the box office. Pixar has this down to a science, and good for them. Release an animated movie that kids love, throw in a few discrete dirty jokes that only adults will understand, and watch the cash roll in. Interestingly, Bo Peep did not appear in Toy Story 3, and has a minimal role in the other two films. Pixar has said this will not be a prequel or a direct sequel, so they'll be crafting this romantic tale from scratch. Basically they'll be figuring out how to explain why Woody's girlfriend was absent for the last movie. Grad school? Peace Corps? It'll have to be a more wholesome option than when the rest of us explain why our significant others weren't around for a large chunk of time. I look forward to the love story of Woody and Bo Peep, and those discrete dirty jokes that only adults understand in Pixar movies.  Do you think Will Smith rebooting "Fresh Prince" is a bad idea? Well, it's not your decision! Did you just think about the "Fresh Prince" theme song? Congratulations, now it's stuck in your head for two weeks.  Maybe it was inevitable: Will Smith is developing a reboot of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." According to TVLine, the new show would be "a present-day family comedy that puts a new spin on the fish-out-of-water tale while maintaining the spirit of Fresh Prince." The show is still in early stages of development by Smith's production company, Overbrook Entertainment. I know reboots are all the craze right now, but is this the best idea? "Fresh Prince" is such a nineties show that it has the word "fresh" in the title. And if you're going to do a show with a similar premise in 2015, let's just say that it better delicately and thoroughly explore issues of race and class. And of course have a long, explanatory theme song, a Tatyana Ali cameo, and a prominently featured modernized twist on the Carlton dance.  So, there's a new movie I wanna see that came out yesterday... Straight Outta Compton. But there's another movie I wanna see more...

I love me some Wawa. Haha.  I love movie posters as well, I don't know if you know that about me. But I was wondering what would some movie posters look like if they were made with stock photos. Such as this one...

That's a great movie.  So, one thing I like to do in my spare time is to go on Twitter and look up certain words. One of those words I look up is "Foghat." This is a Tweet I found recently...

Very funny, Big Kris.  Well, it's summer on the Phile and all through summer I am showing you some different bathing suits or bikinis you might find at the beach.

Business in the front, open for business in the back. You're welcome, ladies. As you know by mow I am sure I live in Florida and here in Florida some crazy stuff happens that would happen nowhere else. That's why I have a pheature I call...

A group of black Days Inn workers in Tampa are suing their former employer for discrimination, in addition to the "other hardships" they faced on the job. Those hardships? They allege that they had to deal with guests' blood and vomit without proper biohazard protection, and that they were refused the proper vaccinations for dealing with contaminated linens and towels. The most egregious allegation, however, has to do with the instructions they were given for handling the room of someone who had their last days at their Days Inn. They claim that their employers forced them to just flip over the mattress where a corpse had been lying, and prepare the room for new guests. Ewe! That's disgusting. Seriously, at least spray it down with some Febreze as well.

If you spot the Mindphuck then let me know. Okay, so, a friend of the Phule has a very strange story he wants to tell. He's a patriot, singer and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Just had an interesting conversation with my ex-wife regarding my granddaughter, Olivia. Seems my little angel has some rather strange abilities. Olivia claimed to see spirits at a recent visit to the Montauk lighthouse and the former military base known as Camp Hero. After Olivia told her grandmother that she saw the spirit of a little girl. The tour guide told my ex (in private) that there is indeed a legend of a child spirit that haunts that very area. My ex looked it up on-line in a site about haunted east end landmarks. Olivia was right... in the late 1800s a little girl was murdered and hung on a fence near Camp Hero. Her spirit has been seen and felt near that sight as well as the Montauk lighthouse. How could my six year old granddaughter have known this?

That's a crazy story, Laird. Hmmm. The 38th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

David will be a guest on the Phile next Friday.

Today's guest is one of the founders for the band The Alpine Camp. They have a new self-titled EP. Please welcome to the Phile... Charles Etienne.

Me: Hello, Charles, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Charles: Wonderful.

Me: I have to tell you I am a big fan of the band. How long have you guys been together?

Charles: Not long in this configuration. We recorded a few songs about two years ago, then found some people that were willing to do a few songs. About a year later we recorded a few more songs and now we're back at it playing a round of shows in our neck of the woods.

Me: There's quite a few of you guys in the band, right? Like six of you. Two of you guys knew each other since you were kids, am I right?

Charles: That's right, this is a bigger group but it's working. We really feel like the banjo and the pedal steel bring a whole dynamic to the songs that we just could not get from a four piece. But yeah, Chris and I have been making music together since we were about 16. I guess that means some of our songs are old enough to vote at this point.

Me: Did you guys always want to be in a band together?

Charles: Yeah, totally. We were both in other bands even before that. I remember I think I opened for Chris at some show, that's how we met. But yeah, after that, we just kept making music that we liked together.

Me: So, where did you meet the other guys?

Charles: Well, technically we don't exactly remember where everyone came from, there was definitely some Craigslist involved and then a lot of word of mouth. Shad (drums) was just a friend of a friend. I remember someone telling me, "Hey you know Shad plays drums" and I was like great, what's his number, let's get him over here and jam on these songs. It's like dating, the Internet just makes it easier to go on first dates so we took advantage of that.

Me: All of you have played with some pretty cool bands... The Black Crowes, Allman Bros, The Derek Trucks Band... do you all have side guys still as well?

Charles: Chris and I have been playing exclusively with The Alpine Camp for a few years now. That said, I don't really know who the other guys are playing with. But somehow they all manage to make it work. We still get rehearsals in and go out and play shows.

Me: I saw Derek Trucks play here in Florida when he was like 12 years old. I am glad he is still playing. How long ago did you work with him?

Charles: Chris and I opened for him back in Connecticut at a small club in New London. He absolutely killed it that night. We stuck around and were just amazing and super jealous. I remember everyone in his crew being really nice.

Me: Who are your influences, guys? I am guessing with the six of you there's a lot.

Charles: Yeah, that's true, but we like to think of the band as a personality, and from that perspective you can kinda determine a similar aesthetic that runs through the songs. Simply from an instrumentation point of view there are country, bluegrass, and southern rock influences definitively. Song structure wise, we really like the way a pop songs works, and we can then take those structures and play with them live. So from that point of view, the improvisations definitively has a jazz... jam band influence.

Me: You have been compared to the Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and the Grateful Dead. What do you think of these comparisons?

Charles: Um, yes? They all make a living doing music. Compare us to anyone that does that and we shall take it as a complement.

Me: Alright, where are you guys from?

Charles: We grew up in Connecticut. Neither of us were born there but we went to high school there and started playing shows there. That's were I consider I grew up.

Me: Where did the band name come from? Is the Alpine Camp a real place?

Charles: You know, that was something that Chris came up with when he was camping one time. It's not a real place, but I think it gives you an image that really works with the type of music we make. Those words have a certain association and we like that.

Me: I like the logo with the mountains that's on the EP cover. Who came up with it?

Charles: Thanks, it took us some time to work that out. We wanted to have a symbol that would represent us. Something we can put on t-shirts and stuff. We actually had it made into a wood brand that we used to make some bottle openers for the first tour. They look really great but they didn't work that well. People still seem to dig them though.

Me: I laughed when I saw the picture of Kanye with the logo on his forehead. You guys have a good sense of humor. I have to show it here...

Charles: That was real.

Me: Let's talk about your EP... how long did it take to record?

Charles: It took about a month from start to finish. We knocked it out in my old house. Setup the drums in one of the bedrooms and ran cables everywhere. I really prefer recording at home. I feel like it makes it a bit more personal.

Me: Who did the song writing on it?

Charles: Chris and I write all the songs together. Sometimes we will come with a lick or an idea, doesn't really matter. We just keep editing it and massaging it until we like it.

Me: So, with the EP out, are you guys gonna be working on a full length album?

Charles: Yup. Just as soon as we get some time. I just finished moving into a new house and I know Chris is about to do the same so it's going to be a little while. But just as soon as we are settle in that's what we are doing next.

Me: I have to ask you about the song "Regrets of a Cosmic Mountaineer." What is a cosmic mountaineer and what was the story behind that song?

Charles: It's a part of a larger story that is getting built into the next album. We like to take aspects of one song and have it play a cameo in other songs. We wrote a few more that we didn't have time to release yet but it ties these songs together.

Me: Your music has been described as "roots rock for the outdoors." Who came up with that, and what about when you guys play indoors?

Charles: We mostly play indoors, but it's more of who we are to say that we make music for the outdoors. Chris and I both camp a lot and we get much of our inspiration from nature. That's where that came from. Maybe it should be from the outdoors. Roots rock from the outdoors, that could work too...

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back when your next album comes out. Go ahead and mention your website and everything.

Charles: Can do... Check it out and follow us on all that social media...

Me: All the best and continued success.

Charles: Thanks, dude.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Charles Etienne for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Australian singer Self Tort. Look him up, he's a legend.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker