Tag Archives: MySpace

From the Mr. BTaRchives

6 May

May 6, 2014

This blog has been on WordPress since 2009. It has been around a lot longer than that, but you had to be on MySpace to see it, and we all know what happened with that site. So when everyone upped and moved out of MySpace one day, leaving me all alone (“Hey, where’d everyone go? Huh? What’s a “Facebook”?) I moved most of my old posts over to WordPress and continued on.

But while the posts were the same, the look was not. Although I didn’t keep any screencaps, I found a lot of old images of the blog on the Internet Archives site. Here is a smattering of the old looks of Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride.

1btrnov2009

Here we are, back in November of 2009, and I love the white text on a black background. However, I got a few complaints that it was hard to read so that didn’t last long. There are a few things worth mentioning here. First, the header. I took that picture myself in Coney Island. Since then, Astroland has been sold and the rocket has gone with it. If you go there today the burger boy is still there, but the rocket is long gone. The header also features one of my old taglines, “It is what it is.” We’ll see some more tags later on. That page also features my old bio, before the current one written by Mac of BIOnighT.

 2btrfeb2010

This is from February 2010. The black background is gone and you can see a little more of the Coney Island header. (There is much more to that image, still unseen.) I liked this theme because it leaves the header image clean. The sidebar has one of my favorite “raves,” from Jim at relicradio.com.

3btrapr2010

This is April 2010 and we’ve gone to a more modern header. In fact, I’m currently using a variation of that header right now. Do you see the grammatical error in this one? It isn’t really an error. At the time this was made, the software didn’t support apostrophes. I figured it looked good and no one would notice. The tag has also changed, to “some guy’s idea of fun,” which I still think sums this blog up.

4btrjune2010

June 2010 and we’re starting to look familiar. I changed to the current theme, but I’m using one of the generic WordPress color schemes. The tag has changed once more, to “Based on the novel “Mr. Blog” by Sapphire,” which is making me chuckle as I type but may be too dated to reuse.

5btraug2010

August of 2010 brought a new tag (“A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Wait- that’s Knight Rider.”) as well as a new “rave,” from the multi-talented JRD Skinner of flashpulp.com. He picked right up on my Superman obsession. There is also a “contact me!” link, which today can be found at the bottom of the “About me” page. I have to warn you, though- now, as then, I never check that email. All I ever get is spam about people wanting me to run their ads.

6btrjan2011

January of 2011 and I’ve changed to the green color scheme, which won’t last long. The tag has also changed to something close to my current tag. The header image is the first of a few city scenes and highway signs I’ve used over the years. This version of the blog added a few new pages, including the Scrappers page which is mercifully long gone. I added the Invisible Man founder image, and it popped up once or twice more over the years. I also wasted a lot of space with more “raves,” none of which appear on the blog anymore due to, quite honestly, my embarrassment. This particular Conway Twitty post still gets a ton of hits and the occasional angry comment.

7btrapr2011

In April 2011 I added the custom background which looks a lot better now than it does here. It still isn’t quite finished yet, but this is close to the way the blog currently looks. The founder is gone, replaced by my teaser (and I still love that ad) for the return of Mr. Know-It-All.

8btraprlate2011

Here we are. I added the sidebars, and there’s my Conrad Bain plaque. (Why? Why not?) You can also see an early version of the long running city header, which ran for longer than any other image.

There have been some other changes along the way, including a ton of American Chopper headers, and the Tepid Zombie header, which I still dust off when appropriate.

zombie-header

By the way, here’s the full Coney Island rocket header:

16_astroland_rocketBMJ2K

The graffiti on the windows is my addition, but the rest of the building looks the same if you go there today, except for the rocket.

The blog hasn’t changed much in the last three years. The tag changed yet again, and there are some other small alterations. The site is due for another change, but no matter what, I promise not to go back to the white letters on black background.

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Smelly People I Have Known, Part One

9 Jan

January 9, 2013

(I am open to any suggestions of a better title, BTW.)

In the comment section of Imponderable #75, Zathra brought up an issue that reminded me of three occasions in which I worked with people who had, shall we say, questionable hygiene.  See the gems you miss if you skip the comment section?

I’ve written about Audrey only once before, back in 2007 on my old MySpace (remember that?) blog, and later reprinted that post a few years later here as the best practical joke I ever played, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. You can read the entire scheme here. In short, it began as a joke in which my accomplices and I sent flowers from a dim-witted friend named Marvin Ming to his crush and nearly ended with a restraining order.

One of the accomplices was a woman named Audrey, and this is what I wrote about her at the time, slightly edited:

Audrey was the security guard/garbage man of the store. Imagine a 300 pound black woman in her 30′s who cheerfully did all the heavy lifting, trash hauling, toilet-cleaning, and smelled like a rhino and you are getting warm. She was extremely nice though, and most people liked her. She also had a crush on a guy there. One day the guy was showing off his new electronic organizer (this was back in those pre-Blackberry days where if you had a two-line display and could input a phone number and a name you were cutting edge.) She wanted him to put her number in. This was her slick plan to get him to call her. He said he couldn’t, that he ran out of space for women’s names and could only fit men’s. She said “put it in as Aubrey, that’s French.” He replied that the organizer would know that she isn’t French and it wouldn’t work.

And yes, that fooled her.

Anyway, everyone liked Audrey, despite not being able to get too close to her. As I said, Audrey was the “security guard/garbage man” of the store. She began as a security guard and when it came to stopping shoplifters or breaking up a fight she was great. Security didn’t earn her much money though (it was a contracted position and she was not paid much by the contractor) and since she liked everyone at my store, and everyone liked her, she was hired. Problem was, the only position was in stock and maintenance, meaning that she would have to mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, and haul garbage. That was in addition to unloading trucks. The manager tried to talk her out of it, on the premise that it was not a job for a woman.  (The manager was a woman too, by the way, and no one at all liked her. One day in the future I’ll write about her, all the stuff she did to the staff and the hateful things the staff did to her.)

To Audrey’s credit, she did the job with just as much dedication as she did her security. She was an asset to the store.

Other stinkers of note: Joe Besser as Stinky on the Abbott and Costello show, Pig Pen from Peanuts, and Pepe Le Pew from smelly old France.

Other stinkers of note: Joe Besser as Stinky on the Abbott and Costello Show, Pig Pen from Peanuts, and Pepe Le Pew from smelly old France.

And a detriment. While she may have been smelly before, now that she cleaned the store’s toilets and handled huge bags of trash, she stunk to high heaven. She wore the same stained sweatshirt on the job (when she wasn’t in her security guard uniform) and never seemed to shower. The manager, in one of the only nice things I ever knew her to do, took her aside and then outside, to lunch in fact. They discussed (the manager talked and Audrey listened) what it was like to be a woman, how to present yourself, how to take care of your body, etc. She even presented Audrey with a bath set.

Now I heard all that first hand from Audrey. We worked together in the same department and yes, I cleaned the bathrooms and hauled trash same as her (until I worked out a promotion and therefore was able to schedule myself out of the shifts where I had to do most of that.) Hearing the story I felt very embarrassed for Audrey, thinking about how embarrassed she must have felt hearing all that from the boss. Were I on the receiving end of a speech like that I would have wanted to crawl into a hole.  But my attitude soon shifted to feeling embarrassed for Audrey, because she seemed to feel not a shred of shame or embarrassment at all. In fact she proudly showed her gift to many people in the store, telling them “the boss wants me to take care of myself.”

You may think, based on that last paragraph, that Audrey had a slight mental problem or something was wrong with her, but as far as I know she had no problems, and as the department supervisor I worked with her as much and probably more than anyone else. I believe that for whatever reasons, she had no one in her life and no one in her past ever was as “thoughtful” as the boss appeared to be, caring about her wellbeing and wanting to make sure she took good care of herself. She was truly touched.

I do admit though, that Audrey was a bit blind to A- how it appeared to everyone else and B- her own odor.

After that, Audrey did wear cleaner clothes and she did seem personally cleaner herself. However, she remained pretty smelly for as long as I knew her.

————-

The next person who was told he stunk was Marvin Ming himself and who had to tell him? Me.

 

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW

My Review of My Summer, Part One

19 Nov

from September 11, 2009

Summer never did arrive, at least not in terms of temperature, and that was good enough for me. Who wants 90 degree weather? We had about three days of really hot and humid weather but I was in California for two of them so they don’t count. (More on California later.) Were you here for those days? Go write your own blog. If I want 90 degrees and humid I’ll stick my head in Michael Moore’s armpit.

Temperature aside, not-so-summer was a pretty unusual one. Like, just for one example, I did stuff. Oh sure, I had plenty of days where I slept until noon, but I also had plenty of nights where I didn’t get to sleep until 4 am. Partying? No, you obviously don’t know me. Insomnia, which even the magic of Ambien was unable to conquer. What did I do on those nights? IM Liz on Facebook. (More on Facebook later.)

I traveled to San Diego for ten days, Massachusetts for a few hours, Rhode Island for a dinner, and broke into an abandoned asylum on Staten Island during a tornado. (More on all that later.)

I went to a dinner where I learned far, far too much about how Maria lost her virginity. (Perhaps no more on that later or at any time at all.)

I was snubbed by Bonnie, who did not invite me to a wedding I did not want to go to. Sounds like a favor, but I wanted to be invited before I didn’t go. (More on- oh you get the idea.) I’ll start here.

Can’t say why I was snubbed. Bonnie seems to be under the opinion that I stopped talking to her. This despite my sending her (with Michelle, more on her later- sick of that yet?) a condolence card and planting a tree in Israel after a death in her family weeks before the wedding. Do you have any idea how hard that was? Michelle and I flew 18 hours across the Atlantic to Tel Aviv and trekked across the Gaza strip, dodging PLO missiles, avoiding car bombs, and getting sand in places people should not get sand just to plant that tree. And the worst part?  Once we got to the memorial park I realized we had left the tree in the airport back in New York. Michelle was not happy when she had to fly back for the tree.

I also sent Bonnie a couple of messages to her email address that, unbeknownst to the entire world, she had changed six months previously. Bonnie, in her zeal to get married (she was engaged for about a millennium) updated her email to include her married name, as well as copywriting it on her official letterhead and tattooing it on her uterus. Here’s the fun part- she didn’t tell anyone. So while I sent my condolences to her old address, she thought I was snubbing her by sending nothing to her new address, despite no one knowing her new address. I’m sure, somewhere in her old mailbox, is my email, along with Nigerian money come-ons and plenty of unwanted spam for Viagra. (I assume it is unwanted, I know nothing about her sex life.)

Eventually, when she got married, she announced to the world that she had changed her address. Thanks.

It was tit for tat (so to speak, I have never seen Bonnie’s breasts) when I got a thank you card for the tree that was non-personalized (ex- no “Dear Barry,” or even a “BEN! THANKS FOR THE FLOWERS! I THOUGHT YOU HATED ME! LOL!- I have been waiting for weeks to work that into something). Could have been worse- Michelle didn’t even get that.

So I was not invited to the big Price-Altman soiree. This despite hearing for months and months “you better go to my wedding” and me lying “of course I’ll be there!” For those of you who don’t know me, I tend to be anti-social to the point that I won’t go anywhere unless I can drive across four states and trespass on government property. Then its party time! (HONEST DISCLAIMER- Had Michelle been invited I would have gone. But she was snubbed for reasons that probably make even less sense than my snubbing. Bonnie, if you are reading all this, I still don’t know why you snubbed me before, but I guess this blog gives you a good reason to now.

I burned one bridge, let’s continue the fun.

Just a day or two into the summer I was parking my car around midnight when I heard someone yelling at me. I did what I usually do when people yell at me, flipped the bird. Turned out it was Liz, in her car across the street. (BTW: Liz was also snubbed by Bonnie. Liz thinks it was because Bonnie’s new hubby doesn’t like her. Doesn’t like Liz, I mean, I assume he likes Bonnie. If Bonnie’s husband kept her from inviting a friend to the wedding, I’d like to think he was taking Snoop Dogg lessons and keeping his pimp hand strong. But on the other hand, the non-pimp hand, he allowed her to invite Alex to the wedding, and that’s the guy Bonnie really wanted to marry. I knew them for years and they were really the perfect married couple. Alex dumped on her; Bonnie hated Alex but came back for more. But I digress. A lot.)

Anyway, Liz was double parked across the street and I went across to talk to her. She was coming home from a family dinner, I was just getting home, and I hung in her car window and we talked for a few minutes before Liz got right to the point- “want to go to a motel?”

I’m a gentleman so I let her down easy.

This, however, was just the first of our late night summertime chats. Typically, I’d be on Facebook (Their Motto: Too Many Farm Games) and I’d see she was online, or she’d see I was online, and we’d IM each other. I know that sounds dirty but it isn’t. (At least it wasn’t on my part. I have no idea what Liz was doing when she wasn’t typing. This was late at night.) What did we chat about? I don’t remember. Something about high scores on games, her daughter sleeping on the couch, fluff mostly. Same as our emails. I’m not sure Liz and I are capable of exchanging more than two serious emails in a month. I ask her how she’s doing, she says fine, asks how I’m doing, I say fine, make some joke or witty (sure, right) line, Liz emails back and tops me, etc etc etc. It is a little disheartening, honestly. If I want to send goofy emails I have all of the internet and eighteen false names and phony email addresses to do it from. I used to think Liz and I were a little closer than that. Oh well, I can always poke Bonnie on Facebook. But I won’t because I’m snubbing her. Liz, BTW, has changed her settings so I can’t see when she’s on Facebook anymore. Hmmm.

And speaking of Facebook, what a waste of time. A waste of time I am totally addicted to. I have a farm on Facebook. I grow crops. I harvest the crops and sell them to buy buildings or animals. Then I buy seeds and grow more crops so I can harvest and sell them and maybe buy a banana tree or a windmill. Then I plow the fields, sow more seeds, harvest more crops. Yay! I’m on level 27! WHY HAVE NONE OF YOU STOPPED ME YET? I have been invited to join three other farm games, and guess what? They are all the same, except that on one I can buy a pig that sniffs out truffles. I am NOT making that up.

I also play a zombie game on Facebook. I am a zombie. I bite other people and turn them into zombies. I fight other people. I go on quests. All this takes about three minutes. Typical quest: CLICK! You’ve done a quest and earned ten points. Typical fight: CLICK! You’ve beaten XYZ Zombie and gotten ten points. That’s it. Really. No animations, no clever sounds, not a single graphic. Just a message. (If I get bored I can fight a vampire.) This is all of Facebook in a microcosm. I’m up to level 13. Watch out 14, I’m on my way!

What I really want is to get my zombie to run my farm and harvest brains. That would be cool.

Facebook has quizzes. Ever wonder which serial killer you are? You can find out. Want to know which part of Minnesota you should move to? There’s a quiz for that. Facebook has a quiz for everything, from what your name would be if you were a puppy to which color boot you should wear to hunt rattlesnakes. (For the record, my puppy name would be Snuggles and I should wear brown boots when hunting rattlers.) I’ve taken them all. The funny ones I post on my page, the unfunny ones I skip.

And who looks at my page anyway? Facebook has an app to tell you that too. The number one person who looks at my page is my old pal Marc. The number two is a former student, Yafo. How odd. I bet Yafo won’t snub me for her wedding.

TO BE CONTINUED

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