A glorious weekend in Saratoga, at the track. McDonald’s paying its employees in gift cards (seriously.) And crazy Russians at a “water park.”

saratogaracecourse

Sorry there was nothing new here on Monday; I was away for a long weekend at one of my favorite places on Earth, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

I’ve waxed poetic about my love for Saratoga, where I lived for three years in the early 2000s, in this space before, and it remains as wonderful as ever. My wife and I went to the race track on Sunday of course, after a fantastic brunch on Broadway with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years.

The beautiful thing about racing at Saratoga is that it never changes: The same smells (fresh food, flowers and cigar smoke), visual overload (hideously ugly and big hats worn by some women, crazy suspenders by old men), and beautiful horses are always on display.

What also never changes is that I lose almost every race I pick. We did get one winner on Sunday, though; our horse actually finished second, but thanks to an “inquiry” (horse racing’s answer to instant replay review), the winning horse was disqualified for bumping another horse, and our horse got bumped up to first!

Hey, a win’s a win.

The weather was perfect, the food was delish, and all in all it was a superb weekend (we went mini-golfing in Lake George Sat. night and I didn’t lose the score-keeping pencil until the 3rd hole. Which is good for me).

Highly, highly recommend a trip to Saratoga in August if you’re ever able to.

**Next up, a harmless fun video I saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog today; it’s some Russian men having some fun and inventing their own “water park” ride, involving some heavy equipment. Kids, don’t try this at home.

**Finally, a story about one of my least favorite corporations in America, McDonald’s. I hate McDonald’s not just because I read “Fast Food Nation” and saw “SuperSize Me,” although those are two pretty good reasons.

I hate them because of the way they treat their employees, and I’m not talking about the 16-year-old making fries while making eyes at the hot chick in the tank top ordering at the counter. They make billions in profits and compensate their executives beautifully, but are awfully stingy with workers.

In addition to these depressing facts about how little McDonald’s pays its workers, I also just read about Ronald’s company compensating its employees partially in debit cards, which have fees when you use them!

That’s pretty awful, and some former Mickey D’s employees are suing over it. Read the details here.

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