Mining Gold on the Internet

April 25, 2011

I got started blogging because I figured it was an easier and far less intrusive way of spreading the Gospel of Mark (me, not him) than my old method–filling the inboxes of my friends with my missives.  I’ve been doing it for a couple years.  It’s not what I originally envisioned; I don’t post as regularly as I’d like to and I’ve pulled many punches on topics because I know that my readership consists largely of my friends, Facebook and otherwise.  Not wanting to overtly offending them and their sensibilities is a great editor of my writing.  Perhaps one day I’ll start throwing caution to the wind.  I’ve also got less time than I want, so doing it the way I think it ought to be done is quite difficult.  It takes more time than you’d think to fact check yourself on some of these things. (Imagine that!  Fact checking on the internet!  What a novel idea!) I have great respect for those able to churn out 500-800 thoughtful words on a meaningful topic every day.  It’s harder than you might think.

I’ve taken to telling people that my (much more frequent) Facebook status updates are really the thesis statements of blog posts than I’ve been meaning to write but don’t have time.

So I have  this handful of regular readers and a bunch of occasional visitors.  I’m fine with that. I wish it were different, but until I put the time into being more diligent about it, it will have to do.

Then last week, I wrote a little piece about how dumb it is that baseball managers wear baseball uniforms, how silly they look and how I’m happy that NBA coaches don’t wear basketball uniforms when they’re on the sidelines.  In it, I made an incidental reference to Yankee Manager, Joe Girardi.  Following the generally accepted rules of blogging, I dutifully tagged “New York Yankees” in the post.

It was the biggest day the site has ever seen by a factor of ten.   The second biggest day I’ve had was when I posted my “Alternative ____ Like a Champion Today” signs.  That has continued to draw in a steady diet of Notre Dame fans.

All this provides more proof of an old Irish adage:  There are no unmixed blessings.

The good news is that my site has a bunch of new readers.  The bad news?  They’re all Yankee fans.

So look for more cheap stunts to generate readership like gratuitous mentions of buying gold, naked pictures of celebrities, mentions of Ron Paul, Bill Clinton, conspiracy theories, Civil War re-enactment updates, LGBT marches, Nate Berkus, and Arcade Fire.  Just until I can get my act together.

The silliest work uniform

April 19, 2011

Im wearing this for the tax deduction.

It is not possible that anyone has a work uniform more silly and less tied to their actual job than baseball managers and coaches.

They’re not going to play in the game.

Heck, if all goes well, they’ll never leave the dugout!

But for some reason, by the 1940’s managers had abandoned wearing “street clothes” (a phrase that I can’t say without thinking of hookers–a character flaw, I’m sure) and exchanged them for a team uniform.  These are fat old men in a sport in which fat and old are not disqualifiers for participation. But even young and relatively thin Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees looks stupid.

Do they do it for the tax deduction?

IRS Publication 529 says:

Work Clothes and Uniforms

You can deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if the following two requirements are met.

  • You must wear them as a condition of your employment.
  • The clothes are not suitable for everyday wear.

It is not enough that you wear distinctive clothing. The clothing must be specifically required by your employer. Nor is it enough that you do not, in fact, wear your work clothes away from work. The clothing must not be suitable for taking the place of your regular clothing.

While it qualifies, I’m sure that’s not the reason.  “Tradition,” Tevya says. And yet it wasn’t always thus. At a holiday gathering long ago, I was once told that, “Tradition is what you resort to when you don’t have the time or the money to do it right.”  You’d think that Major League Baseball wouldn’t have that problem.

Are there no mirrors in the Manager’s Offices in these ballparks?  Do they not see how ridiculous they look?

Imagine if NBA coaches had to wear their team uniforms.  People would stop watching the Orlando Magic, coached by Stan Van Gundy, if not the entire league.  No one wants to see that.

Imagine THIS in a basketball uniform. Ye Gods!

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