Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: January 29, 2014

If the slipper fits
One of the reasons that I prefer to buy things online is because I don’t really like hanging out with big groups of people in places such as shopping malls. It’s kind of weird, then, that I often rely on others to help me shop — based on their reviews.
In recent years, I find that I’m letting the shopping experience of the general population guide my spending habits. I recently accumulated enough credit card bonus points to put me within purchase range of a decent pair of slippers. That’s good. And bad.


Here's the Scoop: January 22, 2014

There’s no place like Home Goods...
A little chapter in local history will soon come to a close when Dorothy Maffei steps down as owner of Home Goods of Margaretville (HGM).
In a small town, businesses come and go. In fact, the “go” enterprises somehow seem to outnumber the arrivals. As opposed to mega-malls, shopping in rural areas usually offers a much different type of experience. Stores are often unique. Owners usually know your name.


Here's the Scoop: January 15, 2014

Frosting on the...cupcake
The waiting, as they say, was torture. The sweet variety.
I could detect the tempting aroma of the cupcakes baking a mere 20 feet away, but was not allowed a sample. Not even a nibble. This may seem harsh, but the initial description of the setting doesn’t tell the entire story. Cupcakes and I should never be left alone in a room. Throw in a half-gallon of milk and all bets are off.


Here's the Scoop: January 8, 2014

Rocks in my head
It’s probably a good bet that I’m not the only person who logs on to the Internet each day to get a full update of Kardashian mayhem.
OK, so maybe that’s not entirely true, since I’m not really sure how many Kardashians there are and why, exactly, the folks who deliver the stunning Yahoo Home Page “news” think that anyone cares. We don’t. Not one bit. Stop this madness, please.
I know, it would be simple enough to change my Home Page, but there are usually just enough non-Kardashian (K-folks) stories on there to keep me from doing so.


Here's the Scoop: January 1, 2014

Post-holiday non-music to my ears
Well, it’s been nearly a week since I’ve heard any holiday music. The silence is music to my ears.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good seasonal song, but I do have a few qualifications that must be met. Please notice that I included the word “good” in the last sentence. That eliminates a lot of holiday “classics.”
Sure, there are some seasonal tunes that are truly “timeless.” However, no matter how great a song may start out, it can easily be ruined in the wrong hands, or vocal chords.


Here's the Scoop: December 25, 2013

Another lights out holiday
This year was going to be different. Readers with good memories (better than mine – which would be most of you), will recall that the whole “holiday decorating” thing didn’t go well at the Sweeney household last year. Ditto this season.
After last year’s “lights out” disaster, we carefully packed away the “survivors” in the light department. These specimens worked well and we appreciated them in all their illuminated glory. These working strings were being counted on for another year or two of brilliant production.


Here's the Scoop: December 18, 2013

Another winter project
A few weeks back, I provided a blow-by-blow account of a day spent cleaning the basement. It was riveting stuff, several readers informed me. I even had requests asking if we’d made a YouTube video and could I send the link? Not without a sponsorship deal.
This type of encouragement made it seem logical that I should reveal all the intimate details of last weekend’s extraordinary event — straightening up the stereo cabinet!


Here's the Scoop: December 11, 2013

Perfect timing
For most of us, the holidays create pressure, along with the fun. The mythical vise around our heads is tightened by the “need” to purchase gifts for loved ones. Especially for Christmas, the immovable deadline keeps the device turning like a seasonal nutcraker.
On the bright side, I enjoy buying presents. It’s just the “disposable income” part of the equation that causes problems.


Here's the Scoop: December 4, 2013

Love that fighting holiday spirit

Like millions of others, I picked up some great bargains during my Black Friday shopping excursion. The list is long, but among the items I scored were: mace, boxing gloves and a bulletproof vest. Wait a second; I didn’t buy those things, that’s stuff I brought to the mall. Because, well, you never know how crazy folks will get over the prospect of some really killer deals.


Here's the scoop: November 27, 2013

It’s a coverup
A few weeks back I wrote about the number of professional baseball players sporting beards this season. Shortly after that column appeared, the Boston Beard Sox, I mean Red Sox, the most bearded of all teams, proceeded to win the World Series. I’d like to think that my column helped inspire the Sox in some small way.


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