Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: October 3, 2012

I can do without this...and this...
I read one of those annoying online articles the other day that provided updates regarding business trends. This story was titled, “13 Things in Your Office Headed for Extinction.”

Here's the Scoop: September 26, 2012

Free wood is best. Usually
Each year around this time, I am subject to a ban on “firewood chatter.” Under extreme circumstances, I am allowed to break the prohibition. This qualifies.

No matter how much firewood I have on hand, the onset of cooler weather sends me into a minor panic. As a result, I engage in an annual race with the squirrels as they, too, race around the woods preparing for whatever winter has in store. The squirrels’ task somehow seems easier — no saws, trucks or danger of severed body parts.

Here's the Scoop: September 19, 2012

Flat is not my style
Flat brimmed baseball hats. I hate them.
There, I wrote it and I’m not taking it back. How in the world did this get to be a popular style?
Some folks may think that I’m making too much of this issue, but I think it’s an important one. Mind you, I don’t claim to be on the cutting edge of many fashion trends. Quite the opposite.

Here's the Scoop: September 5, 2012

Zeppelin flies again
When it comes to music, I don’t usually like to look/listen back. Sure, I have a bunch of favorite bands from my formative days, but I don’t play those tunes all that often. Maybe it’s because my eight-track player hasn’t worked in years.

Here's the Scoop: August 29, 2012

Offers are pouring in
A few weeks back, I wrote about a years-long run of back luck with coffee pot purchases. I was pleased by a large response of solutions from readers. They offered tips on what to buy and even advice on what brands not to purchase.

Here's the Scoop: August 22, 2012

Lending a line to Big Oil
Is anyone else a bit skeptical of the “reasons” for constantly changing gas prices? Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to be a cynic about many things — the rate of gas hikes being high up on the list.
I find it just a little odd that posted gas prices often are raised a few times during the course of a single day. Sure, The Man has some prepackaged excuse to explain this phenomenon. But I’m not buying it. Even though I’m paying for it. A lot.

Here's the Scoop: August 15, 2012

Take me back to Mayberry
It’s been more than a month since Andy Griffith left this world. When Andy died, I spotted the obligatory headline on the Yahoo home page, but didn’t see much more.

I’ve heard there was a TV special or something about Andy’s life. There were probably other tributes, but I missed them. It’s too bad. Andy, it seemed, was one of the good guys.

Here's the Scoop: August 8, 2012

Cool Catskills Air
This is something that I never saw coming. I’m addicted to air conditioning.
Maybe addicted isn’t the right word, but I’ve become quite fond of artificial cooling. I’m not going to get into a debate over climate change in this space. However, I don’t think there’s any denying that the weather around these parts ain’t what it used to be.

The simple fact is, the weather isn’t strictly warmer or cooler. For the most part, it’s just different. Mostly hotter, I must add.

Here's the Scoop: August 1, 2012

Another day in the country
I’m not sure if “epidemic” is the right word, but the number of bear sightings in the Catskills has reached some lofty heights.

A day “barely” goes by when another remarkable bruin-related tale is exposed. Bears on the lawn? Ha, they’re as common as robins in the spring. Bears casually strolling up on porches like cookout guests? Yawn.

Being somewhat of a skeptic, I used to hear about these kinds of bear sighting stories, shake my head and dismiss them as “bull.” Not anymore.

Here's the Scoop: July 25, 2012

Misfit Coffee
The coffee maker is broken. Again.
By my unofficial count, we’re into double figures in coffee maker purchases over the past 10 years or so. That’s a lot.

We’ve tried just about every type of product available — from fancy makers with a matching price tag to cheapo models that promise to deliver coffee worthy of the most discerning tastes.

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