Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: February 26, 2014

Leather season is here
It’s nine degrees this morning. The stiff breeze shaves quite a few additional degrees off the thermometer in terms of wind chill. Despite temperatures near 50 over the weekend, there’s still a thick blanket of snow all around.
The winter trudges on and there’s little for us non-snowbirds to do about the situation, but look ahead to better days. And read about baseball.


Here's the Scoop: February 5, 2014

A 50 percent chance
I have been overrun, so to speak, with feedback on last week’s column regarding my recent slipper purchase. That topic really picked up steam — a slipper-y slope, if you will.
Apparently, lots of readers have a deep connection to their in-house footwear of choice. I had no idea when I wrote about this, just how passionate folks are regarding slippers. It’s actually a bit scary. I mean that in the good way.


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.


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