Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the scoop: April 10, 2013

The Write Stuff
The Daily Star in Oneonta carried a big, front page story this week about the death of handwriting. In the business, we like to refer to such “stories” as a slow news day. I know them well.

But, that’s not the point. The fact is, the Star is correct, handwriting is no longer utilized — or given much consideration — by many people. That’s unfortunate.
Personally, I abandoned the handwriting game long ago. Like a bad relationship, “It just wasn’t working for me.”


Here's the scoop: April 3, 2013

Spring is Bobbling Along
Saturday evening marked the return of spring for me. That’s when members of the Catskill Mountain Fantasy Baseball League (CMFBL) gathered for the league’s annual draft.

I periodically mention CMFBL in this space because it’s a pretty big part of my life for six months each year. Some may say it’s too big of a part of my life. For that reason, I’ve learned to keep my enthusiasm for this “sport” to myself — unless I’m talking to fellow league members. They understand.


Here's the scoop: March 27, 2013

Just like old times
Unfortunately, I am banned this week from using a three-letter work that begins with “s.” Since I can’t write about the raw material from which maple syrup is made, I have been hard-pressed to think of another topic. My brain is kind of sapped (six letters), I guess.


Here's the scoop: March 19, 2013

Syrup: The Final Frontier
It would have been unfair to leave readers hanging regarding our first venture into the world of maple syrup production. So, today we reach the boiling point.

But not that fast. These things take time. Lots and lots of mind-numbing time.
Anyone with sensitivity to the cold realizes it has been pretty darn chilly lately. Especially when you’re outside. Even sitting next to a fire. Being rookies in the maple-making world, a sap house is not in the plans. Yet.


Here's the Scoop: March 13, 2013

Reaching the boiling point
I’m not sure how long my Lord of the Sugar Maple Rings series will continue, but I plan on squeezing out every last drop.

You may recall that in earlier installments of my maple syrup making adventure, I began chronicling the anticipation of my family’s initial sap-to-syrup experience. The truth is, you can’t rush these things; thus the unusual multi-column format I’m employing to tell this tale.


Here's the Scoop: March 6, 2013

Stay out of the woods
The response to last week’s column about my wife and me getting set to dip our toes into the sweet realm of backyard maple sugar production was a bit overwhelming.

You could say that folks came “out of the woodwork” with suggestions and really scary stories about the perils of the pursuit of maple syrup. It’s always nice to get some free advice.
Insights, of course, are about the only thing that’s “free” when it comes to syrup production. Nearly everyone I spoke to started off the conversation with the question, “Do you have…?”


Here's the Scoop: February 27, 2013

Stepping back in time
It’s been many years since I last took an active role in producing a bit of Catskill Mountain maple syrup, but I’m getting ready to give it another crack.

My first experience with syrup production occurred when I was quite small. One neighborhood family used to tap the series of sturdy maples that lined our street. Four large trees in front of our house were part of the supply, so the local kids helped with the task.


Here's the Scoop: February 13, 2013

Winter film festival time
At some point last Friday, it started becoming clear that maybe the blizzard forecast calling for 18-24 inches of snow in the Catskill Region was just a bit “overblown.” Or is that “underblown”?
Like practically everyone else in the northeast, I took plenty of peeks at the weather forecast in the days leading to “the event.” One-and-a-half to-two-feet of snow is lot to handle. Folks living a bit to the east can vouch for that sentiment.


Here's the Scoop: February 6, 2013

Things are looking Shark®
As a general rule, I don’t put a lot of stock in items that are primarily sold via “cheesy” television ads or infomercials. You know, the type where there’s some over-caffeinated spokesperson practically yelling in glee about the greatness of the product being hawked. So good, in fact, that you can now get two of product XYZ for only $19.95.


Here's the scoop: January 30, 2013

Popular topic
There are some topics that simply aren’t spoken about in polite company. Fortunately, I’m not always polite. Plus, I’m “talking” about it in writing.

As a result, today’s topic will be mice. For the most part, mice are not desirable creatures. Sure, some folks own mice for pets. However, most of us refer to these creatures as “pests” not pets.


Syndicate content