Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the scoop: January 23, 2013

Hatching an anti-cabin fever plan
Even though it’s barely a month since the “official” start of winter, I think it’s OK to admit that the season has started to wear on some people’s nerves a bit. I’m a member of this group.
High temperatures this week are predicted to be only in the teens, with nighttime lows around zero. It’s not the Arctic, but this stretch of consistently low temperatures is the first real cold snap we’ve had this year.


Here's the scoop: January 16, 2013

The ears have it!
It’s not something I like to admit, but I can be a teensy bit “quick to judge.” I like to think that my instincts are usually pretty good, but sometimes I have to eat a little crow and admit a mistake.
Crow is usually tough and has a lousy aftertaste.

One such case applies to “winter hats with ears.” You’ve seen them. Heck, some readers probably own one of these items. And, I’m sure you look really cute with that cuddly creature wrapped around your head. I mean it, too.


Here's the scoop: January 9, 2013

Bubbling over
I finally made the move. Actually, the move was made on my behalf, but I’m glad it happened. I’m now the proud owner of a Sodastream.

Sure, I know what you’re thinking: Duh, what took you so long?
It’s well-known in certain circles that I love drinking seltzer. Lots and lots of seltzer. It’s a nice beverage — a bit fizzy, no calories and it tastes good. What’s not to like?


Here's the Scoop: January 2, 2013

What’s in a name?
Does anyone else think that the new trend of “naming” winter storms my just be a bit of overkill?
So far, Euclid, Draco and Freyr are among the winter storm names that have been applied by the Weather Channel, with its bold idea of attaching an identity to winter storms.


Here's the Scoop: December 26, 2012

Light my fire...please
When it comes to items we utilize on a daily basis, I’m pretty tolerant. If my computer refuses to compute, I may get frustrated, but I still understand that it’s a machine with many complex parts. For instance, I can forgive the computer if it makes typographical errors in this column. Sometimes.


Here's the Scoop: December 19, 2012

A kernal of truth
I’ve been banned from writing about Christmas this week because there have been accusations of me giving away too much present information and ruining the element of surprise. Funny, I looked at it as saving money on wrapping paper.

Nevertheless, I’m not allowed to discuss presents — real or imagined — this week. So, I’m just going to write about the first thing that pops into my head. OK, the winning topic is: kettle corn!


Here's the Scoop: December 12, 2012

Not so bright idea
It’s difficult not to write about holiday traditions at this time of year. Personally, I’m not in favor of “rushing” the season. I like the tree to go up two weekends before the actual holiday, give or take.
The benefit of climate change is that holiday decorating has become much easier. Stringing outdoor lights, hanging garland and other festive items is much more pleasant when it’s a balmy 50 degrees with a pleasant breeze.


Here's the Scoop: December 5, 2012

The Big Picture of Christmas
Thank goodness we’ve hit a brief period where we’re not “naming names” of holiday-related shopping dates.

Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. Where will it all end? Not here. As far as I can tell, there are quite a few unnamed potential “holidays” leading up to Christmas. I’m here to help.


Here's the Scoop: November 28, 2012

New breed of hunters
Some things never change. Apparently, hunting doesn’t fall into this category.
Talk to any old-timer and they’ll recall a day when the Big Game hunting season in the Catskill Region was a huge event, where the nimrods practically outnumbered the trees. The hills were alive with the sound of gunshots, as the song goes.


Here's the Scoop: November 21, 2012

Signs of the times
If you’ve driven through the Catskills lately, you’ve seen the many directional signs that have sprung up in recent months. The brown and white signs are meant to highlight the region’s recreational assets such as hiking, winter sports and boating. Keeping with the outdoor theme, the signs are as plentiful as ants at a picnic.

I like the signs — it’s like we’re finally being acknowledged as an area that offers some really great outdoor opportunities. Kind of like we’re all grown up!


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