Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Brian Sweeney has been the author of “Here’s the Scoop” for more than 20 years. The column usually deals with the lighter side of life and the writer has been known to mix a bit of fiction in with the facts. Brian has received six awards for his column in the annual New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

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.


Here's the Scoop: July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday...again and again
When is a birthday not a birthday — when the celebration goes on and on and…
That type of rare occurrence happened to my wife this year. Oddly enough, the situation wasn’t planned — it just sort of unfolded — as the best things in life often do.

Because of a series of conflicts, marking the occasion was not going to be convenient on the true “Annual Acknowledgment of Earth Arrival.” (After a certain number of years have passed, the term “birthday celebration” doesn’t really fit).


Here's the Scoop: July 11, 2012

It’s a write-off
We all like convenience. For the most part, technological innovations are designed to make life a bit easier. In theory.

It wasn’t that long ago that “expert analysts” were debating whether online shopping would catch on with the public. Let’s see: push a few buttons on the computer and your items arrive in a couple of days. No driving to the mall. No waiting on lines. No time away from eating Cheetos on the couch. For some reason, I don’t think we needed experts to tell us that online shopping would be a hit.


Here's the Scoop: July 3, 2012

This does not computer
The waiting is over. No more comments like, “I’ll just hold off a bit until the next model comes out.”
After a lengthy period, I finally have a new computer. Anyone who knows me realizes that I have a borderline fanatical fondness for Macintosh products. So, I have added to a multi-decade list of Apple purchases.

These same folks realize that I’m thrifty — thus the long periods between replacing products — no matter how badly they are needed.