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 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.