Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: August 13, 2008

A really cool idea
Like most people, I enjoy a certain amount of technical innovation. On the other hand, I think a lot of the stuff that’s invented is pretty pointless. While it’s by no means a cutting edge product, I recently found myself singing the praises of an icemaker. It is so cool — in more ways than one.


Here's the Scoop: August 6, 2008

Who said that?
Can’t anyone keep a secret anymore? It seems that every time a news story breaks, that there’s an “anonymous source” ready and willing to blab confidential information about the case. A few actual examples follow: “She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to discuss the case,” or how about: “‘The Syrian reactor was similar in design to a North Korean reactor that has in the past produced small amounts of plutonium,’ a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information.”
I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel really warm and fuzzy knowing that such nuclear secrets are so closely guarded.


Here's the Scoop: July 30, 2008

Office complaints
It’s not often that I take “column requests,” but I’m making an exception this week.
The owner of this newspaper said to me the other day, “Why don’t you write a column about the complaints people make at work?” Since he’s footing the tab for this, I thought it would be a good idea.


Here's the Scoop: July 23, 2008

Ready to spend
Finally, we joined the ranks of those folks receiving economic Stimulus Checks. Or, Hush Money, if you will. Don’t get me wrong, any time someone — especially the government — hands me $1,200, I’m a willing recipient. Even if I have to wait a really, really long time to get the dough.


Here's the Scoop: July 16, 2008

No big surprise
I recently marked a “special” birthday. I am unsure why people make such a big deal out of turning 35, but so be it. Not being much of a “party person,” I gently reminded loved ones — many times — that I really, really didn’t want a party on my behalf. Cake was another story, though.


Here's the Scoop: July 9, 2008

Long & winding road
Dedicated fans of this column, Scoopies, as they like to be called, were fairly quick to notice that the News was Scoop-less for a couple of weeks recently.


Here's the Scoop: July 2, 2008

Animal rights. And Wrongs.
A few weeks back, our “Cub Reporter” outgrew her title. What started as an innocent tip about a prospective story ended happily a few days ago with another fine piece of journalism by our new “Buffalo Reporter.” Quite a promotion.
Apparently, bear stories in the Catskills have become a bit boring. Even the tale of a bear breaking into a home and chugging down some champagne doesn’t grab folks like it used to when bear sightings were relatively rare.


Here's the Scoop: June 11, 2008

A real turnoff
Like most people, I am frustrated and angered by the spiraling rise in oil/gas prices. Do I think it’s all a scam? Yes. But my conspiracy theories don’t help fill the gas tank.
Long before prices started cranking up about every 15 minutes, I always believed in driving fuel efficient cars. And not keeping the thermostat at 82 degrees.
It’s finally becoming clear that many folks who were driving vehicles the size of a football field are “trading down” for rigs that can be filled for less than an entire week’s paycheck. Still, one has to wonder if drivers could be doing more to cut gas usage.


Here's the Scoop: June 4, 2008

Easy as PB&J
Somewhere along the line, I’ve pretty much become a “brown bagger.” I think that “somewhere” was when gas hit $3 per gallon. It’s not that I don’t enjoy buying my lunch — I do — but when necessities start costing way more than is reasonable, adjustments must be made. Therefore, my solution to the absurd cost of fuel is peanut butter!


Here's the Scoop: May 28, 2008

Let’s rest every week
Well, we have officially kicked off the start of the “summer season” with the Memorial Day weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I like three-day weekends. A lot. It’s just kind of amusing what a frenzy it causes by giving many folks an extra day off. No matter how somber the occasion that results in the three-day weekend, it seems like the sales have come to outweigh the real reason for many holidays. For Columbus Day, that works. For Memorial Day, it’s wrong on many levels.


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