Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: December 18, 2013

Another winter project
A few weeks back, I provided a blow-by-blow account of a day spent cleaning the basement. It was riveting stuff, several readers informed me. I even had requests asking if we’d made a YouTube video and could I send the link? Not without a sponsorship deal.
This type of encouragement made it seem logical that I should reveal all the intimate details of last weekend’s extraordinary event — straightening up the stereo cabinet!


Here's the Scoop: December 11, 2013

Perfect timing
For most of us, the holidays create pressure, along with the fun. The mythical vise around our heads is tightened by the “need” to purchase gifts for loved ones. Especially for Christmas, the immovable deadline keeps the device turning like a seasonal nutcraker.
On the bright side, I enjoy buying presents. It’s just the “disposable income” part of the equation that causes problems.


Here's the Scoop: December 4, 2013

Love that fighting holiday spirit

Like millions of others, I picked up some great bargains during my Black Friday shopping excursion. The list is long, but among the items I scored were: mace, boxing gloves and a bulletproof vest. Wait a second; I didn’t buy those things, that’s stuff I brought to the mall. Because, well, you never know how crazy folks will get over the prospect of some really killer deals.


Here's the scoop: November 27, 2013

It’s a coverup
A few weeks back I wrote about the number of professional baseball players sporting beards this season. Shortly after that column appeared, the Boston Beard Sox, I mean Red Sox, the most bearded of all teams, proceeded to win the World Series. I’d like to think that my column helped inspire the Sox in some small way.


Here's the scoop: November 20, 2013

aThis won’t take long
The idea seemed innocent enough. They always do.
“Let’s clean the basement today,” my wife said on Saturday. I was quite certain that I didn’t hear, “Do you want to help me clean the basement?”
“No,” wasn’t a response option.
Truthfully, the basement was getting a bit messy for my tolerance level, too. Summer projects had ultimately yielded a few items not being put back in their designated places. More sloppiness followed. I was the guilty party.


Here's the Scoop: November 12, 2013

Going, going...crazy
With my finely honed reporter’s instincts (some call it nosey-ness), I was recently drawn to check out a real estate auction in Margaretville.
I don’t often attend auctions, but I find the real estate variety kind of fascinating. Especially when these sales are advertised as “absolute” — meaning that the property will sell, regardless of bidding price.
It’s human nature, in a case like this, to think, “Wow, maybe I get a three-bedroom, two-bath house with granite countertops and a Jacuzzi for about $10,000!”


Here's the scoop: November 6, 2013

I’ve waiting long enough
You know how 15 minutes after a holiday ends, prices are slashed to a fraction of what was being charged for several months? Of course you do. You may even be one of those really disciplined types who only shops during these price drops and saves a ton of money by waiting for these markdowns.
Personally, I’m not wired to be that patient or frugal. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to save a bundle on next year’s Halloween decorations, but it’s hard for me to put something away for nearly a year before it can be utilized.


Here's the scoop: October 30, 2013

Living a Fantasy
Because most of its members have fast-paced lives, with participants often jetting halfway around the world for work obligations, our Fantasy Baseball league only held its year-end party last weekend. Or, maybe it was because the commissioner — who can’t bear that fact that changing leaves signal the end of the baseball — had retreated to Florida shortly after the regular season ended.
Anyhow, the event was held and teams that finished in the top five places were rewarded for their season of hard work. And luck. Let’s not forget luck.


Here's the scoop: October 23, 2013

A colorful season
The colors at this time of year are a crazy mix — the greens, yellows, reds — and the blacks, whites and blues. Especially the blues! They’re all out there. It’s quite spectacular — in an odd sort of way.
The funny thing is one day there’s no color at all and the next, this unnatural kaleidoscope dominates the landscape. How all these wild political signs appear so quickly is anyone’s guess?


Here's the Scoop: October 2, 2013

Looking for an escapse claws
From time to time, I have mentioned how our cat, Holly, is a such a big part of our family. She dominates, really, in her own quiet, feline way.
Holly has a few dog-like traits, including loyalty. Even better, she doesn’t bark or drool. And there’s no need for a pooper-scooper. I believe that I may have noted previously, Holly also enjoys watching baseball with her father. She’s a cool cat, as they say.


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