Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: January 8, 2014

Rocks in my head
It’s probably a good bet that I’m not the only person who logs on to the Internet each day to get a full update of Kardashian mayhem.
OK, so maybe that’s not entirely true, since I’m not really sure how many Kardashians there are and why, exactly, the folks who deliver the stunning Yahoo Home Page “news” think that anyone cares. We don’t. Not one bit. Stop this madness, please.
I know, it would be simple enough to change my Home Page, but there are usually just enough non-Kardashian (K-folks) stories on there to keep me from doing so.


Here's the Scoop: January 1, 2014

Post-holiday non-music to my ears
Well, it’s been nearly a week since I’ve heard any holiday music. The silence is music to my ears.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good seasonal song, but I do have a few qualifications that must be met. Please notice that I included the word “good” in the last sentence. That eliminates a lot of holiday “classics.”
Sure, there are some seasonal tunes that are truly “timeless.” However, no matter how great a song may start out, it can easily be ruined in the wrong hands, or vocal chords.


Here's the Scoop: December 25, 2013

Another lights out holiday
This year was going to be different. Readers with good memories (better than mine – which would be most of you), will recall that the whole “holiday decorating” thing didn’t go well at the Sweeney household last year. Ditto this season.
After last year’s “lights out” disaster, we carefully packed away the “survivors” in the light department. These specimens worked well and we appreciated them in all their illuminated glory. These working strings were being counted on for another year or two of brilliant production.


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.


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