Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: November 28, 2012

New breed of hunters
Some things never change. Apparently, hunting doesn’t fall into this category.
Talk to any old-timer and they’ll recall a day when the Big Game hunting season in the Catskill Region was a huge event, where the nimrods practically outnumbered the trees. The hills were alive with the sound of gunshots, as the song goes.


Here's the Scoop: November 21, 2012

Signs of the times
If you’ve driven through the Catskills lately, you’ve seen the many directional signs that have sprung up in recent months. The brown and white signs are meant to highlight the region’s recreational assets such as hiking, winter sports and boating. Keeping with the outdoor theme, the signs are as plentiful as ants at a picnic.

I like the signs — it’s like we’re finally being acknowledged as an area that offers some really great outdoor opportunities. Kind of like we’re all grown up!


Here's the Scoop: November 14, 2012

Riding high at the ranch
I’m not going to detail every adventure experienced during a recent “working vacation” — you’ll have to buy that book to get the unabridged version.

But, after last week’s column recalling the thrills and chills involved in the pursuit of my wife’s lost sunglasses while hiking, I felt it was OK to drop one more teaser tale from my upcoming novel. In short, I rode a horse.


Here's the Scoop: November 7, 2012

Through Rose-Colored Glasses
Anyone who has ever visited the Rocky Mountains knows that the high altitude takes a bit of adjustment. The mountains are breathtaking — in more ways than one.

During a recent trip to that area, we were excited to try some hiking in this rarified environment. We hike quite a bit, so it wasn’t like we were new to the sport. Still, hiking in unfamiliar terrain presented a different set of challenges.


Here's the Scoop: October 31, 2012

Relief blows through the Catskills
Like millions of other east coast residents, I counted down the days until Hurricane Sandy’s arrival. I didn’t really want to spend the better part of a week obsessing over the impending doomsday, but the media left me with little choice.

Of course, I’m part of the media, but I’m more the “after the fact” segment of the profession. As a general rule, I’d say it’s better to report on what actually occurred, rather than to whip folks into frenzy over what “might” happen.


Here's the Scoop: October 24, 2012

Any minute now...
I did something last week that’s not common for me — went to see a newly released movie. A hit movie, even. In a mall, of all places.

Recovery is not quite complete.
There are many reasons why I don’t usually participate in the activities just mentioned. I don’t care much for crowds. I’m not a “blockbuster” kind of guy (I am clinging to my status as one of only three people in the U.S. who has never seen “Titanic”). My bank hates it when I skip a mortgage payment to purchase movie theater popcorn. And, well, I don’t get out much. I like that.


Here's the Scoop: October 17, 2012

Avoid a sore subject
It’s an unfortunate part of human nature that this time of year brings out strong opinions in favor of one side against another. The rivalries displayed during heated October contests can drive a wedge between even the best of friends.

I guess that’s why the old cliché warning about not discussing religion and politics should be modified to include — baseball.


Here's the Scoop: October 10, 2012

The gift of sugar
Cookies, it is a well-known fact, will make willpower crumble. Easily.
That’s why it was a case of Good News - Very Bad News when my wife arrived home last week with a large bag filled with an assortment of cookie boxes. The cookies had been a gift and well, I have always heard: “Stuff things from a gift horse in your mouth,” so I did. Often.

I realize that such actions aren’t undertaken in the best interests of health. But, these were good cookies. In all the right flavors — caramel, coconut, chocolate, ginger, almond. Did I mention coconut?


Here's the Scoop: October 3, 2012

I can do without this...and this...
I read one of those annoying online articles the other day that provided updates regarding business trends. This story was titled, “13 Things in Your Office Headed for Extinction.”


Here's the Scoop: September 26, 2012

Free wood is best. Usually
Each year around this time, I am subject to a ban on “firewood chatter.” Under extreme circumstances, I am allowed to break the prohibition. This qualifies.

No matter how much firewood I have on hand, the onset of cooler weather sends me into a minor panic. As a result, I engage in an annual race with the squirrels as they, too, race around the woods preparing for whatever winter has in store. The squirrels’ task somehow seems easier — no saws, trucks or danger of severed body parts.


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