Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: December 26, 2012

Light my fire...please
When it comes to items we utilize on a daily basis, I’m pretty tolerant. If my computer refuses to compute, I may get frustrated, but I still understand that it’s a machine with many complex parts. For instance, I can forgive the computer if it makes typographical errors in this column. Sometimes.


Here's the Scoop: December 19, 2012

A kernal of truth
I’ve been banned from writing about Christmas this week because there have been accusations of me giving away too much present information and ruining the element of surprise. Funny, I looked at it as saving money on wrapping paper.

Nevertheless, I’m not allowed to discuss presents — real or imagined — this week. So, I’m just going to write about the first thing that pops into my head. OK, the winning topic is: kettle corn!


Here's the Scoop: December 12, 2012

Not so bright idea
It’s difficult not to write about holiday traditions at this time of year. Personally, I’m not in favor of “rushing” the season. I like the tree to go up two weekends before the actual holiday, give or take.
The benefit of climate change is that holiday decorating has become much easier. Stringing outdoor lights, hanging garland and other festive items is much more pleasant when it’s a balmy 50 degrees with a pleasant breeze.


Here's the Scoop: December 5, 2012

The Big Picture of Christmas
Thank goodness we’ve hit a brief period where we’re not “naming names” of holiday-related shopping dates.

Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. Where will it all end? Not here. As far as I can tell, there are quite a few unnamed potential “holidays” leading up to Christmas. I’m here to help.


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.


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