Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Here's the Scoop: August 15, 2012

Take me back to Mayberry
It’s been more than a month since Andy Griffith left this world. When Andy died, I spotted the obligatory headline on the Yahoo home page, but didn’t see much more.

I’ve heard there was a TV special or something about Andy’s life. There were probably other tributes, but I missed them. It’s too bad. Andy, it seemed, was one of the good guys.


Here's the Scoop: August 8, 2012

Cool Catskills Air
This is something that I never saw coming. I’m addicted to air conditioning.
Maybe addicted isn’t the right word, but I’ve become quite fond of artificial cooling. I’m not going to get into a debate over climate change in this space. However, I don’t think there’s any denying that the weather around these parts ain’t what it used to be.

The simple fact is, the weather isn’t strictly warmer or cooler. For the most part, it’s just different. Mostly hotter, I must add.


Here's the Scoop: August 1, 2012

Another day in the country
I’m not sure if “epidemic” is the right word, but the number of bear sightings in the Catskills has reached some lofty heights.

A day “barely” goes by when another remarkable bruin-related tale is exposed. Bears on the lawn? Ha, they’re as common as robins in the spring. Bears casually strolling up on porches like cookout guests? Yawn.

Being somewhat of a skeptic, I used to hear about these kinds of bear sighting stories, shake my head and dismiss them as “bull.” Not anymore.


Here's the Scoop: July 25, 2012

Misfit Coffee
The coffee maker is broken. Again.
By my unofficial count, we’re into double figures in coffee maker purchases over the past 10 years or so. That’s a lot.

We’ve tried just about every type of product available — from fancy makers with a matching price tag to cheapo models that promise to deliver coffee worthy of the most discerning tastes.


Here's the Scoop: July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday...again and again
When is a birthday not a birthday — when the celebration goes on and on and…
That type of rare occurrence happened to my wife this year. Oddly enough, the situation wasn’t planned — it just sort of unfolded — as the best things in life often do.

Because of a series of conflicts, marking the occasion was not going to be convenient on the true “Annual Acknowledgment of Earth Arrival.” (After a certain number of years have passed, the term “birthday celebration” doesn’t really fit).


Here's the Scoop: July 11, 2012

It’s a write-off
We all like convenience. For the most part, technological innovations are designed to make life a bit easier. In theory.

It wasn’t that long ago that “expert analysts” were debating whether online shopping would catch on with the public. Let’s see: push a few buttons on the computer and your items arrive in a couple of days. No driving to the mall. No waiting on lines. No time away from eating Cheetos on the couch. For some reason, I don’t think we needed experts to tell us that online shopping would be a hit.


Here's the Scoop: July 3, 2012

This does not computer
The waiting is over. No more comments like, “I’ll just hold off a bit until the next model comes out.”
After a lengthy period, I finally have a new computer. Anyone who knows me realizes that I have a borderline fanatical fondness for Macintosh products. So, I have added to a multi-decade list of Apple purchases.

These same folks realize that I’m thrifty — thus the long periods between replacing products — no matter how badly they are needed.


Here's the Scoop: June 27, 2012

More family secrets
By popular demand, I was asked to not write about the goings-on at our recent family reunion. That “demand” came from family members, concerned that I might spill some deep, dark secrets.

Well, those paranoid family members are now safely back at their homes, many of them thousands of miles from the Catskills. In short, they don’t scare me much — from a distance, at least.


Here's the Scoop: June 20, 2012

Is reality TV fake?
Imagine my disappointment when charges were leveled last week that “House Hunters” is a fake TV show.

I don’t watch a huge amount of TV, but “House Hunters” is one of the shows I enjoy. In case you’ve never tuned in, the show basically follows a couple looking to buy a home and they visit three places, eventually buying one, after weighing the pros and cons of each place.


Here's the Scoop: June 13, 2012

Who are you again?
Just a few more days until the Sweeney Family Reunion. That can only mean one thing — it’s time for me to pull out the Sweeney Family Tree and figure out who all these people are — and try to memorize their names.

I really like the reunion, but my memory isn’t that great. I often find myself asking folks at the reunion, “Do I know you?” Quickly followed by, “OK, do I like you?” Kidding, of course.


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