Here's the Scoop by Brian Sweeney

Brian Sweeney has been the author of “Here’s the Scoop” for more than 20 years. The column usually deals with the lighter side of life and the writer has been known to mix a bit of fiction in with the facts. Brian has received six awards for his column in the annual New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

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.