Friday, July 28, 2006

People are all a-buzz about the old North Church tonight. The original reports were that during tonight's severe, fast-moving thunderstorm, the steeple had toppled into the street toward Breaking New Grounds; these reports were later ammended when out-of-town media realized that the steeple had already been disassmebled a few weeks ago. In fact, it was only the scaffolding that had fallen. No injuries are reported at this time. Still, it's hard to believe your eyes when you see it... With the scaffolding gone, all you see is a big nothing at the top of the clocktower. Well, that, and a wild scene consisting of police and other flashing-lighted vehicles all over... Streets closed to traffic both foot and wheeled... Spotlights shining... Debris scattered in the streets... Unhappy cars with smashed windshields... And TV trucks. (I saw Channel 7 there when I drove by around 9PM.) I expect we'll see a lot more of this action tomorrow. If it had been the steeple itself, it would've been a story just beneath the Old Man of the Mountain collapsing; this church is nearly as iconic as that old stoneface had been! Many people are upset at the very idea that this downtown landmark could have been in jeopardy at all. Apparently it was just the high winds that caused the damage, rather than the lightning that was hitting all over town, so I guess there's no truth to the rumor that a DeLorean was spotted doing 88MPH down Market Street just seconds before. The question now is: Did the kiosk (and our wi-fi base station) survive the crash?! I'll check it out ASAP tomorrow and report back.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Turns out the Portsmouth Herald picked up the Meetinghouse-Cisco deal on Saturday, a day after I was wondering (see last posting, below) where the local story was. Meanwhile, I have it on unimpeachable information that another small local tech firm (yes, this is serious scoopage here, listen up!) will be bought by a multi-billion-dollar multinational. I can't divulge names but my sources say you'll soon see the official announcement from a shall-we-say well-known software company in the Pacific Northwest. Congratulations in advance to those locals who will benefit directly; the only downside is that several talented techies will reportedly be leaving the eCoast as part of the deal.

Speaking of eCoast news, I was disappointed to hear (on account of the fact that I couldn't make it this year) that the eCruise turned out more of an eDock, as thick fog kept the MV Thomas Laighton at its moorings for most of the evening. Looking at the bright side -- at least it didn't hail.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The buzz-about-town today is about the sudden demise of Jack Quigley's Irish Pub. I guess there's an important lesson in this for all you would-be-restaurantuers: Having both a food license and a liquor license is important. With Molly's going to hell in a handbasket under new ownership and Quigley's now gone, Portsmouth's Irish bar situation has gone from abundant to abysmal.

Interestingly, the local buzz is not about Pease-based Meetinghouse Data getting bought by Cisco for over $43 million. The press release definitely went out -- from Cisco, mind you -- because it's been
picked up in the national technical pubs (that's how I saw it), but the closest local news outlet to cover the story is this brief in the Boston Globe. Maybe the local papers will run it as a larger Sunday piece...

In other news, it's the English major in me converging with the tech-geek in me -- Google is now officially a verb, and I'm very excited about it! I note that the brand managers at Google are "OK with it" -- I'd think they'd be ecstatic. Becoming a generic noun (Coke, Kleenex, etc.) can be a pisser, but to become a verb ("FedEx this"... "Google that")? That's the holy grail of branding!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Been meaning to blog about the new local business rag on the streets these days. The new product is Seacoast Ventures, a tabloid-style local business-focussed paper produced by Seacoast Media Group (i.e., The Portsmouth Herald). Editor Michael McCord really took the ball and ran with it... I have to say, I'm impressed. I've long thought that the local dailies could and should do more telling the stories of the many successful local businesses, and I've been disappointed to see the trend of filling our local paper's column inches with generic AP-generated stories. Ventures is chock-full of locals being featured, quoted, and pictured; it's a veritable who's-who of the local business scene! As I told my Dad the Wine Guy as we were reviewing it in his store, the only important locals not in this publication are him and me! (Snort!) Also, I was pleased to see that my friends at Savvy Software were featured; they've got a great story, they're going gangbusters, and they deserve the recognition. They even got a nice color picture.
So a hearty "Bravo!" to all involved in the Seacoast Ventures, um, venture. I'm looking forward to the next issue already! Check it out: Seacoast Ventures. (Note that it's a .net site. Oh well, can't win 'em all.)