Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Speed the plow; spare the bread

In case you missed the bulletin, it snowed last week in New Hampshire. It also got cold, then colder.

I am not surprised by this. Nor am I surprised that some people run around like chickens with their heads cut off (a memorable phrase, that) in response to the weather.

Television is losing viewership to cord-cutting and other online threats. But TV viewing still spikes for weather “events”, so TV plays weather to the hilt. One night last week I felt sorry for the female TV reporter who was sent out to do the obligatory “shelves are bare as people stock up for impending doom” report.

The shelves were not bare, but the reporter offered up the info nugget that she had just learned: Some stores sometimes don’t get bread deliveries on Wednesdays.

Well, all-righty then.

TV also invents or attempts to popularize arcane, exotic names for storms in an effort to juice ratings. Last week, we were warned that some sort of “bombo-something-cyclone” was bearing down on us. I think someone must have watched “The Crown” series in which an “anti-cyclone” effect made for some killer smog in London in 1952.

Radio got into the act, too. Young Gov. Sununu was on the airwaves early Thursday morning with some good advice: Call your police or fire department if you have an emergency. He also had some bad advice, or at least advice contrary to the state Highway folks.

Go slow on the roads, Sununu said, including when you are PASSING a snowplow.

Say what? DOT and state police are constantly stressing that you should not try to pass the snowplow. So which is it: Buy beer and bread or pass the plow?

I should talk. Or maybe not. Here at the Union Leader last week, we had some experts come in for a presentation on the latest and greatest on our 401(k) program.

They gathered around a projector that was to show a live internet presentation of their website. But something was amiss. The program wouldn’t activate. Something wrong with the internet access, we were told. Hold tight.

Finally, I spotted one of our bright IT folks (that’s redundant, as all our IT folks are bright). She quickly assessed the problem and proposed a solution:

Try taking the lens cap off the projector, she said. Problem solved!

Alas, I couldn’t stay for the whole program. After all, it was going to snow the next day. I had to go out and buy bread.


Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @deucecrew.