Kobo GloI’m sitting in a coffee shop right now, typing this on my phone (which is sharing a power bar with six other phones) and enjoying my first hot drink since Saturday. We have had no power since then and this toasted s’mores hot chocolate is the first thing I have eaten that’s not a peanut butter sandwich.

I don’t know why the coffee shop has power and we, a few blocks away, don’t. But this little store has been a lifeline today for people in the area—hot food and drink, the sharing of news and gossip about the storm we had and its aftermath, and three power outlets, stretched to the max with extension cords and power bars, where people can recharge their gadgets.

Yes, that’s a picture from Joanna. Brr!

My Kobo Glo—blessedly front-lit for in-the-dark reading—has earned it’s keep these last few days. The Beloved has gone to bed by 8 two nights in a row because he’s had nothing to do once his phone, which he charges in his car, runs down for the night. I myself had to piggyback some juice off my laptop battery once already to get mine working again before I plumbed that mine to its end and had to go out looking for a place like this coffee shop to bring it back to life again. But the Kobo hasn’t even lost a single battery bar and I am on my third book. The storm has given my year-end reading stats a boost, at least!

I see the power trucks out there. They are saying it might be too ambitious to expect light and heat again by Christmas. But this coffee shop has power, so I am hopeful we will soon too. In the meanwhile, my Kobo is ready to go, power or no power. Ain’t technology grand?

Editor’s Note: I have to admire Joanna’s dedication, typing this on her iPhone. That’s a lot of words on a phone. Keep sending warm thoughts her way!

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. City power flow can be erratic. One block may be get electricity from the north, the next from the south. I’m sure that coffee shop is loving the extra business.

    Once the power is back on, you might want to pick up some tea candles. They’re romantic, cheap, and give enough light you can still move about your place. In the proper holder, they might even provide enough light to read by. There’s also a variety of Sterno, alcohol and butane stoves that can warm up food and drinks. Toss in some thick blankets to keep warm, The water usually keeps flowing, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few gallon bottles around just in case. Do that and you should be equipped for up a week without power.

    You might also want to check on any elderly neighbors to make sure they are OK. Cities usually open up facilities such as schools or libraries for those who can’t handle excessive heat or cold well. And fire stations often have emergency power.

    If you’re like me, losing the Internet is usually the cruelest blow.

    –Mike Perry

  2. You have my sympathy. During the great ice storms of a few years ago, I spent over two weeks without power because we live off the street, and our neighbor’s trees took down our lines. HE had power within a day. The jerk still refuses to trim his trees so I hope we have no storms this winter.

    Two thing events like this teach us is that we are so close to the edge of real disaster and death these days because we depend so much on outside power and other resources, and living like this means most of the day is spent on just surviving as we boil water and cook over campstoves, etc..

    I spent a day at the library with my laptop plugged in so I could finish the galleys of two books which were due within the week. (Extremely short turnaround, not procrastination.) A very memorable moment in my publishing career.

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