My next door neighbors have electricity during the power outage and offered to let me grind my coffee beans and use my laptop for Iron Noder.

First off, she hands me an antique coffee grinder from France that should be mounted on a wall and is not electric.

I pour the coffee beans into the top, all too aware they are both watching me, all too aware of how clean the kitchen counter and floor are, when half of the beans start slipping and sliding out between a crack in the grinder.

They are horrified, but keep watching as I try to grind with one hand and hold the rest of the device in the other hand. The husband comments on the fragrance of the Vanilla French Roast, thinking it is chocolate, as the grinds begin to fall like dark snow in slow motion, making me feel like Pig Pen in Charles Schultz's Peanuts cartoons.

I am supposed to be there primarily to write and post to E2. I swipe all of the grinds and coffee beans up, dump it in my canister, apologizing profusely, as they both get stiff drinks, pistachios, and settle down to watch and yell out answers to JEOPARDY.

Hardly the quiet atmosphere for thinking, let alone reading and writing. The JEOPARDY category just happens to be Airports and Airlines. Later I find out our local library has been set up as an OEM, a warming center, free food and potable water, heat, 24 hour electricity, and cots for sleeping. Iron Noder dream world. That is where I am today.

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