Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Neverending Search
Inside Neverending Search

I love my phone. Suburban survival tips. Siri rocks. Sandy sucks.

It’s been one of those weeks.   (I know, I know.  People have it far worse. I have no real right to be grumpy.  But it really has been one of those weeks.)

Following the SLJ Summit on Saturday I returned to my car in the very dark Sheraton parking lot only to discover that my battery was dead.

I used my flashlight app to get myself settled in the car while I tried to find my AAA card in my new wallet.  After some fumbling, resulting in cards flying all over the car, I asked Siri for help.

She found the number and I found the card while waiting for the kind human who answered and told me she would get someone to help me in about an hour.

Afraid to leave the lot in case the kind human’s estimate was off, I used my phone to check mail while I waited for a call about the ETA of the repair truck.

About an hour later, a very nice AAA man discovered that his truck would not fit under the columns of the dark (Did I mention it was very dark?) indoor Sheraton parking lot.  So we used our phones to guide him to my car on foot.  I held my flashlight on the kind AAA gentlemen as he gave me a jump.  He said it was way brighter than the flashlight he forgot back in the truck.

When Sandy hit on Monday night, my iPhone flashlight was the brightest light in the house.  My iPhone became our most reliable source of news and email.

Six days later, we still don’t have power.  I venture out into the wilds of the Philly burbs attempting to keep my stuff charged.  But I am not alone.

I’ve given up on Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, and Panera.  Folks are too aggressive there.

After some serious investigation, I’ve discovered that Dunkin’ Donuts is my least competitive source of both network access and power.

I travel with a power strip and charge everything–my laptop, my iPad, my phone.

I use just one receptacle.  It’s the right thing to do.  It’s a kind of post-storm etiquette.

But, even though she has been a reliable friend throughout the storm recovery, I think Siri is growing tired of my questions.

Would it be too much to ask her for a hot water app?

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Hajnalka Molloy says:

    Oh Joyce, so sorry you have been affected by that terrible storm. I too cannot survive without my phone. Don’t know how families managed to coordinate kid pick ups, running late, etc with out one. It is my portal to the world. Whilst in a meeting last week my boss asked me to research the history of bookmarks (yep – weird) but I had the answer during the meeting almost immediately. I’m a shocking letter writer, but now with FB I keep in touch nearly daily with family overseas. Do take care. I hope the storm recovery is quick. These tragedies tend to bring out the best in communities and give them true purpose to work together. Ps Siri is not so keen on Australian accents!

  2. Kerry Muste says:

    Hi Joyce,
    Loved the blog post and the humour behind it! Thinking of you. X

Speak Your Mind