This left me with a bit under an hour to kill, so I elected to try killing two birds with one stone by going out of the terminal to get a meal for me, hopefully somewhere that would be willing to feed my phone as well. As it turned out, the first place I saw was the Central (something -- cafe?), across 42nd street from the Grand Central and under the highway/bridge going over 42nd at that point. I looked at the prices (high), decided that I could deal if it meant my pilot getting to charge, and was given a very pleasant reception from the pretty maitre d', who first said they didn't have outlets near the seats but offered to charge my phone in the closet, then brought it over and asked (rather than waiting for me to or forgetting the whole matter) if I wanted to charge it at my table instead when she and I both realized that the presence of little lamps on every single table meant that there were also usable outlets in proximity of same, even if this did require unplugging my (unnecessary) lamp. Then there was the food.
I wrote about how the resturant was expensive above. I wasn't kidding -- the breakfasts start at $10 or so for eggs, coffees are $2.50, sodas are $3, etc. However, I followed my usual rule for ordering in a place where I consider the simples overpriced -- order something a bit fancier, since those are usually mpre worth the money. In this case, I ordered the steak and eggs, which was a much more reasonable $15. Particularly when I received it (extremely quickly), and found that the steak was a -very- nice rare filet minion (I'd ordered it medium rare, but certainly wasn't complaining--I prefer a good tender steak, like a filet, to be rare in any case), which despite not being all that hungry, I consumed with gusto, along with the egg whites. I was going to be good, and mostly avoid the toast and home fries, rewally I was -- I don't even mostly like toast. But following a 20 minute bathroom break (a casualty of my digestive system combined with my ability to get distracted extremely easily), I grabbed a taste of the bread dipped in the jam they had provided, which I had ignored during the meal per se. It was amazing -- sweet and flavorful and...just really good jam; enough so that I was really tempted to finish it, and in so doing, blow my otherwise low-carb meal, eat when I wasn't actually hungry, and miss my train (having come out of the bathroom at 3pm for a 3:07 train) all at the same time. I didn't (though I did snag another bite before leaving a twenty ion the table and running out), but oh, man.
It was a good thing I did, though -- I got onto the train with five minutes to spare, and that was with running for the platform, just in case.
As it was, I probably underestimated the length of the train ride, and it may very well get me there after everyone has gone out to eat (but still several hours before the actual ball).
In the meanwhile, even after letting my phone charge for a half hour at the resturant, I was still a bit nervous about it's power level. Fortunately, the nice man sitting on top of the two sockets in the Metro North train offered to switch places with me (oddly enough, the woman behind me had been trying to figure out how to charge her laptop at around the same time, though I think she may have given the idea up for dead).
In unposted earlier natter, I finally bought a replacement keyboard for my aging, but still quite usable Toshiba Portege 3110ct (the old one was missing several keys, most recently including the space bar). It arrived on Thursday. However, oddly enough, while the keyboard fit just fine, the built in clitoris-mouse (you know, the little joystick thing) just would not fucking fit. I tried to get this thing to work for over an hour -- the connector would work for tantilizing moments, each one saying "yes, try me again -- this time, you know I will do it -- I just need you to touch me exactly the right way, and then I'll be working just fine and purring like a kiten." And yet, no matter what I did, I wouldn't work right -- I futzed with this continuously, much of the time with the machine on, and while it would start working when I had just the joystick plugged in, as soon as I also attached the keyboard ribbon and put the whole thing in, it just stopped responding, every single time. It was frustrating as hell, and wasn't even fun. (and it didn't help that during the last half hour of this, lisa was fighting both her computer and the rain, some of which had entered the appartment).
For what I did next, you're probably going to want to put the double entendres away. Having finally decided that the damned thing just wasn't working, I tried the joymouse from the other keyboard, and found that it worked simply, easily, and without mess, fuss, or bother -- it hadn't occured to me until then, but apparently, while the keyboard had remained the same between versions, the clit-mouse's ribon had changed enough to be uncompatable.
Having determined the problem, the solution was obvious, if distasteful -- I decided to operate. Removing the clit from the old keyboard was trivial -- it was held in with one, easily popped rivet: no muss, no fuss, no bother. Removing the incompatable one was harder -- it was held in with two rivets, and each seemed further attached to the keyboard than the old one ha d been. In the end, however, I managed to remove it with only minimal denting of the keyboard, all stuff that woukld be hammered flat through use. I then tried it, putting things together, and the set fit, and worked, flawlessly (though the clit seemed a bit mobile, since it wasn't actually attached to anything, but mounting double-sided sticky-stuff dealt with that nicely; I originally got a packet of these sticky squares to mount a radio-based intercom we bought while the normal buzzer was out, but I see I'm going to go through the packet and want more shortly).