Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Power (cord) Struggle

I must be riding on an 18th century Amtrak train right now, complete with steam coming out of its whistles and ladies in fancy hats. The reason I say this is because I've never been more hard pressed to find a power cord in the year 2008. I've wandered the train, scanning booths and seats for those two beautiful openings in the wall. Come to find out, there are four power cords available to coach passengers on this entire train. One down in the lounge, and three up in the "viewing" car. I sat next to one of them like a hawk for an hour. Yes, I entertained myself reading sections of the LA Times and USA Today, evidence of this train's journey up the West Coast. I read my book about food, the ate the most disgusting dinner I've had in eons. Pizza, in a plastic bag, heated up in the microwave for thirty seconds. It tasted like roasted cardboard with pork by-products on top. The only good thing about the meal was the Corona beer.

I walked back up stairs to the "viewing car", and the woman leaves the outlet! Yay!! She's gone! Then a guy in Army fatigues who's been lurking nearby swoopes in, plugs his phone charger, and stands scrunched against the wall speaking rapid Spanish. So much for finishing "Volver" on my latpop. I'll just sit here and listen to this man speaking Spanish over the phone. At least I don't have to read subtitles.

Then, another power cord opens up! Look, lunge, SCORE! Two power cords are in a standing only section of this car, an area normally reserved for train attendants. Right now I am standing on the train, my laptop perched precariously on an old, steel bar. Nearby another man is obsessing over his laptop.

Oh, the joys of travel. You all must now think I am obsessed with electronics, but I only wanted to finish watching my Spanish movie. Tomorrow I'll be back on my trusty ferry with outets on every seat, a ferry for the 21st century.


Dan-Eric Slocum said...


I'm with you. Oh, and my brand new laptop is being delivered on Monday, so that's why I'm shouting above.

Lisa said...

Did you love Volver? I thought Pennelope Cruz was incredible! I've seen it three times now, and she just gets better and better.

- A - C - said...

I'm with Eric. Definitely outlet for all!
As you work in the media biz, you could slip it to both parties... I already imagine the press conference on outlets :-D
If nothing, they could use it on nbc's saturday night!

Paula said...

Since everything is about money, sounds like Amtrak is running short. Are they? Or are they just clueless or don't believe in evolution of technology?

Kristin said...

Eric - Congrats on your LAPTOP!! Woo hoo!

Lisa - I am really enjoying Volver, and think Penelope Cruz is great in it. I like that its in Spanish, it's helping me brush up on mine. I'm remembering all these words I thought I forgot!

AC - There should be outlets for all!! Especially in this world of travelers with laptops. Another place for outlets should be on PLANES. I always run out of power.

Mom - I think Amtrak is cheap, since they do have some newer trains with outlets. I think this one was an older version.

Sue said...

That so reminds me of being a reporter...with 20 minutes to download your story and only 9% power left. Ugh.