Well, as of today (approximately six months later) the disk no longer mounts.
Aug 15 12:15:59 _ kernel: usb 5-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
Aug 15 12:16:29 _ kernel: usb 5-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
Does it need to be stated that I hate computers?
It's becoming clear to me that god just doesn't want me to have this data. I hope my disk back in SF is ok, but I also suspect maybe the existence of that final copy of the data may be enough to trigger the big one.