NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
Well, this bug finally caught up with me. I didn't know what it was. And, since I had no other machines set up, had to go out into the world and find a networked computer to find out!
So, first, I said, well, let's try a live CD. That was painful. Though my friend Daniel had several he was willing to burn and give me, they didn't really help. I thought I could at least get online and get the module I needed, right, thinking it was a via issue. But you know, went back to Debian, and after I played around a little, ran modprobe * and unplugged. The thing worked fine.
That was a lot of fun.
The computer tech at work wants to try GNU/Linux. Maybe someone will get some use of those live CDs after all.