could it be that the chip is looking for the Ethernet stuff and the upload is failing because it isn't there?
James C4S: That's what I needed! How do we get that information added to the Troubleshooting document for uploading?beergnome: I do indeed have an Ethernet shield for this project... but I couldn't even get the code onto the Arduino, so it wasn't that.
I did just notice that the ebay auction for the ethernet shield says:(Buyer please note that you may have to upload sketches to the Arduino mainboard without attaching this ethernet shield on it. Otherwise the sketches could not be uploaded.)... I didn't notice that before... I haven't tried to upload something - then reboot with the shield attached....
If this is the case, and you are a gambling man, which I am , you might try "pin bending" digital pins 0 and 1 on the shield so they do not insert into the Uno header when the shield is connected.