IDE is frozen while trying to connect to board

HOLY $#@! this is beyond unacceptable. as i write this, i'm waiting for avrdude to just stop and let me get on with my work.

avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 1 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x17
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

wait like 10 seconds

avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 2 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x17
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

unplug the usb cable

avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 3 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x17
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

wait another 10 seconds

avrdude: stk500_getsync() attempt 4 of 10: not in sync: resp=0x17
avrdude: stk500_recv(): programmer is not responding

and it just goes on like this for TWO @#$! MINUTES. no way to stop it. no way to get the damn IDE back online again.

this is an absolute dealbreaker. if i have to go through this every time i wanna check the connection to the board, then no more arduino.
like it's not bad enough having to RECOMPILE THE CODE EVERY DAMN TIME i wanna upload. and no, restarting the IDE doesn't do any good.

is there a way to tell avrdude to stop after 2 tries?
is there another programmer tool i could use?
my firstborn to anyone who can help.

thanx, Desperate in LA

You can directly connect to ICSP connector.

.

When I unplug the usb cable, it immediately stops trying with a java error. Maybe you selected.a port other than the one for the board? Thus explaining why it didn't work and why it didnt stop when unplugged?