Add to this that I finally put 2 and 2 together yesterday and realized that, no, my external hard drive was not "having problems," it was on the verge of utter collapse, and that I couldn't just keep "rolling with it." Since this would lead to catastrophic data loss – in particular my music collection, some of which isn't backed up since the point of the external drive is that Ambrose the iMac has a 40GB memory while the LaCie drive had 160GB – this necessitated an immediate bus sprint out to the Apple Store (I'm so happy to live near one) to pick up another hard drive. After the night's review session, it took me a couple of hours to coax the old drive into actually mounting, but it finally did, and I was able to copy everything over. (And now I have an extra 85-odd GB on the new 250GB drive – I wanted the 320GB for only a listed $20 more, but they didn't have them – to grow with.) The old drive is quite possibly only "mostly dead," and so I'll probably file that on my Mom's bookshelf over Christmas break as another form of backup.
* The truth being that saralinda's comment the other day had me looking back at an earlier Tag Day entry about music videos and I revisited the old list – the rankings of which I may not agree with anymore – and I added links taking advantage of the videos on YouTube.