After spending Friday, Saturday, and Sunday trying to figure out the neurotic board behavior with a lot of volunteer assistance from a couple of forumites, the problem---as it is currently understood---was due to bug(*) in the cache on the shared server leading it to serve old pages.
(*) Or a config error, or something more sinister, see below.
I tried hacking the phpbb code and htaccess and I tried to get tech support to look into four times but while they saw the problem they didn't feel like escalating it---the recommendation was that I upgrade my service with them, since serving 1 hr old pages was to be expected at my current service plan, because varnish ...
I, therefore, decided to move the entire website to a new host (you might have noticed that the forum is responding a little/lot faster now?). Posts made during "The Neurotic Era" (between Friday and Monday) were lost.
I hired an admin to do the work, so the credit is all his. He fixed it approximately 500-1000x faster than I could have done it since I don't know much about modern server administration. He'll also take over maintenance, so I can focus less of worrying about the technical details.
All I did/do around here is to pay the bills and do a little moderation from time to time. I mean, it's really you guys who provide most of the value around here; both in posting and in stepping up and helping out when the shit's on fire.
I do appreciate the offers and suggestions for contributions. However, while the cost of running the board will go up, I don't think it will exceed the low-three digit income the forum/blog makes from the ads (please DO NOT go and click on them thinking I will get paid from your clicks ... that's not how they're supposed to work and it'll likely backfire!). As I don't really generate more content here than any of you guys, I would feel weird about using patreon or similar. My experience from last time (2011?) I tried something like this was that rather than 3000 people each paying $0.1-$1 (long tail), which is what I was hoping for, it was more half a dozen contributing $10 and one contributing $100 (the very short tail).
However, if anyone feels like throwing money this way in an indirect fashion, maybe consider spending it on Paul Wheaton's new kickstarter project
which I suspect many of you would be interested in. He's recording courses on permaculture, animals (bees, worms, ...) and Appropriate Technology (AT) sized for a homestead! The money goes to fancy equipment to record the courses. You get the resulting video and various existing ebooks proportional to the pledge (scroll about halfway down on the kickstarter page to see the goodies). The link is a referral link and I get 20% kickback. Win-win-win?