Okay, did some work on the boiler tonight, replacing the ground wire with a length of #10 stranded copper. Seems to have done the trick. Found my old analog FET VOM, but it doesn't seem to work. It will go onto the pile of stuff to investigate further once I get the place to do that.
Tried to install Quicken, discovered that my Windows Installer was Hosed from the crash a while back, and it took me a couple of hours to figure out how to fix it-- it wasn't simple. Basically I had to start a SVCHOST console window and run the updater manually. Yeah, intuitive. Quicken is now installed, but I don't have any accounts set up.
But accomplished stuff tonight. ANd now I must sleeeeep.