I don't know how I managed to do it but I have managed to do it. Again. *headesk*
The local development environment works fine at home. I thought I had set everything up to be portable, but here I am at work and I can't access any of my Drupal sites. And since I am at work, I don't want to tweak the Windows host file.
There should be a way to avoid this, but it has remained elusive to my Googling.
So that laptop I can't afford is looking more and more necessary to my life. And my nice simple question of what do I do to update the database but nothing gets erased as I synchronize live and test looks simple in comparison. (But no I haven't researched that.) *headdesk*