The problem: the filesystem on my Unix workstation was a mess. I couldn't find anything without grepping all over creation. About half the time, I'd actually find something useful. Usually I'd get no hits at all, or I'd match something like a compiled binary and end up hosing my display beyond belief.
I wrote this from a Unix/Linux perspective, but Mac users running a recent version of the operating system should be able to make sense of it. Here are some terms for non-Unix types:
*A Unix home directory is the equivalent of wherever you keep most of your working files. The tilde (~) is just shorthand for that directory, as is $HOME.
*The cat command displays a file to your screen.
*Folder names use / instead of \ as separators.
What Didn't Work
This is what didn't do the trick.