LibreOffice is important enough to me that I am actually replying here.
The solution for using the mv command worked.
it seems like something in the config files gets botched, but when they disappear, the software has to rebuild them from scratch.
drew@hightech:~$ sudo mv .config/libreoffice .config/libreoffice-old
[sudo] password for drew:
drew@hightech:~$ ls .config/
akonadi eog goa-1.0 libreoffice-old software-center ubuntuone
autostart file-roller gtk-2.0 menus synaptiks update-notifier
compiz-1 gedit ibus mousepad totem user-dirs.dirs
dconf gnome-disk-utility kde.org nautilus transmission user-dirs.locale
enchant gnome-session Kitware session-state Trolltech.conf
So, great idea, The Cog! This post just saved me a ton of work!