It's all progress, all goood.
Huh, apparently Middleman blows up if I put a date in the front matter that's different from that in the filename, and these conflicts can be caused by using middleman's article creation command and not having your time zone set…. good to know…
Middleman, I liked it a ton right away and got started with it and it did cool things, but it's throwing up a certain number of challenges along the way. I think I'm equal to them if I want to be.