I did the checksum on the .iso file containing the Bodhi distro and it checked out fine.
The USB image writer FAILED again.
I found a solution:
I downloaded unetbootin. It did the conversion and move to USB stick in about a minute.
No problem. So I guess there is nothing wrong with the hardware or stick.
I should have gone with that from the begining, but I wanted to see if the program packaged with Mint 14 worked.
I was trying to figure out how to use the dd command from terminal and getting nowhere.
I'll try the install tomorrow. Likely I will unload the USB image writer program if possible.
Glad to have something that works.
Now, how can I make this useful to other users?
Do I start a new thread with solution in the title?
Mint 14 XFCE, with only a few extra programs loaded.