Before I begin, gentle readers, I would like to tell you that my Christmas turned out to be mostly okay. I did have to work for more than 24 hours straight to get caught up with the room rent, but I did get to meet up with some very good friends and have a nice Christmas dinner. Seeing as how I've been talking almost no one but cab company management, auto mechanics and the management here at this motel for more than 14 days just a few words with friends were wonderfully restorative.
As it turns out, the problem is more than likely water vapor inside the interface between the control module in the car and the various systems. When it gets cold enough and humid enough, the vapor condenses and the damn computer can't tell the anti-theft module there's a valid key in the ignition, thus no start. This may also explain the intermittent nature of several other irksome - but mostly not disabling - problems I have been experiencing.
So I probably won't have to spend another day at the shop until it's convenient, since I've developed a method for coping with the problem. It's still a whole megillah to get the damn thing started in the morning. It entails re-setting the system by disconnecting the battery, waiting 20 seconds, re-connecting it and then putting the key in "run"and waiting until the wiring has heated up enough to re-vaporize the mist.
Simple. And it only took me 14 days and about three grand in lost revenue to find out.
Oh well. Once again, Merry Christmas.