I never found anything that I fixed, but my system is working now, and seems to be stable. Many reboots and sound comes up working. Maybe I got caught in some combination of upgrades that broke the connection between knotify and kmix, and the rest of the system.
Right now I am completely upgraded and working good. I even found how to make audacity work in ALSA, (@UncleV) I still don't have pulseaudio installed. It still looks like a solution in search of a problem to me. But what do I know?
Thanks for all the encouragement to keep on truckin'.