SOLVED (sort of).
I have to access my WINDOWS-shared files as ROOT.
In PCManFM, I can find a file (picture, music, video, pdf) that I want to open, but I cannot. Until I open the same folder as root. PCManFM has a convenient button that does this without even having to enter a password.
As root, I can open/stream anything on my home network. WOOT!
There is something amiss with my privileges on this machine. For example, if I open LXTerm and enter ifconfig, it tells me "command not found"! If I become root with su, I can enter ifconfig no problem. How can I give "jeff" admin privileges?
Thanks for all your help.