no worries at all. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too
For the wlan problem I'm wondering if it's an issue with the default wireless drivers.
Check out this link - about halfway through the page they hit Fedora; it starts out with Ubuntu.
If that solves your problem, you might have to customize your live CD or write an extra script to ramdisk to re-init the driver and save the new driver package.
Let me know. This problem is baffling - especially since I don't have the same laptop as you