well ok the owner permissions are all now for my user. and I have stopped using sudo. boots up fine with no errors.
About the non-standard install DIR; this problem was happening when i had installed to the deault DIR also.
In the cf admin I have the debugging turned on in classic mode with the deault settings.
The DB that I am using is Frontbase 3.5d. Accessing that DB through JDBC is working fine. This resides on my computer. during my trouble shooting I have removed FB's jar and I still get the DB error that I had shown above.
The error that I have above is happening in the debugging information at the bottom of the page (essentionally the classic.cfm debugging page).
the reason that this is making me taer my hair out is that, at first it worked.
If I find out what the fix is I will post it here too.