Oops. That screen shot of the Crash Log is illegible. Here is the top of the log:
* * * * * * * * * * *
Process: After Effects 
Path: /Applications/Adobe After Effects CS5.5/Adobe After Effects CS5.5.app/Contents/MacOS/After Effects
Version: 10.5 (10.5)
Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
Parent Process: launchd 
Date/Time: 2011-06-02 08:58:28.910 -0600
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.5.8 (9L31a)
Report Version: 6
Anonymous UUID: D160979E-A1AB-481E-A7B6-5282D44F2138
Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGABRT)
Exception Codes: KERN_INVALID_ADDRESS at 0x00000001989856e8
Crashed Thread: 0
Thread 0 Crashed:
0 libSystem.B.dylib 0x00007fff80093f16 __kill + 10
1 U.dylib 0x0000000102ebe8b7 U_LoadFrameworkBundle + 663
2 com.adobe.dvacore.framework 0x00000001032e5b84 (anonymous namespace)::SignalHandler(int, __siginfo*, void*) + 788
3 libSystem.B.dylib 0x00007fff800923fa _sigtramp + 26
4 PLUG.dylib 0x00000001023e78da PLUG_GetRoutineInfo + 346
5 PIN.dylib 0x00000001021b1d3e PIN_SwapPiPLProperty(PIProperty*) + 1710
6 PLUG.dylib 0x00000001023ea1ff PLUG_SendSPMessage + 5215
Still not perfect, but after 5-6 tries I can get AE to launch. I just sit there and click through the "reopen?" dialog boxes until it works. There is clearly some kind of corrupted file, driver, etc. someplace that decides to rear its ugly head sporadically. This is a real stumper.
Here are the steps I took to try to fix:
Unistall and reinstall CS5.5 from disc. (No change)
Uninstall CS 5, uninstall CS 5.5, reinstall CS 5.5 from disc. (No change)
Boot in Safe Mode. Got an error message about missing Verdana Italic when launching AE. (No change)
Extracted Verdana fonts from Snow Leopard install disc and install them. (No change)
Read the crash logs, saw mention of the Dynamic Link Library.
Went through TimeMachine for older (maybe not corrupted) Dynamic Link Library. Found three files in Adobe Flash and other, non-AE or Premiere folders. Replaced one of them with older version. Was same byte size etc. (No change)
Upgraded OS from 10.5.8 to 10.6.3 (No change)
Went through my Downloads folder chronologically to see if there were any files, apps, fonts, etc. downloaded and installed recently. (Kids on machine).
When through my Web history chronologically to see if anything weird was accessed.
Threw up my hands. I think the only thing to do is to wipe the drives, install Snow Leopard from scratch, and reinstall CS 5.5.
BTW, I searched through the bowels of the web looking for similar experiences. I found some, put there was seemingly no connection between their experience and mine, except the idea that there is some mysterious conflict floating around. If you are reading this after experiencing similar luck, please post information below. I lost two days of work (and counting) and it would be nice to help someone avoid a similar fate.
Just an update in case anyone is landing here after a similarly frustrating experience.
Things got worse and worse -- AE wouldl launch once out of five or six attempts. Finally, the adobe installer would say "there is another copy of the installer running, close that one ... etc." even though according to Activity Monitor that was not true.
So ... I finally just reinstalled Snow Leopard from the DVD (hold down C key) went into Disk Utility and erased the drive. Then I reinstalled from scratch. Not surprisingly, everything is working fine now. I am moving files back folder by folder from Time Machine. Its all a bit tedius, but my machine must have been clogged with crap.
Had I just done this from the start, I would have saved a few days.
Oh well. Back to work.