My calendar issue is resolved. I did nothing.
Soon after discovering the problem, I set it not to sync the calendar. Some weeks later (Sunday) after a recharge I pulled the battery for a few seconds (something I like to do from time to time). Out of curiosity I looked at my calendar options and found a value other than 0. Today when I experiment with syncing with my Outlook (2003), I find there is no longer an issue with syncing or with calendar alerts. It all seems to work perfectly.