Member Rara Avis
Caching simply means your browser asks for the page once, then saves it (caches it) on your local hard disk. Then, instead of sending / receiving a bunch more bytes (the page) across the network, it can load it from your hard disk the next time you go there. Once per session means you should see a new copy every time you log onto the Internet - but you'll see that page until the next time you log onto the Internet. The cache sizes simply determine *how much* data from the Internet can be cached on your local drive.
I am running the same cache setting as you are - once per session. Changing it to "every time" will guarantee a fresh page - but can also dramatically slow down your page views.
Cookies were the most likely culprit. The fact that you didn't see the bulbs, then closed Netscape and found them again when you reopened it (new session!) suggests it might be your local cache. Some ISP's (like AOL) will also cache the pages so they don't have to pay for the extra bandwidth to my server. Since you're on a .edu (right?) that probably is not the case.
I would suggest, if the lightbulbs are important to you, that you set your cache to "every time" and see what happens. If that solves the problem, we know it was the cache. Once you see the speed difference (not just at Passions, but across the whole net), you can determine which is more important.
Oh, and someday I'll learn how to give short answers...