Earlier tonite, I scorched one of my 16F688 PICs in a stupid move. To see if it was recoverable/usable, I dropped the sucker into my CanaKit programmer and ran 'pk2cmd -P' on my Mac to check whether it could see/detect the PIC.
"No PICkit 2 found." ... and the red BUSY light just started flashing.
It took some research because CanaKit has almost zero documentation. The short answer is the programmer is a clone of Microchip's PICkit 2 Development Programmer/Debugger. The red flashy means the board couldn't load its firmware.
Download the V2.32 firmware from the above page. Unzip the file. Then load it onto the board:
$ pk2cmd -D/path/to/firmware/PK2V023200.hex
It'll load the firmware, verify it, then reset the device. No more angry LED!
(I hope those who run into a similar problem will find this blog post, to more quickly reach a solution)