Yes, yes you are. He said to plug it into a powered USB hub. And when you fire up the system, POWER UP THE HUB FIRST. Then turn on your pi.
This ensures that your HDD is already fully powered and spinning before your Pi tries to access it.
Ah, I see! That is great info to know.
However, while that is useful, I may have found the real culprit in the meantime.
I originally replaced my default USB cable with a shorter one to decrease the excess clutter around the Pie itself. I wondered if maybe this cable was not performing as it should. So I reverted back to the stock cable and it has yet to replicate this issue. So seems like it was a signal thing vs a power thing. So just leaving this here for anyone who might face a similar problem in the future.