I got an example app ready to post and was adding the KPIs with the calculation examples to a sheet.
I created the variable. I added two KPIs without the variable and two more with the variable.
They all worked correctly. (scratches head and wonders why...)
I copied everything into my main app and now things are calculating correctly there too.
Problem solved, but I don't know why it wasn't working before.
I guess the exercise of starting over helped. thanks you for the suggestion.