I should have mentioned that I did an actual compression test as Koan58 suggested in addition to the very scientific "finger in the hole approach" and the offending cylinder came back at zero PSI. I can also do a leak down test, but seeing zero on the compression test, and hearing the pressure come back thru the carb (while blocking the spark plug hole with a finger) makes me pretty confident the head is coming off.
Thanks again you guys are the best!
Robert, you didn't mention if you had checked valve clearance...no clearance and you have the symptoms you describe. .002" clearance isn't much and can go away pretty quick if you tighten head or cylinder bolts etc. without resetting clearances. Mark R.