Not sure. Glad I'm using the Nvidia drivers but with respect to the problem; it still exists and I think it may be the way in which I shutdown. I haven't been too good about properly closing all running programs and just hitting shutdown. I read something about my problem being related to the last session's exit. I'll try it tonight and see what happens tomorrow morning.
Much better this morning. I was knocked back to the login screen but after re-signing in the computer stabilized. Interestingly, I was knocked back to the login screen when I tried to fire up Chromium. Maybe I'll download Chrome and see if that is better on the resource usage.
reply to Maxo Wanted to give an update on my freezing problem in hopes that this may help someone else.
Last week someone suggested I run a memtest. From the grub menu I got an error. They then suggested that I remove, one at a time, my ram sticks (I have 2, 1GB sticks) and reboot. With all 3 scenarios (both sticks in place and each one removed) I got the same memtest error from grub. Later on I noticed that gparted has a memtest as one of its opening options so I ran it for 2 passes and both completed with no errors. By the way there is a known bug in grub as well as a patch.
The upside to all of the tinkering with the memory sticks is I have had no freezes/crashes! Seems that just re-seating those 2 sticks has cured what ailed my computer.