Well, things have changed, hopefully for the better.
I have a job as a contractor for Texas Instruments. It's not for what I should be getting as a contractor with the years of experience I have- but, it's pretty much guaranteed money for the next 6 months at a rate that'll help get me back on my feet well enough.
The previous employer's morphed into just business partners working on some important projects after hours while they get their house in order. When it's all said and done, I'll be a part owner in the reorganized company if they get their funding (which will actually be some small recompense for all the agony they put me through these past two years)- IF they get their funding. The projects and the potential contracts lined up, plus the fact that they're still paying me a salary even though I'm on a contract elsewhere has me still talking to them at this point.
Athlon64. 64-bits. Nice. If you're wondering what I'm prattling on about, someone gifted me with an Athlon64 to do some work on their behalf. It's nice. It's pretty fast. Mandrake 9.2 for AMD64 is okay, but it's really rough around the edges for a release candidate. SuSE appears to currently be the way to go, but I don't have budget for a copy of Professional (Which, I believe is the only version set up for AMD64 right at the moment...) and they want $1500 for a developer relations arrangement (definitely NOT in the budget, either for me or for LGP...). So, that's kind of out of the question. Gentoo's an option, but I've not gotten around to doing the deed on another partition of the main HD yet.
On a slightly different note, I got a reminder about living for the moment today. Someone rear-ended me as I was getting on to I-35E in Lewisville. Pretty hard, in fact. Had the experience of being put in a cervical collar and put on a back board and carted off to the hospital in an ambulance. Nothing to speak of wrong with me that they can see, thankfully. It could have been worse. It was the, "it could have been worse" that kept going through my head- trouble has a way of finding you and you never know when your time is up.