Not sure what I did differently this time, but I was able to disable sound before I launched the client and that fixed the crashes :)
The problem was apparently the sound. I am not crashing any more. :D I'm thrilled I can play now.
One thing I've seen over the years is a lot of folks turning off the sound for stability. The reason I mention it is that most of them have one thing in common; they run Linux.
---Do not assume that you speak for all just because you are the loudest voice; there are many who disagree that simply have no desire to waste words on you.