TY for your patience PD. i simply don't have enough experience for this problem so i went ahead and installed slack 9.1 and am quite pleased. it installed alsa and i now have been able to set and save the sound settings so i need not have to readjust the sound after every boot. i still only have one sound app at a time but this is more acceptable then it was.
the card is a sb128 i believe. im really not sure. i bought it over a year ago and im not sure how to tell within linux... other than the fact that it uses the en1371 driver. i am going to try and set artsd and see if that will give me multi app sound.
again thanx, PD