Thank you for responding stress_junkie. Let's see now, booting up today, things went a little different. The GRUB loaded and the hardware checking started, but it stopped at:
Checking file systems . . . fsck 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
/dev/sda9 has been mounted 36 times without being checked, check forced
/dev/sda9: | = = = =
I goes to about 60% and then blacks out.
Did another re-boot and then Ctrl-C to cancel this. It proceeded then to a list of warnings, the last of which said:
WARNING: All config files need .conf: /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist, it will be ignored in a future release.
Debian GNU/Linux squeeze/sid Radio tty 1
A login prompt then appeared.