oldfred, you were right, the old kernel is what was giving me these problems and another one I did not mention: it would never mount USB drives and was generally unstable.
I ended up just running
at some point after adding multiverse (if memory serves) repository and an option to upgrade kernel has come up, I did it and now I'm in much better shape, pretty much all the post-upgrade issues are gone.
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
My kernel is now 3.2.0-30-generic
I did do the boot repair but I did it before upgrading kernel and it did not fix the issue but the kernel update did.