Well, my reboot took longer than planned. I was trying to get rid of the dead/inactive auditd.service, plymouth-quit-wait.service, plymouth-start.service, and the rc-local.service. In the process, I realized I hadn't created the locale.conf file in /etc the other day, so I did that, too. When I rebooted, I got a locale error in dmesg and my dropbox wouldn't show in the notification area. Something is not right with the locale.conf, so I deleted it for the moment. All's OK now.
Startup finished in 5546ms (kernel) + 12916ms (userspace) = 18462ms
About that GRUB mod, I wouldn't do it on my system, but it looks simple enough. Just edit as shown your menu.lst for legacy GRUB and menu.conf for GRUB2.