I've gotten myself into a mess I think. What happened is:
my internet hung. I ended up rebooting the machine I use for gateways etc.
The init failed. It looks like it failed where it tries to mount the root. I booted a recovery disk at this point.
Quite awhile back I was upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04, I was doing it by taking a snapshot, doing the upgrade, testing it, merging, doing the next upgrade, etc. It appears that I forgot to do the final merge, so I was running off of a snapshot.
I believe that the snapshot filled. And now it's no longer mounting.