The Fog Smog Blog

AKA snowed in and about to be iced over, Georgia.

The first week the snow hit was trying. It took several hours, a few nerves, some overused vocal chords, and a few spinning out of control because you took the turn too fast and almost slammed into me close calls later to get home from campus. It was gridlock, down to its true existential raw meaning.

I was not even a mile away from home when I got stuck in a curb. Someone rode by and offered to tow me uphill until all I had to get home were downhills (there is a buddha after all).

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I cursed and cursed, good for nothing, spinning on small hills, real wheel drive German POS.

I’m buying me a truck after all this is over, I said.

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The view from the bottom of Eula.

I was almost one of these people. If it wasn’t for chevy guy and buddha.

Summit County Colorado with a dash of Moab Utah

I arrived on a Sunday afternoon earlier this month. The Denver airport seems to be in a field in the middle of nowhere, a lot was explained after I was told the there is nothing east of Denver (the easternmost edge of the airport presumably marking the beginning of the nothing zone). A day later, after making our way back to the airport to drop off a fellow traveler who was headed back to Georgia I noticed a large blue horse with glowing red eyes. We circled around the airport a few times because we felt like it (not really, we misread). I never got a solid explanation but I read something about talks of the devil horse being removed but despite criticism it’s very likely to stay. Welcome to Denver.

The weather is fantastic. During my stay I often got the “oh your from Georgia, must be nice to get away from the humidity” and on the route back through security “oh your going back to Georgia, I bet it was nice to get away from the humidity at least for a little while.” Yeah, humidity, something Colorado doesn’t have. Colorado has bubbly clouds, epic mountains, and cool crisp skin-clearing lung-renewing air. If you couple the sky and the mountains with a great soundtrack, you indubitably have a Tolkien film. 

If you find yourself in Summit County and its not winter time, take a bike ride around the Dillon Reservoir through Keystone and stop at The Pour House for a fantastic cup of coffee and some good live music. Fact, Colorado baristas play an average of 7 instruments. At night, take a scenic road through Dillon and end up at Loveland Pass for some incredible stargazing. Take it easy going up as 12,000 ft of altitude will surely have you huffing and puffing trying to catch up to the locals. Sitting on top of the pass watching shooting stars and seeing the milky way is no longer just the stuff of lame lyrics, your there right in the middle of it. You realize how puny you are, totally inconsequential, but in a grandiose non-self -esteem shattering sort of way. Try the Huevos Rancheros at the Arapahoe Café with a combination of chili Verde and red sauces, you wont need to eat for the rest of the day or if your super small the rest of the trip. If you get the chance, hit up Chimayo for some delicious Baja fish burritos and ask them to pile on the white sauce.

I know it sounds like advertising but I love food. I love coffee. I love live music. And I really shouldn’t have to explain myself.

If your like me and haven’t had enough awesome between Denver and Summit County, head out to Mowaab Eutaw. Be warned, you’ll need more time than the 2 days I allotted.  Between the hiking at Arches National Park (I only had time for one trail) and kayaking the Colorado River, there was no time for anything else. I wanted to try some rock climbing and do some of the more difficult hikes at Arches but I will be saving those for my next trip to this idyllically rugged desert town. I really enjoyed my bean stew at the Fiesta Mexicana (it’s not on the menu, they just make their beans in a stewy fashion) and the coffee at the Eklecticafe.

Maybe on your last day, you’ll save some time to walk around Denver. A sushi place called Hapa was recommended to me and it definitely came through, the Magic Mushrooms (it’s an appetizer, its sad that I should even have to clarify) set the tone for the meal. If you have been looking for Ume Shiso Maki (plum roll) all over the United States after experiencing it in New York, you’ll find it here. Denver is bustling with great nightlife and just walking through some of the crowded streets is entertaining. Piano playing hobos, people with gas masks spray painting pictures and banana nutella gelato. If you’re into bookstores, the tattered cover downtown has a large collection of new/used. I bought a book about J.D. Salinger for $2 bucks. You really can’t beat that with a baseball bat.

The REI flagship store is here, I ran out of cash but I did use their bathrooms to brush my teeth. When someone walked in, I looked at them like they were in my house and it made for some confusion. I wasn’t camping, but ever since I got braces I tend to brush my teeth in public restrooms. I’ve never seen anyone else do it so it makes me feel pretty exceptional.

There’s also tons of movie theaters that play some not so mainstream films. I did see Almodovar’s I’m So Excited while I was in the city- I think it wasn’t his best work but I am a huge fan, huge. I wanted to see Blue Jasmine but it wasn’t playing until a few days later. I did see it last night in Sandy Springs and thought it was incredibly done, maybe one of Allen’s greatest.

Anyways, this isn’t a film review. Go out there and travel. 

Photos by Chappelle Cummings

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Should you go with Android or iPhone when you own a mac?

Let’s first talk about why I even considered purchasing a Galaxy s3 vs. upgrading from my iPhone 4 to a 5.

Here are the reasons I like the Samsung Galaxy s3:

  •  Larger screen

This reason holds the most weight. The larger screen is more appealing and makes reading easier. Pictures and icons are thus larger making navigation easier. Also if you use the phone to play games, this should be a big plus.

  • Turning off running applications

Most will think this is minute but I say the devil’s in the detail. In order to turn off applications that are running on the galaxy, there is an option after holding down the home button to “delete” all. On the iPhone, after clicking the home button twice, you are left to turn off applications one by one. This is important if your data plan is not unlimited so that apps using 4G/LTE do not constantly consume.

  • Widgets

In terms of widgets on the android, you can customize everything. The iPhone seriously lacks in this aspect. Now we know why most say that the iPhone is “one size fits all.” Jailbreaking would allow for ultimate customization on the iPhone if you want to go that route.

  • Internet vs. Safari

iPhone comes stock with safari which cannot be removed (this is the issue, its cluttering the first page) although any browser you wish to use can be added via app store. If you are like me, I prefer less apps = less pages = easier find =  faster navigation.

  •  Back button on Galaxy

This button allows for simpler navigation especially when playing games (you can skip advertisements using the back button).

So what is better on the iPhone?

  • iMessage

This feature is unavailable on the galaxy, you can download a third party option but it doesn’t compare. Also I have heard about glitches on the android version of group messaging; I know for a fact that apple’s group texts run flawlessly.

  • Universal Search

I believe no one does it better than apple with the universal search (swipe left on iPhone). It lets you use key phrases to even pull up year old texts within seconds.

  • Disabling LTE 

After I bought my iPhone 5, I was gravely disappointed to find that the battery life on my 4 was much better than on the 5. I attributed this to the LTE network vs. 4G. On the iPhone there is a simple way to turn off LTE if you do not feel up to charging your phone thrice daily, Settings> General>Cellular>Enable LTE (on/off). With the galaxy, as far as I understand, you have to go through a process that involves shutting off your phone and removing battery/SIM card as well as dialing a magic code.

So here are a few advantages of owning apple products together…

  •  Locator

This is pretty great if you are absent minded. Via iCloud you can locate your Mac, iPad, iPhone using any of your apple devices as long as location services are enabled.

  • Airplay Mirroring

If you have apple TV, you can mirror whatever is on your phone, iPad or computer to the TV (for almost all devices released 2011 and up).

  • Messages

I learned about this feature recently, shortly after my latest software update on Lion. Your iMessages can show up on your computer. This is handy if your phone isn’t around.

  • iCloud

Last but definitely not least. It keeps all your devices in sync. With iTunes being in the cloud, any music downloaded shows up on all apple devices (my favorite part of iCloud).  The days of plugging in your phone to your laptop, syncing or drag/drop are over.

Is it easy to use an android phone like the s3 with a mac?

The AT&T sales people told us that it would be effortless, but in reality, it is time consuming to learn how things will work (or rather not work) together. Optimally, what I wanted to do was transfer music directly from iTunes to the galaxy.

A big thing to keep in mind is that when you plug in an s3, your newly purchased MacBook Pro most likely won’t read it. The salesperson at the store specifically stated that it shows up as an external drive that you can drag and drop into…FALSE. Even if it did show up as an external drive in Finder, you would not be able to drag and drop without a third party application like Kies or Android File Transfer.

After I downloaded and tried both of these separately without success, I was close to calling up the salesperson to tell him just how wonderful I thought he was.

Android File Transfer “could not connect to device” and Kies wasn’t working either. Uninstalling Kies did not make Android File Transfer work (might work for some but not in this case). Switching between MTP mode and USB mass storage also offered no resolution to the fact that the phone simply would not show up on the mac.

So this is how I fixed the problem…

Every third party program was fully uninstalled from the mac. To uninstall a program and its associated files on a mac go to Finder and type the name of the program in the search box, click on + > choose “other” > system files > change to “are included” and then you can select all and dump in the trash.

AirDroid [bingo, a working program] was then installed. The phone was connected via web address and it finally showed up wirelessly on the computer (phone must be nearby for this to work). Now you can navigate through your phone apps on the computer.

You have to convert the files you purchase in iTunes to MP3 files for this to work. Go to iTunes>Preferences>Import Settings>Import using MP3 encoder. After you download a song, you should be able to right click (two fingers on mac) and then the option should come up allowing you to create MP3 version. Once this is done then you can drag and drop the converted music from iTunes into the Airdroid music folder therefore making the content available on your galaxy.

Even if you love apple but in terms of a phone you think android offers more variety and would suit your needs better, go for it.

Apple Software Update (from hell) Part II

Let’s pick up where we left off. The HD swap was successfully completed.

MacBook was powered on to show screen displaying folder with a question mark in the center. Slightly alarming but perfectly normal, it does not recognize the new hardware installed. At this point, you can boot from operating disk by selecting option after the startup chime and selecting disk as startup method.

Part II, Section I: Partitioning your new drive

Once you arrive at the installation screen you can select utility from the top menu and click on disk utility. Format can be MAC OS Extended (Journaled) and you may name it what you like.

Here is the part where things got tricky for me. Next step was to install the operating system on the partitioned drive. I went through the installation process at which one point I was asked how I wanted to transfer my data. Instead of kindly replying “no thanks” I chose from another drive (my external drive which had my data that was transferred via firewire cable, see software update from hell part I).

At this point my computer had installed the original software (snow leopard 10.6.3) so once I had transferred all my data, many of my applications were unsupported by this ancient OS. On the dock, it was showing up as boxes with question marks or empty boxes. Since the app store icon did not exist in 10.6.3, I went to safari to search for mountain lion (10.8) [pun definitely intended]. I soon discovered that I could not make the drastic jump from 10.6.3 to 10.8 and that I had to have at least 10.6.6 in order to get to 10.8. Ok, baby steps, for the love of Buddha let’s just get to 10.6.6.

Mind you, I had already spent a few hours transferring data and installing all the mumbo jumbo that went with having a shiny new drive.

Remember what happened last time I did a software update?

Ahhh, the circle of life, the irony.

My computer went to restart after the update. I did get past the gray screen with the spinning colorless unforgiving wheel, whoop whoop. I also got the login screen, which asked for my UID and password. Great.

I enter it in; it acknowledges that it is the correct information and goes to start up. Only it doesn’t. It goes back to asking me my UID and password. And it infinitely does this. Around and around and around we go.

So what happened? Somewhere along the way, after I transferred my data from the external drive, permissions must have gotten altered. Who knows, it could be something else.

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I went back to my crutch, single user mode (or verbose mode, however you prefer) in an attempt to change my password this way. I began with the following prompt at root command:

Launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple. DirectoryServices.plist

I got the following messages back after numerous attempts with various root commands to change password:

-Dyld: shared cache file was build against a different libSystem.dylib, ignoring cache

-Launch msg(): Socket is not connected

-Sudo: can’t open /etc/sudoers: Resource Temporarily Unavailable

I ran numerous prompts to try and get around this including:

Sudo update_dyld_shared_cache –force        

& -verify

All was to no avail.

I launched back in via operating disk. I repaired and verified, repaired and verified.

There was nothing left to do, except wipe the drive and start all over. And that my friend, is what I did.  Unwillingly. The funny part is, I kept thinking during all this, what if the world ends next week and I’ve spent my final days verifying, repairing, installing and booting.

After wiping the drive, I did things differently (thank goodness for the capacity to learn). After installing the OS, I did not transfer any data from the external drive when it prompted me to do so. I upgraded to 10.6.6 then mountain lion and it was all like clockwork although it took hours.

When all was said and done, it felt good, really good. The kind of good you get from quenching your thirst after being dangerously thirsty after a blistering hot day.

After I was running mountain lion, I manually transferred what I needed from my external drive (this had the added benefit of uncluttering). At this point I could have used migration assistant but I read somewhere that it doesn’t let you pick and choose what to transfer, it simply dumps everything.

Side Note: When you jump from 10.6.6 to 10.8.3 iPhoto is not bundled; it has to be installed separately. There are a few other minor things that are not included.   Transferring the iPhoto library from a TimeMachine backup on an external drive gets complicated, I have yet to take the time to sit down and learn how to do it. My first few attempts were unsuccessful. Apart from transferring the iPhoto library, I am pretty much up to speed and running better than before. The only thing left to do is make another partition on my external drive so I can begin backup of the new drive.

Now I can kick back and drink my thirst quenching water; my love for apple reaffirmed, my faith fully restored.

 

On a fine morning in south Austin..

I woke up and fixed myself breakfast. I proudly separated the trash from the to-be- recycled and headed outside to recycle. A man with a rather long beard stood towards the other end of the duplex. He didn’t startle me and it really did not occur to me to ask him what he was doing in front of the landlord’s door. I want to stress that I have poor vision and that’s the reason why my judgment was impaired. Not really though, I could have cared less if a thousand men with long beads stood outside my doors.

My silence startled him so he asked me if he was in the right place because he was looking for a community garden and all I could think about was why I wasn’t invited to this Friday morning south austenite ritual happening right outside my doors. 

Written Feb 22, around 10 am.

 

So let’s go back to the beginning, I rented a place in Austin, TX.  The whole month of February 2013 is being spent here. It’s a great beginning to a new year and I hope to gain some perspective and naturally accumulate a hoard of life experiences that will be passed down to my children, blah blah blah. You get the idea and yes I do hoard experiences and I love every second of it.

It’s unfortunate that I have to get out of Atlanta to get some perspective but it’s the truth. Every few months, I die a slow death at my job and an itch forms to leave for an extended period of time i.e. last summer in NYC (see blog entry, Manhattanize).

My “cottage” here on Burleson is quite the place with its wrap-around windows in my bedroom that insure I will wake up with a smile on my face as the morning light seeps through the blinds illuminating everything (and everything is illuminated!).  The small kitchen is absolutely perfect for a rudimentary cook such as myself and I have all the tools I need to make tasty meals not to mention all the mason jars one would need during the course of a lifetime. I’ve gone on a juicing fad, exploring all the juice bars in the city that sell some combination of vegetables. Anything except ginger, don’t ask what happened, is ginger even a vegetable?

I discovered that the Whole Foods on lamar (between 5th and 6th) does juice which is convenient if I need juice after the juice specific places have closed. In this Whole Foods a chef entertains and cooks in a corner of the store while people are seated at a wraparound bar. This place is what I would imagine it would be like working for Google. In another corner, the bakery boasts its assortment of desserts, each in its place creating a flurry of color and artisanship unseen. Somewhere in the center, there lays a walk-in cooler with a short aisle packed full of beers, imported and domestic alike. Within minutes of walking in, I was prepared to go find an REI and buy out their camping equipment so I could pitch a tent in the middle of this store.

 

Austin is a microcosm of my beliefs. The city is so healthy, booming with life, active life that is, walking, jogging, speed walking, running, cycling, dog-walking. Health food stores are almost on every corner with their vegan and vegetarian options lining the aisles, its patrons thin and gorgeous. Every day is like a marathon and there are people on the river in kayaks and rowboats and regular boats fishing, with their coolers full of cold beer. I learned that Austiners like to do most everything with a beer in one hand- I can see that tradition is not an undermined value here. On the other side of the river, away from downtown, there is a large grassy field where dogs and their owners play, totally unbound by leashes (something highly lacking in Atlanta). Although it is winter, the temperature in Austin remains that of a cool summer with a welcomed wind on the better days.

 

I love the attitude here.

I really haven’t experienced any nonsense unless you call the “homeless” people standing at every major intersection nonsense. I put homeless in quotation marks because you really don’t know, they could be balling in reality. Back to the no nonsense mentality, here you won’t drive around town and see a bojangles and wonder what the fuck is that but more importantly why the fuck did they call it that.

Apparently no one is from Austin but they all migrate here after word gets out that this is a pretty awesome place, as they rightfully should.

 

Becoming an Austenite (I hope I’m spelling that right).

In a true south Austin fashion I began drinking my organic loose leaf sencha tea from mason jars. I didn’t just do this at home, I went out in the city and walked around with my tea so that everyone could see how cool I was.

I began to ask questions about local eats such as P Terry’s, a nice looking drive through burger joint that actually turns out to be organic. Hoorah, for a drive through with somewhat healthy burgers (where has this place been all my life?). I began to wonder how I lived in Atlanta for so long when there was a whole world in Austin that would cater to my very needs.

In another true Austin fashion, I began trash talking other Texan cities. Take Houston for example with its relentless traffic at every darn hour of the day, I wouldn’t mind if the place was blown off the map. I also wasn’t a big fan of San Antonio because it just plainly did not seem like a pretty place to me. When it was mentioned to me that Dallas was a concrete jungle I couldn’t have agreed more even though I did like Dallas but for other reasons. But I think Austin is the gem of Texas. I mean really. I hope you know that Austin is the reason Texas is called the Lone Star State. 

Mia’s Farewell (A short story by Nadia Said)

There lives in this world, a person named Mia. And though she answers to Mia, it’s not the sum of her, but like all humans she knows herself by titles. You see, human’s have this odd compulsion to define themselves by relation to their surroundings. Mother, wife, sister, lover, worker, reader, student, girlfriend…you get the picture. Mia wasn’t the exception, though to be fair, for all human history there hasn’t been one. But that’s a different matter.

So like all people, Mia was happy with her titles, occasionally trading one for another as title holders are so inclined. This happened for some time. Years actually. Then, one day, it stopped being enough. But before you think there was anything special about that day, I’ll tell you: It had been building up for awhile. Life and work had been taking its toll on her for quite sometime, and though she got used to it, much like a sliding set of scales, the imbalance had been accumulating. It just so happened to run out of room on that day. Nothing big, nothing major. Just one small incident added atop a pile with no more room to spare.

But scales are scales for a reason, and something always happens to keep the balance. The solution was obvious to her: Quit. In doing the opposite, you would think it restored balance. See, that’s the tricky thing about scales. They never work out the way you expect outside of the physical. Instead, Mia lost her most important title. The one that the majority of people define themselves by. Cast adrift, trying to find her bearings, Mia tried to live up to the self-regulated title most people adopt after such a calamity. That of Failure. For days she submerged herself in hours of mind-glazing TV, rarely leaving the house or turning the lights on once night descended. This continued for some time. Gradually, Mia came back to life. And realized this was not her. As wholly not her as the previous title had been. So. What now? Well, with a vague conviction and a general direction, Mia has no idea. Which might just be further than most..

 

Written by Nadia Said

Bmw 335ci

This is a story of a girl.

She only loved two things:

The first was her BMW coupe,

ImageThe second was how fast she could take it around corners.

You should know up front, this is a love story.

As I slide into the saddle interior of my newly attained 6-speed coupe, I inhale the smell of rich leather. I proceed to slip on my driving gloves, which you will find were partly the reason for this extravagant purchase. As soon as I push to start, the seatbelt holder slides forward, handing me the seatbelt as I whisper “danke” softly. The only thing this car doesn’t do is reply. I shift into first gear, my halo lights illuminating the darkness with a white glow. As I pull into the curving roads, I feel the acceleration as the vehicle lunges forward into the night, with a quiet yet deadly force. The road winds before me as the lights turn with each corner making visibility at nighttime a complete ease.

The rest is history.

This car was a birthday present to myself purchased late August of this year.

I test drove 3 vehicles to find the perfect match. The first was an Audi A5 coupe. It took my breath away but turned out to be more than I wanted to spend. The second was a Lexus IS250, which deemed to be a disappointment. I quickly realized that it was too expensive for what it offered. I noticed that it was also not very likely to keep up with the others I had looked at. As I walked into the BMW dealership, unsure of what I wanted although sure of one thing, I asked if they had any 6 speeds in the lot. There were 2. The first was a modified M trim (not to be mistaken for the M engine, a superior breed of BMWs) 328ci. The interior was impressive contrary to the torque and acceleration of the vehicle. It was nice, but not for the driving enthusiast such as myself who had long ago discovered the thrill of the Yamaha R6 and its likeness. As I stepped into the twin turbo 335, I felt as if I had known it forever.

This particular one has every imaginable feature. I love the little compass on my rearview mirror, especially as I circle about the parking deck at work to make it down from the 5th floor. There is normally plenty of parking offered on the 4th level although my car needs its own space, away from others and also in a place where I can occasionally glance out of the office window to see it peacefully resting though eagerly awaiting its next adventure. I love the wheels that are kept polished on a weekly basis and the low profile tires that are surprisingly comfortable. This car is meticulously detailed on a weekly basis just to drive home the point that its owner is a proud one. I love that it alerts me when I reach a certain speed (set by each owner upon purchase) because the handling makes it impossible to know how fast you are going at any particular time. I love the three dimensional buildings on the navigation panel. I love knowing there is a lake adjacent the road that I did not previously know about. What creatures lurk about this lake and do they wonder about my car as it speeds by creating a slight ripple in the water?

D.B. Cooper

I recently read about D.B. Cooper; Max Gunther let me in on what really happened. I was intrigued and that is why I ordered the book hastily and read it within 2 days of receiving it. I have always been fond of successful heists in which the perpetrator not only wins but vanishes leaving absolutely no trace of himself and therein no possibility of prosecution.  Contrary to what I read in Every Contact Leaves a Trace, good ‘ol Coop did not leave behind anything worthwhile besides an instruction sign from the Boeing 727 (they were known to fall off midflight) and some crumpled, wet $20 bills which only confirmed that the serial numbers were those of the same bills that he took from northwestern airlines. These bills were not even found by the army, which searched acres upon acres of Washington forest for a period stretching over several weeks but instead, a young boy who was out on a family picnic some odd years after the hijacking occurred. To be accurate, Cooper didn’t take anything; the FBI delivered the money to him, per his request. Several attempts were made to hijack planes for ransom money in the period of time succeeding Cooper’s, although none were successful. This is also because the FAA implemented some policies that made hijacking planes a tad more difficult after Cooper got away.

 

Let’s start from the beginning. The man’s name is not D.B. Cooper or Dan Cooper, these names were based on a fake name used to purchase the plane ticket. I will still call him Cooper for the sake of history. He chose the particular flight not only because of the lunar calendar but also because of elements such as weather conditions and the specific aircraft that was flying that specific route. Lunar calendar you ask? What could this possibly have to do with hijacking a plane and then parachuting out of it? Well, the man had a feeling that other aircrafts would be following and he did not want to jump on a clear night with a full moon where his brightly colored parachute would have compromised his genius mission.  Why did he pick the Boeing 727? Well it was the only commercial aircraft that a person could jump out of safely without being sucked into a Jetstream or ignited and barbequed. The Boeing 727 had an airstair, which could be opened using a simple lever by anyone in the plane. So as long as you flew at or below 10,000 feet so that the cabin could be left unpressurized and you could open the airstair midflight in order to safely jump out with $200,000 in $20 dollar bills, it is a wonder why successful plane hijackings were not more a more common occurrence. The 10,000-foot threshold also allowed Cooper to predict the exact route (Vector 23) from Portland to Reno (he politely asked to be flown to Reno after all civilian passengers disembarked the 727). All other routes, and there were many possibilities, would not allow for such low flight path due to the mountainous region.

 

So Cooper got on the plane, told the stewardess that he had a bomb by method of note therefore quickly obtaining the compliance of the crew. The bomb that was in his suitcase was made of some spray painted canisters and makeshift wire. He never yelled or cursed, in fact he remained especially calm during the whole ordeal. He did sweat but that was because he was wearing a jumpsuit underneath his suit and tie (no kidding, what a trooper, paratrooper). It is also said that many passengers did not even know that there was something going on. The plane did not land until the money and parachutes were ready to be delivered to him. Upon landing the crew promptly evacuated all passengers, gave Cooper his 4 requested parachutes and a duffle bag of cash. Why 4 parachutes you ask as your forehead crinkles like lays wavy chips? Well simply because he wanted those parachute suppliers to assume that he was taking at least one other person so that they would refrain from secretly slipping him a inoperable chute. Why, you ask yourself after remembering this detail, did he want his ransom cash in twenties and not some other bills? He figured that he would have a harder time spending larger bills without arousing suspicion and he also calculated that the weight of that amount in twenties would not cause him any hazard while he was airborne. Also having calculated the total flight time, he kept track of how many minutes into the flight would land him in the peripherals of where he could easily hide and eventually vanish. So on that November night in 1971, Cooper jumped from the Boeing 727 with $200,000 and was never to be heard from again.

Finally you ask yourself how is it possible for a man to be this awesome?

Mac Tune Up

This blog runs parallel to my comprehensive PC tune-up although it applies to Mac. I am equal opportunity though I tend to lean more towards apple therefore I couldn’t go without writing this. It would simply be unfair.

1. CPU/Memory Usage

Applications folder>Utilities>Activities Monitor

Click on the % CPU to sort through which processes are using up the most CPU time. In my case I also noticed that there was a program running that I installed a long time ago for an item that I no longer use (the despised bamboo tablet, see bamboo tablet review). Now that I see it here, using up my precious CPUs, I can annihilate it.

While you are here take a look at the disk usage. If you need to reclaim hard drive space, install Disk Inventory X.

2. Startup

System Preferences>Users & Groups>Login Items Tab

I cleaned up this area a while ago because I had numerous Brother printer programs popping up when I would turn on my computer (it got old, fast) so the only thing checked here for me is iTunes helper, which is acceptable. Keep your helpers in check. For example, I unchecked the following: utility launches, any scan utilities & speech synthesis.

3. Uninstall [the things you don’t use]

In order to uninstall applications on Mac, you need to install a program that will uninstall applications. Its ironic but it’s the fact of the matter. Theoretically you can delete applications by tossing them in the trash receptacle but this can leave behind system files. I recommend using AppTrap. The way it works is that you go about your normal routine and toss what you don’t need in the trash (application wise) then AppTrap will pop up and ask if you want all the files associated with the program you are tossing to be deleted as well then you nod and say yes please.

4. Maintenance

Applications folder>Utilities>Disk Utility

If things aren’t opening its probably because you are clicking twice (or your computer is that slow. This happens to me from time to time because I often switch from Mac to PC. Mac = 1 click. Once you are there, verify & repair disk permissions (on Mac HD).

Further down you will discover that you can use Onyx to perform this as well but I wanted to let you know that Apple built in the feature.

5. iTunes

If you installed new versions, it is likely that you have duplicates libraries taking up space. Go to Finder>youruserfolder>Music>iTunes. Delete the “previous iTunes library” folder if it exists.

While you are here let’s open up your iTunes. Go to File>Display Duplicates. This shows you all the tracks with the same name and artist. If you did this because you want to play a song over and over there is a better way, it’s called the repeat button. So now you can delete your duplicate tracks.

6. Mail

Go to Finder>youruserfolder>Library>Mail Downloads & clean out this folder if it exists.

If your Library folder is invisible it is because Mac OS X 10.7 & 10.8 defaults to hiding users library. This is probably to keep people from messing with or accidently deleting files that might be necessary for lion to function properly. In this case go to your launchpad, select the “other” icon (this icon holds many applications including time machine) and select Terminal. You can also get to it from the Applications Folder>Utilities>Terminal.

In terminal type or paste the following prompt: chflags nohidden ~/Library/

If after you delete your necessary files you want to revert back to having your Library folder invisible use terminal again and type in: chflags hidden ~/Library

7. Delete Log Files

Download http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx- it’s a maintenance and optimization tool for Mac OS X.

Once you put Onyx in your applications folder, you may get a message stating that your security preferences do not allow onyx to start up. In this case go to System Preferences>Security & Privacy then select that you would like applications to be downloaded from anywhere.

Once the toolbar appears, select cleaning>logs tab>check the system archived logs and then execute.

Since we are here, let it be known that you can also use this program to perform weekly maintenance. Or if you are having any application specific issues, Onyx can fix those as well. It’s a really a one stop shop.

8. Downloads

Finder>Youruserfolder>downloads. Delete what you don’t need.

9. Safari

Open safari, File>Reset safari.

Check any options that suit you, for example I choose the following once a week: empty the cache, clear the downloads window & remove all cookies. Keep in mind that you can skip this step and use Onyx to perform these. Either way you will speed up browsing.

**Do not remove cookies if you want your browser to remember things like usernames and passwords. In my case, I can clean the cookies out because I manually type all passwords and usernames. I’m a little uptight about security.

10. Updates

Do them. You can check for them in the App Store but most of the time a message will pop up if there is an update available.

Extra Tips: Go through your applications folder and click on things you haven’t used in a while. I just found out that some software I purchased last year (Mac TuneUp) is incompatible with my current (brand spanking new and squeaky clean) operating system, Mr. Lion. Clear things off your desktop & empty the trash. In systems preferences turn off things like Dictation & Speech as well as Bluetooth if you are not using them because they take up resources. Look in the “other” section of system preferences too, if you don’t use the programs there you can turn them off or delete them (Libraries folder>Preference pane).

Remember when you are running maintenance scripts and cleaning on Onyx, you need to ⌘S and quit your running applications (⌘ shift Q). Happy cleaning.