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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mac Mini (Model Macmini1.1)

My Mini was crashing every eight hours or so. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to boot to the "original install disk" in order to access the diagnostic utility. Apple does not put the hardware diag utility on the retail Snow Leopard install disk so you need to use disk one of the pair of gray disks that came in the computer's retail box.

The diag util gave me an error code and google found posts recommending I remove the DIMMs and put them back in. These DIMMs have been in the machine for almost a year, so they would have failed long ago if they were bad. I took them out and snapped them back in, reversing their positions. Since then, the Mini hasn't crashed.

I also swapped in a new, 160GB SATA drive which spins at 7,200 rpm to replace the stock, 60GB 5,400 rpm drive. The new drive has a larger cache and supports NCQ, which is also supported by the SATA controller. This box seems a good deal more responsive now.

Kenyan Goats

That's the legendary black Labrador Retriever Kimwana on the left. I can't believe how glossy his coat is. He was the sweetest, smartest, most obedient dog I have ever known. His DNA should have been preserved for all time. We never got a chance to breed him in the US because the AKC did not recognize his Kenyan credentials despite his obviously stellar qualities. I still miss him.

I don't think the goats had names. I'm in the middle between the goats and my brother is in the right. The black folk were part time employees of our household. One was our gardener and the other was our cook/housekeeper. They showed up one day and asked my mother for work. It would have been a grave insult to the entire village to deny them employment. I'm sure we were not able to pay them much but I'm equally sure they were glad to have the income.

Monday, August 2, 2010


A couple weeks ago I started playing ultimate frisbee. I've wanted to try it for years so when a friend asked me to accompany her to a pick-up game, I agreed and we had a great time. The next day my back spasms reminded me how careful I need to be. Thankfully they were mild and abated after 48 hours.

I'm in nowhere near good enough shape to play against these twenty-somethings. I carry around about 30 lbs. of surplus fat so sprinting up and down a soccer field for 15 minutes is enough to kill me. I did that about 30 times yesterday and today I feel like I could eat a side of beef and might benefit from a blood transfusion. Amazingly my back is fine.

Some people at the night session were really impressed with my long range forehand throw. One dude said, "your throw doesn't make sense; I mean that in a good way." Might be because my shots sometimes seem to gain speed halfway through their trajectory, after the wobble from the release has dissipated. Maybe it's because the trajectory is so flat. I do get a crazy amount of spin.

Yesterday was nearly perfect weather for almost any outdoor activity. The wind seemed to be coming from the East off the ocean so it never felt terribly hot. I didn't get a chance to warm up my arm so I spent most of the session making short passes and pretending to play defense against a cute redhead girl. There were only two women there today. The blond organizer gal grew up in Mozambique; her parents are linguists. I don't think she believed me when I told her I had lived in Kenya when I was a kid.