Mac Tip: Repair Permissions

For some reason, this little feature in Mac OS X 10.5 Disk Utility (and previous iterations of OS X) keeps popping up as a solution lately. I thought perhaps readers of this blog might benefit from a little reminder, and quick tutorial for performing this routine maintenance task.

First, what it is not. It is not “defragging” your computer. (Spell check doesn’t like that word.) Windows users frequently ask for a way to do such a thing on the Mac, but to my knowledge there is no way built into Mac OS X to do such a thing, other than what happens at log in. Mac OS X does perform similar tasks each time you log in to your computer.

What it does do is explained in this support article from Apple. I don’t completely understand it, but what it does seem to do is take care of “quirks” that pop up every now and again. It could be a computer that seems slow, or files not behaving the way you think they should… I have prescribed it a lot recently, and it seems to do the trick.

How it’s done:

  • Open the application Disk Utility (find it using Spotlight, or go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
  • Select your hard drive from the list on the left side of the window.
  • Click on “Repair Permission” button near the bottom middle of the Disk Utility window.
  • Depending on how often you do this, it could take a few minutes or longer.
  • Disk Utility will let you know when permissions have been repaired. Close it down, and you’re all done.

For good measure, you can log out and back in. (Or restart the computer.)

If you’ve been noticing “quirks”… give that a try and see if it improves performance on a sluggish or quirky Mac!


As you are well aware, I do not frequently comment on things in the political realm here. Mostly because it either seems irrelevant to me, or too annoying to talk about anyway. (Or, too volatile to post thoughts here… why are some people so tied to their political thoughts/beliefs/affiliations??)

But today I saw the first “bailout” news I really felt I could applaud.

I’m sure you are well aware of all the government efforts to “bailout” various private institutions. Banks, mortgage lenders, other creditors, and most recently, the auto industry. Chrysler announced cut backs, extended layoffs, and various things indicating they are in serious trouble. The thought behind these bailouts is that if these giant foundational pieces of our economy were to “go under” then our entire economy would collapse. And, that would be bad.

But not entirely.

When poor choices are made, the consequences of those choices are bad, painful, difficult, hurtful, etc. What the government is doing is trying to avoid the natural consequences of these poor decisions. But the problem is, they are just borrowing more money (in the trillions) to “bailout” these large industries. Who is going to bail them out? Who is going to bail us out??

Who is going to pay this debt, and how?

So, when I saw this headline (thanks to a Twitter post by Scott) I felt good about one company in America. I was proud to see Ford state publicly that they do not want/need the government’s short-term financial assistance. Their plan is to restructure their business and make wise choices to keep going – without a hand out from the federal government. And I applaud them.

I don’t think it would be a bad thing if these institutions were allowed to suffer the consequences of their spending choices. All will balance out. Someone new will rise to the occasion. Jobs will be found. The economy will get over the bump in the road. It may be a big bump, but it might be a deserved bump. Dumping more money (that doesn’t really exist) into the problem will only exacerbate the problem.

So, I applaud Ford, and though my loyalty has been to General Motors, thanks to my Dad’s working for them for 31 years, I admit to adding a big star next to their name on my imaginary star chart on my wall. They are now (if they stick to this) one of my favorite American companies.

Maybe one day the government will stop meddling in private sector business… but I’m not thinking it will stop for at least the next four years. Hopefully more of the private sector will say, “No thanks.”

Santa Claus to the Rescue!

SantaWe went out tonight to a cool old, historic house (Sonnenberg Gardens) to hear our friends Steph and Robert perform some Christmas music. Met up with some other friends there, too. Was a very nice night.

But the best part was definitely when a poor concert goer got stuck in the bathroom. The door was a bit tricky. You had to lift it up as you pushed on the handle, or it just wouldn’t open. The lady inside did not know that, nor did anyone on the outside trying to help her.

After a few minutes, a most unlikely rescuer finally came to her aid. Was it the janitor? Was it a locksmith? Was it another member of the staff?

Nope. It was Santa!!

(Santa was there in full costume tonight, and he was the one who knew the door trick!)

Christmas Music

‘Tis the season… Christmas music is back in regular rotation on our iPod and iTunes players. Aside from our Christmas CD (which hopefully by now you have heard of) I uploaded a playlist today of my favorite stuff from our library. Really like MercyMe The Christmas Sessions, and Steven Curtis Chapman’s second Christmas album All I Really Want For Christmas. And ours, of course. πŸ™‚

Check out the cool iMix I posted at the iTunes Store:
Favorite Christmas Music (click that link)

In the meantime, I did add a cool feature to our Christmas page this year. There is a Tell-A-Friend form. You can spread the word about the God Came Christmas album … or just buy it as presents for your friends and family. πŸ™‚

This blog is quiet now… but it will pick up again once Bills season is over. Which could be tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Merry Christmas… more soon.

Who You Know

I was thinking tonight about how things have happened in my life. I got to chat briefly with a long-time, good friend – Adam – whom I do not get to really share life with any more. He and his family live in another area of the country, and aside from the occasional conversation over electronic mediums, and the even more occasional (meaning, almost never) in-person conversations, our friendship is mostly something from our past.

We can always pick it up again, whenever we strike up those conversations. But with such distance geographically, and chronologically, our friendship is definitely different than it was “back in the day”. (When I would say he was probably my closest friend.)

What is so interesting though – perhaps only because I’m thinking these things after two in the morning? – is how when you look back on life, it’s so cool to see how all things do work together for good. God crosses paths at just the right times. Somehow, reminiscing about the good ol’ days with my friend Adam reminded me that his friendship with Jen (and the words he spoke when he introduced the two of us) eventually brought five super-awesome people into the world.

Not directly, of course. Not even intentionally. But it happened. Adam knew Jen, and thought she was awesome. He said, “Jen’s the kind of girl you could marry,” meaning the general you, but … truer words he never spake. πŸ™‚ Now eighteen and a half years later… I can’t imagine my life without Jen, and God has given us five tiny people to love and to be Dad & Mom to. Crazy.

That’s the other thing. Thanks to my friendship with Adam, I met Jen. Many years later, we married, and God added to our family… and not just “some people” but specifically, Ian, Alex, Kirsten, Julia, and Emma. Those are the specific people that God created – from me and Jen – and he wanted us to be the ones who were Mom & Dad to them. Sometimes that blows me away. Other times it just makes me smile. How cool that God set it up that way. He is the giver of life, and he has given these specific lives to our care, and us to them. So cool.

So just remember tonight (or, likely, this morning or later) that you are who you are supposed to be. All your strengths, and all your weaknesses. You are also in the right place, and in the right relationships, and perhaps you are even the Mom or Dad you are supposed to be. That doesn’t mean complacency about destructive behavior or relationships. It does mean that when you start to doubt your worth, or your impact… it’s time to remember that YOU are the perfect you.

Who knows what will be credited to you eighteen and a half years from now?

Electrical Problems

You may have heard that the Buffalo Bills game last Sunday was blacked out a few times thanks to some balloons getting caught in the electrical wires outside the stadium. The entire stadium lost power half an hour before the game, and then once more in the second quarter of the game. Everything was shut down. No one was allowed into the stadium (because they couldn’t electronically scan tickets at the gates) and there were no clocks, referee announcements, score boards, advertisements… there wasn’t even a TV broadcast!!!

Yes, folks, the NFL was brought to its knees by a rubbery, plasticky, child’s toy.

It was quite entertaining. πŸ™‚

But prior to that more well-known electrical issue… there was one right here in the Campbell home.

Just before our friends were leaving for most of a week for a mini-vacation in Mexico, and leaving their two-year-old son (for the first time ever, no less) with us for that time, the electrical wiring in my attic office went haywire. There was no puff of smoke, no sizzling, no bad smells, no strange sounds. The lights just… went off.

I checked breakers, I looked in outlets, I looked in switches… all to no avail. The power would not come back on. Even had my much more savvy neighbor come take a look and what we found confused us even more! There was clearly an issue that required some more knowledgeable electrician help.

Thankfully, despite the fact that I didn’t even have time to call an electrician to come look at it… our house (with the extra two-year-old friend in it, whose parents were probably at least a little concerned with the electrical predicament we were in) did NOT burn down to the ground. That was cool.

When my neighbor came over, we took apart everything in the office. Light covers and light bulbs, light switches, moved furniture, and removed outlet covers. Since I was going to have someone come look at it, we left it that way. Well… after several days of operating in the (mostly) dark, I got fed up with the office being a shambles, so I started putting everything back together. I figured, once we get someone to come look at it… we’ll just take it apart again.

As I was replacing part of the light fixture… the lights came on. πŸ™‚ I tested it a couple times and realized that I had discovered the source of the problem!! I got some tools from my neighbor and indeed, the loose wire had been found!!! Yippee!!!

Jen (I found out later) had asked God that day to help us find a solution to that problem that didn’t cost us any money, and hopefully, before our house burned down. He did! πŸ™‚

So, for a fleeting moment, I felt quite accomplished in the field of electrical wiring. I actually found and fixed an electrical problem… all on my own! That is a rare moment indeed!

Not sure what’s with all the electrical difficulties, but they did make for two pretty interesting days/stories…

Hope the power is on where you are. (Of course, it would need to be if you’re reading this… so I guess it is!) πŸ™‚

The Sabres are Double Awesome

I just posted a more detailed article on our Buffalo Bills site, but thought I’d share the condensed version here for those who might not care about the game’s details…

Last night the Sabres played a pretty tough team on the road. Minnesota was 4-0-0, and they are a great defensive team. Buffalo is good at scoring, but it was going to be difficult to win no matter how well they played, so I said to the rest of the family before the game started, “If we win tonight, we are awesome!”

Well, it started well. We got the first goal, and finished the first period up 1-0! I was getting excited! Maybe we were awesome! BUT… it went downhill in the second period. (For you non-hockey folk… there are three 20-minute periods in a hockey game.) The Sabres were down 2-1 after the second, and after our goalie basically put the puck in OUR net in the third period, we were trailing 3-1 to a team who doesn’t lose when they are ahead in the final period.

So, I changed my declaration. I said, “If we win now, we are DOUBLE awesome!” I really didn’t think they’d win… I just hoped we’d at least get one more goal to make it respectable.

Well… we did. And we got another. And in overtime… we WON!

And so…

The Sabres…

ARE DOUBLE AWESOME!!!! Whoohoo!! πŸ™‚

Smart Voter

I was curious who else was on the NY State ballot for the impending election, and stumbled upon this site with a list of each candidate as well as some cursory information and links to more. Thought that was pretty cool. They call the site “Smart Voter”, and boy would that be nice. It is not my impression that most people are “smart” voters. I would not consider getting information on who you might vote for from any of the media a “smart” source to draw upon. (Note: I’m not certain this is either, but at least you can do some of your own research.)

Who knew there were so many people running for president? I thought it was only three. Thanks, media…

(I’m not too happy with most people involved in this whole election thing at the moment… can you tell?) πŸ™‚


We’re only a few weeks away from the election now. I wish I could say I am excited, but I am definitely not. I really don’t want to vote for either of these guys. In the end, I’ll probably end up choosing the lesser of two evils. That’s no fun. I must say, I still really don’t trust Obama. Partially due to the craziness of his followers.

Are you excited about the election? Or, are you like me, and just voting because it’s great that you do have a vote… but rather apathetic to (or disdained by) the candidates we get to choose from?

I’ll be flipping levers in a couple Tuesdays, and at least… it will be over. πŸ™‚