Talking About Organizing Shelves and WhatNot

project pantry organization storage solutions

 

Continuing my reposting of favorite blogs from my old job …

Sometimes when I write for a client I play a character. A version of myself, an idealized or comical alter ego, that I can use to advance an argument or convey some practical  advice for web site visitors.

In this case, this advice this blog was a nicely shaped piece of content about organizing and cleaning tips. Why would I write about organizing and cleaning when I was working at a junk removal company? This was always a struggle to explain to my boss.

There are people who understand good content and there are people who see content as just a platform to embed a link while telling people how great you are. Yes, in theory I could write a blog using the keyword “Junk Removal Los Angeles” every day about how great my (now former) company was but will people read it?

Maybe the first time. Maybe the second time if they missed it the first time. But by the third blog with essentially the same soap box harangue? Yeah, you’re going to lose readers and your traffic is going to drop.

The key to good content is to be … well … good.

To give credit where credit is due I got a lot of inspiration from 1-800-GOT-JUNK’s wonderful blog.

You know, maybe, I should clean out this closet? I thought.

I was laying flat on my back, covered in a stack of empty Macbook and shoe boxes, staring at the ceiling. 15 minutes before I was digging through the same closet looking for a speaker cable, I knew, just knew, was in a shoe box in that closet. 15 minutes, a misplaced footstep on top of a loose pile of shows, and an awkward tumbling scream later I was thinking, yep, definitely time to clean out the closet.

Now I could have called Green Clean Junk Removal Services but, c’mon, son… For one closet? One closet, I said, to myself, I got this (yes, I do get weirdly Action Movie Intense when it comes to cleaning; don’t judge me).

So here are my five steps for closet cleaning:

1. Empty Out the Closet 

To organize one must first destroy, said a great blogger once. I knew the only way I was going to ever truly clean out my closet was if I emptied it first. So I pulled my suits and hung them on a nearby chin up bar, then I piled my winter coats on the couch and tossed my shirts on top of the coats. I piled my shoes up on the bed and tossed the empty boxes on the floor.

Then I came face to face with it. Yes. There it was, staring at me … an empty closet. I stared into the darkness and the darkness stared back at me.

2. The Great Sort

As I emptied out my closet I kept saying, “Oh I haven’t seen this in years!” and more than once I said to myself, “They made this? Why did I buy this!?” I had more clothes than I could ever wear and I had plenty of clothes that I would never wear again.

So I grabbed a fistful of trash bags and began the long process of sorting through the clothes I’d never wear and stuffing them into trash bags for donation to the Goodwill. I also had a couple of suits that were just a step out of style I set those aside for “Clothes the Deal”, a non-profit org that donates suits to the unemployed for job interviews.

3. Goodbye Boxes … You Were Boxes

Whenever I bought new shoes I’d toss the box in the closet. When I bought my new Macbook the box went into the closet right on top of the iPad box and the boxes for my last two iPhones. I had a ton of boxes and most of them held nothing. (Remember that speaker cable I was looking for? Totally found it … Inside a desk drawer and not in a shoe box.)

I hauled all those empty boxes to the recycle bin behind my apartment building.

Well, most of them.

The neighbor’s 6 year old spotted me as I was walking to the recycle been. He boldly requested two Nike shoe boxes so he could “play spaceship” to which he added  ”Mister, Pease!?” I wasn’t cold enough to deny Spock and Luke Skywalker a cardboard spaceship.

4. Hello Sweater Boxes … You Are Stackable

I put my sweaters in a sweater box and sealed them away for the Summer. This sounds like such an obvious thing to do but this solution to the summer sweater problem had eluded me for years. I left them in my dresser or sprawled across my closet.

5. They Make Organizers Now!?

Yes, they do. And I bought them. Extra shelving and racks to store my shoes and keep them off the floor.

And then I was done.

I sat on the edge of the bed, staring into my newly cleaned closet, glass of bourbon in one hand, and muttered to myself, “You’ve done a man’s job today.” Then the gruff voice of my roommate came bellowing down the hall, “Larry, you’re a giant dork!”

Eh, can’t win ‘em all.

(These events never happened. But they could have and really that is all that mattered.)

World War Z Missed The Apocalypse

Not Great Bob GIF

My first thought on World War Z

World War Z isn’t a terrible film. World War Z is a bloodless, dull, and mechanically clunky film. It is a horror movie with no horror, a movie about the rise of the undead with precious little death, and a film that actually doesn’t have an ending (I don’t care what Damon Lindenlof says; stock footage montages are not endings for, um, reasons).

But past all these flaws “World War Z” commits a critical storytelling foul. It is a movie that misunderstands its own genre. World War Z assumes that the point of a zombie movie is to have millions of CGI undead overrunning cities. When in reality a zombie movie should never be about zombies.

What?

The zombie apocalypse is a vehicle, a delivery system, it is not a story of itself. What has made zombie movies great since “Night of the Living Dead” is they pose an eternal question … What would you do?

The zombie apocalypse is a vehicle for grabbing a diverse group of characters and shoving them altogether into The Worst Situation Possible. Then asking your audience, “What are you going to do? How far will you go? What matters and what doesn’t matter?”

Are you prepared to kill your best friend? Are you prepared to lock yourself away in a mall and defend it like a modern castle? Are you prepared to trek halfway across an English country side in the desperate hope that a half heard radio broadcast will provide the last shred of civilization? How far will you go to protect the people you love? Are you prepared to become a living monster in a world already consumed by undead monsters?

The zombies in “The Walking Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead” are the motivation, the ever-present threat, and the instant death penalty for making a choice (sometimes the wrong choice and sometimes the right choice). A zombie just provides a monster mirror for human characters, they should never be characters themselves. Let’s face it; eating brains and loitering about does not make for great character development opportunities.

And that is what “World War Z” so deeply misunderstands. The stakes are simply too big and the characters too remote. Brad Pitt’s character is out to save a world that by all rights is doomed. Meanwhile his wife and daughter are safely nestled away on an aircraft carrier. No real threat to them until the beginning of the 3rd Act where the wife and daughters are viciously relocated to … Canada.

The biggest threat “World War Z” concocted for Brad Pitt’s movie family was exile to Nova Scotia. Oh, how terrifying. Canada! They probably received socialized medicine and may have been politely refused a second cup of cocoa.

“World War Z” fails because it never answers the basic question of its genre, “What would you do? How would you react?” with anything other than ‘Be Brad Pitt, watch a bunch of nameless people die bloodless deaths, and save the world while my family waits in Canada.’

Gee, thanks.

Zombie Apocalypse Infographic

Shaving Your Junk (Removal) … Whut?

art of shaving chair

So as I think I explained previously. I spent about six months working as a blogger and content writer for a junk removal company in Los Angeles. Which one? I don’t know. If they had some way to hyperlink text to a keyword like junk removal in Los Angeles you could find out.

I wrote a lot. Eight hours a day, six days a week. Some of it was good, some of it was OK. But I wrote a couple of great blogs (or at least blogs I am particularly proud of) that never got read. Why didn’t anyone read them? Because, c’mon folks, you don’t really read the blog for a junk removal company. When you are searching for “junk removal Los Angeles” you want a phone number and a price range.

So I am going to use this space to re-publish some of my better blog posts. Why? Because… *blank stare* Okay, now that we are done with the stupid questions on to my first blog repost.

When you are writing about waste management you have to get really creative. There are only so many ways you can write about removing a refrigerator and there are only so many ways you can rehash, “10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Garage”. So one of the ways I chose to spread my creative wings is by focusing on the environment. Most of the time it was childlike advice like, “Put they trashy poo in the trash can! Goo Goo!” But every so often I’d hit on an angle, and this one was about shaving.

Yes.

Shaving.

Small Things Can Make a Big Difference

Green Clean Junk Removal Services isn’t just a trash removal company, we all share a passion for reducing the amount of trash we remove. Each and every one of Green Clean Junk Removal Services would love to collect less garbage, trash, and junk. Less trash means a cleaner and better planet for all of us.
When it comes to reducing our trash we should all think small. In my case, I looked in the bathroom and then looked in the mirror. I found one small thing I could change that would reduce my yearly expenses and cut my yearly trash output out drastically. Razors.

Yup.

I said, razors.

Like everyone else I know I shaved with those super-expensive disposable razor blades. I’d go through about four to five a month. I’d also burn through a can of shaving cream every five weeks. Think about the amount of trash that generates per year. Then think about how much trash that generates over ten or twenty years. Plastic housings, dull metal, and dozens of aerosol cans. And all of it completely unnecessary.

Men have been shaving for thousands of years (unless those busts of the Emperors were wrong, they weren’t a lot of scruffy Romans running around) and up until fifty years ago we shaved in a way that didn’t generate 100s of plastic cartridges in the garbage every year. Turns out all you need for a good shave is a sharp blade, a nice brush, and a lathering soap.

This desire to stop consuming convenience and instead return to traditional ways made me seek out the art of the wet shave. I dumped my disposable razor and took up a safety razor instead. I said goodbye to my aerosol propelled shaving gels in favor of a badger brush and lathering shave soap.

You know how much garbage my shaving repertoire generates now? One blade every couple of weeks. And that blade is biodegradable. Oh, and I get a better shave than I ever got from disposable razors.

So if you want to reduce your garbage and trash output think small. Look at the things you do every day and say, Is there a way I could do this differently? Chances are the answer is Yes, and that way of doing something may also have the benefit of being a better way of doing something.

I do enjoy a good wet shave … It is one of my daily vacations.

Will my indulgence in badger brushes and fine steel blades save the environment or stop global warming? Hell no. But it sure sounds good.

Back in the Saddle Again

Where is Larry?

Where Did He Go?

So you have all been wondering where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, and who I’ve been doing. You follow my life with an intense interest most reserve for spawning Kardashians. Wait, you don’t? Well that is disappointing. And I thought you all cared!

The reason this space went dark for about six months is I took a full time job, working at a junk removal company. No, I wasn’t the guy in the blue shirt shoveling cat shit out of a hoarder’s garage. I was working as a blogger and social media manager, full time, until I was laid off about a week ago. Long story that I will write a bit later.

But now I’m back. You have me back. Aren’t you excited!? Look at how much fun you’ll be having. In the coming weeks I am going to talk a bit about expectations and expectations going awry. I also plan to share some of my favorite blogs I wrote when I was working for that junk removal company, because no one, outside of a sweet Filipino guy named Herbie, read them back then. I wrote some brilliant things about garbage I tell you. I also my share a few tips I learned from working at a junk removal company in Los Angeles.

Oh, and I’ll also talk a bit about movies and television, since I am a screenwriter. I mean, I originally came to Los Angeles to write about garbage and junk clean up, but I had to pay the bills somehow.

Don’t worry, dear reader (I know there is at least one of you out there), this won’t hurt a bit.

Favorite Protein Shake Recipe

I have engaged in a lot of mad science-y stuff in the pursuit of physical fitness. After much trial and error this is the recipe I’ve hit on for a Whey Protein shake that doesn’t make me gag.

The Recipe:

1 Scoop Optimum Gold Standard Whey
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
2/3 Cup Trader Joe’s Frozen Strawberries
8 oz of cold water

Add 1 Scoop of Whey Protein to the cold water, blend for a couple seconds, add tablespoon of peanut butter, and blend for a couple seconds, and then add in the Frozen Strawberries until you get a smoothie like consistency.

I Just Did It … Or … How I Lost 100 Pounds in a Year

Before and After….

image

(On the left, Me and Bertie Higgins in 2006. On the right Me and Bertie Higgins in 2012)

By Larry Madill

Since Fall 2012 people — some close friends, others perfect strangers, and more still those that just fall somewhere in between — have been asking me, How did you do it? How did you lose so much weight in a year? What’s your secret? My shrugging response has always been, “I just did it.” I would love to claim I was being purposefully vague in order to create an air of mystery around me but the truth? The hard truth? The real truth?

I just did it. I just made a decision, acted on that decision, and lost at least 85 pounds (and I suspect it might’ve been close to 100) in the span of less than a year.

C’MON! I can hear you cry in disbelief. I saw on Doctor Oz where if you take two teaspoons of cinnamon  while standing on one foot you can lose ten pounds in two weeks, that’s how you did it right? Nope. Its that new diet where you only eat a fistful of chicken breast and two handfuls of kale every day, right? Nope. You no carbed! Nope! You carb loaded! Nope. 

The honest to god truth is, I just did it. No tricks. No gimmicks. No outlandish diets.. I just did it. I worked out and I ate healthier. But for those who want a bit more than my typical taciturn answers this is how I did it.

I just did it. Okay, that time I was just screwing with you.

The Decision …

Somewhere at the tail end of 2011 I looked in the mirror and said, This is not who I want to be. This is not who I am. This has got to change. I wish I could be less cliché and say I came to this realization for selfless meditation, but that would be a lie. I came to this realization after the disastrous end to a relationship that started in Heaven and crashed into Hell. I fucked up. She fucked up. We all fucked up. We broke up. 

I ended up back in Los Angeles,Christmas 2011, staring in my roommate’s mirror asking, What happened to you? How did you become this … blob person?

My weight had nothing to do with the disintegration of that relationship really; other issues did (my other blog post in ten years from now). However, from a certain point of view, that isn’t entirely true. When you are obese, like ridiculously fat, you’re self-esteem is gone and your self-respect is non-existent. When you happen to luck into someone who doesn’t mind seeing you naked you tend to latch on and hold on for dear life.

I just realized I am tempering myself by taking the Is and changing them to Yous. This is what I did, and because I had zero self-esteem and zero self-respect I tolerated stuff during that relationship that I shouldn’t have because I honestly felt, welp, this is the best you can ever do, fat-ass, got to live with it. Until I couldn’t tolerate it anymore and I was out of there… 

… And back in Los Angeles, looking in that mirror, saying, Who am I? And more importantly, Who do you want to be? I knew that I didn’t want to be what I was anymore.  Did I look at GQ Magazine, see a picture of Brad Pitt, and say, I want to look like that? No. I did not want to look like anyone in particular. I just wanted to be better and be happier. 

The Action … 

I was fortunate in a few ways that I was never a great stranger to exercise. I had been exercising in fits and stops since 17. I knew that my problems were result of two things: terrible eating habits and a lack of movement. So I said to myself, after Christmas 2011, time to start moving, and time to clean up that diet and start eating like your 30 and not 16. 

The exercise was the easy part. I had, a couple years past, bought a copy of Power 90. Old school, pre-P90X, short shorts Tony Horton, Power 90. My original goal was to do P90X, but I knew enough about fitness to know that a 290 frame and an Extreme, hour long fitness program is a cocktail for injury and failure. So I started with Power 90. Every day, six days a week, alternating between Circuit Training and Cardio. I stretched a 90 Day Bootcamp program into a 120 day bootcamp program. And I was sore almost every day for the first 30 days, and I was tired, and I got tendonitis in one ankle, and I stopped and I started, and I could barely get through five push-ups. But I kept doing it, I kept pushing play and every day I got a little bit better, and a little bit stronger, and a little bit thinner. 

When Summer of 2012 rolled around I had graduated to P90X. By then I had dropped from 285 to 228 and Power 90 had really ceased to be much of a challenge. P90X kicked my ass around the block for three weeks just like Power 90 used to, and I was sore, and I hurt, and I was tired, and I didn’t want to get up at 5AM to do Back & Biceps so I could make a 7AM crew call, but I just kept doing it. I kept pushing play and I kept getting stronger and better and thinner.

In Fall of 2012 I went from P90X to Insanity, and guess what happened? I was sore and I was tired and I was tired, but I kept pushing play and kept doing it. And I got better and stronger and faster.

By the end of 2012 I was around 215. Around because eventually the number on the scale ceased to matter. The things that mattered were things like I could go into a store with the reasonable expectation of finding clothes that fit, I could run a 5K in twenty minutes. I was healthier. I was better. That’s what matters.

AH-HA! P90X that is how you did it! I guess, if you want to be simple and reductionist. I love P90X and Insanity and a lot of Beachbody’s programs because they are toolkits. Inside those boxes is the basic structure of how to live a happy and healthier life. Personally, I need a bit of structure, and using P90X as that super-structure works for me. Do you need P90X to lose weight? No. It is useful. But P90X is not a magic bullet. There are no magic bullets.

People always ask me about the This Diet or the That Diet, and what I think of the This Diet or the That Diet, and I tell them there are no magic bullets. Diets don’t work. What works? Affirmative decisions to eat better. More veggies. More lean proteins. More fruits. Good supplements like Shakeology and whey proteins and quality multivitamins. Cut out the tasty poisons — the Coke-a-Cola with the high fructose corn syrup, the Milk Ways with the unpronounceable ingredients, the Burger King pink slime whoppers — that are killing you. Cook for yourself and don’t let the restaurant industry shove whatever high calorie concoction they’ve dreamt up in a test kitchen in your mouth. Eat better and count your calories. That’s all you need to do. It is all pretty simple stuff. I know, because I did it.

People don’t listen though. They just walk away talking about the This Diet or the That Diet, insisting that that Magic Bullet is out there, somewhere.

Everyone thinks I’ve got a secret. What I think they are really asking me is, “How did you stick with it?” And, again, I just did. 

Why? Not because I wanted to look like Brad Pitt. If you approach weight loss and healthier living with the attitude of, “I want to look like BLANK” or “I want to have six pack abs.” just don’t bother. Your goals probably aren’t realistic outside of genetic engineering and persistent air brushing so why even bother?

I stuck with it, and continue to stick with it, because I wanted to be better. I wanted to feel better. I wanted to feel healthier. I wanted to do things I couldn’t do before. All in all I wanted to be a better person. I wanted to be the best person I could be, and to do that I had to fight through a lot of pain and pass up a lot of desserts. Was it worth it? Yes. I would never trade what I have now for all the desserts at the Cheesecake Factory.

So there is the long answer. I personally prefer my short answer, I just did it. You can do it too. Make a choice today and say, I want to be better than I am, then … just go do it.

If I Was a White Guy Who Wrote for Forbes

Gene Marks wrote an excellent column yesterday about what he’d do if he was a poor black kid.

“I am not a poor black kid,” he wrote. “I am a middle aged white guy from a middle class white background. So life was easier for me.”

He’s right. He is really white. He’s so white that in a head to head competition with vanilla, vanilla lost to Gene Marks. Next to Gene Marks egg shell white looks so black that people would lock their doors and call the cops whenever they saw a can of it at the Home Depot.   He’s so white that it is hard to find an adequate comparison to things that are whiter to continue cracking these, “He’s so white … ” one liners. 

Gene Mark’s column got me thinking. I am no smarter than Gene Marks. I am probably not a better writer than Gene Marks. I mean, it takes a lifetime of honing your craft to replicate the exact same writing style you used in 8th Grade to write, “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” for a two page Forbes column. The ascendancy of Gene Marks as auteur voice of generation does not mean, however,  that there are no opportunities left for writers like me. I don’t believe that. In 2011.

And I am going to occasionally pepper this column with ‘in 2011’. In 2011. Because you bitches need remember that this is 2011. In 2011. Sure, 2012 is coming in less than three weeks, but right now it is 2011. In 2011. You may want to forget about 2011. Write 2011 off as that cheap one night stand you picked up at 3 in the morning after you drank that bottle of tequila. In 2011. Bury 2011 like that hooker you picked up in Long Island. In 2011. Tell 2011 ‘Hey babe, it’s not you, it’s me.” In 2011. But, nay dear reader, you need to look into the eyes of 2011 and remember, it’s 2011. In 2011. 

Where was I? Oh right.

Gene Marks column got me thinking. Just because he can write insipid drivel for Forbes does not mean that I cannot. The dream is not dead. You, me, that hobo on down on the street corner can all write for Forbes. I believe that. In 2011. 

It takes a seeping, quiet desperation. It takes the will to say, Yes, I am bald but instead of shaving my head I am going to pretend that my hair will return to the crown of my head just like that ex-girlfriend who dumped me in college for a freshman year Tim Tebow. It takes very little talent. And a giant disregard for the English language. It takes the ability and know how to make simplistic comparisons between your life and the life of people you’ve never met. Except like once. As a person who has made a career out of making simplistic comparisons to people I’ve never met, except like once or twice, I know this.

If I was a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I would first and most importantly (because not everything that is first is important) make sure I held onto my job. I would make it my number #1 priority. I wouldn’t care if I was a columnist at the worst financial magazine / website / BDSM Dating Site for Steve Forbes in Upper Manhattan. Even the worst lack standards. Keeping my job is key to having money. And let’s face it if I can’t hack it as a columnist for Forbes who else would I work for? You get fired from Forbes and your options suddenly decrease. I’d have to go write for WorldnetDaily. Or maybe start my own survivalist blog about what to do when all those poor black kids who read Forbes.com get mad at me and decide to eat soup from my skull. Not saying that is going to happen. But hey you can never be too prepared for the day when someone of another race tries to eat soup from your skull.

And I would use the technology available to me as an employee of Forbes.com. I would use it to beat off to internet porn. Lots of internet porn. I know a few writers at Forbes and they tell me that they usually have or can afford cheap internet porn these days. That’s because (and insert adverb here) it’s oftentimes necessary to beat off to internet porn at home and in the office, because being a middle aged writer employed by Forbes.com isn’t exactly wowing the ladies. 

If I was a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I’d use free porn too. I’d become a porn scholar. I’d visit sites like YouPorn and Fantsti.cc for my amateur lesbian fix. I’d go to Xhamster for the really nasty stuff, like fisting videos. And every so often, on those drunken Tuesday nights, I’d click the “gay” option. Just to see. You know. OH! Like you’ve never thought about it.

I’d watch so much porn if I wrote for Forbes. I could list like a dozen websites of all the porn I’d watch if I worked for Forbes. And they wouldn’t know. Suckers. 

Is this easy? To sit around and watch porn all day when I should be writing at a 8th grade level? No. It’s not. It’s hard, like ‘Hullo Ladies!” hard. And eventually I guess I’d have to write something because I need to keep this job to feed my ever growing internet porn addiction.

If I were a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I’d think about poor little black kids, because that is not weird or creepy or wrong at all. I’d say to myself, what would I do if I was a poor little black kid? I know. Basketball. They used to make fun when I tried to play basketball when I was twelve. Said I was too short and called me Bilbo. Well, that wouldn’t happen this time. Because I would be black and good at basketball. 

Poor black kids still like basketball right? Or is that more of a Mexican thing now? Wait, what if I was a Poor Mexican Kid. Next column. Hint: I would sell tacos from a cart.

If I were a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I’d tell those poor black kids what to do and how to get their lives in shape. Even the ones that weren’t good at basketball. I’d totally ignore their circumstances, their family life, their failing schools, and their drug infested ghettos. I’d tell them to go buy a computer even though their Parents barely have money to pay the rent and use food stamps to pay for food every month. Go out and blow that money on a computer and an internet connection. Because when you have a computer and an internet connection magic happens in America. You can be whatever want to be, especially in AOL Chatrooms. 

If I were a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I’d be proud of myself for discoursing on all the problems of other people and offering them totally impractical and simplistic advice. I know all those poor black kids appreciate it. They’d be totally lost without a middle aged white guy at Forbes telling them stuff like “Get good grades” and “Use the internet”. 

I know technology can help these kids. I mean, look at me, technology has been great! I’ve got a Macbook Pro and an iPad and an iPhone. I can literally watch internet porn anywhere. Who needs chicks? I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one! Yeah, see that’s a song you poor black kids like. I’m down homey. We should rap sometime. This middle aged writer who works for Forbes “feels you”.

And, then, as I was handing in my column to my editor I’d think to myself, well, what if these poor black kids don’t read my column and take my awesome advice? What if they can’t buy a computer or get a decent internet connection? What if their home life is such a disaster that they can barely get to school every day? What if their neighborhoods have been so ravaged by crime and the war on drugs that their section of America is a literal war zone? What if their Parents can’t find a job because a Republican President that my magazine shilled for for eight years sank the entire economy into a depression right before leaving office? What if those poor black kids are going to bed hungry every night because a GOP lead House of Representatives is attempting to shred the last remnant of the social safety net that keeps a roof over their heads and food in their stomach?

What if life wasn’t as simple as I’d envisioned it? 

Fuck it. If i was a middle aged white guy who wrote for Forbes I’d say fuck it. Those poor black kids aren’t really my problem. Then I’d go back to my office, shut the door, and sink into my desperate life of simple solutions and made up reality.

Which is why I’m not a middle aged white guy who writes for Forbes

How Not To Be a Genius

I recently found a ghost lurking in the bowels of my 2011 Macbook Pro. Since installing OS X Lion 10.7.2 and all the accompanying updates that rolled out with iCloud the subwoofer built into my MBP would cut out randomly. Everything (videos, music, alert tones) would get extremely tinny and have zero bass.

I fiddled with my sound settings to no avail. I blew out the headphone jack with C-Gas in case dust was causing my Macbook to switch into the wrong mode to no avail. I even packed up my Macbook Pro and took it to the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store. Alas, this Genius didn’t know what compressed air was, or that the Macbook Pro had a subwoofer, and even if she had been up on this late breaking news I couldn’t replicate the bug in a noisy store. I was sent home.

The ghost was still in the machine, haunting my subwoofer and taking away my bass whenever it pleased. Until i brute forced a fix:

Step 1. Repair Your Disk Permissions

If you installed OS X Lion as an upgrade to Snow Leopard I will almost guarantee you you have some broken permissions. What are permissions? I have no clue but they’re broken so lets fix ‘em.

Go to Finder —> Applications —-> Utilities 

In the Utilities folder you will find a Disk Utility tool. Click Verify Permissions, and then repair permissions to fix any broken permissions. 

This should take about 10 minutes or so.

Step 2. Drain your Macbook battery to zero

You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway. Throw on a a couple movies, turn up the brightness on your screen, and run a dozen apps on another desktop space. Your battery will be dead in two hours easy.

Step 3. Reset Your SMC 

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
  3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
  4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
  5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.  

Step 4. Zap your PRAM

  1. Shut down the computer.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
  5. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  6. Release the keys.

And just like that you have slain the ghost and have a consistently working Subwoofer again.