MacBook 5,1 upgrading to Mavericks and some notes…

A buddy of mine was upgrading an older MacBook (Unibody Aluminum, Late 2008, Model ID 5,1) from 10.6.8. In theory, you press the “upgrade to 10.9” button from the App Store and everything goes swimmingly. In his case it resulted in a serious disk error and wouldn’t boot into recovery mode; it would only boot the initial OS install utility screen and then fail to install the OS. Repeatedly. A recovery partition had not been created as the machine was running 10.6.8 and he also did not have the original 10.5 DVD that came with the Mac nor access to another Mac to create USB sticks from.  So there’s the rub.

He had  10.6 Time Machine backups, of course, so this wasn’t a catastrophic issue but the quandary here was that he couldn’t initiate the Time Machine recovery without the the original 10.5 DVD or from the new 10.9 installer. And the old hard drive still had errors.

Here’s a list of a few things we tried until it finally sorted itself it:

1) Create boot USB sticks of 10.8 from Ubuntu – (no go, same problem as 10.9)
2) “Restore From Backup” option on 10.9 Installer did nothing
3) Put in a new 320GB Western Digital Scorpio Black and 8GB of fresh RAM
4) 10.6.2 retail iMac install DVD – (loaded Time Machine Recovery but would not install 10.6)
5) Confirmed “secret EFI firmware” version of the MacBook 5,1 can use 8GB ram, 64bit mode

So at this point the machine is back online. He has recovered 10.6.8 from the Time Machine backups onto a new 320GB drive. He confirms that the EFI firmware has been updated to the latest version and the RAM gets upgraded to 8GB. He’s back running 10.6.8 at least.

The question then is if he hits “Install Mavericks” from the App Store will the machine kill itself again? He has the backup so he rolls the dice and it works, the machine updates successfully from 10.6.8 to 10.9.

From here it is rote. Make a fresh backup of functioning 10.9 (don’t delete your 10.6.8 backup just yet!). Do a fresh install from a working USB stick of 10.9. Migrate the crap from the old installation.

That’s it. Not more than 20-30 hours of your life. But hey, the late 2008 Unibody MacBook is now running the latest and greatest.

12.04 LTS for everyone.

Insert ‘flip’ recipe here.




From Classic Mixology, 1862:

Rum Flip

Winter, Holidays

(Another method.)

  • 1 quart ale
  • 3 to 4 egg
  • 4 ounce sugar moist
  • 1 fifth rum or brandy
  • nutmeg or ginger

Keep grated ginger and nutmeg with a little fine dried lemon peel, rubbed together in a mortar.

To make a quart of flip:—Put the ale on the fire to warm, and beat up three or four eggs with four ounces of moist sugar, a teaspoonful of grated nutmeg or ginger, and a gill of good old rum or brandy. When the ale is near to boil, put it into one pitcher, and the rum and eggs, &c., into another; turn it from one pitcher to another till it is as smooth as cream.


Brewed the crap out of a Saison last night. Not entirely sure what my mash/sparge efficiency was. I used 10lbs of Weyerman German Pils malt, and then added about 1.75 lbs of invert sugar (DIY syrup & rock candy), so you’d need to adjust your points respectively. But when I used the Wine Thief to check my OG before pitching the yeast I couldn’t believe it, as the numbers creeped up toward OG 1.065-1.070.

Two days prior I sampled some Omegang Hennepin and a bottle of ‘Vieille Provision’ Saison Dupont Belgian Farmhouse to cultivate the dregs. People, on ‘teh internetz’ were generally happy with prior cultivation efforts repitching these strains, so I thought what the hell.  I did pitch in some Safale T-58 into the 4.5 gallon batch, just in case, but in theory the two cultured strains in the 1L starter had a two day head start, I mean the goal here is to brew something ‘like’ the aforementioned saisons, we’ll see where the yeast takes it.  In a day or two I’ll bring it up to the “hot room”.  But yeah, hopefully within a month this will be in bottles.  And then condition for a year.  Of course I’m joking.  I won’t wait that long.

Culture the Dregs

Culture the Dregs

Sparge, slow & low

Sparge, slow & low

Rock Candy

Rock Candy



Ice, no ice. You don’t make friends with Ubuntu.

I mean maybe you do. I haven’t gone to any Linux nerd fun camps. Probably it’s safer to go to homebrew meet ups.

M & I got the “Abbey Style” Tripel bottled, we didn’t mix in any Kriek. Which is fine. Approximate ABV prior to bottling was 7.6%, which is not bad. We can probably hit higher gravities with a bigger kettle, we ran out of space with the sheer amount of fermentables we were moving in, and likely should’ve left it in primary for at minimum a whole month. The “Dubbel” is now conditioning in the 5 gal. glass carboy. Next up is hopefully two or three batches of mild “session” style English ales, quicker to ferment; I’d be happy keeping them all below 4% ABV, the key here seems to getting our production pipeline rolling a bit more than once per month.

There has been no ice. Or snow really to speak of. It was 60 degrees out, which is good for me going running, not good for the squash courts which are kept at approximately 1000 degrees, which makes it sort of like a fitness sauna. We may have to play some tennis this Summer apparently as the the courts don’t have proper AC.

That’s about all I’ve got.  If you haven’t bought Burial’s Kindred, go buy it now.

旺角卡門 (HK 1988), ‘Take My Breath Away’, awesome.

As Tears Go ByWong, Kar Wai:

As Tears Go By 旺角卡門 (HK 1988) Wong Kar-Wai

And, on the same continent but more literal, an excellent cultural writeup by Chris O’Brien of the rice alcohol & Bia hơi available in Northern Vietnam:

And because I don’t want to let you down, all five of you who read this, thanks mom:

Top Gun-Maverick&Charlie-Take My Breath Away


Bought a case of the Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale, hoping it would be as good as the last two cases of American style Summer “Kölsch” beers I bought. I don’t think it is, and Beer Advocate backs me up on this one. Ballast Point brews some very fine beers, but I’d say in the heat of an East Coast Summer this is perhaps not the best choice (IMHO), either that or my case is a bit stale.

As it stands, I agree with the consensus (B); the Ballast Point appears to neither be a Pale Ale or Kölsch. My favorite this Summer (and last) is without a doubt the Lancaster Brewing Company’s canned Kölsch. Victory Brewing’s Summer Love is also quite good and a step up, in my opinion, from this Ballast Point. Both these have much a much crisper taste, with the citrus bite and mild hops you hope for in a Summer ale.

Lancaster Kölsch in a can

Lancaster Kölsch in a can & a site dedicated to beer cans

DTW & your best craft beer options


I was struggling doing some Googling for “DTW best beer bar”.  Detroit’s metropolitan airport surely has some solid craft brew options, right?  What I’ve found from the internets:

The “Online C@fe Bar Grill” across from the Sora noodle shop has the Bell’s Oberon on tap, two Michigan Brewing Co. options and the Dark Horse Brewery IPA (& possibly a second option from DHB) .

The Westin Hotel bar has several local craft options in bottles.  It’s not immediately clear but I believe there is a separate security entrance and exit just for the Westin.

And apparently the Heineken Bar has some options as well.

So far I’ve only made it to the aforementioned internet themed bar cafe. And I’m eating potato skins with bacon and drinking the Michigan Brewing Co.’s IPA which is pretty straight ahead & thick with hops.

Perfect pour, bicycle poetry, wide boots & other inanities

Ask and you shall receive, the “perfect pour”:

A bicycle wheel zoetrope animated film via Velocanoose entitled “The Cyclotrope” as created by Tim Wheatley of Falmouth Cornwall, UK:

The Cyclotrope from tim Wheatley on Vimeo.

On a side note, the track Tim uses is from a follow up to one of the few CD’s I felt immediately compelled to go out and purchase, that is Konono N°1’s “Congotronics” which is amazing. Anyhow, the track he used is from one of the follow up albums, “Tradi-Mods vs Rockers – Alternative Takes on Congotronics”.

Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers

Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers

And, on the brightest note of all, I found double plastic high altitude mountaineering boots that fit EE to EEEE wide feet. The Koflach Arctis Expe model (eg. the Arctic Expedition), they stopped making these for a couple of years while the company was restructuring but now Scarpa appears to be selling them. I tried on just about every boot I could get a hold of and these fit the best & I paid well below retail for a nearly unused pair:
Koflach "Arctis Expe" Double Mountaineering Boot