Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

I came across Steve Pavlina’s blog about personal development the other day, and started reading back through previous posts.
Reading one post in particular – about “Career Apathy”, or being at a point in a career or a job where literally, all sense of feeling is gone – I had some questions. I know people stuck in this kind of apathy, but I wanted to clear a few things up about the article.
Steve’s advice to people in this situation was to just walk away from the job – “to dump a job you don’t absolutely love is to give up nothing”.

Asking a question

My question was, what if this career-apathetic person is the sole provider for the family? How does one walk away from a job with no savings, and somehow continue to support a family?
Steve (and others) replied that hiding behind the need to support a family is just an excuse that holds people back. We bantered back and forth a bit longer, until I got tired of this seemingly lofty rhetoric with no practical answers. (You can read the whole thread.)

After turning it over and over in my head for a few days, I realized what made me so angry about the whole exchange – I felt like I was being insulted for asking a question! I came to the forum asking for some specific details about the situation outlined in the post, and I was met with criticism and hostility. (I know many people take Steve’s advice as gold, so maybe I asked the question in the wrong place. Either way…)

Inquiry and education

I realized that this experience actually had a lot to do with education. I’m a very pragmatic person, and I like knowing everything that I can about a topic. But as someone trying to learn something new, feeling like I wasn’t being taken seriously hit me hard.

What if, growing up, every time you asked a teacher a question, they told you that you were “wasting your time”?
What if when you asked for proof of what they were saying, they told you that you had the wrong attitude?

What would education be like, if you were told to take everything that someone taught you at face value? And that asking questions was wrong?

Solved! iTunes/iPhoto Sync Error -50

I’ve been fighting this issue for months and finally found a fix, so I thought I’d post what I learned to help others with the same issue.

The Problem:

Every time I tried to sync my iPhoto Library to my iPod, I would get an Error -50.
If I just synced my Pictures folder, it worked just fine. But I wanted to have my albums on the iPod.

Note: I know the Error -50 occurs for other reasons, so I can’t help you with that. But if you’ve isolated iPhoto as the problem, keep reading.

The Steps:

Under Pictures/iPhoto Library, you’ll find a file called AlbumData.xml.
Open this in a web browser. (For Firefox: File>Open Location)
If you get an error message (XML parse error, expected closing tag, etc.), continue.

Open iPhoto. Go to Preferences>Keywords.
Look through all these keywords and delete those with non-alphanumeric characters in them. (Mine had < and > characters, among others.)

Close iPhoto, then open your AlbumData.xml file in the browser again.

If you don’t get any errors this time, you’re good to go!


Remove all the photos from the iPod, in iTunes. (Devices>Your iPod Name>Photos>Uncheck ‘Sync Photos From’ and re-sync, removing photos when asked.)

Re-sync your iPhoto Library to your iPod. (Devices>Your iPod Name>Photos>Select ‘Sync Photos From: iPhoto’)
*Also, always connect the USB cable directly to the computer, not through a USB hub. This fixed several earlier issues, before the -50 error.


Look! No error messages! And albums are on the iPod!
Hopefully, this fixes this error for someone else out there.

My specs: MacBook, OSX 10.4.11, iTunes 7.5, iPod 80gb video (5th gen). Instructions may vary slightly based on OS, browser, and software versions.