Apple TV Update

(In case this post accidentally gets first page placement in search results: Here is how to update your Apple TV.)

We’ve been on the same refurbished 2nd-gen Apple TV since 2013 but I figured it was time to upgrade when the old YouTube app said it was about to stop working.

Apple TV (2nd gen) YouTube app deactivation notice

A funny thing happened when I ordered a refurbished Apple TV HD (I really didn’t need the latest 4K version and our non-smart TV is just a 1080 anyway): after it arrived I plugged it in and set it up–and was greeted by a notice that this Apple TV was a “supervised device” from Resignation Media LLC, parent company of The Chive, among other things. They hadn’t properly reset the unit before sending it back in, and Apple’s refurb department hadn’t properly checked it before sending it back out for sale.

Refurb Apple TV issue

Simple factory reset did not clear the corporate supervision lock, so I called Apple tech support to ask if there was a way to remove it remotely from their end. Support rep told me I’d have to take it in to a physical Apple store to properly reset the Apple TV.

“Can’t really take it to the store right now. COVID.”
“Okay, sir. Can you wait till after COVID?”

Ultimately I just did a simple mail-in return and reordered another refurb Apple TV HD, which arrived quickly and worked properly out of the box. There’s been a bit of an adjustment period as I get used to the new UI, swipey Siri remote, and actually being able to install apps from an app store.

Unboxing refurb Apple TV HD (4th gen) Working Apple TV

(lol, lmao “after COVID,” like this is ever going to end)


Only just recently learned about Steve1989MREInfo (aka “Let’s Get This Out On a Tray, Nice” dude), who records soothingly comprehensive video reviews of military rations from around the world and through history.

I was especially interested in the Humanitarian Daily Rations, airdropped by the US to feed a wide range of civilian populations in crisis — how are they adapted to fit a variety of dietary restrictions? (The answer: lots of beans and lentils and rice. Interestingly they still include peanut butter packets; I guess peanut allergies aren’t much of a concern.)

Also thinking of getting some civilian MREs for emergency or camping use. And in case you were wondering, yes, there are Filipino MREs as well.

Suborbital Tourism

July 2021 saw two major suborbital space flights, significant for being private commercial space tourism trips carrying the founders of their companies with paid or sponsored passengers:

Virgin Galactic Unity 22 [WP/YT] aboard SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity, air-launched from carrier aircraft VMS Eve, reached an apogee of about 86km (under the 100km Kármán Line but above the USAF threshold for space), with Virgin’s Richard Branson aboard.

Blue Origin NS-16 [WP/YT] aboard a New Shepard launcher and capsule, reached an apogee of 107 km (above the Kármán Line, so within the international definition of space), with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos aboard — and Wally Funk of the Mercury 13.

14 years after SpaceShipOne flew its historic X-Prize flights, it says something about how I’ve changed that I went from thinking “hey maybe I’ll have $250K for a suborbital hop” back then to “they should pay fair wages and stop evading taxes” today.


I guess it was too much to hope commercial space tourism would grow into more than a couple of billionaire junkets. But hey, I’m happy Wally Funk got to space.

Truro, NS

I had to drive up to Truro for my second vaccine dose so I wandered around town to see some sights and get some lunch.

Truro NS

I’d heard about the local brown sauce pizza and wanted to give that a try, but all the pizza places I found downtown were closed, so I settled for some Murphy’s fish and chips, eaten alone in my car later. Best fish and chips I’d ever had.

Murphy’s Fish and Chips, Truro NS

And since I work for them now I also dropped by some Trailer Park Boys season 8-12 filming locations, like Forrester Hall at the NSCC Truro campus, or “Sunnyvale Hospital”:

Truro NS

In the nearby village of Bible Hill is Bible Hill Estates, or Sunnyvale Trailer Park (this field was where Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles lived, but the trailers and sheds have since been removed or destroyed):

Bible Hill Estates

And down the highway, the site of the old Palliser Restaurant, Motel, and Gift Shop, namesake of Trinity and Jacob’s son Mo. (The motel and house have been demolished, and the field is now a parking lot):

Site of the old Palliser Motel

Across the road is the Fundy Discovery Site, where one can watch the tidal bore flow through. (I had already missed that morning’s tidal bore, though.) Funny thing here, the parking area was all people eating fish and chips, so I parked there and did likewise. When in Truro…

Fundy Discovery Site

I’d definitely like to come back here some day to see the tidal bore, and there’s a nice playground by the viewing area that my kid would enjoy. More photos from the day in my Truro NS photoset.

COVID-19: 3rd Wave, Vaccinated

Got my first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine dose in May and second dose in July. Only major side effects were muscle aches and fatigue the day after the second dose, gone the next morning. As of this week, wife and I are officially fully immunized — but not our son, so until a vaccine is approved for children under 12, we continue to mask up and avoid most social contact to avoid the slim chance of bringing home an asymptomatic breakthrough infection.

Vaccine Dose #2

Meanwhile Nova Scotia is on the tail end of a third wave of COVID-19 that maxed out at over 1700 active cases, but was brought back down to single digits by hard restrictions. Low numbers with no (?) community spread persist now even after a gradual multiphase reopening, so the vaunted Atlantic Canadian pandemic response seems to have worked once more.

Nova Scotia COVID chart

I’m troubled by governments and individuals running victory laps, unmasking, and relaxing on safety before we’ve approached herd immunity levels of vaccination coverage, especially with no immunization options yet available for children under 12. The pandemic is not over and things can change quickly, especially with more infectious variants constantly developing; nor is vaccination a magic bullet, especially where uptake or supply is low.

Vaccine Dose #2

Got a bad feeling that with relaxation of restrictions and the messaging switching to “we have to learn to live with COVID,” things are about to get bad again, for vaxed and unvaxed alike, just in time for when school starts in September — and the Delta variant is more dangerous for children.

Swiss Cheese Respiratory Virus Defence showing multiple interventions with holes in them, an arrow going through those holes stopped partway

Hope we’re wrong on this but for us it’s gonna be Swiss cheese for a while longer.