Eastern Passage

Spent a Sunday afternoon at McCormack’s Beach Provincial Park: walking the boardwalk, sitting on the the beach to picnic on some drive-thru chicken nuggets, admiring the view of Halifax.

McCormack’s Beach Provincial Park View of Halifax from McCormack’s Beach

We also browsed through Shore Things and bought a little buoy ornament, then took the kid to a school called Oceanview to play in the playground for a bit.

Shore Things, Eastern Passage NS Oceanview

There was indeed an ocean view.

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.