Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Who Needs Freedom? Not Farmers.

The FBI recently released a warning to local police to be on the lookout for people carrying farmer's almanacs. In other news, the terrorists surrender. Osama admits, "You got us, we've been using the farmer's almanacs to pick our targets."

More Ticket Fighting
The other day I wrote about James taking his friend down to see the crown prosecutor about her ticket. Here a continuation of the friend's story. (From Jame's blog)

Well, she in turn passed on the knowledge to a friend, who had some tickets for some crazy lights on her car. Of two tickets, one was thrown out and another reduced to, literally, under $10.

I don't know how much the origional tickets were for.


-Gary Milner, sure glad I don't own an almanac, that would be un-patriotic.



Water Moccasins?

No, dry land moccasins, the ones Tracie gave me. At first I thought that they were pretty ugly. I still think that they are kind of ugly because of the fur. I'm not really a fur type of guy. It's like I'm stepping on a pair of bunnies everywhere I go. The moccasins are growing on me though, and not because of some weird, native american foot fungus. I'm starting to like them a lot. They are perfect for going on to the deck to barbecue or run out to the car.

When it comes right down to it, I love every single present that I was given this year.

Tracie's parents gave me a sweater, a pair of Levis, a tool kit (with 225 pieces), some socks as well as some wonderful joint gifts to Tracie and me.

My parents gave me 2 pairs of jeans, a t-shirt, and cash.

Tracie gave me a pair of sweaters and the afore-mentioned moccasins.

I read an article the other day about the economics of gift giving. It discusses the economic pros and cons of gift giving. It goes on to say that in a lot of cases, gift giving doesn't make sense mathematically. (Unless you're giving someone a calculator.)

Monday, December 29, 2003

HERE'S SOME NEWS FROM THE HAT

Here is some news from the hat and you're getting it before anyone else because the fire engines are still at the scene and it's eleven thirty at night. The garage across from the airport and right next to the Nissan dealer in Medicine Hat is completely gutted by fire and is still smoking. We saw it as we were returning from Lethbridge.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Christmas

We went to Medicine Hat for Christmas vacation. It was quite fun, Tracie and I both enjoyed our visit. We both got a lot of very good presents. I was worried that Santa wouldn't be sure if he should leave our stuff at Tracie's parents or mine.

By the end of the week, we were both very anxious to get home. We just love sleeping in our own bed.

Boxing Day

We went to the mall on boxing day (there is only one in medicine hat or I would have told you the name). It was one of my worst shopping experiences ever. It was like a feeding frenzy. Shoppers were filled with the blood-lust of looking for a good deal. The stores for teens had the gates mostly shut so that only one person could enter or exit at a time, and lots of stores had guards posted to combat shoplifting.

It was sickening. Seriously. I plan to avoid boxing day sales from now on. The worst of it is that the people probably weren't even getting the great deals that they thought they were. People have been conditioned into thinking that if you buy it on boxing day it's a bargain.

Ring a bell, and I'll salivate just like Pavlov's dog.

-Gary Milner, the only thing worse than Christmas shopping is Boxing day shopping

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Squashed

I played squash against Tracie's dad, Ralph. He beat me this year. I think I could beat him if I had a better racquet and if I played a little more often and against people other than only Tracie. I'm issuing a challenge to anyone from the Gauntlet who plays.

I went Christmas shopping with my Mom. I made my Mom buy herself a present, and I'm sure that she will be very happy with it. In fact I wish it was already open.

I reminded my Mom to bring her cellphone with her, but we forgot it in the car, and so Tracie couldn't reach us anyway. I was disappointed that we didn't see her and her family in the mall. It's probably because I drag who ever I am with to the same three stores that I go to every time, and Tracie and her sisters only go to stores for girls.

The cellphone thing was really stupid of me. I don't have a cellphone, but if I did, I would take it where ever I go and it would always be on. I wouldn't be one of those people who have a cellphone and give the illusion of being easy to contact and then leave my phone off. I mean what's the point? That being said, I don't really want a cellphone yet. I have said in the past that, "you can give me a cellphone when you can pry it into my cold dead hands". I guess you would have to take my gun first, though.

-Gary Milner, still alive with no cellphone.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Let Christmas Begin

I finished typing my mission journal. It's pretty long, 66,903 words long to be exact, which works out to 109 pages in Ms Word. I'm pretty happy to have it all entered into the computer now. Next up for the journal is for it to be laid out for printing. I'm not sure if I want to add photos or not. Adding photos would be a huge task even if I only did 50 or so. The book would be a lot nicer, but it would add a bunch of pages. I'm not worried about the number of pages or anything, but adding photos would probably push it to 70 or so pages, if I figured out how to print on both sides of the page. If I did photos on every third sheet, I could even get the pages with pictures done in colour at Kinkos. I think that it would be best if I found a way to break it up in even numbers of pages. Groups of 12 pages would probably be best, if it there is a remainder at the end it wouldn't really matter.

I am ready to go to Medicine Hat, but Tracie seems really apathetic about the whole thing. I think she is preoccupied with getting short changed on her last check. The forgot to pay her for an eight hour shift. Getting them to print a check is turning out to be quite the ordeal.

I'm looking forward to the visit. We might get into the Hat late this evening, but it's looking more and more like we will be there for lunch on Tuesday.

-Gary Milner, ready for Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

In the Halls of the Mountain King

Tracie and I went to the mountains today to have a picnic and take a few pictures. We had a really good time. It's really sort of surprising how little we head out there, even though we are so close.

Here is a photo that Tracie took of me. We might be posting some pics of Tracie if she has a post and wants a photo added.



We're thinking that we will be heading out much more often this summer.

-Gary Milner, looking for employment in the mountains.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

How to Celebrate Being Done University

I recommend getting a Whopper at Burger King, with cheese and supersize the fries and drink. Then watching a movie that you downloaded off the internet. That's what I did anyway. It might not sound that great, but Tracie had to work over night, right after my exam.

It did get me thinking though. I think that no matter where you are in the world, you could get a combo from a Burger King or McDonald's even if you didn't speak the language. I say this because all you have to do is say, "Big Mac, Coca-Cola" and then nod when they ask, "as;ldjfasdofh?" (Translation: do you want fries?), nod when they say, "as;ldjfasodfijwe?" (Translation: do you want cheese?"), and nod again when they say, "asld;fjwoihlkcn?" (translation: do you want to supersize it?).

Really the system the Ray Crock invented crosses cultures. You don't need to be a linguist to order in Russia, Argentina, or Japan, you just need to know that they all ask the same questions in the same order every time and nod.

-Gary Milner, still looking for employment, just not at a fast food place.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The End

Today is the day. The day of my one and only final exam. I am so happy. I am only three hours away from being done University. Until today it seemed so far away. Even now, this is going to be a long three hours. The end has always just been over the horizon. Now it is here. What will I do?

In other news, I need a job. If you are seeking an employee in Calgary, drop me a line via one of the shout outs, or call me 202-5653 ask for Gary Milner. I'm graduating with a B.Comm degree, and I specialized in management of information systems.

Seriously, call me.

-Gary Milner, now seeking employment

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Some interesting things have happened to Saddam Hussein in his life. Here is a time line of important events in Saddams career. Read it over, you'll find out some things that don't seem to be very widely known. Like the fact that at 21 years old, he murdered his brother in law and was sent to jail for six months.

This would be a good time to see how newspapers and other media outlets from around the world report this story. It's important to consider what you are reading and compare it to various sources.

The CBC is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

Reuters is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

The BBC is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

CNN is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

The Gaurdian is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

ABC news is reporting that Saddam has been caputured.

CBS news is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

Fox News is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

USA Today is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

Canada.com is reporting that Saddam has been captured.

Reaction from around the world from The Gaurdian.


The Broken Newz is reporting that Saddam has been captured in Montana dressed as a mall Santa.

Cousin Blair...

Recently I was in Grande Prairie for work, and I met with our cousin Blair. I asked him if he is afraid of getting caught for downloading movies off the internet, and he told me that Canada is "immune" to the laws, because we pay a fee everytime we buy recordable CD's. Also, his computer that he built for himself is really cool and fast. He put lights in the tower so it is very colorful. He showed me a craft he made for his future wife, made out of toothpicks, a 3-D heart that is sooo sweat. He plans to string chocolates through it. Gary, you should invite him to post on here.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Not Just a Train Ride, An Adventure

It's not stealing when you download a movie, it's copyright infringement. Here's an interesting article about the recent court decision about the topic in Canada. It says downloading music is legal in Canada, but that uploading it is not. Here, I've been feeling guilty for leaching music off the internet and giving it back. Now I know that I've just been obeying the law.

I haven't given up on going to the theater altogether. In fact, Tracie and I went to see a movie at the Globe Cinema called, "Shattered Glass". A true story about a writer for a prestigious Washington D.C. magazine who basically started making stories up to advance his career. Of course just like the two guys in Medicine Hat, the writer is eventually discovered. It was quite a good movie, but an independent film. Unfortunately, most people will not get the chance to see it, unless Blockbuster purchases a bunch of copies on DVD.

We have decided that we will likely only be going to independent movies from now on. Of course we will be making exceptions for the Elvis movie, "The Return of the King" and the new Harry Potter movies as they are released. The thing is with those movies there is some value in seeing them on the big screen, like James said, he's a sucker for Dolby surround sound. With most movies, the surround sound doesn't make that much difference. In fact with most movies, there isn't even much of a story. This is one of the reasons we will be sticking to independent films. The movie generally has a good plot, and besides that, the admission price is lower.

Anyway, the train ride wasn't really an adventure, but there was a native gentleman sleeping (possibly passed out) on one of the benches on the train. He was unknowingly causing quite a stir among the other passengers. We realized that there wouldn't be much of a point to kicking him off the train, because he would just get onto the next one anyway. Really all he wanted was a warm place to sleep it off for a while.

-Gary Milner, advocates fighting tickets and downloading stuff off the internet.

The System Works For Normal People, Not Just Murderers And Young Offenders

My friend James posted this in a shout out, but I wanted to make sure that everybody who comes here sees it.

I took my friend Amanda downtown to take care of a speeding ticket Wednesday morning. It was pretty crowded, but we got their early, waited.

She was going 41 in the 30 (playground zone), and the ticket was just over $80 (which sounds low, but it said apparently even said "Playground Zone" on the ticket). So she sees the prosecutor.

Him: I have some bad news.
Her: ...
Him: Know, I don't want you to cry, but
Her: ...
Him: I think 11 kilometers over doesn't show enough tolerance, so I'm going to withdraw it. You're free to go. Have a merry Christmas.
Her: ...

Another ticket bites the dust. God bless the system.

James (who also advocates stealing music and movies, but doesn't steal movies because he is a sucker for Dolby surround sound)

TWO REPORTS OF GUYS GETTING CAUGHT

A while back somebody stole a quantity of new computers from a Medicine Hat computer dealer. I think the dealer was Ty Schnieder. The paper reported yesterday that the thieves have been caught. They were caught because computers have identification devices built into them so that when they go on line everybody and their dog knows who the culprit is.
A while back also, a twenty six year old male turned on a fire hose on the upper floor of a four story apartment building and the water did about half a million dollars of damage. I said to Jane at the time that the cops would be on that guys door step within the hour. Sure enough now he's caught. My advice to anyone who wants to pull that stunt is to do it where you don't have a dispute with the managment.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Mr. Sparky

I changed the spark plugs in my car today. The old ones were pretty shot. I don't know if they have ever been changed before. The car seems to run a lot smoother now. I still need to replace the seal that prevents oil from leaking into the spark plug area. I may do that in Medicine Hat though, because I lack tools, and know how. Kris Jensen, a friend of mine said that it is really easy and that I only have to take the a cover off and I should be able to slap the seal in with no problems.

We'll see I guess.

-Gary Milner, changes spark plugs and advocates downloading movies off the internet.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Death Knell For Spammers?

Holy Crap! A man has been arrested and charged with a felony for sending spam emails.

The Virginia indictment alleges that Jeremy Jaynes sent more than 10,000 e-mails a day on three days in July and August, through servers located in Virginia. More than 100,000 messages were sent over a 30-day period, it says. Those amounts are enough to trigger the criminal provisions of Virginia's antispam law.

This may be the beginning of the end for spammers. The guy could be spending the next 1-5 years cooling his heels in prison, which is better than he deserves.

According to antispam organization Spamhaus, "Jaynes" is well-known for pornographic and "get rich quick" offers online and was ranked No. 8 on the group's top 10 spammers list for November.

If only they could send the people who set the movie prices to jail too.

-Gary Milner, still encourages downloading movies off the internet.

Man Searching for a Farmer's Market, Finds a Bank

There was a big crash by my house the other day. From the CFCN article:


A car slammed into a bank Wednesday morning, killing one person inside and injuring nine others. It happened at the Alberta Treasury Branch at 388 Country Hills Blvd. N.E.
When emergency crews arrived, they found a car lodged inside the building. The vehicle fell approximately six-metres from a road above the building.
That bank was open at the time. The car landed in a boardroom, trapping three of the nine people inside the room at the time. All were injured, including the driver. Three were taken to the Foothills Hospital in critical condition. One person was killed instantly.
The 68-year-old male driver of the car sustained serious chest injuries and was transported to the Peter Lougheed Hospital.
The Calgary Fire Department's search and rescue team was called in to search for those trapped.
Police are still investigating the incident.


There is video of the scene on the CFCN site, click the link underneath the photo that says, "Kari Eyles reports". This is a photo that I took at the scene:



The car flew over the fence in front of the Canadian Tire sign, you can see where the fence is bent. The car must have been going pretty fast, because the fence isn't much lower than the level of the sidewalk. You can see there are no tracks in the snow between the bend in the fence and the hole in the bank, so the car must have at least made it to the asphalt.

Christmas is Coming

In other news, I have discovered the perfect gift for young and old alike!

-Gary Milner says, "Please download movies from the internet."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Mmm....lunch!

Gary and I went Christmas shopping at the Market Mall today. Well, not so much Christmas shopping as shopping for ourselves. We did buy something for Becky though, and I would have got something for Eva, but Gary thinks she will be too spoiled anyway. Anyway, Gary really needed some new shoes because the ones he wears now squeak every time he takes a step. That's a lot of squeaking, and listening to it gets old fast.

We went to Sport Chek to buy the shoes because that's where we always go. Even though we make big purchases there quite a bit, I have many gripes with their store and would definitely go elsewhere if there was a comparable place in the malls. My biggest complaint about Sport Chek is that their stuff is always on sale. That may seem good, but let me explain.

Sport Chek puts out coupons all the time that say things like "Buy any regular priced item over $50 and get 10% off". We even bought a student price card with a similar deal that cost us 7 bucks. The worst part is that these so-called "sales" are only pennies less than the original. So when you can't use your 10% off coupon because $100 shoes now cost $99.88, it is very frustrating. My sister Amy used to work there and she said she would frequently put sale tags on items for the exact same price as the original. Next time you go to Sport Chek, look around. I guarantee that 90% of the stuff will be on sale, but only by a few pennies. Especially the shoes.

After we bought the shoes, we decided to eat at the food court. When we got there, Gary wanted Chinese, and I really wanted a pita. How fabulous that we both got exactly what we wanted from two completely different places, and we still got to eat together. I sat there pondering it for a while, and came to the conclusion that food courts are pure genious. I may never go out to a real restaurant again.

Tracie, hates Sport Chek but loves food courts

Monday, December 08, 2003

Boo Hoo!!! Please Don't Pirate My Movies!!! Boo Hoo!!!

Tracie and I went to see "Elf" on Saturday. It cost us $21 to get in. Can you believe it? $21 for a matinee at two in the afternoon. Then they have the gall to show five commercials and call us bastards for downloading movies off the internet, (painting sets is hard work, blah blah blah, at least you have a job jackass)

The movie itself was good, but there were nearly 20 seats marked out-of-order. It got me thinking, what have the stupid cineplex people done to make the experience better? Put 11 screens in one building? Oh yeah, that's just super. Charging $12 for a popcorn and a drink? I'll bring my own, thanks.

For a while there, I was on the fence about getting movies off the internet, I could have been convinced to stop doing it. Now, I am actively in favour of it. HEY EVERYBODY, DOWNLOAD MOVIES OFF THE INTERNET!!!

As we were leaving Elf, Eddie Murphy's movie "The Haunted Mansion" was just starting. I would have gone in, but Tracie was too chicken. I tried to convince her, but she really didn't want to. When we got back to the car, I said, we just paid $21 for a matinee. I don't think that she'll make that mistake again.

If you go to the show anytime that isn't on a cheap Tuesday, or a matinee, it would be cheaper to buy the DVD. Very few movies need the big screen to properly tell the story. A TV will do just fine for most.

In our case, we could drive from Calgary to Medicine Hat, go the the show there and still save money by not getting popcorn and a drink. Avoiding the masses of people, especially the teenagers would make getting the DVD instead of going to the theater the right choice all by itself. If someone's phone rings, you can pause it. Think of the snack savings $12 worth of popcorn would fill your basement!

Gary Milner, now promoting getting movies off the internet.

WHAT ITS LIKE TO OWN A CAT

Yesterday the cat messed on the rug in the bathroom then tore the rug half to pieces trying to bury it. Enough said.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

On Tuition

This is a response to Dad's shout out about the tuition increases.

If the increased tuition was going to raises for the teachers, I'd be all for it. Like the students at the University of Manitoba, who have begun an uphill battle to see their tuition raised by 112 per cent. It's not often Canadian students lobby to pay more, but the I.H. Asper School of Business wants to ignore the Manitoba government's tuition freeze.

There are several problems with the tuition increase, here at the University of Calgary.

First and foremost is the fact that a 4.8% increase won't solve the University's problems. We still need more money.

Second it pits the administration against the students. Really the administration doesn't want us to have a high tuition, they want us to have a fair tuition. Dr.Bond (one of the administrators) said that tuition should not be free, but that it should be fair. If the admin could get the money from Ralph Klein or his more liberal federal counterparts, they would.

Third it doesn't account for those sneaky accountants. By law, the University can only charge 30% of it's operating budget to students. The accountants then start fooling with the budget. Suddenly things that were charged under the capital budget last year are part of the operating budget this year, and the 30% that the students have to pay is bigger this year than last year. Another sneaky thing they do is jack up the prices in the bookstore on everything, not just the books, although the books are the worst. Now the bookstore is gouging the students much more, but the tuition stays the same.

-Gary, sees problems with tuition all around.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Also glad to be done...almost

This may sound selfish, but I don't really care if they increase tuition next year because I won't be a student next year. Maybe I don't know all of the facts and it will somehow affect me horribly, but if it doesn't affect me personally-although it sucks for next years students- it doesn't bother me.

Well, maybe that's a bit harsh, but I'm just so glad that this time next year I won't be here. Right now I'm sitting at the computer lab in the nursing building, where about 30 students from my class are busily discussing and writing their papers. We have no final exam, just one whopper of a paper. My group finished ours last week. It feels so good to be done, especially knowing that my classmates are spending their friday night here. Too bad for them.

All I have left now is a poster presentation for 2 hours on monday morning, and a final evaluation with my practicum instructor that afternoon. Boy am I glad to be done that practicum- the one in the weight loss clinic. I had a preceptor that actually works there that I went to work with over the semester. But I also have an instructor.

She doesn't actually instruct me, in fact I hardly ever see her, but she determines my final grade. She was horrible. I would hand in assignments almost nightly and would frequently have them returned because I never used enough professional references, or canadian references or nursing references. It was so frustrating. I'm a good student - an A student. I've never had work handed back, let alone every week. I gave her a poor evaluation. Another girl in my class even wrote a letter to the dean. Rumor has it that letters to the dean are written evey year, and that some staff have quit because they couldn't work with her. Those are rumors though, I take them with a grain of salt. (But I wouldn't doubt it)


HERES A TRICKY QUESTION

A spaceship is traveling in space at half the speed of light.. Someone turns on powerful beam of light and aims it in the direction the space ship went so that the beam of light catches up to the spaceship and passes it. This is the question: How much faster than the spaceship is the beam of light traveling when it passes the spaceship.
According to scientists the beam of light would pass the spaceship at the speed of light the same as it would have if the spaceship had been stationary. They say they have the experiments and the math to prove it too.

Tuition Increases Again

The University will be increasing tuition again next year. The increase will be 4.8%, as predicted. James was so confident, that he published an article about the 4.8% increase a day before the board of governers even met to vote on the issue.

The students held their token protest, which amounted to blocking traffic on one road leading into the University for 15 minutes. The police came, but didn't arrest anyone, which is too bad, because it would have made for some great news in my paper.

I only have a couple more hours of homework in my university career. I finished my last class yesterday, my 'things and stuff' class. I got this email from my prof later that day.

Hello Gary,
I wanted to convey my sincerest appreciation for the many times you have
volunteered to assist me with 333 activities. Thank-you for taking care of my
teaching evaluations.
Good luck with your exams.


I feel kind of bad about my previous posts, but really I stand by the fact that she said a lot of words, but not a lot of info, quite often. You may wonder why I volunteered so much as to warrant a thank-you email. Well, I just wanted the class to end. I had to do something to keep it moving. No one else seemed like they were going to volunteer ever, and I just wanted to end the painful silence.

-Gary Milner, close to being done university

Thursday, December 04, 2003

ANOTHER QUOTE FROM STEVE BENSEN

This is another quote from Steve Bensen:

"I say deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in it's churches , has been and still is , the principle enemy of moral progress in the world."

Now that everyone has been straightened out on that point I can imagine a wild stampede to join groups that do promote moral progress in the world. Here are some suggestions: the Nazi Party, Stalinists, Satanists, Hells Angels, the mafia., the movie industry.
I suggest that anyone who is questioning there religion,don't use Steve Bensen as a confidant or a person you can trust. He is not traveling with a full suitcase.

A NOTE ABOUT STEVE BENSEN

The following quote is from Steve Bensen, the grandson of Ezra Taft Bensen.
"
" As a newspaper editorial cartoonist , I have worked for several years in the world of journalism, where lieing, hypocrasy, intolerance, bigotry, self righteousness,abuse of power, corruption, and downright stupidity are regularly exposed and reported. Sadly, those doing the deeds often wrap themselves in the vestments of the church. "

Whereas you actually can find people like that in the church, what makes Steve Bensen think he is the first persen to discover this. As a member of the church I have to say that we have this pointed out to us every sunday of the world right there in Sunday school. According hundreds of letters from ex-mormons one of the principle reasons they left the church is because they were being made to feel guilty all the time.
I wonder if Mr Bensen has noticed any of the stuff he mentioned in his paragraph, amongst the people at the newspaper. He fails to mention it if he did notice it. This makes him a lier, a hypocrit, intolerant, bigoted, self righteous, corrupted, and stupid.

The Only Bank I Love

Is the President's Choice bank. It's the bank run by the real canadian superstore. I have about $1700 in an account there that I'm going to pay Tracie's winter tuition with, and in the month of November, I made $2.93 in interest. Last month, I received about $1.50. I have now made more interest on my PC savings account in the last four months than I have ever made on all my other accounts combined over the last 20 years.
I would have all my money in this account, but we have a lot of preauthourised charges coming out of our CIBC account and we don't want to close it. We also keep a minimum balance, which probably saves us $30-$40 a month in fees.
When I get a job though, I will probably use the PC bank almost exclusively.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Attention Crappy Drivers

Signal, then change lanes.

That is all.

-Gary Milner

ps. This post should bring a lot of hits.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

All These Presentations, and Not a Single Present

I have to do two presentations tomorrow, and one on Thursday. Other than that, I have a major assignment that is due on Monday, but that I have to have done on Saturday night so that one of my group members can have it bound. The stress of school is moving ever lower. Soon I may be done.
I am thinking of taking one more class, is a class called Management Information Systems Field Project. It's description says: Structured and supervised experience in assessing the feasibility, developing and/or implementing of business information systems. Student project teams are assigned to field projects in organizations.
I don't know if I really want to take one more class. The only reason I would take this class is to meet people and make contacts for getting a job later. I think that it would probably help a lot. Getting a job is taking a lot bigger place in my mind lately.
Now that school is ending, I will probably be able to think of a lot more funny things to write about because I won't be so preoccupied or busy.

-Gary Milner,

Sunday, November 30, 2003

The Computer Understands Me

I've been typing my mission Journal as you may or may not know. To date, I have 45,862 words transcribed. That's a lot of words. I didn't even think I knew that many words. I guess there are lot repeats though.

Today, I started using a voice recognition program called via voice. It took about 30 minutes to do the initial training, (although it's an ongoing process depending on your vocabulary) and I have put down 6,234 words through dictation. That's 25,098 key strokes not including the spacebar. I think that dictating to the computer is about the same speed for me right now as typing, because of having to correct the mistakes. I can already see the number of mistakes dropping rapidly, and soon it will be way faster than typing. It's all a matter of the computer learning my vocabulary and voice. As it stands, it will be saving me a lot of key strokes. After only a few pages of typing, my wrists and fingers start to ache.

I may have my journal completely transcribed before Christmas, but it most likely will not be laid out and ready for printing by then. Maybe a manuscript, but not a final copy. I'm planning on scanning enough photos to put one on every other page, and there are 77 pages so far, with 4.5 months left in the journal. To put it in perspective that 4.5 months is about 50 hand written pages, which is about 18,000 words or 70,000 keystrokes not including the space bar.

I'm getting excited because this little project of mine has been taking so long.

-Gary Milner, Transcriber and Dictater

Friday, November 28, 2003

Taken to the Cleaners

I dropped my suit off to be cleaned the other day and when I went in to pick it up this morning, the debit machine wouldn't read my debit card or my credit card. I said I would go to the bank, and get some cash. Unfortunately, there was no CIBC around, so I had to go to the Bank of Montreal. I knew there would be a $1.50 fee, so I decided to take out more than I normally would and selected $50. Little did I know that their stupid ATMs give $50. I was in too much of a hurry to stand in line at one of the tellers to make change, so I just went back to the cleaners.
I figured that they would have $30 for change. What I didn't realize was that I misheard her because of her accent. She has said $8 not $18, and she did not have change. Since I was in a hurry, I said that I would leave the $50 and come back with a smaller bill later.
When I came back later this afternoon, she recognized me right away, and had change for me. She was very apologetic about her machine's malfunctions and not having change.

-Gary Milner, wearing a clean suit

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

That's Just SIC

SIC is the club for Students In Communications. Daorcey is one of the bosses in the club, and he also frequents the Gauntlet. In September, he was putting the hard sell on memberships in SIC, explaining all the great and wonderful things that will happen to you if you join. (It was not unlike a lot of spam I receive). I politely declined the $5 membership stating that I probably wouldn't benefit from being in the club anyway. He profusely explained that I would have copious benefits. Still I declined.

A while ago, I was requested by Daorcey to take some photos for the SIC newsletter. Just some quick pics of a booth in the campus radio station. I did, and Daorcey was quite pleased with the photos. As a joke, I suggested that I should get a free membership in his club.
I'm not sure he knew if I was joking or not, but he declined the idea and said, "You wouldn't really get any benefit from being a member anyway."
I replied, "See how fast this canary changes his tune!"
I think he knew it didn't really matter, but that he probably shouldn't have said there was no benefit, even if he was just joking. Especially after putting the hard sell on memberships for all of September and October.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

DEER HUNTING

I went deer hunting with Norman Meyer yesterday. We didn't get any though because Norman will only shoot one if the deer is big enough to be registered in a record book called the Boon and Crocket record book. This is fine with me because I don't want to witness another murder. I've been finding out bits of information about hunting while I've been out there. One thing I found out is that right now it's rutting season. This shows how much some people can get hooked on hunting. They like hunting so much that they're willing be out there looking for deer when they could be home enjoying some premium rutting.

Christmas Arrives at #30 Country Hills Rise

We went to see Pirates of the Carribean at the University last night. Both shows were sold out, I think that they need to add another theather in the room next door if only for the popular shows. Maybe it wou too hard to get another copy of the movie. Any way, after the movie, we set up our Christmas tree. It looks quite good.
Now all we need is to get some presents. It looks like we might be getting big boxes of air this year. Without the boxes.
-Gary Milner, looking for the food bank.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Back In The Hat

Tracie and I went to Medicine Hat to see our new niece Eva. While 90% of 5 day old babies look pretty much exactly the same. I think I'm being honest when I say she is pretty cute. She didn't have a cone shaped head like a lot of other babies, so that's a plus. I'm a big fan of round headed babies. Eva slept most of the time we were there. When she woke up, she was still tired. After only 5 days, she's pretty much mastered the life of a cat. Pretty soon though, she'll get a pair of lungs and start the life of a dog, and just howl all day long.

We went to the mall, that was a bit of an adventure. In Medicine Hat, there is only one mall. Therefore everyone who wants to go to the mall ends up at the same place. Now, I'm not saying that 'Hatters' aren't nice people, but, there are a lot of misfits in Medicine Hat, and it seems like they like the mall. Like the guy who wants to be a cop. By wants to be a cop, I mean pretends to be a cop. He looks kind of like Jim Carrey in "Me, Myself, and Irene". He loves to talk to the "Wackenhuts" at the entrance of the Safeway. I guess they are one step closer to being real police than he is.

Jeff had a swimmeet there just by a pure coincidence. He doesn't post here anymore, or I'm sure that you would have already known that. He probably would have posted a link to the Canadian standings. It hasn't been updated yet, but his time for the 50free was 25.01, which moves him from 50th in Canada to 33th. If he gets down to 23.98 or so, he'll be headed to the nationals. He's the fastest 50free at the U of L by a little over a second.

It's getting late, and I'll just have to write more in the morning.
-Gary Milner

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I See a Light and it's at the End of the Tunnel

I had my last MGIS 333 test today, there is no final exam in that class. I hand in my take home exam for MGIS 463 on Monday. I have only one final exam this year, in OPMA 401. I have 3 group papers left, and then I am done.

I'm really happy that it's ending. REALLY HAPPY. I don't really know what I am going to be doing in January, (besides looking for a job) but what ever it is, it will be better than school by a mile. Not that I don't enjoy school. It provides some structure to what would otherwise be a boring day.

Friday is not going to be a boring day. At 8:00, I'm photographing a model at the Southcenter Mall, for a fashion article that's going to be running in the Gauntlet. At 10:00 I have a meeting to work on a group project. At 11:00 I have another meeting to work on another group project. At 12:00 I have the photo meeting, where I will be bossing around a bunch of volunteers. After the photo meeting and before 1:00 I'm going to see the University surplus sales. Ben hasn't been in a month, and I said that I would go with him, but we would have to be fast. At 1:00 we will be doing the post mortem of this weeks paper. Last week wasn't pretty, on editor got their feelings hurt (but we know going in that post mortem isn't a happy meeting.) At 3:00 we have the staff meeting. At 7:30 we are going to Medicine Hat to see my new niece Eva. She was 7 lbs 8 oz. I don't really know how long she is, but as soon as I find out I'll be posting it.

I don't know where we will be staying, Friday night, but you can bet that Tracie and I will be expected at both of our parents houses.

-Gary Milner, going to have a busy day

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Crushed to death

Here's a sad story if you haven't already heard it. Yesterday at the UFA coop store a guys hat blew off and went under a semi trailer truck loaded with concrete pipes. He could see that the truck was moving but he must have thought he could be in and out before the truck could get him. He was wrong. Maybe he slipped on some ice. Both sets of tires on the rear of the trailer ran over his chest. They took the truck driver to the hospital in an ambulance. Oh and I forgot to mention the guy who was killed was from Lethbridge.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Killing A Bear

B.C. resident, John Hirsch, came face to face with a bear. Thinking quickly he used his trusty 3 1/2-inch knife to dispatch it.

"It was like a knife fight that you'd see in an old-time Western," he said.

The best part, Three stabs to the bear's chest and one to its neck finally did the bruin in.

It never came to light how many times Bruce Symington had to stab the pitbulls, but I'd bet it was more than 4. I would have posted a link to the pitbull story but those losers at the Medicine Hat News charge for you to get content from their archives.

Charging for Content
$2.95 a story is too much. It only costs $0.50 to buy the stupid paper. Have you seen the Medicine Hat News website? I didn't think so. It is quite possibly the worst website I have ever seen. You can't actually see any stories on the front page, and there are 10 ugly ads. I feel sorry for the advertisers, they have been fooled into thinking that the internet is a good place to advertise, and they are advertising on quite possibly the worst site in the entire world.
What the paper fails to realize is that it wouldn't cost them anything above what they have already spent to give the stories away free. Many more people would visit the site, and they would be able to charge advertisers more. They might even be able to sell a few more subscriptions. As it is they're: making very little money, not providing information to the public, and making themselves look stupid by having a crappy website. If few people go to the website, advertisers are just wasting their money advertising.

-Gary

Monday, November 17, 2003

MP3 Guilt

Are you feeling guilty about the way you have been downloading MP3's? Do you feel like you should somehow make amends? If you had stolen a pack of gum, you could go to the store and give it back. I suggest that you send your MP3s back to the RIAA. Obviously you can send them as email attachments or burn them on a CD and then mail them to the RIAA. Either way, your guilt will leave you.
If you are Canadian, here is an article that you might be interested in, it discusses the legality of having and using MP3s. The act that is discussed, made it legal to copy sound recordings for private use (ie. MP3s) but also imposed a tax on blank recordable media to help the poor artists whose work is being copied.

-Gary

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Calgary Herald

It seems that every time I decide to make a posting, it's when I'm feeling especially angry or frustrated about something. I wonder why that is. I've been reading Dr Phil's new weight loss book and I think that he would say that too much of my self-talk is negative and that I should spend more time seeking out the good side of situations. Well, I say there's nothing good about telemarketers.

This week it's been the Calgary Herald. They have called twice and someone has come to our door once trying to sell us the paper. It drives me mad. If I wanted to have the paper, I would already have it. They post it for free on the internet for heaven's sake. Anyway, this last phone harassment was particularly disturbing to me. I'll give you a brief recount:

Me: Hello?

Him: Hi, I'm calling from the Calgary Herald. We have a fantastic offer- if you sign up for the paper right now, you'll get the first three months for only......blah, blah, blah,blah......

Me: I'm not interested.

Him: Can I ask why not?

Me: Because I just don't want it.

Him: That's not a good reason.

Me: That's a very good reason. And it's all the reason you need.

After that phone call, I think I was upset all afternoon. I was replaying the situation in my head just thinking of all of the things I could have said to him. Everything about it bugged me. What did he mean, "not a good reason"? The only better reason there is is if I had said I was blind....or illiterate.

In-Laws Visit

Tracie's parents came to visit this weekend. They brought us their old couch. The living room looks a lot better, and so does the basement. Tracie was coming down the stair from the kitchen when she shouted, "We have my parents living room! We have their couch, piano, and my Mom made the curtains!"
It's true, our living room was designed by Gail. It looks really nice too.
The basement is a lot better too. We won't be sitting on the floor to watch TV any more. We put the sections of the couch, on either side of the stairs, with a little path in the middle. We exchanged the computer's places, the desk is now by the bedroom and the other computer is by the door to the batcave.
I got a router, so now I have a two computer LAN, and both of them can access the internet. It will be very handy for when Tracie is doing homework.
All in all, the basement is a lot more cozy now. It is a lot more hospitable for people who want to play the NES, watch TV or watch videos/DVD's.
On Thursday, we will be having the remodeled basement grand opening consisting of a clothing optional Survivor party. In case any of you are getting any ideas, (James) I'm sorry, it's by invitation only.

-Gary Milner, Living a little more comfortably

Ps. The blog spell checker says that "Milner" should be "Millionaire".

Thursday, November 13, 2003

What's Worse Than A Dentist?

A Dentist who smokes. I have never had a dentist who smokes, and I haven't been to the dentist in five months, but it just occured to me. I already have a hard time breathing with some guy's hand in my mouth, if the guy was also a smoker, it would be way worse.
What's worse than a dentist who smokes? Nothing.

-Gary Milner, doesn't like dentists who smoke

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Reading Days

Well fall term reading days have come and gone, and I didn't get a whole lot of reading done. Please, at the very least, try to act surprised. I guess that this year that's less of a problem than before. Two of my classes don't have textbooks at all, and the third is just a bunch of photocopies. To be fair, one of the classes that doesn't have a book, do have articles posted on the internet for us to read. But still, it's not a lot of reading.

Future Plans

All my future plans are protected by FOIP. For those of you wondering what we will be doing between now and 2004, take it up with FOIP.

-Gary Milner

Monday, November 10, 2003

RRSPs

Tracie and I decided that we are going to take out her RRSPs from the bank. She telephoned in to inquire how this was done. The fellow on the phone really didn't want her to close her RRSP account. He kept offering solutions to how she could get the money and then pay it back over the next 5 years to avoid incurring the tax wrath of the CCRA. (the Canadian IRS) She said, but I'm not going to have to pay taxes, I'm not making enough money. He suggested that she leave some of the money in the account just to keep it open. That way when she is working full time again, she won't have to fill out all those forms again. She said, "It was only one form, besides if it's that bad, you people should make the forms more user friendly." He continued his attempt to persuade her not to close her account, but finally she just said, "You know how there are no stupid questions?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Well there are stupid reasons for me to keep the account open. I just want to get my money." Apparently he could have transferred her to someone who could do an electronic transfer to our account, but we will just be taking a void check into our branch for them to do the deposit for us.

-Gary Milner, still glad not to be a banker

Saturday, November 08, 2003

BIG MAC

This will be old news to some but there was a picture in the news today of a supercomputer at Virginia Tech. It was made of a cluster of off-the-shelf Mac desktops. It was built at a cost of seven million dollars which is a fraction of the price of a typical super-computer. This computer is called "Big Mac" and it already ranks as one of the worlds fastest computers churning out 10.3 trillion operations a second.

Friday, November 07, 2003

THE JESSICA LYNCH STORY

Jessica Lynch was the female soldier that was supposedly rescued in a big commando raid on a hospital in Iraq. The way it was portrayed on cnn. , the only reason they were able to rescue her was because they had an Iraqi informant who gave them details of the layout and security at the hospital. The imformant told them that he had been moved to act because he saw people at the hospital brutalizing Jessica. The truth was that there was no soldiers at the hospital at all. Jessica said the only person taking care of her was a female nurse and this nurse even sang to her and treated her good. Jessica says if she was brutalized or raped at any time she has no memory of it. She also said that she did not go down in a blaze of glory like the story said. She said she did not fire a single shot because her firearm jammed.
The whole story was baloney from start to finish.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Calgary Transit's Biggest Problems

1. Highschool aged riders. (If you have to ask why, you won't understand.)
2. Drivers that have a hard time accelerating/decelerating at a nice even rate.
3. Drivers that have a hard time going straight. (Bulimics consider these to be features of Calgary Transit, not problems.)
4. Seats that don't allow for sleeping or even just leaning on something.
5. Poor service to neighbourhoods on the edge of town.
6. Highschool aged riders. (Yes, they are that bad.)

Overheard On The Bus Today

Two girls, Misty and Hanna. I would guess that they are 15 years old.

Misty said, "We don't have school on Tuesday."
Hanna said, "There's no school Monday either."
Misty said, "That's like, a 5 day weekend!" (imagine Misty's head, like totally, bobbing side to side)
Hanna said, "Misty, that's only 4 days."

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

When Will You Have The Time...

...to really enjoy life? When will you be able to stop and smell the roses.

The answer, my friend, is after your first heart attack. You will have a whole new outlook on life. Everyday will be another chance to fill yourself with wonder and excitement. Every icecream cone will be as if it were your first and last all at once. Watching tv will be even more a waste of time and being outdoors will be a nicer way to spend the day.

They say you never forget your first heart attack.

-Gary Milner

Monday, November 03, 2003

Getting A Reduced Fine

I read an interesting article today on cleavland.com. It was about the cost of overtime incurred by police officers there because of people fighting traffic tickets.

"We've created a monster and we can't deal with it now," said one officer who earns lots of overtime in Municipal Court.
People who don't pay their fines and court costs in advance are supposed to attend a hearing soon after a ticket is issued. If they plead not guilty, a trial is scheduled and the officer who wrote the ticket is automatically summoned to court - usually on overtime.
To avoid the further expense of a trial in such cases, it's not unusual for prosecutors to reduce speeding charges to lesser violations that don't result in driver's-license points.
That, in turn, encourages violators to contest their tickets in hopes of getting a better deal. And that drives up the number of police subpoenas and the costs of court overtime.


That's why I advocate going in and fighting your ticket. They (the prosecutors) will probably give you a deal, because it costs them more to prosecute you for the ticket than the value of the ticket. It's worth it, especially if you are a student and don't have a job, but do have a lot of extra time to go in.

-Gary Milner, future ticket fighter

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Intolerable Cruelty

On Halloween night, it was my job to hand out the candy. I decide that it would be funny to open the door fast and scare the kids. It worked really well on the first group of kids. They were all about 13 or so, and were really intently watching the door in preparation for their candy. I did it to a mom and a little girl dressed up in a bunny suit. The bunny wasn't really paying much attention, but I got the mom pretty well. I would say we got 15-20 kids. There sure weren't very many.

On Saturday, we went to see the movie Intolerable Cruelty. George Clooney plays Miles Massey, the best divorce lawyer in the entire world. I recommend this movie it was very funny. Some lady and I were laughing out loud through the entire movie. It was like the time Dad laughed at all the Joker's jokes in Batman, only the at least the theater wasn't full. I'm pretty sure Tracie wasn't as embarrassed about my laughing as I was of Dad's. I think that now, I would probably just laugh right along with him.

I've been typing my mission jounal up. I'm done a little over a year and a half now. When it's all done, I may print it up and add a few pics and stuff.

-Gary Milner, Scary Guy

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween, and I must admit that I was very excited to stay home and hand out candy. In fact, I had been excited about it for days. This is the first year that we haven't lived in an appartment, so I was really looking forward to the trick-or-treaters...to seeing all of the kids in their cute little costumes. We even passed up a party to stay home.

I don't think it was worth it. We only got about 10 kids total, so unfortunately (fortunately?) for us, we were left with a ton of mini chocolate bars. I did carve a pumpkin though and that was fun. Here is a picture of my pumpkin. I decided to carve stars into it.



Gary was going to carve one too, but the other one we bought was kind of moldy and soft, and when we stabbed the knife into it, the most horrible smell you could imagine escaped from it. We immediately threw it out.

We bought that pumpkin at the IGA down the street. A few weeks ago, I bought some beautiful looking apples from the same store. The next day at work, I was sitting down, about to feast on my juicy golden delicious apple, when I noticed a small hole in the bottom of it. I asked one of my co-workers "Does it look like something's living in there?" She offered me her knife to cut it, and lo and behold, there were horrible little black creatures wriggling around in there. To this day I don't forget to give thanks in my prayers for spotting that hole before biting in. From now on I will always examine apples before eating them.

I may boycott IGA's produce department. Too bad they're the only grocery store that's remotely close to us.

EAR LOBES

Another thing wrong with me is that I have huge ear lobes. My wife says that thats not nessessarily a bad thing though. She says that if I ever get a severe burn anywhere else on my body and I need to have a skin graft, they would be able to find lots of excess skin on my ear lobes. Who else could make a claim like that?

Sick as a Dog: Not, Free as a Bird

Hello all, I'm very sick today. I'm typing with one hand with a blanket wrapped around me. The hand that is typing is cold. I was debating to go to the doctor or not. I decided not to. I don't know if that is the best coice or not. Anyway, I think I'm going to go lay down now. Have a good day!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Pumpkin Carving Continued

I've noticed that we've been getting a lot of hits from people looking for free pumpkin carving stencils. If you are looking for information aobut how to carve a pumpkin, or how to make a pumpking carving stencil or template, a good place to look would be the sponsered links on the left hand side of the page. If you are looking for the Darth Vader Stencil follow the link. There are two really great links further on down the page.

While I don't have any free stencils or templates for pumpkin carving, I have done a little carving in the past. My favorite was a self portrait. Here is a little hint for making your own template. In a photo editing program, turn your photo into a greyscale image, and then adjust the contrast alot until the photo loses all it's shades of grey and has only black and white. Then you can decide if it looks enough like what you want to carve, if it doesn't pick another photo. You'll have to decide if you want to cut out the black or the white, inverting the picture will help you decide which part to cut out. I've found that it works best if you use an easily recognizable photo. There are tips about how to transfer the stencil to the pumpkin. I've found that using a needle to poke holes around the outside of the parts you want to cut helps. You can also use a felt tipped pen to shade the areas that you are going to cut.

Traffic is Killing Me Slowly

The winter traffic is making me want to die... somewhere warm like Arizona. It took us an hour to go the 10 blocks to Deerfoot trail and then only 10 minutes to go the other 200 blocks to the University. I don't know what the problem was, there were no accidents or any other problems. I get the feeling that there are 2 or 3 really stupid people who can't drive and who should lose their licenses, that are causing serious problems. They back the traffic up so much by driving 10km/h, that it takes 3 hours for the normal, smart people to be able to clear the roads. It's like driving in a parade.

-Gary Milner, guy who hates traffic but loves carving pumpkins.
Glen started his job at enterprise on Tuesday, and he likes it alot. I think the people he works with like him alot. The weather is also getting me down. We don't have a parking stall at our condo, so we have to park accross the street which is about the equivalent of parking at the college at the end only that and about another half. It's not that bad, but it could get worse with the colder it gets. Anna is coming to stay at our place, she'll be able to park in visiting which is a lot closer. The reason we don't buy a stall or two is because they cost $4000, and we want to get the heck out of here. I got a new job at Rabbit Hill Ski "Centre". Not "Resort". If I work full time there, I will get a free ski pass for a few resorts like: Sunshine, Kicking Horse and Castle. So I figured that was a pretty good perk.

I visited with the triplets last night, they took us to Swiss Chalet for supper. Then I went over to their house after and Glen went home to study for work. The triplets just got skis and helmets so the parents were excited to hear that I got a job at Rabbit Hill.

Side Note: If you go to Sears Portrait Studio dressed in your costume, before Halloween, you get a free 8x10. Maybe call the nearest one to you before to double check the sale, because it is for sure in Edmonton.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT COULDN'T GET ANY WORSE

I see that a couple of the contributors to this blog are unhappy with the cold and the snow. The Dennis Douglases probably weren't fussy about the weather either . It was the weather that caused a power outtage out at Irvine and they lit their fireplace to counteract the resulting cold and now their house is laying on the ground in ashes.

It's Not Brain Drain...

If I ever do move to the states permanently, it won't be brain drain. It will be, "I'm sick of freezing my ace off drain."

I went out and scraped the windows and just about froze to death. Then to make matters worse, on the drive to school the radio said that it would get as cold as -8. It just about broke my heart because -8 isn't cold, it wasn't yet -8, and I could barely face the temperature as it was.

It's blizzarding in Calgary.....yet again

Today when we got up, it was snowing like crazy and the streets were all icy. It kind of sucks, but it's not unexpected at this time of year in Calgary. Well, today I was supposed to be at the university at 8:30 for my practicum at the weight loss clinic. It normally takes about 20 or 25 minutes to get from our house to the university, so we usually leave around 8:00. We decided to leave about 15 minutes early this morning so that we could acutally make it on time. The first big snowfall of the year is always the worst, becasue for some reason people forget how to drive on icy roads, and there are way more crashes and stalls.

So-did Gary and Tracie actually make it to school on time? you ask. The answer is no. It didn't take us one hour to get there or even two hours. I made it into the clinic at 9:55, over two hours after leaving home. We practically could have gone to Edmonton in the same amount of time. Anyone who has sat in traffic, barely inching along for over two hours, knows that this is not a fun way to spend the morning- which by the way, it wasn't.

-Tracie Milner, hates being stuck in traffic for over two hours

OF MICE AND MEN

I was doing a job at a house out in Redcliff and I left a pail of water on the floor of the garage. A mouse was able to jump into the pail but unable to jump out because of the water. The presumption is that he was able to swim until he got tired and then slowly drowned. I wouldn't wish that fate on anybody.

Monday, October 27, 2003

My Pumpkin Loving

Pumpkinwizard.com is the web site I was telling you about earlier. I'm making pumpkin seeds tonight. They are quite addicting once you start eating some. Well, I'm sad to see that Jeff is still not posting here anymore. Maybe if people were more polite to him more often... Anyway, I've said what I think. I'm out.

I For One Welcome Our New Pumpkin Carving Overlords

If you are looking for information aobut how to carve a pumpkin, or how to make a pumpking carving stencil or template, a good place to look would be the sponsered links on the left hand side of the page.

Here is a pumpkin site.


"A drywall-saw-wielding industrial robot with a chip on its shoulder.


"Last Halloween we could only run the robot at about 30% because it would tear itself out of the floor. Consequently it took about 6 minutes to carve a pumpkin. This year I hope it will make it in under 2.

"As each piece is completed, the robot spears it in the center, then wipes it off by passing the saw through a fork located above the orange bucket. Unfortunately, the robot does not gut the pumpkin."

Pumpkin gallery

If you are looking for the Darth Vader Pumpkin Carving Template this is the link!

We got our $60 IGA gift certificates so that is good. Thanks Jeff, if you are reading this. You know, that is one of the best fundraisers I have ever supported. Basically you can use $1.00 at IGA and get cash back and no one cares. Plus you supported Jeff going to Hawaii for free. We carved pumpkins last night with some friends. I carved "I'm with stupid" with an arrow so that who ever had their pumpkin by mine looked stupid. I didn't win with the secret ballots though. Darth Vader won. If you are looking for a good pumpkin carving site with lots of cool carving stencils check out google search "carvingwizard" or maybe it was "pumpkincarvingwizard" I don't remember for sure. Anyway, thanks for the belated birthday greeting Gary and Tracie. I hope I can get a pic of our pumpkins to show you all.

If you are looking for the Darth Vader Pumpkin Carving Template this is the link!

Student Loan People Stink Again, Just Like Last Year

Those S.O.B's at the student loan place did it again this year. Somehow they managed to screw up my full time student status, and then not notify me until a day before it was too late.

This year it was the dolts at CIBC. Which makes them even stupider than the Edulinks people because, I have two different student loans with the CIBC people a provincial loan and a federal loan. They are willing to admit that I am a full time student on the provincial side, but not on the federal side. Presumably, they never got the form for the provincial loan, but the two groups aren't allowed to talk to each other. Or try to make things easy on the customers.

I guess the real problem is that there are about a thousand companies called CIBC something something, and the only way (besides their name) that they are related is that they pay their money up the chain to the same people. They are not acctually allowed to talk to each other or get data from each other.

What bugs is that while they pretend to care about you, they don't. All banks care about is your getting your money. What bugs me even more, is that the people you have to deal with at the bank, don't even care about getting your money. At least if someone at the bank, (besides the owners) cared about getting my money, I would have some basis for a business relationship with them. Some reason to keep my accounts with them and keep paying them high fees for no interest.

Right now, the only reason I stay a banking customer is convenience. I like being able to cash checks once in a while. Tracie likes getting her checks deposited right into our account. We like paying bills online instead of waiting in line. Eventually the cost of being a CIBC customer will outweight the benefits of being a CIBC customer and we will have to change banks.

We are customers at the Superstore bank, for our savings account, and we are quite happy with it. They pay just about the highest rate of interest available and there are no fees. You don't need to carry a minimum balance and you get to use all the CIBC ATMs free. That's something that CIBC customers don't even get.

-Gary Milner Hates Banks and Student Loan People

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Happy Belated Birthday Jackie

Happy birthday Jackie. I don't know your phone number, or I would have called you. I phoned Mom to find it out, but she wasn't home. I hope you got to do someting fun.

Big Trucks Stink

I went to the IGA to pick up some cream and hamburger buns. I was surpriesed to see how many really big trucks there are. Especially big trucks with people who can't seem to drive them adequately or park them properly. It seems to me that if you have a really big pickup you should learn how to handle it properly, or at least park in a part of the lot where it will be easier to stay inside the yellow lines and drive away after.

-Gary Milner internet superstar

My Life In A Nutshell

Well, if I had one word to describe it, it would be uneventful. For the past two months since going back to school, I have done the same thing day in and day out. Monday to Thursday, I'm in school. I have my practicum at a weight loss clinic at the University, so I'm there all the time. I was hoping that some of the weight loss would rub off on be, but apparently I would have to give up things like ice cream and cinnamon buns. Mmmm, cinnamon buns.

Thursday nights I watch survivor. This is my favorite night of the week. I hope Rupert wins. Then on the weekends I work at the hospital. That's right, I've worked every single weekend for the past two months. This weekend I worked night shifts, which means 7pm to 7 am. Last night was the daylight savings-set the clocks back an hour-night. One hour doesn't seem like much extra to work, but it is.

Then on monday, I'm back in school and the rotation starts all over again. So that's my life in a nutshell. I just keep saying to myself over and over "only five months left" - referring to school of course. It's not so bad, but I'll be glad to be done - again.

-Tracie Milner, wife of internet superstar

A PROPHETIC ANSWER TO A QUESTION

Over at church this morning they handed everyone a list of questions that we're supposed to answer and hand in . Later they'll tabulate the all the answers together and tell us the results at a fireside. The first question was,"who was the most influencial prophet?" Lance Morris said that the most infuencial prophet was Mohammed and proceeded to give us his reasons. Personally I thought it was funny. But you should have heard the icy silence. Some guys have no sense of humor.

I'm glad to say I'm still here.

So, now I'm 22. But I will have to post more later because I have to leave for work.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Life at the U of C

Today, I was working on the group portion of one of my midterms, and low and behold the two dumbest/most shallow girls in the entire faculty of management sat down right behind us. I wish I could convey to you their conversation. Quite frankly, I feel dumber for having overheard them, and so, I will spare you the pain.

We had the annual general meeting for the Gauntlet, were we elect board members. We elected two incumbents to the board, and an ex-photo editor. We also elected the staff representatives to the board. I asked the staff candidates which cover they liked the best, and they all picked covers that somehow involved themselves. Adam picked his first cover shot. Russ picked a cover that he got this summer, and Karoline picked a cover that had one of her stories. Even the other guy, who I can't remember his name, picked a cover that had a picture of his friend in the background.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Midterms Meet Their Maker

Well midterms meet me anyway.

I virtually finished my third midterm a little while ago. I say virtually finished, because there is a group takehome that I am doing tomorrow with my group. It involves excel and an excel plugin called chrystal ball.
It's a big relief to be done my midterms. It will be smooth sailing for a week or two anyway. I don't think any of my classes have cumulative finals so I'm pretty happy.

I don't know if any of you read the hit tracker page, but the one Jeff set up, mysteriously disappeared at around 9:00am and I didn't get it put back up untill about 9:03am. I'm probably going to write an email to extreme-tracking to find out how it mistakenly got deleted.

On the bright side, starting fresh will mean that the average number of hits per day won't be stuck on 12 for the next thousand years. Even though we have been getting 18+ hits a day for the last 2 months, that's not enough to raise the average because of the other 10 months when we were only getting 10 or 11 per day.

Linux Ate My Dog

Well, Linux went into my computer just fine. It took about two hours, but everything worked just fine on the first try. Ben also gave me another 64megs of ram he got from a computer he bought just so that he could get the network card.
I guess, that they have been making lots of improvements to Linux over the years. Ben said that in the past you needed 24 disks, and it was text only. Now you can boot from you cd and there is a graphical user interface. It tells you what to select so that even a beginner could do a custom install.
One of the best things is that you get almost everything you need right off the bat and it is free. You get an office suite, for wordprocessing, spread sheets and presentations. You get server software for fileserving, web serving and ftp serving. You get a bunch of games and a ton of other stuff packaged with the Operating System.
It even accessed the internet over the Gauntlet's network without doing any extra configuring. I'm pretty happy. Now all I need to do is get a router and I will have my own little LAN conneted to the Interweb.

-Gary Linux Guru

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Well, let's just say, "if your VCR is still blinking 12:00, you don't want Linux"

I bought a computer for the University surplus last friday. I got a pentium 233 and 15 inch moniter for $50, as well as an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. I'm going to install Linux, and use the computer as a web browser for now. Later on, I will make it into a web server. Maybe a file server as well.
The moniter was the best part of the entire thing. My old moniter is starting to crap out a bit, there are blurry spots that move across the screen. I had hoped to install today, but it might get put off for a little while.

-Gary

Monday, October 20, 2003

TICKLED PINK

I heard on the news tonight that a guy went over Niagara falls today and lived. This tickles me pink. He was filmed going over the brink so they know for sure that he went over the falls. The maid of the mist spotted him swiming about l00 yards below the falls and tried to throw him a life presearver but failed. He then swam to shore unaided . I saw him with a towel over his head and walking on his own with only minor injuries. I think he is only the second guy to achieve this feat without protective equipment. Dozens have died even using protective barrels and other devices.

I'm Retiring

I guess this will be my last post at the milner blog. It was a fun place to post for awhile but due to political reasons I've decided to post elsewhere. Besides my posts were probably too boring for such a classy site anyway - as some of us know Gary is hypercritical of content not written at a professional level. Gary you can take your ball and go home.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

A Trip to the Theater

One of my volunteers and I went to a media call last Tuesday for a play called, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", we took a few photos and on our way out, the publicist asked us if we would like to have tickets to Friday's show. I am not a guy to turn down $50 worth of tickets said, "Yes, I'll take two".

Little did I know, that Tracie had to work, and that I would be going to the show by myself. Don't worry anyone, we won't be getting a divorce one week before Christmas, like the time I had to goto the Star Trek movie by myself.

I dropped Tracie off at the hospital and rode the c-train downtown to the theater. I picked up my ticket and made my way to my seat. The first thing that you notice upon entering the theater is that the set tilts forward and to the left, which is weird for a little while, but then you adjust and don't even notice after awhile. Valerie Ann Pearson (Martha) said, "Sitting on the couch is the worst part, it really hurts your back. Walking around on it is great though, because you don't even have to act drunk." The play was wonderfully done, I can see why it has been so acclaimed over the years. I felt uncomfortable with George and Martha's conversation, and I was in the audience.

A Trip Home From the Theater

I am really becoming aware that I feel a little uncomfortable around people who hang out around the c-train. Not just the homeless kids downtown, but the gangsta types that hang out at the Rundle Station in the NE.

I was at the City Hall station waiting for a NE bound train, looking around minding my own business, when I notice a homeless type kid, about 20 feet away, with a florescent orange exacto knife with the blade extended concealed in his hand. Then I notice that he's doing the "head thrust" at me, like bullies do to little kids to make them flinch. Apparently he thought that I was staring at him and trying to start something.

I am strongly opposed to getting cut by, Jimmy "The Box Cutter" Homelesspunk, so I walked down the steps off the platform and then back up the steps more in the middle where there were more people.

It was the first time that I went from feeling pretty safe in Calgary, to feeling aprehensive. I have to admit that I don't really want Tracie to go to the hospital by herself anymore. Maybe it's because we had our CD's stolen from our car at that station, but it really doesn't seem safe to me. Especially after dark.

Things like this are just serving to make me even more classist than I already am. If we stay in Calgary, I want to live in a place where you have to have a $40,000-$50,000 down payment. Somewhere totally unreachable by Jimmy Homelesspunk.

I wonder what early Hutterites would have thought?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Black Person + Ethnic DNA Test = ?

I picked this up from metafilter.com:

After watching a 60 Minutes segment on the subject last year, Wayne Joseph decided on a whim to take a new ethnic DNA test. Being of Creole stock, and therefore on the lighter end of the black color spectrum, he had developed a casual curiosity about his exact percentage of black blood. What he discovered was astounding.

I wonder what early Mormons would have thought?

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Midterm Time

I handed in a take-home midterm exam today, and I have another midterm tomorrow. My third and final midterm is on wednesday next week. The first half of my last semester has gone by very quickly. I'm so glad. I'm half a semester closer to being done school.

In Other Pedestrian Related news...

A 21-year-old woman and her two year old daughter were hit by a truck on Edmonton Trail yesterday. The mother was critically hurt. The girl received broken bones and cuts.
At this time last year, three pedestrians had been killed on Calgary streets. So far, this year, there have been 12 deaths, despite more tickets being written and higher fines.

-Gary Milner,

Chinese Launch Manned Spacecraft

The Chinese have launched their first manned spacecraft and it's now in orbit.

The craft, carrying a single astronaut, Yang Liwei, is expected to circle the planet 14 times, returning to Earth after a flight of about 22 hours.

Who Owns the Moon?

Meanwhile in another space related story a businessman in Australian claimed yesterday he had purchased the rights to sell pieces of land on the moon.

Paul Jackson, 33, opens his Melbourne real estate agency, Lunar Realty, tomorrow, offering one-acre blocks on the moon for $59 and 10-acre "lifestyle" blocks for $298.

According to Lunar Realty, the moon is owned by Nevada businessman Dennis Hope who challenged a loophole in a United Nations' treaty.

The United Nations 1967 Outer Space Treaty disallows any country from owning the moon, but says nothing about companies, Mr Jackson said.

Mr Hope declared his possession of the moon by filing a declaration of ownership at the San Francisco County Offices in 1980.


Lunatics.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Thanksgiving

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. I, myself, am thankful for all the boring but important stuff (peace, food, shelter etc) but I'm also thankful to get the day off school, and mostly I'm thankful for research that shows us monkey's are capable of controlling robot arms with their brains. It's research like this that's going to stop prosthesis violence like this.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

James Fights the Law Again Reloaded Volume II With a Vengence

Get the whole story right from the source.

Happy Birthday Blog! (and also Happy Belated Birthday Glen)

It's been one fun filled year of blogging. When Gary started this blog and invited me to start posting on it a couple of days later I never really thought about what the blog would be like in a year's time. Here we are now though with 8 members and three of us that publish on a regular basis. Hmmm, that sounded more impressive in my head.

Why Blog?

To celebrate one year, I'll discuss the issue of "why blog?" It's been on my mind lately and I think there are some pretty good reasons to blog. But first, some stats - many people are jumping onto the blogging bandwagon. It is estimated that there were about 135,000 blogs in 2000 and it's predicted that number will increase in size to 10.3 million by 2004. That seems like an awful lot of blogs but unfortunately over half of them will be dead. That's right most blogs, actually 2.72 million out of the 4.12 million weblogs out there, have been abandoned (temporarily or permanently) and about a million of these dead blogs were abandoned after a day. 132,000 would-be webloggers gave up after a year. (Hurray for Milner Blog we made it!)

Blogs on average are updated much less frequently than the Milner blog. Usually an active blog is updated once every two weeks. I quickly did some research and found out the stats thus far for postings on milner.blogspot.com. Including this post there have been:

20 posts in October 2002
16 posts in November 2002
19 posts in December 2002
17 posts in January 2003
40 posts in February 2003
94 posts in March 2003
56 posts in April 2003
54 posts in May 2003
36 posts in June 2003
32 posts in July 2003
22 posts in August 2003
61 posts in September 2003
24 posts in October 2003

That's a total of 491 posts and an average of 1.36 posts per day. So that gets us back to the question: Why Blog?

Blogging is about different things for different people. For our family it's mostly about keeping in touch, but I don't altogether think that's the only reason why I do it. If it were I suppose we could just instant message or cc: each other and be done with. Blogging has a more formal feel to it than instant messages or even emails and of course is great because it is automatically archived and as such makes a more permanent record of our lives. I also enjoy the fact that others can come here and potentially learn something they never knew before - even if it is just my recommendation on what movie to see, or why I believe this or that.

One of the best parts about blogging is that I think our blog gets better everyday. We get more experienced as writers and the site slowly changes as additions are made. The Milner Blog could use an overhaul and maybe one of these days it will get one, but in the meantime even the small changes improve the site.

When pondering the question "Why Blog?" I think about the personal web pages I setup as a kid. I made a new one about once or twice a year but they were all basically the same thing: useless links to my friends useless personal pages and sites I thought were cool. I even had a counter on my page which I faithfully reloaded until I had well over 3000 hits. With the exception of one of two co-workers and my family I'm pretty sure nobody else ever came to that page, but nevertheless it was cool because it was mine and anybody in the world could come there to see something I had made.

I guess deep down I blog for the same reason I made those all those web pages in Jr. High and High School. I just have this need for an outlet and I have a dream that someday people will come here; read this and think, "Hey this guy is pretty cool. I'm going to come back here because there is something of value here". Hopefully there will be. Here's to another year of blogging.

Mongolie Grill, Not Just For Mongols And Mongoloids Anymore!

Tracie and I went to a restaurant called the Mongolie Grill. It was quite good. It is a stirfry while you watch place. You choose what you want to have in your stirfry from a buffet of ingredients and they cook it up for you. You have to be careful though, because a little goes a long way and you pay by weight.
The only drawback that I could see was that it might take a while for a people to find out what goes well together, particularly in the sauce department, they had close to 30 different sauces, and I had no idea what would be good together. But, after you visit a few times, I'm sure that you will find a combination that is pleasing.

One Year Old
The blog turns one year old today. That's pretty old in Internet years, and even older in Blog years. Looking back, it seems as if our blog is just hitting it's stride. We're getting way more hits, even lots of them are just Dad checking to see if there's a new post every hour. I'm sure if Dad slept like 3 hours less a day we would be getting way more hits. But besides Dad, we are getting hits from the outside world as well. Were even giving a few people what they are searching for, (but not the guy looking for kickboxing photos, he got a broken link). After a year, you build up a lot of content.
Even though we might not be changing the world, we are offering a little information, sometimes, to people who can use it. The sight becomes even more useful because it is indexed by google. For example, not everyone wants to find a "really big internet superstar" but, searching google will lead them here.
Happy Birthday, milner.blogspot.com.

Friday, October 10, 2003

MOVIE REVIEW: SECOND HAND LIONS

I see movie reviews on this blog from time to time. One review I would like to have seen would have been on second hand lions. Thats because it's one of the best darn movies I've seen in a long time. If you haven't seen it yet, take my advice don't miss it. See that freaking movie. When I say see that freaking movie you know you have got my very highest rating.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Not One; Not Three - But Two Practices

I went swimming twice today. For those of you that don't know, that's a lot for me. We swam about 3 km every hour so I'm guessing it was about 8 or 9 km today. I've been slacking off this week though. Last Saturday we had a really hard morning workout followed by some intense dryland. I didn't notice much pain at the time. I slept all afternoon and took things pretty easy on Sunday. By Monday my calves were so sore I could barely walk. That's why I didn't go to practice. Tuesday was the same thing but I decided to give them a good stretch and things began to get better.

Anna's Auditioning in Calgary

Anna's auditioning today. Break a leg Anna! She'll be back later today (last I heard) and we'll drive to Med Hat for the weekend.

Movie Review: Kill Bill

The tag line for "Kill Bill" is, "In the year 2003, Uma Thurman will kill Bill". This of course turns out to be a big lie, Kill Bill is actaully a two parter, and Bill, if he gets killed at all, won't be dying untill 2004.

Uma Thurman stars as "The Bride" a member of an elite assassination squad, led by Bill. The movie begins at the wedding where "The Bride" and all the wedding mercilessly killed. Unfortunately for Bill and the rest of the squad, the bride wasn't quite dead. The movie then continues on to describe how the bride kills her ex-squad of assassins, leaving Bill for last.

You may be asking yourself, what is this movie really like. Well imagine if "Crouching Tigher, Hidden Dragon" and "Pulp Fiction" had a baby. It would be Kill Bill. Part samurai movie, part revenge plot, it is definately a genre bending movie, which even uses anime as a segue to the second half of the movie, which takes place in Japan.

This movie is BLOODY to say the least. You know that movie, "Army of Darkness"? In one scene, a man gets thrown into a pit and a geyser of blood comes shooting out. The same effects people did the blood in this movie. (I don't know if the same people really did, but you get the idea.) I have never seen so many heads and miscelaneous limbs severed in my entire life. Chopped clean off. Lucy Liu gets one head before she is even attacked by Uma Thurman. I couldn't even begin to guess how many heads are chopped off by Uma. Blood sprayed everywhere. If you were having a spraying contest between a garden hose and one of the headless people the headless person would win.


In Other News
If you have four girlfriends, use the BCC: function, not the CC: funtion if you want to send the same love email to them all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Fighting Tickets

There are, surprisingly, a lot of people who say, "Take responsibility for your actions, pay the entire fine" when it comes to traffic tickets. Really I agree that not enough people are taking responsibility for their actions. But, our law provides a way for people to discuss the penalties for their actions with in the legal framework.

People who commit assault, something that causes others harm, not just the potential for harm, get to have lawyers to make sure that they are treated fairly and in a manner that will change their actions in the future. James had his windshield and tail light fixed. He changed his "behavior" shouldn't this be taken into account when the time comes to deal with the actual fine?

-Gary Milner

James Fights the Law Again

James was once again the target of an over eager policemen. He got a $115 fine for not wearing a seatbelt, and then the "cop" looked over his truck and fined him an additional $115 for a burnt out tail light, and a cracked windshield.

He took the ticket down and the cashier had noticed a highlighted part on her part of the seatbelt ticket, looked it up in her reference book, and said that he had been charged under the wrong section of the law and that he didn't have to pay the ticket. That $115 less, because he went down to the crown prosecutor's office. (What if he had payed at a bank or motor vehicle registry)? Then he took the other ticket to the crown prosecutor who dropped the ticket for not maintaining the vehicle from $115 to $69.

Hearing this story made my day.

Here's an interesting point, the date printed on the ticket is the last day to pay or talk to the prosecutor. You can go in on any work day up until that point. My friend Adam, found this out too late and was too busy to go in on the day of the ticket.

Blogger Link
I'm somewhat indifferent, but I would lean towards one that matches the site.

Did you get rid of the comments?

-Gary Milner cool guy

Which Blogger Logo Do You Like Best?

I like number 8 but I think number 7 matches the colours on this blog the best. Which one(s) do you like?
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#8b
#8c
#9
#10



Pedestrians Revisited

On the weekend, a 14 year old girl was hit by a car in the NE. A policeman was interviewed on TV. "Pedestrians have the right of way, but that is a moot point when you are hit by a car."

Yesterday, an older man was hit by a train while crossing the tracks (obviously the train didn't leave the tracks to get him). Now, I know that the C-Train is hard to see and hear until you are about to get hit cartoon style, but still, please look both ways.

Here is a description of how to look both ways:
1.Look to your left, make sure that there are no cars coming or that the cars have stopped.
2.Look to your right, make sure that there are no cars coming or that the cars have stopped.
3.Check to your left again to make sure that there are still no cars coming and that the cars are still stopped.
4. Enter the road.
5. As you get to the middle of the road check to your right again. Are there cars coming now? Are the cars still stopped? Before crossing the median make sure you can answer no new cars or still stopped before proceeding across the road.
6.Exit the road.
7. ???
8. Fun and profit.

I'm Thankful For Thanksgiving

Tracie has to work Friday over night and Saturday over night, so depending on the homework situation, we may or may not come Sunday morning, Sunday evening, or not at all.

-Gary Milner cool guy

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Maybe if People Played More Board Games

57% of Ontario residents do not feel strongly that they have enough fun in their lives. A poll by Cranium/Ipsos-Reid also found that residents in Quebec (49%) are the most fun-filled people in Canada, especially compared to Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where just 24% of residents feel strongly that they have enough fun in their lives. Alberta came in second last with 68% of people reporting they don't feel strongly that they have enough fun in their lives. It seems logical enough though, what with all those French circuses in Quebec - why wouldn't they be happy?

Continuing with my statistically ample post, and on a slightly darker note, only 26 people are known to have survived the 220 foot drop from the Golden Gate Bridge. The number of jumpers has reached over 1000. I recommend this insightful article about jumpers of the Bay Area's famous bridge. (It's a long one, but a good one IMHO).

Back on a lighter note, protestors at conference this year were met with some mild resistance. This one is funny for Mormons, Non-Mormons, or recovering Mormons. (Those protesters are stupid no matter who you ask.)

Pedestrians

Lately the topic of pedestrians being hit has been on my mind. So far this year 338 pedestrians have been hit in Calgary. I couldn't find any info about pedestrians being hit here in Lethbridge but as a driver I have noticed how oblivious some of the folks around here are. When it comes to crossing a street and there is only one car coming for miles, why do pedestrians feel that they should waltz out into the street without even looking stopping that one car while they leisurely make there way across. I know they have the so called right of way, but in my opinion it would be polite of the pedestrians to wait until the one car is gone because obviously they won't have to wait as long for a vehicle as the vehicle will have to wait for them.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Reality

Who ever told you that we weren't coming must not be a very good listener. I have been telling people that if Tracie gets called in to work, we will be staying home. But, maybe we will come anyway. The reality is that nobody should be making plans based on what we are planning to do, because we have no plans. Hell, we might go to Las Vegas, we probably won't, but we could if we wanted to.

It's the same with going home for Thanksgiving. We could use the money from the hospital, but maybe Tracie will take the weekend off. Or not.

Jeff Milner Movie Review: Bend it Like Beckham

Using a free movie rental I got in the mail, Anna and I rented Bend it Like Beckham. I never had high hopes for this movie, so in fact it wasn't much of a let down for me. Anna, however, was surprised that a movie with such hype by the critics was going to be something much more than a simple movie about an (East) Indian girl trying to play soccer while at the same time keeping her family happy. While that's pretty much what it broke down to - nothing deep at all, I did however enjoy it for what it was, a simple feel good movie with the basic plot turns expected in such a movie. The writer(s) didn't ruin it by trying to make it a movie about whether the team wins or loses, as a lot of sports movies do, but instead the focus was on the decisions made by the protagonists, which in my opinion makes all the difference in the world. If you're up for a nice family movie with a happy ending, check it out.

Coming to Med. Hat

I'll be in Medicine Hat this weekend for Thanksgiving. I've heard from the grapevine that Gary and Tracie are not coming. Jackie will be late and Anna-Maria is going to be in Utah for the weekend. I for one think you guys are missing out - but if you have to work or go on a trip with family... well I guess that you gotta do what you gotta do. :) (I'm sure you'll have fun Anna).

Siegfried & Roy Magic Show

If you haven't heard, Roy was attacked by one of the tigers in their show. When reading the story I couldn't help but wonder what they did with the tiger after the attack. At the end of the article it says, "The tiger was quarantined at the hotel." What do you think they are worried that it has?