Monday, March 31, 2003

I have an announcement, I have been rehired as the photo editor at the Gauntlet. One more year of it, hopefully the break coming up will recharge me and help me endure another year of it.

This is something for the kids to get to know me. I took it off Bernadette's site. She got it from somebody else. I thought that I could procrastinate my homework by doing it.

A - Act your age? People think I'm older than 25.
B - Born on what day of the week? may 8, 1977. Sunday. Mother's Day.
C - Chore you hate? Washing dishes. I make up for it by drying the dishes.
D - Dad's name? Robert.
E - Essential makeup item? Adobe Photoshop 7.0.
F - Favorite actor? Tough one, I love movies, but I don't think I have a favorite actor!!
G - Gold or silver? Gold or nothing.
H - Hometown? Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
I - Instruments you play? Air guitar, radio, cd's and kazoo.
J - Job title? Gauntlet Photo Editor.
K - Kids? kids? None, yet. Ask again in a few more years.
L - Living arrangements? An apartment near the U of C, across the street from the Foothills hospital.
M - Mother's name? Jane
N - Number of people you've been married with? 1.
O - Overnight hospital stays? One week in the Hospital Britanico in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1997. I had SARS or a SARS related disease, Pnemonia or Bronchitis.
P - Phobia? People asking me a lot of personal questions.
Q - Quote you like? "People who try to explain things away with psychology tend to be the ones with the problems."
R - Religious affiliation? Mormon
S - Siblings? two
T - Time you wake up? 8:00 - 8:30.
U - Unique habit? habit? Nothing unique.
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat? Brussel sprouts, no particular reason, maybe just on principle.
W- Worst habit? Nail biting.
X - X-rays you've had? teeth, hand twice for dislocations, ankle once for sprain, leg once for motorcycle accident.
Y - Yummy food you make? Spegetti.
Z - Zodiac Sign? Tauras.
Time Traveler

Ok, this link is what I like to call a "must read". I expect to hear some feedback on this one as well.

"Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!" He started out with only $800, and in two weeks he had created a portfolio worth more than $350 million.

I kind of wish that this guy was for real, even though it's obvious that he's a lunatic or a really incredible liar. What I find the most interesting part of this article is that, "the Security and Exchange Commision source admits, "No one can find any record of any Andrew Carlssin existing anywhere before December 2002."

Kim Jong-il Update

Kim Jong-il has disappeared. No word on whether he has been replaced by triplets.
Dolphin Update

The coalition mine-hunting dolphin that was feared AWOL when it wasn't seen for over 48 hours, did something George W. Bush never did. It returned to duty!

If you thought Saddam was Insane . . .

Here is a story about Stalinist dictator Kim Jong-il, who has ordered that all triplets in North Korea be taken from their parents and raised in State controlled orphanages. Apparently triplets are "lucky" in Korean culture and Kim Jong-il feels that he may someday be overthrown by triplets. I guess robbing them of their normal childhood and keeping an eye on them will prevent that.
Beene There Done That

Has anybody noticed that Fox's new show, Oliver Beene (Official Site), seems to be a rip-off of the Wonder Years? Everything about the show screams, "I wish I was Kevin Arnold!" The TV show not only copies The Wonder Years premise by following Oliver growing through his adolescent years in the 60's but it also copies every other character in the show. You may think this comparison is pretty weak, but consider the following. The teacher drones on like Ben Stein, Oliver has friends that seem just like Winnie and Paul. Not even the trademark Wonder Year scenes of showing black & white newscasts in the background are cut from this cheap copy. Even the narrator's voice sounds like it came straight out of The Wonder Years. They could have at least based the show in the early 80's giving us Gen-X's something to relate to. Who do they think their target audience is anyway?

TV is the Pitts

Continuing with my rant about lame new TV shows, comes my take on The Pitts (Official Site) -- it's Fox's other new show. I guess I never gave it much of a chance, but from what I did see (about the first 15 minutes) the show gets two enthusiastic thumbs down. The premise of this show is that a supposedly normal girl (who can't act) lives with a family of psychotics that have very bad luck ? think Malcolm in the Middle but less funny. I didn't watch the ending, so I don't know if they are keeping all of the characters but in this particular episode they hired a nanny who has been absessed with the Father ever since he stood her up on prom night 25 years ago. Why couldn't he remember her when he hired her? Lame, lame, lame!

Where did all the good shows go? I'll take the Internet over TV any day. Although, I must admit, I do like the occasional cartoon.
Hi everybody! I found this wonderful piece of code floating around the internet and thought you might enjoy live coverage of the war right her on our blog.


Sunday, March 30, 2003

Life Saving Society Competition

I finished up at the pool this morning as Equipment Manager. We finished early yesterday and today and it looked like it would have been a fun meet to compete in. I had the chance to try out some scuba gear after the events yesterday and again this morning.

Amy, one of the lifeguards at the Max bell and my WSI instructor, mentioned to me that I was on the "A"-list for call-backs to be a lifeguard there. I'm pretty excited to finally be getting a job here in Lethbridge. It will make paying the mortgage a lot easier.

Whale of a Tale

Thanks for the whale video Gary. It was very funny.

Newsflash - Quarantine

The Calgary Sun reports that because of SARS, "[t]housands of people, many of them health workers, are under quarantine in Winnipeg and across Ontario". Personally I think this SARS thing is slightly more dangerous than the West Nile scare last November, but I still think it will be one of those things we hear about but never have any personal experience with. Although I think Mom said one of the students at her school contracted it. Maybe she'll leave a shout out explaining the situation.
Gary Milner War Update:

As many of you may or may not have heard, the US Marines, have trained dolphins to look for anti-ship mines. You can guess what has happened before you even read this article. If you are guessing the same thing as this whale, you are wrong.

Here is a quote from the dolphin handler:

"Why would they go missing when they have the best food and daily spruce-ups and health checks?" Two hours later Takoma had gone Awol. "Twenty-four hours is not unusual," a nervous Petty Officer Whitaker said. "After all, he may meet some local company."

My guess is that the dolphin's last words to Petty Officer Whitaker were, "So long and thanks for all the fish."

-Gary Milner

ps. watch the whale video, even if you have seen it before.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Jeff Milner Blog Update

Ahhh, there is nothing quite as relaxing as sitting down to the quiet hum of your computer in your own home, drinking a nice refreshing Pepsi and posting to the Milner Blog. I have lots of things to post tonight so without further ado; WALLA!

Recipe Update

Anna-Maria made the second recipe from her Poppy yesterday night. I have the picture of how it turned out and I'd have to say - it was just as good or better than the first recipe. I can't wait til we make the next one.

It was actually really tasty

What you see in the picture is a pita, covered in smashed avocado, cheese, tomato, fresh garlic, and more cheese. You can find the recipe for the Avocado melt in the section on the right (Just click to expand the menu). Anna-Maria and I decided only to add the recipes after we try them, so there will be more added in the coming weeks. By the way, if you just make the Avocado part, it makes a great dipping sauce along with sour cream and salsa.

Linux Update

Today I emailed a guy from the Linux club here in Lethbridge and asked him for a copy of Linux on CD. Not only did he respond promptly he actually volunteered and delivered the CD to my house. I still haven't installed it, but I'm planning on setting up a Linux server on that other computer one of these days.

Competitive Life Guarding Competition

As I may or may not have mentioned, I volunteered to help out at the competitive life guarding competition that is happening tomorrow at the Max Bell (the University Pool). I am pretty happy that I did because I got a free Level 2 training tonight and although it did take 4 hours from my life... I am now a certified level two official which if nothing else is a nice addition to my resume.

The actual event sounds like it will be very fun to watch; of course more fun to be in, but what can you do? Some of the things they must do are: race across the pool and drag a manikin back in the fastest time keeping "the head" above water, swimming through an obstacle course, and doing it all in relays among other things. As it stands right now, my job as a volunteer will be to make sure that all of the equipment is in place and ready to go at the start of each race. I have 3 or 4 assistants helping me out and I think it will be a great experience. I'll let you know how it goes.

Maxtor 1394 PCI Adapter Card

When I was in Medicine Hat the other day, I bought a Maxtor 1394 PCI Adapter Card for my computer which will allow me to link up firewire devices, specifically digital video cameras, and then I'll be able to do my homework here at home. I guess it was a little late considering the school year is almost over, but I figured it would be good to have for next year and in case I get my own digital video camera or other firewire device. I haven't installed it yet, but as soon as I have an afternoon with nothing to do I'll get right on it.

It's amazing how fast a 710 mL bottle of Pepsi goes. Til next time keep shouting out - I love them.

Friday, March 28, 2003

Walla! My new glasses:

So at long last, here is a picture of my new glasses. I got a lot of compliments at the Gauntlet, which was very nice. The sports editor asked me if this was the first time I've had glasses, and I had to tell him that I've worn glasses every single day since I've known him. I guess he just didn't notice those other ones. Tracie took this photo of me, and I think it's at least in my top two favorite photos of myself, even though when I look at it, I don't really think I look that way. I really am into the colour blue right now, so that could be helping.

Freedom Fries Issue:

I can't remember if I have expressed my opinion about the whole freedom fries thing, but get ready for it, because here it comes. Calling french fries, freedom fries or liberty fries is just plain stupid. I will not be using the term "freedom fries" other than to deride people who do. Although I may disagree with this whole war/killing people thing, I do have to admit that the Amercians might not be wrong when it comes to making fun of France, or for that matter french people in general.

This created a pretty big dilema for me. How could I make fun of the French, or at least annoy them without appearing to support the war. The answer hit me light a bolt of lightning. Instead of saying "freedom fries, or liberty kissing" to replace "french fries and french kissing" I will now refer to those items simply as "fries" and "kissing". It's not everyday that you can cause two whole countries to be annoyed.

You may have noticed that I have agreed to use the American term, "Walla!" instead of the French term, "Voila!" Under no circumstances is this to be interpreted as support for the war.

-Gary Milner
Art Attack Update:

I've always wanted to scan objects on my scanner, objects other than pictures or things on paper. here is a link where someone squishes things on their scanner and makes little animations to show you what it looks like. Here you go, squish away.

Well, Tracie and I both got new glasses, and tonight we are having a picture day. Tracie is getting pretty excited, so am I really. We haven't had a picture day in a long time. I will post pics of our new glasses, later today or tomorrow.

Last night we watched the shipping news. It was sort of subdued, and I don't know who I would recommend it to, but I really liked it.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, March 27, 2003

New Comic

Keeping with my tradition of procrastinating when it is time to buckle down and do homework, I created a new comic for the blog. The punchlines always seem so clever when I come up with them, but as I create and publish the work, I almost always think they are so dumb. Maybe that explains "Peanuts".

I just want to say how angry I am at My site is down AGAIN!!!! What a waste of money - I wish I could get my money back! The site is down, the email server is down, even when I try to contact them via their website I can't get through. If I had the site running on an old computer with just a linux server and my DSL connection it would be better than the crappy service that One2host has given me. I hate those guys.
VCD update:

So last night, I got to thinking about something I saw on Dotto's Data Cafe. On one of his segments, he made a litte video on his computer and then made it into a video cd. He said that most DVD players will play VCDs. This is where the stroke of genius hit me. For those of use who have small monitors, we can just burn our movies, be they home movies or *chough*pirated*cough* and then watch them on a DVD player.

It seems to take quite awhile (over an hour on mine), because the computer has to change the format of the movie to VCD format, but now I don't have to drag my computer into the other room if I want to watch a movie on the tv. Another problem, besides the fact that it takes quite awhile is that the cd's only hold 70 minutes or so, and most movies are more than 70 minutes long, so you have to burn each half of the movie onto a separate disk. (Which is probably why they are almost always in two halves anyway.)

Silly Protestors

I found a link about protestors that I really liked, and even somewhat agree with.


I would also like to say welcome to Bernadette, quite possibly the first person to post a shoutout, besides people who actually can just make regular posts. While I'm on the topic of people who just happen upon this site, feel free to post a shout out. I'd be interested to know a little about you, like where you are from. If you don't want to use your real name, that's fine, but please try to be consistant with made up names and try to stay honest about where you are from. (We have ways about checking this sort of thing.... Muuahhhaaa) Oh yeah, if you don't mind telling us how you found this little blog of ours that would be great too.

-Gary Milner

Anna-Maria was emailed a bunch of recipes from her "poppy" back East. She tried one last night that was quite good. We'll post each recipe as we try them along with suggestions. I figure it was a meal that Mom and Dad would just love. (Beans and Corn and stuff all mixed together). Just wait for the recipe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Property Taxes

In my mortgage agreement with the bank I pay back my property taxes with each payment I make. I, therefore, will not have to pay a huge $1600.00 tax once a year. But thanks for looking out for me.

The Leaky Faucet

I know this isn't really newsworthy, but I am so pleased with myself that I want to post that I finally fixed the leaky faucet that has been driving me nuts for months! It only cost me like $5.00 at Canadian tire to get the part I needed. I also bought a handsaw for installing a new outlet for the dryer and some needle nose pliers (it was an impulse buy but at $2.99 how could I resist?)
This is some sage advise to Jeff. By all means you should get another roommate. Now that you have a house you will have to pay property taxes which will amount to 800 to 1000 dollars. You will be getting a bill in the mail one of these times.
Some American Companies are just plain stoopid

Wired Magazine is covering an interesting story about company that is refusing to sell it's products to anyone living in Canada, France, Germany, or any other country opposed to the war in Iraq. Apparently the company had a laser printer on sale on EBay and when they found out that the highest bidder was from Vancouver, BC they changed their mind about the sale.
The Simpsons Movie

The Simpson family will be around for at least another couple of years making it the longest running comedy of all time. Simpsons creator Matt Groening also confirmed that a movie is in the works. "We're talking about doing it. We just want to make sure, if we do, it doesn't follow in the dismal footsteps of other currently-running TV shows turned into movies." Of course it looks like the new Simpsons movie won't be made for a long time, and maybe not even until after the show stops producing new episodes.
Jimmy Condon

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from The Alberta Heritage Fund. It was a cheque for $900 for the Jimmy Condon Scholorship. Taking part on the swim team was such a great decision! Not only have I had a great time, it hasn't really cost me a lot monetarily speaking! I'm really glad to get the money, but I do still need to get a real job. Living from bursary to scholarship to GST cheques won't last me forever.

New Roommate

I have been thinking about having a new roommate. I know I don't like having people around much - it's nice to have the house to myself, but this would make paying the bills a whole lot easier. I'll find out soon if he's really interested.

How to Post a link Online

I was thinking that in the remote case that Dad ever decides he would like to post a link to a website that he has found, he probably doesn't have the slightest idea how. So here are some simple instructions. It is probably easiest to copy the link into the clipboard. This is done by highlighting the address in the address bar, right clicking and clicking copy. Then type out the following example but paste in your address instead of the (right click then click paste).

This is a link to <a href="">type link word(s) here</a>.

Any of the red letters can be changed but in order for the link to work, all the black text must be typed exactly and the link must be exact as well. The previous paragraph, with no colors added comes out looking like:

This is a link to type link word(s) here.

I hope this helps.
Eye Doctor Update:

I went to get my eyes tested tonight, and I ordered 2 new pairs of glassses. I got one pair that is way different from the glass that I have had, and another pair that is very similar. That way, I can have a change of glasses. It turns out that I need a stronger perscription now, not that much stronger though, and mostly in my left eye. The glasses will be done Friday afternoon, and I'll post pics soon after that.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Animation Update

I just finished the animation project that is due tomorrow. Actually I still have to export it to .mov format and add sound but here it is without sound. (You'll need an up to date flash player.)

Monday, March 24, 2003


Here's some more food for thought about dumbness. Bill Clinton, just as all Presidents do, made his share of mistakes. Most notably the affair with office intern Monica Lewinsky. The media had a feeding frenzy. Clinton was dragged through the mud, and yet when it was all over everyone still seemed to love Clinton. Bush on the other hand has also made his mistakes in office. Even though he cheated the election and started a war with Iraq in which hundreds of people will die, you don't hear any mainstream media criticising his actions. According to the media Bush's ratings are high, but frankly I don't think that will be the case come election time. Now I dare to ask the question, who made the bigger mistake, Bush or Clinton? Whose mistakes cost more lives?
Academy Stupidness:

Michael Moore made a movie that is very much in opposition to gun violence in America. In his movie, he raises such questions as, "Why are Americans so violent?" and "What is it about our society that makes us think that our problems can be solved through violence?" For this movie, he was nominated and received an Academy Award. Why then, considering the subject of his movie, does it come as a surprise that he would use a podium in front of millions of people to condemn the violence being forced upon the people of Iraq. He made his opinion very clear before the votes were cast.

Another thing that I don't understand about the Academy is their willingness to give their highest award to a Director who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, but will ostracize someone who voices their opinion about much more innocuous subjects.

-Gary Milner
Sending Iraqi Diplomats Packing etc.

I don't think that we should send the diplomats away. I mean why would we? Because the American say so? Not bloody likely. They are in a war with Iraq, we're not let them fight their own battles. As far as not going to war alongside the USA, didn't it take two years for them to join us in WW2? But I guess that's different because everyone in the whole world could see and understand that Hitler was attacking other countries, not just the USA.

This may seem to be a very cold post, but let me say that I do feel sorry for the families of the American soldiers who have died and who will die, over the course of this war. I also feel sorry for those poor schmucks on the Iraqi side who have to fight back. They're really in between a rock and a hard place. They could be killed for not fighting, just as easily as not.

The worst part of the whole matter is what is happening to the citizens. What about them, are they suddenly fine? No one has asthma or diabetes anymore? No one falls down and breaks their arm and needs to go to the hospital? What do they eat? How can they go to the market when there are hundreds of 1000-3000 lbs bombs darkening the sky and raining down on them? I'll bet not one of them says, "I'll go to market in the shade."

The military and media make a huge point to exclaim that their weapons are laser precise. Sorry that's just a bunch of bs. The only thing as presice as a laser is another laser (or possibly sharks with lasers on their heads.) Admitadly the biggest explosion I have seen is 10lbs of TNT. I was a little less than half a kilometer away, but it was still necassary to plug my ears to avoid ringing in my ears. No imagine a bomb 300 times that big. Sure it only blows up the radio tower 2 blocks away, but what about the 3 or 4 hundred people who are now bleeding out their ears? Are you willing to say, "I guess, to put it bluntly, that's their problem.”

Not me. I have used my experience to decide for myself what is right and what is wrong.

-Gary Milner
Michael Moore Hijacks the Oscars

Michael Moore got a mixed reaction from the audience at the Oscars last night. There is a really interesting press release interview (click on DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 100k or 300k) of Michael Moore on the Official Oscar site. While I think Moore can be a little arrogant at times, I have to admit the things he says are very compelling. He is right that Bush did not get the majority of the votes and he is also right that the reason for the war is the US wanting Iraqi oil.

Medicine Hat Trip

Because our Calgary trip has been cancelled, Anna-Maria and I took a trip into Medicine Hat instead. We will be heading home to Lethbridge later today. I had the chance to talk to Dad about some current events and I can't believe his take on "the events of" the last few weeks. (If you don't like it get a new blog!). He feels that Canada has "gone to far" by not sending Iraqi diplomats home when the United States has put out a press release asking other countries to do so. For what good reason should Canada send them home? There is no reason. The US has no right to ask the world to send them home. Here are some excepts from a related article:

The spokesman displayed little sympathy for the Iraqi diplomats who might be expelled, saying he did not know where they should go but it was possible to return to Iraq by land. “We just think they need to be kicked out of the countries that they're in,” Boucher said. Asked where they should go, he replied: “I guess, to put it bluntly, that's their problem.”

The article also stated that Canada hasn't been specifically asked:

A spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told Reuters in Ottawa: “They (the Americans) have not asked us and we see no reason to change Iraq's diplomatic status in Canada.” Iraq's embassy in Ottawa has one Iraqi diplomat. Russia also refused the US request to expel Iraqi diplomats from Moscow, dismissing it as “unacceptable”.

In a war that seems more and more like it's being run by an ambitious dictator, I can only hope it is over soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Phrases that I don't like Update:

I have come to the conclusion that I no longer like the phrase "the events of", it's over-used. Why not just say what actually happened or what is actually happening. If you want to say something about the terrorist attacks that happened on september 11th. Just say the terrorist attacks on september 11th, not the events of september 11th, or if you want to talk about the war in Iraq, why say the events in Iraq, when you can say, "the war in Iraq"? It doen't make sense, it's as if people are afraid to vocalize (to make vocal, in non-latinizing terms) ideas that they find uncomfortable. Obviously, everyone will know what you are talking about, but why beat around the bush? It's my opinion that if you do that you will never get past the thing you are uncomfortable with.

That's why I'm making this complaint.

-Gary Milner
War Update

Last night I went to Anna's roommates birthday party. I was watching the news when the first guests arrived and we learned about a marine (an engineer actually) stationed in Kuwait who through a live grenade into a tent filled with other Marines. The blast injured about 13 people and killed at least one. Apparently the Marines had had some problems with this guy and were planning on leaving him in Kuwait when it was time to move into Iraq. What a crazy world we live in.

Another interesting article I read this morning explains that many Iraqies would rather kill their own officers than fight the US.

Calgary Trip Update

It looks like my trip to Calgary has been cancelled because Anna is not going down to the States with her parents after all. I'm going to work on my animation instead.

Oscar's Tonight

It's Oscar night and I'm sure Anna-Maria and I will be tuning in. Steve Martin is hosting and I read an article about where he's getting his jokes from, which I thought was interesting.

So with the nominees list open in my other window here are my predictions:

MUSIC (SONG) - Chicago
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE - Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt)
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE - Renée Zellweger (Chicago)
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE - Julianne Moore (The Hours)
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - Bowling for Columbine
FILM EDITING - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
VISUAL EFFECTS - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Saturday, March 22, 2003

I'm reading a book called "As a Thief in the Night". Here's one thing I read: And the third angel sounded and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. According to the author the english translation of the word "Chernobyl" is wormwood.
When they say that a third part of the rivers were contaminated they could be right. And for sure thousands of people have died and are dying as a result of the contamination. However, we know that the contamination was caused by a nuclear accident and not a great star falling, (unless somebody is using some kind of alliteration.)
On the other hand if a great star were to fall why would it only contaminate a third of the rivers and a third of the water. It seems logical however that it would contaminate the rivers in a defined area and not helter skelter around the world.
Jeff Milner Commentary on the War

According to 21 deaths have been confirmed among coalition troops -- 14 Britons and 7 Americans. Pretty good considering half of them were killed in a helicopter crash which was an accident. The war (according to the media) is going according to plan so far, but I still think their will be more trouble and more deaths as the ground forces get closer to Baghdad.

Oh and in case you were following the boycott of French products, rest assured your favorite mustard is not actually French.

Computer Help

I talked to Mom on the phone this morning. She wanted some help with the settings in Eudora. I don't think she ever did get everything fixed, but hopefully she is happy now that she got that Austin Powers sound changed back to the default Eudora sound. I guess, "You got mail! Yeah baby" would get irritating after the first time you heard it.

WSI / Swim Related Update

I applied for a job at the Max Bell pool. I'd rather work there than the other places that I've been applying because they pay much more money! I have completed about half of the 10 hours I need co-teaching to complete the course and yesterday Pat, the guy that does the hiring, came up to me and asked me to be a timer for a life guarding competition that the Max Bell is hosting. I think the fact that he knows my name and asked me is a good sign. So that's what I'll be doing next weekend.

Nasty Water

The water in Lethbridge tastes bad. It has tasted bad for about a week now. I think it is from all the spring run off, but the river seems really low. More updates as they come. Have a good Saturday.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Code Orange Terror Alert Update:

My mood ring says that we should only be at Terror Alert Green. That's weird, maybe the "Big W's" ring is a different brand, or maybe he uses a magic 8-ball.

The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
-Matthew Arnold

I hope that what the American Government is doing now never becomes common sense..
New Media Project

I have a new project in the works. This one is an animation of an old man running. I know it may not seem like much but it actually takes a huge amount of effort to get him to look like he's really running. I'll post it when it's done, which will probably be on Monday or Tuesday.


Today I received a cheque for $150 forwarded from mom but originally from Health Care. I guess I paid them twice awhile back and then went back to school so I didn't have to pay them anymore. It was nice to get the money.

Calgary Trip

I'm currently thinking about going to Calgary on Sunday to get a passport for Anna-Maria on Monday. I might even be able to make it back in time for my class at 3:00. Not making it back on time will be the only reason that I don't go, or if Anna-Maria decides not to go this weekend.

She is getting her passport so that she can fly down to the states with her parents on the 14th of April.

Code Orange Terror Alert

In keeping with my Disney obsession lately, here is a CNN story about air restrictions over Disneyland and Disney world not because there is any indication that they are in danger, but just because they might be good targets for terrorists. Speaking of terrorists - I've heard that a single, 30 year old, college / university educated woman who has never been married has more chance of getting killed by terrorists than ever getting married? For all you unmarried ladies out there, maybe you'd better drop out to increase you odds of getting hitched. It's just a suggestion.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Here's what I have to say about Jeff's commercial. "Ive never seen a commercial any better at portraying the success of a product."

Apparently the publication wasn't false, I've heard that Stu really did stink like a mix of wet cat and cheese. Anyway it turns out that the girl writing in is the twin sister of Stu's girlfriend. She was right to point out that the editor didn't need to single out Stu, and you are right that it was just rude.

New Media Update

The infamous commercial is completed and uploaded for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunatly some of the other videos are now gone from the server to make room for this one.

CBC News

Last night Anna-Maria and I were watching a really good episode of Law & Order. All of a sudden Saddam Hussien took control of our nations communications and began broadcasting in Arabic over top of Law & Order. When Bush said he had weapons I mass destruction I scoffed, but little did I know how far his power really reached -- Over top of Law & Order!
Slander - Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation.

Libel - A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.

The letter writer your talking about obvoiusly doesn't know what slander means, or he would have said, "I was most angry at the writer's libel of Stu Crawford." Even if he had used the correct word, it would have been a stretch, because it's not libel until it damagaes Stu's reputation. Up until that point it's just sort of rude.

While we are on the topic of newspapers, I got the two pages ad-free in my newspaper this week. The paper comes out at around noon, and I haven't seen it yet, but when my article gets put online, I'll make sure to link to it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Meliorist Article Update

As I mentioned in a previous post the old resident of my house has been the target of the editor at the school newspaper. Recently someone wrote in to the paper on his defense:

Moving on, I was most angry at the writer's slander of Stu Crawford. This is unprofessional for anyone to do, but for the letter to the editor to purport this behavior condemns The Meliorist to be a second grade student newspaper. I'm not painting the whole staff with the same brush, but the editor's actions are unacceptable.

It's always been a second grade newspaper, but I'm thinking it's worse than that now. Maybe third rate?

Pet Peeve of the Day

I think the students in the computer lab don't know why we have a lobby in this school. If they did, they would be in the lobby sitting and talking - not making the huge racket that they are right now in this lab!

Of course, thinking about this pet peeve of mine, it occurs to me that if they were really, really, ridiculously good looking I probably wouldn't mind so much. Does that make me shallow?
I have two full-colour, ad-free, pages in tomorrows paper. The text for the first page is done, but I still have to find photos for it. I still have to write about 300 words for the second page and find pictures for it too. I'm writing 2 hints about taking photos. When it gets put up, I'll post a link.
-Gary Milner

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

New Media Video

My newest project is available to download. I'm off to lunch with Anna-Maria now.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Never Let a Polygamist Work On Your House

If you were waiting for the news to just come out and say it, your wait is over. Brian David Mitchell, the man suspected of abducting Elizabeth Smart, still considers the 15-year-old his wife and loves her. It has also been revealed to the public that Mitchell is an ex-communicated Mormon, and that he does not consider Elizabeth's disappearance a kidnapping, but a ''call from God.''

I just rememered that some of the polygamists that I met in Utah had the last name of Mitchell. Hmmm, they're probably related! Rest assured, I never met this guy.

Avril Levine pics (sic)

Someone came here looking for pictures of Avril Lavigne, but obviously couldn't find them. So if you came here for that, click the link above and note that the correct spelling is, Avril Lavigne.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Did you every wish that there was an easier way to shave?

Mall Update

Every time I go to a mall I hate it even more, which is weird. I like buying stuff, I like having stuff, and I like spending money. I am a consumer. What I hate is going to the mall. I hate everything about it. I hate not being able to find a parking spot, I hate pedestrians in the parking lot, I hate walking through the hall of the mall, I hate the stupid people who walk too slow, 5 wide so that you can't get around them, I hate the people who just randomly stop and I hate the poor service that people at the mall give you.

Where is this leading, you may ask? I was at the mall the other day, and not being able to find a parking spot put me in a grumpy mood first thing. Then as we were going to the optometrist, stupid people in the aisles, stopping then moving on just as you were just about to go around. Then having to wade through masses of people between the Bay and the eye doctor. Then when we do get to the eye doctor the stupid secretaries dressed like nurses laughing to themselves at the fact that you have to book in advance. It just puts me in a bad mood. Then to make matters worse at the other eye doctor in the mall, the secretary tells me to wait while she types a form into the computer. Apparently it's more important to type a form into the computer and make someone wait for 5 minutes than to make an appointment. It's like the doctor makes his money by having the secretary enter forms into the computer, not by actually doing eye exams. So, she finally gets done typing the form, for someone who isn't even in the room and who has probably already left, and I get to ask her my question.

Q. Gary: "Do you accept blue cross, or do I have to pay up front and then get reimbursed from them?
A. Stupid secretary: "Yes"

At this point I realize that I'm dealing with a real dolt. I think to myself, "Did I just ask a yes or no question? I really don't understand her answer. What does yes mean? Yes what? Yes I'm a really dumb secretary?" So I finally end up saying, "Yes what?" After that ordeal, I asked her if she had any openings that day. (Luckily it was a yes or no question) She said no, so I just left. As I was going out the door she asked if I wanted an appointment for Tuesday, but I was already most of the way out the door so I just kept walking. Broken and defeated by the mall.

If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world?
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)
Mom and I saw a wondrous sight when we were coming home from church today. The ice is flowing in the river and the river is overflowing it's banks in the low spots such as the park beneath the Trans-Canada bridge. We talked to a guy down there who witnessed the breakup come past the bridge. He said at first the chunks were very huge and rearing out of the water twenty feet high. At first the water was at regular levels and within a half hour it was flooding the park.
Xbox Party Failure

I tried to have a little get together with some friends to play xbox last night, but things didn't work out too well. Geoff Vaz and Devin Wallace were the only ones to make it over here. I suppose I should explain that it was last minute, however Geoff Vaz is usually able to convince many people to come even with no notice. So we had a good time anyway just the three of us playing Halo.

Lethbridge Weather Update

It is raining now. The snow is melting. I'm so happy and the birds are happy too. The birds around here really seem to like my yard and there were about 1000 birds in my yard this morning. Ok maybe 24 or 32, but I didn't count. I can't wait for spring to be really here.

Saturday, March 15, 2003


I went to a conference last night, like I posted before, but Robert Fisk was unable to attend. Instead, they got Scott Ritter to speak for an hour, then another hour of questions.

Scott Ritter joined the UN as a member of the weapons inspection team (UNSCOM) in 1991, taking part in over 50 inspections missions including 14 as chief. Ritter set up and ran the intelligence unit for UNSCOM in 1991, and served as the chief liaison between the weapons inspectors and international intelligence agencies on issues pertaining to Iraq's disarmament until his resignation from the inspection team in 1998


Fisk doesn't seem to think that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. He was one of the chief inspectors and says that 90-95% of Iraq's weapons have been found, and that the other 5-10% presumed to exist have probably gotten too old to be of any use, particularly 250,000 litres of anthrax in liquid form. He says it only has a 3-year shelf life in the best of conditions and that it has long been useless.

The Drone

You may have heard about the drone that Iraq has in order to spray WMDs onto enemy soldiers. The media in the USA has reported that Blix buried it in the report and that those damn Iraqi's should have reported it. What the media doesn't say is that the world has known about the program for 13 years. That the Iraqi's did declare it and the reason it wasn't on page 1 of the report to the UN is that the damn thing doesn't work. It's made of balsa wood and duct tape! It is not able to spray non-existent anthrax and never will be.

On oil

Big oil companies don't really care about oil, but they sure love money. The war isn't really about oil as much as it is about regime change. The oil companies are just going to take advantage of the outcome of the war. If there were no war and the sanctions on Iraq were dropped, the very next day, every oil company in the world would be in Baghdad buying oil. They would spend millions on oil, and make billions selling it back home. If there is a war, the oil companies will be in Baghdad on the day after the war spending billions for the oil, and make millions selling it back home. It doesn't make sense. Any rational oilman would rather spend millions and make billions than spend billions to make millions.
What the World Needs

People need to see alternatives to war. Unfortunately if you bring alternatives to the public you are a traitor because Sadam is evil and has weapons of mass destruction. If you suggest peace, you are a traitor because Sadam is evil and has weapons of mass destruction. If you suggest waiting for the UN inspectors to inspect, you are a traitor because Sadam is evil and has weapons of mass destruction. If you suggest disarmament instead of regime change, you are a traitor because Sadam is evil and has weapons of mass destruction.

Bush wants regime change and he is going to war to attempt to get it. Unfortunately everyone else in the world is satisfied with disarmament. France holds a veto, and is prepared to use it. The USA will ask for a vote to go to war with Iraq. France will veto. The USA will ask for a vote to over turn it. France will veto. The USA will go to war on it's own, or with Britain. Iraq will go to the UN and say, "We are a member country. An aggressor is invading us illegally. Please help us." Because the USA is in an illegal war of aggression Iraq will get the 2/3 of the votes they need. If you think I'm making this up, it's been done before. When the French invaded the Suez Canal in the 50's the USA used their veto to say no. France tried to overturn the veto. The USA vetoed. Then the general assembly was approached and Egypt got their 2/3 and France was forced to withdraw.

Ritter suggested 6 alternatives to war. Unfortunately I wasn't taking notes, so I will have to find his points somewhere else.

War Crimes

Anyway, although I believe that sometimes war is the answer, the more I think about this situation, the more I am against the war in Iraq. We executed a lot of Germans for starting a war of aggression. The USA wants a war with Iraq. If the UN doesn't go along with it, or at least condone it, war with Iraq becomes a war of aggression, illegal under international law, and George W. Bush becomes a war criminal.
Roommate Update

Dad bought me an extra medium pizza to take home after eating out yesterday, after all Pizza Hut has the "regular price five bucks five bucks five bucks deal". Being that this post is written under the "Roommate Update" heading, I think some of the astute readers may see where this is going.

I went upstairs to grab a slice of pizza and discovered that all but two of the slices of pizza were gone! I could hardly believe my eyes. Nobody was here and it's a good thing too because Tracie's swearing fit on the phone to the people that wanted to renew her magazine subscription would have paled in comparison to the swearing fit that I had. Oh I was so mad, and hungry! I don't really have any other food to eat right now. I am still in shock that he could be so rude.
I was asked to tell about my experiences with the Tet Offensive during he Vietnam War. First of all I'd like to explain that the Tet Offensive wasn't, in my opinion, all that it was cracked up to be. It wasn't even all that offensive unless you were able to understand the local language the same as I wasn't. It all started one day when my commanding officer ordered me to infiltrate the North Vietnamese to gather reconnaissance. When I was deep in enemy controlled territory and I was convinced that I would be able to gather some valuable recon I stumbled across a public forum of some kind. In this forum the Vietcong were taking turns standing before the audience shouting out slogans and phrases and then to enthusiastic applause they would sit down.
I was naturally tape-recording the proceedings. All at once someone in the crowd pointed me out and I at once realized everyone was looking at me. Just when I thought my goose was cooked I realized that they had't discovered my identity; they just wanted me to take my turn in front of the assembly. Again my heart sunk.
I had previously learned quite a few words of Vietnamese from my Vietnamese girlfriend whom I spent quite a bit of time with when I was on furlow in Saigon. I decided to go for broke and shout out all the words that I knew. Instead of the wild applause that the other speakers received, I was met with only stunned silence. I of coarse thought that I was caught but the audience just got up and left without anyone saying anything to anybody.
Later back at headquarters after my recon had been translated the commanding officer explained what happened at the meeting. He said that I had inadvertently stumbled into a North Vietnamese swearing contest. He explained that the words I used in my address were so gross that even those with the strongest stomachs couldn't take it. Even the South Vietnamese interpreters refused to fully re-iterate what I had said. Our unit attacked the north the next day and won an easy victory since the NVA were still to nauseated to fight. And that my friend is how the Americans won the Tet Offensive.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Dad Visits Lethbridge

Zone finals for the Southern Alberta 4A high school basketball teams are on now and Dad is visiting from Medicine Hat to watch the games. George Hamilton called him up and invited him to come. Dad isn't the biggest fan of watching* basketball so he skipped out of watching a couple of games to eat supper with Anna-Maria and I. We had some really good pizza (pi) from Pizza Hut, and had a good time listening to Dad's war stories**.

Another of Dad's stories was that as a University Student he preformed in a play that his roommate was directing. This was something that I had never known about him***. Apparently his roommate had to beg him to be in the play and reluctantly he agreed. Well what he didn't know was that he had to practice the play everyday for 4 weeks! He wasn't too happy about all the rehearsing everyday. But when the night of their single performance arrived approximately 800 people showed up to watch. Dad said that with all the rehearsing they actually did a really good job and that now looking back on the event it gives him a great feeling of accomplishment. He even sang in this play and in those days that was quite out of the ordinary for Dad****.

* Dad was quite the ball player in high school and University.

** It is a running joke with him that he fought in the Vietnam War.

*** The last time we were at Pizza Hut I also learned something about Dad that I didn't know before but will refrain from sharing at this time. (Don't ask).

**** Dad has become quite the musician these days playing many instruments and not feeling too shy about adding vocals to his music.
Media Update:
I just thought I'd get a quick post in before I go to a conference entitled "Media Coverage of Life Threatening Conflicts." The keynote Lecture is by Robert Fisk of The Independent (UK).

He is The most decorated British foreign correspondent, Fisk has been based in the Middle East for the last twenty-five years, and his knowledge of the area is unparalleled. He has interviewed Osama bin Laden three times, once in the Sudan and twice in Afghanistan.

I should get going now, because it is starting in 20 minutes.
Exciting News

Mmm, pie. Well, other than being pi day, today is arguably the most exciting day of my life. That's right, today I made my last ever magazine payment and I feel fabulous. For those of you who don't know, I was taken serious advantage of a few years ago and tricked into signing up for FOUR YEARS worth of magazines. Once a month for the past four years, $11.92 has been snatched out of my account to finance these stupid magazines that just go straight into the garbage. They called me a few weeks ago to see if I wanted to renew my subscription for another 2 years. Now, I'm not usually the swearing kind, but I do believe that if that telephone conversation had been aired on tv, they would have had to bleep out 80% of it. It would have been just like the Jerry Springer show - minus the trailor trashiness.

Movie Review

Last night Gary and I went to see Willard, the one about the guy who controls the rats. Well, I don't even know where to begin. There are many things that I could say about this movie, but the word "disturbing" I think sums it up the best. Though I would like to hear everyone's opinions of the movie, I highly recommend that you save your money. I usually like weird, different kinds of movies, and even movies where the bad guys triumph, but this one was just too out there and so very, very disturbing. Overall, I'd give it a 5.2, and that's marked up only because a day later my mind is still boggled just thinking about it. Any movie that still has you in a tizzy the next day is certainly worth something.

Happy Pi Day

Today's date is: 03/14 which just happens to be Pi day. The celebration started at 1:59, Why? The first six digits in pi of course! (3.14159) I think Anna and I should celebrate by having a contest of who can recite the most approximate value of pi. The winner gets what else, but a pie! What will you do for Pi Day?
Medical Update

Now they tell us.

Happy Birthday Albert Einstein

It would have been more cool if Einstein's birthday was on the 12th, like mine. You're probably wondering just how smart was he?

Thursday, March 13, 2003

A friend of mine got taken advantage of while she was sleeping. I'll tell you the story. She was sick of talking to the guy who was driving her around to church stuff and other places. So, one night she pretended to sleep, and he slyly reached over and held her hand. The debate in her mind was: do I wake up and he'll know I was pretending, or do I wait it out and let him hold my hand? She decided to wait it out... then when she pretended to wake up. In response the boy says to himself in a high pitched falsetto voice, "Steven, were you holding my hand while I was sleeping?" and then replied in his own voice, "no. . . Yeeesss." Then Caitie, the girl, says, "Steven, that's creepy and I don't want that to happen again!"

For my friends and I it's a great joke to pretend you're sleeping and try to get someone to bust a move or always ask if people are asleep... Anyway maybe you had to be there.

Another thing, you won't believe, well you will when you hear it, I was talking to a kid named Davin last night and he was telling me he knows where Alberta is, and he related his story of finding out about Canada and it was this: "I remember looking at a globe and seeing lines in Canada, then realizing that there are states up there, and then seeing cities, then thinking it's like America... that's when I realized people live in Canada and there's cities and stuff." From that point on, I'm sure that for this guy it was like, there actually is life outside the United States.

Enough Boring Posts

Man what was I thinking with that hydrogen article. I just re-read my post and all I can think to ask is why am I SO boring? I am on a five minute break in class so I don't have time to say much, but I just wanted to get in a quick post.

Birthday Dinner

We had a really good time eating out last night. Anna-Maria took me and her roommate out to The Keg. It was really good. We were at the restaurant for over 2 hours! I didn't even realize how fast time was flying, and as a consequence of our late evening was forced to do my homework deep into the night. The assignment consisted of scanning some images out of National Geographic and then manipulating them so that there would be no copyright issues with the final project. I finally got to bed at 2:30 and even then I still had homework that I finished up this morning before class.

New Media Class Update

I've been doing really well on my assignments lately. That "shrinking" video that I posted here the other day got 10 out of 10. I'm starting to feel a little stressed about the final assignment though, I haven't really even started it yet. Well that's it for my break.
How Hydrogen Can Save America

I found this link to Wired Magazine about the pros and cons of moving to a hydrogen energy based society. I'll summarize for those not wanting to read the article. The author believes that in order for hydrogen to be a viable solution the government has five major obstacles to deal with simultaneously:

1. Solve the hydrogen fuel-tank problem.

2. Encourage mass production of fuel cell vehicles.

3. Convert the nation's fueling infrastructure to hydrogen.

4. Ramp up hydrogen production.

5. Mount a public campaign to sell the hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen Engines have been around for a while. Their biggest problem is carrying enough hydrogen for 400 miles of driving - the range consumers generally expect. What is the answer to problem number one? $15 Billion in government investing. (I'm not sure how he comes up with this figure).

Mass production of fuel-celled vehicles is the next problem. Again money is the solution. The author feels that the Bush administration should allocate $10 billion in incentive to automakers. Why $10 billion? Well it is a nice round number.

Converting the nation's fueling infrastructure to hydrogen is another big problem with the same "easy" answer. Throw more money at it. The White House should ask for $5 billion to help gas stations convert to hydrogen stations, and the administration should also set aside $10 billion for interest free loans to oil companies in order to help them make the transition to producing mass amounts of hydrogen.

The next step is to ramp up the hydrogen production by looking at new sources of the element. Nuclear power has made huge leaps in efficiency and environmental friendliness. Using this as a source of electricity and then using the process of hydrolysis to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The last obstacle that needs to be addressed is just a simple matter of advertising their objective to the nation. If the people support it right away, then it will make the transition faster and actually save money in the long run. $25 billion in tax rebates for those using the new technology, and another $1 billion for advertisements. As the author notes, $1 billion is what Nike spends on advertising in a year.

Ok, now for my personal take on the story. The author feels that with massive amounts of spending that a fuel-celled economy is possible within ten years. I think that would be great, if that were actually the case, but it seems to me that it most likely will not happen. I guess a good analogy is the US switching to the metric system. If they had done it when they had the chance, they might have pulled it off, but now they've waited too long and everyday it just gets harder and harder to switch. A country like China that has an enormous population but not a lot of gasoline based infrastructure (relative to its population) is in a much better position to implement the new technology. If the US doesn't act, they may end up behind in technology to China - so maybe if they felt the pressure of losing the "hydrogen race" ten years would be possible.
One reason you haven't heard the last from me is this: everyone else that contributes to this log tells about the stuff they are learning in their University classes. Well don't think I didn't learn a thing or two when I was going to University. For instance, in a psychology class I once took they told us that one of the greatest mistakes you can make in a marriage is to not communicate with your partner about things that are bothering you thus allowing things to build up to a point where you finally explode and say or do something quite drastic and then your partner is left wondering why the heck you reacted so violently over something so trivial. Well up until the other day this hasn't been much of a problem for me, even though I never complain about anything. But I guess with even the most patient of people bad luck is eventually bound to catch up with you. Here's what happened. Some time ago I brought the vise-grip pliers into the house to fix something. When the job was done I kept forgetting to take them back out to the garage. Jane kept nagging me to take them out to the garage but I kept on forgetting. Then she mentioned it one time too often. I didn't say anything to her. I just grabbed the vise-grips and started out to the garage with them. When I opened the front door who do you think I saw but a gosh danged Jehovah Witness getting ready to ring the doorbell. My temper has been building up slowly over the years with those guys too. Well that was the last straw. Impulsively and without thinking I reached out with the vise-grips and snapped them onto the J.W.s privates. He lets out a loud yell and falls back over the little wall by the steps, then gets up and runs screaming down the street with the vise-grips bouncing up and down. You can imagine how that must have hurt. I knew then that I would be in big trouble for assault but I quickly hatched a plan. I phoned the police and reported the vise-grips stolen by the J.W. Luckily the police said that they were able to spot the man running thus verifying his guilt but they were unable to catch him. This is the kind of thing that can happen when you allow things to build up inside you. The good thing about the whole situation was that clamping the vise-grips onto the J.W. released the pressure real good.

I'm sure happy that I accidentally stumbled on to this Milner Web Log thing. This morning I got it onto the computer with great anticipation but there were no new posts. Then I fluked a pretty good discovery when I spotted the web log archives. Well I was having a great time reading all the old posts when I came upon a post that Jeff put there that told about how you know when your trailer trash. I thought it was so good that I decided to print it so I could show it to other people. I highlighted only the part that I wanted to print and clicked print. Then I forgot about it for a few minutes. When I went in the other room to collect my printout, I noticed that the copier was out of paper. I thought, oh great, this is always the way it is. Well I put some more paper in the reservoir and the printer started printing, and printing, and printing, and wouldn’t stop. Then I noticed that there was already about a pound of paper in the collection rack. Instead of just printing about redneck trailer trash, it printed the entire archives for the month of October, which is good mind you and I'm happy about it because the writing that has been posted is so damn good that it deserves to be put into hard copy and saved. I'm pretty sure that I don't trust so called back disks. I mean how long will there be machines around that will read today’s disks?

My compliments to the boys on the quality of writing. You sound like genuine bonefied journalists and of course Gary is. And of course Jeff is about the same. And of coarse I would like to be. The last thing I would like to say is that you haven't heard the last of me.. Not by a damn site.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

News Flash

In case you haven't heard by now, Elizabeth Smart has been found alive and well.

Birthday Update

My birthday is going great, Anna-Maria and her roommate Zee are taking me out for dinner. We are all dressed up and should be leaving any minute now.
My Birthday

For my birthday present, Anna-Maria bought me a new wet-suit. I'm going to use it if I get a job at the pool teaching lessens and of course for Kayaking this summer. I'm already really excited to go kayaking with it. I wish this snow and cold weather would go away! Speaking of snow, the other day it snowed quite a bit and it's one of the first times that I didn't get around to shovelling the snow that day. Well the next day it was really warm and the snow turned into a thick slippery sheet of ice all the way up my walk. As luck would have it, that evening Anna-Maria came over to my house and while walking up the steps she slipped and bashed her shin! (cue scary music now - dun dun dah!!) She's ok folks, no worries, just a small bruise and perhaps some injured pride.

If you choose pie heaven, and pies do indeed exist there, what if the pie turns out to be "cow pie"? Metaphorically speaking there's been many times in my life when my destination has been pie heaven and the pie has turned out to be cow pie.
Speaking of Death

When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmm, boy.

Also when you die, if you go somewhere where they ask you a bunch of questions about your life and what you learned and all, I think a good way to get out of it is just to say, "No speaka English."

-Jack Handey
Happy Birthday

Happy birthday Jeff. I was going to post earlier, but it was giving me some sort of error. Anyway, not much to post so far today other than that.

I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), on the eve of his 75th birthday
It's my BIRTHDAY!!!!

I've been alive for 24 years to the day. As a kid I remember thinking that being 24 would be so old. Now I'm thinking, "man 24 is so young, I haven't even started to live life yet". But seriously as I sit here and reflect on what it's like to be almost a quarter of a century old, I can't help but think only three more quarters to go. I think I will make a hundred. It wouldn't be that hard. Some of the things that increase your odds of living long are having a pet or getting married. They say that marriage specifically adds 10 years to your life expectancy! However I'm just not interested in marriage yet. Twenty-four is how old Mom was when she got married so it's not like I'm too young. The thing is, when it comes right down to it, I think I'm happy the way I am. Don't get me wrong, I really love Anna-Maria and don't want to break up with her at all, but I'm not ready to settle down and start having kids. If living my life the way I do is against statistics then that's fine by me. Bring on the Grim Reaper and we'll stare each other down - eye to eye. I am not afraid to live my life to the fullest and as for statistics - I think they are for wimps.

Linux Geek Update

As promised here is the report on my evening at the Linux meeting. First off I was surprised at the very high ratio of girls there. It may have been as high as 1 girl for every 10 guys! Ok, it wasn't as geeky as a Star Trek convention and only one person came dressed up as a klingon. (Actually I'm not sure he was dressed up). Ok but seriously I actually had a good time. I skipped supper specifically because I thought there would be pizza there, but there was such a huge turn out that it was all gone before it was my turn to go up and get some. I did learn a few things though and I'm planning on setting up my own Linux server on the old Pentium 130. I plan to setup a blog server so that we can choose to host this site there (depending on how good the connection actually turns out to be and how well the software works.)

Disneyland Auditions

Anna-Maria and I are strongly considering going to Edmonton on the 28th of March to audition for a job at Disneyland. I would have to get a working visa first though and I am not sure if that will be possible, given the short amount of time I have to do it. It would be really cool to work at Disneyland though. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Silly Jargon Redux:

I guess my earlier post didn't really describe what I wanted to say. I was mainly complaining about the extremely technical aspect of everyone's presentations in that class. It seemed to me that none of the groups (including mine) really knew the technology that they were trying to explain in class. They were just using fancy sounding jargon and acronyms.

"Apart from being valuable concepts your ability to state them in such fancy terms is impressive too."

No it's not. Being able to describe it so that your grandma can understand it, is impressive. Using fancy terms is a tool semi-informed people use to make other people impressed. Unfortunatly it doesn't work if the other person knows anything about the topic at all. It's better to stay quiet and appear an idiot that open your mouth and remove all doubt.

What I am saying about the particular phrases is, that they sold a lot of books over the last 10 years, but have lost a lot of their meaning to people in general, not that the ideas they represent are any less valuable. It's my opinion that if you use the phrase, "Thinking outside the box", more than a handful of times in your life, you have never actually "thought outside the box". Why not just say, thinking with a non-traditional point of view. It could be because no one ever sold a million copies of the book "Thinking with a non-traditional point of view".

Athough this may be one of my idiosyncrasies, but I hate it when people use words when they don't know what they mean. (Think ignorant = rude) Or when people try to latinize words(to make them sound latin) . For example the words: use and utilize. People who use the word utilize really bug me. Why not use the word use? Utilize doesn't mean use. Here is an excerpt from the link, about the word utilize:

Usage Note: A number of critics have remarked that utilize is an unnecessary substitute for use. It is true that many occurrences of utilize could be replaced by use with no loss to anything but pretentiousness, for example, in sentences such as They utilized questionable methods in their analysis or We hope that many commuters will continue to utilize mass transit after the bridge has reopened. But utilize can mean "to find a profitable or practical use for." Thus the sentence The teachers were unable to use the new computers might mean only that the teachers were unable to operate the computers, whereas The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers suggests that the teachers could not find ways to employ the computers in instruction.

Anyway, this is getting a little long, and would be more suited to an actual conversation the next time I come home to visit.

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.
Abigail Adams (1744 - 1818), letter to John Adams, 1774

He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.
Doug Larson
Linux Meeting

There is a meeting tonight at the University that is a hands-on experience learning to install and use Linux. I'm thinking the majority of people there tonight will be short of "hands-on" experience, if you get my drift. I can't be too harsh because after all I am going. At least if it a major geek fest I'll still be ahead: free pizza! Anyway this post is just to whet your curiosity and build up suspense for my next post.

Swim Meet Update

I'm not in the meet this weekend so I won't be heading down to visit as I had previously mentioned that I might.
Jeff's Shrinking Video

Hello everyone. It's been a little while since I've posted, so I thought I'd make a comment about Jeff's movie. Overall, I think it was pretty good, cheesy effects and all. I would have liked to see the couple at the end grow back to normal size though. I'm assuming she had been turned down a few times too and that's why she was as small as he was. I think I'd give it 8.6 for overall appeal. Make that 8.7.

Movie Recommendation

My drive home from work this morning was crazy. It was just like the scene from the movie "Office Space" when Michael Bolton was driving to work and as soon as he switched into what he thought would be the faster lane, traffic came to a dead halt and the lane he just came from started moving again. Anyway, that's what happened to me today, and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed that movie. For those of you who haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I hardly ever laugh out loud in movies, but I did the entire way through that one.
Dad's on the Blog

Ok Dad, I took the liberty of posting your comment because you seemed to want it posted. If not, let me know and I'll remove it. In the future, if you want to comment on a post click on that same "shout out" link that you already used. If you want your post to go on the blog with your picture, then click on the link on the left column that says Blogger. Login using the username a password that I sent to you via email.
Here is my advice about strategic alliances: If you don't learn one other thing while you're in university, learn about strategic alliances. Learn what it means and be sure to apply it. This concept alone would be worth all the time you've spent. I had to look up the word "synergy" myself and I can see why they taught you that word too. And as I've been typing this message I've figured out what thinking outside of the box means. It means thinking creatively, or stepping back and looking at your situation from a different angle or an outsiders view point. Apart from being valuable concepts your ability to state them in such fancy terms is impressive too. I'm able to tell you these things because I'm looking at your situation from "out of the box" right now.

Monday, March 10, 2003

New Video for Download

Ok I kind of like this one, even though the effects are really cheezy. Get it while you can, I'm not sure if I'll leave these on the web forever.
School Update:

I did my Mgis 461 presentation today. It was a 10-minute thing about a new technology. Ours was ok, but a general complaint I had about most of them, was that the presenters didn't really seem to know what they were talking about. My group included. It was just a bunch of management kids spouting cool sounding jargon and acronyms that nobody could understand or care about. That's one of my biggest complaints about management in general. It's so trendy; you can talk for hours and hours without saying anything that means anything. It's all about "thinking outside the box", "building strategic alliances", or "Synergy” none of that stuff means a single thing, and it goes on and on. I just wish people would say something that actually mattered, and maybe I don't really mean "something that actually matters" per se, but I mean something that actually means something. Something that people can understand, and that they can actually apply. Something that will actually be used in an industry a year from now. Not just the "Rich Dad, Wealthy Barber" of the day.

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.
-- Margaret Mead
New Media Update

Making movie... Making movie... Est. time aprox. one lifetime. I hate waiting.

Google Update

Google searching my name, Jeff Milner finds my web page at number one again baby! At least at the time of original publishing anyway.
Dad's in Town

Apparently Dad is in Lethbridge tonight. I saw a note on my table that said he stopped by, too bad I missed him. I was having dinner with Anna-Maria and her roommate. Anna's Mom gave her a huge laundry basket full of food to take home with her, and we were hitting it hard tonight. We had some really good roast beef and instant potatoes. I tried a brustle sprout and I must say I should have gone with my instincts. Brussle sprouts are bad. That's why on TV sitcoms nobody likes them. They are bad. But the meal was good and I wish I had more of it instead of being stuck here at the school waiting for my video to render. Also I need to be looking up some music for the background and I'll likely find something off of If you have any other good sites for music give me a shout out.
New Media Update

I've been working on a new video project since lunch time. I am really sick of it. I never realized how much work it was going to be trying to use a green screen and making it look realistic. I guess some tips I have to offer are that you want to make sure the green screen is exactly the same colour all over and that objects / people you are filming not only aren't wearing green but are wearing dark colours that contrast well. I still have to do another project for tomorrow and I had to skip swimming again today because I need to get this work done. Next Thursday I have another video due, this time it has to have a Star Trek effect of beaming someone into screen. If either of these two projects turn out I'll post them here.
Back in Lethbridge

Anna-Maria and I arrived back in Medicine Hat last night too, and the roads to Lethbridge were a little snowy but judging by Gary's description not as bad as to Calgary. We talked a bit but mostly we listened to the first tape of "The Lord of the Rings". I thought it would be fun - especially seeing how much Anna loves the movies but frankly it was quite boring. We probably will never listen to the rest of the tapes.

The Meliorist Article

The previous owner of my house (his son actually) was mentioned in the University paper this week. In the "from the Editor's Desk" section, the editor was ranting about why he doesn't participate in the large number protests that have been happening lately. He sites the ex-resident of my house as an example: "Those who were here two years ago will remember the actions of Stu Crawford, local activist extrordannaire. Perhaps if Coulee Stu did not wear the same clothes every day and stink like a mixture of wet cat and cheese, people would have been willing to listen to him, instead of brushing him off everytime he was near."

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Well Tracie and I got home safely. There was blowing snow the for the whole 3 hours that it took to drive home to Calgary, from Medicine Hat. We had a good chance to talk which is always really fun and one of the best things about road trips.

We had a good time in Medicine Hat, and we would have liked to stay longer. Tracie's dad took us all out to eat at at the Beefeater on Saturday night. It was quite good. We had good visit with both families, but unfortunately I had to come home for school. School is really cramping my style. I'm glad that there are only a month and a half of classes left. My last exam is on April 28.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

George Bush - the situation

According to the BBC, Bush's handlers have been trying to get him invited to address the European Parliament. The one caveat being that a standing ovation would be guaranteed. (scroll down to # 7 on the list).

George Bush - the joke

Question: What exactly would happen if a standing ovation was promised and never delivered?

Answer: Regime change.

Gary's Moustache

I'm glad it was getting very annoying. I just want to add that I'm also glad that it was getting very annoying. :)
Medicine Hat:

Medicine Hat is great. There are no cars here. The streets are empty, well I guess you can drive all the way across town and see like 3 cars. It's really hard not to speed here because the roads are so empty. Tracie's parents took us to the Beefeater for supper today. It was great! Possibly the best steak I have ever had. Becky gave me a bite of hers, and it was the softest well done (over cooked) steak I have ever had. Tracie had salmon, and it was very good. It was way better than the salmon I had at the Mariott Hotel during the G8. For 9 people the bill came to $240.00. It could have been more, but we didn't have any dessert.

Moustache Update

Tracie made me shave off my moustache. I'm glad it was getting very annoying. I've already described many of the problems associated with having a red neck white trash Hulk Hogan moustache.
Medicine Hat

Anna and I have arrived in Medicine Hat. We had to make a quick stop at her parents house to drop off some groceries that needed to be in the freezer (it doesn't matter that it's aproximately -40 degrees outside). The trip was nice; Anna and I had a good time just chatting with each other all the way here. We decided that we would like to move to southern California this summer and get jobs working at Disneyland. Frankly I can't think of any good reason not to. It looks like it's time to go home so that's it for this entry.
Moustache Update:

Well the Moustache has been an amazing success. It caused a hugh stir amoung my friends at the University, and even in a few of my classes. I really enjoyed having it. I still have it, but after 3 days, the novelty is wearing off.

The problem is with the people I don't know. Sure a few people walking down the hall have appeared like they are trying not to laugh, and that's great. But my problem is with people I don't know, who don't know that my moustache is a conversation piece. They don't know that they are supposed to ask about it, or make a joke about it. I don't like the way some people seem to think that it is a serious moustache. But really what could they do? What if it actually was a serious moustache and they made fun of it?

So today, after I take pictures, it's coming off.

Medicine Hat Update

Tracie and I headed to Medicine Hat last night for a visit. I'd just like to register a complaint to the entire Internet about people who comment on the state of roads without actually knowing the state of roads. In Canada (where I live) it snows alot during winter. Snow on the roads makes driving a little more treacherous. In Canada(where I still live) there are big vehicles called snow plows. Snow plows, plow the snow off the roads. It takes 3 hours (more or less) to drive from Calgary to Medicine Hat. Therefore if the snow plows start plowing, 3 hours (more or less) later the entire highway will be free of snow in about 3 hours. This leads me to believe that many people who say, "The roads are bad" don't actually know if the roads are bad or not. If the person had just arrived after traveling the highway, I would believe him/her. If they had traveled the highway say the night before, I probably would not believe them because of the aforementioned snow plows. Most people how ever just assume that since it's winter the roads are automatically bad. Maybe they are just making conversation, but maybe they are being serious. Really the best thing for me to do then, is assume that they genuinely are concerned about my well being, thank them and ignore their advise when it is somewhat clear that they don't know what they are talking about.

"I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art."
-Kahlil Gibran,

Friday, March 07, 2003

Jeff's Book Review

As some of you astute readers may remember, I've been reading a book online called Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I just finished it, and now I'd like to write a little book review. Now I'm going to be quite honest with you (brace yourself, here comes the self deprecation). I'm not exactly an expert on books. I haven't really read a lot of them. I mean I did read a bunch of Stephen King novels and I occasionally like to pick up this or that to pass the time. But as I said I'm not exactly a literary expert, and to make matters worse my writing ability is mediocre at best. So here it is - the first book report I've ever done that wasn't for grades. Coincidentally I think it's the first book report that I've ever done after having actually read the novel. Ok, enough rambling, it's time to get down to business.

Cory Doctorow's short novel, "Down and Out in the Magical Kingdom" is set in the future, I'm guessing a couple hundred years. In the future there's no more scarcity, it's very Utopian and it's kind of like Star Trek where you don't need money to get things. Also, in this world, the people don't die. They save their identity's to a backup and when death or illness sets in, somebody does you the favor of restoring you from back-up. There is a lot more sci-fi stuff that I won't bog you down with now, instead I'll move on to the meat of the story. Julius, the protagonist, is a cast member at Disney World, (he's an important one - an Ad Hoc.) The trouble starts to brew when Debra, another Ad Hoc starts making changes to the rides. Julius is worried about her taking over the Haunted Mansion and taking the history out of it by having "scary haunted mansion experiences" pumped straight into your brain instead of the usual way of actually experiencing a scary mansion. I think my philosophy teacher would really dig this. (On a side note I'm thinking of asking him for some design tips, I love the work he's done). Well I digress. . . Julius has to stop Debra, meanwhile keeping the other Ad Hoc's and guests happy. Overall I really liked the novel and found myself imagining what life would be like if I lived in Doctorow's world. "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" was fun, cheap, and best of all it only took a few hours to read (it's just 10 small chapters).

Now you can see why I could never break 78% in English class. Maybe I can plagerize a better review from I guess I was never meant to be a writer.

What am I going to do now? Well I'd like to go to Disneyland, but instead I think I'll go home and get some lunch.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Piercing Update

My roommate is not the only one with good taste in fine jewelry.

Gary's Body Art
Mustache Update:

Gary's Mustache

I think you're roommate is cool. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking of getting a protester trash, lip piercing as well. I think it would kick things up a notch with the ladies if you know what I mean.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
Roommate Update

I've come to the conclusion that my roommate isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. Don't get me wrong he seems like a smart enough guy, but he definitely doesn't think long term. When I say long term, I actually mean a couple weeks. For example, last night I came home to find my roommate in the kitchen sporting a brand new piercing in his bottom lip. Some of you reading this may think - "Man! Jeff's roommate is so cool!" He probably thinks he's pretty cool too, but he won't think he's so cool when: #1. the money spent on a piercing would have come in real handy for food, and #2 when he can't get a job because no one wants to hire someone with a piercing on his face.

Music Video Update

I know some of you have been returning everyday to see my new music video. I'm not going to lie to you - you may be extremely disappointed in this sucker, but nevertheless here it is in all it's potential glory. I apologize for the slowness of the server, it's just that I unknowingly subscribed to a really BAD service provider. Anyway give a shout out if you like the video, or if you hate it, or if you watched it, or if you didn't watch it. (I'm sure you get the idea).

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Update (or pointless post - whichever you prefer)

I haven't been feeling the greatest lately. I feel a little behind in school and just not my usual happy self. I think it's just one of those days though. I'll probably be feeling better by this afternoon. In fact I'm starting to feel better already. Maybe it's the soft glow of these fancy-smancy iMac's, or maybe it's just the cool refreshing sounds of fingers typing a new blog post. I'm not sure, but it doesn't really matter anyway.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

It is pretty cool be ranked 16th on the Plastic backlinks. Is it really a ranking, or do they just sort of get posted in any old order?

I had my last midterm today, it sucked. But I think I got most of the questions. Another sort of crappy school related thing today: I had a pop quiz in my mgst 591 class. I had only skimmed the first half of the reading, but I actually think I did really well on the quiz. He discussed the topic right after the quiz and said basically the exact same thing I had written, only a with a little more confidence and authority.

It's not really that surprising that there is no inheritance and that the house needs to be demolished. There are probably a lot more 90+ year olds that have no family, no money and a house that should be razed than there are 90+ year olds with heaps of money and a mansion.

Today got ranked 16th on the top 100 backlinks page on I must say I'm really happy. I know it doesn't seem like that big a deal, but already our traffic here has increased because of it. If you came here from Plastic, then please feel free to leave a comment. I know I for one would love to hear from you. I can't speak for the rest of the bloggers here though - I imagine they'd love to hear from you too. It's really late.

Inheritance Update

Mom, Dad, Wally, and Helga are back in Alberta. They stopped by tonight on their way to Raymond. It doesn't sound like there is going to be much of an inheritance. Also of interest - apparently the house was in a real sorry state. It was like one of those weirdo houses that you hear about on the news where they have to wear gas masks to go inside because it stinks so bad. Dad lost his lunch - twice! He almost threw up a third time from the stench, but mom told him to just get out and stay out. The State already had an auction arranged but they didn't stick around for it because they had no room to take anything home anyway and they didn't want to be there in the event that good stuff was being sold really cheaply. They'd rather not know I guess. There were a couple vehicles and maybe a couple thousand for those but that's probably optimistic. If anyone buys the house it will be for the lot, the building itself needs to be razed. More details when I get them.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Stop Action Jackson

I'm going to make another stop action movie tonight with Anna and her roommate. This one is going to be good! While you are waiting for me to finish it and post it online, check out this new book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. I really like it so far - I've already read the first 3 chapters. You can read it too.