Sunday, June 29, 2003

Reunion Revisited

The reunion was pretty fun. Although it went pretty much as I expected, I visited mainly with my own family. Tracie and I really enjoyed tubing down the river. It was the highlight of the trip for us.

What a stroke of luck it was for us to win all those prizes. I really like the painting that Alice did, I'm glad that I won when I did. At the next family reunion, Dad needs to bring a wood carving for the draw. I think that one of his carvings would rival Joyce's blankets.

It was a little embarassing to win twice in a row, but I don't think that anyone really knew who Tracie even was. I don't introduce her nearly enough, but, except Uncles and Aunts I don't really know anybody's names anyway. Even when people do introduce themselves to me, there are always 4 or 5 people there and they rattle the names off way too quickly for me to catch anyway. I'm thinking that for my new year's resolution this year, I will start caring about what people's names are and make an effort to learn them. Learning and remembering people's names is one of the big points in the book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I think that it's probably true.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Required Reading

The University of Sydney is experimenting with series of electromagnetic pulses directed into the frontal lobes. Hooked up to the machine, 40 percent of test subjects exhibited extraordinary, and newfound, mental skills.

What I want to know is, where can I get one?

Friday, June 27, 2003

The Low-down on Phone Surveys

Ok, here's the scoop. If you don't want to do the survey then please realize that "I'm busy now" does not equal "I'm not interested" and in most cases will result in being called back in a couple of days. If you don't want them to call you back ever ask politely for the name of the company, write it down along with the date and the name of the interview then politely ask them to remove your number from their list. If they ever call you back (you'll know it's them because you wrote down their company name) you can sue them.

But if you are turning over a new leaf, as Tracie did today, and decide to take part in the study, then here are some things you'll want to know. First thing you should do is ask, how long does this survey take. Most of the time the interviewer won't tell you unless asked. Once you ask they have to tell you. Don't be intimidated if they tell you it will be 15 or 20 minutes because just because you agree to begin a survey doesn't mean that at anytime during the survey you can't just decide that you've had enough and politely tell them, "You know what, I'm sorry but I'm just no longer interested in doing this survey" and then you can either tell them they can call back later or not to bother. I should note that the survey cannot be used unless you are on the demographics at the end when you hang up. It doesn't really matter if demographic questions are answered.

If you don't know the answer to the question don't say "Well I'm not really familiar enough ... " or "That question is ambiguous", just say, "I don't know". It's as easy as that. If you do know the answer but don't want to give it for whatever reason, either say, "Refuse" or "I don't want to answer that". If they pressure you, just repeat, "Refuse".

It probably doesn't matter one bit if you give your first and last name, but unless they are entering you into a draw or something else where they are going to need to identify you, there is no reason that a first name wouldn't do the trick. As far as giving even your first name, well it does make life easier for the supervisor who may or may not verify that interview. It's just a way for the supervisor to know who to ask for if / when they call you back to see if the interviewer was acting in a professional manner.

When it comes to sharing other information, the first 3 digits of your postal code is enough to let the surveyors know the general area. Anything more than that and they know your location down to the side of the street that you live on, maybe down to as much as two or three houses. And when I say they I mean the people that analyze the surveys not the people doing the surveys - we couldn't care less. So when it comes to postal codes, if you feel uncomfortable just tell them number letter number refuse refuse refuse. It's your right; you might as well take it. Again it probably doesn't really matter one way or another. I know that in one particular survey they like to know your postal code so that they can see how close you are to particular stores and evaluate how well you like their store based on your location and answers. That's it for survey advice for now, perhaps I'll add more advice as things come up.

New Roommate Update

My new roommate moved in today; the one I mentioned in an earlier post. He is from Tokyo. He bought himself a USB Wireless network adaptor and without me even being here to change any of my router settings was able to get onto my Internet connection. Maybe I should evaluate my network security. Maybe some other time - it's late... Anyway I did tell him that the wireless connection would be the best idea and its great because this way he can just use the internet from his own computer in his own room. I love technology.

Jeff Milner the Lifeguard - My first Day at My Second Job

I think I like lifeguarding a lot better than surveying. The pay isn't as good (just slightly), but the environment is way better. I especially liked my shift today because I didn't have to do any of the cleaning responsibilities and there were enough staff there to answer any of my questions. The pool that I’ll be working at for the majority of my shifts this month is attached to a senior citizens recreational facility. That means that there are a lot of elderly people that like to swim there. It’s great because in a days work there is more chance that you’ll have to save someone from a heart attack then yell at kids to stop being “stoopid” and end up having to call an ambulance for their spinal injury. Actually I wonder what the ratio of elderly to kid injuries is really like? Either way, being a lifeguard rocks.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Turning over a new leaf

Today I did something that I would normally never do...I answered a phone survey. That's right Jeff, and it's all because of you. Normally, when surveyors call, I tell them I'm busy or not interested or whatever just to get rid of them. Today when she asked if I would spare 15 minutes, I hesitated, but because of Jeff's constant appeal to be nice to people on the phone, I did it. It was about my credit card use. One thing I didn't like is that when it was all over, she asked me for my full name and postal code. I gave it to her, but I didn't like it.

Mortgage brokers

Overall, I have been pleased with my mortgage broker. He is very patient and has taken the time to explain everything to me and answer all of my questions. What sucks though, is that he never gave me enough warning to get all of my things in order. Let me explain. For my pre-approval, he asked me questions about how much money I make, what savings and what other debts I have. I asked him at that time if there was anything that I needed to get, like a letter from my employer. He told me that we wouldn't be needing that for the pre-approval and not to worry about it. Since I've never bought a house before, I just did what he told me.

Several weeks later, we found a house and put in an offer. All we had to do was get approved for a mortgage within five days and the house would be ours. Now keep in mind that I've never done this before, but I figured that since I was pre-approved, getting approved would be a cinch.

Here's my complaint. Now we only have five days to get everthing in order. Things like our bank account balances and three months worth of transactions, GIC's, RRSP's, student loan information, letter of employment, etc.. If all of those things are not in by monday, we don't get the house. Why didn't the mortgage broker just tell us before? He knew we would need it sometime. Why didn't he say three weeks ago, "By the way, start gathering bank account info, we're going to need it"? I've been going crazy the last two days trying to get it all sorted out. Had he told me before, I could have just handed it to him when we found our house. We're still waiting on several things to be faxed to them and if they aren't, well then, it sucks to be us. If there are any mortgage brokers out there reading this, please do your clients a favor and tell them what they'll have to get done more than five days ahead of time.
I would have posted yesterday, but blogger was down for maintanance. I would like to post more now, but I have to go to work. I already worked this morning at the Y and now I'm off to Environics. Hopefully I'll have enough time to stop at the bank too. In the meantime, enjoy this picture:

Hears the deal. I check this blog several times a day and guess what. There's hardly ever any new posts. This leaves me disappointed and maybe even a little non-plussed. What I think might be happening is the main guys that were posting are a little tired when they come home from work. Hopefully they will get in shape later and be back in the mood for some serious writing. In the meantime mom and I are busily getting ready for the family reunion and the first of July. We are looking forward to seeing you at that time. And remember to post.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Jeff Milner Movie Review - 8 Mile

If I recall correctly, actually if Anna recalls correctly, she remembers the critics giving rave reviews to 8 Mile. Frankly, if that's true, all I can ask is what were they thinking? I got into the movie a few minutes after it started but I don't think I would have missed much had I come into the movie with only a few minutes left. Nothing really happens, there is the romance that doesn't go anywhere, the family crisis of being out of money that is only temporarily resolved when the mother wins bingo and the case of the unresolved record contract. Nothing happens in this movie. The climax was a "rap battle" in which contestants insult each other while rapping. What a stupid idea for a movie. The best part was in the special features (Anna loves special feature DVD's). In the special features they go behind the scenes to the filming of the movie and Eminem does some rap battling against some of the extras. He was actually quite good - but honestly a real documentary of his life would have been tremendously more interesting.

House Situation Update

My house is doing pretty good. Slowly but surely I'm getting everything fixed up. I still don't have my own lawnmower, and yes the grass is getting pretty long, oh and I still have a roommate that eats a lot of my food despite my protests. He is, however, moving out at the end of the month, and so far my plan is to take in these two new roommates that I talked about earlier. One of them wants to get Tenant Insurance, but I think he's a little over-zealous because there isn't much point in us both paying insurance but maybe there is, I don't know. For sure they don't need to know about the condition of the singles, but he did ask so that he could tell his insurance company. Anyway I need to find out exactly what I need to do about insurance because it looks like he wants something more than what I have (he doesn't even know what I have - I'm not sure I really do either except that it's a rip-off job).

I went to find out about refinancing my mortgage. I guess with the super low rates today re-mortgaging will pay for itself in about 8 months. Really, I suppose I should go for it. I just need to find out the exact details of how much they will charge me to buy out the mortgage and if they will even allow me to buy it out without selling the house. I talked to one lady at TD and she said I could payout a lump payment up to 15% without penalties and then paying out the rest would cost approximately 3 month's interest - which as far as I can figure is about $1600. That's amazing eh? Anyway paying the same amount on the mortgage with the lower rate will mean it will be paid off in 13 years.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Everything That Seems Phoney Ain't Always Phoney

When I went to buy my house, just as I was making one of my final offers, out of the blue some mysterious "other prospective buyers" also made an offer. Apparently from what I had heard there had been no serious offers on the house for the last 4 months that it had been listed. All of a sudden now that I was making an offer these other people were offering and what was more, they were offering more than me. However, the owner's real estate agent assured me that since I had offered first that they would let me have a chance to raise my offer up a couple of thousand and still get the house. The really strange thing about all this is that even with my higher offer, the other offer was still higher but they wanted to sell the house to me. My theory is that because I was acting independent of a real estate agent - I was just buying it without an agent, the owner's didn't have to give part of the sale price as a commission to my agent and so even though I was offering less he would get more money out of the deal. It was a real stroke of luck that I didn't have a real estate agent. I'm not saying that it always works out that well, but it sure did for me. Oh I almost forgot, the other people that made an offer on the house showed up wanted to look at the place one last time, I guess in case I changed my mind. They pulled up in a little red truck just as I was up on the roof with the house inspector. They told me they were the other people that had made an offer on the house. I wish I would have talked to them, but I was busy up on the roof and just never bothered to go down and chat with them. They just drove off never to be seen or heard from again. Who knows, maybe I could have resold the house to them for more... I don't know. I guess I'm glad I didn't though, I kind of like this place.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

The Milners are having a reunion in Cardston starting next friday. Mom and I are preparing a musical number to do for the entainment. I'm going to sing He's in the jailhouse now. Wally is joining us for it and Wally and I are going to be wearing fake beards just like in the movie called Oh brother where art thou. I don't know if Anna Marie is coming out there but I would hope that if she is, she would help Jeff out with a skit. I suggest writing Gary and Tracie into it too. Also Wally and I will be singing "I am a Man of Constant Sorrow".
Phoney Buyers Beware!

Tracie has been in the house market for the last few weeks. We found a house that we wanted to put in an offer on, and just as we were sitting down to do the paper work for the offer, our realtor got a call from the listing agent that notified him to the presence of competing buyers. Apparently they had been thinking of buying and wanted to be notified if anyone else wanted to put in an offer. This seemed pretty stupid to me, because now not only would they have to pay closer to the asking price, so would we, which could mean shelling out an extra $3000-$4000.

We wrote up our offer and it was actually about $5500 more than I wanted to offer, and the maximum that we could possibly afford, but we wanted the house. We took the offer to the house to present it to the owners and their realtors, but the other prospective buyers weren't there, so we waited a while. The listing agent wanted to see our offer right away, but luckily our realtor wouldn't show it until the other offer was also there.

It turned out to be a stroke of luck because the other guys didn't want to compete on it either. Apparently "they" changed their minds and by "changed their minds", I mean "they" didn't actually exist. The phoney buyer trick is quite possibly the oldest trick in the book. I wasn't really fooled by it, I mean, there was something really fishy about the whole deal.

Besides I remember the time Dad was a phoney buyer one time to convince some owners to pay money they owed to get the lien taken off their house.

We quickly dropped our offer by $5500 and presented it. We brought the original price down by $5500, and actually saved $1000 off of what would have been our initial offering price had we been competing with the other "buyers"

Here is a small picture of the house that we got.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

That's Right Ladies - TWO JOBS!

Anna-Maria will have to keep a close watch on me now because now I have two jobs! I just got hired on at the Y to be lifeguard there, which while not the most glamorous place to work it does give me some lifeguarding experience. I'll be starting on the 30th of June, and the way my schedule is set-up it looks like I might just spend the rest of my summer working. I'll try to pencil in some time to post on the blog and sleep and the essential things needed for survival, because it looks like I may have more hours than I can handle. TWO JOBS!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Attack of the Killer Moth

Do you ever wonder how the people who came up with Godzilla came up with Mothra? Do you think they were sitting around when suddenly a huge shadow of a giant moth fluttered overhead only to realize that in fact it was the shadow of a regular sized moth that just looked huge because the moth was so close to the light and then thought well hey we could still have this really huge moth to fight Godzilla, that would still be a good idea... Did Godzilla and Mothra fight or were they just friends?

Blink 182 was Right: "Work Sucks I Know"

I had another 3 to 10.5 shift today. Yes 10.5 not 10:30, at least not according to the work schedule. On an unrelated note to how much working for someone else blows, I will relate the following story as it has unfolded so far. Interesting conclusion pending actual events. So it was one of my first days on the job. Anna-Maria and I were both working and one of the other workers - I'll call him Chris - asks what is my relation to Anna. He was wondering if we were dating. Thinking that it would be inappropriate to be dating a co-worker I said we were "friends". Well, from that point on I created a monster. Not for me personally, but poor poor Anna. This boy asks her out almost every shift. The other night it was for coffee and well, coffee again tonight. But anyway Anna has been begging me to please set the story straight so that he will stop hitting on her. Frankly I must admit <evil whisper> I do find it hilarious </evil whisper>. Maybe I'll talk to him about it tomorrow. Maybe.

Oh and P.S. about how to properly explain you are not interested in a phone survey. All you have to do is wait for the person giving the survey to stop talking and say, "I'm sorry I'm not interested." If you are not sorry, then "Not interested" also works nicely. Rudely slamming the phone down, giving the phone to your sister as a prank and having her hangup in discust or saying "can you hold on" and then after leaving the person on hold for 2 to 3 mintutes and then hanging up are all improper methods. Thanks.
Help, I'm Trapped by a 800lbs Boulder, and I Can't Get Up!

Aron Ralston is apparently going to sue the website "Equipped to Survive" for using his name to sell a personal locater beacon. The website used the following as part of their selling job.

Your survival should not require you to amputate your own arm, as Aron Ralston was recently forced to do in order to escape being trapped by an 800-pound boulder. Nor should you have to make any other extraordinary sacrifice. While too late for Aron, come July 1, 2003, you will be able to purchase a pocket-sized emergency beacon that will alert authorities that you need to be rescued and also give them your location.

Now Aron Ralston has sent in his attack lawyers to make "Equipped to Survive" remove his name from the page.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

If You Lock Yourself Out of Your Car, Find a Dry Cleaner

I drove Jackie to Staples in Glen's car. As we were getting out, I handed the keys to Jackie. The keys were in her hand for up to 3 seconds before she put them on the floor to move her stuff around.

We didn't get what we needed in Staples, but we had just enough time to race to Michaels craft store. Except that the keys were still on the floor. Luckily we were advised by the people in Winners to go to the drycleaners to get a hanger. It's not just a name -Winners, the employees are actually winners. The lady at the drycleaners is a winner to. She gave us 2 hangers.

Glen's car does not unlock with a hanger, it doesn't unlock with 2 hangers either. By a miracle, I had left my window down about 1/4 of an inch. The plan was hatched that I would bend the hangers together to form a hook long enough to grab the keys off the floor. The joint was pretty crappy and so Jackie asked a fat couple if they had any pliers. They searched their entire car, but found nothing. They were so nice, that I am not going to make fun of fat people for 3 weeks.

I bent the hangers as best I could, and we decided that it would be strong enough. After a few minutes of shifting around, I managed to get the keys on the hook and was in the process of pulling them out of the car, when Jackie yelled be careful! As the joint was coming back out of the window, the second hanger fell off, and the keys landed under the steering wheel.

Chance took it's chance to strike, and we had the good fortune that the keys were close enough to grab with only one hanger. I had jackie pull the window down as best she could and after a few minutes I once again had the keys in my hand.

Walmart Employee of the Week

After we got the car unlocked, we went to Walmart, and saw a sign that said it would be 24 hours, but we convinced the kid to bump us ahead to noon. He said ok, then asked, in a lowered voice how soon do you really need them. We said right now, and he said ok and budded us right to the front of the line, and our pics were done in 30 minutes.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


If anyone is interested out there about the price of gasoline in Medicine Hat its 55 cents a litre right now. The superstore gives a five-cent a litre discount so that makes the price at the superstore 50 cents a litre. The price of gasoline in Medicine Hat historically has usually been higher than anywhere else in Alberta, but not for the last few months. It's real good gas too; I would say even sniffing quality.
Or Maybe I Am Retarded Enough to Work There

After being such a snob in my last post about being late for work, I'm not sure I really want to tell you what I realized when I got to work. First of all I will say that they didn't seem to care too much that I was late, especially when I explained that I wasn't even scheduled to work but I was just coming in for the extra hours. She stuck to her guns that in fact I was scheduled for today and that I should be in at 3:00 all this week. Nothing else was said about it. Well I checked the schedule again just to make sure even though I knew I couldn't possibly be wrong and it looks like I was scheduled to come in at 3:00 on Monday just like they said. Well where did I go wrong? It turns out that for some strange reason the first day on the working week schedule is Monday. Yes - for some odd reason the first day of the week where I work is not Sunday like in the rest of the world, no everyday when I walk in the doors of the phone survey world, Monday becomes the first day of the week and as silly as this seems, it's really easy to confuse Sunday for Monday when Monday is my day to come in to work at 3:00. Oops.

Gold Dust Update

In a blatant effort to give a site I designed a little more traffic, why not check out the updates I made for Gold Dust Manufacturing. Specifically I updated the Specials page.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Remember the Money Crunch is Fully On

So I'm losing another roommate at the end of the month - yes this is the 18 year old kleptomaniac who eats all my food and downloads explicit gay porn on my computer. (Don't ask). Anyway I have two new roommates that would like to move in at the end of the month. One seems totally cool being a graduate from U of A and coming to Lethbridge to take a year or two in post-graduate studies. The other roommate, however, has me a little concerned. His name is Minorow; he's from Japan. Now it's not fair to say that because he's Asian he will cook stinky smelly Asian food. Well he will cook stinky Asian food - that's a given, but it's not fair to assume that his stinky Japanese food will stink as bad as that wretched rotten garbage smelling food that the previous Korean roommates would cook. So my question to you, the faithful blog readers, is will it be worth it considering the smelly food for me to take him or not?

Extra Day of Work

Last night at work on my way out I asked Les if he would care if I volunteered to come in and work on Monday evening (tonight). He said that would be great because they are understaffed. Now in the short time that I have worked at this place I have only come in at 3:00 twice. Once was the first day and that was for training. The other time was on a Sunday; for the Sunday shift. He didn't say what time I should be there today, but today while I was in the shower I got a message on my answering service. "Hi Jeff, this is Cindy from Work. We were just wondering where you are, your shift started at 3:00. So if you can give us a call... we really appreciate it." Well I'm going in at 5:00 like I do every weekday. What nerve? Oh well I'm sure that they can't say too much considering I wasn't even scheduled for today.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Being Odd Isn't Something That Sneaks Up On You

We went to Lethbridge for Jeff's party and we had a really good time. We visited everybody until way too late, and then had a terrible sleep on a single bed. Admittedly, there were two of us, but I don't know how single people can stand it.

In the morning Mom made a good breakfast, and we had a good time visiting everybody. Tracie, Jackie and Mom went looking for wedding dresses and the boys went kayaking. I really enjoyed using Jeff's boat and the river was warm. It made me want to go kayaking a lot more. Although I think Jeff and Corry thought that the river was a litle too dull for them. I like medium sized waves and just going straight down the river. Corry and Jeff like surfing the waves a lot, but it makes me too tired very fast, and I'm not as confident about rolling back up if I tip over.

We gave jackie a ride to Calgary and had a pretty good visit with her. It was definately one of the top three longest conversations I have ever had with her.

Tracie and I will host the next party, but probably not until August some time. Our party will be even bigger and better. By bigger and better, I mean that we will make sure that no one has to go home early, and we will actually have a barbeque.

-Gary Milner

This little message should have been posted long before now... The Packster's engaged and she has been ever since Friday. She was given a very distinctive Sahphire engagement ring which is blue in color and is much admired by her parents. We are pleased with this development and we wish them all the best. Her fiance's name is Glen Hutchinson and he is from Drayton Valley, Alberta.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Let the Good Times Roll

So it seems that the party is a go for this Friday and Saturday. I still need to call back Corry to confirm the details with him, but it looks like Mom and Dad will be bring the BBQ along with most of the food for our dinner on Saturday. Apparently the Medicine Hat Institute is going white water rafting on Saturday and we might join them with our kayaks. I don't know what the arrangement for kayaks will be but I have my two and I suspect that the Milner's have at least one extra and maybe two depending on whether or not Dennis goes with.

Jackie's Visit Continues...

Jackie is still here on a kind of self exploration - or maybe it's a kind of Jeff exploitation... either way I'm glad to have her here visiting and it looks like she'll stay at least until Saturday for the big family shindig. She has been applying for jobs here and there and thinking - emphasis on thinking of going to get a new licence plate for her car, she hasn't done to much in the way of actually getting over there but she did at least phone them once.

Weed While You Feed

I borrowed my neighbours lawn mower yesterday. You should have seen the jungle that I had growing out there. Anyway today I bought some Weed 'N Feed fertilizer / weed poison and then sprayed the lawn with it. The guy at Canadian Tire said that it would take a lot longer for the spray kind than the kind you spread with a fertilizer spreader, but it only took me 10 to 15 minutes (20 tops) to spray down everything. The ants are still at large - and when I say large I mostly mean large anthills, but anyway hopefully now the weeds will die and the grass become as green as it is on the other side of the lake or more literally speaking on the other side of the fence.
Fighting a Ticket is NEVER a Waste of a Day

My good friend James Keller told me a story tonight that made my day. It was so good that it possibly made my week (I'm waiting untill the end of the week before I make my final decision.) He got a speeding ticket about three weeks ago for $120.00 and thought, "Gary fought his ticket, I'm fighting my ticket too."

He followed my instructions, loosely found in the archives of April 28th, 2003. James was mostly worried about the demerits (for insurance purposes) and would pay the fine, but the crown prosecuter said that he couldn't just reduce the demerits. He said that if James would have his speed'o'meter tested he would throw the speeding ticket out if it tested incorrectly, and give him an equivelent ticket for faulty equipment. He had it tested, and it was 6% out which translates to going 105 km/h when he thought he was going 100. He got the ticket thrown out, and a reduced ticket for having a faulty speedometer. He doesn't even have a faulty speedometer. The fact of the matter is that all speedometers are at least 1km/h out from being completely accurate.

James' story gets better. This whole story was repeated to his Dad who, coincidently, had just gotten a photo radar ticket for speeding by 13 km/h over the limit. Inspired by both James' and my sucess fighting the law, the Dad went in, and got his ticket reduced to only one km/h over the limit. This brings the government's losses because of me to several hundred dollars. James and his Dad have made a pact to never pay the full price for a ticket ever again. This makes me feel good. Before, whenever I inadvertantly did an infraction I used to consider turning myself in to the law----- but no more. From now on they can look out for themselves. Even when they do catch me, instead of playing the patsy, I'll be fighting for my rights. Thats what they get for being greedy.

-Gary Milner

Ps. Don't let the Bastards get you down.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Working IS a Total Waste of a Day

Although at least I do get to talk to people and get the occasional funny story. Like this one for example: I was doing a survey the other day, and giving the opening spiel, "We are doing a survey about your dining experiences". "What did you say?" asked the elderly lady on the other end, "my dying experiences?" "No, your dining experiences". "Ohhhhh," she laughed, "Well I'm 98 years old. I wouldn't be any help with that - I have a hard time thinking clearly these days." I wonder what's on her mind.

When Life Gives You Lemons - Clone Them and Make SUPER Lemons

Jackie has been hanging out with me yesterday and today and she talked to Geoff Vaz on MSN. Apparently he and Devin Wallace went to Thailand together to put together an International shipping company where they get things that cost less money from Thailand shipped over to Canada where they can sell them for Canadian prices. Devin paid for his trip by starting a little window washing company and Jackie and I are pretty convinced that washing windows is actually a really good idea. I even already have a ladder, but it's too big to move around without a truck or a trailer. I wonder if my small stepladder would work. Anyway I really think this window-washing thing is a good idea. According to Geoff Vaz, Devon was making approximately $40 an hour!

Party On Dude

Questions I get about the party this weekend include:

Q. Are you doing anything fun like kayaking or anything?
A. We don't have any plans yet but kayaking sounds fun.

Q. What is your work schedule for Friday and Saturday?
A. I am scheduled for work both days but I will try and get Saturday off.

Q. Who is bringing the BBQ?
A. I asked Gary if he was bringing a BBQ and he said, "How could I bring a barbeque? Mom and Dad will have to." Then I said, "You guys said you had a small one you could bring," to which Gary replied, "I don't remember that because we don't have a small one."

Q. What can we do instead of a BBQ?
A. We could just go to a park and have a campfire.

Q. If we had a campfire what would we eat?
A. Mom could make hobo dinners and we could have smores.

Q. How early can everyone make it to the party?
A. Well I have to work until 9:30 or so, Jackie may still be in Lethbridge and Gary and Tracie will get here at around 10:00pm at the earliest and maybe a little later. I still don't know what time Mom and Dad will arrive but I assume with Dad playing the violin that night that it won't be until late also.

Q. Do you know when the Milner family reunion starts?
A. That's unrelated to party business but it starts on Friday 28 June 2003 at approximately 5:00pm. You are just supposed to arrive at Kimball Park anytime after 5:00, set up camp, and then the activities start the next morning with breakfast.

Q. Do you like your new job?
A. THAT'S NOT PARTY BUSINESS! Ok, but I'll humour you. I do like my new job. It is okay but it certainly doesn't pay $40 an hour. In fact that's my only complaint really - $8 / hour just isn't enough.
Rain is Not Your Friend

I came home early from work today, because the rain last night made everything so muddy. I'm kind of happy, but also I could really use the money. The worst part of it is that because the weather is so bad, I can't go out and do anything fun.

The realization hit that me working is preventing me from having funny stories and insights about the stupid people around me. I do the same thing every day and I don't come into contact with very many people. I will have time to go to the pool or maybe for a drive with Tracie later, so the day won't be completely wasted.

-Gary Milner

Monday, June 09, 2003

Jeff Milner Movie Review - Bruce Almighty

Anna, Zee, and I saw Bruce Almighty last week. I was worried that all the funny parts were in the preview and that it had the potential to be a big fat bomb. However I was pleasantly surprised at it's originality and I have to admit that after the last few years of very little Jim Carrey movies I was ready to see him back at it. The movie is a little flat and at times it's disappointing to see Jim Carrey's character not really reaching his potential with his new powers. If I had Godlike powers, I'm sure I could come up with some pretty great benefits to mankind and although I would probably benefit from the work I did, I wouldn't be so annoyingly self centered. I guess figuring that out is the point of the movie.

Jeff Milner Movie Review - The Pianist

Based on the journal of a World War II survivor from the Warsaw Ghetto this movie gets my highest "WWII holocaust movie" rating since Shindler's List. It's done very tastefully and at the same time isn't so depressing that it's impossible to watch. Whether I agree that Adrian Brody deserved the best actor Oscar for his performance is beside the point (I don't by the way - I think Daniel Day Lewis should have gotten it for The Gangs of New York.) The Warsaw ghetto, as far as I understand, is the one place that the Jewish population fought back against the Germans who were shipping them off to death camps. I would have preferred to see more about the resistance itself, but because of the situation that the protagonist, Spielman, was in, we only get to see a little of the fighting and hear about through rumours and word of mouth from those around him. I highly recommend this movie because of the importance of remembering the holocaust but in particular because this story was based so closely on Spielman's journal and also some incidents were taken right from the directors own personal experiences. He was a holocaust survivor as well. If you rent the DVD I also recommend that you watch the special features disk - the story of survival.

Glen is Gone

Jackie and Glen stayed over at my house last night and I made them breakfast this morning. Jackie helped a little too. We had pancakes, bacon, and eggs and it was sure good. I think I need more practice pouring the pancake mix in, but after my first try I had some better luck. Nobody likes to eat a pancake THAT big. Although I think someone did, because there was only one left. Anyway Glen headed back home and now Jackie and I are looking for some excitement. Unfortunately for her I think I'm going to use my neighbours lawn mower to mow my lawn and I can't think of much for her to do in the meantime.

Party Times are Happening Soon

I almost lost my blog entry! But luckily I was able to hit the back button and this post was still here. I can't tell you how disappointed I was in my heart thinking that all my post was just gone. Anyway I'm sure you don't care so I'll get back to business. I am having a little shindig at my house this weekend. Gary, Tracie, Mom, Dad and Jackie are all coming. I imagine I should invite Corry and the other Milners and go kayaking with them as well while they are here. It should be a fun weekend. Now it's off to mow and then off to work at five.

An American Indian married a japanese girl. Their first child was named Nisson Pathfinder.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Mom, Dad, Jackie, and Glenda ... I mean Glen all come to visit

Mom and Dad came to visit yesterday. We went to Kimball to see the site of the upcoming Milner Family Reunion. 100 years of Milners here in Canada. Anyway Jackie and Glen are here and ready to head to bed so I'm going to have to finish my post later.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Sunburn and Blisters:

This job is taking its toll on me. I'm worn out all the time, I have blisters and a bad sun burn. I had a 2.5 hour nap this afternoon, and I'm not going to have any trouble sleeping tonight let me tell you. At the start my body ached from not having done major labour in a long time. Now it has become simply a dull ache, like when I was working in the brick factory and also like when I was on my mission.

-Gary Milner

Friday, June 06, 2003

I'm ticked off at the government for raising the fines for traffic violations. Before, whenever I inadvertantly did an infraction I used to consider turning myself in to the law----- but no more. From now on they can look out for themselves. Thats what they get for being greedy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I loaned Mike a pretty good sum of money a couple of weeks ago. He promised over and over again that he would pay me back in four days. He said he needed the money to fix his car or he couldn't get to work. Four days came and went and guess what. You guessed it; no Michael. Well now I've found out that he's in jail. The reason he's in jail is this: He was in a fight quite awhile back and he was serving time on weekends. He decided that going to jail on weekends was a drag I guess and unilaterally decided that he wasn't going anymore. The law took offense at this and presto Mike's back in jail full time. When you serve time on weekends , you go in on Friday night and get credit for a full day. Then they let you out Monday morning and give you credit for a full day Monday. So you get credit for serving four days when you only serve two. It just dosen't get much better than that. He'll have to serve each day of his sentence now, plus he'll miss work and maybe get fired. And maybe they added some time for not living up to the agreement.

At my job we do landscaping, not yard maintenance. My boss was explaining to me that we're better than those guys.

I said, "Yeah, anybody can push a lawnmower around."

He said, "Yeah, and not anybody can push a wheelbarrow."

It's funny because it's true. Not everybody can push a wheelbarrow. There is some skill involved. In fact, there are several things about my job that require at least a minimal amount of know how. Like raking, sweeping or even throwing bricks. Then there's knowing to use a line when you want something straight. If you're the boss, then you have to worry about the million things that seem to pop up all the time. Dad probably knows exactly what I'm talking about, being a contractor himself. Things you wouldn't even imagine just seem to happen.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, June 03, 2003


Aaron sent me the kayaking pictures he took last weekend. Here is a video he made of me kayaking in a big hole. It's actually a pretty disappointing video because I didn't stay in the hole very long and didn't do anything really that neat. Just moments before though, I got sucked into the hole and then spit right out of the water. It was pretty cool. In the meantime you can also see this picture of me kayaking from the same weekend (May 30th, 2003).

Kayaking image here.
Environics West Update

Hello, I'm Jeff Milner, representing Environics West a market research company. We are currently running a survey on dining experiences. I am not selling anything. May I please speak to the person in the home 18 years of age or older and has the next birthday? Click. Hello? Hello?

So I had my first day of surveying yesterday. They spent the first few hours training us and then from 7:15 to 10:30 I was on the phones. It's actually not that bad of a job. I think I may even like it, plus I will still have plenty of time to go swimming during the day before my shift. The only negative thing about the job is that each day I only get 5 hour shifts, so it is going to be extra hard to get in a 40 hour work week. Hopefully that lifeguarding job comes through.

Mice? Not in my Kingdom!

I think I found some pest "evidence" this morning in my laundry room. It looks to be a pretty big one too - judging by the "evidence". I guess it's either a mouse or maybe Jason let his rabbit play around downstairs while he did his laundry, somehow I don't think that's it. Although maybe it's just leftover from before I had the house and it got revealed from moving the laundry machine and dryer around. They did have a pet porcupine here and if I had to guess, I would say it definitely looked like porcupine droppings.

Indian Battle Park

Instead of going to Waterton on Sunday, Anna-Maria, Zee, Sophie (Anna's dog), and I went down to Indian Battle Park. We had a fire and swam in the river. Afterwards we roasted smokies and marshmallows over the fire. It was a really good day - even though it did start to rain. Even when it rained, it wasn't that cold - for me at least, and then when the rain stopped it got nice and hot out. I also decided that I want to take Anna-Maria kayaking down the river and get out in Coaldale. I just need to find someone to pick us up. Maybe Dad will bring his truck sometime and we can meet-up at the Nolan Bridge outside of Coaldale.

See the image at

Zee and the Lawyer

Anna's roommate had to go see a lawyer yesterday. She was really surprised that he had a lunch hour from 11:00 to 2:30. How does that fit in with normal society? That's beside the point. She was there to get a will notarized and when it came time to pay she discovered that the lawyer's office didn't take visa or interact as a form of payment. So she explained that she didn't have any cash and would have to run over to the 7-11 to get some. She said it never even crossed her mind to run out on the bill, but when she came back the lawyer exclaimed, "Oh you've just restored my faith in humanity." Zee then quipped back, "Are you projecting?"

Monday, June 02, 2003

Gary's First Day of Landscaping Revisited:

I had a 12 hour day doing landscaping... well 9.5 hour day I guess. It took and hour to get to the job, and then an hour to get to the next house. I'm just about dead. My arms hurt and my back hurts. It's a good thing I still have pain killers. It's not all that bad other than doing hard labour after not eating for 3 days. My mouth is a lot better and I'm glad to be working. Even if Tracie does make 2.5X more than me. Now I won't feel bad about buying a slush once in a while (Tracie reads the blog and that was mostly for her). It looks like I'll be easily be able to get 50-55 hour work weeks which will come in handy if we decide that paying tuition is something that we want to do next year. We might even be able to scrape togther a downpayment for a condo beside the university. Even if we only kept it for a year, that would mean an even bigger down payment on a real house later.
We found a condo we like right across the street from mcman stadium (1.5 blocks from the University) that is within our price range. We probably only need $2k more and we'll be set.

-Gary Milner
Secret to Immortality May Have Been Discovered

Here is just a quick link about a scientific discovery of the secret to keeping cells from aging.

Hi Ho Hi Ho - I'm off to work

Here I go to my first day of doing telephone surveys. I hope it's not as bad as it has been growing to be in my mind.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

The Milner Blog - A Nice Place to Complain About Crime

I talked to my roommates this morning. One moved out and the other one told me about how last night he saw some suspicious - err should I say guilty parties walking around peoples houses and checking for unlocked car doors. When they saw him looking at them they ran for the alley. Then as he continued his walk home a police car stopped beside him to say that there were a couple of people breaking into houses and he told the police officer what he had seen. What is Lethbridge coming to? Maybe that's why it's less money to buy a house here than in Medicine Hat.

Red Rock Canyon

I found out the other day that Anna and her roommate Zee have never been to Red Rock Canyon before. Well it's high time they went, so we are going there today. Although the day is going to be pretty much over by the time we get out of here, plus we need to be back so Anna can finish her studying. She has some big test tomorrow and needs to study like a mad woman. Mad like crazy, not mad like I'm so ticked off I have all this studying to do.

Yesterday was my little brother's 18th birthday and this morning when he woke up his pride and joy had been stolen. Someone had smashed in the side window of his car and stolen the stereo that he had saved for months to buy. They weren't even delicate about it. That practically tore out the back seat when removing the amp. and made a pretty bad mess of the trunk when they removed his sub. The worst part about it is that my brother just kind of seems disappointed. Not mad, not sad, just disapointed. He just taped up the window and went to work.