Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Purpose Of Board Games

I promised that I would write my new philosophy of the purpose of board games tomorrow, but since I am now on my break. I think I will do it now.

Recently, it hit me that the purpose of board games, especially when playing with your family isn't to winning.

The real purpose of the game, especially ones like Pictionary, Malarky or what ever, is the show. You play charades for the show. The reason we dance like a monkey is to put on a little show for our family. If you are the type of person that says, "But I can't dance like a monkey" I have to ask you, why are you wasting my time? I don't care if you feel embarrassed by dancing like a money or think that your monkey dance is lame. It's only lame if you don't put on the show.

Seriously. No one cares if you can't draw worth a darn. Why do we play pictionary every year? So you can tell us you are lame and can't draw. No. We want to see the show. We want to laugh with you. We want to have fun. We want to lose by 5 points to the girls for the 6th year in a row.

It's all about the show. Don't be lame, put on a show.

A few years ago, I went to an anniversary party for Tracie's grandparents. They put on a little skit, they wanted to get a few people to try to start a person pretending to be a lawn mower. The idea being that a few volunteers try until they find one who is a big enough jerk. In any case, I was the first one they asked to volunteer. Of course I am the biggest ham ever, so I ran up and gladly pulled on the imaginary cord.

Afterwards, several people commented about how impressed they were that I just ran right up. It seemed to me at the time that when people are brave enough to put on a skit for 40 people, the least you can do is volunteer happily. Especially when you are only in front of your own family. They will never remember anything embarrassing, but they will remember how much fun they had.

-Gary Milner

The Trip Started Slow...

Because the pumps at the waterslide were broken. We had been planning a big party there, and I even took a day off work. The waterslide guys kept promising that it would be ready to go the next day, then the next, and the next. Like a pump repairman would just come running to fix it on Christmas Eve.

In any case, we left wanting more which means that we are excited about coming back.

-Gary Milner, AKA Mr. Smooth

So This Is Christmas

Best. Christmas. Evar. We headed down to Medicine Hat for Christmas again this year, and I have to admit it started out slow. We were commenting on how nice it was going to be to be in Australia away from the same old, same old. But boy were we wrong! Things picked up quite a bit over the next few days.

We played volleyball, which was fun. Becky, Dann, and I, were on the same team. We won 26-24. Things didn't look so good for a while then we ended up winning after getting a ton of serves right at the end.

The dinner on Christmas eve at my Aunt Celanie's was great as usual. We played pictionary, boys against the girls, and the girls cheated again as usual. By cheated I mean picking up new cards when they didn't like the first one they got.

Christmas morning, we went to my parents first to open presents. It was really fun. Tracie said that she was going to wake my parents up at 7:30 by jumping on their bed, but chickened out because she didn't want to see anyone naked by accident. She started playing Christmas songs on the piano at 8:00 and it worked just like my Dad playing "Turkey" in the Straw on his violin would have worked. The gifts were fun, if a little modest. The thing about my family is that we have everything we need, we buy the things we want, and we don't want other people to waste their money on us. That being said I loved all the presents I received.

After my parent's, we went to Tracie's parent's house to open presents. They had a DIY Christmas. Which I think I can safely say now, that I had originally thought was a dumb idea. I now know that it is a very good idea. The thing is you don't have to go to the mall at all if you are doing it yourself. The presents are just as good, and they are a lot more personal. I really hope they do it again in two years when we are back from Australia. It made the whole presents thing a lot more stress free for us.

It turns out that I am still jealous of other people's presents. Tracie's Dad got a free MP3 player with some purchase that he made, and he gave it to Becky. Just so that everyone knows, I am the nerd in this family, not Becky. I will also always be the nerd. Non-nerds like the rest of you should use CD's not MP3's.

After breakfast at the Daniels'z, we went back over to my parents'z to have Christmas dinner. It was amazing. Having a beautiful young wife, I don't get to eat a lot of roasts or turkeys and so I really enjoyed the turkey dinner at my mothers. The only sad part is that because I have changed my lifestyle I can only have one plate of food.

Speaking of diets, I have lost 25 lbs. It looks like I may have bottomed out at 220, so close yet so far from my goal. I guess I need a new goal. 210 by the end of March. I think that it is a reasonable goal. Especially since my New Year's resolution is no more soda pop. The success I have had over the last few months has really motivated me. I don't gorge myself anymore, and I went from size 40 pants to size 36.

Anyway, this post is getting a little long, so watch out tomorrow for my new philosophy about the purpose of board games.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar.

Friday, December 24, 2004

One Week

A few years ago I was watching a show called "pop up video", a show on Much More Music. The premise of the show was to play music videos and then 'pop up' factoids onto the screen throughout the song. Every time a fact pops onto the screen there is a blooping song.
The Bare Naked Ladies song called, "One Week", was featured on the show, and now when ever I hear the song, I have a compulsion to sing bloop at appropriate moments during the song. It drives Tracie absolutely crazy. Now whenever the song comes on she fastforwards it. She can't stand the bloop.
She can't even listen to the song when I'm not there because the bloops haunt her.

-Gary Milner, Bloop Bloop.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Almost a Thief

I went to Walmart last night to pick up some last minute Christmas accessories, and boy was it ever crowded. I went in, found what I wanted and left. Literally.

I got only steps into the parking lot when I realized that I had just stolen everything I was carrying. I quickly ran back in, got in line and paid. On my way back in, I noticed that the alarm had gone off, and the greeter was looking around outside the doors. It seems that I probably would have gotten away with it, had I wanted to.

No harm was done in the end, but I imagined what would have happened if they had caught me walking out with their stuff. It would have sounded pretty lame for me to say, "It was an accident, I swear!"

-Tracie, Shoplifter Extraordinaire

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


I went down to the court house to pay my two fines two days ago. The two of them added up to four hundred and two dollars and I was feeling quite disgruntled. There were two pleasant looking girls behind the counter and as I handed over four hundred and two dollars in cash. As I handed it over I said: I hope you make good use of this money . Why they replied. Because it means theres not going to be any Christmas at my house this year. I saw them both visably flinch. Then almost in tears they explained that they only work behind the counter and that this is not their fault. I'm glad I don't work there.

Bob Milner, disgruntled fine payer.


Tracie's Dad came to Calgary and helped us put the railing on our deck. It went up beautifully and just in the nick of time.

We got it mostly done in about three hours before I had to go to work, which was lucky because it started snowing later that evening. The railing looks really good and we are very pleased with it.

Christmas Plans

We've been invited to go to the waterslides with my parents in the evening on the 23rd. Celanie invited us to her house for Christmas Eve on the 24th. That's usually not too late of a night though. We generally are done there at about 8:00 or 9:00. It's pretty fun though, She always has something really good to eat and we play pictionary, in teams, boys against the girls. Tracie is a bit of a ringer though, because she knows what to draw to get the people guess the answer and she is a really good guesser too. No one has invited us over first thing Christmas morning yet, but I imagine that we will be going to Tracie's parents house because Becky is the youngest kid of all the in-laws. It's kind of a pain waiting for Megan and Dan to get there though, they seem to like to sleep in quite a bit. My family hasn't said anything about not wanting to wait for us though so it doesn't seem to be a problem. Besides that it's not as if we've purchased presents or anything like that. I feel a little bad about that. I'll have to pick something up before we go down there.

The 26th and 27th we don't really have any plans, but I'm going to try to pick up a shift on the 27th which means we will probably leave on the 26th. Short visits are a little better anyway, because they leave you with the desire to come back instead of wishing you had never come at all.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Here a fee, There a fee, Everywhere a fee fee

Going to Australia is going to be a ton of fun, but it's proving to be fairly costly. I was going over all of the things I've had to spend money on so far, and it's already adding up.

Passport pictures: $11.98 plus $12.99
Passport: $85.00
Nursing registration fee: $50.00
Bank draft: $7.50
Notarized forms: $20.00
Forms by registered mail: $15.00
Visa: $156.00
Chest x-ray: $50.00

And all of these are just my fees...Gary had to pay most of these things too.

This is only the beginning of the headaches, though. We still haven't sold our house, moved our stuff or paid for our plane tickets.

But somehow, the thought of spending next Christmas on the beach makes it all seem worthwhile.


Highbanks Website

I think the backbone of the Highbanks website is done now. All that needs to be done is to add the actual content. That means I need to get one of the other volunteers to write a bunch of paragraphs describing the organization and what it does.

Feel free to click the link and explore around. I need people to help me find broken links and things like that.

-Gary Milner, Internet Superstar

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


My passport arrived in the mail today. They seem to have changed the way they make passports now. Instead of putting an actual photo in them, they scan the photo and print it right in.

I think the old way of having an actual photo was much nicer. The printer they used was calibrated incorrectly, and my face is really red in it. Maybe they were running out of one of the other colours of ink.

In any case my next step is to apply for a holiday visa.

-Gary Milner, Internet Superstar

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I just read in the news that a study has shown that after men get married they gain weight. They supposedly simply give up trying to keep the weight off . Here's what I say about that: The people who did this study should have stopped to consider that when people get married they are older than they were when they wern't married. This is a universal rule. As people get older this means that time is passing and they have had more time to gain weight. Not only that but their life-style changes. They become less physically active and food is more readily available for several reasons. I've noticed that people gain weight after leaving high school and still others gain weight after leaving college. If the scholarly people who did the afore mentioned study find this out they'll claim that reading is what keeps your weight down.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Food Processor

I bought a food processor the other day for my second go at making salsa. The last time I made it I spent nearly 3 hours in prep time cutting veggies and I just didn't want to invest that much time. In retrospect, I wish I had.

The salsa this time has the consistency of thick soup. I suppose I should have expected it, but I just thought that it would dice up the vegetables to the perfect size, not puree them.

Oh well. Chalk it up to experience.

My First Ticket

Today is both a happy day and a sad day for me. Happy because under Gary's guidance I fought my first ticket, and sad because I had a ticket to begin with.

A few weeks ago while driving over to my aunt and uncle's house, I was merging onto Beddington Blvd where the speed limit was 80 km/h but coming off a road where the limit was only 60. A few hundred metres before the roads merged, cops were hiding under an overpass behind a concrete pillar with their radar. As I got closer, I saw a cop step out into the road and wave me over. I was going 76 in a 60 zone.

I can usually spot cops from miles away when they're trying to be sneaky like that, but it was pitch black outside and I didn't really stand a chance. The ticket was for $103. Ouch. I thought I should get off with a warning since I've never had a ticket before, but the cop thought differently.

This morning Gary and I went to see the Crown Prosecutor. We waited in line for a very long time, but when we finally got in things were quick. He was willing to waive my demerits. I bargained for a reduced fine. Eventually he agreed to give me $30 off, but was very hesitant. He warned me that it was foolish as my insurance would probably go up by that much or more. I'm not too sure what the new insurance policies involve, but it was a chance I was willing to take, especially since I'll be out of the Country before ours is up for renewal.

The guy in line behind us had apparently had tickets for running a red light and stunting (same incident, the cop gave him two tickets), and he was able to get the Crown Prosecutor to go from $499 to $115 and change the offence. He played the poor student card. I was pretty impressed.

-Tracie, 30 dollars richer.....but not really

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I forgot to mention that Tracie applied for her visa yesterday. It cost a small fortune. I'm applying for mine as soon as I get my passport back because you need to know your passport number to apply for the visa.

Things are going good here. Work is going along fine. I looks like I won't be applying for the day job in the shipping office, because the lady who is leaving doesn't start her maternity leave until sometime in May. It seems like it would be kind of lame to take a job with and then quit without even enough time to train the person replacing me. In anycase, with Tracie back in the hospital a little more and myself at the national logistics center, we're pretty happy.

-Gary Milner internet superstar.

Friday, December 10, 2004


We rented a book from the University Library the other day. It was a road atlas for Sydney and a few of the other major cities around there. I'm sure that it was at least 20 years old. Generally books from that part of the library aren't to be loaned out, but Tracie is staff and I'm pretty sure that no one has even looked at that book since the library purchased it. The librarian decided that we would be allowed to take it out. She had to fill out a manual loan form, I'm not sure if that was because the book hadn't been entered into the computer system yet or if we needed a signature to have permission to get it out.

Tracie is currently copying a bunch of the pages so that we can cut and paste a map together while we are waiting for the map store downtown to get their order in. We hope to get a better idea of where the hospitals are in relation to each other so that we can figure out where we are going to live when we get there. If you have an idea of where you want to live you can look up rental properties online and get an idea of how much it costs and what the neighborhood is like.

Tracie's passport arrived in the mail the other day and she was able to pick it up at a Mac's store in the next neighborhood over. I guess they send passports via express mail and we weren't home when the mail carrier came to our house.

-Gary Milner

Monday, December 06, 2004

Three Strikes You're Out

I have tried three times, unsuccessfully, to donate blood to Canadian Blood Services.

The first time I was about 18 or 19. I was told at that time that my iron was too low. I have taken a multi-vitamin supplement everyday of my life since then.

A few years later, confident that my iron levels were high enough, I tried again. This time I made it quite far in their screening process. I filled out some sheets, answered some questions, and read through a booklet. I even had my vital signs taken. I was just about in to go into the next room when the nurse asked me what I had for breakfast that morning. I had not eaten, and so I was sent home.

A few more years have gone by, and this morning I went in for a third time. Some of the nurses that I work with had all decided to donate blood together, since we work on a cancer floor and all we do all day is transfuse blood. Also, one of our colleagues was recently diagnosed with cancer.

When I woke up this morning, I took my multi-vitamin, made a nice breakfast of toast with peanut butter, a banana and a glass of milk. I thought that nothing would stop me today.

Well, I did pass the iron test, I even made it all the way into the donating chair. Almost as soon as the nurse stuck the needle in my arm, I heard her say, "Sorry dear. I missed the vein". I told her to try my other arm, but she said that their policy is that they can only try once. "Next time, make sure to drink more water before you come so you're better hydrated"

I knew then and there that there would be no next time. Probably not for a few more years anyway. This may sound like no big deal, but it was a big deal to me. I really wanted to donate. I can't even count how many blood transfusions I have administered in the last few weeks, let alone my entire career. I really wanted to do it. When she told me I was done, I choked back tears and told her my story. She seemed sympathetic, but it didn't help.

-Tracie, I just can't give my blood away

Passports a Plenty Redux

I went to the passport office today. My experience there was a lot better than Tracie's. Right when we got there, there was only one person in front of us waiting for the pre-screener. He croweded a little too close to the customer at the desk, and the offical told him to get behind the red line.

I told the guy, "It's lucky she doesn't have a goalie stick or you would've got wacked." He thought that that was pretty funny.

We went through the pre-screener and he seemed concerned that the blue shirt I was wearing in my photo was too light and that when they scanned the photo it would look like a floating head. Which is a no-no, I guess. My drivers licence photo is of my floating head, and I quite like it. Anywho, after waiting for a short while my number was called, and it didn't take very long at the desk at all. Now in two weeks, I'll have my passport.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Evil Passport Photos

I went to get my passport last week. Getting one is a very, very big pain in the butt. First, I had to go to a postal outlet to pick up the application. Filling out the form is pretty straightforward - just fill in the blanks - but as part of the application, you need the names, addresses and phone numbers of three people who have known you for at least two years. One of these people has to be a "Guarantor" which means they must hold one of the occupations on a short list that is given to you (Doctor, Mayor, Police Officer, Lawyer, Veterinarian and a few others). Having only lived in Calgary for a few years, I had to make a trip to Medicine Hat to get a lawyer I have known for more than two years to sign it.

Well, as much of a hassle as all of this was, it did not hold a candle to the hassle I went through getting my passport photo.

Passport photo attempt #1, Nov 15 2004

Superstore, which is three blocks from my house, advertises to take passport photos for $5.99 that will be ready in 5 minutes. I remembered to keep a straight face and not to smile, but after returning home, I read the passport photo rules and realized that my mouth had to be closed. It wasn't.

Passport photo attempt #2, Nov 16 2004

They redid my picture for "free". No expression, no open mouth. Perfect, or so I thought. I got home and read the rules just to make sure. It turns out my head was too big.

Passport photo attempt #3, Nov 17 2004

They redid my photo again. The same guy was there all three days. He's feeling pretty stupid by now. The photo is taken. Looks good. No expression, mouth is closed, appears to be within the size parameters. I'm now ready to take my completed application down to the passport office.

Passport photo attempt #4, Nov 29 2004

I get to the Harry Hays building and wait in line for what seems like an eternity only to have my passport photo rejected. "What!" I scream. "Are you kidding me?" Apparently my head this time is too small. He tries to show me, but I can't tell. He must have amazing vision. I run down the street to a new place this time, paying $12.99, and make it back with enough time that I haven't lost my original place in line.

At last the nighmare is over. A trip to Medicine Hat and four trips to a photographer all for a stupid confirmation that I am indeed who I say I am. Good thing I won't have to do it again for at least five more years. I still have my Superstore receipt, so sometime this week I'll be demanding my money back.

-Tracie, Soon to be a passport carrying Canadian

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Cross Border Shopping

I haven't really heard much about cross border shopping lately. Coincidentally, the last time cross border shopping was a big deal was about ten years ago which was also the last time the dollar was hovering around the 84-85 cents mark.

I predict that there will be a big todo about cross border shopping in the near future. I read an article about it last night. It said that cross border shopping will be mitigated by the fact that a lot of stores that were mainly available in the states are now available in Canada. This will be good news for the Mom&Pop's because a rising tide lifts all the boats.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Oh, The Stress!!

Life can be so stressful.

As you may know, Gary and I are planning a big move to Australia. Moving is always a pain in the butt (we've done it 4 times in the last 3 years), but this one seems to come with a lot of mini-dilemmas.

Dilemma #1. When to go
Originally I had hoped to leave soon, and for sure by April. Gary has committed to photograph a wedding in July. We will likely stay until then, but we need to decide for sure ASAP so we don't screw over the couple.

Dilemma #2. Selling the house, etc
We are meeting with a realtor tomorrow morning. He seems good so far....for sure better than our last one. When is the best time to put the house up for sale? Where do we go if we sell before we leave the country? What do we do with our stuff? What about our permitless deck?

Dilemma #3. Where to work
I have had two job offers in the last week to teach nursing at each of Calgary's main post-secondary institutions. This may seem good, but it is a dilemma. Either one I go with will only give me two days a week. This past semester has been fun, but only working two days a week is not enough, especially when you need save up for plane tickets to Australia. When I do get called into the hospital, the teaching job always seems to interfere. I have no benefits. Furthermore, I still don't know when we leave so can I really commit to one? On the other hand, I will be guaranteed some hours. That's more than I'll have if I don't take the job.

Dilemma #4. Which recruiting firm?
I have been stringing along two separate Australian recruiting firms. They each want me to send in my forms right away, but I only have one set complete and notarized. Who do I send it to? Each offers different work opportunities that seem to be equally attractive.

Reading back over my dilemmas, I can tell that I am acutally quite fortunate and perhaps even ungrateful to be refering to my opportunities as dilemmas. But that makes it no less stressful.

-Tracie, Stressed but thankful.

Monday, November 29, 2004

FreeCycle Rocks!

Boy I sure hate when I've written out a whole post, tried to publish it and the stupid computers at the library crap out. Speaking of being at the library, it's twenty minutes to closing and the crazy librarians are at it again, turning off all of the computers not in use. I hate that if you come in to check your email just before it closes, you can't. It's not like they get to go home early if all of the computers are off. Urgh!! Oh well, that's what I get for getting rid of our internet account, I guess.

Anyway, my original post was about how great FreeCycle was. Thanks to a tip from an anonymous poster a few days ago, we were able to get rid of our table and four chairs (which were becoming a bit of a burden) in less than 24 hours.


I Don't Really Have Anything To Say Right Now

Lately, I've been thinking of great things to write about on the blog, but I can never remember them when I sit down to post them.

The diet/exercise plan is going well. I'm down to 223lbs or so from, as you may already know 240. I think the rapid weight loss is taking its toll though. I seem to be very tired and hungry, make that hungary, all the time. Kind of like when I was in Argentina.

My pants are all a little big for me now, and I've started wearing shirts that I haven't worn in three years. People have even commented that they can tell I've been losing weight.

It seems really easy to me, but I guess I've made some serious changes. I go running on the treadmill for 35 minutes at least three times a week and because I'm working from 3-11pm, I don't really have a lot of time to do much eating. That means not only am I working off close to half a pound worth of calories on the treadmill every week, I'm also taking in way less calories to begin with.

The downside is being hungary and sleepy all the time.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I couldn't think of a title, so this will have to do

I haven't seen very many movies lately. I think there are two reasons for this. First, I don't really have time to watch movies anymore because I have a job. A really good argument against work, if your looking for one. Second, I don't have an internet connection for downloading movies anymore.

I'd probably be watching tons of movies. As it is, I don't even rent movies on weekends.

The librarians here seem to be really anxious to go home most nights. They shut the blink the lights several times every 2 or 3 minutes for 20 minutes before the library closes. Really, once off then quickly back on every five minutes or so would be plenty. Think about it, library patrons are smarter than normal people, we do read books you know. The librarians also shut all the computers off really early and tell the users that, "The Library is closing in 20 minutes...The library is closing in 17 minutes...The library is closing in 15 minutes". It makes me want to say, "I know there is a big sign on the front door that has the hours listed."

I guess the library is clo...

-Gary Milner


I took my two tickets to the crown prosecutors office and told him that I didn't think I was guilty of the charge of having an unsafe load. I don't know if he completely agreed with me but he was visably sympathetic. He said he would study up on the case to see if I could be ticketed on a lesser charge and therefor have to pay less money. ( the existing ticket was for $375) When I went back to see him he had forgotten all about what he said he would do. He started making a few phone calls and I suggested; why don't we just split the difference on the tickets? He felt guilty for causing me an extra trip to see him so he said he would have the one ticket cancelled. I don't think it was much of a favour though cause I don't think I was guilty to begin with. In court I sat right next to a hells angel. As I sat there I wondered if sitting by him would prejudice the judge. But no, I didn't have to pay the $375.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Superstore Still Just Super

While at the Superstore the other day, I found four carts in the parking lot, all with loonies. I know I have said that I like Calgary for various reasons in the past, but finding four shopping carts with loonies in them just makes me love this city even more.

I really hate it when people apologize for not posting more often, so this will be the last time I do it. Sorry for only posting once a week. Working from 3-11 really eats your time. It means that I only have from 10:00-2:00 to post, but I still want to eat lunch and stuff. Anyway I'm really annoying myself.

The diet is going good. I'm down to 225 from 240. All my newest pants are too big. My old pants fit again, too bad they all have holes in the crotch. I guess that was one of my main reasons for buying new and bigger pants.

The job is going well. This pay period, I'm going to have at least 16 hours of over time. Maybe more depending on how much they give out during the next week. Would everybody please just keep buying crap that they don't need so that I can get more overtime?

Christmas is coming, Tracie still hasn't finished making the gifts for her family yet. We've spent more money on materials than we wanted to and it will still take Tracie about 30 hours to make everything.

Christmas rant paragraph deleted on orders from CENSOR (Tracie)

What's on my wish list? Only things that are too expensive for the people I know to buy me anyway, so I have two lists. A real list and a pretend list.

The realist's real list: white sport socks sized 11-13, Levis 535 jeans size 38 waist 34 leg, White T-shirt with small logo and no text, and various non-perishable food items, preferably Campbell's tomato soup.

The idealist's ideal list: any Ipod, Laptop with DVD burner, or Nikon digital SLR camera.

The Highbanks website is coming along just fine. Maybe a little slow for what they were hoping but it's looking really good.

I've read in various design magazines and websites as well as heard it from Jeff and other design people that the clients always want something that looks ugly. Well I've only had one design job and it's happened to me. They want photos done in a manner similar to another website that uses comic sans as its body font. I'm the type of person that wants more sans in comic sans. (That's even funnier if you speak French).

So I've been getting emails from semi-computer-illiterate people that don't know about the Bcc function in email, so I will just continue my rant here. Do not forward emails using the to: or cc: address bars. This allows everyone to see all the email address of all the people you send the email to. People might not know that cc: means carbon copy. An exact copy of the email is sent to everyone, email addresses and all. Bcc: stands for Blind carbon copy, an exact copy of the email is sent to everyone, without advertising everyone's email address to viagra sellers.

In any case this post is getting a little long.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar


Even though I have been counting down the days until the end of the semester, teaching my nursing students has been terribly fun. The other day, some of them were discussing their favorite kitchen creations. One of them mentioned "ichi-krafty", and another exclaimed, "Oh, that's one of my favorites!"

Basically, they told me that you combine ichiban and kraft dinner together. I went home and told Gary about it. Never ones to shy away from new recipes, we tried it last night. It got two thumbs up from us.

Tracie, Ichi-Krafty guru

Monday, November 22, 2004

Out Damned Spot, Out I Say!

Tracie and I rented a carpet cleaner on the weekend and cleaned all of our carpets. It was surprisingly a big job that even more surprisingly went very quickly.

We are kicking ourselves for not doing it earlier. Almost all the spots in our floor went away. We also moved a lot of stuff under the stairs. We probably should have thrown it in the Garbage.

What in the world are we going to do with all this stuff? It seems wrong to throw it out. It seems like it will cost more to advertise it for sale than we could get for it. It doesn't seem worthwhile to put it in storage, because we aren't sure if we will be returning to Canada permanently. I don't want to foist it onto either of our parents. The question remains, what in the World are we going to do with all of our stuff.

The clothes will be relatively easy. Anything with holes can go in the garbage. Anything that we don't wear can go to charity. What about the furniture? The couch and chair Tracie bought from the Salvation Army can go to the dump. But how can we get them there? We don't have a truck or an SUV or even something with a trailer. Then there is the good furniture. The computer desk has many wonderful years ahead of it. Maybe even decades, I guess, depending on the lifespan of the desktop computer in its current form. The spare bed we could probably sell, but the master bed should probably be sent to live in the country where it will have plenty room to run and play.

So the carpets are clean. The walls need paint. The deck may have to come down, permits are (#squarefeet X $11.60 X .0065 + $50) and we still have to add the rail.

If anyone knows what people without a truck can do with their stuff, let me know in the comments.

-Gary Milner

Post With The Most

A lot of stuff has happened over the last little while. I apologize to my reader for not posting more often.

We had a surprise party for my Dad on Friday. There must have been close to 60 people at the party. When my sister, Jackie, got home to Medicine Hat, my Dad said, "Wow! Jackie, you're home! Jeff's coming tonight too!". When I got to town, he said, "Everyone is going to be here for the weekend!"

We sat around visiting for the most of the day and then after supper, Jackie, Glen, my Mother and I decided to go to the "mall". We invited my Dad to go with us, but he said, "No Way!". He's pretty predictable in his old age.

Outside I asked my mom if the "mall" was going to be unlocked. She said, "We're not really going to the mall, we're going to the church." I said, "I know. You really have a lot to learn about using code words."

In any case we set everything up and at 7:00, we had a friend of my Dad's call him and ask for a little help repairing something at the church. He was holding a tape measure when he opened the door and we all yelled surprise. He said he didn't think the surprise was for him until he was ushered into the room and everyone started singing. I guess my Dad isn't a really hard target for a surprise party especially since we've never thrown a party for him before.

It was a great party, everyone was having a great time visiting with each other. My sister made a game called, "Which is older". She found the date a long list of things was invented, and people had to guess if the things were older than my Dad or not. Silly Putty is older than my Dad, but Barbie dolls are not. My Dad is the perfect age for the game because he was born in during the war. I gave a little speech. It was based on a letter I wrote to my dad in 1981 when I was four years old. I'll post a copy when I get one, just let me say that my jokes have stood the test of time, and it's pretty funny.

Jeff gave a really good speech about my Dad, it was a little like a roast, but most of Jeff's stories were really good. He had the whole room in an uproar.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Woman Saves Drowning Child

EDMONTON: Christine Sieben was six months pregnant in July when she saved a little girl from drowning.
On Monday, accompanied by her 12 day old son, Sieben was honoured by the Royal Humane Association during a ceremony at the Edmonton police headquarters.
Sieben was on a beach at Gleniffer Lake near Red Deer on July 17, sun tanning with a friend, when she heard cries for help.
A mother , her daughter, and a man had been playing on an inflatable raft when it overturned and they began to sink.
Hearing the commotion but not realizing how many people were involved, Sieben grabbed her inflatable raft and went to help. "I didn't think it was a big deal at the time because I didn't think anyone was in danger." Thirty meters from shore , Sieben spotted a little girls head above water, but didn't realize the girl was being held up by her submerged mother. The man had already sunk out of sight.
Sieben pulled the girl into the raft and paddled to shore. The little girl said nothing about the two adults until they got to shore. By then it was too late. The two had drowned.
"When I got back to shore , some people said that it could have been a disaster for me because I could have been pulled under by the three victims. " I'm so glad I'm here now with my little baby."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Tracie and I had our passport photos taken yesterday. Mine looks just like me. Tracie has to get retakes though because the rules in the application say that your mouth must be closed. Apparently if you take passport photos for minimum wage, you don't really care about what the rules say. That or you just don't bother telling the person about to get shut down by the gov't.

The other thing I did was work on the Highbanks website. It looks pretty good, but there are a lot of broken links, and a lot (almost all) of the content still needs to be added. I have to do a little bit of formating as well. It looks like there will be hours of work left. Feel free to leave comments about my first attempt at web consulting here.

My job is coming along quite well. I can pretty much do it all by myself now. Really it is a matter of memorizing the details. The only thing that worries me at all is what I will be doing for the exceptional events that only happen only once every three months.

-Gary Milner

Friday, November 12, 2004


It turns out that we have realized that the only thing holding us in Calgary, or really even Canada, is our house. We figure that by selling it we would get a pile of money so big, that it would require two hands to hold properly if you didn't have some sort of sack to put it in.

A big thing in Australia is the working holiday. A Working Holiday visa is good for 12 months, but you have to change jobs every three months. Basically people from other countries who can't really afford to go to Australia for an extended amount of time go and get jobs for three month stretches while they are there.

Yesterday morning, Tracie and I went to see a headhunter to find out what we have to do to get one of these visas to go work in Australia. It seems to be pretty easy.

Unfortunately, it costs a crapload to Fly to the other side of the world. Tracie is going to contact a travel nursing company about Australia. We may have to stick with going to the States.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Corner Gas

I'm not usually a fan of Canadian shows, but there are exceptions. Corner Gas is a glowing example. It is one of the funniest shows I have seen in a long time. I advise you all to watch it once or twice.

The problem with most Canadian shows it that they go out of their way to make you know that they are a Canadian show. It gets annoying. I mean, what's the point who cares if it is a Canadian show or not unless, like the majority of people, you avoid Canadian shows. My tip is go ahead and set the show in Canada, but don't make the theme of the show about being in Canada, or being Canadian. Good Canadian shows accept the idea that being set in Canada is a fact, not a thing that makes the show any better.

Corner Gas is set in the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan. It could just as easily be Dog River, Arkansas. All they would need to do is fire the Native RCMP officer and hire a Black sheriff. I guess they would have to do a find/replace on Toronto for New York and then they would be set. Actually comparing New York to Toronto isn't really fair. Maybe they would have to use Philadelphia or something not as good as New York, but that really wants to be.

What I guess I am really getting at is the fact that no matter where you are, the straight man can make all the same observations about the weirdo's and it's just as funny. Nationality doesn't make much difference. Making it a plot device or an important part of the story is a boor. Setting should only be setting.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


I've been working in the warehouse shipping office the last two days. I like it a lot better than moving stuff from one truck to another. I'm catching on pretty quick. Soon, I will only be stumped when something out of the ordinary happens.

-Gary Milner

Monday, November 08, 2004


Tracie and I rented a documentary made by the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. It was about kids his age who were born rich and what it was like to be born rich.

It was an interesting film. None of the kids really wanted to be in it, they all felt at least a little bit uncomfortable talking about their 100's of millions or multiple billions of dollars.

There were at least two Europeans, one of them was the grandson or great grandson of "the Kaiser". The kid was an ass to say the least. One of his biggest complaints was that in America the first thing everyone asks you when they meet you is 'what do you do?'. Apparently saying nothing is quite embarrassing. He generally says "I'm rich" or "I'm kept" and the person doing the asking is put in their place.

It seemed that a majority of the kids have at least one credit card of their parents, that their parents don't know they have. Which is good, because they don't have to hear complaints about spending $600 on a purse or shoes or whatever.

It brought to mind the post I made about purchasing experiences rather than objects. When you could buy every designer hand bag that you wanted, what is the incremental happiness of getting one more likely to be. How could you possibly enjoy that beyond the instant of actually buying it?

Here are terms more people could indentify with. I love doughnuts. I could afford to buy a dozen doughnuts every day. After the second or third day, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be enjoying them, even if I really like going to Tim Horton's or even the act of buying doughnuts.

The movie falls short of explaining why people don't really like talking about all their money, but Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, came the closest. One time in Australia some guy recognized her and asked her what it was like to never feel pain, to always be happy and have every wish granted. It really hurt her feelings. It turns out rich people have the same problems as everyone else (other than not enough money), only way worse because the have tons of money.

It really seemed that some of them handled the money better than others.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Gary....Not as good as he thinks he is

A few posts ago, Gary told the world how he was losing weight from working at the warehouse. Well, it seem that I too am losing weight from Gary's work at the warehouse.

This may be shocking to hear, but Gary is a very bad influence on me. He loves to eat, and he especially loves to eat junk food. I love it too... but I won't eat it if it's not in front of me. Since Gary has been working evening shifts, he has not been around in the evenings to say things like "Let's make popcorn, Tracie", or "Let's go to 7-11 for some chips and a big gulp" (sometimes even a super big gulp). Because his bad influence is gone, I too have lost weight. Five pounds in 3 weeks....the exact amount of time Gary has been working.

-Tracie, Glad for more reasons than one that Gary is working.


I watched a show on the CBC last night called Zed. It's a Canadian show that presents short films from all over the world, but particularly Canada.

I generally really like short films because they often cut out the fluff and get right into the story telling, and they almost always have new and interesting story ideas.

Last night two really stood out to me. A Canadian one called, "The Bed", about a couple who buy a magic bed that makes time stand still while they are both on it, and a German one called, "Das Rad" about a conversation between two stones stretched over many many years and what goes on around them.

It seems like they are having a short film contest, but I couldn't seem to see any info about it on their website.

I Found this on a website called Scrappleface
Arafat Burial Plans Done in Time for Final Death
(2004-11-05) -- After Yassir Arafat's final death, Palestinian officials said today that tradition will determine the location of his final resting place.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has not yet agreed to the funeral plan or location, but Palestinian authorities said they expect no roadblocks since many of their other heroes have had similar ceremonies.

"Chairman Arafat will be placed in a Tel Aviv city bus and driven to a crowded market," said an unnamed spokesman for the Hamas social services agency. "There we will conduct the traditional scattering of his fragments. According to protocol, no friends or family will attend this ceremony."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed his sympathy to the Palestinian people.

"I have grieved each time Chairman Arafat has died," said Mr. Annan, "and I know the last death will be even harder to take than the previous ones. But I'm comforted that he will go to his rest according to the custom of his people."

-Gary Milner

Friday, November 05, 2004

Tracie the Gourmet

Tracie made salsa last night. I was dubious of the whole operation, but it turned out beautifully. It was quite hot, but also had a very nice sweet taste to it.

I'm sure there are those who wouldn't like it because of their preference to canned diced tomatoes over actual salsa.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Working Overtime

The other day, I went into work to do a little over time. Four hours extra to be exact. Let me tell you that it really hurts to be there for four hours and then realize that you haven't even started your shift yet. I think that it would be better to just go in an extra day rather than to go in for a few extra hours.

The glow is starting to wear off my job. It is now just work. "Work is work, that's why they call it work. If it wasn't they would call it 'Happy Fun Time'".

Monday, November 01, 2004

Crazy Times at the Gym

Now I'll admit that I haven't been very physically active in the past two years, but before that I was a religious gym goer. If there was one thing I hated then and that I still hate today, it's the "gym craze". You know what I mean....after New year's resolutions have been made, at the beginning of September and of course, after a new gym opens in the neighborhood.

I went to the gym tonight after Gary left for work. I hung out at the library while I waited for a pilates class to start. I eventually made my way down there only to find that the whole gym was a zoo. Not even one cardio machine was free, and only about 5 or 6 weight machines were avaiable. And this is no small gym. Anyway, long story short is that the pilates class was so full that they had a guy stationed at the door turning people away. I just left. Didn't do weights or anything. The sad thing is that I had all afternoon free. I should have known.

I'll just have to keep going in the daytime until the craziness has died down.

Tracie, I've said it before and I'll say it again - I hate crowds of people.

Bambi is Dead

I hit a deer on the way back to Medicine Hat from the cemetery in Magrath. We were just leaving Taber right by the sugar factory and a baby deer ran right in front of the car. I didn't see it until I had already hit it. By the time we walked back to it, two big trucks passed right over it, and a car had smashed into it again. If it wasn't dead from me smashing into it at 100km/h the second car surely put it out of its misery. We pulled it to the side of the road and left.

To tell you the truth, I felt worse about the front of my Dad's car than actually killing the deer. If the repairs cost less than $2000 I will be surprised. Stupid deer. It seems like a deer would hear you coming. It's not like deer are deaf. They won't even let you walk with in 30 feet of them, but they don't seem to worry about cars.

The funeral

The funeral was very nice. There were lots of people there. I recognized most of them as being friends of my grandmother's for over 30 years. Some were likely friends for 40-45 years. Friends since the time they moved to Medicine Hat in the 1950's. That's just amazing.

When my Grandmother's family move to Medicine Hat they, along with another family doubled the number of people attending the church to 24. Now there are at least a thousand people attending in Medicine Hat every week. It boggles my mind.

My Aunt Mary-Ann gave a beautiful eulogy, and Alan Thompson gave a wonderful speech. The grandkids all said something about my Grandmother and why they thought they were the favorite.

The Diet

Now that I am working at the warehouse, I don't have enough time to eat and I spend all day lifting heavy stuff. I have lost 10 lbs already. If I stay on pace, I will meet my goal by the end of the year.

I think Tracie is jealous.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Death in the Family

My Grandmother died Monday morning. She was 80 years old. It wasn't completely unexpected. The last few years she was suffering from Alzheimer's pretty bad. She couldn't walk, talk, or even feed herself or drink water by herself. I don't think she really recognised anyone but on good days, she would know she was with people who really loved her.

I think her passing really hit my Mother pretty hard, as she was my Grandma's main family caregiver for the last five or six years. It's really sad, and I know my Mom is sick of people saying it was a good think because she isn't suffering or what ever. I mean it's not good, she passed away, we all miss her.

That's the worst think about death is that the people who remain miss the person. We're sad because we don't get to be with them for a while.

I had to take a couple of days off of work. It has sort of come at an opportune time as far as the company is concerned. Apparently some railway tracks were washed out somewhere in the east and we won't be able to get anything from the train for a week or so, and therefore there won't be much to do around the warehouse. I can honestly say that I never thought that problems with the rail system would affect me. I had a geography prof. that said shipping in Canada would be up the creek without a paddle if someone took out the train bridge in Medicine Hat, my hometown, because there is only one bridge across the South Saskatchewan River and it would take months to rebuild it. There aren't enough trucks or drivers to pick up the slack.

Luckily after taking two days off, I was able to pick up Saturday for the hours, and as soon as the train from Ontario is running again, there will be overtime-a-plenty. I think I will pick up as much as I can stand. We could use the money.

We'll be paying down the student loans as fast as possible with the extra money. Boy I'm dull. After we pay down the loans, we're going to watch paint dry. Maybe a little eggshell white or beige.

-Gary Milner

Ps. I'm typing this from my in-laws computer, and their popup blocker is blocking the blogger spell check.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Bruised and Abused

I'm not sure whether I have ever had this many bruises in my entire life. I may have had more total area bruised, but never this quantity of bruises.

When I was really young, my Mom would ask be where I got the bruise from. Most often I didn't know. Just playing around I guess. I do remember two of them though.

One first of July, we were riding the calf roping calves after the Raymond stampede and I got kicked in the ace by one of the calves. It left a cloven hoof print on my butt. Let me tell you, if you ride a calf, it makes them real sore at you. I had the last laugh at the Sizzler a little while later.

Another time I was riding my motorcycle near the dump, and I wasn't being nearly careful enough in an area I was unfamiliar with and hit a little washed out area. My bike went down hard on my right leg. I went to the hospital, but there were no broken bones. The bruise went from hip to knee on my right leg. I had to limp for a few days, and I couldn't play tag at recess for two weeks.

Now working at the warehouse I have several bruises on both my shins, both thighs, big ones above both wrists and several on my upper arms all caused by heavy cardboard boxes. I also have a red mark/dent on my left collar bone from where a box spring mattress hit me after I didn't notice that the door was too low for it.

All and all, I'm pretty sore all over. Going to the hot tub at the leisure center really helps, but I'm too tired to do any actual swimming and I have just been spending my spare time soaking.

-Gary Milner

Ps. Allie I think it was the stuff you bought that caused me all this harm.

Friday, October 22, 2004

A dried fish cannot be used as a cat's pillow

The new pillows and duvet (doo-vay not doov-ette) are just wonderful. I was wary of purchasing a new pillow because they are so expensive and you never know if you will like the new one better than the old one even if the new one seems good in the store.

There just one more thing I need to do to make sure the pillow is good. I need to stuff all the feathers to one side, sneak up behind Tracie and yell, "Boo" a split second before the pillow makes contact.

Hopefully she doesn't read this and get tipped off to the plan.

-Gary Milner, Pillow fighter

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Proof Reading

Proof reading is important, but before I go on, I will make it clear that I don't do it nearly enough on these posts.

The day before yesterday, the warehouse newsletter was released. Now let me tell you that a lot of the guys who work there are lucky to have graduated high school. You hear about people finishing high school with a grade 8 reading level? These are the guys.

Anyway, last night a few of the guys were complaining about the security guards and other things at the warehouse, when, one of them started ripping on the newsletter. Apparently grammar and spelling are important to the few of the people there who are in between high school and college.

There were comments like, "Anniversary isn't spelled anniuersary" and "You couldn't get out of grade 6 with writing like that"

I'll give an example, "John C. got a new job with in the company. But not in this building but in the retail side of things. He is at a south Calgary mall of you go by there drop in to say hello. He would like that."(sic)

Now having worked at various student papers, I enjoy attacking people's typos, misspellings and poor grammar, but these people aren't the brightest. Two minutes of proofreading would have gone a long way. Heck reading it once would have gone a long way.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

No more kinks

I woke up with a kink in my neck yet again this morning, and I decided that it was going to be the last time. We hopped in the car right after breakfast and went over to Sears to look for some new pillows.

I normally like shopping at Sears, or any department store really, because I like looking around at all of the cool stuff. But the thing I hate more than anything- the thing that will actually deter me from shopping in any store- is talking to me. I'm not exaggerating when I say that within five minutes of looking at pillows, at least 5 people came up to ask how we were doing. This has happened to me in many stores, but never Sears. It was crazy.

"Oh, are you looking for a four star feather pillow?"....."I see you're looking at down filled pillows, did you know that we have a sale on that brand over there?....." These questions just annoy the crap out of me. If you want to get me to stop looking at your stuff, keep it up. As soon as a salesperson comes up and asks how I'm doing, I'll put down whatever I'm looking at and say "I'm just looking" and walk away. Even if I actually was interested in that item, I don't really want to talk about it with them.

That being said, we found some nice pillows and got out of there. I can't wait to go to sleep tonight.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Meeting The Boss

Last night, I met the co-boss that wasn't there my first night. It struck me as being something out of the ordinary, like he made a special point of meeting me because of my resume. They talked about growth within the store, that I should keep my eye on the internal job postings, and that a guy who started on the dock two years ago, is now the manager of the store in Medicine Hat. He even mentioned that I could use him as a referance. I found that almost absurd, having only worked there only 12hours at most.

I guess they understand it though. The turnover is really high, one guy told me he had been there only 2 months and there was almost all new people since he started. But beside that, I'm probably one of the only one's besides a few in management with a degree, and they realized that people with degrees are only in it because it is easier to get internal jobs than to get hired externally.

The best thing about the 3-11 shift is that you miss the rush hours. A normally 45 minute drive drops to 25 minutes. In the winter you get to see the light of day. That's one thing I really disliked about school. Leaving while it was still dark, and getting home after dark. Now at least I get to see the sun during the week.

-Gary Milner

Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday Update

We went to Medicine Hat on the weekend. We had a good visit with our parents.

I started my job at the warehouse last night. It's a pretty good job, but I'm going to have to prohibit any of you from purchasing any of the following items. Pool tables, treadmills, and large snowblowers. Those things are just too heavy. Don't buy them anymore. My job involves unloading trucks and then loading them back up.

We got a little tour at the end of our shift. I found it very interesting, especially since it's one of the topics that I would have liked to studied in school. The other two guys with me found it pretty boring. Really, the warehouse is boring, and all the little details are boring. What is interesting is the whole process behind the details, and the way that they acomplish their goals.

My feet really hurt when I got home.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I Got A Job

Sunday, Jeff Campbell announced in priesthood meeting that a friend of his was looking for people to work in the Western Canadian logistics hub of a major retailer. It's unloading trucks, stacking stuff, unstacking stuff, and loading trucks, but is pays $12/hr more than I am making right now.

The place is pretty spectacular. Imagine the biggest gymnasium you have ever seen. Imagine two of them right beside each other and two more stacked on top, then imagine 20 of those beside that. Now, imagine shelves to the roof of 1/3 of that full of stuff, and refrigerators/stoves/freezers in boxes stacked on top of each other without shelves and looking like they might tip over in another 1/3 of that, and racks of clothes taking up the other 1/3.

They have forklifts that steer themselves via a wire buried in the floor. The driver just makes them go forward or backward and up and down. The driver's seat also goes up and down with the forks because otherwise they couldn't see where they were putting the stuff because it is so high. The shelves are so close together that when the forklift is going down the aisle, there is only three inches of clearance on either side. That is the narrowest aisle available.

It looks like a job that I will actually like, apart from the fact I will be unloading and loading mattresses from 3-11 every day.

The Blog Turns Two!

Wow! All I can say is wow! My blog is two years old today. I have posted on it 408 times including this post. I have written over 94000 words. I average 3 posts per week. The blog has 812 posts, which averages to more than a post a day. It's going pretty well. I admit that I'm a little surprised that it has lasted this long.

Two For The Price Of One
I was at blockbuster the other day when I noticed "two" Denzel Washington movies.

These are the covers. From examining the covers, you can deduce several things.
First, Denzel really likes those sunglasses. Second, he can't portray a right handed character very well. Notice on the "Man on Fire" poster his watch is on his right arm indicating left handed-ness, and on the "Out of Time" poster, his watch is on the left arm indicating right handed-ness, but he is also holding his gun in his left hand. This indicates to me that he is left handed but trying unsuccessfully to be a right handed character. Third, by changing the title of the script and the wardrobe, you can make one script into two scripts. Fourth, Hawaiian shirts are more thrilling and suits are more adventurous.

-Gary Milner ps. I haven't seen either of these movies.

Monday, October 11, 2004


Tracie and I have recently taken a more structured approach to dividing the chores. She is in charge of the dishes, and I am in charge of the laundry.

Let me tell you, it is working out wonderfully. For the last few days there hasn't been huge piles of clothes or dishes. I know that I got the good end of the deal. I admit that, yes, we do have a dishwasher, but not all the dishes get washed in it. All of our clothes get washed in the washing machine. This means that I can be washing and blogging at the same time, or folding and watching TV at the same time. You can't do either of those things while you are washing a pot.

Tracie thinks she got the good end of the deal but she is wrong. Realistically washing dishes shouldn't be as bad as it is, I mean you were just eating the stuff on those plates and washing them really only involves adding soap and water. But there is just something completely awful about it. I just loath sticking my hands into dishwater. I loath standing there. I loath drying the dishes off afterwards, although that is by far the least awful part of the process if you don't include putting the dishes away.

In any case, I'm glad it's Tracie stuck doing the dishes right now, not me.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Pumpkin Carving Templates

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

There are those among you that may be seeking a template to carve George W. Bush into the side of a pumpkin. Who am I to disappoint.

Click the image for a larger version. Then right-click save as.

I'm sorry, I'm looking for a new place to post photos.

It is the white part that you will be cutting out of the pumpkin. I recomend outlining it somehow before cutting it. Possibly cut the white part out then use a felt tipped pen to draw it on. You could also use a nail or tooth pic to poke holes along the outline and then cut connect the dots. The gray part is where you need to cut the skin off the pumpkin. This needs to be done because otherwise the mouth wouldn't stay up.

I Wish You Weren't So Silly

I went downtown to meet with Daorcey and Nat to discuss their upcoming wedding photos over dinner. I showed them my small portfolio, and went over what I considered important aspects of the wedding photography.

I think that I had some good ideas and sounded like I knew what I was doing. We are going to meet again in the spring to go over what they want in more detail. I guess to make a shot list.

The wedding is still a long way away. Six months at least. I guess that's coming from a guy who only had eight weeks to plan his own wedding, and who's sister put her's together in about a week.

So, what do I think is important?


The only wedding photos you will ever display are of yourselves, and possible of the bride. All the other photos stay hidden in the album. At least in my case. It is conceivable that one of the entire bridal party could be displayed for awhile. Portraits of the couple are the most important of all the photos.

Bride by herself, displaying the dress (hopefully a rented dress, you can rent a much more expensive dress than you can buy, and why buy a $$$$$$$$ dress that you will only wear look at once) and the groom by himself, although obviously the pictures of the bride are more important.

Get one with couple and both sets of parents, but it is much more to get the couple with each set of parents separately. Also family portraits with all the siblings and the couple with all the grandparents in couples individually.

Get several with the bride and bride's maids and the groom and the groom's men. As well as some of them altogether.

Action Shots (Journalist Style)

Bride getting ready, hair and makeup. Groom putting tie on.

Bridal party walking down the aisle (isle for tropical weddings). Several of the bride and her father.

Bridal party with the pre-vows speech is going on, the justice of the peace, and the happy couple.

Sliding the rings on.

The kiss.

Walking back down the aisle. Just the bride and groom at this point.

People at the reception. Stick to mainly family members here, but a few close friends, and mainly when they are congratulating the happy couple.

The toasts, cutting the cake, and throwing the bouquet/garter.

And don't forget the "I do's"

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Shark Tale

Shark Tale gets two thumbs up from me. I don't know if it is for everyone though. I really enjoyed most of the jokes and referances to the Godfather and a myriad of other mob movies. I have to admit that I think that I liked Finding Nemo better. That being said, if you enjoyed all the other comuter animated cartoons, you will enjoy this one too.


Shooting Hoops

pic not availableThe other day Tracie and I were playing 21 at the gym and we found a net that was being really nice to me. I was probably having one of the best shooting days I've ever had.

In an attempt to relive my glory days, I tried dunking the ball again. I did it, and I felt very good about myself knowing the whole time that whoever put the net up didn't have a tape measure and that it was a couple of inches short.

This is a picture of me in the spring the year after I graduated highschool. I hadn't played basketball in a long time, but I discovered that it was even easier to dunk then than when I was in highschool. I had put on about 15-20lbs since I graduated, but it must have been mostly muscle. I was pretty scrawny in highschool. I've put a lot more on since then. Being 40lbs heavier than my ideal dunking weight is really weighing me down.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Donut Day

Yesterday, I sold doughnuts again. I barely made $32 after all my costs. Adam thinks it was because the weather was too nice. It was something like 25 degrees out, and so nobody was using the link between the MacEwan (not mace-wan) and the Science buildings. Stupid good weather while I'm working mostly because I only work one day a week.

New Topic

I was looking in the mirror the other day, and the though struck me, "Nose hair grows really fast." Seriously, it seems like I'm pulling nose hair out all the time, and it just keeps coming back only thicker. Don't laugh, pulling nose hair really hurts. My eyes start watering really bad, and my nose runs like crazy. The runny nose must be the body's way of lubricating the hairs to make it more difficult to pull them out or something.

Another New Topic

I went with Tracie to a little dinner party at Earl's thrown by the nursing staff from unit 51 for a nurse that went down to the emerg ward. Nurses talk about anything. Even at the dinner table. It was kind of like a train wreck, you just can't look away, but it can be pretty disturbing.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004


The headline in the Medicine Hat News on Saturday said something like this. "GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO BAN MATERIAL THAT CAUSES BSE. " It's been about two years and the government is just now thinking about removing the cause of BSE. Every other day there is an indignant statement in the paper about the hard nosed Americans not allowing imports of Canadian beef. Well, small wonder. At this point, what reason would the Americans have to believe the Canadian government's veracity when they say they are now going to do something about the problem? I'd be surprised if they ever allow Canadian beef back onto their market and rightfully so.

Doctor-Patient Sex Relationships

In today's news I read once again that relations are strictly forbidden between doctors and patients. I was reminded that if such a thing should occur the doctor is in big trouble buddy. In this same news article they said the reason is because the doctor is in a position of power and the patient is vulnerable. This applies even if the patient is no longer a patient. The funny thing is that nobody seems to be vulnerable unless they are a patient, so doctors, go ahead and have at it with anybody you so wish, as long as they are not your patient. Fair enough?

Sunday, October 03, 2004


The website that I'm making for Highbanks (the group that provides affordable housing for young single mothers) is almost done. The template that I am using for most of the pages is done, so really, I only have to make copies of it, and then add the content. I also want to add a bunch of pictures, at least one to every page.

After that, maybe a bunch of animated gifs and blinking text. Those two things will be the icing on the cake.

In other news, Dad if you want to post on the blog, click on the link called "Blogger" underneath the pie.

-Gary Milner

Friday, October 01, 2004

I Wish I Had Cable

Despite the fact that most TV shows are crap, I have come to the conclusion that I wish I could afford cable. The peasant vision that I have is tiding me over nicely until I can get a job, but Survivor and the Apprentice are basically the same show. Joey is funny, but really it'll take a year to get to know and like the characters. It takes a certain familiarity with the characters to really love a show.

That being said, I saw a NBC show today called, "Father of the Pride". It is a show about a group of white lions who work for Siegfried and Roy by night and are an ordinary family of lions by day. It is one of the funniest new shows I have seen in a long time. If you have cable I recommend that you give it a try, you just might like it.

The other new show that I have seen recently was the pilot for a show called, "Dead Like Me". The first season is available on DVD. It was made for cable, so they don't follow the same rules as regular broadcast TV in case you are worried about that sort of thing. "Dead Like Me" is about a girl who is killed by a toilet seat that broke off the Russian space station Mir as it was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. She then discovers that her life was too non-committal to warrant Heaven or Hell, so she has to spend an undetermined amount of time as a Grim Reaper until she can move on.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wardrobe Malfunction

It was my bathing suit actually.

After a long night at the U of C teaching a lab to uninterested students, I decided to relax in the hot tub at Cardel Place. When we acutally got there though, the rest of the pool looked so fun that we couldn't pass it up. One of the water park's attractions is a set of buckets, which you stand under, wait for them to fill up slowly and then get splashed. They kind of sound lame, but they were adequately fun. That is until I lost my top.

The water came down so hard that it filled up my bathing suit and literally pulled it off my shoulders. It probably only lasted 2 seconds, because I pulled it up so fast, but that was enough for Gary and a group of teenage boys to see it all. More might have seen for all I know, but just didn't point and laugh.

The funny thing is, although Gary is still laughing about it today, I'm not really all that embarrased about it. It's not that I enjoyed it or anything (becuase in fact, I didn't), but I'm not one bit bothered.

-Tracie, the Flasher

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Donuts Once More

I sold donuts again yesterday. It wasn't as good as the first two times because we couldn't get a good table, but we ended up getting rid of them all.

I swam a kilometer yesterday. It took me about a half an hour. I was just about on my last lap, and a kid stopped me after about 800m and asked me how it was possible that I could swim so fast for so long. He said that he had been trying to do one for my three and was having a hard time keeping up. I told him that I wasn't in good shape at all, I haven't even been swimming in a couple of years, but that I did know how to swim, and that that fact alone makes a huge difference.

I'm sure that Jeff could do a kilometer in about half the time it took me, or even less. Maybe it shouldn't strike me as being odd that most people don't know how to swim even though they can swim. The same way millions of people take photographs without really know how to take photographs.

Jeff posted a comment, and I just want to make sure that his swimming tips don't go missing somehow.

Some basics that I would advise would be to make sure your body position is level in the water, keep your head down, breath about once for every three strokes, and count your strokes per length.

If you can reduce the number of strokes it takes to get across the pool even by a couple of strokes you will probably find yourself going faster and using less energy.

In any case, I wish I had a little more to write about, but it seems like I always forget my ideas by the time I get home. Especially when they are good ideas.

-Gary Milner

Monday, September 27, 2004


Now I can post a comment, but I'm not getting the blog. What the heck.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

More Photo Stuff

I shot Tracie's Aunt's wedding today.

The wedding was very nice, it was very intimate and laid back. I admit that I haven't been closely involved in more than a handful of weddings but I for one wasn't feeling a ton of stress. I'll bet it was one of the most stress free weddings for Tracie's grandmother inside of her own family.

Tracie's grandfather gave a very eloquent and lovely toast to the groom, it reminded me of Jack Nicholson's toast in About Schmidt. The groom's brother also gave a very wonderful toast to the bride.

The photos went well and, although I haven't seen them, I am quite confident that there are some very beautiful portraits. I wish that I had more experience photographing weddings, because it seems that I'm having a hard time making sure that I get all the groups shot that I need to, and most often it's my side of the family that gets the shorter end of the stick, not by much, but I'm not sure that it's a 50-50 split. It wasn't when I did Tracie's sister Megan's wedding for sure. My family got a little bit of a shaft when I shot Jackie's wedding.

Another place where I need to improve is doing group shots. I have a hard time posing people, but it's just a matter of having more practice.


The Pelican Brief is on tv right now. Which makes me think that I will probably never make out for two hours while another couple is also making out in the same room ever again. Not that Tracie and I didn't enjoy it 10 years ago, but I just don't think we have the kissing stamina anymore.


Friday, September 24, 2004


Here are some of the photos that we took in Medicine Hat last week.

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These are my parents. Bob and Jane Milner.

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This is my sister Jackie and her husband Glen.

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This is my brother Jeff and his girlfriend Anna Maria.

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Anna Maria took this one of Tracie and Me. I took the rest of them. I really liked all of the photos we took. I'm getting really excited to see the ones from the studio.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Selling Olicooks

The donuts sold very well. I was there for 7 hours and sold out, by the end, I was getting a little bored, so I sold a few for less than $2, and gave a few away to people at the Gauntlet.

All in all, it was a profitable venture I'll made about $200. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It looks like I will be doing it again next week. I'm not sure about the date though, but I'm booking the table tomorrow.

I took some pictures of the money to post, but they didn't turn out very well. They were almost all out of focus or blown out by the flash. I had a pretty big pile of twenty dollar bills. It was like they used to say on the 649 commercials, the only problem with having a lot of money is having a fat wallet.

Anywho, I'm off to the leisure centre to swim or shoot hoops.

-Gary Milner

leisure... so much for i before e except after c.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Busy Day

Tracie and I had a pretty busy day today.

We went to the University to confirm my table booking at the Student Center. I think they have a new table booking person, because I don't recognise her from last year and because she forgot to confirm my booking via email. I was freaking out because I didn't want to have $280 worth of doughnuts and no table to sell them at. The table was booked of course and my fears were assayed. (Rea would all that flour really be bad for you?)

Pictures of the doughnuts to come later.

We went down to vistek to have the portraits that I took of my family developed and put onto a cd. I didn't even look at the digital cameras, although I did fantasize on my way out. I'll probably post a few of the portraits on Friday.

We went to see if Cardel Place had opened yet. It had, so we decide that it would be a good day to play a little HORSE and a few games of 21. I beat Tracie pretty easily at HORSE, but she be me one out of three at 21. For someone who didn't play basketball in high school or at all in the last 8 or 9 years, she's a pretty good outside shooter.

I went to a pair of recruiting fairs that I was double booked for. The CP Rail one was better, and I wish I had just gone there first and skiped the Exxon Mobile/ Imperial Oil one. Besides I really like riding on trains.

Right now we are making ice cream in the ice cream maker that my Mom gave me. She had two, and hardly ever makes ice cream anyway. I'll tell you how it turns out later.

-Gary Milner

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Trip To Medicine Hat

Tracie and I made t' trip down t' Medicine Hat t' take part in t' family portrait. me Mom got some deal wharrr t' best portrait studio in town was wavin' t' sittin' fee which ordinarrrily would have been several hundred doubloons.

I looked at t' LCD on t' aft o' t' photographarrr's camera as she was takin' pictures o' Jackie and Glen, t' pictures be goin' t' be pretty spectacularrr. I'm really tempted t' buy some o' t' family, but I know that they will be too expensive for me.

As promised, here be some o' t' pictarrrs that I took.

T' first be o' Becky (in t' jean jacket), her bucko (in stripes), and me, at t' Canadian Idol live show at t' Arena in Medicine Hat.

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T' Second be Eva (baby with hair), Ryker (baby without hair), and me (baldin' baby).

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This was one o' t' best trips we have had t' t' Hat, I think in part because we port them wantin' more. I get t' feelin' that stayin' for a few more days would have been a little too much.

-Gary Milner

Happy talk like a pirate day.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Kalanadian Idol

Tracie and I went to the Canadian Idol finale at the Medicine Hat Arena last night. There must have been a couple of thousand screaming 14 year-old girls. Doors opened at 4:00 and the tickets said the show would be starting at 5:00. We got there at about 5:00, but that was about an hour too soon. They played clips from past shows until 6:00 when the show *really* started. We got really good seats, right in the very front near the tv screen. I guess the kids were too cool to get seats near the front.

In any case, after about 10 minutes I realized that the girls would be screaming the *whole* time. I got some toilet paper from the bathroom to put in our ears. It took the shrill edge off the more hysterical screams.

Tracie's little sister was there with a bunch of friends. (Becky reads this so I'll refrain from calling them little friends.) They were having a good time, and there's no doubt that they added to screaming by no small amount.

Towards the end of the show the kids started lining up for a live shot along the boards of the rink. Volunteer security guards tried to keep them pushed back to leave a path for the cameraman, but I could see after about three seconds that it wasn't going to work. I'm sure the cameraman could too. He didn't even have a cable puller to help him along. The kids at the front of the line started crowding up against the portable fence. The kids at the back didn't clue in, so I went back and got Becky and brought her up to a prime spot at the very front. We were there for a few minutes when I noticed a little kid behind me, so I let him in front.

He was still at least a foot shorter than Becky, so I asked him if he wanted to go on my shoulders but he declined. I guess I'm kinda creepy to nine year-old boys that don't know me. The kid looked so sad, he was so close to the front, but too short to appear on any of the cameras. I could tell that he *really really* wanted a better view. A few more minutes passed, and as it became evident that they would be announcing the winner any second the crowd of girls was reaching a fevord pitch. Tons of girls were uncontrollably sobbing.

I asked the kid if he wanted to go on my shoulders one more time. I guess the desire to be able to see anything at all and the wanting to be on tv was enough to overcome everthing his parents ever taught him about not talking to strangers. I couldn't really see him once he was up there, but Tracie said he looked pretty pleased.

I just saw us on TV. The kid would have been completely hidden if he hadn't been on my shoulders. I hope he sees it. There were two really good shots of Becky too. I imagine that we might be on several national shows.

In any case, Kalan Porter was in my Mom's kindergarden class, so she was probably the first person to teach Kalan how to sing.

-Gary Milner

ps. I'll post photos when I get back to Calgary Saturday night.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ladri Di Biciclette

I rented "The Bicycle Thief" from the library today.

Shot in 1948, it is the story of Antonio Ricci. After being unemployed for over two years, Antonio is overjoyed when he's finally given a job putting up posters. There's a catch, though, he needs a bicycle as a requirement of the job, so he pawns the family linen to get his bicycle out of hock. He goes off to his first day's work, truly happy for the first time in years, and the title of the film gives away what happens next.

I found the anticipation of the impending theft quite satisfying. With a title like "The bicycle Thief", you expect the bike to be stolen at any moment. You watch as people walk by and look at the bicycle. You can't help but hope that this person walking by is the one who's going to grab it an make a dash for it.

As much as I liked this movie, there are drawbacks to it. First, it's old, 55 years. In that time, audiences have come to expect a lot from a movie. That being said, this movie is not nearly as bad as a lot of other movies made in first half of the last century, or even made this year. Second it's in Italian, but don't worry it has subtitles. If you don't like subtitles, don't worry the movie has also been dubbed into English.

If you can get it from the library, and you like independant or old movies, this may be for you.

If you think Conan the Barbarian was cinema gold, you probably won't like this movie and you're also an idiot.

-Gary Milner


Physicists in Austria and Germany have used extreme ultra-violet rays to calculate the the time it takes for an electron to zoom around the nucleous of an atom. It takes about 15o attoseconds to circumnavigate the nucleous of a hydrogen atom. An attosecond is one quintillionth of a second, or 10 to the minus 18th. To put that in perspective, an electron could orbit the nucleous a million billion times in the time it takes to blink your eye. And that, my friends, is a lot of orbiting.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Tutorial on FAQs

FAQ is an acronym that means Frequently Asked Questions. You see, computer nerds are relatively lazy people that hate answering the same questions over and over again. In fact, it drives many of them positively batty.

Philip Greenspun a professor at MIT wrote in one of his web publishing books, that he would answer any question twice. Then he would put the question and answer in the FAQ file, because if there were at least two people that wanted to know the same thing, there were bound to be hundreds more just wanting to ask the same thing.

I'm writing this because although many companies know that it is important to have a Frequently Asked Questions page, most have a "We Wish Our Customers Would Ask These Questions" page. The two are not the same thing. FAQ pages are for frequently asked questions, the rest of your website is for everything else, including things you wish people knew about your company.

Having anything but frequent questions in a FAQ page makes the FAQ page bloated and less useful to people who realize millions of people are on the internet and their particular question has been answered a million times already.

As you can see, I don't have a FAQ page. This is because no one ever asks me any questions. My website covers everything that people want to know from me already.

-Gary Milner

Danny the Champion of the World

Danny's Dad had a secret, but now the secret's out and it's going to lead Danny on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way, he becomes the champion of the world.

Today, I read, "Danny the Champion of the World", by Roald Dahl. It is a story about a boy who lives alone with his father. One night Danny wakes up to discover his father is missing. When his Dad gets back, he feels compelled to tell Danny his secret. Danny's Dad is a poacher, Danny's grandfather was a poacher, and pretty much everyone else in town except for the wealthy landowner are also poachers.

Pretty soon, Danny's father is hurt in a trap set by the land owner and decides to go for revenge. Danny comes up with the best idea ever to poach pheasants and the pair put their plan into action.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

I read, "The Witches" today. I give it two thumbs up. Fine holiday fun for the whole family.

"The Witches" is the story of a boy's encounter with a group of witches at the annual witch's convention held in the Hotel Magnificent in Bournemouth. Luckily for the boy, he had been living with his Grandmother in Norway, where the witch problem/blight is much worse and so he has been taught how to recognise a witch.

They are completely bald, and have to wear wigs to fit in. The wigs are very itchy so they are always scrating their heads.
Their fingernails are more like large cat's claws, and so they must always wear gloves to avoid detction.
They have no toes on their feet, but since they must wear fashionable shoes to appear like normal ladies, thier feet always hurt.
They can smell children from across the street even in the pitch black of night. To a witch, a child smells like dog droppings.

Through the course of the book, the boy becomes trapped while hiding in the convention room and so overhears the witches' plot to kill every child in Great Britian! He must stop them before it is too late. Just as the convention is wrapping up one of the witches catches a whiff of dog poop and the boy's hiding place is discovered!

If you want to find out how it ends, you'll just have to read the book or rent the video.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

House Repairs

This is a photo of the area under the white wood molding underneath our living room window. After taking the siding and molding off, rot was visible. Luckily, it was only on the pressboard sheathing, and not on the part actually supporting the window or wall.

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In this photo, the pressboard has been removed as well as the molding around the bottom of the house. It was terribly rotten. We also discovered that the plywood used as the floor on the inside of the house is rotten for about 4 inches from the edge of the house. We're going to have to pull up the carpet to replace the wood underneath it.

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Since the area under the window jets out from the foundation, there was plastic on the bottom side of the floor board. Unfortunately the Dumas (if you've seen Shawshank redemption you'll get it) who was putting the plastic on decided that the one on the floor should come over the one on the outside of the wall. This made it act more like a rain gutter than a rain barrier and water has been sitting between the plastic an our floor since the first storm after the house was built.

Upon discovering the extra work, the fix job has basically doubled. Not only is the price doubling, now our carpet is getting ripped up. I'm sure it will never be the same. Maybe this will be the incentive that we need to get hardwood after suffering with ripples in our carpet for a year or so.

-Gary Milner

Monday, September 06, 2004

Doggy Style

Gary and I have been considering getting a dog. I'm not sure exactly how serious we are about it, but it seems like the more we entertain the idea, the better of an idea it becomes.

We went to the Humane Society on Saturday. There were probably about 20 dogs there, none of which appealed to us. Each one was bigger than the next. We want a small to medium dog, not a little rat-like one, but not a giant knock-you-down one either. When I was about 14 my parents got a Siberian Husky, which was way too big to be a city dog. We have a small house and a small yard, so a small dog should fit us fine.

After coming out empty handed from the SPCA, we tried to find another animal shelter in Calgary, but there seems to be only one in the whole city. So we tried pet stores. The dogs there were significantly cuter...I mean they were all little puppies with the most pathetic looking faces. We would be crazy not to take one home, right? Well, they were cute, but not $1088.00 cute. Last year my sister bought a pure-bred miniature daschund for $500.00 and I thought she was crazy. I thought, "500 bucks for a dog? A dog that isn't trained?" Well, the cheapest dogs we saw at any pet store cost $750.00, and they were random mutts.

We'll probably just keep trying the Humane Society every once in a while. If someone has any advice for us, we'd love to hear it.

-Tracie, future dog master

Mean Girls

Tracie and I saw "Mean Girls" the other day and surprisingly, we quite enjoyed it.
It is about a girl who had been home schooled by her zoologist parents until she turned 16 and they moved back to the states from Africa.

Back in the states the girl begins attending public school and must quickly adapt to the social hierarchy. She falls in with a pair of semi-misfits right away, but soon is invited to join a group of the three most "popular" girls in the school called the plastics.

She doesn't really like the plastics, but is convinced by her misfit friends to hangout with them to spy on and wreak havoc from with in.

The plastics are a group of really visious girls, the things they did to each other are *really* mean but not at all far fetched. Quite frankly, it made me glad to be a boy.

I really recommend that you rent this movie.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Country Hills Library

The Country Hills Library opened today. It was complete chaos, it was packed, and nobody was being quiet at all.

Tracie pointed out to me the fact that not a single patron in the entire library had less than 10 books. It was obvious to me that a high percentage of the books rented on the opening day would not be read. It was as if the people had never been to a library before, as if they didn't want to miss out on that special book.

They had three people just to sign people up with new library cards, because of the demand. Then there was the check out line. It must have been 15 people long. I was sad about that because I only had two books to read. Luckily Tracie noticed that they had self check out terminals.

I went over to look at them, one hadn't been set up yet, but a guy had just finished setting the second one up right as I arrived. I was the first person to use it. That self check out made my week. It would have taken a really long time to get through that line.

The self check out got me to thinking about Librarians. Not only are they losing patrons to the internet, they are slowly being made unnecessary by computers in the actual library. Build a machine that can shelve books, and we won't even need librarians anymore. They could just play a cd of someone saying, "shhhh" on repeat over the intercom, and voila, a completely automated library.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Moldy Locks and the Three Contractors

In June, at the time of our convocation when Tracie's parents were visiting, her Dad noticed a discolouration on the wood molding underneath the window in front of our house. He touched it with his thumb, and pushed right into the wood.

Time passed, I never dealt with it, and it eventually started getting furry. I realized that I would have to deal with it right away. I started by pulling out as much of the rotten wood as I could, but as I was doing that, I made a hole in the pressboard underneath. It turns out that the pressboard underneath the siding is also rotten.

By this point, I realize that this home repair is way beyond what I am capable of doing. While I could probably remove the boards, the siding and the plywood, and maybe even put the wood parts back up, I probably could not put the siding back up.

We called a contractor to come look at it and give us an estimate. They told us that they would come in a week's time. On the day they were supposed to show up, they didn't. We called several times and they assured us that someone would be here. It's been well over a week and they still haven't come. If you ever need home repairs done, don't call A P & W contractors. We finally found a new contractor, after two weeks of trying. He came last night and he told us it would be between $800 and $1000.

It turns out that the lovely decorative molding around the bottom of the house near the ground is also rotting and holding water. He said that he would replace that as well. He's coming Wednesday the 8th. I won't hold my breath, though.

I could see the difference in the wood, the light yellow on the bottom is non-rotten wood, on the top where it is darker orange it's a little rotten. Although you can't see very well, there is rot inside. If you look in the centre you can see our insulation.

I hope the contractor is honest about the price and that it will be done in one day.

-Gary Milner