Sunday, February 29, 2004


I can see why they call California the Golden State. It wasn't the color of gold; it was green and warm which is good enough reason for me to call it the golden state. The sun was gold though, maybe that's the reason. Or maybe it's because you can find gold there. If the latter is the case, for sure you don't see any of it just laying around for the taking.
The drag races were wonderful . I wonder why they call the them drag races. When you hear the term drag races it conjures up in your mind a bunch of guys dressed in drag having a foot race. But that wasn't the case and they're not called drag races because they are boring either. They were very exciting. The six thousand horse power top fuel racers were so excruciately loud that each piston stroke was like dynamite going off. You could feel the sound of each piston stroke slapping you in the face. They do the quarter mile strip in as little as four seconds.

Saturday, February 28, 2004


Jackie and Glen had their car stolen from the parking lot at the mall where Jackie works. It was full of brand new wedding presents at the time as well. I don't know what insurance they had on it.

Shut Out in the Cold

Here's the deal. It gets cold in Canada, so generally you don't want to spend a lot of time locked out of your house. Yesterday, Amy forgot to take her keys with her to work. Which would have been fine if the people she lives with stayed at home all day and night. Unfortunately, we don't.

She was stuck outside for about an hour. Although luckily for her, there was a string of events that prevented her from being locked out for 3 or 4 hours.

First, I couldn't find my regular keys anywhere and had to take my spare set. The weird thing is that they were on the floor in plain sight in front of the TV.

Second, Ryan, a volunteer photographer shot about 150 photographs in the first period of the hockey game, thus filling the memory card.

Third, because I did not have my regular keys, I could not go to the Gauntlet and download the pics off the card, so I just came home.

A lesson about what a person can do to in this situation should be learned.

First, take your keys with you where ever you go. It took me about 3 years to teach this to Tracie, but now she always has her keys. Luckily, I was only locked out by her once. She locked herself out various times.

Second, if you are unable to get into your own house and it is really cold outside, go to the neighbours even if you don't know them. Tell them you got locked out, and they will certainly let you in for awhile. Certainly the neighbours we have are very nice and extremely helpful.

Third, if you are afraid to talk to your neighbours, walk a block to the store and wait inside. Use a pay phone to check if your roommates are back yet.

Fourth, if you don't want to walk a block to the store, start the barbecue. It will make you salivate and you'll smell like steak afterwards, but you won't get hypothermia.

Gary Milner, keeps his keys in his pocket even when he is home.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Second Interview

I had my second interview today. It went pretty well. I think I said a lot of things that the interviewer liked hearing. I am a little unsure of what the outcome will be.

The interview had a lot of questions that followed the out line of, "Have you ever been in a situation where something, something and you did something, something." I pretty sure that I had some good responses, and I hope that I had better responses than the other candidates. I think I have a lot better experience than a lot of other new grads, but you never know I guess.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Yesterday my sister Amy decided to make cookies. As she was rolling the dough into balls and putting them on the cookie sheet, I walked through the kitchen. She chose that moment to ask me if there is a difference between baking soda and baking powder. I told her there was, to which she answered "Oops". Well, at that point it was too late, so she decided to bake them anyway and see how they turned out. Truth be told, they tasted the same to me. That got me to wondering just how big a difference there really is. And who invented baking anyway? I mean, who came up with the idea that you could mix flour with sugar with egss and vanilla or whatever and make a delicious treat?

-Tracie, puzzled by baking

Call back

I was invited to have a second interview at the Future Shop tomorrow morning. Although I haven't been hired yet, I'm going to have to find out a lot more about the job before I will accept the position. They have materials that they give out to perspective employees, but having completed a degree, I am the type of person who uses his critical thinking skills, and my analysis of the materials leads me to conclude that they don't actually contain much information about working at the Future Shop. They seem to be cheer-leading more than anything.

I'll follow up after the interview.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Job Hunter

I went to a campus recruiting event for Best Buy and Future Shop yesterday night. It was very interesting. They had a company video that explained a little bit about the history of the two Electronics Retailers. It reminded me a lot of what the first page of a case study would be like, only with less information. In any case, I signed up for and attended a job interview this morning.

The interview went really well. I get the feeling that I have a lot of the skills and experience that they really want in their manager trainees. The lady told me that I will probably be getting a second interview. I gave really good answers and relevant experience for all of her questions.

By this time you are wondering why I would want to work for the Future Shop. The answers is that I don't know if I do, but they may make me an offer that I can't refuse. I told her (the interviewer) that I would prefer to work in the merchandising portion of the company, which would mean that I would be behind the scenes, not really in contact with customers or salesmen.

Anyway, I'm told that they are looking for up to 700 managers between the two stores, because they are changing the way they do things a little bit. They are also opening a ton of stores.

In the very worst case, it will be good interviewing practice. In the best case, I will have a pretty high paying job with a great electronics discount. Admittedly, I will have to think long and hard about working for them.

-Gary Milner, about to join the darkside of electronics retailing, maybe.

Monday, February 23, 2004


I sold the doughnuts today. They arrived at the loading dock at about 10:15 this morning, and I borrowed at little cart to get them all up to my table. Let me tell you 30 dozen doughnuts is a lot of doughnuts. I don't know how I got them all in one trip. Starting at 10:30 wasn't really a problem, because there aren't many people in the Student Center until at least 11:00.

They sold well, until about 2:15 or so, and then things really started slowing down. There were small rushes every hour for a little while between classes. We ended the day with about 11 left over doughnuts, but we gave some to Tracie's aunt Linda and so we aren't going to be eating that many at all.

Tracie came over at noon after her class and was really excited to see how big the doughnuts actually were. She helped out a lot for the rest of the day, and caught on quickly to the fine art of convincing people to buy the unpopular flavours. For example, of 6 dozen maple favoured doughnuts we had 2 dozen left over after selling 7 dozen sprinkle doughnuts and 15 dozen chocolate. I could see that the maple weren't selling and so when someone asked what type they should buy, I would push the maple. When it happened the first time I said maple right away, and Tracie said chocolate. She knew right away that she should have agreed about the maple.

Near the end of the day, I was talking to James, and he helped push the maple a little at the very end. People would come up and be disappointed that there were no chocolate or sprinkle doughnuts and he would tell them that maple was really good.

So if I had it to do over, I would order only 2 dozen honeydew, 3 dozen maple, 10 dozen sprinkles, and 15 chocolate. Hardly anybody bought the honeydew doughnuts, but we did sell all 24 which came as a surprise. I don't think it would be easy to sell much more than 24 of them. Lots of people were disappointed that we ran out of sprinkles and the maple didn't sell too well, so I think more sprinkles and less maple would be in order. The chocolate lasted right until the end but did sell out, so I think 15 dozen is the right number.

I don't know if I got the right table. I liked my location a lot, but I think that I may have been better off downstairs, because everybody else who has been selling them has been doing it downstairs. I don't know if it actually mattered at all, but maybe. The other thing that may have caused having a dozen leftover could have been the fact that it was the first day back after reading week. It is possible that there were fewer than normal students on campus due to extended vacations. But, I guess you never can tell.

The thing about Texas doughnuts it that they are an impulse item. You either buy them or you don't, not a lot of thought goes into the purchase. As such, results may vary. I'm not sure how often these sales could be held. I would be confident with the same number again next week, but maybe not again this week.

In case you are wondering, I now have $300 more than I started with.

-Gary Milner, Fresh Off Success

Today is the Day

Well, my doughnuts should be here in about 45 minutes! Woot! Boy am I getting excited. I went down and scouted out the loading dock, I spoke to the lady in charge down there, and gave her the check to give to the driver in case I wasn't there when he got there. I spoke to the table booking guy, to tell him that I would be there at around 10:00, because on the sheet of regulations it says that they cancel your booking if you are not there by 10:00. I get the feeling that this regulation is only sort of true.

I'm borrowing a cart from the loading dock, to get them all upstairs. I'll have to find someone to watch the table while I return the cart, but I'm sure that there will be someone in the office who can help me out with that.

-Gary Milner, Doughnut Salesman

Ps. If you are on campus, come and buy a doughnut.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Campus Security Are Liars

I had a run in with the campus security today. It left me feeling unsafe on campus. I feel I can no longer trust campus security at the University of Calgary. It seems to me as if they are high on their imagined authority and like to push their weight around.

I was on my way to the volleyball game when I saw four fat U of C campus security running towards one of the buildings on campus. As luck would have it, I had my staff camera with me and so I followed them. The got onto an elevator, and I watched what floor it stopped on and took the next elevator up.

The four officers, were in a computer lab one floor up, and through the window I could see them being held at bay, by a younger looking man who appeared to be injured. He was standing in such a way that he appeared to have some sort of weapon. (He may or may not have had anything, but it appeared that the officers didn't want to get too close to the guy.)

I was making adjustments to my camera to get it ready for action, when one of the lady officers came out and told me that I wasn't allowed to photograph the situation. I said, that I would be photographing what ever I wanted. It went back and forth like that for a little while, and so one of them called one of their sub-bosses and he came up and said the same thing. I told him the same thing, and it went back and forth for awhile, and then he phoned his boss.

After the phone call, he told me that if I continued to photograph the situation, (taking place in another room) that he had the authority and permission to arrest me and that I would be spending time in the holding cell. Which was a big lie. Campus security are not police. They couldn't arrest their own ass, let alone anyone else. While telling lies is a good way to threaten and bully people, it decreases the trust that people have for their office.

Campus Security are liars and they seem to enjoy bullying people. I no longer have any respect for them and it makes me feel unsafe to know that they are willing to lie to people to get their own way. Pushing your weight around and pretending to hold authority seems to give Campus Security at the University of Calgary a sense of importance.

Really a good private security force should concentrate on helping people rather than acting like jack-booted thugs. I would have really liked to write about how these people are heroes, how they help the student population, but from what I've seen, they lie, threaten people, and don't actually do anything.

-Gary Milner, at least they didn't hit me with their batons.

Criminal Record Check

Yesterday, I took Amy downtown to get a criminal record check. The lady at the till said she needed two pieced of id, one photo and one other. Amy only had one photo id. The lady wouldn't perform the criminal record check, but suggested we take the photo id down the street to the Alberta health care people and have them print off an Alberta health card. At the Alberta health place, the lady gave us a heath card based solely on Amy's photo id. We went back to the police station and the lady there started the wheels in motion to get the criminal record check done.

It got me to thinking, if you have an id with your picture and someone else's information on it, nothing prevents you from getting a Alberta Health Care card. Not even the bus fare to get there, because the C-Train is free downtown. The lady at the police station was the one who suggested getting the heath care card, she told us that the train was free downtown, and she knew that we could get a card based only on a photo id that wasn't strong enough on its own to get a criminal record check.

There must be an analogy to significant digits in science, or possibly the weakest link in a chain.

Basically, there is nothing preventing FOIP violations, or identity theft for that matter, besides getting the first id that will allow you to get the second no questions asked, and you can follow that on down the line to any number of other cards and numbers that supposedly identify us.

Now I can see why people are against national id cards in the USA. They won't do anything to prevent terrorism, but they will make identity theft that much easier because there will be one more card that people blindly put their faith in.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, February 19, 2004

If I Had A Million Dollars

This morning I read an article about research done by some social psychologists, the conclusion of which was that if you are going to spend money in the pursuit of pleasure, you should try to buy things that come as experiences, eg. Dinner with friends or a vacation, rather than on things like a new car or a diamond ring (aka stuff).

First, people are more willing to remember and reminisce about their experiences. When we look back on the things we've done, we tend to forget the minor annoyances and the boring parts.
It takes on a rosy glow, becoming better in recall than it was in reality. We even laugh over misadventures we found most unpleasant at the time.
In contrast, people quickly adapt to material advances. We find that the new couch is just a place to sit, and eventually your butt gets used to sitting there.

Second, your identity is made from your experiences, you are the sum of the things you have done. If you accumulate a lot of rich experiences, you have had a richer life.
We have the saying you can't take it with you, and this is true, except for your experiences. The things you have done are the things that you get to keep.

Third, you experiences have a greater social value. Other people care more about the stories you have to tell rather than the new pants you are wearing. Imagine going to a person's house, and seeing a lion head mounted on the wall chances are that you would look at it for a few seconds, and then turn your back on it to find out *how* the person came to be in possession of it. The actual head is of little importance.

You Get Out What You Put In

On researcher warns against the snare of pursuing "short cuts to pleasure". Such as? Drugs, chocolate, loveless sex, shopping, television and spectator sport. His point is that they yield only the briefest spurts of good feeling. Chocolate only makes you happy while it is in your mouth. When the chocolate is gone, you aren't any more happy than you were before, and possibly less happy as it makes its way to your hips.

One interesting fact from the research, the average mood while watching a TV sitcom is mild depression. Reading a book, however, is the opposite, most likely because it's more active. You are actually doing something to get the story. You enjoy the act of reading the book.

Your best bet for using a million dollars it so find activities that block consciousness of self and felt emotion, except in retrospect as in "Wow, that was fun!".

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Get Your Orders Runin' Head Out on the Highway

I placed my order of 30 Doughnuts for Monday morning. She said they would be there by 10:00. I'm getting really excited now. I'm almost ready to burst, and I haven't even eaten one of the doughnuts yet. I don't know if I will eat one though, especially when I could be selling it.

-Gary Milner, Woot!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Third Tim Hortons on the Right and Straight on Til Morning

My chief business is business. I am profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.

Today I rented a table for Monday the 23rd. It cost $48. I will have to sell two dozen doughnuts to cover the cost of the table. I will be purchasing 360 doughnuts to sell. I will have to sell 15 dozen to cover the cost of the doughnuts. That leaves me with 156 doughnuts to profit from. A possible gain of $312. That's a third of the monthly payment on my mortgage.

James sold 360 doughnuts in about three hours. I could pay a third of my mortgage in March by selling doughnuts for three hours.

By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor. By proletariat, the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live.

I would have joined the bourgeoisie in this venture but the only proletariat I could find was Tracie's little sister Amy, and she's busy Monday. I guess I need to find some other sucker willing to sell their labour for $10 per hour. Then I'll have it made, then I'll be true bourgeoisie. Making other people work for you is where it's at. That's why I'm a Marxist, because nothing is better than keeping the poor man down while growing personal wealth and monetary freedom.

The last time I felt this good was the time I sold cotton candy at the Canada Day parade in Raymond, Alberta. I even had underage labour working for me. I guess what I said before about there being nothing better than having other people working for you was wrong, because having little kids working for you is better.

That's probably why I don't feel bad for the kids in the Nike factories, because I myself have had a small group of ten-year-olds working for me during my cotton candy days. Wow! I guess I have more in common with Phil Knight that I had previously imagined.

-Gary Milner, going to take down Tim Horton

Ps. I'm thinking of calling them Trogdor Doughnuts instead of Texas Doughnuts.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Weekend Action

My parents came up for the weekend. I had a good visit with them. We did a little shopping, and my Mom bought a few new shirts for my Dad to take on his trip to California. You have to look good if your going to the drag racing championships. They also bought themselves new leather jackets. They spent close to a thousand bucks. I guess that's not too much if you only buy clothes every three years or so.

Amy had her first day of work today, which is great because it is a statutory holiday and she is getting paid double time.

I called the Ideal Bakery to ask them how far in advance you need to order 30 dozen doughnuts. She said that they need two or three days. It's looking like I may be selling 360 doughnuts in a week or so. I'm really starting to get excited about it. James sold 30 dozen the other day. He says he figures that 40 dozen would be about the most you could sell. Buying 30 dozen is about the most I would dare to buy on my first time out though, because spending $400 on doughnuts and a table seems to be a pretty big risk.

The only similar thing that I've done is when I sold cotton candy in Raymond on the first of July. It cost around $80 for all the materials and I made enough money to pay for everything and buy a DVD player, so it was a pretty profitable proposition.

-Gary Milner, Internet Businessman

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Laughing at Your Own Jokes

I laugh at my own jokes all the time. I think that the most I can hope for is that other people think I'm half as funny as I think I am. I'll be doing well.

I designed the cover of the Gauntlet this week. I think that it looks really nice. I hope that it prints well. There are only about 15 covers that I really like over the last 2 years.

With the number of photos I take, you would think that I would get a lot more that I really think are quite good. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I find that I am really critical of the vast majority of my photos.

People around me all seem to think that all my photos are great (or at least way above average). While they are in all likelihood above average, there are very few that I would consider to be great, more that I enjoy looking at.

The real test for me is this. Would hang the photo on my wall. In most cases the answer is no. In fact, when I go to other people's houses, I wonder to myself how they could possibly hang some of the photos that they do. The only answer that I can come up with is that they are hanging the memory on the wall, not the photo. I on the other hand keep the memories in my album, and the pictures on wall.

I have a different standard for what I put on my wall, it must speak for itself. People must look at it an understand it out of context. The context is the killer for me. It is very likely that I have taken over 10,000 photos this year as photo editor at the Gauntlet, and up to 8,000 for the various years of photography before that. This means that every photo I take gets compared to the stock agency of over 18,000 images in my head.

My favorite ratio of favorite photos is, 1 for every 1800. Interestingly enough one of those 10 photos was taken somewhere in the middle of my first role with a non-point and shoot camera.

If I were to be completely honest, there are likely a lot more than ten photos that I really like, even enough to hang on my wall, but only 10 since I became a real person, and by real person I mean living on my own. Only 10 photos that I have in my possession, only 10 that I take complete credit for.

That being said, if you are in the Calgary area and need a good photographer, leave me a note. I do good work and I come inexpensively. I have a large portfolio and yes, I do to wedding photography. You will like my photos at least twice as much as I do.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Banjo the horse was rode by Gary

His temper was short and his attitude scary.

He said so long I guess I won't tary

Then he jumped in the air and off went Gary.

Monday, February 09, 2004

SU Elections

I went to see/photograph the SU Presidential forums for the paper today. There is one candidate who is running on a slate of 20 candidates to fill all but one of the SU positions. After listening to him speak, I not only feel dumber, I probably am dumber. I'm worried that the University will find out that I was there and take away my degree. He was like a blackhole of stupidity, sucking the intelligence out of everything within speaking distance.

I felt a little sorry for him, because the crowd was really out for blood. Lots of people think that his slate must be stopped. They refer to his 19 co-candidates, as the "hive mind" and "collective" as a reference to the Borg from Star Trek, where only one of them thinks but all the others do the leader's bidding.

James particularly went for the throat, asking for things like "concrete ideas" and how he plans to "achieve" his goals. James also asked if the candidate honestly thought that the voters would be fooled by the candidates campaign. The candidate responded by asking if when the last time James voted was. James replied that he had voted in five student elections, and both the federal and provincial elections. Everyone cheered for James. It was one of the best things in the entire forum.


Sunday, February 08, 2004

Amy Comes to Calgary

Tracie's sister Amy moved in yesterday. Her parents brought her and all of her stuff yesterday morning.

She went to London Drugs in Brentwood by the University at 1:00 to talk to the manager there about getting a job. I guess she got a transfer there from the London Drugs in Medicine Hat. Which is great, because she had been working there long enough to get a small raise. Apparently her manager in the Hat gave her a great reference, and the manager here is giving Amy shifts starting on or around the 20th.

Amy's course starts on the 23rd, I think, and she will be working about 12 hours a week. Her course goes from 8:00 to 3:00 five days a week for three months. Apparently, they place about 95% of their students into jobs right away. Amy is pretty happy about that.

Job Train

Gail called her Cousin Evan and we went to Boston Pizza with him last night so that I could meet him and do a little networking. It was a pretty positive thing. It sounds to me like he will be a big help in getting a job. He knows a few consultants that are turning away access database work for smaller companies right now because they are too busy to do such small jobs, but would possibly take them if they had a guy like me to do them.

It was so nice of Gail to introduce me to him. I think that it will speed up my up my job search quite a bit.



The wind is wild and the waves leap higher

To get to shore is our desire.

But the boat is slow

And were filled with woe.

There's only one person who hears our groans

And that one person is Davy Jones.

Saturday, February 07, 2004


For those people who think that watching sporting events can be a little on the boring side, there is a new movie out called "miracle".I haven't seen it myself yet but I know that's it's about the time that the U.S national hockey team beat the Soviet Hockey team in the finales of the olympics a few years ago. It's thought by many to be the most exciting sports event ever witnessed. I for one think I agree with that assessment. So, if you want to see a sporting event that even you would enjoy this one might be the one.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Basketball Fever

Well, I shot the Dinos basketball game tonight. Apparently is was a game of some importance. We're probably putting it on the cover. I think I got a few good ones, but I haven't seen them yet. It takes a long time to rotate almost 400 megabytes of data 90 degrees to the left. Even when you use a Mac to do it.

Quite a few people go to the games. There are too many people for it to be simply family and friends like at a high school game, so I guess some people must like going to the game. Myself, I find watching sports a little on the boring side. Not that boring, I guess, but I would far rather play a sport than watch others play it.

The Dinos are a good team, no doubt about it, but I can't help comparing myself to them. In the warm-ups, the players like to dunk the ball. Thinking back, I could dunk as good as a quarter of the Dinos when I was in grade 9 and as good as half of them in the 10th, especially considering the fact that most of them will never dunk during an actual game.

The problem is: I don't know why I should be cheering for either of the teams. Maybe because I go to the same school or live in the same city as the stadium where they play? Not likely.

A week ago, I went with one of the volunteers who shot the volleyball game. I sat in the stands with Tracie while I was waiting for the photog. He filled the card with 2 or games left in the Men's match. I asked Tracie if she wanted to stay to see who would win. She didn't care, and neither did I, so we left early.

Dinos win or lose, I don't really care. I guess it would be different in a national championship game, at least I would stay untill the end. I might even find it in my heart to be disappointed for a minute or two if they lost. Then again, maybe not.

-Gary Milner


I have everything, yet have nothing. Still of nothing I am in want.

Try first thyself, and after call in God; For to the worker, God himself lends a helping hand.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Gauntlet Fun

The Gauntlet is publishing an election supplement on behalf of the SU Thursday. That means that of 50 photos going into the paper, 48 are headshots. Headshots are so boring. I'm so glad that someone else shot them. I have to photoshop them though. Making 48 headshot grayscale is really boring, although using the clone brush to get rid of zits is somewhat entertaining, if only for a few minutes.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Old Man Crashes My Car On Superbowl Sunday

Before you get worried, there is no damage to my car.

I was in a parking lot and had backed out of my space and stopped because an old guy was blocking me from turning enough to be able to drive away. Before I was able to shift into first to pull back into my space, the old guy started backing up. I felt that I wouldn't have time to pull forward so I started honking, but he kept on backing up and rubbed the back left of his car against my bumper all the way from his bumper to about half a foot in front of his rear tire. It left a large black mark about three inches wide and three feet long on the side of his car.

I got all of his information, he seemed pretty annoyed, and I get the feeling he may try to pin it on me, but out of pure luck, two ladies came up to me and asked if I needed witnesses. It was so nice of them. I got their information. It was lucky that I honked, because when they heard it, they both turned to look at what was happening and saw the whole thing.

I went in to my insurance company this morning to talk to them and get some advise. I told them my story and they entered it into the computer. They basically said that I should just wait and see what the guy does, because he may just admit to being in the wrong. I really hope so.

-Gary Milner's car is not a farmer's market