Friday, April 30, 2004


People are getting stupid . I was in Wall Mart today looking for an axe. They had hachets but no full size axes. I joked with the sporting goods manager by asking why a huge store like Wall Mart did't sell axes. He explained that the reason they don't sell axes is because there is a chance that a disgruntled empoyee or maybe a customer could go crazy and use one of the axes. I laughed because I thought he was joking. But he assured me he wasn't kidding. Then I said, well what about the hachets? They would do the job. He relied , well you don't have the range of motion with a hachet that you have with a bigger axe. And further he said , we don't sell matches anymore in case anyone wants to start a fire in here. Maybe It's just that I'm smarter than most people but right away I realized that you don't need Wal Mart matches to start a fire and you can bring your own axe. I don't think they're that stupid either, just crazy. If anyone reading this wants to start a fire in Wal Mart, bring your own matches but you can find all the camping gas you'll need, right there in the store.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Car Shopping: What Tracie Didn't Tell You

All my life, my family has driven Hondas. The first car I remember was a silver Honda civic hatchback. It must have been about an '81. The Summer before I went into grade 7, we got a new dark blue civic, this one an '89. It was a really nice car. I remember how well you could see your surroundings through the windows. My cousin Matthew, probably 8 or 9 commented, "You can see the ground!" (His parents drove what can only be described as a blue star destroyer with wheels.). The new civic also had a much smoother ride, but really I'm not sure if the old civic even had shocks.

Two years later, we got a '91 Accord. That was luxury, a way smoother ride and power windows! By this time however, I was about 15, and I really had set my sights on the civic. I had realized that it would be the car that I would be driving, and drive it I did.

School mornings, I got to drive it as part of my carpool every 3 weeks for a week at a time to seminary, and then to school. I had the car all day, because by the time I could get home, I would have missed the bus. Unfortunately, the seminary year began about 2 weeks after school had started and ended 2 weeks before school ended.

Luckily for me, in my 12th grade year, I had two afternoon spares in my last semester. This, the death of my carpool, and the lack of construction work during the winter months, all added up to me driving the car to school every day. Throw in practices, and I had the car more than my Dad. It was a pretty sweet deal.

There was one sad event in my illustrious high school driving days. That was the time I go rearended by someone who can best be described as a Jackass. Cellphones were relatively new in those days, and I'm pretty sure that the guy had been distracted placing a call. My poor car was out for the count. We had a stupid green Buick rental car that you had to be 25 to drive. Didn't they know it was my car that got smashed? Why couldn't I drive the rental. To this day I hold a grudge against the Budget Rent-A-Car beside the Medicine Hat Airport.

Anyway, time passed, I made-out with Tracie in it a bunch of times. That was sure fun. Funny thing, I don't regret it at all, I guess it turns out that a lot of adults I have met are liars. Speaking of making-out, one time we were sitting in the car chatting, and I told Tracie that I didn't think that we should hang out alone in the car, so that we could avoid getting into trouble. I was actually quite serious at the time, but later, Tracie told me that it just made me that much more attractive to her. So... If you ever need a line, go ahead and use it.

When I finally got back from Argentina, the civic was given to me as a gift. It sat unused for 8 months, while I used my Grandma's Chevy Cavilier, a car with a lot more power, but also a lot worse milage. By this time, I had to share the car a lot more with my brother. Sharing a car with him was pretty annoying. I was working full time, and I would put gas in it quite often. Jeff however is quite cheap and *never* filled it. This was quite a sore spot for me.

After 8 months of being home, I got married, and finally had to get insurance and a licence plate for my civic. The car has really been great to us, but it is now on it's last legs. It has given 250,000kms and I've had it for almost 12 years myself. While I am sad to see it become the spare car, it has definitely done it's duty to God and the Queen.

Now comes the Corolla, soon to be known by two names, "The Coca-Corolla". Come to think of it, the first name is so good, I'm not even going to bother telling you my other name choices.

This post is getting pretty long so I'll write about the salesmen tomorrow.

-Gary, proud owner of the Coca-Corolla,

New Car and Stupid People

We bought a Toyota Corolla LE today. We'll get to pick it up within the next few days, so we're pretty excited.

Before deciding on the Corolla, we test drove a VW Jetta, and a Honda Civic. We loved the Jetta, and if it had only been two or three thousand less, there's no doubt we would have bought it instead. Maybe we'll buy it in a year or two when we can afford another vehicle and our old one kicks the bucket.

Looking for a car is a draining process. You've got to talk to so many people who are just dying to get your comission, and I feel like a piece of meat. We've come across many stupid people since we started looking. Here are two of them:

Stupid guy #1: Lee the Honda salesman

I don't even know where to start. He couldn't sell his way out of a paper bag. When we asked him what the selling features of the civic were, he would give us the features listed on the pamphlet. "Power windows" he told us eighteen times. Yah, so, every car has that....who cares?

We told him we had test driven a Jetta, and without hesitating, he went on and on about how crapy volkswagon is and how their cars are put together in Mexico by incompetent people. I felt like telling him I was Mexican. Umm, I came here to find out about Hondas, not VW.

Also, he complimented us a million times about how good we are at driving manuals. We told him we preferred them, and he went on and on about how "That's because you really know how to drive a standard. Not a lot of people do, but you do!" Gag.

Overall, he said nothing. There was a lot of talking with nothing of relevance said. Other salesman took us to the cars, pointed out what features were distinct to their cars, and how they improved the car. They knew what they were talking about. We tried to get away from Lee, but by some crazy coincidence, he was the first guy over to us every time we went.

Stupid guy #2: Toyota closer

We loved our Toyota salesman, Les. He was fabulous. So friendly and a no nonsense person, just like me. There was no crap. He got straight to the point, but not in an abrupt way. I highly recommend him. He is however a Detroit Redwings fan. His only fault.

When we told him we wanted to buy, he sent us to another guy who had to get our financial information. We were in his office for one hour. Fifteen minutes to go over finances, 45 minutes of painful listening to salespitches about extended warranties, added features like rust and upholstery protection, and his own personal testimony about each of these things. I wanted to lean my head on his desk and close my eyes until he was done, but I thought it would be rude.

At one point, he talked about how the car would start to rust from the inside out in only a few months without rust protection. He showed us samples of cars with and without. I said to him, "Maybe we shouldn't buy a Toyota if it's so crappy". Gary thought it was pretty funny.

Tracie, "I've said it before and I'll say it again. I hate stupid people"


It was announced in the past couple of weeks that the key lending rate at the bank of Canada was lowered. This means that loans at your bank were also probably lowered as well. This means that if you have an existing mortgage, the possiblility exists that you can go and switch to the new lower rate and save a bundle. More times than not, to be able to do this you may have to pay a penalty(submit to a cash grab) ;. However it is possible that in the long run you will be money ahead by remortgaging even though you have to pay a penalty. Check it out without fail.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Bank Robbery

On Friday, April 23, 2004 at 10:50 AM, a lone male entered
the Scotiabank located at 4805 Centre St. N. He walked up
directly to a bank teller and pushed a customer out of the
way. He verbally demanded money from the teller and also
verbally demanded money from another bank teller, who was
working beside the first teller. He placed the money into a
bag and left the bank via the front doors. The offender made
his getaway in a motor vehicle that was parked on Laycock
Drive NW.

Police are looking for a white male, early 20's in age, 5'7"
-5'9", 150 lbs, slim build, brown hair, with bad complexion.

He was wearing a black ski mask with large eyeholes, black
and gray nylon jacket with red trim, and wearing light gray
coloured gloves.

My only question is this: How did they know he had a bad complexion if he was wearing a black ski mask?

I've always wanted to rob a bank, but I figure that it would be hard to get enough money to make it worth your while. Especially because banks really hate it when you steal their money, not that they have any misgivings about stealing yours.

When you do get caught, and you always do, banks have the resources to really lower the boom on you too. Banks have been controlling the people making laws for hundreds of years, and so the cards are really stacked against the robbers.

-Gary Milner,

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Breakin The Law, Breakin The Law

I got a $115 ticket today. But don't worry the cop was doing me a favour dropping it from $175. We'll see if Piggy Pete's Bargain Basement Fines can be beaten by the Crown Prosecuter. I get the feeling that the lowest price isn't the law.

You might be wondering what I did. I drove through the bus trap because the gate was open. I'll be going down to see the Crown Prosecuter on Wednesday. My plan is to plead poverty, $30,000 worth of student debt, and the fact that I will most likely be the nicest guy he sees all day.

-Gary Milner,

PS. No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.

Saturday, April 24, 2004


A picture of flag draped coffins being respectfully carried from a cargo plane for burial in the United States was published in a Seatle newspaper. The person who took the photo along with her husband were fired for taking the photo because Pres. Bush has said that such a photo disrespects the privacy of the families of the dead soldiers.

The truth of the matter is that Bush is more concerned over his own privacy. He dosen't want people to see the horrors of war and maybe start blaming him, thus not voting for him the next time. People need to see the effects of war to know that it's different than watching movies or playing video games. There's nothing wrong or disrespectful with seeing a flag draped coffin.. On the contrary it lets us show some respect.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Mordecai Vanunu is out. Mordecai is the Israeli guy who spent 18 years in prison (12 years in solitary) for telling the world about Israel's nuclear arsenal. He would have gotten out sooner if he had agreed to never speak about his kidnapping, his prison ordeal, or anything about nuclear weapons. That being said, what do you think he's going to do the first chance he gets now? Here's his story.

After he did his required stint in the military he landed a job in the top secret nuclear works. He was let go after a spell of time because he was fraternizing with the Palestinians which was considered a security risk considering his sensitive job. This must have cheesed him off royally because he left the country and became an Anglican after having been an orthodox Jew. Later when he realized that this did not sufficiently teach the bastards a lesson he decided to spill his guts about the Nuclear arsenal.

He first approached the Sunday Times in London, England . They were delaying the printing of the story presumably because it was sensitive and they must have felt they needed time to check it out . Mordecai got frustrated and went to another newspaper, the Daily Mirror. The editor of the Mirror happened to be Jewish and had close ties with Israel, so he immediately sounds the alarm.

Within hours, Mordecai miraculously meets the most beautiful creature he has seen in his life and even more miraculously she wants him to vacation in Rome with her. Her story was that she was an American and her name was Cindy. What luck eh! They no more that enter Cindy's apartment in Rome when they are joined by burley Mossad Agents with abduction on their mind. And it wasn't Cindy two they were interested in.

The reason Israel didn't want anybody to know about their Nuclear arsenal is because they knew that this would immediately make the Arabs want some too. And even though now everybody knows they have them it's still better not to admit that they have them because this means they're not rubbing the Arabs noses in it. And that's worth it's weight in Gold so to speak.

Oh, and Mordecai , if your reading this, you idiot, that girl Cindy---she set you up.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Stay Humble... Always Answer Your Phone No Matter Who Else Is In The Car

I was on phones for a large part of the day. It wasn't as bad as the first day. Having someone show me how to work the phone was a big help. The calls were few and far between today, only about one a minute or so. Answering the phones is now a task on par with a death, not actually a fate worse than death.

While I am able to deal with being on the phone for hours at a time, I am starting a group called Citizens Raging Against Phones. It will be dedicated to helping the world stop using phones.

There are several bad parts about the phones are the people who ask for the "Electronics Dept". Now it seems to me that all the Future Shop sells is *Electronics*. Tonight I had a guy yell at me after the store had closed because his computer has been in for repairs for 3 days (There are signs all over the store that say there is a minimum 12 day wait) and that he had been trying for over three hours too get in touch with a tech and now at 9:00pm they all went home? I told him, "Well, yeah, the store's closed." I just wanted to tell him, there is a 12 day wait before we can even diagnose your computer because stupid people like you phone the tech (notice the singular form of the word techs) every 2 minutes. If someone didn't call you as soon as your computer was fixed, the entire store would be full of computers waiting to be picked up.

Monday, April 19, 2004

My object all sublime I shall achieve in time—To let the punishment fit the crime.

Calgary's city beat, it's a police blotter for my new hometown. A very interesting read if you're into finding out about consensual fights or how you can trade in your old toilet for $50 if you purchase a new low flow model that uses less than six liters/flush.

I have decided to follow James' lead and start a mostly weekly column. Mine will be a discussion of one event from the blotter every Monday. Starting on April 26th.

ps. A mostly weekly column is a column you write almost every week.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

I Hate Phones

The part about not answering the phones in my last post was 90% kidding.

However, I have always disliked the phone. I hate calling people I don't know, I hate calling stores, I hate calling just to chat. When I use the phone, it is because I have some sort of 'business' or purpose to my call that cannot be easily accomplished without calling.

When Tracie and I were dating, she had to write down a list of things to talk about so that the conversation wouldn't die out.

At the home we get one call a day. 80% of the time it's a telemarketer and the other 20% it is Tracie. At the electronics store, there is 1 call every 20 seconds, they play the stereo full blast, and salesmen come up to you and want you to check their customer's receipts and the phone is really quiet. It virtually doesn't stop ringing the entire day. It slows down to a call a minute about an hour before closing, and then one every five minutes after the store is shut down for the night.

While I wasn't completely serious when contemplating a full phone stoppage, I was pretty shaken by my 15 minutes watching the phones. For the rest of the day, I flinched every time I heard it ring.

Unfortunately, it's just something I have to deal with.

-Gary, Hates cellphones and regular phones

Car and Job

We went to test a standard transmission Civic the other day. It was really nice, one of the nicest things being the fact that it is so quiet. You can hardly hear the engine and none of the parts rattled at all. The biggest problem with buying it would have been the fact that Honda also makes an ugly vehicle called the Element. I'm almost ashamed to buy another Honda because of it.

The second biggest problem is the general distrust of salesmen that we have. We don't know how we can trust the salesman. Obviously we would rather pay $17,000 than $18,000, but for all we know $18,000 is an honest price. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing what the honest price is.

The other day at work, they wanted to put me on phones for eight hours. Let me tell you that it was the worst 15 minutes of my entire life. Seriously. I would have rather gone through any other bad event in my life than work the phones for more than 20 minutes. Including all the dental work I have ever had combined. I told them if they were going to make me answer the phones for 8 hours straight, I would quit on the spot, and I was dead serious.

I have also decided that I will not be taking any phone calls at home. You may now all contact me via textual formats only.

-Gary Milner,


At the end of public address by George Bush, a reporter asked Bush why there wasn't going to be a "Q and A" session at the end of the address. Without even blinking Bush replied, "cause I don't like the "Qs" and I think you guys are a bunch of "A's".

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Personal Worst

As I posted a while ago, Gary and I joined the Running Room's personal best clinic, and tonight was the first night of the ten week course. Gary wasn't able to make it because it was his last night working at the Gauntlet.

It sucked.

Not the program itself, I really can't judge it yet, but I was expecting something completely different. According to the Running Room website, the personal best clinic is "For those runners who wish to learn the specifics of training so they can improve their 5K, 8K, 10K, and/or their Half Marathon times"

There are many clinics to choose from at the running room, from walking classes to marathon and iron man training. We chose personal best because it seemed to suit us the best, being fairly new to running. The website says that you can improve 5 or 8 k (which is what I can comfortably run), and in addition there were to be weekly classes about things like nutrition, bio-mechanics and technique.

When I showed up, there were about 20 other people, all wearing spandex, and each of them had jackets reading "Honolulu Marathon" or "Vancouver Marathon". I heard some of them talking about previous marathons they had run, or marathons they were training for. But really, just from looking at these guys, I knew I was in way over my head.

We gathered around in the store, which is very small, and the group leader announced that there would be no weekly classes, since we were too advanced for them and it would be boring for us. He said we were just going to get to business. We'd start by doing a quick 5k run so that he could see where we were at, and then we'd do hill sprints for the remaining time.

When everyone exited the store, I stayed back, almost ready to cry because I had been looking forward to these classes and to learning running techniques for the past month. I talked with the guy behind the counter, trying to hold back my embarrasment with being too crappy to stay in the class. Luckily he was the manager, and he invited Gary and I to join the 10k class (already 3 weeks in progress) informally, and then formally in June when the next one starts.

Well, to make a long story less long, at first I felt stupid to have gotten in way over my head. However, since I've come home and re-read the description of the personal best clinic, I'm just kind of mad. They imply that whatever level you're at, the personal best clinic will help you to improve that time. It also clearly says that there are weekly classes. How was I supposed to know it was for "elite athletes" (to quote the store manager)?? Those running room people have been sending us emails for weeks, trying to get us excited about running. Why didn't they mention that the course was advanced or that the info on the website was a big fat lie?

Tracie - Very disapointed with the Running Room, but still going to run since we already bought running shoes

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Day Off

I'm working this Saturday, and so I have today off. I spent most of the morning surfin the web, but at around noon, I got out for a jog. I went for about 6km and it only took me 40 minutes, a personal best.

The jogging is getting a lot better, and I am really starting to enjoy it. I've come to the conclusion that the reason I hated running for years is that I only ever did it about once a year, and I pushed myself way too hard. This time, I started out slowly. Tracie and I went on long walks for two weeks before I even went jogging once. Then we alternated jogging and walking for another week. Losing 10 lbs right away also helped quite a bit. I do know that I am going to have to step it up a notch if I am going to lose another 30 by New Year's.

When I got back from the jog, I mowed the lawn very closely to prepare for spring. Tracie and I bought some fertalizer and a spreader last night. Tracie is really into having a nice yard like her Dad. I'm happy if I can get around to mowing it every week. Tracie Dreams of moving into a new house with a huge yard. I just think about who is going to have to do the yard work. (I wish I would have known that being sexist was going to come back and bite me in the butt.)

I'm picking Tracie up in a little while to go test drive a couple of cars. It's looking like we may be getting a new car pretty soon. We need one pretty bad. I'm really partial to getting another Civic, but the Accord that we tested in Medicine Hat was so nice. I also think that we should probably test a few other brands. I'll post pics as soon as we make the purchase.


Sunday, April 11, 2004

Easter in Medicine Hat

Tracie and I went down to Medicine Hat for Easter. We had a good visit with my parents yesterday afternoon, and then over to Tracie's parents for supper. Tracie's mom loves to paint eggs and then roll them down the hill. We have a contest to see who can roll them the farthest. During the five years that I have been married to Tracie, her Dad has won twice, I have won once, and our brother-in-law Dann has won twice.

Tracie's sisters Megan and Becky, would probably argue those stats because this year the winning egg was thrown by Ralph (Tracie's Dad,) on behalf of Becky, who claimed the trophy. Last year the winning egg was thrown by Dann, (Megan's husband,) on behalf of Megan. I suppose that their argument would be valid, especially at Easter when we (the Christian world) celebrates the fact that something was done for us that we could not do for ourselves.

We also did the egg search, which left some of us wondering how much longer this wonderful tradition will continue. My parents stopped doing it over a decade ago. I haven't even gotten chocolate eggs from them in three or four years. Maybe we will keep doing it until Tracie and I have kids and we just start doing it ourselves for them.

I made the comment to Tracie that mathematically we could be expecting our third kid by now. My cousin Aron and his wife Joann-Marie have two kids already and they got married a few weeks after us. Their first is definitely old enough to do a search. I guess the question is when do you get to stop doing the kid things?

Don't get me wrong, I love looking for eggs at Easter and getting tons of presents at Christmas. I guess that rolling the eggs isn't really about rolling the eggs. It's about being a family, spending time together, and developing friendships.

Another major event was test driving a pair of cars. We took out a Civic and an Accord. They are both really nice cars, although I would rather have the Accord. We'll probably have a new car by the end of the month. Really, it's just going to be a matter of getting around to it.

We also got to see Eva "she gives me a feva" Liske, our five month old niece which was nice. Maybe we will have kids in two or three more years.

-Gary, can't roll an egg worth a darn anymore.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Guinea Pig

I'm the first one from the group of employees hired from the university doing the training to be a supervisor. The training materials aren't quite complete yet. I'm getting to examine how the training is being done, and offer input as to how it could be made better for the people who follow me.

I'm doing the service training right now, because it is one of the bigger supervisor roles, it is also somewhat prerequisite to know many of the service things in order to be able to complete a lot of the other tasks assigned to other supervisors. One thing about doing the service training is that because the official training hasn't been launched yet, I could be training to do something else tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone yet. For all I know, I could be so amazing that I'll be moved up to oversee other supervisors. Many people at the store constantly talk about how fast people are moved around and promoted if they are talented.

Before I really knew what was involved in the different roles, I thought that being a merchandiser was what appealed to me most, but after learning some of the customer service tasks, that area is growing on me quite a bit. I still don't think that I would want to be in charge of sales or salesmen, but merchandising still appeals to me.

After completing 12 weeks of training, I will be assigned to be a supervisor in one of those three areas, customer service, sales, or merchandising. It seems a little unclear to me as to if my 12 weeks of training has started, or if I will be starting an official 12 weeks in May. I would like it both ways, to have a four week jump on the others, and therefore be able to pick which store I get assigned to but also complete my training with the other people so as to be the best person in the group.

In any case, I'm still enjoying the job one week later. I find that my feet and knees really ache after work, so I replaced my shoes today. I was disappointed that Dr. Marten no longer sells his shoes in Canada. Really disappointed. I have had to change my brand to Hush Puppies. I hope that they will make my feet and knees feel better.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Since were on the topic of girls hitting on us I think I'll tell about an adventure of this nature when I was over in Nam. ---It was the summer of 65 during the Tet Offensive. The weather was hot and steamy. It was hot, damn hot. Well it turns out that the second week into the offensive I find out that this girl who is fighting for the Viet Cong has a pair of fifty calibre field glasses and is spying on me. Since we had out- door showers this made me a little nervous. Anyways the next thing I know she shows up wearing only a pair of black pyjama's, pretending she is a vegetable pedlar. She of coarse wasn't savvey to the fact that I knew who she was. Playing it cool I asked her to show me her wares. She misunderstands. She thinks this is a propisition and stomps off back where she came from muttering something in Vietnamese. Or it could have been obsenities in English that I just didn't understand. At that age I still had a lot to learn about women.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Well, I am enjoying my new job quite a bit. Today, I sold 300 copies of the Matrix part 3. I don't think a single person came through my till without it. If I could make $50,000 working a till, I would be a cashier for the rest of my life. I really like it a lot, but I'm sure they wouldn't pay me as much as I want. As it stands, I am getting quite good with ringing up sales and am learning the computer system quickly.

Today, Mandi an attractive sales girl came over to me and introduced herself. She chatted me up for a little while, but there were too many customers for us to have a conversation. She asked me what time I was getting off, and said she would talk to me before I left, because she confessed, "I have an ulterior motive."

Through out the conversation, I thought to myself, "This girl is flirting with me, I'll just flash my ring" and, "Can't she see my ring? She must be in her 20's. Girls in their 20's need to learn that it's time to look for rings." Anyway, I couldn't imagine what she wanted to talk to me about, other than ruining my marriage, which by the way was pretty obvious. I spent the next two and a half hours thinking of clever ways to tell her that I would only go out with her if my wife could come too.

Finally at about 4:00 she came up to me and said that one of her customers snuck off and bought a $200 universal remote, and could she please have the sale back from me. She needed to make a copy of the receipt and have me sign it. I told her that she could, and that I remembered the guy because he was the only one that bought a $200 remote control and a matrix DVD that day.

She took my pile of about 100 credit card receipts to search through, but I guess the kid had paid with his debit card, and there was no receipt which made it way more difficult to recover the sale. She said thanks, but it just wasn't worth searching through 20 pages of reports for $4 or whatever the commission would have been.

Luckily for Me, Mandi chickened out on the whole wanting to have an affair thing because I would have just had to break her heart anyway. It would have been awkward, really awkward.

-Gary, sales girls just love my sweet sweet ace.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

James' Survey

Livejournal Community-Building Research Questionnaire

This project is for the GNST 301 course at the University of Calgary (History of the Internet). Your answers will be used in both a presentation and a research paper examining the community-building aspect of blog culture. By filling out the form, you consent to the use of what you say in both projects.

This whole process is by no means scientific, but rather meant to gain informal recounts and anecdotes about how your online journal has (or has not) fostered a sense of community, and how (and to what extent) you have come to identify with said community.

Please answer the questions in a couple sentences or more. Please fill this out, and email the finished questionnaire to ********@*******.***

James Keller

First, some Demographics

Full Name: Gary Milner
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Location: Calgary
Occupation: Retail Electronics Manager
How long have you kept an online diary (Livejournal or otherwise): Since Oct.2002 (19 months, 3 days)
Where do you do most of your blogging (home, work, etc): Home


How and why did you start using an online journal (or “blog”), and what motivated you to continue using it?

I started a blog because a friend of mine had one. I continued using it because it is a good way to have a website with some dynamic content that can be easily changed. I have had homepages in the past such as: Gary Milner's Super Duper Web Page, but updating it was too much of a pain, and it has remained pretty much static since I started my blog.
Another reason is that I wanted (am wanting still?) to improve my writing and develop my own style.

More specifically, what motivated the creation of a family blog?
Initially I thought that I would have a personal blog, but I didn’t think I could generate enough content, so I invited my brother to add content. He also helped a lot with the initial design. I invited my wife to join to have more people posting. At my brother’s suggestion I invited my Dad because we thought he would have good stories to write about, and then later we invited our Mother. For a while My brother’s girlfriend and her brother were members, but I uninvited them to keep it strictly a Milner family blog.
Early on I realized that posting on a blog would be a lot easier than emailing everyone. It became what BBS's of the late 80’s and early 90’s were supposed to be, a virtual bulletin board where you could leave updates about yourself and have disscussions.

How would you generalize the type of content you typically write in your blog?
I write mainly Gary-torials. I prefer to write content about myself, things that happen to me, my opinions etc. Once in a while I will write about something in the news, but I have been shying away from posting a lot of links to news articles unless I think that they are very interesting. When I do, I try to post some of my own content, possibly an insight that I have from the link.
I do not want to be a news aggregator for people that have the same interests as I do, because other people do it much more effectively than I could. Like fark, slashdot, plastic, and metafilter, as well as a ton of other sites.

What audience, if any, do you consider when writing in your blog?
First, I consider my family who are my most consistent readers. Then I consider my friends who read the blog and other bloggers who frequent and post comments. Now that I am working, I am also considering the management at the electronics retailer where I work.

To what extent, if any, (and why) do your blogging as part of a community?
This question doesn’t make sense. I’m going to answer a different question. Why do you do your blogging as part of a community and to what extent?
Phil Greenspun, creator one of the very oldest internet communities, wrote on his blog, “an interesting idea every three months; a posting every day”.
I find it to be more interesting to read different voices and share ideas. It is also much easier for there to be at least post a day when there is more than one person writing (more content). The content of my blog is also much more varied. It is more likely that someone will have an interesting thought when there is more than one. Blog gems are few and far between. When you are writing for a community, you are more likely to attempt to write something intelligent or at least interesting if you know that you are likely going to get feed back.

How would you describe that community?
It is mainly my family and friends, there are several people who have surfed in by random chance and stuck around to post comments. I’m also getting around 20 hits a day from people I don’t know and who most likely never return.

In what way, if any, has using your blog changed the way you interact with others (both those who post on your blog alongside you, and those who simply read it)?
The main change that has happened is that now I have a more tense relationship with my brother.
I no longer get complaints about never emailing my family, because they are all updated via the blog, although I don’t use the blog as a replacement for email and find that when people use the blog as a way to replace email, the posts are very boring and somewhat dreadful.
As for people who merely read it, the ones that I know will often ask for updates or for me to elaborate on what happened. I find that a few people have already read the story that I want to tell when I see them.


Chances are you already read about this Manitoba guy who won the lottery 11 months ago. But in case you didn't, it's a must hear situation. I bought a ticket on that same jackpot---30 million dollars. 11 months ago. A guy from Manitoba won it , but didn't tell anyone and kept his ticket for 11 months and only turned it in with 9 days to spare before it expired. He is a 40 year bachelor and he farms and fixes computers. Now he says he will quit fixing computers but continue farming. The only luxuries he allowed himself in the 11 months was bought by maxing out his credit cards. In the meantime he lost 700 thousand dollars by not collecting interest on his 30 million. Think of the farm he could have bought himself for 700,000 if indeed farming is really how he wishes to spend his time. Think of all the good things he could have done with the money if he didn't want to spend it on himself. That guy is an idiot and didn't deserve to win. I begrudge him my two dollar share of that fortune.


Last week I finished my last ever nursing course, which was so stressful and time consuming. I was spending three days a week working in NICU without pay for the last three months. Now that I'm done I feel like there's such a load off because my time is my own, and every time I go to work at the hospital, I know there's a pay-check involved. I keep forgetting that I'm not finished school yet, though. I'm in this stupid detective fiction English class that I had to take for credit. I have an essay due Monday, but I still haven't finished the book and I work a night shift Sunday. I've been reading all morning, but my eyes hurt, so I took a break. I wanted to go jogging, but it's sooooo windy outside that my walls are rattling.

I got a phone call from the NICU instructor yesterday, and I'm apparently going to start my orientation April 12th, which will involve two weeks of monday to friday day shifts. It's such a treat to work in the day, and I think that people who work monday to friday don't realise how good they have it. They get to sleep at night for one thing. Plus, working shift work you often miss out on fun things because they're scheduled for weekends or evenings.

I feel like such a grown up now that Gary and I are both working. The sad part is that when you finish school, you're just as poor as you were as a student, and maybe even poorer because all of your cheques are now going to repayment of student loans. Oh well, at least we're all in the same boat. We're getting pretty excited to start buying stuff though, in particular a new car. We went over to some friends' house to watch a movie last night and they had this amazing surround sound. Gary and I were literally drooling. On the way home he said to me "I could go without a car for a few more months...How about we buy an entertainment system?". The crazy thing is, he almost didn't sound like he was joking. I'll admit, it would be nice. We've added it to our list.


Friday, April 02, 2004


I've been working at the Future Shop for two days. It's weird being new, but have most of the kids acknowledge that you are going to be their boss. I don't really seem old enough to be a boss, especially since they all already know what they are doing.

My first day, I did their training cds. They were way better than the ones they have at the Royal Bank, but thankfully there were only two. I finished them both in the morning. In the afternoon I got acquainted with their point of sale system. It's relatively simple. Returns are slightly more complicated, because you have to worry about how long ago the purchase was made, etc. Even then, they sometimes make returns, so really it could be a matter of luck in some cases. Really knowing their policy really helps, but that is easier said than done.

All in all, I think that I will really enjoy working there. The people seem really fun, and it is a fast paced environment. They all say how fast the people advance which is great.

They got me all set up in the computer, so I will getting paid for my first three days on Thursday, because Friday is a holiday. It looks like we might be able to go to Medicine Hat for Easter after all.

Oh, and our TV died last night. I wonder if they will let me take my employee discount before my 3 months is up.

-Gary Milner,