Tuesday, June 29, 2004

How to Choose a Candidate

Rick Mercer says, "First ask the smartest person you know, who they will be voting for. Then as the stupidest person you know who they are voting for. Chances are they are voting for the same person. This proves that smarts has nothing to do with choosing a candidate."

People on TV, especially people from the Green Party are complaining that voters have generally been voting against parties, ie. I'm voting against the liberals because of the sponsorship scandal. I'm voting against the conservatives because they will cut public services. I'm voting against the NDP because they are just plain crazy.

Well, Green Party, the candidate I voted for was in favour of.... Wait a minute! I just checked the green party of Canada website. Wow, I take back what I said about the NDP being the crazy ones. The Green Party will restore walking as the basic building block of sustainable transportation, I don't think they mean walking to your car. Anyway, the candidate I voted for was in favour of not increasing the gas tax by upwards of $.15/liter. Among other things.

-Gary Milner

Monday, June 28, 2004

An NDP Story

It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws--that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds--so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said:"The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Which is fine by me, because I am going to be a cat.
-Gary Milner


Tracie and I went to vote today. It's sort of scary that it takes longer to get a Big Gulp than it takes to vote.

Tracie went first and while she was behind the screen, I wanted to ask the ladies if I could just mark my X right at the table without going behind the screen. I decided against it because they would have likely refused, and I would have said something like, this isn't Iraq or anything.

Since the outcome of my particular riding is very likely to be the same as last time, I was thinking of voting NDP, just in case they do well out east, I could claim to have helped Nader the Liberals. As it is, I'm using my vote to cancel James Keller's vote. I'm not sure if he will find that as funny as I do.

One thing I find funny is that we use X's instead of checkmarks to vote. Checks have always meant something good to me, like I got the answer right. X's are great because it's like you are saying, "I'm voting for you, but you are probably not all that great."

Asking a poltician to be honest is a bit like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders.

-Gary Milner, "Vote early and vote often. "

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Why I Posted About Reality TV

I got side tracked last night, I really wanted to say that because this is the first time in HISTORY that a person from Medicine Hat made it to the top 30 on Canadian Idol, Tracie and I decided to vote.

We couldn't get in for the first hour, but at around 11:00 people seemed to have stopped calling and so we were able to vote 31 times. We voted because of Tracie's little sister's pleas and because of the pleas of my Mother who taught the contestant in kindergarten. My Mother says that she is the first person to have ever taught the contestant how to sing.

I think the should sing, "Robin in the Rain" or "Leo the Lion" next week. Roar!

-Gary Milner, "The redial button is nature's finest invention."

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Reality TV

I'm sort of embarrassed to say that I love semi-reality TV. It's not real, it's just unscripted.

I've seen the first two episodes of a show called, "The Casino". Two internet millionaires bought The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the show is them running it. They follow one high roller every week, a group of partiers, as well as the new owners. It's Venture meets Bugsy.

The first two episodes of the "Simple Life 2" were also quite good. The show is a lot better than the first season because Paris and Nicole have been unleashed on a road trip across the United States. They aren't stuck in some Podunk town tormenting some poor family, they are driving around tormenting lots of new people every week.

While it's unscripted, the girls play up their blond moments and rich-girlness quite a bit. It's quite funny. The are chronically out of money, and always end up begging some bewildered guy for money and they almost always get it from the first kid they ask.

Tonight they stopped at a nudist resort where the producers had jobs lined up for them. They arrived at night and didn't know it was a nudist establishment. The next morning when they stepped out of their trailer, the first words out of Paris' mouth were, "That's not how I wanted to wake up."

"The Next Action Star" is also a pretty good unscripted show about people competing to be in a feature length action movie. I have my favorite contestants and candidates who I really hate. There is an Americanized Mexican woman...


An Americanized Mexican woman is the worst kind of Latin woman. She combines all the obnoxiousness of a stereotypical "ugly American", someone who thinks that the world owes them, with not being able to speak English. I find that people who demand respect verbally are the ones who least deserve it, least understand what respect is, and are the least likely to show other people any respect at all.

I tend to give everyone I have never met a base level of respect. It's the amount of respect everyone deserves for just being a person. You then get points or demerits base on how you act. If you are polite, you get points. If you are rude, you get demerits. If you think the world is against you, demerits. (Here's a message from the world, we don't care about you enough to be against you, try a little humility.) Education scores points, dropping out and going on welfare because you are lazy, demerits. Being on welfare through no fault of your own and using it to become a productive member of society, double points.


...who is completely obnoxious. I'm absolutely sure that they are only keeping her around because of the conflict she creates among the other contestants. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that she was planted by the producers just to create animosity and problems.

When it shows her name and profession on the bottom of the screen, she's listed as being a "Club Dancer" *cough*Stripper*cough*. She looks the part. They gave everyone make overs before one audition and she went from looking like a whore to looking like an attractive woman. She complained that they turned her into a Selma Hayek wannabe. She would be lucky to be Selma Hayek's maid.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

When is a Treat Not a Treat?

We can all agree that there exist certain food items that we call treats. We can all agree that said food items are called treats because it is somewhat of a treat to eat them.

Some people can be described as having a pure love of treats. People like me. I love treats. I would walk 3km for a treat. Luckily for me the 7-eleven is almost exactly 1.5km away from my house.

As is often the case, you may be wondering what I am getting at. The point is that I want to know how often can you eat a specific treat or any treat for that matter, before it is no longer a treat? If you have a bowl of ice-cream everyday, are you really giving yourself a treat or are you just eating ice-cream? As sad as this may seem, there must be a point where a person would actually want to say the phrase, "No, I don't want another doughnut."

-Gary Milner

Counting Chickens

I guess I should have waited until they were hatched. I called the lady from Grassy Lake, yesterday at about 9:30. I was worried that she had forgotten to call. It turns out that she wasn't planning on calling back at all.

I guess $10 was too much. She said that they had found someone else. It's too bad than anyone with a point-n-shoot and a printer can do a good enough job for most people. I'm just assuming that that's the type of person they got to do it because I can't even imagine any real photographer being able to do it for less than $10 per photo. At least not if they need to be printed on the spot. The ink for 150-200 photos would cost a couple of hundred dollars.

While I would have loved to do it, them wanting it done on the spot was the price breaker. It's too bad really.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Photo Job

Jeff forwarded me an email the other day, concerning a photo job in Grassy Lake on July 3. They are having a school reunion, 10 years worth of student are going to be attending which means aproximately 150 students.

They want someone who can do 10 class portraits and print them on the spot. They had a guy booked last year, but he wanted $15 for a 5x7. I told her that I could do them on the spot for $10 or I could mail them out for $7.50. I'm 99% sure that it would be more profitable for me to mail them out than print them on the spot.

The lady figures that I would proabably sell around 200 prints, but I'm not sure where she got that figure from. I would imagine that she just made it up. If everyone got their own class photo, that would be about 150. I imagine a few would want shots of just themselves and their friends, which could mean an extra 50 photos, but I'm not sure.

Another product I could do at the same time would be to do photos of the party, and sell cd's at the end of the night. I could include individual/couple portraits of all the guests.

The main thing I'm worried about is that 150-200 prints on a printer might take 3+ hours, not to mention burning all those cd's. Which is fine as long as I can do the class portraits at the beginning of the night and the party goes for more than 3 hours. Printing time is one of the main reasons that I would rather take the photos, and then mail them out the day after, not to mention the fact that I would probably be making just as much money or more, without compacting all the stress in to a few short hours.

If you can think of any other products that could be done at the same time (assuming I get the job) feel free to post them in the comments section.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, June 17, 2004

War Time Censorship

This is an excerpt from an interesting story about war-time censorship. It talks about Japanese ballons carrying bombs to North America.

"From late 1944 through the spring of 1945, the Japanese launched more than 9,000 balloons from their nation's eastern shores. Filled not with mild-mannered hot air but extremely flammable hydrogen and armed with incendiary and antipersonnel bombs, the balloons rode the jet stream across the Pacific Ocean for several days before landing throughout North America."

Apparently the Japanese were monitering North American newspapers to see if thier evil plot was working. The news was censored to trick them into thinking it was a waste of resources even though the balloons were somewhat successful.

The author goes on to say that the worst part of this censorship wasn't that people in 1945 didn't know about the balloons, it that people now, 60 years later still don't know about them. The balloons were just censored form the 1945 awareness, they were erased from history.

Here is a military museum webpage dedicated to the Japanese balloons. A quick google search shows that there are quite a few local stories about these balloon bombs.

It is amazing how something as odd as sending thousands of Balloons across the Pacific Ocean armed with incendiary bombs could be mainly hidden from the public's knowledge for 60 years.

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Why I Like Walking

Tracie and I were walking home from the Superstore yesterday and we found half a photograph on the ground. Let me tell you that throwing a photo out the window of your car isn't the best way to get rid of a picture.

I don't know who this bum belongs to, butt here it is in all its hairy glory.

The photo has been replaced my an artist's rendition using only ascii keys.


Something you should all remember, people might find your litter and post it on the internet.

-Gary Milner

Monday, June 14, 2004

Money Money Money, Money

Here is a picture of me in my convocation outfit. Doesn't it make me look smrt? I don't really feel any smarter than I was before. It seems as if I have always been exactly this smart. I may know a lot more stuff now, but I don't think that I am much ahead of where I was in elementary school.

We've been known to talk about the superstore by our house on occasion. Well, complain is a more accurate word. There is one redeeming feature to our very own megalomart: People leave their carts behind. Yesterday I found a cart in the parking lot, and as I was taking it back to the cart corral for the loonie, I found a loonie on the ground. Let me tell you, nothing in this world is better than finding two dollars in less than a minute. That's over $120/hour for taking a cart back to the cart corral. Wait a minute, there is something better than finding $2. Finding $2 while eating a doughnut is better than just finding $2. Now my lifetime total for finding Superstore carts with loonies still inside has hit five. Four of them at the Superstore here in Calgary by our house, and one of them at the Superstore in Medicine Hat.

My lifetime total for finding loonies (or Loonie equivilants) on the ground is by co-incidence also five. Two at the Superstore by our house, two in Argentina, and one at a fiddle contest in BC.

You might think it's odd that I can remember every loonie I ever found, right down to the spot where I found it, but finding a dollar on the ground is a big deal. It hardly ever happens, since people take care of their money and because when you see a dollar on the ground, you pick it up.


More about convocation

As Gary said, we had our convocation ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday. Yikes. One was long enough...but two in a row?!!

Gary's didn't seem quite as bad because I was busy taking pictures, but not only was mine an hour longer, I also had to sit on my butt for all but 3 minutes of it. Part way through mine the fire alarms went off causing a delay, which although made it even longer, was kind of a nice excuse for a break.

Here is my advice to anyone who will be convocating from the U of C in the near future. When you arrive, they give you your cap and gown and your degree. Yes, they hand you the degree before it starts. Do you see where I'm going with this?

You can now go outside, get pictures taken of yourself and with your family, and then return your gown and get out of there. You still get the degree, you still get the pictures, you just don't get the headache and nausea that go along with sitting through three or four hours of people who think they're important blabbing on. It's genius really. After seeing how it worked on Wednesday at Gary's ceremony, I would have done it except of course that my parents and grandparents drove to Calgary for it. I bet looking back they would have appreciated it though.

-Tracie..."Convocation is more fun than getting hit in the head with rocks".

Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Most Boring Thing In The World

I convocated on Wednesday. I hadn't been planning on going, and neither had Tracie, but Tracie's Grandparents realized that if you are finished your classes, there must be a convocation to attend. Somehow, they got Tracie to spill the beans about when it was all taking place.

The Grandparents told Tracie's parents and somehow my parents figured it out, so we were forced into attending.

Looking back, I'm glad I did. Mostly for the photos. I mean sitting there listening to the names of 600 people I don't know for three hours on Wednesday and then 799 people on Thursday for four hours, was more fun than I thought it would be, but not by much.

I'll post more after supper.


Monday, June 07, 2004

Fire on the Golfcourse

While the person who takes the least shots in golf wins, you're not playing golf, you're playing hockey.

Here's a clue guys, SHOOT THE PUCK!


ps. The Flames have 20 minutes to get me back on the bandwagon.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Gophers and Flags

On the way over to NE Calgary the other day, Gary and I took some back country roads instead of going through town to save time. At one point, we saw the remains of an unfortunate gopher squished on the road. Looking ahead, we could see that there were more to come. By the end of that stretch of road (maybe 3 or 4km??), we had counted 58 dead gopher bodies. I don't really know much about a gopher's intelligence, but I'd be willing to bet that they're pretty dumb.

It was such a sight to see that the first thing I said to Gary was "I'm going to write about this on the blog." When I got home to write about it though, words just couldn't do it justice (and still can't), so I really wanted a picture. I have to admit that I can't be bothered to take one though, partly because it seems stupid to drive somewhere just to take dead gophers' pictures, and partly because I'm not sure that it would be in good taste to post them on the blog. It was pretty amazing to see though.

Today we were driving back home up Deerfoot from Southland Dr. and we saw 5 Flames car flags on the road. I'd be pretty upset if I had one and lost it, since they cost close to $20. I thought they might have fallen off the cars from driving fast in the windy rain storm, but Gary figured it's because people have been rolling down their windows by accident.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Smrt, I Am So Smrt!

Here's a little game to test your IQ. Petals Around the Rose. Apparently, the smarter you are the longer it takes to figure it out. There is an article that talks about Bill Gates trying to figure it out here.

We rented the movie Spellbound last night. It is a documentary about the national spelling bee down in the United States. It was very interesting. Some of the kids seemed to be quite normal while others seemed to be very weird. I get the feeling though that if you selected random 12-13 year olds, you would probably get just about the same mix of weirdness to normal seemingness as the people they followed in the movie. It gets two thumbs up from both Tracie and I, so rent it if you get the chance.

Funny thing, "Go Flames, Go" is ten letters.

Ps. If you have a digital camera and a sharpie, don't leave them both by the computer.


Friday, June 04, 2004

Guns Don't Kill Bears, Frying Pans Kill Bears

VICTORIA, BC (PRWEB) May 26, 2004 -- In an attempt to get a free meal, what was described as a "very large" bear broke into the rural homestead of a BC college student, who was home on vacation at the time. The student, who would only give his name as Ryan, says, "I had just grilled out some salmon and walked back into the dining room to eat. Just as I had just sat down, it sounded at though someone was trying to break down my door." As Ryan went to investigate, the door burst open and the gaping maw of a northern Kodiak bear appeared inside his living room. Ryan recalls, "It was the scariest moment of my life, right up there with the fishing accident in Saskatoon when I was twelve."

As the bear forced its way into the dining room area, the beast found the grilled salmon it had smelled from what authorities estimated was over a mile away, where they found the bear's tracks around a small cave. Ryan tried shouting at the bear to get it to leave, but the bear seemed to be intent on the salmon it was feasting on.

Ryan then proceeded to throw various kitchen utensils at the bear to get it's attention. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do," he said. "After I hit the bear in the head with a wooden spoon, the bear started coming after me!" The would-be bear snack ran to the other side of the kitchen counter as the bear raised up on it's hind legs and tried swatting at him. "The bear was blocking my way to my room where I actually have a gun, so I found the only thing I had that I did not throw at him, my frying pan." he relates. "I picked up the frying pan and shouted, bring it on, bring it on!" Ryan jumped over the counter and started swinging the frying pan. The animal, estimated at six feet tall on all fours and over eight hundred pounds, got back on all fours and started to charge the young man. When the bear was about 1 foot away from him, Ryan swung the cast iron frying pan and hit the bear on the right side of its head. "The bear appeared to be dazed, so I just kept pounding him with the frying pan."

"After I hit the bear about fifteen times, the bear fell to the floor, but I dared not let up. I hit him for about another five minutes until he was not moving at all," Ryan says. Only then did he take the time to call for local law enforcement. "When the police showed up, they could not believed what they saw."

"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Officer F. Barnes, of the Victoria crime scene investigation unit. "He actually killed a bear with a frying pan." The local wildlife officer showed up and took measurements of the bear, one of the largest involved in a home invasion incident in recent memory.

The bear caused about $400 dollars in damage to the house. There is no word on what became of the animal's body, but local animal rights activists are filing to take possession of the bear's remains, claiming it was an immoral act of killing, and Ryan should not be allowed to make a bearskin rug out of it. Darcy Morris, president of the local chapter of Animal Rights Abuse Watch (ARAW), says, "This young man should be prosecuted, not praised. The bear was simply following his natural instincts, and had this Ryan criminal left it alone, no harm would have been done. It's disgusting, and he can expect to hear from our lawyers." Ryan's attorney could not be reached for comment.

I just keep imagining Yogi getting hit in the head with a frying pan and vibrating like a big gong.

I hope those stupid activists just let it drop. As far as I'm concerned the bear was not only trespassing, it was attempting to wash down the salmon with a little human. If you get attacked by a bear in your own home, you have the right to kill it, imho.


Thursday, June 03, 2004

White Wave....Ha!

As the cameras were panning around the hockey arena in Tampa Bay before the start of the game, I noticed all of the white shirts and commented to Gary that the Lightning fans were finally getting it together.

Then as the commentators were discussing the "Wave of White", the truth came out. Over 20,000 people were all handed white shirts on their way into the game. I don't know why, but I found it really funny.

Well, I think we're gonna win. And I do believe that it is in no small part because of my flaming toe nail polish.

The Trouble With Deerfoot Trail

The trouble with Deerfoot trail, at least in the North, is that in several places the on ramps are connected to the off ramps. For example people merging onto Deerfoot from Beddington Trail have to fight the people trying to merge to the exit on 64th. The same thing happens between 64th and McKnight, McKnight and 32nd, 32nd and 16th, and again between 16th and Memorial.

Who ever planned to allow people to merge to the left and right at the same time is an idiot. Traffic slows to a crawl because people are too inconsiderate to let others merge.

In any case, it takes 10-15 minutes for us to get downtown when traffic is flowing smoothly and 30-45 when it is not.

Please people, let others merge and leave a buffer zone between you and the car in front of you. A buffer zone means that you won't have to slam on your breaks as much and traffic will flow more smoothly.


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Heading to the Hills

Tracie and I went for a hike in the mountains today. We climbed a mountain in the Kananaskis. It was pretty fun. We had purchased a book about the trails around Calgary, a little over a month ago.

We've been wanting to go to the mountains for a long time. We're planning to go camping quite a lot this summer. Today was the inaugeral hike.