Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wardrobe Malfunction

It was my bathing suit actually.

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

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

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

-Tracie, the Flasher

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Donuts Once More

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Monday, September 27, 2004


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

Saturday, September 25, 2004

More Photo Stuff

I shot Tracie's Aunt's wedding today.

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

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

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

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


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


Friday, September 24, 2004


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

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These are my parents. Bob and Jane Milner.

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This is my sister Jackie and her husband Glen.

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This is my brother Jeff and his girlfriend Anna Maria.

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

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Selling Olicooks

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

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

Monday, September 20, 2004

Busy Day

Tracie and I had a pretty busy day today.

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

Pictures of the doughnuts to come later.

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Trip To Medicine Hat

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Happy talk like a pirate day.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Kalanadian Idol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

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

Monday, September 13, 2004

Ladri Di Biciclette

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner


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

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Tutorial on FAQs

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Danny the Champion of the World

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

House Repairs

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Monday, September 06, 2004

Doggy Style

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

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

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

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

-Tracie, future dog master

Mean Girls

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

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

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

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

I really recommend that you rent this movie.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Country Hills Library

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Moldy Locks and the Three Contractors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


The contractor came to look at our house. The good news is that he doesn't think that he will need to take any of the drywall out. He seems to think that he will be able to get the plywood out without too much damage to the siding, and we will the replacing the wood molding around the jutting out part of the house, because it is all rotting too.

He says it will probably be between $800 and $1000. It's looking like it will be a lot bigger job than I thought it would be.


Ps. I just realized that I may not have written about this before. If you want/need the backstory or a better explanation of what is going on, say so in the comments.