Monday, November 29, 2004

FreeCycle Rocks!

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

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


I Don't Really Have Anything To Say Right Now

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

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

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

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

The downside is being hungary and sleepy all the time.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar

Sunday, November 28, 2004

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

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

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

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

I guess the library is clo...

-Gary Milner


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

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Superstore Still Just Super

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas rant paragraph deleted on orders from CENSOR (Tracie)

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

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

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

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

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

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

In any case this post is getting a little long.

-Gary Milner, internet superstar


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

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

Tracie, Ichi-Krafty guru

Monday, November 22, 2004

Out Damned Spot, Out I Say!

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Post With The Most

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Woman Saves Drowning Child

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Friday, November 12, 2004


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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Corner Gas

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


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

-Gary Milner

Monday, November 08, 2004


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Saturday, November 06, 2004

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Gary Milner

Friday, November 05, 2004

Tracie the Gourmet

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

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

-Gary Milner

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Working Overtime

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

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

Monday, November 01, 2004

Crazy Times at the Gym

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

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

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

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

Bambi is Dead

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

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

The funeral

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

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

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

The Diet

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

I think Tracie is jealous.

-Gary Milner