Friday, February 25, 2005

Stupid or Lazy, Not Both

Over the last few months, I have found that I can tolerate people who are stupid or lazy, but not both. I feel that people can make up for being dumb by working really hard. It also seems to me that if you are really smart, it is easier to tolerate your laziness.

However, if there is one group that is just awful it is people who are both dumb and lazy. It just bugs me to no end that when I am working at what I consider to be my normal speed, (moving heavy furniture all day without sweating) that I can be moving twice as much stuff as some of the other people.

I try to tell myself that how hard the other people work shouldn't affect how hard I am working, but it doesn't always work. The little devil Gary on my right should keeps telling me how stupid and lazy that guy is. The little angel Gary on my left shoulder keeps telling me, "don't let it bother you, just keep working at the same rate you always do."

Then the devil Gary kicks the angel Gary in the shins and I get really annoyed with my stupid, lazy, co-workers.

-Gary Milner

Thursday, February 24, 2005

How to Organize Digital Photos

With the advent of digital camera comes and onslaught of digital photos. Many people have a hard time organizing their digital photos. I'm going to tell you my system which seems to be working quite well.

Microsoft has helped out quite a bit by having the My Documents\my pictures folder created automatically. By building on this base, you can have well organized photos.

Start by creating a new folder and rename it to the year. This year you would create a folder in your my pictures folder called 2005.

The second step is to create a new folder every time you download your photos. Rename this folder with the date and something to describe the photos. For example if you took photos at a picnic on February 24, 2005 you could name the folder "02/24/2005 picnic". Doing this makes the computer sort the folders in date order, month/day/year and allows you to see what is in the folder by a glancing at the name of the folder. If you have more than one picnic a month you might want to add picnic and the name of the place where you had the picnic.

This system has been working for me for the last four years and for my parents for the last 6 years.

-Gary Milner, photo organizer

Monday, February 21, 2005

Family Photo

HPIM7684Milner Family
Originally uploaded by Mrs. Milner.
I thought something interesting should be put on this blog, so here I am writing. J/k.

This photo of the family is one of the most current, but Glen is missing.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Weight Loss Update

I don't think I have written about my diet in a long time. I hate it when people are constantly talking about diet and dieting but I think it has been long enough that I can give you all an update.

I have now lost aproximately (the beauty of the word approximately is that you don't have to spell it the same way every time) 30 lbs. I am now just under 215, from a high of 245. Most of my clothes are too big.

Five more pounds and new camera here I come! Woot!


Thursday, February 17, 2005


A little over a month ago, I said that I would discuss Tommy Douglas' speech, "The Cream Separator". I first read it in a book called, "Canada's Greatest Speeches" and while I'm no socialist and like any good Albertan think that the NDP are a bunch of loons, this is a speech worth reading.

I used to visit in farm homes, particularly around meal time, and if I got in around dinner time of course, everybody in the family was busy.

They were unhitching the horses. They were pumping the water. They were milking the cows. They were pitching down the hay and the oat sheaves. Somebody else was out gathering the eggs. Somebody else was feeding the pigs and the chickens. Everybody had something to do. Even the youngsters were given a job doing something, for instance gathering the eggs or feeding the chickens.

And here I was, right off the city streets. I didn't know what to do, and I said "give me something to do." Well, nobody was going to trust this city boy with milking a good cow. They gave me the one job that anybody could do. They gave me the job of turning the handle of the cream separator.

Any of you ever turned the handle on the cream separator? Well it's quite an experience. I got to be quite good at it. I got to the place where I could tell you how many verses of "Onward Christian Soldiers" it takes to put a pan of milk through this thing. And as I was turning the handle and they were pouring in the milk, and I could see the cream come out the one spout and the skim milk coming out of the other spout, one day it finally penetrated my thick Scotch head that this cream separator is exactly like our economic system.

Here are the primary producers, the farmers and the fishermen and the loggers. They are pouring in the milk. And here are the workers, whether they work on the railroad or go down to the mines or sail ships or work in a store or a bank, or teach school, clerk in the store, work in a hospital. They are the people whose services make the economy go round, and they're turning the handle.

So here you have it: primary producer puts in the milk; people who work with hand and brain turn the handle. And then I thought, but there's another fellow here somewhere. There's a fellow who owns this cream separator. And he's sitting on a stool with the cream spout in his mouth. And the primary producer and the worker take turns on the skim milk spout. And they don't like skim milk. Nobody likes skim milk. And they blame it on each other And the worker says, "If those farmers and fishermen, you know, would work a little harder, well I wouldn't be drinking this skim milk." And the fishermen and the farmers say, "If those workers didn't demand a forty hour week, didn't want such high wages, I wouldn't have to live on this blue milk." But you know, they're both wrong.

The farmers and the fishermen have produced so much we don't know what to do with it we've got surpluses of foodstuffs. And the workers, they've produced so well that today nearly a million of them are unemployed. The fault is not with the worker. It is not with the primary producer. The fault is with this machine. This machine was built to give skim milk to the worker and the primary producer, and to give cream to the corporate elite.

As a matter of fact, it doesn't always do that because every once in a while this little fellow sitting on the stool with the cream spout in his mouth gets indigestion. And he says, "Boys, stop this machine. We got a recession!" He says to the worker, "You're laid off, you can go on unemployment insurance. And after that on welfare." And he says to the farmers and the fishermen, "You know, we don't need your stuff. Take it back home." And then he sits for a while, indigestion gets better, burps a couple of times, says, " Alright, boys, start the machine. Happy days are here again. Cream for me and skim milk for both of you."

Now what the, what the democratic socialist party has been saying to Canadians for a long time is that the time has come in this land of ours for the worker and the primary producer to get their hands on the regulator of the machine so that it begins to produce homogenized milk in which everybody'll get a little cream.

-Tommy Douglas

The secret isn't to get your hand on the regulator of the machine, it to get your own machine. Just getting control of the regulator is like a bunch of mice voting in white cats instead of black cats. The white cats are likely to screw things up worse than the black cats were.

If you own the cream separator yourself, no stupid politician is going to tell you what to do with the cream. Canada is full of people with their own machine. My Dad at times has done brick work for other contractors but for the majority of the time his he has been the one with the machine, doing brick work as the owner of the company with no one looking over his shoulder taking the cream. That's the way it should be. As many people who are able should have their own cream separator.

That's why I love selling the doughnuts. It's less about the money and more about the fact that I am running my own show. I don't have to get some commie politician to force my boss to give me a stat holiday. I don't have to whine that I'm not being treated unfairly because I'm not getting any of the cream. I make my own cream. I don't think the world is out to get me because I'm not being served cream in a silver cup.

-Gary Milner

No New Job

Well, I didn't get the job. I'm pretty sad about it, which sort of surprises me because before I knew I didn't get the job, I didn't think I wanted it so much.

The good news is that we are still going to Austrailia in July.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Job Interview

My days at the warehouse may be numbered. I had a job interview at an oil company downtown yesterday. It went pretty well, although I have to admit that I am pretty awesome and haven't had a bad interview experience to compare it to. (knocks on wood).

All the interviews took place on Monday and today, so I don't think that there can be very many applicants. I'm thinking that there are probably only four, but I guess there could be six. One each morning and two each afternoon isn't unreasonable. Unless I don't get the job and then what the heck.

It kind of puts me in mind of the people on American Idol. They get turned down and then explain to the camera how unfairly they've been treated and how stupid Simon is or about a hundred other unfair things. I just can't help but think that the only way they would feel that they were treated fairly would be to actually win the contest.

The interviewers said that there would only be one round of interviews. It is an entry level position that he has been using to bring people into the company and move them on to bigger and better positions. The last guy got promoted in 18 months.

In any case, I am really excited. I hope that it works out well. One way or the other I have big plans and will be happy. If I don't get it we will be going to Australia and if I do, my career will be started of with a bang.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I am getting more and more tired of my logistics job all the time. The management is really nice to me and they always have been. I don't feel like I am doing anything special, but maybe the other people there have set the bar *really* low. I don't let what the other people do affect how hard I work. What I mean is that just because a few people are visibly slacking off, doesn't mean that I do too. I pride myself on endurance and consistency. My ability to just keep pounding away.

The friend of one of my bosses who got me the job told me that my boss said, "If I could find 20 other guys like Gary I would fire my whole shift today." Last night, it was announced that not only do we need 10 or so new part time people, we also have the go ahead to make some of our current part time people full time. After the full time positions were announced, the manager told me that if I wasn't heading out so soon that I would have one of the full time positions in a second. I told him that a lot of the other people there needed it a lot more than me. They really do need it. Besides accepting a full time line would be like accepting the fact that I am a logistics person, which I am not.

It seems like the bosses sort of figure that I will be hanging around, that I haven't just taken the job for the mean time and not as a career path. It isn't really even a career as much as a company where I could have a career if I changed jobs to one that had career potential.

In any case I am getting tired of it. Most of the people are pretty nice, but most of them are not my crowd. That's the bottom line. While I get along with them we are just too different.

-Gary Milner


When I went to buy some new linoleum awhile back the sales person said that their company would sell me a whole new floor for "x" amount of money. I said I don't need a floor I just need some linoleum. The sales person looked irritated and said, thats what I gave you a quote on. I picked up on the irritation and I said no, you said you would replace the floor. Then the sales person changed the subject but remained abbrasive. Roof covering companies do the same thing. They advertise that they will replace your roof. When they say they will replace your roof they mean they will replace the shingles. My son Jeff says that he sells beds. I haven't investigated fully yet so I don't really know for sure, but I suspect that what he sells is matresses. Stuff like this makes me blue in the face.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Real Sick, Real Ick

Being sick is for the birds. Or dogs or bunnies or whatever the saying is.

I have been coughing for three weeks straight, all day and all night. About a week ago I finally thought it was going away, and then BAM, it hit harder than ever. Now my nose is dripping constantly and my whole head feels like a bubble. I finally went to the doctor yesterday, knowing there was nothing to be done, but also knowing that three weeks of persistent anything is worthy of a visit.

He gave me some heavy duty cough syrup with codeine, which so far isn't helping, and says he figures I just got two colds back to back.

Poor me.


Job Interview

I have a job interview Monday morning. I'm pretty excited about it. Getting this job could mean major changes to our plans and our student loans.

It seems that getting the interview has been the hardest part of getting a job for me. I have been hired just about every time I have been interviewed. Over the last year, I just haven't had any interviews.

I think I interview well, that people seem to like me right away (at least until they get to know me) but I am apprehensive about this interview.

I downloaded a bunch of possible interview questions off the internet and I will be writing answers for 40-50 of them as soon as I get home.

Hopefully it works out well for me.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Sticky Situation

I was making small talk with an acquaintance of mine that I bumped into yesterday, when I reached into my purse for a pack of gum. I popped a piece out for myself, and to be polite I offered him one. He accepted my offer, but instead of putting the gum in his mouth, he took the piece and put it straight into his pocket. Saving it for later, I guess.

This may not seem that strange to some of you, but I found it quite odd and even a little offensive. If you aren't going to chew the gum at the time it is offered, don't take it. I started to wonder if he had several pieces of gum in his pockets from various people who had offered him some throughout the day.

The more I think about it, the more it bothers me.

-Tracie, "Get your own gum next time"

Monday, February 07, 2005

Donut Day Today, HOORAY!

Well donut day went very well. I still haven't counted the money yet, but we sold all but five of the donuts. For the last 30 minutes we were open to offers.

People seem to think that a sign that says, "Make an Offer" is pretty funny.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Selling 20 dozen of anything is hard work.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Donut Day Is Here To Stay

Tomorrow is once again donut day. I have placed an order for 20 dozen donuts. The table has been booked. Napkins have been purchased and a roll of loonies has been obtained. Tracie is out right now purchasing a container of hand sanitizer.

I'm getting really excited.

We need to be at the university at around 8:00am so we'll probably have to be out the door by around 7:15 or so, which means there won't be much time for sleeping. Hopefully they sell out fast so that I can have a nap.

I'm pretty sure that they will be gone quite quickly because I didn't order as many this time and it has been a while since anyone else has sold them.

I'm hoping to be out of there by 2:00 after selling all 240 donuts.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tsunami Concert

I am happy to report that I did my part as a Canadian to support tsunami relief efforts by attending a concert on Monday night.

The night started out with funny men Rick Mercer and Brent Butt making jokes about the Calgary Flames and the chinook weather. Then some girl came on stage as the opening act. She was really good, but everyone seemed to be leaning over asking the person next to them who it was. As it turns out, it was a band called Delirium, and the very next day I heard one of their songs on the radio.

Next came Bruce Cockburn. He was also very good, but although I'd at least heard of him, I still didn't know any of his songs...except for the song "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" which he sang later on with the Barenaked Ladies, and which I really only know because BNL did a cover.

Next came Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The concert was really getting good at this point because I actually knew some of their songs and could sing along. At the end of their bit, Raine had everyone in the Saddledome stand and sing "we are all innocent". It was nice.

Well, the highlight of the night for me was the Barenaked Ladies. They were so funny and had so much energy, and I knew all but one of their songs, which, if anyone wants to know goes "what's so maybe about?" not "what's Old Navy about?"

Last was Sarah McLachlan. I had seen her once before at Lilith Fair in 1998, back when I thought she was the greatest thing ever. But about a year ago my CD's were stolen out of my car, including every Sarah McLachlan CD I owned, so I haven't really listened to her music since. I still knew all of her songs though, and it's always fun to sing along at concerts.

Anyway, it was a lot of stuff jam packed into one night. I think I'll turn over a new leaf and start going to more concerts. It's well worth the money.

-Tracie, Building a Mystery Blog