Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Whereas if you torture the right guy about the information you want, you're quite apt to get that information. And furthermore if you torture the guy that did a terrible crime, or is protecting a criminal then maybe it could even be said that he desearved the torture it took to get him to confess. However, there's one famous case in recent memory of a Canadian who went to the middle east. He was proven innocent of any wrong doing, however while he was in the middle east he associated with a person or persons thought to be terrorists. I assume that terrorists when they're not acting as terrorists carry on a normal life style and have ordinary jobs. You can't tell that they're terrorists. He was intercepted on his way home to Canada when coming through the States. He was sent to 'Syria', I think, and had to endure months of torture. Any of us , when we go to the middle east could hire a travel guide who is a part time terrorist. We could then be accused of associating with terrorists and be tortured. Now that torture has been legalized, you wouldn't have to be sent to Syria any longer for that purpose. I'm worried that the time may come when people will start dissappearing from their homes during the night and held by the goverment without charge . This too,is a handy tool for the government to use in combating terrorism. When this happens, things are clearly out of hand. The fact is, they need to be stopped before they get carried away...and they"will" get carried away. (change of subject) The U.S. is a foremost military power. However, if you look at the amount they're going in to debt, (like 10,ooo dollars a second) you could say that they can't afford to spend a dime on the military. Not one solitary dime.

Monday, October 30, 2006

TORTURE USE (continued)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not liberal in my political leanings. I'm a conservative . But having said that I have to point out that I'm suspicious of politicians from both parties.

The gang that's been in power in the U.S. this last term have been a terrible bunch. If you read the news everyday you have to be aware of the explosion of the US. national debt. It's my belief that they will never be able to pay the money back. How could the same country that's going into debt at the rate of more than a billion dollars a day afford to pay back 7 trillion dollars, each trillion of which is a thousand billion.

I get the impression from the way Bush talks that Canada is no longer considered a friend of the States. This makes me uncomfortable. It's another thing that makes me dislike him.

I suspect him of using the middle east situation to gain more personal power, for himself and steal personal liberties from the people. This kind of thing has been done many times before by despotic rulers at various times and places in history. I think most people already know this.

I listened to what "Jeff" had to say about torture. He asked "what if the enemy had your son buried with only a little air left in his dungeon and you never had much time to find out where he is hidden. "Wouldn't you want them to be able to get the needed information in a timely manner?" Here's what I say about that: If you're going to do some torturing, you better be dang sure you've got the right guy. How are you going to know this? You won't be able to find out through torture because your victims will confess to anything to get you to stop.

I have always thought of countries that torture with great disdain. I think of them as being low life, second rate, cowardly countries. Why should I think of the U.S. any differently? I'm pretty sure that the low-life countries that have used torture all along, use the same rational for the use of torture that you gave me in your comments in my last post.

Bush professes to be religious. Well talk is cheap. Back when the Catholic church was in power in the middle ages they tortured people in a big way. They even had people thinking that the torture used was an actual favour to the victims. I don't want a church doing me any favours like this and I don't want Bush doing me any favours either.

I even feel nervous writing any of this because I feel like I might be one of the next people on the "water board" because I sound like an enemy.

I want to say one last thing. There's a reason people think they are drowning when they are being water boarded; it's because " they are drowning".

RC Track

I went to watch Dann race his RC car down at one of the hobby shops. I think he came third, behind the owner of the shop and some other guy. He was running neck and neck with the leader of the race until his battery pack came un-hooked. It was really too bad, because he had a really good chance of winning.

I think he was using a smart strategy of using a lower top speed in favour of more control, which generally results in a higher average speed and way less crashes. It is the crashes that really kill you.

They have participants spread in the high crash zones to flip you back over when your car lands on its back, but they just aren't fast enough or sometimes they don't see that you are stuck.

I was impressed with how well everyone worked together for the race. I guess they are all friends with a commen hobby, but they seemed to be racing hard for the pure enjoyment of it.

I made a panorama of the track so that you can see what the back room looks like at the hobby shop.

-Gary Milner

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Torture Use by the United States Government

This is quote from wikipedia:

There have been many reports that the United States has used water-boarding to interrogate prisoners captured in its War on Terrorism. In November 2005, ABC News reported that former CIA agents claimed the CIA had engaged in a modern form of waterboarding, along with five other "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques," against suspected members of al Qaeda, including Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. On October 27, 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney apparently confirmed that water-boarding had been used on U.S. detainees, specifically mentioning Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. According to the White House transcript of an interview with Scott Hennen of radio station WDAY:

Hennen: ...And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?
Cheney: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.
Hennen: "Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?"
Cheney: "Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in."
The White House later denied that Mr. Cheney had confirmed the use of waterboarding, saying that U.S. officials do not talk publicly about interrogation techniques because they are classified.
As you can see Mr. Cheney is a barefaced liar . He has stated that the armed forces cannot use water boarding: but the CIA has no such restriction. The CIA is part of the U.S. so they do use torture. What more can I say. They can torture anybody, even you. And you would have to say that you're guilty or you could be tortured to death. Please don't vote for the conservatives this time around people.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Birthday to Jackie!

It was my sister's birthday yester day, I called to say happy birthday but I didn't write anything about it.

I've pretty much written all my thoughts about her birthday last year or the year before... how it would be better if she were born on the 31st etc. She's practically a witch, yada yada yada.

I hope you had a great day yesterday Jackie.

Here's to at least 25 more!


Monday, October 23, 2006

When Jeff Comes to Town

Jeff came to town for the weekend and we went to Vinerville to take photos of Medicine Hat from the cliffs.

Vinerville is adjacent to Medicine Hat, just up the hill from the IXL brick plant. There are about 20 houses there and the Higherground Christian School, and nothing else. It looks like it would be a nice quiet place to live, but the access to Medicine Hat isn't the greatest.

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Fence
We had a good time lookin down at police point and the rest of the city but realistically it is a little far to get good photos of anything besides the brick plant, police point, and the water treatment plant.

Jeff had a really good time showing off his jumping skills by hopping over a barbed wire fence for the camera a bunch of times.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Ways to Make a Pumpkin Carving Stencil or Template

This is one way for you to make a pumpkin carving template.

I've found that it works best if you use an easily recognizable photo.
In a photo editing program, make your photo black and white (greyscale).
Adjust the contrast alot until the photo loses all it's shades of grey and has only black and white (two colours).
Smooth out jagged edges with the drawing tool.
Then you can decide if it looks enough like what you want to carve, if it doesn't pick another photo.
You'll have to decide if you want to cut out the black or the white, inverting the picture will help you decide which part to cut out.
One thing to remember is to make sure that your template doesn't have any "islands", what I mean by that is that there won't be any parts that require pumpkin bits to float in mid air.

Here is a second way to make a pumpkin carving stencil.
If you have photoshop, you can do it in a way that is a little easier,
make the photo greyscale.
use the cutout filter which is in the 'artistic' group of filters.
make sure you choose to make only two or three levels and then play with the amount of simplicity and fidelity until you find the look you like.

In both cases, you can invert photo or not to save ink or help you imagine what the final product will look like.

I hope this is clear enough to be useful for you, and that you have the software to do it.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Halloween Pumkin Carving Links

Here are eight pumpkin carving tips.

Here is a link to my Darth Vader stencil.

Here is a selection of pumpkin carving links. They include: the history of the jack o'lantern, various carving sites, and ways to help your pumpkin last longer.

Here is a link to a post about a pumpkin carving robot. It could carve a pumpkin in about six minutes.

Here is a link to my Lightning McQueen pumpkin stencil. If you are a fan of the movie you might want to carve it. Be careful on the more intricate parts, it might have too much detail. Simpler is better in this case.

Some of you may be interested in a
Pumpkin Seed Recipie
if you haven't cooked them before, they are a fun addition to your Halloween fun. Experimenting with different spices and seasonings makes them a lot better.

As I wrote last year, often the sponsored links are just what you are looking for. Give them a try if they match what you are looking for. There are often very good free things on their pages.

-Gary Milner

Happy Birthday Becky

It was my sister-in-law's birthday on Saturday. We took her out to Perkin's Family Restaurant on Friday to celebrate and then came home to play cards. We had a pretty good time. Becky is sure glad to be 16. She is pretty excited about getting her driver's licence.

My stock photo collection is doing quite well, here are my sales so far.

03/06 : 1
04/06 : 4
05/06 : 7
06/06 : 30
07/06 : 63
08/06 : 90
09/06 : 93

10/06 : 56 (so far)

I'm averaging 44.3 cents per download and I'm pretty close to hitting $2 per day this month. I just need to get a handful more pictures up and it would be pretty easy to get a check a month or more.

I'm getting my fill of photography at work right now because of the school portraits and family sittings that I've been doing. I'm finding it hard to have the desire to go out and shoot something for myself. I need to get on it. It would take much for Istock to be buying my a pretty good lunch everyday, as it is it could be close to being able to make the payments on my lowest student loan!

My sister is busily booking up my weekends to assist her doing wedding photography. She has me down for two already. I'm looking forward to it, because I really like working with her. It also gives me a pretty good excuse to go see her kids.

The blog is really taking off because of the pumpkin links. If I don't quadruple my normal monthly number of page views I'll be really surprised.

-Gary Milner

Friday, October 13, 2006

Observations On Arabs

Here's a very interesting article by Stephen Browne. He lived in Saudi Arabia for a year, and posted his Observations on Arabs. Here's a summary (he expounds on all of these points):
  1. They don't think the same way we do.
  2. When you meet them in just the right circumstances, they are a very likable people.
  3. Their values are fundamentally different from ours, their self-esteem is derived from a different source.
  4. Not only can they not build the infrastructure of a modern society, they can't maintain it either.
  5. They do not think of obligations as running both ways.
  6. In warfare, we think they are sneaky cowards, they think we are hypocrites.
  7. In rhetoric, they don't mean to be taken seriously and they don't understand when we do.
  8. They don't place the same value on an abstract conception of Truth as we do, they routinely believe things of breathtaking absurdity.
  9. They do not have the same notion of cause and effect as we do.
  10. We take for granted that we are a dominant civilization still on the way up. They are acutely aware that they are a civilization on the skids.
  11. We think that everybody has a right to their own point of view, they think that that idea is not only self-evidently absurd, but evil
  12. Our civilization is destroying theirs. We cannot share a world in peace. They understand this; we have yet to learn it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Well, it looks like thanksgiving has come again. I don't think I have any dinner plans this year so I guess, I'll have to say what I'm thankful for in this post.

1. Tracie. I'm glad to have her as a wife. She's intelligent, hardworking and very talented. I'd be lost without her.

2. My family. They've been really good to us and helping us out tons lately.

3. Our jobs. I have a job that I really enjoy doing a lot. I'm making a little more money than I first expected, I'm learning tons of things, and it is really fun. Sometimes it is a little stressful, but that just shows taht I'm still growing in my postion as a photographer.

4. Living in Medicine Hat. I really like living in Medicine Hat. It is a small city, but it is getting bigger and bigger all the time.

5. Living in Canada. This is a really great country to live in. It is my home.

and last but not least,

6. I'm thankful there is at least one photo of me floating around that shows me dunking a basketball. This photo was taken about a year after I graduated. It is in the Medicine Hat College gym.

-Gary Milner

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Osama Bin Landen Pumpkin Carving Template

I made another pumpkin carving template last night. It is my first Osama Bin Laden pumpkin carving stencil.

I figured he's a pretty scary guy, so why not make him into a jack 'o lantern.

Included in this Halloween related post are links to two pictures. One with a black background and one with a white background. The white background picture is for printing and using as the template and the blackbackground is to help you visulize what it will look like.

If you use this one, cut the black part out of the pumpkin. Use the tips and how to's from my other halloween posts to help you.


In other more job related news, here is a conversation I over heard.

Kid, "We ate our rabbit last night".

Photographer's assistant, "Why did you eat your rabbit?"

Kid, "We didn't have any groceries."

-Gary Milner