01 January 2005 - 12:23

General Information

This web site contains various material and discussions from some of the areas in which I have worked over the years such as system design, hardware and software installations and maintenance, general systems analysis, needs assessment, security, networking, web design (primarily intranet front ends), custom programming, consulting, electronics and photography.

It also provides access to personal and professional pages and sites, both internal and external, on varied and diverse topics of personal interest. Some of these include web design, IT/IS and technical consulting, programming, philosophy, religion, amateur (ham) and shortwave radio, photography, celtic subjects, Weimaraners, heraldry and cultural items of interest.

I was asked if this was my ‘blog’. No, it really isn’t. It is a place to share some material I found useful or interesting and thought others might as well. It also contains an occasional editorial or article I have written. It does not contain any kind of ‘journal’ or ‘stream of consciousness’ material. I do keep something of a journal but being old fashioned in that respect it is a written one in a real book, not online. This article you’re reading now is about as close to a web log type entry as you will likely see on this site.

Technical Information

This site has had it’s share of hosts, and names, over the years as available space, ISP’s and my mood for a different design have changed periodically. A gallery of thumbnails of previous designs for this site's earlier incarnations can be found in the Incarnations (coming soon) section of the site. The same gallery contains thumbnails of other sites I designed, including a few I currently maintain.

This site is powered by the TextPattern CMS. Site coding is valid XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2.1 and conforms to accessibility guidelines. It is also PICS rated with both ICRA and SafeSurf. This site is currently hosted at A Small Orange.

Why “The Birches”

Why refer to it as "The Birches"? Well, it is appropriate to where I live. The property my house is on is full of trees, primarily maple and birch. The entire area is well populated by birch, and always has been as you can see in the picture of the castle below. Additionally, the family cottage is nestled in a grove of birch trees on the edge of a lake.

Moxham Castle image
Courtesy of Lloyd MacDonald

The above picture is Moxham Castle in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada as it appeared prior to a fire in 1966 which gutted the inside. After much debate, and with some difficulty, the remains were demolished a few years later due to safety concerns. All that remains today of the castle is the gatehouse, now a private residence, and the remnants of some stone walls on various properties in the area. I currently live on what once was part of the grounds of the castle. For further information, and additional pictures, visit the Moxham’s Castle (coming soon) section. Additional information, and pictures, on Cape Breton Island can be found in the Island Echoes (coming soon) section.


5 May 2005 - 14:13

I have been an independant consultant and technical writer with over thirty years of varied professional experience. My work in the Information Technology field has encompassed such diverse areas as system design, hardware and software installations and maintenance, general systems analysis, needs assessment, security, networking, web design (primarily intranet front ends), custom programming, data entry, process control, production supervision, electronics and photography.

Experience in other fields includes journalism, photography, music, radio broadcasting, and electronics. Some of the tasks I've worked (for pay or for free) at various times in the past or present in no particular order: IT/IS Consultant, computer technician, electronics technician, data entry clerk, process technician, supervisor, photographer, booking agent, musician, disc jockey, bookkeeper, carpenter, plumber, bartender, janitor, gaffer, roadie, university instructor, cashier/clerk, cook, counsellor, mechanic, private investigator, librarian, electrician, web designer, babysitter, rigger, programmer, woodcutter, ditch digger, writer, painter, waiter.

I have also been involved in volunteer work in a number of areas in the community and on a regional and national level. I am an amateur radio (ham) operator. I have traveled widely in Canada and the United States of America, and am moderately bilingual (English with French as a second language). While I was born in Alexandria, Minnesota, USA, my permanent residence is in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada and I am a Canadian citizen.

An abridged version on my resumé (coming soon) is available on-line. A complete Curriculum Vitae is available to prospective clients, contractors and employers by contacting me directly.

Those interested in genealogy can find a short background on my surname, and some of the ancestral arms of my branch of the family tree on the Milner page.


The Birches About page contains information about the website and it’s author.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents who always encouranged me to try new things and to never stop learning.

+   In Memoriam   +

Sylvia Dean Milner

1934 - 2013

Loving Mother
Devoted Wife
Loyal Friend

Requiescat In Pace

+   In Memoriam   +

William David Milner

1928 - 2006

Loving Father
Devoted Husband
Loyal Friend

Requiescat In Pace

United States Marine Corps.

“But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it.”

— Thucydides

St Francis Xavier University

Royal Canadian Legion Monarchist League of Canada

Cross Pattee


birch trees image

The Birch Tree

Birch: noun (plural birch-es) [Old English birce] a tall, deciduous tree that grows in the northern hemisphere characterized by a thin, papery, peeling bark; commonly greyish white outside, pinkish beige underside.

Birch is a versatile tree. The wood is soft enough to be worked easily yet hard enough for sturdy use as furniture or building materials. It has a beautiful grain and a unique bark. The bark is layered and papery yet is waterproof and has been used for handcrafts, writing materials, canoes, wikoums ("wigwams") and numerous other uses.


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