2017-06-21

Summer Solstice 2017

Welcome to summer everybody.

Today is the longest day of the year. It may just feel like the longest day of the year because Red Indians are trying to make it about them, but it legitimately is.

One hour from now, at 10:07pm, Edmonton will finally experience a sunset after over 17 hours of daylight. So for that, let's take a musical break courtesy of Mister Gordon Lightfoot....



Now because the solstice fell on a Wednesday you might be asking "so which is the longest weekend?" You might say "well it happened before noon on Wednesday so obviously last weekend was longer than this weekend.

Yes, yes, people say "longest weekend" when they mean "longest amount of sunlight in a 2-day weekend. Stop being so pedantic. Obviously all long weekends are tied for "longest weekend".

That's a good bit of reasoning but let's confirm it adds up. (All data comes from TimeAndDate.com)

Saturday June 17th Edmonton saw 17:02:02 hours:minutes:seconds of daylight. Sunday June 18th saw 17:02:22, for a combined "weekend daylight" of 2304 seconds.

Saturday June 24th Edmonton will see 17:01:56 hours:minutes:seconds of daylight. Sunday June 25th will see...well, less, and you can already see that since days will be getting shorter our supposition was correct: but still, 17:01:28. This means next weekend Edmonton will "only" get 2244 seconds of daylight: an entire minute less sunlight.

Winter is coming. Better soak up the rays while you can. Er, wait, nevermind...

2017-06-10

Your evil lifestyle is still illegitimate. Your suiciding adherents understand this better than you.

I thought the AIDS march was held in September?

And with the classic Third Edge of the Sword running gag unfortunately comes a sad truth: Edmonton's depraved faggot community and a bunch of their equally disgusting pro-poofter familiars will be on our streets today promoting their choice of an inferior lifestyle.

And as usual, the far left are responsible for the assault on truth and parental rights that comes along with it. They need to be stopped. If you see a faggot today, tell him off. If he touches you, hit him in the face with a pipe. If a leftist does either, do it to them twice.

And now, a little musical interlude on the topic...

2017-05-22

Victoria Day 2017

Today is Victoria Day, and as has been typical the last few years I have decided to not risk booking a provincial campground only to have it pour rain on my head while I sit without booze or fire.

Today's expected high is +24.

Well, it doesn't always work. Victoria Day is also the day I invented a new holiday. But for a major holiday there is a strange lack of music for the occasion.

So with that in mind, here's one of the few May Long Weekend songs around (no YouTube link, sorry): Buddy Wassisname and the Other Fellers doing "Townie Without a Car".

2017-05-06

2017 Kentcuky Derby

Today is the 143rd Kentucky Derby beneath the historic twin spires of Churchill Downs. The race has been marred by the same damp conditions that have flooded Toronto and Ottawa, so there is some downside that massive storm after all. Global warming strikes again: the daytime high at Louisville Kentucky is +17 (currently +14) which puts it some 6 degrees colder (currently 9 degrees colder) than Edmonton.

As always here at Third Edge of the Sword I guess at the win-place-show without placing any bets. All official bets are from the TwinSpires.com website, however they do not accept bets from Canada. As a result, Canadians are forced into various shadier options.

It doesn't matter. The mint juleps are flowing, the girls are wearing silly hats (and drinking a concoction that they drink since they can't handle a real mint julep), and the BBQ is fired up. It's almost enough to make you forget last night's Oilers disaster (which NBC in their wisdom showed everybody as "the most exciting 3 minutes in sports".

Yesterday Classic Empire was the runaway favourite, but early today Always Dreaming took over, peaking at 4-1 odds. He's presently at 9-2, with Irish War Cry now at 5-1 and coming up fast. Classic Empire is now fourth place behind McCrakken.

So without delay, here's my bet wild guess on how the race will go. For at least one more year, I'll be betting fantasy money.

Win: Lookin At Lee (30-1)

Place: State of Honour (52-1)

Show: Irish War Cry (5-1)

Update, 5:05pm: State of Honor had a great early part of the race, and Lookin At Lee had a great finish to the race, but neither won it all. Always Dreaming (9/2) is the winner with Lookin At Lee (33-1) in second and Battle of Midway (40-1) showing.

2017-04-20

Chicago Blackhawks eliminated

Unbelievably, the Chicago Blackhawks are out of the playoffs, having lost to the Nashville Predators 4-1 tonight.

That's crazy. But you want to know the craziest thing?

Chelsea Dagger was not played once this entire playoffs.

The song, famously played after each home goal and home win at the United Centre in Chicago, is synonymous with the Blackhawks. It's the most famous goal song in the league (partly because, unlike every other team, they don't change it twice a season). And it was kept off of speakers for the entire playoffs, because Chicago didn't even score a goal at home in the first two games. As a result, they also didn't win either game. The Blackhawks did score in Game 3 and Game 4 in Nashville, but by then it was too late. There will be no Game 5.

Which means there will be no Chicago goals scored at home. And that means no Chelsea Dagger. There are surprising stories every year in the playoffs, but I can't help but think that one is just weird.

Fortunately, you'll still be able to hear the song in the summer of 2017: it's played after Edmonton Eskimos touchdowns.

Yes, I know that some ridiculously shitty NHL franchises are also known to play the song after goals. You can't. It's theirs.

4/21 Rally at the Alberta Legislature

Finally, a chance to show off my new Beretta CX4.

Today, low-life potheads held an event at the Alberta Legislature where they consumed an [illegal] product. As is usual for this event, they performed illegal acts on the steps of the legislature within full view of numerous police officers and suffered no legal repercussions as they campaigned for laws restricting their use of this product to be changed.

That was today. Let's talk about tomorrow.

On Friday, April 21, 2017, I invite you to join as we openly carrying unregistered firearms on the lawn of the Alberta Legislature.

As we have seen on 4/20, the police will completely leave us alone and allow us to perform illegal acts of possession.

2017-04-16

Христос воскрес

Happy Easter everybody. Christ has risen.

How are you "celebrating" the day? Traditionally there are two primary meals to choose from. FoodAndWine.com breaks down your options:

Leg of Lamb: A traditional bone-in leg of lamb is the most dramatic Easter centerpiece and serves quite a few people (about 8 to 12).
Whole Fresh Ham: A fresh ham is a commitment, because it needs to be marinated or brined and takes several hours to cook. But having a ham in the house is like having money in the bank.

I figured this was a good day to break down the two main options (and a couple non-main options) for your Easter dinner.

Winner: Ham: Ham is cheaper than lamb. Like, a lot cheaper. Safeway currently has ham shanks on sale for $2.47/lb. By contrast, the cheapest lamb is leg of lamb for $7.99/lb. And if you want to splurge for rack of lamb you're paying a ridiculous $19.99/lb. So if you're trying to save money because you're being told you're going on an expensive summer vacation, it's a great choice.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is special and exotic. Most people don't eat lamb on a regular basis, so having it on Easter helps make your Easter dinner something special. By contrast, unless you're Catholic you've probably had ham in the past 10 days, and you almost certainly have had pork in the past 5. It's just another day you have ham.

Winner: Ham: When it comes to leftovers, ham is hard to beat. A good roasted bone-in ham can be used for ham sandwiches, for reheated ham and honey mustard sauce days later, and shredded ham with a homemade chef's salad. I can do some great stuff with leftover ham. Leftover lamb, assuming you even have any, can be used in pitas with tzatziki sauce to make lamb gyros . That's it. And that doesn't even factor in the ham bone which crazy people can use to make soup. I don't make soup. I don't have any urge to have a giant pot on my stove for 6 days with leftovers in it.

If you're American, this isn't the gyro you think it is

Winner: Ham: This year, I'm doing ham. As always, you should aim to mirror my life in every possible way. So that's a win. Tune in next year where I delete this post and then repost it with "lamb" in the winner column for this section.

Loser: Turkey: Most members of my family insist on doing turkey for Easter. Turkey for Thanksgiving. Turkey for Christmas. Only one of these three holidays is supposed to be turkey (though I grant a lot of people like turkey for Christmas because it cheaply feeds a lot of people which goose or duck doesn't do). This is a message to most of my relatives. Turkey is wrong. Do not do this.

Winner: Lamb: If you value religious significance, lamb is the choice for you. There's a good pamphlet available from Don Johnson Ministries that goes into a lot of biblical and allegorical detail into why Christ and Christians are the "lamb of God". So when commemorating [yes, that's the one. We commemorate Christ's death and resurrection, we don't "celebrate" it. -ed] Easter, it's your best choice for religious importance and symbolism. If I was doing a dinner with a lot of young children whose parents may not be the best at explaining biblical concepts, I would definitely serve lamb and then be able to teach them a little about the early history of the Christian church.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is traditionally the British dish for Easter. Between the mother country and Brexit and offending Quebecers, we should strive to be more British.

Winner: Ham: Ham is traditionally the American dish for Easter. Trump is President now, so we should strive to be more like America.

Winner: Ham: Roasted ham can be basted in a variety of different glazes so that you can mix it up for individual tastes and styles. You can glaze it in Chinese hoisin, or honey and brown sugar if you want something to celebrate not having diabetes, or what I'm doing this year: apple and maple glaze. Lamb, on the other hand, is more restrictive. You can't do very many different styles of lamb. Usually you just put some mint jelly on it. There are a few things you can do with lamb, but it's not nearly as versatile.

Loser: Salmon: I know somebody who is having a salmon dinner today. This is wrong. This is even more wrong than turkey. There are a couple excuses for salmon, such as having Jews over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve lamb), or having vegetarians or almost-vegetarians over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve both lamb and ham and tell them if they are still vegetarian next year you'll kill five animals next year). What I'm saying is you don't sacrifice a great tradition just because a person with a bad lifestyle choice knocks on your door. The other problem is that salmon, for those who don't already know, is a fish. If you're a hardcore Catholic you've just gone six weeks only eating fish for most of your meals. The whole point of an elaborate fish dinner on Good Friday is a "final fish party". You don't go and eat it again "three" days later.

Winner: Ham: Ham can be served with a larger number of side dishes than lamb. Lamb you're stuck with garlic roasted potatoes or spring greens or leeks. Who eats leaks? Ham works with a larger number of potato dishes, along with pasta salad and spaetzle.

Winner: Lamb: Remember when I said you can really only do lamb with mint? There's a plus side to that (but only years like 2017 when Easter is in late April and not in early March), because in two weeks is the Kentucky Derby. Which means you'll need to be picking up mint so you can make yourself mint juleps in silver cups to enjoy the Kentucky Derby.

Winner: Ham: Lamb isn't a meat that goes particularly well with alcohol. You can have red wines with lamb but not much else. It doesn't go particularly well with beer or whiskey either. Ham isn't an amazing meal to go with beer either, but you can have white wine (which is easier to go with beer than red wine) or whiskey (ditto) with your dinner. And then have beer later, which is important during an Oilers playoff run.

Winner: Lamb: Roasted lamb is faster and easier. FoodAndWine.com covers the faster, but the thing with a roasted lamb is that you don't need to devote a large amount of effort in constantly re-glazing the meat like you do with a roasted ham. If you want to do more entertaining and less cooking, your two options are make your woman stay in the kitchen and put in the effort (only an option if she's better at this than you are), or go with the roasted lamb. The side dishes for lamb, being more simple, also take less time.

Winner: Ham: Finally, the smell of roast ham filling your home is a better smell than roast lamb. I like the taste of lamb but I'm not a huge fan of the smell of lamb as its roasting. It just doesn't fill your senses with the sense of magical cooking that a good roast lamb does.

2017-04-03

Connor's race for 100

Connor McDavid is likely going to win the Art Ross trophy this season as the NHL's leading scorer.


As of this morning, McDavid sits seven points ahead of Chicago's Patrick Kane and nine points ahead of Boston's Brad Marchant with 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists). Barring any major changes (the Oilers have 4 games left to play, the Blackhawks and Bruins only have three) McDavid will finish the season with more points than any other player in the NHL.

But he's also tantalizingly close to (in his second year, in the "Dead Puck" era) 100 points. This would make him the first Oilers player to reach that magic mark since Doug Weight did it in 1995-1996 (104 points). With 4 games to go and 6 points to make up, McDavid would have to score at a 1.5 point-per-game pace to achieve the mark. But that's not an entirely impossible task...for one, as they pointed out during the Saturday night game versus Anaheim, McDavid has been scoring at 1.4 pts/gm since February 24th. While the Oilers next two games are against two stingy teams (LA Kings are 3rd in the NHL with only 2.4 GAA, and the struggling San Jose Sharks are 6th with 2.46 GAA), our final two games are against the lowly Vancouver Canucks and their 2.90 GAA (though, of worrisome note, the Oilers have never gotten 3 or more goals against Hongcouver yet this season). Still, McDavid's race for 100 points isn't out of reach.

But wait [Doug Wait? heh heh heh... -ed], there's more. McDavid currently has the team lead with 29 goals (Draisaitl has 28, and Maroon has 27). One more McDavid goal will put him in the 30 goal club. That will be the first time an Oilers player has reached the mark since Jordan Eberle's 34 goals in 2011-2012. If two of these three players tops 30 goals this season, the Oilers will have two 30+ goal scorers since the 1996-1997 campaign when Ryan Smyth had 39 goals and Andrei Kovalenko had 32. Vincent Damphousse had 38 and Joe Murphy had 35 in the 1991-1992 season as well.

What about all three? Would you believe there has never been an NHL season where three Oilers players had 30+ goal seasons? No, seriously. In 1989-1990 there were four Oilers with 30+ goals (Messier-45, Anderson-34, Kurri-33, and Tikkanen-30), and as you might suspect during the high-flying-80s the Oilers had five players with 30+ goals for a six-season stretch (1983-1989)§. This could be a chance for the Oilers to make history...and oddly enough, probably even more likely than McDavid's 100.

Try not to think about that year so much, when Eberle was a phenom in his sophmore season (he had 18 goals the year before) and looked to be the next huge Oilers goal scorer. He had 16 goals the next season (he has 16 goals now) and only twice since has broken the 25 goal mark.

Much like how you can't refer to the 2012-2013 season without calling it a "lockout-shortened season" (it's a law in Canada), you also can't refer to the NHL in 1980s without calling them "high-flying". The 1970s were high-flying too, actually, but between the Montreal dynasty and the rise of the Broad Street bullies, it's not especially known for its scoring.

§ If you want to be pedantic, you can exclude 1987-1988 where one of those players was Craig Simpson, traded to Pittsburgh mid-season


So with four games left in the season, there's a lot of magic still left in the Oilers run. Stay tuned.

2017-03-25

This is a thing

2017-03-16

Is an hour of pleasure worth a lifetime of shame?

Over at Down Goes Brown a recent post asks if the 2016-2017 Colorado Avalanche are the worst team of the salary cap era. I'm sure a lot of people asked the same question that commenter DK asked.

I'm surprised the Oilers don't show up anywhere in this article. They were so utterly putrescent for so long, I thought for sure they'd at least be a contender in one of the categories (particularly the "optics" category; in the year they won the McDavid sweepstakes, they were the only bottom-feeders who didn't seem to be there by design and they still wound up a stone's throw away from the blatantly-tanking Sabres and Coyotes).
The quick answer to the question is that the comparisons were clearly being drawn against teams in a specific season. Funny as it might seem, the Oilers have a mediocre contender for this category. Their worst season was "only" 62 points.

(Click all images in this post to view them full-sized)


As you can see, that mark was beaten by six teams in the salary cap era, 7 times. An eight case would have been caused by the Florida Panthers in 2013: had they played a full season they would be projected to hit 61.5 points, so round whichever way you like to make the Oilers look bad. It still isn't that bad. With seven or eight other team-seasons to look at, the Oilers "Fall for Hall" season just didn't make the cut.

They did have a lot of bad seasons, mind you. Just none historically bad. They were also saved by the random loser point fluctuations, as demonstrated by this chart showing each team's best and worst seasons over the salary cap era:

* The 2013 and 2016-2017 seasons are excluded

You'll also notice that they haven't been very good. Sure St. Louis managed a 21-win season in 2005-2006 (the same season they traded Chris "Can't Keep it in his Pants" Pronger to the Oilers), but they also won 52. Hell, even the perpetually tanking Buffalo Sabres had a killer season in the salary cap era. The Oilers had a 41 win season that year they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but that's still just barely squeaking into the playoffs. You can be a bad team without being an atrocious team is what I'm saying, and the bad Oilers teams just aren't bad enough. When looking at "who was the worst team in the NHL during the salary cap era" Edmonton just isn't in the conversation.

I'm half kidding, of course. They are still seriously in the conversation for the worst team of the salary cap era, just don't look at individual seasons. Look at the aggregate. [Actually he's kidding again: as you're about to see, the Oilers aren't even debatable as the worst team of the salary cap era... -ed]

Here's a complete list of all 30 teams over the salary cap era sorted by total number of wins. Try not to act surprised who's on top.


This ignores team naming and location changes, so the Winnipeg Jets are under Atlanta Thrashers, Seattle Coyotes are Phoenix Coyotes, etc.

In fact, you'll find that the Oilers aren't only the worst team, but they are by a surprisingly large margin. Let's look at that list of total wins in the salary cap era again, this time showing how far behind the next team in line each NHL squad is:


33 games back of Down Goes Browns' Toronto Maple Leafs for "fewest regular season wins in the salary cap era", as of the morning of today: March 16 2017. (ie. it doesn't include the Oilers-Bruins game being played right now where Oilers have a 4-2 lead). That's easily more than double the next highest gap. That's patently ridiculous. The Oilers are the worst by a substantial margin and that won't change anytime soon.

Including tonight's Bruins game the Oilers have only 13 games left in the season. Say the Leafs stop winning games effective immediately. It means the Edmonton Oilers would need to win every game between now and November 21st (the date of the Oilers 20th game of the 2016-2017 season) in order to tie Toronto. Another 3 games to pass Florida (assuming Florida and Toronto don't play each other over that same span).

But that's unrealistic. Let's do something a little more realistic. Let's imagine the Oilers starting today put up historically high win percentages while the Leafs, Panthers, Islanders, Coyotes, and Blue Jackets all put up historically low win percentages. The best win% was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-2013 who put up a .802 win percentage. Now factor out the 1/9 games that feature an OTL and you get the Oilers putting up a .837 win percentage. See, that's way more realistic than winning every game. Now let's imagine all five teams the Oilers are chasing put up the same real win percentage as Buffalo did in 2013-2014: .2609. How long until the Oilers catch up? Well, don't hold your breath.

 

As our future begins, the Oilers start quickly banking more wins than the other four teams. But after the 13 games of the 2016-2017 season the Oilers are still way behind.



After a whopping 58 games of this unrealistically high pace the Oilers finally surpass the Toronto Maple Leafs to be only the second-worst team of the salary cap era. Four games later they finally pass the Florida Panthers and become the third-worst team.

 

In 75 games the Oilers will pass the Brooklyn Islanders. 80 games to pass Phoenix (who may not even be Arizona by the time this scenario, which I remind you is literally too optimistic to be possible, comes to pass), and then finally after 89 games they pass the Columbus Blue Jackets to merely be the sixth worst team of the salary cap era.

As I stop to yet again remind you that this requires the Oilers to set a new salary cap level of winning while all of their rivals become the 2013-2014 Buffalo Sabres, it still means the Oilers would be behind win-streaking, playoff-bound, suddenly cold Columbus Blue Jackets until 6 games remain in the regular season in March/April of 2018.

DK (Darryl Kates?) is right. The Oilers are saved from discussion only because they are the worst over a much much longer and more depressing period of time than a single season.

But hey, to borrow from the old joke in this post's title, at least all that historic failure paid off, right? The Oilers got McDavid and are making the playoffs, right? What can be depressing about that?



Oh. Well, at least there's a silver lining...

2017-03-14

Sarah Hoffman hates and fears Albertans


Minister Chubbs calls supporters of the PCs and Wildrose "sewer rats".

If we've said it once, we've said it a million times. Destroy the NDP. Don't just defeat them. Don't just humiliate them.

Destroy them.

If they are still alive and doing things, Alberta loses. Stop them.

Why do the lying Alberta NDP keep calling themselves the "party of hard hats"? Hard hats are used by blue collar workers doing things that offend David Suzuki. Don't let them get away with this lie. Then destroy them.