Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All time best Sharks A-Z

As I sit here, wondering whether I should be excited or scared about the upcoming Sharks season, I decided that it would be fun to go back through the all time Sharks roster as we go into the 20th season and pick out the best of the alphabet, A-Z. Without further ado, here we go...


LW Perry Anderson - OK, there weren't a lot of A Sharks (a trend I'm sure will repeat itself), but this one does stand out a bit. Anderson was one of the original, Cow Palace Sharks. Those brave souls that went through the years in Daly City will always have a special place in this Sharks fan's heart.


D Rob Blake - With Jamie Baker, Dan Boyle, and Brian Boucher on this list, it was hard to pick out just one. While all of those guys did have huge contributions to the Sharks, but no one person had a bigger positive impact on the Sharks than Mr. Blake.


RW Jonathan Cheechoo - Lauded for not living up to the hype after his Rocket Trophy winning season, Cheechoo still played a big role for a few seasons before being dealt to the Senators.


C Vincent Damphousse - A key cog in the early 2000's Sharks teams. Damphousse was the quiet leader of the Sharks and will always be linked to the teams of the 2000's.


LW Bob Errey - As tempting as it was to select Christian Ehrhoff, Errey brought a valuable veteran presence to the early days of the Sharks, Playing 64 games during the 93-94 season.


LW Jeff Friesen - Another Shark that, although a good player, never lived up to the potential that he had. Still, he was a solid Shark and the best of the 'F' group.


RW Tony Granato - Although past his prime when he joined the Sharks and a huge question mark coming off a potential life threatening injury, Granato was the first Shark to bring home an NHL award (96-97 Masterson).


RW Dany Heatley - My own personal feelings aside, Heatley has stood over and above every other 'H' Shark, with the possible exception of Scott Hannan. In his short time with the Sharks, Heatley has left an indelible mark on the history of San Jose hockey.


G Arturs Irbe - Despite there being a scant 3 names on the 'I' list, this one is a no-brainer. Irbe still holds the Sharks team record for most minutes played by a goaltender in a season and was a big part of the Sharks early success.


D Derek Joslin - Another short list, I chose the player that still has his potential ahead of him. Joslin looks to play a big role in future Sharks season, including this year.


C Viktor Kozlov - Another name that had a huge role in shaping the face of the Sharks early days. While overshadowed by his fellow Russian teammates, Kozlov's 41 points in 96-97 are not to be overlooked.


C Igor Larionov - Another one of the early 90's Russian Invasion members to find his way to San Jose. A solid +20 in the 93-94 regular season and a respectable 18 points in the playoffs.


LW Patrick Marleau - With apologies to Brantt Myhers and in spite of his recent difficulties, Marleau is still one of the best Sharks in the M class.


G Evgeni Nabokov - A hard list to be sure, but the nod has to go to Nabokov. Nobody had a bigger impact for longer than Nabby did. Forced into a starting role due to injury, Nabokov took the Sharks, placed them on his back, and never looked back.


D Sandis Ozolinsh - Few players had a bigger impact on the Sharks during his tenure, even less on the blueline. One of the Sharks first offensive defensemen, Ozolinsh left his mark.


C Joe Pavelski - The newest member to the 'P' list is by far the best. 'Little Joe' (a nickname that needs to go, by the way) has shown that he will have a long and productive NHL career. Let's hope most of it is in teal.


LW Jean-Francois Quintin - Yea, he's the default winner here, with a whopping 22 games in teal. Still, anyone that had to endure the Cow Palace stairs to and from the locker room deserves a mention in a best list.


(tie) D's Marcus Ragnarsson and Mike Rathje - Hands down the most important and dynamic defensive pairing the Sharks had during the late 90's, 'Rags' and 'Rat' were often tasked with the difficult task of defending the opponents top guys. A task at which they excelled.


D Gary Suter - Suter wins out by a hair, owing mostly to the fact that Teemu Selane's Sharks tenure wasn't as productive as Sharks management and fans would have hoped. Suter was another stalwart on defense for the early 2000's Sharks.


C Joe Thornton - What else is there to say? Thornton is one of the two or three Sharks that are responsible for their current success.




D Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Another hard choice on a short list, I gave the nod to 'Pickles' for the fact that we have yet to see his best play. Despite being limited to 64 games last season, Vlasic still managed to post a career best +21.


LW Ray Whitney - One of the Sharks first true star players, Whitney was one of the leaders behind the Sharks improbable playoff runs in the mid 90's.




RW Alexi Yegorov - Another winner by default, Yegorov had a cup of coffee with the Sharks in both the 95-96 and 96-97 seasons.


D Rob Zettler - Another Cow Palace Shark, Zettler is probably better known for his time behind the bench than on it.

The above opinions are those of the author and are in no way intended to be a complete statistical breakdown. Also, the players time as a Shark is the only part of their career that is used in the determination of inclusion on this list.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Climate change or equipment change?

As all of you know, one of the most hotly debated issues right now is climate change. There is a mountain of evidence on both sides of the debate. One of the biggest pieces of data on both sides is climate trends based on observed temperature trends.

So what happens when you move the sensors? So what happens when the terrain right around the sensors change? The National Weather Service recently concluded a study of two Caribbean ASOS sites. In one case (St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands) the sensor pack itself was moved nearly 1/2 mile. While that may not seem like much, but it "has led to nearly a 20% reduction in the diurnal temperature cycle being recorded at the Cyril E. King Airport since 1998." [1] Basically this has caused a cooler daytime maximum and a warmer nighttime minimum. In the second case, (San Juan, PR) a new taxiway at the San Juan airport was installed 10 years after the equipment was sited. The new taxiway came within 61 feet of the temperature sensor. While there was no significant increase in daytime maximums, the nighttime minimums increased 1.4ºF.

I have no numbers on how many climate data sites have either been moved or have had significant changes to the surrounding territory, but you have to wonder how much question there now is in the data. I know that the scientists say that they have adjusted for these variances, but when they are dealing with fractions of degrees, how do we know that they are even close to using a correct adjustment?

Bottom line is this. Yes, the climate is changing. However, the climate has always changed. It has never been static. The planet has gone through four major ice ages. We know that the overall temperature was a lot higher during the age of the dinosaurs. Just because the climate has been good for us for this long, doesn't mean that it will always be that way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 2: Welcome to Wisconsin

As a parent, I have learned many things. One such thing is, if you are going to make threats, you better;
1) make the threat believable
2) be willing to follow through on said threat
3) make damn sure the treat isn't what the child wants anyway

Recently, Wisconsin transportation secretary Frank Busalacchi, in response to concerns from the residents of Oconomowoc, took his ball and went home by removing the stop in Oconomowoc from the high on speed rail line. The only problem with that Frank is that you forgot to check #3.

True, it's only a partial win. They are still trying to push through this rail line. However, with the residents of both Brookfield and Watertown (the other two proposed stops) also voicing concerns, it could very well end up as a limited route between Milwaukee and Madison. That would kill the line. One of the big selling points was that this would be a great way to get from the suburbs to Milwaukee. With no stops, I know nobody will travel to Madison to get to Milwaukee.

Will Governor Doyle and Busalacchi finally wake up and realize that nobody wants this boondoggle? With them now trying to allocate $300 million before the gubernatorial election in November, I don't think so...

And because I have no official connection with the Walker campaign....

Life? I can tell you things about life...

Man, it's amazing the number of things that life can dump on you at once.

Anyway, the blogging will now continue after a longer than anticipated one month hiatus. Here's a bit of an update. The Underground Conservative will continue. It turns out that I had to, for financial considerations, stay in the city of Milwaukee. Honestly, this couldn't work out better. One of the most important elections to occur in Wisconsin will take place in November and it will be interesting to be here for it.

I still have a few hurdles to clear in my offline life that will be a higher priority than the online life, but on the whole, things are a lot better than they were a few short weeks ago. Time to rebuild the readership!