Tag: Calgary Stampede

Day 995: Little Rivalry On The Prairie


Newcomers to the city of Edmonton inevitably have questions regarding our perpetual rivals to the south, or what has come to be known as the Battle of Alberta. They don’t ask me – I purposely sport a fanny-pack and 20 pounds of camera gear when I wander about the city so that tourists don’t talk to me – but they’ll ask somebody. The answer they’ll probably get is “hockey”, which is blatantly misleading and 100% wrong.

Edmonton and Calgary have held a semi-snarly relationship for much longer than the history of professional hockey in either city. Far from a rivalry of mere convenience (we are the only two major cities in the province), the Battle of Alberta extends to fundamental belief systems, to political preferential treatment, to bigotry, inclusion, and of course… money.

Which is truly the greater city? As a lifelong resident of Edmonton, my honest answer is that I don’t care. Both cities are gorgeous: they have the Stampede, we have the continent’s most impressive Fringe Theatre Festival. They have proximity to the magnificent mountains, we have an exquisite river valley. They are the economic home-base of the province, we have a gigantic mall.

But enough of the niceness. Let’s see how this got ugly.


The Battle of Alberta extends for centuries before there was even an Alberta over which to battle. The Blackfoot Confederacy was the political union among the Blackfoot tribes who moseyed about southern Alberta and Montana, killing buffalo and living a northern version of the indigenous lifestyle of the American Indian. Up in the boreal forest that covered the northern half of the as-yet-undesignated province, the Cree and their allies (known as the Iron Confederacy, making the history of this region sound like a bad-ass Native version of Game of Thrones) lived a subarctic lifestyle, which involved trapping and fur-trading. Read more…

Day 500: “The Chains Of Defeat” – A Piece Of Wikipedian Noir Fiction


As a one-day deviation from the normal, I’m going to cast off down the waters of fiction for Day #500. Having always been a fan of Raymond Chandler / Mickey Spillaine style hard-boiled detective fiction, that’s the direction I’ll be pointing my shadow-blanketed fingers. Imagine the chiaroscuro lighting, the weather-beaten fedoras and the foreboding shadows of classic film noir against the grey wall as you read this.

Oh, and since I don’t want to leave out my constant companion, I’ll be making liberal use of Wikipedia’s ‘Random Article’ button to move the story forward. Very liberal use.

That way, if this experiment is a disaster, you can blame Wikipedia.


It was half-past far too late when I finally tucked the Kratochwill case into its dusty file folder and dropped it in the cabinet under ‘N’ for ‘Never gonna need this again.’ The Kratochwill case had gotten to me. Mrs. Kratochwill had been murdered while exploring the Sandhohallet Glacier. With my years of experience, I was able to crack the case without leaving the city. Never trust a woman’s “best friend” who can freely quote  Eleanor Cameron. Explicit knowledge of Canadian children’s authors is always a tip-off that someone is up to no good. Read more…