Monday, December 29, 2008

The Best of Zydeco Fish 2008 (see: best of 2007, 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003)

It's finally that time of the year again, folks. These are some of my fav posts from the last year. I hope you are having a wonderful holiday.

1) Ringo has a Really Big Nose - Conversations with six-year-olds are always amusing.
2) George W. Bush vs. Dan Quayle - Sometimes, weird things happen when I am cycling.
3) Just Say No! - Or, why I now hate the Songwriters Association of Canada.
4) A Political Detour - Or, oh, how I hate John McCain.
5) From the Mouth of a three-and-a-half-year old - He tells it like it is.
6) Smart Casual - About conference dress codes and Velcro.
7) Overrated - A series of ten posts, some funnier than others (not to be taken too seriously).
8) Pee Mobile - Solving the energy crisis, one leak at a time.
9) A Play in Two Acts - A bleak outlook on the world of business and communication.
10) 666, A Stream of Consciousness Post - Let the metal flow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Since I am on vacation, I have been ignoring this blog. I have been preoccupied with mistletoe, eggnog, and reindeer recipes. But, I am also compiling my annual Best Of ZF. Stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On Giving it Away for Free

People often want to use some of the photos that I have posted on Flickr. My policy has always been to permit not-for-profit organizations to use images (depending on the image) without charge as long as they provide a photo credit and a link back, if possible. I will ask if the org has a budget to acquire photos, and occasionally they do. If the organization is a business or some other money-making venture, then I will charge. Not everyone feels this way.

Too many photographers on Flickr, and probably other photo sharing sites, give it away for free, just to see their photo in print. A contact of mine recently allowed Parks Canada to use a photo in a national brochure for free! That's insane. People like this are doing a serious disservice to professional photographers. If we are all willing to give our work away, how can people who earn a living from photography be expected to stay in business? They are screwing their professional friends.

Recently, a very large Canadian law firm asked to use a photo of mine for some holiday correspondence. I negotiated a fee of $500. The law firm dude told me that he was searching for several photos, but that my price was OK with the company. I heard from this firm one more time, and then they evidently found a few suckers who were willing to surrender their photos to a huge corporation for absolutely no compensation. I am not really too concerned about the cash, though it would have been nice. I am really irritated that these yahoos don't get it.

Submitting a photo to a literary, art, or photography journal is different. Giving your photo to anyone who asks is wrong, especially if they are using it to promote their business and increase profits. Wise up, people.

Monday, December 08, 2008

More Three-year-old Musings

Not for the first time, my son has commented on the disparity in size between our penises. For example, yesterday, he said: "Yours is a really really big penis. It's huge! It's a really big one. [pause] I have a tiny penis." Sure, it's an amusing comment, maybe even funny, but it makes me a bit sad to hear him lament the size of his boyhood.

I try to reassure him. He will grow up and have a big one too. A big penis, with all it's attendant rights, privileges, and responsibilities is something to look forward to. Strangely, his comments always make me stop to consider circumcision.

Lots of men justify having their sons circumcised so that they will look "the same" as they do, or so the boy won't look "different." I suppose these dads don't want any uncomfortable questions about why they lack a foreskin. It my opinion, this is a red herring, because my son hasn't even noticed. He notices the difference in size and that's it.

When boys grow up, they can enjoy their big penises. Once they have had their foreskin cut off, they will never get it back.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Quote of the Day

From the 3.5 year old:

"Monkeys like to eat bananas, just like real people."

Friday, December 05, 2008

Purged

That feels better. I just deleted a whole whack of draft posts that were making me feel guilty for not having finished them, or stupid for having started to write something so dumb. Now I feel smart and on top of things. It's like the word procrastination doesn't exist.

Happy Friday and have a good weekend.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

And the Answer is ...

The GG granted the PM permission to prorogue parliament, which was not unexpected. And now, meetings and such for me. I am thinking that I should prorogue my next meeting.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ignorant Parrots

The current political "crisis" in Canada has emphasized for me just how ignorant the average Canadian is about our political system. I have read blog posts, Facebook posts, and comments here and there that describe coalition action as being undemocratic, illegal, and unethical. One uneducated person referred to it as a coup d’├ętat! It is none of the above, though I will admit that the situation is bizarre and unusual. To these people, I want to say: "go enroll in a first year overview course on Canadian Politics at your local University!" And, I would bet that a good deal of the people urging Harper to prorogue parliament had never even heard the word prorogue until this week.

But, the whole episode points to a problem in the blogosphere where unsubstantiated statements are repeated with no critical investigation. So, Harper's incorrect comments about the legality of the situation are passed around as gospel. One person uses the word illegal, and suddenly, it is repeated on tons of neocon blogs. I am sure the same happens in reverse on left wing blogs. The web is so polarized that it makes the traditional news outlets appear balanced.

I am not 100% comfortable with this coalition. It is odd in so many ways. Here we have a bizarre array of disparate groups coalescing to form a government. The person to be installed as PM lost the last election quite badly, and was forced to resign. The Bloc has aspirations of changing the constitutional landscape of this nation. Yes, it is odd and strange. But folks, it is not illegal. There is nothing illegal about this coalition seeking the Confidence of the House should the current government lose a vote of Confidence, as is likely to happen should Harper resist the option to prorogue Parliament.

At times like these, when any yahoo can post misinformed rants on the web, I really wish that political education was compulsory. Having to explain what confidence means in the context of a Westminster Parliamentary system is tiresome. Having to explain the concept of Responsible Government is also tiresome. It is irritating too, because one feels like one is bashing one's head against a brick wall. These people are so recalcitrant, so blinded by political allegiances, that they fail to listen to fact. They fail to recall that Harper himself once sought an alliance with the BQ.

This rant comes out of bizarre online exchange I had with supporters of Harper who kept arguing that this alliance is illegal. And then, they argued quite vehemently that Harper should prorogue Parliament when such a course of action would be seen as an affront to our parliamentary traditions.

Sadly, the web is full of uniformed amateur journalists who think they know the answers without having done their homework. Go back to school, people and learn something about our system of government before you spread more disinformation and Tory propaganda.