Bitch Please

Maybe I'm just bitchy

But damn, people whining about the "un-Christmassy" free holiday songs on Amazon are pissing me the hell off. They are all het up and full of complaints for The Boxmasters' "Slower Than Christmas" (which is pretty damn funny) and a Christmas song by Lady Gaga

So today there's a more "traditional" holiday song, and stupid me, I have to read the comments. Whereupon I see this:

Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ's birth and this song reflects the true meaning of Christmas. The drum accompaniment to the song gives it a youthful appeal and spices it up a little. It's so much better than some of the selections this month that have had absolutely nothing to do with the celebration of Christ's birth. I also liked the harmony in this song. I hope you all like this song!

Amazon: it's ok to be edgey, but not tasteless. Remember when Charlie Brown screams can anyone tell me what Christmas is about? Linus takes his thumb out of his mouth and tells him. That story is not boring, but incredibly exciting! The God who made the universe came down to us. That's better than any modern day sci fi flick. Some folks have taken the Christ out of Christmas and put in Santa and Rudolph. Those songs are fun too, but songs like Lady Gagas and the boxmasters are so anti-holiday and anti-Christmas that people are offended by them. Please tomorrow have something holidayish to download! Thanks.

I'm going to hell (well, I would if I believed in that sort of thing), so I had to respond to this:

I am not a Christian, but I celebrate Christmas exactly the way I was raised to. I have a tree, and stockings, and I buy gifts for my loved ones. I sing holiday songs and watch holiday movies and TV specials.

My Christmas has nothing to do with the alleged birth of some baby in a stable, and I really resent this attitude interfering with the way I celebrate my holiday.

I know it's not much in the grand scheme of life, but it made me feel better.
  • Current Music
    Hm. Nothing. I should fix that.

Save Dave's House!

Via filkertom (and many other people) comes an awesome LJ project: A crusade to Save Dave's House.

I don't know this Dave, but the basic story is, Dave lives in Tennessee. He's starting his own business and, in getting it up and running, fell behind on his mortgage. The house and the land are not in foreclosure yet, but it's coming.

Dave has a house on top of a bluff with seven-plus acres down below. Over the past 10+ years, Dave and his ex-wife and a whole host of their friends have turned the field into one of the best places on earth. Dave's field has a bar. Dave's field has a stage. Dave's field has twelve campsites cut into the perimeter, so people can camp down by the creek.

Abe the blind dog lives at Dave's house. In the field he can run around like he can see; there's nothing there to hurt him. Having a one-eyed cat, this is very touching to me.

Once upon a time, the last Saturday of every month saw a party out at Dave's. The house isn't foreclosed upon yet, but it's coming; the last Last Saturday Party on Dave's land is set for Halloween.

Like I said, I don't know the man, and I'll probably never meet him...but I can appeciate the awesomeness of the little sanctuary he's created. I don't have one of these kinds of places right now, but I have had in the past, and I know what a treasure they are.

So spread the word. Join and follow save_dave. A lot of creative people are auctioning their crafts to raise money for Dave. Oh, you can donate directly, but isn't an impromptu grassroots auction fun?

I'll be auctioning the following two things to help a guy I've never met:

a 2010 calendar of my cat art (13 photos total; Preview here)


a custom art + 8x10 print from the winner's photo (Examples here).

I've never needed to raise money for something like this before, but if I ever needed to, I'd like to think that people would be there for me, you know?
My President

Genetics and Interspecies Relations

So, we've all seen the BBC article about how Cats 'exploit' humans by purring.

But there's actually a better article about the tactics used by manipulative felines in New Scientist. This one includes mp3s of the normal purr and the "solicitous" purr. Not only do the sound samples illustrate the differences in purrs, but they're downloadable! So now I have random cat purrs on my iPod. If only I could make them into a ringtone...It would be a ring that could not be ignored!

However, the whole cat purring study made me remember that I'd read somewhere that cats are the only domestic animal that chose to be domesticated. I couldn't find the article I read before, but this is a recent one (last month): "From Wild Animals to Domestic Pets". One of the co-authors is Dr. Stephen J. O'Brien who wrote the "Tears of the Cheetah" book (and whom I emailed about Gun-Hee and his brother...but he never responded). But it makes sense. The other domesticates were exploited by humans...but the humans were exploited by cats.

And reading that article reminded me of a project involving silver foxes in Russia being bred for tameness and spontaneously starting to have white patches, floppy ears and shortened or curled tails after a few generations.

An interesting point about the floppy ears is pointed out in this article, which reminds us that none other than Charles Darwin, in Chapter One of Origin of the Species, noted that “not a single domestic animal can be named which has not in some country drooping ears”. I find it particularly interesting in that he said this long before the folded ear mutation in cats appeared in Scotland in 1961! Although the mutation must have occurred at some point before the Scottish Folds; Darwin references a Chinese lop-eared cat.

And finally, because it kind of fits the theme of genetics and interspecies relations…That's not what "Animal Husbandry" means, Senator. Paging Mr. Smith...Mr. Cordwainer Smith...

Vote early and often

EDIT: Those links seem to be having issues.
Try this: and then scroll down; my photos are near the top.

You need to create an account to enter, which is annoying...but once you create it you just have to log in to vote. They are very good about not being intrusive with the emails and if you don't opt in, they won't send you anything. You also need to be at least 13 to register, so if you don't want to give your real birthdate, make sure you put at least 1996.

I have a favour to ask of you all.

I entered the Jailbreak Toys PhotObama Freestyle contest.

PLEASE vote for one of my Obama at Fenway photos - I'm trying to win a digital video recorder and/or other awesome prizes. You can vote once per day until August 7.

Vote for your favourite now; later on the most popular one of the three needs the votes. The links to each photo are below; I couldn't decide which was best so I entered three, and thought I'd let natural selection decide for me.

Please help!! Just vote once a day is all I ask. Well, and tell your friends. There aren't THAT many entries, so I have a pretty good shot. It looks like you need to log in to vote, which is a pain, but you only have to create an account once and they aren't annoying with the emails if you opt to get them.

These are my three entries:

Obama at Fenway.

Obama pointing at the Green Monster.

Obama on the Green Monster, the Cask N' Flagon and the Citgo signs in the background.

If the direct links don't work (I'm having trouble with them), you can get to the contest from the link at the top.

I really appreciate your support in this...