I Am Joe's Blog

“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.” -- Oscar Wilde

Sign this and change the world

Or not. But I’d greatly appreciate it if you follow this link and sign this petition that I submitted to the White House’s website. All I need is 150 signatures before it will appear on the White House’s website. Best of all, it’s for a cause virtually everyone can agree on. Thank you in advance!

The petition reads (ahem):

Stop the spread of frivolous petitions

The White House’s “We the People” petition website unfortunately has been swamped with rash, ill-conceived and frivolous proposals that clearly contradict the more serious intent of the First Amendment to allow citizens to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Petitions asking to study the feasibility of constructing a fictional spacecraft from the television show “Star Trek,” or asking California’s governor to give “a fair hearing” to ferret owners, abuses and mocks one of the Founding Fathers’ many constitutional gifts to America. This petition calls for clearly untenable petitions to be categorized as “Officially Flaky” by designated, qualified White House staff, yet preserved on the website in the interest of free speech and for humor purposes.

Tess riding with her Brownie troop in today’s Columbia County Christmas Parade.

Tess riding with her Brownie troop in today’s Columbia County Christmas Parade.

Here’s something you don’t see in Georgia every day — a giant redwood. Just a few miles from my brother’s house in Marshallville. Planted in the 1940s or ’50s, it’s about 8 feet around at the base.

Here’s something you don’t see in Georgia every day — a giant redwood. Just a few miles from my brother’s house in Marshallville. Planted in the 1940s or ’50s, it’s about 8 feet around at the base.

Hiked along the steep banks of the Flint River near Montezuma today with Ellen, the kids and my brother, spotting fossils in the limestone outcroppings.

Hiked along the steep banks of the Flint River near Montezuma today with Ellen, the kids and my brother, spotting fossils in the limestone outcroppings.

A friend of Ellen’s snagged these shot glasses at an estate sale. Sweet! Viva Hotchkiss! (Taken with Instagram)

A friend of Ellen’s snagged these shot glasses at an estate sale. Sweet! Viva Hotchkiss! (Taken with Instagram)

Why can’t I stop smiling?

I’m knotting my tie in the mirror this morning and I hear singing. I head to 9-year-old Daniel’s room, lights on and door closed, where he is happily singing a Toby Mac song to himself. It’s not my bag, but he just got the guy’s new album, and he’s wearing it out on his MP3 player. Also, Dan just joined his school’s chorus, and he says he likes the practice.

Later I’m downstairs in the kitchen. Eight-year-old Tess strolls in with her shiny yellow ukulele to debut the first song she has ever written. I reproduce it here, eight measures long, with chord changes. Key is C. Time signature is 4/4:

C

I gotta bear that’s sittin’ on the couch

F

Sittin’ on the couch just watchin’ TV

C

I gotta bear that’s sittin’ on the couch

G                                                            C

But that bear doesn’t really like me.

* * * * *

Musicians have built entire careers on just three chords, so she’s off to a roaring start.

I cannot stress this enough. Give kids music. Immerse them in it like a Southern baptism. It is a gift that never wears out. It never loses its value – on the contrary, it pays dividends. It shapes better people. I’ve never heard of an incident in which a person committed a crime on the way back from a music lesson.

You don’t even need musical talent to enjoy music. My mother’s sole musical talent was her unerring ability to sing any song a minor third off-key. But she absolutely embraced music, and made sure that embrace would grip her children, and now my children.

Music cultivates the greatest potential in young minds and hearts. I’m having a blast watching it grow right in my own home.

Aaaand Father’s Day is complete :) (Taken with Instagram)

Aaaand Father’s Day is complete :) (Taken with Instagram)