How a Jingle had to Adapt to Change

Cellino and Barnes

The Split

I knew that these two lawyers were not getting along for years, but I never grasped how far it had gone wrong until last year. Until then, the Buffalo TV channels were still running their joint advertisements.

December 2017: Barnes Still Loves Cellino

Barnes spends $900,000 on a new phone number: 800-800-0000. Eh, we’ve heard better.

And despite all this fighting — Cellino allegedly threatening to burn the firm down, Cellino allegedly insulting Barnes’s name — Barnes still wants to find a way to keep the band together. “Ross has been my friend for over 25 years. I know we could still work together for the benefit of our clients,” he told the Buffalo News. “We’ve built something amazing together … It would be wrong to break that up.”

We’re not crying, you’re crying.

The Dramatic Feud Between Two New York Lawyers, Explained

So, imagine my surprise when this ad starts showing up on TV in December 2020.

The Barnes Firm? But where is Steve? This one is headed by Rich Barnes…

Oh, Steve Barnes died in a plane accident in the autumn of 2020? That changes everything.

Now there is a new jingle for Cellino Law, which has the phone number 888-2020, and the jingle sounds just like the old Cellino & Barnes one. Unfortunately, the video quality is so poor, I won’t be showing you any. But, instead of (800) 555-5555, as shown in some 2020 TV ads, two weeks after Steve’s death, Ross Cellino changed his phone number to the Cellino & Cellino one. So, now the jingle lives on.

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In Ancient Times, “Woe Is Me!” was a Spiritual Warning

The Burning of Jerusalem by Titus

This image was attached to a post that said something along the idea that Jesus could predict the future.

Somehow the burning of Jerusalem ‘proves’ what he had been warning them all along, if they didn’t turn away from their evil, sinful ways. Perhaps. But when I began researching the specific scripture passages, I was overwhelmed by the number of Bible verses that actually contain the word “Woe!”

But what if this ‘proof’ was just a retrospective planting of clues in a story of a 1st century teacher? And if the writers of the Gospels were very familiar with Old Testament prophets saying similar things, it wouldn’t be difficult for them to fashion statements using the same verbal tricks.

For example, take the form of words that Jesus spoke about the Son of Man being betrayed:

Matthew 26:24

“The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

Mark 14:21

“For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

Luke 22:22

“For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

The phrasing of the words are not exactly the same, but the message is clear: one author is implied.

If you want to think outside the box of orthodox Christianity, why is Jesus referring to the Son of Man and not himself? Why use the third person narrative at all? After all the usual phrase is “Woe is me!”

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Family Trees: Where We’re From; How We’re Growing

Who Do You Think You Are?

I’m not sure how long this program ran, because there are earlier versions. But it was a pleasure to watch because the double whammy of a celebrity guest and any historical period was enticing: who doesn’t enjoy a bit of salacious gossip, especially when we’re watching someone else squirm through their hour.

But it was classy. And the further-flung the better, as the guest would visit actual places of their ancestor’s birth, and meet with genealogical researchers there. I especially enjoyed the fact that so many celebrities seemed to be connected to royalty. Charlemagne appears to have fathered all of Europe.

I was definitely sorry to see it end in 2018.

Finding Your Roots

Now this one is a horse of a different colour. I’ve taken to watching it because it’s the only one of its kind on TV at the moment. But it seems that its host (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) is on a crusade of sorts. Because he is confronting celebrities with hidden histories of slavery (owners and/or slaves), it appears to be a single handed battle against racial inequality. Yes, once in a while, the guest’s ancestors were immigrants from starving and war-torn countries in Europe, Gates still manages to make them feel guilty for not only surviving, but also thriving. Success has its price tag.

Last week, Pharrell Williams had a hard time with the way the information was being presented to him: he paused filming for a month to allow a calmer reaction. “This is messing with my mind,” he kept saying to Gates, because Gates’ normal question is: “How does it feel to learn this?”

I am not enjoying this current series.

This Is Us

Fortunately, this show airs right after Gate’s program (but on a different channel), so most of my grievances dissipate in a fairly short time span. If you don’t want to know what happened during last night’s program (Season 5, Episode 9 “The Ride”) don’t watch this video.

There were two scenes involving Randall that speak to the theme of my post today. The first is his explaining to his second daughter (at a Dairy Queen stop on their way home from hospital) that because he doesn’t know who his parents were, he looks on her and her older sister as branches of his tree. The second is the flash-forward to the family gathering around a fast-failing Rebecca: the three girls, now fully grown, are greeted by their father, Randall, outside, and he says “Here are my branches.” (Deja is definitely included in that description!) That’s when the penny dropped. His family tree…

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I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 AD – August 28, 430 AD)

The Triumph of St. Augustine (courtesy of Wikipedia)

It’s a long road that brings me to this important Roman Catholic Church Doctor. It was triggered by the title of Bob Dylan’s song, which came to me when I was writing my earlier post about death and dying.

His first insight into the nature of sin occurred when he and a number of friends stole fruit they did not want from a neighborhood garden. He tells this story in his autobiography, The Confessions. He remembers he stole the fruit, not because he was hungry, but because “it was not permitted.” His very nature, he says, was flawed. ‘It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own error—not that for which I erred, but the error itself.” From this incident he concluded the human person is naturally inclined to sin, and in need of the grace of Christ.


This was a man who understood about man’s inherit nature to rebel against authority, even God’s.

This chart is rectified to show his conversion (Pluto) to Christianity at the age of 32. There are four inconjuncts.

Sun Inconjunct Uranus

There is a side of your personality that is very restless and impatient with rules, even when you know they are for your own good. You want very much to go your own way and do your own thing, even when you aren’t entirely sure that it is the right direction for you. So you rebel in subtle ways by having hidden fits of obstinacy and moods of feeling very contrary, especially to your parents or other authority figures.

Moon Inconjunct Mars

Until you learn to handle your feelings, you are likely to get angry easily, have temper tantrums and be touchy about what is yours and what is not. You may feel you want to defend yourself against imagined threats. The problem here is that you are likely to become too emotionally involved with ideas, opinions and even objects without knowing it until someone threatens them. Then you react as if you were being personally threatened or attacked. You have to realize that it is possible to change your opinions and attitudes without damaging your worth as a person.

Moon Inconjunct Jupiter

This aspect indicates that you have a positive, optimistic outlook on life, and you enjoy socializing with good friends. However, there are some dangers with this aspect. First, it can be a sign that you are self-indulgent and possibly even selfish, although this is not likely to happen if you have a good, strong relationship with your mother. You have a great need to be cared for and supported, to be accepted for what you are with no strings attached. If this need is fulfilled, the positive side of this aspect will flourish. But if your mother does not support your needs fully, you will feel insecure and will look elsewhere for support and fulfillment. In this case your concern will be totally for yourself with little thought for other people’s needs.

Mercury Inconjunct Uranus

Your mind moves quickly from topic to topic, often without pausing long enough for you to understand what you have learned. And if there is a lot of excitement or activity around you, your mind may race so fast to keep up with it all that you work yourself into a state of nervous energy. Under these circumstances it is almost impossible for you to concentrate or do any useful mental work.

St. Augustine was the man who added the words “and from the Son” to designate that the Holy Spirit does not proceed directly (or only) from the Father. This caused a great schism between the Orthodox Christian community in the East and the Roman Catholics in the West. He may have been wrong…

Augustine’s contemporaries often believed astrology to be an exact and genuine science. Its practitioners were regarded as true men of learning and called mathemathici. Astrology played a prominent part in Manichaean doctrine, and Augustine himself was attracted by their books in his youth, being particularly fascinated by those who claimed to foretell the future. Later, as a bishop, he warned that one should avoid astrologers who combine science and horoscopes. (Augustine’s term “mathematici”, meaning “astrologers”, is sometimes mistranslated as “mathematicians”.) According to Augustine, they were not genuine students of Hipparchus or Eratosthenes but “common swindlers”

Astrology (from Wikipedia)

I wrote a similar warning in my poem Today. Maybe he and I have already had this conversation.


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Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End

Death Is But A Dream

This is the book that brought the hospice work of Christopher Kerr to the public awareness. I haven’t read it, yet, but I will. Instead I watched the PBS documentary last night, with the same name.

Do you ever wonder why someone would choose this life path? Dr. Kerr’s journey started when he was 12 years old and his father, who was 42, was dying. The work he does seems to be his way of trying to figure out what happens to us all before (and after) we die. Every day he is amazed by the peace and grace that dying brings to those with incurable diseases. And he finds the easiest way to discover why they are so calm is to ask them what they have been dreaming about recently. Most are relieved to be able to tell someone about their visions and be believed. For the terminally ill, the long road to death is a process of acceptance and quiet resignation. They don’t experience the Dylan Thomas version:

The Dying of the Light (an example of a Villanelle)

I prefer the image that Robin Williams had when he woke up in heaven (inside his wife’s painting):

There are no common features to the dreams of the dying. They are as individual as our fingerprints. But their purpose is obvious: to remind us that we are never alone, and that we are loved beyond measure.

May your passing be peaceful.

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The Proof of a Connection Between Colin Bloy and…

The Count of St. Germain (who died February 27, 1784)

Engraving of lost portrait, courtesy of Wikipedia

Here we are again: my presumption that Colin Bloy was the reincarnation of the Count needs some proof. The only detail of his life is his death, so let’s look at that, shall we?

As the details are sketchy, to say the least, I have set the time for 12:00 noon. Uranus conjunct the Ascendant in Cancer will do nicely. He died suddenly. That seems to fit. Also this conjunction is inconjunct the ‘fatal’ Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Aquarius. Interesting.

Now, compare the Count’s death chart with Colin’s birth chart:

Oh-ho! There you go: Colin’s Saturn is conjunct the Count’s ‘fatal’ Sun/North Node/Midheaven in Pisces; the Count’s Moon is conjunct Colin’s Ascendant in Gemini; Colin’s Moon is conjunct the Count’s ‘fatal’ Uranus; and Colin’s North Node is conjunct the Count’s ‘fatal’ Saturn. One final link: the Count’s ‘fatal’ South Node is conjunct Colin’s Mercury/Neptune conjunction in Virgo. Reincarnation, for sure.

Because Colin Bloy never accepted the reality of reincarnation, this ‘proof’ would have been lost on him. However, I’ve said many times that you don’t have to believe something for it to be true.

I’m just glad that I have proven it to myself.

Any one of these three Count of St. Germain quotes could have come from Colin Bloy, instead.

Just saying.

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Here’s the Story That Never Was:

Canadian Boy Fills the Sky Over D.C. with Red and White Balloons

It was a dream I had last night: it repeated itself over and over again until I knew I wouldn’t forget to write about it today. I researched the image I needed to illustrate my dream, but was sorely disappointed to learn that, not only were there no exact pictures, but that this wasn’t a real event that had passed us by unnoticed. I’m not surprised.

Then I started to analyze the dream elements for clues as to why I should be seeing this: that’s when I remembered that Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden would be having a virtual meeting tomorrow. A-ha!

The red and white balloons are symbolic of the colours of our Canadian flag. Need I say more?

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Should We “Repent” (Interior) or “Do Penance” (Exterior)?

A Reading of the New Testament from the Greek

A re-examination of the Vulgate. Some critical examples: Matthew 3:2 – In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Do penance, [Repent] for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Luke 1:28 – And [the angel] came to her [Mary] and said, Hail, O one that is full of grace[highly favored]!

I have a hard time letting the chips fall where they may: I wrote earlier this past week that even though I have no proof of a connection to the life of Tiberius Julius Alexander, I have a feeling that I might have been him in the 1st century AD. Now I have come across a Latin scholar in the 16th century who decided to study Greek and Hebrew to ‘correct’ the Latin Vulgate of its translation errors. A man after my own heart. (I have been known to try my own hand at similar exercises.)

So, let’s take a look at whether this man is a past life of mine, shall we?

There are enough connections between Erasmus’ death chart and my birth chart to be suggestive of reincarnation: Erasmus’ ‘fatal’ Ascendant in Libra conjunct my natal Neptune; his ‘fatal’ Mars conjunct to my natal Saturn; my natal Pluto conjunct to his ‘fatal’ Mercury/Part of Fortune; my natal Uranus midway between his North Node in Gemini and his ‘fatal’ Venus; his ‘fatal’ Pluto conjunct my natal Venus; and finally my ‘natal’ North Node midway between his ‘fatal’ Jupiter and Neptune in Aries.

But it gets even more interesting when you compare our birth charts.

My Ascendant @ 19 degrees Sagittarius is conjunct his Venus; his Ascendant is conjunct my Venus in Aquarius; his Mars is conjunct my Neptune in Libra; my Mars is halfway between his Mars and Uranus. Finally, his Sun is conjunct my Moon. This is a very distinct connection.

If I were one of the ‘authors’ of the Greek New Testament, then it is only right and proper that a life between that time and this should be the one who reinterprets what was really written. It also gives me a chance at setting the record right, so that the Roman Catholic Church should be held to account for their purposeful wrong focus of one of the ‘financial gains’ they had over the Western population. It’s no wonder that Marin Luther should use one of these translations to start the Protestant Reformation.

All institutions must evolve or they will die. Unfortunately, this action kicked off a wholesale reinvention of religion in the West. So, I have much to ‘repent’ for.


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A 16th Century Gnostic?

Desiderius Erasmus (October 28, 1466 – July 12, 1536)

The story of his life is interesting, to say the least. He didn’t need the outward signs and rites of the Roman Catholic Church: he had a direct relationship with God.

Erasmus was given the highest education available to a young man of his day, in a series of monastic or semi-monastic schools. In 1475, at the age of nine, he and his older brother Peter were sent to one of the best Latin schools in the Netherlands, located at Deventer and owned by the chapter clergy of the Lebuïnuskerk (St Lebuin’s Church),though some earlier biographies assert it was a school run by the Brethren of the Common Life. During his stay there the curriculum was renewed by the principal of the school, Alexander Hegius. For the first time ever in Europe, Greek was taught at a lower level than a university and this is where he began learning it. He also gleaned there the importance of a personal relationship with God but eschewed the harsh rules and strict methods of the religious brothers and educators. His education there ended when plague struck the city about 1483, and his mother, who had moved to provide a home for her sons, died from the infection.

Early Life (from Wikipedia)

I have rectified his chart to show that he lost his mother (Moon) to the plague when he was just 17. There is but one inconjunct (not dependent on the time of day he was born).

Venus Inconjunct Jupiter

This can be a positive aspect if you learn to control some of its negative possibilities. You are likley to lack energy and to be rather passive. You may wait for opportunities to come to you, rather than go after them. You may not have enough energy to pursue your ambitions, or you may not have much ambition. Or you may love your comfort so much that you are unwilling to make any effort or put up with any pain that could help you grow and develop. However, if there are any indications of energy in your chart, they should overcome the passivity.

On the plus side, you need love and affection, and you can usually be very warm and affectionate as well. However, it is very important that you choose your close friends carefully, because you may attract people who are difficult to get along with, who order you around or act as if they are better than you. Avoid such people, for they will do you no good.

If you do associate with difficult people, you may be unable to live up to your own standards of behavior. You may do things that you usually wouldn’t approve of, because somehow the relationship weakens your resolve to do what is right. But this won’t happen if you choose your friends carefully and avoid people who are not good for you.

When his strength began to fail, he decided to accept an invitation by Queen Mary of Hungary, Regent of the Netherlands, to move from Freiburg to Brabant. However, during preparations for the move in 1536, he suddenly died from an attack of dysentery during a visit to Basel. He had remained loyal to the papal authorities in Rome, but he did not have the opportunity to receive the last rites of the Catholic Church; the reports of his death do not mention whether he asked for a priest or not. According to Jan van Herwaarden, this is consistent with his view that outward signs were not important; what mattered is the believer’s direct relationship with God, which he noted “as the [Catholic] church believes”. However, Herwaarden observes that “he did not dismiss the rites and sacraments out of hand but asserted a dying person could achieve a state of salvation without the priestly rites, provided their faith and spirit were attuned to God.” He was buried with great ceremony in Basel Minster (the former cathedral) there.

His last words, as recorded by his friend Beatus Rhenanus, were apparently “Dear God” (Dutch: Lieve God). A bronze statue of him was erected in the city of his birth in 1622, replacing an earlier work in stone

Death (from Wikipedia)

Dear God

Now, why have I heard that before?

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Here’s Proof I Can Fly

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