The Von Cello Guestbook is unlike any other! Join the fun! But you must register to post. No spam allowed! Click here for old monthly archives. You can also search using the search button, or reading the back posts listed below.

  Hello Visitor
Register | Login

Post No. 282
09/25/2006 06:01 PM
Comments (0)

Happy Eva Besserman Day, too

Post No. 281
09/25/2006 10:40 AM
Comments (0)

Happy Equinox
Von Cello 

Post No. 280
09/25/2006 09:24 AM
Comments (0)
Jewish Church

One of my first teaching gigs was for the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine...that enormous Catholic Church in upper Manhattan. I was teaching guitar mostly, after school. One day I was talking to the dean when I noticed he was wearing a Jewish star. I said, "I hope I'm not getting too personal, but is that a Jewish star you're wearing?" He said, "Yes". I asked, "Why are you wearing that?" He said, "Because I'm Jewish!"

It turned out that half the staff and faculty were Jewish!

Now you can say the Catholics are anti-Semites because they don't allow Jews to be the pope...but don't forget, the top position in that organization is held by a Jew!


Post No. 279
09/25/2006 07:39 AM
Comments (0)

as well antisemitism is also creeping into the church . it is a fact that few if any jews have reached high positions within its infrastructure. You can find a few in the accounting department ,the legal office but working in the church itself few are found. This is foe sure antisemitism at its worst. The church controls the worlds biggest real estate fund and doesnt allow jews to make and decisions in the vatican as to how that fund is used. We need more jew in churches,and in the vatican. Id like to see secular and religious jews both working in churches as congregation leaders and organizers.Theres never been a religious jew elected as there you have it! antisemitism at its highest....
Von Cello 

Post No. 278
09/24/2006 12:31 AM
Comments (0)
Dr. Phil

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground

JUDGE JUDY: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's why they call it the "other side. Yes, my friends, that
chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road.
Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good eough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The Platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^( C .....reboot.

BILL CLINTON: What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
Von Cello 

Post No. 277
09/24/2006 12:27 AM
Comments (0)
Celebrate good times, come on!


Post No. 276
09/23/2006 08:56 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
Comments (0)
Words to live by

What a nice thought that use the harvest time to reflect on thepast and prepare for your future....this seems to occur on the Western New Year (that is if we're not too tipsy from Champagne), but really this is something we shoudl do regardless of what time of year it is.
I have some regrets from my past, but now is the time to learn from them and move on to a better me. (Excuse me if that sounded a little too "Dr. Phil-ish", if that's even a word, but there is truth in his catch-phrase: "Today is gonna be a changin' day in yer life"!)

Just like those "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" buttons and coffee mugs, I think we should live everyday as if it were New Years' and try to do, make, eat, drink, or try something new each day. Of course, I try to celebrate a little part of St. Patrick's Day each day....maybe the same should be done for Valentine's, Christmas and Easter. Holidays are magical times of the year, and they allow us to step back from our normal lives and relfect on our relationships with our selves and others.

Pass me some fruit, will you?
Von Cello 

Post No. 275
09/23/2006 09:35 AM
Comments (0)
Happy Equinox, Eat Some Fruit

Maybe Neal will be able to comfirm this, but I think when we were in junior high school we used to say "Happy Equinox" on the equinoxes as a joke. That's not to say it is a joke. But it seemed funny to make a big deal about it like Christmas or New Years.

Rosh HaShannah is not really the new year. Rosh means head, so it is actually the head of the year. The real Jewish new year is in the spring, the month that contains the Passover celebration is the first month of the year. Rosh HaShannah occurs during the seventh month of the year. So how can it be the head?

It depends on how you look at the world. Since Judaism is involved with holiness, something holy should be held above the secular or mundane. Seven is a holy number, after all the Sabbath is on the seventh day. So the seventh month is considered the most holy month. That month not only contains Rosh HaShannah, but also Yom Kippur, and Sukkos. Between the holidays and the sabbaths about half of the days of the month (Tishrei) are holidays (meaning that work is not permitted).

Rosh HaShannah (which is today, by the way) is the day when it is believed that God judges all mankind. People think this happens on Yom Kippur, but that is actually when the judgement is sealed (so to speak). So on Rosh HaShannah, Jews (and others if they choose) are supposed to reflect on the past year, and make plans to have a good, spiritual, upcomming year. In that way, it is the "head". It is the highest time of the year when we see the whole year that preceeded, and plan for the next. What we decide on this day will affect the whole next year, like the head affects the body.

Is this really true? I don't know. But I find the concept very interesting to say the least. The fact that it coincides with the equinox is also interesting. That too, is a turning point in the yearly cycle. Most Jewish holidays transpire close to natural turning points.

It's also interesting that Rosh HaShannah happens in the fall, when the leaves are dying and falling to the floor. The gentiles react to this phenomenon with Halloween, where they imagine spirits rising from the dead and walking the earth. Jews react to this time of year by getting retrospective during the high holidays, and then celebrating with drink and dance during Sukkos. Fall is harvest time, and is looked upon as the time to celebrate our accomplishments during the previous year. Now we can eat our "fruits".

Post No. 274
09/22/2006 07:41 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
Comments (0)
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

While Jews celebrate the New Year, We here in the West also celebrate the new season - yes, today is the Autmn Equinox. Some might think of this as just another day, but it is the start of my favorite season, and Fall is spectacular here in Vermont, as any citty-dweeler will notice if they travel up here for "leaf-peeping". I love fall for the temperature: warm, but not too warm during the day, cold at night, golden leaves set against a bright-blue sky, picking a fresh apple off a tree and eating it right then and there; for a native Vermonter like me, this is heaven....let us not forget mulled cider, squash, and pumpkin pie!!!
How wonderful Autum is compared to summer, (well, at least to me - I would rather be cold then sweat alot). It is nice that such a festive time of year has come again so we can, if but a moment, take our minds off all that plauge them (terrorism, Iraq, republicans, gas prices, etc....).

Happy Rosh Hashanna (sp?) and Happy Equniox too!!! God bless us, everyone.

Post No. 273
09/22/2006 03:12 PM
Comments (0)

i am amazed by the jews i know in the world who have absolutely no idea of what rosh means. They celebrate rosh ha shona like hannuka...... a very important day but they donno why.....are we so far remobed from it all that religion has become folkloric...???
Von Cello 

Post No. 272
09/21/2006 06:48 PM
Comments (0)
Happy New Year!

This weekend marks the Jewish New Year...well, it's really the "head" of the year, not the begining of the year...but let's not get too technical right now. Instead, enjoy this video that combines "American Idol" with the blowing of the Shofar.
Von Cello 

Post No. 271
09/20/2006 09:22 PM
Comments (0)
Kiss My Kilt!

I knew it wasn't an island, but it's on an island, so I figured it was close enough. I'd love to know the lyrics to that song. Feel free to print them.

We are living through some strange times, ay? (I know, "ay" is Canadian.) Hugo Chavez gets up in the U.N. and calls George Bush "the devil". Ahmadinijad, gets up there and talks about how the world needs a Muslim messiah (the 12th Imam) to "bring peace" (i.e. kill all the infidels, etc.). And these guys get applauded. Many people in the U.S. and Europe actually agree with them. There must be an answer, and I know it lies somewhere in the kilt!

Post No. 270
09/20/2006 06:53 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
Comments (0)
Scotland is a state of mind....

Scotland is not an Island, but a penninsula jutting north trowards the arctic circle from England. Great britian (England, Wales, and Scotland) itself is an Island, if you want to get technical. Northern Ireland is not physically part of Great Britain but it is considered a British territory...this is another whole kettle of fish which we have no time to delve into.

Scottish prohpets? I
vehear of Scottish poets, but no Scottish prophets....I think the Scots as a people are too busy writting rockin' music to worry abotu what's going to happen in the future. I do enjoy your argument about how the kilt contributed to the three, major western religions. I've never worn one myself, but I hear that Scots do not wear anythibng under them - one needs only listen to the trad. song "The Scotsman's Kilt" to find that out.
Von Cello 

Post No. 269
09/20/2006 04:56 PM
Comments (0)
Kilt Kult

I finally found the reason why the Scottish developed the kilt. It was because the great Scotish prophet predicted that the world would be taken over by Muslims. The only country that would be able to survive intact was Scotland, because the Muslim men would not wear kilts. Therefore, they would never be able to fit into Scotish society. Then from the tiny Island of Scotland, the Scotts would start a counter offensive, led by nuclear bag pipes. These are bag pipes that, when played, set of nuclear reactions and destroy all that is in their path. So the Scotts then will take over the world and the Kilt will become a sacred object. In fact, all will have to bow six times a day toward Stonehenge, while laying over a kilt. Jewish men will cut the kilt into little circles and wear it as a yarmulka. Christians will cover the Jesus statue hanging on all crucifixes (crucifi?) with kilts. The letters KKK will become a positive symbol as they will stand for Klu Klux Kilt...a Kilt Cult...or should I say a Kilt Kult.


Post No. 268
09/20/2006 03:00 PM
Comments (0)
de zion

i think they really wanted to kill those who made the kilt itself, the actual they were told in bad english, to kill , the designists and took it to mean the zionists...
Von Cello 

Post No. 267
09/20/2006 02:47 PM
Comments (0)
Conspiracy Freaks

Before we discussed some of the theories that 9/11 was a government conspiracy. I found a site that does s very good job at debunking the major theories:

The only theory they don't debunk is my personal theory that 9/11 was caused by a heretofore unknown group of kilt wearing, Muslim extremeists, who were protesting the need to "bow" toward Mecca. They believe one should bend the knee, but not have to bend all the way over to the floor. You may ask, "Then why did they attack the Twin Towers, and not some Muslim site?". I haven't quite found an answer to that one yet...but it must have something to do with the Zionists!

Post No. 266
09/20/2006 12:47 AM
Comments (0)

youre so funny, please stop,youre killing me!
Von Cello 

Post No. 265
09/19/2006 11:29 PM
Comments (0)

There is a big debate now about what is torture. Suppose we dressed up terrorists in kilts and forced them to listen to hours of bag pipe music...would that be considered torture? How could it, when Scottish people do that all the time for fun? On the other hand, suppose Muslim terrorists dressed up Scottish men in long robes, took away their bag pipes and forced them to bow to Mecca five times a day...would that be considered torture?

One man's torture is another man's pleasure, and one man's religion is another man's torture.

Perhaps the ultimate torture is to combine the two, make a man wear a kilt and bow to Mecca!
Von Cello 

Post No. 264
09/18/2006 11:59 PM
Comments (0)
What is Music?

Yes, we would always have the birds and the sound of the wind...but you quoted Zappa who said that what makes something music is that the human mind has ordered it in some way. I don't know if that is true, as I think nature has its own music. But when you imagine a world like the one the militant Muslims want to force on the world, it would be a world where all the music shops would be closed, all the radio and TV music would be wiped out, the music schools would close, music would be taken out of the public schools. Hundreds of years of human culture in sound, would be wiped out, the way they blew up those giant Buddhist sculptures.

Yet you never hear this brought up. I hear so much about tolerance. That WE have to be tolerant, WE have to be accepting of all cultures, yet that response is totally inadequate for dealing with a culture that is bent on destroying all that we hold dear. I think militant Islam is maybe God's way of telling that west that we have been too decadent. We have bought into notions of tolearance and political correctness that are ultimately suicidal. We have a weakness in our culture, and if we can't eradicate that weakness, we will die, like a weak animal. To some extent life is about survival of the fittest, and the west does not seem all the fit lately.

I have more thoughts on this concept, but I'll maybe get to them later.

Post No. 263
09/18/2006 08:53 PM
Email eaburke81  go to the Homepage of eaburke81
Comments (0)
Pay the piper or else!

I'm not sure how or why kilts were invented either, Aaron. I do know that when the Irish used to march off to war, they had about ten to twenty bodhran drums in front, and twenty to thirty bagpipers in back....some Irish soldiers may wear kilts since the cultures of Ireland and Scotland are so similar. BTW, "bodhran" (pronounced "bow-raun") is Gaelic for "deaf or dull-sounding". Regardless of that definition, it's an awesome drum capaple of playing soft, and kicking hearty, Irish jigs in to high gear. Unfortunately the Irish never won many battles becuase the English had all the guns.
But talk about music as a weapon - perhaps our best defense against the taliban would be an elite force of guerilla musicians consisting of a bagpiper, an accordionist, a tuba player (a tubist?), a didgeridoo player conch shell player and, of course, a cellist thrown in for good measure....stir briskly with a shot or more of whiskey, (Scotch or Irish), and you've got a deadly, potent musical stew whose notes and drones cut like a knife through the ears of the wicked.

Music is such a powerful and healing force that I cannot imagine what life would be like if the Taliban wins this war on terror and outlaws it....the internet music scene would certainly pay for many sonic geniuses out there who would lack exposure becuase their former fans are all stuck in the mosques beign forced to listen to the call to prayer.
Perhaps the instrument shops and bookstores would be burned down....I purchase my percussion and related paraphrenalia at a quant little place called "Vermont Folk Instruments" in downtown Burlington. It's a fun, friendly place where any level of musician can feel at home while jamming with the latest "toy"....what a great place that is. Before I get a head of myself, I would hate to see or hear a world without music.
Though, when I think about it, even if the radio statons were shutdown and all the guitars and drums were destroyed, there would still be music present for me in Mother Nature...every croak of a frog, every chirp of a cricket, every time the wind rustles the leaves on a branch - that to me is music... God dwells in the sound of a summer night, in the patter of rain on the roof, God is present in the silence of an empty church or synagoge (sp?), and he/she/it's even in the sounds of your own bedroom.
Perhaps music will never truly die if the Taliban does have their long as we have mother earth our belief in God, and or hearts, minds and souls, there will always be music to inspire us, for "he who sings prays twice"...I guess that's not brought up in the Koran.
Von Cello 

Post No. 262
09/18/2006 06:22 PM
Comments (0)
When Scottish Eyes Are Smiling...

Ya know...maybe they were Scottish! I am not well versed enough in the culture to always recognize the difference between Scotts, Brits, and Irish, let alone folks from Whales. What do you call them...Whalinians?

Did you hear what Al Qaeda called for today? You can read about it here:

Basically they, and others in the Muslim world are declaring that the west will be conquered by the sword of Islam, or converted. Members of the Turkish government are calling for the pope to be arrested and tried, if he comes to their country! So much for the "liberal" Muslim country of Turkey. In the the wonderful Palestinian territories, seven churches were firebombed, and a nun was shot several times in the back in a hospital in Somalia, where she had spent much of her life helping the Muslim sick.

Yes, people of my generation...I don't know what we were called...maybe the tail end of the baby boomers? Anyway, when we were in elementary school we used to have air raid drills, where a siren would blare and we all had to get under our desks! The cold war was very real to us. The gen xers are lucky that they grew up in this little oasis of peace. But to me, what we are seeing now, is the world coming back to reality. Your generation will yet have to deal with some major problems. As I have said before, I don't see how we avoid and all out war with the Muslim world. I hope cooler heads will prevail, but as we see again and again, they are trying to intimidate the whole world to fear them, and either bow down to them or join them. And that is just not going to happen.

So enjoy the bagpipes, and the smile of a young lass, kiss the blarney stone, and your ass...goodbye!!

Sorry, that was a bit pessimistic. But getting back to the kilts...why the kilt? I understand that each clan had a kilt, but how did it come about that this particular country developed an acceptability for men to wear, what elsewhere would be considered a dress? I don't mean to be insulting in any way. I really am curious about this contrary phenomenon.

Post No. 261
09/18/2006 03:14 PM
Comments (1)
If it'

Aaron- Scottish men tradiaitonally wear kilts to signify what clan they hail from. (MacDonald, MacGilivray, MacIntyre, Burns and other Scottish names). It seems surprising to me that an Irish family employed bagpipers - I don't think Irishmen wear kilts, but the bagpipes are present in all most all of the major musical tradtions of Europe - Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France and Spain, even Bulgaria and other Eastern European coutnries play some form of pipes. It's true that most of the major kilt-wearers of the world are of Scottish discent and play the great, Highland bagpipes, but I've seen small, Celtic, pipe-less folk groups wear kitls so I'd have to do somemore reasearch. For a great, new Scottish/rock/new-age group, check out NYC's MacTallaMor, featuring two awesome, young highland pipers:
This album contains the most interesting rendition of the trad. Auld Lang Syne I've ever heard.

I also hear what your saying about the Taliban - we had no way of knowing what this newgroup was capapble of, but we should have been....I guess intelligence wasn't good enough back then to determine the Taliban's altrerior motives.

I am really glad I grew up around the time of Communism's collapse (late 80's, early 90's). You paint a grim picutre with your decscription of the two world super powers blowing each other off theface ofthe earth....imagine what it would have been like if the cold war hadended in nuclear inihilation....we might not have had the 1990's Seatlle grunge scene becuase there would have been no Seatlle!!!! Generation X (my generation) may not know who they are, but they safe to find themselves unless this "war" on terror turns into something larger then nessisary.
Von Cello 

Post No. 260
09/17/2006 11:05 PM
Comments (1)
Cellist to the Stars

I do often play for rich people...but not by choice. I have spent years playing in rock clubs for everyone from miners in West Virginia, to songwriters in Nashville, to college students in Potsdam, to rock fans on Bleeker Street in NYC. But most of these gigs pay nothing or next to nothing.

When I do club dates for rich people, I can make a few hundred bucks a night. Like tonight, I played for 4 1/2 hours at a party at the Waldorf. One woman had a giant flower made out or diamonds around her neck. Talk about bling! It was for a wedding with about 1,000 guests. I heard that some members of the Bush family were there. Maybe that explains all the secret service guys that were hanging around. But we were a string group of about 30 people playing Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rogers, etc. We were treated with respect, we played beautiful music, and we got paid!

So what am I supposed to do? Most cellists don't ever play for middle class or poor people. At least I try. But I'm kind of fed up with how ridiculously hard it is to make money in rock music. And the fact is, the rock industry is not interested in cellists, and for the most part, neither are the fans. But rich people love strings. So they are the ones who pay to hear string music.

It may go back to the very beginnings of string music, being the music of the royalty. Now it is the music of the wealthy bougeois. As a musician, you don't have much choice but to gravitate toward the audience that wants to hear what you are playing.

Post No. 259
09/17/2006 11:56 AM
Comments (1)

youre always playin 4 the rich folks
surprised u didnt marry a daughter -
I jus discoveredcthat your x canarsie school chum ff graduated in 74 not 75 as an early admit to suny binghamton....this the mystery is solved as to how she graduated college in 78......
Von Cello 

Post No. 258
09/16/2006 11:49 PM
Comments (0)
Like a free ride, when you already paid

Yeah, well, I liked that Tobey Kieth song, and also that Darrel Worley song, right after 9/11, but now songs about how the US of A is going to kick foreign ass just ring a little hollow. TR said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick", not "Speak loudly and carry a little stick".

Yes, it is ironic that the U.S. gave weapons and training to the Taliban, but I think it is unfair when people try to blame us what they did with what we gave them. I grew up under the shadow of "Assured Mutual Destruction". The only thing keeping us and the USSR from a nuclear war was the doctrine that both sides would shoot ALL of their weapons at the other and we would both be wiped off the face of the earth. The USSR was a very scary country. They brutally took over virtually all of Eastern Europe and had designs on taking over the world. I thought, at the time, that arming the Afghanis was a brilliant move. I really don't think we realized who they really were, and that it would blow back on us.

Even now, if we had it to do all over again, I think we would still arm them, because it led to the fall of the USSR. Now we have to deal with stopping them. Sometimes I think this world is like that room full of weird mirrors at carnivals. Nothing turns out the way you think it will. I guess we are not meant to live in an orderly world. Maybe that's where faith comes in.

Today I drove three hours out to the Hamptons. We played in a church with Tiffany stained glass. Then we went to the home of these very rich Irish folks, to play as the guests arrived. They had a gigantic tudor with a circular driveway with views of the bay. But when you look into the house through the front door, you look right through to the ocean which lies right behind the house. Aside from the string group, they had two bag pipers in full kilt regalia. What's the deal with those kilts anyway?

Back to Top

Home | About Von Cello | Upcoming Gigs | Recordings | Compositions | Store
E-Mail List | Interact | Video Clips | Pictures | Links | Trademark | Musicians Only

Von Cello is incorporated in the United States of America. This web site and all its content is copyrighted. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable law.
Click here for copyright, terms of usage, and legal statements.