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reports and thoughts on legal issues, music, Orthodox Christianity and/or whatever else strikes my interest

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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vioxx Award Thrown Out

Judge Eldon Fallon has thrown out the $50 million jury award in the Barnett case.

Here is an article from the Washington Post with the details.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thumbs Up...

to the movie The Illusionist. Good flick. I saw it this past weekend at the Angelika. Read more about the movie and its director here. Reviews can be found here.

Speaking of movies an online petition to save the old River Oaks Theater in Houston can be found here.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Maynard Ferguson

Maynard Ferguson has died.

Here is an article on his passing.

I saw him perform live only once at the now closed Rockefellers in Houston.

He played an awesome show with his band Big Bop Nouveau. I was sitting at a table with some members of the Houston Symphony trumpet section. During the intermission Maynard came over and sat at our table and talked and drank with us for awhile. Then after the show we ran into him again in the parking lot by the tour bus and talked some more.

He was one of a kind and a true musical legend. He will be missed.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Prempro Trial Gets Underway

Here is an article from the Houston Chronicle on the first trial involving Prempro that began today in Arkansas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, is currently on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Reports and photos from the Metropolitan's pilgrimage can be found here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

James Hand

I've blogged it before and I'll blog it again...James Hand is the real deal.

This weekend I had an opportunity to see James Hand in concert for a second time over at the Firehouse Saloon.

The band Texas High Life opened for James and played a solid set.

James Hand and his band took the stage late but did not disappoint. This time around he played most of the songs from his latest cd as well as some Johnny Cash and Hank Williams songs including "Blue Train", "Kaw-liga" and "Lovesick Blues".

Go see James Hand. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Orthodox Site of the Week

If you are Orthodox check out the new site Orthodox Circle.

It is a new web community designed especially for Orthodox Christians.

It is a pretty good site already and should only get better. I have already met some new friends here from all over the world.

Live Music Archive

Check out the Live Music Archive put together by etree.org and the Internet Archive.

Very cool site!

Lots of live concerts available...from lots of different artists...and all perfectly legal.

: )

I discovered this site through a link on Hayes Carll's website. You can check out some of his live shows in the archive here.

Some other interesting artists with shows available in the archive include: Billy Bragg, Bob Schneider, Cowboy Junkies, Dale Watson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and the Sidehill Gougers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Silicosis Dispute

Here is an article from the New York Sun on a dispute between the Attorney General of Texas and Judge Janice Jack. The dispute involves thousands of x-rays from plaintiffs alleging silicosis claims.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some Recent Legal News

Today's decision regarding the government's wiretapping program can be found here. - UPDATE - A joint stipulation agreeing to stay the Decision temporarily can be found here.

The recent decision regarding insurance claims from Hurricane Katrina can be read here.

Here is an article on today's bad news for Merck involving Vioxx cases.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Feast of the Procession of the Cross

Photo from www.oca.org

Today, on the Julian Calendar, is the commemoration of the Feast of the Procession of the Life-Giving Cross.

This Feast is described in an 1897 Horologion as follows:

"...it was customary, in former times, to carry the Venerable Wood of the Cross through the streets and squares of Constantinople for the sanctification of the city, and for relief from sickness. On the eve (July 31), it was taken out of the imperial treasury, and laid upon the altar of the Great Church of Hagia Sophia (the Wisdom of God). From this Feast until the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, they carried the Cross throughout the city in procession, offering it to the people to venerate. This also is the Procession of the Venerable Cross."

The Prologue from Ohrid also describes the Feast as follows:

"This feast was established jointly by the Greeks and Russians in the time of the Greek Emperor Manuel and the Russian Prince Andrei, as a memorial of the simultaneous victories of the Russians over the Bulgars and the Greeks over the Saracens. In both battles, the soldiers carried crosses, from which a heavenly radiance shone forth, with the army. It was therefore instituted that, on August 1st, the Cross be carried from the Church of St Sophia, first around the interior of the church and then through the streets, to give the people the chance to venerate it, as a memorial of the miraculous help given by the Cross in earlier wars. This was not just any cross, but the true Precious Cross itself, which was kept in the church of the imperial court. On July 31st, the Precious Cross was taken from the imperial court to St Sophia's, and thence carried through the streets, to consecrate the earth and the air. Finally, on August 14th, it was taken back to the church in the imperial palace."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Baron v. Baron & Budd

Fred Baron, a well known Dallas attorney and founding partner of Baron & Budd, has sued his former firm.

Texas Lawyer has the story here.

Exhibit on The Russian Orthodox Church and Native Alaskan Cultures

The Library of Congress website now offers an overview of a fascinating Exhibit regarding the Russian Orthodox Church and native Alaskan cultures. (h/t Orthodoxy Today)

More information on the history and involvement of the Orthodox Church in Alaska can be found here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Idgy and Hayes Show

Last night I saw Idgy Vaughn and Hayes Carll in a song-swap over at the Mucky Duck.

I believe it was the first time these two artists had performed together. It turned out to be a very entertaining and memorable show.

Both Hayes and Idgy are excellent songwriters. It was an interesting pairing for a song-swap since their music and performing styles are fairly different.

This was the first time I had heard Hayes play without his band. He seems just as comfortable playing solo on an acoustic guitar as fronting a band. The acoustic set allowed for a different and more intimate perspective to his songs. He performed a number of his songs with his eyes shut tight in concentration. The acoustic performance also allowed him to better showcase his guitar playing skills. I also noticed that when Idgy was performing Hayes was carefully following along with her chord changes in order to learn her songs. Hayes still maintained his sense of humor and witty song introductions for which he is well known.

Idgy was equally impressive though it was the first time I had ever heard her perform. She is in the early stages of her career and admitted to still being a little uncomfortable singing her songs in front of a room full of people. She seemed to grow more comfortable as the session went on even offering some good-natured heckling on occasion. Her songs offer a very individual and often darkly humorous perspective on life. She is definitely a songwriter to keep your eye on.

John Evans even dropped by on his way home from the Houston Press Music Awards Dinner. He came by to drop off the award that the Duck had just won for "Best Music Venue". He ended up singing a few songs himself including a performance with Hayes as part of their "supergroup" The Ego Brothers. The Ego Brothers played (as far as I know) their one and only song "Ain't Enough of Me to Go Around".

In the end it was one of the more enjoyable shows I've seen at the Duck. It was also a good value since the show lasted almost 4 hours and did not end until midnight.

Some of Idgy Vaughn's music can be sampled here.

Some of Hayes Carll's music can be sampled here.

Some of John Evan's music can be sampled here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

The world-renowned soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf died yesterday at the age of 90.

Here is an obituary from the BBC.

She is remembered as one of the great Lieder and Opera singers of her time.

She is probably best remembered for her role as the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and for her two recordings of Strauss's Four Last Songs.

Some of her finest recordings of these pieces can be sampled here, here and here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another Win for Merck

Merck has won another Vioxx case.

This article from Forbes has all the details.

IOCC Emergency Appeal

International Orthodox Christian Charities has issued an emergency appeal for donations to victims of the war in both Lebanon and Gaza.

More information can be found here.

Some of the donations will be distributed via the Saint George Orthodox Hospital in Beirut.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Moussaoui Trial Exhibits

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has released nearly all of the exhibits from the Zacarias Moussaoui trial.

Here is an article from the Washington Post with additional details.

The exhibits can be found here. (Some of the photographic exhibits are very graphic).