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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, November 29, 2006

Quote of the Day

"The Church is the gym of the soul."

Sylvester Stallone

h/t Southern Appeal

It was only a matter of time...

Details here.

Annually up to 3 million people make pilgrimages to Orthodox shrines in Russia

Annually up to 3 million people make pilgrimages to Orthodox shrines in Russia

- Metropolitan Kirill

Moscow, November 29, Interfax -

Up to 3 million people make pilgrimages to Orthodox holy places annually, with about 1 million coming to St. Sergius Monastery of the Trinity alone.

These figures were given by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, at a conference on Orthodox pilgrimage on Wednesday in Moscow.

According to the church statistics, about 2 million people made pilgrimages to Orthodox holy places in 2004.

The metropolitan said some 100 thousand pilgrims come to holy places of universal Orthodoxy annually, most of them to the Holy Land.

For the last two years, the number of Orthodox pilgrimage services in Russian regions has increased from 11 to 140, the metropolitan noted.

He also informed the conference that the recent years have seen an increasing number of the faithful of the Russian Church Outside Russia coming to venerate Orthodox shrines in Russia - the fact, he said, ‘that plays an important role in overcoming some still remaining stereotypes in their attitude to the Russian Orthodox Church’.

‘These trips help heal the division, which is now drawing to an end, and we hope that with God’s help it will be over next year’, the hierarch stressed.

Metropolitan Kirill also gave a high assessment to the work that the Synodal Department for Youth carried out in this area, noting that pilgrimage is ‘an organic and very important part of the religious education of the youth’.

‘Pilgrimage is a most effective means of influencing the youth. It often helps to form in young people a lively religious feeling and to develop solidarity. During their pilgrimages they strike friendships, which often end in solid Orthodox marriages’, Metropolitan Kirill said, stressing that this theme should be made a priority in the education of youth.


Vestments of Metropolitan Philaret presented to Patriarch Alexy

Today the staff and vestments of Metropolitan Philaret were presented to Patriarch Alexy at Saint Daniel's Monastery in Moscow.

This article has all the details.

More information on the transfer of the vestments can be found in this earlier post.

NPR Story on Hagia Sophia

Today NPR aired a story on the Pope's planned visit tomorrow to Hagia Sophia.

The audio of the story can be heard here.

Papal Visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

More information on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Ecumenical Patriarchate can be found here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

St. Arnold's Christmas Ale

St. Arnold's seasonal Christmas ale is now available.

The cask-conditioned version is not to be missed! The Mucky Duck has it on tap right now as well as an assortment of other great Winter Ales.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Vioxx Class-Action Ruling

Here is an article on today's ruling regarding Vioxx class-actions.

More information on national vioxx litigation can be found here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gougers at the Duck

Last night I heard the Sidehill Gougers play at the Mucky Duck.

The Lonesome Heroes from Austin opened the show. The group had a nice sound featuring some very nice dobro playing. Unfortunately, a sub-par sound mix and a noisy crowd made it difficult to really hear and enjoy their singing.

The Gougers played another great show. The only negative was the (unusually for the Duck) noisy and unruly crowd. I witnessed my first ever (almost) fight at the Duck. How does someone decide to throw down during "Fort Worth Blues"?!

It was still an enjoyable show that featured a few new songs from a cd that is currently being recorded and some old favorites including: "Manheim Station", "John Henry", "It'll Get Better", "Michael", "Wallace Park Saturday" and "Dead End" among others.

Merck Wins Again

Merck wins another Federal Vioxx trial.

Details here.

More information on the Federal Vioxx cases can be found here.

Relics sent to Russia

Here is a post from Father John Whiteford on another promising sign of reconciliation in the Russian Church.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alejandro Escovedo

Last Saturday night I heard Alejandro Escovedo in concert over at the Mucky Duck.

I was able to make it by for his second show of the night.

Alejandro brought along guitarist David Polkingham to accompany him for the Houston shows.

This was the first time I had seen Alejandro in concert. I had not been very familiar with his music but knew he has quite a following here in Texas.

I had heard a bit more about him in the past few years due to his prolonged illness. He has now recovered and is back to making music. Recently I also saw him featured on an episode of Austin City Limits and decided to check out a concert the next time he came through town.

For the late show Alejandro was masterfully accompanied by David Polkingham (one of the finest guitarists I have ever heard) on a selection of songs from throughout his career.

He started off with a number of songs from his most recent cd including: "Arizona", "Dear Head on the Wall", and "Evita's Lullaby".

Alejandro then announced that he did not have a set list and began taking requests from the audience.

There was no shortage of requested titles. Some of the songs he performed included: "Rosalie" (a love song based on a beautiful and true story), "Wave", "Wedding Day", "I was Drunk", "Castanets" (an apparent favorite of President Bush!) and "Sad and Dreamy" (aka "The Big 1-0" a wonderfully enchanting song written by some South Austin elementary school students as part of a songwriting project led by Alejandro and Michael Fracasso).

Alejandro ended the show by going out into the audience with David for a few songs. They would stop at a different table and play a song in a kind of roving troubador or mariachi style. As luck would have it he stopped at the table I was sitting at for the final song of the night. He ended with a gentle rendition of Townes Van Zandt's "Tower Song".

It was a great ending to a great show.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Russian Orthodox Church Continues to Grow

Here is an article on the continued growth of the Russian Orthodox Church.

As the article mentions there are now some 27,000 parishes and 680 monasteries belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church.

That is an addition of around 400 parishes from last year as can be seen in this earlier post.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Recent Asbestos Litigation News

Here are some recent news articles involving asbestos litigation:

an article on a California case where the Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit of a plaintiff who could not remember product names in his deposition

an article on a Mississippi plaintiff who received multiple settlements for her secondary exposure claim

an article on a California Judge who has filed a lawsuit alleging an asbestos-related injury

and last but certainly not least...

a very interesting article on a developing "civil war" in asbestos litigation : )

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Upcoming Concerts

Nov. 3rd - Miss Leslie and her Juke Jointers at Blanco's
Nov. 4th - Dale Watson at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 4th - Bleu Edmondson at Firehouse Saloon
Nov. 6th - Red Elvises at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 8th - Clumsy Lovers at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 9th - Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys at Armadillo Palace
Nov. 11th - Alejandro Escovedo at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 11th - Gary P. Nunn at Armadillo Palace
Nov. 14th - Sidehill Gougers at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 16th - Lisa Novak at Armadillo Palace
Nov. 17th - Jimmy Lafave at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 17th - Dana Cooper at Anderson Fair
Nov. 17th - Shake Russell at the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe
Nov. 17th - The McKay Brothers at Borski's
Nov. 18th - Jason Boland at Firehouse Saloon
Nov. 19th - The Hudsons at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 21st - Idgy Vaughn at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 24th - Sisters Morales at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 24th - Jack Ingram at Big Texas
Nov. 25th - The Rogues at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 26th - E Muzeki at the Mucky Duck
Nov. 30th - Emily Dugas at the Mucky Duck


Act of Canonical Communion

Today the text of the Act of Canonical Communion was published on the websites of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The text of the Act in English can be read here. An Addendum to the Act can be read here.

The Act of Canonical Communion has already been approved by the Synod of Bishops of both Churches.

A report on the now completed work of the Joint Commissions can be read here.

A collection of many of the materials of the Joint Commissions can be found here.