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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).

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Upcoming Shows

Jan. 1st - 10th Annual Townes Van Zandt Wake @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe
Jan. 2nd - Idgy Vaughn, John Evans and Adam Carroll @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Jan. 4th - Sidehill Gougers @ the Mucky Duck
Jan. 11th - Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys @ Blanco's
Jan. 12th - Alejandro Escovedo @ the Mucky Duck
Jan. 12th - Band of Heathens @ the Continental Club
Jan. 13th - The Rogues @ the Mucky Duck
Jan. 13th - Sisters Morales @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe
Jan. 20th - Patty Griffin and Ryan Bingham at the Crighton Theater
Jan. 27th - Shake Russell @ Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe
Jan. 28th - E Muzeki @ the Mucky Duck


Friday, December 29, 2006

Silica Litigation on the Wane?...

...so says this article from Law.com.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Details on the Signing of the Act of Canonical Communion

As an update to this earlier post...more details have been released regarding the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

E Muzeki

Last week I was able to hear the group E Muzeki perform at the Mucky Duck.

E Muzeki is a fascinating ensemble that defies categorization. I had heard them play briefly once before at the Texas Renaissance Festival earlier this year.

They put on an extremely entertaining show for a standing room only crowd.

You can sample some of the music from their recordings here.

In my opinion, their rendition of the Led Zeppelin classic Kashmir was worth the price of admission alone.


Act of Canonical Communion to be signed on Feast of Ascension

The Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will be signed on May 17, 2007 (on the Feast of the Ascension) by Patriarch Alexey II and Metropolitan Laurus at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

This article has the details.

Remembering Anastasia Titov

There is not much I can add to the comments made by Father John Whiteford on the repose of Anastasia Titov. Still, I would like to offer my own remembrances of this remarkable woman so that others will know of the impact she had on those who knew her.

I also had the honor of attending her funeral. I was very moved by both the service and the remembrances of her life and her influence on others at the communal meal held afterwards.

It was truly an amazing experience to hear the many eulogies as person, after person, after person stood up to tell how much Anastasia had meant to them. Some of the remembrances were deeply moving and inspiring which was not really a surprise for those who knew her.

Anastasia was a very special person who I always enjoyed seeing on my visits to St. Vladimir's. She always greeted me warmly and would spend time talking to me whenever we would meet. I was always impressed by her knowledge and love of both the music and services of the Orthodox Church.

We would often talk about the music of the Church and I would always ask for her recommendations of various composers, compositions and recordings.

I would also often run into her at concerts of choral music around town. It seemed if there was a piece of Russian Orthodox music on the program then I could always count on seeing Anastasia at a performance. I remember once seeing Anastasia at a concert downtown at the Wortham Theater for a performance by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. It was a truly remarkable performance and one of the best concerts I have ever heard. I was sitting high up in the balcony but I noticed Anastasia sitting below and leaning forward in her seat following every note and word carefully. She looked radiant. At intermission I walked down to speak with her and she was overjoyed to see me. She told me that it was disappointing that more Orthodox did not come to concerts such as this since it was a great opportunity to hear some of the great examples of Church music. She then proceeded to tell me how much she enjoyed the music and gave me her analysis of several of the pieces including those which she had just heard for the very first time that night.

I had also heard Anastasia relate a story that Fr. John mentioned in his post. The way I remember the story (and I hope someone will correct me if I am wrong) is that Anastasia and another Orthodox woman were working at the United Nations when Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus arrived at the building. Anastasia and her companion were in an office several floors up overlooking the Archbishop as he was walking into the building. They had opened the window and were leaning out shouting "Eis Polla Eti Despota!" in greeting to the Archbishop. Anastasia told me that Archbishop Makarios smiled at them and raised his hand in blessing towards them before entering the building. The story ended as Fr. John related with an angry U.N. security official running up to the office demanding to know why they were insulting a guest of the U.N. by calling him a "despot".

Fr. John also related in his post how Anastasia had once met the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie during a visit to Ethiopia.

One of my favorite stories to hear her tell was of her visit to an Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral. She said that while they were still in the car en route to the Cathedral, about a mile or so away, she began to hear a strange sound. As they neared the Cathedral the sound became louder and louder. She said that she had no idea what it was and could only think that it was being made by a large swarm of mosquitoes. Finally just before the Cathedral was in sight she asked the Ethiopian driver what the sound was. The driver explained that the sound was the cries of the people outside of the Cathedral for prayers from those who could enter the Cathedral for the services. She related that when the Cathedral came into view there were hundreds of people outside who were crying and asking for prayers. What Anastasia had witnessed was a once common but now extremely rare occurrence. This Ethiopian cathedral had maintained the tradition of the early Christians by requiring those serving a penance to remain standing outside of the Church offering up prayers and tears until their penance had been completed. She said that is was one of the most moving things she had ever seen.

On a personal level I was always inspired by her deep level of piety and her commitment to the Church even with her advanced age and declining health.

She will be missed.

May her memory be eternal!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Roberto Alagna

Here is a video of the meltdown of tenor Roberto Alagna at La Scala after getting booed by some of the audience members.

Alagna's excuses for his actions include such memorable quotes as:

"The audience didn’t understand, that’s why I left. I’m displeased, embittered, stunned: I sang all over the world, but standing in front of tonight’s audience, I felt like I was in another world. True audiences — audiences with fire and blood — were not at La Scala tonight. I sang beautifully, I was bravissimo. Too bad for those who didn’t understand. I shall never come back to La Scala: This is not a theatre, it’s a Roman Arena.... I sing with heart, with my blood...."

"What if they had thrown stones at me, or some crazy person had attacked me? La Scala should have protected me. The show should have been suspended. Instead they carried on as if nothing had happened. After all, John Lennon ended up being killed."

"The worst thing, is that no one came to my dressing room afterward."

...and there is already the threat of lawsuits....and then there is this commentary.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And the Winner Is...

West Virginia...#1 on the American Tort Reform Association's 2006 list of Judicial Hellholes.

Whither Mass Torts?

Law.com offers this interesting article on the subject.

Merck Wins Another Federal Vioxx Trial

This article has the details.

More information on Federal Vioxx litigation can be found here.

Note to plaintiffs attorneys: In the future you might want to avoid bringing Vioxx cases where the plaintiff has past issues of: cocaine use, multiple criminal convictions and allegations of perjury.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Address of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops

The Address of the Bishops from their recently concluded Synod meeting can be found here.

A report on the Synod meeting can be found here.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Baron & Budd Civil War Heats Up

Here is an interesting article from Law.com on the recent developments in the Baron & Budd breach of contract lawsuit.

Rest of the Story?

Here is an interesting article concerning some disturbing "behind-the-scenes" details surrounding the recent visit of the Pope to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.

Could this be, as Paul Harvey would say, the "rest of the story"?

SEC Investigates Possible Leak of Details of Asbestos Legislation Speech

Earlier this year the SEC investigated whether lobbyists leaked information on a (at the time) pending asbestos legislation speech by Senator Frist to certain hedge funds.

This article from the Washington Times has the details.

The article states that the SEC has questioned Sen. Frist's office as well as looked into:

"...whether hedge funds, in turn, bought shares in companies that would be affected if Congress approved the bill, which would have settled asbestos civil suits."

The article points out that this is a legal "grey-area" reporting that:

"...the SEC officials said that no charges were imminent and that it was unclear whether providing congressional information could be considered improper or illegal under insider trading laws."

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Saint Nicholas Church at WTC Celebrates 90th Anniversary

Here is an article on the celebration of the church's 90th anniversary. The feast-day of Saint Nicholas occurs today on the "new calendar".

More information on the church can be found here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Slaid Cleaves

Last Saturday I was able to hear Slaid Cleaves in his second show of the night over at the Mucky Duck.

I had not heard Slaid perform before but I had heard some very good reviews of his last show at the Duck.

Slaid is a very entertaining singer-songwriter originally from Maine who now lives in Austin.

He played a number of songs from his latest cd Unsung. This cd is a collection of songs written by other singer-songwriter friends of Slaid's and is a refreshingly unique offering. Some of the songwriters represented include: David Olney, Adam Carroll, Michael O'Connor and Karen Poston.

Slaid was joined on stage by Michael O'Connor accompanying on guitar and singing harmony.

The set was a nice mix of many of the Unsung covers and Slaid's own songs. The songs performed included: "Devil's Lullaby", "Flowered Dresses", "Race Car Joe", "Everette", "Call it Sleep", "Wishbones", "Drinkin' Days", "Horses and Divorces" (featuring some impressive yodeling), "Heart's Break", "One Good Year", "Broke Down", "Horseshoe Lounge", "Breakfast in Hell", "Bring it On", "Lydia", "Key Chain", "Skunk Juice", "The River Flows", "29" and even a version of "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch".

WSJ on Asbestos Litigation Fraud

The Wall Street Journal offers a must read editorial on asbestos litigation fraud.

h/t to Point of Law