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About Us

Welcome to the Brookston family blog. We'll post updates here on what's going on in our part of the world, and especially with our son, Porter, who has been diagnosed with some form of autism. Our hope is that this blog will help us deal with all the issues we'll be facing and keep our friends and family informed as well.

Jay B.


Sarah J.


Porter Brookston
born September 10, 2001


Alice Brookston
born July 7, 2004

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October 6, 2005

A Deer Visitor

Categories: Photos, Other — J @ 12:40 pm

While Alice and I were waiting for Porter’s school bus to arrive, we had a visitor. One of the many deer who are often in our backyard was waiting at the top of the stairs next to the tanbark area we call “dog’s toilet.” This is due to the many dog owners in the area who seem to believe that patch of ground is owned exclusively by them and that they have no obligation to the rest of the world. All I can say is that many dog owners are certainly a different breed. Anyway, our deer stayed there at the top of the stairs as if also waiting for someone. Who? I don’t know. But she was there waiting with us at least twenty minutes.

Our deer visitor.

• • •

September 6, 2005

Schrodinger’s Cat & Brookston’s Cats

Categories: Photos, Other — J @ 3:02 pm

Schrodinger’s Cat, a thought experiment in quantum mechanics by Erwin Schrodinger in 1935, essentially said if you put a cat and some radioative material in a box and left them there for an hour that you could never say with absolute certainty that the cat was either alive or dead and therefore it is both 100% alive and 100% dead with equal probability (and also half alive and half dead) until you open the box and find out which way it went. If that sounds confusing, try the explanation for 6th graders or the Straight Dope’s very witty Cecil Adams’ response to the question as if written by Dr. Suess.

A far easier experiment involving cats is Brookston’s Cats in which we offer proof that we do indeed have two cats despite few people having ever seen them both.

The scientific proof of Brookston’s Cats. From top to bottom; Hunter S. (Gonzo Kitty) and Boo.

• • •

August 29, 2005

Fantasy Football: Survival & Pick ‘Em

Categories: Info, J, Other — J @ 3:08 pm

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but if you’re a regular reader of this blog you’re invited to join either (or both) of the pick fantasy football games I run for fun. They’re both free and are through Yahoo, so you’ll need a Yahoo ID (which is also free).

1. Pick ‘Em Football

In this game you try to pick the winner of each game every week of the season. Whoever gets the most right, wins. Your team name for this game should be a favorite “good” beer (no crap beers, please). For example, my team name is Westmalle Tripel. Here’s the info to join:

Go to Pro Football Pick’em, click the “Sign Up” button (or “Create or Join Group” if you are a returning user). From there, follow the path to join an existing private group and when prompted, enter the following information…

Group ID#: 463
Password: westmalle

2. Survival Football

This game is much simpler and is perfect for everyone, but especially those with limited time because you only have to pick one game each week. But you better be pretty sure about your pick because if you’re wrong you’re eliminated and done for the year. But if you’re right you live to play the following week. The player who “survives” and is still standing at the end of the season is the winner. The only rule is that you can only choose a given team one time during the season. So you must decide when to pick New England and when not to. Your team name for the Survival pool should be an allitertive name using one of your names and a slang term for being drunk. For example, my team name is “Juiced J.” Here’s the info to join:

Go to Survival Football, click the “Sign Up” button and choose to “Join an Existing Group”, then “Join a Private Group”. Then, when prompted, enter the following information…

Group ID#: 1945
Password: booze

The football season begins September 8, so be sure to sign up and make your picks before then.

P.S. - heckling and taunting is encouraged.

• • •

June 24, 2005

Kitchen Mess, Day 9

Categories: Photos, Other — J @ 7:12 am

We’re in the home stretch now, today should be the last day as only minor things remain to be done, such as put in the light fixtures, child safety locks, and some clean up. Woo-hoo, we’ll have our kitchen back by the end of the day.

Day Nine.

• • •

June 21, 2005

Kitchen Mess, Day 7

Categories: Other — J @ 6:38 pm

More color appeared today as we get visibly closer to the finish line.

Day Seven.

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June 18, 2005

Kitchen Mess, Day 5

Categories: Other — J @ 3:16 pm

Okay, yesterday was the orignal finish day estimate. Here’s where we are on Saturday. Rusty, our intrepid cabinet craftsman believes he’ll be here tomorrow and Monday. A master of understatement, I’d say.

Day Five.

• • •

June 16, 2005

Kitchen Mess, Day 3

Categories: Other — J @ 11:06 am

It’s difficult to see, but quite a lot has been done in three days to our kitchen though it’s looking like it won’t be done by Friday, which was the original estimate.

Day Three.

• • •

June 14, 2005

Kitchen Mess, Day 1

Categories: Other — J @ 12:21 pm

Today, our little kitchen remodel began. We’re having the cabinets refaced and will be unable to use our kitchen all week.

Day One.

• • •

January 26, 2005

An Elevated Train Layout

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 2:15 pm

Porter’s been into bridges and elevated track lately, so we built a layout almost entirely up in the air, our own “el” train.

• • •

January 13, 2005

Unavoidable Geekiness

Categories: News, Friends, Other — J @ 6:20 pm

Met some beer buds today at Thirsty Bear Brewing in San Francisco; Shaun O’Sullivan, brewer at 21st Amendment, and Dave McLean, brewer at Magnolia Brewery where we had a pint with brewer Brenden Dobel. I had his Bearly Legal barleywine since we didn’t try that one for the Celebrator tastings last week. Our other common interest, apart from beer, was we’re all Apple geeks and were on our way to Macworld at nearby Moscone Center. I got to try out the new iPod Shuffle and play around with the new miniMac. Much drooling was done over the new toys displayed there.

The main Apple display at MacWorld.

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December 26, 2004

A Trip to Candlestick

Categories: Photos, J, Family, Other — J @ 7:26 pm

The day after Christmas, Lyman, Jay’s father-in-law, treated Jay to a San Francisco 49ers game at Candlestick Park. Much to Jay’s satisfaction, it was a blowout, with the Buffalo Bills handing the Niners their 13th loss of the season.

Bledsoe hands off to Shaud Williams. He then ran 27 yards in for the Bills’ fifth touchdown.

• • •

December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve Layout

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 8:25 am

Christmas Eve morning, Porter and I created a simple but elegant layout to keep him occupied while Sarah and I packed up for the trip to Sarah’s parents for Christmas.

The Xmas Layout.

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December 22, 2004

Uber Layout

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 11:25 am

We used practically every bit of track we had to create this intricate, complex layout in a relatively small area.

The Uber layout.

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December 12, 2004

Sunday Night, Still Laying Track

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 7:39 pm

Sunday evening we tried another, more elaborate train layout in the living room. This one is actually two separate layouts that are intertwined around various objects in the room. We could have made it bigger, but we’re running low on track. We’ll have to add track to Porter’s Christmas wishlist.

More track, Santa. Please!

• • •

Lazy Sunday, Laying Track

Categories: Photos, Porter, Other — J @ 9:23 am

We spent Sunday morning creating a monster train layout that began at the train table then curved around the side and ran the length of the back and past it turning to pass between the sofa and snuggle chair coming out in front of the chair and looping back around the front and then toward the back of the train table again looping underneath it before coming back to the front to meet up with the beginning once again.

A monster layout.

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