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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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July 19, 2006

Keens Are Keen

Categories: Info, J, Sarah, Opinion — J @ 1:42 pm

Sarah and I both got new shoes for our trip and they were absolutely perfect. I wasn’t going to get any new shoes, and in fact at first I thought them ugly. Plus, I never, ever where anything even like sandals so they held no appeal for me. But once I saw them at REI and tried them on, I was hooked. And my new Keens have proven wonderful for all sorts of things. They’re cool, waterproof and quite possibly the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn, especially without socks. They were great in Hawaii because they weren’t too hot, we could walk through streams and into the ocean without worrying about getting them wet and we didn’t have to pack socks which made it easier for us to pack light. Get yourself a pair today.

The popular Keen Newports are the ones we wore on all our hikes on Kauai.

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April 2, 2006

It’s Later Than You Think

Categories: Events, Info — J @ 7:00 am

Did you remember to turn you clock one hour forward last night at two? If not, it’s hour later than you think. Six months ago, when we turned the clocks forward, the kids did not adjust and we lost an hour of sleep every night. Fast forward six months and they still haven’t adjusted so we’re hoping we’ll be getting another hour every morning for the next six months. But don’t get too attached to it, it’s all changing again next year.

According to the California Energy Commission:

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 8, 2005. Under the new law, Daylight Saving Time begins three weeks earlier than previously, on the second Sunday in March. DST is extended by one week to the first Sunday in November. The new start and stop period begins March 2007.

The original House bill would have added two full months, one in the spring and another in the fall. According to some U.S. senators, farmers complained that a two-month extension could adversely affect livestock, and airline officials said it would have complicated scheduling of international flights. So, a compromise was worked out to start DST on the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.

There’s a movement afoot to do away with this clock changing nonsense and I’m beginning to agree with it, albeit for somewhat different reasons.

About Daylight Saving Time:

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March 25, 2006

Autism Podcasting

Categories: Info, Autism — J @ 4:39 pm

I got an e-mail from a Michael Boll, who is the host of a podcast (Internet Radio Show) about autism, called Autism Podcast. For those of you not familiar with podcasting, it doesn’t actually requite an iPod (although you should get one anyway, they’re terrific). They’re essentially files of radio-like broadcasts that can be downloaded and listened to on an computer, iPod or other mp3 player whenever you want. If you want more detail about podcasting, try the Wikipedia entry. It’s like he’s just getting started and has done eight shows so far, plus some shorter ones with tips from other parents. He’s asked for my assistance in helping to promote the show and I’m happy to do what I can. Anything that provides grassroots information from parent to parent is a good thing in my book.

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March 13, 2006

March Madness NCAA Tournament Fantasy

Categories: Info, J — J @ 9:42 am

Anybody interested in playing fantasy March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament? The brackets are set now so you can fill them in right away. You only have to pick the winners once and then watch to see how you do, so it’s very easy and not very time consuming. So come on, give it a try. It might even be fun. Also, the deadline to make your picks is March 16 at 9:00 a.m.

Here’s the info on how to join:

In order to join the group, just go to the game front page and click on the “Sign Up” button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the “Create or Join Group” button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information…

Group ID#: 26241
Password: beer

We will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

P.S. - you’ll also need a Yahoo ID, but those are free, too, if you don’t have one. Just make sure you click on the no e-mails choice while signing up to avoid getting their spam-like e-mails from time to time.

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February 21, 2006

Extreme Survival

Categories: Info, Humor — J @ 1:18 pm

Do you know what to do in an extreme emergency situation or will you be badly maimed like me. I got only 9 out of the 17 questions correct in this Extreme Survival Quiz that Sarah sent to me. See if you’re more of a survivor than I am.

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February 10, 2006

New Feature Added to the Blog

Categories: Info — J @ 8:54 am

While looking at a friend’s site, who plays my photo scavenger hunt, I noticed a cool little java applet she had on her photoblog. So I looked into it and added one here. It lists the location of the last ten visitors, though I changed it to the last twenty-five. It’s fun to see where people are coming from. Take a look, you may see your own city and country. It’s on the left column almost at the bottom directly under the site meter. If you click on one of the location links, it takes you to a google map with pins in it showing you where all the places are that people are visting from.

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February 3, 2006

Lunch at Pyramid, Party at Trumer

Categories: News, Info, J, Beer — J @ 2:20 pm

Yesterday I had lunch with one of my editors, Tom Dalldorf, of the Celebrator Beer News. We had a nice lunch, tasted some beer and talked about the upcoming anniversary party that will be taking place on February 19 at Trumer Brauerei (German for brewery), which is off of Gilman in Berkeley. I’ll be volunteering at the party so we got together to go over my role at the event. The party should be a lot of fun and this year it’s a Mardi Gras theme. For $35 you get all the beer you want plus cajun food cooked on-site like pulled pork and jambalaya. Also, several bands will entertain the crowd. It’s from 4 to 8 on Sunday the 19th. I’ve got tickets to sell if anybody would like to go. Just let me know.

Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley on Gilman.

Trumer Brauerei on Fourth Street in Berkeley where the Celebrator 18th Anniversary Party will be held on February 19.

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January 5, 2006

Fantasy Golf

Categories: Info, J — J @ 7:56 am

Anybody interested in playing fantasy golf? I’ve been playing fantasy golf every year for at least five years now and normally I get a core group of about eight players players. But perhaps we could get a larger group this year? Please consider signing up and playing along with us. There’s no limit on the number of players that can participate. The season starts February 2 and you’ll need a little time to set your line-up for the first tournament. After that, you only have to change things once a week. So come on, give it a try. It might even be fun. Besides, what else do you have to do now that football season is over?

Here’s the info on how to join:

In order to join the league, follow the link above or go to game front page, click the “Sign Up Now” or “Get Another Team” button and follow the links to “join an existing private group”. When prompted, enter the League ID# and password below.

League ID#: 1597
Password: beer

Yahoo will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

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November 25, 2005

Last Chance to Buy Nothing

Categories: News, Info — J @ 5:00 pm

Last chance not to buy anything today, which is Buy Nothing Day.

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November 23, 2005

Buy Nothing Day

Categories: News, Info — J @ 12:17 pm

Unless you’re part of the problem and your livelihood and/or lifestyle requires your complicity or ignorance, then you couldn’t help but notice that our society has become increasingly commercial and money-driven, to the exclusion of virtually all other concerns. This is especially true at the holidays. Kalle Lasn, the founder of the magazine Adbusters, also started Buy Nothing Day to highlight our affluenza. Buy Nothing Day takes place each year on the day after Thanksgiving, which is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. Please join us in trying to return to a sensible world that balances money with other very important facets of a complete life; love, friendship, leisure time, family, the environment, the arts, and many, many others. When everyone else you know is out shopping, stay home and do something else. You might even enjoy it.

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November 19, 2005

Getting the Truth Out: A Manifesto

Categories: News, Info, Autism, Opinion — J @ 11:42 am

Wow, I’ve just read the most amazing indictment of the autism community. It was simply amazing. I was seriously blown away. If you care about this issue, you owe it to yourself to read the flip side of the autism organization coin. It’s a website called Getting the Truth Out, which is one adult autistic woman’s counterpoint to the American Autism Society’s Getting the Word Out, which is billed as awareness education. It’s a long read, but very, very worthwhile. It will (or at least should) open your eyes to many of the problems with the way these organization operate and the medical community treats the autistic. This website brought up things that Sarah and I have long thought problematic with the various disparate organizations that make up the mainstream autism community. This may be one of the most outstanding pieces of autism advocacy we’ve ever read.

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November 14, 2005

Autism Bloggers Ring

Categories: Info, Autism — J @ 10:21 am

If you’ve been paying any attention to the sidebar on our blog, which is that long column on the lefthand side, there’s a link there for the Autism Bloggers Ring. The ABR is hosted by Ring Surf and is a group of blogs that are all about autistic kids or raising an autistic child. Apparently it takes a while for them to check you out, because I originally signed up at least a month ago. Anyway, I got an e-mail today that we’ve been approved for membership. So you can check out what other parents of autistic kids are doing, too.

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October 24, 2005

Fantasy Basketball

Categories: Info, J — J @ 10:23 am

Anybody interested in playing fantasy basketball? I only have four players so far and I’d like to get at least double that. Please consider signing up and playing along with us. The season starts November 1 and we need a little time to run the autopick draft, which we’ll turn on Friday October 28. So come on, give it a try. It might even be fun. Besides, what else do you have to do once football season is over?

Here’s the info on how to join:

In order to join the league, follow the link above or go to game front page, click the “Sign Up Now” or “Get Another Team” button and follow the links to “Join a Custom League”. When prompted, enter the League ID# and password below.

League ID#: 17004
Password: beer

We will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

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September 28, 2005

Fantasy Hockey

Categories: Info, J — J @ 11:06 am

Anybody interested in playing fantasy hockey? I sent out a few invites but I don’t expect we’ll get many players. This is new for us. Announcing for the first time, the Great Beer Hockey League. I figured what the heck, I know even less about hockey than I do about baseball, so how about a hockey league? So I worked with one of our intrepid fantasy players who does know hockey and we came up with a simplified game to try for the first time to see how it goes. I don’t know how many of you like hockey, but even if you don’t, consider giving it a try just for the fun of it. You can’t suck worse than I do. And you’ll get one more chance to beat me again this year. The only hitch (it’s always something) is you need to sign up by Friday preferably and Monday morning at the very latest. The season starts next Wednesday and we need a little time to run the autopick draft, which we’ll turn on early afternoon on Monday October 3. So come on, give it a try. It might even be fun. Besides, what else do you have to do once football season is over?

Here’s the info on how to join:

In order to join the league, follow the link above or go to game front page, click the “Sign Up Now” or “Get Another Team” button and follow the links to “Join a Custom League”. When prompted, enter the League ID# and password below.

League ID#: 18984
Password: beer

We will send you a confirmation with further details once you have completed the registration process.

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September 20, 2005

Photoblogging

Categories: News, Info, J — J @ 10:59 am

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, photoblogging is like blogging but with pictures. Many professional and amateur photographers have created the photoblogging community that is in many ways similar to the blogosphere but is different in many crucial ways. The photos tend to be larger and more artistic. Because of this, only one photo per page is common. The layouts tend to very spare to emphasize the photo and not have anything else competing against it. Anyway, I’ve been a photography buff for as long as I can remember. I got my first 35 mm SLR, a Yashica, when I was in high school. In college I took a few courses and learned to use a darkroom to develop and print my own film. And of course, now there’s digital photography and stereo photography. Anyway, I decided to start my own photoblog, the Brookston Photoblog, with which I aspire to several goals. 1. To learn more about photography and especially composition, 2. to scan and put in one place all the interesting photos I’ve taken over the years in various formats, and 3. have fun.

Most photobloggers post a new picture each day and eventually that’s probably what I’ll do as well. But right now I’m looking through both old digital photos and even older film to post. So for a while, at least, there will be several new pictures added each day. So far there are only about twenty photos posted, but they are from a very wide range. There are Polaroids and 128 film I took as a kid, black & white photos from my college days and some of my first digital efforts from a few years ago.

Below each photograph is a box with information about each picture, including where and when it was taken, what camera was used and other (hopefully) interesting stuff about it. If you have the time and interest, please let me know what you think of each of the pictures there. You can post comments just like a blog by clicking on the comments link to the right of each photo’s title. But even easier, you can rate each picture on a scale of 1 to 5 by clicking on the stars in the bottom right-hand corner of the information box.

Also, in addition to the photos, please let me know what you think of how the site itself looks. I put a lot of time into getting it to look a certain way and I’d love to have some feedback about it. Thanks.

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