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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August 31, 2006

Lunchtime Alice

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 9:52 am

The otehr day when I took the kids to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, I snapped this cute photo of Alice at the diner where we had lunch.

Cute at lunch.

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August 30, 2006

Hop Harvest

Categories: Photos, Friends, Beer — J @ 10:03 am

On Monday, I helped out with the hop harvest for my friends who own Moonlight Brewing and Russian River Brewing for the two breweries’ fresh hop beers. Moonlight’s is called Homegrown (in some places) and Russian River’s is know as HopTime. It was a lot fun — though on Tuesday I was still a little sore and scratched up. It took about five or six hours to complete the harvest, then both brewers retired to their respective breweries to begin the process of making their fresh hop ales. The rest of us enjoyed a yummy lunch at Russian River provided by Natalie Cilurzo, the hop queen of Russian River Brewing.

Barley, the dog, adorned with fresh hops plays in the hopyard.

The Moonlight/Russian River hopyard.

Brewers Brian Hunt, assistant brewer Travis, and Vinnie Cilurzo in their hopyard.

Brian Hunt on a ladder cutting down hopvines from ten-foot wires strung across the yard.

The volunteer hop pickers in front of Moonlight’s brewery.

Everybody works in a circle picking the hop cones from the vine and collecting them in buckets.

A mound of hopvines ready to be picked. Cascade and Chinook hops are mixed in the pile.

A third hop is kept separate. This is Red Vine, a type of cluster hop.

Vinnie Cilurzo picking Red Vine hops.

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August 29, 2006

Keith: Just Plain Funny

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Friends — J @ 3:45 pm

PART These photos I find pretty funny for one reason or another.

I threw water on Keith’s face just as the picture was being taken.

Anyone care to tango?

Sensitive area. Keith didn’t understand why I wanted him to pose next to this sign. Do you?

Spatula Man.

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Keith: Funny Faces

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Friends — J @ 1:42 pm

PART These all feature the elastic funny faces of Keith.

At the keg with Sheldon.

Keith, Michelle and me.

Me and keith.

Not quite awake yet at the Pro-Am.

Nice hat. You get a free bowl of soup with that hat? Oh, on you it looks good!

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Keith: Costumed Crusader

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 11:28 am

PART These were taken a various Halloween parties over the years.

Me (as a ballrrom dancer), Michelle (as Thing 2) and Keith (as Ron Goldman0

Sarah and Keith.

Old man Keith.

Sally and old man Keith.

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Keith: Merely Amusing

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Friends — J @ 9:48 am

PART Unlke later photos, these are just mildly amusing.

Standing in standing water at Woodstock.

Ready for the Christmas Party at Sarcasm Central, 1993.

Just ducky at Duncanstone.

Mine’s bigger … innertube, that is.

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Keith: Expat

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 7:43 am

Today is our friend Keith’s birthday. He moved to England about ten years ago and settled there with Alex, his wife who is originally from there. We’ve only seen them a few times since and while we keep meaning to get over there for a visit, life has intruded and we haven’t made it yet. C’est la vie. Happy birthday Keith.

Muddy at Woodstock ‘94.

My favorite photograph of me and Keith. This was taken after a friend’s wedding reception. Neither of us actually smoke.

Me, Keith and Michelle at an old Christmas party.

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August 28, 2006

No Cavities

Categories: News, Photos, Porter — J @ 2:57 pm

Porter had another dentist appointment on Friday and they x-rayed his teeth for the first time. He seemed just a little bit frightened by the x-ray machine, but overall he did pretty well.

Porter getting his teeth cleaned, mirror in hand.

Waiting for the dentist to give him the once over. The official verdict: no cavities. Way to go Porter.

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Monday Morning Motivational #54

Categories: Humor — J @ 11:59 am

Feeling a little too smug for my own good the last couple of days, so I decided to give myself a nice dose of reality, not that these hings don’t tend to work themselves out on their own.

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California State Railroad Center

Categories: Photos, Porter, Alice, Trips — J @ 8:20 am

Technically, it’s the California State Railroad Museum, but for some reason Porter insists on caling a “Center.” He’d been watching this train video — what a surprise — that we’d picked up at the local library and it featured a trip to the museum … er, center, in Sacramento. Ever since he’s been asking to go again to visit the trains. Apparently he’d gone once before with his grandparents. When we arrived, he literally was jumping up and down and teling me how happy he was to be there.

Outside the Railroad museum.

In the driver’s seat of the big Southern Pacific steam engine.

Telling me to look down the side of the engine.

Then watched himself as he pretended we were speeding down the track.

Pulling the lever so we could go faster.

Alice joing him in the cab.

Outside by the river, something caught the kids’ attention. What could it be?

A Union Pacific train goes over a bridge.

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August 27, 2006

Stair Sleeping

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 10:27 am

We’ve trying for some time nw to get Alice to go to sleep by herself, with decidedly mixed results. Most times we can hear her over the monitor, the sounds of getting up and playing, opening the door, or crying. Those are the easy ones, because we now what’s going on and can easily intervene. But every now and then, we won’t hear a thing and she’ll silently slip into our bedroom only to be upset that we’re not there. When that happens we often don’t hear her (the monitor is in her room, which is on the opposite side of that floor) until she’s crying very loudly and upset. Other times, she simply comes downstairs and surprises us with her waken presence. The other night was a new one. She snuck out of her room and came to the stairs, but didn’t come downstairs. Instead, she fell asleep on the top step of the stairs. We didn’t actually discover she was there until Sarah went up to bed (which is usally a couple of hours before me), so we don’t actually know how long she’d been there.

From the top of the stairs, sleeping on the first step.

From below, still fast asleep.

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August 26, 2006

Pete: Wicked, Chocolatey Goodness

Categories: Photos, Birthdays, J, Friends, Beer — J @ 10:47 am

Today is my friend Pete Slosberg’s 56th birthday. Pete is, of course, best known for Pete’s Wicked Ales. Today he makes some incredible chocolates and runs a small company as a chocolatier, Cocoa Pete’s. If you have an opportunity to attend one of his beer and chocolate dinners, do. They’re great fun. He also makes a mean barbecue. Happy birthday Pete!

Pete probably won’t remember this, but this was taken the first time we met, over ten years ago at the KQED Beer and Food Festival in San Francisco, when I was more or less still a civilian. It was after I’d written beer with Karen, but before I started working as the beer buyer for BevMo.

This was taken at a Celebrator tasting in January of 2005. Top row, from left: Me, Pete Slosberg, and Tom Dalldorf. Bottom row, from left: Bob Coleman and Paul Marshall.

This was a Celebrator tasting this January. From left: Tom Dalldorf, Pete, Angie Wagner, me and our copy editor Pamela, who made a rare appearance from her cubby hole.

Pete with his wife Amy and Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf at one of Bruce Paton’s beer dinners at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in February.

In June at the Toronado for He’Brew’s release party. From left: Alec Moss, Half Moon Bay Brewing, Pete, Jeremy Cowan of Shmaltz Brewing and Rodger Davis of Drake’s Brewing.

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August 25, 2006

Group Photo Phriday #26

Categories: History, Photos, J, Sarah, Friends — J @ 11:59 am

This was taken on the morning of my bachelor party and Sarah’s bachelorette party. We all went co-ed, as it were, to the now defunct KQED Beer and Food Festival in San Francisco. Right after this photo was taken the guys and dolls separated to make their mischief separately for the remainder of the day.

Top row, from left sloping down: Sheldon, me, John C., Karen, Mike S. and Suzanne. Acoss the middle, from left: John Smith, Mark Leonard, Michelle, Sheldon, Jenny, Nikki and Suzanne again. Bottom row, all by herself: Sarah.

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August 24, 2006

Sinking In

Categories: Photos, Alice — J @ 12:14 pm

Not much of a story here, just a cute picture of Alice sinking into the back cushion of the sofa.

Alice sinking in.

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August 23, 2006

BBQ Dancing

Categories: General, Alice — J @ 3:09 pm

At the BBQ and Beer Festival last weekend, Porter and his new friend Amir were dancing up a storm toward the end of the festival. Amir is a bartender at Russian River Brewing and is also a teacher. He and Porter hit it off immediately and spent a lot of time playing that day.

Porter tugs at Amir’s shirt, presumably to throw him to the ground.

Almost got the leverage and a good grip.

But Amir got away with Porter still in hot pursuit as Alice joins the dance.

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