Friday, December 31, 2004


Igoa to Ikea

On a New Year's Eve trip to Ikea, Porter practices his keyboard skills without harming daddy's laptop keys for a change. Ikea started carrying train stations and other accessories to complement their Thomas/Brio-like wooden train sets. Needless to say, Porter was thrilled.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


A Last Xmas Present

Santa left a present for Porter at his friend Natalie's house. Once opened, he discovered to his delight it was a new firetruck.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Another Day at the Museum

Porter's still on Christmas break so to keep him from going stir crazy again, I took him to the Bay Area Children's Museum during a break in the storm currently thrashing the bay area. First, he spent some time with the fishes and turtles.

Later, Porter explored the giant redwood.



Babyzilla terrorizes the city.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Autism Article in N.Y. Times

Another article in today's New York Times discusses treatment methods and the lack of verification that such methods work. To read the whole article, click on the title: To Treat Autism, Parents Take a Leap of Faith.

Monday, December 27, 2004


A Rainy Day

It rained all day in Marin and while Alice, Sarah and I were content to spend the day inside, by noon Porter was going stir crazy. So Porter and I braved the elements and ran a few errands before ending up at the indoor mall across the highway where he could stretch his legs.

Inside, the mall has a play area for kids and it was obvious from the crowd there that Porter was not the only kid in need of some playtime.


A Few Bites of the Apple

After showing a great deal of interest in other people's food, from lunging at burritos to reaching for pizza, Alice had her first taste of solid food today with a few bites of applesauce.

Sunday, December 26, 2004


A Trip to Candlestick

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. In this photo, Bledsoe hands off to Shaud Williams. He then ran 27 yards in for the Bills' fifth touchdown.


Boxing Day with Alice

Boxing Day morning, Alice woke early. Here she is with Grandma.

And Uncle Tucker.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Santa Badgers

Check out the badgers doing Santa. Weebl, the originator of the badgers, devised an enitre advent calendar of animations.


A Brookston Family Christmas

Here are several photos of Christmas with the Brookston Family:

Alice, all gussied up for the holidays, looks over all the presents.

Porter, getting ready for the unwrapping carnage. He's finally understanding the concept of presents and tearing the wrapping paper off to see what's inside. If only we can keep him from opening everybody's gifts.

Here, Porter finally get a chance to open his first package, and it's the one he's been eyeing all yesterday and this morning.

It was a fire truck.

The four Brookstons on the sofa, unwrapping.

Friday, December 24, 2004


California Christmas

In typical California fashion, the Sonoma County Fairgrounds had several balloons lit up like Christmas lights after dark on Christmas Eve. Here, one of them is framed by the moon.


Christmas Eve Layout

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.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


A Poll

When we were at the park in Tiburon, I took several photos of Sarah and Alice. Sarah prefers the one with Alice's tongue sticking out in defiance (of the photographer?) whereas I like the more pastoral, happy Alice. Please tell us your preference by voting in the poll on the left below the legend.


Or no tongue?


Tiburon Park

On Christmas Eve Eve, we took the kids to the park that runs along the bay in nearby Tiburon. Here Porter, Alice and Sarah fix their gaze on the hills above the bay (actually I think they're watching some other kids on a swing.

Here, Alice enjoying a good swing.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Uber Layout

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Building a House

Porter and his grandmother, along with Sarah, went to the Bay Area Discovery Museum for a session to build a gingerbread house. The kids get a kit with everything they need to build the house, including the gingerbread, sugar frosting glue and candy. Porter naturally needed a bit of help, especially to restrain him from eating all the candy before it made it to the house.

But the results were still pretty impressive. Now what do we do with it? Anybody like gingerbread?


A Taste For Duck

Alice indulging in her new found passion for duck. Yummy.

Monday, December 20, 2004


New York Times Article About Not 'Curing' Autistism

An article in today's New York Times, entitled How About Not 'Curing' Us, Some Autistics Are Pleading brings up some very interesting points about the difficulty of the austism spectrum. The debate reminded me a lot of those brought up in The Sound and the Fury, a terrific documentary about deafness and whether or not to "cure" a deaf child. It's not as black and white as you might initially think. To better understand the debate, I highly recommend seeing the film. (Note: You may need to register to see the Times article). Essentially, there are a growing number of advocates, many of whom are adults with Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders, who believe autism should not be "cured" and even suggest that the nature of the disorder makes a "cure" impossible. They instead argue for more tolerance toward the behaviors that often manifest themselves by a society too quick to marginalize anything or anyone "different" than the so-called norm. Having never really been considered a "normal" person myself, it's a compelling argument.


The Danger of Slumping

Alice has not been lying back in her swing lately, instead sitting up. If she does fall asleep, it's slumped over like the photo I posted earlier. After sleeping that way again this morning, you can see what happens to her face.


Fun With Boxes

Sarah brought up a box of Porter's old toys from the basement since Alice is starting to get interested in stuff. Porter's been enjoying them as well and especially the box they were in.

He even tried to take a nap in the box.


New Guestmap

I just added a Guestmap. It's located on the left column, just below the local weather. Please click on the icon with the globe on it. That will open another window with a map on it. Click the zoom icon twice and zero in on where you live. Then click the "POST" button and click "OK" on the next popup. Then carefully click on the map exactly where you live. That will bring up another window where you'll type in your name, e-mail and website (if you have one). Comments is the most important one. Here, please type your name and where you live. Then choose a pushpin color and flag. Then click "SUBMIT" to add your location to the map. Move your cursor over the posted pushpins and you can see who and where everybody is. It would be cool to see where everybody is. Cheers.

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Bittersweet Tragedy

Alice again assumed her position this weekend watching football with her daddy. I think it became too painful to watch, however, as the Packers got their asses kicked and Robert Ferguson got his head taken off in a most unsporting manner so she fell asleep toward the end of the game.


The Train Show

Today I took Porter to the annual train show at the nearby Marin Civic Center. Except for my crankiness over the irony of the "toys" not being for kids to touch, Porter had a great time. There were lots of trains for him to look at and sample layouts and even a play area for kids to actually play with toys (what a concept, kids playing with toys - how did they think of it?). I need to let go of this but I found it infuriating. Toy trains are first and foremost for kids to play with and all the geek dealers there had signs at their stands like "Do Not Touch," "Children Will Be Towed for Touching the Trains." or "Children Must Be Accompanied by an Adult." But then they had low tables with toy trains within most kids' reach. Do they not understand the concept of attractive nuisance? Half the people at the show were kids and their parents but except for the play area, it was fairly kid unfriendly. Luckily, the kids didn't seem to notice. Like last year, they had set up a massive train layout for the kids to watch. Unlike last year, they built it at least four feet above ground so most kids couldn't see it without help. What were they thinking? Undoubtedly they were thinking about their expensive, collectible, precious trains and for many of them the kids were a necessary evil they had to deal with. At least that's how it seemed to me. Porter also rode the mini-train around the parking lot they had set up for the kids (at least it kept them outside and away from the toys). I got Porter a "hat train," as he called it and he actually wore it most of the day, which is very unusual for him. Usually, he won't wear a hat more then a few seconds. Here he is playing in the kids area.


Alice Swings

Some of you have expressed an interest in more movies of the kids, so here is a Quicktime movie of Alice being chatty. It was taken last night so it's a little dark but what's important is how nosiy she's been lately as this random minute will demonstrate. You can either download the movie to your desktop or just click on the link to play it in your web browser (assuming your web browser has the quicktime plug-in installed).

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