Vaccinate. No Exemptions.

adorable baby baby feet beautiful

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the World Health Organization, between 93-95% of the population needs to be vaccinated against measles in order to reach herd immunity.  In Colorado, 88.7% of Kindergartners are vaccinated against measles.  How did this happen?  It could be the decades of misinformation built upon a factually false study.  It could be the echo chambers that social media creates.  In the end, it doesn’t matter how it happened.  It must be fixed.

The simple answer is to make vaccinations mandatory in order for a kid to enter school.  In theory, this is already the case in Colorado.  In practice, exemptions have allowed parents to skirt the law–creating the dangerous situation we have today.  Kyle Mullica, a representative in the Colorado legislature, is drafting a bill that will take away these exemptions.  Opposition by the minority anti-vaxxers will be fierce, but irrelevant.

Unlike many other debates in public discourse, there are not two sides to the this issue.    They can argue that vaccines cause autism.  They are wrong.  They can argue that vaccines are not safe.  They are wrong.  They can argue that forcing vaccines upon people is immoral.  In reality, you must only vaccinate your child if you choose to send them to public school.

The state government must do its part to keep our kids safe.  Current law does not do that.  We must eradicate all non-medical exemptions.  By doing nothing, we will only continue to see our vaccination rates drop and our outbreaks increase in magnitude.

 

The Test Batch

img_20190218_140932-1

Today I am bottling what I am now referring to as my “test brew” for my new brewery.  It has been about a year since I last brewed, so I needed to break myself back in.  This will be the first brew in my new brewery and the last brew of my twenties. 

Considering I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing, I took an old recipe I had used to on brewersfriend.com and played around with it a bit before I bought my ingredients.  I had used the somewhat same recipe to make a Grapefruit Amber Ale and a Grapefruit IPA.   I didn’t really realize it until I saw the dark wart, but it looks like this will be a porter.  Since I intend to carbonate with honey and grapefruit syrup, this will be a Honey Grapefruit Porter sitting at about 7%.  I’m not sure if that sounds good, but it was nice just to get a brew under my belt.

IMG_20190304_170502.jpg

I had to move to the beer indoors to carbonate since it has been hovering around zero degrees outside over the past week. 

March 17th, 2019 will be my 30th birthday.  It will also be the first day of my 100 Brew Challenge.  My primary goal with this challenge is to make baby steps.  Since it will be Winter still, my first goal is to work on temperature control.  I have already done some investigating on fermentation heaters.   My second goal is to try a new style of beer that I have never made before.  I am thinking a milk stout.

Until next time,
Richard

 

Reflecting on my 20s

On March 17th, 2019, I will enter my 30s.  As my 20s wind to a close, I can’t help but reflect on how much has happened over the last decade.  In order to prepare myself for the decade to come, I want to reflect on the time gone by.  I gathered my favorite moments and consolidated them here.

Wrote my first novel

I graduated college

university-oif-northern-colorado-min

Got rejected from the Peace Corps

IMG_0641.JPG

Substitute Taught in dozens of schools in Greeley, Windsor, and Fort Collins

Ran for School Board–Lost

Day 7.jpg

Move out of my parents house

309036_10150358886586398_1968340480_n

Wrote a novel

IMG_1860.JPG

Voted for Obama 

IMG_1689.JPG

Met the Woman of my dreams then promptly left for Peace Corps

IMG_2201.JPG

Spent 13 months learning a language, interacting with a new culture, and teaching

IMG_2723.JPG

Moved to New York with the woman of my dreams

IMG_3080.JPG

Started my Career

IMG_0093 (2) (1).JPG

Got Engaged

tarabethphotography-87.jpg

Got married

IMG_1646.JPG

Started brewing

IMG_1734.JPG

Voted for Bernie

13892113_10153773734046398_3254923082391842318_n

Got Hudson

IMG_2085.JPG

Moved back to Colorado

IMG_2673.JPG

Got pregnant

IMG_20180513_104410.jpg

Bought a House

IMG_20180608_070602

Got Titan

IMG_20180826_120349.jpg

Found out my unborn son had Gastroschisis

IMG_20181206_182015

Welcomed my son into the world–spent three weeks in the NICU

IMG_20181229_232825.jpg

Laid a penny floor and created my home brewery

IMG_20190202_144214

Now, onward to my thirties…

 

The Penny Floor Home Brewery

In June 2018, my wife and I bought my parents home.  It was the house I grew up in.  They had lived there for nearly 20 years.  It worked out perfectly that my wife and I were looking to buy our first home at the same time that my parents were looking to downsize and retire up in the Rocky Mountains.

IMG_20180608_070602.jpg

When my wife and I tried to plan out what we would do with the house, we quickly realized we had more space than we needed.  It is a house to grow into.  Since she was two months pregnant when we closed, it was perfect.  She knew full well that ever since she got me into brewing three year ago, I wanted a true brewery.  A place where I could keeping my brewing supplies out and dedicated.  Luckily, this house has the perfect place.  There is a “utility” room behind the garage.  It is the same length of the garage but only about six or seven feet across.  My father had been using it as a “tool” room.  Over 19 years though, he had accumulated a lot.

IMG_20180314_171109 (1).jpg

In the Summer of 2018, my parents, my wife, and I started the long process of moving them out and moving us in.  It took months to complete the whole house.    As everything fell into place, I decide to turn a pipe dream into a reality.  I had seen videos and pictures of penny floors all over the internet.  I knew it would be perfect for a brewery.  As I cleared out the floor in my father’s tool room, it revealed a dirty light green concrete floor.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to upgrade a room and to the penny floor I had been wanting for years.

33747746_10155500847341398_1314590030747926528_o

The day before we got our first ultrasound, I laid the first pennies.  It was a learning process.  We tried to lay them in such a way so that there would be as little gap as possible…but that turned out to be harder than I expected.

IMG_20180617_123939.jpg

One hour of work…

IMG_20180617_123914.jpg

About ten hours of work in (room being used as storage since I am taking months to get this done between work and taking care of my pregnant wife).

IMG_20180723_144934.jpg

My general setup was to do three rows across the room at a time.  That would take about half an hour.  So, about ten minutes per row.

IMG_20181112_085923_01.jpg

By the Fall of 2018, this project fell onto my back-burner.  In August, my unborn son had been diagnosed with Gastroschisis–a disorder that left his intestines outside of his body.  As the pregnancy progressed, it consumed my wife and I as our appointments became more and more common.  By his birth on December 27th, 2018, we had gone to more than twenty ultrasounds.

IMG_20181206_182015.jpg

After three weeks in the NICU, my son was discharge and I got two weeks of paternity leave (my wife had already quit her job). My wife and I gave each other free time to feel sane during these first few weeks.  I decided to use my time to finish the floor before I went back to work.

IMG_20190131_131707.jpg

Putting the final pennies down…

IMG_20190202_144214.jpg

After laying more than 28,000 pennies over the course of 75 hours, I grouted the entire floor to make the copper color pop.

IMG_20190209_203243.jpg

Lastly, the Polyurethane to protect the floor and make it shine.  I did two coats.

IMG_20190217_174753.jpg

After letting it dry for 48 hours, I moved the work benches into place.

IMG_20190218_124040.jpg

On  18 February 2019, I did my first brew in my new brewery.

IMG_20190218_140932.jpg

 

Parenthood Rising

IMG_20190122_204223

It’s been nearly a week since my son was released from the NICU.  This past week has been a whirlwind.  Lack of sleep.  Watching Scrubs during 3:00am feedings.  Days where I don’t even go outside.  And, holy crap, is it worth it.  This little guy is amazing despite not doing much of anything yet.  And today is his due date.

Henry’s Due Date