Beer Relations 

I spent three days in San Antonio, TX this week at the National Rural Economic Developers Association conference. While there, I took a great tour of the old Pearl Brewery, which became Pabst Brewing Company (PBC) for the last 15 years of operation, until it closed in 2001. This is where they brewed PBR, Pearl, Old English 800, Olympia Beer. You know, quality American beers. Kristine’s cousin Aaron lives in Austin, so he drove down to meet me for dinner before my flight home to Seattle. We decided to meet at the old Pearl Brewery, now known as The Pearl District. 

When Aaron arrived, he told me something I never knew: he used to be the chief microbiologist for PBC in the 1990s. He proceeded to give me my 2nd tour of the old brewery in two days. I learned more about the brewing process in a few hours with Aaron than I’ve learned after decades of beer drinking. Part of the old brewery has been converted into the very cool Hotel Emma, which has a reading library for guests. On a shelf on the 2nd floor of that library are the old, handwritten brewer’s journals where Aaron, in pen, would record the tests of every batch of beer that came out of the brewery between 1993 and 1997. He taught me about the acceptable levels of  bacteria and what his  “TMTC”  notations meant (Too Many To Count).  It is likely that Aaron tested almost every can of PBR I consumed as a young man. If I knew then what I know now…

Aaron, former PBC Chief Microbiologist, reviewing his handwritten notes from nearly 25 years ago. 

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Henry and Ruby hear from their Representative

Henry and Ruby received both received a letter from their Congressman, Representative Rick Larsen, this weekend. Back in June, their friend, Sam, who lives in Maine, sent the kids some postcards to send to Larsen – reminding him to keep fighting to help preserve our oceans. They were thrilled to get a response. Thanks to Sam, Henry and Ruby for reminding us how it’s supposed to work. Oh, and Patty and Maria, we’re sure your letters are in the mail. 

Fry Lodge Creativity

Half days of school all week means lots of extra time at home to do all kinds of things. We started the afternoon with logo design for our upcoming summer ProjectWA road trip. Ruby was particularly interested in this assignment. We like her design so much, we’re considering using it for our official ProjectWA tee shirts. I think Ruby has a future in graphic design.

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This afternoon, we moved on to Henry’s science homework, which involved creating a device that would count 60 seconds consistently. Henry and Kristine took on this assignment, using sand from the beach, a funnel and a plastic bottle. After several attempts, they determined the exact amount of sand that would take 60 seconds to fill up the bottle. Well done, Fry Lodge engineers.

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Ranking Rotors

Henry is participating in his first science fair this week. He’s been hard at work testing his hypothesis related to the strength of different types of windmill rotor blades. This weekend, around the breakfast table, we brainstormed what to call his project. The winning title was “Ranking Rotors.” Before taking the data to school, Henry gave a short presentation on his findings.

As a result of this experience, Henry says he wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Thank you, Mr. B. Thank you, Lopez School. And, thank you, Kristine, who was Henry’s engineering coach throughout this project.