This is my 1,000th post here on what I now call HMHQ.  One fracking thousand.  Gorram, that’s a lot.

I have been putting a lot of thought into what this forum means to me and even considered shutting it down or at least no longer adding to it.


This therapy experiment worked.  I was able to overcome the PTSD I was experiencing and the little blog took on a life of it’s own.  Many a night was spent ignoring my young family and fussing over every little pixel and post, word and emotion, trying to get out on the keyboard all the frustration I was feeling.  I’m not sure how it looks or feels on that side, but it worked great on this side.


Since getting my new gig here at work I’ve realized that what I used to post about just isn’t me anymore.  It feels forced to try to put up a post that fits with what I’ve done in the past.  Gone are the days of the funny calls, silly patients and unbelievable dispatcher antics.  Here are the days of data analysis, chart reading and the occasional day in the field to remind me what this is all about.


My initial intention was to make post #1000 my last, I even told Motorcop I was going to convert the homepage and just walk away.  A large part of me still thinks that is the best idea.

However, not being one to go with the flow, I’ve decided to give this forum a rebirth of sorts.

August 31st 2013 is Happy Medic’s 5th birthday.  But he’s just that logo up in the corner.  What used to consume my life is now just a part of it.

But this site was never really his and his alone, it’s mine too and I have hobbies and interests that extend past trying to make my day job better.  At some point I came to realize that work is one thing that I do to make home better.

In recent months the Mrs and I have gotten serious about our finances (mostly inspired by GPS Financial Coaching), my eldest is getting way more fun to talk to and the younger one’s personality is beginning to show through the tantrums and crying.  Kind of.

This forum needs to spread it’s base for me to once again blow off some steam and get some things out onto the virtual paper so they don’t drive me insane.  Not that being insane is a bad thing, it’s just a touch inconvenient at the present juncture.

In the weeks ahead the blog is going to split into three main categories.  Don’t worry, all the posts you’ve seen will still be here, but will be organized slightly different.

I’m splitting the blog into “Fire/EMS” “Home Brew” and “Life” to accommodate my new interests while keeping the old ones close.  You can choose to read only 1 or all three together depending on whether or not you like the new topics.  I figured this way when I talk about brewing or the family and all you want is EMS, you don’t need to see it and vice-a-versa.


So please excuse the virtual dust as I eek out a few minutes here and there to fiddle with the layout, categories and the like.  There is no set date on this project, just something I’ve been putting off.


A special thank you to all of you who participated in the Happy Medic and helped me overcome a rough spot, then inspired me to do better.

Thank You!

-Justin “HM” Schorr

Hopatitus B

The B is for beer.

A few weeks back I mentioned preparations were under way to cook another batch of beer and asked on facebook if anyone had an idea of what I should cook next.

Noted ornithologist and man about town @ChicagoMedic suggested a hop forward pale ale, perhaps called “Hopatitus B.”


Well, today I cooked that beer, here’s the recipe.

1.5 lb Crystal 15L

8 lbs light malt extract (yes, I’m still cooking with extract)

30 mins  1 oz Chinook hops

5 mins 1oz Amarillo hops

5 mins 1oz Centennial hops

5 mins 1oz Cascade hops

14 days 1oz Cascade hops

14 days 1oz Amarillo hops

14 days 1oz Chinook hops

14 days 1oz Centennial hops

Pacific Ale Yeast WLP041 (to keep it from being too chewy)

Original Gravity 1.050 – target 1.056, estimated ABV 5.8%.


To say this is going to be a hoppy IPA is an understatement.  For you non beer types, my last batch had 1.5oz hops total.  This batch is 8oz.  It already smells delicious and hasn’t even started fermenting yet.


It’ll need a label…any ideas?

Warning:Contents Under Pressure

Trying to get back to regular posting seemed difficult, but last night’s experience is too good not to share.

Just about to fall asleep, I hear glass shattering in my house.
It’s dark and the wife and kids are home, so I have to go see what made the sound. Maybe it was outside? We have new neighbors and with the recent heat the windows were open to the cool night breezes.

So if the windows are open…

Just as I turned down the hall towards the garage I hear more glass shattering and the cat bounds through the cat door from the garage and is past me almost before I process that the blur of orange fur was a cat.

Carefully I open the garage door, at that moment realizing the only glass in the garage is on the car. But on inspection all the windows are intact. Down in the corner I see a stain on the floor near where I keep my homebrewed beer.

My last batch ended up over carbonated, each bottle needing extra time to settle down when poured. not uncommon, really.
Apparently they built up so much pressure that with the heat of the day exploded, not just blowing the caps off, but completely shattering 8 of the 12 bottles in the case.

It broke my heart to open the remaining bottles outside, along with the one from the fridge, just to make sure they didn’t explode when one of the kids was nearby.


Now I just need to cook a batch for the new keg system!