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Completed Objectives

Magically Ambitious

Hey Team,

I’m sure I’ve said this a hundred times by now but I am continually blown away by how often people surpass my expectations of kindness. I spent most of yesterday in Pigeon Forge, TN thanks to Helen and her mom Pat’s connections to the Magic Beyond Belief show and Terry Evanswood. (Also…no such thing as the internet there, sorry for the delay on this post.)

But if I’m going to be honest (and that’s kind of what I strive for) when I spoke on the phone with Jay, one of the Magic Beyond Belief honchos, earlier in the week I started to get concerned that this was going to be yet another dead-end. Over the phone the situation didn’t sound super promising. I didn’t get the feeling that they were very excited to help out (not that I could fault anyone for a lack of excitement, like I said, it’s a complete surprise every time anyone offers to help out) over at the show and worse it didn’t look like I was going to have the opportunity to film ANY of it.

(Well, worse for you anyway…I still would have had the chance to do something I’ve always wanted to do More >

Magic is About to Happen

Hey Team,

I made it to Pigeon Forge, TN today thanks Tommy, my Couch Surfing Host, Jessica’s, friend. Why would I come to a place called Pigeon Forge if I’ve already been to a place called Bald Knob? Sadly, I don’t just visit places based on how ridiculous their names sound. I’m actually here to cross a little something called #24 off the list today!

Despite the small town name it turns out Pigeon Forge is actually…well, a really small town. But at least it has delusions of grandeur. This may be one of the strangest “cities” I’ve ever been in.

It’s mostly just one street (but it’s a long street…so there’s that) but instead of the general store, the post office and the gas station they have thirteen miniature golf courses, twenty-eight pancake houses, eight comedy shows, shops and hotels galore, a building filled with singing mechanical bears and the Magic Beyond Belief Theater!

Which is why I’m here. They have my seat saved and the illusion all picked out all I have to do is show up at 8:15 and convince someone to be my cameraman!

I’m going to go wander down to the Fudge, Knives, Swimwear and Leather Shop (no joke, this More >

News to Me Inteview [podcast]

Hey Team,

This is a fairly short one considering all the footage I had. I didn’t want to steal too much of News to Me’s thunder so I just took a few clips from yesterday. Check it out.

Also this is the first week of a new type of “HD” encoding I’m trying out so let me know if you have any problems viewing this video especially if it’s something you’ve always been able to do before. And DEFINITELY let me know if it doesn’t work on your iPod or mobile player.

Thanks guys!

Enjoy.

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And here’s the youtube link.

I’m done.

Brett.

If you like these podcasts please don’t let me stop you from donating!

Thanks!

News To Me

Hey Team,

I had my interview with CNN’s News To Me today. It was a complete one-eighty from Fox Business News and a nice chance to answer some of those questions that keep popping up that I never fully acknowledge.

It was pouring rain when I woke up and I was dreading even the short walk to the coffee shop where they were planning on conducting the interview. I stared out the window willing the rain to stop and wondering if my Totally Rad Show t-shirt was clean enough to wear. “Maybe I should just wear the TRS shirt and hope the rain washes off the stink.”

Luckily, the shirt was clean, just wrinkled, so I slung it over the shower rod and let it suck up some of the steam while I scrubbed myself down.

I showed up at the coffee shop while they were shooting a webcam interview with another guy…something about a dirty boat. (Obviously I was paying very close attention.) As soon as they finished I was shuffled around for introductions. Everyone involved with the program seemed to be of the friendly intelligent variety and Eric, the host, managed to come off as distinctly not a douche bag. (Happy, Eric?)

The interview More >

What’s He Talking About?

Hey Team,

I’m sure I had something to write about today but I’ve just been staring at the screen for the last five minutes trying to remember what it was. Let’s just assume it was the funniest, most exciting, eye-opening post I’ve ever written, pretend I actually wrote it and then move on.

I’ve been insisting that I don’t change for years now. That the world just changes around me and I adapt as necessary but it doesn’t impart any lasting effects. I hate to admit that I might be wrong.

Living little pieces of other people’s lives everyday for the last 240+ days is a tough act to ignore. As strong willed (read: stubborn) as I am I don’t think I’ve made it through unscathed. And maybe it hasn’t been a “change” so much as a “concentration.” (Wow. This is tougher to explain than I thought it would be. Too bad I can’t remember that other, probably easier to write, post I was planning on.)

I’ve always been pretty laid back (obviously, or I wouldn’t have even started this trip) but that has always meant “live and let live” or “I’ll do my thing and you do yours.” But I’ve taken that option More >

Amtrekker vs. Fire [podcast]

Hey Team,

I mentioned how cool Heather and Spence Babcock were already…and I thanked Taylor Jones for setting it all up. But I just did it again. Ha! So there.

I literally spent hours with them learning about various aspects of “not dying in the woods” but when push came to shove I couldn’t cram all that info into a ten-minute long podcast. So, enjoy my frustrations as you watch me attempt to test out my new found survival skills!

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. var WT2_2 = { params : { wmode : "opaque", allowscriptaccess : "always", allownetworking : "all", allowfullscreen : "true"}, flashvars : { file : "http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amtrekker.com%2Findex.php%3Fxspf%3Dtrue%26id%3D25", volume : "80", bufferlength : "5", controlbar : "over", 'logo.hide' : "false", shuffle : "false", playlist : "bottom"}, attr : { id : "WT2", name : "WT2"}, start : function() { swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/player.swf", "WT2_2", "437", "522", "9.0.0", false, this.flashvars, this.params , this.attr ); } } WT2_2.start();

And if you click here it’ll take you to that fun for all youtube version.

Thanks for all the support team! How do you feel about this new Wednesday schedule? Not only have I managed the miracle of keeping up with it but today’s is More >

The Land of Infinite Stairs [podcast]

Hey Team,

By the time I realized today was already Wednesday again I only had about five hours to get stuff captured, edited, compressed and uploaded which, let me just say, would have been ABSOLUTELY impossible if I had done the survival skills podcast. I have almost an hour and a half of video to go through for that one. So things are going to be happening a little out of order in the video world. That being said: Enjoy the walk to the top of the Empire State Building!

Watch as Amtrekker perseveres against terrible odds and finally completes the self proclaimed “toughest objective on the list!”

He talks. He climbs. He sweats profusely.

I don’t have anything else to say about this podcast. I’m just so freaking ecstatic it got crossed off the list!

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. var WT3_3 = { params : { wmode : "opaque", allowscriptaccess : "always", allownetworking : "all", allowfullscreen : "true"}, flashvars : { file : "http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amtrekker.com%2Findex.php%3Fxspf%3Dtrue%26id%3D26", volume : "80", bufferlength : "5", controlbar : "over", 'logo.hide' : "false", shuffle : "false", playlist : "bottom"}, attr : { id : "WT3", name : "WT3"}, start : function() { swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/player.swf", "WT3_3", "437", "522", More >

Sweeping the Empire [updated with pictures!]

Hey Team,

I always thought “Super Tuesday” was a stupid title. But after a few experiences in the last 24 hours I can guarantee that today is, indeed, super. Last week I was at wits end for how I was going to get to walk to the top of the Empire State Building and in fact, for months, I’ve been hailing number 6 as the toughest thing on the list to make happen. (Now I have to pick a new “toughest”)

The stairwells of the Empire State Building are mandated closed by the New York Fire Marshal 364 days a year (365 on leap years) so to walk to the top I was either going to have to enter the annual race to the top or cheat. (Not a fan of cheating.) Turned out entering the race wasn’t an option either. A week ago I emailed Sara Hunninghake and Steve Boland and asked them if I’d be able to volunteer on race day in the hopes that could be translated into me getting to walk to the top.

I think my exact words were something like, “I was wondering if there was anyway I could get involved with the race the NYRR [New More >


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