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Florida

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A Few Rambling Thoughts on Cruising

Hey Team,

Cruise ships are not a form of transportation. They’re more like huge freaking hotels that you’re locked inside of for 16 hours at a time with a few thousand of your closest friends (provided you don’t have many actual close friends), and when they finally open the gates, you’ve been mysteriously teleported to yet another strange city. I guess teleportation is technically a form of transportation…but let’s not dwell. Here’s my point:

You can’t go around comparing cruise ships to airplanes just because it makes your environmental impact argument sound better. Hell yeah it takes less fuel to fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Cayman than it does to take a boat. Know why? Cause you’re transporting 200 people…not five THOUSAND people in a huge freaking floating city that allows for more entertainment and adventure in exotic locales than the average working class family would have the opportunity to experience during their one and only week of vacation a year by any other means.

And for those people, cruising is perfect. I can’t imagine a better way to get a smattering of everything a great vacation has the potential to offer. Not everyone can drop everything and travel for extended periods. More >

Crown Princess

Cruise Overview (in haiku)

Hey Team,

I’ve been sitting here staring at this blank page for a little over twenty minutes now trying to decide what I’d like to write about the Princess Cruise that a handful of twittering travel folk were invited on (and I got to tag along for some reason). I think one of the big problems is that I had more fun than I expected. It’s a tough blow when all of the stupid cruise ship jokes you have prepared don’t quite fit the situation any more. (Case in point, I didn’t get to spend all week fighting sunburned, overweight old men for the pole position at the buffet so my Formula-1 joke is out the window.)

Most importantly however, I’m just not used to writing about great experiences. You guys know better than anyone that 90% of the content on this site is a direct result of me having done something colossally stupid and the mad scramble to either rectify the situation or, barring that, at least come out relatively unscathed. If I have any complaints it’s that I kind of felt like I had my hand held for a week and I wasn’t given the opportunity to fall overboard, flounder at More >

best_buy_logo

I hate Best Buy

I could have made this post WAY longer than it would need to be to satisfy everyone’s curiosity and, as such, it may not make a ton of sense (Let’s be honest, how many of these do anyway?) but at least it was cathartic. As always, thanks for listening.

Hey Team,

I hate Best Buy.

I know what you’re saying, “Brett, you’re such a nice guy. I can’t imagine you being judgmental enough to not be willing to walk a mile in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective. Surely, they aren’t as bad as you would have us believe. In fact, I would venture to say that you are jumping to hasty conclusions and that you’ve probably had perfectly respectable encounters with Best Buy in the past and somehow you must be letting a single negative experience color your views of a fine upstanding company. Frankly, I expected more empathy from you, Brett.”

To you, I have only three things to say.

1. You talk too much.

2. You sound pompous.

3. I HATE Best Buy.

You guys already know that I’m currently somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean thanks to a generous offer from Princess Cruises and Gary at Everything-Everywhere.com. What More >

the_amazing_randi

Meeting the Amazing Randi

Hey Team,

You know who’s amazing? James Randi. Now that I think about it, I suppose that’s why he’s called The Amazing Randi. Huh. Go figure. If you don’t know who I’m talking about then let me give you a couple broad strokes. Randi is a retired performer who used to be a magician and a mentalist and currently heads the James Randi Educational Foundation. You may have heard of his Million Dollar Challenge, which offers a prize to anyone who can prove under scientific rigor that they have some type of extra-sensory perception. All you have to do is be able to say what it is you can do and under what laboratory conditions you can perform said talent. It’s been available for decades now. Guess how much the foundation has given away in the name of the challenge. That’s right. Zero.

Pretty awesome right? It’s great to know that someone is out there trying to prove that “real” psychics are more often than not, ridiculous amoral performers preying on people who miss their dead relatives deeply. In short, James Randi is one of my personal heroes.

And…I got to meet him at dinner the other night! It was a pre-Carl Sagan More >

The Daily Buzz

Hey Team,

I was on a morning show called The Daily Buzz this morning! They gave me a call a couple days ago from a San Diego number but I didn’t have my phone on me. When they called again yesterday I couldn’t answer because I was in an attraction at EPCOT. Eventually I called back, apologizing for remaining in “O’Canada!,” when they called…

“What?! You’re in town!”

“No, I’m in Orlando. Wait…what do you mean?”

Turns out The Daily Buzz tapes right her in “The Sunshine State!”

I even got to help host the weather!

Here’s the link: http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/amtrekker.mov

In other news: I won’t be riding the horse through the covered bridge in Atlanta until Tuesday so it’s going to be a mad dash across the country to get to Amtrekkapalooza in time!

AND, there are a few people that were a big part of this adventure that would love to make it to the big finish on October 25th but have limited funds so if anyone has any connections with airlines that can maybe get a few of these folks some cheap standby tickets let me know!

Thanks, Team!

I’m done.

Brett.

Just for the record. Bookingbuddy really is a pretty rad website if you’re looking to plan a trip. More >

Not Safe For PETA

Hey Team,

Yesterday brought with it a five am wake up call, which brought with it some interesting new experiences. For instance I now know that there actually is a five am…and that it’s apparently legal to wake someone up at that time. Who knew?

On a brighter side (Hmm…interesting choice of words, brain. The sun wasn’t even up until 7:30.), the events following the slow crawl from a surprisingly comfy super-twin bed turned out to be MUCH cooler than I would have thought.

Getaway Girl and I were invited out to, her dad, Jimmy’s ranch to “help” round up about fifty cows that weren’t breeding to be taken to a “happier place.” I was probably exactly as helpful as you’d imagine.

After gathering the horses, we mounted up and made our way out to the pasture. What with my current reputation for falling off of everything I try to ride on and this being my first solid experience riding a horse I was understandably not 100% confident the day’s events would play out in my favor.

As I sat on top of “Woody,” (Wow. There’s GOT to be a better way to put that! It was the horse’s name! Woody. It’s not some sick…okay, let’s More >

#28 SCUBA Diving in the Atlantic! [*updated with pictures!*]

Hey Team,

Guess who went SCUBA diving in the Atlantic…

Hmm…this is a dumb game. I can’t even hear you.

Oh well. The answer: ME!

After heading down to Sebring, FL with The Getaway Girl and meeting her family (Who, I’m told, were pretty leery of homeless folk crashing their lodgings…until they met me.) we borrowed her dad’s SCUBA gear and shot east to Fort Pierce.

The easiest option was to dive from shore so after lying on the beach for a while trying figure out how I wanted to shoot the madness I handed the camera off to GG and started to suit up. It was a nice change from the Pacific Ocean in that stepping in the water didn’t instantly make me cringe and scream like a little girl from temperature shock. I didn’t even have to wear a wetsuit, which was kind of a novelty for me.

Eventually I managed to get my gear on (including flippers) without falling down and high step into the waves like an idiot with the entire coastline watching the one guy in SCUBA gear wondering why he’s planning on diving in murky water with a lobster basket tied to him when there have been Bull Shark sightings all More >

Life of Brian

Hey Team,

I’ve spent the last couple days hanging out with Brian Brushwood, host of Scam School on Revision3.com and all around good guy. He’s been putting me up and putting up with me while I’ve been in Orlando trying to figure out how I’m going to make SCUBA diving happen on my now incredibly tight schedule.

“But Brett, don’t you have a plan?”

Well, Mr. Disembodied Voice, I understand where you’re coming from, it’s only a little over two weeks before the big end of Amtrekker party so it would be safe to assume that I do know what I’m doing and everything is well scheduled.

Unless you knew me.

It looks like “Getaway Girl” is going to go out on a limb and see if she can’t make something happen since I’m obviously incapable. But in the meantime I’ve been having a great time.

I spent last night at Brian’s Bizarre Magic Show at Halloween Horror Nights “helping.” Which roughly translates to carrying a couple of props and hanging out all night while occasionally screaming like I just saw a ghost in my cell phone just in case no one else could.

After the show we walked around the theme park for awhile checking More >


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