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Soap box

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 >

C’est La Vie

Hey Team,

The generosity and diversity of Couch Surfers NEVER ceases to amaze me. Last night I got to watch the “News to Me” Amtrekker story from the comfort and warmth of an amazing Bed and Breakfast in Eugene (C’est La Vie Inn) before retiring to the Honeymoon Suite for one of the best sleeps I’ve had in weeks.

Granted its immediate competition was a brick wall outside a bus station and the bus itself…

Seriously though, this place is amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in such a swank pad (too much Tiki Bar TV I think) before. It’s a Queen Anne Victorian (the kind people always call doll houses when they’re painted bright colors) with some amazing decor. Not that I partook but my room had a Jacuzzi tub in the bedroom area and a small kitchen nook. Honestly, I’ve never even lived in a place as nice as this single room. (I don’t know why that surprises me…it’s not like I’ve lived in a lot of really nice places.)

I don’t know why I’m gushing so much. I guess I’m still just busy being blown away that someone would open up this kind of home to a stranger. I wish More >

Vote.

Hey Team,

I was JUST about to hit (and by hit I mean sleep on) the hay (and by hay I mean couch) when I realized I hadn’t written anything today. I didn’t really sleep last night before catching two planes to New York and of course the sleep you get on a plane is pretty sketchy at best so the days just kind of ran together.

Here’s the update but I have something else I want to focus on: I’m in New York now and at 7am I’m supposed to meet the New York Road Runners on the second floor of the Empire State Building to help volunteer for the race to the top that they organize every year. Hopefully this will result in crossing off number six and bringing me one step closer to home.

Ah, home. That’s what I want to talk about…kinda. Tomorrow (well, probably “today” for most of you guys unless you happen to read this within two hours of me posting it) is “Super Tuesday” and the day that my home state gets to throw in it’s 82 million cents (two cents per person?).

Obviously I’ve heard a lot of different political views in my travels and a More >

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#22 Be a guest on a talk show BONUS #5 Enter a hotdog eating contest! [podcast]

Hey Team,

Here’s the Amtrekker cut of the Fox Business News’ “Happy Hour” program! It’s a little too long for youtube to accept so I’ll have to work on an alternative for some of you folks. (ahHA! Here’s a link that might work for some of you peeps.) But for the rest of you normal people…

Enjoy!

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. var WT1_1 = { params : { wmode : "opaque", allowscriptaccess : "always", allownetworking : "all", allowfullscreen : "true"}, flashvars : { file : "http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amtrekker.com%2Findex.php%3Fxspf%3Dtrue%26id%3D30", volume : "80", bufferlength : "5", controlbar : "over", 'logo.hide' : "false", shuffle : "false", playlist : "bottom"}, attr : { id : "WT1", name : "WT1"}, start : function() { swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/player.swf", "WT1_1", "437", "522", "9.0.0", false, this.flashvars, this.params , this.attr ); } } WT1_1.start();

I’m done.

Brett.

Entertained people are generous people!

How entertained are you feeling?

Show Me…Good People

Hey Team,

I’ve had a couple experiences recently that have done a great job of backing up my belief that the world is FILLED with awesome people eager to help a stranger in need…or maybe just help a stranger regardless of whether or not they are “in need.” The exciting thing is these experiences weren’t even first hand!

So what has me so excited about anecdotal evidence? Well, mostly it puts to rest the idea that I am the only one affecting the positive experiences that I HAVE had first hand on this trip.

So, rather than tell you guys stories second hand (and I’m really excited about this so don’t let me down) I made a thread in the forum for everyone (EVERYONE…this is your homework people. I’m not blind and I have fancy software. I know that HUNDREDS of people read this everyday…so you lurkers better pony up and stop putting the burden on the fifteen people that leave comments) to leave their story about an experience when a stranger swooped in to save the day.

Maybe they just pulled over to help when the car broke down. Maybe they gave you a couple bucks for gas. Maybe they took More >

“No, it’s not O.KKK.”

Hey Team,

I passed by a memorial today and it made me sad…but for all the wrong reasons. It was an enormous statue of a man on horseback in a Confederate cavalry uniform surrounded by the thirteen flags of the Confederacy. The man was Nathan Bedford Forrest.

It was a tough thing to think about. After driving by it with my Nashville hosts, I spent the rest of the ride sitting in complete silence trying to figure out why anyone would go through the effort of building and maintaining such a colossal tribute to hate. And the more I thought about it the more incapable I found myself of actually being able to wrap my head around this monstrosity.

Part of the reason it’s so difficult to understand is my own upbringing. California has the highest minority population of any state in the Union and growing up in the neighborhood I did means I was the one in the minority. But that was the norm. The biggest culture shock I’ve ever encountered, even more so than fighting through a language barrier in another country, was moving to a rural area where I was suddenly surrounded by nothing but white people.

It boggles my mind More >

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Thanks for Giving

Hey Team,

I was going to post another video today, (I have two ready, one of my ride to Mansfield, Pennsylvania where I’ll be spending Thanksgiving this year and one of the “Jump the Gun Turkey Run” which was basically this last weekend’s pre-Thanksgiving in Boston.) but somehow neither seemed appropriate enough for this holiday.

This is more of a holiday of introspection and since I’ve had so much time for introspection lately I figure I’m well suited to send some extrospection (There’s about a 98% chance that’s not a word. But the beautiful thing about English is you probably got the point anyway.) your way.

I fully recognize that I’m the smallest piece of the Amtrekker puzzle. Amtrekker would not exist without the help of literally HUNDREDS of people. This has been such a fascinating experience for me (and hopefully for you) because so much of what this trip is about has either nothing to do with me or is completely out of my control. Everyday I’m left dangling at the whim of complete strangers and so far I’ve yet to feel let down or slighted in the least.

Maybe I’m starting to sound like a broken record but I am so More >

I Love Couch…Not Lamp

Hey Team,

I have two very important words for you. Couch surfing. Wait…maybe that’s one word. Couchsurfing. Hold on…let’s start over.

Hey Team,

I have one very important web address for you. www.couchsurfing.com. I’m sure you all know about my stubborn insistence on refusing to pay for lodging during my trip (hence the occasional sleeping on park benches). But how do I go about finding lodging when I’m not sleeping at a friend’s house or on a park bench?

Couch Surfing! (Or couchsurfing!)

It’s the coolest thing since liquid nitrogen! Couchsurfing.com is a huge worldwide network of travelers who all like to do things on the cheap and experience new cultures. And it’s absolutely the best way to discover a new city.

Before I left on this trip I was worried that having thoroughly explored California (after a lifetime spent in The Golden State) I’d already seen everything I was likely to encounter in the rest of the country. This was especially worrying when I was on my way from San Francisco to Los Angeles via the Central Valley a week before I left. In other words, I went from one of the world’s most important cultural centers to the second largest city in the country via More >


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