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Road Trippin’

Hey Team,

In light of 1) the fancy pants new website you’re looking at right now and 2) the not so much fancy pants, as dirty pants, road trip I’m smack dab in the middle of right now, I’m trying to get back in the groove of writing everyday…or at least most days. So…

Yesterday was leg one of our fast-paced, multi-day road trip through the Pacific Northwest. It started out as a non-stop drive through Northern California straight to the rocky coastline of Oregon…but eventually Katy got tired and let me drive for awhile. Apparently, unbeknownst to her, my predilections towards being distracted by shiny objects directly translates to several small, unplanned pit stops.

While driving through the mountains north of Redding, CA a sign caught my eye.

“Winery 1¼ miles Next Right”

Unfortunately, the next right was only 50 feet from the sign so it woke Katy up when I slammed on the brakes and swerved to see what a mountain top winery looks like. Do the grapes grow right up the side of pine trees? What role do the pinecones play? Do they hire yetis for the annual grape crushing? These are the questions we would never know the answers to if More >

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Geek Cred

Hey Team,

Ah HA!

Don’t worry. Everything is under control now. All it took was a little bit of…well, a LOT of finagling and WAY more effort than the average consumer would ever want to put into a clearly broken piece of equipment.

After SEVEN years of faithful service, including an intensive year and a half long period of travel crammed into a tiny backpack, my little old Sony Digital8 camcorder finally gave up the ship and shuffled off into that Japanese consumer electronics scrap heap in the sky…kinda.

I powered up the ol’ champ to get some footage of Arizona (the puppy, not the state) playing in her pool (hmm…I wonder how much I could get for footage of the state of Arizona playing in a pool) and it wouldn’t do anything but turn on and off and play the tape already in there. It wouldn’t record and most importantly it wouldn’t eject the tape.

I really wanted that tape.

An intensive Google session and three dollars later I was staring at a .pdf of the service manual for the DCR TRV340. Here’s the thing I didn’t know about sweat shops: those little kids must have some ridiculously nimble little fingers and they CLEARLY aren’t More >

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A Popsicle is Better Than a Kick in the Ribs

Hey Team,

I was wandering the streets of Fresno yesterday (it’s the easiest way to feel like I’m traveling without having to sleep on a park bench or hitchhike to the grocery store), slowly bringing my brain to a boil, in 105-degree heat. I had only gone about a block before I was just as soaked (although significantly less sexy) as that chick from Flashdance after she pulls the cord. Pretty silly considering the only effort I was exerting was holding up one end of a leash.

Arizona (the puppy holding up the other end of the leash) was too hot to waste energy tugging me along and instead trotted calmly beside me, tongue out, pretending she was well behaved. One more block down, I was starting to think that leaving the house without provisions and a first aid kit probably wasn’t a great idea. My mind had wandered to thoughts of heat stroke and whether or not I could count on Arizona to go find the sheriff if I collapsed. (More likely, she’d lick my face and then run off to find the nearest piece of cat poop to munch on. She’s no Lassie. Yet.)

That’s when the little blue car pulled More >

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Amtrekker: TALES FROM THE VAULT Premiere!

Hey Team,

Okay! No more of that silly waiting for Brett to do his thing. Here it is! Let me know what you think!

“Amtrekker travels to Caruthers, CA for the Caruthers Nationals flattrack dirtbike races where he manages to (of course) crash multiply times and show the crowd why people should never get on a bike for the first time for a race.”

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%3D51", 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();

The chat is for tonight and the comments are for posterity. (You can sign on using Facebook Connect AND you can leave VIDEO comments now! How cool is that, right?)

.mcrmeebo { display: block; background:url("http://widget.meebo.com/r.gif") no-repeat top right; } .mcrmeebo:hover { background:url("http://widget.meebo.com/ro.gif") no-repeat top right; }

Thanks Team!

I’m excited.

Brett.

If you like the site, it’s still your help that keeps things going! More >

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New Intro!

Hey Team,

It’s been a wacky few months filled with all kinds of non-sense, from big award nominations that I ultimately lost (Darn you, William Shatner. Darn you to heck.) to television treatments that are still in limbo to book proposals that remain (for the moment) unfinished, one constant has remained…the website was sorely neglected.

Not too mention I haven’t had the opportunity to edit video in too many weeks. How do we fix that? Simple.

Amtrekker: Tales From The Vault!

Yeah, I did all of the animation myself, I’m still a one man show over here so don’t judge too harshly…but exciting right!

This means over the next few months (with a hopeful return to the one video a week schedule) you’ll finally get to see all those adventures you missed out on: Racing (read: Crashing) dirtbikes, 3 card monte, Creating a crop circle and TONS of TASTHIB!

I’m excited!!! Are you?!?! (By the way, there’s a new comment system on the site that allows you to leave comments using facebook connect OR video comments using seesmic! Awesome, right? But wait. There’s more! The forums are back after their unfortunate demise at the hands of a hacker over a year ago!)

I’m done.

Brett.

If you like More >

The Streamys!

**Before we get started I just wanted to pointed out some changes to the comment system. Now you can leave a VIDEO comment or sign in with your Facebook info with Facebook Connect! Check in out and let me know how it works!**

Hey Team,

It’s been a crazy week to say the least. I’ve put in over 1,000 miles behind the wheel, visited four of California’s five largest cities, bicycled across the Golden Gate Bridge and still managed to find time to fail to win at not one, but TWO huge inaugural award ceremonies.

I blame William Shatner.

The 1st Annual Streamy Awards were this Saturday in Los Angeles.

The Streamy Awards is co-hosted by a consortium of leading new media companies — Tilzy.TV, Tubefilter, and NewTeeVee — to recognize outstanding achievement for shows produced originally for broadband distribution.

To understand my thoughts on The Streamys I should probably remind you of how I ended up in this position. Compared to most of the other folks there on Saturday I backed into this field largely by accident. I went on “vacation” and happened to bring along a laptop with some editing software and an eight year old Sony digital8 video camera. After being admonished for several months More >

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Ghost Hunting at Wolfe Manor! [video]

Hey Team,

Here’s the long awaited video shenanigans from that fateful night in one of America’s most haunted houses. (In a fancy new full screen capable video player no less!)

“Amtrekker meets up with Brian Brushwood and CJ Johnson to explore Wolfe Manor, one of the most haunted houses in America!

Nervous laughter and fear induced cursing ensue.”

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%3D50", 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();

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. It actually allows you to search most of the top website from one location. Pretty handy! But more importantly…our new affiliation with bookingbuddy.com means all you have to do to help out Amtrekker is click on one of their ads and sign up for an awesome newsletter More >


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