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American Rail Passes…FOR AMERICANS!

Hey Team,

In the process of trying to figure out how I’m going to get from California to Michigan in the next few days I made a startling discovery! There was a time not so very long ago (this was true within the last six months) that Amtrak didn’t actually allow residents of the US or Canada to buy regional rail passes. A shame because they are so reasonably priced!

The first couple months of my epic adventure I was purchasing North American Rail Passes which although awesome and versatile are kind of pricey at nearly $1000 dollars a piece whereas had I not been born in this great country of ours I could have scored a USA rail pass for a scant $389! Or even cheaper for the regional passes!

A fantastic deal that I would recommend ANYONE look into especially if you’re already planning a lengthy trip. But in this case the bottom line is this: Amtrekker is slowly coming to a close. I only have about one more month to go before things are completely wrapped up and I already have all of the objectives lined up! The only thing holding the adventure back is a mode of travel to More >

#42 Ride an Ostrich! [podcast]

Hey Team,

If you like watching me do stupid things (and I know you do) then you’re going to like this one…

“Amtrekker travels to Virginia City, NV to take part in the 49th Annual International Camel Races (Specifically the ostrich racing portion of the weekend)!

Watch as a terrified Brett mans up and falls down.”

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%3D5", 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();

AND, as usual…here’s the external video link.

Thanks!

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 More >

I Crashed an Ostrich

Hey Team,

Let me tell you a few things I recently learned about ostriches…but first I should put things in a little bit of context.

July 4th of 2007 I left home on this little Amtrekker adventure of mine thinking, “Remember Swiss Family Robinson? Man, that kid on the ostrich looked like he was having a blast!”

Fast-forward eight months to the first time I ever got a close look at an ostrich…or as I like to call them, “Giant feathered dinosaurs.” Suddenly, I was thinking, “Huh, I don’t remember seeing that kid in any other movies. I wonder if he survived the filming.”

Now that I had let fear into my heart it became VERY important to me that I find an ostrich that was used to being ridden. Preferably one that REALLY enjoyed being ridden. Maybe an ostrich somewhere that loved having people on its back so much that it would seek out interaction, softly cooing and nuzzling you until you gave in and jumped on his back making him the happiest ostrich in all the land.

I found the next best thing. Joe Hedrick makes his living raising exotic animals and traveling the country doing shows and setting up ostrich and camel More >

“Moonshinery 2008” Update

Hey Team,

Here’s the update on “Moonshinery 2008.” You all know Jeff MacPherson (better known on the webbernets as Dr. Tiki) and I got the ball rolling late last week with an attempt at mash (which, for you non-hillbillies out there is the fermented liquid that gets distilled into moonshine). As far as we know (which isn’t very far) things went well…

Yesterday I got a call from Dr. Tiki saying that, after five days, our (more than likely poisonous) mixture of sugar, cornmeal and yeast definitely smelled like booze…and bread. And since I have to be in Virginia City tomorrow to ride an ostrich(!) we decided to jump the gun a little and see if we couldn’t manage to distill some grade A moonshine from what had already fermented.

We couldn’t.

Despite our ingenious still setup we had nothing to show for our early efforts after several hours. Which isn’t to say we’ve failed…yet. The yeast in our toxic brew is still doing it’s thing and as soon as that poison stops bubbling and things start smelling more like alcohol than bread we’ll jump back in and see what we can make happen!

Until then…I’m going to go jump head first into the terrifying More >

Disneylanding

Hey Team,

What a great day of Disneylanding! Now THAT is how time should be killed (or at least maimed and left for dead). It’s hard to beat roaming around the happiest place on Earth with friends and seeing all those old acquaintances I thought were long gone while being sucked into the most impressive fantasy world ever created…unless of course you also happened to grab the number one spot for the day in the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters attraction!

Yeah, you heard right. I’m a galactic hero…wanna make something of it?!

Didn’t think so.

Honestly though, I absolutely love that place. I’m reasonably sure my career with the company is over but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for those theme parks. Say what you will about how “evil” and “corporate” Disney is but if they can turn a profit while bringing smiles to the faces of millions upon millions of park-goers and their kids every year then there’s no way they can be all bad.

You really just can’t help but smile on a day like yesterday. Granted I am a HUGE geek when it comes to the theme parks. I often have to FORCE myself to stop spewing More >

Baby Changes

Hey Team,

Just a really quick update today. Dr. Tiki and I are going to try to distill our toxic brew on Thursday so the video of that should be up by this weekend and I’m sure it will be awesome (read: a fun disaster)!

More importantly it doesn’t look like much has happened on the site for the last couple days but if you have a sharp eye you’ll see a few things have changed and a lot has happened behind the scenes to try to stabilize things. These are frustrating days for me. Since I work alone no one else is going to magically get all this web work done but I can spend all day on something and in the end it feels like there’s nothing to show for it and no one will ever know.

BUT, on the upside here are the things you WILL be able to notice:

If any of the objectives ever had a corresponding video produced then the crossed off item on the left hand side now points directly to the post with that video embedded instead of just pointing you to the first post to mention the completion! So now you people (and especially all the More >

What a Tangled Web We’ve Woven

Hey Team,

Since it takes a few days for cornmeal, sugar and yeast to become a potent and disgusting alcohol I’ve had a lot of free time the last couple days. I wouldn’t say I’ve been KILLING time necessarily because it’s not something I’ve been doing on purpose and I wouldn’t consider myself homicidal (chronocidal?). So, I suppose it’s more like time has been dying of natural causes while I sit around working on projects that are fairly unrelated to Amtrekker…except that in a short amount of time I’ll have to start thinking about gainful employment again.

Most of the last few days have been spent finishing up the script to a comic book I’ve been working on for awhile (that I suppose I may post if there’s any interest) but I’ve also spent more than my fair share of time bouncing around the internet. Idle time and a strong internet connection are a dangerous combination and I never realized how appropriate the term “web” is when describing the…um…web.

Yes, everything is interconnected but more importantly when every link you click just leads you to another more irresistible link you find yourself getting inextricably tangled in this vicious web of largely useless More >

Disaster Looms

Hey Team,

After a long hiatus from crossing stuff off the list thanks to one scheduling failure after another spanning most of the country I finally feel back on track after today.

I packed up the goods (mostly corn meal, sugar and a bucket) and met up with Dr. Tiki at an undisclosed location (well into international waters where it is completely legal to make moonshine) and spent about an hour setting the stage for our undoing.

I purposely chose the simplest moonshine recipe I could find that still seemed to follow all the basic rules, reasoning that there would be less opportunities to screw it up. There’s no way of knowing whether or not we managed to do just that anyway for another few days but suffice it to say, despite there really only being three steps involved in this little procedure the most common phrase to pass through the lips of both the good doctor and I was:

“Wait…hold on…what do the instructions say?!”

It’s almost guaranteed to be a disaster. And I’m not just saying that because basically we’re trying to make a poison that the human body wants to reject anyway nor because it will practically by definition taste horrible; I’m talking More >


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