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[AMA Request] Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (The married VO artists who work with Brandon Sanderson)

Aug 6th 2017 by Snote85 • 34 Questions • 2247 Points

That's all the time I have for today. Thanks everyone!

I’m a 5 time Grammy-nominated guitarist with six #1 blues albums to my name along with a string of #1 mainstream rock singles and numerous awards. My new album Lay It On Down just came out last week - buy it at Amazon - and I’ll be on tour throughout the summer/fall.

Proof: https://twitter.com/KWShepherd/status/894283464178106369

Q:

Me too!

A:

Fascinating AMA. I'm much older than you, but when I was little we'd gesture to truck drivers to honk their horn. And much to our delight, they always did! I don't see that anymore. Is it just too dangerous? I mean it's a pretty loud horn probably for emergencies only? Thanks for this AMA! Edited.


Q:

I was immediately drawn in by this show. We were shocked to find that it had been cancelled. If enough hype and public interest was gained, do you think there is any chance that more seasons could be made instead of just a two hour finale? There was so much building to just have it end.

A:

Hello! Please note that this is a request post, not an actual AMA. Top level comments are not required to be a question on this thread. You can find out more information about request posts here.

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Q:

What was the most exciting location to shoot from?

A:

I remember your last ama! I was the store manager at the Dollar General in Adams MA, you bought cookies, and we shot the shit outside for at least 20 minutes. It's good to see you're doing well. What is next your next adventure?


Q:

Have you ever considered an endorsement deal for the Milano cookies made by Pepperidge Farm?

A:

Why are you responding from a separate account than the OP?


Q:

Hi Brian! Thanks for doing this AMA.

In The Office, where did your character's "cookie season" song come from?

A:

Who was your favorite person that you got to meet or perform with that made you act all shy around?


Q:

I do the same with Cosmere books. They are so, like you say, soothing to listen to. It's easy to get lost in what they're saying while you do some repetitive or boring task. I have listened to the Stormlight books so many times that I lost count. I'd say I'm on, easily, my 100th read through.

Edit: To clarify, I drive, round trip, about 2 hours to work each week day. I play either TWoK or WoR. I am a school janitor and spend hours a day alone in rooms cleaning. I listen to TWoK or WoR. I fall asleep listening to TWoK or WoR. I have done this since TWoK came out. That was in 2010. I start playing one of them and listen to it, picking it up where I left off each time, and don't stop till it's been read all the way through, then start over. I'm not always paying attention to it but it's always playing.

I do not have a reason to lie about this. If you all want to believe me, great. If you don't, great. Downvote me, call me a liar, whatever you want to do. You're wrong but you do you.

A:

Kids are so plugged into their screens these days no one pumps anymore... When I see it I honk. :)


Q:

I agree, and that's my hope. On the FB Live chat yesterday, Lana made a comment about her writing an entire third season just in case it got picked up. Not sure if she was serious or maybe just trying to build interest, but I'd love to see it be real.

A:

Good bot :)


Q:

Probably the tiny atoll of Woleai, in Micronesia, for last year's eclipse in March of 2016. We had no electricity, no internet, no nothing. Had to bring it all by boat!

A:

See? This is what I'm talking about!

I'm on my next adventure now! I quit the office job and tell stories. I can't top this.


Q:

As long as I get a lifetime supply I would do this.

A:

Sorry, I accidentally logged myself out and had to log back in when I refreshed to see if there were more questions, sticking to JamieGreubelPoser now. My bad.


Q:

genius writers. I couldn't possible have come up with something that strangely stupid and yet made sense character wise.

A:

BB King


Q:

A lot of people who regularly listen to audio books speed it up. I listen on 3x speed and I listen to my one monthly book in a few days and then re listen to the books in my library. I've listened to the King Killer Chronicles at least 50+ times.

A:

Fellow trucker here. It's DOT regulation that if a child pump gestures for the air horn, we have to do it


Q:

I wish amazon bought out the contract to keep the show going. I know they are having a 2 hour finale to wrap up the show but I know there is so much more to be done.

A:

oh, hello. Funny running into you here, I thought I was in the wrong place.


Q:

I hear you will be broadcasting in Spanish, too -- is this true?

A:

Have you heard of this other trail, the PCT?😉


Q:

Hello Alyssa

Do you think it's about time for a Commando sequel?

A:

Who's your favorite brakeman....? 🤔


Q:

Hi Brian! My wife and I love your work on The Office!

My question is, did you personally improvise any of your character's lines? And if so, which line was your favorite?

A:

You came to town many years ago on tour with BB king and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and I saw you play with Double Trouble. You blew me away. Not to take away from the other acts but you were the highlight of the show for me.


Q:

It's easier to do than people think to go through a book, front to back, when you connect with it so intensely. It's amazing to me, based on dude's math, that I've spent a year of my life with Michael and Kate playing in my ears. Yet, I absolutely believe it's possible.

When you drive 2 hours a day to get to work, do a boring job, and can't sleep without something playing in the background to distract you, it becomes very easy to burn through some audibook time. When the only thing you really want to hear playing is the same thing, then it's very easy to spend hundreds of hours playing that one thing.

I believe you, fuck the haters.

A:

Absolutely!


Q:

Hopefully if we get more eyes on the show, maybe we can get them to rethink a finale-only end to the series. Hopefully.

A:

Hmmmm are you stalking me? Because that would be super


Q:

Yes! Our live coverage in Spanish, from 10:00-11:00AM PDT will be hosted by Exploratorium astronomer/educator Dr. Isabel Hawkins and Univision's Kira Vilanova.

A:

Sounds hard.


Q:

Way overdue IMHO.

A:

Who's your favorite driver? ;)


Q:

yes.

WHAT DOES A BEAN MEAN?!?

A:

Thank you!


Q:

i think u forgot to logout of ur OP account.

A:

My girls scared the shit outta me the other day. Got a trucker to honk. v proud! No idea where they learned it


Q:

He did one before I think but it was bullshit his staffers were spewing.

A:

My friends bought sketchy eclipse glasses on the street. They don't seem to be more than 3D glasses. Is there a way to tell real eclipse safety glasses from fake ones or just 3d glasses?


Q:

My brother hiked just past Pennsylvania on the AT a few years back. He tells me that one day he just thought "What the fuck am I doing here?" then called me to come get him. He doesn't have kids or a wife, but he had community responsibilities and a dog that he left behind.

That being said, what drove you forward every day? Was there a day where you realized how much it had changed you - not just physically but emotionally?

I'm looking forward to reading your book - when my brother left I read quite a few trail books. They do read like diaries lol

A:

Commando: Ten Years Later.


Q:

What got you into bobsledding in the first place? What made you decide this was something you wanted to do at the highest level?

A:

Who decided to make the Kevin voice evolve from what it was in the early seasons to what it ultimately became?


Q:

Quick tips to step my guitar playing up a notch?

A:

I didn't forget. I just don't care if you want to browse through my post history.


Q:

Probably school

A:

Right, that's why I want a new one. Outside of the public life, able to say what he wants


Q:

Only eclipse glasses with verifiable filtering with the ISO 12312-2 level can be used to safely look at the sun. To find reputable sources we recommend consulting the American Astronomical Society's solar filters and viewers guide at https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters Please make sure your eclipse glasses come from reputable sources!

A:

what drove you forward every day?

It was something different every day.

My insane love for living outside is what got me out there in the first place. The people are pretty amazing too. I was a 44 year old computer engineer making friends with humans I never would have encountered under any other circumstances. A retired machinist who foraged for edible plants and played the fiddle. A young lady with a brand new anthropology degree, an Israeli cartoonist, a Japanese swordsman. The year I hiked we had an astronaut on the trail with us.

You develop this huge extended family that's stretched out over a hundred miles or so, and you know where everyone is without asking. It's almost like a pack, and that pulls you along. The trail becomes your life. You don't even think about "the real world" for days.

If you do quit, you have to go back to your job... Gross.


Q:

More like Commando: 30 years later

A:

I wasn't ready to be done with sports after college, but nobody encouraged to continue with track so I didn't even know it was an option, but I always felt like I had more. A teammate suggested that I try out, it never would have been on my radar otherwise. I am super competitive so I have always loved sports and it was the perfect fit.


Q:

It was a process. As kevin had more and more to say- I discovered exactly what his voice was.

A:

Do you play in a band? If not, go play with some real people. Find a Blues jam and sit in. The single best thing for my playing was playing on stage every night with other people and getting out of the house with it.


Q:

As someone that enjoys 1.1x, 3x seems like it would defeat the purpose.

Can't imagine that being enjoyable. 1.5x is even stretching it to me.

A:

You fist pump with two hands?


Q:

Also, looking at the sun during the eclipse is not any more dangerous than looking at the sun on any other day. If you're like me, and you enjoy you some sun staring, you're fine.

A:

Replies like this are why I subscribed to r/IAmA. (Also, thank you for the free e-book!) I remember your post a couple of years ago & just skimmed it again -- great stuff. I'm incredibly happy for you that you get to hike & tell stories for a living now. ;)

Btw I'm just a day-hiker; my hubby's sectioning the AT. He's going for 2 weeks to Massachusetts next month! Best wishes & hope there are lots more books in your future.


Q:

Knowing that James Gunn has a crush on you, how do you plan on using this to get a part in Guardians of the Galaxy 3 ?

A:

What goes through your mind when you're racing down at 80 mph? Or do you let your muscle memory from training take over?


Q:

Hey Mr. Baumgartner! You delivered one of my favorite moments in The Office, where Kevin has just won back the parking spaces and says "it's just nice to win one". As far as the show goes, that's one of those little moments that solidify how real the characters are. What were some of your favorite "little moments" over the course of the show?

A:

what's on your pedalboard these days?


Q:

I've tried that but for some reason it gives me a horrible headache to speed them up. Thanks for the advice though.

A:

Depends on my mood... Using the left feels like it's a stranger...... Ohhhhh my bad


Q:

Here's one of our recent favorite videos - highlights from the 2016 total solar eclipse that we captured in Micronesia: https://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/past?media=8239

A:

Never say "just a day hiker". :-)

But I know what you mean. Thank you for the kind words!


Q:

This would be fun.

A:

I just try to remember the few cues that I are important and trust my program and not overthink what I am doing or become to mechanical with my driving.


Q:

Thanks. I liked that one too. OR the moment Kevin finds a girl he likes and might like him back (Lynn.)

One I just watched. When Michael drives across the country to move Holly to her new home, thinking they will commute every weekend to stay together. And then- after the full day. He leaves. Hugs her and leaves. The little things that show so much.

A:

CAE Wah, Tycobrahe Octavia, TS-808HW Tube Screamer, King Of Tone, Delay Llama, Vibe-Bro, Bi-Chorus, and a tuner


A:

Is driving a truck as free as it seems, where you can stop whenever something interesting catches your eye, or are you expected to drive for much longer than 8 hours a day to meet difficult schedules?


Q:

Thanks for doing this! How many eclipses have your live-streamed? Has any group done more than you?

Also, what was the most difficult expedition/broadcast?

A:

what did you eat?


Q:

Alyssa, about 15 years ago you came into my bookstore with your boyfriend and bought a book. You asked for it to be gift wrapped but while we were wrapping it you left the store and forgot the book. It stayed on the shelf​ behind the register for years (the store is out of business now), with a note that said "For Alyssa Milano" in case you ever back to pick it up. We never unwrapped it. And I've wondered for years.

What was the book?

A:

What does "training" consist of? Nordic skiers will spend tons of time running (in the off season) and skiing to build their cardiovascular systems to cope with more training and the actual races. They'll do a lot of strength training, some quite general and some very specific to their sport. And they'll practice technique a lot too.

What do you do? It seems to me like some squats and similar leg strength exercises are a good idea. And probably a lot of short sprints, probably with some weight to push. How do you practice the actual riding? What's off season like?


Q:

Favorite golf course you've ever played at?

A:

As a musician, what's it like to play the same songs over and over, night after night? Do you ever get tired of it? Are there any songs you dread playing?


Q:

I'm absolutely not lying. I work with them, drive with them, sleep with them. I'm not under or over estimating. I have listened to them, at least one of them, every single day since I started TWoK in 2010.

Edited 2012 to be 2010 as I couldn't remember when it came out but know I started it the year it came out. Also, believe what you want. I owe you nothing and have no way of convincing you and don't honestly care if you believe me or not. I told the truth, it's on you after that.

A:

Was actually not expecting a response so thanks for taking the time to ask :)

It really depends on the load/dispatch schedule, time is super crucial in the type of freight I haul, so I can't always 'just stop'. Also the matter of fitting a 75' vehicle in some spots can be tough!

As for hours of driving, truckers (in the US) are governed by specific Federal Regulations (called the FMCSR). We can drive up to 11 hours within a 14 hour period following a full 10 hour break. We cannot drive more than 70 hours in an 8 day period. There are some other rules governing Hours of Service but they can be a bit confusing.


Q:

You are welcome, it is our pleasure. We have live streamed 11 eclipses, starting back in 1994 with an experiment. Good question if anyone has done more then us-probably SLOOH. As for the most difficult expedition, probably Western China in 2008, which was very remote.

A:

I'll come back in a minutes and type up a list, but for now, here's a video answer. This is me on the trail, right after resupply:

https://youtu.be/E8-qKNPZU74

Meals On Trail: I want something light, cheap, and full of calories. Notice that flavor does not come into play.

  • Breakfast - Pop tarts or Honey Buns. The ones that have that thick layer of "icing" that you can peel off in one piece? Yeah, save that for tent repairs later. Seriously though, you want big calories and carbs early in the day. 700 calories in one of those bad boys. I also add Carnation Instant Breakfast to my instant coffee just for the calories and vitamins.

  • Lunch - No such thing. I used to stop in the middle of the day and cook up some ramen, but that's time consuming and in the summer it's too hot to eat soup anyway. Instead, gnaw on the ramen brick while you walk. The crunchy bits brush your teeth while you eat, so it's two for one. But for real, I kept my pockets stuffed with Clif Bars, jerky, dried fruit, snickers, a small jar of peanut butter, nuts, berries... pretty much munching all day.

  • Dinner - Knorr pasta sides. Throw in a packet of tuna for protein. Maybe thicken it with insta potatoes too. Mmmmm. Gruel.

Meals in Town: This is a whole new ball game. You've been operating at caloric deficit for days. Time to binge.

  • If I could time it right, I liked to get into town around lunch time. I'd start with a beer, a salad and either a cheese burger or a large pizza. Just for me. After a second beer and a few scoops of ice cream, I'm ready to (a) do laundry and (b) start thinking about where I'll have dinner.

Q:

OOoohhhhh! I love this story. I have no idea what the book was or who it was for.

A:

We train like weight lifters and sprinters in the offseason. We do have a bobsled on wheels that we can push to practice the start and the load distance, but I don't work on my riding position or driving in the offseason.


Q:

eeeesh. Tough. Shadow Creek in Vegas is unbelievable. Pebble Beach- obi. Edgewood in Tahoe has personal sentimentality.

I really want to play Augusta. Invite?

A:

I have always made sure to record songs that I really like ad believe in so that we don't get tired of playing them. I'm proud of all my albums, but one great thing about having such an extensive catalog is that we have a lot of songs to choose from. I usually put together a few different set lists so we can switch it up on any given night if we feel like something different.


Q:

Oh god. Michael's way of speaking when he's Elayne. My eye twitches at the way he makes her sound. Hes fairly great with WoT otherwise.

A:

Did you switch over to the e logs yet?


Q:

Can you view the eclipse through a telescope lens safely without the glasses? Would that filter the harmful rays?

A:

The pic on the right looks like one of those photos a terrorist group that hides out in the jungles of the Philippines might release demanding ransom money. Are you back to normal?


Q:

Hey there was a recent rumor that Holly Marie Combs eventually said wasn't true that Charmed was gonna get a reboot or continuation on Netflix or was at least in talks to. Is that something you'd be interested in?

My sisters and I used to watch Charmed every morning while getting ready for school so we'd all really love it.

A:

Netflix's White Rabbit Project did a really interesting episode about bobsledding as well, if you'd like to check it out.


Q:

Hi Brian, just wanted to let you know that I watched the office at least six times all the way through and it gets funnier every single time. I was wondering if any of the scenes were just you guys riffing with one another trying to make each other laugh as opposed to pre written lines? I Also wanted to add that I'm very proud of you for keeping Oscars secret for so long, I couldn't have done it.

A:

did you ever think you would be playing this long or still touring?

btw... i saw you when you played the bluesfest in thunder bay, canada a couple years ago.


Q:

I'm very sorry but I haven't read WoT yet. I'm sure that's something else to add to the list. I had way, way, way more questions than 5 but I figured that would be enough to show that the request had merit.

I feel ashamed to call myself a fantasy fan and not have read those books. I may make it my next series.

A:

Been on ELogs my whole career


Q:

No, you need a special filter for the telescope lens.

A:

Are you back to normal?

Not even close. I'm blurry now.

http://i.imgur.com/DVkBlxL.jpg


Q:

We have all said we would be interested in exploring a reboot. CBS Studios has the rights and is continuing to develop. I'm unsure of what their take would be or if we would be included.

A:

Will do, thanks!


Q:

Kinda answered above. re: Improv. But thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately I could;t keep a secret like that in real life.

A:

I had no idea what was going to happen when i first signed my record deal. You never know how people will react to your music. Thankfully it's been about 25 years now and we are still going strong, thanks to the fans.


Q:

I'm most curious about how Kramer managed to say Rock's real name so effortlessly in Way of Kings.

A:

Have you ever had any close calls with the inconsiderate drivers who want to cut you off?

How nerve-wrecking is it to drive in bad weather and bad traffic?


Q:

Will it be noticeably different to experience totality with a school grade telescope?

A:

You look like someone's awesome middle school science teacher


Q:

Hi Alyssa! What was it like to work with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a kid?

A:

What was it like to be raised in Philadelphia? Did you frequent the playground?


Q:

What episode of The Office was the longest or most painstaking to shoot, and why?

I'm a diehard fan, and if you end up replying, thanks a lot!

A:

What was it like touring with Vai and Satriani on the G3 tour?


Q:

You and me both! I remember Christopher Paolini said he wrote a word in one of the books just to see if his narrator could say it. The narrator not only said it but nailed it first try.

These two are pro's for sure and I'm almost certain they had no trouble with it but I'd love to know if not. Those sounds just aren't easy for a native English speaker from North America.

A:

I have had lots of close calls but I have over 650,000 miles accident free :) and plan to continue on that course, I drive very cautiously and try to always leave myself an 'out'

As for bad weather, respect the road, respect the weather. Drive speeds appropriate for conditions. And you should not have too many problems


Q:

Probably, but it really depends on the magnification and filters.

A:

Funny you should say that. I used to want to be a middle school science teacher back in the day. My dad was.

Thanks.


Q:

It was awesome. He used to help me with my algebra homework.

A:

Yes! LOVE Philly. I'm there a few times a year when I'm not on the road for bobsled.


Q:

the pool episode at (supposedly) Spader's pool. LOOOOOONG LOOOOOONG days in that pool.

Also- The Fire episode. It was Really really hot outside in LA in August. And we were in the parking lot almost all week.

A:

Awesome! A couple of very nice people and amazing guitar players for sure.


Q:

I posted a link to this on their Facebook page. Hopefully they're not too busy with Oathbringer to stop by!

A:

is it at all possible to live a healthy lifestyle on the road and not gain weight and if so how would one do it? do truck stops sell enough vegetables/protein snacks meals etc for it to be viable and could you get enough exercise each day in your routine?


Q:

I've seen things written about watching the shadow race toward you if you are viewing from a mountaintop. How pronounced is this, and is it worth it for people to travel to a remote mountain locatoin to see?

Also, a shameless plug for /r/solareclipse for people who have questions after this IAMA is over.

edit: formatting

A:

How much money did you need saved for this whole thing?


Q:

How do you feel to have a ship named after you in Guardians of the Galaxy?

A:

Thanks for the AMA! I've always been curious how anyone gets into bobsledding. How did you start and then realize you were actually good at it?


Q:

Brian! How do you play Dallas?

A:

Hey Mr. Shepherd! Just wanted to say you are one of the few artists that got me into the blues! But on top of that, I'm a huge car enthusiast and I work for a motorsports website. My question is what is your opinion of the new age muscle cars like the Demon or ZL1 1LE?


Q:

Thank you very much. I sent a link to Brandon's assistant as well, hopefully is the right word. Pete seemed to think if enough people were interested, they might do it. That was just my read on what he said about it. I have my finger's crossed, too.

It is great what they do and I hope they know what big fans that they have. I fully expect recording another epic fantasy from Brandon might require a few minutes though. So, I won't be harboring any ill will if they can't do it.

I also thought the Sanderson team might see it as a chance to raise awareness about the Oathbringer release. Which might help get them on board. Not to say that's the only reason they'd do it, just that they might consider it as part of the equation of reasons to come chat with us.

A:

It is possible, but super hard, I haven't always been successful, I have finally started to get my weight undercontrol and down, I've lost 30 pounds so far, but we live such sedentary lives behind the wheel. The truck stops are full of garbage, I wish they would carry produce, but I have a refrigerator and shop at a Walmart once a week. I've got some cooking supplies and try to cook for myself as much as possible.


Q:

Hi-I have never witnessed this myself, but I hear it can be quite spectacular. Also, you can likely watch the ISS capture the shadow as it moves along the path.

A:

EDIT:

Everyone's answer will be different. I already had all my gear for example. But I also had bills to pay back home. To normalize this, we'll make the following assumptions:

  1. You have all your gear. (That cost varies wildly... give me time)
  2. We're not factoring in costs back home.

The whole thing can be done for $5k. If you don't stop in town too often and don't drink too much beer when you do, $5k is about a grand per month, or $250 a week, and your only expenses are food, rides and laundry. Plus the occasional hotel/hostel.

That's pretty lean though. If you want to enjoy a few zero days (you hike zero miles and enjoy town life instead) and sleep in a few more warm beds, $6-7K is easy to spend, too.


Q:

Pretty much the coolest thing EVER!

A:

I tried out because a college teammate suggested it. Athletes and coaches in the sport told me I had potential, I would have never known otherwise. I realized when I just missed making the Vancouver Olympic team as a brakeman that I had a chance to go. I got really motivated and decided to switch to driving and give it a shot.


Q:

Carefully

A:

I think they're great and we are now living in the new golden age of automobiles. I just ordered a Demon, so that should tell you right there how I feel about it!


Q:

How do you keep your food from flying around.

Also how much square footage do you have in your living quarters and could you describe what's in it and the layout?

A:

Do you have a preference for eyewear? I have shade 14 welders goggles and ISO approved glasses but just had Baader safety film arrive at my place and am going to make glasses out if that. I've never experienced an eclipse but it has been top of my bucket list ever since reading about its impact regarding physics, specifically with relativity. What are your recommendations?


Q:

You just linked back to this entire thread.

A:

Hey Alyssa,

My dad is a huge fan of your show, Charmed. He watches the reruns on TNT every morning. However, my mom teases him for watching it. She says he is losing his man card.

What price of advice/message do you have for my dad? His name is Mike btw


Q:

I don't mean to offend, but are you insane? What causes you to keep going back and doing it again?

A:

Are you surprised by the shows second life on Netflix? I think i've seen it 7 times start to finish.


Q:

Hell yeah! Good to hear. Thanks for doing the AMA, I could honestly ask you a million questions. Any chance you would be interested in doing an interview for my website? Thanks again!

A:

Everything in the truck is packed away in boxes and cabinets that lock shut.

As far as the layout I have in the front of the truck there's two chairs obviously my driver's seat and the passenger seat which I use as a filing drawer and my refrigerator goes in front of it in the footwell. in the back there is a lower bunk which I sleep on it's a twin and then there's an upper bunk which is empty and I use as an additional storage Shelf which prevents things from flying off because it's shaped like a well the hold the mattress.

There's a pull-out drawer which also serves as a desk in the back and all of my appliances run on 12 volt power like old cigarette lighters.

The truck is about 9 ft wide and 9 and 1/2 ft deep 13 and a half feet tall. It's not much but it's home.


Q:

Good question. Images seen with each type of approved solar filter will look slightly different. We don't have a preference other than safety. We made this video to explore the story of Einstein's light-bending concept: https://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/video/einsteins-light-bending-concept

A:

Fixed.


Q:

Does he watch it with the sound on? I'm kidding. I kid. Tell Mike it takes a man totally secure in his masculinity to watch the show and your mom is secretly more attracted to him because of it.

A:

Debatably :) I love challenging myself and I want to be the best at what I do.


Q:

Loving watching it right now

A:

Whats your website? Usually interviews are scheduled through management or the publicist. If you contact either one of them we can try to get it set up


Q:

Do you get "cabin fever" or claustrophobia being in your rig all day?

Thanks for doing this AMA

A:

I'll be on a plane! Flying back to SF from the U.K. :(( Is there a chance I'll see it?! Flight leaves 1130am UK time. Which side of the plane should I sit on?! :)


Q:

What was the effect of a beer on your body with that intense energy output?

Also, what you say about pop tarts really puts who should and should not be eating them into perspective.

A:

I never watched it when I was younger, but my girlfriend in law school was a major Charmed fan when she was a kid. We picked up all the seasons on DVD and would watch them almost every night. Great show and fond memories for me.


Q:

Hey Jamie, Some sports (looking at you gymnastics and ice skating) involve people training from as young as 3 years old. How long have you been training to bobsled and how easy is it to get into?

A:

Hi Brian! Who is the least like their character in real life? And who was basically playing themselves? I feel like the answer to both is Creed, but am I wrong?


Q:

With your fan base growing so rapidly over the years will you still play at smaller intimate venues? Being a huge fan it's the greatest experience rather than big arenas (((stone pony))) 😙

A:

Sometimes but not usually I try and get out and do stuff on weekends when I'm not running or shut down and if he gets to be too crowded I'll stop at a hotel that will let me park the truck and stay the night in the hotel but that's not common it's a treat


Q:

Rob here-Hmmm hard to say where the plane will be during the eclipse. Probably sit on the port (left) side in the event that it will fly near the path. Backup plan: wi-fi on plane with our Total Solar Eclipse mobile app or website and watch our live video.

A:

I could get hammered from 2 beers. Hell, fresh bread gave me a buzz.


Q:

I love this.

A:

I have been bobsledding for 10 years now. Anyone can come try out for our team. It helps to have an athletic background. You fill out a form on the USA bobsled website and get in touch with the staff. You can compete in a combine which is a physical test to show the coaches if you would have potential in the sport. After the combine you would get invited to a push camp to learn how to push a sled and then possibly get invited to our national push champs and national team trials to try to earn a spot on the team.


Q:

Least like. Me.

Most like. Probably John/ Jim.

Though for most similar and least similar I would indeed go with Creed.

A:

We do a variety of different venues from large outdoor amphitheaters to more intimate smaller settings as well depending on the market and the tour. I know the fans love the smaller places because they are much closer to the band. I've found that the happy medium for most people is a nice theater. Still feels intimate but not too small.


Q:

thanks. my guess would be to try and restrict yourself to as low carb a diet as possible ie nothing but protein and vegetables and maybe try and do pushups and run around your truck for 20min or so a day if you have time? good luck

A:

One time I looked directly at the sun, what kind of damage did I do to my eyes?


Q:

When you finished your journey what was the first meal you were able to give yourself? Was it as glorious as I assume it was.

A:

Was Tony, Angela, or Mona the boss?


Q:

The scariest moment you've had in bobsledding?

A:

Not Kevin but I think Angela, looking on her insta she is a loving caring person


Q:

Thanks for doing an AMA Kenny. I had the pleasure of seeing you on the Hendrix Experience tour. Seeing you play Voodoo Child was by far the the musical highlight of my life. Do you ever get tired of playing that song or does it still feel fresh after playing it so often?

edit:words

A:

Also super strict portion control, when I park in the evening I get out and walk the parking lot, most places have it measured and I try to do about a mile and a half. Which I know isn't much but I got super unhealthy and have to start somewhere.


Q:

Hopefully none but please consult a health-care professional. Always remember to use a certified filter for viewing the sun directly.

A:

Birthday cake! http://i.imgur.com/2wBoUSn.jpg

I turned 45 the day I reached Katahdin. My wife met me and brought that and homemade sausage biscuits with cheese, and tons of hard vegetables. I was craving broccoli and cauliflower for some reason. Probably some nutritional deficiency that my body understood more than my brain.


Q:

We still don't know....

A:

I jumped into the sled on one of the hardest tracks in the world and realized there was a pin holding my 2 steering arms together, so I had no control of the sled. I reached my hands to try to pull the pin out, but my helmet would let me reach far enough. Luckily between the first and second curve the vibration of the ice and the cornel wiggled the pin out and I could steer, but my heart was pounding and I was about a blink away from crashing.


Q:

She easily fools you, Little One.

A:

I still enjoy playing that song every night. It's one of the greatest guitar anthems ever written and is a joy to play. Theres many different places you can take that song. It's the perfect music bed for improvisation.


Q:

Is the 'truck stop hooker' a reality or just a legend? If real, are they as scary as they are on TV and movies?

A:

How has the technology for live streaming the Eclipse changed over the last 20 years? What are the most exciting improvements in the tech?


Q:

How often were you in contact with your wife & how often did you see her on your journey?

A:

Hi! Thanks so much for doing this AMA! My roommates and I love binge watching Charmed while female bonding. Your character is so inspiring! Kicking ass, fighting evil, being a loving sister, and all that. My question is: do you have a particular person in your life or a fictional character that you really look up to?


Q:

What song is your favorite to play?

A:

Hey Brian! Huge fan of The Office, obviously. My question: what was the hardest scene to film without breaking character?


Q:

Awesome, thanks for the answer. You are the main reason I got into blues as a kid.

A:

We call them Lot Lizards, they are real, not as common as they used to be but are fairly predominant in the southwest. And for the most part yes they are terrifying. They can also be super young, I volunteer with an organization called Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) which works to report underage sex trafficking and bring those involved to safety and those responsible to justice.


Q:

In the early days of internet video (mid '90s to early 2000s), we were limited by the bandwidth we could use for transmitting live video as well as the image quality. Now, we can use HD video and multiple megabits/second bandwidth for streaming! This allows us to capture and send high quality video from our telescopes and deliver it to smart phones...a long way from the postage-stamp sized, slow-moving video of the early days!

A:

We live down south, so for the first month of my hike she came to visit me on the trail every weekend. She's a hiker too, and climbed a few mountains with me near the start.

Once it got to be a four hour drive for her, we stopped seeing each other and only spoke on the phone. She joined me at the very end.


Q:

My daughter is fearless and funny. She inspires me daily. And my mother is a strong, smart, woman that gives me strength when I don't feel so strong.

A:

Blackbird by the Beatles.


Q:

Well FOR me... my scene with Holly when she counts the coins in my hand and holds up the button and tells me "This is a button." Something about the look on her face and voice. There is still a smile on my face in the take they used.

For Everyone else- the one that everyone always talks about was Kevin sitting on Santa's (Michael's) lap.

A:

thank you


Q:

I'm not sure where all you drive but based on where you've been in the US, what are the top places one shouldn't miss in their lifetime (go vacation / drive there)?

A:

How do you recommend I photograph the eclipse? Any Aperture/shutter speed/iso settings you would recommend? Anything I need to prep for before I set my camera up?


Q:

How was it for her with you being gone so often? I understand she visited you a lot but 5 months is a while to not see a spouse on a regular basis. Also you said you left your job and now live in a more wilderness setting. Did she follow you?

Apologies if this was too personal.

A:

I saw u on 'Tanked"...are your fish still alive?


Q:

Do you have any races in the USA this year? Where/When? I'd love to come watch!

A:

What's the best game of golf you've ever played? 9 or 18 holes.


Q:

Hey Kenny. Loving what I heard of the new album so far. A couple of questions 1) Is there any reason we haven't seen you collaborate or jam with Eric Clapton yet, and 2) Any plans to come to Australia again in the near future?

A:

Moab Utah, The Vale Colorado, and the South Texas Gulf Coast. All stunning.


Q:

Here's some good tips about shooting images of the eclipse: http://www.mreclipse.com/SEphoto/SEphoto.html

A:

No worries.

It was hard for both of us. We're both prior military which helps a little, but only because we already knew what it was like to be apart.

We're still together. I'm super lucky.


Q:

YES!

A:

Yes! That would be so cool! Lake Placid, NY on November 9th (my birthday :)!! ) and the next week, not sure what day but I think November 17 or 18 in Park City, Utah.


Q:

At Marshall Faulk's tournament (So no gimmies/ everything putted out.) I shot 74. (Par 71.)

A:

I played with Clapton at the Apollo in NYC when we did a concert honoring Hubert Sumlin. I was invited to do the first two Crossroads guitar festivals but had prior commitments that I couldn't get out of so I was unable to do them. I hope to come to Australia soon as I love that country and the people there.


Q:

South Texas Gulf Coast

As a Houstonian, wut?

A:

Hello there! How many pairs of shoes did you use? What was the average weight of your backpack during the journey?


Q:

Hi Alyssa! Do your kids know that their mother is a Disney princess? If so, how did they react when they found out? Have a nice day!

A:

I have bailed on a toboggan when I was kid because 20, 25 mph was too much. This started a chain reaction that dumped the sled. Has anyone ever bailed on you mid-run or fallen off?

Thanks and good luck!


Q:

What was your favorite movie or TV set to be on?

A:

Saw you in Aberdeen, Scotland a couple of years ago.

How do you cope with swapping from a big show to a little show, is there much change to the set list?

Also, what's your favourite car?


Q:

The southern gulf coast in Texas... Corpus Christi, some amazing charter fishing.

A:

Howdy!

I destroyed four pairs of sturdy hiking shoes. I put the 5th pair on my feet for the final mountain on the last day. So, four or five depending on how you count that last set.


Q:

They don't know yet! I'm not sure they would care. Thats the beauty of kids. I'm their mom and nothing else matters. (As it should be)

A:

I have had a teammate slip at the start and I went down by myself. I also crashed and my teammate kicked out of the sled and the sled popped back up and I also drove down by myself. Both times I had to hop in the back seat and pull the brakes by myself.


Q:

The Office. Hands down.

A:

1969 Charger


Q:

Corpus Christi is amazing.

A:

How did you get supplies? As I'm assuming you did. And what about water? Did you carry enough to drink, or did you dig out mud and drank through a filter?

It's really inspiring what you've done, thank you for doing this.


Q:

What is your favorite Milano cookie?

A:

What Olympic sport would you compete in if not bobsledding?


Q:

Did anyone get to try the chili before it was dropped?

A:

Wow. Huge fan! What was your dream guitar as a kid? What's your favorite guitar now?


Q:

Truly a great trip

A:

Every 3-5 days the AT gets pretty close to town. In a few places, it actually goes right through. Hot Springs, NC and Damascus, VA are good examples. They paint the white blazes right on the telephone poles on Main St!

But usually, you'll have to hitchhike, walk or find a shuttle into town. Once you're in town, it's a whole new ball game.

If I could time it right, I liked to get into town around lunch time. I'd start with a beer, a salad and either a cheese burger or a large pizza. Just for me. After a second beer and a few scoops of ice cream, I'm ready to (a) do laundry and (b) start thinking about where I'll have dinner.

Not even kidding. Hiking the AT you burn 5000-6000 calories every day. You cannot carry enough calories to sustain that, so you have to binge eat in town. And you'll still lose weight.

Towns along the AT usually have hostels that are cheaper than hotels. That way you can sleep in a bed and get a hot shower occasionally too. I recommend "taking a zero" about every ten days. (That's a day where you walk zero miles, basically sit in town and rub your toes while eating and drinking...)


Q:

Mint. Duh.

A:

Equestrian. Jumping really high jumps.


Q:

Lets GOOOOOOOOOO!

No. Nobody got a delicious taste. But it was only one take (obi) Had to replace the entire carpet in the front of the office before the next day to get rid of the stains.

A:

As a kid, all I really wanted was a Stratocaster. I didn't have a particular year or color in mind. I just wanted a Strat. My favorite guitar is still my 1961 Stratocaster.


Q:

Coloradoan here. Its just "Vail", Colorado, aka "where all the rich people ski." Its is a beautiful place, summer or winter!

A:

Can I see a photo of you now?


Q:

My middle daughter is named after you!

When my wife and I were discussing names I threw out Alyssa...(because I was thinking about beautiful strong women)...and yours is the one she agreed upon.

In bed about a year after she was born, while discussing out current "top 5's" I mentioned you and she looked over at me and said, "wait a minute...did we name our daughter after Alyssa Milano?"

I just smiled.

A:

At what point in life do you pick up bobsledding, and what is the thing that brings you into that world? Also, what's the competition like once you hit the Olympic level? Is it a large community?


Q:

A recent Reddit post showed you have the 6th most lines of any character on The Office

Well, well, well, well, well, well.

Congrats on being the Jamal Crawford of The Office cast.

Which one of your fellow actors do you feel should have had more lines?

(Bonus: if you had to recast Kevin?)

A:

Can I make you a guitar strap? Where would I send it! Leather worker here.peace


Q:

I will keep that in mind thanks for the correction


Q:

Tell your wife and Alyssa I send my love.

A:

Most people get into bobsled in their 20s, after they have had careers in other sports (unless you randomly grew up in Lake Placid, NY or Park City, UT). It's a very small community but highly competitive within the community. The US has some of the top teams in the world.


Q:

Wow. Love the reference.

Fun tidbit. I was given a gift from the casting director at the end of the show- it was the original piece of paper from the casting session which had the 3 names the producers were considering for Kevin. Eric Stonestreet. Jorge Garcia and me. Either of those guys would have been great.

A:

Sure! I would send it to my office. The address can be found on my website.


Q:

No problem, I saw your answer twice and actually looked up "the vale" to see if I'd missed a great place in my own state!

A:

Before the AT, had you done any "shakedown" hikes of a week or more? Just to see if you could handle it, if your gear was on point, test out logistical issues, etc.


Q:

My wife and I re-watched Charmed recently, what was your favorite behind the scenes of a special effect or makeup? Did you learn something really cool about how they did something that you can share?

A:

If there is no brakes why is the guy in the back called the Brakeman?


Q:

Hello Mr. Baumgartner! As an actor in college, I was wondering who you looked up to the most as an actor and what advice you may have for a young actor? Thanks!

A:

Your favorite part of being a parent? And do any of your children show interest in music, instruments?


Q:

Being that you've seen it though I think you'll agree, scenery wise, it's one of America's jewels.

A:

I sure did.

I'd been backpacking for years already, so I kinda knew what I was doing. Turns out you learn the whole way, no matter how long you've been at it.

I shot a little video on my shakedown. I show my tent and some other gear in it. I had no idea that moments later I'd run into a bear. That actually became the opening scene of my book.

I kept a blog the whole way, and I started making entries ten days prior to starting, so some of my shakedown stuff is in here:

http://www.wheresthenextshelter.com/stories/2014/4/30/t-minus-ten-days


Q:

The mermaid episode! Even though the scales we a bitch to take off.

A:

There are brakes for after the finish line, so they do brake then, but everything I do to control the sled in the track is only with the steering. (hence no brakes while we are in the course)


Q:

Yes I will absolutely be your mentor.

Advice- joking aside- is watch/ read/ know as much as you can. Watch TV. Watch movies. Know genres and how shows are being produced. Quick example: imagine going in to read for the Office and all you knew was Big Bang Theory. Knowledge in this business is power.

A:

I love everything about being a parent, especially watching my kids develop onto their unique personalities. Yes they are all musically inclined.


Q:

You ever play the 18 wheeler arcade game?

A:

Green Giant! It's Wolf Kisses from the shrimp gang saying hey and congrats on all the success. Who's log entries did you appreciate the most?


Q:

Hello Alyssa! What is your favorite adult beverage?

A:

What are the best and worst things about bobsledding?


Q:

Are you really good at poker?

A:

Are you still a soccer coach? And agreed most rewarding part of my life is being a parent


Q:

What do you think was my inspiration?

A:

Shrimp Gang!

You had the coolest log book logo for sure. I'll see if I can find one. But for pure WTF, you gotta love Lemmy:

http://imgur.com/a/MsePa


Q:

Margaritas!!!

A:

Best- traveling the world, competing, being part of a team, going fast, going to the Olympics, competing for Team USA

Worst- crashing, the freezing cold, jet lag, sanding runners to get ready for a race


Q:

yes.

A:

No. I was subbing for the real coach back when I posted that. It was fun.


Q:

What is your opinion on regular drivers flashing to say it is clear to get over? How did you come up with your thank you light show?

A:

Thanks dude, the right answer was Lemmy or The Engineer but I'll take it! I live one state below you so we'll have to get up for a hike some day soon. I'll hit you up on Facebook.


Q:

If she doesn't say Victoria Bitter then I'll cry.

A:

What is your favorite movie? (Fair Warning: I will be sad if it's not Cool Runnings)


Q:

Hi Brian! How was it like directing on The Office? Would you ever do any more directing in the future?

A:

You mentioned that your Faith in God has gotten you through all obstacles & I presume you don't mean Clapton haha Have you always been a religious person? Unlike Jonny Lang's stuff, it isn't super obvious throughout your music.


Q:

Please please please do it and do it often and more. Yes thank you it is SOOOO HELPFUL. My thank you light show is Morse Code for TY - -.--

A:

Please do!

Engineer was awesome! We also would have accepted Color Bandit!


Q:

Uhhh... Victoria Bitter?? Don't cry.

A:

Cool Runnings and Miracle on Ice! ;)


Q:

Amazing. Obviously incredible cast to work with. Especially me.

I'd love to. Haven't put the time in on that front because I've been focusing on other things- but I love it.

A:

I have always believed and there are subtle messages in some of my music.


Q:

What's your pay? I'm curious if you have money in savings due to no housing cost or buy things associated with houses.

A:

I've been wanting to hike the AT for some years now. Being a young single female, safety is my largest concern. What advice do you have for me?


Q:

Alyssa, Going back through your entire career, who is the funniest person you have worked with (on screen) when the camera goes off? Any great stories there?

A:

Hello Jamie,

What are your plans for the future once you become too old to compete? I know every sport has an age limit for competing.


Q:

Hi Brian! How surprised do most people seem like when first meeting you realizing you don't talk like Kevin?

A:

whatever happened to corey sterling?


Q:

I make about 55,000 a year currently I'm due for a raise that will bump me to about 59,0000 with the way my miles have been running. I have a nice little nest egg, diverse investments, and Plenty of money set aside for my travels. I don't use credit cards, and have poor credit to start with I'm planning on trying to build that a bit in the future. But as I'm single and have no home I can be fairly liberal with my money... But I'm not.

A:

My friend Allyson did it. Here's her excellent post on solo hiking and safety:

https://appalachiantrailclarity.com/2016/02/26/hiking-alone-together/


Q:

Michael Ian Black! Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is on Netflix right now!!!

A:

I have a masters degree in elementary education, so teaching!


Q:

I can always tell by the look in their eyes. They are looking at me- but really only thinking in their head "I can't believe this is the voice coming out of this guy." I have restarted meetings because it was clear to me people were NOT hearing the content of what I was saying.

A:

I don't know where he's at now or what he's doing currently. There are a lot of unfounded rumors out there by people who claim to know what happened in the band as pertains to Corey, but everything I have read has been fabricated. He's a very talented singer and we had a lot of fun together, but I prefer to keep people's personal details and band details private so i have chosen not to publicly disclose the things that led to our parting of ways. At any rate I wish him the best in whatever his life brings him, and I believe things worked out of the better because Noah and I have been making great music together now for over 20 years.


Q:

Nothing wrong with a credit card if you use it right. A lot of them offer good rewards that might come in handy if you travel a lot. If you are paying everything now in cash you can certainly pay off a CC every month. Check out /r/personalfinance, I have learned a lot over there!

A:

Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA, and for the generous offer of a free book!

What has been your most memorable encounter with wildlife?


Q:

Hi Alyssa!

In what way has the show charmed shaped your life and what are their impacts? (Phoebe was my fave character btw)

Also whats you're favourite piece of advice to give to people?

Another question : if you weren't acting what other job would you be doing right now?

A:

Hi Brian. When you came to Tahoe for the celebrity golf tournament you went to a burger place Called Lucky Beaver. I was the cook who made your burger, and when i recognized you i started freaking out a little bit because im huge fan. I wanted to ask if i could get a picture but didnt want to disturb your night. Does it get annoying when people recognize you and ask for pictures? Also did you enjoy the food?


Q:

What have been the greatest strains on your personal life, and in what way did you overcome them?

A:

I am subbed I'm looking at options currently


Q:

The time I saw a bear get captured in a trap outside a shelter.

Got video of it too. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEeonNFM2aU

A:
  1. Charmed created lifelong friendships.
  2. I'm the one that usually asks for advice.
  3. I probably would have hoped to be a pediatrician but may not have had the tenacity to make it through all the schooling.

Q:

I FREAKING LOVE THE LUCKY BEAVER!!!!!

I'll be in next year. At least once. If you are there- come say hi!

2 questions for you: Did u freak out at all IN my burger? Cause that would be weird. And 2) You could have bought my food for me, no?

A:

We all have challenges in life and everyones path is different. I don't know that this is the correct format to go into details, but ultimately it is Faith and trust in God that has gotten me through any obstacle that has come my way.


Q:

Why are there always cops parked at weigh stations? Is it just a convenient place to park or are you truck drivers up to something?

A:

What's your go-to technique for blister prevention and care?


Q:

Hi Alyssa,

I know you're a huge ASPCA advocate, what is something anyone you feel can do (besides donating money) to help the ASPCA and animals in general?

A:

Would you be up to a reunion if everyone else wanted one? Also please tell me what Kevin's chili recipe is I'm dying to know

Also if there is never going to be a reunion we need a Kevin spinoff show


Q:

What is your favorite guitar pedal?

A:

MANY reasons, it's a good place to stop, if that weighstation is opened they could be chase card for any trucks that might try and pass the scale. Also the scale house is operated by the cops, so how else did they get out there?


Q:

Growing up too poor to drive, having a paper route, carrying a bass drum in marching band and then spending ten years in leather combat boots.

If this option is not available to you, make sure your shoes fit. Your feet will grow half a size or even a full size from all that walking. Some people like liner socks, like toe gloves. They keep your toes from eroding each other, which can be a bloody mess.

Also, if you're new to hiking, start with short days and take frequent breaks. Take your shoes and socks off after 3 miles and air out those piggies!

If you DO get blisters (you will) learn to care for them. An infected blister is the worst. Keep them clean and covered. Duct tape works wonders. For real.

EDIT: Okay Tarantino... can't get enough feet? Fine. Here's more: http://www.wheresthenextshelter.com/stories/2014/7/15/day-67-luray-va-937-miles

A:

You can volunteer! You can be an animal foster parent! You can advocate and raise money in your community.


Q:

re: chili recipe. Suck it no way.

re: reunion. I'm in if it happens.

re: spinoff. Call NBC. I am easy to negotiate with.

A:

Currently it would be the Analog Man King Of Tone pedal


Q:

What's your ideal or dream rig, are you actually trying to save for it? Do you realistically see yourself ever owning the dream rig?

A:

Why did you do it?


Q:

Very little is spoken of your charity work and it should be noted you've made some significant contributions. Who should we volunteer or financially support and why?

A:

Kevin is my favourite character! How did you maintain a persona like that when you are so different in real life??


Q:

Hey Kenny! Love your playing, have definitely ripped a few licks off of you;) have you found settings on your TS808 that you are happy with and just stick with them? If so what are they? Or do you still tweak. Do you use that pedal as a solo boost or for another purpose? I've seen you at HOB in Houston twice, great shows. Must be awesome to get to play with Chris, such an iconic drummer. Can you speak to how his drumming has influenced your playing? Thanks! -trevor

A:

I think every trucker dreams of a stretched out long nose Pete. But for me I'd be happy if the US went back to o the 70's or to European style and brought the cab over to predominance here. I love the manuverability. They ugly as fuck. But they're sweet to park. I have no desire to own my own rig, too much overhead.


Q:

It was always one of those bucket list things, you know? I love backpacking and camping, and every time I go out, the one thing I wish I had was one more day in the woods. So as soon as I found out there was a trail that takes months to hike, I was all about it.

Unfortunately, I was fresh out of boot camp at the time, and the Marines don't give you time off for bucket list stuff. So I kept it in my "someday" file for a long time.

Too long. I was in my 40s when I finally started taking my dream seriously. I moved it to my "plan" file, started saving up and researching and by the time I was 44, I hit the trail.

It was nothing at all like I expected either, and when I was done, I was completely spent. (See the before and after pics...) But it felt amazing to give myself totally to a thing I'd wanted for my whole life. To some, it's a vacation or a trip into the woods. Playtime. But it's serious hard work and a mental challenge too. Finishing it put me in a place mentally where things that seemed impossible before now just seemed hard. That's what I was after. I'm glad it worked.

A:

There are so many wonderful organizations to donate your time and money to. UNICEF saves more lives than any other organization on the planet. And as an ambassador I've seen firsthand the lifesaving work they do. And you should volunteer at your local food bank or homeless shelter.


Q:

Sounds dumb- but I went to school for it. Some people learned math and science and stuff... I learned how to pretend to be someone else.

A:

Level is usually at 1 o'clock tone is between 1-2, drive is between 1-4 depending on the amp and venue


Q:

How is your health? Do you worry about things like blood clots?

A:

Hey man, thanks for doing this. So it looks like your early story kind of resembles mine. I got out of the Marines in '06, but instead of going straight to school I went to work for an orthopaedic surgeon for ten years, and now finally I'm one semester away from graduating in mechanical engineering. My question is since you mentioned being in computer engineering, how did you handle the hike professionally? I'd love to do either the AT or the PCT but life just always kind of figures out how to assert itself over those kind of dreams. Were you at an age where your coworkers or company could recognize the need for an extended leave or what? I'm just kind of curious about how you made that aspect of it work.


Q:

Hi Alyssa, I am not sure if you remember but, we met in Kuwait in 2003. You were with John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn and it was definitely one of the highlights of my Marine Corps. experience while in country (Kuwait/Iraq). Thanks so much for your support for us and making the deployment a bit more bearable! My only regret is that I didn't get to take a picture with you.

And since I have to ask you a question - what motivated you to come out to Kuwait to visit us Marines?

A:

How do you feel about being known as "Kevin from The Office"? Do you wish you weren't only known as that, or do you feel like John Krasinski does and like being known as "Kevin from the Office?"


Q:

Hey, Kenny! We've been seeing you play more Gibsons in your Facebook Live videos. Any Gibson signature models in the pipeline?

A:

I'm overweight but other than that fairly healthy. They are of course a concern I've started exercising more and have lost 30 pounds! Only about 100 to go :)


Q:

how did you handle the hike professionally?

About as poorly as humanly possible. I had been saving and planning for a few years, but REASONS happened and I simply quit, pinning all hopes on the likelihood that I'd find similar work when I returned. I'd had a few offers and backup plans. What the hell, right?

Little did I know all this would happen...

A:

I will always support the military. I will always appreciate the military. And especially after that trip. Thank you for all of your many sacrifices. I hope we get a picture together someday.


Q:

I don't mind. At all. But if you ever see me in a crowded place- I would prefer you not YELL "Kevin! From the OFFICE". I am wearing a hat and sunglasses for a reason.

I don;t mind it - but I also am not one who loves or needs attention constantly.

A:

Not that I'm aware of. I have been stretching out playing different guitars because they sound good and inspire different things. I am friends with some people at Gibson and they have been very nice to me lately. I'm working on a new Signature Stratocaster that will come out in a year or two made in USA. The people at Fender have been very good to me for more then 20 years now as well.


Q:

Congrats! That's really great. I am trying to start exercising myself. I don't need to lose weight, but I am weak and have no stamina. :)

A:

What was, hands down, your absolute worst day on the trail?


Q:

Have you figured out how to reply yet?

A:

Were you happy with the ending of The Office? Would you have changed anything?


Q:

Love The Rides. Will there be another album/tour?
Looking forward to seeing you in NOLA

A:

Just stay off the second floor I hear the Dragon Pox are very catchy


Q:

It was a surprise emotional breakdown about 1800 miles in.

I had already wrecked my feet and overcome that, contracted Lyme disease and dealt with that, separated from my friends, been rained on and delayed by bears and snakes. I was feeling pretty tough, nigh on invincible. At least physically.

I was in Connecticut and suddenly started missing my wife. I'd talked to her on the phone that day, and had even seen her on the trail a few times back when I was closer to home. But for some reason on that day I just started missing home and I sat down on a log and cried.

I wanted to go home so badly that I felt like all that harsh stuff I did to my body had been for nothing, and it made me feel stupid for even having tried this.

I called her and she told me that it was okay to quit, and somehow, that was what made me feel better. Good enough to continue. And it was gone as quickly and unexpectedly as it came on.

A:

I couldn't login to my account! And then I logged in and there were no questions and I thought no one cared. Which may be true but I'm glad there are questions.


Q:

Nothing at all.

A:

We have been talking about recording a third album so I would say you should expect one.


Q:

Shout out to you. You are probably one of the first to reference my username.

A:

Hi! Thanks for doing this. I've thought about hiking a trail at an admittedly much more leisurely pace than an average trail warrior, since I'm admittedly in terrible shape. Two questions:

1) What's something you're just sure I'm going to forget to bring?

2) What's the best advice for a lifelong non-athlete / perhaps partially disabled person who wants to enjoy the outdoors on a trail (past of course getting in better shape)?


Q:

Hi, Alyssa. How cool is Tony Danza? He's awesome, right?

A:

Hey Brian! Thanks for doing this. Do you see a future in sports media? I've noticed your podcast and you swung by NFL Network last season to be a guest on Fantasy & Friends.


Q:

Thanks for doing this. At this point in your career, do you find your audiences are mostly blues heads, or do you still have rockers there just to hear Blue on Black?

A:

Hard core Potterhead


Q:

My pleasure!

  1. You forgot to bring enough toilet paper. That or a handful of condiment packets from the fast food joint in town. A little extra fat (and flavor) goes a long way on the trail. Mayonnaise in foil pouches trade on the trail like cigarettes in prison.

  2. As long as you have the ability to leave your house, you can enjoy a trail. Google what's in your area, you'd be surprised. Grayson Highlands on the AT for example actually has ADA compliant wheelchair accessible trail through some incredibly pretty terrain. Bike paths are great for enjoying nature on wheels (or however...) Check out your local hiking clubs. I found local groups via meetup dot com.

Heck, If it's all you can do, go around the block. A little bit of wind and sunshine are always a good thing!

A:

The coolest


Q:

I love sports. Love. Love. Has been incredibly fun for me to be a part of ALL or NOTHING with the Rams this season and to do a podcast with the incredible Dave Dameshek. Anything having to do with sports I will almost always say yes. Cause whats better than being able to do something you love. As for future- we will see.

A:

We have a wide ranging audience with ages ranging from 7-70 and they are music lovers of all kinds.


Q:

We were just driving at 3:30am two nights ago and saw about a dozen trucks lined up on the shoulders of the highway. Lights were off. This is the first time I've ever seen this. Was this a makeshift truck stop and common practice?

A:

What is your opinion of the author Ed Abbey? Followup, now that some time has passed since his death, would you change his prescription for the outdoors? If so, how?


Q:

Hello! How did you like working with JulianMcMahon? Do you still talk?

A:

Approximately how much of the show was improv?


Q:

Do you ever think you'll share words of wisdom or experience as Stevie did during his shows? Some precious parts of being a big fan is hearing an artist soeak

A:

Parking is one of the largest problems in the United States. There is just not enough of it. When your hours run out, then you gotta stop, regardless of where. It's fairly common, but not recommended.


Q:

I read Monkey Wrench Gang about a decade ago and remember being super inspired by it. Like, I wanted to buy a chainsaw and go cut down billboards and shit. I no longer condone this exact approach, but I think that a lot of that spirit is still in me.

I get pretty upset when I see beer cans in a fire ring, or graffiti on a shelter. I go to great lengths to "Leave No Trace" when I hike. I talk about it in my classes a lot, and I'm not afraid to call someone out for hurting our wilderness.

The state of Maine has some good ideas for preserving their wilderness, I like to use them as an example for doing it right.

A:

He was so fun to work with. I haven't seen him is a long time but I'm sure if we ran into each other we would pick up right where we left off.


Q:

varied by episode. Everything was written and had to be approved (It was NBC after all.) But also every scene was then messed with/improv- ed. Hah! Improv-ed is IMPROVED. Side note. Sorry.

Depended on the episode how much improv was in.

A:

I talk now more than I ever have in-between songs, though I prefer to stick to the music which is what i believe people are there for.


Q:

I'm probably heading to bed

Sorry for complete ignorance but how do you sleep?

A:

Monkey Wrench Gang, though very popular, is not a good synopsis of Abbey. Other writings are much deeper and less deliberately absurd. This was the quote is was referring to:

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”


Q:

What is your favorite memory from the 90's?

A:

Hi Brian, thanks for this AMA!! Kevin was my favourite character on the office!

What was your favourite Kevin moment?

Also- how many takes did it take to shoot that broccoli scene?


Q:

are you coming to Madrid or Barcelona anytime soon?

i want to say thank you for all the music i've enjoyed over the years, you were great at the 02 in London a couple of years ago!

A:

I have a bed in the back of the truck :)


Q:

Clearly I am not up to snuff on my Abbey. I really like this, and should queue up some more!

Thanks!

A:

I was just asked this question today and I'm not sure I have one.


Q:

Favorite Kevin moment- again something to do with the storyline with Holly. And also the turtle moment is so incredibly out there I loved it.

Don;t remember how many takes for that. BUT ONE FREAKING TAKE FOR THE CHILI. AND ALSO ONE FREAKING TAKE SHATTERING THE VENDING MACHINE WITH A CHAIR DURING THE FIRE. Proud of that if you can't tell.

A:

We don't have any dates booked in Spain yet, but I would love to come there sometime.


Q:

Autopilot?

A:

Gary, do you have any plans on doing another long trail?


Q:

So Teen Steam, did you ever let it out?

A:

Hey Brian! I'm a huge fan, thanks for doing the AMA.

Kevin's character development from S1 to S9 was always so funny to me. In the beginning he's a seemingly normal dude, and by the end he's dumb and childishly loveable. How did this development come about? I'm particularly interested in how you went about finding a character voice for him that was quite different from early seasons. Thanks!!


Q:

Thanks for your show in Denmark last week!
How did you first get into guitar playing and do you play any other instruments?

A:

Only in my brain


Q:

Desires, yes. Plans, no. At least not concrete plans.

I'm section hiking the Mountains to Sea Trail (700ish miles when complete) but only because I can practically see it from my living room.

Parts of the PCT appeal to me, especially the northern sections. I've done parts of the Sierras before and dream of going back . I hate the desert though, and that alone will keep my name off the Triple Crown list.

The CDT is my top choice for next trail. A lot of it is "make up your own route" which I love.

But my heart will always belong to the AT. I love the green tunnel. I find it and the people who surround it infinitely fascinating. I might do the AT again, slower this time.

A:

Still trying.


Q:

In the very first episode Michale describes him as "thinking he is a comedian" as Kevin tried to get Oscar to laugh by using a piggy bank pencil as a pencil.

Not sure how much he actually changed character wise- but as he had more and more to say- the sound of his voice evolved a bit.

A:

I started playing around on guitar at about 4 years old but got my first real guitar at age 7 and started woodshedding. I dabble in other instruments but can't play any of them on the level of my guitar playing. I've never had the time to try and master them like i would like to.


Q:

AAA+++ OP

Some quick fire questions, no need for detailed responses, one word responses will suffice but feel free to expand with anything interesting:

Last time your truck hit an animal?

Last time you saw a dead body?

Describe the unhealthiest truckie you've ever seen?

Ever gotten a free blowjob from a Hitchhiker?

What common illicit drug is widespread amongst truckies?

Will you die an old man still a truckie?

Who would win a bunch or truckies or bikies?

Ever feel like swerving into oncoming traffic?

Is Trump doing good for truckies or bad?

Coolest vacation in another country you've had?

AAA+++ AMA Thanks

A:

Hey man, I'm going to be doing something similar in November, trekking the Te Araroa the length of New Zealand.

What was the best thing that you took with you? How did your body adapt to the demand you where putting on it?


Q:

Does it feel weird to watch yourself on television? Or are you used to this?

A:

Do you have a "pet" cause or issue that's especially important to you? If so, what is it?


Q:

Last time your truck hit an animal?last live animal was a deer two October's past damn near totalled my truck, jumped out, nothing I could do to stop it, I think I ran over a dead possum earlier today.

Last time you saw a dead body? Three weeks ago fatal accident shut the freeway down two casualties.

Describe the unhealthiest truckie you've ever seen? Man must of weighed 400 if he was a pound, had a disgusting club left foot. Like his right leg was normal his left was just terrifying to look at .

Ever gotten a free blowjob from a Hitchhiker?Yes What common illicit drug is widespread amongst truckies?honestly? Probably pills of some kind, I'm not sure I don't do drugs I'm a recovering addict 6years clean

Will you die an old man still a truckie?I will die a trucker doubt I'll be old though

Who would win a bunch or truckies or bikies?hmmm tough as I'm technically both, but the bikers would probably take it.

Ever feel like swerving into oncoming traffic?Jesus yes

Is Trump doing good for truckies or bad?bad like awful, the fucking worst. Worst thing that's happened to this country too. People are too gulible.

Coolest vacation in another country you've had? Last year I went to Thailand and visited Angkor Wat

A:

Gotta say, my phone.

I kept it powered off most of the time, but when I needed it, it was a game changer. Get rides to town... Call home... Take pictures... Hey, if I could get a signal, I'd hop on amazon or rei and order new shoes or a new shirt, and it'd be at the post office when I arrived. Indispensable.

My favorite hiking gear specific item though is the Xped Shnozzel bag. It's waterproof stuff sack or pack liner and it has a nozzle that mates with my air mattress. The bag is a bellows that you can use to inflate at bed time without wasting important lung effort.

EDIT: Here it is in action: https://youtu.be/bkh5GY4AKAM


Q:

I don't really like doing it at all. I am currently going back right now and re-watching The Office for the first time since the episodes aired originally. And that's been fun to re-live so many of those moments. But unless I am going back to work more/ shoot more episodes of something- I often never watch stuff I have done. I know how good it was.

A:

I'm on the board of directors for the Hot Rodders Childrens Charity and we raise money for all sorts of causes that help Children. I'm also involved in Mending Kids International.


Q:

What's the strangest load you've ever hauled? If you're allowed to talk about it, that is.

A:

Big fan of the Moth!

Can you give us some idea of what happens behind the scenes? How much of the story did they help with?

Etc.., just curious how it is to be on the Moth, bucket list item for me!


Q:

Hello Mr. Baumgartner! Can you tell me now how paper is made?

A:

Any plans to tour Australia soon?! I've been hoping to see you live since I was younger! Lovin' the new album... The cover is very remindful of SRV's Texas Flood


Q:

I ran one flatbed run of Humvees for the Marines about two years ago, that was wicked cool. But other than that? MOPAR racing equipment.

A:

The process is simpler than you'd think.

The Moth records in a few major cities (and for some reason a few small ones, like mine...) Once per month they host a "Story Slam" which is basically a high budget open mic. If you want to tell, you put your name in a hat and if they pull your name, you take the stage. No help.

You get 6 minutes with a hard cutoff, your story has to be true, and you can't use notes. That's it. You stand up there in the lights, completely blind to the audience and you just go. It's nothing at all like telling stories for friends at a party, unless you have 400 friends.

When you're done, a panel of judges gives you a score and the winner advances to something held once a year called a grand slam, and then nationals in NY.

As far as getting on the air, you don't have to win, the producers just have to like your story.

I did a lot of public speaking for my job prior to this and loved it. I come from a family of teachers, so I guess I have whatever makes you not fear audiences, so I'm one of those nuts who goes out in search of stuff like this. I tried open mic comedy for a while too and I'm terrible at it. Totally different format, but it gave me tons more respect for actual comics.


Q:

trees I think?

A:

Wow. I never thought about that in regards to the cover, but thats cool. I hope we come back to Australia very soon. I love it over there.


Q:

Do you have a favorite state to drive through? Do you have family at who's house you ever crash?

A:

If you could go back in time to before you started, would you do it again? Why or why not?


Q:

Can you tell me a joke? That way I can tell people that Brian Baumgartner once told me a joke... Also, Go Packers!

A:

Really?! I thought maybe you'd based it off that cover art! You should perform at Bluesfest Byron Bay! I'm sure Peter Noble would love to have you on the line up :)

Also, Trouble Is... is SUCH A RECORD! I'm only 20 so it's been a recent discovery for me... Such delicious playing!


Q:

I love driving in Utah, especially the southern part by Canyonlands and Moab, although the prettiest stretch of highway in the US is i70 east leaving Utah going through the Colorado Vale

My license lists my parents address I pop in and say hi every now and then but for the most part it's just me and my rig.

A:

I'd rather go forward in time and do it again, so I can have twice the amazing memories!

Things I would do differently: Go slower.


Q:

I don't type well enough for a full joke. But just tell people I told you the one about "Dirty Johnny having sex with his grandma" and laugh real loud and they will think you are cool.

A:

Thank you. We have played Byron Bay a few times over the years. It's time that we come back again


Q:

My pops is OTR, too. The guy loves his job. Always gone, of course.

Where's the real money in trucking? To clarify, is it in fueling, many years of doing it, etc?

A:

What was your fondest memory during your trip?


Q:

Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?

A:

If you could go back in time and perform with anyone, who would it be?


Q:

When I find it I'll let you know :P i do alright but I'm not rolling in the dough. From what I hear Over size and Heavy Haul is where it's at.

A:

The people. Oh my goodness the humans out there... When you go up to 6000 feet seeking company you find exactly the same kind of eccentric weirdo you were looking for.

And not just the hikers.

I met someone on the trail in Pennsylvania who was semi-retired and spent his days delivering "Trail magic" to the shelters. He'd show up at random with candy, pop, and even shared his weed with those who were into that sort of thing. (...raises hand)

He gave me his number and said "If you ever need anything as long as you're in PA, call me. Once you're in New Jersey, you're someone else's problem. But here... I got your back!"

Okay, cool I thought. 3 days later, when I came down with Lyme disease (didn't know it yet, just felt like shit) I took a chance and he answered. He came to fetch me and gave me a trailer on his property, with AC, TV, Wifi... It was heaven. He took me to a doctor and let me recover at his place. He refused every attempt to pay him back.

The AT is surrounded with people like this. Something about that thin strip of dirt attracts the kindest of the kind.


Q:

Don;t even BRING that question up in here.

12.

A:

Hendrix


Q:

Flatbed teams. Dying breed. We pay out the wazoo. But yeah, double drops and od loads pull money. Radioactive flatbed or Conestoga loads as well.

A:

How were the mosquitos?


Q:

I don't know what a Dodger or a Packer is, but I was wondering if you could give me any tips on tidying up my collection of decorative bathroom soaps. I was thinking I should invest in a lazy susan, but that just seems weird sitting on the back of a toilet, doesn't it?

A:

Nice! Quick answer too. You must have thought about this ? before.

Thanks for answering my question.


Q:

I tried teams for about a month, I just couldn't get used to putting my life in the hands of another driver.

A:

Kinda annoying sometimes, but TERRIFYINGLY HORRENDOUS for about two weeks in August.

You'll get 'em bad anywhere if you're there during mosquito season. For me it was Massachusetts. It was 90 degrees and I had on long pants, tucked in to my socks, long sleeves, gloves and a head net and I was still getting devoured. One of them bit me through my shoe.

Then, a week later, a cool breeze blew them all to Ohio I guess, or somewhere. They just... poofed.


Q:

Great questions. I think that anything that moves in a circle in the bathroom is generally a bad idea.

A:

Been asked that question a lot.


Q:

Do you ever pick up hitch hikers? If so is it out if boredom, company or the randomness?

A:

Wow! Very bold and inspiring. Good for you.

What is one piece of advice or a statement you'd like to share with everyone?


Q:

Who's the coolest NFL player you've met?

A:

I do but only rarely, and usually out of boredom/loneliness


Q:

What is one piece of advice or a statement you'd like to share with everyone?

Everyone? No pressure...

"Whatever you do, don't do nothing."

I didn't hike the AT all at once. I had to wake up every day and do a little piece of it. At the start, down in Georgia, Katahdin seemed a million miles away. Impossible!

Every step I took, no matter how insignificant if felt, got me closer to that summit. As long as you're doing something that gets you closer to that dream of yours, you're better off than if you'd sat there dreaming about it. You might not be there yet, but you're closer. Keep stepping.

A:

Aaron Rodgers.


Q:

Have you ever crashed a gate doing ninety-eight since you didn't have a doggone dime?

A:

Thanks for the free ebook and thanks for sharing your interesting story!

Was there ever a time on the trail you thought you might actually die? I imagine you encounter plenty of wildlife, but also potentially dehydration, starvation, exposure, or possibly ax murderers?


Q:

Hey Brian! If each of The Office accountants were forced to fight each other in a cage match, who would end up victorious?

A:

No thank goodness for EZPass! Also I'm in a truck governed to 65 mph.... 98 just isn't an option, though it sounds terrifying


Q:

Mt Washington, home of the most severe weather on earth.

It was 54 and drizzling when I began my climb. Halfway up it was 45 and raining sideways, 60 MPH gusts. I decided to turn back and on my way down the wind knocked me over. I thought someone tackled me, but I was on belly sliding across wet rock toward a drop of unknown height. I grabbed a root at the last second like some kind of cartoon character. I watched my pack cover get ripped off by the gale, and saw it sail, flapping into the wet. Not an offering to the storm god, but a sacrifice, taken against my will. At least it didn't get me.

A:

Angela would play dirty. But I would still take her down. And Oscar?!? Come on now.


Q:

So for this I have a question, due to a long distance relationship I make the drive from Phoenix to Tucson and all of I-10 is 75 mph for the speed limit and if you have it governed at 65 can you not do the speed limit?

A:

What skills did you learn that were the most useful?

I grew up in the outdoors and on the trails, so making a fire or pacing the day seem second hand.

Is there something you wished you had learned before the hike?


Q:

How's working with Steve Carroll? And how did it feel when he decided to leave?

A:

That is correct. I cannot do the limit. But it's the limit not the requirement. Minimal speed on the stretch is 55 I believe


Q:

What skills did you learn that were the most useful?

Perseverance. The ability to look at a monumental task and take it apart in my brain, breaking it down into doable steps, rather than being intimidated by the whole thing.

Is there something you wished you had learned before the hike?

I wish I'd considered my nutrition more. I fell into a cycle of eating cheap lightweight garbage in the woods and high price tasty junk in town. Look where that got me. I would have made the weight sacrifice and actually carried an apple or something out of town besides sugary goop and carbs.

A:

First- you misspelled his name. And I'm gonna tell him.

Second- He is an amazing man. Gifted, obviously. But incredibly loving and GOOD as well. It was incredibly difficult when his time was over on The Office- but I think we all were f-grateful for the 7 years we got to all work together.


Q:

By law how often do you have to recite "Convoy" over the cb?

A:

Hello! I just busted out laughing hard enough to scare my dog after looking at that sweet mullet, but I do have a question:

What were your favorite parts/views of the Appalachian Trail? Where are the spots that just take you aback and make you appreciate our glorious planet?


Q:

Hey Brian! You were my favorite character on the office since episode 2! Any ways, You're a Dodger fan right? You excited for Darvish's start on Friday?

A:

Only when I need my ass kicked


Q:

Are you worried your job will be taken by self driving trucks?

A:

What are your favorite boots, shoes, and socks for hiking?


Q:

Who is your favorite up and coming young golfer out there and what is your opinion on Brett Favre?

A:

I see them as a thing that will be but is not yet, I doubt that they will be fully autonomous anytime soon cars will be first trucks after, the trucks will need a lot more in depth infrastructure to be viable.


Q:

For shoes I go with Salomon XA Pro 3d. Not everyone will like 'em though. Merrell is very popular too.

I personally don't wear boots because they're too heavy. I get my ankle support from my trekking poles. Think about it. If I wobble or roll an ankle, I already have something in my hand to "grab" as I'm falling. 2000 miles, never sprained even once. Fell on my ass a bunch, but my ankles are fine.

I do have a pair of Vasque Breeze's with a thousand miles on 'em. Some places you just gotta have boots, and those are mine.

Darn Tough makes the best socks. If you wear a hole in 'em, they'll send you a new pair FOR FREE. Socks for life, can't be beat. Donate some to your local homeless, please.

A:

Bryson DeChambeau (SMU GUY!)

I'm a Rodgers guy.


Q:

Dear lord, I've heard so much complaining on the self-driving trucks and after flatbed, you need someone who can just deal with the load. The route I see things going for a few years is the one on the interstate, which is basically autopilot for airlines, and they still haven't gotten rid of the pilot.

A:

What was your favorite sight/view on the hike? Your most reviled?


Q:

Was shooting Kevin's famous chili as fun as it looked?

A:

That's about where I am with it.


Q:

Favorite: The entire state of Maine looks like this. http://i.imgur.com/owLVQGC.jpg

Least Favorite: When Satan designed Hades, his chief architect proposed a cobblestone road for the main thoroughfare. Upon seeing the model Beelzebub declared it too sinister for even the likes of Hell, and the plan was scrapped. The model was shipped to Pennsylvania where it serves as the "trail" for now.

http://i.imgur.com/M10sLvi.jpg

A:

yes. and no. Had a dinner later that night at a fancy restaurant and all I could smell was chili. Even after a good shower and scrub.


Q:

Curious, what type of rig do you drive? Dry van, reefer, flatbed, etc? Do you run independent for bokers or with a company?

A:

What would you say was your transition back to "normal" like? What specifically about your day to day life made it so hard to return to?


Q:

Do you still have little patience for stupidity?

A:

I run for a mega carrier and have since day 1. Currently I'm in a '16 Freightliner Cascadia, I haul dry van, I'm dedicated to our automotive division, I haul mostly MOPAR parts. I have done reefer in the past


Q:

I've written about this extensively. I've talked about it too, with my wife, with a therapist and with other hikers. Still trying to figure it out.

Thru hikers use a couple of phrases pretty casually, not realizing that they carry some weight. We refer to what happens on trail as "out there" and things in town as "the real world." It's like there's a total separation of realities, but you become so casual about it. It's just second nature. Everyone knows there's two versions of reality. The one where all the uptight people who smell like the shampoo aisle drive around and honk angrily at one another, and the one where my brothers and sisters talk to the squirrels and sing to the birds. It's insane how weird you get after a few months "out there."

For five or six months your entire physical reality consists of what you can carry. You reduce and streamline your life like a wandering monk. At one point my most cherished possession was a cup. You don't need a big house, you don't need a new car, you don't need new pants, just more duct tape.

You become a minimalist. You develop a Pavlovian response to sundown: Time to sleep. Hot water and electricity are miracles. Ice cream is orgasmic. One bite of an apple makes your eyes roll.

AND THEN...

You're back in a cubicle with a report due so you can keep getting paid so you can gas up the car. Janice from accounting is clipping her god damn fingernails again and why the hell isn't the wind blowing? Oh shit. I'm inside. I have to get out.

Next thing you're sweaty and palpitating. Fuck the TPS reports. I'm out.

It takes five or six months to walk to Katahdin. It takes a few hours to climb it. It takes the rest of your life to get back down.

A:

obviously. Even little-er now.


Q:

Would you rather be an O/O, or do you like driving for a carrier?

A:

What's the one thing you never imagined you'd eat on the trail?

Was there any food you wouldn't eat before the trail, that you found yourself eating out of necessity?


Q:

Can you make me some of your chili? :)

A:

Fuck being an O/O the miles are shaky, and there is way too much overhead. No thanks I'll stick with my carrier job. Money I'm making isn't half bad and I love comfortably, I'm not trying to be rich and I don't need much, most of what I make funds my international travel, I haven't got much else besides bills :)


Q:

What's the one thing you never imagined you'd eat on the trail?

A half gallon of ice cream in one sitting.

Was there any food you wouldn't eat before the trail, that you found yourself eating out of necessity?

Antibiotics.

But seriously, shots of olive oil. Just a little sip with dinner for fats.

A:

stats please?


Q:

In the UK it's very busy on the roads, but we only have flat front cabs unlike you guys, do you have pictures of you living space in your lorry?

A:

I apologize in advance if this question has been asked, but how did you entertain yourself while walking? Did it just become an autopilot type thing that you didn't have to think about? Did you have books/music to keep some sanity?


Q:

Hey Brian, huge fan. Other than football and golf is there any other sports that you're interested in? For all us Canadian fans please say you're a hockey fan lol

A:

I'll post some later today. I was sick all last week so my house keeping went a bit shit:) I don't mind the cab overs (you called them flat fronts) the extra manuverability would be amazing. The living space in a conventional tractor is a big bigger I think though. As for traffic, I've survived LA, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York, nothing scares me.


Q:

Podcasts, music, and nature. But most of all, the people!

A:

Love hockey as well.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Thanks so much for the free book! Very kind of you.

Odd question, but something I'm curious about. It's easy to get online and find lists of mistakes to avoid on the trail, but are there any you know of (or made) that may be uncommon or not talked about much?


Q:

What was it like working on The Office? What type of experience have you learned from being on the show?

A:

Just wondering what I did to piss in your Cheerios? Its my house if I wanna jerk off I will!


Q:

I had read that my feet would get bigger, and when they did, I was in denial. I should have bought bigger shoes, but didn't, so I damaged my feet. Took a long time to repair themselves too.

A:

1) The best ever. (Like I'm gonna say anything else.) But truly the best professional experience of my life.

2) Having a deep bench full of talented people is way better than just having a star. (See: Dodgers.) My first Dodgers reference of the freaking day!!!!


Q:

Has your truck ever broke down? What is the procedure for getting such a large machine recovered and repaired?

A:

I just want to thank you for sharing your experience in your book. I bought it awhile ago, and stayed up all night reading it (making for a loooong ass workday). It's one of my dreams to hike the AT, I'm trying to get my husband into hiking so I don't feel badly about going alone. Your book made me feel a lot better about the fact that I'll likely be hiking in my 40s like you did and showed me that it can be done. It also helped me mind my feet and how I walk during my day hikes now since before I was just ignoring any weird feelings/pain. So, seriously, thank you.

As for my (required) questions: 1. How are your knees? 2. How's Lemmy? Do you keep up with him or Voldemort anymore?


Q:

Do you ever get tired of people asking you questions about The Office? Especially if you've got something new coming up I imagine hearing about the old stuff can get tiresome, but everyone seems to have a good attitude.

What's it like working with Shek?

Also did you ever get to see world?

A:

Sure I've lost tires here and there, radiator hoses, fan belts, you figure I drive more in a year than the average person drives in about four. That's a lot of ware and tare on the truck. My company has a department dedicated to breakdowns. And it's similar to breaking down in a car... The equipment is just bigger.


Q:

As for my (required) questions: 1. How are your knees? 2. How's Lemmy? Do you keep up with him or Voldemort anymore?

My knees are great! Which is kinda surprising, since I had my 3rd arthroscopic done 3 weeks before starting the AT.

Lemmy is in art school chasing his dream! Voldemort and I just talked a few days ago. I think we'll be friends for a long time!

A:

It is what it is. And I am a fan of The Office as well. So I get it.

Shek is incredible. Very smart. Great at what he does. But don't tell him I said that.

See the world? As in SEA WORLD?


Q:

I'm leaving for training with prime early September, I have a couple questions. Firstly: what are the options for internet service otr? I'm an avid gamer, and plan to bring my beloved pc along for the ride(after training of course.) Are these 4g jet packs at all good? Do truck stops have considerable WiFi? And secondly, how often do you find yourself with a day off that you can do with as you please?

A:

When you started hiking, was there somethings for which you found you had overprepared/underprepared?

Also, how did you deal with weather? Do you just hike through rain or is that often not possible?


Q:

Hey Brian - huge fan man. Does the Office crew ever meet up still? Do you keep in touch with anyone in particular? What's your favorite vacation destination?

A:

I love gaming. But internet OTR is expensive as balls, check out AT&T'S jet pack services. Be careful with that gaming out here though friend. When you're done for the night you should probably spend time exercising. Then going to bed to do it all again, I know it sounds awful, I love to game too, but it's just a word of advise.

As to down time. Some drivers have more some have less. My account keeps me pretty busy, but I generally burn my hours weekly so I have to shut down for a 34 Hr. Reset, which they will teach you about in training.

One more piece of advise. Learn what you need to in school pass the test get the license. Then throw everything you learned in school out the window. Cause it's got dick to do with actually truck driving. YOU KNOW NOTHING learn, pay attention. Seriously that licesne doesn't make you a truck driver. :) Once you go to train feel free to message me with any questions you may have.


Q:

I sent a lot of stuff home those first few weeks. Stuff I never would have thought of. For instance...

Those fancy Nalgene bottles I bought? Impractical. Gatorade bottles hold as much, weigh half as much, and can be thrown out/replaced for a dollar. I didn't need my wallet, or a map, or my sunglasses. Sunscreen either. So many pounds dropped that first week!

The cool thing about walking in the rain is when you get totally soaked and can't get any wetter. That's when you stop caring and start splashing in puddles and singing. People pay extra for rain scented laundry, you get to be the real deal for free!

A:

We still do meet up. Not as much as a group anymore but occasionally there will be an important event that a bunch of us attend.

Dodger Stadium or Lambeau Field. Or Tuscany.


Q:

Your username... Is it hard to not drive Fri night through Saturday night? The company accommodates this?

A:

Do you happen to do any runs or races?

I just want to say thanks for motivating me to get up and start walking and exercising again.

I eventually got into running again. Something I used to love to do when I was younger.

Thanks!!

This is me just one week ago: http://i.imgur.com/2cs0g0Pl.jpg


Q:

Hey 🅱️rian 🅱️aumgartner,

Have you kept any of the props from The Office at home?

A:

My username is a movie reference not a reality for me personally


Q:

My wife and I ran some Tough Mudders and few half marathons a couple years ago. Not much into it anymore though.

Nice pic! You go!

A:

Yes. A few. The "Kevin Malone" name plate is on my desk at home. And I still have the M & M jar on my desk as well.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

It's always great to see hikers reaching out.

A couple logistical questions,

1) What did you use for maps?

2) Did you ever use the mail drops for resupply, or did you buy in town?

3) What what your daily mileage in the South, and how did that change once you hit the new England mountains and 100 mile woods?

And just for fun, what is your trail name, and how did you get it?

Thanks!


Q:

What's your favorite bar in San Diego?

A:

I am homeless I live in my truck, there is no time when I'm not in my truck. I take two big "vacations" a year usually somewhere internation, I'm going on a cruise next.


Q:

1) What did you use for maps?

The AWOL guide. Each page is an elevation profile since you don't have to worry about turning left or right ever. There are tick marks corresponding to points of interest like water, shelters or road crossings. Lists of phone numbers for each town too.

2) Did you ever use the mail drops for resupply, or did you buy in town?

All of the above.

3) What what your daily mileage in the South, and how did that change once you hit the new England mountains and 100 mile woods?

I hiked 7 or 8 miles my first day. That was as far as I needed to go. By the time I got to Virginia, I'd been hiking long enough to get my "trail legs" and the ground flattened out, so I was cruising 20s. That was the norm until the Whites (New Hampshire).

They told us for weeks in advance, "Watch out for the Whites! You'll cut your milage to a third!" Of course we didn't believe them. We were invincible.

My first day in the Whites, I hiked 7 miles. The next day, 3. And the day after that, zero because a freak storm pinned us down. The Whites are no joke. Everything north of that is like running a Tough Mudder every day for three weeks.

And just for fun, what is your trail name, and how did you get it?

Green Giant! Tall guy, green shirt. Sometimes I say, "Tall guy, low carbon emissions" but that just goes over their heads.

A:

Can;t think of the name right now but it's AMAZING for watching football in PB. You can see the ocean and games at the same time!!!


Q:

Do you park the truck in the port when you get on the cruise? :)

A:

low carbon emissions" but that just goes over their heads.

If that goes over their heads, you are exceptionally tall.


Q:

Was there any episodes of The Office where actual alcohol was consumed and not fake prop stuff?

A:

Nah, because of how long I'll be gone I'll have to clear my stuff out and let someone else take the truck. I'll get assigned a new one when I get back.


Q:

You are literally the first person to get that. This is why I keep trying.

A:

I'll never tell.

One episode. You can guess which one.


Q:

Does that take a long time to clear your stuff out? You mentioned having a pretty cool setup in the truck, with the refrigerator and all. Is that something most truckers have in their trucks?

A:

What was your trail name, and how did you get it?


Q:

It will take about three hours to pack and move everything, but I've done it before so I have a system of doing it and unpacking it in the new truck so that if I have to move it's easy to repeat :). Yes lots of truckers have a fridge. If not at least an electric cooler

A:

Green Giant. Tall guy, green shirt.


Q:

Best random place that you have stopped and it surprised you, not what you expected it to be good or bad?

A:

Those appear to be the same shorts they give us in the usmc. Are you a former mayrin?


Q:

Loretta Lynn's Country Kitchen, thought it would be some second rate tourist trap dinner. Turned out to be an old school world class southern/soul food buffet. God it was good.

A:

Silkies For Life!

Oohrah.


Q:

I've always wondered what is it like living in a truck? What do you do in your free time?

Also what model is the truck? :]

A:

I admire your stamina and will power to walk the trail! I've been fantasizing a little bit about doing it myself, but I'm not in the financial or physical position to do so. At 390 lbs, it'd be a struggle for me to get moving in the first place... I was at 332 less than a year ago, and fell off the weight loss bandwagon when I injured my shoulder lifting... I was down a total of 102 lbs back then, but the injury took the wind out of my sails and I started eating comfort foods again...

I'm just getting started again with cardio, and I've been thinking that a long distance multi-week hike would be the perfect way to get started again... I have the strength and a lot of stamina due to the weights/cardio in the gym, I just don't know if I can afford to do it.

Any suggestions on how someone like me could do what you did?


Q:

Living in the truck is, well like living in any tiny home. I don't own a lot of stuff. In my free time I reddit, crochet, watch Netflix and travel :)

I'm in a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia evolution.

A:

It sounds to me like you're on your way. Just stick with it!

Here's what I like to tell people who are thinking about doing something like this, but are worried about physical fitness: As long as you can carry your pack seven miles, that's all you have to do on day 1.

The first shelter is 7 miles from Springer. If you start in April, you have almost 12 hours of daylight in which to accomplish that task. You could walk a mile, even taking a full hour to do it. Then rest half an hour. Then walk another mile. Then rest a FULL HOUR. And so on. If you can do that on the first day until you've done 7 miles, you win for the day. Eat some noodles and go to sleep.

If you can do that for 3 days in a row, you've made it to your first town. Now you get a real bed and a hot shower.

You don't need to hike 20 miles on that first day. You can do the whole trail without ever hiking 20 miles.

I say, find trails near where you live. Bike paths, even the track at a nearby school. Whatever you do, don't do nothing! Get out there and walk, even for half an hour every other day. It gets easier and it gets MORE FUN. Don't ever quit!


Q:

[deleted]

A:

I am probably not the only one to say this, but, I have trouble convincing myself these are in fact the same person.

Not even the same SPECIES.

Did you have to prove who you were to people who didn't believe you?


Q:

I don't have a problem with Class A RVs idk about other drivers, I find it a bit concerning that you don't need any special license to drive those monsters. And there are definitely some people who shouldn't be driving them.

A:

Yep.

Those pics are also still frames from my animated beard growth video, which usually convinces them.


Q:

Got a few questions,

  1. How'd you get internet connection?

  2. How do you make money? (I'm not familiar with the trucker job)

  3. Where do you sleep & pooping/peeing ?

  4. Ever thought of buying a house and settle down?

  5. Lastly, do you ever do backflip with your truck?

A:

Just downloaded the book. What was running through your mind when walking? I ask this I am picking a course for university and wonder does your thought process change when you have hours upon hours to walk and think for month's.


Q:
  1. I have a cell phone?
  2. I get paid per mile driven
  3. I sleep in the sleeper birth of my truck (there is a living area in the back of a semi tractor) I take care of my personal business at truck stops, for emergency pee on the road a wide mouthed bottle.
  4. I have incurable wander list I have no intention of stopping what I do, this is the only job I've ever loved.
  5. God no, the thought is horrifying.
A:

Just downloaded the book.

Awesome! Thanks!

What was running through your mind when walking?

You're about to find out. ;)

Not being sarcastic either, but kinda the whole point of my book is that I want the reader to get inside my head. When you're done reading it, you'll be just as nuts as I am.

Remember this when you get to Chapter 15, "Everyday." I used it to take a break from the story and try to capture every minute detail about a "typical" day on the AT. (There's no such thing, but I tried!) This is the one that'll get you into the long distance hiker headspace.


Q:

what does your username mean?

A:

How are your feet!?


Q:

Have you ever seen a film called The Big Lebowski?

A:

I did bad things to my feet.

I knew in advance that my feet would grow half a size, or even a whole. Somehow, I ignored that when it happened, I guess I was in denial. Anyway, I damaged the main nerves in each foot. It took me a year to get normal feeling back, and even today I have to wear metatarsal pads to prevent re-damaging them.

This is not normal however, so don't take my case as typical.


Q:

Big Lebowski reference

A:

The dude abides in this one


Q:

[deleted]

A:

This is a hard one, there are so many strange things out here, I once met a trucker who lived in a single truck with seven cats... Gross.

Creepy? Like ghost creepy? There's been a few strange nights in the New Mexico desert.