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CrosspostHi, I'm Craig Montgomery, Nirvana's live sound engineer from 89-93. Ask me anything. [xpost]

Aug 7th 2017 by slavethewhales • 34 Questions • 71 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:

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.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

A:

What was the most exciting location to shoot from?


Q:

What, in your experience, are the most destructive pests? Which ones are the hardest to get rid of? And what's the weirdest thing you've had to deal with in your line of work?

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:

Good bot :)

A:

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!


Q:

In my experience , it would ground squirrels. I have an account where the customer lives in the hills of whittier and he had a whole deck collapse . All down the hill was squirell tunnels that had caused the deck to collapse under it's own weight.

The hardest pest to get rid of is the bed bug. They can hide and not feed for over a year! You need to be as thorough as possible for treatment.

The weirdest thing I had to deal with wasn't exactly with the pest , but with the filthy living conditions of 2 doctors who had a nice apartment in Marina del Rey. Roach feces everywhere and it took them years before they called about their problem.

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:

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

A:

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


Q:

So...these were doctors living in squalid conditions? That's bizarre to me.

Also, I thought of another thing I'm curious about: have you ever been concerned for your own well-being during a job? Like, what's the most dangerous situation you've had to deal with?

I find this line of work fascinating.

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:

Hmmmm are you stalking me? Because that would be super

A:

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.


Q:

Well for pesticides the fastest way it soaks into your body is through your skin. So their is always a concern with the back pack spilling or concentrated pesticides leak on us. That's why it's always important to wear Proper Protective Equiptment. Gloves , safety glasses , respirator , long sleeves , pants , water resistant and steal toed boots. Also , always reading the chemical labels labels every application to make sure you have the right mixture and that it's labeled for the pest.

To me the most dangerous thing I deal with weakly is gopher treatment. I have to handle aluminum phosphate gas pellets. Such a horrible gas I hate even having to carry it on my truck.

A:

Sounds hard.


Q:

Way overdue IMHO.

A:

Who's your favorite driver? ;)


Q:

yes.

WHAT DOES A BEAN MEAN?!?

A:

Thank you!


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:

What is your least favorite pest to deal with?

Kryptonian Rats? ;)

A:

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


Q:

Commando: Ten Years Later.

A:

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


Q:

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

A:

what's on your pedalboard these days?


Q:

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

A:

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!


Q:

Hahaha yes actually.

Rodents can be be very tricky to get rid of. Especially rats because of their intelligence.

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:

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


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:
  1. Where did your interest in pest control start?

  2. when you deal with bees or wasps have you ever gotten swarmed?

  3. I'm pretty sure every pest control expert has a hard stomach but have you ever encountered a scenario that was so disgusting you "couldn't" stomach it.

  4. And lastly, what's the most dangerous pest you've come across in your entire time working on the job, black widows or the like?


Q:

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.

A:

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 ?


Q:

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

A:

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?


Q:

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?

A:

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


Q:
  • I was offered the job from a buddies father in law. He explained the pay and benefits and I went with it. But now that I'm in here , I find insects to be so fascinating. They are so small yet they have a huge world they live in.

  • yes I have. There is a cross species with honey bees that took the western honey bee and African honey bee called Africanised Honey bee or the killer bee. While most bees will allow you to get a certain distance to their nest before they started headbutting you a warning, Africanised bees will come right at you and will follow you for a long distance if they are mad enough.

I had to treat an empty water fountain. From a distance I could see them swarming over the fake rocky fountain. I try peeking my head up to see where they were coming from ....big mistake. One bee came right at me and stung my ear. Normally I have a bee suit on but I was just checking to see where id be spraying. The venom released a pheromone telling other bees to sting me. I power walked to my truck that was about 400 ft away got in my truck, and saw 20 bees on my front windshield and more coming to the driver and passenger window. Sigh of relief I took off my jacket to discover I have 6 bees on my back! I had to battle them inside because I wasn't going outside lol

  • I once found 3 rotting rats that disintegrated as I tried scooping them up and like a pinata, maggots poured out . The smell was the cherry on top. It took a lot to keep it in. Oh... yeah ... It was inside someone's house at a trailer park.

  • I recently came across a bark scorpion at a property in so Segundo. I carried it around my truck for a few hours before taking it to an entomologist for an exact identification. I thought it was harmless but it was actually very dangerous.

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:

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:

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's the best way to get rid of ants?


Q:

what did you eat?

A:

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?


Q:

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?

A:

Favorite golf course you've ever played at?


Q:

Quick tips to step my guitar playing up a notch?

A:

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.


Q:

Check for a water source. Most ants we deal with in California are the Argentine ant, they are semi aquatic. You can use ant bait stations on the inside or use a cleaner like Windex to wipe down their trails. You can use a spray from home depot and spray all the cracks and crevice on your exterior. Anything touching your building, like trees or shrubs , should be treated as well. Colonies can be massive. So paying attention to detail is important.

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:

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:

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

A:

Any do it yourself advice on how to get rid of carpenter ants?


Q:

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?

A:

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.


Q:

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

A:

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.


Q:

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.

A:

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


Q:

Buy some boric acid from home depot. Mix 1 part boric acid with 10 parts sugar water. Then add it to whatever bait you want to use and give it a few days.

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:

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

A:

I got a dead mice last night. The smell still lingers. Any recommendation on how to get rid of the smell quickly?


Q:

You look like someone's awesome middle school science teacher

A:

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


Q:

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

A:

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!


Q:

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?

A:

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


Q:

You can use carpet cleaning powder and sprinkling it over where you found the dead mice. Or you can get an odor removal bag and leave it near the area , it'll soak up the smell.

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:

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:

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:

I gotta say reading your answers here almost restores my faith in humanity. It's like you give out all this advice for free "take 1 part buggy-killy stuff mix it with 10 parts buggy-attracty stuff and wait a few days thumbs up".

Thanks for doing this, even though I have no apparent pest-issues right now.


Q:

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

A:

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


Q:

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?

A:

Brian! How do you play Dallas?


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:

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.


Q:

I appreciate this. I try to be as helpful as I can be. Especially in the field. I find educating people about insects puts their minds at some sort of ease. Just finding out that large roaches isn't an issue is enough to save me a 2 hour trip sometimes.

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:

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 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?

A:

But why would you take away potential business from yourself? I'm not saying you should rip people off when something would be easy to deal with, but it's still better to charge for what you did than having people do it themselves right?


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:

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:

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


Q:

These are just the little things to help control insects and rodents. Sometimes issues get out of hand and that's when we're called in. A lot of our business is monthly preventative. So adding bait to the exterior station , spraying the building and gaps , and helping out finding any structural issues is all part of the monthly service.

I have over a 150 places I take care of. And at any time I can get called in to service them. Sometimes it's bad. Sometimes it's something so small it could have waited instead of having to waste an hour off my monthly route to put down some glue traps. So the time is worth the small fee in my opinion. Of course I'm talking about accounts I currently have . Non customer 1 time calls that I have to go out to we do charge even if it's a minor thing. But before i leave I always show the customer what they can do to cut down the pest activity. To cut it down , not eliminate it . Bugs will make their way indoors no matter what we do. It's all about controlling the population.

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:

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:

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?! :)

A:

But why would you take away potential business from yourself? I'm not saying you should rip people off when something would be easy to deal with, but it's still better to charge for what you did than having people do it themselves right?


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:

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:

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.


Q:

I understand. But sometimes it's on the preference of the manager or tenant

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:

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:

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

A:

What did you think of Naked Lunch?


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:

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

A:

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


Q:

I have not seen it . I'll give it a watch

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:

thank you


Q:

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

A:

How does one become a pest control person?


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:

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:

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!


Q:

There is an exam you can't take for your applicators license. I currently have 3 license that allow me to apply , sell accounts , and handle high level chemicals.

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:

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:

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?

A:

What areas in California (mainly cities w/600k+ people) are known for ticks infestations?


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:

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?

A:

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


Q:

I've on my had 1 tick call and that was in El Segundo

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:

Size of venue doesn't affect the set list. My mood affects it the most.


Q:

Did I find the AMA?

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:

Are you aiming to tour the UK again anytime soon? I'll certainly be booking a ticket.


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:

We are coming back in October. Dates have already been posted and are up for sale. Check my website for info


Q:

Ever work in Skid Row? Do you work in a lot of areas like that? What are some of the worst buildings you have seen?

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:

Does your mood also determine how long the concert will go for? Is it possible that a concert could go on for 3 hours or do you just play your 21 songs but only the selection depends on your mood?


Q:

I've never worked there. But I did do central station. They had a really bad bed bug problem. The worst areas I've done are little plazas in Southgate, bell, or Compton. Not all areas of those places are bad , but when they are bad they are really bad.

The worst building I have seen was in west Covina. They were apartments . No one wanted to prep before treatment so the roach issue just kept getting worse and worse.

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:

1969 Charger


Q:

What's the rest of your day like after working through a particularly intense building? Ever work in environments you can't shake?

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:

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


Q:

I'm outside mostly. Changing out rat poison on the exterior of buildings. It can get pretty hot especially since we are only allowed to wear long sleeves. And in the summer we are focusing on ants so wearing thick rubber gloves , carrying a 50lb backpack , and long sleeves can easily dehydrate you. I've had to take breaks but never in an environment i couldn't handle.


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:

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:

What is the best pesticide that regular people can buy?

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:

whatever happened to corey sterling?


Q:

I would avoid aerosols like raid .You can't get much at general stores but I've had customers tell me round up works great for them. It just has to be applied more often.

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 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:

You have a lot of advice on dealing with a pest infestation, but what about prevention?

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:

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


Q:

For roaches:

All drains should he kept wet . If you have any floor drains make sure to apply a mesh small enough to keep roaches from getting in. Any piping should be sealed properly as well.

Rodents :

Seal or cover any openings . If your pinky can fit through a whole or gap , a mouse can fit. If you can fit your thumb in , a full size fat can fit through

Earwigs/ Sal bugs : Pick up any leaves that are piled up. Make sure there is little moisture in grassy areas or planters.

For pantry pest (indian meal moths/ grain beetles): Make sure all grains, oats , and cereals are properly sealed. At times though your rice or oats will come home infested already.

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:

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


Q:

Are you ever worried about taking bed bugs, fleas, and the like back home with you?

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:

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


Q:

Yes I'm in constant worry. Before I make my way in to the house I strip down outside and come back for them with a bag. Then I was the clothes separately.

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


Q:

Why do you cover Los Angeles, when Oceanside is so much closer to San Diego?

How do you avoid bringing bed bugs, and scabies, home with you?

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:

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


Q:

I live in the LA area . I cover from whittier to Santa Monica. My company is located in ocean side. My boss has us use the company's address when we sign up for licensing.

The best way is watch your surroundings. Bed bugs can travel on people's belongings. Hotels , buses , trains are a good place for them to transfer from one person to another. I've even had a case where a homeless man kept coming into the dmv and he was filled with bed bugs. He carried this gross bag around, he would drip blood in the men's restroom and he'd leave a trail of them. It spread throughout the office .

If you are ever concerned about it , washing your clothes in hot water would kill any bed bugs in your clothes or sheets. It has to be HOT

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:

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


Q:

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

A:

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?


Q:

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?

A:

Who is a relatively unknown guitar player you think people should listen to?


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:
  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:

Marcus King


Q:

Why did you do it?

A:

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?


Q:

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

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:

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:

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:

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


Q:

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.

A:

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?


Q:

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

A:

Will you be adding dates to this tour as you go? This album touched my heart from the first notes.. how do you keep it current yet stay true to the blues, do you listen to other music.. pop, dance, electronic etc?


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:

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:

The tour for this album will continue all the way through the end of next year, so yes dates will continue to be added. I try to just write the music that I feel inspired to write. I hear all kinds of music all the time, but when making an album we just do what we do without trying to push its too far in one way or the other. I will always be true to the Blues as it's my first love.


Q:

Thanks for the answer, crazy that you were in the military, I'm in the military as well and sometimes I think if I'm not front line I didn't give enough. You know what I mean?

A:

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?


Q:

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?"

A:

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


Q:

I do. It's weird, like I almost make things harder than they need to be sometimes, too. Just to see...

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:

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


Q:

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

What has been your most memorable encounter with wildlife?

A:

Have you figured out how to reply yet?


Q:

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

A:

What is your favorite guitar pedal?


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:

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:

Currently it would be the Analog Man King Of Tone pedal


Q:

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

A:

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


Q:

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.

A:

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


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:

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:

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:

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)?

A:

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


Q:

Approximately how much of the show was improv?

A:

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


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:

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:

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


Q:

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?

A:

What is your favorite memory from the 90's?


Q:

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?

A:

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?


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:

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


Q:

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.”

A:

So Teen Steam, did you ever let it out?


Q:

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!!

A:

What is the very best cheese?


Q:

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

Thanks!

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:

Depends on what you're eating it with.


Q:

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

A:

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


Q:

Hi Kenny......see you at the Ridgefield Playhouse in a few weeks!!!!! Can't wait!!!! Why did you change members in the band?

A:

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.


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:

There always comes a time when change is appropriate. I have learned not to be scared of change but to embrace it. On a creative level it's refreshing to change it up from time to time.


Q:

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?

A:

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


Q:

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

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:

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:

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

A:

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


Q:

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!

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:

What was your fondest memory during your trip?

A:

Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre?


Q:

Does Mel G have any guitars?

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:

Not that I'm aware of, but he could borrow mine if he needed one.


Q:

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!

A:

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?


Q:

You're a huge inspiration; love the new album! You're overdue for a stop in Minnesota with the KWS band! What's one music-related item on your bucket list?

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:

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

A:

One thing i want that I haven't gotten yet is a 1960 Les Paul. I prefer them to the 58 & 59.


Q:

How were the mosquitos?

A:

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


Q:

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.

A:

Aaron Rodgers.


Q:

Wow! Very bold and inspiring. Good for you.

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

A:

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


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 it 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:

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


Q:

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

A:

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


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:

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:

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?

A:

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?


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:

Thank you very much.

SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!????!!?!?!?!?!?


Q:

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?

A:

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


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:

Bryson DeChambeau (SMU GUY!)

I'm a Rodgers guy.


Q:

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?

A:

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


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:

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

A:

Do you still have little patience for stupidity?


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:

obviously. Even little-er now.


Q:

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?

A:

Can you make me some of your chili? :)


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:

stats please?


Q:

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?

A:

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


Q:

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

A:

Love hockey as well.


Q:

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?

A:

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


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:

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?

A:

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?


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:

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?

A:

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?


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:

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?

A:

Hey 🅱️rian 🅱️aumgartner,

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


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:

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:

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

A:

What's your favorite bar in San Diego?


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:

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:

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

A:

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


Q:

Silkies For Life!

Oohrah.

A:

I'll never tell.

One episode. You can guess which one.


Q:

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!

A:

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.


Q:

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

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

A:

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


Q:

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

A:

Green Giant. Tall guy, green shirt.


Q:

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?

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:

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?

A:

Yep.

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


Q:

How are your feet!?

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:

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.

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.