camino – Stuck in Customs

The Boston Harbor, My Updated Portfolio and a New Podcast

Updated Portfolio

I’ve recently updated my Portraits and People Portfolio on SmugMug. You might have to scroll down a bit to see some of the new goodies!

Trey’s 360 Podcast – Craig Mod on hiking, writing, Japanese culture and Leica

On this walk along a section of the Camino in Spain I’m with Craig Mod ( https://craigmod.com/ ). He’s a fantastic writer with some amazing content on walking (hikes) which you should check out… maybe start with his Review of Beds which is fun 🙂 Anyway, in this chat we discuss Craig’s various hikes through Japan and some of his observations on their varied culture. We also talk about his evolution from film cameras to ultimately opting for Leica as his main travel companion.

NOTE: If this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

And here is the audio version if 360 isn’t your thing:

Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Boston Harbor

As one of the sunsets was winding up, I decided to start criss-crossing the bridges to see different vantage points. It’s such an easy (and fun!) city to photograph. I ended up doing a few different long exposures, and this one turned out to be my favorite one.

The Boston Harbor

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-08-11 18:10:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Having Fun in the Library

Episode 6 of My Audio Podcast

There are now 6 of my audio podcasts available on your favourite streaming services (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play).

In this episode, while walking on the El Camino in Spain, I talk with Kevin Kelly about one of his many projects, the 10,000 Year Library. And yes, you can participate! It’s a really fun concept… I won’t spoil it!

Flight Simulator in a Japanese Hotel Room

Check out this amazing idea for a hotel room.

Daily Photo – Having Fun in the Library

When we went to the crazy library in Tianjin, we decided to have some fun and do some posed shots. That Curtis there on the right and the lady on the left was one of the ladies from the Ritz-Carlton that brought us here. She is probably the most giggly person I have ever met in my life. Literally, anything I would say or do would make her giggle uncontrollably. But, I actually like this quality in people… I like when they laugh at my jokes even when they make absolutely no sense.

Having Fun in the Library

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-13 14:42:28
  • CameraPixel 2 XL
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/120
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO197
  • Focal Length4.5 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Mont Saint Michel From Above

Here’s Episode 4 of My Audio Podcast!

Matt Mullenweg is not just the founder of WordPress and now Automattic, but he was also my lucky roommate on this week-long 200km hike through Spain. Not only is he warm at night, but he really knows how to work that loofa in the shower. We share many commonalities including the love of writing, Burning Man, hiking, and experimental and self-exploration use mind-expanding substances.

What do we talk about?

His inspiration for WordPress and his mindset
Comments on blogs
What is his main gig now, Automattic?
Texas boys say hi to their moms
What did Matt learn that he didn’t expect to learn?
Meditation and the Stoic philosophers
Why do we blog?

You can also subscribe via your favorite platforms here… iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play.

And here is lovely Matt…



Sri Lanka Fashion Party!

It appears one of my photos was used for some funky dresses at a fashion show in Sri Lanka. Nothing says the effective end of a religious non-Catholic civil war better than a flowing gown adorned in a Catholic cathedral.

Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel From Above

This was one of my most scary quad flights! I ended up getting some really cool photos of this place (this one included), but there was a lot of concern in getting the quad safely back home. Luckily, Curtis and Tane were there as spotters to make sure nothing went awry. You’ll see a scene from this same spot in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht video I posted a few days ago.

Mont Saint Michel From Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 20:31:07
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Episode 3 of my Audio Podcast

Discussing Crypto with Aaron Lammer

When I was invited on this 150km hike in Spain with 10 people, I didn’t know most of them. But I did a little googling ahead of time so I would get a sense of the sorts of characters I’d be stuck with for a week. One of them was Aaron Lammer, who was easy to get-to-know because he has three podcasts. One of them is on cryptocurrency, one of them is about weed, and one of them is about long-form writing. I only listened to the crypto ones and I was immediately impressed by his approach to the subject matter.

What impressed me the most was his openness in his understated approach of “I don’t know anything about Crypto, but let’s figure this out as we go along by talking with other experts and funny, strange stories from the crypto world.” Note that isn’t an exact quote, but that was basically his pitch for the show.

Here’s our chat in all its glory…

You can also subscribe via your favorite platforms here… iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play.

Wondering about the lovely face behind the voice? Here’s Aaron…



Daily Photo – Walking Along the Glacier

I visited this glacier every day for three days in a row. It was so amazing to be able to walk right up and touch it. I was a little scared, of course, hoping that part of the glacier did not calve off and fall on me! But, it’s not melting down here, so there was very little chance of that. Either way, I’ll admit, I was definitely on high-alert while being in the middle of awe.

Walking Along the Glacier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-17 10:48:38
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture11
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Check out Episode 2 of My Audio Podcast

Trey Ratcliff’s 360 Podcast – Discussing World Building with Author Hugh Howey

In this podcast I’m walking on the Camino de Santiago with author of the popular Silo series, Hugh Howey. We discuss World Building, which is the process fiction writers go through to create the fundamentals of the situation in which the story takes place.

You can also subscribe via your favorite platforms here… iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play.

Myself and Hugh Howey

And so you can put a face to the voice, here’s Hugh and some other guy on the Camino…

Behind the Scenes from the Vessel in NYC

Here is a little behind the scenes action from NYC. The awesome Professor Hines was kind enough to arrange access to The Vessel at sunset and he brought along his fashion designer friend DrissFit96 for some portrait action too…

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

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Trey Ratcliff’s 360 Podcast – Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project – Part 2

Season 33, Episode 8 of “Walk n’ Talk with Trey” This Episode: ” Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project Part 2″

In this episode, while walking on the El Camino in Spain, I talk with Kevin Kelly about one of his many projects, the 10,000 Year Library. We also talk about what to do with all the existing libraries in the world… access to information… the future of libraries and knowledge curation… and more!

If you missed previously, here is part one…

Also, if this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

Find out more about Kevin Kelly on his site at https://kk.org/!

This other charmer we are walking with is Aaron Lammer. I talk to him on another 360 walk n’ talk you find below. More about Aaron at http://www.aaronlammer.com/

And finally, see all the Episodes in our Playlist here.

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Walking with Kevin and Aaron

Season 24, Episode 15 of “Walk n’ Talk with Trey” This Episode: ” Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project Part 1″

In this episode, while walking on the El Camino in Spain, I talk with Kevin Kelly about one of his many projects, the 10,000 Year Library. And yes, you can participate! It’s a really fun concept… I won’t spoil it! By the way, I could listen to Kevin Kelly (one of my intellectual heroes) talk about anything! Sometimes I sneak into his home and just stand in the closet and listen to him talk about things like laundry, doing the dishes, and strange people in his closet.

If this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

Find out more about Kevin Kelly on his site at https://kk.org/ !

This other charmer we are walking with is Aaron Lammer. I talk to him on another 360 walk and talk you find below. More about Aaron at http://www.aaronlammer.com/

See all the Episodes in our Playlist at

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Season 2, Episode 3 of Walking with Matt

Wanna see the other Walk n’ Talks? Here they are!

1) Discussing Rituals and Death with Kevin Kelly and Hugh Howey
2) Hugh Howey on World Building
3) Crypto with Aaron Lammer

Matt Mullenweg is not just the founder of WordPress and now Automattic, but he was also my lucky roommate on this week-long 200km hike through Spain. Not only is he warm at night, but he really knows how to work that loofa in the shower.

We share many commonalities including the love of writing, Burning Man, hiking, and experimental and self-exploration use mind-expanding substances. You can see the poor guy has a bit of a limp here, as he had a knee problem that got worse and worse as the days went on. We should have brought more drugs. Anyway…

First time seeing a 360 video? You can grab the screen and move it any way you want! Tired of seeing me and Matt? Spin it around and see where we are going.

What do we talk about?

1:30 His inspiration for WordPress and his mindset
3:30 Comments on Blogs
4:00 What is his main gig now, Automattic?
5:15 Texas boys say hi to their moms
5:55 What did Matt learn that he didn’t expect to learn?
7:20 Meditation and the Stoic philosophers
7:50 Why do we blog?

Matt’s Blog
Matt’s photos, stuff and things
Trey’s Kit + Books

Below, I’ll share some photos of Matt while we walked along the Camino and some quick thoughts and stories.


Very few people know this, but this is exactly how Matt came out of the womb, beard and all. His mom was like, “Well I’ll be darned!”

One awesome thing about Matt is that when you are talking to him, you’re the only person in the world. Here he is talking with Gia-Miin Fuh, Kevin Kelly’s genius wife that works at 23-And-Me.

No one can rock a scallop shell like Matt. I told him that with those sunglasses that he could be a hardcore pornography director.

A lot like everyone on the trek, Matt seemed to know either a little bit or a lot about everything. On the very first night, we walked across the bridge from Portugal to Spain in the dark. It was quite romantic. We talked all about the different sort of hallucinogens we’ve imbibed and how they have shaped and expanded our minds (for the better).

Here’s Matt Hackett, Hugh Howey, and Matt somewhere in one of the more forested areas of our walk. We would often pair-off or triple-up and have all kinds of interesting discussions, solving all the world’s problems!

Here’s Matt talking to Kevin Kelly at a rest break. By this time, Matt’s knee was really bothering him, and none of us minded having a break. We were in no hurry to get anywhere in particular.

And last, here is Craig Mod giving life to Matt with his noodly appendage.

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Man with Cat in Porto

Netflix recommendation

At first, I didn’t know if I actually liked “The Kominsky Method” but the more I watched, the more I liked it… I like a lot of different comedies, but this is one of the smarter ones.

Daily Photo – Man with Cat in Porto

I entitled this the way an Impressionist painter might entitle their paintings. Their painting titles are often really boring in English, but they sound great in French. For example, Monet’s “Women in the Garden” sounds so much better as “Femmes au jardin.” Renoir’s “Two Sisters on the Terrace” is improved by “Les Deux Sœurs Sur la Terrasse.” The titles sound even better while eating a French pastry, especially when you hear, “S’il vous plaît arrêtez de manger ma pâtisserie.”

Man with Cat in Porto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-09-21 04:37:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Part 3 of the Camino Story – Aaron Lammer and New Matt

Wanna see the other Walk n’ Talks? Here they are!

1) Kevin Kelly on Death
2) Hugh Howey on World Building
3) Matt Mullenweg on WordPress and more

Where do I start with this guy? Maybe here with this 360 video (a reminder that you can grab the video and turn the camera any way you want).

When I was invited on this 150km hike in Spain with 10 people, I didn’t know most of them. But I did a little googling ahead of time so I would get a sense of the sorts of characters I’d be stuck with for a week. One of them was Aaron Lammer, who was easy to get-to-know because he has three podcasts. One of them is on cryptocurrency, one of them is about weed, and one of them is about long-form writing. I only listened to the crypto ones and I was immediately impressed by his approach to the subject matter.

What impressed me the most was his openness in his understated approach of “I don’t know anything about Crypto, but let’s figure this out as we go along by talking with other experts and funny, strange stories from the crypto world.” Note that isn’t an exact quote, but that was basically his pitch for the show.


Aaron Lammer, always ready to ham it up.

I’m not going to talk much about crypto here. I’m a believer that this will be how most humans transact in the future. Actually, even though I love my friend Hugh Howey, he could not disagree more! I’ve met many people that are quite divided on this subject. It’s interesting at a meta-level how an idea can be so divisive. But most people on this walk were really into philosophy, so it made for some great conversations.

I’ll step back a moment and explain why I liked Aaron so much.

He has a lot of deep knowledge in a vast myriad of subjects. I think whatever subject I brought up, he had strong opinions about everything.

Also, during our final dinner with all of us, he had a good old-fashioned cry, as most of us did. That’s a big deal. When you can cry in front of a bunch of other dudes. I won’t say what we all talked about because I’m the best secret-keeper in the world, but it was all wonderfully emotionally stirring.

Aaron does so many things! He even just produced a music video for Francis and the Lights. How does one guy do so many things that appear to be unrelated?

My armchair psychoanalysis is this: Aaron gives 100% of his energy to things that are interesting to him. The only commonality between producing music to crypto to weed to long-form writing is Aaron himself. I get the feeling that he’s tried hundreds of things, but they just weren’t all that interesting to him, so he focused everything on these items. And, if they don’t serve him in a few years, he’ll be onto something else interesting to him.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

All along the path of the Camino, we would see signs like this, showing us how much further we need to walk. By the way, in a lot of the world, people use commas rather than periods to denote a decimal.

Perhaps my favorite part is that he’s unapologetic about his interests and beliefs. It’s a delicate balance to have strong opinions on a myriad of subjects and not be an egoic asshole about it.

I really like this quality in people. Maybe this is a solipsistic thing because I am very similar. I’m easily distracted but when I find something interesting, I put 100% of my energy into it without apology.


One of our foggy mornings, walking on the Camino in Spain.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

When the fog cleared, we would often walk by some of the most beautiful plants, trees, and flowers.

There is a funny story along the Camino with Aaron. Well, there are dozens, but I’ll tell you this one in particular.

Just before the final day of our hike, Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress, my roommate, and the subject of a future story) left us because he had to go speak at their annual conference. Also, his knee was really hurt and he was hobbling around in a terrible way that made us all feel bad for him. Anyway, our group was one short, and we made a “friend” at one of the rest breaks that we called “New Matt”. I don’t remember the guy’s actual name, but it doesn’t really matter because he was New Matt.

New Matt totally sucked.

We all hated him, but he walked with us for many hours anyway. Who hated him most? Aaron Lammer. He turned out to be the diametric opposite of Aaron. For example, Aaron knows a lot about music. This New Matt could not have infuriated him more. New Matt says he refuses to listen to music after The Beatles and thinks everything is terrible.


This is Old Matt. He was awesome. When we thought of old Matt, it only reminded us more about how much we hated New Matt.

What really ground Aaron’s gears were the same argument techniques that seem to be used by people raised in the Jewish culture. Aaron is not a practicing Jew, but he definitely has those funny Woody Allen argumentative tendencies. New Matt was a bit more hardcore Jewish, from Israel, and even more opinionated than Aaron. The big difference is that New Matt had his entire ego and “story of self” tied into his opinions and he was completely blind to hearing other viewpoints. This drove Aaron absolutely crazy and, even after New Matt finally left our crew, it was the subject of conversation for countless hours. It was like Aaron ventured off into the forest to have a pee and he got a splinter in his nutsack he couldn’t extract for weeks.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

A random scene along the Camino.

I think our experience with New Matt really helped us to get to know Aaron better. Not until one meets their foil does one come to know oneself. And we were all listening in to their heated conversation with reckless delight. You don’t want to get on Aaron’s intellectual bad side. No matter how cunningly Aaron attempted to paint New Matt into a corner of his own logical demise, New Matt would slip away into a straw man argument that was only loosely related. Aaron prepared a riposte with a steel man, only to be deflected in a subtle way with another unconnected point that would increase Aaron’s frustration and re-direct the verbal battle.

We recorded countless hours of our talks, but that is the ONE talk I wish we had recorded.

Anyway, we all love you Aaron. You all should go listen to one of his podcasts now.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

Oh, look how sad Aaron is here. I’m sure he’s still thinking about that dastardly New Matt.
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