RSWL: The English Language

A while back, during one of our travels, we spent some brief time on a Jeep tour in the mountainous area of the United Arab Emirates, which also took us into a remote area of Oman.  Our driver/guide was very familiar with the area as he had been giving tours in that area for more than 25 years. As a result, he knew many of the people who lived in the area and had a good plan of where to take us for photos.

He knew that I was particularly interested in unique architecture and photo opportunities (he had already taken me off the “beaten path” to get some great shots of some old metal gates – which you can see on the site).

After a few hours of bouncing through the rocky desert mountains, he took us onto a nice paved asphalt road with a clean yellow stripe down the center.  While I have to admit, my back and various other typically unused muscles that go to work when you are bouncing in a Jeep were relieved for the break,  I still felt a bit of presumptive disappointment that what we would see on a road like this would only be ordinary.

So, imagine my surprise when the nicely paved road rounded a gentle curve and ended… into the side wall of a building.  Well, a small, simple mosque to be exact.  We got out for a few minutes to look around (and take some photos of course).  He told us he was friends with the family and they had built the little mosque for themselves at the end of the road. We were free to look around and take as many pictures as we wanted as he went through a small doorway in a smooth plastered wall to say hello to the family.  As we looked around, a curious little boy his equally curious sister and an even more curious goat came out to look at us.  The little boy and his sister appeared to be about 4 and 6 respectively (no idea how old the goat was).

We smiled and waved to the two children, who giggled, smiled shyly in response and slowly backed around the corner of the doorway with that universal childlike body language that can express both curiosity and cautiousness at the same time.

The goat on the other hand was not shy at all and trotted up to us, his mouth in a perpetual chewing motion.  The expectant look on his face appeared to be his only expression.   We had nothing on us to give him so we showed him our empty hands and continued to walk around.

After about fifteen minutes our guide came out and asked us if we were ready to go.  We said we were and we climbed back into the jeep.  A few minutes down the road, the way we had come, our guide slowed and asked if we wanted to go back and meet the people who lived there and visit with them.  We immediately felt a mixture of wanting to and not wanting to intrude on them.  He said it was no problem, that they liked visitors and insisted that we return.  As her turned around, we hesitantly agreed.

Upon our return, we got out of the Jeep and decided to leave our cameras in the vehicle (it just didn’t feel right.) We followed our guide through the narrow doorway in the wall that the children had been observing us from.  Within minutes, we were greeted by members of the family with smiles, hospitality, and food and drink.  The mother held out a large tray of sliced melon, smiled, nodded and greeted us in Arabic.  We smiled back, thanked her and took a piece of melon.  Fresh, plump dates and hot aromatic Arabic coffee followed, all of which we accepted by returning their smiles with our own and “thank you”s confident that even though we did not share a common language,  smiles and nods of gratitude were universal.

Our host family gestured for us to sit, and we sat on a low wall around a planter in the courtyard.  After a few moments the shy children must have decided that us being on the inside of the wall made us okay now and they came quickly over to us, stood about three feet from us, and beamed with some of the warmest, most genuine smiles I have ever seen.  (I am not sure where the goat was at this point.  He was probably nibbling on the tire or bumper of the Jeep. )

After just a brief moment of grinning at us, the little girl must have realized that we were speaking English, and started counting.  At first it felt a bit random, especially when she switched to letters in English.  We soon realized that she was reciting her ABCs and 123s and was pausing for feedback from us.  Once we clued in to what she was doing, we gave her our undivided attention.  She recited her ABCs half way through and stopped.  We smiled larger, and nodded, saying, “Yes, that is very good!”  She responded with a giggle, clapping of her hands, and a little hop of excitement.  Next, we were treated with her performance of 1 through 10.  Our affirmation of her work was again greeted by her with even more joyous, well-earned self satisfaction.

Our guide explained that even out here, in the rural, fairly remote areas of Oman,  the children learn English in schools.  As I turned back to the little girl who was excitedly repeating her performance over and over with absolute glee, I couldn’t help but think what a wonderful thing human communication is on any level, but here, far from any city, people were making an effort to learn a language that was native to me and not at all to them, so that one day we might be able to communicate more effectively.

I will probably never see that family or that little girl ever again, but her unbounded enthusiasm to learn one of the most complicated, exasperating,  contradictory languages in the world, and her pride in sharing what little she knew of it, touched me…

I wish her, and all of us who seek to connect to others through a common language (any language!), all the support in the World.

RSWL: Camels

I have been traveling a fair bit in the Middle East, and though it may seem like a stereotype – I can honestly tell you that there are thousands of camels everywhere.  It doesn’t take long being around the creatures that you find you really start to like them.

They have been referred to as “ships of the desert” and have for thousands of years, performed a very important role in parts of the world that can be extremely inhospitable to life.  I have since learned that camels can live for more than 25 years and are very tolerant of heat (duh) but, can also function just fine in cold weather as well.

We were recently in Jordan in an area known as the Wadi Rum, a beautiful, vast desert area that is most known for its association with T.E. Lawrence, on whom the movie Lawrence of Arabia was based.  It was a cold morning just above freezing and we approached our camels bundled up and barely awake and they looked at us as if to say, “Great, more tourists…”

The three camels we rode on our two hour trip through the desert

The three camels we rode on our two hour trip through the desert.  Mine was the one in the back – not looking at the camera.

We had a two hour ride through the desert and it took me the first hour just to figure out how to get comfortable sitting up there.  Our guide, a man from Egypt who has been in the area for the past ten years, showed me how to sit with one leg crossed over the front of the saddle in front of you.  Once I did that and found a good balance, not only was it easier for me to take photos as I was not bouncing around so much, but my butt was happier as well.

I am clearly not the first person in history to develop an affinity for these funny looking creatures.  As evidence of that, on our ride that morning, our guide pointed out some petroglyphs carved into the rock face that showed many camels.  These were carved by the Nabateans, an ancient people who inhabited many parts of the Middle East from the B.C.s into the first century (in fact – they were responsible for creating Petra).  So there was proof, literally set in stone, that I was not the first!

Nabatean petroglyphs carved two thousand years ago into the desert rock

Nabatean camel petroglyphs carved two thousand years ago into the desert rock

So why have I come to like camels…?  Well, in no particular order, here are a few reasons:

1. They just have that laid-back attitude that seems to say, “Whatever…”

2. They look really funny

3.  The have an attitude that seems to say, “Fine, I’ll do it, not because you asked me to, but because I have nothing better to do”

4.  They have long necks, big humps, long legs and well… just look funny

5.  When you ride them they sway so much that you can’t help but have fun on them because you know you look so ridiculous

6.  Did I mention they are full of attitude…?

7. And… they look funny!  They just make you smile.  I guess because they are sort of the “ugly ducklings” of the quadruped world – they have to have an attitude! 

This camel was definitely ready for his close-up

This camel was definitely ready for his close-up.  Look at that attitude!

One of the events I went to while in the UAE was a festival during which there was a camel beauty pageant (I am not joking!)  During this event I saw many, many camels and while my eye was not trained to be able to make an aesthetic judgement, there were several locals who enthusiastically showed me what to look for.  I was also shocked to learn that the winner of the pageant can then often sell for somewhere between two to six million dollars!  Yes you read that right, millions of dollars!

I am not sure where my travels will take me next, and if I will ever spend so much time around camels as I have in the past six months, but when I see them in movies, photos, or on TV I will most certainly think back to a time in my life when I saw more camels than people and how those funny looking creatures just made me smile (the camels not the people…)!

A mother camel and her two young camels trailing behind.

A mother camel and her two young camels trailing behind.


TMG Philosophy: It Actually is a Small World (after all…)

Those of us that work here at the Transmogrifier tend to travel quite a bit.  It is vitally important of course for our ongoing goal of collecting photographs from all over the world.

If you have been a loyal reader of our blogs (thank you!) then you know that it is easy for us to get caught up in the work of looking for shots.  On an average trip to a location, we tend to take an average of 200 to 300 shots an hour!  At that rate, it is easy to get focused on the work and forget to stop and enjoy where we are.

Recently I was in the United Arab Emirates, in an area known as Liwa, at a camel beauty pageant (yes – you read that right!)  We were the only Westerners as far as we could see and in the midst of looking for good shots, I remarked to my wife that it would be nice to talk to someone who could explain what they look for in a camel beauty pageant.  Just about three minutes later, an Arabic man walked up, introduced himself as Jaber, and with very good English, began talking with us and answering our questions about the very large (and I have to admit – beautiful ) black camel in front of us.

After about 15 minutes he invited us to come to his tent and sit with them for some coffee and dates.  We agreed and we soon found ourselves being driven by 4×4 across the sand to a large tent on the top of a dune.  There were about 50 to 60 men there from several countries throughout the Middle East.  We were given a place to sit on low cushions and quickly served coffee and dates.  We spent an hour and a half or so talking with several of the men there some of whom spoke English and others who spoke through a translator.

At one point I had gotten up to take photos, at the friendly insistence of Ali, a young man who acted as our translator when necessary, when we stopped as a couple of older men made room for me on the cushions and asked me to sit and talk with them.  I sat for ten to fifteen minutes talking with them about all sorts of things, and asked about the thin canes that the men carry. Ali got up, walked across the tent, exchanged a few words with a man, and then came back to me, extended his hand and with a smile said “a gift for you.”   I felt a bit embarrassed to accept it, but knew there was no way to refuse.  I thanked him and the man you gave it up (which it turns out was Ali’s brother) and continued my talk (with the help of Ali’s translation) with the two men beside me, touched by their warmth and hospitality.

Me sitting in the tent with my two new friends.

Me sitting in the tent with my two new friends.

We were then invited to have lunch with them.  Jaber asked us if we would be more comfortable eating alone and we asked if there was a problem for us to eat with them, to which he smiled and replied “It’s no problem.”   We were taken into another tent where there were two large plastic runners laid out with trays of food and drinks spaced neatly around the perimeter.  Jaber took us to a place and asked us to sit.  The large tray in front of us contained rice, vegetables, and a meat that we were told was camel.  Flat bread, yogurt, soft-drinks and water completed the meal.

The lunch "table"

The lunch “table”

The food and company was excellent and as I sat there, cross-legged and eating with my hand, I took a moment to look around the room at the faces (many of whom smiled back at me when we made eye contact) that looked different from mine – but were enjoying a meal with me just the same.

When you travel and meet other people and make the effort to get to know them, you will find that a vast majority of the time – they are very much like you and that makes the world instantly smaller.

Since this will most likely be my last post for this year (I leave for a week in Jordan tomorrow) I will say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Middle East!

A very patient camel in the vast desert dunes known as the Empty Quarter wishes you all Merry Christmas!

A very patient camel in the vast desert dunes known as the Empty Quarter wishes you all Merry Christmas!



TMG Philosophy: Work

Today, in the United States, we are celebrating Labor Day.  As a kid, growing up in Michigan, the idea of Labor Day was more about the end of summer with the first day of school being the next day.  We would often spend the day at a barbecue in the backyard of a friend’s house with the Jerry Lewis Telethon on the black and white TV in the house, the rabbit ears on the TV positioned just so.

Labor Day in the United States was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 as an effort to lessen the tension between big business and the workers after several large strikes in which workers were killed.  It was quickly approved by a unanimous vote in Congress.  In upper society in the US, Labor Day was considered the last day of the season in acceptable fashion to wear white clothing.

The idea of a national holiday that celebrates the laborer may sound suspiciously communist to some of you, but nonetheless – it is the holiday we have.  For most of us in the US, Labor Day is more of a name and a chance to have one last big backyard party with our friends and family, while enjoying a day off, than a chance to honor workers.

Stop and think about the idea of hard work and what that means for a moment.  We are often told as we grow up that if we work hard, we will get what we work for.  Some people get this and dive into their work with enthusiasm for the sense of accomplishment that often comes at the end, and some on the other end of the spectrum seem to be as accepting of doing work as a pulled pork sandwich vendor would be at the Wailing Wall.

But let’s be honest, not all hard work leads to a positive end.  Sometimes we work really hard and things still don’t turn out the way we expect.  I know a few people who work hard and have a good work ethic, yet they struggle to find work.  I am sure we all know a few people like that, just like we probably each know a few people who don’t seem to work much at all, yet are doing just fine.

At the Transmogrifier, we believe in the value of work and the realization that pretty much anything of value, takes a lot of work and effort to create, maintain or make grow.  It takes a special level of commitment to stick with the work even when the rewards are not readily apparent.  That is why we have been committed to our websites and the incredible amount of work it takes to build them up, for several years now , and we know it will be work for many years to come.

We are happy with the “fruits of our labor” and we hope you are too.  Give us a “Like” on Facebook if you like what we have done, sign up for an account (it’s free) on our sites if you have not done that already, or share what we are doing with a friend or coworker.  We would appreciate that work on your part, which helps us with our work.  Let’s take this Labor Day to think about the work we all do and show some appreciation for the work other do, as well at take pride in our own efforts.

Thanks, and Happy Labor Day!



RSWL: Knowledge

To some of you, this may seem like an odd choice for this blog entry – but, I believe that the life-long (and yes – it should be a life long journey) pursuit of knowledge is as much about exploration (a common theme of ours) as is exploration of the physical world around us.

Knowledge, and the accumulation of it in books, in computers or even in our own memory, can be (huge understatement warning!) the key to many, many things.  Knowledge is powerful.  When we share our knowledge with others and they share as well, there are very few limits to what we can accomplish together.  Our collective knowledge is built on the knowledge of those that came before us just as ours will be passed on for future generations to use.

I taught at the university level for almost twenty years and one of the things I tried the hardest to install in my students was the desire to learn.  The specific information and skills that came with taking the class were important of course, but to me, that was secondary. The real priority was to instill in them a strong, never-ending desire to learn and an eagerness to continue that process long after they were out of school and out into the “real world”.

One of the best compliments I ever got from a student was when they told me that the best thing they appreciated about taking my classes was that I taught them how to learn.  I still have a 1″x6″ by three foot long piece of wood above my office door that was painted for me by a student of mine during scenic painting class.  It is a speckled gray color with pink lettering that reads “What do you think? – Tim”.  She made it and gave it to me because that was what I was known for saying often, in response to their questions.  I know that it bugged most (if not all) of them for a while because they wanted me to solve the problem for them so they could move on.  I felt it was more important that they knew how to solve problems like that than to use my knowledge and experience as an immediate fix.  Which is why I would answer their question with the question “What do you think?”  I wanted them to reason through the problem and a majority of the time, they were eventually able to answer their own question.

If you look at our Imagery site you will see that one of the things that sets us apart from all of the other sites that provide stock images, is that we have included information that we believe, provides context to the image.  Each of our images has some information about the image that will tell you things like:  where it is, when it was created, a short story behind its creation, interesting facts about the subject, etc.

For instance, if you looked at images on our site you would learn things like:

  • The San Francisco Zoo has a bald eagle that they named after comedian Stephen Colbert.
  • The man who is credited with having the patent for the modern fire hydrant, cannot prove it as the patent office in Washington DC burned down and his records were destroyed.
  •  The 55 gallon drum was credited with helping to win the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific during World War II.
  • The Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 was the beginning of the idea of the traveling carnival.

There are many, many more bits of information like these that we have taken the time to include with our images.  We believe that this information helps to give you more of a connection to what you are looking at.

Take a look randomly at images on the site and read some of the information.  Do not be surprised when you find yourself saying, “Huh – I didn’t realize that!”  At that point you will have learned something…

…You’re welcome…


TMG Philosophy: The Amazing Power of RESPECT

Respect is something I have written about before.  It is a subject that is personally very important to me and I firmly believe that if the rest of the world felt the same way – it would be a far, far better world.

The incredible, life-altering power of respect was made crystal clear, last week, on Tuesday, August 20th in an elementary school in Georgia, just outside Atlanta.  If you have not heard this story, then you really, really need to go look up the details.  It is an amazing story and that is NOT an exaggeration!

I want to focus on one aspect of the story that has not been directly mentioned in the news much if at all, and that is the respect element to the story and how, when it was used with honesty and love, it was more powerful than any gun.

On that Tuesday morning, a 20 year old gunman came into the front office of the school with an AK-47 (he may have had other guns as well) and at least 500 rounds of ammunition.  He was clearly there to commit mass murder.  In the front office that day (even though she originally was not supposed to be there but ended up being there as a result of a scheduling change at the last minute) was a woman by the name of Antoinette Tuff.  We have since learned that she was one of a few school administrators that had received some training on how to deal with a crisis situation, but let’s be honest – what she does goes well beyond any training any school administrator would ever take part in.

Standing in front of her is a troubled young man who is heavily armed and clearly intent on killing as many people as possible.  We know the whole story because she was on the phone with a 911 operator and the time and her entire conversation with the gunman was recorded of course.  At first, when in a moment of frustration he goes outside and fires his weapon into the ground, she asks the 911 operator if she should take this opportunity to run.  The vast majority of us would have seized the opportunity to run and save ourselves.  But she stays as he walks back into the office!

She then proceeds to talk to him and try and calm him down.  Listen to the entire conversation and you will see something truly amazing.  She treats him with love and respect!  She sees him for what he really is, a troubled fellow human being and tells him about the struggles she has dealt with in her life, making it clear that she wants to help HIM.  Seriously…?!  Again – a vast, vast majority of us would be thinking about ways to either flee from him or hurt or kill the gunman, but she, through the strength of her character – reaches out to him and treats him with the respect that he deserves as a fellow human being!  In later interviews she credits her faith and the strength she received from God in that situation.  While I believe that was true, I also believe that she was still acting in a way that was true to her character.  God may have given her the strength to do what she did- but who she truly was as a person was what He strengthened.

Here is verbatim what she says to him towards the end after he has agreed to give up and lie down on the floor so the police can come in and arrest him:  “It’s going to be all right, sweetie.  I just want you to know I love you, though, OK? And I’m proud of you. That’s a good thing that you’re just giving up and don’t worry about it. We all go through something in life.”

Read that again.  She actually tells him she loves him…!  I would be willing to bet that virtually none of us when faced with a mentally unbalanced, heavily armed gunman, intent to kill us, would tell him that we love him and go on to say that we are proud of him for now doing the right thing and not harming anyone.  The cynical (and I would add – heartless) among us would have you believe that she (having been trained) was simply acting a part, and was therefore telling him things to calm him down so that he wouldn’t hurt her.  I say that is complete 100%, Grade A, directly off the stable floor – bullshit!

The NRA has said time and time again that the only way to stop a badman with a gun – is a good person with a gun.  While it is hard to argue the cold, simplistic and narrow-minded logic of that – I think on August 20th we were given a powerful reminder that there are things that, when we recognize the humanity in another person, can do that are far more powerful and with greater positive results than reacting to anger and aggression with more of the same.

A lone woman, fearing for her life, used RESPECT to disarm a heavily-armed gunman with the intent to kill, and saved many lives (including his) in the process.

Think about that…

TMG Philosophy: “Exploring Your Neighbor”

Now, before some of you start thinking, “Ahhhh, poor Tim.  He must be getting a head start on senility.  He must have meant to say ‘Explore Your NeighborHOOD’ and not neighbor…” I will tell you that I, in fact, meant to say just that.

By now, I am sure any of you loyal readers will have noticed a number of themes that appear regularly in each of the sections of our blog.  One that we clearly believe strongly in is the idea of exploration.  Quite simply – the world is a great big playground and since we are curious people, we here at the Transmogrifier believe there is no doubt that we are meant to explore every bit of our world.  That desire to explore and the world to be explored is one of the very best things about our jobs here.

Obviously, exploration can be a scary thing.  The thing that makes it scary is the (insert dramatic music sound effect here)  the unknown…  We are both intrigued by what is on the other side of that mountain in front of us and scared of what may be lurking there.  This is not a new idea at all.  If you doubt me, take a look at old maps.  It was a widely held fear before Magellan circumnavigated the globe, that if you sailed too far you would fall off the edge of the world.  And to make it extra scary, map makers of the time put ravenous sea monsters at the edges of the maps to reinforce the fear of the unknown.

From the 500 year old map known as Carta Marina. It is in the public domain.

From the 500 year old map known as Carta Marina. Presumably the sailors are hoping the sea monsters will eat the cargo and not them.  My guess is the cargo is really just an appetizer.

While we all understand that exploration has both risk and reward and it is that combination of the two in unique proportions that taunts us to do things like climb Mount Everest, why is it that we rarely see the challenge in getting to know people as a worthy exploration?

Yes- people (especially those we do not know) can be even more scary than sea monsters, but I will bet that all of us can think of a great story of when we took a risk and spoke to someone.  That may have started out scary or hard, but then turned out to be a wonderful experience, and may have even led to a life-long relationship in some cases.  A blind date leads to a marriage.  A suicide leads to a strong friendship among those that dealt with it.  Offering a homeless guy a chance to stay somewhere on a cold winter night leads to a friendship and a life saved.

I am not naive, clearly good things do not happen every time or even a lot of the time when we risk reaching out to people.  Just like the risk that comes with exploring the world, there is real risk in getting to know people.  But the rewards can be so much greater than a cargo hold full of spices (that was what Magellan’s crew saw as their dream goal and why they were willing to take the risk of falling of the Earth.)

I am not suggesting that we spend every waking hour walking up to complete strangers and offering to be their BFF, but certainly we can agree that if we at least change our perspective of people we do not know from a virtual map with sea monsters, to the chance to discover and explore, that will be a step in the right direction.  This applies to those who look different, talk different, and even have different views, customs and beliefs.  If we see those people as a chance to explore and get to know them, rather than scary and unknown, there is no telling where you might go next.

So that nice, cute waitress who smiles at you – talking to her is like stepping up onto a pitcher’s mound compared to the Everest that is talking to the homeless guy who smells of urine and stale beer.  Both deserve our time and both deserve to be treated with respect.

Go ahead – talk to someone you don’t know and see what is at the edges of that map…

RSWL: Cats! (and Squirrels, Bunnies, etc…)

I was getting ready to write my entry for the blog for this week when I found this on my desk:

Note from two large and apparently hungry Akitas

Note from two large and apparently hungry Akitas

It would appear that Taicho and Suki (my two Akitas) have decided it is time for them to make their opinions known.  While I certainly do not endorse their tactics, I have to agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, and appreciate their desire to help!

You can help us in many ways.  Pass our name on to everyone you can think of – you never know who might be able to use our sites.  If you enjoy reading our blog – share it with your friends on Facebook.  Please – if there is anyway that you can think of to help us out with this effort, we would greatly appreciate it.


Now I better go see what those two are up to now…

SketchUp IMHO: “SketchUp…No Really…”

In one of my earliest posts in this blog, I mentioned that my first impression of SketchUp was that it looked too simple to be a really effective design tool.  In all honesty – I think a big part of that impression was the fact that I knew it was a pretty inexpensive program compared to other CADD programs I was used to using.  That is commonly known as “perception of value”.  Unfortunately, as consumers, we are generally conditioned to believe that the more expensive something is the better quality it is.  In this case – that perception could not be more wrong!

I have been using SketchUp as my main CADD program for over eight years now and whenever people see my designs and renderings, they often ask what program I used to create them.  I find myself convincing people that it was SketchUp that I used to get those results.  “No, really” is what I often say to other designers in the business (again- because they are used to using more expensive programs).

So, to illustrate my point – I will tell you a quick story.  A former student of mine in undergrad, went on to grad school, and during the four months between grad and undergrad, she worked for me at my company.  During that time, with me, she designed the sets for four commercials, some Christmas decor for two different malls, and a couple of other projects.  I insisted she learn SketchUp for the most efficient collaboration process with me, for the designs.

During the three years she was in grad school, they made her use Vectorworks and Autocad on her designs and sort of “poo-pooed” SketchUp when she would bring it up.  After she graduated, she came back to work for me for another year, where she dove back into using SketchUp as her primary design tool (at my insistence of course).  After a year, she was hired to work on a major television show in the art department.  After a short while there, she started to show them what she could do with SketchUp (they didn’t use the program) and soon she was creating all sorts of models and renderings for the show.  Her work on the show (all in SketchUp) was even featured in the United Scenic Artists union magazine.

Because of her work there, less than a year later, she went on to work as an art director with the same production designer for two seasons of a major cable TV drama series.

I have worked with several very well known film art directors who have requested me to assist with the design work on projects, specifically because I am fast and very good at creating designs in SketchUp.

So, the moral of the story is to not judge anything solely on first impressions and certainly not on cost.  Once I started using the program, SketchUp quickly became my favorite and eventually only real design tool.

Take my word for it.  If you are at all hesitant – give it a try.

If you want to see some of my work – follow this link.

TMG Philosophy: Cause and Effect – Part Two

A while back I wrote on the idea of cause and effect, specifically as it pertains to choices we make in life.  Amanda, added to that with her entry on “Choices“.  So, I am sure it will not be surprising to you that since I titled the first entry “Cause and Effect – Part One”, I would therefore have more to say on the subject.

So here goes:

If you have been reading our blog for some time now you will (hopefully) notice that there are a number of recurring themes.  One of those broader and more common themes is the idea of personal responsibility, especially as it pertains to how we all make choices in our lives.

We can choose to be happy or sad.  We can choose to see people a certain way.  We can choose how we treat people.  We can choose how we treat ourselves.  You get the idea.  Life is a series of choices we get to/have to make and the bottom line is that what we get out of life is a direct result of those choices – the good and the bad.  Cause and effect.

Here at The Transmogrifier, we all chose to give up other jobs we had in order to pursue this passion.  Some thought we were a bit crazy (or even a lot crazy) but it was nonetheless, our choice to do so.  Over the past almost year that we have been focused on this, there have been times when all of us have wondered and even said out load that maybe this wasn’t the best choice, or the best timing, or… We doubted if we made the right choices.

Another theme you will see repeated in our blog is the sense of adventure that we appreciate and enjoy (as much as we can!)   The choice for all of us to dive into this adventure and take on what will be an ongoing effort for years was a big one.  Like some of the great explorers hundreds of years ago – we had no map to go by when we set out on the journey.  We simply have a desire to explore and create and we hope you are willing to go along on this journey with us to see what we create.  Though we will at times have doubt about our choices, we have chosen to push forward.

So, let’s see what the effect is for this cause we have embarked on…