Transrio – It is what it is

Transrio – It is what it is

Originally, this blog was to be a place where I could define Transrio. Now that I’ve been working along for quite a few years, I see clearer what Transrio wishes it could be, and what it’s able to be. My personal conception of the thing has evolved. I had hoped it would gallop forward, becoming a business. I’d still really love to invent a thing that made money. Money is not the only test of whether something is worth doing of course, but it is perhaps the only test that can’t be faked. Making money while doing Transrio would make me happy. But by now it’s pretty clear; I’m not putting enough hours in, to get that to happen.

So for now, Transrio is… just Transrio. None of the likely descriptions fit – work, hobby, trabajo, job, strong personal interest, (more…)

January… February…

January... February...

January and February were nice months for Transrio. The New Year’s resolution released lots of happy energy. First off, I started right in doing pronunciation every morning first thing. New habits are cantankerous at first, but I did stick with it, and now it IS a habit, and something I enjoy. I made lots of improvements, natural of course whenever you’re doing something daily. I got fascinated by TTS (text to speech) and upgraded my Spanish voices to Rosa from Acapela, and Penelope from Ivona. The quality, on both these voices, is incredible. It really makes my morning practice a lot more fun. Good TTS voices cost $35-$45 apiece, (more…)

New Year’s resolution

New Year’s resolution

I never try to make a New Year’s resolution; most years I don’t have one. But this time one popped into my head fully formed. It was a bright, cold, snowy day, late December. It popped in there like a true little vision. Laura had just settled herself to work sketching a pine sapling, she was sitting on a sitzpad in deep snow by the creek. I was following elk tracks. And it came to me in full glory, exactly like this:

“My resolution for 2013 is to get significantly more fluent in Spanish, and make steady progress in Transrio. To accomplish this, I want to specifically commit to: (more…)

“What did I just do?”

"What did I just do?"

(Progress update, November/December)

Looking back over timecards, I see that the last two months of 2012 were singularly unproductive for Transrio. In particular, I never got around to following up the leads I had from the Farm Progress trip. Truth be told, I bogged down badly in gadgetry.

That happens sometimes. When it does, I always go easy on myself. Just like a chicken or a lobster in molt, any modern person needs to go through yet-another ugly duckling phase while they re-organize hardware and software for themselves. (Much as I would like to call it metamorphosis, it’s molting.) I recently read an interview with Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine; he was talking about his new book "What Technology Wants." I like him; I always enjoy hearing what he has to say. The one new thought that stayed with me from the interview was (and I’m paraphrasing here, because Kelly talks English, the article was Spanish, and this is back to English) he said (more…)

¿Que quiere decir?

¿Que quiere decir?

If you want to ask “What does that mean?” in Spanish, the phrase is “¿Que quiere decir?” I always liked that. Literally, it translates to “What does that want to say?”

This little blog is nearing its fifth birthday, and I’m thinking it’s done serving its original purpose. It’s been a good thing for me, and for Transrio, a place to experiment and learn. I’ve allowed myself to post about almost anything at all, as long as I thought it was interesting, and at least obliquely related to the business. Today, I feel like pausing, looking back at the last five years and asking, ¿Que quiere decir? I did 50 posts, giving them freedom to go almost anywhere. What did they want to say?

I started writing in 2007, and worked along pretty good through 2008, doing 19 posts. I finished all of the static informational pages explaining Transrio. I also populated an informal résumé, with links to articles about Great Harvest. By the end of that year I had a pretty good little blog up, something I could point to (more…)

Farm Progress tour

Farm Progress tour; Drawing of a corn stalk

I just returned from a really good trip, one that I’ve been dreaming about for the last two years. I flew into Chicago, and there joined a group of 108 Argentine agriculturalists; they were mostly farmers, plus some agribusiness and research people. The group loaded itself into two buses, and for the next nine days we visited a cross-section of US producers, factories, research projects and Ag schools across the heart of the Corn Belt. The focus was mostly on corn and soybeans, covering lots of the current advances from GPS-guided planting to biofuels. This is the 22nd year they have run the tour, which is timed to coincide with the giant Farm Progress Show held every August in Boone, Iowa.

The trip is an expensive commitment for all of the attendees, and most of them pay from their own pocket. So it was a hard-working bunch, serious about learning – for me, the schedule was intense. I really liked being the only US attendee (more…)

Thank You! Y Gracias…

Thank you! Y Gracias...

… to everybody who helped with my logo. I expect to thank each of you directly, but I’m going to Córdoba for a few weeks leaving tomorrow, and probably won’t do much e-mail. So I wanted, at least, to write a quick post. Here’s what I ended up with; this is the front and back of my new business card:

Front of business card

Back of business card

Getting ready for the trip I also quickly re-did the old placeholder homepage at Transrio.com.ar; it now has a little letter of introduction. I wrote it myself in Spanish, so it’s rough, but I’m quite proud that I could do it at all. It’s only one tenth as good as what I hope to have eventually, but then again, it’s twenty times better than the old hand-scribbled thing I was getting by with before. So I feel good. I’m traveling with some kind of a business card, and some kind of a homepage. (more…)

OUCH.

OUCH.

Man, talk about unpleasant and inconvenient…

Four days ago I clicked my own homepage, and saw my antivirus go bananas. Looking at my own source code I saw a strange little script that had no business being there. At first (being extremely naïve way back then, four days ago) I thought, hmm, that’s weird.

I finally got the mess cleaned up. It’s Sunday night, and it took me 20 hours of hard work. I’m leaving for Argentina in a week, so I really needed to be able to point people to my blog. I couldn’t afford to just take it down. (more…)

Picking a Logo, with help from my friends

A little help from my friends

I’m trying to make a logo for Transrio, and unfortunately the project has taken on that dreaded look of a long-term hobby. Time to wrap it up. Here are a dozen that I’m liking now:

#1Logo 1#2Logo 2#3Logo 3#4Logo 4

#5Logo 5#6Logo 6#7Logo 7#8Logo 8

#9Logo 910Logo 1011Logo 1112Logo 12

The first two are hand-lettered, and all the rest are identical except for color. If you click on a thumbnail it takes you to a dummy page I made, placing that particular logo in the context of some content. (more…)

Año nuevo, 2011

Año nuevo, 2011

I don’t like to go too long between posts, but unfortunately there hasn’t been much worth posting. I’ve been busy though. After the Córdoba trip I realized there was no getting around it anymore, I needed a business card. This of course sequenced. I couldn’t order cards without a logo. And then again, oops, a business card has the URL… which had better land on a functioning homepage… which shouldn’t be a blog… which can’t be in English.

For reasons which really make no sense, I’ve been doing everything myself instead of hiring it out. That’s probably not the smartest thing for Transrio the business, but it’s been a nice thing for Pete the person. I care about having minimal basic fluency in publishing. I honestly don’t know why, it certainly makes sense to leave all that to pros, everything is so easy for them. But the learning part is seriously fun for me, so I keep going. Hopefully in the long-long run it will pay off somehow. Today, I’m studying the newer body fonts for screen display, so I can intelligently choose a pretty but functional CSS font-stack.

So that’s where I’ve gone for the past month. There’s not much to show yet. But here’s the logo so far, for your entertainment:

Early draft, Transrio logo

This definitely is not the final version. I like the knot, but for the lettering I’ll be going with a legitimate font, not handwriting. And I’m still playing with colors.

All for now; more later.

Signing off

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