Gefeliciteerd, K!

photo-1458175049065-aefb15b1b58bI miss a lot of people’s birthdays and anniversaries and special events cause I so totally suck at keeping in touch or remembering these amazing dates that are so precious to you, but just another day because I AM NOT A GOOD FRIEND.


When you call me on it. Or remind me.

I will so totally respond. And follow up. And make sure that Things Happen.


Especially since I haven’t celebrated my fortieth in Groningen yet, I’m counter-calling YOU out, K – we’re meeting for drinks and cake and laughs to celebrate your big TWO SIX!

Continue reading “Gefeliciteerd, K!”

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

12227112_1004226732957991_5430354977719535515_nOver the past few months, I’ve spoken with a few people about my idea, The Project, and started posting about it here and there. I spoke with friends and family about it and got some response via social media.

Then I did this thing. This past weekend. I ran over to the big building to attend StartupWeekend Groningen 2015. Based on The Project Pitch. To be clear, I have had my own dance company. I have worked as a freelance consultant for many years. I thought I knew quite a bit.

To (mis)quote one of my favorite shows, “You know nothing, [Rain Leander].”

The first part of Startup Weekend is sixty second pitches. Anyone who wants to participate, stands in line, and tells their idea in sixty seconds or less. Then they write a summary of their idea and all those ideas are on walls in a massive room. Then everyone gets three post it notes and puts their ‘vote’ on the idea they think is cool. The top fifteen or so ideas ‘win’.

The Project made it through.

Then we form teams and that is this horrible combination of a cattle call and a popularity contest because everyone who won, goes BACK into the big room and sits somewhere with their winning idea poster and then everyone else runs in and mobs them to talk about their idea and figure out what teams they want to join.

It was hell.


A developer, K, came over and joined my team. And stuck by me. Even when I was unable to voice my idea. Even when I talked with people until I was almost hoarse and everyone else walked away. Even when we almost got swallowed up by another team that seemed to be working on the VERY SAME IDEA, but I knew it wasn’t the same idea, I just couldn’t figure out how to communicate it.


It meant we had three ‘creators’. Let me take a step back a minute and describe Startup Weekend a bit more. You register as a Creator or a Designer or a Business Person. During my pitch I asked for one of each, a creator, a designer, and a business person. I didn’t need a creator as much because I am a creator, but that was my team. Three creators. Three because I had a sneaky ally who wasn’t there for the cattle call, but was the entire reason why I was attending the event, Courtney of Courtney’s Kitchen.

So we had three Creators and another team pressuring us to join them and I shook my head, grabbed K and we went off to pick the brain of the guy running the show, Nick. We talked with him for around fifteen minutes and, at the end of the night, I still couldn’t communicate my idea, but I knew why we were there and that it was going to be just fine.

We wanted to learn a lot. And we did. We wanted to define The Project. And we did. We wanted to get it started. And we did.

Startup Weekend is also a contest. There are all kinds of prizes at the end of the weekend. You can do anything you want over the course of the weekend, there are no rules, and then you give a four minute presentation and answer questions for three minutes and then… they pick the top three ideas.

We were not one of those ideas.


I am damn proud of what we accomplished.

Over the course of this weekend we have started off with an ill-defined and miscommunicated idea. With the team of three people with the lack of business knowledge and designers we’ve turned to our network to help us crystalize this idea, now called Project DO.

And we did so much more – registered the domain name, built the website, started the business model, to name a few – I could not be more proud. There is so much more to do, but I’m using the model, Define, Refine, Plan, DO, to make things happen. If you’re interested in joining the movement, in helping Project DO get started, in accomplishing your own dream that you can’t quite communicate YET, hop over to, become a member, spread the word.

Ask yourself, “What will you DO this year?”

The Project Pitch Debriefing

Startup-Weekend-Groningen-2015-490x265A friend video taped what I actually said which was not nearly as eloquent as what I recently wrote and as I listen to people vote for their favorite pitches and discuss mine, I realize that I didn’t get the point across. People are discussing it in terms of education, which is true, it’s partially about education and knowledge sharing, but it’s more about accomplishing tasks.

Related to achievement goal theory of motivation which is about how much more efficient people do in school when they have specific goals. Which may also be applied to how efficient you do IN LIFE when you have specific goals.


It seems that people only heard the first part. “Do you want to learn a new skill?” was the first line of my speech after, “Hi, my name is Rain, yes, like the weather.” And this is what people are stuck on.

So, apparently, in addition to finding a business guru and developers and designers, I need to work on my communication skills. And possibly find a sales guy. Who will, of course, actually get the point across.

Then again, if *I* can’t communicate the idea, how will anyone else?

So I spoke at PyGrunn

b4mUbtAwAnd I just now found the video which has been up since June 2 this year by looking for “K Rain Leander” results via If I search for the same phrase on it doesn’t show on the first page, which is not ideal.

I’m so bored with that previous paragraph that I fell asleep.


First few things learned @RailsGirls_Gron

– Reset the mac’s name to mac.
– Reset my username to krpl.
– Figured out how to su – FINALLY:

mac:~ krpl$ su -
su: Sorry
mac:~ krpl$ sudo su -

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

mac:~ root#

And also taking a FREE seven week MongoDB course

mongodbThe other month I thought to myself, “Self,” I said. “You need to LEARN MORE.”

“Let’s schedule all the learns at once.”

Not exactly.

But it seems as much, doesn’t it? Thankfully this is “only” week two of the M101P course so the content “isn’t that hard” [famous last words?] and I’m trying to get as much of it done before this weekend so I don’t have a time crunch before homework is due on Tuesday.

No pressure.

Prepping for Rails Girls Groningen This Weekend

railsgirls-sqThis Friday and Saturday I am attending Groningen’s Rails Girls workshop where I’ll learn to install and build an application using ruby on rails. I utterly love these things because there’s absolutely no pressure AND IT’S FREE.

Plus learning. Learning is cool.

Like bowties.

Running through the Setting Up Rails tutorial – specifically, the Setup for OS X – and everything is smooth as silk.


[ yes, queue that dramatic music ]

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ gem i rails --no-ri --no-rdoc
Fetching: i18n-0.7.0.gem (100%)
ERROR: While executing gem ... (Gem::FilePermissionError)
You don't have write permissions for the /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0 directory.

No worries, I’ll just chown the directory:

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ chown 777 /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0/
chown: /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0/: Operation not permitted

OF COURSE it doesn’t work because I didn’t have permission in the first place, why would I have permission to chown?

I’ll forget I’m on a mac and try to switch to the root user:

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ su -
su: Sorry

Then, right, just use sudo:

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ sudo chown 777 /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0/

Nope, still no good:

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ gem i rails --no-ri --no-rdoc
ERROR: While executing gem ... (Gem::FilePermissionError)
You don't have write permissions for the /Library/Ruby/Gems/2.0.0 directory.

Wait, use sudo on the gem install command. DUH:

Kristins-MacBook-Air:~ kristinrainpleander$ sudo gem i rails --no-ri --no-rdoc
Fetching: i18n-0.7.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed i18n-0.7.0
Fetching: thread_safe-0.3.5.gem (100%)
Successfully installed thread_safe-0.3.5
Fetching: tzinfo-1.2.2.gem (100%)
Successfully installed tzinfo-1.2.2
Fetching: minitest-5.7.0.gem (100%)
Successfully installed minitest-5.7.0
Fetching: activesupport-4.2.1.gem (100%)
Successfully installed activesupport-4.2.1
Fetching: rack-1.6.1.gem (100%)
Successfully installed rack-1.6.1
Fetching: rack-test-0.6.3.gem (100%)
Successfully installed rack-test-0.6.3
Fetching: mini_portile-0.6.2.gem (100%)
Successfully installed mini_portile-0.6.2
Fetching: nokogiri- (100%)
Building native extensions. This could take a while...

That title should probably be AWKWARDLY prepping for Rails Girls Groningen This Weekend.

Kermis the Frog

295698_356601701117370_1666523173_nI really must learn to make these myself and I’m sure it’s something quite simple like:

1. melt chocolate
2. dip cold fruit in chocolate
3. resist eating fruit until chocolate can harden
4. eat chocolate covered fruit

As it is, I met a friend at the carnival to ride OUR ride – a spinny rollercoaster thing – and then, of course, we MUST have chocolate covered fruit because chocolate covered fruit.


But the American in me giggles everytime I talk about about the carnival. Kermis in Dutch. Which triggers kermis the frog. Which triggers It’s not easy being green. Which is very odd to think about while screaming as the coaster drops and spins and rushes about.