Monthly Archives: July 2018

Nailed it!

While I was taking out the trash, I realized I hadn’t written for a bit. Partly because we had a week long heatwave of 93+ degree days. Some days it felt like all I could do was refill the ice cube trays πŸ˜‰

Thirty minutes ago, we submitted my visa request. Wow, that was an adventure in paperwork – including trips to an embassy, the ministry of foreign affairs and then to immigration – all while carrying actual pieces of paper back and forth. In ten days, I should get a response where they tell me how long they think it will take them to make a decision. I had started the process six different times. However, you cannot save your request. Each time you need to start over from scratch – usability experience, anyone?

All of us passed our certification for data science! Today is the day that it was officially announced! This is such a good way to close out my work!

I am not standing still long. I’m busy with all of the steps needed to get the new adventure up and running. Today, while waiting for one set of immigration papers to be approved, I worked with our soon to be IT Commander to diagram out the company’s architecture. Multi-tasking at it’s best!

I feel alot of responsibility for this new adventure, like people will be depending on me for a piece of their livelihood. No pressure there πŸ˜‰


And we’re done…

Well, for a few days anyway. This afternoon I turned in my final version of my Capstone project. One of our participants needed some help and I invited her over. We sat in the garden under the parasol because it was way too hot! We walked through all of her models and got to a reporting point πŸ˜‰

After we finished that, I decided to go ahead and submit my final project. NO more finetuning or overthinking or comparing it to someone else. Just click Upload and let go. Wednesday is the deadline for turning them in and then you have to peer review three other reports by Sunday. Since there are 465 people world wide doing this capstone project, the chance is probably pretty high that you will peer review people you don’t know. The grading guidelines recommend that you grade on the side of generosity since for many people, English is not their first language and it is not the point to grade spelling, grammar, etc.

Feels good and kind of scary all at the same time. No more things to fiddle with. It also means that this is the end of my work responsibilities. Wow, that’s going to take a moment to land. Or maybe several moments.

We’re going to the US in November, to have another sibling roadtrip. We booked the tickets tonight. I’m going to have to find a new housesitter because by then we will have moved to the new house. That’s making me a little antsy. I am sure I will find someone. It’s just one of those details that makes me realize that moving to Schiedam really means building a life up again. That’s not a bad thing per se, I need change every few years.

On the back end of the sibling roadtrip, we’re going to swing through DC. I’m going to spend some time with my dad and GG is going to see some old friends of her’s. I did check in with her and ask if I wasn’t planning too many things into the schedule πŸ˜‰ you know, that American travel mindset/checklist takes over quickly!

It was a good weekend. Too hot to walk very long with the boys since they can’t sweat but maybe it is time to get a kiddie pool for them. Here’s George today, practicing heat management.Β George new cover

A little progress

Well, actually alot. This month we are frantically working on our Capstone project for the Data Science certification. I have been struggling with building a model that has a results score lower than 40. When I started, the first working model I had scored a 280. Not quite the direction I was going for. Β Everyday I work on the models, make my maximum three entries and hold my breath that the score would come back below 40.

Yeah, I was stuck at 58. With the only movement between 58.83 and 58.63. I started over, from scratch, at least six separate times. My biggest fear through this whole process was that I was missing something or multiple somethings. Yesterday, my last effort took 8 hours to run through the Cleaning Data step. That is not a good sign. Out of sheer frustration, I sent a message to one of the other coaches and said I wasn’t going to get this done on time and what would the consequences be? She offered to Skype with me this morning to look at my model.

So we did. I showed her my collection of six and she told me to focus on Lucky 3 – all my models have names so I could tell them apart. That sounds weird. πŸ˜‰ And then she actually told me to simplify my model. I had too much stuff because I was afraid that I was missing something. When I finished simplifying, I had 11 steps – which seemed far too small for this to work. She told me to try it. It worked really well with the sample data. The big test is the random data. I wasn’t having alot of faith in my work when I hit the Run button on my much smaller model.

The results? A very respectable 32.83.

So what is the point of my story? I overcomplicate things. Our entire group is doing it and it has a chain effect. If one participant submits 42 times, then there’s no way it could be this simple… And then the pattern of thought gains from there and transmits through our whole community. I know because I have had 4 conversations today regarding simplify, simplify, simplify πŸ™‚ I think it also is triggered by the fact that women often feel that they have to prove themselves beyond any doubt.

I’m going to remember this the next time I tackle something that seems complex and I am definitely going to be asking myself if I am not making it worse by overthinking πŸ˜‰

I’ve also been working on the move schedule. It is nearly August and I first thought I had too much time to get everything ready. Reality says otherwise. Look at how much time I have been spending with my models πŸ™‚

I am also working on my visa request. Since I won’t have the same employer, I had to ask for a new visa type and that means 17 other forms and schedules. GG’s going to have to be my sponsor since that was the shortest form and the least dependent on an employer. I think that’s going to be a source of joke material for a long time. πŸ™‚


With a splash…

I received notice this morning that we have been listed in the Room of Commerce. That all sounds very Harry Potteresque!

Yesterday morning, I had my first horse coaching session. Not for riding but for developing some talents that I think I will need to be successful in this next venture. Let me see if I can explain it properly. You are inside a ring with horse. You have some tasks to work on with the horse. In the mean time, the coach is asking you questions and directly providing feedback on the horse’s reaction to your answers. It is intense. It’s also very confronting – there’s not really any room to hide because the horse is mirroring your actions.

I was exhausted by the time I came out and I think Wub the Wonder Horse was too πŸ˜‰ But I got some answers and some ways to develop. You know that I am all in favor of tools and action so this was a big win for me!

Thanks to Wub, I was also able to make the connection that the reason my feelings are so hurt by the current experience that I am having with my soon to be former co-workers is that it brings up all of the feelings Little Me had growing up every time we would move and I would need to start all over again. Maybe that’s obvious to someone else, but I clearly had never associated the two. I always look at the moving as an only positive thing. Knowing that I still have a Little Me running around in my head makes a huge difference in how I examine what I feel now.

After our hard mental work, I got to spend time grooming and walking the different horses while Wub went to chill out. Yes, true, the added incentive of wanting to do a few more sessions is definitely the time spend with the horses πŸ™‚ . Most people work up to the ring but I am bit of an Action Jackson and I wanted to start right away. The coach agreed to take me on for three more sessions to work on this particular project, the theme being Compassion and Empathy.

Besides that, bit of warm weather wave here. The boys are doing the long dog stretch out on the coolest surfaces they can find. I think we may soon have to resort to buying a fan.


Hello, hello… typing to you tonight as Head Rebel/ Chief Troublemaker (final title to be decided) of my very own new corporation πŸ™‚ I signed all of the paperwork today, barely managing to sit still in the office of my very respectable attorney and the documents will be transmitted to the Kamer van Koophandel (aka KvK or Room of Commerce) and as of tomorrow, I will be a real entity to the Tax Services and the KvK. It doesn’t get much more real than that when it comes to dealing with the Dutch government πŸ˜‰

I thought about Mom while I was signing, since the name comes directly from a piece of wisdom she once gave me. She wasn’t saying “Congratulations” in my head, she was saying “Well, that took you long enough”;)

Now the fun begins… how will I take all of the ideas I have had about this project and turn them into reality? The worst thing that can happen? I won’t be good at this and will have to end up working for someone else again… I think I have some time to give this a good try before worrying about that. There’s also the option to have Henry and George pose for calendars and create an entire social media presence!

Not quite finished

This month, the final capstone project needs to be completed as the last step of for the certification. Well, I was doing okay until yesterday when my computer went into a spasm and I ended up having to go to the office to have it wiped. *sigh* and on it was all my progress to date. That means start-over time. Back to square one.

The project is due by the 27th so the clock is ticking. The model I submitted today was already 200 lines longer than it should have been. I will refine it and resubmit it. The fun part is that you can submit it three times a day πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow, I am off to the lawyers and to sign my official articles of incorporation! After I sign, they will register the company and I will have a secondary identity πŸ™‚ I am excited and I have been talking to many interesting people about their ideas.

I can’t wait to start! It still feels a little strange to be leaving. It feels very weird to see all of these plans going on for the new fiscal year that I am not included in – and yet very clearly build on the work that I did this year and the partnerships I created. I think not admitting how this makes me feel only makes it more toxic.

So, yeah, it sucks that people take your ideas and work and use it as their own. But on the other hand, maybe I need to look at as they had some practical inspiration necessary in order to make any steps on their own πŸ˜‰

Working on the whole visa question as well. I failed the employment portfolio… because I used too much internet and not enough old school employment forms. *rolling my eyes* last week, I took the exam on social and cultural norms. I checked the results just now and I did pass that exam. Now I have to figure out if I really want to find somewhere that still uses employment forms. A big part of me says “Beat it, nerds! I have better things to do with my time!”