Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Have another person remember Dan Borah regularly
Remembering Dan

I know that only a few people want to spend the time some of us are spending on trying to figure out the mess that is the government’s position on what happened to Dan, but I would love to get a lot of cheers for this goal.

I would love his name to be part of a lot of people’s memories. so, please cheer this and ask your friends to cheer this. Remember Dan. You can read about him at one of my other goals.

Remember Dan and his family.

Convince the U.S. government to keep looking for MIAs in Vietnam (read all 15 entries…)
Dan's Status After the Crash

Dan’s family was told that he was shot down without an contact from him after he ejected from his plane. It wasn’t until 1995 that they discovered that wasn’t true. Dan DID make voice contact after landing safely on Vietnam’s soil.

This is a quote by Kathy Borah Duez as she spoke to the house Subcommittee on Military Personnel on December 14, 1995. “According to the Forward Air Controller {FAC}, Dan safely ejected from his aircraft and was alive in his parachute. From his chute, Dan radioed ‘Nail so, Saddleback One in chute.’ According to a case narrative dated June 5th, 1989, for 30 seconds after the chute was down, aircraft personnel monitored several, and this is a quote ‘several short-burst manual beeper transmissions.’ Short bursted manual transmission, puts Dan alive on the ground.

Search and Rescue crews reported seeing Dan’s chute being removed from the trees. Due to the tree canopy, they could not see who removed the parachute. Veidence (sic) leads to the inevitable conclusion that it was Dan who removed the cute. I could not have said that positively 5 years ago, or even one year ago.

Since Dan’s shootdown, we have been told continually that there was no voice transmission from the ground. Every report sent to us stated ‘no voice contact.’ In June of this year, we learned this statement was not true.”

So, for over 20 years, this family thought Dan died four months before the end of the war. Then they find out he was not dead on the ground. In future posts, I’ll tell you about a possible sighting of Dan.

start over (read all 2 entries…)
Maybe I Can

You know, if I go at this in a different manner, I might be able to achieve this goal. Rather than starting over, maybe I should look at the things about myself that I think are good, worthwhile, things that I’m happy about. Then I’ll take a look at what bothers me about myself. those are the things for which I will reconstruct my past. i will rewrite each negative thing (well, the ones that have negatively affected my life) and put a new spin on them. After that, I’ll try to incorporate the new history into the old good history. It wont’ be starting over, but it could be different.

write music (read all 2 entries…)
Should This Goal Be Changed?

I’ve actually written three songs that I think have worth. Actually, I think two of them have worth. I’m not as sure of the third one. I even tried to arrange the Christmas song i wrote for my a cappella group.

Here are the words for my Christmas song. It’s called Why?

I don’t understand this baby boy.
Why is he so rare?
People rush to watch him sleep.
Why do people care?
Three Kings kneel in the straw.
Why do they come where he lies?
The mother sings as she rocks her son.
Why are there tears in her eyes?

I don’t understand this baby boy.
Why is he the one?
A shepherd said he was born to God.
Why is he God’s son?
The animals speak of a heavenly grace.
Why can they talk this night?
They say he’ll make all people free.
Why would he bring us light?

I don’t understand this baby boy.
Why does the night sky glow?
I hear he loves me as I am.
Why should he love me so?
Tell me what he wants from me.
Why can’t I understand?
He frightens me with his quiet smile.
Why do I fear his hand?

I don’t understand this baby boy.
Why does my soul feel strange?
He holds my life in his open hands.
Why do I know I am changed?

finish my needlepoint
The Most Beautiful Piece Ever

This is the needlepoint I’m working on. It was a watercolor that I loved. i asked the artist to paint it on canvas for me and she did. She also paints needlepoint canvases. It cost me an arm and a leg and I really love how it’s coming out, but it’s 24 count canvas and 12 X 18 inches. I really hope I can finish this.

move to kentucky (read all 2 entries…)
Real Estate

I’m rather encouraged here! I was just looking at the kind of small home I’d like in the county where I’d like to move. A house, including renovations I’d need (I use a power wheelchair) shouldn’t cost me more than $150,000. the house I’m living in now should be going up for sale within the year and at the very lowest should get sold for at least $900,000. That would leave me a nice nest egg to live on!!!

Now, I know I’m right in my thinking!

go on a road trip with no predetermined destination
What a Great Idea

This really is a goal for me. I want to live on the road listening to my music in my van. Seeing all there is to see. Talking to new people all the time. Stopping to play guitar and sing just anywhere I want to and just for the fun of it all.

A life on the road sounds terrific to me.

start over (read all 2 entries…)
Won't Be Able To

Starting over from the beginning isn’t something a person can do. I really admire people who say they’d change nothing in their lives because any one change could keep them from being the person they are now. See, I’d love to not be the person I am now.

There are a lot of things I like about myself, but there are some doozies that I don’t like. I won’t get into that. It’s such a mess.

So, I would love to try my life over again knowing what I know now. See! I told you it couldn’t ever be achieved.

Play guitar better. (read all 3 entries…)

Usually, when i finish playing guitar and take my shower, any callouses that I’ve built up on my fingertips just sort of slough off. They didn’t slough off today!!! My callouses are staying! This is good!

Now, someone tell the rheumatoid arthritis in my right hand to stop being a pain in the finger. ;-)

Rid myself of hate (read all 4 entries…)
I Guess I Did the Right Thing

Tonight, I promised a young friend that I would not write a letter that I have wanted to write. This letter was meant to right the wrong done to me by that other person I’ve been writing about.

So, I guess I made my decision to let my caring for this young friend to overpower my need to clear my name with this group that I barely know. it doesn’t feel good at all, but my young friend is much happier. For that reason alone, so am I.

I still don’t think I’ve rid myself of the hate I feel for this other person. Therefore, this goal has not been achieved, but I think I finally realized that I have to add my name to the names on my list of people I hate. Maybe once I can stop hating me, I can stop hating others.

Convince the U.S. government to keep looking for MIAs in Vietnam (read all 15 entries…)
More about Dan

Here is the synopsis on how he was shot down on September 24, 1972.

“Lt. Daniel Borah launched from the USS ORISKANY in his A7B Corsair II subsonic attack plane as the flight leader of a two plane strike against North Vietnamese troops entrenched in bunkers northwest of the city of Quang Tri, South Vietnam. They were directed to the target area by a Forward Air Controller aircraft (FAC).

Lt. Borah and his wingman began their initial bombing run as briefed. Due to an improper switch setting, the wingman expended his entire ordnance load on the first load instead of the several runs that were briefed for. He then proceeded to a holding position at 13,000 feet overhead the target to observe Borah’s succeeding bombing runs.

During the second run, Borah’s aircraft was seen to draw a barrage of 37mm anti-aircraft fire. His wingman radioed for evasive action, then almost immediately saw Borah’s aircraft burst into flames. The FAC saw Borah eject safely from the aircraft and later established emergency radio contact with him for 10-15 seconds. No other contact was received during the following two days of search and rescue efforts.

Intelligence reports indicated that North Vietnamese soldiers removed Borah’s parachute from a tree within half hour of his landing on the ground, and he is believed to have been captured alive.”

From here on in, the confusion begins. More coming.

Rid myself of hate (read all 4 entries…)
Why Can't I Let Go

The people who really matter in my life are all wonderful people. They know who I am and what I’ve done in my life and it’s all accepted.

So, why am I so horribly angry at someone who is useless to me because of some lies she is spreading among people I barely know?


Rid myself of hate (read all 4 entries…)
Will This Ever Happen?

I have such terribly strong feelings about a person who has maligned me in terrible ways. If I confront her, I could end up hurting a mutual friend. I want my hatred to fly away and it’s not happening.

any words of advice? I’m a concrete kind of woman. Esoteric suggestions don’t help someone like me. I need do X and Y will happen.

I want to be happy with who I am and as long as I’m still hating people, I’m not ready to retire. I’m willing to work at this, but I’m not sure how to go about it.

Convince the U.S. government to keep looking for MIAs in Vietnam (read all 15 entries…)
Dan's Home Town

Dan grew up in a small town in southern Illinois. Olney is closer to Memphis than it is to Chicago and, though I’ve never been there, I’ve been told that it has a southern flavor. Last count, just over 8,600 people called Olney their home town.

Many members of Dan Borah’s family still live there. One of my goals is to visit Olney. To be honest, I’d love to see some of the white squirrels that live there. The pictures I’ve seen look adorable. About ten miles north of town is Borah Lake. Now, the lake was man made in the mid 50s, long before Dan left for Vietnam. I don’t know if the lake had the Borah name from the beginning or if it was renamed in his honor. I’m going to try to find out.

Lieutenant Dan Borah, USN, was shot down on September 24, 1972 over South Vietnam. He reached the ground alive and there was about a ten second communication with him.

The US government says his remains came home in 1995, but his family has proved the remains given to them are not Dan. So, somewhere in the USA, another family is wondering where their son’, brother’s, uncle’s, husband’s, father’s, friend’s remains are.

This is a tragedy affecting many families, not just Dan’s. I think about him a lot and I wonder how I would feel if Dan was my brother. Think about him and his family every once in awhile. That means a lot.

sing in public (read all 3 entries…)
This May Seem Weird

I’ve been sitting on the front steps of my house in suburban Chicago, bringing out my guitar and just singing the way I want to – at the top of my lungs. My voice is really big and singing in the house at full throttle sounds really bad. Outside, I can belt it out.

Yesterday, when I was out there singing, I remembered a song I used to sing years ago. I completely forgot that it had been a favorite. It was a Blind Lemon Jefferson tune called “See That My Grave is Kept Clean.” Happy little ditty, eh? Great old song and I got the lyrics online today. Once I saw them again, they clicked in fully.

I love singing. I have to do this. I am so not what a singer looks like, but I don’t care. I have to do this.

Convince the U.S. government to keep looking for MIAs in Vietnam (read all 15 entries…)
Who is Dan Borah?

Dan was a lieutenant in the Navy. He was born and raised in a small town in far southern Illinois called Olney.

He wasn’t married, but he had brothers and sisters, some of whom still live in Olney.

Dan went MIA September 24, 1972.

His remains are not home despite the United States saying that they are. His family knows better. Please think about Dan tonight for a few seconds. He, and others like him, need to be remembered.

Thank you.

Write more often (read all 4 entries…)
Out of the Blue

I used to have a job. It was nice while it lasted. Anyhow, I made a friend there, but she moved two states away. The thing about this friend is that she wrote for magazines quite often. She did travel/adventure stories.

I haven’t spoken to her for a very long time and tonight she called me. I was searching for someone to talk over my ideas for my novel and she has agreed to be that person. She’s ideal for this!!!

She is very smart and very well read. She will not BS me at all. I can tell her all my ideas, even the stupid one. I trust her judgment. Then, best of all, she thinks my writing a novel is a good idea, that I have the ability.

So, a few days ago I was bemoaning my not having someone to talk to about all this stuff and today, I do!!!

I am ecstatic!

finish my short story
Now What!

I finished a section of my story now. I am close to the end. In fact, I’ve written two different endings already. How to get there is the problem.

Something has to happen, but a lot has happened already. If I have the guy who just got arrested get killed in prison, that would take care of what was going to happen to him. He’s a sub-plot, so I can get rid of him easy enough. His death would also be something hard for my hero to deal with. That would make for some good resolutions.

How do I get there??? There was just a big event in the hero’s situation and it has wound down. it’s a slow period in his life, b ut that doesn’t make for good reading. I need to make this slow time interesting.

Hmmmmmm – I got to think. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Write more often (read all 4 entries…)
The Makings of a Novel

I have the experiences to draw on to write a good novel. What I’m lacking is the structure for it. How do I take these experiences and put them into a piece of fiction? I don’t know if I want to write in first person or third person. I do know that I want to have the childhood stuff be the stuff of flashbacks or recollections rather than being the center of the story. At least I think so. I’m too confused. I need to find someone to sit down with me and hash out ideas.

volunteer more (read all 2 entries…)
I Love Special Ed Kids!!!

I thought I didn’t need to work with special ed kids and adults any more, that i was past that, but I’m not.

I sang today for about 35 three to six year old children. they wre outstanding!!! So cute and so energetic!

The big hits were the Hokey Pokey and I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. Hey – top tunes for the preschool set.

I sang. I let them strum my guitar while I chorded it all. We had them dancing and singing. It was joy.

The leader asked if I’d be interested in their fall program as well. i guess they like me. They really like me!

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