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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Entries
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Grow poinsettias (read all 3 entries…)
I completely forgot this--from 2010:

Not grown outright, but “leftover” from the previous year. It was still very much worthwhile. One of these (along with three others from later in 2010) I have this year.
http://s296.photobucket.com/albums/mm179/hlrproductions/poins_2010/



Learn to play keyboard (read all 2 entries…)
If it was meant to happen, then it will.

As a pre-teen I would mess around with keyboard instruments (organ, etc) when privacy was guaranteed, like when home alone. This, and an extremely brief flirtation with more formal lessons ultimately didn’t go anywhere, I think largely because I just needed people to bugger the **** off and let me play and practice in private on my own terms, without my having to be put on display and all that.

Later, like in high-school age, I didn’t really care about being on display or under observation that much, but had lost most of the interest in learning to play. The magic of it fizzled out or got lost

I’ve never been able to truly get that magic back. I’ve had a couple more brief flirtations with practicing, but in the end I just can’t find any real motive. Substantial latent musical talents, I have the feeling…it’ll happen if and when it’s meant to I suppose.



Get a V-Cube (read all 3 entries…)
Oops...

I actually did this last year. V-Cube 7…lots of fun.



build an mp3 player (read all 2 entries…)
It'll happen in time

This isn’t really the place to discuss MP3 players so … adios.

One idea I’ve thrown around a lot for something to sell is a framework for a larger-size feature-rich hand-held audio player, that the end user would complete as a kit-build as he/she wants. An enclosure, linear circuitry (amps, audio controls, etc), a display, control interface (buttons, thumbwheels, etc), base it all on maybe a traditional CPU in parallel with an FPGA. End-user would provide storage medium (memory card slots, miniature hard drive, etc), power source, and all software/firmware (with the help of open-source projects), and could design and add optional things like wireless networking and recording. The reason for doing a partial product is “high-tech” things like this are so clogged up with patents and intellectual crap that it makes it all but impossible for a tiny-scale operation like what I had in mind to be doable. This would avoid patent junk at, of course, the expense of offering an incomplete product.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
Pffft.

There are new flavors added and others rotated out occasionally. I just get what I’m in the mood for, repeat or no.



Switch to reusable shopping bags for groceries (read all 2 entries…)
Done.

I have a few more now. No more manufacturing, transporting and recycling a store bag just for the purpose of carrying some stuff a few tens of feet a single time. :)



Find 43 fascinating places with Google Maps (read all 10 entries…)
#10: A not-so-happy place at Walt Disney World

Here’s something interesting and rather unfortunate I found out about just recently:

Unfinished and abandoned Disney hotel

This turns out to be an unfinished half of the Pop Century Resort. Read about it at http://www.yesterland.com/legendary.html
It isn’t too old; nine years or so, but unfortunate still. It’s somewhat poignant to see, considering the polished and refined nature of Walt Disney World in general. Fortunately it’s fairly well obscured for the most part wherever practical, although obviously so in some cases, such as the fences around the parking lot north of the lake. If you look at street-view from Osceola Parkway, there’s a berm and hedge along the road in addition to trees.

Also, there’s what looks like the canceled beginnings of a golf course just to the east. You can see it a bit using street-view from Osceola Parkway right across from the catch basin.

(Bonus: What’s “Acess”? Pop Century Acess Rd… Access?)



Switch to reusable shopping bags for groceries (read all 2 entries…)
I just need to collect a few more

After “meaning to do this” for a long time (you know how it goes) I finally started to. Before, I had reused plastic bags as trash bags but usually still had a surplus. Around here it’s extremely common to see people bringing their own to stores, people here being a bit more progressive and “green” oriented. So I figured it was time I did too. After I get a few more I’ll mark this as done. I have a personal “no store logos” policy, mainly because I don’t want to chance getting rung up a second time for a bag I had purchased on a previous visit and brought back to use, and have to deal with any hassle there.

Here’s a tip: put them on the conveyor first thing when you check out. This way they’re available to the cashier right away and they’ll (hopefully) know to use them instead. Around here at least, cashiers generally have the good sense to know to use them when they see you get them out.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
Some more:

Strawberry & Cream
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 2
Chopped-up strawberries in the vanilla-base. Unfortunately I’ve become not too fond of that straight vanilla-base that many flavors use; it seems to have a bit of a metallic taste sometimes (may be dependent on what’s mixed with it). But it isn’t always detrimental; Ginger uses it but it’s still one of their absolute best varieties.

Mint Chip
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 2+
This is your traditional mint-chocolate-chip. It isn’t bad at all but it’s a bit weak I thought, seemingly the vanilla-base with a bit of mint and green coloring thrown in.

2AM Truffle
Category: Mix of stuff
Rating: 4
Great variety along the lines of 10-20 and Heaven. Kinda black-forest-ish with what I thought was black-cherry syrup/swirl along with some chocolate-stuff (the in-store description says either black cherry or blackberry; can’t tell for sure), but no truffles it seemed like.

(The following two were tripled with Chocolate Chocolate Chip Swirl which I forgot I had already tried)

Rum n’ Butter
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 1
They swing, they miss! This seemingly-new flavor is certifiably No Good. I’ve had far better butter-rum flavor in candy and stuff than this. It’s mostly undifferentiated bitterness and sweetness with only a hint of the butter-rum I was hoping for. I finished less than half of it, not wanting a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of the night. If you want a real festival of foulness *gets an evil grin* try a triple with Rum n’ Butter, Green Tea and Lavender, and enjoy an icky taste in your mouth well into the following week. Actually, DON’T do this: like with those other two, try a sample first, and pair it with a guaranteed-good flavor like 10-20.

Cookie Dough
Category: Vanilla/etc with nuts, candy, etc
Rating: 3+
I was skeptical of the vanilla-base (which I correctly assumed this used) throwing things off, but this is very well-done chocolate chip cookie dough. The cookie dough itself (big chunks and lots of them) has chocolate chips in it as well, for double the goodness.

Cinnamon Chocolate
Category: Chocolate
Rating: 3
I intended to try this intriguing combination but it seems to be discontinued. But then I found some in the pre-pack freezer (right on top, after spending several minutes rooting through it looking for a flavor that sounded good; that’s Mr. Observant for you). It’s a medium, fairly bitter chocolate with--of course--cinnamon: an interesting flavor combination, considering cinnamon and chocolate are rarely if ever used together.

While I have this open, here’s the rest of the ones I haven’t gotten to. For these it’s been several months and I don’t recall most of them well, but did write down ratings on my flavor list.

Bittersweet Chocolate
Category: Chocolate
Rating: 4
Really good, dark, somewhat dry chocolate variety. My favorite chocolate variety so far.

Coconut Pineapple
Category: Fruit
Rating: 2
Not bad but fairly weak, because it’s largely the vanilla-base. This would be better as a sherbet or spruced-up pina-colada flavor.

Heaven
Category: Mix of stuff
Rating: 4
Great mix reminiscent of tin roof sundae, with brownie chunks in place of chocolate-covered nuts.

Kahlua Krunch
Category: Coffee
Rating: 3
If I recall, this is one of a few coffee-based flavors with chunks of candy and/or nuts.

Lemon Custard
Category: Fruit
Rating: 2
This flavor is outright weak and almost undifferentiated sweetness. I don’t really recommend it.

Malt Ball Fudge
Category: Mix of stuff
Rating: 3
If I recall, this was a light-color (maybe the vanilla-base) with whoppers and fudge swirl. And if I recall, the whoppers disintegrated somewhat.

Mud Pie
Category: Mix of stuff
Rating: 3
Lightly-flavored, very dry peanut-butter ice cream with something chocolate, maybe brownie chunks or chocolate-covered nuts. I don’t remember it too well but do recall it being worthwhile.

Root Beer Swirl
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 3
Good, unique flavor here: light (but not the straight vanilla-base) ice cream with darker swirl.

My records say I also tried Cafe and rated it 3, but I don’t remember anything about it although I assume it’s one of the many coffee-based flavors. I’ll try it again.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
Three more...

Bubble Gum
Category: Novelty
Rating: 2
Attractive turquoise color; mediocre flavor. The gumballs disintegrate into something resembling powdered candy but you can smush the powder back together and get it to coalesce as gum once again. Or just eat them as candy and have bubble-gum burps for hours afterward…

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Swirl
Category: Chocolate
Rating: 4
If you want chocolate but are undecided on the many chocolate varieties, decide on this. Far better than your typical store-bought chocolate ice cream, this is a dark, slightly bitter and dry chocolate (much like the Bittersweet Chocolate flavor or possibly that actual flavor) with what seem like dark-chocolate pieces and a little bit of chocolate-syrup swirl.

Cardamon Pistachio
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 3
This one is surprisingly good. I’m not really that familiar with cardamom other than having heard that it’s used in curry powder, leading me to figure it usually had savory applications. But some research shows it’s more common in a sweet setting to begin with.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
Two triples and...

Butter Brickle
Category: Vanilla/etc with nuts, candy, etc
Rating: 2
Limited amount of the butter candy in the white base. Decent but a bit weak. Some butter/toffee swirl/marble could improve this one a good deal.

These three were a triple:
Blueberry Cheesecake
Category: Vanilla/etc with fruit
Rating: 3
A bit light on the cheesecake flavor but good; has chunks of fruit.

Lavender
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 1
I didn’t care at all for this one. Novel at first, but quickly gets indistinctive and bitter.

Green Tea
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 1
This one is a tad better but also loses its distinctiveness before long and becomes a bit icky.

The above triple was beautiful to look at on a waffle cone, with the semi-light green topped by medium purple, topped by white and dark purple. But I don’t recommend both the lavender and green-tea together. I had a bad taste in my mouth for hours afterward that was hard to get rid of. I’d recommend at most only one or the other along with one of the more robust “normal” flavors (like 10-20) to counter potential bitterness.

The following three also made a triple:
Cinnamon Caramel
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 3
Good unique flavor. This has actual ground cinnamon, not that usual artificial cinnamon-candy flavor.

Mexican Chocolate
Category: Chocolate
Rating: 3
A tasty, somewhat dry and bitter medium chocolate. This would pair up especially good with one of the sweeter flavors.

Pumpkin
Category: on the fence between Spice/herb/nut/etc and Fruit
Rating: 3+
Very yummy pumpkin-pie flavor, with great spice. Almost gets a rating of 4.



Find 43 fascinating places with Google Maps (read all 10 entries…)
#9: Lakes and islands to drive you nuts

Islands in lakes on islands in lakes on…huh?

See those small islands? Each of those is an island that’s in a lake that’s on an island that’s in a lake. Got that straight? :) Those lakes with islands are on Manitoulin Island, in Lake Huron. Some allegedly have ponds. I wonder if these ponds get just the right size due to seasonal fluctuations that they have miniature islands? “Island” in a “lake” on an island in a lake on an island in a lake… Unfortunately the close-up aerial photography is still incomplete over most of the island. Only a few of the small islands can be seen up close, and they’re forested. But these look promising.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manitoulin_Island



go hi-def (read all 6 entries…)
Gone hi-def at last -- sorta.

For Christmas for me was one of those modern computer monitors that you can use blu-ray and HDMI and that stuff with. Before long I’ll get hi-def Direc-TV and eventually a blu-ray player now that they’re mainstream enough to not be premium-priced. With a display, I can do this anytime, so this is as good as done.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
I have a backlog of these...

...so I’ll start with them. Kicking it off with what’s probably the best:

10-20
Category: Mix of stuff
Rating: 4
Wowee: caramel ice cream, oreos, fudge it looks like, some more goodies I think. This is a must-have if you’re only going once.

Cascade Mountain Blackberry Swirl
Category: Vanilla/etc with fruit
Rating: 3
This one’s good, although it has the tiny pits in it. Small price to pay for having actual unprocessed fruit.

Horchata
Category: Spice/herb/nut/etc
Rating: 3 I think
I don’t recall exactly, but I remember it being decent although nothing really noteworthy. If you like horchata it’s more or less worthwhile, although it’s a decent flavor in general.

Ginger
Category: Vanilla/etc with fruit
Rating: 4
Another must-have. This isn’t some ginger powder nonsense, but rather has chunks of gingerroot a bit bigger than average chopped garlic pieces. Extremely yummy, and one I’ve gone to the freezer case for.

Lychee
Category: Vanilla/etc with fruit
Rating: 2
This is called “Lychee Nut” on the flavor list but it’s a fruit and not nuts.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stand up to the vanilla[?] base that much. Lychees supposedly have a somewhat subtle flavor (as of this writing I haven’t tried them straight and can’t verify this); possibly it would be better as a sherbet or sorbet.



Try and rate every flavor at Marianne's Ice Cream‎ in Santa Cruz (read all 6 entries…)
Here's the idea

Each will be given a rating:
1 = Don’t care for it: perhaps a small sample may taste interesting, but a larger amount starts to become unpleasant; wouldn’t get it again
2 = OK; a good idea but could be better; tastes fine but not really worth getting again
3 = Good; always worth a repeat
4 = Wow!: these I recommend without hesitation, and will root around in the pre-pack freezer for these flavors to take home

And a category:
Chocolate
Coffee
Spice/herb/nut/etc
Fruit (may include semi-fruit such as coconut)
Vanilla/etc with fruit (in other words “white” ice cream; includes not-quite-fruit things)
Vanilla/etc with nuts, candy, etc
Mix of stuff (specifically chocolate, fudge, caramel, nuts, vanilla, etc, those sorts of flavors)
Sherbet/etc
Novelty

And finally a description and some comments.



Go to the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval (read all 2 entries…)
Alas, not this year

No costuming. I don’t know if it would be worth it unless I could participate myself. Next year I need to start really early.

But last year I did hear there was a good day-long event of sorts in … Santa Cruz? As in … about where I live now? No problem. :)



Visit San Francisco
I forgot I had this on the tossed-list

For a while I’d had an idea for a mildly outrageous stunt involving wandering around San Francisco. Recently I did just that. This day involved mainly wandering around the Telegraph Hill area, after having spent many hours on google maps and street view looking around here. I’d been to SF several times before but it was always for specific purposes and didn’t really do much outside of those.

I live not far off now, and can go now and then for the day easily enough. I want to see the Exploratorium again and the Golden Gate general area next time.



Have my own Domain Name (read all 2 entries…)
Now it's more of a necessity

because I’ve moved away and I’m more or less without a place for my web stuff. I could still keep my dialup ISP (and that webspace) because there are numbers for most places (dialup services purchased from regional suppliers possibly), but I’m without landline for a while (using borrowed computer for net access) and will be getting broadband afterward so it’s not practical to keep. After one or two more paydays I should be able to go live with this.



declutter my house (read all 4 entries…)
Come to think of it...

I’ll need to do this by default because I’m, ummm, well, moving. Which means things can be boxed and sorted through later.



get a better job (read all 5 entries…)
So, did I? Yes.

I indeed left town, and am now working in what should be a reliable stopgap position. It’s not something I want to do over the long term by any means, it’s mindless, it’s menial … it’s quite devoid of bullcrap. :) Due to the extremely high influx and outflux of migrants, it’s something I could come back to at anytime if I needed short-term work. And this should be in a lot closer proximity to more worthwhile job opportunities, and save a whole lot of money in the meantime.

It’s nice when a somewhat extreme plan such as this works out. :)



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