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.

Export My Content

Daniel Spils

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Congratulate Robot Daniel on his Impending Nuptials
Thanks everyone!

I appreciate the wedding wishes. If I think to, I’ll post a picture from the wedding when we get there … should be this year, hopefully September or October.

make 43 things better
Facebook Connect in the house

I’m testing this out with Buster and it seems pretty hot. Once you connect your 43T account via Facebook Connect (this is all done on 43 Things) you can see your Facebook buddies that use 43T and when you post entries and adopt goals they appear in your Facebook stream, which seems to me to “make 43 things better”. Yeah?

We should have it pushed out in an hour or so.

Go camping more often. (read all 2 entries…)
I got it in my head that I want a camper van

Specifically, a VW Eurovan with a pop top, the theory being that I prefer car camping over tent camping. Just enough of the creature comforts to make it more fun than adventuresome. I’m working on buying a 2003 with low miles. If so, I’ll either love it or it’ll be that stupid thing I bought compulsively in order to fulfill an invented need. Pretty much the modern condition. Sometimes I feel that way when I order french fries. I didn’t really need (or want) french fries … I just ordered them because they were there on the menu. But once in a while french fries are simply wonderful.

Okay, so back to camping. I want to go camping this summer and sleep in a well-appointed van. I think that would be awesome.

learn how to swim butterfly style (read all 3 entries…)
Buttah Fly

I spent a few laps today at Masters Swim class doing the dolphin kick underwater for as long as I could, then coming up for air and proceeding with the butterfly. It’s still totally exhausting (I have to catch my breath after each length) but I feel like I’m getting somewhere. There are moments – a stroke or two – where I feel like I’m in a groove. Then is quickly disappears. But I am making progress and I feel like it’s only a matter of time before my butterfly is both ‘buttah’ and ‘fly’.

Butterfly … I await thee with goggled eyes and a pure heart.

swim a mile (read all 2 entries…)
swam a mile today!

It wasn’t a continuous free water mile, but I did reach my goal of swimming 36 laps in a row with little to no breaks between laps. I cleared the goggles with water a few times and made all sorts of swimming fox paws, but I swam pretty much straight through 36 laps. About 75% freestyle and 25% breast stroke.

Emily (the masters swim instructor) had us swim a 1650 doing something like this:

11 lengths – freestyle
10 lengths – freestyle, breast stroke
9 lengths – freestyle
8 lengths- freestyle, breast stroke
7 lengths – freestyle
6 lengths- freestyle, breast stroke
5 lengths – freestyle
4 lengths- freestyle, breast stroke
3 lengths – freestyle
2 lengths- freestyle, breast stroke
1 length – freestyle

66 lengths total. Then I added on 6 more lengths to make it to 72 total. Pretty awesome little system.

improve my freestyle swimming stroke
small tweaks

My number one impediment is probably just being out of shape in general. I run out of breath after a lap of freestyle. However, the masters swimming coach (Emily) has been giving me a bunch of tweaks: how my arms enter the water, working on my kick, my breathing (exhaling specifically), and all sorts of little things. It seems that 50% end up working well for me. It’s hard to hold it all in my head, but the uphill swim seems to slowly be paying off.

learn how to swim butterfly style (read all 3 entries…)
I'm more mothlike at this point

I’m trying to get back on track with masters swimming. Sunny weather and Maktub album work is eating up my mornings at times, but still my biggest swimming draw is the butterfly. I’ve yet to capture the rolling movement of a good butterfly stroke. In all my practicing there have been a few moments for perhaps 2 strokes where it feels right—otherwise I think I’m getting my kick and pull happening at the same time and they’re kind of contradicting each other.

If you’re an expert butterfly swimmer, I’d love to hear about any breakthroughs you had when learning the stroke. Advice is cool, but from what I can tell there’s enough going on in the butterfly stroke that at some point you need to just figure it out on your own. Butterfly stories, analogies, eurekas are appreciated!

learn Seattle's new recycling, compost & garabage categories (read all 3 entries…)
Used coffee cups are recyclable

It’s official … Evelyn from City of Seattle replied to my email and clarified:

  • used coffee cups go into the recylce bin (but have to be rinsed)
  • plastic coffee cup lids currently go into trash (even though they’re above the 3” diameter threshold for recycling plastic lids)

So, all paper coffee cups (wax coated or not) go to recycle. Lids go to trash.

sharpen my knives (read all 2 entries…)
knives delivered, soon to be sharp, me so happy, let's all eat carp!

This guy has a great low tech local method of picking up knives for sharpening:

  • box up your kinves, write Seattle Knive Sharpening on top
  • include your name, email & phone in the box
  • drop off at one of two UPS places
  • they sign you in, call the guy
  • he returns knives in a couple 1 or 2 days (call you)
  • you pay with check @ UPS and they give it to him

Anyway, it was nice to have such a simple site with instructions that are more like a scavenger hunt. In this case the absence of succinct offline instructions works better than an online form.

sharpen my knives (read all 2 entries…)
I found the dude to sharpen my knives

Michelle tipped me about this Seattle guy that sharpens knives. I plan to drop off my knives and fabric sheers this Friday. Sweet!

learn Seattle's new recycling, compost & garabage categories (read all 3 entries…)
used coffee cups go to garbage?

If coffee cups are indeed coated (somehow I don’t want to believe that) then I guess they just go in the garbage. Lame! Clean, coated paper goes in the recycle.

learn Seattle's new recycling, compost & garabage categories (read all 3 entries…)
what do I do with paper coffee cups?

I’m reading the Seattle mailer now and most of it makes sense, but there are a few questions:

  • where do I put paper coffee cups which I believe may be “coated”?
  • where do I put the same used paper coffee cups?
  • do I just dump plastic coffee lids in the recycle or the compost?
  • how about tea bags (I’m a tea drinker) – compost or garbage?

I have other questions, too, but I’ll try to sort through these this week.

record a Maktub record in 2008 (read all 5 entries…)
just got to release it

This has been a crazy album experience. I hope to release the new Maktub record this summer. It’s mixed. Next up mastering and a release strategy … which may be the classic “free download” strategy employed by wealthy musicians worldwide. Wish us luck!

Be a Big Brother (read all 3 entries…)

I met my Little the other day – he’s in kindergarten and seems to be a good kid. I’m going to meet him for an hour a week at his school and help him out with his letters and reading. I’ve committed to a year and I’ll see how it all pans out. Looking forward it!

get a tuxedo (read all 4 entries…)
under $700

I bought the tux, shirt & shoes at the Nordstrom Rack, the cummerbund & bow tie from Brooks Brothers and the hanky from Nordstrom. The shirt studs and cufflinks are from my dad. The date is from Seattle by way of Virginia.

I had the pants hemmed with a break, a small roll removed from the shoulders and closed the vent to keep the silhouette lean (tailor’s idea). I was lucky that it fit so well off the rack. The next time I wear it I may have the coat sleeves taken up or get a shirt with longer sleeves to reveal more of the french cuff.

Final bill:
$350 – John Varvatos Tux
$30 – Joseph Abboud tux shirt
$20 – black silk hanky
$50 – Stacy Adams shoes
$50 – alterations
$150 – Brooks Brothers cummerbund & tie


Be a Big Brother (read all 3 entries…)

I had my interview yesterday and it went well. I’ve been accepted and they plan to place me soon at the grade school just a few blocks from my house, my preferred choice. I’ll be paired with a “Little” and will show up once a week during school hours for one hour. From there, they say it’s up to us to define how we interact. It could be hanging out while they play with the other kids or as structured as teaching the little an instrument or helping with homework.

The interview was more interesting than I thought – plenty of potentially awkward questions they have to get out of the way, but that didn’t bother me. It was the more philosophical ones like “what do you hope for your little to get out of your mentorship?” Or, “why do you want to become a Big Brother?” I had fine answers for both, but they did induce a moment of gulp.

Interesting facts from the acceptance letter, for those considering being a Big:

Our program has a phenomenal success rate. By becoming a Big in our program you will have the opportunity to help a child develop self-esteem and pursue interests that the two of you have in common. With the combination of these elements, you may be the person that makes the difference in your Little’s life that inspires them to pursue their goals… whatever they may be.

In addition, children who are matched with Bigs are proven to make healthier life decisions. For example, the children matched in our program are less likely to skip school, less likely to begin using illegal drugs and alcohol, and have improved relationships with their families. Moreover, we are willing to bet that you will be surprised by how much you gain from the relationship with your Little!

get a tuxedo (read all 4 entries…)
bought a tux, now I'm getting it altered

I ended up going the budget route (Nordstrom Rack) but the tux fits better off the rack than any suit I’ve ever purchased. A few minimal tailor tucks – he’s closing the vent for a clean silhouette (his words), taking a small roll of material out the shoulders and hemming the pants. I’ll pick it up on Saturday.

I have my dad’s old shirt studs, and Alaska cufflinks made with ivory and gold nugget … and his bowtie & cumberbund. I’m going to spring for a non-clipon black bowtie and cumberbund to round out the ensemble. I also bought a pair of tux-ish shoes at The Rack.

The good news in all of this is I stayed below budget and actually like the budget tux better than the more expensive status-anxiety tux at the fancy store I tried on (see post before this). I felt like an actor playing the alternate universe aristocrat version of myself in an ascot, knowing the whole time I was really just a car mechanic back on Earth. Phony baloney on tux rye.

The tux I ended up buying feels awesome (and bargainlicious!)

In other news, I’m headed to the Oscars with Brangien in about 10 days where I’ll wear this bad boy and try to act cool by resisting the urge to pull out my iphone and start snapping photos of nominees! Play it cool, Danny Boy, like day old hot dog water.

go to the oscars (read all 2 entries…)
I'm going to the Oscars in about 2 weeks

We were invited by Brangien’s dad and will be heading down for the Oscars on Feb. 22nd. Should be fun – now if I can just find a respectable tux!

get a tuxedo (read all 4 entries…)
went shopping last night

I really started in the early part of the day at Value Village—my way of spinning things up. Moved on to Le Frock to see if anyone was dumping a great tux for cheap. Nada. Next up, Mario’s downtown. They were helpful in suiting me up and educating me. I purchased a great linen suit & tie there this summer which worked out well. The pictures are me in a Hugo Boss tux w/ an ascot and a tie. I think I prefer the tie, but I didn’t feel awesome in either. So, I moved on to the Nordstrom Rack where I found a John Varatos tux and a Joseph Aboud tux – they were about half the price, but the Varatos tux was pretty fancy w/ pin stripes. Not sure it that would make me look cool or like that wacky guy with the wacky tux. More fact finding is required before I’ll make a decision.

P.S. I look like an asshole in the tux w/ tie photo – odd photo moment

get a tuxedo (read all 4 entries…)
Tux advice from my friend Ivan ...

“Keep in mind the traditional tuxedo is black, single breasted, single button, peak lapel (see photo). I mention this because anything else might not hold up as well style-wise as that has. I have a single breasted, two button, notch lapel that I like (I got it because I saw Daniel Craig as Bond in a similar one), but I would probably get the peak lapel if I got to do it over. All the hollywood actors seem to wear notch lapels these days, so either way is fine. I was thinking maybe you should get something funky and non-traditional. On the other hand, if you think you might get married one these days, you might as well kill two birds. Definitely check out Barneys and Butch Blum for contemporary looks. I think you said Buster had one made, so he probably has good ideas, too. Whatever you do, don’t get a three button. Oh, if you’re feeling poor, there’s always Men’s Warehouse and the Rack (Nordstrom might have something nice, now that I think about it.) If you go to a budget place, let me give you the name of a good tailor. That’s really important and those places don’t have them. Also, keep in mind you’re going to need shoes $$ and a shirt $$. They do sometimes have tuxedo shirts at the rack mixed in with their dress shirts.”

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