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

Joe Goldberg

Working hard

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Track my finances for a year

I used, both the website and the mobile app (for cash expenses). Once a week I went to the website and categorized all my expenses. Most of them were auto-categorized, I just had to clean up the errors. It learns from your choices too, so as the weeks went on, it got quicker.

I use the debit/credit cards for almost everything, but for the rare cash expense, I input it using mint’s mobile app. Sort of a pain, but I only had to do that once every couple weeks

Write a graphic novel in November for NanoGraphicMo (read all 17 entries…)
Almost done

I’m still working on this even though it’s not NanoGraphicMo any longer.

I’ve been posting completed pages here:

Write a graphic novel in November for NanoGraphicMo (read all 17 entries…)
NanoGraphicMo 2011

Decided that instead of trying again, I’d just pick up where I left off at the end of last November. It was easier than I thought it would be to get back into the story, though drawing the characters is hard. I guess when you don’t draw for a year you go back to square 1.

I think I’m up to 22 pages. I’m determined to finish it this year because I don’t want to wait until November 2012 :)

Find and raise my lactate threshold (read all 2 entries…)
Drills to raise LT


The following drills are designed to raise your LT. Choose one drill per workout, and do LT training no more than two days a week, preferably not on consecutive days.

Steady State Intervals (the most effective way to increase power at LT)
After a good warm-up, ride 10 minutes at a steady effort, keeping your heart rate three to five beats below your LT heart rate. Recover (ride at an easy pace) for 10 minutes, then repeat two more times. Once you’re comfortable at this level, do two 20-minute steady-state efforts, recovering for 20 minutes between. Eventually, work up to one 30-minute effort.

Up And Down Intervals
These intervals blend LT and VO2 max (your body’s ability to process oxygen) training to simulate the effort you need when racing on a hilly course, where you have to push beyond your lactate threshold for short surges then clear the acid and recover quickly. First, warm up. Then pick up the pace to your LT heart rate and hold that intensity for five minutes. Push it to about three to five beats above LT for one to two minutes, then drop it back down to LT. Continue for a total of three cycles, or about 18 to 20 minutes.

LT Tolerance Intervals
By training at an intensity where your body can’t clear the lactate, you’ll boost your ability to keep riding hard in the face of high lactate levels. After a thorough warm-up, increase your effort to about five beats above your LT heart rate. Hold it there for two to three minutes. Reduce your effort for 60 to 90 seconds, just long enough so you feel partially recovered, but not quite ready to go again. Repeat three times.

Find and raise my lactate threshold (read all 2 entries…)
First step: find it

Map a 3-mile route that you can ride without stopping. Strap on a heart rate monitor, warm up for 20 minutes, then ride the route at the fastest pace you can sustain. Recover for 10-20 minutes (ride back to the start of your route at an easy pace). Repeat the test. Your LT is 103 percent of that figure (HR * 1.03). Jot down your times and average paces; repeat the test in eight weeks to see your progress.


make 43 things better (read all 6 entries…)
The end of the lag?

Let’s see if this entry shows up right away, and everywhere it’s supposed to…

know my blood pressure and cholesterol levels (read all 2 entries…)
Recent checkup

My BP was 134/80 but I know that’s high because when I test in the drugstore it’s more like 120/80. I had just gotten off my bike so maybe that’s related.

Cholesterol levels, in mg/dL. (Healthy range)...

Total cholesterol: 158 (100-199)
Good cholesterol (HDL): 64 (>39)
Bad cholesterol (LDL): 85 (<100)
Triglyceride: 44 (<150)
VLDL: 9 (5-40)
Chol/HDL Ratio: 2.5 (<4.0)

Here’s the best article I found on what the different types oc cholesterol mean, and how to interpret these results:

Till next year!

Read Joyce's Ulysses (read all 7 entries…)


make 43 things better (read all 6 entries…)
Why I am a Bad 43 Things Correspondent

Those who feel that the Robots are poor at communicating with the 43 Things community have a valid gripe. While I do not consider myself a poor communicator, I have found it necessary to place some limits on my direct interactions with the 43 Things community. This document is a sort of form letter explaining why I am the way I am.

Programming is hard, and requires vast, unbroken slabs of time. Four quiet hours is a resource that I can put to good use. Two slabs of time, each two hours long, might add up to the same four hours, but are not nearly as productive as an unbroken four. If I know that I am going to be interrupted, I can’t concentrate, and if I suspect that I might be interrupted, I can’t do anything at all. Likewise, several consecutive days with four-hour time-slabs in them give me a stretch of time in which I can implement a decent website feature, but the same number of hours spread out across a few weeks, with interruptions in between them, are nearly useless.

This accounts for why I am a bad correspondent and why I rarely engage in long comment threads and collaborative, community-driven idea-brainstorms. If I organize my life in such a way that I get lots of long, consecutive, uninterrupted time-chunks, I can write code. But as those chunks get separated and fragmented, my productivity as a Robot drops spectacularly. What replaces it? Instead of a website that will be around for a long time, and that will, with luck, be enjoyed by many people, there is a bunch of messages that I have sent out to individual persons, and a few entries posted at various goal pages and the company blog.

That is not such a terrible outcome, but neither is it an especially good outcome. The quality of my e-mails and writing is, in my view, nowhere near that of my programming. So for me it comes down to the following choice: I can distribute material of bad-to-mediocre quality to a small number of people, or I can distribute material of higher quality to more people. But I can’t do both; the first one obliterates the second.

I am not proud of the fact that some e-mail sent to the Robots goes unanswered as a result. It is never my intention to be rude or to give well-meaning users the cold shoulder. If the Robot Co-op was a huge corporate entity, we’d have enough money to hire a staff to look after community interaction. As it is, the site is run in such a way to provide for the 6 of us, but not lucrative enough to hire a dedicated PR/community-outreach person, and so I am faced with a stark choice between being a bad correspondent and being a good programmer. I am trying to be a good programmer, and hoping that people will forgive me for being a bad correspondent.

Adapted from this

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)

109 points. Crossed the finish line while playing “Exchange” by Massive Attack.

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)

About to get to 100 points here:

Read Joyce's Ulysses (read all 7 entries…)
So close

Half way through the final chapter.

Live the Hero's Journey (read all 2 entries…)
a Hero's Journey film

Watched Stranger Than Fiction. It’s mostly a corny romantic comedy but there was some good stuff hidden in it about living the Hero’s Journey, and generally being an awesome person.

bring my lunch to work. (read all 2 entries…)
2x a week

I’ve been better about this, bringing lunch 2x a week and eating out with the robots the other 2 days. I’m getting better at planning ahead and bringing on days I’ll be busy, and not bringing on days that it’ll be more fun to eat out.

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)
Up to 56

Over half way there!

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)
One point at a time

Up to 40. Been in the Robot Co-op room which usually has just one or two people in it at a time. When visitors come in, they assume the room name means it’s all robotic music, so there’s been a lot of electronic/dance music, which is fine with me! I’m rocking some filthy electro right now (to an audience of one).

Read Joyce's Ulysses (read all 7 entries…)
And then there were two

On the penultimate chapter. This one is in a Q/A format, which is interesting. Makes it easier to read a bit at a time.

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)
16 Points

Up to 16 points. Here’s the robots rocking the turntables earlier today (along with a superuser guest DJ)

Get 100 DJ Points on (read all 6 entries…)
Untitled is a fun music discovery game that rewards you for playing music that others enjoy. Once you get to 100 points you get to pick a cooler-looking user avatar. I know it’s silly but I currently look like a 6 year old red-headed boy. No offense to gingers, I just don’t want to look like that any more!

bike a century
Biked a century, then got up the next morning and biked some more!

STP (Seattle To Portland) is like 2 centuries, 2 days in a row!

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