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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Loves her tortoise!

Recent entries from gottawonder
Pages: 1 2 3 5 7 8 9 231 232


One is entitled to acts of self-defence. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 9

Today I am grateful for:

Getting some cleaning and organizing done.

Finally finishing a book. I’ve been doing a lot of reading half through books, and losing interest. I’ve probably half read four books this summer.

Lots of napping. It was a scorcher today, and too hot to do anything for very long. 5 months ago

gottawonderI can't help but comment

on your statement that even if they aren’t a pest doesn’t make them beneficial.

The more I learn about all of the insects and rodents, and worms, and so on, is that all of them have their place. Most of them carry out amazing functions that are of great importance, that we might never be aware of without study.

We might not find all of the little creatures to our fancy, but they often pollinate, clean up the dead, aerate the soil, break down vegetation, release chemicals that have roles, or if nothing else, feed other creatures.

In the end, it all is beneficial in some way. 5 months ago


•So about how many flies do you think the average person kills in their lifetime?

I’ve often considered that each person kills many insects, directly or indirectly, by insecticides on our crops, widespread spraying of mosquitos, mass kills when fields are tilled, and on the windshield of cars. It’s staggering.

•Do you believe you are on your way to doing your share of dipterocide (mass murder of winged insects)? Or do you believe animal rights should extend to the insect world, even those that are harmful?

Given the number killed by my very existence (tilling, cars, etc.) my little acts of kindness in putting bugs outside and not spraying my yard seems pretty insignificant. I do believe that we should extend animal rights to insects, in the sense that we should find ways around just killing them. Doing more to REPEL them should be our goal.

I am a little on the fence with regards to harmful insects. Mosquitos spread disease (yet they feed many other animals, and in spraying we cause a lot of damage to other beings). We should be very cautious, do our best to develop targeted methods of killing them (or interrupting fertility) that do very little other damage.

I do believe in killing insects invading homes, such as cockroaches and ants and termites, but again, developing a repellent would be nicer.

•What is your preferred method of killing flying insects?

Plain old swatting. Raid makes me feel awful, it’s probably dangerous for me. I would use raid or spray on a wasp’s nest, or a chemical to kill ants or cockroaches if I had to.

•Have you ever had a venus flytrap? A pitcher plant? No, I’ve always wanted some.

•Are you one of those people who are classified as allergic to bug bites and carries an epi-pen? Not that I know of, but I worry about bees, in that a person can BECOME sensitive.

•Which insects do you find the most troublesome in the Summertime?

Mosquitos. The Mosquitos in Canada are absolutely vicious, and very numerous.

•Do you believe in the myth that insects bite certain people because of blood type? Or because of external factors?

There is something to that, as a group of people can all be outside, and some people get bit much less than others.

•Do you use personal insect repellent regularly in the warm weather months?

Only on really bad days. Otherwise, it is pretty effective to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

•What are your feelings on spiders? I am fortunate to live in a place where the only dangerous spider is the Black Widow, and it won’t kill you. They are also pretty rare (maybe never, but they supposedly CAN exist here). They’re easy to identify. In general, if I see a spider in the house, and it isn’t a Black Widow, I just leave it be. I’ve been seeing a lot of really beautiful spiders in the garden, ones with really big abdomens. I think they are Orb Weavers. I actually love watching them on their webs, and I like spiders in general.

I am fascinated by insects, and while I don’t care for flies much, or mosquitos, I have been really noticing a lot of pretty beetles this summer, I love observing dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars, and so on. I have bad feelings towards grasshoppers because of the horrible infestation that ate everything on our farm for about five years in a row when I was a kid, but when there are only a few, I can see their beauty.

I really love watching pond critters. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 8

Today I am grateful for:

A day with less work, and time to catch up on things at home.

Cleaning for my neighbour, and he seemed to be in good spirits.

Lots of napping today, and reading. 5 months ago

gottawonderIs there any way

to contact the ex-wife, to see if she would like the dogs? She might not know that he took them to the shelter. 5 months ago

gottawonderHalf the fun

of a story of any kind about a zombie, werewolf, or vampire was how much of a story they could write around the known characteristics of their kind, and how the afflicted character would act within those parameters, as well as how the character could perhaps rise above those limitations and maximize their strengths.

By just changing the parameters willy nilly…it seemed like how children act when they don’t like rules in a game. Before long, the game seems pointless without rules.

For anyone who likes a GOOD modern vampire novel, that really doesn’t stray too far from the conventional vampire, but has a fantastic story, try “Sunshine” by Robin McKinley. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 7

Today I am grateful for:

A good shift at the library.

A good pasture ride.

Delicious mixed greens lettuce from the garden. It is so crunchy fresh, I know there’s no chemicals, and it has so much flavour compared to the store stuff. 5 months ago

gottawonderWhat's interesting,

is that being made of flesh, we are all just as edible as gummy beings. 5 months ago

gottawonderI don't hate people for a little bit of incorrect grammar,

but the misuse of the possessive S does bother me. It seems lazy not to know how to use it.

The bigger issue for me is when people neglect obvious grammar, like not bothering to capitalize proper nouns, or the first word in a sentence, or obvious lazy spelling.

When people type with really bad spelling and slang, (as though they were tweeting) I can’t stand that.

So, in general I can forgive the more subtle mistakes, but obvious ones just seem careless. 5 months ago

gottawonderI know they aren't real,

but it bothers me that there are glaring holes in the logic behind the idea.

The logic behind vampires was pretty good; it was internally consistent. Until people started messing with it and vampires could be out in the sun, and sparkle, and holy water didn’t bother them.

In the current vampire mythology, they aren’t even really evil or anything. More like they have a cool virus that lets them be amazing and live forever (as much as Edward moped around about his terrible curse, it seemed fairly awesome to me).

At one time though, the logic (“rules”) of vampire existence were pretty good, made sense, and answered most questions about them. Questions like what would kill them, what their abilities and limitations were, what they ate, what happened to their body if you did kill them, and so on.

So, for me, the whole mythology behind zombies seems inconsistent and varies wildly as to what caused it, whether they are fast or slow, what kills them, what their limitations are, whether they eat brains or the whole person, and so on.

With regards to my original post, I don’t feel that those questions have ever been answered properly, and it actually bugs me that those gaping holes in logic exist. 5 months ago

gottawonderThis sucks.

So many things are just up in the air for you right now.

Go ahead and cry for awhile. Curl up in bed and have a nap, or watch a movie that makes you feel good.

People don’t have to be tough all the time.

Don’t bother shopping, just scrape something together for supper.

Tell your parents you can’t come over today.

Emails can wait.

Just take care of yourself, and do something when you feel like it. Or, do something in stages, like if you clean up emails for half an hour, then go take a nap (and put some clothes in the washer first).

With everything in your life in upheaval, you’re allowed to cry and to mourn if you need do. 5 months ago

gottawonderIn a way,

this is kind of amazing.

If you had more time and more energy, you could likely sell a lot of those clothes through a consignment store in a funky downtown area, and make a pile of money.

As it is, as awful and stressful as this must be, it also sounds a little fun, to open each box and discover such interesting things. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 6

Today I am grateful for:

Getting to sleep in.

Going to town and getting things done there.

My husband got some money from his Uncle, who passed away earlier this year. He’s thinking of spending it on something special, as a way to remember him. 5 months ago

gottawonderIntrinsic value.

Living things have something that inanimate things don’t have: intrinsic value.

Things that are not alive, tend to be seen as valuable for what they can do, or for the ways that they enhance our lives. A hammer is valuable as a tool, art because it makes us feel something, and so on.

We have that way of looking at the whole world. We assess everything for it’s value and utility. Things with no utility, that are ugly, or broken, that offer no emotional stimulation, are ignored or tossed.

What about how this leaks into our view of living things?

If we think carefully, I think it’s pretty easy to see that a bird is intrinsically valuable because it is alive. It’s life is a unique thing, and to itself, it matters.

However, we tend to look at animals with the lens we should reserve for inanimate objects. That the life of an animal becomes assessed by whether it is useful in some way, and if it is more useful to us dead, or if it is “too much trouble” alive (such as a lame horse that will never be ride-able, or a dog that refuses to be house-broken).

Beyond that, look at how humans view each other, and themselves. We look at how useful they are, or beautiful. You don’t have to be that useful if you are beautiful, but if you aren’t beautiful, you’d better be useful.

Then, we spend our whole lives scrutinizing ourselves. Are we useful, or beautiful? What value do we have? Are we loveable, or hard to replace? Do we please others? Did we meet the expectations of the world today?

How much of my life has been spent trying to meet the expectations of the world each day? How much trying to please people (I know my husband tries to please me…does anyone else?)?

How could I possibly live without trying to meet the world’s expectations or please people? It certainly wouldn’t be easy.

How would I ever be able to separate my own wishes and desires from what I’ve been trained my whole life to THINK I want? 5 months ago

gottawonderI do practice gratefulness.

It IS a good way to change perspectives.

One thing I do try to keep in mind through all of this, is that he does work a lot, both in his job and at home.

It likely isn’t something he wants to do (the raspberry patch) when he already has so much on his plate.

I am often grateful to have a raspberry patch, since we both like eating them. If you’ve ever seen what they charge for a tiny tub…well, you’d never be able to buy enough to make jam.

Anyhow, I’m not sure that the argument was even about the raspberry patch per se. I think it morphed into me feeling like a lot of menial, repetitive tasks are just MY jobs because I’m the one who works less. I sometimes want a break from some of the worse jobs.

As much as just paying someone to do some of these things might seem like a solution, how does that make sense? I would have to pay someone at least ten dollars an hour to weed the garden, and that adds up quickly. Might as well just not bother having a garden.

If one were actually to look at the value of all of these little jobs I do, it would likely be as much money as the average pay check for many folks.

Same for all of the tremendous jobs my husband does for us. We would be broke if we had to pay someone to do the work he does. Like this past weekend, he changed the oil in our vehicles. That alone likely saved us a bundle.

Once again, my feelings were all tied up in the feelings of needing to be appreciated and valued, and feeling hurt because that job was too low on the list to be something my husband needed to do, but somehow just fine for me.

That sort of job delegation makes me feel forever the low man on the totem pole. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 5

Today I am grateful for:

A good shift at the library.

Having a much needed nap when I got home. For some reason, I just did not sleep last night.

Getting out on the lake in my kayak. It was perfect weather for it, and the lake is a little higher from all the rain we’ve been getting, which is good because it is a shallow lake. 5 months ago


I’m glad that you enjoy my posts. I enjoy writing them.

Live long and prosper. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 4

Today I am grateful for:

A few more work hours.

Having so much craft material and tools. I can do so many things, some creative, some practical.

It is hot enough (and staying warm enough) that I can leave my tortoise outside full time for awhile. It might only be for a month or two, but it gives me a break from his tearing the house up every morning and his messes. When it’s light out longer, he gets restless (very bad when it’s still too cold for him to go outside) and starts trying to see if there’s some way to get outside. He starts literally digging at the walls. 5 months ago

gottawonderThank you for posting about gluten.

While I wonder with a few people if they aren’t exaggerating a little, I’ve never questioned that gluten intolerance exists.

I have heard others mention the bloating and cramps, and that seemed like enough reason for avoiding gluten to me.

I’ve never heard anyone describe symptoms like yours before, and this has really opened up my eyes.

I had no idea that gluten intolerance could lead to such prolonged pain and suffering, as well as hallucinations and trouble concentrating, and so on. You’ve mentioned this before, and since then, I’ve seen gluten intolerance in a different way.

I’m glad you posted this. Sometimes, when an illness is difficult to see in others, it’s easy to write it off as that person just being dramatic.

I think this kind of sharing is good for all of us, in promoting awareness that gluten intolerance is serious and real. 5 months ago

gottawonderWhat about minors?

Some of these laws protect the children of neglectful parents. 5 months ago

gottawonderIn some cases,

the parents wouldn’t have, depending on where the car was hit in a collision. Air bags would likely safe the parents too, or only one of the parents would be in the car.

By family, we can also consider grandparents and other siblings (maybe not dead in the car accident) to be people who would care.

Here’s one short quote from the department of motor vehicles. It is by no means meant to cover all aspects of this conversation, but it seems to have a positive view of car seat laws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 20,000 young lives are saved nationally by the use of child safety seats each year.

Studies show that properly installed child safety seats reduce the likelihood of an infant (under one year old) dying in a vehicle accident by 71%, and toddlers (one to four years old) by 54%. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 3

Today I am grateful for:

Getting a few more work hours.

A good riding lesson.

All of the glorious summer flowers that are out now in full force. 5 months ago

gottawonderIf we decide to rule by natural selection,

then that also means it is no longer criminal to run over a pedestrian. That pedestrian couldn’t have been paying attention, or had poor reflexes, or was handicapped and couldn’t move fast enough. Tough luck.

Or, people with allergies are just gonna die. We’re not going to make special allowances for those folks.

Maybe if you were dumb enough to be out alone at night, you deserve whatever you get.

Everyone here is talking about the oppression of the laws protecting us, but it’s all arbitrary. Where useful ends and oppressive begins is not the same point for everyone.

Yes, having laws against every possible reckless act might be an extreme that I doubt we’ll ever have to deal with.

Taken to the other extreme, living by natural selection is a terrible fate as well. 5 months ago

gottawonderI'm guessing,

but I think some of the basis is more about what happens during a car crash, or a roll over, that sort of thing.

Also, the results of crash tests.

In reality, if we’re looking at who needs to use safety gear during a normal drive…well…no one, right?

MOST of the time, I would never need a seat belt. During NORMAL drives, I’m fine, I’ve never just slid off of my seat. In the event of an accident though, the seat belt might save my life.

Just saying “only 50 kids were saved” isn’t useful information. Was that 50 kids in one state (and which state, given that 50 kids in Wyoming is very different from 50 kids in New York), or 50 kids in the whole country, and over what time period? Was that 50 kids that were saved by a car seat during an accident, or during normal driving?

Those 50 kids that were saved, were they saved because of an accident, and the car seats saved them?

How many kids (in the same area, and time period) without car seats died, versus the ones in a car seat at the time of an accident?

How a number is used is just as important as the number. 5 months ago

gottawonderDoes it really bother you that much

to wear a seatbelt? 5 months ago

gottawonderIt mattered

to those 50 families. 5 months ago

gottawonderJuly 2

Today I am grateful for:

A good phone conversation with my Mom.

A good pasture ride.

A lovely afternoon nap. 5 months ago

gottawonderThe fact that they had to write this law at all

does indicate that there was some prejudice involved. Otherwise, I can’t understand why it had to be written. Most people aren’t in the habit of covering their faces in public. 5 months ago

gottawonderSome unjust laws

were all the laws against oral sex, anal sex, and so on.

It might have been something to do with prostitution, but THAT used to be legal.

I always wondered how they could possibly enforce laws about how people have sex in the privacy of their own home. 5 months ago

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