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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.

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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.

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Export My Content

Install compact fluorescents into my parents house without them knowing


Entries from everyone

Matt MaldreTip for installing CFLs

When replacing light bulbs, write the date on the new bulb, so you know how long it lasted when it burns out. 2 years ago

The Bridge FairyMom converts!

I was going into town and had a shopping list: batteries, light bulbs, paper towels…. I bought the “light bulbs” – spaghetti shaped 25 watt CF’s. I left them on the kitchen counter with the other items – I was packing to leave and I didn’t have time to install them.

Mom asked why I had got those. I told her I got them to save money. They pay for themselves in about 4 months in energy savings. I was saving about $15 a month on my electric bill using them. I told her to put them in the lamps she used the most. Then, I had to leave to get back to my house because I had to work that day.

I got backto Mom’s house Christmas and what do you know? Instead of finding the pack of compact fluorescents unopened, I found CF’s in the kitchen overhead light, the den reading lamp, the laundry room…..

I am going to get a couple more packs before I go home next time and replace all the regular bulbs.

I think the idea that she probably won’t have to change lightbulbs ever again was the cincher! 6 years ago

Matt MaldreManiacal

The entry titled, “Stealth energy saver strikes!” mentioned maniacally laughing. Which got me thinking in the Walgreens line while buying the CFLs, about how supervillians are the only characters who laugh maniacally. There are no good-guy superheros that engage in such activity. Then it made me wonder if was playing the role of supervillian by installing these CFLs (yeah word up, I found out on ComEd’s site that they call them “CFL” and that sounds oh-so-cool).

I don’t think I was a supervillian. It was for the good of energy saving and money saving and all that good stuff. Superhero indeed! But then my methods might be supervillian-esque. Secretly going about it. But it was fun. Don’t worry, I’m not having moral issues about this. These are just ideas I’m playing around with for fun.

Then it got me wondering if there were any superheros that maniacally laugh. You gotta think that there are some superheros who aren’t totally goodie-two-shoes. Like Wolverine or Batman. They are more of an anti-hero type. But maniacal, they are not.

Why not have a superhero that enjoys what he does SOOOO much, that he maniacally laughs. And sometimes you have to do good things on the sly to get them done, and wouldn’t a superhero find that rather humourous? I mean really, don’t they wear tights and costumes to disguise themself? That’s being secretive.

Oh wait. I can see the Dad on the Incredibles laughing like crazy. Err, maybe not.

Anyhow, there’s an interesting discussion on my blog about this topic at: 7 years ago

Matt Maldreok. that was a long story.

And I wanted to make one more point. I kinda wish that I installed the bulbs earlier, because I wanted to see if my parents noticed. But then I woulda probably been all giggly the entire weekend, so maybe it’s good I waited to the end. Now I just wait for the phone call to come in. “Matthew, were you behind these weird looking bulbs in the hallway?”

But my bets are they won’t ever notice until I tell them. Our little secret! 7 years ago

Matt MaldreStealth energy saver strikes!

I have to say that something so simple was SO MUCH FUN!

I purchased the bulbs at a CVS in the loop on my way down to my parents on the sout-side. It was very exciting with the drama that was built up. 6:05pm on a Saturday night. Who would be open in the loop?! I got off the brown line at an earlier stop to pick up the bulbs. But the Osco by the Franklin stop was closed. Then some other office supply store was closed! OH NO! I NEED THESE BULBS!

Then the Office Maxdepot on State was open. YES! wait. NO! They didn’t have compact fluoros. JERKS. Then the CVS down State Street was open. YES! wait. NO! As I’m in the bulb aisle, I see 100 watt compact fluoros, but those are WAY too bright. (The trick here is to install the exact same brightness so they don’t notice the new bulbs! My parents have two 60 watt bulbs in the hallway).

But but! On a nearly empty (uh what do you call it? pole? rack? stick?) stick, was one package of 60 watts. NO! Just one? BUT WAIT! That one package had TWO bulbs! TWO! “Yes!” I pump my fist and maniacally laugh. “muhahahahahahahaha!” (which by the way, I can’t believe I spelled maniacally right on the first try).

I can’t believe I got so excited about buying LIGHT BULBS. But I was!

Now the tricky part. Installing them at home without my parents noticing! This deemed trickier than I thought. Maybe I was being paranoid, but I was thinking they would somehow use their ultimate parental sensing power to notice the moment I start screwing out the old bulbs. “What is that noise I hear? Is that a bulb being unscrewed?”

I ended up waiting to the very last moment on Easter Sunday which just made it more exciting. My loving parents always drive my sister and I home (my sister and I live kinda close to each on other on the nort-side). While my parents were waiting downstairs to leave, I leaned over the railing and quickly installed the bulbs. DONE!

muhahahahaha! Actually. I didn’t laugh out loud as to not reveal the secret.

So then we all hop in the car. And I whisper to my sister, “mission accomplished.” And she’s all like, “what do you mean? You mean the hallway?” in like full blown regular voice talk! And my mom says, “What are you talking about?” as Kris and I start to giggle. I say, “nothing.” Kris quickly covers for me and says, “oh matthew farted. He was trying to cover it up.” Oh the beloved fart. What a great diversion tactic. 7 years ago

Matt Maldrethe reminder note

Oh, this is kinda fun. This idea came to me while walking to work today, and I wanted to quickly jot it down before I forgot. I didn’t have my handy dandy notepad on me, so I just took a dollar bill and wrote the note on the sidewalk.

It’s kinda neat to think that someone else out there might come across this to do item and find it as an inspiration to do the same.

My handwriting is a bit messy, cuz of the bumpy texture of the sidewalk, but that adds to the funky authenticity behind it. It’s like some crazy dude writing on a dollar bill. Oh wait. Maybe there’s some truth to that. hahahahahhahahaha. 7 years ago

Matt Maldrec'mon mom and dad!

For the past couple years I’ve been trying to convince my parents to go with compact fluorescents in their house. At the very least to try it out in one room. They save so much energy! But they always say, “oh maybe some day” or “oh yeah, that’s nice.”

So come next Easter I’m going to secretly install compact fluorescent bulbs in the main staircase. Many times when I’m at my parents they ask me to replace the bulbs in the main staircase, because the light fixture is too high for them to reach, and it’s not really accessible by a ladder). It’s always nice to help them out with stuff like that. Just last Sunday when I was at my parents, they had me install two new bulbs, and it just kinda made me a little sad to install incandescent bulbs. I again asked them if they had any compact fluoros. “oooh noooo, we don’t.”

So come this easter, I’m gonna bring two compact fluoros and install them in the hallway. I’m tempted to convert their entire house over, but they would probably freak out about that. The thing with converting someone over to these new bulbs is to actually demonstrate how nice they are. So I’m just gonna do it and then they actually see that they don’t really make any difference, and they’ll be like, “hey these things are cool!” (or i hope so! They may be all like, “hey! why does it take a second for these things to turn on!? But they leave that light on all the time, so maybe they won’t even realize it for awhile.)

I’d love to see more sons and daughters out there secretly change the bulbs in one room of their parents house to compact fluorescents and help save some energy in this world. 7 years ago


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