The End…?

S. Dillinger writes:

Hey, I was wondering if you could share some of your stats info with us. Like just how many readers stay current, or do you find more people finish the blog and move on once they get up to speed.

I saw someone mention that you’d been name dropped on a radio station, I was curious as to how many others have shared your blog that are in a position to have a lot of listeners/followers check out your project.

Also, do you see an end to this thing in the near future now that you’ve acomplished some of your goals. I mean do you plan to stop blogging and just continue a normal life filled with conversations with strangers?

Side note: I tell tons of people about this thing, you’ve done a great thing here and have helped many, even if it’s something as simple as a conversation about the weather, it’s a good thing.

Thanks for the kind words and spreading the love.

It’s hard to say if people are sticking around or if they leave and are replaced by new people, but the numbers have been pretty steady over the last several months. The only “public” mentions of the blog that I know of were a couple of times where a celebrity tweeted about it. Someone invited me to do a radio interview a while back but I didn’t accept and I don’t know if they mentioned me anyway.

To answer the big question, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and the answer is yes, I am going to end the blog in June. It’s been very time consuming with work and my new boss, and I know a lot of people are going to be upset when it ends, but ultimately, I think it’s served its purpose, especially for me. And besides, I think that ending it on my wedding day will be a nice poetic close to this saga.

First Tuba

Gotta make this quick because I’m catching a flight to Boston for work.

This weekend, Michelle and I took her niece to see Holst’s “The Planets” at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. They do this whole thing where a goofy guy acts out the music and narrates the performance. The place was filled with kids and they loved it.

Anyway, I’m always fascinated by unusual careers. Jobs I never would have thought of doing in a million years. Not because they’re bad, but because they’re just so unusual. Naturally, I was watching these men and women in the orchestra playing their instruments and it occurred to me that some of the less “sexy” instruments must make for interesting cocktail conversation. Like, “I play the xylophone. Professionally.”

So Michelle said, “After the concert, you should go talk to one of the musicians.”

So I did.

I asked the women at the door if I could talk to someone from the orchestra and long story short, I talked to First Tuba for about five minutes. I had a hard time having the conversation because the whole time I just kept thinking, “Wow, you must really love the tuba.” I managed not to insult him, and he even let Michelle’s niece attempt to play the tuba, which is actually pretty hard to do.

I wish there were some kind of funny twist ending to the story, but sometimes you talk to someone and it pretty much just goes down like you expect.

Army Guys

I get asked a lot about how the whole experiment has changed me and here’s an example.

I was eating lunch and two guys came in wearing Army uniforms. They got their lunch and sat down. The thought popped into my head, “I should say something to them, just an ‘I appreciate you’ or something.” But as soon as the idea of saying something to someone pops into my head, this new alert fires in my brain that says, “You can’t not say it now.” So it’s not so much an encouragement as a refusal to wuss out.

It actually makes me smile whenever that alert goes off. I’m like, “Shit, I really don’t want to say something, but oh, all right. Fine, I’ll do it.” Then I go over and start talking.

In this case, I literally just said, “Sorry to interrupt, guys, I just wanted to say thanks for doing what you do.” They were very appreciative that I said something. So this just reinforces the alert in my brain because it always winds up being the right thing to do.

So if you want to start doing this experiment with me, focus on the “don’t wuss out” factor more than the impulse to talk to people. Because the impulse happens naturally, you just need a mechanism to avoid not following through.