My Checkvist custom CSS

15 December, 2010

For Firefox. Puts due dates on the left of the task instead of the right, makes it smaller and feint. Makes tags smaller and feint. Makes the custom CSS box larger.

li.task div.coreDiv span.dueDate {
float: left;
margin: 0 5px 0 0;
border-color: #CCC;
color: #AAA;
padding-top: 0.15em;
font-size: 70%
li.task div.coreDiv span.dueDate.overdue {
border-color: #6D1249;
color: white
li.task div.coreDiv span.tag {
font-size: 70%;
opacity: 0.5
#theme_custom_css {
width: 90%

If Checkvist implement my request to put tags into the task item class attribute then I’ll add more CSS to style tasks according to what they’re tagged with, and then probably hide those tags too. For example a task tagged as ‘important’ can be styled in red. I know you can just set task colours but it’s limited and you can’t run a search for coloured tasks whereas you can filter for tags.

UPDATED: I now have a Greasemonkey script that does what the above feature request would do – although not as well as it will if/when supported natively.

My CSS is now:

li.task div.coreDiv span.dueDate{float:left;margin:0 5px 0 0;border-color:#CCC;color: #AAA;padding-top:0.15em;font-size: 70%}
li.task div.coreDiv span.dueDate.overdue{border-color: #6D1249;color: white}
li.task div.coreDiv span.tag{font-size:70%;opacity:0.5}
.taggedUrgent {color:#b21414}
.taggedImportant {font-weight:bold}
.taggedWaiting {color:#6984d0}
.taggedWaiting span.node_text a,
.taggedWaiting span.node_text a:visited {color:#6984d0}
.taggedDelay {color:#ccc}
.taggedDelay span.node_text a,
.taggedDelay span.node_text a:visited {color:#ccc}
.normalTaggedDelay .taggedDelay,
.normalTaggedDelay .taggedDelay span.node_text a,
.normalTaggedDelay .taggedDelay span.node_text a:visited {color:#000}
li.task div.coreDiv.taggedDelay span.dueDate {border:none;float:none;background:none;color:#ccc}
.taggedDelay span.dueDate:before {content: "Don't start till ";}
.taggedUrgent span.tagClass_5,
.taggedImportant span.tagClass_8,
.taggedWaiting span.tagClass_1,
.taggedDelay span.tagClass_10 {display:none}
.oneTagInList.taggedUrgent span.tagClass_5,
.oneTagInList.taggedImportant span.tagClass_8,
.oneTagInList.taggedWaiting span.tagClass_1,
.oneTagInList.taggedDelay span.tagClass_10 {display:inline}

Most tags now get hidden and things tagged important show up in red, urgent bolded, important and urgent in bold red. Tasks I’ve marked as ‘delay’ now show the due date as “Don’t start till dd/mm” and a few other bits and pieces which make it easier to scan my task lists and identify things that need my attention as well as filter out things that I can pass over for now.

Sample modified Checkvist list.


We’ve been here before

10 December, 2010

I’m reading Designing for People by Henry Dreyfuss from 1955 and I thought this quote beautifully sums up the ignorance of modern record labels when it comes to music ‘piracy’:

It may be recalled that, at the inception of radio, fear was expressed that people would stop going to concerts if they could hear the same symphonies in their homes without cost. Yet concert-hall box-office receipts are proof that radio has educated a huge audience to good music.


Jamison Inn redevelopment

9 December, 2010

I’m confused.

There was a concertina display of knee-high boards in the Jamison Centre for about a week inviting people to participate in a consultation on the proposed redevelopment of the Jamison Inn. The display consisted of a map and an email address to which people could send … comments?

But within a few days of ACTPLA’s display being taken away I see that the old Jamison Inn has been plastered with signs advertising that apartments are now for sale at Space Macquarie.

Seems like the consultation was a mere box-ticking exercise and that the apartments were a done deal. It also seems that Canberra2030 (which I’ve previously blogged about at purecaffeine.com) is just a façade for an underlying attitude to planning which has remained fundamentally unchanged.

Look, I don’t give a shit about apartments going up there but don’t disrespect us by feigning consultation when you have no intention of doing anything with our feedback.


I lost the battle

10 November, 2010

On the 19th of October I tweeted that the wheel of my car had been clamped in the carpark at work and my access to the carpark revoked for three months. I didn’t agree with the action that was taken by carpark management so I contested it. That took a bit of work as the person responsible hadn’t left any information or emailed me with a follow-up, but I did track them down.

I expressed my disappointment that my access had been revoked immediately without giving me a chance to appeal the decision and stated my reasons for not accepting the ruling:

There are no visible signs in the carpark that advise vehicles should be parked in marked bays only, there are no signs that indicate the area I parked is a no stopping or no parking zone and I did not park against a red-painted curb.

The response I got back started with:

There are signs on entering the general carpark warning that if you are not parked in the car bays then you will be wheel clamped. There is also a note in the Car Parking policy stating: Employees must abide by the following parking and traffic regulations:

… and then proceeded to cite the Car Parking Policy, which included “Parking is only permitted in bays”.

I was pretty fired up by their response and shot back with:

Please provide a photo of the sign(s) you indicated: “on entering the general carpark warning that if you are not parked in the car bays then you will be wheel clamped” … as I have been unable to locate this sign.

Thanks for also bringing to my attention the Car Parking Policy on the […] intranet as I am now informed of the policy, however it’s not reasonable to expect employees to trawl the intranet and locate such policies of their own accord.

If you want to take drastic action such as clamping vehicle wheels and revoking access to the carpark then you have a legal responsibility to ensure you inform users of the carpark of such policy. Having it hidden away on some website and bringing it to people’s attention only after a breach is utterly indefensible.

The security desk informed me I have a right to appeal this decision … which I consider I have done in my previous email yet it appears you’ve made no attempt to even consider my appeal and have just responded with a boilerplate email. If there is someone else I need to appeal to to contest this action then please advise.

So what did the person do? Escalate it:

I have spoken to my team leader who supports the removal of your access for 3 months. Please note the sign is on the general carpark boomgate. An email was sent to all staff before wheel clamping commenced […]

Ok, so they didn’t seem to be acknowledging anything I was saying or asking for. Fine:

I previously requested you provide photographic evidence of the sign you mentioned. As it appears you are unwilling to oblige me with this request I’ve gone and done some investigation myself.

Having located a sign similar to what you describe I can see why you were reluctant to provide a photo as the sign (photo attached) does not stipulate parking in bays as you stated. I can only assume that there’s another sign I failed to locate or your memory failed you.

In an effort to wrap this matter up I’m going to give you one final chance to engage constructively with me directly:

a) I’m willing to concede that it was reasonable to expect me to have been informed about the ruling that cars not parked in marked bays would be wheel clamped and access removed for 3 months if you can advise that the all-staff email you mentioned was sent after 7 December [2009] which is when I started my employment.

b) If the all-staff email you mentioned was sent before 7 December [2009] and given your stance on the matter and inability to provide me a fair appeals process then I will have no choice but to escalate to mediated dispute resolution.

Once again they didn’t respond to what I was saying or asking for but just further stated the background of the policy. Wow, am I talking to a robot here?

I’d had enough by then and decided I wasn’t going to get anywhere with this and it was causing me too much stress so I left it for a little while … but I wanted to know if I had received the email they mentioned.

Considering I’d already asked for information about that email and they ignored my request I simply let them know I was preparing an FOI request to retrieve a copy of the email just so I could complete and thus close the file on the matter. Surprisingly they quickly responded and provided me a copy of the email. Sad that I had to go to that extreme just to get information from people in my own organisation – we’re supposed to be on the same side!

Anyway, so I lost the battle and thus do not have access to the staff carpark till mid-January, just weeks before I finish up and move to New Zealand.

Annoyingly, I had to travel to Sydney yesterday for work and had to get a colleague to park my car in the staff carpark as I didn’t want to leave it overnight out on the street.

Ah well, I tried.


Every day the same dream

14 October, 2010

It’s the name of a game you can play at 1cup1coffee. Well, not so much a game as a puzzle. Well, not even a puzzle.

I’m really quite confused. I hope you don’t mind me spoiling it for you but basically you’re a guy who gets out of bed, gets dressed and goes to work. You do this five days in a row and you’re supposed to find different things to do. So the first one is obvious, you go to work and sit at your cubicle and then the game resets and you’re back in your bedroom. Then there’s a homeless person, a cow and a leaf you can find that also all reset the game.

The final “step” as the elevator lady refers to it is if you go to work but instead of sitting at your cubicle you walk straight past it, go out the exit and then commit suicide by jumping off the building. It’s awfully depressing especially with the game’s soundtrack. After you’ve done all these you reset for a final time but everyone’s gone. Your wife, the elevator lady, other drivers on the road, the homeless person, your boss and co-workers … all gone. It’s so lonely.

You go to work, walk past all the empty desks and out the exit just in time to see the someone jump off the building … presumably the last person alive. Then the game ends.

I have no idea what this game or puzzle is saying but it’s intrigued me. At the very least it’s something like the 30 Days Has September project which encourages you to make a commitment to doing something different every day for a month … but it’s more than that. Appreciating the small things you normally take for granted or walk past without a second thought. Showing compassion to the disadvantaged, taking pleasure in something like patting a cow. I don’t know. The whole suicide thing? That’s got me stumped.

I think I need a stiff drink now.

UPDATE: Found this on the game designer’s page: A short, existential game about alienation and refusal of labour.


How people help form your life

13 October, 2010

I’m not the sort of person to carry on friendships when contexts change. For example I’ll befriend colleagues in a workplace whilst we have something in common but once we go our separate ways those friendships will probably end. Just like when I left Facebook I lost contact with people I primarily knew through Facebook. It’s partially laziness on my part but it’s also acknowledging that friendships don’t have to last forever; people weaving in and out of each other’s lives like chain-link fencing.

However it is amazing when you reflect on your life, your knowledge and things you own and recall how people you know or once knew contributed to making you the person you are. Even something as simple as my pocketknife I still own and use that a friend at college helped me buy because I was underage. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain that Linda and Ash recommended to me last October that’s sitting on the desk in front of me. The tripod next to me that my parents bought as a birthday present several years ago. The computer under my desk that friends on Twitter helped me spec and assemble. The dolphin wood carving on the bookshelf in the corner of this room signed by Mandawuy from Yothu Yindi when we toured the Solomon Islands in 2005. My Crumpler bag which once again my Twitter friends recommended to me and who even helped me choose the colour of my Asus Eee PC laptop while I was standing in Harvey Norman two years ago.

So many people who’ve influenced who I have become in less tangible ways, offered advice and changed my mind on things. I don’t talk to most of those people any more but I remember those times fondly and am thankful for how they’ve helped me.

It’s incredible to just sit and contemplate your thoughts and possessions and trace back the origin of those things to friends, family and even strangers and marvel at how you’re just a node in a network, a product of a million factors, thousands of contacts with people directly and indirectly, physical and non-physical things.


My not-values

12 October, 2010

I recently went through an exercise of identifying and listing all my personal values, mainly by way of figuring out what I liked about people I admired and aspired to be like.

This list is not those values. This list is the opposite of my values, characteristics I don’t want to exhibit and that I don’t believe are part of me … although I admit from time to time in dark moments some of these things come to the fore:

Insincerity, weakness, rigidity, self-doubting, pessimism, maliciousness, daydreamer, careless, mindless, incompetent, ignorant, foolish, irresponsibility, sneaky, boastful, aloof, unreliable, lazy, naive, negligent, indifferent, rude, undermining, obstructionist, narrow-minded, secretive, undignified and self-defeating.

Not sure about the last one – it’s meant to be the synonym of ‘self-caring’. Best I could think of.