Running with Habari

Nothing like a new blog engine to get the blood pumping. Not that I’m jumping ship, just looking to broaden horizons, and see what new and exciting might be around the corner. I’m a big fan of a couple of people involved, not such a fan of a few others. But that’s part of community. But really I’m just testing out the trackback feature on the most recent build. So really, just ignore this post…

New Year and Getting Things Done

This is the first of probably several posts for, primarily my own benefit, documenting my implementation of the GTD system

Well, a bit late in getting a “New Years” post up, but I’m fighting a heavy does of procrastination and a head cold, so I thought “no time better than the present”. Several months ago, I discovered Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders, probably via a link from a Mac site. There I found my first introduction to the concept of “Getting Things Done”, which is a book and much more from David Allen. Like most people, I find myself constantly feeling unorganized, confused, and wrought with anxiety as I’m not “getting shit done.” So I began reading some posts, exploring the multitude of applications discussed, and “lurking”.

The first application that I explored, which isn’t directly a GTD app, but one meant to provide more productivity in using your Mac was Quicksilver. This free application really is something that should be built into the OS, but that’s for another discussion. Suffice to say, once you get a hang of the app, you may never really touch your mouse or use the dock again. (Well, not really, but it is safe to say you will use the mouse much less, and the dock, well, that can be eliminated.)

From there, I began reading more and more about the GTD concept, and decided it was time to get the book. My frugal nature led me to my local library, however, the waiting list for the book was 57 people (I’ve yet to be notified by the library that a copy was available for me). So procrastination took over, I blew off several trips to the book store, and I continued my struggle with knowing what I needed to be doing.

Finally, on New Years Eve, my muse purchased the book for me, and I immediately began reading. It was as if the book had been written for me (I’m sure most people feel that way upon first reading). I’m not going to try and explain the concept, I don’t think I could do it justice, but a brief overview is that it’s intended to get ALL the things that people generally keep in their head, be it work, home, or personal, and put them into a system that allows to track them. It also introduces the idea of breaking “projects”, that is, anything that has more than one step, into “next actions”. So instead of having a to do list with “landscape yard” item, you have a project, and then steps to accomplishing the task. The goal is to remove those from your head, those nagging, “I know I should be doing…” type things, and allow you to concentrate on the “doing”. This should alleviate the stress and anxiety from the daily routine. Sounds perfect.

The next step is to find a system that works for you. David Allen doesn’t necessarily have a specific system, just a concept. Many, many systems exist, some paper based, some electronic, some a mix. As I work completely on the computer now (crossing fingers that sticks), a computer based system seems most logical. So off I went looking for a system.

My first stop was a FireFox extension GTDGmail, which hacks into your gmail account, and provides for project creation, contexts (that is, “where” or “how” you do the task, @phone, @errands, etc). It was a good primer on the concept, and has helped in managing my many emails from clients. However, soon it became clear that wasn’t sufficient enough for me for the entirety of the GTD system.

I’ve looked at ideas for using BackPack, which I like, but ultimately, didn’t seem like the best solution for me. I’ve also looked at several of the wiki hacks, as well as the Kinkless system. Which, seems well done, but as it requires Omni Outliner Pro, I wasn’t ready to invest in more software. Apparently Omni Group is working on OmniFocus, a full fledged app implementing what Kinkless does with Omni Outliner, and worth keeping an eye on.

Which leads me to my final decision. Currently, I’m using Actiontastic, which is still in beta, and will be an app that will have to be purchased at some point. It integrates with quicksilver, so I can easily add items to my inbox without actually moving to the app (for instance, while typing this, if I remember I need to buy TP, I can easily send that to the app with a few keystrokes). I’ve also looked at Tracks, a Ruby on Rails application that can either be installed locally on my Mac, or hosted on my server. Hosting it on my server would give me the ability to access it from any computer, and though I haven’t explored it completely, I’m guessing now that I have internet access on my phone, I could add items from the phone’s browser (or at least via email/SMS). If you are interested in testing Tracks, you can visit a free hosted version at Tracks Train.

No matter which I choose, the bottom line is I need to now actually implement the system, so I can actually start “doing”, which is a caveat of sorts. It really is a matter of dedicating time to do it. It’s really not something that can be done in spurts, or half way. I think that is the real reason for blogging it, a challenge to myself to really get it in gear. I intend on blogging more about the process, as both a way to share, and a means of archiving the process for my own benefit, especially if a new, or better “system” comes along. I’ve all but decided to go with Actiontastic, so the next step will be to nail down the contexts for my system.

Hunter S. Thompson Photographs

hunter_thompson_nixon_mask.jpghunter_thompson_nixon_mask.jpgUsually, I just wait for my buddy over at Tiny Little Dots to post stuff like this, but since he’s still rehabbing a broken collar bone, remodeling a kitchen, and working on redoing his blog, I figured I’d take the lead and do a little art gallery show and tell. This pic in particular gave me a great big chuckle, especially after the day I had dealing with a down server. Gallery Home Page

CSS Mastery From Santa Giveaway

Dear Santa,

Remember way back when I was first starting out cooking, and I asked you for a copy of Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking. I was just a hack kid in the kitchen, desperate to learn more about the science behind the art that had all but consumed me. You quickly obliged, and I took that knowledge on a journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Now, that I’ve grown, my interests and profession are taking another turn, and again I turn to you to bring me a book that will do for me what Harold’s did for me back then. Andy Budd wrote CSS Mastery, yet another brilliant insight into the “science” behind the “art” that has taken me onto my most current journey. I’ve muddled my way through so far, but I trust that with the guidance this book offers, I can excel in this medium in a similar manner that I did with my last discipline.


P.S. If you happen to find room in your bag to add a new Mac Book Pro and a 20” cinema display, I promise to be a really, really, good boy.

Quick WordPress tip: Press it bookmarklet

I’ve used the “Press It” bookmarklet about as long as I’ve used WordPress. When the feature was originally used in 1.5.x, a new window would open up, and you could reference the original site for what you wanted to use for content. In 2.0.x, it takes you from the site to your write post panel, which means I either have to go back and re-open the site, or remember what it was I wanted to use from the site. That is until today. I accidently had some text highlighted on a page when I used the bookmarklet, and when taken to the write post page, the highlighted text was pasted into post panel. Cool! Now I can highlight a blurb for a blockquote, then “Press It”, and simply add the blockquote html tags and finish the post.

FireFox 2 A Web Developers Friend

firefox-logo-64x64.pngI’ve blogged about my browser issues before, but I just have to share how cool I think FireFox 2 is. Now with built in spell checker (just right click a word, and suggestions are at the top of the menu, perfect for blogging and email), it’s quick, totally extensible , and just makes working on line so much more productive. A few extensions are a must for me, so I had to wait a few weeks for them to be released before I could start testing it, but the wait was well worth it.
First was the GrApple theme. I loathe the candy-ish default theme, and was quite pleased when theme makers started adding Mac Os-esque brushed metal themes. I haven’t taken to the newer Apple look, ie, iTunes 7, so the more subtle brushed metal look of GrApple suites me fine, especially the small buttons in the nav bar.
Then are the extensions.
Some plugins were FF 2.0 ready, such as the indispensable Web Developer. I’m a big fan of using tabs, and one extension was borking my tabs. Uninstalling the Tabbed Browser Preferences solved the issues. A better tab manager, Tab Mix Plus, fixes issues with windows opening up instead of tabs (note, I downloaded a RC from the developer site, the new release should up on mozilla in the next day or so).
Another great developer tool is MeasureIt, which allows you drag across the screen a box that measures in pixels. When working out kinks in spacing, this is invaluable. Also helpful is ViewSourceWith, which lets you choose an application (like a text editor) to open a page source with. Makes finding which line number an error is a snap. Finally, Colorzilla allows you to grab hex colors from a site, nice to have if you are trying to recreate an existing site, or simply like a color scheme of a site.
A few other extensions that I recently discovered are CSSViewer, which once turned on, allows you scroll around a page, and it shows the CSS for that element, and OPML Support, which allows you to import/export your FF bookmarks in an OPML format, which for WordPress users, is nice, as you can import those files into your Blogroll/Links Manager, not to mention RSS reader.
In addition to those, Google’s Browser sync and toolbar, CoComment’s extension and AdBlock Plus, make general browsing a snap.
There are literally thousands of extensions out there, with new ones being added all the time. If you’ve discovered any other can’t-live-without extensions, I’d love to hear about them.

Humbling Attention

As I’ve had this site for a while, I’ve become less and less of a stats whore, but at least a few times a month I check my referrer logs. The past month or so, I’ve been linked to by two separate design showcase sites. The first, Liquid Designs, showcases sites that use liquid width design. A lot of this site is based on that concept, and it’s something I’m learning more about. The second, and more recent is from Design Melt Down, part of their “Beautiful Blogs” section.
I did put a lot of time into this past springs CSSReboot for the site, and have tried to maintain the site despite the lapses in content. However I would have never expected ANY type of recognition for the work. So to the operators of the site, and those that have clicked over, thanks.

But I Want to Vote for the Other Guy! | 10/28/2006 | Glitches cited in early voting
So it seems that some early voters in S Florida are having issues with their electronic voting machines. They tap one candidate, but the other shows on the screen you get to review your choices. The kicker is that what is being reported in the media is that all incidences are voters who are choosing Davis, yet Crist is showing on the review page. No media reports that I’ve seen mention the reverse, nor has anyone reported the issue with other offices up for election. As the Miami Herald article says, this will really get the tin foil cap wearing crowd frothing at the mouth, perhaps this time with cause.

Florida Progressive Information Network I was recently contacted about mentioning this site, and after taking a look around, it appears it could indeed be a good way of putting people in touch with organizations that deal with issues they are concerned with. Basically you choose issues that you are concerned with, a region of Florida, and then the database outputs organizations that match. You can then sign up for announcements from those organizations, so as to better mobilize concerned citizens. I didn’t look at the registration process, but the privacy policy states that all information such as address and name are voluntarily offered, and that they do not share email addresses with the organizations that are linked to from the site. You can sign up with the individual organizations if you care to do so, but that is all done off site from FL-PIN.
The only problem I had was the broadness that organizations can set for their issues. If I do a search under Protecting the Enviroment, marine/estuary, the results currently are FCAN and Pinellas Progressives. Hardly organizations specifically dealing with such a topic. I would limit organizations to a primary issue, with the ability to choose a few secondary issues. Especially as the site grows, and number of organizations increase. Otherwise, the search concept is useless, as all organizations can simply choose all the areas so as to increase exposure.
All in all, the concept though is a good one, and positive tool for citizens and organizations with common goals to find one another.


As I age, and my path this time around grows longer, it bewilders me the dynamics that occur between us humans. Even as “life” continues to get in the way, and forks appear at every turn, people still continue to cross my path. Such was my evening. A last minute call, a ticket to a hockey game, and two men I’m proud to call acquaintances, nonetheless friends, produced a profound feeling.
A few more forks in the evening (not to mention a couple of High Lifes and Jagers), and I was faced with another question of what being a friend was.
However, I can say without a doubt that the two men that I was privileged to accompany to the hockey game have routinely given me reason to check myself, without any overt actions. To me, that, camaraderie aside, is the true nature of friendship.
Thanks guys.

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And the Beat Goes On…

It’s amazing how going back to work, working 60+hrs a week, and trying to assimilate a day time schedule can wreck any routine one had prior. I finally got two days off, in a row, to rest and reflect a little on where I’m heading. I’m really looking to establish a little more of a domestic life, call it a goal. I’ve all but abandoned my WP endeavors the past month, and feel guilty for it. I simply did not have the mental wherewithal. My inbox has routinely had 100+ messages, and my RSS feed is about 4000 unread links. Over the next week, I will catch up on my emails, start working off the RSS, and begin working on my blogs. My WP blog, WP Station hasn’t been posted to in a month, so I’ll try to catch up on the bigger releases I’ve missed, and try and do a re-boot for the fall. From there, I’ll probably release the theme used there.
I’m hoping some of those moves will also help me with my personal life, as that has really been a shambles. From the monumental mistake I made in February, on through the summer, my life has been turned upside down, no really fault but my own. There is probably no other bad decision I’ve made in my life that I’ve regretted more, and wished I had a mulligan, time machine, do-over, anything to alter the course.
Unfortunately, we don’t really get those, and I have to deal with the results of my actions, and I guess it’s time I deal a little more.
But if you are reading this, and you know who you are, I can only say I’m sorry, I regret that horrible day, and I miss you.

Sums Up My Feelings Quite Well

bush_stepsbush_stepsHmm, title says it all. Might as well be a copy of the Constitution on there too. I’ve avoided blogging anything about 9.11, as so much is out there, from the issues with the ABC docudrama, the politicization of the anniversary (for instance, Bush laying the wreath at the site of the WTC, with only Republican representatives with him), etc, etc, etc. I simply wish that at some point, those that differ on domestic issues, can rationally approach our global issues on a united front, and sanely resolve the conflicts that effect our security, both home and abroad. I’d also like to see the powers that be see that the continued death and injury that befalls our military overseas is not a price worth continuing to pay, and find diplomatic solutions to resolve the civil war in Iraq.

Category Archives Plugin

(disclaimer)I’m not a coder, and this is my first attempt, I apologize if this isn’t properly documented or presented.

My very first WordPress Plugin! I’ve dabbled with a lot of areas of WP, but until this post in the support forums, I never really had an idea or need to write one. But after doing some reading, I found that there wasn’t a simple way to accomplish this task. All of WP’s archive features are based on date.

So with the help of alphaoide via #wordpress on IRC, I put together this simple plugin to accomplish the task. It worked fine on my test site, but may need some TLC before being good to go. Basically it outputs categories by name in an h2 tag, then lists post titles with a permalink to the post.

I tested this by creating a Page Template, then inserting the plugin code within the content div of the theme.
The code to insert is
< ?php mb_cat_archive(); ?>
(remove the space between the < and ?, I’m not sure why that is getting reformatted in the post)
I suppose this could be used in a sidebar, however it may create a very long list…
So to summarize, download the file, unzip, and upload to your wp-content/plugins directory.
Activate the plugin in the dashboard. Create the page template, inserting the above code, save, and upload to your themes directory.
Go to Write->Page, and choose the template you uploaded.
The new page should now list your categories with their appropriate posts.
I haven’t looked into how it handles posts with multiple categories, that will be on my todo list, I’m sure, if the plugin proves useful or popular. I’d also like to add some AJAX to hide the posts until you click on the category (that would make it much more sidebar friendly), and the ability to change the h2 tag to whatever one likes.

You can download the file via:

» Silver Mac

» Silver Mac a great Mac tips site, with several recent tips I didn’t know about. I really like the recent tip on using a dashboard widget on the desktop. As much as I like the idea of widgets, I rarely use them as it requires a few keystrokes. Perhaps if I learn how to use Quicksilver with them…


Saw this idea over at Jason Kottke’s site, and thought it was a fun idea. Sorta a meme, but not really. At least there’s no tagging, yet.
So here goes:


  • You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
    Albert Camus (1913 – 1960)
  • The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.
    Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)
  • We only do well the things we like doing.
    Colette (1873 – 1954)
  • It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
    W. Somerset Maugham (1874 – 1965)
  • Only he is free who cultivates his own thoughts, and strives without fear to do justice to them.
    Berthold Auerbach (1812 – 1882)

Image Links and Hover Background Colors

I did a google search for the solution to a problem I had with some CSS and image links, and didn’t find a good solution, so I’m throwing this out there for anyone who might stumble upon it.
The problem I was having was that I was creating a site with a black ground. There was a global setting for all a:hover links to have a background color and different font color, a common effect. However, any image links that I had were also getting a small box of the same color at the bottom when I moused over it, not at all good looking. I tried setting the selector a:hover img to a black backgroud, but the color still showed up. After closer inspection of my style sheet, I had set a global marign and padding on all images. When I set those to zero, the color didn’t show up. However, I didn’t want to sacrifice all images to not have to margin or padding, or force the end user to add a special class to images, so I tried setting the a:hover img margins and padding to zero. The problem there was that the image would “jerk” when moused over, as the margin and padding shifted. So I simply set a img to zero margins and padding, and my problem was solved. The only down fall is if someone wants to post an image in a blog post that’s a link, the text will butt right up against it. However, if that problem arises, I can then set a class for that image, and should be able to give the image room.
Anyway, like I said, I didn’t find a solution in the first few pages of google, not that this will make those pages neccessarily, but it’s worth throwing out there.