Thursday, April 12, 2018

so long, albuquerque journal

I am a former subscriber to the print edition of the Albuquerque Journal. Several years ago, for various reasons, I decided to stop having the paper delivered to me. I still go out and pick up a newspaper sometimes -- maybe two or three times per month -- but most of the time I simply visit instead.

But today, I see this:

Nope. Screw that.

Okay, here's what happens whenever one of these news sites starts pulling crap like this: I stop visiting their websites. The End.

I refuse to subscribe to the digital edition, and I will not disable my ad blocker.

I have stopped visiting and other sites for pretty much the same reason. I'm able to view some of the articles from the El Paso Times online, but it seems that most of the articles can be viewed only by digital subscribers.

Perhaps it's a good business decision for these businesses to try to strong-arm people into paying to read digital content, or to attempt to get folks to disable ad blockers. I don't know, and I don't care. What I do know is that the approach doesn't work with me.

So, goodbye, Albuquerque Journal, at least for now. You aren't all that. Seriously.

I'll check back later to see if they stop doing this stuff, but frankly, there are too many other sources for news and information out there. People have choices. I'll continue to buy the print edition a few times per month, but other than that, they won't get any money from me. I'll get my news from someplace else.

Monday, April 9, 2018

road trip

Last weekend, I took a drive up around North-Central New Mexico. Very relaxing little road trip. From Albuquerque, I drove up I-25 to Las Vegas, then up NM 518, through the mountains -- a very beautiful section of the Carson National Forest. Then up to Taos, where I stayed at the quaint El Pueblo Lodge (website:

The next morning, I took US 64 over to Eagle Nest Lake, then to Cimarron Canyon State Park. That's a gem of a park. Then back to NM 38, around the Enchanted Circle Drive up through Red River to Questa. Then back around on NM 38, down to US 64, and back to Taos. Another (mostly) quiet night at the El Pueblo, then back down NM 518 to Las Vegas, with several lingering stops along the way. Finally, I took I-25 back home.

I'm hoping to get back up that way later this year; driving up to this area is my favorite thing to do when I want to get away for some R&R, and it's one of the things I love most about living here in New Mexico.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

bulk renaming with dc

The Double Commander file manager has a tool for quickly bulk renaming a list of files. I tested it out in Kubuntu 17.10, using Double Commander version 0.8.0 beta. The files I wanted to rename were located in my directory named ~/testdirectory, shown here in Double Commander's left panel:

First, I selected the files by clicking Mark > Select All from the toolbar:

That done, I clicked Files > Multi Rename Tool; alternatively, the Ctrl+M keystroke works:

The Multi Rename Tool window looked like this at first:

Here's how I set things up:

Then I clicked the "Rename" button. Result:

Double Commander's Multi Rename Tool is a powerful tool with many options. Users might want to play around with it a bit to get things figured out; for more info, see the "Multi Rename Tool" section in Double Commander's Help document, under 3.1.1 "Files".

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Fascinating National Geographic article: "First There Were Microbes. Then Life on Earth Got Big."

from the continent

Some photos I took while visiting the "Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design" exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum.

Info, from the Albuquerque Journal website: African edge: Exhibit showcases 200 works of contemporary design from across continent

Sunday, February 18, 2018

automounting with udiskie

This is how udiskie is described here:
udiskie is a UDisks front-end that allows to manage removeable media such as CDs or flash drives from userspace. Its features include:

    - automount removable media when inserted
    - notifications (on insertion, mount, unmount, …)
    - GTK tray icon to manage all available devices
    - command line tools for manual un-/mounting
    - support for LUKS encrypted devices
    - support for unlocking with keyfiles (requires udisks 2.6.4)
    - support for loop devices (mounting iso archives, requires UDisks2)
    - password caching
    - works with either udisks1 or udisks2
    - an extensible code base (python)
    - a maintainer who is open for suggestions;)

All features can be individually enabled or disabled...

I installed udiskie in Arch, to use in Openbox. udiskie puts an icon in tint2's system tray, automounts flash drives when inserted, and provides notifications when flash drives are inserted, mounted, etc.

I'm using the following line in the ~/.config/openbox/autostart file:

udiskie -s &

(According to the man page, that could also be put in ~/.xinitrc.)

That gives me a "smart" icon in the tint2 system tray whenever a flash drive is plugged in:

       -s, --smart-tray
           Show tray icon that automatically hides when there is no action available.

(See man udiskie.)

Shots of the tray icon's left-click and right-click menus:

Also, the following can be used from the command line for mounting and unmounting /dev/sdbx:

$ udiskie-mount /dev/sdbx
$ udiskie-umount /dev/sdbx

Monday, February 12, 2018

tweaking neofetch

Here's a follow-up to an earlier post ("trying neofetch"):

Kubuntu 17.10 has neofetch 3.3.0-1, while the version in Debian Stretch is 2.0.2-1. The older version is nice, but the newer version has some features that make it worth installing, if possible.

Here's a shot of my default neofetch in Kubuntu 17.10:

I found the neofetch configuration file at ~/.config/neofetch/config.conf in Kubuntu 17.10, and at ~/.config/neofetch/config in Debian Stretch. If the user forgets to make a copy of that file, the default file can be found at /etc/neofetch/config.conf in Kubuntu 17.10 or at /usr/share/neofetch/config in Stretch. Also, the default config file for the current neofetch version is at

neofetch's default configuration will be good enough for many users; for others, it's important to study the configuration file and the neofetch manpage, and to refer to the documentation at (and especially:

My current neofetch in Debian Stretch:

And, here's what I have now in Kubuntu 17.10:

I take advantage of the prin function (discussed at For example, here are the lines I used in neofetch's config file in Kubuntu:

prin "$(color 7)Compaq Presario CQ56-219WM Notebook"
prin "$(color 4)Kubuntu 17.10 (Artful)"
prin "$(color 4)KDE Plasma 5.10.5"

In Kubuntu, I also used the "disk" info function -- the one in the newer neofetch version is better than the one in the older version -- and I used the "install_date" info function (which does not appear in the older neofetch version's config file) by uncommenting the following lines:

info "Disk" disk
info "Install Date" install_date

For additional tweaking of those two info functions, I used the following lines further down in the configuration file: