How to show hidden files in Ubuntu


Apparently WordPress will not let me post a thing that short, so here’s the why: the internet is full of fluff, and that’s fine, but oftentimes you just want to find something quick. I was looking for this answer and was instantly annoyed by the first thing I clicked, which took two pages worth of content and graphics to explain what hidden files are, why you may want to see them, etc etc etc. So here it is. ctrl-h.

Beyond Fried Rice

We had Indian take out the other night and therefore leftover rice. Fried rice is one of my favorite things. The perfect leftover dish. I wanted to try it with some Beyond protein.

Measurements are approximate, use your imagination.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Beyond burger, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 handful of frozen peas
  • 1 handful of shredded carrots
  • 1.5 cup of leftover cooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • White pepper

Put a big skillet or wok on high heat. Add oil, wait until it’s nice and hot. Add chopped burger and onion, fry up for a couple minutes, stirring now and then.

Add peas and shredded carrot and rice. Keep stirring and cook, still on high heat, for a few more minutes.

Whisk the egg in a bowl and add it, stirring constantly. Cook for a minute more. Lower the heat now.

Finally, add soy sauce, chili powder, onion powder, pepper to taste. Give it a final stir.

Serve hot, right away, but keeps in the fridge well. Don’t microwave to reheat.


I am taking a Creative Nonfiction writing class. This is my work for one of the assignments.

Bellevue. Something pretty to look at. Perhaps Mount Hood in the distance—you can only see it on a clear day—or the lakes both to the west and the east. I stroll along the busy downtown streets on my way to a meeting in a 27th floor conference room. There I will see the Bellevue, but not here at the surface level, where there’s only traffic noise and imposing, bullying tall glass buildings shoving out the last strip malls and single-story office plazas that have no business here anymore.

Amazon is building its tallest office tower here on this corner, the intersection of Northeast 6th Street and 110th Avenue Northeast, in Bellevue. 74 floors, that will be a view even bell-er, but only for the Amazon people cooking up plans to make more Amazon money in glass Amazon meeting rooms, so they can appropriate even more views and things that used to belong to all of us.

I wonder, as I stand here in the cold and humid February Washington breeze, what happened to Yuen Lui and their eponymous Studio which, says a fading sign just visible beyond the chain link fence that now surrounds the blue-rooftiled structure. 

Back in my hotel room, on the other side of the freeway and with a clear view of it—the 35 story glass Marriott downtown charging nightly rates that sit squarely on the wrong side of my company’s not ungenerous expense limits—I sleuth my way into Yuen Lui’s life.

…a Chinese immigrant who built his first studio  in the Chinatown/International District of Seattle in 1947…business grew…still family owned and operated…continues a tradition of excellence, providing uncompromising quality at an affordable price…

Also, a current address, 752 108th Ave. NE. Only a couple of blocks to the west, the former Bellevue First Congregation building. Them, in turn, displaced. By choice or force, finding that out would require real investigation, property records, transactions, perhaps a visit to city hall, but more 27th floor Bellevue meetings await, and then a flight home—coincidentally, with a great view of Mount Hood, weather permitting.

Introducing Some More MapRoulette Quick Fix Challenges: Lanes & Drive Thrus

Unlike traditional MapRoulette Challenges, the new Quick Fix Challenges require no experience with OSM editing tools like JOSM or iD. MapRoulette asks you, the mapper, a question that just requires a simple yes / no answer. Here’s an example:

Does this ramp have one lane? Yes or no.

It does, as you can clearly see from aerial imagery, but OpenStreetMap does not know yet. Now, with a MapRoulette Quick Fix Challenge, we can work together and quickly check all 2,064 motorway_link ways in Tennessee that don’t have lane count information, and add lanes=1 with one click.

This is one of a few new Quick Fix Challenges that we released on MapRoulette today. Why not try it out now?

You can also participate in adding drive-thru tagging to In-n-Out burger and Carl’s Jr restaurants.

By the time you read this, the Challenges may already have been completed…They’re addictive and Tasks are quick to fix!

Because this is a new Challenge type, I would really like to hear what you think about it, and hear your ideas for how the current implementation could be improved. Drop me a line at or open an issue on Github. I look forward to hearing from you!

Announcing MapRoulette Challenges for fixing up TIGER in Utah

I wrote a how-to recently on “Cleaning up” after the OpenStreetMap TIGER import. As a reminder, here’s what TIGER data used to look like when it was imported into OSM in 2008:

Fortunately, the OpenStreetMap community has fixed most of the alignment and road classification issues connected to the TIGER import in the past 12 years. (With some help from tools like Battlegrid, which I wrote when at Telenav.) Yet, problems remain. In that previous blog post, I outlined an easy to follow set of steps to identify and start fixing problems in your area of interest.

Writing a blog post does not fix map problems. And most people reading this will be casual OSM contributors at best, and are not interested in following a bunch of steps that involve JOSM and plugins, to start fixing map problems.

That is why we have MapRoulette! MapRoulette gives you ready-to-fix map issues with clear instructions telling you what to do to fix them. Individual tasks don’t take more than a minute or two to fix. Ideal for casual mappers, but not to the exclusion of power mappers, many of whom have told me that they love to use MapRoulette as a tool to organize their own mapping work as well as that of their mapping group / community.

I took the Overpass query from the previous post and used it to create MapRoulette challenges for each county in Utah. You can follow the link to the MapRoulette project to start helping to fix these roads, or read on below the screenshot for a quick recap of how I created the Challenges. Happy mapping!

Challenge Creation

First, I identified the OSM IDs for all county boundary relations in Utah using this Overpass query:


That gave me the following results:

@id	name
416536	San Juan County
445605	Wayne County
445606	Grand County
1411396	Daggett County
1411399	Uintah County
1416619	Rich County
1416621	Summit County
1742078	Box Elder County
1742080	Cache County
1744354	Beaver County
1744355	Carbon County
1744356	Davis County
1744357	Duchesne County
1744358	Emery County
1744359	Garfield County
1744360	Iron County
1744361	Juab County
1744362	Kane County
1744363	Millard County
1744364	Morgan County
1744365	Piute County
1744366	Salt Lake County
1744367	Sanpete County
1744368	Sevier County
1744369	Tooele County
1744370	Utah County
1744371	Wasatch County
1744372	Washington County
1744373	Weber County

I created the first Challenge by replacing the area identifier in the original Overpass query with the Overpass-adjusted area id for the first county:

  (if(timestamp() < "2010-01-01T00:00:00Z"))
out meta;

Note that I also replaced

out meta;

with simply

out geom;

This is to prevent MapRoulette from interpreting the nodes that make up the ways as tasks, instead of the ways themselves. The original query returns the ways, without geometry, in the first out statement, then the > triggers a recursive query for all the nodes that are members of those ways, and returns their geometries in the out meta statement. Those nodes are then interpreted as separate tasks, which is not what we wanted. out geom on the other hand, will make overpass output full line geometry, thus creating one task for each way.

Postscript. Technically this is not ‘TIGER Fix-up’—the query is just targeting ‘any residential way in OSM that has no name and has not been edited since 2009’. But it is a simple query that is a decent proxy for TIGER fix-up. There is an entire OSM wiki page devoted to more specific queries you may use.

Create Your Own MapRoulette Challenge: Updating Deprecated Tagging

I am really proud of how far MapRoulette has come. It is now really easy to create Challenges mappers can work on together to improve OpenStreetMap. Many OSM groups already use MapRoulette to coordinate mapping activities—both volunteer communities as well as corporate mapping teams. Read for example this recent blog post by Monica Brandeis of Critigen, where she explains how Critigen used MapRoulette to host Virtual Mapathons at their various corporate office locations. (The Challenges they created are all completed, but there’s many more to choose from!)

I am also starting to use MapRoulette to organize work for our local OSM group here in Salt Lake City. My hope is that this will draw in more new mappers, by showing them small but meaningful ways to start contributing to the quality of the map locally. I also hope that having a set of local Challenges will strengthen the sense of community by having shared mapping goals and a dashboard to see how well we’re doing achieving them.

As a start, I created a Challenge to update deprecated tagging. The name_1 tag is still in use on a large number of ways. The value is supposed to be an alternate name for a road, but it has been deemed deprecated in favor of alt_name and other more specific name tag variants.

The easiest way to build a Challenge with these is by using Overpass as a source. To identify all ways that have a name_1 tag, you can use this Overpass query:

area[name="Salt Lake City"]->.a;
out meta geom;

You can feed this query into a new MapRoulette Challenge using the Challenge Create wizard. The tasks will build automatically, and you can refresh them as needed.

You could easily change the Overpass query to highlight OSM objects with a different deprecated tag on them, and create a Challenge for those as well!