Disabling the “Alt + Right Click” in Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon

This is a “How To” post on disabling the keyboard shortcut “ALT + Right Mouse Button” so that the keyboard shortcut can be use with software like 3D Blender, and some video games which need this keyboard shortcut. The issue, in Linux, is that this short cut is used system wide, as in my case, to resize the active window. I was quite amazed at how easy it is to disable the keyboard setting in Linux Mint 18, where there was no config file editing, or elaborate command scripting in Terminal, or installing more software, unlike what there was in Ubuntu. However, there is a word of caution, this method disables the “ALT” key for keyboard shortcuts. Here are three steps to disable the ALT + Right Click.

One: Go to “Menu” and choose your “System Setting Control Centre.”

Two: Choose “Windows” under the “Preferences” section.


Three: Click, the Window Behaviour tab, and choose the “<alt>” tab by the “Special Key to move and resize windows,” and switch it to “<super>.”


This screen now should look like this:


The change should take place right-a-way. Now run Blender, and you should be able select an edge, and select it with <alt> + <right click>.

Red Photons – A Photographer’s Dream

I have heard this before, red being a photographer’s favourite colour, and that red is one of the colours that stands out to the human eye when one is looking at an image. Regardless of who said this first, I agree whole heartedly, red is awesome. When I see red through my lens, I just cannot get enough, and bathe my camera’s sensor in it. When I see red in a portrait, or digital image, it catches my eye. Of all the colours, red will attract me more because my eye finds it so pleasing.

Red Flowers July 17 2016 Weblog Image

Most of the time when I see a garden, I zero in on the reds and yellows before I hit the flower patch.  For me, red flowers are the most sought after, simply because of the colour’s impact on me. Sure the orange and yellow ones get it too, but red triggers something in me. And I am not alone.

I started asking people who viewed my photos, what photos they found to be their favourites. All included the majority of images with red in them, like flowers, building, and even sunsets where I pushed the white balance over to the warm side of the scale. Even images with people in them, who were wearing red clothing. Of course, there are a small percentage of those who did find other  images where red was absent in the image, but those were rare, unless purple counts as part red.

When I do portrait photography, I always ask my subjects to wear at least a little bit of red in their outfits, or have red somewhere else in the shot. Red sells, especially with women. Nature and landscape shots, if I can find red flowers, or red buildings and objects, then the shots sells that much better. Heck, once, I even CGIed red into one image I worked on a while ago, just to give that extra bit of “eye candy” to it.

The photo in this post I shot just a few days ago. Normally I like to leave flowers where they are, in the ground, so that someone else can appreciate them after me. But since this batch of flowers only has a couple of weeks of life, I cut the older ones off, and put them in a glass, then moved them around so that I could choose good backgrounds in my shots.

The Tale of a Plumbing Nightmare

Only once before has this happened to me, though, way back then, it magically solved itself in the middle of the night after I gave up from hours of frantic plunging with a plunger in the bathtub that day. This time it was plugged—solid, with no magic moment of relief. The next morning, the water level was exactly the same, and when I tried again, using a plunger, the water level stayed the same.  Searching on-line, and asking plumbers what to do, lead me no closure to ridding myself of my plugged bathtub. But then today, success! Bitter sweet success, as my very first try, the plug was the thing of the past.

The problem was the pipe that goes from the bath tub into a holding tank. In R.V. terms, this part of the waste water system is called the Grey Water, and is where water from the sinks and bathtubs collects before it gets discarded into the septic system. I believe that the plug occurred where the grey water tank empties out a long 4 cm diameter pipe, before it reached the outlet valve.

My very first attempt was buying a septic snake, a flexible rod like wire that I pushed down through the bathtub, hoping to knock out the plug. However, this was a dumb idea because the snake went straight into the grey water tank, then curled up inside it—no where near the plugged section. Also during these first efforts, I bought a heavy duty toilet plunger that seemed to work, but because of the grey water tank, I could not create a strong enough vacuum to punch out the plugged section of pipe.

Then one night, after five days of living with a plugged bathtub, it dawned on me that I should try attacking the plugged pipe from the other end. Taking the septic snake, and inserting it through the outlet opening, it would only go in about 30 to 40 cm because of the three ninety degree turns in the pipe. Then I searched on-line for a septic snake that would bend better then a metal one, and found one just a few km away. When I got it home, on the first attempt, it got caught, and I broke it.

Defeated, and broken, I was not at all happy. I was still using the bathtub, but would hand empty it into the toilet with a custom made bucket I made. It was wearing thin on me. I needed this fixed—now.

At my work, there is product that you attach to the end of a garden hose, and it expands, like a rubber bladder. The idea is that you insert this bladder inside the pipe with the water hose, then inflate it with water, and it squirts a fine spray of water inside the pipe. This got me thinking. What if I could take this idea, using water pressure from a garden hose, and force the plug back into the grey water tank. I started researching this idea.

After a night of looking on-line, I clicked on something called a grey-water garden hose cap. I looked at the image, and thought—EUREKA! This is what I need. It is a flat cap, that locks onto the end of the sewer outlet, and on the face of the cap it has a garden hose attachment. The only problem was, the garden hose attachment is a male thread, used for draining water out from the system. I needed one that I could force water into it. Another quick search pointed me to using a female to female connector to the garden hose, connecting it to the sewer drainage cap, thus allowing me to force water back into the grey water system.

This was sure to work!

For a total amount of $14.67, for both the sewer cap and garden hose adapter, I had my new weapon for this cursed plug. On the first try, the plug was defeated! When I took the sewer cap off, a mighty (smelly) serge of water burst out onto the ground. The plug was officially gone. My bathtub drained!

The cause seemed to be a combination of soap and a white sandy substance that came out in chunks. I can only imagine that this build up was sediment from inside the grey water tank, and was high enough to eventually plug the drain pipe. Now, at least, I have the tools to unplug future clogs.

Department Move

It has been nearly five weeks now. Five weeks since the move from night-shift to days, working in a new department, a move that I very much wanted. With change comes challenges, and joining a new team comes finding that new fit comes with anticipation and complications. Working with the new team has pretty much gone as I anticipated.

I knew, going forward, that not all the team members would embrace “the new guy” amongst their space. Old habits, mixing with new blood, will be a challenge for the weeks to come. Already in the last five weeks, I have witnessed the stubbornness by staff as they try to keep their routines,and leave the undesirable work for me. Since I was hired for my skills, for one staff member, I have become a threat in the sense that I exceed the skill level of some tasks, and easily jumped onboard in the workflow, keeping up. Though I laughed as two members peppered me with questions about myself, probing, then relaying factitious/distorted versions of my words to the Manager—who is a good friend of mind. We had a good laugh. And yes, I have names, I know who you are. Nothing like jealous people burning their bridges so quickly.

My new department will have lots of changes in the coming months. I was given an outline of what to expect in the days and weeks ahead. Most of this information I have kept to myself, as requested, so who knows what, or where I will be once the changes take place. I am not worried, as new opportunities are always be around. But for the senior staff, they feel they have been “betrayed,” or “disposed of,” by the corporation, as they have some of the information that I have, and see my move into the department as part of those feelings. I say, “get over it,” because it is going to happen whether I am here, or not.

I have no troubles with embracing new responsibility and change in this case. However, for some of the senior staff, these new responsibilities mean a new level surveillance by management, and they are resisting this, even telling me that I must take this stance along with them. There is a world beyond the walls of the department, and if my fellow co-workers cannot see this, then they miss out on the big picture—at their cost. Remember it is easier for me to embrace change, then for those who have old habits of their daily routines.

Thankfully the good out weighs the bad by a long shot. I am very happy, almost grateful under what is happening in the global market place economy. The pay may not be that great, but I would rather be doing this, than being homeless with no income.

The Weekend Wrap Up

Sadly I have been too busy to sit down and do some serious typing on my weblog. I have so much to say, yet to little time to say it in, and now I fear I have a pattern developing. So, here is my “filler” post, to tie me over until I can sit down really write again. Work, of course, has been the number one reason for my lack of time for this website. And a close second has been the need of attention to my everyday life, like plumbing and paper work. So much, so little time to take care of them all.

Sheep in Fort langley BC July 3 2016 Weblog Image

Anyway, last night we had a really nasty storm blow over my place about 2:00am that started with a huge downpour that lasted for something like 30 minutes, then the lightening and thunder kicked in. The whole storm seem to have parked itself right over top of my place for nearly two hours. In that time, a near by tree was hit by lightening, shattering the top one third of it into pieces, and that lighting strike I though was going to blow the windows right off my walls when the thunder’s shock wave reached me. Yes, the power did go out, but only for a little while. I could not sleep while all of that was going on.

Work, well, what can I say. Just when I thought that the busy season was over, and we were going to slip into that nice time of year when business slows down and we can catch our breath again, another wave of customers blows in, this time buying our summer goods. It is like the spring season lever left. Sure, a damn good sign of a healthy economy in my line of work, but physically, I am wearing out. As a rule I do not like talking about work, especially here on my weblog, but is does consume nearly a half to a third of my daily life, so I cannot escape its effects on me. I am going to hold back and not type one more letter on the subject. Period.

More pressing issues: the up coming Canada Post strike/lockout that may start on Monday. I laughed when in the space of seven days I received all of my mail that I normally receive in a calendar month. I got my G.S.T. cheque on the fifth, when it was issued for the fifth of July. That was freaky. My Internet bill also arrived on the fifth, which usually does not get sent to me until after the fifteenth. And my 64MB USB thumb drive that I ordered on Evil Bay, seemed to have arrived way before I normally receive stuff from China. Does imposted stuff really arrive early, and the Post Office sits on them while in Canada just because? I also loaded my pre paid Visa that I use to pay online bills with too at the Post Office where I got my Visa Card from. I normally like to use my pre paid than a actual credit card—it seems to be safer that way I feel. I trust no one online when it comes to money transactions. Anyway, I am all loaded up with some money for bills as long as Canada Post does not do its labour dispute for anytime longer than a month. But I seem to be good for the next four weeks.

Plumbing. I am not a plumber, and I have a plumbing issue. My bath tub seems to be plugged. It started on Monday, when I noticed that the water seemed taking a little longer to drain out. But by Thursday, I was standing ankle deep in water after my daily shower. Now it is completely plugged. I tried using a plastic drain snake. That did not do anything. My next tool was a three metre metal snake, and that only did a little to unplug it. Tomorrow I am going to try a longer snake, one that has a more “pipe cleaner” attachment on it. Hopefully I can get that unplugged before Monday.

Awe yes, lots of paper work in the days to come for me. My battle with Revenue Canada still lingers. I have to also submit my MSP (Medical Health Care Tax) forms from my work’s insurance, which covers those monthly payments. Luckily I can do that online once I get my employee I.D. number. I hope they do not send that my Canada Post! Still waiting on that part.

Well, anyway, time to go and get on with my busy life. Until my next post, hopefully sooner than later.

Photographing the Flowers

Today, while the weather was holding, I took the camera out and did some shooting in the back yard. The Sun is shining, and I know the weather will turn for the rest of the week, so I felt the need to blow the dust off of the camera gear and snap a few shots outside. These are just the highlights. In all, I took some fifty shots from the garden to the path along my back yard.

Flowers July 3 2016 Fort Langley - Weblog Image 01

The above image, I did not have to get far for this shot. These bad boys are just off the edge from my deck. The humming birds just love these flowers. Currently these are the only red ones I have since the roses lost their flowers over a couple of weeks ago.

Flowers July 3 2016 Fort Langley - Weblog Image 02

And just to balance the colour scheme out, here are some blue ones, though these are across my yard on the other side of lower field.

Flowers July 3 2016 Fort Langley - Weblog Image 03

Lastly, and by no means all of the flowers I shot today, are these lovely orange flowers. There is a large flower bad of these by the lower field at the end of my driveway. I am so happy that my landlord did not put the new fence past these flowers. I should have hundreds of them in the nest few weeks.

Perhaps later on in the week I will post more photos. For now, my long weekend comes to an end, and work comes early.

Happy Canada Day 2016!

First, Happy Canada Day! If I remember correctly, Canada is now officially 149 years old now. I will have to double check that once my P.C. has finished upgrading. Other than getting the day off from work, it is a national holiday, I decided not to go anywhere. So Second, I am getting some stuff done around here at home that I have been putting off. You know, procrastination. Yup, that is me. I would say, I really needed today off from work.

CANADA DAY 2016 Weblog Image

So, for Canada Day, I decided to do a little art graphic for this post. Nothing to over the top, yet classy: rather than just copying some web graphic, or me creating a cheesy image like I have done in past years. The above image is an image that I found on line, then used Blender 3D to turn the image into a flag; then rendering it as an animation. Once done, I threw some text over top using InkScape Vector Software, then scaled it, and water marked it, using GIMP.

I am also doing the major upgrade on my main PC today. After nearly 20 hours of backing up my drives, I am finally ready to wipe Ubuntu and switch over to Linux Mint. I am doing this mostly becuase of the change, but also, Ubuntu was getting too buggy for me with my current hard ware set-up. So hopefully, in about four more hours, I will reporting back on a freshly installed PC.

Happy Canada Day – 2o16!

Added: Success! Everything went without a hitch–fully upgraded to Linux Mint version 18. I have to admit, so far the O.S. is very snappy and quick. OK, going out to enjoy the fireworks!

Machine of Metropolis

The most used mechanical machine in my daily life is my is my vehicle. I use it to commute to work, to go shopping and use it take to me to all the other places I need to be that are beyond walking distance. When it breaks down, it takes priority: it gets fixed. During those periods of time, when it quits working, my life comes to a screeching halt.

Hexagons Bolts and Nuts - June 26 2016 - Weblog Image

Yesterday my Nissan Pathfinder quit working, leaving me stranded in Fort Langley. Once the engine quit, I could not get started again. It happened right on River Road, just East of town. I got out, looked under the hood and cleaned the battery cable thinking that it could be an electrical problem. After fifteen minutes of checking, tightening, and cleaning, I gave it one more try to start it.

Like it normally does, it fired up in one turn of the starter, as if nothing were wrong with it. I drove home and parked it. I little while later I tried starting it again, and as usual it started up normally. I am puzzled.

I did a tune-up this morning, and tried to start it a couple of time. Each time, the engine came to life, roaring as it started with a burst of momentum. So we will see. I am hoping that during the work week it does not leave me stranded–that would suck.

It’s Official: Summer! Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Summer Solstice! At 3:34pm Pacific (do not for get we are in Daylight Savings Time) the Sun will cross the equator, marking the transition between spring to summer. This makes today the longest day of the year. However, it does not make this time the best for weather, as we can see outside here in Vancouver, British Columbia. There is this effect called seasonal drift, where as the Sun shines longer, and its rays more pronounced, it will take a few weeks for the good weather to catch up in the year. This is why summer starts after the Sun crosses the equator on the longest day of the year. So, in the next few weeks the weather should ramp up into hot and lazy days I so desperately look forward to.

Bonus: Apparently, we were lucky enough to have two full moons in one day! How cool it that!


As the Mosquito Bites

Well here we are, now just hours away from spring ending, and summer starting, the mosquitoes are out in full force becuase it is the perfect weather for them. Not us poor humans who have to suffer through these days of wetness and cool dreary temperatures that Mother nature has thrown at us, but yes to the blood sucking mosquito who are in their element. My proximity to a large body of water makes me prime pickings for the mega-colonies of flies who live among it. The plant life loves it too, and we humans love seeing the plants at their  best, but…

Green Shade - Weblog Image

… so do the mosquitoes.

With an air conditioner, I at least can afford to keep the doors and screens closed during those moments when the Sun does shine through the clouds, but for mean time, I keep a heater going at night. Yes, it gets that cool here at night. Such weird weather for June. I do not dare open my front door for any unnecessary period of time, leaving that portal to Mosquito Hell open. At any time just one trapped inside will make my life full of misery.

Just picture me, waking up from my sleep after hearing the buzzing sound of a mosquito flying around my head as it is searching for that tender spot of unprotected flesh in which to sink its needle like sucker into me with. Then I jump up, turning on the light so I can hunt it down, searching for it, looking to see where it has perched: on the floor, walls, ceiling, dresser, anywhere. Then I stand still, waiting to draw it out: hoping for a clean kill. Then SMACK, as I see it, my arm swings to strike, and then hope for the death blow. Only will I rest when I see its flatten carcass smeared on the surface from which I aimed my mighty blow upon it.

On Monday the summer Solstice will occur that afternoon, and yet I would not know it when I look outside now with the clouds and cold dampness. Summer still seems so long away, like we are trapped in spring until the winter returns. What happened? We were looking so good in May when we had that early start to the hot summer like whether? I hate El Nino and Climate Change.