arkatz' Live List

An observer of the internet since 1988. I'm sharing a List of Lists that I've grown since 1994 and an excellent Sudoku Puzzle Aid developed in 2006.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

During 2007, I've challenged myself to produce a Sudoku related cartoon every weekend. I've only missed one weekend early in June when I was conducting a Linux Workshop. Despite having little artistic ability beyond a semester's worth of Mechanical Drawing and admittedly self taught in graphics tools such as Canvas X and Photoshop CS, I have been nevertheless compelled to produce these Cartoons and commentaries. The Link is:


I'm rather amazed that the cartoon subject matter well doesn't seem to run dry as I expected when I started at the beginning of the year. Somewhat time consuming is producing the cartoon as I imagine it to be. I hope you enjoy them.

Consider also indulging yourself or gifting others by buying a Power Sudoku (squared) White board or Clipboard for solving Sudoku puzzles elsewhere on that website.

I expect to create additional posts here and more frequently, now that blogspot knows about my gmail account.

Spoken like a true Libran: "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure." -- author unknown


posted by Robert  # 6:50 AM

Monday, October 30, 2006

New and Unique Sudoku Puzzle Aid Developed

In the past 4 months, my wife and I developed an idea which has grown and has been tested for solving Sudoku puzzles from any source, using colored dry-erase markers on 8.5" x 11" white board or clipboard material. This larger size (compared to newspaper, magazine or internet printed puzzles) gives you a more focused view while logically considering solution possibilities. See the varieties of Power Sudoku² (tm) kits at:


A strong advantage of this portable, reusable form is that it is entirely Computer independent. It can be worked on anywhere you have to sit and wait: in Airports, on Airplanes, in Hospital rooms (except Surgical), in Coffee Bars and Shops (bring earplugs, extra lighting and monitor your mental clarity at Bars and Taverns). Use it especially whenever a laptop (or PDA) is inconvenient or unavailable.

Claimer: We have everything to do with this excellent idea and product. Buy it and enjoy it. Become a raving fan and acquaint those around you with your enthusiasm for this medium.

posted by Robert  # 1:10 PM

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mercury Retrograde and Quick Fade To Black

So I was innocently typing away on a shell script in a vi editing session yesterday, when I suddenly noticed that in mid-keystroke, the screen turned black. Occasionally, this had occurred before, whcn some object pressed the power sensitive spot on the Apple Cinema Display. The usual solution, to press it again, didn't work this time.

So I used the universal remedy of rebooting. While the 1 GB of memory was being tested, the screen was normal gray. As soon as it started to boot, I noticed a multicolored collection of vertical bands immediately followed by a black screen. Fooey! (a technical-emotional term)

To my mind, either the monitor was defective or the G4's video display was problematic. I called The Mac Store in Seattle and got lucky. When I explained the problem, the person there told me of this wonderful workaround that was possible. Treat the Desktop G4 Hard Disk(s) as a Firewire drive that can be connected to a Powerbook Laptop! Wow! I didn't know this could be done!

So I connected a firewire cable from the Desktop to the laptop (Cannibalized the open cable connection that usually receives an Ipod for uploading). Then I booted the G4 Desktop and
simultaneously pressed the T key. This brought up a yellow firewire symbol that functioned as a screensaver on the flat panel display. I then booted the Laptop and simultaneously pressed the Option key to get a selection of devices to boot from (I knew this trick).

I was then able to boot into the G4's desktop and bypass the video display! I quickly rearranged all the computer peripherals to continue work. Since I'm using the Laptop's hardware arrangement, Airport isn't usable, and all other USB peripherals have to be directly connected (like a printer and a diskette drive).

I also received the bad news yesterday that my Epson 980N ethernet inkjet printer had a part that the vendor couldn't supply, so it couldn't be fixed. I'm hoping that Re-PC in Tukwila, WA can do it, even via used parts. I really am accustomed to having printers even outlast computers.

In advance of the eventual repair of the G4 Desktop, I've backed up my home directory to two places. I will have to configure the Ethernet for the Laptop before the desktop goes out of the house.

Astrologically, Mercury has gone retrograde last Saturday, March 19 and will remain so until April 12. These events are symptomatic of communication and traffic snafus during this time. Time to rethink, reflect communications in the world.

Ambiguity is a magnet of misunderstanding.

posted by Robert  # 8:26 AM

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Less Anonymity

Today, I've decided to add this blog site to blogstreet.com. They require a hook on this site to maintain this link in their database. Their icons looks like:

Mouse Tale

Over the last two months, I have had an involuntary pet mouse in my house! I suppose the mouse was ambivalent about staying or leaving. It was partial to clothing, stereo speaker wire, carpet fabric and the wood chips generated from the bottom of doors. At one point it feasted on an REI backpack near the site of a balance bar within.

I first noticed the mouse in mid-January, just before leaving for a trip to New York for my mother's funeral. She had passed away that day. Upon my return, I noticed se
veral destructive acts that it perpetrated to my Sport Jacket and my Wife's sweater. In my grieving state, I ignored the creature's acts.

I instituted closed interior door discipline about two weeks ago. This was after I fixed the connection to the Right Stereo Speaker. It appeared that the mouse had chewed through the speaker wire to that speaker as well as sampled the wire going to the sub-woofer. This had the effect of irritating the mouse further.

We got two mousetraps and baited them with peanut butter (which my wife likes a lot!). These were ignored (perhaps even laughed at by the mouse!). The mouse had a strange compulsion to try to get into our bedroom between 2 AM and 5 AM. The carpet under the bedroom door had a minimal gap. It both scraped at the carpet and chewed the bottom of the door to achieve more clearance (or tunnel).

On the other side of the door, I was awakened and chilled by the mouse's audacity.
Dutifully, each morning I reviewed and vacuumed in front of the door. One afternoon, while grading papers for my College Algebra Class, I heard the mouse in the kitchen area and localized it to the bottom of the stove.

I quickly created a corridor to the side porch door, (which I opened), using two folded tables to partition off the kitchen and laundry room. Then, to satisfy my emotional anger, I turned on the stove to 550 degrees for about 20 minutes. Nothing happened.

I tested that the insulation under the oven prevented any significant heat from making the mouse uncomfortable. I turned off the oven and turned on the 747-like fan that inhales smoke from the oven and cooktops and vents it under the floor. I kept this on for an hour. I believe the mouse was trapped by this fan action and unable to leave its hiding place there. Just to make things noisier, I got out the vacuum cleaner and tried to vacuum the creature. No luck. I hope I contributed to its loss of its hearing later in life.

The mouse remained a resident.

This past weekend, while watching The Motorcycle Diaries. I noticed with my peripheral vision, the mouse blithely running behind the stereo system and to the hallway leading to our bedroom. With all the doors closed in the hallway, when I heard the mouse trying to tunnel under the bedroom door, I brought a bridge table over, hoping to throw it on top of the mouse, much like an improvised mouse trap on a much larger scale. The mouse had no trouble escaping into my office across the way.

I decided to block the office doorway with heavy books to close the gap between the carpet and the doorway. This trapped the mouse in my office and set off a new wave of destruction to the carpet in front of the office door (inside). But it no longer had the run of the house.

On Sunday, while it was trying to leave the office, I heard it and quickly opened the door, hoping that the door would crush and run over the mouse. Instead it went into the closet. With quick thinking, I blocked the bottom of the door with books and Duct tape. In fact I duct taped the sliding doors to the closet to a height of 4 feet. This was in the hopes that the mouse would starve to death.

No such luck.

The next day, it climbed to the top of the closet and got out through a gap by the top between the door and the wall. It left a trail of dishevelment in the room.
I decided to give it one more chance to leave. I created a corridor to the partly open front door, using the two folded tables, and then went to the office, sat in the chair, but leaving the door open. I heard it leave the room. But I didn't see it actually leave.

It has been two days since I have had any evidence of mouse activity. Maybe it's gone.

My lessons: Don't do the following--

  1. Throughout, I continually underestimated the mouse's intelligence.
  2. and determination.
  3. and speed.
  4. We are governed by fight or flight; Wildlife are governed by survive or hide. My wife suggests that I not assume that the mouse is human.
  5. Creamy Peanut Butter is overrated as a rodent delicacy (except if there's nothing else -- see below). Go back to rich cheese.
  6. There is no tool in a vacuum's accessories that is flexible yet appropriate for mouse ingestion.
  7. Don't run out of duct tape nor hardcover books for your sealing and partitioning needs.
  8. We bought and left unopened packets of Rat Poison where it frolicked. These were ignored as well. (I didn't want an environmental impact to clean up after and I thought it fitting if the mouse would work to open one of these and later die.)
  9. Do not fail to vacuum up messes promptly, so as to provide a clean slate for future messes.
  10. Temporary Blocking and Partitioning should not be so good as to be more difficult to remove than to install.

This Just In:

After writing the above, I blocked the Living Room from the Guest Bedroom from the Laundry Room From the Kitchen due to positive evidence that the Mouse still was in residence. Since the doorway to that part of the house remained closed, there was a good chance that the Mouse was in one of these places.

I was pleasantly surprised when I returned from work to see the outdoor lights go out, then door open, and my wife emerging with gloved hands and a mousetrap complete with mouse. She had put the mousetrap in the automatic dishwasher to remove our scent and primed it with fresh peanut butter and placed it near a wall in the living room 2 days ago.

Apparently, the mouse was trapped in the living room and with no access to food except that in the trap, finally decided to sample it.

We deposited the injured mouse into the large flowering bush in the front yard and wished it well.

Robert, an abashed city person learning a country lesson.

posted by Robert  # 10:21 PM

Sunday, January 02, 2005

This is rather a slow motion blog. Almost 20 months have elapsed. I have a granddaughter named Zoey Amber who is nearly 1 year old. Her parents operate a weblog about her called:


In 2004, I decided to thwart (long- and) short-term memory loss by designing and maintaining 4 lists of favorite escapes that I've experienced over the years and want to share:

Robert Katz Book List

Robert Katz Film List

Robert Katz Music List

Robert Katz Comics Pages

The first 3 lists are heavily linked to references and details about each favorite item and its creator and gathers not only my taste but that of many other people as well. There are bumper sticker reviews much like film and book critics offer in posters and ads. There are Public Library Call Numbers for those wishing to borrow the item. Where available, books have excerpt links; films have preview links; music links to 30 second sound bites on amazon.com.

The 4th list of comics pages realizes my dream to look at comics pages, panels and online web comics (graphics stories) at will, without subscribing to newspapers (or buying comic books).

Thanks for reading this. There will be subsequent entries. (This year!).

Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.

posted by Robert  # 9:37 PM

Monday, May 19, 2003

1st Blog Robert Katz Live List

This is my first blog. I'd like to share my List of Lists called
Robert Katz Live List.

Its been evolving ever since 1994. I use it to teach Unix, Web and Internet courses as well as math and statistics. It's for my own personal and portable references.

posted by Robert  # 10:40 PM


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