This Site’s “SEO”

This is a weird little blog/site off the edge of nowhere, and I’m sure people who stumble upon it via more recognized channels may wonder why it exists.  It’s a long-term search engine optimization (SEO) project, and it’s finally taken off, after over a year of writing with long periods of neglect. Here’s our Google Analytics plot.

Woo hoo! We’re up to three visitors a day. It took a long time, too. The reason is that Google needs time to figure out if this site is a scam. Once the domain looks like it has a legitimate content, it’ll start showing it in listings.

Depending on how hard you work, it could take months to years. This blog got new content sporadically. As of today, there are only 25 posts.

The specific content you have also matters. This content is mainly just “lifehacks” with some old content ported from a personal site. Lifehacks are considered “evergreen” content – it may not get much traffic, but it’ll be relevant for a long time.*

The promotion you do also matters. No promotion was done, at all.

You should add your site to the Google Search Console tool, which includes a way to submit a sitemap to the search engine.

So, almost everything here was done wrong, yet, around August 2018, Google decided this was a legitimate site.

*The lifehacks here are not the popular kind that start with “This one trick…”. They’re more like something from the Rodale Press and start with something ecological and time consuming.

So, if you have a new website and are wondering why your articles don’t show up in Google, here you go. It’s just “SEO” – you need to give the search engines some time.

Conserving Cooking Oil

Nearly all of us use some kind of cooking oil, and most of us eat meat (still) and produce what we think of as waste fats. By conserving and using this “waste” fat, we can save money and avoid additional harm to the environment.

In the United States, until the mid and late 20th centuries, people regularly collected and reused fat. This seemed to go by the wayside as people started to throw away fats, usually into the garbage.

Advice for Meat Eaters

Contemporary practice is to trim the fat, perhaps remove the skin, and then throw them away. This makes sense, because these are generally considered unhealthy fats, but it represents an expense: you paid for that fat at the price of the meat.

What you should do is render the fat, and then collect the liquefied fat into a jar. This fat can then be used to grease up skillets, and used to fry food. It can also be used as a substitute for butter.

To render fat: put around 1/2 cup of water into a pot, and then add the skins and fat trimmings. Bring it to a low simmer, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the skins and fat become brown and harden. Spoon off the fat into a jar. Store in a refrigerator. It can also be stored at room temperature for a while, because saturated fats tend to go rancid slowly.

You can also collect fat that’s drained from ground beef.

The names for some fats: beef milk fat is called butter, beef fat is called tallow, chicken fat is called schmaltz, pig fat is called lard, lamb fat is called suet. I think turkey fat is also called schmaltz.

As always, reducing meat consumption is good for the environment, and your health. If you find yourself with a surplus of gathered fat, consider eating less meat.

Advice for Vegetarians

Vegetable oil goes rancid, so you should keep it in the refrigerator. Collected fat should also be kept refrigerated.

Used vegetable oil used for deep frying is called “brown oil” and can be collected after it’s been  used for frying. Let the oil cool and settle.  Then, using a funnel and a paper towel folded into a filter, pour the oil into a glass jar.

The filter will catch the browned crumbs, and the used oil will go into the jar.  This oil can be reused for frying. Brown oil tends to help battered and breaded foods fry up harder and darker.  You can also just use it for skillet frying.

If you fry a lot, and end  up with brown oil that’s going black, you should get rid of it. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for recycling the oil, unless you can find a restaurant that will allow you to dump oil. One partial use for the oil is to help ignite charcoal for grilling. It burns nothing at all like lighter fluid, and is safer, but it does provide enough heat to get the coals started.

Oil can also be filtered and then burned in a furnace to provide heat.

Used vegetable  oil can also be processed to make biodiesel fuel. This is a process of combining the oil with a methanol-and-lye solution to produce diesel fuel and glycerine soap.

You can also filter and then reuse the oil to make soap without the biodiesel. The main problem is that this soap, if formulated to be gentle for your skin, will smell like fried food. Soap that’s made “hot” with a little excess lye is good for cleaning floors, and will not smell bad.

Program the 99 Cents Only Store, Momentum Brands, 8 Device Universal Remote Control 60-689199

I found one of these, model number 60-689199, at home, but had lost the manual. Some web searches didn’t turn up a copy of the manual, so, I decided to try and rectify that problem. Another unit was found at the 99 Cents Only Store, and I bought it (for $1.99).

I suspect there are thousands of these remotes out there. This page will help keep them functional. 

To program the remote, you push the device button or the “set” button until the LED stays on. Then, you can either enter the code from the manual, and then press channel up to test it — it’ll shut off the device, OR press channel up to scan the possible codes until the device shuts off. When the correct code is found, press the “set” button to complete programming that button.

Description: 47 button, red power button, blue control pad, blue OK button, red set button, gray number buttons, eight 8 blue device buttons along the bottom. tv vcr cable sat dvd aux amp cd

Dirty Pour Paintings, Andy Warhol Piss Paintings

The hottest “painting” trend today is the “dirty pour”, which produces these wavy-blobby, psychedelic, abstract pictures.  It’s difficult to look at them and not think of Andy Warhol’s Oxidation Paintings, which are also called his “piss paintings.”

Continue reading “Dirty Pour Paintings, Andy Warhol Piss Paintings”

Statistics: A Guide to the Unknown, 3rd Ed., by Tanur et. al.

Summary in progress. (sale on ebay)

A Guide to the Unknown collects articles written for a general audience to explain how statistics were used in research, to improve understanding.

The book was developed to promote the use of statistics in medical research, social science research, the humanities, and other non-mathematical fields. So, it’s pretty easy to read. There’s some math, but it’s couched in narrative.

The title, “A Guide to the Unknown” describes how stats are used: to help evaluate the quality of our understanding. What is known, and not known? What may happen, and what isn’t likely? Each essay presents a narrative, and then describes how statistics were used to improve understanding.

Each essay is listed below, and summarized.


The Biggest Public Health Experiment Ever: The 1954 Field Trial of the Salk Poliomyelitis Vaccine, by Paul Meier


How to Clean Gas Range Burner Grates

For each grate:

1 gallon zipper plastic bag

1/4 cup ammonia

Put the grate into the bag, and add ammonia.  Seal the bag and wait 12 hours.  Remove grate from the bag, and clean off grates with a sponge.

I read this here and here.  I can verify that it works.

Another way I tried to clean grates was with a soak in washing soda and hot water.  This worked somewhat, and helped reduce the grease, but the ammonia method above was cheaper and better.

Ammonia works on even the blackened, hardened fats. It didn’t clean mine entirely, but still did a visibly good job.