Rez Zircon

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since May 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Rez Zircon

I put the fat part in the freezer, and slice it to use like butter. Low salt bacon makes a "sweeter" grease, but it doesn't keep as well.

I use the drippings part, or sometimes all of it, to make bacon grease gravy -- a basic milk gravy. Delicious!

I make bacon a very lazy way -- I cut the meatiest bacon I can find into bite-sized pieces and microwave it in a covered glass dish (stirring as needed). This doesn't extract near as much fat as pan-frying it, but makes more juice that is really tasty for that gravy. Doesn't get crisp, but I think it's a good trade-off.

3 weeks ago
Totally It Depends. What I'd had move indoors....

-- Recluse get smashed. Some are aggressive.
-- Black widows get smashed. They crawl in everywhere and make it unsafe to stick your hand in without poking with a stick first.
-- Black house spiders are actually adapted to indoor life and die if tossed out. They usually just run and hide.
-- Those longleggy spiders are so numerous they're a lost cause, but at least they don't do anything worse than hang webs in the corners. I think they mostly eat each other.
-- Wolf spiders will get rid of black widows for you. When I lived in the desert, I was constantly having wolf spiders (GREAT BIG ONES) and "wind scorpions" coming inside. Quickly noticed that if those got ignored, pretty soon I didn't have any more black widows. (Also discovered that wolf spiders hunt and kill wind scorpions.) So they got to live in the house. They don't seem to nest or build webs indoors.

Don't take the dangerous ones lightly. Some bites don't amount to much but others can produce a severe reaction. And just because the venom doesn't affect lab animals (as is the "current wisdom" with hobo spiders) doesn't mean much. I've had numerous dogs bitten by "Mojave Green" rattlesnakes without experiencing tissue necrosis. But I can direct you to you-can't-unsee-this photos of the severe damage done to a human arm from the bite of a much less dangerous species.
3 weeks ago

Lauren Knickman wrote:
Anyone know how long it would take for botulism to grow?

At the rate bacteria grow and reproduce, I'd guess about two hours.

I know for a firsthand fact five hours is plenty to develop food poisoning. This is why I don't eat soup or gravy in a restaurant unless it's kept boiling hot. Because steam-table hot for half a day is long enough for bad bacteria to reproduce to a level that will make you sick. (I worked there, so knew exactly the conditions.)

Botulism is not the only risk, just the one with a catchy name.

1 month ago
For my use an open weave that provides a little shade and confuses mosquitoes would do.  Doesn't need to be UV blocking as such. But it does need to let in as much air as possible, so I don't melt.

3 months ago
Plain old mud works very well too, as my cousins discovered when they came in from an afternoon in the stock pond with unburned spots wherever they were smeared with pond mud.

I would sure like to find some gauze shirts, to use both as sunscreen and as a bug garment (I have a mosquito shirt but it doesn't breathe well). Used to have one that was a very loosely woven fabric from India that was great for the purpose, but wore it out.
3 months ago

Emmilee Ringelberg wrote:I just had this happen with my litter of 8 pups. They viciously attacked the most submissive girl. They are 8 weeks and a day old. We have her separated for her safety. I have seen this in adult dogs but never this young so i was pretty thown. Im just nervous about rehoming. Was this a one time deal or will this be a constant issue in any home?

Being submissive may be the entire reason why she was attacked. "Go down and scream" tends to instigate "pile on and kill the weakling". This is normal pack behavior and can happen even with good-natured dogs. (This, not aggression, is the primary way humans get attacked or killed by pets. Grandma goes down and screams, and pack instinct can kick in even with dogs that have never shown the slightest aggression toward humans; however having strong bite inhibition tends to prevent it.)

Because it's evident so early, I would not place these pups with people who expect sweet submissive dogs that will be agreeable with every dog they meet. They'd be better in homes with some experience, and if there is another dog, no more than one, and of the opposite sex.

3 months ago
The opposite can also happen -- the chemicals that discourage competition only apply in the native environment. Case in point, black walnuts -- I read about how they kill off everything under them, but here in south central Montana, where they're not native and are a marginal tree, everything grows under them just fine.

4 months ago
A good example of how it pays to know what's native to your own conditions. Compost that vanishes overnight in the desert may last forever in Hawaii, and v.v.

I remember my tenant being amazed that in the desert, dog poop doesn't turn to white powder and disappear as it does in milder climes; rather, it petrifies.
4 months ago
Super excellent post!

Su Ba wrote:
If your mulch and compost don’t gradually disappear, your soil is in trouble. It doesn’t have the microbes, slime molds, fungi, soil critters, and moisture that it needs.

Or it just wasn't very biodegradable in the first place, which amounts to the same thing -- if it's not disappearing into the soil, it's not doing the soil any good, because whatever nutrients are in it are still chemically bound up and are not available.

4 months ago