How I Made $35 Last Year By Quitting Google

A year ago this week, Google fired James Dalmore. When I looked deeper into the story, it didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t the firing that bothered me, it was how Google went to the press later to justify the firing by disparaging Dalmore. A company does not need to give cause for firing anyone. But they did and I felt that was wrong.

But what could I do? I use Google products. My websites rely on Google Search to drive traffic. I decided to give Bing a 3rd chance as my default search engine.

When Bing first came out in 2009, it was terrible. I tried it for a week and went right back to Google. I’d estimate that 40% of the time Bing failed to find what Google found.

Then in 2014, I gave Bing another chance. By now, Bing was just as fast as Google and the searches had improved. It was 80-90% as good as Google. Not good enough for me, so I returned to Google.

My 3rd test spin of Bing started in August 2017 and I still use it as my default search engine for both the desktop and mobile. Now I would say Bing is 95% as good as Google.

Why would I continue to use something that is 2nd best? Because I get reward points every time I search. In the last 12 months, I have earned over 46,000 points. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards or even cash that donated to charities. The average redemption is $5 in value for 6,500 points. That is how I earned about $35 in the last year.

So, right now I’m getting paid about $3 a month to not use Google. That is super fair to me. On those occasions when Bing can’t find what I need, I jump over to Google and try the search there. Often both engines fail, but sometimes Google finds something that Bing missed.

One thing Bing does do poorly is indexing new stuff. When the domain for this blog updated, Google had my site indexed much faster than Bing.

TIP: To rack up more points, I search on an address rather than type it directly. For example, I’ll enter “cnbc” and then click the first result rather than type “cnbc.com”. 😎

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Photo by Aidan Bartos 

Stomach Woes Have Snuck Up On Me

In the last year, I have had increasing issues with stomach pain. Nothing too bad. Yet with increasing frequency.

At first, I thought that the increased fiber from a peasant diet was the culprit. I also thought it might be legumes (still properly prepared). So I reduced both and then I had issues with two meat-based meals at restaurants. Another suspect was the high amount of resistant starch I was getting via chilled potatoes. To address that I started re-heating potatoes.

I’d feel better for a few days. Then worse. I could not find a pattern, other than the frequency has been increasing.

Then a week ago, I may have discovered the trigger. After 25 years of drinking black coffee on an empty stomach with zero issues, I don’t think I can anymore. I’m not 100% certain. More like 60% now. But what happens is my stomach starts gurgling loudly when I drink black coffee first thing in the morning without food.

My initial tests have been trying to find the least amount of food I can still consume at 5:30 AM so I can drink coffee. Those tests are not going well. I really do not want to start my eating window this early. An eating window of more than 12 hours almost always leads to weight gain. Plus I am not hungry that early. I just want glorious coffee. I started adding half & half to that first coffee and it seems to help.

I am also feeling fuller for much longer after eating. It feels like my digestion is slower.

I am at the initial stages of trying to solve this riddle. If you have any experience you can share or tips, please leave a comment. I lost 4 pounds in the last week and I was trying to gain muscle. Not good.

The Upside to Health Blogging

A year ago, I was researching my own protein needs. I had just lost a lot of weight using the carb-friendly Peasant Diet that had moderate to low protein and I was figuring out what to do next. My research took me to some of the work of Lyle McDonald on P-Ratios.

From the post High Volume or High Protein Foods For Fat Loss:

The P-Ratio is a value that describes the rate at which you gain or lose fat and muscle when dieting or bulking. A 1:3 ratio says that for every 1 pound of muscle gained, 3 pounds of fat will be gained. On the flip side, it also means that when dieting, a pound of muscle is lost for every 3 pounds of fat.

The ideal situation is to have high a P-Ratio when gaining and a low P-Ratio when dieting.

The P-Ratio explains why the heavier you are, the less need you have for protein when dieting because very little muscle is sacrificed. On the flip side, it makes the case that as one gets lean, protein needs are increased to defend against muscle loss.

At the end of that post, I had made the case to myself to increase my protein intake. It was to become my new story. Then I got injured and I forgot all about P-Ratios. The next several months were spent with physical therapists and trying to solve the riddle of getting my knee pain to go away.

In May, I had a breakthrough on my knee and I have been making progress ever since. My activity is up and I’m regaining muscle in my legs. Yet, I’m still dropping weight, when I want to gain at this stage.

Puzzled by this development, I dug through this blog and found that post from a year ago on P-Ratios. It was information I learned and posted on quickly without having much time to reflect on that information or become better at eating a higher protein diet.

It is a good thing that I have 1,500+ posts of breadcrumbs leading me back to what captured my interest on that day. It helps me make better decisions going forward. If you do not blog, having a private journal might be of benefit to you.

I just listened to a podcast where an investor would write down his reasons for buying or selling a stock. Then he would revisit his writing to find flaws in his decision making. It made him a much better investor. I’m certain having this blog has made me more healthy than I would be without it.

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