Weekend Musings (23-Jan-2010)

We had wanted to eat light the past week. We were doing OK except we ended up having heavy dinners on two nights. Back to square one. Below are what we had last week which we will be blogging about next week. Can you guess what they are?


There is going to be a lot more musings this week. Got lots on my mind that I want to unload for chowtimes readers.

12B Underground Kitchen

12B-Underground-88-150x150All plans are pretty much set. Dinner is confirmed for 31-Jan. That is a Sunday night. We might have three more places available pending confirmation. If any of you want to be put on the standby list, send me an email at ben@chowtimes.com. This is one dinner Suanne and I look so much forward to.

Chef Todd is a big boy now. He was featured in the papers last week. And then at the same time, he told me that the “donation” is now $65 instead of $50. Wasn’t too happy at all.

Anyway, for those of you who do not know of Chef Todd and the 12B Underground Kitchen, you can read of my experience here.

The Eight Great Traditions of Chinese Cuisine

Song_Dynasty_Elegant_Party-150x150It is still very much on our radar.

We just did not have time to get going on this project which I mentioned on the post here. I know I need to get some plans going or else this is going to turn cold … if not already. LOL!

We did go to the Richmond Public Library to get some books about Chinese cuisine. This makes for good weekend reading. Frankly, one can only learn so much from books. It is learning from the experts that makes the most difference. Some of you had sent me emails volunteering to help — I’ll call on you soon!

I just wanted to let you know I am serious about this project.

ben@chowtimes.com a Spammer?

Oh yeah. It seems that our emails sent from our @chowtimes.com account ended on spam folders of many email clients. I don’t know what is the best way around this but to ask you to check your spam folder and unspam/unjunk us. I think you only need to do it once and we’re OK.

Chowtimes.com Outages

We had been getting a lot of outages last week. This seems to be getting worse as the traffic on the site grows. Last month we had 173,000 pageviews. This month we are on track to surpass 196,000 pageviews. Also I have a lot of “stuff” on the site which makes it heavier than most WordPress blogs.

This somewhat worries me to tell the truth. We were kicked out by our old hosting company last year because we had too much traffic and overloaded the servers. Our hosting plan today is still cheap — just $13 a month. We are seriously thinking of proactively moving to a dedicated plan if the traffic growth continues.

At the meantime, sorry for all the outages. The outages are usually fixed within 30 to 120 minutes.

That’s it for today folks. Looks like it’s going to be another gorgeous day in Vancouver today.

Have a good weekend, eat well and enjoy this Coca-Cola viral video below.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U&rel=0&border=1&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

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  1. Jonnek

    I’m wondering if you still have to add tip to the $65.00 price of the 12b dinner?

    1. Ben

      Frankly. For me I am not going to leave a tip since it is $65.

  2. Maggie N

    If I were you, I would wait until you have seen the results of your boys’ “super secret practices” before deciding on what to do about the volume of page views on your site. I suspect that folks (including athletes) who will be attending the Winter Olympics have been checking out Vancouver foodie sites like crazy. It’s often best to let the dust, or in this case, powder, settle.

    1. Ben

      Good thinking Maggie N. It had never occurred to me that the traffic growth could be due to Olympic related traffic. A quick check a moment ago does not show a lot of new traffic are Olympic related (i.e. still pre-dominantly recipe related). We will only move to a bigger plan only if the traffic continues but am more concerned about the annoying outages because it sends a bad signal to Google crawlers and the site could get penalized in rankings. Anyway thanks for the tip.

      1. Maggie N

        Recipe traffic over restaurants, huh? I guess that says a lot about the state of the global economy. In any case, I love both aspects of your web site.

  3. Eat. Travel. Eat!

    This month I’m happy that that I will surpass hopefully 6000 pageviews :). I don’t know why I am getting more visitors this month compared to before. New year, new Google rankings? Blogger just had its own problems (on my computer only, it seems) this past weekend. Error 400 is so annoying! Couldn’t write a post, comment on other Blogger blogs… 🙁

    1. Ben

      He he he … 6000 pageviews per month? Even today we get that in a day, we still remember the days when we got started, getting 200 pageviews per day got us excited. I am sure the readership will grow. It always does. Just looked over your site — I can recommend a few tweaks you could make to boost readership. Just email me if you want.

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