Weekend Musings — May 22nd, 2010

Oh Boy! Am I glad this is a long weekend. I had been running on fumes for the past two weeks. That is why I did not post any weekend musings last week. I really look forward to catching up on the millions of to-dos over this long weekend.

The boys are away in camp this long weekend too. So Suanne and I are home alone. It is so quiet around the house this morning. I already missed Nanzaro interrupting me with his random questions while I am in the middle of writing a blog post. He always does that which annoys me. LOL!

GoDaddy Go!

Remember we were told by our hosting company (GoDaddy.com) that chowtimes is causing an overload to their servers? They told us to fix it or they will have no choice but to kick us out. Alternatively, we need to move to a $165 a month plan! Gosh … from a $16 plan to a $165 plan … we can’t afford that!


Well, I am glad to tell you that the worst is over. We did a lot of changes on chowtimes. Most of it is under the hood and they are not really visible to you. The good thing is, GoDaddy re-examined chowtimes on May 15th … and they gave us the thumbs up. The changes we had made are good enough, at least for now. The site is lighter in many ways.

Whew! For a moment we were so worried they will kick us out like the dastradly BlueHost.com folks did to us last year. They did not give us any notice and just shut our site down. No warning at all that our site is overloading their CPU!

At least GoDaddy gave us one month to sort this out. So … GoDaddy Go!

Chowtimes v1.0

One of the blog post I really love to follow is Tana’s blog called the Cheap Appetite. In his post about Fried Chicken in Chinatown, someone brought up the link to our old chowtimes blog.


I had completely forgotten about that first chowtimes blog. Looking back at chowtimes in 2006, I can’t help but to think how … simple life was back then.

We started blogging on blogspot. It was only for a couple of short months and then we upgraded the blog to MoveableType which at that time was a world of difference from the very limiting blogspot. Today, we are on WordPress and so this makes this blog here chowtimes v3, I guess.

Back in the chowtimes v1 days, we were often scrambling to find something to write about. We were writing about simple stuff like making instant ramen. Some days we did not have anything to write that we made a trip to the grocery stores and bought a snack just to make a blog post about it. LOL!

Those were the days. Life was simpler. Today, we have 30 blog posts yet to be written. We are seriously behind in everything … from comments, emails, events and what nots.

So … lately Suanne and I were talking if there is going to be life after chowtimes v3. We realize the support we are getting from all of you will cause chowtimes to do more than what we are doing now. But Suanne and I really want to just get back to our priorities in life. Our priorities in life need to be:

  1. Being a faithful child of God
  2. Being a supportive parent
  3. Being an effective project manager
  4. Being a blogger

So, yeah … we had been telling friends lately that we had achieved all that we wanted to do ever since chowtimes v1 and more … and that some sad day, we will just stop writing. Some day … just not today, not anytime in the near future. Suanne and I want to move on to doing other things on life. Sorry for the ramblings … back to business!

The 8GTCC Jiangsu Dinner

The highlight of the previous week was of course the 8GTCC Jiangsu dinner. It was attended by 68 people which surpassed the 52 we had for the initial 8GTCC Hunan dinner.


We had an astounding 19 dishes in all. It is certainly the dinner with the most dishes I ever had in my life. Dylan was awesome putting this whole thing together … from the selection of the menu to all the research of the Jiangsu cuisine. BTW, Dylan writes on the very poetic food blog called JiaoQu (Updated 7th Nov 2014; this blog no longer exist). I heard that he is starting a Food Tour thingy (it’s on his blog). If you love real authentic Chinese food, you should follow him.

However, logistically the 8GTCC dinners is getting harder to manage — a victim of its own success. So we need to rethink (again!) what we need to do going forward.

The next 8GTCC event? There are a few ideas and suggestions bounced off the 8GTCC team already. I will let you know for sure the moment it is more firmed up.

The Ramen Event in Miki

Overwhelming! The event is going to be held on Tuesday next week (May 25th) at the Miki Restaurant in Burnaby (details here).


We have requests for 97 seats while there are only 32 available. So the response was way-way beyond what we initially expected. We are sorry we can’t accommodate everyone as much as we hope we could. This is going to be a fun and learning event setup for chowtimes readers.

Miki was sincere and kind to put together a $21 menu for just a token sum of $5.

Another Event: Kopi Luwak, Blue Mountain

Close in the heels of Miki Ramen is gonna be the coffee event. I don’t have a lot details to divulge yet as we are still cracking our heads to make this an event that you would like to attend. Let me get the Miki Ramen event out of the way.

What I can tell you is that we will have this on June 5th (Saturday). I will make a full announcement once I had finalized the plans by sometime next week.

Extreme Dim Sum and a Secret Dish

He he he … the Extreme Dim Sum event is back on track!

And I am so excited. For one, one restaurant had gotten back to us volunteering to host the Extreme Dim Sum event. They do not normally have the extreme stuff on their menu but they will make it for us. We even have a test tasting scheduled so that by the time we announce the details, it will be perfect for you all!

What I am really excited about is a particular dish that will remain secret for now. If I mention the name, most of you will know what I am talking about. It is a very popular (and fun!) dish but surprisingly no one has this on their menu in Vancouver. This one dish is gonna be a hit and I am pretty sure a lot of you will want to be in on this.

Oh … I am about to burst dying to tell you about it but am not going to do that just about now. Not until the dish is perfected. Target date … mid June. Stay tuned.

That’s all for this week. It is 1:30PM now and Suanne’s stomach is growling. I better go before she starts to complain.

As always … eat well, folks!

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Eric

    Please keep on informed about the date for the Extreme Dim Sum! Can’t wait.

  2. frank

    hey ben et al…anybody post any pics from the 8GTCC Jiangsu dinner?

    Would love to see them…was not able to attend

    1. Ben

      Hi Frank:
      I am going to post about the 8GTCC Jiangsu event on Monday. We missed you at the dinner and hope you can join the future ones.

  3. LotusRapper

    Whew. I thought I was gonna be in trouble from you for bringing up Chowtimes v1.0. ! Glad to see that trip down memory lane keep you focused on what’s important in your own lives. Who would have imagined back then that you’d do such crazy things like 8GTCC or XDS !


  4. Marike

    Agree with you on the priorities thing. Been wrestling with similar issues myself.

    So no worries on the backlog, we’ll just enjoy the ride!

  5. cheapappetite

    Chowtime causing overload to godaddy server is, in a way, a great thing. Thank you for mentioning my blog. I noticed a very high spike on my blog stat whenever you link to it. The beggar chicken looks so interesting. Not sure what kind of crust it baked in. And the Miki Ramen $21 worth of food for $5 is awesome! From now on, I’ll keep my eyes on your food event. 🙂


  6. Carol

    i’ll be working the 1st sat of June :(……… AGAIN! …. :(… no coffee for me…

    1. Ben

      So which Saturday don’t you work, Carol? 🙂

  7. Nancy L

    Extreme dim sum…oh what can the secret be? I would love to find out. Guess we will all have to wait.

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