Frankly speaking

For some strange reason, SixPackTech is still being published daily and visitors still come to visit. Readership remains steady, fluctuating between 350 to just over 400 per day. Page views range from as low as 600 on a slow day to over 1,000 on a good day. The most popular posts viewed remain the Humpday Honeys with the lead being exchanged between Dana Hamm, the Davalos Twins and Buxom Beauties so far. It varies from week to week. Occasionally a post from a year or two ago will make it into the most-viewed for a day or two, then disappear. I find the whole thing interesting, fascinating and confusing. I chalk up my lack of understanding of our user base to human nature. With the Internet, people will hit on whatever strikes their fancy and I thank all the other sites out there who link to us.

We experienced a slowdown over the last 10 days in the load times for the site. The front page took an uncomfortably long time to be presented and navigating through the different WordPress admin screens became excruciatingly slow. A quick email to our webhost over at HostGator brought back a reply that nothing is essentially wrong with the site per se. The tech did offer a number of suggestions on how to speed up load times and where to look for help. Some of those changes have been made and I can tell that the site seems a tad bit quicker to get slapped on the screen. But you be the judge.

I’ve had a couple of potential advertisers contact me expressing an interest in advertising on the site. I did my usual at-length query of the details of their intentions. I’ve learned a while back that companies who wish to put a text link somewhere on SPT may be in the business of data mining. Others want their graphic widget placed in the sidebar for the mere fact that they think that a link to their site would benefit our users. An email Q&A session lasted about four days with these guys before their intentions become clear and I no longer responded. The 1001BeerSteins folks, however, were legit and you can see their little text blurb at the end of our Saturday Night Brew Reviews each week.

I had this idea of taking all 6 of the Right sidebar sticker images and placing them in a rotating gallery where all the pictures will be shown in a random mini-slideshow. I don’t know how that would go over, but I’ll try it and see who beefs about it. I know that D.V. likes to see his thumb there every time he stops by. Let’s see how it goes.

I have been updating the Brew Review tables. All of the reviews for 2011 are up to date. The data for the reviews for the 2010 table is in progress and we have so far entered 43 posts dating back to the end of June. In case you didn’t know, the entire table is user sortable. You can search by brewery, style, date or rating. Each entry has a link to the posted review. Once the 2010 table is finished, I’ll leave it at that. The 2009 reviews and the older ones will remain as is, in the list as previously posted. The tables offer the most information and versatility from an instantaneous user standpoint but it may take a few more clicks to get to what you’re looking for.

On the homebrew front, my batch of chocolate milk stout has experienced a stuck fermentation. From an original gravity of 1.074, the primary fermentation lasted two weeks and dropped the gravity to 1.049 at time of transfer to the secondary fermenter. Two weeks later, the gravity remained the same. In panic, I posted my dilemma on the forum of the MASH homebrew site and within a few hours, I received many replies with remedies and suggestions.

Among the comments were: Re-pitch more yeast. Who uses a secondary anymore? Check the club’s yeast bank and re-pitch. You suck. And, Yo Mama’s a wort. (A couple of those comments are self-imposed embellishments designed to increase comedic value.) The consensus was to re-pitch more yeast. I ordered some English ale yeast from the club’s yeast bank (a $1 deposit for the test tube sample) and I’ll start the process of building it up this weekend. The beer-wort filled carboy has been transferred to a warmer location in the house and quietly awaits the new addition two weeks from now.

I now have a “slant,” a test tube of a miniscule amount of British ale yeast which I’ll grow into successively larger quantities with dry malt extract over the next two weeks. All of this was provided free as a benefit from being a member of the homebrew club. Including instructions on how to do it.

The MASH homebrew club will also be offering a seminar conducted by a BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) certified beer tasting judge. Samples of regular beer will be tainted with different off-tasting characteristics that can be found in beer, i.e., diacetyl, astringency, grassy, etc. It will be a schooling for the tongue and taste buds. This is something that I’m really interested in and just may lend some credence to all those beer reviews occasionally spotted on the site.

Take a tip from me: If you even have the slightest inkling or even an interest in beer, seek out and join a homebrew club near you. You will learn so much about beer tyhat it will boggle your mind.

Since our site is somewhat loosely based on beer, I’ve been including more beer-related news and videos in the weekly posts. I hope that some/many/all of you look forward to reading/viewing them as I do posting them.

The weather report stated that we just may hit 40° next week. My first thought, and I shit you not, was, “Damn! Still too cold to fire up the Intruder and ride!”

Thanks a lot for stopping by whenever you can.

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One Response to Frankly speaking

  1. D.V. says:

    haha I do get a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that I was the first and may have even started a trend. That could all just be in my head though.

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