UPdate September 5th 2008
Hopefully the timeouts will be a thing of the past now. Hostmonster (my web hosting service) has now installed a new router and are in the process of installing a new data pipe into the center where this website lives. This has speeded up page access significantly. The average total time to fully load the home page is currently running at around 0.65 seconds. Hostmonster also discovered and blocked several DDos attacks (DDos = distributed denial of service) which were slowing things down. Certainly over the last couple of days, things have been fast. I check the site response at 1 minute intervals and saw only two timeouts yesterday and there have been no timeouts at all today. My goal is to keep this site fast and reliable and so far Hostmonster have been pretty responsive when I notify them of any problems.
September 1st 2008 - 4:34pm (eastern time)
My apologies if you're seeing more frequent timeouts then usual when browsing this website. I'm seeing them too and my site monitoring software is indicating fairly frequent timeouts of >30 seconds. I've contacted my hosting service, but today is a major Holiday here in the US (Labor Day), so I think they are running with a skeleton support staff and response time to site issues is longer than usual.
So again I'm sorry if site response is bouncing between fast and timeouts. I'm aware of it, my hosting service is aware of it, and I hope they'll diagnose the problem soon and get things back to normal. Just wanted to let everyone know that I do constantly monitor my site response and try to act as quickly as possible when issues like this come up. This site isn't run by a team, nor is it owned by a larger company. It has my name on it and I'm 100% responsible for it, so I have a personal interest in making sure it runs as smoothly as possible and I like to keep readers up to date with any issues that may interfere with that. At least you know I'm not "asleep at the wheel"!
[Just to brighten up the page, here's a fireworks photograph I shot last night at here in NJ]