Is this a little bit better, or a little bit worse?

Folks, I am not sure what the issue is with the site. Nothing changed that I’m aware of, but it appears that a link to Google’s resources is crapping out and that’s the main issue. I’m trying to disable or alter things that touch Google, but I’m not sure if it’s us, Google, a plugin, WordPress, the theme, or something on L3 or some other network segment.

In short: we’re working on it.

56 replies
  1. 1
    Rabble Arouser says:

    Everything seems to be four by four on my end.

  2. 2
    debit says:

    No problems for me.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The auto-play ad seems to be disabled and everything is working fine here.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    No problems on Safari, on my lap top or earlier on my phone

  5. 5
    MazeDancer says:

    Been working fine all day.. Using regular site through browser on tablet.

  6. 6
    Frodo says:

    Have you tried turning it off and on again?

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’ve been fine on the mobile site with my iPad and Safari.

    Folks who are not fine should probably email Alain or John with their set-up to help with troubleshooting.

  8. 8
    raven says:

    Unuseable on Safari 11.2 on a macbookpro.

  9. 9
    jacy says:

    I haven’t had any problems with the site since I switched from Firefox to Chrome. In Firefox, if I had Balloon Juice open it froze the browser. It’s been fine on android phone and Kindle tablet.

  10. 10
    p.a. says:

    “Safari could not open the page because the server stopped responding”

    on the first try, most every time. Next click, loads, but slow. ipad (wifi only), safari, mobile page, fios.
    android samsung s5 chrome mobile page fios or 4glte, few/no issues.

  11. 11
    James E Powell says:

    Does the mobile still not save nym & email?

  12. 12
    Alain the site fixer says:

    So yeah, it’s something wacky on Google’s part and we’re working on it. Likely it will work itself out.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    It won’s save my credentials on my iPad or 7 plus.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    @James E Powell: mine don’t

  15. 15
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @James E Powell: For now. The mobile theme maker didn’t decide to update the theme and the replacement file they sent me works very differently and I haven’t had a few hour block to devote to getting into it. I will, this week

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    Maybe on chrome on mobile?

  17. 17
    Steeplejack says:


    Folks who are not fine should probably email Alain or John with their set-up to help with troubleshooting.

    Or just be more specific in their comments. “It’s fine for me” is useless. There are multiple “versions” of Balloon Juice: desktop or mobile site, which OS (Windows, Android, MacOS, etc.), which type of device (computer, tablet, phone). Adding those details helps in debugging and isolating problems.

    ETA: Also helpful to mention which browser you’re using.

  18. 18
    p.a. says:

    @James E Powell: hasn’t for (what seems like) weeks.

    shut down/restart seemed to help. comments has taken 2 tries most of today. this one…
    didn’t go 1st time… try #2…

  19. 19
    mali muso says:

    Mobile site was crapping out on my iPhone this morning but seems ok now.

  20. 20
    Steeplejack says:


    Which version of the site—desktop or mobile?

  21. 21
    Alain the site fixer says:

    Sorry for my lack of clarity, above. Most of the issues relate to the desktop site, but since some of the ads on the mobile site (and fonts!) are from Google, there could be problems with it too. I can’t realistically strip out all Google content right now, but I will soon. I can’t take the site not working for so many folks (and myself!).

    The issues also affect the back end, which makes no sense since we’re not seeing Google ads, but I suspect that some of the standard built-in WordPress components use some JavaScript hosted by Google and there you go!

    Believe me, for some of use FPers, it’s painful as hell right now. I have to make an edit, and save it, and repeat 2-5 times before the thing actually saves without timing out. And many things like the toolbar for editing posts is just missing. It’s crazy.

  22. 22
    bluefish says:

    Good luck and good thing we’re not paranoid out here. Thanks for all you do.

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    Am on my MacBook and BJ working like a charm. Was out this afternoon and missed all the tech issues.

    Alain: thank you for giving up hours on a weekend to attend to your jackal dependents. Merci.

  24. 24
    frosty fred says:

    Fine on Firefox (Macbook Pro) here; it was a little slow loading early today but I’ve been in and out so haven’t followed it closely.

  25. 25
    Librarian says:

    I’m using the mobile, and it’s been loading really slowly today.

  26. 26
    RepubAnon says:

    I tried it on a iPhone running the current version of Safari and the current iOS – no problems.

    Also tried it on a MacBook Pro running OS 10.11.6 with 8 gig of RAM – no problems with current versions of Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

    I blame those teenage immigrant welfare mothers on drugs:

    It’s been five years since we had a raise in pay
    And they disallowed my business lunches today
    Somebody must have changed the rules of the game
    So we’ve found a convenient scapegoat we can blame
    It’s those teenage immigrant welfare mothers on drugs (They’re too lazy to work)
    Teenage immigrant welfare mothers on drugs (They’re stealing our jobs)

    -Austin Lounge Lizards, it’s a song from the Reagan era – so don’t think immigrant bashing is a new thing for the Republicans.

  27. 27
    Schlemazel says:

    Computers are designed to make your life easier . . . keep repeating that until you believe it

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Alain the site fixer:
    This site would probably not run at all without you. You’re a hero for what you do here, Alain.

  29. 29

    @RepubAnon: Haven’t Rs always been an anti-immigrant party? Even when the immigrants were Irish and later Italian. All that demagoguery about Boss Tweed and all Italians being members of the mafia and so on.

  30. 30
    Spanky says:

    Desktop/ Windows 10 Pro updated 5/24/2018/ Chrome Version 67.0.3396.87 looking OK.

  31. 31
    NobodySpecial says:

    No issues with Chrome on my PC or my mobile phone.

  32. 32
    jacy says:


    Desktop freezes in Firefox, fine in Chrome. Have never had a problem with the mobile site on my Android phone or Kindle tablet. I’m on the desktop most of the time — I have both Chrome and Firefox open because I do different things in each, which is probably not the most elegant setup, but I’m a chewing gum and baling wire type of girl……

  33. 33
    Platonailedit says:

    Site sux. I want my money back.

    PS: Desktop version. Win10. FF. Was wonky whole day. Seems ok now.

  34. 34
    CarolPW says:

    @jacy: It did that to me too (Firefox, Win 10, desktop). Closing and reopening Balloon Juice didn’t help, but after exiting and then reopening Firefox it worked fine – and no more endlessly spinning refresh icon.

  35. 35
    Steeplejack says:


    Interesting. I’m using the desktop site with Firefox (60.0.2) on my Windows 10 computer and have had no problems. Also no problems with desktop site on my Android tablet or with mobile site on my Android cell phone (Chrome browser on both of those).

    I wonder if, as Alain mused, the problem is some weird thing with certain Internet providers. (Mine is Cox Cable.)

    ETA: On my computer I did do the manual edit to Adblock Plus to nuke the autoplay Connatix ad.

  36. 36
    Spanky says:

    I will say that I’ve had problems with my Windows 10 machine at work using FF, but I wasn’t sure it wasn’t the work servers throttling internet traffic. It does work a lot better on Explorer on that machine, though.

  37. 37
    sukabi says:

    Android, lg g5, ad blocker browser, site is working fine….except have to manually fill in nym and email addy in comments 😠…

    Also seems to be working fine for me on chrome.

  38. 38
    frosty fred says:


    I have both Chrome and Firefox open because I do different things in each, which is probably not the most elegant setup

    See, it’s not just me.

  39. 39
    White & Gold Purgatorian says:

    The homepage is still loading very slow for me. iPad, Safari, WiFi. In case it matters, when it has loaded eventually, but slowly, I am seeing a Kroger ad but just now when I clicked on this post it loaded quickly and I was seeing a Clark’s shoes ad instead of the Kroger ad that had been at the top of the front page just previously (when it took maybe 75 sec to load) and also most other times I was able to get to the front page since breakfast.

  40. 40

    Loads immediately and without issue on the trusty Kindle Fire.

    I am grateful for a free site that people are willing to fix late on a Saturday afternoon.

  41. 41
    Percysowner says:

    I’m fine on Mac OSX 10.13.5 Firefox ESR 52.8.1

  42. 42
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Loads slowly or not at all on Safari iPad.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    iMac with latest Apple upgrades for High Serra. Use Safari with adblocker plus. Turn off all flash player and java scripts in Safari. BJ works fine, on some other sites having java turned off makes them either not show a lot of time wasting stuff or not work at all. I’m fine with that.
    I find that FF is unstable and unworkable for most every thing currently, it was my goto for years. Chrome has a few usability issues so I seldom use it other than on the Android phone. To make the mobil site usable on Android I use FF with a private window. Otherwise the amount of ads that corrupt downloading and use is more than my limited amount of phone throwing self control.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:

    Win 7, Firefox 56 point something (still balking at upgrading since they went Quantum). Javascript disabled. Both and blocked.

    Maybe 1 time in 6 when refreshing, getting a blank dark gray screen instead of the normal page.

  45. 45
    tomtofa says:

    Very slow homepage/subpage loading on Chrome, iMac, osx 10.13.5.
    Black page, “Connecting”, eventually shows up.

  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    OK, after posting on the latest thread, I backed up to the main page and loaded Anne’s Sat. morning post. I got a black screen but just pressing the down buttons which did show up on the screen it went to the bottom and displayed fine.

  47. 47
    FlyingToaster (Tablet) says:

    Slow loading on ios 9 iPad 4 Chrome whatever’s current. NOT the mobile site version.

    Nym preserved correctly. One autoplay ad muted (Happily ignored). All other ads presenting normally. One black square where I assume an ad goes, and the other non-autoplay ad in place.

    All on hotel wifi. Once loaded, behaves normally.

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    Have things changed with the mobile site?
    I still have to fill in the ID information every single time😕😕

  49. 49
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @jacy: Only two? I usually have four browsers open on my desktop: one for Facebook, one for Ancestry etc., and everything else split between Opera and Firefox.

    I’m having no problems on the desktop (Win10, Firefox with uBlock and uMatrix), but my mobile stops dead about halfway through as if waiting for something to time out before proceeding. Firefox Android, uBlock, uMatrix. Checking my uMatrix log, it seems to be stalling at the request for the license buttons.

    Also, should it be setting dozens of WPAjaxEditCommentsComment cookies?

  50. 50
    Ohio Dad says:

    Ohio Mom has reported problems on her ancient iPhone (Safari) since last night. I have not had problems on my Moto Droid (Chrome). Thanks, Alain, for working on a fix and your honesty.

    BTW, with every passing month I am less and less enamored of Google. They have become the new Microsoft. Microsoft has become the new IBM. (IBM FWIW developes nothing and markets others’ inferior products to those who still find cachet in IBM’s name.)

  51. 51
    jl says:

    From the status messages and addresses that keep appearing, seems to be some ad placement thingee that isn’t responding.
    But I know very little about it. the problem doesn’t seem to interfere with navigating the stie anymore, so that is good.
    Seems like most sites, there is ad stuff that someone is paying for that isn’t responding or loading. Is that a racket or just the creative destruction of the all-wise market? I dunno.

  52. 52
    henqiguai says:

    @James E Powell (#11):

    Does the mobile still not save nym & email?

    Yeah, late to the party. But, to the question – no clue; I don’t use mobile. However, it’s now not saving on the main site; checked both Firefox and Chrome on Win 10.

  53. 53
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: that’s for each time you edit a comment I guess. One of the many quirks!

    That said, I’ve been trying to post a comment for an hour now. Luckily my VPN removes enough crap so I can post using my phone because on my iPad or desktop, it’s hopeless!

    So I will be working on this Sunday afternoon and working into the night. I will also fix the comment issue on the mobile site. Until then, I’m done. Not the time to dig into complicated problems.

    Sorry, folks.

  54. 54
    The Pale Scot says:

    Safari osx12.6

    Turning off javascript improves things, it seems for Safari and Firefox the “webcontent” processes just start sucking up resources. Closing the tab doesn’t immediately

  55. 55
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In the 1980s, the Republicans hated Mexican immigrants just as they do now, but they liked Cuban, Vietnamese, etc. ones, who were brave freedom-seekers fleeing Communism. Their Cold Warrior tendencies worked against their Pat Buchanan tendencies, a little.

    Were Trump in charge at the time he’d probably have assumed they were spies, or infected with Communist cooties somehow.

  56. 56
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Alain, I rarely comment from my phone. And I certainly haven’t commented enough to have over 100 cookies set just from Balloon Juice. (uMatrix stops counting at 99.) My desktop, where I do most of my commenting, only has 61 cookies. Shouldn’t the edit cookies expire pretty quickly?

    Something else that happens at about the same point is multiple calls for {persistant-cookie:wptouch-device-type}. Anywhere from 7 to 14 of them.

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