Balloon Juice Site Redesign Fundraiser

As you know, we are working on a new website, and a crew of longtime members of the blogetariat have been helping me see things through the eyes of the reader and coordinating the redesign. They have put together a comprehensive list of what we want from the “new” site, and are currently in the process of reaching out to web developers for bids. Thus, I have been informed that now is the time for the site fundraiser.

We will let this run for two weeks (and then again in January), with another updated post every day or so. As always, the paypal thing is always to the right, and should you do your Christmas shopping on Amazon, click through the link to the right and the website cuts a minute commission. Should you choose to not want to use paypal, email me and I will send you a snail mail address.

In what I consider the best news of the year, CafePress is once again doing calendars, so the BJ calendar will be available for purchase that way instead of having to go through the sheer hell we went through last year.

In other good news, the Balloon Man is coming back.

117 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    Yay for Balloon Man! I ♥️ him!

    And as soon as I can, donation will be on its way. Tomorrow if I remember.

  2. 2
    geg6 says:

    Oh, and what is the email for pet pics again?

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In other good news, the Balloon Man is coming back.

    Now *that* is good news indeed. You know how to shake the money out of the customer pockets.

  4. 4
    debbie says:


    There’s an email address up top at right.

  5. 5
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’ll be glad to see the balloon man again, and it goes without saying that I am tired of entering my nym and email.

    Just don’t make the print smaller, my eyes are older than the rest of me.

  6. 6
    geg6 says:


    On my phone, there is no “right.” But thanks! I’ll take care of it tomorrow or Thursday. Now that I know where to send them. Gotta get our new girl, Cleo, immortalized for posterity.

  7. 7
    zhena gogolia says:

    Where do I get John’s e-mail address?

  8. 8
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    They’re not going to fix the nym thing.

  9. 9
    Joy in FL says:

    I just kicked in a mite through Paypal. I love this place!

  10. 10
    debbie says:


    Oops. It’s balloonjuicecalendar @

  11. 11
    zhena gogolia says:


    I can’t find where John Cole’s e-mail address is given.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    It’s under the Quick Links. Look for “Contact Us.”

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    And now I’ll spend an hour trying to find my password for Paypal which I haven’t used in millennia.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    Shouldn’t you really be paying us?

  15. 15
    Mike J says:

    @debbie: All email should be in all caps with at least three things you hate about the blog or John personally.

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:



  17. 17
  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    Threw in and will give more in January.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    they have put together a comprehensive list of what we want from the “new” site,

    I trust the list includes threaded comments, an automatic emailing to Cole of any imagined problems, all comments are purely in emojis, animated GIFs, and the old HTML blink tag. And, of course, WordPress database errors.

    Did I miss anything?

  20. 20
    Mike J says:

    @dmsilev: The marquee tag is almost as good as blink.

  21. 21

    @Baud: You didn’t get your Soros check?

  22. 22
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Will donate something tomorrow or Thursday.

    How much do we need in total?

  23. 23
    dnfree says:

    Once you get a target cost, it would be cool to have one of those thermometer things showing progress toward the goal.

  24. 24
    debbie says:


    Pedant complaints?

  25. 25
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Done. I’ll try to hit it again in January.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    @debbie: Let’s have pendant complaints instead.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    @dmsilev: Also, avatars. Animated if possible.

  28. 28
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Mike J:
    Tell JC how much you want threaded comments.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I can’t find an email address for John, nor do I see an Amazon link.

  30. 30
    Vidya Pradhan says:


  31. 31
    Sab says:

    @debbie: Can we at least get some pedants who can spell?

  32. 32
    debbie says:


    The Amazon link is up top on the right, right underneath the email address for sending in pet pictures.

  33. 33
    Anotherlurker says:

    In for $10.00. All I can do, for now. More next month.
    This is a wonderful place with wonderful, knowledgeable people!
    Still, a like button would be nice….. just kidding….don’t hate me…..

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    You mean I’m gonna have to put up some money for this shit?

  35. 35
    debbie says:


    Now you’re asking for too much!

  36. 36
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Quick Links hasn’t worked for me for months.

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    @dmsilev: Ratings

  38. 38
    jeffreyw says:

    One thing that has always bothered me about the site is that when I click on a link it does not automatically open in a new tab. I wish it would do so, and yeah, yeah, do not tell me to right click and then go for the open in a new tab in the context menu. There could be repercussions!

  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    By Grabthar’s hammer, don’t let Balloon Man get too close to the willow.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:


    If it’s Firefox, easier than peasier to configure it to always open links in a new tab,.

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Don’t make me cut you…

  42. 42
    TenguPhule says:


    By Grabthar’s hammer, don’t let Balloon Man get too close to the willow.

    Omega 13 or Bust!

  43. 43
    Kristine says:

    If possible, I’d like notification that someone responded to a comment. Threads age so quickly around here that mini-discussions in older posts get lost.

  44. 44
    The Lodger says:

    @TenguPhule: Omega 13 – Fatty acids with more fat AND more ass…

  45. 45
    Middlelee says:


  46. 46
    Spanky says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s jgriffincole att gmail, for those interested. At least that’s what the paypal link goes to.

  47. 47
    Eric S. says:

    @debbie: I probably have 5 PayPal accounts just because of this.

  48. 48
    Mike J says:

    @jeffreyw: Hold control while clicking. Easier than right clicking.

    They added that once but did it in an incredibly stupid way (replacing all href s with javascript so that no links worked at all with javascript turned off.) If a site as dead simple as this doesn’t even function without javascript, it’s broken. Everything should work in lynx or links, even if it’s not pretty.

  49. 49
    Mandalay says:


    when I click on a link it does not automatically open in a new tab

    If you are using Chrome or Firefox just click the middle mouse button (i.e. the scroll wheel).

  50. 50
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I just had to explain to my wife why I paid JGriffenCole. The CFO keeps track.

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    We can also buy ornaments made of high quality porcelain (available in Rosie/ Lily/ Tunch/ the balloon/ or the attractive CAAR logo) and notebooks and everything except tattoos.
    At the FEED button under Pet Home & Office.
    (All profits go to the MARC to improve the lives of animals in Marion County TN, not to site development.)

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    IIRC, they’re going to fix the nym problem for the new site, but it was going to be a giant PITA to fix it for this kludgy mess.

  53. 53
    Michael Cain says:

    @Ohio Mom: To go wildly off topic, a few years ago I got so ticked off about various ugly sites and blank name/email text boxes that I wrote a chunk of JavaScript that runs on almost every page I download. It does its best to convert everything to only a couple of fonts, in a small number of sizes, all of which are big enough for me to read. For places where I comment regularly, it fills in the text boxes. The web can be a more readable place, but it’s a lot of work.

  54. 54
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Yutsano: It’s not you we have to worry about. For the record, I agree with JC. I like the layout; the JavaScript CPU burns that eat the crappy battery in my Pixel, not so much.

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: The avatars! A Sunday that will live in ignominy! At least I think it was a Sunday; maybe a Saturday. They didn’t even last the whole day. :-)

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @A Ghost To Most

    Also for the record, stackpathcdn sucks bigly.

  57. 57
    zhena gogolia says:


    That was hilarious.

  58. 58
    Platonailedit says:

    Instead of throwing good money after bad ‘web developers’ year after year, how about using standard and simple wordpress free offerings? I post in fywp hosted blogs which are photos and videos intensive and they all work smoothly without a hitch.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:


    Also the eye-searing Rainbow Brite color cornucopia for front pager comments. Yucketh to the maxeth.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @zhena gogolia, @debbie:

    The “Contact a Front-Pager” thing is awful, in my experience. You don’t get an address; you get a form to fill out that may or may not launch an e-mail to the target.

    In my notes I have “JCole at” as an address. Try that (suitably encoded with the at symbol).

  61. 61
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    What is Cole’s email address? I sent him an email a few days ago through the Contact a Front Pager and haven’t gotten a response yet? I was trying to confirm if my pet pictures for next year were received or not through the email address we’re supposed to send them to.

    I don’t understand how this works.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: They were the worst! Whose idea was that anyway?

    @NotMax: Oh, I’d forgotten about that. John still has his color for his comments. All the other FPers lost theirs.

  63. 63
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @NotMax: Apparently, the web has passed me by. I had to look that up.

    I did my part in getting the networks functional, and in sorting out Oracle RAC on Windows. I’m glad I don’t have to figure out the essential BJ functionality.

  64. 64
    zhena gogolia says:


    The form worked for me this time — he answered. I’m surprised I don’t have any Cole messages in my inbox, but I searched.

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: You probably didn’t use all caps. John loves that.

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:


    Commenters free to post in-line photos, videos (autoplay, of course) and multi-level marketing schemes.

  67. 67
    Steeplejack says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Well, hang onto that address and use it next time. The other thing I don’t like about the form is that it’s not as convenient as using Gmail or Outlook directly. Grumble, grumble.

  68. 68
    NotMax says:


    All the other FPers lost theirs.

    Thankfully, and quickly. Made some pages look as if Messrs. Binney and Smith both threw up.

  69. 69
    TenguPhule says:


    Instead of throwing good money after bad ‘web developers’ year after year, how about using standard and simple wordpress free offerings? I post in fywp hosted blogs which are photos and videos intensive and they all work smoothly without a hitch.

    Those are not secure and JC is pretty firm about protecting us from ourselves.

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: It was awful.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:


    Made some pages look as if Messrs. Binney and Smith both threw up.

    Taste the Rainbow!

  72. 72
    NotMax says:


    videos (autoplay, of course)

    With audio level preset to “Krakatoa.”


  73. 73
    Steeplejack says:


    The Amazon link, if you are using the desktop version of the site, is up under “Support: Shop via Amazon.”

    Here’s the actual link, which should work from here (I hope).

    Cole’s e-mail address covered here. I think the address given at #46 is also good.

  74. 74
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Spanky: @Steeplejack:

    Spanky’s address is the one I got an answer from.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @NotMax: Nothing better than STACKPATH!

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:


    The avatars! A Sunday that will live in ignominy! At least I think it was a Sunday; maybe a Saturday. They didn’t even last the whole day.

    I got assigned an Egg as my avatar. A big, fat, round, white Egg. And all I could think was, “Well, I guess it’s a reasonable likeness. How did they know?”

    Wait, that’s not it. That’s not what I thought at all. That is not it, at all.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:


    That was mostly covered when we had the Recent Comments widget. Which, one can fervently hope, will be making a reappearance.

  78. 78
    PaulB says:

    Long-time lurker, infrequent commenter in for a bit.

    If you don’t want to create a PayPal account, PayPal lets you contribute via credit card as a “guest” without the need to have PayPal keep its fingers in your financial system.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    My personal favorite is

  80. 80
    geg6 says:


    That was hysterical.

  81. 81
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Corner Stone: I give you people network switches, and this is where we are?

    You buy ’em books, and they eat the covers

  82. 82
    Corner Stone says:

    I was told there would be no tests.

  83. 83
    NotMax says:

    @a Ghost To Most

    “Why, back in my day we had to go out and cut our own switches to be punished by.”


  84. 84
    Central Planning says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Brinks. Trucks.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    Jesus. This site just went full on Gonzo for side loading. WTF is going on.

  86. 86
    TS (the original) says:

    From MSNBC – the memo is released

  87. 87
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Steeplejack: Pretty sure that’s intentional, right? So that John’s email address doesn’t get harvested or posted publicly.

  88. 88
    TS (the original) says:

    @TS (the original): Most of it is redacted

  89. 89
    Quinerly says:

    @TS (the original): Flynn interviewed 19 times!

  90. 90
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TS (the original): Yep! The Flynn sentencing memo has just been released a few minutes ago. Hopefully we can get Cheryl/Adam/Betty to comment on it later tonight, but it’s so heavily redacted I’m not sure we’ll get anything useful from it.

  91. 91
    TS (the original) says:

    @Quinerly: The most interesting item available in the memo – plus links between Russia and the trump campaign.

  92. 92
    Quinerly says:

    @TS (the original): 0-6 months recommended.

  93. 93
    Yarrow says:

    @Quinerly: @TS (the original): Apparently recommending no jail time. Interesting.

  94. 94
    TS (the original) says:

    Asking for probation only – so the level of information provided seems high.

    Edit: as Yarrow said above

  95. 95
    TS (the original) says:

    @Yarrow: No doubt Rachel is writing her show at the minute – might provide more information.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Not a ton there, from what I can see:

    * Interviewed Flynn 19 times.
    * They note that Flynn’s early co-operation was very helpful, in that he gave them information soon after the events happened and that his cooperation spurred other valuable cooperation.
    * Recommending little jail time. This could be due to the usefulness of his cooperation, but might also be due to the whole “Flynn was a senior Administration official and we tend to go easy on them” thing from the Feds.
    * They say Flynn was helpful on the topic of Russia but don’t say how.

  98. 98
    Yarrow says:

    @TS (the original): Must be an incredibly high level of cooperation.

  99. 99
    Stuart Frasier says:

    I was rather hoping for the schadenfreude from seeing Mr. Lockherup go to jail…

  100. 100
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Threw in a few coins and will definitely buy the calendar. Love looking at the cats and dogs during my workday.

  101. 101
    Aleta says:

    Some of the replies to:

    Rudy Giuliani @RudyGiuliani
    Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE

    Norm Eisen @NormEisen
    You dope, you created a viable url with the first typo and not with the second. In Trump World, everyone looks everywhere else to lay blame for mistakes except the one place where the guilty party can be seen: in the mirror.

    SwiftOnSecurity @SwiftOnSecurity
    I run a website popular with security professionals investigating website hijacking.

    You have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Your speech is garbled nonsense indecipherable to even experts.

    Mark Dalton @mdalton323
    His bio says he’s cyber. Hard to imagine these guys overstating their credentials.

    Ryan Hill @RyanHillMI
    It looks like Rudy knows as much about Twitter as Trump does about government!

    Fun Fact: Rudy runs a cybersecurity consultancy:
    “Giuliani Security and Safety”

    Molly Knight @molly_knight
    If you are on speaking terms with your grandchildren perhaps ask them to explain what happened here

    AltScalesOfJustice @AltScalesOfJust
    Oh, how I wish you were trying to be funny on purpose. Sorry, you’ll figure out how hyperlinks work one day. It isn’t a conspiracy. You may be America First, but other countries have Internet domains, too…

    Mike Flacy @mikeflacy
    Hey “cyber czar,” here’s how it worked.
    1. YOU accidentally tweeted a URL that didn’t exist.
    2. Someone bought that URL and sent it to a web page.
    3. YOU left the tweet up.

    Twitter had nothing to do with it. There was no invasion.

  102. 102
    Platonailedit says:

    @Stuart Frasier: Yup. This is a bummer.

  103. 103
    different-church-lady says:

    @dmsilev: Auto-play ads.

    No, wait… auto-re-play ads!

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:

    @different-church-lady: Your favorite would have to be mandatory Facebook login to comment.

  105. 105
    different-church-lady says:

    @Yarrow: No, no… wait… ALL COMMENTS AUTO-POST TO FACEBOOK!

  106. 106
  107. 107
    Stuart Frasier says:

    If it turns out he delivered the goods, then I’ll be okay with it. The biggest bummer is that we don’t get to know the details yet.

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:


    Yes. But there was a previous version that, when you selected a front-pager, opened up a blank message in your e-mail client and populated the “To” field with the front-pager’s e-mail address.

  109. 109
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Stuart Frasier:
    If I understand how he operates, Mueller will have exacted delivery from Flynn before releasing payment in the form of asking the judge to be lenient in sentencing Flynn. And at that, Mueller’s prosecutors can only ask; if the judge thinks Mueller’s offer is too lenient, he has the authority to really sock it to Flynn.

  110. 110
    2liberal says:

    I kicked in $60. I have a request PLEASE give us a better PIE FILTER. One that just blanks out the comment and doesn’t replace it with pie related remarks so I have to waste energy reading enough of the comment to realize it’s been pied. The current one is so bad I haven’t even pied a couple of my most despised long term trolls.

  111. 111
    Raven says:

    Aite dammit, here it is!

  112. 112
    J R in WV says:

    Have been waiting for PayPal to start the enter your financial information phase for the time it took me to read 109 comments here. Sad!

    I’m going to kill that page and start over again. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to Bethany and give John cash money… or something like that!

  113. 113
    J R in WV says:

    @J R in WV:

    OK, second time was the charm, if you can call PayPal a charm, ever.

    I’m in now! I’ll encourage lurker wife to also kick in if she doesn’t think my donation was sufficient for the both of us.

    I encourage the new site to be developed using actual coding languages and web development tools rather than a pre-built framework like WordPress or other such devices, which impose their requirements on Your website. There are many late generation tool sets that allow the creation of from scratch web sites with relative ease.

    But you will need an actual coder and a real database for the comments and data/pics/video/addresses etc. As opposed to someone who has learned how to wrestle with WordPress to try to make it do what you want. Not the same at all.

    Not that I’m into that, I retired years ago and did not do more of it for fun, it was work, fun was rocks and building things and such.

    Now off to study LtG Flynn’s potential sentence recommendations. Etc.

  114. 114
    Another Scott says:


    (Snark about threads and avatars and giant .sig files and upvote/downvote here.)



  115. 115
    Mart says:

    I got a great idea for balloon-juice tote bagger types, give $75 and you get a free calendar!

  116. 116
    JGabriel says:

    @2liberal: IIRC, the current pie filter was a gift contributed to the site by a fellow jackal, Cleek.

    Maybe a simple request for the option to choose a single-word message in the filter, like “Pied!”, would be better than a full critique?

    Just a suggestion, not meant to be judgmental.

  117. 117
    Bonnie says:

    I hate change.

Comments are closed.