Working on Ipad Mobile Site Issue


I’m hopefully getting the iPad issue solved with the help of the good folks who make the mobile site plug-in, so please bear with me a bit longer. To top things off, I hurt my back almost two weeks ago and am using what little time I can spend sitting at my computer taking care of must-do’s. Luckily I had some time open up so I hope to have a solution later today, though it may end up being tomorrow.

That said, I’m trying to solve a number of issues and no, I am not in control of the ads.


Consider this an open thread. I have to go to a financial institution that’s 30 minutes each way to hand-deliver a form, so I won’t be back until mid-late afternoon, depending on how I feel and whether I rest.



Added at 18:18: folks who have issues with the iPad or other tablet view of the mobile site, go to the bottom of the page and tap the Desktop link to view the desktop site. You can switch back when the issue is fixed. I did take a rest and am done fiddling for the day.

Site Maintenance Monday and Important, Timely Site Support Bleg


I hurt my back Thursday morning and have been unable to sit at a computer until now. Even then, it’s only a matter of time before I have to move. So I’m trying to get as much done on the site as I can off and on the next few days.

I’m applying some updates now, and hoping to get a fix for the #$%@q($^ iPad mobile site issue. I sent the company an email two weeks ago but they’ve not gotten back to me. I suspect that the bloom is off the rose of their months-ago acquisition and that they have less staff as many of their support resources are non-functional. I just submitted a customer contact form entry since their support ticket system has disappeared into the aether.

For iPad or other tablet users accursed with the “left blank panel” issue, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the Desktop theme by tapping the link.  That’s the only solution for now, which is in fact a workaround.

I also hope to solve the many edit comment bugs.  This is likely a side-effect of the caching we’re now doing.

There are numerous complaints about the video ads; I don’t like them either but they pay the bills. Talk to John. I will be setting up a complaint form to submit ad issues so that if, for example, audio auto-plays, you can more easily report it.  Do note the advertiser so John can get it taken care of, as well as date/time. Many video ads have controls so you can pause or mute them, and some ads have controls where you can give feedback (such as this ad is of no interest to me) to refine their controls.

I will be updating WordPress and some plugins over the next few minutes.

Finally, since today through tomorrow is Prime Day on Amazon, please do your shopping through the Balloon-Juice Affiliate link so John gets some extra moolah. It won’t increase your bill and helps the site any day, but since many folks will be buying lots of stuff today, do help the site out!

The link again is: Shopping Amazon via this link helps Balloon Juice...a lot

Amazon Smile Link (also does not affect your donation or price) :

Site Changes… Ahem – er – enhancements!

Ok folks, there have been some changes to the site and there will be a few more coming over the next few days.



We’re now using the Cloudflare CDN to speed up the site for everyone. This should be a very good thing. We’re also now using a better caching mechanism which, coupled with the CDN, should really make things scream.

I’m sure there are twitches to work out.

Some may have noticed that the Recent Comments and Recent Posts widgets were removed. These were taking up huge amounts of processing power that most readers never used. In other words, they sucked the site’s performance down for everyone while benefiting few. The difference on CPU usage before and after was striking, even more so for disk access.


I will be updating the core theme over the next few days and hope to have a fix soon for the tablet users trying to use the mobile site. For now, scroll to the very bottom of the page and switch to the Desktop site and it will behave.


I will also address a few other odds and ends.


Open thread. I will not be here to respond until perhaps later.

Something’sWrong With The Site

Something’s wrong with the site and I’m going to try changing the theme to another one to see if it makes a difference in performance.

You have been warned.

If things work speedily then I’ll know it’s the theme and work accordingly (and will return the theme back to the malfunctioning one while I work on repairs).

Actually, either way the current theme will return after a few minutes.

I don’t expect to solve the problem for hours, FYI. But this is necessary diagnostics.

I will consult the post from last night for details folks submitted.
This mostly affects the desktop site and will be fixed. If you need to email me, use the contact form to submit an email.

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.

Site Maintenance

Before you bitch up a storm and blame Alain, he’s not responsible. We’re trying different ads out. I’m going to be getting rid of the taboola one which is just fucking hideously large and awful (and makes me want to throw my fucking phone on the mobile site), so we are trying other shit.

There should be no audio autoplay ads. If there are, email ME.

I’m sure you all will handle these changes with the typical amount of patience, grace, and charm we all display when there is the slightest change (by which I mean none), but I promise you we will get through this.

You fucking assholes.

Quick Tech Update: Mobile Site Blues


The mobile site is going to be a pain for a couple more days and I’m sorry. The mobile theme vendor provided me with a link to download a file from another of their themes and I thought that would suffice until next week, but it causes the mobile site to be pretty unusable for a number of readers (much less commentors!) and thus I’m replacing the new file with the original file.

This whole issue is because of the new European privacy laws, GDPR.

WordPress released an update to accommodate the new privacy laws, and the checkbox to allow saving your nym, email, and website is missing on the mobile site so now every time you view a post and go to the comment form, you have to re-enter that info. I’m sorry it’s a pain. Perhaps users can offer some suggestions or workarounds until this can be solved.

Before I waste real time trying to make this hybrid work, I’m awaiting clear instructions and since it’s a holiday weekend, that means Tuesday. This replacement file is different enough from what we were using as to require a lot more work than I’d hoped for and so I’m returning the mobile site comment form back to what it was. We’ll sort out this mess later this week.

My apologies for a less-than-ideal solution, and have a great holiday weekend for those in the States.