Calendar Update

The interest in calendars has been lukewarm, so I need you to email if you desire a calendar. If you have already emailed, don’t send another. Mentioning you want one in the comments DOES NOT WORK, as I am only using the tally from emails.

Additionally, I am going to hold a site fundraiser. I have received bids for a complete rebuild that will be several thousand dollars, but we just need a complete rebuild. Alain has done an amazing job patching things together, but the best course of action is starting from the ground up. When should we hold the fundraiser?

Site Updates


Just a quick note.  I just updated a bunch of plugins and completed setting up the new CDN.  I’m now going to make the change in our DNS entries to support the new CDN configuration. This should be transparent to everyone, but I wanted to mention it now, before I do anything. I will give this post a bit to be read before I pull the trigger.

I re-enabled the inline Edit Comment function, let’s hope it behaves.

On a non-site topic, the new iOS 12 seems much faster on my 6s+ as well as on the family iPads. I haven’t yet loaded it on my old 5s, but I hear tell that it’s zippy even on that ancient hardware. Apparently, Apple’s focus on performance was successful. Huzzah!

Have a good morning, everybody!


ETA: Sorry to hear about the A/C, John. I’ve not yet faced that dreaded event, but had to put a new roof after only three years owning a house (and that after like $2000 on repairs and patching in the prior 8 months which made it hurt even more).

Tech Issues Update


After Monday’s drama and subsequent changes in our DNS server address, most folks can now access the site. This is progress from when it was roughly 0% for a few hours mid-Monday, but is still not ideal.

Although most folks who might want this update cannot read the site, hopefully this info will trickle to them.


The changes I made to the domain were roughly at 3 pm Eastern, Monday. Once those changes were made, they must propagate out to the internet to ISPs, corporate networks, etc., and this can take up to 48 hours. As of this morning, I’m still getting reports of people unable to connect via one connection, but successful via another. For example, I had an early-morning report from Indiana where the work computer is fine, but the home connection is unable to find the domain. Another one a bit later this morning was from overseas – using a local connection failed, but using his US-based VPN was fine.


Hopefully, the dust will settle from this a bit later today and it will be another painful memory. Once I have 12 hours with no reports of this lingering issue, I will rebuild the site’s CDN (Content Delivery Network) setup to increase the site’s speed and reduce your download time. Currently, I expect that to be Thursday afternoon. It will not be disruptive as this will entail adding some things, not moving things, and those who are slow to receive the changes will just see the current, non-CDN, setup.


I’ve got some things to take care of today, but will be back later.


Open Thread


(about the Featured Image – the conversation seems to be changing)

A Quick Explanation

And..we’re back.

Folks, we’ve had a few issues today relating to the change from our old CDN to the new one. A CDN makes the site faster by storing lots of the content you download (pictures, code, formatting, etc) in multiple places across the world. This means that you get a fast copy of non-changing stuff served from this more-local source along with new content from the server such as comments or new or edited posts.


So, sorry for the issues – things should settle down. I wasn’t touching anything today, this was more of a side-effect from some settings I should have changed before it became an issue. Their system allowed some slop and so I was sloppy. My apologies!


Open, non-site-related Thread!


ETA: The site will be a bit sluggish the next 12-24 hours until I rebuild the CDN setup and get it working again. I wanted to let the dust settle before I take another step!

Rambling Open Thread

I’m tired. It was 100000 degrees today again, and the humidity was horrible. It just sucks the life out of you. Tomorrow is another long day because I have to head up to Pittsburgh to take Lily to chemo (three weeks just flies by). But at least she is still alive and super happy, and, as you can see, right where she is supposed to be as I write this:

I think I am going to take the people at PVSEC some tomatoes tomorrow. Who doesn’t love tomatoes?

I’m also rushing to get everything done before leaving for the beach next Friday (and if one more asshole mentions the fucking tropical storm trying to put the kaibosh on me I am gonna cut someone). Just so much to do and so little time.

I spoke with Alain the other day and we put the brakes on whatever site changes he had in mind. Other than maintenance and maybe fixing the edit function, we’re not doing anything for a couple weeks. I’ve spoken with a couple of the older (I don’t mean age) commenters who offered to help with the front end stuff, and we are looking for a targeted roll out of around October 15th. Two priorities are a solution for the video ads and the comment system, but there is a bunch of other stuff that needs to be fixed and changed. As I was telling others, I would love nothing more than to go back to 2007 and have this:

But we just can’t. With so many different mobile sites, etc., it’s just impossible. The other reason things are such a pain in the ass is because I refuse to use offsite commenting. I do that for some very real reasons. This website is an archive of us. Our interactions, our conversations, our thoughts. We’ve gone through too many personal emergencies and life events for all those to just disappear, and that isn’t even going into all the funny things people have said. I want it to stay that way, and I can not guarantee the safety of comments on an external site. The other reason is because I will refuse to comply with any requests from the authorities to give up usernames, emails, and ip addresses. That’s just not going to happen.

So, it limits us in some ways.

The other problem (for me, at least) is replicating the problems some of you encounter. I had my boot drive crash the other day, replaced it, and had a clean windows install. I installed malwarebytes, which is always the first thing I install, then downloaded chrome, firefox, safari, etc. I then checked Balloon Juice with clean installs of them all, reloaded and refreshed multiple times, and I never got an audio ad. I never got an ad stretching outside the borders.

That doesn’t mean I don’t trust you that it is happening- my own brother got an audio ad last week and texted me. It’s just it makes it really hard to address when you can’t see it happening or replicate it. And I know how annoying it is. Fucking CNN with those god damned autoplay clips drives me god damned mental. So I am working on it. I don’t want you all having a lousy time here.

At any rate, we’re going to fix some things and upgrade some things and you all will have a say, but it just isn’t going to happen right now. Alain has a lot of shit going on, I have a bunch of shit going on, and it will take a little time.

So that’s that. Have a little faith in me, I give you my word I will not fuck this up. I love this shitty little website as much as you all do. And I just realized I forgot to turn the damned sprinkler off.