Never, ever take a vacation. Two reasons: one, it only takes about three days for the weeds to overrun your garden and, two, it only takes about three days for scammers, spammers, and political dirty tricksters to overrun your web site.
It seemed like such a good idea at the time, uttered with irony a la Die Hard's John McClain - "Come out to the coast, have a few laughs..." and when you get back to civilization and find a wireless signal -- there's a mushroom cloud hanging over your town.
Well, a cyber-mushroom cloud. What happened, you ask, crawling through the air duct with cables in your mouth, your email inbox throbbing with poison pen letters, cries for help from mortified users, more venom and inviting missives from hostile spammers you've never even heard of. I guess you can chalk it up to small town politics.
Picture me as Jimmy Stewart's "Mr. Smith," ripped from small town America and thrust into the meat grinder of big city politics. Only the big city politics are right here my small town, with political gamers harpooning rival candidates and dirty tricksters with skills enough to make Donald Segretti blush running bogus accounts and filling the comments threads with innuendo and invective.
Memories of redwood trees and blissful sea otters evaporated like burnt silk. I had trolls inside my perimeter - not the ones that live under bridges - much, much worse. These trolls are out to hijack comment threads and sling mud and innuendo to see what will stick. I came away feeling slightly ill.
The inbox was bulging and I've still not had a chance to make a real dent in it. If you wrote me while I was gone I'll be getting back, it may just take a little while. A lot of you wrote. I'm hearing of some burglaries in Orinda and Moraga, and residents yanked off about a number of different things -- from noise complaints to SMC's Brenda Hillman landing an Academy of American Poets fellowship (congrats) to new road paving underway in Orinda and a development planned for Moraga. I hope to get to all of it.
Yee haw, yippee ki-yay gentle readers (and not-so-gentle readers), I'm back in the saddle. Remember... never, ever go on vacation.