Everything always happens when I'm on vacation.  I can't take a few weeks off to go snorkelling in the tropics without whidbey beta 2 sneaking out the door and into the eager hands of thousands of awaiting customers, end-users, pointy-haired managers and a flock of P2P traders that have seemingly confused the download as a pirate Doctor Who episode. 

And then there's all this pent up interest flooding out onto the net; questions, answers, intellectual debate, goofy anecdotes and cowboy haiku all over this wee little product and a programming language that could.  Flooding everywhere, it seems, except here.  That's right.  The Wayward had been missing the boat.  While the rest of the world sailed away on the luxury liner of current events, the Wayward weblog has been completely mum.

I could not believe it either.  So I looked into it.

It took a while.  The switch over to the new hosting site had me confused for a bit.  What I found out scared me to the bone. 

All the posts where gone.  Nothing was left except posts predating the Mouse competition. 

I was shocked.

Needless to say I became panicked.  I sent emails out to everyone I could think of.  "Where did my posts go?"  Not many replied.  Most denied the problem.  Some put the blame on others.  One mistook me for a Peruvian ballet dancer and wanted my phone number.   I was getting nowhere.

So I hacked the system.  I developed a program that would allow me to send anonymous communications anywhere on the net by taking advantage of the 'unused' bits of undersized packets.  This let me transmit commands, bouncing them off compromised gophers sites (there are still a few), and attack the very servers that host this blog.  I broke in using a technique not used since the 70's.  No one imagined it ever would ever come back into fashion and so no one thought to protect against it; not unlike bell bottom pants. 

For days I searched the archives.  They had to be there somewhere.  They just couldn't vanish could they?  Then I had a flashback.  It was the 80's and I was into crazy hobbies like stop-motion clay animation.  I had spent two days working out a fan-film variation of Mr. Bill.  He was on Safari in the jungles of my backyard and unfortunetly got eaten by a giant yellow boa.  It was a masterpiece.  I imagined the accolades I would receive after sending it out to all the amateur film festivals.  But to my chagrin, after getting the developed 8mm reel back from the K-Mart photo desk, I found the segment missing.

Yes, there was the bit with dancing dinosaurs and the scene with the improvised mannequin falling off the roof, splattering all over the pavement.  But the segment inbetween, the entire Mr. Bill on Safari, was missing, apparrently clipped out as if the minute and a half never existed.

I didn't even need to guess. I knew the truth.  Somewhere there was a K-Mart employee with a 8mm strip of my blood and sweat, showing it to all his friends, wooing women, receiving the awards and being invited to the whitehouse.  And somewhere out there is a blogger with my posts, somewhere.

I eventually found an encrypted file with an incriminating title:  wayward_posts.xor.  I couldn't break the encryption. 

Still I was left with some satisfaction.  I knew the truth.  The only thing left to do was to decide what to do next.  For a moment I toyed with the idea of rewriting the posts, each and every one of them.  Then reality flooded back.  No, not this time.  I was not going to relive the past.  The future, I realized, was all that really mattered.  I decided that I would press on.  Invent new topics and post new posts.  I would be better than before.  More eloquent.  More incisive.  More legible. 

And there wouldn't be any cowboy haiku.

But I digress

Matt 'Wayward' Warren