I would love to say it was indeed due to some nefarious scheme, devious hackers or even a demented Bourdain desperate for attention, but in fact the site trouble began when I opened this month's visa bill and found that my domain host had not charged me the usual $21 dollars but instead, $6921. This gives a bit of a jolt to the system. They told me with the new design and increased image use I had exceeded my band width, and that I did in fact owe them the money. I know band width is valuable but not that valuable. They were quickly persuaded that this was unfair. They switched me to a new server (resulting in the blog being down for several days), and a new plan (for less money!), and didn't charge me 6900 bucks, so all's well that ends well.
Many thanks to those of you who expressed your concern.