Last Tuesday I took a one day business trip to Berkeley, California. It's hard to describe how I think of the Bay Area whenever I fly in and out of it. I lived here for 10 years and, from the air, it's always made me think of infestations.

The beauty of the area from a distance is undeniable. As I flew out of Oakland, there was a thin layer of clouds at about 1000 feet. Once the plane was above them, the orange glow of the city illuminated the clouds from underneath making them fluffy, orange glowing cotton. The clusters and masses of lights in lines and bunches show the energy consuming bustle of each town.

Have you ever had that experience where you take the bag of flour out of the cubbard and inside it you find all these webs? "Ick", you say as you throw the flour away. But these webs were the bug's cities -- they weren't just trying to ruin your flour. They were trying to live a decent bug life.

That's what I see looking down on Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Pleasenton, Alameda and all the other towns where people are going about their business of living decent lives. But the houses spill over the hills and fill the valleys. The cities advance and the trees give way. Our building spread out and cover the land. We infest the earth.

I just hope the owner doesn't come along and throw away the bag.