a few words about this site . . .


Dear Reader,

    If you’ve gotten even this far into Fox Paws, I already want to thank you for being willing to give some consideration to my rather minimalist approach here. Not exactly a Graphics Jamboree, is it. I’ve had the site up for a few months now, and the comments have ranged from “just too bare” (from people who think of “multi-media” as the chief glory of the web), to “thanks!” (from people like me with outdated hardware who mainly avoid the web altogether because the pages take so long to load). At first I took a defiant approach — yeah, Luddite, so what — but now I’m starting to think that some pictures and sounds would be pretty cool . . . but I just don’t know how to do that . . . and anyway, if it’s pictures and sounds that you’re after, you won’t come to me for them anyway. (I’m on the road right now, more limited by my hardware than ever; at the moment I’m Off the Grid entirely, running my laptop from a solar panel.) But once I learn how to do it, I’ll get some pictures and sounds up here — some drawings of great things like the Cazadero dome house, photos depicting the awesome panorama of the Temecula Valley (which I get right now, for free, just by looking up), and even some original music played on the guitar and the banjo and the dulcimer. You’ll see . . . you’ll hear . . . really. . . .

   But still this will be a site devoted to the “printed” word, the printed world — a kind of electronic warehouse of stories and essays and poems for anyone who might like to read them. A few years ago my friend Bill told me the following story:

A radio interviewer was doing a story about Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and found a fan who had consumed it every which way: via books, comic books, audio tapes, video tapes, CD ROM, IMAX movie with Sens-U-Round sound, holographic tarot cards, Broadway extravaganza with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Milton Bradley board game, virtual reality arcade experience, Hypnotic Channeling Workshop Weekend with the Amazing Madame Du Lac . . . everything that Adams’ thriving little cottage industry has produced. “Which format do you like best?” the interviewer asked. “Oh, the books,” answered the fan. “Best pictures.”

My kind of fan! To that guy, even if he’s the last of his breed, I want to say, Step right up — here are some of the best pictures on the web! (Uh oh, there goes that defiance again. . . .)

   And as I asked last time: please, if anything in this site moves you or amuses you or annoys you or bores you, tell me about it. Tell me what you do and don’t like about the look and feel of the site itself. Tell me about cool linking ideas, and let me know if you’d like me to place a link to your site. Above all, tell me about my writing and your reading: this is a site for readers.

   Many thanks to Cathy de Heer for being my Dutchgirl hostess, to Henri Picciotto for being honest enough to tell me that the last edition of “afwats” was, in his humble opinion, bullshit, and to the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony for giving me a few moments of peace.

Mike Fleming, December 1998


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