Five weeks have gone by since I wrote to you last and already much has happened in this new year. I enjoyed a very brief stay in Florida and even managed a swim in a heated pool. Unfortunately most of the time it was too cool to indulge in the usual sunshine state pleasures. So I did not mind too much when a cold shower of a personal nature cut my trip short. I had seen some other wallpaper than my own and was quite ready to carry on with regular life. In fact, I cannot quite understand the lifestyle of total leisure yet, which prevails among the snowbirds in Florida. A shorter vacation like that is ideal, but having to live like that, well, I donít know, I would probably die of boredom. For what is there to do other than eat, sleep, sun and bath yourself. After the tourists attractions have been visited it can get pretty monotonous, unless you are the shop-till-you-drop kind of person. But even that can become a bore after a while.
While I was away here in Toronto interesting things occurred. Something we have wanted to do for a long time has finally come true: We are ready to hit the Internet! In fact, some of you might read Echo Germanica on the net for the first time!
Big deal, you might say and you would be right if you were not sarcastic. Since we are basically only 3 people producing the paper, it is indeed a big deal to go on the net, if one person has to learn all the necessary technology to do the work and become good enough to do it cost and time efficiently. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our computer whiz: Rolf Rentmeister. He has been doing all the technical work ups and the development and only consulted with me on the artistic aspects. A lot of study and research and training went into this project, but we believe that we have created a user-friendly online paper, that is uncluttered and aesthetic. Please check us out and let us know if you like it. You find us under echoworld.com
Of course, this is just the beginning and we hope to expand the paper on the net much more than our hard copy version, which is sometimes very locally oriented. For the online version we want to develop also more universal subject matters.
If you visit our site you will also be able to browse into the issues back to April of last year, when we had started to publish in our 11th year. We had wanted to be ready then, but it did not turn out to be a realistic target; but we are still doing it in our anniversary year, and that pleases us a lot.
We invite your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to see in the paper online. Everything you say, as long as it is constructive, will be looked at and taken into consideration.
If you have a talent and love for writing and want to volunteer your services, you can send us samples of your work with a request for publication. Anything that is interesting and of general interested, not self-serving, can be considered.
In the meantime we wish you a fun filled Carnival season. The Canadian version is in full swing, as this issue will illustrate.
Alaaf and Helau,
P.S. Donít forget to treat your Valentine!