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The Electric Grapevine | Slip Slide and Send | 11.23.09

Slip Slide...Send As a nomadic writer stationed more or less in the Boundary Area, this time of year always brings to mind the wells that we go to when the news slows as the year draws to a close. The main one I have tried to avoid like a pothole on 2nd Street is the tried and true “Winter Driving” spiel that seems to always make its way into circulation in some form come November. If you need a media source to remind you that winter driving requires even more attention then perhaps you shouldn’t be driving. Perhaps you are reading this on your Blackberry while driving at this very moment. Perhaps you think winter road conditions give you the right to fantasize that you are a luge competitor at Whistler 2010. Regardless, this “news” is best used by rolling up the article and clearing the fresh snow from your windshield with it. That being said I have to add that I love writing for online publications as I know there is next to zero chance that my column mug shot will be lining the interior of a kitty litter box over the next few months. And if someone has taken so much offence to my column that they actually printed the article just to do so, well then I can’t do much about that level of psychosis save for writing under the name J.Doe. But from what I hear that title is already taken by someone locally. This isn’t to say that writing on the net takes any less of a thick skin. Writing for the ultra high traffic OverclockersClub.com presented some of the most challenging feedback I have ever encountered. After evoking an emotion or response in a traditional publication the excited reader will at the most write a letter to the editor. Online, however, people not only have their tough guy internet persona to feed off of, but they also have a millisecond response time in which to hit the “reply” button and reel off a stream of conscious retort. The challenge with Overclockers was that they are all video game nerds who maintain committed relationships with their desktop wallpapers of Megan Fox. There are also some very sharp techies amongst that group that can easily take you to task because you didn’t evaluate the dynamics of a joystick thoroughly enough. No joke. These folks know you got some free gear to test and sometimes they hate you for it. Winter driving is but one of the four seasonal journalistic tent poles that are taken out and dusted off annually in the areas’ various media formats. One can pretty much have the mail delivered directly to the recycling bin when any of the following other keywords are littered across the offending material: knapweed, tree committee and deer population are all good signs that we have nothing else to report to you at this particular juncture. While the recently awakened coma victim may find those to be scintillating issues, I think we can all agree that weeds, deer and trees are neither revelations nor relevant at this point. Now if you will excuse me, I need to focus on the road. Related Links Winter Driving http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/winterdrive/winterdrive.shtml Texting and Driving http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=111216&catid=2