OK, this is random. :)
I seem to be surrounded by more and more "modern" Californians and other assorted urban folk. Made mention of walnut tires and siping (and re-siping) the other day. No one knows what I'm talking about. Of course, I'm not afraid of snow like they seem to be. It's important to have a healthy respect for driving in snow and ice, but not to be frightened by it.
Now, I've never had walnut shell tires myself, but my grandparents used to swear by them for traction. My mom also recalled to me that they were highly thought of for snow. Also, rather than get a new set of studded tires for snow, have your existing tires siped (cut new grooves in for traction) to make them last through the Winter... then get a new set of tires in the Spring.
Anyone else remember such things? or am I all alone? ;)