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Michael Jesso's Fabulous, Derailed

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With winter upon us there is no denying that we’ve all heard the shrieking, whining sound of tires spinning on ice. We’ve all been at an intersection waiting for the car in front of us to try and get going when the light turns green. I have one question for everybody: What do you have against winter tires? People all over the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo continue to shock me; they have quads, snowmobiles, boats, Harleys, watercraft, every toy imaginable under the sun, yet they won’t pop for a set of winter tires. People would rather skid, fishtail, spinout, hit the ditch or just plain crash into something rather than spend a few bucks on some winter rubber. It’s madness, I tell you!

Below +7 celsius, all-season tires begin to get hard; by -5 celsius they are effectively useless. The rubber can’t flex to grip and the snow just packs into the tread and stays there. With winter tires the rubber is much more softer and pliable. As a winter tire rotates, it is able to effectively discharge snow, slush and water out of the treads and channels. There are also micro treads that basically suction cup themselves to the ice, keeping the car under control and helping you stop without sliding all over the place. Winter tires can actually help you stop on snow and ice 40 per cent faster.

With a lot of new cars, SUVs and trucks coming equipped with all wheel drive and 4 wheel drive these days, its important to know that while this feature will help you get going faster, it does nothing to help you steer or stop. You still need winter tires. Here’s another question to those of you with 4 wheel drive who never turn it on: What’s wrong with you? If you have ever seen a 4 wheel drive spun around backwards or in the ditch on Beaconhill its because they didn’t have 4 wheel drive turned on. It amazes me that a simple safety feature never gets used because people believe the gas consumption goes up. Baffling, considering you used command start and let the vehicle run for 45 minutes before you left the house.

So what do you do if you happen to end up in a skid or lose control of the vehicle this winter? Always keep one foot on the dead pedal as a brace (the dead pedal is the raised block section usually to the left of your left foot). Firmly apply the brakes and look where you want to go. (If your car doesn’t have antilock brakes, try to feather the brake pedal to the point where they don’t lock up. When you get home safely, sell this car immediately and get something safer.) If you happen to be looking at the ditch, I guarantee you will end up there, if you look at the car in front of you, you will end up hitting that too. Always look a block ahead of you and give yourself time and options to stop.

Now for my last winter driving tip: If you are setting off to Edmonton this winter - maybe its a last minute trip to pop into the City or perhaps the whole family is going - pack some warm clothes. I always take my winter coat, ski pants and heavy boots with me in the trunk. If you break down or end up in the ditch, you could be there for hours, and in -30. Plus, you just never know what the weather is going to do between Marianna Lakes and Wandering River. It’s like the twilight zone down there, so please be safe.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas this year, and all the best to each and every one of you for the New Year. Remember to plan ahead this holiday season and please don’t drink and drive.

With Christmas fast approaching and holiday gift ideas coming at you from all angles, a facial from Chatters in Stoneycreek Village is a sure fire way to make someone happy this holiday season. I recently had the pleasure of experiencing one of these first hand and it was nothing short of amazing.

Step 1: Precleanse The first step of the Dermalogica Double Cleanse for your cleanest skin ever! Nourishing Olive, Apricot and Kukui Nut oils cut through make-up, sunscreens and oil-based debris, readying them for easy removal. Add water to transform this hydrophilic (water-loving) formula into a milky emulsion that lifts debris from the skin’s surface.

Step 2: Skin Analysis The Esthetician will scan your face and discuss any areas of concern with you.

Step 3: Special Cleansing Gel This soap-free, foaming gel cleanser with a refreshing lather thoroughly removes impurities without disturbing the skin’s natural moisture balance. Calming Balm Mint and Lavender extracts soothe the skin, while natural Quillaja Saponaria gently foams away toxins and debris for a super-clean surface.

Step 4: Daily Microfoliant with Accelerator 35 Dermalogicas number one exfoliant! Gentle, Rice-based exfoliating powder activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes that micro-exfoliate dead cells, instantly leaving skin smoother and brighter.

Step 5: Extractions Now I won’t lie, this can be a little uncomfortable. The esthetician will use a small tool to extract blackheads, whiteheads and anything else that shouldn’t under the skin. I promise the massage you receive next more than makes up for it.

Step 6: Massage The massage with massage cream offers immediate comfort to the skin and prepares the skin to absorb the benefits of the the Dermalogica Masque.

Step 7: Ultra-Calming Relief Masque A powerful, ultra-calming treatment masque enriched with Colloidal Oatmeal to soothe enraged skin and provide lasting relief from sensitized skin flare-ups and redness. While you are wait for the masque to dry you are treated to a hand and arm massage.

Step 8: UltraCalmingTM Serum Concentrate The antidote for skin sensitivity: a super-concentrated serum that helps calm, restore and defend sensitized skin. Our exclusive UltraCalmingTM Complex contains Oat and botanical actives that work below the surface to interrupt inflammatory triggers that lead to sensitization, while helping to minimize discomfort, burning and itching.

Another great gift idea for someone you love or just a great gift to someone you would like to treat this Christmas or anytime of year is a relaxing pedicure. Lets face it, our feet probably get the worst of anything we can physically throw at them. Sit back and let a trained esthetician pamper your tender tootsies.