Go Grey, Girl – Be an Arctic Ice Blonde!

Hair colour (or color) is a confusing and controversial topic, especially if the hair colour is grey (or gray!) To start with, great swaths of the population spell the essential words differently! Although it is quite acceptable to spell grey – gray,  and colour – color, having grey hair is quite another matter. Of course, the individual hairs aren’t actually grey either. They are either some shade of white, or the original hair colour. The grey colour is an effect achieved by the mingling of the white and dark strands. Sheer trickery.

A quick search for the precise term “grey hair” brings up many, many pages. A search for “gray hair” is the same. I spent a morning previewing a very small sampling of these pages and came to the conclusion that women, and the fashion industry, have more or less declared war on grey hair.

I decided to revisit the Gray Land of Grey Hair after a few years of colourful experiments in the hands of my well meaning, and much younger, hair dresser. Upon arrival at my Grey destination again, I found that my former Grey Locks were now mostly Silver Strands. There are a number of reasons why I am delighted with this colour, not the least of which is the fact that it brings out the most interesting reactions from family, friends and strangers.  The reaction, for the most part, is a startled silence. During the growing out period, not a single person said, “Wow, those are some roots you’ve got happening!”  And now that I have these silver strands, only two people have commented. I’ve had several compliments from total strangers, but family are not saying a thing. Curious.

arctic blonde
This is my Arctic Blonde hair!

The best part of grey-white hair, though, is the small silent band of sisters I now belong to. Whenever I pass a stranger who shares my hair colour, either she or I initiates a small smile. We hold each others glance just long enough to say, “Welcome to the White Side!” I’m thinking we should have a little wave, too, maybe similar to the one that is shared by the motorcyclists we pass on the road. It’s the same wave we give and get from the drivers who live near us in our rural setting. Just a slight lifting of the hand off the throttle or the steering wheel that says, “You are one of us.”

While the vast majority of women are busy keeping their grey hair at bay, men tend to accept the grey look as part of the natural order of things. If women viewed grey hair on women as a sign of power and maturity, rather than fearing it is a sign of being old and worthless, would women finally have the gender equality that they have fought so long to achieve?

Maybe what women need is just a little rebranding, and for me, what could be more perfect for a Canadian than ‘Arctic Ice Blonde’? If you are unsure of what I mean by the term, check out this Arctic Blonde Pinterest Board.

If you google Arctic Blonde, you will also come across a Miss Clairol Hair Dye by that name, but we all know there is only one way to be an Arctic Blonde, and that is to let Mother Nature do the job for you.

As for a community – there are Silver Sisterhoods and Graceful Greys – but what should I call a group for Arctic Ice Blondes?

How to Stalk a Sales Associate

I don’t advocate buying a computer (or just about anything, for that matter)  from some Big Box Stores. They are fine places to browse, but I personally don’t like to reward their staffs Ageist attitudes or lack of knowledge by buying something from them.

I do, however, enjoy wandering through some of these stores just to see the immense variety of new product that is available. These stores are also great places to play my favourite shopping game – Sales Associate Stalking. The rules of this game are simple. I walk into a Big Box Electronic Store, go to the computer department, stand in front of the most expensive computer they sell, look perplexed, and then see how long it takes for a sales associate to approach me.

I have discovered that a grey haired lady like myself can often wait until “Hell Freezes Over” before a sales associate will approach. This is where the stalking part of the game starts. I go looking for the clump of associates who have attached themselves to the good looking blonde buying a cheap printer. I approach them, and the excess sales staff quickly disperses in all directions. But now and then, I actually catch the slowest one, and I pepper him with questions for a few minutes to see if he actually knows anything about the products he is selling. (I say “he” because the bulk of the staff is of that gender, it seems. Why aren’t there hardly any “shes” selling this kind of stuff?)

The Associate often knows very little about the product. And they certainly don’t know anything about customers who have money, or they wouldn’t  ignore me and my ilk. In all fairness, however, I occasionally meet an Associate who defies my expectations, and I learn a few things I didn’t know about a product. That is a good shopping day when that happens, but not so good for the points score of my game.

Tooth Tales – A Dentist Story

The big rage in dental advertising right now is products to make your teeth whiter. Whiter teeth do what? I don’t understand why the money I spend on toothpaste is being ploughed into research and advertising for these products. Just give me a toothpaste that keeps crowns and bridges from falling off, stops night tooth grinding, and lets me eat ice cream without worrying about the calories. Is that too much to ask for?

I visited the dentist recently. One of my teeth decided to evict the crown that protected it. The crown, unhappy with that unilateral decision, took some of the tooth with it. Now I have a small stub of a tooth, not much use for anything. I don’t really miss that tooth much. I have lots of other ones to chew with. But my dentist says I can’t run around with a stubby little tooth for very long.

We’re discussing the merits of a bridge vs an implant. Like many other decisions in life, there are no simple or clear answers. There are merits to both paths, but it is all complicated by what the dental insurance company is willing to contribute towards the various schemes. At first glance, it would seem not much. I don’t really blame the insurance company. Over the years, we have helped several dentists enjoy nice annual vacations and put fish tanks in the waiting areas.

I’m quite okay with having this renegade tooth pulled out and call it a day. My concern, however, is what if the neighbouring teeth stage a rebellion, or start to lay down on the job? Then what?

How to Prevent Mouse Fingeritis

I’m not sure there is actually a malady called Mouse Fingeritis. I’ve seen a post for plain “fingeritis” which is described as extreme pain in the finger tips, caused by typing on a too rigid keyboard. Mouse Fingeritis, then would be a pain along the length of the finger caused by a too rigid mouse. At least, that is how I would describe it.

I partially solved the problem by searching around until I found a mouse that takes very little pressure to click. I also found it helped to tape the finger with elastic bandage before I started working on the computer. Apparently this reduced the incidence of inflammation, and thus reduced the pain.

The elastic bandage was inconvenient and bulky, so I made a trip to the pharmacy to see what else might work. In the brace section, there were support systems for all sorts of body parts, the knee being the most popular. But nothing for fingers. So I moved over to the bandage section. There were a variety of finger splints, but these were too bulky and would have made typing very difficult. Eventually I came across a package of little round gauze things called FingerBob. They seemed worth a try, so I bought a pack and brought them home.

I followed the simple instructions, and with a little work ended up with a slick little tube, two layers thick, to encase the offending finger. I decided to try using two fingerbobs, one on top of the other, and that worked too. No more pain, as long as I use it the whole time I am mousing.

I am right handed, but have carpel tunnel, or some similar malady. Years ago I quit using my mouse with my right hand because my fingers would go numb. It took a while to become proficient mousing with my left hand. I had to develop a left hand dexterity I didn’t previously have, and I had to convince my brain to accept this interesting turn of events.  I didn’t switch buttons for the mouse either, because I share it with family members who are right handed mouse users.

Who would have thought computers can be so hazardous?

Story of a 1980 Corvette

In car years, this 1980 Corvette is getting up there. Her original owner was a lady named Wendy. Wendy had always wanted a Corvette. She bought her dream in 1980 and it was a head turner – deep burgundy in color with white leather interior. Wendy never ever drove the car. She didn’t even have a drivers license. But her husband did, so the two of them  logged 60,440 miles before their first child was born in 1991. The Corvette wasn’t roomy enough for a baby seat, so the car was driven into the garage for what turned out to be Wendy’s last ride in her dream car.

The Corvette gradually disappeared under dust, cardboard boxes, lawn hoses, and anything else that needed to be stored. A mouse or two moved into the engine compartment. The battery lost it’s charge. The air gradually leaked out of the tires.

And then, sadly, Wendy died of breast cancer. The sight of Wendy’s Corvette was not comforting to the family, so they decided to sell it. The buyer was my spousal unit – The Car Guy. He agreed to take Wendy’s car home on the condition that he could get it started. Seventeen years of accumulated junk was taken off the car. A battery was installed. The tires were pumped up. The carburetor was primed. The key was turned on. And Wendy’s Corvette roared to life again.

Burgundy white leather interior

The Corvette was trailered home and the task became fixing everything that was broken on this Road Warrior. Hubby didn’t want to make her just like new, he just wanted everything to work. He and his dad spent countless hours troubleshooting and repairing. Every time they got one thing working they discovered another thing that didn’t. Of course, most of the cars idiosyncrasies were blamed on the fact that it was a Chevy. They are Mopar men…  But they couldn’t deny the fact that the car was a real fighter. So in honour of it’s first owner, they called the car “Wendy.”

“Wendy” is in pretty good shape again. Oh, her paint is a bit scratched and rubbed in places, and she doesn’t look at all brand new. And she is not fully restored in any sense of the word. She has been out for a few short trips into town, but hasn’t accumulated any significant mileage. But she is happy to be back on the road again. She’s looking for a new owner, though – someone who has always wanted a burgundy Corvette with white leather interior…

UPDATE: Wendy was listed in Kijiji for a few weeks before a buyer was found. After a short test drive, the new owner hopped into Wendy and drove her all the way home without incidence – a distance of about 400 miles.  Happy Trails, Wendy.