Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beautiful dawn stroll

While I'm not a city boy, and generally after working all day in the city I look forward to high-tailing it out to our suburban hide-away, I still recognize that I live in a very special place in the world. There's nothing quite like Washington DC anywhere else in the world. I've been to 56 countries, and have seen many beautiful locations. I still feel quite a bit of pride in how pretty Washington is, especially in the Spring. When the ornamental cherry trees bloom around the city, it's spectacular.

Today, my partner and I got up well before dawn and drove into the city, found a place to park near my partner's office, which is just a block from the Tidal Basin. Even though it was very early and very cold (35F), there still were a lot of people out -- though I wouldn't say that it was crowded.

I leathered up from head to boot and we took a nice stroll. I posted a gallery of photos on my website. We enjoyed our short visit, though I was back home and back to work on my long list of things to do on the weekend by 8:30.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Let's be safe out there!

There was an article in the March 27 edition of USA Today that clearly describes that the number of deaths from motorcycle- related crashes has increased significantly since states began to repeal or not enact mandatory motorcycle helmet safety laws. The article supports my own research and that of other responsible parties.

I always wear full protective gear, beginning with a full-face DOT/Snell helmet, jacket, gloves, long pants, and tall boots when I ride. Of course when it's 1000 degrees in the summer, I might not be able to tolerate the jacket or gloves, but I always, always wear my full-face helmet. It's just a matter of common sense. It's unfortunate that states have to pass laws about common sense matters, but there are a lot of people who are in denial that "it won't happen to me," "I am a safe rider," and whatnot. It's not you, it's the other guy! Be safe out there, wear your helmet!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Big wins for this civic activist

I just learned that four bills that I had been working on, supporting, testifying about, and otherwise cajoling, twisting arms, and persuading elected officials to support (or not support, as the case may be), have been passed by one or both houses of our state legislature. It looks very promising that full passage and signature by our governor of these important measures will be enacted this year! Pretty big "wins" for this lil' ol' civic activist! Four out of six, anyway.

So this year in Maryland, look for remedial tax relief for people whose homes are seized by eminent domain and who get billed for transfer and recordation taxes when they move to a new home.

Look for higher civil penalties against those who commit manslaughter by motor vehicle, such as when a car driver kills a motorcyclist.

Look for better recognition of joint owners of a real property when one adds his partner to the title to his home, and not have to pay many hundreds of dollars in transfer tax that married couples are exempt from having to pay.

Look for our state not to repeal its motorcycle helmet law.

I'm pretty happy with these "wins" that help many others live their lives in peace and with safety.

Don't look for our state to ban driving while yapping on hand-held cell phones, and banning texting while driving. Very bad practices by thoughtless people. I'm very ashamed of the members of our state's Environmental Matters Committee who voted against passing it, which killed it this year, despite the full State Senate approval. I've been workin' this for six years, and need to continue. Bozos who yak while driving should ... [expletive deleted].

I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that a bill to provide recognition for same-sex couples and equal treatment under the law did not make it past committee, much less be introduced to either house in the legislature. Much more work needs to be done here to educate the electorate and our elected officials that civil marriage is a civil right.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Booted and Leathered garden stroll

I just love to stroll in our gardens. My partner has such a great vision for landscape design. Hellebore (Lenten Rose) bloom in February and keep the flowers through May. Daffodils galore have been in bloom for a couple weeks and we anticipate having them for many more weeks to come. Both of these flowers add beauty and color to our deep, dark forest park in the back yard. And best yet, the deer don't eat them. I'm in my Chippewa Motor Patrol Boots and my White Striped Leather Jeans. Enjoying Spring!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Laid Plans

Have you ever had one of those weekends where on Friday you think about all the things you want to accomplish, and on Sunday night as you're going to bed, you wonder where the weekend went and why all the plans you had weren't fulfilled? I just had one of those weekends. It wasn't wasted, but it was different from what I expected it to be.

I spent much of the Easter weekend working on my friend's political campaign. He had done a mailing that was received by many voters on Friday, which generated a ton of email which had to be processed. Requests for appearances, offers of volunteering and support, etc., all had to be forwarded to the appropriate member of the campaign team. I also had a two-hour campaign meeting. And yes, I was in leather -- my Naked Leather plain black jeans and my Chippewa Hi-Shine Engineer Boots. As I have often said, nobody cares if you're in boots and leather -- it's what you do that counts. Most everyone is so accustomed to seeing me in leather that they don't think a thing about it.

Oh, um, I'm also working on renovating a house and did the usual grocery shopping trip with my aunt. And one other thing -- I completed and posted a complete refresh of my professional website where I keep myself before the public for what I do for a living. Typical of my life -- I'm a multi-tasker.

I had hoped to have time on sunny Easter Sunday to take some more pics for my website, but just didn't have time. But I made the time to prepare a wonderful prime rib dinner with all the trimmings for my partner and me to share for our Easter dinner. It was great -- and then almost put me to sleep instantly. I went to bed at 8:30 and stayed up that late only because I was still processing more email.... g'nite, zzzzzzzz.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Leather 'n Spring

I enjoy the Spring. Enough chill to make leather a great choice for outdoor wear, but enough warmth that you don't have to bundle up too much.

Lately I've been busier than a beaver in working on a political campaign. Supporting my friend, the candidate, occupies every spare minute of my time. I've not had any time to do any updates of my website but hope to try to take a few pics for it this weekend.

Unlike some people, I still try to get about eight hours of sleep every night. That leaves just so much time during the day -- especially considering that my full-time job takes up a lot of that daytime time!

My partner and I are not going anywhere for Easter. We will be working around our house and enjoying a quiet dinner for two at home. I look forward to preparing Prime Rib and all the trimmings. Yum.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My hunky gardener

Isn't my partner a hunk? Man, I really love it when the flowers begin to bloom in the Spring, it warms up, and my partner takes his shirt off when we work in the yard and gardens. Umm, umm, umm... take him behind that tree.... oh well, this is a G-rated blog!

We are very fortunate that we have a large old-growth forest right behind our house, and my partner has great vision for landscape design -- so we created our own park. It doesn't require much maintenance (though we have to keep on top of poison sumac else it could take over). It's a lovely setting in which to sit peacefully and watch nature. My partner and I both get so much enjoyment out of our retreat. And watching "the help" ain't so bad, either! Woof!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Got mud?

When I led the Harley group ride on Saturday as mentioned in my previous blog entry, I was wearing my new Chippewa Oil-Tanned Engineer Boots to break 'em in. And that I did. While posing the group for a photo, I stepped back so I could ensure everyone was in the frame. Then "oops..." ... slurp... I stepped in it, that's for sure. I got a big laugh, as did my biker buds. But you know, there's something about mud and boots -- the whole masculine "get dirty" thing. Oh well, I think I can say these boots are breaking in well!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Booted ka-boom

I know I've blogged before about wearing boots with good tread when walking in slippery conditions. I didn't follow my own advice. Yesterday, as I was leaving Minneapolis, still in my suit and while wearing good looking, but leather-soled cowboy boots, I slipped and fell. Ka-boom, right on my side.

While the air temperatures were above freezing, there still was some black ice on the parking lot in the shadow of the hotel. The black ice caught me. Uggh. My hand and side of my leg is bruised, but fortunately nothing worse happened.

I just have to remember that despite perceptions of things being "just wet," that black ice can surprise anyone. I think even if I had decent soles with treads on my boots, I would have fallen. Ice doesn't give footing for any type of boot sole. I guess the moral of the story is always to watch where one walks. Note to self: watch your step. Note to all: "life is short; wear your boots!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Being "Nice Booted" at the Airport

I flew to Minneapolis today. As I was going through airport security at my home airport, of course I had to take the boots off -- my Nocona Rattlesnake Cowboy Boots. I put my jacket in the bin and then my boots on top. The boots fell off the jacket and out of the bin as it went through the X-ray. When I was gathering my stuff on the other side, the guy behind me picked up one of my boots and said, "this is a really cool boot, man!" The TSA woman joined in and said, "nice boots -- hey (colleague), look at these boots, aren't they nice?" Then there was a short but general consensus that everyone liked the boots.

I went to sit down to put my boots back on, and several passers-by also paid the same compliment -- "nice boots!". I also heard it several times while changing terminals in Chicago. It's nice to know that others notice. I just picked them because they are so comfortable and easy to take off and put back on again as one goes through airport security. I wasn't really thinking about attracting attention or having the boots noticed. But they are distinctive, especially when contrasted with blue jeans.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Boots and Bulbs

I enjoy Spring (before lawn mowing season). Our first signs of Spring are showing, with our first crocus and a couple of daffodils blooming. Many more flowers are well on their way. Today when I got home, I put on jeans and my ol' comfy Dan Post roughout cowboy boots.

My partner has quite the green thumb, and also a terrific vision for garden design. Spring around our home is always beautiful. I come home from a long day at work and just stroll the grounds with my partner, holding his hand, admiring his handiwork. I am so blessed.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Baking in Leather

One activity I love to do when I can find the time is to bake. Especially when I can make something that my partner loves, such as his favorite -- a lemon meringue pie. My little buddy Guido (in photo) gives guidance.

I'm in boots and leather, as usual. I wear my leather almost every day. I meant it in my blog entry of February 19 that I don't see wearing leather as a fetish thing. It is a practical, every-day thing to wear as I go about my daily life -- at home or in the community.

Life is short -- wear your boots (and leather!)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Boot and leather night

I finally had a night off of my rush from work, community meetings, and campaign events. Last night, my partner and I got "reacquainted" with our very own in-house date night. I'm not going into more detail, but let's say this was sorely needed by both of us. I love my man, and when he boots up for me, all the better. Woof!

(I'm in Chippewa Firefighter boots that have the yellow Vibram plug in the sole. My partner has on Champion Attitude cavalry boots.)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Influence of "CHiPs"

I have to admit, when I was in my teens and Jon and Ponch on the television show "CHiPs" were riding around on their police Kawasaki motorcycles in their CHP uniforms and Dehner Boots, I was mesmerized. I just loved watching that show, and especially when the boots were featured. Tall, black, shiny cop boots caught my attention. Long before videotape recording was an option, I would watch very closely so I wouldn't miss the boots in action, especially those shots with the camera behind the boot while Jon was chasing a bad guy.

When I got older and less intimidated by the leather/uniform crowd, I bought my very own CHP replica uniform, without the gun or baton, since they're not legal where I live (plus, I'm not into guns whatsoever.)

I have worn this uniform a lot, even just around the house, or chasing my partner (that's always fun), and out while riding my Harley (covering up the patches on the shirt with a biker jacket.)

I just love the look, the feel, and the power of the boots, uniform, and confidence it brings to me. I have since learned that Dehner boots of today are not nearly the quality they once were -- stock boots are made of crappy plastic stuff called Dehcord that cracks and doesn't hold up to even regular wear. But still nothing compares with the feeling of those boots tight on the legs, and the comfort of the uniform.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Leather and Wesco Harness Boots

I'm so glad that conference I attended here in my home town is over. It's hard to attend a very time consuming conference in the town where you live if you go home at night. Life doesn't stop. Well, anyway, it's over, so I'm back to my routine, which includes leatherin' up and enjoying Wescos.

Every now-and-then, I'll step outside for a break, and sometimes when I do I'll set up the camera to take some pics so I can update my website. It really is an avocation of mine and is fun.

Wescos are good quality boots, and since these 19" Wesco Harness Boots were made custom to fit, they feel great. But I have to admit, they're not the most comfortable boots I own. But with leather, on the Harley, and when I don't have to walk or stand too much, then they're just fine.

Great to be back in the ol' routine. Lots to catch up on.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Just conferencin'

I'm just conferencin' today... dressed as shown (even the same tie). brown leather blazer and Dan Post Brown Ostrich Leg Cowboy Boots. Comfy boots that accommodate thick socks so my feet don't get sore as I cruise around the conference facility from meeting to meeting. Just another day in my life ... conferencin' and cruisin' ... meeting and greeting, speaking at sessions, and so forth. I'll be glad to return to my regular routine tomorrow as the conference ends tonight.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

They Got the Memo

I am participating in a conference which began on Saturday and goes through mid-week. There are about 2,000 participants from all over the United States. It is a fairly dressy affair, with most men in suits. And frumpy funny-lookin' dress shoes.

But not all is lost! I saw several dozen men in cowboy boots, and it seems like a memo was passed around that today's boot choice was to be black. I swear, all the men in boots today had on black cowboy boots, including myself. I was wearing Dan Post Ostrich Leg Cowboy Boots. They are really good looking boots and comfortable, too.

Hmmm, I wonder what the boot color choice will be tomorrow? I think I will probably go with brown.