Monday, May 31, 2010

Touring Ruled Out

I have long wanted to go on a motorcycle tour of New England through the Canadian Maritimes, then west, ending in Toronto. This isn't a type of trip that one would take alone. You need at least one other person to be with you, in case something happens and to enjoy the experience together.

I tried appealing to my club through its newsletter for someone to go with me on such a ride, but nobody wanted to go on a slow trip as I described. That is, I suggested riding no more than 250 - 300 miles each day. Most people in my club ride much more than that in a day when they go on long trips. I prefer to "stop and smell the roses" as they say, and take my time. Plus, riding long distances gets tiring. These guys like to ride all day and drink all night... which doesn't work for me.

I went on-line and found five motorcycle tour operators who offer to take you on rides in that area varying from 5 to 14 days in length. However, the fee for the tours that I found began at US$2,300 for the five-day tour, and went up (and up and up) from there. Meals, gas for the Harley, and incidental expenses would be extra. Nah-ah; I don't want to spend that kind of money.

I regret that my partner is unable to ride with me as my passenger, or we would take such a tour by ourselves. But he can't due to his disability. It doesn't make sense for him to drive a car and me to ride my bike. It's no fun that way, plus the trip would become just as exhausting to my partner as it would be to me.

I guess my dream will not be fulfilled this summer... but I will continue to look for a motorcycling companion with whom to ride on such a journey.

Life is short: dream.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No Wall Riding

Today, Sunday May 30, is a big day in Washington, DC. Bikers from everywhere descend on the city for an event that they call the "ride to the wall" or "Rolling Thunder." It is held annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. For those blog readers not from the U.S.: that's today!

The purpose of Rolling Thunder is to pay tribute to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, especially those who were captured and endured being held as Prisoners of War, or who were missing in action (MIA).

Biker dudes (and dudettes) gather in the parking lot of the Pentagon, and wait... and wait... and wait... then at noon, the ride begins. Leaders of the group that organizes the event go first, followed by everyone else. The departure can (and does) take several hours. Bikers ride from the Pentagon across a bridge into the city, around the National Mall, past the U.S. Capitol building, then end up near the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, which is at Henry Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue, near the Lincoln Memorial.

Imagine... tens of thousands of bikers on their bikes -- all trying to get from one place to another and try to find a place to park. It's crazy! I appreciate what they are doing, and honor their commitment. I've gone on that ride a few times. It's fun -- when you're riding. It's the waiting for the ride to take off that is a killer. It can involve hours and hours of standing in the full sun. Finding a place to park at the other end is very difficult too, and by the time you get there, if you get there, a lot of the ceremonial events are over. It kinda defeats the purpose of riding in the event in the first place.

Well, anyway, we're not going on the Rolling Thunder ride this year. Not because of some likely inconveniences, but rather, for the required Spring visit to the mother-in-law. Her place in da 'burgh needs to be redded up. (If you don't understand those terms, don't worry. I didn't either. That is, not until I got into a relationship with a Pittsburgher.) So once again, I'll be lost in neuroticisms of the M-I-L and not riding on Memorial Day weekend. Such is partnered life. You win some, you lose some.

Remember those who have died, been lost, and some who were never found -- all these brave warriors gave service and commitment that is honorable, and for that reason, we should thank them and remember. Even if we may not have supported the war in which they served, the point is, they served ... and some didn't come back.

Life is short: Remember.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

TV Drama Hits Close To Home

I do not watch television, and find most of it, when I do see it, just silly. But that's my opinion. My partner doesn't share that opinion. He's addicted to his Tivo, and records lots of current TV. He chills out in the evenings catching up on various shows while I'm out at meetings and saving the world.

There is a TV show called "Glee" which captures the attention of lots of people, including the LGBT community. I haven't been following it, but I see almost everywhere that it is a hugely popular show with a large following.

The other night, my partner watched the latest episode, and called to me to watch a segment that, when I saw it, reminded me very much of something that happened to me. I have a huge family, and some of my family are narrow-minded homophobes. (As they say, "you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family"). Sadly, my homophobic family members reacted very negatively when I introduced my partner to them at a family reunion in 1993.

The following scene from "Glee" was very much like what happened to me at that family reunion. (Thanks to my friend Clay for pointing out that this segment was captured on YouTube).

My big brother, an Army Colonel at the time, defended me. I'll never forget. I thought, at the time, that he was uncomfortable with me and my sexuality. He had been distant and quiet. But his strong stand in defending me, as his brother and his blood, will never, ever, EVER, be forgotten. I love you, M ... always.

Remember that words can hurt as much as a body-blow. People are people, family is family, love is love.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wesco Boots Confirm Recovery

Flash: this just in!

BHD is wearing Wesco boots again!


Why so excited? It's like this: Wesco pull-on boots -- even if made custom -- tend to fit a little tightly on the ankle at the instep. Normal ankles fit into the boots just fine. However, a recently broken ankle (lower fib, I keep having to remind myself), still has swelling that can continue for up to a year (according to orthopedic specialists.)

I had been having that swelling, so I resigned myself to accepting that I can wear only certain boots -- those without a tight instep -- until the swelling continues to go down more.

Back to the Wescos. Do you remember my story of a Wesco Disappointment? I received a cool new pair of tall Wesco harness boots made from two colors of roughout leather on April 1. Since my left leg and ankle was not injured, I tried pulling the left boot onto my foot. Ouch! It wouldn't fit. The boot was made wrong.

I knew at the time that there would not be any way that I could wear a Wesco pull-on boot on my right leg, but since the left wouldn't fit, it didn't matter. I shipped the boots back to Wesco and with the help from my friend Mike of Stompers Boots, we convinced Wesco that they goofed up and the boots had to be remade.

I received the new boots on May 24. I knew at first glance that the boot shafts were wider, which was the main reason that the pair that I received on April 1 did not fit. I pulled off the boots that I had on my feet and pulled on the left boot first, then gingerly tried pulling on the right boot. It came right on! No pain! No problem! WOO-HOO! I am Wesco booted again!

This is a damn good sign that my recovery continues to progress well. I will know that I am absolutely 1000% recovered when I can wear my Dehner patrol boots. Those boots have the tightest instep of all. Once I get them on, I'm golden. (healed, fixed, recovered, whatever....)

N.B.: These burgundy/brown roughout Wesco boots aren't for everyone. I've had a "boot intervention" threatened by three close friends, including my eighth brother. No worries, I'm older, wiser, and more adventuresome while they're boring in their booted blandness.

Life is short: celebrate victories measured through your boots! (giggle)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

IML Time Again

I had almost forgotten that this coming weekend, thousands of leather dudes from across the planet will be gathering in Chicago for International Mr. Leather, or "IML" for short.

What's IML? It is the largest gathering in the United States of the leather-geared clan. Purportedly, the contest is the main event, though most attendees go for other reasons: to meet friends, feel free to strut around a major city all decked out from head to boot in leather, to have sex, and generally have a weekend of fun and debauchery.

Chicago is a great town to visit. There are lots of things to see and do. It is fairly level, so it is quite walkable. Restaurants are great, and the locals are friendly and helpful if you need directions or a recommendation for things to see or places to eat. Public transit works well, and can get you most places -- including from the airport to the city for only US$2.25, which is much better than a $50 cab ride.

I wrote a blog post just a few weeks ago that explains my outlook on going to leather events. I think they're fine if you're single, sociable, are a night-owl, and don't mind noise ("music" at various venues or men clomping in boots up and down a hotel hallway in the wee hours of the morning while you're trying to sleep.)

The LeatherMart at IML is second-to-none, with the variety of vendors and gear to touch, examine, ask questions about, or to buy. There are vendors that sell things that I haven't the slightest clue what they're to be used for, and expressions of such wonder don't fit within the G-rated parameters of this blog ... so I will suffice it to say that if you want some kind of sex toy or to try something new, someone will have it.

My partner and I went to IML in 2007. It was interesting, and I am glad that we can say that we went and have an idea what it is like. I enjoyed meeting some guys who I had exchanged messages with about boots, leather, etc., through various on-line activities, but before this blog was born. IML is quite the experience, so if you go, remain open to experience new things, meet new people, and have fun -- but by all means, guys, be safe! Sheesh, there is no "cure" for HIV infection, and "the cocktail" is not the answer. Use the head on your shoulders... (wink).

While IML isn't for my partner and me, there are a lot of guys our age (and older) who attend every year. They love it, and we're happy for them. It's not an "age" thing as to why we're not into IML (or MAL for that matter). My biorhythms don't fit the IML activity schedule, nor do I have much of an interest in taking a bus to go to some crowded bar -- even if it is full of lots of guys in leather.

My commitment to my partner (and vice-versa) drives our complete "disinterest" in activities that you can imagine happen (they actually do happen) behind closed doors among consenting adults. And finally, it costs a lot of money when you add up airfare, nights in an expensive hotel room, meals, drinks, registration, and so forth. Even if we have our own leather gear and don't want or need to buy another thing, the base cost of going to IML if you don't live near Chicago is beyond what we're willing to consider shelling out.

If you ARE going to IML, don't forget my tutorial on Air Travel with Leather Gear. This experience can help you make the best of your travel, particularly when dealing with airport security and carrying "interesting items" with you.

Have fun!

Life is short: BE SAFE!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Men's Style Article That Is Not All Anti-Leather

As I was surfing the net over the weekend, I came across an article on the Men's Flair website that talks about men wearing fashionable leather. While the article still makes some stereotypical comments, such as:
Do not do a full head to toe leather look unless you are going to an S & M club.

Unless you’re a rock star or work in a more liberal work place, leather pants are not suitable for the office.
Once you get past the glib stereotypes, the article has a fairly positive outlook about men wearing leather. That is a vast improvement of what most men's style websites and magazines have said, which in my observation have been rather strongly opposed to men wearing anything more than a leather jacket.

What the article is saying is that it is okay to wear leather in reasonable amounts for appropriate environments. A leather vest with a dress shirt, or a pair of leather jeans with a turtleneck in casual settings, work well.

Some of the most cogent points the article made include:
  • Leather is a winter fabric not intended for warm environments.

  • A good fit can make all the difference between looking elegant and looking scary.

  • Men sporting the correct leather look exude confidence, strength and sophistication.

  • ...[leather] can be suitable for business as well as fun, pairing leather pants with a monochromatic shirt and tie. (Though the article immediately contradicts itself by saying, "However, leather in the workplace are still not accepted." Well, either it is or isn't okay in business. My vote is "for.")

  • When you opt for leather pants, ultra masculine is the way to go. Don a heavy sweater or turtleneck and blazer with black leather pants and boots. [I am shocked! A men's style site actually recommending leather pants AND boots to be worn in public! I'm going to faint!]

  • Functional and fashionable, masculine and elegant, leather is this season’s hottest look.

  • Men purchase leather accessories all the time with wallets, briefcases, belts and shoes so it is not unfamiliar territory for most men.

  • ... who can resist the appeal of that rich, earthy scent of leather?

  • ... it's time to branch out and get some leather wear that will make more of a statement.
I am pleased that some men's style website somewhere finally had something good to say about men wearing leather garments (including boots) in public, rather than one cliché after another imposing opinion of some leather-fearing queen.

Woo-hoo! Now you have it -- the style site proves it -- wear your leather! wear your boots!

Life is short: (but is more fun in boots and leather).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Even Cops Have Trouble with Dehner Boots

I posted instructions on how to break in Dehner patrol boots about six months ago, here.

It is unfortunate that motor officers, much like anyone else, just pull on a new pair of Dehner boots when they get them, rather than take the time to break the ankles properly. Photos of this post are of motor officers wearing Dehner boots. (Real cops in their actual boots.)

One of the cops whose boots are shown below told me that his boots were very uncomfortable. I can understand why. The sideways-turned bend at the shaft of the boot where it meets the foot must rub his ankle on the inside and cause sores.

Anyway, if you get new tall police patrol boots, take time to break them in correctly before wearing them. Otherwise, you'll be very sorry with the permanent, uncomfortable results.

<==== sideways ankle break         =====>
boot shafts not wide enough for calf circumference, causing the boots to sag badly at the ankles because they cannot be pulled on all the way up, as well as the fabric of the breeches to bunch up at the boot tops because the fabric cannot fit inside the boots due to lack of adequate room.

Life is short: wear Dehners well!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Light Leather

We had another busy day yesterday. It was raining, and while snuggling longer in bed would have been desirable, we were "up and at-em" by 6:30am. I chose to wear lightweight leather for the day: a short-sleeved leather shirt tucked into lightweight leather jeans. And believe it or not, my Wesco Motor Patrol boots are light, too. These are the lightest Wesco boots I own.

My partner and I went to the local building supplies retailer early, hoping for no crowds. We were right: the weekend warriors slept in and avoided going out in the rain. My leather protected me just fine. We bought a few more annuals for our front garden -- my partner can never have enough -- as well as some other things we needed.

After that, I dropped my partner off and then picked up a few of my elder buds to take to the grocery store. There they are, nice prim & proper older ladies, with this leather dude helpin' out. A guy in the parking lot noticed and said, "I guess it keeps you dry, huh?" Yep... sure does. Feels good, too.

I escorted my friends back into their homes -- very very carefully as I learned my lesson about slipping and falling (and breaking a leg) when bringing an older friend home after grocery shopping on a rainy day. Then I went to care for my elderly aunt for a while.

When I arrived home, it was time to get cooking! Woo-hoo! Home-made ravioli and tomato sauce was prepared all afternoon. My partner and I can do this smoothly and we make a good team as we prepare one of our favourite "make-ahead" meals. We enjoy eating it on days when there is little time between arriving home from work and my having to leave to go to an evening meeting. I also am giving a batch to some friends who have experienced a devastating loss -- their son -- who was killed in a car crash a week ago.

As readers of this blog know, I like to wear leather as often as I can, and I have no worries about wearing full leather in public. However, I don't like to sweat. Lightweight leather works great for these intermediate days when the temperature is mild, but not excessively hot.

Life is short: wear your leather!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Civic Life in Boots

Yesterday I attended three homeowner and civic associations' annual meetings. I was asked to speak and give updates about various things going on in our community: the county budget and its impact on taxes we all have to pay; construction of the most expensive toll highway in the country, going right through our area (can you tell I'm not a fan?); and development projects in the area. This is what I do. This is my life. I do it as a volunteer.

... and I attended these meetings dressed comfortably in a pair of Wranglers,
a t-shirt from the local university which has my state's name on the front, and 17" Chippewa engineer boots. Why those boots, in particular? To be honest, they were the first boots I saw in the closet this morning, and I know they are comfortable. I drove to the meetings outside my neighborhood on my Harley, so I wanted biker boots, not smooth-soled cowboy boots. The engineer boots are my newer of the Chippewa engineer boots that I own, so they look good. My older pair of these boots are kinda dirty with residual mud stains, so they wouldn't look all that good when walking into someone's home or civic meeting space.

As usual: not a single person of the hundreds of people before whom I spoke said a thing about the boots. No one ever does.

Life is short: contribute to your community!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cowboy Boots Back On My Feet

I am pleased to say that the entire range of boots that I own are now wearable again. The swelling in my formerly broken ankle is negligible. Sure, I feel a little pain from time to time when rain is threatening, but not on an ongoing basis, and nothing that a couple aspirin can’t mask. However, I sure know what it means when people who have had broken bones refer to themselves as a “human weather barometer.” I tell ya', earlier this week it rained, and my ankle hurt. When it's sunny, it doesn’t.

I am happy that my cowboy boots are back on my feet, which look better with dress clothes that I wear to work.

Woo-hoo! Recovery progresses!

Friday, May 21, 2010

How Heat Damages Dehner Boots

Shown here and below are photos of boots worn by motor officers who participated in the Law Ride that was held in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2010.

Look at the areas on the side of each officer's right boot that is inside the red circle. You will see that the boot shaft in that area is a dull gray. That dull gray area on the boot demonstrates what happens to Dehner's Dehcord (Clarino) product when it is exposed to heat of a motorcycle engine.

I have often pointed out that such damage occurs, and now can show visible proof.

It's kinda a love-hate thing about Dehner Boots. They style is great. The quality of the material on the shaft of stock boots cannot withstand ordinary exposure to the heat of motorcycle engines. Why? It is plastic, not leather. The change of color and loss of shine is due to the plastic slightly melting and changing its composition just a little bit. Unfortunately, once damaged, the material cannot be repaired, fixed, or restored to its once lustrous shine.

Many cops have told me that they like stock Dehner boots because they are easy to care for. A quick spray of furniture polish and a wipe-down restores the boot shafts to a very shiny appearance. All except the area exposed to the hot engine, which dulls out rather quickly. Some cops don't care, and some do. Those who do replace their boots quickly enough that it doesn't matter to them if the boots "show character" from such damage incurred when worn on a police motorcycle.

I have to point out, while I am a Harley guy (thus the name), this damage occurs to Dehner boots worn on a Police Harley. The other manufacturer of police motorcyles -- BMW -- has its engine, engine guard, and exhaust pipes configured in such a way that the rider's boot shaft doesn't get close to the source of heat, so the boots do not discolor like they do when worn on a Harley.

If you like Dehner boots but don't wear them while riding a Harley, then the stock version should suit you well. They are much less expensive than the all-leather version, which costs more than twice as much.

Life is short: know your boots.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weird Email

I received the following email message:
Sub: hi booted harleydude
dear booted harley dude
how you doing
i got apartment
you are cool
my home phone number is 352-xxx-xxxx
my cell phone number is 352-yyy-yyyy
mail it your leather pants
your friend [name withheld]
I am rather understanding and accepting of all people. However, this message left me scratching my head. What did this guy want? Who is he? This is the first message I have ever received from him.

One would think, "aw, give the guy a break. He may be from another country." Generally, I would give a much wider latitude in not understanding how to write in English or communicate in a first message to someone who lived somewhere else, but this guy lives in the United States (I validated it from the IP address of the sender.)

I try hard to respond to every legitimate, non-viagra-vending-spam email message that I get. But this one left me confused and, to be honest, mildly offended.

I wrote back and said, "thanks for your message. I do not call people who I do not know on the telephone," and left it at that.

If you received such a message, what would you have done?

Life is short: resolve confusion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Travelers Do Stupid Things

Photo above: my view of Mt. Rainer and the Cascades after departure from Seattle

For about 20 years in my old job, I traveled about 150,000 - 200,000 miles each year, going to some 70 - 80 locations, primarily throughout the United States. Large cities, small towns, islands, deserts, and everywhere in between.

I do not work for that employer any more, nor travel nearly as much. And after airport security was forever changed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, traveling by air has been nothing but a big PITA.

But it can also be amusing if you look and don't let stupid things other people do annoy you. Here are some things that I observed on my recent trip to and from Seattle:
  • Going through security at BWI, after a woman takes off her shoes to run them through the x-ray, she asks the TSA agent staffing the machine, "will your machine be able to show me if I need to replace the soles on my shoes?"
  • [Yuppie carrying a huge cup of expensive coffee at security]: "Hell no, I won't give you my coffee! I 'need it'!" (Yeah, right... just admit it, you spent US$7 on a cup of coffee and you didn't read the signs that you can't bring it through security. Duhhh...)
  • [very important guy in a suit to security agent]: "I don't have time for this. My flight leaves in ten minutes!" (Well, dumb-dumb, get up an hour earlier next time!)
  • [Ding-dong trying to carry three bags onto the plane, but stopped by the gate agent demanding that he check one bag]: "No, I have to have these bags when we land. My stuff is very important! (Yeah, you're important, too. I'm really impressed.)
  • [Guy trying to put two bags in the overhead bin when asked five times to put one under the seat on the full flight]: "I need legroom!" (Yeah, well, your convenience and comfort is much more important that everyone else's, isn't it?)
But everyone isn't a self-centered jerk. I also noticed:
  • Younger, tall guy lifting bags for three other people when the plane was loading and unloading.
  • A woman sharing a meal that she brought on-board with her seat mate.
  • Two men taking a middle seat (each) in the back so a young couple departing for their honeymoon could sit together in the ransom-payment "economy-plus" seating.
  • Many displays of patience, which these days, is more necessary than ever.
As I said, traveling these days isn't much fun, especially when people say and do dumb things and think only of themselves. When they cooperate, follow the rules, and listen, the experience is much better.

Life is short: plan ahead, relax, and think before you act.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Happiness For A Day

Life is short: show those you love that you love them. ... so I frequently end posts on this blog when I speak about my family and legion of "elder buds."

This past Saturday, my partner and I planted some flowers in a garden outside Mabel's condo, so she could see them from her window and enjoy. We didn't think much of it. She said that she liked to see flowers, and all the flowers she once had were gone, destroyed by snow, eaten by deer, gobbled by weeds.

In about an hour, my partner and I pulled weeds, turned the soil over, added some compost to enrichen it, and planted some daisies, coriopsis, and our state flower, Black-Eyed Susans. Mabel loved Black-Eyed Susans, in particular. I don't quite know how I remembered that, but I did.

Mabel was so happy. She gave each of us a big hug, a huge warm smile, and thanked us profusely. We said, "nothin' to it; glad to help." We washed our hands and were on our way.

Sunday morning, Mabel phoned. Once again, she described how happy she was to wake up, open her blinds, and see the flowers. She said that she knew she could call early (6:30am) because she knew I was always an early riser.

"Mabel, thanks for your call. Seriously, nothin' to it. You made us some great casseroles when I was laid up with my broken leg. It's what we do: help each other. Thank you for the thanks, which warms our hearts. Seeing your smile is our rich reward."

Monday morning, Mabel's neighbor called me to let me know that the ambulance came to Mabel's condo, followed by the coroner. Mabel died in her sleep. That surprised me. She had not been ill, and she wasn't "that old." She was 78. Always bright, peppy, and full of good cheer. I knew that she had a history of heart problems, which is why she gave up driving her own car. She was afraid that "some crazy driver will cause me to have a heart attack!" She always said that with a laugh, but I sensed that she was seriously frightened.

Mabel gave up her car six months ago. I helped her sell it. Then I began including Mabel on my regular rounds of older folks who I take to the grocery store for shopping trips. Mabel was doing well. She was getting rides, using the bus, and otherwise getting around rather well on her own. She admitted to me rather sheepishly on Saturday morning that she had me take her to the store because she liked spending time with me -- but she really didn't need it. She was managing well on her own.

Mabel taught me a lot of things. She was an avid historian. I learned a lot of history of my own state, and about the U.S. Revolution. She shared information in an entertaining and informative manner, dropping in occasional lines like "Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence when he died at age 95 -- 40 years beyond the life expectancy of someone of his cohort." She always talked like that... sprinkled scientific terminology with history. I shall always cherish what I learned from Mabel spending time in my life. Sharing with me. Being my friend.

Mabel was so very happy -- for a day -- the day being Sunday, the last day of her life. All because of a few measly flowers that we planted on a Saturday afternoon. Who woulda thunk?

Life is short: show those you love that you love them. Do it now... you never know.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fitting It All In

"Busy" doesn't define this past weekend. Lots and lots on the list, but lots got done. You read about our gardening chores for some of my elder buds in yesterday's post. On Sunday, I did much more.

First, at dawn, I snuggled close to my partner, watching the sunrise, the birds chirp, and together, we planned our day. I got up, fetched the paper, and went to swim for an hour. Upon my return (before 8am, still), I prepared home-made waffles (the kind you make with flour, corn starch, baking powder, etc. Not from a mix).

After breakfast, I changed into biker gear (leather jeans, shirt, and tall lug-soled Chippewa boots). My partner started preparing our gardens to receive the plants we grew in our basement over the winter, as well as those which we bought on Saturday. I went to my Aunt's home to check on her, feed her breakfast, and give her the meds she takes regularly. Then I went to a location where I joined some friends for a motorcycle ride.

I rode my Harley for about three hours. The ride was sweeeeet! The weather was cloudy and coolish -- great "leather weather!" We rode throughout the Maryland byways on back roads with a good-sized group of some 15 bikes. I rode sweep (last), which I am finding is my favourite position. While it is a safety position, since all members of my group keep their bikes in tip-top shape, I don't have to worry about someone having a breakdown. Instead, I just sit back, put my boots up on the highway pegs, and enjoy the view of the Harleys in front and the countryside to the left and to the right.

Side note: there were a lot of "Sunday bikers" out there. A "Sunday biker" is someone out riding his Harley, but wearing improper clothing and the worst: sneakers. At least the riders in my group always wear the right gear for the ride, including boots.

When I arrived home in the early afternoon, my partner and I enjoyed some lunch. After that, we planted away in our gardens. My partner loves do this, and it is my pleasure to help him.

When we were done at 4pm, we both were very tired. We shucked our clothes and got into the hot tub to unwind.

Dinner, served promptly at 6pm, included home-made pasta (made last week, so all I had to do was boil it), chicken, and a salad.

After dinner, I wrote this blog post, then shut down the computer. Bedtime rolls around early on these very busy days.

Life is short: get 'er done!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Harvesting Smiles

I admit, I whined somewhat on Saturday when the weather was spectacular, bright and sunny, with a low dew point and mild. It was a gorgeous day and the Harley... remained in the garage. Oh man, would I have loved to have been out riding. But something else took priority.

Besides the non-ending and ever-expanding "honey-do" list at home, I have three older friends who are still living independently, but whose mobility and ability to function are limited. Each have recently given up driving, which was very hard for them to do, but had to be done. They each were gardeners in their day, having lovely gardens around their respective homes. Each of them told me how much they missed seeing annuals out their windows, and looked kinda forlorn and sad.

My partner and I remedied the situation. When we were at the nursery on Saturday, buying the obligatory plants for our own gardens, I turned to my partner with a look that made him cry out, "what's the matter? What's wrong?"

As a tear ran down my face, I explained what Mabel, Iris, and George each had told me, in their own way, about missing flowers in their gardens.

Ever the problem-solver, my partner said, "okay, let's buy a some extra flats of this-and-that." US$100 later, flats of flowers brimming from the back of my truck, we left the nursery and drove right over to my elder buds' homes. We planted the flowers in their gardens all afternoon. It was back-breaking work, as the gardens hadn't been turned over, de-weeded, or otherwise tended in some time. We mixed in some additional "clay-breaker" soil and compost from our yard, then applied mulch, which was free for the taking from a county-provided supply.

The smiles we harvested immediately were worth the effort, and made me feel better. Even though I couldn't go riding, and our own gardens still need to be planted, the days' work could not have been more "worth it."

Life is short: show those you love that you love them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Brother-in-Heart

This is my brother-in-heart, AZ. I found a couple pictures on my computer that I had not processed yet. These pics were taken of us when I visited him in Arizona in September, 2009. What a wonderful guy. How blessed I am to have him in my life as my best friend. His smile warms my heart, and his heart warms my smile.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Seattle Sights

I write blog post 800 from Seattle, Washington, USA. I haven't been here since 2001. Still as hilly... but let me tell 'ya a secret: it does not rain here all the time. Shhhh... don't tell 'em, but it is sunny and pleasant. I came here to give a speech. Did it, got the ovation, warm regards, "atta-boys" etc., etc. As you are reading this, I am winging my way back home.

While here, I had a very pleasant opportunity to meet a guy whose screen name on BOL is Hwystud. What a nice guy! We enjoyed a very nice seafood dinner on the waterfront under bright sunny skies with mild temps. We talked about our lives, interests, and -- of course -- boots! I truly enjoyed visiting this beautiful city and meeting a great Bootman. Thanks, Hwystud, for such enjoyable company.

If you look real hard in the photo below, you can see Mt. Rainier.

Life is short: enjoy the great people you meet along the way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Are You That Leather Boot Dude?

The other day when I came home, I changed from my work duds to full leather. Naked leather jeans, leather shirt, and an old but favourite leather vest, my "Skyrider" vest that my partner had made for me when we went to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in 1995. It was an unusually cool, clammy, wet day: perfect for leather.

I heard the mail truck and went out to get the mail. The truck was just pulling up to my box. The postal carrier was busy looking at the mail on his lap, deciding which was mine and which went to the next house. He handed me the mail and then looked at me. Let's say he did a double-take, "leather bounce." That is, he looked up at my face, then down at my boots, then slowly back up again, looking at the leather jeans, then the shirt and vest.

He said, "nice gear! Hey, are you that leather boot dude?"

I didn't quite know what to say. Not knowing if he recognized me from my blog or website, I just played coy, and replied, "thanks for the compliment."

He said, "hey, I recognize you. I was reading your website a few weeks ago and decided to get myself some of those Chippewa fire boots you talked about from that store in San Francisco. See?" Then he pointed to his feet. Darned enough, he had on a pair of Chippewa Firefighter Boots that he had ordered from Stompers Boots. He went on to rave about the comfort of the boots and said that he found my website informational and helpful. Gee, thanks again, man. I'm glad to meet a "happy customer" (LOL, as if I get a commission from Stompers).

He seemed to have all the time in the world, and wanted to know more about my gear that I had on, how comfortable it was, where I got it, how much it cost, how it fit, and so on and so on. I had to bug off because it was damn cold and I didn't have a jacket on. The leather was warm enough for a short trip to the mailbox, but not for standing out in the drizzle and cold shootin' the breeze about boots and leather with the local postal carrier. (Too bad he was a substitute for our regular carrier. I'd like to see him again and continue the conversation.)

Anyway, you never know who you influence or what they think, but it just goes to show that almost anyone can be a boot and leather dude incognito.

Life is short: wear your leather (and BOOTS!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Proof of My Point

Yesterday at about 5am my time, I posted one message on the Hot Boots "Boots on Line" board linking to my gallery of photos that I took on the Law Ride on Sunday, May 9.

So far, the post got two replies, from my dear friend "KneeHighGuy" and Larry, the webmaster of

One would think, "only two replies? Does anybody care? Is anybody reading it?"

Yep... I have proof in statistical page views and visits. In 24 hours since I made that post, that gallery has received 1,085 visitors from that one link on BOL, with 3,104 page views (a "page view" is looking at one page or one picture. One visitor often views more than one page, so the number of page views will always be higher than the number of visitors.)

So if you whine or worry that you post a message on BOL and "nobody reads it" because of few or no replies, have no fear. They are. Believe me, they are.

Life is short: tell us about your boots on BOL!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Someone asked me once, "are all boots that the police wear black?" Well, for the most part, the answer is, "yes." There are a few exceptions in the United States and in some other countries where tall brown boots can be found. But at all of the events where motor officers participate that I have attended, their boots have been uniformly black, tall, and ... black LOL!

As I was watching the (relatively few) motor officers arrive at the Law Ride in Washington, DC, I was (of course) looking at their boots. I giggled to myself at how quickly I was able to determine which brand and style of boots were on the cops -- Dehner Boots, Chippewa Hi-Shine Engineer Boots, Chippewa Patrol Boots, and a few Wesco Motor Patrol Boots. There seemed to be a relatively even split this year between Dehners and Chippewa Hi-Shines among the some 200 motor officers who were there. The numbers of officers who rode in the Law Ride this year was significantly less -- about 40% from the number who were there the year before.

I discussed this with my fellow boot blogger, Cliff, at lunch yesterday. Gosh, it was great to see him and enjoy catching up with each other. Cliff was also at the Law Ride and remarked about what I had noticed about the vast drop in motor officers attending. He agreed that the economy had something to do with it. Amusing aside: as Cliff and I were seated at the restaurant, the waiter noticed our boots. He said, "nice boots! Want to trade for my shoes?" We laughed and said, "of course not!"

Anyway, why did I post this blog post with the title "motorboots?" Because, that's what cops call their boots. Simple as that. Enjoy the galleries of the cops and motorboots that I just posted to my website.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Riding Again

I had the pleasure yesterday of riding in an annual event called "Law Ride." It is a ride where motor officers and their supporters, like me, ride our motorcycles from an assembly point in Washington, DC, past the U.S. Capitol Building, to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. We park and then watch a ceremony that pays tribute to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

I enjoy this event because it brings a purpose to what is otherwise a pleasure anyway: riding my motorcycle.

This year, there were far fewer motor officers than have participated in past years. Most of us think the reason for the lower attendance is because of the economy. Local governments, where (most of) these officers work are slow to feel the effects of an economic downturn, and are even slower recovering. While most officers attend this event on their own time and spend their own money to get there, it is still a burden back home to be away. Plus, I heard that a number of local law enforcement agencies have cut their motor officer contingent completely.

I did see some cops from Austin and Dallas, Texas, and Orlando, Florida. These were the ones who came from the most distant locations (that I saw). However, I was disappointed that the big contingent from Sacramento County, California, didn't come this year. But I can imagine that it must cost a lot of money to pack up their bikes in big rigs and transport them cross-country to DC for a week, not to mention the cost of housing, meals, etc.

The ride was fun, the weather was a bit cool but pleasant, and the views were good. What was most important -- remembering law enforcement officers who have died -- is something that I did, personally, for several officers I have known over the years. I'm glad I went. I am glad that I was able to go.

It was also a pleasure to see my fellow boot blogger, Cliff, again, his friend Bullneck, and a friend of mine who is into boots and came to the staging area to visit.

I am working on photos that I took at the event, and will post them on my website when I have them ready.

Life is short: remember those who make the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives in the line of duty -- and their families and loved-ones, who miss them every day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why Do I Need To Wear Motorcycle Boots?

This was a question entered into Google and landed on my Guide to Motorcycle Boots. That Guide is about choosing motorcycle boots and reviews information about them to enable an informed decision. However, it assumes that one will wear motorcycle boots when is operating a bike.

So, why does one need to wear motorcycle boots? As a motorcycle rider with over 33 years in the saddle, these are my opinions about why a biker needs to wear boots while riding:

  • Having just broken my fibula (bone in the leg) down near my right ankle, I have learned how fragile the structure of the ankle really is. It's an amazing and complex joint. You need boots to protect that joint. Believe me, if you injure it, the recovery is long, painful, and debilitating. Of course, young guys think they're invincible so nothing will happen, but as you mature, you'll realize that your body can break. Prevent the damage that you can.
  • A good pair of motorcycle boots will reduce the impact on your feet, ankles, and legs should you be involved in a crash.
  • Motorcycles produce heat from the engine and the exhaust pipes. Boots will prevent your legs from getting burned if accidentally brushed against a hot engine or pipe.
  • Motorcycle boots are designed with good tread which will help you keep the bike stable when stationary at a stoplight or when maneuvering it into a parking spot.
  • Some wise states or motorcycle riding clubs require motorcycle riders or members to wear protective gear, including boots.
  • Boots look cool!
There are some people who complain, "boots get too hot" or "I want to wear shorts because it's hot outside" which begs wearing footwear like sneakers (or worse, sandals or flip-flops). Honestly, well-fitted and well-designed boots do not get hot on the feet, even on hot days. "Shortie" or tactical boots, such as the Chippewa Firefighter boots pictured here, provide good protection and don't get hot. In fact, these boots have been the most comfortable boots I have worn while motorcycling, which is why I still call them the best all-around motorcycle boots.

Wearing shorts while operating a motorcycle is not only stupid, it's dangerous -- not to mention the possibility of getting sunburn. Oh yeah, I forgot, kids are invincible, they're not going to get hit by another car and get thrown from the bike, or burn their legs on a hot pipe. (I heard this excuse often when I was a volunteer paramedic, and still winced every single time I brought a kid to the hospital who was injured in a motorcycle crash.)

So, why do you need motorcycle boots? Not only for protection, but also because boots are part of the image of what makes a cool biker. You want to be a cool biker dude, right? Put your boots on.

Life is short: wear boots. End-of-story.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Good news: I have returned this week to getting back on my motorcycle and riding from my home to our Metro station, and then riding the Metro into work. It is hell to try to commute into the city on my bike, and my employer subsidizes our Metro commuting costs, so it is wise to use public transit to get to my office. But it sure is sweet to ride again from home to the Metro and back -- and save the cost of parking at the Metro station. Things are slowly getting back to "normal"!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with two guys who are motor officers in different jurisdictions in a state north of me. They arrived in DC early for Police Week (which begins Sunday and events last through the entire week). They will be among the hundreds gathering for Law Ride on Sunday, and I'll be there, too. Of course, on Friday, they were off duty and in tourist garb -- t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers. But I forgave them for me being the only one to show up in boots (giggle.)

We had an enjoyable, wide-ranging conversation, including some talk about boots. They still like their Dehners, though they wear them only when in uniform and on-duty. Otherwise, they wear tactical boots when riding their personal Harleys. At least that's what they told me, though one sheepishly admitting wearing sneakers on his Harley from time to time. I gave him hell for that! He agreed that wearing sneakers on a big bike was unsafe, and promised me that he wouldn't do it again. I forgave him, but promised my wrath if I caught him ever doing that again! LOL!

Life is short: enjoy riding when you can! (and in BOOTS!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Motorcycling: Balance and Turns

For a long time, I was under the false impression that a motorcycle was a motorcycle was a motorcycle in how they handled. That is, they all have two wheels and I thought they behaved and operated the same way as a bicycle, except they had an engine (LOL!). When you want to turn, you lean your body in the direction of the intended path of travel, and the bike goes that way. Seldom, unless you're going very slowly or stopped, does a biker turn the handlebars. Many people who do not ride motorcycles do not understand that concept: turn by shifting the bike's center of gravity and the bike goes that way. Not like a bicycle and turn the handlebars. 'nuf said about that.

However, there's more to turning a motorcycle than balance and leaning. I am not a physicist, but how a motorcycle handles turns has a lot to do with its center of gravity. Smaller, lighter-weight bikes (like my 750) didn't corner well, and turned in wide, sweeping angles. That's because it's center of gravity was rather high. My Dyna Low Rider turned sharper, but I still found myself stopping short sometimes and self-correcting when I couldn't turn the bike as tightly as the curve I was going around required. It felt like the bike was going to tip over with me on it!

When I got my Road King, I was thinking that because it is a bigger, heavier bike and because its seat height was a little higher than the Low Rider that my turning radius also would be wider. However, I found the opposite was true. During self-directed and on-range practice sessions, I discovered that I could turn the bike much more sharply than I thought I could.

Then it dawned on me: this is what the bike cops do. I have watched them at various police motorcycle rodeos and have been amazed at how skilled they were in being able to turn their bikes so sharply and not lose control of it or have it topple over. Just like you see in this video:

A professional motorcycle instructor explained the physics and mechanics to me. A lot of what he said was so technical, it went over my head. But what I learned was this:
  • Smaller bikes don't turn as sharply as larger bikes
  • The lower one is seated on a motorcycle, the more likely the rider can steer it through a curve closely
  • "Big and Heavy" does not necessarily equal "hard to turn tightly."
Some riders, like my friend Sue, have explained that they have felt uncomfortable when turning their Harley (or other large motorcycle) while riding at speed. That indeed may be the case if the bike's center of gravity is at a point that makes the bike feel top-heavy or wobbly. The best way to deal with it is to practice, practice, practice. (Sure seems as if I say that often, doesn't it? Well, it's true!)

Drive to an open parking lot, preferably a lot that is level and free of debris such as sand, dirt, or gravel. Practice driving in circles, making the circle tighter and tighter as you go around. Don't drive so fast as to make yourself dizzy, but don't drive so slowly that the bike isn't in control of its motion. (What I mean is that you should drive fast enough such that you are leaning into the curves rather than steering slowly using the handlebars to point the front wheel.)

Turn around and practice going the other direction. It is very likely that you will find that you are more comfortable with right-sweeping turns or left-sweeping turns, but not both. For example, while I am right-handed, I am more comfortable with left-sweeping turns. I can take them faster and closer than their right counterpart. So I take time to practice doing the right-sweeping turns more, because I need more experience.

It really doesn't matter how long you have been riding. You develop a degree of comfort and skill with this procedure by practicing and actually riding that bike.

Most bikers will admit (if they're honest) that they have trouble with taking a curve and turning while the bike is at speed on the road. The best way to counter that is to practice. You will learn how far you can push your bike -- and yourself -- and develop confidence in your skills.

Life is short: ride your motorcycle confidently!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Seattle Bound

SeattleAs an odd quirk of fate, I am slated to fly to Seattle at the invitation and expense of a federal agency to give a speech about involving local officials in an important nationwide set of activities, for which funding to my employer was provided by that same federal agency -- that told us that due to "conflicting priorities" cannot fund us any more, so I will lose my job in June. Go figure.

I fly out on Wednesday, speak Thursday, and return Friday. I wish I could stay longer, but I have an important community event to do on the Saturday after I get back, with a dab of caring for my Aunt and doing chores with my partner in between.

I haven't been to Seattle since 2000. Wonder if the place has changed? LOL! I'll find out! I am not looking forward to the very long flight -- six hours air time in all with a change of planes in between. I'm also not looking forward to whatever rip-off fees the airline is gonna try to stick me with this time. I hate flying any more. I am glad I did all my world travel before the airlines went beserk.

Life is short: love the interesting quirks of fate and timing!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lookin' for Love

Within the past week, I have received five email messages asking me how the writer could find a love like I have found. I presume these messages were driven by the reader finding some recent posts on this blog where I have attempted to describe the relationship with my partner, and how much even after 17 years of being together, we remain truly in love with each other.

Our relationship isn't all sunshine and roses. We have difficult times, too, borne of misunderstandings, misdirected anger, competing priorities, and different interests. But overall, we work it out and recognize that we are different men who have different priorities and ways of accomplishing tasks.

Anyway, the email messages have commonalities: * I want to find a man who shares my interest in boots and leather; * ... my interest in (certain sexual activities); * ... my interest in (certain sexual fetishes). The list seems to center on looking for a man who will share sex or sexual-related interests in a certain way.

Let me ask: are you looking for a man for a fun fling, or are you looking for a man to share your heart, your soul, and your life? There is a big, big difference. The fun fling you may enjoy today may not be the same kind of fun you will enjoy in a few years. Believe me, your sexual interests will change as you age. That's not a bad thing. It's reality. (Nobody wants to admit that things like that will change as he ages).

Sure, I admit, I was first attracted to my man by his strong, masculine appearance in boots and leather. His physique. His smile. His beautiful blue eyes, and his cute butt. He captured my attention, and my libido responded. However, as I spoke with him, I learned that there was so much more "there" there. I also learned that the boots and leather thing was more of a costume for the activity on the day we met than a lifestyle choice, as it was (and still is) for me.

At the time we met in 1993, I was not dating nor seeing anyone. I was too busy with my work which required a hell of a lot of travel, and didn't have time (and was somewhat afraid) of going out to look for a man. Also, remember, this was before the Internet was widespread and available, so the only methods of finding anyone was going out to a bar and/or listing an ad in a gay newspaper -- both of which did not appeal to me.

The theme of the email messages that I received reminded me of the song that Johnny Lee wrote and was made famous in the movie Urban Cowboy. The song is "Lookin' for Love" and some of the applicable lyrics from the chorus are as follows:

I was lookin' for love in all the wrong places
Lookin' for love in too many places
Searchin' her
his eyes, lookin' for traces
Of what I'm dreamin' of
Hoping to find a friend and a lover
I'll bless the day I discover,
You - lookin' for love.

What I was reading in the email messages was that guys are looking for something that is a lifetime thing, but they are limiting their exploration by first deciding to have an interest in someone if he shares a similar proclivity toward sexual activities only.

In my opinion, they've got it backwards. I truly feel that the guy who will become your mate has to have a solid head on his shoulders. He needs to be smart, financially sound, and honest. He needs to demonstrate his commitment to his mate which can be measured by other commitments he has made: to his family, to his work, to his community, and if involved, to his place of worship. His financial stability can be measured by how and where he spends his money, and if he is overextended on credit, or lives in a shack.

I have no magic formula or advice on how to find the right guy. You'll know him when you find him. The hearts click, the brains click. You just know. But don't focus on the sex part -- the part that makes the man a good, honest, wholesome and trustworthy, man is so much more important. That is what is going to carry you through your life. Not the sex. Not the toys. Not the short-term good times.

I know that from experience, which I share with you.

Life is short: look for love for the right reasons.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

When the Lord Closes a Door

Maria said in The Sound of Music, "When the Lord closes a door, He opens a window somewhere."

I have always liked this expression, and lately, it has applied to me. Yep, one door of my life is closing, and I am searching for that open window. The funding for my job runs out in June. It's not personal, nor reflective on my work. It's a catch-up of the awful, prolonged, economy.

Come June, I will no longer be commuting into the city on a regular basis. That is, unless that window opens soon and I get an offer that I can't refuse and the location for a new job is back in the city.

I would prefer to work out in the Maryland 'burbs where I live, but I can work in DC with no problem. Working in Virginia, though, would be hard to do, since I did that for eight years and almost lost what was left of my mind due to the awful commute. Plus, I do not have up-to-date shots to ward off their rabidly homophobic AG.

I am unwilling to move from my home. I worked hard building our house, and building my community with all of my life-long relationships, and I'm not about to leave them. My partner is well-settled where he is, and I would never make an independent move just for a job that didn't involve him being right there with me. (Which is why I am not working in San Francisco or in Australia. I have had several offers there over the years, but as I said, I am unwilling to relocate.)

I am fortunate in many respects. First, I wasn't fired and it's not a black mark on my resume. It's simply a function of the economy, and zillions of people have been caught up in that situation. Second, my partner, close family and friends understand and say many things that continue to bolster my spirits and keep me looking forward. Third, I have a significant cash reserve of funds saved, that even if I had not another penny of income, I can live as I enjoy for at least 22 months entirely on my own barring unforeseen financial burdens. My partner and I share joint expenses for our household, and I will continue to hold up my share of our costs. Good thing is that we both choose not to eat out, we make our own lunches, we aren't traveling on exotic vacations, or otherwise, spending money that we don't have.

It's time to move on, move up, and get re-energized. When the Lord closes a door, He opens a window somewhere....

Life is short: keep looking forward.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Boots? New Leather?

Lately, I have received a number of promotions from some of my favourite vendors of boots and leather. Stompers Boots of San Francisco will soon be ending its "20% off Recession Sale" that has been in place for the past several months. This week, 665 Leather of West Hollywood, California, is offering 15% off anything they sell.

While new boots and leather always tempt me, I honestly can say, "thanks, but no thanks, I have enough already." Wow... for me, that's saying something. But it's true. I have all the boots that I want; I really don't want any more. Sure, there are a few styles of boots that I have my eye on, but they are too expensive for what I would be willing to pay. So I just admire from the internet.

665 Leather makes really great gear. However, as I perused their on-line catalog, I said to myself, "I have that... I have that... I have that... I don't want that... I don't want that, either." I can't think of anything that I would want. I am definitely not interested in the toys or rubber gear that they sell, so my options are limited. I'll take a pass.

Again, I am surprising myself a little bit when I am saying, "I'll take a pass." But why spend money on something I don't need, or duplicates something that I already have, or is something I would wear only once in a blue moon. I don't go out socially any more, I don't go to bars, my partner have grown beyond registering for and going to leather events ... there really is no "need" nor desire for more gear. Not now, anyway.

That's what's floating around in my head lately. I guess by the time you reach the numbers of boots in my collection and the amount of leather gear that I have, you really do reach a saturation point.

Life is short: enjoy what you have!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Going To Leather Events

The title of this post may draw the curious, but what I'm writing about is the balancing required in one's schedule and interests vs. what it takes to go to a gathering of the leather-geared guys.

Leather-geared guys have gatherings from time to time, be they "club runs" or more formal events like International Mr. Leather or Mid-Atlantic Leather. These events are held in city centers and usually at bars or private clubs (though the big ones may be in a large hotel meeting room or a theater). Often, the "main attraction" such as a contest begin late at night.

What's it take to go to these things? Well, usually one has to register in advance, which these days is relatively simple and often can be done on-line. The cost, though, can be high, depending on the event.

The day of the event, usually one has to take a "disco nap" because the event runs very late into the night and often well into the hours of the next morning. So one just has to plan to take the time to rest before going out.

Most guys like to drink alcohol at these events, and drinks aren't cheap. Someone was telling me via email that it wasn't unusual for him to pay well over US$50 or more for drinks on one night. (Too rich for my blood, but water or soft drinks cost just as much!)

Before going, one usually showers and cleans up (and hopefully does not apply after-shave or perfume cologne), and has to select the "right" outfit for the night. I have seen some guys obsess over "just the right gear," changing as often as women do on the television comedy shows.

Then one has to get to the venue. For someone like me, that's not an easy feat as public transit doesn't serve the area, and driving in the city at any time of day or night is slow and a hassle. Then one has to hunt and hunt and hunt for a relatively safe place to park. Then one has to walk usually a long distance to the actual venue.

So one swaggers in his leather finest into the bar and elbows his way up to the bar and orders a drink. If one is the social sort, then he spots some friends and begins to yell a conversation. Yell? Well, often the thrumming boompa-boompa-boompa techno noise is so loud, one can't hear a conversation, so if one wants to be heard, he has to speak loudly.

One stands around for hours, drinks, sees friends, and then ...

... the outcome varies. For old married farts like my partner and me, we go home. We never "hook up" with other guys for other reasons. We're old-fashioned. Some single guys (or those who play around) meet other men and leave together for ... (fill-in-the-blank) ... but most guys, if they're being honest, will tell you that they go home alone.

I've blogged about this before, and I am saying again ... my partner and I have moved past being interested in going to such events. It's nice seeing guys dressed up in boots and leather, but honestly, if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all. They don't turn my crank. I am not saying anything is wrong with anyone. All I'm saying is that the only guy who turns my crank is the man with whom I live, so going out to socialize with other men isn't interesting to me any more. I don't think I'm alone in this feeling, though because one can't prove a negative, I do not know who else feels this way because I do not know who I am not seeing. (Hope the logic here isn't too convoluted.)

I think, also, that a lot of things have changed. There are fewer leather events these days than before, probably because there is not as much of a demand. Many fewer of the Millennial generation are into leather. If they're into gear, more often they go for the cheaper stuff like neoprene or "pleather," but not the real stuff. The good stuff costs too much. They also are very much in love with their sneakers. 'nuf said.

The point of this long ramble is that going to leather events isn't like it used to be. That comfy warm bed and my snuggly partner looks much more tempting at 9pm than thinking about leathering up and going out for the night.

Life is short: enjoy your gear, wherever you may go.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

An Image that Inspired My Partner

The first time I visited my partner's apartment after we met in April, 1993, I saw that he had this Tom of Finland image framed and hung on his wall. Seeing that we had an interest in ToF imagery in common was one more thing that convinced me that we had a long road ahead of us to learn and share.

A year or so after we met, I composed a photo of my partner just like this. The only difference is that my partner has a hairy chest; he doesn't shave. And I really, really, really like it that way! Woof! (See image to the right ... Isn't he a HUNK?)

The ToF image is quite impressive, from the leather (imagining he's in boots), the chiseled pecs (though man-boobs aren't quite my thing), and the obvious focus in the center. Man, Tom of Finland was quite gifted, and I am glad to own some of his art that I continue to admire to this day.

But I have to say that I have the photo of my partner in this pose on my wall -- not the ToF. I prefer to gaze at my real man. He inspires me each morning when I rise ...

Life is short: admire art