Hangin’ Out at Home in Leather

Leather doesn’t HAVE to be black; it doesn’t have to be worn (only) while riding a motorcycle. Leather is comfortable, practical, and just nice to wear.

I have mentioned before about reading stories from guys who are afraid to wear boots in public, for fear of what others may say. I am quite fortunate in that the community where I live has such a casual kind of tolerance that nobody, really nobody, cares what’s on your feet or your body. And I’m old enough to have grown beyond caring what other people may say about what I wear.

I go to a lot of public meetings. Hang out with cops, firefighters, and elected officials. Meet my neighbors at various community functions. They all know me, and know that I’m just a guy comfortable in his own skin, as well cowhide. LOL!

For example, yesterday after I got home from work, on came the brown leather jeans, tall brown Wesco harness boots, and a t-shirt. I got busy around the house with stuff, both inside and out. Neighbors drove by and waved. One stopped by to ask a question. They didn’t give a second glance to what I was wearing. Really, nobody cares!

Those who only wear leather once-a-year at events like Mid-Atlantic Leather or International Mr. Leather are missing the boat, in my opinion. Yeah, they may like how they look in leather and the persona they put on. But it’s all a fake. They quickly change into blue jeans and sneakers during transit and at home. Come on, guys! If you’ve got it, wear it. Why invest all that money in leather gear if it just hangs in your closet or remains folded in a trunk? Enjoy it!

Life is short: wear your leather, wear your boots! Have fun!

Sendra Booted

I’m back to blogging about boots. Today I have on a pair of Sendra Texan Cowboy Boots, as shown. They have a very classic cowboy boot appearance, though the finish is dull. (Hmmm, I may have to break out the polish and see what I can do.) Their very narrow X-toe is interesting. What I don’t like about them is that the heel is low (about 1″) and the height is short (about 12″). They also have a rather narrow calf width. If they were taller, I probably couldn’t wear them.

I had heard about Sendra boots, but didn’t know much about them until I began participating in “Boots On Line” and learned from others. And it’s very interesting to me that my website statistics consistently show that lots of other people are visiting my page about these boots. These boots continue to rank high in the number of website viewers.

I was disappointed to find that some nitwit on Facebook stole one of the pictures of me in these boots from my website and posted it on someone else’s Facebook page. I don’t know why people feel that the need to do silly, stupid things like that. Yeah, technically it’s a copyright violation, but pursuing a legal challenge with something like this isn’t worth it. I sent the photo thief a message requesting that she remove her message and not steal photos from me again. People can be so dumb sometimes.

Oh well, I look forward to enjoying wearing these boots at work today. Life is short: wear your boots!

Casual and Mature Kind of Tolerance

This is part of an essay that appeared in The Washington Post on Thursday, April 24, 2008. It is written by someone I know and have served with on a community group. The essay so clearly describes why I love living where I do, much better than I have done in previous blog posts.
… There are so many ways of life here that the phrase [diversity] starts to lose its meaning. Friends and neighbors adapt to one another’s ways without judging. People look for the goodness in one another and respond to that. It adds up to a county scintillating with energy, a prosperous place where some of the world’s greatest scientific breakthroughs are routinely made, where the nation’s and the world’s leaders rest their heads at night, where cultures interact to produce a new thing — an integrated, high-energy, peaceful approach to living that makes better people of all of us.
What is most meaningful to me is what I titled this post, “Casual and Mature Kind of Tolerance.” Seriously, most everyone who I deal with, and with whom my partner and I interact as neighbors and in community activities, look at who we are and what we can do, and are well beyond judging based on one’s sexual orientation. It’s refreshing to live openly in our community and contribute to the betterment for all, and not have to worry about being judged based on misguided perceptions that some narrow-minded people may have.

Important County Employees’ Housing

It’s just a real shame that housing costs so much that even in today’s depressed market, those who really work hard to keep our community safe and educated can’t afford to live here. Recent stats have shown that more than 65% of the police officers, firefighters, and public school teachers live outside the county where they work.

I try hard to make a difference in the community where I have lived my whole life. I own some houses that I rent out. I work with a county agency which identifies employees in public service who would like to rent a home in the county, and whose incomes are below a certain threshold. There are some other things the agency does for me as a landlord, and in exchange, I rent my homes to these important employees so they can live here. I don’t make market rent, but I feel good about providing affordable housing to cops, firefighters, and teachers. There are some tax incentives to do this, which make up somewhat for the lower rental income.

Today, I rented a house to a motor officer. He’s a great guy. I’m sure he will take good care of the house and the neighbors will feel a bit safer, too. Great day — especially when he came to my house on his motor and in uniform to sign the lease. My own neighbors were all watching out their windows. Te he…

Our 15th Anniversary

On Saturday, April 25, 1993, early in the morning, I went to the home of the President of a leather/levi club that I had recently joined. The club was joining the “leather contingent” to march in the March on Washington that day. This was a gay rights march that was supposed to beat all records for attendance.

I was nervous. I was new to the club, and such a club was still a bit intimidating to lil’ ol’ quiet suburban-living me. I didn’t really know what to expect, who I would meet, and what would happen.

I was greeted warmly by the club President and a few other club members who where there. Then out of a back room emerges this man who I had heard about, but had never met. He extended his hand and said, “hi, I’m [BikerBeef].” I returned the handshake.

Well, the rest is history. Neither he nor I were looking for a mate or a partner. We weren’t even looking for a date. But something magic happened that day. I met the man who has become my soulmate, lover, partner, confidant, and best friend.

We’ve learned a lot and grown with each other over these 15 years. We’ve had our differences, disagreements, and challenges. We both worked hard at overcoming obstacles, because deep down, we love each other more than anything else in the world. We have traveled together on three continents, cross-country two-up on my Harley, built a house and made it our home, and more importantly, built our lives as two hearts melded into one.

He’s my man, I’m his, and together we’ll travel down this road of life we have made for ourselves. What’s best on this 15th anniversary of ours is that I’m still head over bootheels in love with my partner, as he is with me. What a blessing.

Office Friendly Biker Boots

When I blogged yesterday about using my Harley to get to the Metro and then go to work, I mentioned that I put on “office friendly biker boots.” Someone sent me an email through this blog to ask me just what I meant. Well, at least I’m glad someone is reading this thing!

To me, “office friendly biker boots” are boots that have these features:

* rubber sole for grip on pavement while riding
* no leather soles — they slip
* no big lug Vibram soles — they just don’t work well in an office setting
* dark foot/shaft color that goes well with pants I wear to work

That’s really it. Now, what kind of boots fit that description? There are “dual purpose cowboy/biker boots” in my collection, such as harness boots or cowboy boots with rubber soles.

I also often choose to wear motorcycle cop uniform boots because with pants over them, all others can really see are shiny black “shoe-looking” feet. (But man, how I enjoy the feeling of tall boots on my legs, even if no one else knows or cares.) I have many tall black cop boots in my collection, and often I have a pair of them on my feet at the office.

Remember, most people don’t care and don’t say anything, as long as you don’t put a boot in their face. Wear what you want, but also wear what provides safety while operating a motorcycle and goes okay with the office attire.

Life is short! Wear your boots!

Summer biker commute returns!

Now that Spring is really finally here and the deluge of rain has temporarily stopped, I’m back to taking advantage of a bill that I fought for and won in my county.

A few years ago, I engaged my elected officials (along with fellow biker-friendly activists) to have our county pass a bill that provides free parking for motorcycles at any local Metro (subway) station in the county. This wasn’t easy — doing anything that reduces revenue for any public entity is never easy — but it did pass, and I should reap the benefits of what I fought for.

Now each morning, I put on my business casual clothes, “office friendly” biker boots, chaps, biker jacket, gloves, and my helmet, and after doing the daily T-CLOCS inspection of the Harley, off I go to my local Metro station. I park the bike and lock it up six ways from Sunday, cover it, and then lock my gear in the trunk of my partner’s car so I don’t have to carry heavy leathers to and from the office. My partner gets to the Metro about a half-hour before I do. I then hop on the subway and I’m at my office a half-hour later. Doing this saves me $22.50/week.

Why don’t I ride the Harley to work? Several reasons: 1) cell-phone yapping cage drivers don’t see motorcycles; 2) riding in traffic is a pain in the ass and exhausting; I would have to pay $17/day for safe parking, as well as pay for more gas; 3) my insurance premium would go up, since my premium is rated by how and where I use my Harley; and 4) my employer provides a subsidy for using Metro, which it wouldn’t provide if I drove to work. Plus, Metro is quick, usually reliable, and less stressful — especially at oh-dark-30 when I depart my home to go to work, and early afternoon when I return. (I beat the crowds.)

I’m happy to be back in my summer commuting routine, back on the bike daily, using my gear for why and how it’s made, and be able to benefit from some of my civic activism.

What it is to be a Bootman?

I have had some boots, like these Tony Lama black cowboy boots for 35 years. And they still hold up quite well. A little polish and brushing, and they’re ready to hit the street. (Well, actually, go to work.) And because they’re so old, they are well broken in and are comfortable. Old Tony Lamas were made better than the current versions, on better lasts (forms), and hold their comfort over time.

People have asked me over the years about why I wear boots all the time and if I really wear all the boots I have. Why wear boots? I just like ’em. How they feel, how they look, and how they protect my feet. And yes, I wear most all of the pairs of boots that I own. There are some pairs of boots that are uncomfortable, some have been abused, and a couple pairs need new soles. Some boots in the “less used” category are used for for certain specific activities in which I occasionally engage, such as skydiving or tromping through muddy terrain, or are a lot of trouble to deal with, such as tall lace-up boots (I just don’t have the patience to lace boots).

Some guys have posted on “Boots On Line” about being nervous about what other people may say about being seen in boots. Heck, nobody cares! I may have had some people say something from time to time like “are those cowboy boots?” — and despite wanting to give some kind of wisecrack retort, I just smile and say, “Sure are! Aren’t they cool?” or something like that.

I really do wear my boots. That’s what they are: footwear. I change boots often, rotate the boots in my basement boot closet with those in my bedroom closet, and with my “bootedman.com” website, I know what I have, what I like, and what perhaps haven’t been worn in a while. I enjoy this avocation — not fetish — because, to my core, I am a “Bootman”.

Life is short. Wear your boots.

Station work booted

I’ve had this pair of Station Boots for a while now. They’re very comfortable boots. They have a boot zipper that is laced in. Once the zipper is firmly attached, then putting them on and taking them off is as easy as closing or opening a zipper.

My partner and I got up at dawn and spent the day working on our lawn. We rented sod cutter and took out a bunch of dead grass and saved the little bit that remained alive. We already had bought some sod, so after the sod cutter work was done and we returned it to the rental center, we came back home and lay the sod. We still have more ground to cover with sod, but we got a huge amount of work done today. Frankly, I would rather have been out riding my Harley on such a pleasantly warm day, but when you own a home, sometimes work like this supercedes having any fun. I kept these boots on all day and my feet feel fine, even though the rest of my body is sore as heck.

Bike cop boots on the mind

With the Pope being in Washington, there is even more security in the city than usual. There are many times in the last couple days when I’ve seen booted bike cops standing around, directing traffic, and even occasionally operating their bikes. (Funny, I see more standing than I do riding.)

With bike cop boots on my mind, I’m wearing a pair today, just for the heck of it. H-D Police Enforcer Boots. Nice looking, very comfy.

On Tuesday I took an hour out, leathered up, put on these boots, and mounted my camera to my Harley in a different place and shot a video, which I have embedded here. It was fun to do.