Happy New Year (almost!) This is a time when you hear about people making “new year’s resolutions.” I don’t do that — I observe how hypocritical such “resolutions” are. You make them, then a few days later, they’re forgotten.

What I resolve to do in 2009 is to continue to do what I have been doing, which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Continuing to care for family and friends, and take steps to help make things better for them, in whatever ways that I can.
  • Remaining happy, joyful, and up-beat.
  • I have so much to be thankful for, I resolve to continue to display and share my thanks.
  • Smiling at total strangers! (and friends, and family, and anyone else!)
  • Enjoying life’s surprises, and making lemonade when life serves you lemons.
  • Sharing knowledge, information, and ideas with others when requested, but not offered unsolicited.
  • Taking time to have fun! Ride my Harley with the group that I ride with, share walks with my next-door-neighbor, play Bocci con i ragazzi, update my website, maintain the properties that I own, build stuff — including a gazebo in our back yard park. (Yeah, this IS fun for me!)
  • Remaining passionate about my community service, and bringing about thoughtful resolution to challenges we face in our neighborhood, community, county, state, and country to the degree that I can.
  • Loving and caring for my partner: my love-of-my-life, my best friend in the whole world, my lover, my joy, my hunkadorabilious, my one-and-only.
  • Showing those that I love that I love them, each and every day.

Tonight, as I celebrate New Year’s Eve for the 23rd time with a very close friend, his wife, his family and extended network of friends, I will carry through on these “life resolutions.” And I’ll be wearing leather and boots, too!

Happy New Year! See ‘ya next year!

One Million Web Page Views

I saw this coming earlier this week, which is why I posted my “top 10 of the year” blog posts earlier.

WOW! From April, 2006, until 13:25 on December 29, 2008, when a guy from Berlin clicked on a link on to enter my website on my “Guide to Motorcycle Police Patrol Boots” and then poked around to view about 40 pages: at this moment, one million pages have been viewed on my website.

Each time someone views a page on a website, it is called a “page view.” This isn’t the same thing as the number of visitors — the same person viewing 40 pages is one visitor.

Well, anyway, at that specific time today, the website visitor from Berlin became the “lucky winner” by incrementing my page view count to ONE MILLION!

Who woulda thunk? That means that tens of thousands of visitors have viewed one million pages on my website since I installed the view counter software in April, 2006.

About half of my visitors enter my website using search engines, primarily Google. About another 30% of my visitors come from links on and its message board, “Boots On Line.” This year, about 10% of my visitors come from links I put in on this blog to my website. Then there are the “loyalists” from all over the world who for some reason or another, have bookmarked my website and visit daily, or sometimes even more often.

With almost 300 pages and about 5,000 images, there’s a lot on my website now, which grew from a small thing that I began to resolve a “little family conflict” (explained here) into what it is now. It’s fun, a great hobby, and keeps me in touch with my leather gear and boots.

Well, Mr. Berlin, THANKS! And thanks to all for visiting my little booted & leathered website. Come for a visit any time!

Top 10 Countdown: 1 – 5

The following are the top five most popular posts on my blog this year:

#5: Breaking In Dehner Patrol Boots

A visual description of how I broke in a pair of Dehner Patrol Boots for a bike cop.

#4: Mexican Boots

Dispelling myths and providing some information about boots made in Mexico.

#3: Do Masculine Gay Men Scare Masculine Men?

My first “discussion post” which was written mostly by another partnered masculine gay man with whom my thinking is quite similar.

#2: A Cop Gives Up His Boots

This probably ranked high because I linked to this post from “Boots On Line” and there are a lot of guys on that board who like booted cops.

#1: Leather: Muir Cap

Lots of guys continue to search for the term “Muir Cap” — the traditional “Leatherman’s Cap” that is popular among men in the leather fetish community. This blog post is by far the most viewed of any that I have written (so far).

And the two posts that have generated the most email and discussions are:

#1: A Fetish or Not a Fetish


#2: An Avocation

My personal opinions about my interest in boots and leather are explained in each of these posts.

Life is short: wear your boots and your leather!

Top 10 Countdown: 6 – 10

It has been interesting learning about blogging this year, and posting over 260 message since I started in January.

I keep stats on which of my posts throughout the whole year are most viewed. The posts come up — even the older ones — from Google searches, mostly, since Google owns Blogger, which is where this blog is hosted.

So here goes …. the following are the most popular posts on my blog this year:

#10: Frye Harness Boots and Bellbottom Jeans

Just a whimsical view of vintage Frye boots and an old pair of bellbottom jeans

#9: More on Masculine Gay Men

Discussion on masculine men and being gay

#8: Doin’ It In Motor Boots

This probably caught lots of guys’ attention due to the title. But remember, this IS a G-rated blog!

#7: How Do You Wear Cowboy Boots?

As I said in the opening of that post, a LOT of people use search engines to look up information about wearing — or how to wear — cowboy boots. This post explains it.

#6: Bike Cop Boot Advising

Lots of people want to know what information I shared with bike cops about patrol boots.

Check back for my next post tomorrow when I reveal #1 – #5!

Wesco Boots and Gay Culture

There seems to be some interest and a bit of mystery about Wesco Boots and gay culture. Several internet searches using the keywords “Wesco” and “gay culture” have landed searchers on this blog. [UPDATE: As a result, I received some comments and blogged about this issue again, here].

I am a confident, secure, masculine man. That’s how I was raised, and how I behave. I enjoy typical “guy things” like riding my Harley and wearing clothing for the activity, including sturdy motorcycle boots and leather. I also enjoy home remodeling, repair, and construction. While I am not interested in organized sports, that’s just a preference — or lack thereof. It is the objective of this post to describe more about how preferences, stereotypes, and culture are not one-and-the-same.

And yeah, I am gay. Am I “attracted to” Wesco boots because I am gay? Nope. I like Wescos because they are the sturdiest boots around, made to exceptional quality standards, and present a great appearance on my feet. They fulfill the type of image of the guy that I am — a confident biker. That’s it.

As my friend Maf said the other day:

Gay is only who you are programmed biologically to desire sexually and to love. People whether straight, gay, male, or female span a great spectrum that goes way beyond stereotypical traits.

He is absolutely right. Because I love a man and choose to live with him as my partner, treating him as an equal and a mate equivalent to a man-woman marriage — that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I am a masculine man who likes sturdy, rugged boots.

There are a lot of men who like to wear Wescos. Some gay men have a fetish for them, some — like me — like the boots because of the utility and protection that they provide when I engage in my preferred outdoor activities of riding my Harley and working on construction projects or around the yard. Other men wear various styles of Wesco Boots for activities like logging, working on utility lines, wildland firefighting, and serving as a motor patrol officer. To them, the boots are more like “required” footwear; a part of a uniform — not anything else.

There is a range of traits and preferences that each person has. Some straight guys don’t like boots at all, and choose to wear sneakers in their off-time. Some gay men wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of sturdy, rugged boots. Similarly and in contrast, I would feel very uncomfortable (and sick to my stomach) if I had to wear dress shoes. I’d rather go barefooted than wear dress shoes or sneakers.

It is really a matter of preference, not having anything to do with whether one is programmed biologically to love a male or a female. People just have to get over trying to apply stereotypes to link preferences for certain things like boots and being gay. The stereotypes cause people to respond in ways that don’t help matters much, and sometimes cause strife, negativity, and attacks borne from fear and insecurity.

Masculine men who engage in activities that require solid protection for their feet may choose to wear Wesco Boots. That’s really about it… what you see is what you get, no more, no less.

Pet Peeve Relief: The company that makes the boots that are the subject of this post is the “West Coast Shoe Company” of Scappoose, Oregon, USA. They go by “Wesco” and emboss “Wesco” on each pair of boots they make. Guys refer to their boots as “Wescos” — NOT “Wesco  s”. My pet peeve is seeing an apostrophe used to make a word plural.

Life is short: Wear your boots and enjoy your Wescos!

Riding on Christmas

We had a sunny, dry, and pleasant day on Christmas Day, and it warmed up to above 50°F (10°C), which was great motorcycle weather!

After preparing and serving a hearty Christmas breakfast and watching my mother-in-law open her gifts, I wanted to go visit my family. And, as is my custom if weather permits, I go on my Harley. So I changed into my biker leathers and boots, and got the Harley out of its storage area in the garage.

I checked it over carefully doing my usual T-CLOCS review. I am glad that I did, because I noticed that I must have knocked one of the cables sideways when I had parked it as close as possible to the back wall of the garage. I straightened out the cable and checked to make sure it operated correctly. I also checked the air pressure in the tires and put air in the rear, as it was a couple pounds low — that happens when bikes sit idle.

Off I roared on my trusty iron horse. I went to a niece’s house. Her little ones had already torn through their gifts and were playing with them, but they sure enjoyed a short ride with Uncle BHD! After that, I dropped by a nephew’s house, and got his kids all riled-up. It’s fun to see the kids on Christmas, and share a little joy with an unexpected ride on their uncle’s big Harley.

I have a child-sized leather jacket and kid-sized boots that I let them wear when they ride with me. I make them wear gloves, and a helmet that is their size, too. We don’t ride far, but we make sure their friends hear us roar (slowly) by while they wave to them.

I was tempted to go to another niece’s house, but she lives about an hour away, and I needed to get back to get our Christmas dinner started. My mother-in-law sure can eat, and my partner wanted the whole she-bang, so I had to get home by early afternoon to begin preparing our meal.

Life is short: show those you love that you love them! Rumble…rumble, uncle!

I Believe: Merry Christmas!

This post was written on Christmas Eve, just as we’re going to bed and it will remain top-of-the-blog until after Christmas.

We just returned from church, where we took my mother-in-law to celebrate mass. Man, the church was packed. While we arrived a half-hour early, the only seats available were in the second row down front. That’s okay, I like to be able to see what’s going on.

As I looked around, I saw someone I knew, and waved. She waved back. Then someone else waved — a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. Then another, and another. A couple who goes on motorcycle rides with me held up their daughter who waved to me for them. A fraternity brother from college gave me a hug and the secret handshake (yeah, they still have those and I still remember it). An elected official walked by, called out my name, practically fell over the pew in front of me to shake my hand while we both were laughing and wishing each other a “Merry Christmas.”

Right up until the service started, I looked around the mass of humanity around me and realized I knew a lot of people. After all, the church is in the middle of the community where I live. The cemetery where my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and loved-ones were buried is just down the road. (My ties to this community run deep, and run looooong).

My mother-in-law, though, was amazed. “How do you know all these people?” My answer was: “I believe.”

  • I believe in service to others.
  • I believe in caring for my neighbor.
  • I believe in doing. Not just sitting and watching, but doing.
  • I believe in being patient until things happen, and nudge ’em along when needed.
  • I believe that a smile is the best gift to give to others.
  • I believe that life is full of surprises and without them, life would be awfully dull.
  • I believe in holding friends close, and family closer.
  • I believe in my partner, wholeheartedly, without reservation or equivocation.
  • I believe that joy comes to those who share joy.
  • I believe in Santa. Well, in his magic, his spirit, and his love.
  • And yeah, I believe in love. Love is the only thing you get back more of the more you give it away.
  • I believe that God loves all of us, including us gay guys as well as the homophobes. God loves all — it is religion that causes separatism and some people to display hatred, which is what God teaches us is a sin.

As Susan Walker said in Miracle on 34th Street:

“I believe… I believe… It’s silly, but I believe.”

And to quote (badly) from the title of another Christmas classic, I kinda believe that I have a wonderful life.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Believe in yourself, believe in your fellow man, believe in your heart, and believe in life!

Unconditional Friendship

Here it is, Christmas Eve, and I’ve been ready for months. Seriously — I bought my last Christmas gift in September. It’s something for my mother-in-law, who is visiting with us this week.

My partner and I discussed how bad the economy was, and decided that we would not give each other gifts this year. We decided to donate to charity in the other’s name. Non-profits need more help this year than ever, and my partner and I don’t really need anything.

It was difficult for me to figure out what charity to ask him to support for me. I am involved in a number of non-profit groups to which I contribute throughout the year (in both time and money), and I didn’t want his contribution on my behalf to favor one over another, or make it too complex and diluted to split it up among all of them. Then an email that I received last Friday decided it.

I need to explain by relating a life story of friendship that began 47 years ago. My family had just moved into a new house, and everyone in the family was busy unpacking. I was only four years old and too little to help. I was wandering around the front yard, bewildered about my new environment, and was probably feeling a little lonely and afraid. I looked up to see a kid about my age getting off the back of a bicycle being ridden by his older brother. He walked over to me and while I can’t remember exactly what he said, he became my very first friend. We went to school together through high school.

He and I spent a lot of time playing as kids, and enjoying a long-term friendship. He was faithful, loyal, and a good buddy. He never criticized me for not being able to play any sports, or for being klutzy as heck. He never once asked me why I didn’t want to go to the school dance with a date. His friendship to me was unconditional, and solid as a rock. I never really felt that I appreciated his loyalty until I was much older when I realized how important having someone like that in my life really was.

My friend was always somewhat of a vagabond. He was smart, but only when he applied himself. Most of the time, he didn’t even try. He dropped out of high school, and lived in his car in the back of a church parking lot. We brought him food and let him shower in our house, but he really didn’t want to be dependent. He would get a job, then pick a fight with the boss and get fired. He never seemed to be able to hold down a job for more than a few months. Though when he went for his G.E.D., he aced it.

He eventually moved to Florida then to central Virginia, and we kept in touch from time to time. He married, had kids, and completed an Associate’s Degree. He seemed to be settling down. But he kept having that problem with getting a job, working for a few months to a year, then getting fired, laid off, or otherwise becoming unemployed. He and his wife divorced, and he moved again to Florida to work in the construction industry.

Well, on Friday, December 19, I received an email from my friend in response to one I had sent several weeks ago where I was kidding him that the page in my address book was worn out from erasure marks. I wanted to update it again so I could send him a Christmas card. I was asking him where he was these days and what he was up to.

His response broke my heart. He told me that he lost his house due to foreclosure, his girlfriend left him, he hasn’t worked for six months and can’t find a job. He was down to his last dollar while living with some friends for a few days. All he asked was that I pray for him.

Well, sure, I’ll do that. But I decided to ask my partner for the money that was going to be donated to charity in my name to me so I could wire it to my friend. The least I could do (and add a little more of my own money).

I have mixed feelings, but I won’t judge my friend. He never judged me in all his life. The least I can do is try to help him out, to show what unconditional friendship really means.

Christmas means much more than gifts, lights, decorations, and food. It means family, love, and bonds of friendship that bring meaning to the day and its legacy throughout the year. Regardless of religious beliefs, or my personal divided feelings about organized religion — I truly have faith borne from the Christmas Spirit that carries me throughout the year to enjoy peace, love, and service to those for whom I care. Truly, that’s what Christmas — and my faith — is all about.

Life is short: show those you love that you love them. Merry Christmas, everyone, and may you live a good life rooted in faith and expressed with love.

Organizing the Blog

You may have noticed some changes to how this blog appears, from minor things like colors of headers, to finally fixing a couple broken links (my “contact me” link wasn’t working), to tagging my blog posts with topic areas, shown below. Now visitors interested in a particular topic can click on any topic listed under the “Blog Content Topics” to read my posts about that subject. I try to live an organized life, because I get involved in so many things, being organized is the only way I can pull it off (though don’t look at the clutter in my home office; however, I do know where everything is!)

I see some visitors have tried clicking on my blog content area links already.

The content areas are listed below (and are also working links). If you have suggestions for better or clearer organization of my blog or content areas, write to me! Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy!

Blog Content Topics