Top 10 Countdown: 1 – 5

I continue with the list of my blog posts that receive the most number of unique visitors, as revealed by Statcounter for this year.  (The top 6-10 posts were revealed yesterday, here.)

#5:  How To Wear Biker Boots  (November 18, 2010)

I should have posted this a long time ago.  Of course I should have known that few people know how to wear biker boots, which is the reason that question must be entered into Google so often.  That can be the only reason — only us bikers know the secret handshake, the concealed location of the privacy pocket in a leather vest, and the intricacies of precisely how to wear biker boots.  (As I said yesterday, sometimes I wonder why someone has to ask that question… perhaps they need to revert to wearing sneakers or loafers and refrain from operating a motorcycle.)

#4:  Wesco Boots — Gay?   (December 11, 2009)  [This was ranked #6 last year]

As I said yesterday about this year’s post #6 (Wesco Boots and Gay Culture), there is a rather frequent misconception that guys who do not work in rough blue-collar trades (such as linesman, loggers, or woodland firefighters) and who choose to wear and display Wesco boots (or, heaven forbid, make a video about them!) — therefore must be gay and the boots are gay too.  While the West Coast Shoe Company (Wesco) does a lot of marketing to the motorcycle rider market, that marketing does not seem to penetrate among the bikers with whom I ride in the U.S. State of Merlin (that’s how you pronounce it, fellas).  I am the only guy in my outfit about which I am aware who wears Wesco boots while riding.  I am gay.  Therefore, the obvious leap of logic is that Wesco Boots are gay, or wearing them makes you gay, or that only gay men wear Wesco Boots. Bullshirt. Read the original post.

3.  Where Do You Find Masculine Gay Guys?  (July 10, 2010)   [This was ranked #4 last year … so the ranking indicates sustained and growing interest in this topic.]

I see sooooo many inquiries entered anonymously into search engines such as: “where to find masculine gay guys” or “are there masculine gay men” or “where to meet normal masculine guys” or even, “are there masculine gay men?” (as in, “do they exist?”)  There is a large interest out there from single guys, mostly younger, who are looking for a guy who doesn’t behave effeminately.  Perhaps there is some curiosity, too, that I am a masculine gay man who is in love with another masculine gay man. 

The challenge is that most masculine-behaving gay guys have learned skills to hide that they are gay, and remain firmly in the closet.  Society has taught them (incorrectly) that “real men aren’t gay” and that there is something wrong with guys who like guys.  I could go on and on… the point is that stereotypes and heteronormative expectations are out there.  Thus, it is very hard to find a masculine gay manThis post has some ideas about where to look … and this post explains why they are so elusive.

2.  Gay Leather Breeches  (November 1, 2010)

It is likely that this post’s rank so high in readership on this blog is an anomaly, in that while this post gets a lot of unique visits — sorta off the charts since it was posted — it may also be ranking so high because it is recent and serves as a topic of interest to gay men who are planning to attend upcoming gatherings of the Gay Men’s Leatherclan (Mid-Atlantic Leather in Washington, DC, in January and International Mr. Leather in Chicago, Illinois, in May).

I took the approach in that blog post to dispel the notion that leather breeches unto themselves are not gay, though well over 90% of visitors to that post have entered “gay leather breeches” into a search engine which directed them to this post.  I think what they were seeking were answers to any of these questions:  1) where can I find leather breeches to wear to a gay men’s gathering?  or 2) are people who wear leather breeches gay (as in ‘always’)?

Well, whatever, this post gets a lot of readers directed to it from internet searches.  Not a surprise — so many people like to search anonymously for information to resolve curiosity.

And … dah-dah-dum!  Here’s the Number One blog post this year:

#1:  Bulges and Breeches   (July 18, 2009)  [This was ranked #2 last year, so again, by an increase to ranking #1, it shows a sustained interest!]

Why such a high, sustained interest?  Just go to Google images and enter “Tom of Finland.”  You will see a LOT of ToF images on blogs, including this one.  I grabbed this image from the net, that links to my blog post.  The post was written as a review — admiration of superb artwork.

Perhaps, as well, images like this is where the perception of “gay leather breeches” and gay men in tall black boots comes from.

Life is short:  keep reading and I will keep blogging!

Top 10 Countdown: 6 – 10

In my third year of blogging, I have enjoyed writing posts about my various interests and my life — and I’ve averaged a post-a-day.  I may not be able to keep up that pace next year.

I reviewed the visitor’s stats for this blog over the past several months, and have determined what the most popular posts on this blog have been, as ranked by the count of the number of unique visitors to specific posts — thanks to Statcounter, which does the hard work for me.

Interestingly, one of the Top 10 blog posts was from 2008, and three of the Top 10 were from 2009.  The remainder were posted this year.

So here goes… the Top Blog Posts on this blog during 2010:

#10:  How To Tell If You Have Vintage Frye Boots (October 30, 2010)

This doesn’t surprise me at all.  Lots and lots of people are interested in vintage Frye boots, and learning how to tell the differences between Fryes made in the 1970s, then during the 80s and up to 2003 when the John A. Frye Shoe Company as we knew it closed and the name was bought by a series of companies that licensed the Frye label  to third-party shoe/bootmakers to make products under that name.

#9:  Tucking Pants Into Boots (October 10, 2010)

Again, not a surprise this ranks so high.  I get a huge number of visitors to this blog and to the “Cowboy Boots and Jeans” tutorial on my website from internet searches along the lines of “do men wear jeans tucked in or out of boots?”  I swear, I never cease to be amazed at the large number of internet searches on this topic — probably by curious, confused, and happy-to-be-anonymous guys asking this question.  (IMHO, if a guy has to ask this question, he has more things to worry about than this matter….)

#8:  What To Wear With Motorcycle Boots? (September 21, 2010)

Again, I am amazed how search engines are used with the most inane questions by the curious and happy-to-be-anonymous guys.  So, what to wear with motorcycle boots?  Easy:  jeans, leathers, or breeches.  Simple.  Better to be booted in long pants on a motorcycle than be an organ donor wearing shorts and sneakers… just sayin’.

#7:  Hard-workin’ Old Chippewa Engineer Boots (July 13, 2009)

This is the first of my blog posts from last year to be ranked among the Top 10.  I think the reason why is the image that I posted with it.  The post itself is rather dull … just an explanation of a busy day while wearing engineer boots.  This is where “Google Images” produces hits on this blog, because whatever guys search for about dirty, muddy, or well-worn engineer boots produces this image, with a link to this post.

#6:  Wesco Boots and Gay Culture (December 27, 2008)  [This was ranked #1 last year]

It is fascinating to me that this post would rank so high on this blog — its now over two years old. Why does it receive so many visits? I think for two reasons: the image shows up in high rankings on Google Image searches — a tough-looking, masculine biker boot on a Harley. Second, I think the topic itself draws a lot of visitors too. I see many search engines results for searches such as: “why do gay men like Wesco Boots” or “Wesco Boots Gay” or “Gay Boot Fetish” and so forth. I’m here to dispel the notion that only gay men wear Wesco boots, or that the boots themselves are gay. They’re just boots, and while I own a dozen pairs of Wesco boots, I have yet to see them make out with each other. 🙂

Check back tomorrow for Blog Posts ranked #1 to 5!

Life is short:  keep bloggin’!

Year 2010 in Review

This year, 2010, has been a year of downs and ups for me.  It began on a sour note in January when I broke my fibula near my ankle, then rose to good times as I was able to remount my Harley and ride again in April, though I had progress with recovery very slowly so as not to re-injure my leg.

Then some down times again in June when my aunt almost died and I concentrated on getting her healthy again and able to live independently at home.  I do not consider it a down time when I was laid off in June, because I needed that nudge to leave my former employer.  Fortunately, I had the financial resources saved up to continue to live as I usually do, so a temporary job loss was endurable.  (And actually welcome…).

In August, I worked A LOT on our house.  I replaced 900sf of decking, four windows, three doors, two exterior deck privacy walls and rejuvenated that pear tree for the partridges.  Further, I bought and renovated a small fixer-upper house to rent to a community hero (a local cop).  I also did a number of minor repairs on several other rental properties, too.

Since my aunt’s condition had stabilized by August and much progress had been made on home repairs, I finally had time to lead some motorcycle rides, and go on rides with others.  I learned that I cannot serve as a Road Captain any more because I was spending five times as long to plan a ride than most others due to my horrible sense of direction (and that I get lost so easily, despite having a GPS!)  I will not have the time to do five pre-rides for every ride I may lead in 2011, so I stepped down as a Road Captain.  It was a great learning experience, and I appreciate having done that, but I learned my limits and have to live with them.

Life turned up significantly again in September when I was offered my dream job and accepted.  Then things went “on hold” while administrative matters were taken care of and I had minor surgery to repair a hernia.  Finally, the third week of November saw me begin my new life, doing what I do best, rekindling my career, and renewing relationships with people who I worked with from 1984 to 2004 in my “past life.”  (My job from 2006 to mid 2010 was sort of a “place keeper” because I knew that it would not be something I wanted to do until retirement.  It just paid the bills and kept me busy.)

Oh, and another good thing:  a transition in my community life has happened, where someone I mentored was elected to lead an organization for which I had served as President for the last six years.  It was definitely time for me to move on, and for me to step back and assume a role of “emeritus adviser.”

I cannot let the year go without acknowledging work that I have done on weight-loss.  It has always been a struggle for me, as I cannot eat “healthy foods” (that give me the shits) and I am definitely not a gym rat.  I was not watching what I was eating, and I know I was drinking too many sodas, and wasn’t exercising.  I had to work through some issues with my chronic condition which made the weight-gain a problem, too.  (Photo in December, 2009, on right).

The good news is that through the summer and fall, I focused on losing weight sensibly.  (Photo in December, 2010, on left).  I would go swimming once a week, which was not enough.  I began to walk … and walk … and walk … and now, every day, I walk at least two miles, usually four and on good days, I walk seven or eight miles.  I gave up drinking sugared sodas — and not being a coffee drinker, giving up my Cokes was really hard to do.  Coke Zero just didn’t work for me (more shits again).  Thank goodness I don’t drink beer, wine, or liquor, or the situation would have been worse!

I have always eaten fairly normal meals, but I am much more careful about my portion sizes.  It’s a good thing that I do not eat out at restaurants, as their portion sizes are often huge!  And finally, what seems to have worked is that I usually do not eat lunch, but keep my tummy filled with water-water-water.  All that ==> sum total:  I weigh 38 pounds less today than I weighed on January 1.  (I gained 14 pounds during my “down time” so I actually lost 52 pounds this year.)  Pretty good!  A very nice guy from Georgia just sent me a message congratulating me on my “new look.”  I tell ‘ya, it IS work, but not only do I think that I look better, I feel better.  More energy, vitality, and even better sex (enough of that, as this IS a G-rated blog!)

I will continue this routine of “walking and water” for the months and years to come.  It’s working.  I don’t think I will loose significantly more pounds than I already have, but I will work at maintaining the progression and try not to gain it back.  (And I did this all without a physician or nutritionist yelling at me.)

All-in-all, I can say that 2010 has been a major transition year for me, and it turned out well.  I remained focused on the positive, and worked to make things better for myself, my partner, my aunt, my family, my senior legion, my community, and those I care about.  I mean, after all, that’s what is most important — being positive and productive.  Nobody likes a negative noodle, so I vow to remain a happy, sincerely positive man.

Life is short: make the best of it!

Dehner Field Boots

When I served as a judge at a police motorcycle competition this past September, I strolled around during the lunch break to see what various vendors were peddling.  I avoid the guns and ammo, but may stop to talk to vendors who have products such as motorcycle gear and boots.

One of the vendors was a small shop purveying motorcycle gear, including Dehner boots.  I own and wear a number of pairs of Dehners, and wasn’t interested in any more… until two things happened:  I saw a very different and interesting pair of boots on display, and I got to talk to Jeff Ketzler about them.  Mr. Ketzler is the President of the Dehner Boot Company.  It’s not often you get to meet the “head guy” and talk boots.

We talked about the various materials from which Dehner boots were made, and I expressed my opinions about that “Dehcord” stuff on the shafts of patrol boots.  Mr. Ketzler wasn’t defensive, but he explained that he had heard the complaints about this plastic product melting, discoloring, and cracking, and told me that they have redesigned it so the color goes all the way through.  Okay, fine — so when it cracks (and it will) — you won’t see white cracks, but black ones.  For cops who go through a pair of boots a year, that’s fine because they dispose of the boots when they are damaged.  For people like me (not a cop) who wear Dehners and keep them longer than a year, the cracking situation isn’t so good.  But overall, it’s a balance between cost ($400/pair for the Dehcord shaft boots vs. $700+/pair for the all-leather variety.)

While European calf leather is their finest — and most expensive — Dehner boots can also be made with “Voyager” leather, which is a good grade of leather but not as expensive as European calf.

Long story short, while Mr. Ketzler was there, he measured me for custom boots.  Nothing like having the Company Big Cheese do it!  (You know the measurements will be right!)  And another good thing, there was no charge for taking the measurements, as there tends to be when you deal with them directly.  Further, I got a good discount by making a commitment to buy during the event.

Last Wednesday, the UPS guy was busy — he delivered not one but two pairs of boots to my door.  I had to wait 11 weeks for these brown beauties, but aren’t they cool?  

These boots are called “Dehner Field Boots” (more photos here) and I specified them as follows:  18″ tall, made entirely of brown “Voyager” leather, and a Vibram®100 big lug sole (great for motorcycling).  The other features of this boot are that they open across the front and close with three straps and buckles.  They also have a bal-laced instep which, because the boots are custom-made and fit closely, I actually have to untie so I can put them on, then tie them again to close the fitting.  (I wonder if eventually they will break in and I won’t have to untie and tie them each time I wear them. Doing that is a pain in the butt.)

I really like how these boots look, and their unique design.  I do not know anyone else who has them, so once again, I will set the example in my home crowd of having among the most unique and diverse boot collection around.  🙂

Life is short:  wear boots!

Bikeless Biker

Right before Christmas, the UPS guy delivered a big, heavy box with my name on it.  Yep, a new pair of traditional Wesco Boss Boots found their way to my boot collection and on my feet.  

These boots were on sale at my favorite boot store.  To help the store remain in business, I snagged ’em and here they are!  They are great biker boots, 18″ tall and unlined.  Because they are stock size, they fit snugly on my legs and feel great.  I can’t wait ’til the winter passes and I can ride my Harley with them.  Right now, in the dead of winter, I remain a “Bikeless Biker” while my Harley sits snugly in the garage. 🙁

These boots are made on a new last, meaning that they have a more narrow toe, rather than the “bump toe” of the older Wesco Boss Boots, shown here.

Life is short:  wear boots!

Brother’s Day Off

Guest Blog by J, BHD’s Twin Brother

In what is becoming a tradition, I am writing a post for my brother’s blog to appear today.  It’s the least I can do, as he has taken such good care of me and my wife during this visit.

We were supposed to arrive at 11:30pm on Thursday night, but it was snowing like crazy in Paris (France) and our flight was significantly delayed in departure.  At first I did not think that our flight would depart at all, but it did… six hours later.  We arrived on Friday morning at 6:00am.

As usual, my brother was there to greet us, with a bright smile on his face.  He must have been exhausted.  He drove us to his home, and his partner welcomed us warmly while my brother helped unload our belongings.

We slept most of Friday as we did not sleep much on the plane.  But Friday evening, our family gathered at a sister’s house for a family tradition:  Friday night family dinner.  We had the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” which is a Southern Italian meal eaten on Christmas Eve.  It was a great!  Our sister outdid herself — preparing this complex feast for 68 people!

After the meal, as a family we attended midnight mass.  Well, actually the service was at 11:00pm.  My brother waved to a lot of people — but this is his home and where he has lived his whole life.  I was thrilled to see 3 of our high school classmates, with their families, as well.

We did not arrive home until very late… and slept well into Christmas morning.  When we awoke, once again we smelled the intoxicating scents of a huge brunch.  My brother told me that he had already been up for hours, and had fed his mother-in-law, who has quite an appetite.

We went to visit some of the younger members of our family on Christmas Day.  They had long ago torn open their presents, so by the time I arrived, they wanted to show “Uncle J” what they got.  We had a great time.

My brother left early to return to his home to prepare our Christmas dinner.  When my wife and I arrived (another brother dropped us off), it was almost ready.  My brother introduced us to three ladies he refers to as his “senior pals” who joined us for dinner also.

I was asked to say grace, and stumbled through it until I got to the part about what Christmas really means — the spirit of peace, love, and joy that fills our hearts, and radiates from my brother and his very being.  I swear, that guy makes hard work seem effortless (that is, our entire meal was home-made, not pre-prepared) and he makes us feel so … well, happy!

After dinner, my brother drove his senior pals back to the retirement community where they live.  He invited me and my wife to come along. It was a tight fit in his truck, but they live only five minutes away.  I had the pleasure of escorting one of these women to her door.  As we arrived, she turned to me and I saw a tear in her eye.  She smiled, and told me that it was a “happy tear” because she did not think she would be able to enjoy herself.

She confided that her husband had died in March, and she missed him terribly.  But my brother and his heart — he kept looking after her, calling, taking her out, connecting her with friends, and keeping in touch.  She admitted that she was dreading Christmas, but when my brother told her a few weeks ago, “you’re coming to our place for dinner on Christmas and that’s that!” — she could not refuse.

This is an example of what I mean when I say that my brother is a saint.  He hates being referred to that way.  He just is.  He says, “come on, you would do the same.”  If I were in his boots, I probably would.  But I would also likely be oblivious to the loneliness.  My brother has a special radar that identifies where he’s needed most, and does things to help.  People can tell what kind of a man he is by observing him and feeling his warm spirit.

I thought after we dropped her off, we would go back home.  But we had one more stop to make — to our 95-year-old aunt’s home around the corner.  We got there about 8:30, and I thought that was awfully late.  But my brother told me that since our aunt has Alzheimer’s Disease, she has no sense of day or time.  She was awake.

She glowed when she saw my brother.  He is so gentle to her, but persistent.  He got her up, had her walk, and asked her questions that engaged her in conversation.  Shortly after we began talking, she admitted, “I have forgotten who that man is” — pointing to me.  My brother patiently re-introduced us, and then started speaking to her in Italian. She responded, fluently.  Then he spoke to her in Spanish, and she laughed and told us a joke in Spanish.  Then he turned to my wife and asked her to speak to our aunt in French.  My wife said a few words, then my aunt lit up and spoke in fluent French.

You see, with Alzheimer’s, you lose short-term memory, but you do not lose your intelligence.  My brother knows that, and respectfully engages our aunt in ways to exercise her mind and keep her going.  I am beyond amazed and impressed.  This is another reason why I call my brother a saint.  He just knows.

Okay, “basta con gushing” as my brother would say.  “I’m not all that” … as he would say again.

Yes he is (yes you are, bro’) and I love you more and more each day.  You are a treasure to hold close in my heart, as my brother.

By the way — my brother always mentions these things on his blog — I wore leather trousers all day on Christmas and so did my brother.  He wore a red flannel shirt and I wore a green dress shirt.  We both did not wear ties.  I borrowed a pair of his boots — and our family noticed what we were wearing and gently teased us all day.

I love his spirit — with what he wears, but most — with who he is and what he does.

Love you, brother.  Ora e sempre.


Here is how I am dressed today — not a full leather suit, as I once thought I was going to wear.  But as I got the leather out this morning, it was “too black” and not quite what I had in mind for the holiday spirit.  So I put the dress leather shirt (and tie) back in the closet and put on a warm red flannel shirt instead.  It goes well with my dress leather pants and my Champion Attitude red-and-black “Firebird” cowboy boots.

I took my twin brother and his wife to visit family.  It even snowed (lightly)!  I shortened my family visit as I had some senior pals and my aunt to see — all needed some help today with physical therapy.

I have returned home at the time this was posted to start cooking dinner.  One of my brothers will drop off my twin brother and his wife to join us for dinner later.  I also have my mother-in-law with her insatiable appetite, and two senior pals who don’t want to be alone joining my partner and me for Christmas dinner.  We’re having prime rib (no turkey), twice-baked potatoes, fresh green beans, home-made dinner rolls (not the Pillsbury stuff), spinach salad, and two different kinds of home-made pie (pumpkin and apple).

Meanwhile, I’m singing in my kitchen as I putter around, smiling, enjoying the treasures of my life, because… I believe.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas: I Believe

I will be taking a break from blogging until after Christmas, so I can spend time with my partner, his mother, my twin brother and his wife who arrived last night (6-1/2 hours late, at 6am this morning!), as well as the rest of my family when we visit them over the next few days.

This has been quite a year for me, but I’ll explain that in a future blog post.  This Christmas, I reflect on what the holiday means to me and to life in general.  Without religious overtones, which I’ll leave to other blogs, let me say that I believe…

  • … in being happy, positive, and focused on what’s right, instead of what’s wrong.  Sure, there are lots of things wrong, but there are many more things that are right.  My wish for the world is “quit yer bitchin’ ” and think of the good things that are out there, not dwell on and complain about the bad.
  • … in the power of relationships built on trust, honesty, and integrity.  I can clearly say that the people with whom I choose to have deep and meaningful friendships have earned my respect because they are fundamentally good people.  Honest as the day is long; gentle, caring souls in their own right.
  • … that there’s a reason why we’re here on this Earth.  Whatever our calling is, we need to apply our talents, skills, and abilities as best we know how to make the world a little bit better each and every day.
  • … in service to others.  That’s my makeup, and what drives my essence.  Sure, I work for a living, but I volunteer a lot as a “second job.”  Serving others because I have the means, skills, and interest is a joy, not a burden.  From daily calls to older friends who are alone, to taking senior pals to the grocery store, to doing minor home repairs for others, to advocating for the betterment of my community by klonking some elected officials upside the head from time to time (figuratively speaking, of course)… all this is a way for me to serve my fellow man (and woman).  
  • … that love conquers all and heals all wounds.  I truly cannot express the depth of my devotion and abiding love for my partner, for the man he is and for the man he has helped me to become.  Our bond of love carries us forward, and is maintained on a basis of ongoing communication, trust, honesty, and daily attention to our relationship as two human beings — different, yet bonded at the soul.
  • … that blood is thicker than water.  I am grateful to be part of a large family of wonderful people who are terrific each in their own right.  We respect one another.  We laugh, we play, we care.  I am truly blessed that we all get along well because we work at it.  We may have our disagreements, but when the fit hits the shan, we rise up and care for each other by doing things in significant, positive ways.  I know many families do not get along as well, and some siblings have become divided and estranged.  I am deeply appreciative how that is not the case within our family.  Our parents raised us to behave and believe this way, and we do.
  • … that being financially responsible means that you don’t spend money you don’t have, and that you work out a budget and stick to it. Not using credit cards wildly, running up balances, or using those damned “convenience checks.”
  • … that masculine gay men exist, and can live a life as an open and out gay man as a contributor to society.  Naysayers and homophobes cause some who may be insecure to be hurt and to hide.  Don’t let ’em win.  Be the man you are, and comfortable in your own skin.  It took me a long time to realize that, but I am much happier as a person because I did.
  • … when faced with a choice, to make the choice that helps most, hurts least, and is legal, ethical, and moral.
  • … that life is not always full of wine and roses.  Sometimes, you get a headache from the salycilates and pricked by the thorns — and there are, unfortunately, some real headaches and pricks out there.  In my heart of hearts, I smell the bouquet of the wine and the fragrance of the rose and not the pain from the headache or prick.  

  • … and, finally:

Life is short:  make the best of what you have!

From our home to yours: Merry Christmas, loyal blog readers!  I sincerely hope you have joy in your heart, boots on your feet, leathers on your bod, and a smile on your face! 

Not A Gay Social Whirl

There are some people who assume that if a guy is gay, he leads a very active social life.  Actually, a social life has nothing to do with sexual orientation, but that’s beside the point.

Being in a relationship with the world’s #1 recluse, a social life is not really there for me.  That is, my circle of friends is limited to neighbors, fellow civic leaders, seniors who I look after and do things for, and (of course) my family.  That’s it.  I do not have a group of friends who I go hang out with at restaurants or bars.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not live a wild gay social whirl, flitting from one party to the next.  In fact, my friends know me so well, they don’t invite me to dinner parties.  While I like visiting my friends, I prefer visits that are more one-on-one, and where I don’t have to worry about finding things to eat that are compatible with my weird diet.

I work full-time on weekdays, go see my aunt and some other senior pals after work and on weekends, and visit family for events like birthday parties and every Friday night family dinners.  During the motorcycle riding season, I may like to ride in groups with safe riders.  But all-in-all, that’s about it.  I do not choose to go out otherwise — both by choice, as well as by the nature of the relationship that I am in and my decision that I do not socialize with other people for fun without my partner, and my partner chooses not to socialize at all.

Life is short:  not all gay guys live a wild social whirl!

New Leather Suit

Okay, okay, I know … I bitch about dressing up.  So I’m breaking my bitchfest, by treating myself to a new leather suitFormal dress pants and a dress leather shirt, with a colorful leather tie, and even a leather vest.  The pants, shirt, and vest are all from Northbound Leather of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I got out the old black leather blazer to go with it, though I must admit it’s rather ratty.  Perhaps next year I’ll spring for a new one.  (Northbound wanted over CDN$700 for a black leather blazer that matches, but that was too much money for something I would not wear very much, so I didn’t get it.)

These leather duds will find themselves on me on Christmas Day.  My partner and twin brother will be amazed, and the family will give me well-deserved grief when we visit them.  But that’s okay, I can take it — in full leather.

I ordered the new dress leather shirt and formal dress leather pants from Northbound Leather in November.  I received them on December 8, only to have to return them because the shirt was too small and the pants were unhemmed.  They replaced the shirt with a larger size and hemmed the pants, and returned them to me quickly.  FedEx delivered them on Saturday. 

I had to wait for my partner to leave for his trip to pick up his mother before trying them on.  Man, do these leather duds feel great!  Both the shirt and the pants are lined with satin.  It’s so smooth on my skin.  The quality of the leather is absolutely outstanding: shiny, supple, and unblemished.  Northbound makes really good stuff from the highest quality leather.  Though not cheap, this gear will last well beyond my lifetime (provided I care for it, as I regularly do with my leather gear.)

So, whaddya think?  Is this Leather Dude ready for Christmas, or what?

Life is short:  get in gear!