Basic Grammar

I continue to be appalled at people who grew up in the United States and who write with the most fundamental errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Here is a snippet of a message that I received the other day:

I bought a Beautiful Pair of Old Gringo All Leather Cowboy Boot’s With Wooden Peg’s Through The Sole’s Great Quality Cowboy Boot’s.

And from the same author, another in a follow-up:

Hey dude, I love your cowboy boots there the bomb!

Here is another:

U R good to lern from.

Here is another:

I think, that, you should, create, another video.

Oh please… come on, folks! I am accepting and understanding when English is not a primary language, so I do not criticize messages that I receive from people who live in other countries where English is not the primary language. I recognize that many of these people are trying to communicate with me in my language because I may not understand their language.

However, each of the above examples came from people who identified themselves to be from the United States. I have no clue why someone would capitalize the first letter of every word in a sentence and use an apostrophe before each “s” to make a word plural. The plural of boot is boots. That’s it. The only time one may use an apostrophe with that word is in this example, “the left boot’s heel needs repair.” Apostrophe “s” is used to indicate a possessive — such as the boot’s heel.

Do NOT get me started on how many people do not understand the differences between “there” (designation of place), “their” (designation of plural ownership), and “they’re” (contraction of “they are.”) These words are used incorrectly all the time! Arrrgggh!

Abbreviations through text-speak, such as “U R” drive me crazy, but for purposes of keeping a message shorter, it is understandable. However, if writing a message for email, please spell out these short words. Do NOT use the single-letter abbreviations just because you usually communicate via text message. Some of us do not.

And finally, one does NOT use a comma when taking a breath. Seriously — a comma after every two words? Really? Oh brother…. if in doubt, leave the comma out.

Okay, end-of-rant. I cannot anticipate that everyone may communicate using the language and skills of a college graduate, but I do expect U.S.-educated residents to employ the most fundamental of grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. Is that too much to ask?

Life is short: Write right!

Viewership: Zing!

It is not surprising to me, but I remain amazed at the sheer volume of interest in my motorcycle police galleries that I posted on a photo gallery software system on my website.

I announced it on this blog, and probably had a few hundred visitors come from here.

I announced it in the “what’s new” section of my website, and also saw a few hundred visitors originate from there.

Google is bringing lots of visitors, too. Amazing how quickly Google indexes this blog with its search engine, and sends people searching “motorcycle cops” and related key words to that gallery.

I announced it on the “Boots on Line” board on, and man, oh man, the “visitorship” went … zing! Not a minute after I posted a message there, someone from from my home town immediately followed that link to check it out. (Hmmm… interesting… another follower of where I live? Well, I’m glad there is at least one other Bootman besides me in my hometown where boots are rarely worn except by real bikers.)

Throughout the day, hundreds and hundreds of visitors explored that gallery. By 5pm yesterday, my website logged the highest number of visitors and viewership it has ever had in one 12-hour period — over 20,000 page views. Wow! All that in just a half day!

Well, I’m glad there is so much interest in those galleries. And if you are among those who have gotten tired about the prattling I have done about cops, boots, and this gallery, this blog will resume with a different line of thought tomorrow.

Life is short: enjoy the view!

New Way of Showing Cop Galleries

Over the last several evenings, I have been experimenting with using a new-to-me software tool that allows for easier management of photo galleries on my website.

I think it is working — Check it out to see the galleries from the recent Police Motorcycle Competition that I attended last weekend.

I have had a recently retired cop friend check it out for me. He has nothing to do but ride his Harley and give me grief (using his witty charm) by sending ransom demands. He and another local cop who I have known since grade school both said that the new gallery seems to work for them. Yea! It will take time to integrate it throughout my website, but I’ve done a quick-n-dirty redirect to make it “go live” already.

Life is short: use new products that can help make life easier (especially if they’re free! Thanks, Coppermine!)

Desensitized to Cops and Boots

I guess it was bound to happen. When a guy like me who is particularly fond of tall motorcycle patrol boots and cops in uniforms surrounds himself with … cops in uniforms wearing tall patrol boots — like the situation in which I found myself at the recent police motorcycle competition that I judged — I no longer thought anything other than “nice boots, good looking breeches, now how are you riding?”

I know a lot of guys in a certain group have a “passion” for this stuff. I did, too. Sure, I still like to put on my tall black patrol boots with leather or fabric breeches when I ride my Harley, or on occasions to wear around the house. I might even don a uniform to wear privately to play with my partner. Fun stuff — like “arrest” him when he gets home from work for the crime of being too good to me. That kind of thing.

This past weekend, I saw lots and lots of uniforms and boots. After a while, I heard myself saying, “oh, there are a pair of Dress Instep Dehners. There’s another– that pair has a double sole. That pair has lug soles. Oh those are Chippewa Hi-Shine engineer boots. Those are Chippewa Patrol Boots.” Then more Dehners. Lots of Dehners.

You see it so much you stop looking. Well, let’s say you stop gawking. Sure, I admire a well-kept pair of tall patrol boots on a fit cop in uniform. I am a healthy, red-blooded, gay man. But that’s it. I have no fantasies, no thoughts in any way about what I’m seeing.

I guess that comes from being in a monogamous relationship so long. I don’t think “that way” about anyone other than my partner. And also because I have over a dozen pairs of tall black patrol boots of my own, seeing them on someone else is … just … seeing the same thing again and again. Further, I have several friends who are motor officers. I ride with them regularly (when they are not on duty). They’re nice guys — the good guys whose service protects us every day.

Okay, I am “desensitized.” That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t stop taking pictures and working on a new photo gallery for my website. The gallery should be ready tomorrow. Look for the announcement soon.

By the way, why is there a copyright overlay on these images? Unfortunately, I have observed that some unscrupulous people have downloaded images from this blog or my website and reposted my images as their own elsewhere. So overprinting a copyright statement is one way to try to stop that bad behavior.

Life is short: know when it is no longer overwhelming.

Where You Want the Bike To Be

I see this all the time when professionals ride motorcycles in competitions, yet I remain in awe every time I see it — look carefully at the photos below. My friend-the-cop is demonstrating a riding technique that is very difficult to master. The technique is, “look where you want the bike to be, not at the path of travel.”

This is how such professionals — and some friends in my motorcycle club who have overcome fear of dropping the bike — get a heavyweight motorcycle to turn in a 16′ (4.9m) circle.

Personally, while I have practiced, I cannot do that. You have to be able to turn your head 90 degrees to the left and to the right. Unfortunately, due to a past skydiving injury, my head no longer swivels like that. I barely have a 30-degree turn to the left and a 45-degree turn to the right capability.

Oh well, it’s great to watch the pros do it.

No Wet Cops After All

Thankfully, the threat of rain was only a threat. When I awoke yesterday morning, the radar indicated the skies were clear, and the roads looked damp, but not wet. So I donned my leather BDUs (because I like the cargo pockets), pulled on my Wesco Boss boots, a t-shirt, and my lightweight leather jacket. Got my Harley out of the garage and met five others from my club, then hauled our butts at oh-dark-30 to the location of the police motorcycle rodeo held some 40 miles away.

Fortunately, the rain never materialized. In fact, the clouds broke up and the sun came out — and I got a bit of a sunburn!

I enjoyed serving as a judge in the competition again this year. Lots of cops who participate in it are very skilled riders. However, despite their level of skill, this year 15 riders dropped their bikes during the competition. Each time I saw a bike go down, I yelled “ouch!” Fortunately, no one was hurt (other than their pride.)

I will post more about the event in the next few days. It sure was fun!

Photo left is one of the skilled competitors — notice that he’s looking where he wants his bike to go, not down. The photo below is my friend from my local PD riding in the competition.

Life is short: learn from what you observe.

Wet Cops

As you read this, I am serving as a judge at a multistate regional police motorcycle riding competition. I served as a judge last year and was asked back to serve as a judge again this year. I enjoy it — I can be right in the midst of the activity watching the skilled riders weave through the course.

Unlike most years when this event is held and we have stunningly beautiful early autumn weather, this year the entire DC Metro area is under the threat of another day of rain. All day yesterday (Friday) … rain, rain, rain. Bleccchhhh. I’m tired of it.

The police motorcycle competition goes on, rain or shine. A cop who I work with told me, “we have ridden in a hurricane before!” Hmmmmm….

Let’s hope the rain holds off, but if not, there will be more than wet cops at this event — I’ll be out there in it, too. 🙂

Life is short: keep dry!


A buddy who is a motor officer just called… he is having dinner with some friends who are in town for a motorcycle police riding competition. He invited me to go with him. He wants company for a long, sloggy, rainy drive to Outer Slobbovia across the river in another state.

Sure… sounds fun. I have had dinner with this group for three years now as they gather for this annual event. My usual Friday night dinner with my large and extended family will be missed this week.

Life is short — go with a cop when “requested.” LOL!


Lately, I have had a few people contact me by various methods of electronic communication to say that they were coming to Washington, DC, and thought perhaps we could “meet up.” Actually, I have never met up or down or sideways, but that’s a different issue. (I tend to be picky about the proper use of English.)

Depending on the medium used to reach me, I respond differently.

If contact is made through a fetish site (where I have a BHD identity to maintain it as me and not allow someone else to use the screen name and cause confusion or misrepresentation)… I generally reply with a gentle but firm, “no thanks.” That’s especially true if the person’s screen name has these words in it: “bottom”, “boy”, “boi”, or “4you”. These names imply they want to be on the receiving end for sex. I am not interested in meeting “up” (or down, or sideways) with people who are looking for sex. I reply that I am in a monogamous relationship and I do not meet other men who have interests like that.

If someone writes to me through my website, which generates an email, or sends me an email message directly, then that’s different. I read the message for what it says. Something normal like, “I am coming to DC for a meeting, and I would like to meet you for dinner” is better than, “Hey, sexy, let’s meet up at The Eagle at midnight and see what happens.” Seriously, I have received messages like that on rare occasions. I am not a night owl, and I do not go out for such clandestine rendezvous.

However, the lunch or dinner option is a possibility, though probably not likely. I do not work or live in the city, and I avoid going into the city if I can. I am long over giving tours to visitors, thank you, and I do not enjoy social venues in the city. Getting into the city is a hassle, plus I really do not have the time. I work in the downtown of my Maryland suburban hometown and by the time I got on the subway to ride into the city to meet someone for lunch, it would be time to return again.

Further, my partner and I never go out to eat, so I prepare all of our evening meals at home. We prefer it that way for a number of reasons (I’m cheap and on a very restricted diet; he’s reclusive.)

I have also had some guys ask to come visit my home and have a tour of my boot collection. Sorry, I don’t do that, either. My partner and I do not have visitors in our home. It’s really all I can do to accommodate occasional visits from out-of-town family and my mother-in-law. My partner can’t stand having his routine thrown out of whack. We do not entertain other people. Not being drinkers of alcohol, we don’t have friends over for wine or cocktails. I know that not being interested in entertaining is quite the opposite from what most people expect of gay men, but so be it. My partner does not have any friends (at all, anywhere). While I have a lot of friends, I visit them elsewhere — usually on the saddle of my Harley.

I know this sounds strange, distant, and unsociable. It’s what I do to accommodate my ever-reclusive partner who can’t stand social-anything. That’s okay, he makes up for it in many other ways. I consider myself to be sociable and outgoing, but my partner is quite the opposite. I respect him and his wishes for privacy, and the sanctity of our home.

Thanks for your interest. A meet “up” (or down or sideways) probably won’t happen. Thanks, but please understand why I say “no.” It’s not you — it’s me and my respect for my antisocial but otherwise adorable and loving partner.

Life is short: make your limits clear.

Chippewa Boots Expensive?

Someone searched the internet with a question, “why are Chippewa boots so expensive?” which directed the visitor to this blog. But the post to which the question was directed did not answer the question.

The answer is simple: Chippewa motorcycle boots are still made in the USA, and are made with quality materials and craftsmanship. While the boots are not hand-made, the steps in their assembly and construction are supervised by humans. U.S. humans.

Then compare that process with boots made in China, for example: X-Element, Joe Rocket, River Road, and even some of the best-known U.S. labels: Red Wing, Frye, Harley-Davidson. Boots made in China are made with inferior materials and are assembled almost exclusively by machine. The quality is poor, and there is no “craftsmanship.” You are paying more for the label (license) than for the product.

Boots made in China are inexpensive. The manufacturers use very cheap labor and low-end materials to offer their U.S. retailers a lower price. But believe me, they’re still making a lot of money on the deal.

Compare these differences:

Chippewa Motorcycle Boots — most are fully leather-lined; Vibram soles; soles stitched on; some have steel toes; hardware is resistant to oxidation (rusting); leather is top grain, smooth, and unblemished.

Chinese Motorcycle Boots — mostly unlined; neoprene or other cheap rubber soles; soles are glued on, not stitched; steel toes are rare; hardware is not treated so it rusts easily; leather may often be a bottom of a cowhide split (see explanation here) so it is blemished, uneven, and lacks lustre.

So why are Chippewa boots more expensive than these Chinese-made knock-offs? Now that you know more about how the boots are made and what they are made of, as well as where they are made, you understand that it costs more for better materials and craftsmanship, and to support U.S. workers who are paid a decent wage and benefits. I support U.S. labor. I would far rather pay a little more to keep a fellow American employed than export the labor to China. (And I know that no one in China will read this blog post, because China still blocks Blogspot through internet censorship.)

I really did not mean for this post to go on the tangent to promote American labor and sound like I am bashing China. But facts are facts. Quality is quality. Workers need good jobs, and I support my fellow countrymen.

Life is short: know quality when you see it, and invest in that quality while supporting U.S. labor.