Happy Leap Day

A quick note and update for my regular blog visitors.

First: Happy Leap Day! Read on to understand why I am celebrating today.

Well, we have to find some reason to celebrate an extra day in this cold, dreary month of non-motorcycle-riding.

I have a friend who was born 84 years ago today, so she celebrates her 21st birthday today! Woo-hoo! She is finally of legal age! (giggle)

I am also a bit buoyed that my partner has a bit brighter outlook. He is still dealing with that awful monster as a result of a tick that bit him, but apparently his treatment is working somewhat. His pain is not as severe — it’s there, but not as bad as it was last week and weeks before. He also has some help with sleeping, and has been sleeping better — not perfect, but at least longer than an hour at a time.

He is doing better enough that he has returned to work. He is gathering materials to work on from home. His boss will let him telecommute more often, which relieves the pressure of having to commute on public transit and get exposed to everyone else’s germs while his immune system is still in overdrive fighting that monster and co-infecting relatives.

I continue my advocacy on his behalf, working to get him seen by the most prominent researcher and physician in the field related to study of the monstrous disease that he has. It hasn’t been easy — this doc has more gatekeepers than the President of the United States.

Another reason to celebrate is that my sister found a link to more information about my mother’s side of our family. We found someone who has records that show ancestral lineage to a German man who arrived in the U.S. in 1746. Turns out that this man is my Great Great Great Great Grandfather. Wow!

We are now tracing the lines to see how my GGGGGrandfather’s descendent, my Grandfather, came to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears during the times when Oklahoma was “Indian Territory” and lived among the Choctaw Tribe. Interesting stuff!

All-in-all, today will be a great day! Happy Leap Day!

Should I Wear Boots on a Motorcycle

These questions persist, and bring visitors to this blog and to the motorcycle boot section of my website.

Here goes, courtesy of google again:

“Should I Wear Boots on a Motorcycle?”


No. You should wear boots on your feet. Wearing them “on” a motorcycle, as shown in this photo, is so awkward and uncomfortable. Sure, your boots will get noticed, but your body bumping along on the ground can really be a pain when the bike is put into motion!

‘nuf said. Don’t be stupid. Remember this: boots are for your feet and to wear on them while operating a motorcycle; sneakers are for the gym; flip-flops are for the trash.

Life is short: wear boots when operating a motorcycle.

Do Gay Men Want To Be Masculine?

Here is another take on this age-old conundrum about gay men and masculinity:

Someone from New Jersey searched “do gay men want to be masculine?” See the search here:

Let me point out one quick fallacy of logic in that question — it assumes that all gay men are not masculine, but perhaps some or all of them want to be.

What is masculinity in this context?

I have blogged a lot about masculinity before, but for purposes of keeping this post shorter, let’s just say that “being masculine” in this context is from observable characteristics of behavior.

I am admitting up front here that I am guessing that this question was asked by a straight man who is wondering about the gay culture, with which he has little experience. Just a guess on my part, and I could be totally wrong. But for purposes of this blog post, let’s assume this is the operating principle behind why this question was asked.

What I would like to say to this person is that he may have made assumptions that all gay men are the same and have the same interests or desires, and that those assumptions are incorrect.

There are some straight men who do not understand gay culture and make assumptions based on inputs from media, including entertainment television as well as the internet. Some straight guys assume that all gay men behave effeminately — and there may be some gay men who want to act more masculine.

I believe that by the time a male has reached adulthood, he has adopted and demonstrates his outward behavior patterns already. If a guy behaves in a masculine manner — that is, confident, secure, and strong — and he adopts what society dictates are masculine behaviors — such as protecting personal space, not showing emotions publicly, enjoying and engaging in sports, working out, and so forth — then he is who he is regardless if he is gay or straight.

Some guys behave in a masculine manner, and some guys behave more effeminately. Granted, there are more gay men who have effeminate mannerisms than straight men with such mannerisms, but that is not the case for all gay men. My partner and me being among them — we’re men, and behave as typical guys. But we also love each other and are not interested in women. Does our disinterest in women make us less masculine? IMHO, not.

This stuff is so hard for straight guys to figure out about us gay guys. I think they would like to have us all be the same and act the same and behave the same, and some have trouble dealing with the diversity of the gay culture. But the converse is true — straight guys aren’t all the same, either. Some behave with more masculine mannerisms than others. Some are open and accepting of gay men, and some reject us flat-out, as if they could “catch” our “gay gene.” (Thank goodness for my straight friends who are secure enough in themselves that they enjoy a friendship based on mutual interests, caring, and thoughtfulness — and nothing about the difference in our sexual orientation.)

Anyway, back to the focus of this post — do gay men want to be masculine?

Some gay men may prefer to behave differently — perhaps more masculine. Why? My partner and I think that some gay men may want to “be” masculine for two reasons:

1) to continue keeping their sexual identity a secret — that is, continue living in the closet. After all, the Grand Assumption is that men who behave in a masculine manner can’t be gay.

2) they are attracted to — and want to attract — gay men who behave in a masculine manner. This is truly a case where similar behaviors are attractive to one another.

In summary, my point is — by the time a guy reaches adulthood, he has adopted his mannerisms and behaviors that will not change (or change much if one tries). Does he “want” to behave differently? Yes, perhaps for some. “Will” he behave differently? Probably not.

Life is short: be who you are.

Sorry if I went on another academic tangent here, but that’s where my doctoral work comes out sometimes. But I hope you enjoyed the read — it was interesting to write!

No Python for You!

Someone from France sent an email message to me the other day complimenting me on my website, and then explained that he saw a pair of python (snake) cowboy boots in a store one time, and fell in love with them. He was unhappy about the price — over €300 — so he wanted to know if I could recommend a source of the boots that was less expensive.

My answer?

I was able to find a new pair of python boots at reputable U.S. boot retailers for approximately US$200, or about €152.

Unfortunately, I also found out that U.S.-based retailers such as Boot Barn or Sheplers will not ship exotic skin (snake, ostrich, lizard) boots to Europe and some other countries in Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Customs regulations in other countries prohibit importation of products made with snakeskin. These companies would be happy to sell the boots to you. It is each country’s Custom’s offices that make it a legal issue to get them.

Used boots may not be as difficult to receive in Europe, and shhhh… don’t tell them, but if you find a pair of snakeskin boots on eBay, win the auction, and have them shipped to you with marking on the box of “used boots”, then you can probably get the boots you want.

Some countries may inspect the parcels, and some may not. Each country and its customs regulations and inspections are different. Nonetheless, unless you travel to the United States and buy the boots here (then find a way to get them through your country’s customs inspection when you arrive home), the only options that I know you can use to get snakeskin boots in Europe is to 1) find them legally for sale somewhere and pay the going price, or 2) win an eBay auction and hope that the boots make it through customs when they are shipped to you.

Oh well…

Life is short: wear snakeskin boots (if you can get them).

Detective Work Finds Treatment for my Partner

Last Friday, I had to bring my partner to the hospital because his condition had gotten to be so bad, he needed treatment — at least to get him to be able to sleep, which he had not been able to do. During that day-long hospitalization, he was anesthetized and given many more tests, including an MRI, CT, and a spinal tap. They took more blood than I thought he had.

Tuesday evening, his primary care physician called and said that he wanted to see my partner — at home! Imagine: a house call in 2012.
Continue reading

Lucchese Classic Handmade Boots

I have admired and have worn Lucchese boots for decades. They are comfortable and very well-made.

Let me share a little bit about what I have learned about Lucchese boots from my own experience, and share some happiness with a new pair of Lucchese Classic handmade boots.

There are three lines of men’s Lucchese boots — the “1883” line, which is entry-level and priced accordingly. The “1883” boots are made with lower-grade leather, and are often soft and scuff easily. They look nice and feel good on the feet, but you get what you pay for — low-end, easily-damaged boots.

The middle line is called “Lucchese 2000.” These boots are well-made of more durable leathers. They cost a little bit more, but again, you get what you pay for. Pretty good boots for the money.

The top-of-the-line in the Lucchese brand are called “Lucchese Classics.” I have a number of these boots in my Lucchese cowboy boot collection. They are very comfortable, exceptionally durable, and are very well-made with lemonwood-pegged soles, steel shank, and other features that make them an excellent choice of long-wearing, exceptional footwear.

When you visit websites of vendors of Lucchese boots, the good ones will offer buyers the opportunity to specify specific heel and toe styles on Lucchese Classics, rather than take what comes standard. This is a way, then, to get high-end commercial cowboy boots made with some custom features. These boots are called Lucchese Classic Handmade Boots.

However, let me tell you, it takes a looooooong time to get handmade boots from Lucchese, but the results are worth the wait.

Last August, I was surfing around the Internet and found a price on a pair of Lucchese boots that I thought was a wrong price. It offered Lucchese Classic Goatskin Boots for half of what comparable prices were from other vendors. I contacted the vendor and asked if the price were correct, and received a reply confirming that it was.

I then asked if I could get a different heel and toe style than standard. Again, the reply was affirmative, and there was no extra charge. The only “fee” was time. The boots would have to be made by hand at the Lucchese factory in El Paso, Texas, and it could take a few months.

Well, a “few” months turned out to be six — but what I received last week were a stunning pair of handmade Lucchese classics that make me feel a bit “taller in the saddle.” (Or shall I say, “taller in the stride.”)

The boots are standard 13 inches (33cm) high, but the heel is two inches (5.1cm) high, instead of the usual 1.5 (3.8cm) inches. That half-inch (1.3cm) difference makes the feel of my stride different… more confident… tall. Funny how a little bit more height of a heel can make me feel that way.

I have tried wearing boots with even higher heels, but since I am such a natural klutz, I cannot wear them and manage to remain upright and stable. Honestly, I have no idea how women can wear those ultra-high heels on some of their shoes.

Anyway, these Lucchese Classic handmade boots are terrific, great-looking, and also great-feeling. I am proud to have them on my feet and part of my cowboy boot collection.

Life is short: wear quality boots (to work at the office, around town… anywhere!)

How to Wear Boots Untied

While I prefer boots that pull on or zip closed, I have some boots in my collection that have laces, and require tying. Boots with laces have a very rugged, masculine appearance — provided they are worn correctly (that is, laced up and tied.)

But there goes Google again, directing a visitor to my website. The visitor entered the question, “how to wear boots untied for men.”

Don’t believe me? See it here:

Aw come on, really?

I just betcha this was entered by a youngster. No adult man would wear boots that laced up without tying them. Not only do untied boots look silly, dorky, “uncool” and just plain stupid, wearing boots that way reflects poorly on the intellect of anyone who would wear them that way.

Untied boots are NOT a fashion statement. They are a statement that the wearer is lazy or doesn’t know how to tie shoes (boots).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re sick of Mommy reminding you to tie your shoes (boots) so that you do not trip. But there is a reason why she did that — she cares about you.

Life is short: tie your boots. ‘nuf said.

Weird Winter

I am not complaining… we have had such an unusually warm winter, it’s been “riding season” all year long. Yesterday, it reached 57°F (14°C)… again, quite unusual for mid-February in the DC area. Just imagine, two years ago we were under mountains of snow!

After catching up on some much-needed rest yesterday, I put on my retro biker chaps, an old leather jacket, Chippewa ostrich motorcycle boots, and motored over to Mary’s home.

Mary is a fun-loving septuagenarian who wanted to go for a ride on my Harley, and make a “big splash” as she called it by arriving at the grocery store on the back of my bike at about the same time that she knew some other friends were going to be shopping there.

So I picked her up and got to the store at 2:30pm, arriving at the same time as her friends, as well as her minister from church.

There I am just being a regular ol’ biker with the most fun-loving “biker chick” on the back of my bike. It was a lot of fun. Kinda broke up my day from worries at home, while my partner was resting and being looked after by another senior pal, Anna.

Sorry, no photos of me with Mary… while she is adventuresome, I’m not sure how she would feel about showing up on a gay biker’s blog. The photo above was indeed taken yesterday, though… which proves my point that it was warm enough to ride in “mid-level” leathers.

Names were changed to protect the innocent LOL!

Life is short: show those you love how you love them, and fulfill dreams.

Back Home

I am happy to say that as of 7:30am this morning, I brought my partner back home. He was poked and prodded and interviewed and examined by 14 doctors — yep, 14 of them — all day yesterday. Another MRI and a spinal tap and other invasive, painful tests. Fortunately, he was under anesthesia for the worst of it.
Continue reading

Beyond Pain…

My poor partner… his frightful medical situation is worse — so bad that I had to carry him, literally, to see his doctor yesterday. The doc wants him admitted to the hospital. No explanation for the intense, body-wide pain.
Continue reading