2016: A Year To Forget

I am returning to blogging after taking a long break for Christmas. I had nothing to write about, and we muddled through the holiday with the mother-in-law in her dark, depressing house in the run-down borough adjacent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What we just endured for Christmas culminated how I felt about the year 2016 — a year I would rather forget. But I worry that 2017 will be far worse. (However, remaining consistent with my self-promise, I will not post anything about politics on this blog any more.)

So for 2016, this was my life in boots, leather, and life….
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Post 2520, Holiday Break

I usually note milestones for this blog by celebrating each new 100 posts that I have made. I am a bit tardy in my recognition of the 2,500 milestone, reached with this post about the best jeans for boots on 4 November. Soon after that, this blog took a turn when I violated my own rule about not posting about politics. I still remain fearful of what will happen to my country in which I once had faith, but there is nothing I can do about it except join the good fight against what’s to come. But that is for other blogs written by friends in the political world that I will re-engage to prevent disaster (as best we can.)

Interestingly, when I went looking for my 2,400th blog post, that post was written …
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No Man Is A Failure Who…

My posts vary from sharing my experience and knowledge about boots to continuing to deal with this downer funk I am in since the disaster of November 8 and the incoming destruction of my beloved country and its world standing. But there is nothing I can do about that (except cry about MATW*…)

Family and friends have been trying to buoy my spirits. This past weekend, those who love and depend on me reminded me of my favorite Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and share in words the lesson from it, that…
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How To Fix Boot Squeaking

This year I expanded my dress boots collection from traditional shiny-leather cowboy boots to include additional short men’s dress boots, such as Allen Edmonds Dalton boots.

Yeah, these boots are only seven inches high, but nonetheless, meet the minimum requirement for anything to be worn on my feet: boots. Further, my requirements for boots are that they be well-constructed of quality materials and craftsmanship, and made in countries that do not use low-wage labor working in sweatshops (i.e., China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines) to make them.

While maintaining high standards, I also look for a reasonable price, which for high-end dress boots is difficult, but not out of the question. Occasional sales are offered, or close-out deals become available. That’s how these Allen Edmonds Daltons were selected — a great deal for about half the full MSRP.

When I first pulled on these puppies and struggled to lace them up (generally I avoid laced footwear due to the time required to lace them right — I’m a guy who just likes to pull on his boots and go)… I was horrified to hear very loud SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK with each step. No way was I going to wear these things to the office and attract attention due to their awfully loud squeaking!

But I found a solution to resolve that squeaking once-and-for-all, and thought I would share it here… more after the jump.
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I am back to my 2016 bah-humbug self. The shot of Christmas Spirit from visiting with my friends last Saturday night and going Christmas caroling for the 44th year in a row has withered.

Some readers are not aware that I live in the news market for Washington, DC. As such, national news is local news. I’m surrounded all the time with “news” about the incoming tragedy to be effective January 20, 2017.

This “news” is unavoidable in my area. It’s in the ozone and the air (which for now is breathable, but not for long once the destructionists and deniers become federal government agency heads). It evokes great sadness…
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44 Years of Tradition

While I still do not have much Christmas spirit this year, I enjoyed gathering with friends I have known since junior high school once again last night for our traditional Christmas caroling gathering. (Yep, I wore leather jeans, a red shirt, and instead of high-heeled cowboy boots (shown in this old photo), I wore Chippewa firefighter boots which are much more comfortable on my feet when I have to stand for a long time and walk a lot.)

Way back in Junior High…
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Skipping Christmas, Not

I have to be honest, with the disaster that occurred in the United States on November 8, I have been rather down and have not had any holiday spirit. But our plans for our “no senior is alone on Thanksgiving” Feastival for November 24 were already in full swing, so we continued with it. I enjoyed the warmth and love from my friends and family, but missed having my spouse with me. He sat alone in a neighbor’s house because he just could not muster the energy to deal with the noise and confusion.

Immediately after Thanksgiving, my spouse usually begins to decorate the house and we decide when we will put up the Christmas tree and decorate it. But as my spouse and I were snuggling this past Sunday morning before rising to start the day, we talked about Christmas and what we were going to do. We decided…
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Boot Influencing

CowboyheelThis is another blog post inspired by my reader from Belgium who asked,

I was wondering If you have encountered more people who got motivated by you or your blog to wear their boots more open, maybe with the pants tucked inside? In addition to this, I was wondering if your wearing of boots has convinced people in your family or friends or neighbors to also start wearing boots? I remember an old blog text about a young family-menber of yours who was going to high school or college and came to you for advice on which boots to buy?

I have to say in response and full candor that…
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