Well, autumn seems like it is finally here in the Minne-Apple. Rain and a 30 degree temp drop will do that. And thus we begin the slow slide to winter.

But in the meantime, I guess it’s time to bust out my fall wardrobe.

This year I’m em”brace”ing suspenders.

A few years ago I was all about vests (and bow ties). This was back when vests were nearly impossible to find— of course now you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a shop that sells men’s vests.

While I still like a good, dapper vest on a guy (and i quite enjoy hand tied bow ties), I needed some new, sartorial splendor.

Now my thing is (are?) suspenders. Not crazy colors or cheap, elastic ones. But leather ones.

Thinner, fashionable leather suspenders.

I think they complete my hipster transition, no?

And leather suspenders aren’t “new” per se— the hipsters and lumbersexuals have been on the forefront of this trend. But I just don’t see leather braces much in the fashion lexicon of the everyday male.

So that’s why I have adopted them.

Now to get shirts and pants that support this decision…..

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I went to look at digital pianos on Sunday. I was less than impressed.

First of all, I received a very late email on Sunday canceling my appointment. The guy I was to see couldn’t be there. Well, okay then, I’ll just go and see what they have myself.

So I went.

They had an ok selection, but they did not have the model I was interested in. And when a sales person wandered back to check on me, I asked to see a DP-90se.

“Oh, we don’t stock those. They’re special order only.”

Gosh, that might have been nice to know ahead of time, as one of the reasons I like the DP-90’s is that they are streamlined and modern. They don’t look like a cheap, spinet knock off.

So I noodled around on some of the cheaper models that they had (that looked like spinets). Meh. The only one that felt decent was a professional upright, which was too expensive.

So now I’m disenchanted with the whole process. They don’t have what I want, so I can’t try even it. An d even if I decided I wanted it, they would have to order one which means I’d have to wait longer.

Hell- I could just order one off the internet and have it delivered. For cheaper than they would charge me.


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Digital Piano Debate

Until recently, I was firmly in the “acoustic piano only” camp. Organic sound. Craftsmanship. Dynamics. Weighted keys. Touch. Realness. Nuance. And digital pianos can’t match this and also get off my lawn you whippersnapper!And then I played someone’s Roland DP-90Se. And I was kind of blown away. The touch was so nice– and the keys felt like real goddamn ivory. And it played dynamically and sounded like a Steinway.

And it has so many features. Volume control. Headphone jack for silent practice. Built in song library. Multiple sound capability. MIDI export. Recording capability. iPad interfaces for apps and music learning. iPod interfacing for song libraries. Bluetooth connectivity.

All in a slim, space saving, modern package:Hello gorgeous!And so I have begun to covet. Which means obsession and endless online research into digital pianos– their reviews, cost, features, availability, etc. And while most folks are in agreement that you can’t beat an acoustic Piano’s sound and touch in concert hall settings, digital pianos hold their own or are now better than most lower and mid-end acoustic pianos. Digital just offer flexibility, features, and portability that acoustics just don’t offer. Not to mention the fact that they need no maintenance or tuning. I am smitten. If I can find a way to work a trade-in or consignment deal with a local music store, I may get one of these bad boys.

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Woofy Wednesday

Share and share alike.

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So, THAT happened.

Um, so remember the boy from the post yesterday? The “geographically undesirable” handsome hipster guy that I met at the bar on Sunday. The one who friended me on Facebook?

Well, he invited me to his place last evening.

And I went.

And it was lovely, damnit.

We drank a little and talked a lot. We did a lot of this talking on the rooftop deck at his condo, with the city shining all around us.

And through this discussion I unfortunately discovered he’s just about perfect.

He plays the piano, for starters. Classical piano.

He backpacked around most of the world between college and grad school. South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe.

He is an optics material engineer and he designs lenses for various applications.

He does woodworking as a hobby and made many of the built-ins in his condo.

He runs several miles every day (about) and likes to bike and be active. And to explore cities and neighborhoods.

Oh, and did I mention he is 6’4″ and bearded and ever so dreamy?

And he lives mostly in Brooklyn now and loves it. And by “mostly” I mean he flies into Minneapolis for work on Mondays and leaves midday Wednesdays. And works remotely from NYC the rest of the time.

And he is very happy in New York.

Fuck. My. Life.

As our evening wound down, I may have also had the opportunity to kiss him.

And it was nice.

We were standing in his kitchen, talking a bit and looking at each other and I could tell we were building to something. So I said, “Um… I kinda want to put my beard on your, um, beard.”

He smiled and said, “Really? Cool. Ok!”

So I walked up to him and did just that.

Spoiler alert: this will not end well for my heart.

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G.U. = geographically undesirable.

I went to the Eagle yesterday afternoon for the weekly beer bust/show tunes evening. It was a nice evening and I wanted to be out around people.

What I didn’t expect was to meet a nice guy.

So, there I was on the patio, and I look over and see him. He was hard to miss. Tall as hell. Skinny, blue trousers (a bit high water), ankle boots without socks, tall hair, beard, and a rainbow feather boa.

Oh, and did I mention that he pulled out a pipe and started smoking it? A bloody pipe.

Naturally I had to take a stealth pic. Because hipster.

Little did I realize that the more I drank, the more I would become fascinated with him. Again, because skinny bearded hipster.

Which is, as we all know, my type.

Eventually there was a moment in the beer line when I could innocuously strike up a conversation. So I did. And we talked. And talked.

And talked!

The feather boa? He was at the bar with a group celebrating a bachelor’s impending marriage. It was just him being free spirited.

He was also woefully ignorant of musical theater. Which we discussed as the show tunes played. I educated him on the finer points of Dolly, Barbra, etc.

He also likes to bike, and showed me a video clip of him in Philly on the big, naked bike ride there. (No I didn’t get to see the naughty bits– it was well cropped).

But best of all– he was a materials engineer too! We totally geeked out about meeting another gay in our engineering discipline. And when he started talking about “martensite” and “pearlite”– well, didn’t my cold, black heart just skip a beat!

And then I found out he lives in New York City.

***record scratch***

Well, he mostly lives there. He just moved to NYC 6 months ago, and loves it. But he still works for a company based here in minneapolis, so he comes back and works a few days here and there. (He does optics design for medical scopes, etc).

Just my luck, right?

Now, he was the one who said “I think we should definitely be friends on FB.” And so we are now. But maybe he was just being nice and showing professional courtesy for a fellow, gay ‘Mat Sci Bro’.

It would be nice if we could maybe hook up for a drink sometime when he’s in town. I am curious to learn more about him.

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Oru Kayak?

Whilst wandering around my local REI retailer, I just happened to spot this in the kayak section:

This is basically a collapsible, plastic, origami kayak. It folds up into an easily portable bag. And Lightweight (26lbs) to boot.

I. Am. Fascinated.

I love water sports and while I have not kayaked, I am all about the possibility. We have so many accessible lakes, too! I’ve often entertained the idea of getting a kayak– but I have no place to store one.

That is until now!

This thing just looks like cool design:

It’s constructed out of that translucent, corrugated plastic material. It’s strategically folded to allow for the collapsibility, but is evidently rigid enough for the water once deployed. And it is seaworthy up to 300 lbs.

There are a few different versions, but the Beach appears to be the most stable and accessible for casual users.

While not cheap, one of these bad boys may be in my future.

Ideally I would be able to strap it to my back, ride to the lakes, deploy, kayak, then ride home.

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Woofy Wednesday

“Native American” summer is upon us and the thirst is real.

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Dr Scholls to the rescue?

Getting older sucks.

As I age, I’m finding that the creaks and pops and crunches are getting more and more frequent. I make the “old man noise” when I bend over. And getting up is a slower process.

Lately I’ve been dealing with lower back issues. I think it’s mostly brought on by shoes without adequate support. So after a day of work my lower back is really sore and walking becomes difficult. It even makes my hamstrings tight and I end up with bad headaches.

Cue the Dr Scholls.

I keep seeing these ads for the Dr Scholls custom orthotics, and I’ve always thought that maybe I should give them a try. Especially with my jacked up arches.

But these magic kiosks are hard to find. They’re only in certain places– like Walmart.

So I went to Walmart.

And I got me a pair.

I tried them at the gym yesterday and my back felt pretty good. Today I’m using them at work (and doing my lunchtime walk).

At midday, things feel pretty decent. A little twinge in my back, but not like it has been.

Fingers crossed that this offers a decent solution for me!

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Woofy Wednesday

Autumn is here– time to find a furry cuddle buddy….

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