Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pet Turtle

I seem to have gotten a new pet, a turtle that really likes the pool. This little turtle keeps returning for a swim, and I've fished him out 3 times so far this spring.

The first time I move him outside the fence and put him at near the azaleus, pictured. The next time I just got him out of the skimmer basket and onto the deck because I was busy. Each time he disappeared for almost a week. I can't leave him in the pool to get out on his own, because the sides are too high. He would eventually drown or starve if left in the pool.

Last night he was back, so this time I took him a distance away and at the edge of the woods. I suspect though that he will be back if we don't get some rain soon. So long as I don't have to feed him though, he is more than welcome around the house.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Getting Past Hangups

For this particular entry, I will be going in a slightly different direction. Or maybe it is more of a revelation into things unseen from me. You see, there are some activities that I do that I haven't talked about directly, although some have been alluded to in various writings here.

In my opening entry for this blog, I said there were a lot of things that I would be writing about: Entertainment, finances, and fitness. And "getting over any remaining sexual hangups" that I felt I had. So just as I have been diligently working on getting fit, bicycling, weights and all, I have also been working on sex.

Go back a few years and you would find that I wouldn't even think about having sex with someone unless we had dated for awhile. Since dates were few and far between, actually getting laid was about as rare as a santorum in Saudi Arabia! Add in that I wasn't getting out and being social much and it was looking like a complete dead end.

So that's when I decided to make some major changes. I had already undergone Lasik, and that helped, upgraded a bit in work clothes and paid off all the remaining bills. The BIG change came from stopping smoking and getting fit. The beef that I put on from that gave me the courage to get out to more social events and meet people.

The problem with going to the social events is that I am still mostly introverted and quiet. I'm taking that problem as a 2 pronged approach to overcoming. The first is getting out to more social events and meeting strangers. The second is one-on-one with people, especially in a sexual way.

My first (and last) experience with one-on-one was through the more "classic" routes that frustrated men engage in. It was an experience, but one that I am not going to repeat any time soon. It was, how shall we say, utterly useless!

MyThis is where comes in. I had written earlier about the "talking chests" that I had experienced. That picture actually turned out to be a turning point during chat. I had other pictures up prior to that, but they sucked. After posting that picture I started getting hit up by some of the very men I was really interested in meeting.

I've had a couple of interesting encounters and expect to have more. The worst had to have been the gym bunny. Not the worst in sex, just the least satisfying. I think part of that came from his most likely being on Viagra or other similar drug (instead of a real aphrodisiac). Near the top came the guy who smoked a lot. I enjoyed that day quite a bit, except that when I got home I had to shower to get rid of the smoke smell.

And that brings me to finding out that almost everyone has hangups. Some of those can be funny as hell! For instance, there was one guy, 31 years old at that had been hitting on me most every weekend for over a month. We would chat a bit, but in the end I just wasn't all that interested in him. Then one day I figured sure, why not. He seemed nice enough and it could be fun.

That's when his hangups became clearer the longer we chatted. He had said he wanted to get together because, in his own words, he "really needed to be fucked." That sounded clear enough to me, and as it turns out, he meant exactly that.


It had to be in the dark. (This was daytime, so there goes my bedroom with the bay window opened to the woods!). In the bed. Under the sheets. On our sides. On our left sides! He was concerned that his balls weren't shaved and was that okay? Huh?!?! But he explained that I didn't have to suck him. That's a relief, I suppose?!? And he want to know if I had a lot of pre-cum. What?!? It seems he doesn't like that. Good Grief!

Interspersed with all of those details was that he was nervous and didn't want to. I said okay not tonight then, and he was right back with needing to get fucked. He always used "needed". That whole not today, yes, no, yes, no got real grating. He asked if I was "very aggressive?" By that time I'm thinking "boy, you've got me so ticked by now that I might hurt you in my aggression!"

But I knew long before then that nothing was going to happen. That was just too many rules and hangups to have to deal with.

I know I have a few hangups, but nothing that would make me that dysfunctional. Or at least none now that I am out actively seeking out both friends and copulation, and hoping the two come together some day!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bicycle Routes

Y'know, I am having a blast with my new bike. Especially discovering things that are just around the corner from me that I either had no idea about, or thought it were a lot farther away.

I always knew I was fairly close to town, using back roads. But it is only 15 minutes by bike, and that is if I take my time. I also found that there is a much closer recycling center, albeit in a different county.

That seems to be my biggest surprise, the counties that I am hitting. On Saturday, I did the eastern loop pictured here, and went through 3 counties: Wake, Franklin and Nash. Sunday was only 2 in the western loop, Franklin and Wake.

I've found that the Wrenns Farm is only 20 minutes, the gas station I always considered too far and the wrong direction isn't really all that far, and that my little town has a country club!

Of course, what bike ride through the country would be complete without the obligatory dog that chases you? I found mine on the western loop, between miles 8 & 9. Luckily I was already in high gear going downhill when I came across him, but I think I broke my own land speed record!

The map picture comes courtesy of GMaps Pedometer. This is a nice tool for mapping out distances and routes. I originally used it to calculate walking miles, and also calories burned. But it comes in very handy in printing out the maps I carry when biking. This graphic was a gimp together of 2 routes, the western loop, and the eastern. Great mapping tool!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

PlanetOut Running Out

It would appear that PlanetOut, the owner of many well known gay publications and businesses, is slated to run out of cash later this year:
The San Francisco owner of, along with the Advocate and Out magazines, disclosed this week that it will run out of money before the end of the year without an infusion of cash.
The company, which debuted in a 2004 IPO, is apparently having serious problems with their travel business, specifically RSVP cruises, in addition to fewer paid personal ads and a decline in advertising revenue (in print, I would assume). According to CEO Karen Magee, it will take 2 years to conduct a turnaround. That means that if cash runs out before the loan comes due, they will need to either get a fresh capital investment from somewhere, or move into bankruptcy protection.

Although I wasn't aware previously that they were draining cash, I figured there must be something serious happening with the cruise line. Advertisements were almost every 3rd page in the Advocate, with supplementals and on several occasions a copy of another periodical, Out Traveler. Also to be found many times in the Advocate were "articles" about cruises that weren't much more than a wordy advert.

I'm hopeful that they get the chance to enact the turnaround, although the capital infusion isn't going to come from their stock, which has been tanking almost since the day they IPO'd. But I do hope they are successful, especially since I am a fairly good customer. I participate at (and pay for), subscribe to The Advocate magazine, and am giving serious consideration on going for a cruise. (Yes, the advertising and "articles" worked on me!)

Now if they would just do something to freshen the magazine that would help them avoid collecting comments about them such as "by then the news will be so old even The Advocate will be reporting it" !

Friday, May 11, 2007

Maybe A Trevis Instead

Instead of the SmartCar, may I should get a Daihatsu Trevis instead. Well, maybe not. But the advertising sure does seem to be targeting me as a demographic. A gay man who is considering a car purchase, who also happens to like a buff guy dressed as a cowboy (or sailor or ball player)!

An article at alerts us to a new web campaign by the auto manufacturer that features those 3 fantasies shaking their booties in order to sell their car. Talk about some killer abs!

You can see these men strut their stuff here, preferably with sound turned on for the music.

(via: BoiFromTroy)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More Smart Car

Y'know, I keep coming back to the new Smart Car from DaimlerChrysler. Back in January I wrote briefly about the car, before segueing into talking about getting excited about buying a crotch rocket motorcycle. (I compromised and bought a bicycle instead!)

Today in the WSJ is an article bringing more details about the Smart Car coming to the U.S. United Auto Group is taking $99 deposits from people who want to pre-order the car for 2008. They already have 12,600 people on the waiting list, which is interesting because they only expect to sell 16,000. But then they don't actually expect all those people to really buy the car:
Mr. Pordon says the company doesn't know how many people who have given deposits will follow through and actually buy a Smart two-seater, but he expects the retention rate to be high. The company only plans to sell 16,000 Smart cars next year in three configurations -- the base "Pure" model, the upgraded "Passion" model and the "Passion" cabriolet.
After looking at the 3 models, here, I figured the Passion would be the bare entry level, since it is where A/C is introduced. In NC, you need A/C! The cabriolet might be fun, since it is a convertible.

The car will be on tour throughout the U.S. this year for those that want to take a test drive. I am definetly interested in at least looking at one. My main draw is that it is very unique in appearance. To me, almost all cars on the road look alike. The tour hits 50 cities starting on the west coast, and will be in Raleigh in September. Schedule here.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Netflix Shipment Center

Netflix has changed the emails that they send when a movie has shipped from your queue. Usually it says "For Wed: MovieName". Usually the date it expect the DVD to arrive is the next day, meaning that it is shipping from Raleigh or possibly Greensboro. Today though the email subject was "For Sat: Phoenix from Houston, TX". This is different in that it list the shipment center city.

This usually happens when a low-volume movie is being sent out. I seem to get quite a few of those, probably because I rent movies that are indies, especially gay indies. Since they are low volume, Netflix will generally only have 2-3 copies total.

Usually the email just says it will arrive on Saturday. For me it's a little game to check the return envelope to find out where it came from. I've gotten at least one DVD from Honolulu and several from west coast cities. The longest wait was for one off the west coast that arrived cracked, and another was shipped, this time from Idaho or somewhere.

So for the weekend I am getting the DVD of Phoenix. Netflix says that people like me rate it a 4.5 stars (out of 5), but it's general rating is only 2.5. I'm beginning to think Netflix is trying to stereotype me! The movie might be a surprise enjoyment, or a real dozer. We'll see!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Possible Stock Opportunity

Recently while perusing various fitness information, I somehow ended up at Wikipedia after googling the word "anaphrodisiac." (How I got there I cannot remember, somehoe related to testosterone). From there I followed a link to aphrodisiac, curious as to what it had to say.

From there, I came across the following statement:


A new drug called Bremelanotide (formerly PT-141) seems to be the first real aphrodisiac. It stimulates sexual desire in both men and women, and clinical trials are currently testing it for the treatment of sexual arousal disorder and erectile dysfunction.

That sounded very interesting to me. Everyone has heard about Viagra and it's brethren. But the problem with those drugs is that they affect the cardiovascular system. Basically they cause an erection from a physical perspective. And although an erection can make a man feel sexy, the better course is where feeling sexy causes an erection. Or at least, that is my theory.

Or to put it into an analogy: Current drugs are like putting air into a balloon. This new drug is like putting gas into a balloon. One will fill it up and make it eassier to float, whereas the other will cause it to float, bouncing along the air currents.

What makes Bremelanotide interesting is that it affects the sexual urge, or the mental urge. That just seems more natural. Or, in other words, an actual aphrodisiac.

Since sex sells, I see an opportunity here. The first prescription aphrodisiac. It is in the testing phase now, having passed phase II and entering III any day now. The company that is developing the drug, Palatin Technologies, is trading at a ridiculously low $2. I've scarfed up a bunch of shares and plan to hold until the end of the current testing phase.

One interesting trivia about this drug is how it was discovered. They were apparently testing a sunless tanning product when they noticed that men were sporting an erection. Now there is a side effect I've never heard in the TV commercials!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My New Bicycle

This morning I finally bought something to help me with the cardio part of my exercise regimen ... a bike! And a mountain bike at that. Y'know, looking back over the last couple of months, I would have to give a theme to each. January-March was a lot of fitness and muscle gain, April was getting over-sexed (well, not over sexed), May is for shedding the last bit of belly fat and showing my six-packs in June, which will start out as a party month when I head to Orlando for Gay Days at Disney! Here is our t-shirts (I'm making a special 2nd one for me, a sleeveless muscle shirt ... I'm becoming such a slut!)

But back to the bike for now. I've been thinking about a bicycle for several months now. I have an old 10-speed road bike in the shed that someone gave me many years ago, but when I pulled it out and cleaned it up I found that it was too far gone to be useful. It wasn't even able to properly change gears.

Then last weekend at the picnic I got to talking with one of the guys who rode a bit. He kept trying to steer me to a mountain bike, but I was almost positive I wanted a hybrid, especially since most of the time it would be ridden on the road. I would occasionally take it off-road on some paths, but that wouldn't be it's primary use.

Then Friday for lunch I finally went to a bike shop and looked around. The owner was there and helped out quite a bit, explaining the pro's and con's of bike types, sizes, features, etc. But since I was in work clothes I couldn't take any for test rides.

But that is what I did this morning, and I settled on the Trek 4300 model. It is just slightly above an entry level bicycle, although it is far better than anything that can be found at the big stores such as Target. Along with the helmet and water bottle rack, I spent just over $450. I really think it was worth it.

The next stop after that was to, of all places, Target. There I picked up a heart rate monitor. This particular model has the sensor that straps to the chest and sends the information to a wristwatch type receiver.

This is cardio after all, and the idea is to get the heart pumping at a higher rate. So that is exactly what I wanted to do, exercise the heart. According to this page at the American Heart Association, I should be aiming for a heartbeat range of 88-149.

So I strap on the monitor, fill up the water bottle and hop on the bike. I head down the driveway, hang a right onto the road and just keep going until it ends. Round trip, 7.4 miles in just under an hour. I wasn't trying for speed so much as continuous steady pedaling. (For those who want a good pedometer distance map tool, I really like gmap-pedometer)

The countryside was awesome! I never go very far in that direction, and a lot of this was new country to me. It was cool cruising through and seeing all the different types of homes, and even what appears to be a huge new neighborhood complete with a newly built elementary school. (Luckily the school is miles from the my home ... no snotty noses near me, thank you very much!) People out tending yards, a cookout, there are even some horse farms.

During the ride I had originally targeted a heart rate of 130, going by AHA saying that 75% of maximum is a good goal. But the only time I ever came close to 130 was when I rested for short periods while coasting. Most of the time I was at 145-150. I really don't know if that is good or bad, but I was never out of breath. Well, I did get out of breath trying to climb a dirt hill at a construction site, but that shot the heartrate to over 165 for just a minute.

So now I have a bike, and I'm surrounded by miles of country roads to explore. And with all of my hiking I recently purchased a book on local trails: Adventure Guide to the Triangle. It contains a lot of bike trails in the area, plus road bike trails. Maybe I'll join the Out Spokin' NC folks one of these Sundays!