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SMTech Videos

Well — another surprise turn in the publishing department. My good friend Bob decided to invest some money with my publisher in order to make three videos. Actually, it’s six videos, because each topic we recorded with a female bottom had to be totally reshot with a male bottom. Bob’s DVD was on basic rope bondage. I did two: Impact Play 101, Building your skills, and Fire Play: Your basic safety guide to fire. Ann Bryne paid to have two of her own recorded: one was on basic violet wand, the other on advanced violet wand.

Herbert (publisher) has an extensive background in live TV and video editing and rented three broadcast-quality cameras and a mixer. He sat in the booth and (essentially) created the final cut right there. Quite an amazing job, actually.

In addition to the DVD, itself, Herbert had a transcript made of the shoots and then Bob and I went over our own and edited them for flow. We also included all the safety materials we wanted. The books were 64 pages, full color. Really well done.

The result was a book/DVD combination that Herbert priced at $39.95.

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Taos

We decided to go out to see Father in Santa Fe. Jen had not yet met him. He lives about 20 miles west of the city in a compound for rich people. I suppose the adobe walls are ten feet high and four feet thick. It’s massive. It has a VERY upscale clubhouse and restaurant and bar. I can imagine that many people must get together there practically every night. Nothing else to do out there but go to the clubhouse, have friends over, or watch TV. It’s along way in to Santa Fe.

This is a shot of his living room.

c 15 livingroom

He bought a lovely house there after he sold the big house on the ridge overlooking the entire valley. You could see Los Alamos at night: street and house lights. He actually moved to Santa Fe in order to take a literature Masters’ degree at St John’s College’s rigorous liberal arts program. Its main campus is in Annapolis, MD, but they have this campus in Santa Fe because of the nature of the population.

It’s the only school in the US (probably the only school in the world) whose curriculum requires you to read the entire set of “Great Books of the Western World.” 

Anyway, we decided to drive up to Santa Fe to visit Father, who is 91. He’s in amazing shape. His mind is as sharp as ever and he spends most of his time reading or writing. Right now, he’s writing about old age.

The drive takes about 13 net hours. We spent the night near Clovis and arrived in the early afternoon. We’d found a reasonably-priced hotel and, after checking in, drove out to see them.

Father is now using the guest room as his bedroom, so they prefer that people not stay at the house. Also, he naps a lot now and there would be long stretches with nothing to do. Robin (his wife) prefers to schedule the visits. We spent the afternoon visiting and they took us in town for a lavish dinner. We had a lovely time; Robin was looking well.

We drove back out for breakfast at 10, spent a few hours chatting and left for Taos at the point that he wanted to lie down for a nap.

It’s a fairly quick drive up to Taos — about 90 minutes.

I’d found what I thought would be a really spectacular place to stay in Taos, the El Pueblo Lodge Room 140. I turned out to be right.

There was a light snow falling when we arrived; very romantic. We checked in and went to the room: it was lavish. It has a HUGE bedroom/living room with very nice fireplace and ample wood. SUPER romantic.

We had ample daylight, so we walked around town looking at the interesting shops. There is one in particular that is my favorite. They have handmade knives and (most important) outdoor bells made from cut-off diving tanks. Really interesting and very sonorous. It took all our will not to buy it — but it was in the $500 range and we weren’t spending that kind of money.

I’d made reservations for the Taos Inn months ago. They have an upscale restaurant that was well reviewed, and we were not disappointed. They have excellent food preparation, tables well spaced, and the dining room gave off an air of elegance. We had a lovely time and then returned to our motel room where we lit the fire, put on some music (through my computer) and had a fantastic, romantic evening.

We spent the next two days wandering around the city and the Indian reservations’ public areas, taking pictures.

I find I'm drawn to shoot interesting doors...

c 14 red door taos  c 13 door taos

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Australia

I met Master Joe and slave kim at Southplains Leather Fest last February. They had sat through my class on “Understanding how some M/s Relationships get into trouble” and later approached me in the foyer. He introduced himself and asked whether I might be interested in coming down to Melbourne, Australia, to do a series of presentations this coming September.

Well, I didn’t know this person, so I said that it might be possible and took down his contact information. After the conference, I wrote to slave Caroline and asked her about him. As it happens, she entered BDSM in Melbourne through Master Joe’s BDSM club, Chains. She knew him very well and said that if he had invited me over, he’d take good care of me.

As the discussions continued, it turned out that although they rented a home, there was a second small house in back of their main house. I would be staying there. Also, Herbert was able to arrange printing in Australia through all our books on Barnes and Noble. Although Amazon doesn’t have a print facility there, B&N does. I ordered literally hundreds of books, selecting titles beyond my own that I thought would sell. We set the date and I found myself in their delightful presence for 21 days.

c 05 joe kim   

Unlike in the US, Ausies are used to paying about $35 per seat per class. We averaged 20 people per class and I did about 8 classes. This was the weekend of Oz Kinkfest, so we had people in the right frame of mind to come to classes. Also, this was a crowd that bought books, so—overall—the trip was a great success.

c 06 fire play   c 07 cupping

We took a side jaunt up to Sydney in order to do another presentation and I met Peter Masters there. He’s a professor at University of Sydney and runs the best BDSM Wiki on the Internet.

Joe (sometimes with Kim, other times alone) took me to many interesting places. In Melbourne, itself, we went down to the heart of the city to see Gog and Magog who occupy a special place in Melbourne’s Royal Arcade—a very upscale mall in the heart of town.

c 08 gog and mcgog

These words are written beside the figures: “These two 7-foot giants have been striking the time on Gaunt’s clock since 1892. They were carved from clear pine and modeled on the figures erected in Guildhall, London, in 17089 to symbolize the conflict between the ancient Britons and the Trojan invaders. According to the mythology, the giants Gog and Magog were captured bin battle by the Trojans and made to serve as porters in the gateway of an ancient palace on the site later occupied by the Guildhall.”

Joe had brought me here not only to show me Gog and Magog, but also to have coffee and some pieces of chocolate at the most famous coffee house in Australia. It is called Chokolait, and their mission is to make finest genuine Belgian chocolates, hand crafted cakes, and desserts in Melbourne. Here is a shot of the cappuccinos we ordered. Here’s their website: http://www.chokolait.com.au/

c 09 coffee   c 10 joe

As you can imagine, the Royal Arcade is a primo tourist attraction in Melbourne. Because it’s such a draw, there are a number of street-vendors and buskers around. The musicians included a number who were playing hopped-up diggerydoo’s with pick-up microphones at the business end. For some reason, I didn’t take any pictures of them. The man playing this diggerydoo was down at the docks in Sydney.

c 11 diggerydoo

I realize this post is getting really long, but the trip was extremely interesting and I took a lot of pictures.

One of our trips was to a city named Ballarat and to Sovereign Hill – a major cultural tourist destination. Ballarat was transformed into a major settlement when gold was discovered. At a small store in Sovereign Hill I met a man standing behind a metal-spinning lathe making different size bells.

c 12 metal spinning

Master Joe tested the sound of the bells and determined that this one specific bell had the “right” sound. When Master Joe had his attention elsewhere I purchased two of the bells he “approved” and on my last night with him gifted him one of the bells and invited him to be in my Leather Family. Here’s a shot of the matching bell.

c 12.5 bell soverign hill

All-in-all a memorable trip and I’m indebted to Master Joe and slave kim for their warm and loving hospitality.

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Louisiana

c 04 bob hat

We are just back from New Orleans! We’d been invited in for the weekend to present for NOBLE (New Orleans Bondage & Leather Enthusiasts). Master Wolf invited us. As the “Master Wolf” that I know lives in Phoenix, I was at a disadvantage. At any rate, I had only been there twice before, and it sounded fun. Also, this was over Jen’s birthday weekend so we were excited for the adventure!

More than the club and the presentation, Wolf was something else. What a fascinating man. He’s a regional manager for a group of strip clubs that are headquartered in St. Louis. He is a super sophisticated communicator and manager and his slave is perfectly trained. His house is a fantasy with a terrific dungeon! Wolf is all smiles all the time: a very “up” personality.

We had the opportunity to witness the state of the city following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was a sobering experience to see buildings that were still awaiting removal and to see the rescuers coded writing on them. There have been some rebuilding in the housing developments close to the floodwall but a lot of house slabs are still missing houses.

Before leaving Austin, I had researched hat stores. I’ve been trying to find a nice Fedora for about a year, and I’d found a possibility in a well-established store in the French Quarter. Wolf took us down and we went into the store. Among other surprising things, each salesman wore a distinctive name tag that included the number of years they’d worked there. This is a third-generation haberdashery and the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons work there.

I’ve found my Fedora.  

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Jen’s mom dies unexpectedly

We were out dancing at Graham’s Central Station. It was March 23. We’d left our phones in our cars, as you can’t hear them inside the dance hall anyway. We were in separate cars. When we were ready to leave I got into my truck and I checked my phone. LOTS of messages from Carl, Karen, and Mindi. I called mindi and was told that Jen’s mother had died. I tried to call Jen, but she was also on the phone.

We were driving. We turned right out of the parking lot and left at Grand Avenue Parkway. Normally, we go up to I-35 and turn left. Suddenly, I see Jen move to the right lane and turn RIGHT onto the northbound lane of the freeway. I did my best to keep up with her: She’s in a Mercedes and I’m in a truck. I couldn’t do it.

I decided to drive back to the apartment and wait. After about 30 minutes, she texted that she was in the I-Hop closest to our apartment. I jumped back into the car and drove over. She was in the first booth, completely stunned. Jen’s mother had turned 63 years old at the end of November (I turned 63 at the beginning of November) and had just retired on December 31st. She was looking forward to her retirement and wasn’t ill so the death was a complete surprise to Jen and her family. We stayed at I-Hop for about two and a half hours. We had to explain to the waitress what was going on; she was alarmed at Jen’s position and how long she’d stayed that way.

Around 11 we drove home.

Jen is home now from the funeral and has brought a plant of her mothers back as a remembrance. She has charged me with the task to keep the plant alive and thriving. I am familiar with this plant and am happy to do this for her.

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