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August 1, 1999
a year ago
two years ago

BBQ Sunday

A quiet day, though I learned something I almost would rather not have known; but it's always good to know so that I can do something about it if I have to or can.

Started the day at noon. What with a couple of really intense dreams, and a desire to sleep them through and then a shower and stuff, I didn't get out of the bedroom until after noon. The day outside was nice and cool and grey, so I was able to sleep in late. Old habits really die hard.

After breakfast, where I tried out using a red potato for hash browns and washing out the starch to let it get really good and crisp and golden rather then moooshy, we went to the Longmont Humane Society to just look at dogs. We decided not to bring Fezzik because there was no way we were going to adopt a dog without the dog meeting him. It turned out not to really be necessary in a lot of ways. The dogs there were all very cool; but we both realized that they weren't Fezzik. Fez is such a gentle, cool, smart critter he's a really hard act to follow and it's just not working.

Realized, after looking at other dogs, that it's been nearly 11 years, now, that we've had a dog in our life and it might be interesting to see what it's like without. We made the commitment to Fez when we got him and an extraordinary lifetime it'll be; but it doesn't mean we have to do it again.

Afterwards, we did a lot of errands around Longmont and picked up a lot of different things, thought through dinner with Walt tomorrow, and got what we needed.

We got home for just a few minutes, and I petted Fezzik muchly and then we went off to a BBQ that Loren, at work, was throwing. As we were coming out the driveway, the neighbor to our west waved at us, and so John drove over to talk with him. They're going on vacation for a bit, and he talked with us about it as it was to the Vancouver/Victoria area and wanted a few hints about getting across the Canadian border without getting bothered too much. So we gave him some of our experiences. In the midst of all that he said that he was making better friends with Fezzik.

Turns out that the boy on the other side of our house was out firing a .22, probably in safe directions as we have no holes in any of our cars, the house, or fencing; but he was firing. The backlot opens into completely empty field, so he might have been practicing in that direction, it's entirely possible. Across the street another boy was lighting off firecrackers. Between the two sets of explosions, the neighbor said that Fezzik was going berserk and trying to jam himself between two of the bars of one of the gates between the front lot and the back lot. The neighbor thought Fezzik was frightened and trying to run away from the noise, so he jumped over the fence, gave one thought to what such a huge dog might do to him if really upset, but then gave Fezzik a big bear hug and did his best to calm Fezzik down.

It was very brave of him.

Fezzik calmed down, and, eventually, laid down just on the other side of the fence from the neighbor.

When explosions and thunder happen around the house, the first thing Fezzik does is bang on the door to get out and go chase it. So I could see him going berserk and trying to get through the gate to get to the boy firing the gun, which presents problems in and of itself; but I can't see him cowering or trying to 'get out'. If he really is afraid, we've now considered putting in a huge dog door between the outside and the garage or even the house, so that he can get inside if he really wants to get away from the yard. Maybe just even proping the door open, as a regular door is about Fezzik-sized. If he was trying to charge the kid with the gun, it means that I have to get a heavy mesh to put across the bars of the gate so that Fezzik cannot and will not go flying after anyone with a gun. It's easy to think though what would happen if anyone with a gun were being charged by a 120 pound dog they didn't know. Bad. Very bad.

It really upset me.

Knowing that made it hard to go to the party and just have fun without really thinking through all the consequences and what actions I wanted to take. Even thinking through all the bad possibilities, which weren't really probabilities, but just the thought that the boy next door had a gun that he was just firing really made me uncomfortable.

Loren had thrown a really nice, little house-warming party with BBQ. Lots of the folks that he knew, along with an engineer friend that he used to room with who was looking for a job here. It was very nice, actually, and only a few people from work actually showed up, so we got to meet a lot of very nice people. The food was good, the house brand-new and really nicely built and decorated. With some of Jim's kids, we went down to the basement and I watched the three kids just run, screaming, around and around and around the basement floor. Open space to run.

I had my usual problem of being mildly overwhelmed by way too many people that I didn't know; but worked through it for a while and stayed so long as I enjoyed myself. When I was really exhausted from trying to interact with new people for too long, John actually asked me if it was time to go and when I nodded, he grinned and away we went. That was very nice. It's very nice to be known that well.

We had a bit of peach for dessert, the ones from yesterday were pretty bruised, but ripe all the same. I also took the time to make up a chicken rub from various spices and I cleaned the chicken, dried it, and then rubbed it all over before wrapping it in plastic wrap to stick in the fridge. It needed to marinate overnight and that was the easiest way to do it. It means that tomorrow we can just pull it out of the wraps and cook it. It turned out really nice; and as I worked we both talked through a lot of the implications of the boy with the gun and Fezzik so I felt better after talking it through, though the situation hasn't really changed all that much, it felt better just to talk it through and be rational about it.

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