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2002-11-30 - 11:44 p.m.

Lazy Day

We spent the morning reading and hanging out. The Scientist and my uncle T. went out and bought a DVD player for A & T. This was not as easy of a proposition as it sounds because T. has older Sony components that are evidently incompatible with anything but other Sony components. There was some issue with a decoder being built into (or not) the DVD player, all of which necessitated several trips to the store, quite a bit of online research, and numerous discussions. I lost track of it after a while (and by "lost track" I mean "ignored completely").

This reminds me of something that happened at work the other day. I was discussing a project with a team leader (a good team leader, not my sow of a team leader) and it became clear that she needed to talk to her writer before we could proceed. I said, "I think you should talk with him [the writer] before this goes any further. I'd be happy to participate if you want me, but I'm comfortable with you just giving me the results of your decision. I'm all about results." She laughed and said, "I've heard that about you." It struck me as funny and I told AR about it later, only to find out that the team leader had also told AR about it. I'm known in the department for wanting results! Strangely, this took me off guard for a moment until I realized it's completely true. I'm a results-oriented person. Give me results. I think it's why I like Dr. Phil. He focuses on doing something, changing something, taking action rather than on process.

Now where was I? DVD player. After everything was hooked up, we watched a little of the LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring making of documentary (I had brought along our DVDs). Later in the afternoon my friend A. came down from Duluth with her husband S. and their daughter T., who just turned two. We hung out for a couple of hours and then went out to dinner at Sydney's for JR's 19th birthday (it's actually on December 3rd, but we were celebrating early).


Just before we left for dinner the doorbell rang. This rarely happens in the A & T household, so everyone was interested. Random neighborhood child going door to door selling wrapping paper or candy? Jehovah's witness? Unexpected friend dropping by? Sadly, it was none of these things. Instead, it was some concerned passersby who asked my uncle if he knew whose dogs were in the SUV out front. My uncle, not realizing that the SUV belonged to A & S, said he had no idea.

A & S have two Boxers and since my aunt and uncle's dog is young, excitable, and not used to other dogs (not to mention that my aunt and uncle have nice things and aren't used to kids, multiple untrained dogs, or chaos and we already had a two year old in the house) they left the dogs out in the car for an hour or two. Yes, this is Minnesota but it's not like it was 40 below zero and where exactly would the dogs be otherwise? Outside in a dog run. I mean, there are very good reasons for not leaving your dogs in a car (extreme heat and humidity, fear of the dog crapping or peeing in the car, dog smell, other dog-related destruction, etc.), but I don't think that November weather is one of them. These are big dogs that usually spend a lot of time outside, as do most big dogs. We thought it was strange that these people were so worked out about it, but shrugged it off and left for dinner.

We got to the restaurant, found a rock star parking spot, and were just walking in when my cell phone rang. It was A & S telling us that they were running late because they were stopped by the police as they were driving away. The people called the cops! The police officer was nice and said he thought the dogs looked well fed and fine and he didn't have a problem with anything but that he had to check out calls like that. Evidently the people lied to the police because the officer told A & S that they said "the dogs had been out there all day," which was completely untrue.

A & S were really mad and shaken up by it all. S. had been out to check on the dogs (and to let them out of the car to do their business) several times and knew that they were fine. Leaving your dogs in the car (or rather, bringing your dogs on a car trip in the first place) might not be my first choice, but nothing A & S did could constitute animal abuse.

However, S. did find out the bad side of cooping up a big, young, teething dog. The female evidently got bored (or her teeth were bothering her) and started chewing on the SUV. She chewed through the brake light box that sits on the inside of the back window and clipped the wires. The brake lights and back turn lights weren't working properly, but S. drove back to my aunt and uncle's ok. He tried to twist the wires together and thought that it would be ok to get to the hotel and then home to Duluth the next day. Unfortunately, when they went to leave A & T's house after my brother opened his birthday presents and we ate cake, the car wouldn't start. The check engine and airbag lights came on and the engine wouldn't engage.

Everyone trooped back inside to figure out what to do. Eventually, it was decided that A, S, & T would stay at my aunt and uncle's and that their dogs would be put out in the dog run overnight. In the morning they would call the dealer and a tow truck and S's mom (who lives in an outer-ring suburb) and figure out how to get back to Duluth.

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