One of the ways I blow off steam is by walking around-- but I always feel a bit like a lunatic if I'm walking around completely aimlessly, without any ostensible purpose, so I usually "create" a perfunctory errand: I go buy cold cuts or a cup of coffee or some beer . . . but, of course, it's more about listening to my iPod and getting out of the house, alone and unfettered; one of the benefits of owning a dog is that now I don't have to invent a task for myself, I can just walk around aimlessly with the dog, and people look at me and think: he's not an itinerant wandering lunatic, he's just out walking his dog . . . but the only down side to this arrangement is that you have to talk to the Dog People you meet and I'm horrible at Dog Talk . . .
Dave: That's a beautiful dog . . . what is he, a Basset Hound? A Pekinese?
Dog Person: She's a Great Dane . . .
Dave: Oh, right . . . how about that one? A Shar-pei?
Dog Person: That's a cat.