The Time I Saw A Pile of Poop at Walmart

If you know me, you know I really don’t like shopping at Walmart. I prefer Target, but since I need to be thrifty, I end up at Walmart at least once a week for the basics.

On my most recent trip to the Mart, I made my circuit through the aisles, hugged my favorite greeter, and made it to the checkout. It was a typical shopping trip.

Until I left the checkout for the exit.

Just 10 feet from where I had paid for my stuff, there was a pile of poop. When I say “pile of poop,” let me be clear. It was not just a turd. Not a dung nugget. Not a dingleberry. Not a gooey smudge from somebody’s shoe.

It was a full dump.

And it looked like it either came from a large dog, or a human being. For a second, I considered stopping to snap a photo, but decided I couldn’t hold my breath long enough, so I pushed my cart past as quickly as I could, without looking like a freak.

So in lieu of a photo, I’ll describe it to you. It was a full dump, semi-coiled, well formed, deposited directly on the store floor. It was partially covered by a piece of paper towel, with a whole roll of paper towels nearby. It was unattended. No signs or warnings had been posted. No “Wet Floor,” or “WTF! Poop!” to guide shoppers away from the scene. I wondered whether the store personnel were away gathering special supplies. Maybe there is a secret human-poop cleanup protocol.

As I drove away from the store, I wondered lots of things.

What made that poop? Dog? Human?

Why was it left there?

If it was from a dog, why was a dog in the store? Service animal? Pet? It was very near the exit doors. And even if a dog had done it, I thought any responsible dog owner would have picked it up, right? RIGHT?!

So… Why would a person poop there? Toilet emergency? It wasn’t too far from the restrooms. Still, wouldn’t a reasonable human have cleaned up his or her own poop? Who just takes a dump on a public floor and leaves it there? Unless it was protest poop!

Anyway, it was pretty disgusting. And that’s coming from a matter-of-fact mother of three who deals with some epic shit on a daily basis. But it left me with more questions than answers. And I haven’t been back to Walmart since.

ChoreMonster.com aims to make chores more enjoyable for kids and parents

choremonster logo Getting my children to help with household chores can be a daily battle. It’s no fun, and everybody ends up feeling grumpy. Right?

ChoreMonster.com is an online system of chore assignments and rewards. It lets parents assign chores for kids by choosing from the default list or adding customized tasks. Each chore can be customized by due date, frequency, and points awarded.

Each child gets his own account, where the chores and rewards are presented in a colorful, easy-to-use interface. Kids can view assigned chores, check them off when they’re done, and see how many points they have earned. When they’ve saved enough points, they can redeem points for parent-defined rewards.

My kids have been using ChoreMonster for a couple of days now, and they’re still in the “this is so cool” phase. They enjoy suggesting chores and rewards for me to add to the system. They’re accumulating points and saving up for the big rewards (playdate with a friend, doughnuts, and a trip to the children’s museum, to name a few).

I like ChoreMonster because the kids go to the computer to see what they can do to earn points and help out around the house. This cuts down on the number of times I hear “Mom!” during the afternoon, which is nice. It also reduces the number of requests I get for treats and things, because they know how many points they need to save before they can be rewarded with something special.

We’ll see how they continue using ChoreMonster. Usually, they’re excited about any new chore system for about 1 week, and then they’re back to dreading chores. Maybe the combination of the computerized format, the scorekeeping, and the rewards-for-points system, will encourage them to stay with the ChoreMonster program! It’s kind of like a game!

ChoreMonster.com is still in beta mode, but the developer has given me an invitation code to share. If you’d like to give the free ChoreMonster system a try, just visit ChoreMonster.com and enter geekmom in the code field at the top of the page. Then follow the instructions to confirm your account.

Let me know what you think of the system. What kind of chores and rewards will you include in your family’s assignments? Do your kids do chores more willingly when it’s kind of like a game?

GeekMom’s Secret to Online Success is…

The good old Golden Rule. Really, it works online just like it does in real life. Sounds too low-tech to work in the virtual world? Well, it’s not. I’ll prove it in five easy steps.

  1. First, develop a nice, friendly, informative profile page on yourself. This can be your myspace page, your blog, your Squidoo lensmaster page, or whatever. You don’t have to give out your personal information. Include a link back to your blog, or whatever else you’d like visitors to click on.
  2. Then do some surfing. Look for blogs or pages that are well-written and interesting. Find something you really like. Have fun!
  3. Don’t just lurk. Participate in polls, give some stars, add some appreciative comments to the guestbooks. Be genuine. Be kind. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Remember the Golden Rule, and treat others the way you would like to be treated.
  4. Usually, you can add a link to your comment. This is where you put the address to your profile page, or directly to your blog. Don’t use a spammy, junky link. People don’t like being tricked into clicking on spam!
  5. If you’ve been kind, people will read your insightful comment and want to know more about you. They will click on your link, visit your page, and maybe even leave you a nice comment too. Perhaps they’ll check out your sidebars and ads. If your page is especially wonderful, you might even get a Digg or a bookmark, or even a regular subscriber. Who knows — you might even make a friend!

Give the Golden Rule a try, and see if you get good results. Even if you get one quality visitor for every ten quality visits you make, you will have made Cyberspace a friendlier place. And that’s good for everybody!

GeekMom Needs a Light Saber!

Wii Light SwordsHubby sent me a link to a page showing these cool-looking Wii remote jackets by CAMY, and I really really want one! So far, I’ve been spending my Wii sessions gaining “Pro” status on Wii Sports bowling. (I pulled a glute, but I did it, and I love my sparkly new ball!) The kids love Super Mario Galaxy, but I haven’t had time to figure it out yet. I have to wait my turn, you see, and it looks much more complicated than my old favorite, Super Mario Bros 3.

But I can hardly wait to get one of these Wiimote “light swords,” so I can get my Jedi on! (No, I don’t have a Princess Leia costume, you weak- minded fool!) According to CAMY, they are super lightweight, and the translucent blades are lit with ultra-bright LEDs. Sounds awesome! Now I have to go find a game to go with my elegant Jedi weapon. Cue light saber sound effects.