Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny

It’s time to put the fucking phone down.  There’s a whole world of interesting shit out there, and it’s not inside a screen held in your hand.  

There are so many interesting people to talk to.  Some of them are your friends, some of them are your family.  They might be total strangers.  They might be your kids.  Talking to them while looking at your phone doesn’t work.  It’s separating you from the people you’re supposed to be connecting with.  And no, the people inside your phone don't need your attention more than the people you’re standing next to.  The people in the phone can wait.  

I’m as guilty as anyone.  Well, not as guilty as that dad at the park staring at his phone ignoring his little 3 year old girl who was trying to climb up a play structure repeatedly asking “daddy, help me” in the cutest little voice that should not be ignored because IT'S YOUR DAUGHTER AND YOU’RE THERE TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH HER.  To this I say.. Put the fucking phone down.

(There’s probably some monetizing opportunity to post pictures of parents staring at phones at parks with kids, so please take this idea and run with it and make zillions of dollars selling that picture site to some tired old web company looking for a few more hits before they go the way of the dinosaur.  But after taking that picture, put the fucking phone down.)

I try to remind myself to put the fucking phone down when I think of people like that dad at the park.  Or that couple at the restaurant who sits there not looking at each other but looking at their own phones instead.  Is that where we’re at?  Might as well go completely virtual at the table and pull some oculus rift bullshit and be with the naked person of your dreams… dining at a table at the fanciest fucking restaurant in the universe on a ridge overlooking some sunset Lord of the Rings type waterfall on the side of a glorious mountain.  But instead of looking at that, you’re looking at Facebook on your phone.  Put the fucking phone down.

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of running into a guy that I hadn’t seen in years.  He told me all about his wonderful business and his little family, and when he finished and it was my turn to talk about what I’ve been up to the past few years, he dug into his pocket, pulled out his phone and started typing who knows what.  Is that where we’re at?  "Okay now that I’m done speaking, perhaps there’s someone in my phone who needs my attention more than you, the person I’m right next to."  And in case you, guy I hadn’t seen in years, are reading this:  Put the fucking phone down.

I repeat, I’m as guilty as anyone, but knowing that this is a really stupid state we’re in, I’m usually reminding myself to put the phone down.  The quickest way to do that is to think “what did we do before smartphones?” and the answer is always to put the phone down.  We didn’t need it before, and we don’t need it now.  And to the generation of kids who don’t know life without smartphones:  Put the fucking phone down.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cuts Like a Knife

Bronchitis.  It's what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  At least it was for me when I returned from my business trip a couple weeks ago.  I was laid up in bed for days, coughing up a lung, shivering, sweating, and generally feeling run down.  A few days later my head started to clear up, I took a look in the mirror and noticed that the stubble on my face had taken over.  I reached for my travel bag and searched for my razor.  No dice.  Looked through my suitcase.  Not there.  So I called the friend I stayed with on the road, and he confirmed the razor was at their house.  Damn.

So I ventured out to find the identical razor so my existing cartridges would fit.  I went to my local RiteAid, which seemed like a good candidate to carry the Gillette Sensor Excel razor.  But after navigating my way through the labyrinth of aisles to the men's grooming section, I found only bare shelves.  All the razors were piled high into two nearby blue RiteAid shopping carts next to a RiteAid employee who was spraying some fragrantly toxic cleaning solution over the shelves.  She looked up from her spraying and said "Oh I'm so sorry, all the razors are here", pointing at the full carts.  The toxic aroma didn't allow me a moment to think of digging through the bins, and I high-tailed it out of there.

I continued on to Vons, CVS, and Walgreens in search of the elusive Gillette Sensor Excel razor.  None of these stores carried it. What they did carry were those razors that have no fewer than 5 blades in a cartridge.  Which reminded me of every SNL/MADtv skit ever created mocking 14 & 20 blade razors.  No need to be shaving with something the size of a hockey puck. Besides, every store put every single razor and box of cartridges behind a security barrier, so that a customer would then have to summon an employee just to ask questions.  No thanks.

Surrender was imminent when I pulled in to another CVS to buy whichever razor seemed the least ridiculous.  But this magical CVS stocked the Gillette Sensor Excel!  The search was over.  Except the razor was barricaded behind some security contraption.  Fortunately CVS had the good sense to place a big red button the size of a Staples EASY button nearby which read "REQUEST CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE".  I pressed the button, which momentarily interrupted the Bryan Adams song blaring throughout the store to announce "CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE REQUESTED IN SHAVING".  I had inadvertently pressed it twice, so it delivered the message two times in a row.  And then Bryan Adams came back on.  

I waited.  I didn't want to press the big red button again, but nobody was coming around to unlock my razor.  Another Bryan Adams song came on.  I pressed the red button.  "CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE REQUESTED IN SHAVING" boomed over the PA.  I began to feel like the test rat who presses a button repeatedly in order to get the cheese, or the chocolate, or the cocaine, or whatever.  I briefly thought about breaking the anti-theft device so I could get the hell out of there.  But an employee poked her head around the corner to tell me "I'll be right there, I just have to get the key."

She returned with the key and fumbled with the lock for a few moments before handing over the razor.  I told her "I had no idea these were such high-theft items."  She replied "Yep.  Gotta keep the homeless people from stealing them."  I nodded my head.  "Or else we'll have a lot of clean shaven homeless around" she joked.  I told her "Thank you" and walked toward the registers to make my purchase. 

On the way to the registers, I thought about how ironic it would be if I just walked out of there with the razor.  But I noticed the magnetic security sticker on the packaging, and I compulsively began peeling it away until a voice at the self-checkout startled me: "You can checkout over here."  I looked up and a CVS employee was waving at me, smiling.  I asked her "But this has a security thingy on it.  Can you take care of that?"  She waved me over, and swiped the razor over the scanner and put it in a bag.  Didn't even demagnetize it.  Those security swindlers.  And I was on my merry way to a clean face.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Lust for Life

A couple weeks ago I had a tough decision to make when my bag of coffee beans reached its untimely end:  Buy more now or wait to buy more?  I realize that's not a tough decision at all, and it probably sounds really stupid.  You run out of coffee beans, you buy more coffee beans right now because if tomorrow morning comes and there's no coffee in the house, you'll be frantically scrambling for a way to avoid the dreaded caffeine-withdrawl headache at all costs.

But as I stared down the barrel of the empty coffee bag, the consideration of my impending business trip made me think twice about being mindlessly drawn as if through a tractor beam to my local bean provider to secure coffee for another couple weeks.  I'd be gone for 11 days - plus the 4 days until I departed.  For a coffee purist like myself (don't get any wise ideas about calling me a coffee snob), that's a little too long to let good beans sit around.  So I decided to put off the bean purchase until I returned from the trip.

It started off simply enough.  The first morning I just looked to our box of teas in the pantry to fill the caffeine void.  Because the wifey only drinks decaf teas, there should be plenty of remaining caffeinated options.  And there were.  Options like tea labeled "Best consumed before 2012".  I grabbed a caramel vanilla black tea and steeped it for as long as I could take before needing a fix.  It was tasty, but not satisfying, and an hour later I could sense the subtle notes of a headache creeping in.  Fortunately I knew we needed groceries from Trader Joe's, and TJ's always has the pot of complimentary coffee in the middle of our neighborhood store.  Caffeine-withdrawl headache day one averted.

Now that I had the Trader Joe's option in my back pocket, the next two mornings were crafted around visits to TJ's to buy one or two items.  All the while sneaking back to the coffee pot to fill up those little tiny dixie-sized cups that don't amount to the volume in a regular ceramic mug.  Unless you go back several times trying not to draw the attention of the employee making samples of gluten-free vanilla granola submerged in whipped cream and organic strawberries.  Hello again!  Slurp.  I told a co-worker of mine about my borderline homeless person behavior, and he said I displayed traits more like a junkie.

On the final day before departure, my coffee sneaking paranoia got the best of me after I had visited the last of the Trader Joe's in my area.  So I was struck by the brilliant idea of killing three birds with one stone by visiting a studio where I've freelanced in the past year. I could grab a cup of coffee while visiting with the Executive Producer, meanwhile giving my money to a betting pool surrounding a certain sporting event which happens mostly in March but continues into April.  It's a donation really.  There's no expectation of ever seeing that money again.  I finished my visit, put the coffee mug down and walked out with a caffeinated bounce in my step, knowing that I'd made it through the final morning at home without having bought a new bag of coffee beans.

The next cup of coffee landed at my tray on the airplane after my brief runway-wobbling induced nap.  I was traveling to the land of coffee, so I knew the next 11 days would be a snap.  As I reached the last day of the trip, I reminded myself several times that I needed to buy beans.  I stopped into my favorite coffee roaster away from home and requested the same bag of beans I bought last time I was in town:  Harar.  The barista said "Oh the light roast?"  The last time I bought Harar it was medium roast.  I said "Is it light?  I thought it was medium."  She replied "No it's light.  If you want medium you should buy the Sumatra."  So I bought a pound of it.  The next morning at home I opened the bag and it was dark roast.  The bulging bag of Sumatra makes me pine for the days of my junkie visits to Trader Joe's.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Le Voyage Dans La Lune

"You really whacked it off good" she blurted out emphatically.  I snapped out of my momentary spaceout to look back at her and say "Yeah, it doesn't look the same anymore when it's that long".  She handed me back my driver's license and said "Well your hair looks nice short, so it's all good".  And with that, I was through LAX airport security and on my way back home to the Pacific Northwest to see my folks.

My mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and because my sister was already taking our mother to and from nearly all her doctor appointments, it was well beyond time for me to help carry some of the load.  I had spent the previous few days neurotically checking the Alaska Airlines website at hourly intervals in order to find a better seat than 26C in the back of the plane when I had initially purchased.  The day before the flight a lovely aisle seat became available forward of the wings and I pounced on it.  If clicking with a mouse could ever be considered pouncing.

After getting groped by airport security, I grabbed a cup of Major Dickason's from the cafe, showed my boarding pass to the boarding pass people and strolled onto the plane.  I always like to board the plane last because I don't enjoy sitting on a plane that's not in motion.  I did the usual countdown to my seat as I passed rows.  1D, 2D, 3D, and so on until I reached 7D, where the nice stewardess was standing.

"Oh hi, are you in 7D?  Would you like to exchange seats with the passenger in 11C so she can sit next to her husband?" the stewardess asked in her cordial stewardess tone.
I looked at the wife, then the husband next to the stewardess, raised my eyebrows and thought about it for approximately .5 seconds, during which the memories of every single time I checked on the Alaska Airlines website to get seat 7D rushed through my brain.  
"Does that seat recline?"  I asked.
"No, that seat is in front of the emergency exit, so it doesn't recline" she replied.
I told her "no", stuffed my laptop bag under the seat and sat down, knowing full well I'd get the stink eye from the husband for the rest of the two hour trip.  I didn't care.  I was going to sleep.

Little did I know that the husband had more than the stink eye as his weapon.  He had the stink breath.  His wife made it a point to camp out in the aisle next to my seat to speak to her husband in French.  I have no problem with the French in general, however I do have a problem with being on planes next to  them.

His garbage breath nearly made me puke or exchange seats with the wife, but the thought of the last time I had close quarters on an airplane with a Frenchman made me dig in my heels and persevere. I have to hand it to them, they really turned it up a notch what with the death breath and Frenchman husband getting up every 5 minutes to visit is wife who had just been standing next to us chatting for 5 minutes.  

Finally things calmed down and I was able to dig out one of two magazines I brought with me.  It struck me as odd that the cover of the magazine read "Mom, I Love You.  I Also Wish You Were Dead."  Not a magazine I'd be sharing with my mother when I arrived.  

I was able to collect about 3 minutes of shuteye before the beverage cart arrived at my aisle.  I ordered another coffee.  The stewardess turned to the other side of the aisle and began speaking the words "Sir, since you were so kind as to exchange your seat with another passenger..." and I swear she was turning her head toward me and speaking louder as she continued, "...we'd like to offer you a complimentary adult beverage of your choice."  By the end of this sentence I was revisiting my decision to stay in seat 7D.  I think Frenchman coughed up a hairball into my coffee and stewardess glared at me as I considered what I might have ordered.  A Bloody Mary?  A double?  Nah.  I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TV is dead.  It is.  I saw the proof just yesterday during the latest episode of 30 Rock playing from my DVR.  See for yourself:

See?  Told ya.  And for those of you who aren't fluent in the jargon of making television, that little screen will tell you only one thing:  TV is dead.  (It also means the pictures that were connected to that shot aren't connected anymore) Don't even watch any further, because we've now crossed a line that can't be backtracked on.  We've exposed the person behind the curtain.  And it's only a matter of time before all quality in television is completely erased.

There I was, watching 30 Rock, happily skipping through the commercials 30 seconds at a time like every other schmo with a DVR these days, and I caught that frame of MEDIA OFFLINE.  And if you've spent any amount of time with any form of editing system (like I have), it's a picture that screams out at you "SOMETHING IS VERY FUCKING WRONG HERE", and it's impossible to do anything but become alarmed.  

I said aloud "no fucking way" and rewound and fast-forwarded and frame-by-frame jogged until I landed on the picture of failure.  I shook my head.  I chuckled.  I couldn't believe my eyes.

There used to be a bunch of us huddled in a freezing cold room looking at monitors in weird cross-hatch blanking measuring interval world, or not even looking at the picture at all but instead getting green vector lines laser burned into our young eyes as we QC'd spots.  You'd definitely see a goddamn picture of something that only showed MEDIA OFFLINE if you were looking to make sure the VITC was on lines 14 and 16 or 16 and 18.

Or later there would be four of us in the film transfer room each choosing a quadrant of the 4 by 3 screen to stare at without blinking for 30 seconds to make sure there wasn't a piece of dirt for like one single frame out of 30 (not 24 you soft punks) per goddamn second.   If some frame came up that said MEDIA OFFLINE in some crazy-ass blood red, you think one of us would probably see that? Hell yes we would.

But now it's all over.  No need to care about quality I guess.  Maybe I'm taking things a little too far.  Yeah, it was only one frame, but this little tidbit showing itself during a hugely popular show like 30 Rock is a bad omen.  TV is dead.  I'm gonna go make some more TV.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The receptionist sauntered into my edit suite late yesterday afternoon and started straightening the pillows on the sofa.  And in a completely nonchalant and unexcited fashion mentioned "That's so sad what happened to Derek today."  Derek is the other editor at the place I'm working these days.  I spun my chair around toward her and asked "What happened to Derek?"
"Oh you didn't hear?" she asked in a shocked tone.
"No, what happened?" I replied in a shocked tone.
"He's in a heart-attack induced coma."
I was floored.  "What?  When did this happen?"
I couldn't believe it.  I had just had a conversation with Derek that morning.  The strange thing was I didn't remember any commotion or stress like someone having a heart-attack at work.  I thought "Why isn't everybody here freaking out like I am?"

"It happened this afternoon." she told me.
"Wait, where was he?  At work?"
"No" she said "He must have been out at lunch and his son called and said he was in a coma because of a heart-attack."

I was in complete shock.  The idea that it could happen to me made me forget all about work and think about my family, my friends, and the fact that I should probably change my diet.  Eating those chocolate chip cookies they bring into edit suite every day can't be good for preventing cardiac arrest.

The receptionist probably didn't know what else to say, so she left the room.  I needed more info so I walked into the producer's office to see what I could find out.  
She was zoned out on her e-mail, but her long face confirmed what the receptionist said.
I asked "What's this that happened to Derek?"
The producer turned away from her computer and paused.  "Oh did you hear?"
"Yeah, he had a heart-attack?  He's in a coma?  When did this happen?"
"No, it was his dad!  Who told you it was Derek?"
"Diana told me."  I felt totally stupid, but she was laughing at me, which felt kind of morbid because somebody was still in a coma even though it wasn't Derek.
"Oh wow.  That's a relief" I said.  Still felt morbid to be relieved that it was somebody other than Derek in a coma.
I walked out of the producer's office and went back to the edit suite.  I was still a little shaken, but luckily there was a chocolate chip cookie there to calm my nerves.  Yum.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Violent Femmes

I finally found the scarf I've been looking for! What do you think of it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Paranoid Android

Remember the HP Touchpad? No? It was this lesson in how not to make a tablet, then it became a lesson in how to make a tablet. Or sell a tablet at least. But what kind of a lesson in business is "sell your stuff at below cost and sell a lot of your product"? Somebody hand me my MBA right now.

I got caught up in the HP Touchpad hoopla during the fire sale a couple months back. I mean who wouldn't want a tablet for 100 bucks? If for no other reason than to hand it to the kids and keep the iPad safe. I spent every available moment that weekend refreshing the HP store page, the Radio Shack page, searching the online forums to see where anybody scored one. No luck.

The word on many a website was that if you physically went into a Best Buy store as soon as the doors opened in the morning, you'd be able to get one. So I grabbed my coffee mug on a Sunday and drove to the Culver City Best Buy in the Culver City Center shopping center, which isn't in the center of Culver City.

There was already a line of about 12 dudes all looking desperate for some hundred dollar tablet love. Right at 10 am they opened the doors, and the male horde trudged over toward the computer area only to be met by the standard Best Buy-looking manager guy waving his hands furiously at us like he was about to be stampeded. "We're all out of stock of touchpads!" he stammered, probably hoping to avoid any confrontation. The horde let out a collective groan and did a 180 back toward the front door.

On my way out I saw another group of guys heading toward the door in a rush. I hollered "they're all out of Touchpads." Another collective groan from a few of them, while one smarmy fella with smartphone in hand glanced over at me and said "I'm buying one online!" grinning from ear to ear. Yeah. Sure you are.

A few thousand clicks later at home, I managed to track down one online store on Amazon that had them in stock. "In Stock" is what it said on the Amazon storefront of an unknown shop called OnSale. I immediately bought it. I felt like I won the lottery or something. But I won a stupid little obsolete tablet. Or so I thought.

Three days later I noticed that my credit card had still not been charged. And still no confirmation letter from OnSale. After a bit of research, it became clear that many online stores that had sold the Touchpad didn't have any stock to begin with. My Touchpad stock. I received an e-mail from Amazon later that day: "Greetings from, We're writing to inform you that your order from OnSale has been canceled because the item(s) you purchased were out of stock. Please return and place your order again at a later time."

I was livid. More than a hundred dollar tablet livid. Wait, but you said it was in stock! It said it right there on your page! I did what any normal, red blooded, easily-annoyed-at-customer-service consumer with too much time on their hands would do: I wrote a letter. A letter to Amazon. A letter to OnSale. When I discovered that the parent company of OnSale is indeed MacMall, I wrote a letter to them too. And when I eventually realized I was shouting at what amounted to a brick wall, some spurned Touchpad buyer on a random forum mentioned writing a letter to the Better Business Bureau. So I did. And then I let it all go.

No HP Touchpad, no big deal. It was over. It was over until about two weeks ago when my phone rang. A representative from OnSale was calling to ask if I wanted a Touchpad. I thought it must be a scam. The representative said that OnSale had received some Touchpad inventory and was offering them at the same price as before, but only to customers who had written the Better Business Bureau. Thanks BBB! To assure me that it wasn't a scam, the guy gave me his number and extension and told me to call him back. I quickly navigated to the OnSale page and looked up their contact info. Same number.

I called him back. I gave him my credit card info. I was getting a Touchpad. He said it would be shipped in 5 business days. 5 business days later I checked the status of my order. No shipping info on the OnSale site. I checked my credit card activity. No charge for a hundred dollar tablet. It wasn't looking good. A few days later I called OnSale.

The man on the phone with my order information said in robotic form-letter tone: "We regret to inform you that we cannot fulfill your order because we do not have the item in stock."
"Hold up" I said. "You mean to tell me you don't have my order in stock?"
"That's correct sir."
"Wait, your company called me. I didn't place an order out of the blue. Someone called me and told me they had it in stock."
"I'm sorry sir"
"Why would someone from your company call me to tell me they had it in stock if they didn't?"
"I don't know, sir" the employee said, then continued in his form-letter tone, "Perhaps it was in stock, and your credit card information did not go through and then it was sold out."
"But wouldn't somebody call me to get that straightened out before selling my item?" I asked.
It felt like I was part of an FAQ read through.

"I'm sorry sir, but what we can do is offer you a fifty dollar store credit."
"I highly doubt that I'll be buying anything from OnSale."
"I'm sorry sir, but we can offer you hundred dollar store credit."
He was starting to sound like a computer. A not so okay computer.
I upped the ante. "How about you give me a hundred and fifty dollar store credit?"
"Please hold sir while I check with my manager"
As I waited I wondered why I was wasting my phone minutes with this nonsense. He returned.
"Sir, my manager has authorized me to send you a one-hundred dollar check."
I almost laughed at the idea of it. "You mean to tell me you're going to send me a hundred dollars. I don't know why I would believe that you're actually going to follow through with that, but yeah sure why not."
"I will make sure to follow through and get the payment processed immediately."
We said our goodbyes and he thanked me for shopping with OnSale, nevermind the fact that I hadn't actually bought anything.

100 dollars. It's coming in the mail. I know it. I can feel it. There's probably a better chance of me putting a hundred dollars under my pillow at bedtime and waking up with an HP Touchpad in its place.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Booty in the Air

2 outs bottom of the 9th inning. Full count. Pitcher Lee Lincecum wearing a Seattle Mariners hat readies to throw to Judah something-or-other from the Minnesota Twins. Lee winds up and throws a slider to Judah. Judah reaches the bat down and nails a line drive right into the crotch of the pitcher! Score! Lee collapses down to the ground in a groaning heap, as Judah takes his time trotting around the chalk-line drawn bases in the concrete, hands raised, singing "Booty in the Air! Booty in the Air!" Twins win, by a score of 1 nutsack nailing to 0. Shortly after the game, Lee announces his retirement from pitching. Not for lack of desire, but due to the increased likelihood of repetitive stress injury.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I love dogs. Always had dogs when I was growing up. I want a dog now, so my kiddies can experience life growing up with one. But two young children seems like enough on my plate and I don't need to add a backyard full of poop to pick up constantly. Instead I have a front yard full of poop to pick up from dogs who don't belong to me. Constantly. So much so that I've become Mrs. Kravitz peering out the windows keeping an eye out for dogs scuttling their way across my lawn.

A few weeks ago I spotted one such dog sniffing around on my block without an owner attached via leash. And as expected, this chihuahua arched its back in the "drop-a-deuce" position and laid down a log right on the patch of grass just this side of my property line. I slowly crept out the front door saying "here nice doggie" trying to coax it into my grasp so I could locate the address on his tag and deliver the package that rightfully belonged to the dog's owner.

The chihuahua started growling and backing away. I kept moving forward. A chihuahua bite wasn't going to stop me from nabbing the suspect who was most likely crapping on my lawn on a regular basis. Before I knew it I was in full jogging mode trying to grab the dog. We rounded the corner, and several neighbors from adjacent streets were staring at me as if I were insane. One guy yelled "Is that your dog?" And I yelled back "No!" The chihuahua darted into an intersection narrowly missing a car, or maybe it was the other way around.

Finally the dog scampered up the walkway to a house. There were more than a few piles of chihuahua-sized droppings in the yard, so I figured it had to be his abode. "Is this where you live?" I asked the dog, who had settled down enough for me to take a look at his collar, which was adorned with the Harley-Davidson logo. The front door of the house opened, and a guy walked out who thankfully didn't look anything like the stereotype of a Harley-Davidson rider.

"Oh thanks for bringing him back!" he said. I tried to appear level-headed and composed, which was next to impossible while panting heavily after chasing a chihuahua around the neighborhood. "You should probably keep your dog on a leash... because he ran out into traffic... and almost got hit by a car.... And he also took a crap... on my lawn." The guy's friendly tone disappeared in an instant. "And? What would you like me to do about it?" Blaming the victim, I see. I told him "I'd like you to clean it up". Seemed reasonable enough. But this guy obviously didn't like to pick up dog poop even in his own yard. I told him my address, said "thanks", and walked away.

I spent the next hour looking out my window waiting for the chihuahua owner to come and get his prize. No such luck. We had to go to a kid's birthday party, but when we came back, the poop had magically disappeared. I wondered if I was being too obsessive about dogs crapping on my lawn. That is, until Lily told me a story that she was outside and saw our neighbor come barging out his door yelling "HEY!" and startling some old ladies who had neglected to notice their dog pooping on his lawn. I guess if I'm not ready for to add a pet to the mix, I can always pretend that it was our dog decorating the yard.