The pellet only serves as positive reinforcement if the test subject is able to connect the reward to the behavior which prompted it. This program seems random and my wife doesn't know what she did to get awarded the points she got, but she'd accumulated a modest stack of them and set about using them.
First, she got us a 4-slice toaster. It's a pretty nice one, all chrome, and has some pretty sophisticated controls on it. Then she got a "Slice-O-Matic", which is a rather chintzy hand-operated vegetable slicer that doesn't seem to work very well. And she got a little koala-shaped speaker for her iPad.
But then more pellets were delivered to her food dish, and she used them to purchase a fire ring.
The first I heard of this was when the thing arrived on Thursday. When I saw it I first thought that her friend S. had sent it; but then I saw the return address ("Award Center", etc) and put two and two together. I was delighted; it was an excellent choice.
Friday she sent me an e-mail from work asking me if I'd put it together, and once my errands and such were done I set to doing so. It took very little time to assemble, having a total of twelve bolts to secure, and then I put it on the patio and arranged fuel in it such that we could try it out when she got home.
It was pretty easy to get a fire going in it, considering that the fuel I used was old, dry scrapwood I'd found in the garage; and we sat by the fire and ate dinner and enjoyed a pleasant autumn evening together. I was even more delighted with her purchase, because it was just so nice and I've wanted something of the sort for quite a long time.
I quite like it. Now I need to get more firewood, because I know we're going to be using this thing quite a bit before winter arrives. And maybe even after.
* * *
It's a beautiful day! I'm going back to bed.