Friday, October 18, 2019

Unsubscription Wars: Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 4 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Apparently (and I didn't know this when I began blogging), if your recipe comes out looking juvenile and you post it anyway, you are eligible for the electric chair. Yikes.

I had shared my contribution to this month's Blog With Friends "Boo" themed post in the private group for participants. I'd made a Peanut Butter Brownie Graveyard.

My friend Dawn, who knew I'd been having a hard time thinking up a project, sent me a PM on FB. The conversation went like this:

Dawn: Well, you obviously thought of something and posted it for BWF. See, I knew you could do it.
Me: Yes, just tried it out today. Looks like a kindergardener made it. This is what I hate about not having little ones around. No one to blame.
Dawn: Ugh, it does not. I like it.
Me: You're just saying that 'cause you don't want me to fry.

Good thing I caught it and changed it to say "cry". Freudian slip?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I was just about to sit down one afternoon after a morning of doing stuff around the house when my cell rang:

College Boy: Where are you?
Me: Hello to you.
College Boy: Hello. Where are you?
Me: I'm home.
College Boy: Why didn't you answer my text?
Me: I didn't hear my phone ding.
College Boy: Oh, I tried a few times.
Me: Sorry, I had the laundry going, sink on, oven on, I was using the food processor, I must have missed you. 

College Boy told me what he was calling for and when we were done I checked my cell. Yup, he had texted. 

First text: Mom?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Mom, you there?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Are you mad at me?
Next text: Mom, are you there?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Why aren't you answering me?
Next text: Mom?
Next text: I just wanted to tell you something real quick.
Next text: Mom?
Next text: Hellooooooo?
Next text: MOM!

So yeah, I guess he was trying to get hold of me. About 47 times. Can't say I didn't teach my kids not to give up.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Early (OK, I admit it, anything before noon is "early" to me) on a Saturday morning I'm sitting in the den watching the news and working on my laptop when Hubs passes through the room.

Hubs: I'm going out to mow the lawn.
Me: Don't get lost.
Hubs: I'm not going anywhere, just mowing the lawn.
Me: How many years have we been married and I still have to explain my sense of humor to you?
Hubs: Oh. Yeah. Well, don't you get lost sitting there.
Me (rolling my eyes): That's just not how it works.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I was in the kitchen getting ready for the Jewish New Year, but had the TV on in the den as the Patriots were not only playing, but they were actually showing the game in my local market.  Hubs was downstairs in his man cave, it being Sunday afternoon and all.

The Bills had the ball and the Patriots intercepted. "YEAHHHH" I screamed from the kitchen. Just as I did, out of the corner of my eye I see Hubs climb the top step from the basement, turn around and head back down. Huh?

I went to the top of the stairs and called down to him:

Me: Did you need something?

Hubs: Just wanted to know if you knew the Patriots were on.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Hubs: And now the whole neighborhood knows that you know.

And that's a problem, why?

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

It was my birthday a week ago and, well, I may be getting a little sensitive about my age. I made this meme for my FB page, based on the old song from the 60's "It's my Party" (and I'll cry if I want to).

It's my Birthday meme | Made by and property of | #MyGraphics #birthday

My mom didn't get the joke. Turns out she'd never heard of the song. Never heard of the song? I thought everyone had heard that song. You have, haven't you?

Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake is a seasonal version of a classic cake. A yellow cake is infused with a silky pumpkin cream and topped with chocolate ganache. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake
Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake is a seasonal version of a classic cake. A yellow cake is infused with a silky pumpkin cream and topped with chocolate ganache. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dessert

I get all kinds of mail and email in the boys' names. Much of the junk mail comes to my house because this was their official address when they turned 18 (and, apparently, acquired a big promotional target on their backs). But I'm also getting a lot of the mail that they need as well, like from their work or rebates they've signed up for, that I then have to pass on to them. I asked them to change their address from mine to their own for anything they need. Both declined, stating that they've found the current situation cuts way back on crap mail in their own mailboxes, deflecting it to me. Thanks, boys.

Now I find that I'm getting emails for them too. I asked them about that, to which they informed me that using my address had done such a good job of cutting down their junk mail, they decided to use the same strategy with spam email. 

Apparently my kids are the gifts that keep on giving. And, on the plus side, you can't say I didn't raise smart kids. Devious, but smart.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Since I'm getting their junk mail, let me just say that I'm mortified at the companies that started targeting my boys once they turned 18. I'm constantly getting big glossy ads and coupons for them from cigarette companies and now from Juul.

And the emails I'm getting for the boys is an eye opener too. Less promotion, more threat. Like this one that I just got (google's on to you, btw, went right to my "spam" file) from "Service Center" concerning the car PurDude just bought 5 months ago:

"We have pre-authorized your Audi s5 for extended service. "(Pre-authorized? Doesn't that mean they're doing him the favor of allowing him to give them money?).

"With increased age and mileage, your chance of a breakdown is almost certain."
Jeez, that's harsh. 


Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

The other thing that pisses me off (you don't mind that I vent here, do you?) is the new incarnation (aggression) of subscription emails. I now get constant spam email from companies I have never bought from, have nothing to do with, but have to "unsubscribe" if I want them to stop. Why? Why do I have to unsubscribe if I never subscribed in the first place. And since I'm afraid to go to sites I don't know, I don't unsubscribe so in the spam promotion wars, they win.

But there are also companies I have done business with. Despite, whenever I place an order, my always unchecking their automatically checked "send me emails" box, I get them anyway. If they don't come too often, I often just delete them, but Walgreen's, OMG. They were sending them 2 and 3 times a day. I unsubscribed 6 different times and they still come. I went to their website but in order for me to change the email preferences (which weren't my preferences to start with), I have to give them my cell phone number so they can send me a code. Nope, not gonna happen. And since when is unsubscribing such a top secret transaction?

They have no email address available on their website, but I did finally find a form I could fill out to contact them. I did:


Yeah, I need a vacation.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

Walgreen's customer service did respond, and I have to admit that the response actually made me laugh. It started with "I'm sorry to have to respond to your desire not to receive emails with an email . . ." {{Ha, ha, well I had to give him that one.}} He then let me know that he has marked my email address for manual removal {{thank you, thank you, thank you}} but warned me this could take up to 10 business days {{which could be up to 20 more emails before I'm removed, I take back some of those "thank you"s}}. He then suggested that if that wasn't soon enough, I could block their email. {{wait, what? A company suggesting I block their email address?}}.

I'm thinking that if these emails are monitored by management, this guy may need to reassess his career path.

Fly on the Wall, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

I was preparing dinner when the doorbell rang. It always rings when I'm working with raw meat, dammit. So I wash my hands and run to the door. 

Him: We were just replacing windows at a house around the corner . . .
Me (interrupting him because they always say that and it's never true): Really, which house?
Him (waving his arm in no clear direction): around the corner.
Me: But which house?
Him: The blue one.
Me (knowing there is no blue house in our neighborhood): Unsubscribe.
Him: What?
Me (closing the door): Unsubscribe.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Never Ever Give Up Hope 
Spatulas on Parade
Sarah Nolan 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Pumpkin Boston Cream Poke Cake

Printable Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix and the ingredients specified on the box
1 (5.1 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP corn syrup
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

*Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake according to the directions on the box. Bake for the amount of time specified on the box. Cool completely.
*While cake is cooling, whisk together the pudding mix, milk, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate.
*Poke about 30 holes into but not through the cake using the bottom of a wooden spoon. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the cake and gently smooth a knife over the top to spread evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
*Heat the heavy cream and corn syrup in the microwave for one minute. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. If all of the chocolate doesn't melt, place in the microwave for 20 seconds and continue stirring. Pour over the cake, cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set. 
*Store, covered, in the refrigerator. 


  1. I LOVE the pumpkin you put on top!!! SO freakin cute!!! Seriously. LOVE it.
    Now the whole unsubscribe! OMG my son told me that "if you did not subscribe and are receiving emails it is a bot sending out messages to see if the email is real and used. When you unsubscribe they then know it is a real working address and will bombard you with more" Well crap. I had just spent an hour, yes an HOUR, unsubscribing. Great

    1. Well that's interesting, but it does make sense as that is what's happening with a lot of the spam emails. But many are companies I've done business with that I specified at the time I didn't want to receive emails and they do it anyway, over and over again. Ugh.

  2. I was really surprised to hear this as I get almost zero advertising type emails. And even more surprised that young adults are being targeted.

    Loved the 'don't get lost' comment. My hubby wouldn't get it either.

    1. Yeah, I'm shocked at some of the ways young people are targeted, seemingly the minute they hit legal age.

  3. ha. your email from the customer service reminds me of when I went into an inescapable voicemail loop with Verizon when I was sorting out an issue with the phone setup when I moved to my coop back in 2002. After trying everything I could think of, to no avail, I finally just lost it and yelled "F*** YOU!!!" into the phone.

    Instantly, there was a click and a beautiful friendly human voice said "Hello, this is Joe at Verizon Customer Service. How may I help you today?"

    I just about fell off my chair I was laughing so hard. I explained what had happened and asked if yelling "F*** YOU!" into the phone was, in fact, the magical default phrase that would instantly shunt you from robotland to an actually person. He swore that wasn't true but he was laughing at that point too!

  4. Where do I start? The multiple texts from your son? I was really lol'ing with that. At least my son will call if he doesn't get a response because he knows I sometimes don't look at my phone for hours. Yes, he actually uses the voice feature of the phone. And that spam email? Don't get me started. One time while my mother in law was still alive she asked for help with her email. AOL, and their spam filter is...nonexistant. I'd say 99% of her email was spam. You name it, it was there. Son gave me some guidance on which ones I could dare unsubscribe her because you're right, some of these people you don't want them to know you really exist. But there was one legit company she was an ex-customer of, and I could not unsubscribe her (she hadn't shopped with them for years) no matter how hard I tried and it took a bit of persistence and many emails. Took maybe two or three months. Alana

    1. I've learned my lesson (thank you, friends), I'm now not unsubscribing, I'm just blocking the email address they come from.

  5. I have read this 3 times and laughed so much each time but right now can not thhink of a damn comment

  6. Your house sounds like a fun house, similar to mine. Something is always going on, there's never a dull moment.

    1. Yes, there are days when "never a dull moment" is an understatement.

  7. I hate getting emails from companies who don't have a place to unsubscribe. And some keep sending emails from the same company using different email addresses. It's a scam. Cute cake. I pinned it.

    1. Yes, it's true, the more ways we find to block them, the more ways they find around it. But I don't know what they're accomplishing, I would NEVER buy anything from any company that relentlessly harasses me.

  8. Oh, I totally got the song. Is it to lie about their birthday age? I'll assume so.

  9. College Boy and I are alike in many ways.

    I gave up on unsubscribing. It's way too many hoops. Now, I just mark as Spam and/or block. Some want you to basically promise your first born, to unsubscribe.

    I'm sure you know Boston Cream is special to me, so I'm fully on board for this cake!!!

    1. You and College Boy are alike? Now I'm questioning my friendship with you. JK!


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