Books for Everyone!

Winter Solstice 2022

The Pop-Up Peeve

Last night, on the 18th, I had a difficult time falling asleep. The Primal Creative Energy just didn’t want to release itself into Dreamland. I’d gone neath the cozy covers at about 10:20 p.m., a decent hour for the long winter’s nap (which technically starts two days from now, on the Winter’s Solstice).

It was almost midnight before I dozed off.

Was I thinking of a novel?

Oh, no.

My mind was busy trying to decide which quilt pattern to use for a modest host of new fabrics that I purchased recently from the Missouri Star Quilt Company (MSQC) website. Two of them are part of the Jane Austen “Sense and Sensibility” collection!!

I didn’t toss and turn, physically, in bed. I did, however, toss and turn the option of going into the Buckaroo Room to look at my Block Party quilt book by Marsha McCloskey.

Yes, the closest I ever came to attending a block party was diving into this fantastic hard-cover book by the woman who mentored me, through hard-copy lessons, on how to quilt.

It would be too cold, I decided.

And, so, visions of various star-patterns danced through my head until I fell asleep. I awoke at nine of the clock, another decent hour on a foggy, very cold morning.

After breakfast, I decided to look at the MSQC website for a new cutting mat. The large one that I own, and have owned since the 1990s, has become so old that the grid lines have faded to gray. It’s an unsightly thing. It most definitely deserves its storage location, underneath The Guest Bed where no one but me has known of its whereabouts!

Whilst online at this digital store, I found the mat I wanted, rather quickly — in spite of the Pop-Ups that came zooming at me in regular intervals. I kept searching for some other more updated quilting tools, but the promo-question-cream-pie pop-ups in my face just kept coming, with my every attempt to find a particular item.

I got so fed up that I sent a terse but truthful missive to the company. And I left the website.

I purchased the same item — for less money — and free shipping — at the website of a competitor. Comparison Shopping — with 3, 4, 5, even 6 windows open at the same time — is a routine retail ritual for me, and it has been for many years now.

It seems that the Electronic Storekeepers haven’t caught onto that “trend” which is, in fact, very Old School Acquisition. It’s the same activity as a potential buyer going from one store to another, one mall to another, sans driving the vehicle with the obscenely expensive gasoline, and fighting those Holiday Crowds.

My sense of Peace On Earth, Goodwill to Men really crescendoed during those mad crushes of humanity swarming throughout the brick-and-mortar spaces.

It amazes me, often, how Website-Owners in I-Retail-World start out with a good idea, a wonderful inventory of products, and an amusing, even appealing approach to selling The Goods. They then put the complete kibosh to currency coming their way through moronic advertising, marketing, and selling practices. The digital gimmicks are annoyingly stupid and infuriatingly alienating.

And the idiotic and insulting commercialist-tricks spread, like crabgrass, or a programmed virus, from one business sector to another, until failure has been fully accomplished!

The Brits use the term “to take the biscuit” for a deed undertaken by a person that’s annoyingly stupid, rude, and piggishly selfish. (The deed and the person are usually equally stupid, rude, and piggishly selfish.) These silly selling techniques are rarely intended to drive away the customer, yet they achieve that precise goal.

Profits start to drop; the electronic entrepreneur gasps and grasps for more straws that were sold to her company by a snake-oil commerce-consultant. The cycle then repeats itself, and what had originally been a fun and delightful website for a potential client to visit, that domain becomes just another cookie-cutter company of demographed dreck.

Cause the Consultants, you know.

Well, I’ve got news, big news, big unknown news for any capitalist trying to corner a market:

The Customer is the finest and most reliable Consultant you can find. It’s about time the Customer got listened to, instead of the fancy-schmancy, overpriced, overpaid, ludicrously short-sighted, puerilely politically-correct, and dumb-as-an-ox (with no offense intended toward the oxen) Consultants and Experts.

The following is my email to Missouri Star Quilt Company. Whether or not I’ll get a reply is anyone’s guess. The sincere statements probably went into the digital circular file as some crank-email from a disgruntled fuddy-duddy who cannot possibly appreciate the 21st-century Way of Nabbing Millennial Shoppers.

Dear MSQC:

I am an enthusiastic customer of your website, but the POP-UPs and OFFERS that I get blasted at me -- POW! ZAM! WHAM! -- every 15 seconds, or whenever I go from one click to another - they are driving me away from your business. In spite of what The Consultants might say, We Customers DO NOT LIKE this intrusive, in-your-face form of telling us what we need to know or buy or look at -- at every turn!


Debra Milligan

The nifty pins that I purchased a few months ago from this company are just one of the latest improvements upon old-time tools that truly do excite me. With devilish voodoo-doll delight, I stuck them, about a month ago, into a Made-in-the-USA pin-cushion. Dear Hubby stated the effect is one of a porcupine.

Yes, the porcupine does come to mind, especially on a day like today!

The Rising Star pattern from Small Quilts is looking like a perfect choice for those wondrous textiles. If my fictional-memory serves me correctly, that graphic design appears in my first book of fiction, NORTHSTAR.

We all need to look for that Rising Star this time of year, and always.


20 December  2022

I stand very corrected this morning!

The Missouri Star Quilt Company answered my email early today. I can only hope for the best from people who at least listen to a customer complaint and, then, respond to it.

Hello Debra, Thank you for your email.  I apologize and completely agree with you.  I will share your email with my supervisor.  If there is anything else we can do for you, please do not hesitate to call customer service . . . Have a great day, Debra!