Old Pueblo Traders Has Such Contempt for Their Customers They Set You Up to be Robbed!

They're third party billing-scam THIEVES, so don't buy from Old Pueblo Traders!

They’re third party billing-scam THIEVES, so don’t buy from Old Pueblo Traders!

There’s a saying about us writers:

Don’t mess with a gal who buys ink by the gallon!

These days writers don’t use ink so much as we utilize the online fonts of cyberspace, but the basic message still applies.  If you screw over a writer, we know what to do with you: write about it!

The base inspiration for this blog post today is a company called Old Pueblo Traders that I had always previously respected.  A member of my immediate family has been ordering from Old Pueblo Traders since 1950 – long before I was born.  I grew up with their catalog coming to the house, regularly.  However, as much as we always respected Old Pueblo Traders, they don’t respect their customers in return.

They have been putting charges I never agreed to pay on my credit card – fifteen times!  Yes, fifteen times!  Can you believe this?  I hardly can, either!  

According to their paid stooges in their Customer Service Department, I allegedly “signed up for” their “VIP” program, and “allowed” them to gouge me out of a monthly “discount fee.”

Old Pueblo Traders, don’t even TRY it!

First, I do NOT believe in paying for discount memberships.  If you don’t believe me, ask the staff at any Barnes & Noble in Manhattan or Brooklyn.  Those people constantly try to get me into their “membership” program, giving me their sales pitch every single time I buy a book.  I forever say no.  I have no desire to pay for what would amount to a fake discount, since it would mean I’d covered it myself with the payment.  I wasn’t born last week…

Old Pueblo Traders’ situation is a lot more subtle – and criminally lethal.  I believe what they did to me involved a little box, already checked, on their site when you place your order with them in good faith.  If you don’t realize the box is checked, if you don’t uncheck the damned thing, they consider you “enrolled,” and then, they start billing you.

My relative who has done business with these clowns since 1950 is 88 years old and going blind.  Thank goodness she doesn’t know how to navigate the Internet, or these crooks would be stealing from her, too – and she’s on Social Security.

I just went on their site a moment ago to see what it’s like to try and place an order there, though you can be sure I did not complete it.  Currently they have a strange “OPT Credit Card” box on there, already checked for you.  They also have a “sign me up for email” box already checked, too.  Either one might be the way they try to sign you into their “VIP Club.”

They’ve done this before.  I found complaints about this vile company on the Internet.

To make matters even more outrageous, when I tried to find the name of the President & CEO of this Old Pueblo Traders cabal, it was nowhere to be found on the Internet.  Even the Bloomberg website didn’t have a listing for it.  How convenient is it that this thieving company that has so little respect for their customers that they rob them is hiding the name of its own President and CEO?

Did their unnamed, anonymous, concealed President and CEO, perchance, sign off on this Internet scam that they’re running?

Might the IRS not be a bit interested in a website that profits by making illegal charges of customers’ credit cards for memberships they don’t want or care to sign up for?

I will be getting a refund from Old Pueblo Traders for all fifteen of the bogus charges, but still.  Fair warning: customers need to stay far away from this company.  Oh – and by the way, according to their website, it’s not just Old Pueblo Traders that they do business as.

They are also affiliated with Orchard, Blair, Haband, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, The Outlet, Appleseed’s, The Tog Shop, Winter Silks, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Linen Source, Solutions, Gold Violin and Home Forever.

To all of the above: you ALL need to be looked into by the Better Business Bureau, the IRS, and probably your local fraud squad, too.

Know what box I’ll be checking on this blog post?  It’s going under the category of CORRUPTION.

Ah, yes!  Never mess with a gal who buys ink by the gallon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What an Exhibit: Costumes from the Movie CHICAGO! Song Clips, Too:

Surprise, surprise! Me standing in front of the very costumes worn by Richard Gere (the red suit) and Queen Latifah (the gold dress) in my favorite movie, CHICAGO!

Surprise, surprise! Me standing in front of the very costumes worn by Richard Gere (the red suit) and Queen Latifah (the gold dress) in my favorite movie, CHICAGO!

On Sunday I went, for the very first time, to the Museum of the Moving Image at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, one of the first movie studies in the world.  They were having a screening of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and since I love that movie, I couldn’t resist.  I was with a friend who had, incredibly, never seen it, which made the whole idea of watching it in the museum’s gigantic screening room even more fun.  It’s the story of a wild and crazy chase to find stolen loot.

I had to refrain from doing my imitation of Jimmy Durante saying, “There’s this big double-ya, see?  There’s this big double-ya,” until after the movie was over, so as not to spoil it for my friend, which wasn’t easy, but I prevailed.  Meanwhile, we got there early enough to eat lunch at a cantina and then see the exhibits in the museum before the show started.

Well, I got one of the most pleasant surprises ever!  One of my favorite movies of all time is Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah.  Know how much I loved it?  I saw it 27 times!  It was playing across the street from my old job.  I would go from work to the theater, eat a hot dog and a soda for dinner, and watch Chicago regularly on my way home.  Without even trying, I have that whole movie memorized from start to finish, as a result.  I think arguably the best musical number in motion picture history is “All That Jazz.”  That said, there’s no such thing as a number in Chicago that isn’t wonderful, including “Razzle Dazzle” and “When You’re Good To Mama.”  Kander and Ebb outdid themselves with their fine and tuneful score.  I’ve also occasionally, whenever attitude is called for, put on the same air of boldness combined with insouciance as Catherine Zeta-Jones exhibited during the “Hot Honey Rag.”  It’s especially effective to bring to mind whenever you have to give some “worthy recipient” the cold shoulder – trust me there, tee hee!

I adore that movie on more levels than there is room for here.  Four out of the five main characters are completely, totally, 100% full of bullshit, and not only that, but they’re proud of it, which makes the movie more true to life than most others!

Getting back to the museum, at the costume exhibit, a suit trimmed with men’s sequins and a gold gown drew my eye.  The rest of me followed, like a magnet.  Both of those costumes looked like they were from the 1920s, my favorite era, and also looked familiar…well, what to my wondering eyes should appear but the signs saying they were worn in Chicago by Richard Gere and Queen Latifah!

Of course they’re familiar!  I saw the movie 27 times!

How could I resist taking that happy selfie in front of them?

Watch Richard Gere giving them the old “Razzle Dazzle” here:

Queen Latifah in the gold gown sings “When You’re Good to Mama” here:

Catherine Zeta-Jones struts her stuff in “All That Jazz” here:

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger perform “The Hot Honey Rag” here.  If you ever need to snub somebody, just think of Catherine’s ‘tude in this one!

Oh, and last but certainly not least, here’s the trailer from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.  Enjoy!

 

 

OREGON TRAIL by Rinker Buck Will Make You Want to Get a Covered Wagon

Rinker Buck, the fabulous author of OREGON TRAIL.

Rinker Buck, the fabulous author of OREGON TRAIL.

Ever wanted to not just read about a chapter in history but actually go out there and live it?

Rinker Buck and his brother Nicholas did exactly that!  When Rinker chanced upon the information that the Oregon Trail still exists in most places along its famous route beginning in Missouri, an idea was born.  Rinker decided he’d get a covered wagon, some mules to pull it, recreating the transportation methods circa 1840 – and go west!

The greatest migration of people ever happened between in the mid-1840’s and about 1900 as legions of them relocated across the plains along the Oregon Trail.

This book is fun, enjoyable, filled with riveting backstories…and makes me wish the brothers Buck had taken me with them!  Here they are in their covered wagon.

BRAVO for writing this, Rinker Buck!  If you do this again, have you got room for one more?

Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon?  Where can I sign up?

Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon? Where can I sign up?

Opening Soon on Broadway: ALLEGIANCE, George Takei’s Musical About His Family

ALLEGIANCE, a new musical opening soon on Broadway.

ALLEGIANCE, a new musical opening soon on Broadway.

The Broadway show I am most interested in seeing this season is the musical ALLEGIANCE.

The show stars George Takei of Star Trek fame as his own father and is about one of the most shameful periods in American history: the internment of the Japanese during World War II.  Of the thousands Japanese that were sent away to camps on suspicion of being “enemy agents” working for the Emperor, seventy percent (70%) were, in actuality, American-born.  George Takei was one of them.

The show’s website is here: http://allegiancemusical.com/

Twitter link for the show is here: http://twitter.com/allegiancebway

The Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/AllegianceToBroadway?fref=ts

Performances will begin on October 6th at the Longacre Theater.

Love & Mercy: The Movie About Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

LOVE & MERCY: a movie about Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.

LOVE & MERCY: a fascinating movie about Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys.

Over the weekend I finally got the chance to see LOVE & MERCY, the movie about Brian Wilson, the musical genius who gave the world the music of The Beach Boys.

Prior to seeing the movie, while I had heard rumblings that Brian Wilson was “reclusive” and had had some kind of “emotional difficulties,” I didn’t follow the story all that closely or know too many of the details.  The movie covers what happened and it packs a wallop.

John Cusack does a fine job as the troubled Wilson, but the performance to watch is the one by Elizabeth Banks as “Melinda Ledbetter.”  The movie is largely shown from her perspective as a chance encounter with him while working in car sales leads to the start of their relationship.  The more Melinda Ledbetter finds out about what’s happening with Brian, which is a horror not of his own devising, the more outraged she gets…

As always, I won’t add any “spoilers,” but I will say this: Melinda Ledbetter is a hero.  The world needs more women like her.  If you’d like to find out why, by all means, see this movie!

Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lioWzrpCtGQ

Paul Dano and John Cusack play Brian Wilson at different ages; Elizabeth Banks plays the wonderful Melinda Ledbetter.

Paul Dano and John Cusack play Brian Wilson at different ages; Elizabeth Banks plays the wonderful Melinda Ledbetter.

 

 

 

My Kind of Music: Lester Lanin & His Orchestra!

The Lester Lanin Band.  Those were the days!

The Lester Lanin Band. Those were the days!

Want to hear the kind of music I was raised on back in the early 1960’s?  The rest of the world may have been rocking and rolling, but at the Quinn house, we had a lot of fun with records like this one. Here’s my family’s favorite bandleader, Lester Lanin & His Orchestra, leading his band in a medley beginning with the Cole Porter standard, “De-Lovely.”  “The Charleston” is on this video, too, and more.

Lanin, born in Philadelphia, was the child of Russian immigrants.  His band became so popular after he was hired to play for heiress Barbara Hutton in 1930 that their popularity rose to the point he was asked to play for royalty.  I always love to hear a nice, positive, good old American success story, and Lester Lanin’s definitely qualifies.

So here’s a little sampling of his fine music for you to enjoy.   I always loved these numbers, all of which my family had on records.  My earliest memories all involve the music of the one, the only, Lester Lanin:

 

BRAVA, Patti LuPone, for Confiscating a Cell Phone at Your Show

Patti LuPone is starring in SHOW OF DAYS at Lincoln Center, and did the right thing - again - re: a rude audience member. BRAVO!

Patti LuPone is starring in SHOWS FOR DAYS at Lincoln Center, and did the right thing – again – re: a rude audience member. BRAVO!

I think Patti LuPone is fantastic!  She’s one of my favorite actresses, but it goes beyond that.  She’s also a rare and honest person who doesn’t sit down and take any guff from anybody, including rude and obnoxious members of theatrical audiences.

Miss LuPone is currently starring in SHOWS FOR DAYS at  Lincoln Center Theater.  She went ballistic at an audience member at GYPSY a few years ago for taking photographs.  LuPone is not known for her tolerance of those pesky audience members who ruin the ambience of live theater by texting on their telephones, checking their status updates, or taking photographs of the performance – and nor should she have to be.  Those who behave like that in the theater are nothing less than a flat-out pestilence to the rest of us!

I am often floored, when I go to a Broadway show, at how many telephones in the audience are lit before the curtain rises.  Just floored.  Once, from the vantage point of a balcony, I counted over fifty lit phones, pre-overture.  When the announcement is made for people to turn those phones off and retain from taking pictures, since that’s a copyright violation and illegal, most do, but not all.  At a show in the famous Palace Theater a few years ago, I sat in a box behind some people who were illegally, and brazenly, filming the entire first act.  Texting goes on throughout, evidenced by annoying little patches of light glowing in the audience darkness.

Intermission at these theaters is an unbelievable sight to see.  The lights go up, and the phones come out – all over the theater!  The Ladies Room lines, which are usually over fifty women strong, are a study in willful isolation, where the majority of the gals await their moment on the porcelain thrones while texting, status updating, and making or answering “traditional” telephone calls.

Obviously there are times when a call or text must be made, but it always strikes me as very strange that so many of these people can not even, literally, go to the bathroom without whipping their phones out and sending little messages.  What kind of “business” can be so pressing that the phones have to be activated during the too-few minutes between acts?  Is it not even possible for these phone-atics to refrain from using the things long enough to go to the can?

So it is with great pride and pleasure that I share the news of Patti LuPone’s latest response to an annoying telephone nut: at her show the other night, Patti strode over to the offender in question, snatched the bloomin’ phone right out of her over-active hand, and walked away with it.  Yes!

Hallelujah, and BRAVA, Patti!   Well done!  I’m so with you on this!

May this be the start of a trend.  If every actor and actress in the professional theater would vow to stand up and do something about these pain-in-the-butt audience members it would make for a much more enjoyable experience for all those of us – and we’re legion – who go to these shows to see the performances and watch the stars who stand before us, onstage, in the glow of spotlights…not the phone lights.

The phone Patti so beautifully confiscated was returned to the offender at the end of the show, unfortunately.  Patti didn’t steal it, she just got rid of it for awhile.  Good!  No doubt the Texting Wonder will be using it again, to disrupt some other performance soon, maybe even one at a theater near you.

Patti LuPone should get an award for her stance, and her fearlessness in taking action.  Bravissimo!  You go, girl!

On with the show!

Here’s some more on the subject from Broadwayworld.com and The New York Times:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Audience-Rudeness-Continues-Patti-LuPone-Snatches-Cell-Phone-During-SHOWS-FOR-DAYS-Performance-20150709#

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/10/theater/hold-the-phone-its-patti-lupone.html?_r=0