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American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Judgement Day

9 May

May 9, 2011

Shortly before the show began I saw, on another channel, a new Dr. Pepper commercial with Paul Sr. as the head of a motorcycle gang. He threatened to beat up a poor schlub who could only tell him that “Dr. Pepper tastes like Dr. Pepper,” which I guess is their new catchphrase. If  I were the guy, after Senior threatened to hit me I’d tell him “touch me and I’ll own your valueless company,” which is appropriate because that valueless company is a main focus of this week’s episode.

The bikes this week are easy to describe because none of them were finished yet when the episode ended. You may consider that a drawback, but on the other hand there was no Jason Pohl so it was an overall win.

OCC was hired by Trans Am Depot to make three bikes, each based on a classic Trans Am. TLC seemed to be using this show as a tryout for a Rick Petko spin-off, “Rick Petko Explains It All” since Rick explained everything about the bikes this week. He probably got more airtime than anyone over at OCC this week, and that’s a good thing because he has more credibility and professionalism than anyone else in that shop. And while I am kidding about the possible spin-off, I could see TLC hiring him to host some kind of mechanical show.

PJD was hired by to build a pair of bikes. One would be a custom job and another would be one they bought from the CrankyApe website, refurbished, and will be sold on auction. CrankyApe is an online auction site that sells used, refurbished, or bank seized bikes. The second bike would be an example of what you can do with their bikes. Paulie brought in Cody to work on it. Once again, Cody showed himself to be more professional than most of the older guys on that show. CrankyApe went tp PJD because they once had a bad experience with OCC. About five years ago they called them up and “didn’t get the time of day” from them. Paulie, however, called them right back. Score one for Junior.

It isn’t all easy for PJD. Once again, Brendon was a little dissatisfied with the way things were done there.
Brendon: “No drawings again?”
Paulie: “Who’s gonna draw them?”
Brendon: “You.”
Is it any surprise that Vinnie says there is a lack of direction at PJD? “Daily as we go we figure out what we want to do.” He is too much of a professional to say it but he clearly doesn’t like working that way.

Another thing Vinnie doesn’t like is Paul Senior. Though you almost never hear it mentioned, the people on reality shows do go home and watch their shows at night. Vinnie came in and was really disgusted with an episode from last season. You may recall that a group of kids visited first OCC and them PJD and Sr. gave one of them a picture to bring to Paulie. Vinnie was just sick of how Senior never missed a chance to bad mouth Paulie to any passing stranger. I’m curious if Paul Sr. watches the show and what he thinks of himself. Would he complain that they edit out all of his reasonableness? It just reminds me of Bin Laden sitting in his bedroom watching himself on TV.

Senior and his wife went to Mikey’s gallery of awful art on a day Mikey wasn’t there to see the art. Mixed in with the finger paintings and pictures of the GEICO gecko, Mikey had a few pictures based on his relationship with his father. One of them was a crying man with the title “Remember When Daddy Loved Us?’ Another was a picture of a frowny face with the title “Sad Dad.” Actually, the frown may have been Sr.’s moustache, it had the same droop. “I don’t necessarily get some of his art,” Senior said. He’s no prize either. When ordering as part he needs immediately, Senior got confused between the A.S. and the A.P.

Upon hearing about his father’s visit, Mikey ran right to Paulie so Paulie could tell him what to think. For all of Mikey’s BS about reconciling with his father, after Senior went out of his way to see his art Mikey still won’t talk to him. He is weak-minded and doesn’t know what he wants. I think that somewhere he’s afraid that getting back with his father will make Paulie mad at him. Mikey has hitched his wagon to Paulie for better or worse.

Mikey, BTW, is huge. Whatever weight he lost awhile back has returned with a few more pounds besides. This week he was wearing an artsy scarf, a sport coat, and shorts. He is also doing his epic beard man impression by not trimming his wild growth.

The big news is the decision in the OCC/Paulie lawsuit. The court unanimously decided 4-0 in Paulie’s favor. This means that Paulie is in no way obligated to sell his 20% of OCC, so if Senior wants to buy it he has to make Paulie a real offer based on something besides his phony $0 valuation of OCC.

Sounds simple, right? Well not if you are a lawyer. Senior’s lawyer spun it so that “the case has not been won or lost either by us or by them.” Right. Senior was trying to force Paulie to give him his share of OCC for nothing. Now that won’t happen. Paulie wins. And of course, Senior entirely blames Paulie for the lawsuit by not selling him the shares in the first place. The whole point of Paulie wining the suit is that Paulie never had to do that. Senior was always in the wrong!

Totally coincidentally, I am sure, Senior decided that it was time to make up with his sons. So who did he talk to? His lawyer. That’s the problem right there. Somehow, the reconciliation and getting his shares from Paulie have become intertwined in Senior’s mind.

Those of you might recall that the commercials that aired before the season began said the build-off is coming, and the current commercials say that the only way to settle things is the way they began, with the build. So far, we have no idea what they are talking about.

Your Royal Flush Beats My Rook, But My Left Jab Knocked Out Your Queen

9 May

May 9, 2011

Have you ever played Chessboxing? It has the intellectualism and strategy of chess but adds the strength and violence of boxing, which, quite frankly, chess sorely lacked.

From wikipedia:
A match consists of up to eleven alternating rounds of boxing and chess. The match begins with a four-minute chess round. This is followed by two minutes of boxing, with rounds of chess and boxing alternating until the end. There is a one minute break between rounds. Speed chess is used, a form in which each player has a total of only twelve minutes for the whole game.

Competitors may win by a knockout, achieving a checkmate, by the judges’ decision, or if their opponent’s twelve minutes of chess time is exceeded. If a competitor fails to make a move during the chess round, he is issued a warning and he must move within the next 10 seconds. Repeated warnings may result in a disqualification. The players put on headphones during the chess portion so that they do not hear any shouted assistance from the audience or the live chess commentary. If the chess game reaches a stalemate, the scores from the boxing rounds are used to determine the winner. If the boxing score is also a tie, the player with the black pieces wins.

It seems to me that the sport favors the boxer. The more you hurt your opponent in the ring the less likely he is to be able to think straight in the chess part of the match.

This is an actual sport and is governed by the WCBO, The World Chess Boxing Organization. Here is the dizzying description of an actual chessboxing match:

November 28, 2009 saw the light heavyweight world championship bout between chess boxers Nikolay “The Chairman” Sazhin and Leo “Granit” Kraft, at the Ivan Yargin Palace of Sport in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, before a crowd of 2000. Sazhin, a native of Krasnoyarsk, had previous amateur boxing experience, having fought in 95 previous bouts (winning 85), and possessed a chess Elo rating of 2005; however, he had recently suffered an injury to his knee. His opponent, Kraft, was four years younger (at 17 years of age); he was born in Gomel, Belarus, but was representing the German Chess Boxing Organisation. Although younger, Kraft had fought in 50 amateur boxing fights (with a record of 45 wins), and had an Elo rating of 1997.

The fight opened with the Gruenfeld defense, and was followed by the first boxing round, which was largely dominated by the younger Kraft. The return to the chessboard in the third round saw Kraft castling early, and the resulting play saw Kraft having to defend his king. Sazhin continued in the subsequent boxing round, taking the upper hand in the fight. However, once they returned to the chess board, Sazhin used up too much time attacking Kraft’s king. Thus by round eight Sazhin was forced to win by knockout or lose on the board. This he failed to do, and, on returning to the chess board, Sazhin resigned the match.

This somehow manages to be more confusing to me than Double Cranko, immortalized in the MASH season 6 episode “Your Hit Parade.”

Double Cranko – a game made up by Hawkeye Pierce and B.J. Hunnicutt on the TV series M*A*S*H, combining checkers, chess, poker and gin rummy. A checker cannot be “kinged” (as in checkers) if it is “in check” (as in chess), and if a player has a gin hand, both players have to drink from the distillery in their tent, “the Swamp.” When Radar O’Reilly asks how to play, Hawkeye says, “Bishops are worth three jacks, checkers are wild, and you have to be 21 or over to open.” When Hawkeye plays Colonel Potter, he uses an apparently strange move, and the Colonel asks B.J., “Is that in the rules?” B.J. replies, “What rules?” Colonel Potter remarks (to himself) “I think I’m beginning to understand this game,” (as the realization dawns that perhaps the game is played for the financial benefit of the teacher, Hawkeye). Hawkeye then says, “I think you’re ready for Triple Cranko!”

When asked to play, Radar declines, saying “Whenever I lose, I always like to know why.”

Another confusing game that combined a board game with fictional rules and ended in violence was Star Trek’s fizzbin, from “A Piece of the Action,” starring Mr. Blog favorite Vic Taybak.”

The rules were intentionally very complex. Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer’s right, who gets seven. The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays. Kirk dealt the henchman two jacks, which are a “half-fizzbin.” When the henchman said he needs another jack, Kirk warned that a third jack is a “shralk” and is grounds for disqualification. With two jacks, one wants a king and a deuce, except at night, when one wants a queen and a four.

At this point, Kirk dealt a third jack, but to keep the ruse going, he ignored the disqualification rule he had just made up. He explained that, had a king been dealt instead of a jack, the player would get another card, except when it’s dark, in which case he’d have to give it back. The top hand is a “royal fizzbin,” but the odds of getting one are “astronomical”: when Kirk asked Spock what the odds are, Spock truthfully replied that he had never computed them.

Kirk called the last card a “kronk” and then purposely dealt a card such that it fell on the floor. As the henchman being taught reached down, Spock nerve-pinched him while Kirk and McCoy attacked the other guards, allowing the three to escape.

 I’m sticking to Monopoly. I’ve never been run over by the Reading Railroad.

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