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Archive | 10:01 pm

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Downsizing

12 Sep

NEW! September 12, 2011

You might recall that earlier in the year, when news of the OCC foreclosure broke, both Senior and his lawyer claimed it was a normal business restructuring.

It is not. Foreclosure is the last step a bank will take. They go from modifying the terms of the mortgage to restructuring and through 10 possible steps until they have no recourse but to foreclose. Banks do not want to foreclose because that means the client has defaulted on a loan, has been unable to make a payment plan, or demonstrate a willingness to work on one. This is the most expensive and least profitable thing a bank can do. Banks do not like to foreclose and in this economic climate they will jump through hoops to  get a client on  paying basis.

Seeing as how Senior is looking to build a newer- and smaller- HQ because the bank is taking his old one, I have to wonder about how OCC is doing. I have no facts, no information, and I am sure the economy hit them very hard, but from all appearances, Senior is full of it when he says how good the business is.

Which brings us to this week’s show, called Downsizing.

PJD and OCC each have new clients. PJD got the big one, Epic Games. They gave Paulie carte blanche to go nuts on a Gears of War 3 bike for the upcoming game. They toured the headquarters and saw designs and game plans. OCC got Feather Free Zone, who wasn’t happy with PJD. They had a bad experience and weren’t happy with Paulie but they must have made Senior’s day when they badmouthed his son and what they claimed was Paulie’s lack of professionalism. But listen closely and you’ll hear that they just had their feelings hurt, they were upset they had to wait a few minutes and their “personal relationship with Vinnie” didn’t get them anywhere. (Of course, we only got one side of that story and no footage.) I admit that Paulie should have handled it better because there is no reason to not make a possible client happy, but they were complaining about Paulie being unprofessional? Saying what they did on camera was not professional either. And speaking of professional, Jason Pohl sat in and laughed like a monkey at the Paulie insults, so much so that he almost fell over in his chair. But in the end, PJD is making a Gears of War bike, and OCC is building a bike for a company most of you don’t know.

(And Best Buy got a nice plug when they set up PJD with a gaming system and the blue-shirted tech sat in on the gameplay.)

The Gears of War bike is actually a trike, covered in working gears, with a cable steering system. When Paulie starts the mock-up listen for his crack about the logo reminding him of when he fired Odie. BTW- have you noticed that since Senior rehired Odie we have not seen him? Since Senior is downsizing I bet he was the first dead weight to go.

As for the foreclosure, Senior blamed the economy, true, said they have to adjust, true, and said the bank is not willing to work with them. Bull. As I said, foreclosure is a bank’s last resort. Banks (especially after Pres. Obama mandated some finance changes) will go almost to the ends of the Earth to get a mortgage refinanced. (Have you seen all the bank failures and bailouts? They want your money.) I repeat: Foreclosure is a bank’s last resort. It costs them the most and gains them the least of all their options. Senior could easily have gotten a deal with them to keep his building with lower payments. Should we believe Senior that it is more cost-effective to build an entirely new building and move the operation? And why would a bank, in this economy, want that property? They will never sell it for what Senior must owe them. This is a depressed market. It is a net loss.

Senior either got cranky or smart, take your pick, and made Jason rework his design. Finally. And he took Jason around the shop to see what they had in stock because Jason, as we all know, knows nothing about motorcycles. He even brought in Rick (who he insincerly called “the Great Rick Petko” so Jason is either a snotty prick or he knows that the fans love Rick and hate him) to give him some pointers.

Rick was on the end of a totally uncalled for (and stupid) Senior insult about protective earwear, and as Senior walked away, Rick said “the things he says, no wonder everyone sues his ass.” Rick is the one guy Senior should not piss off. If Senior losses Rick there goes the one sane man and great worker he has.  Senior later came out to talk to him about it (maybe he realized how much he needs Rick) and Senior called him, half-jokingly, sensitive. Rick told Senior that he will push it too far and he’ll walk out the door. Keep your fingers crossed. And with the suits settled, Rick is back to talking to the guys at PJD. I’m not sure I believe it, or if it was serious, but Paulie said that Rick was talking to Vinnie about going to PJD. For lunch, at least. But in the end Rick didn’t show.

And as far as Mike Ammirati, Rick pointed out that, “as usual,” he screwed up the handlebars. This was just after Senior said they’ll learn from their mistakes and get the bars right the first time. How many years has been doing this? NOW they’ll get the handlebars right?

Near the end of the show, Senior called in the whole shop to tell them about the new developments. It was made out as Senior being a benevolent father-figure. One of the office flunkies said that Senior was “a millionaire who doesn’t need the shop, but he’s doing it for you to keep your jobs. He’s 62 and he should be retiring but he isn’t” (I paraphrased but that is more or less it.) Senior promised that no one was going to lose their jobs but I say just wait. But one thing I do believe is that no matter how badly the business is doing Senior is filthy rich.

Next week, Paulie unveils the Gears of War 3 bike at Comic-Con, and we all know that the show teases are often more hype than truth, but it looks like Paulie gets serious about hiring Rick and we hear a voice over of Rick saying “I’m gonna tell senior that I’m going to quit.” Senior must realize Rick is unhappy because, for the first time, he singled out Rick at an unveil and said “he’s the best.”

We’ll see if this goes anywhere.

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Picture Postcard: Hurricane Irene

12 Sep

September 12, 2011

Hurricane Irene hit NYC this week and while there was major flooding and about a million people lost power, somehow the worst that my immediate area got was broken branches on the ground. The ones above landed in an “X” and to me, it reminds me of some sort of anicent talisman.

Check out the slide show below for a few pictures of the storm.

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