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American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Free Rick (for real this week)

14 Nov

November  7, 2011

The Discovery website is a mess. They are one week out of sync. So once again, here is the description of Free Rick.

Nov. 14, 2011
Junior lands the biggest job of his  career when he is asked to build a bike inspired by the restoration of Ground  Zero in NYC. Senior secures a build for a wealthy foreigner and rumors fly at  both shops over Rick’s assumed discontent at OCC.


And now on with the new.

As we see in the opening, Mikey is cashing in with some Free Rick t-shirts and they look like he vomited paint on them. The picture looks like 20% Rick and 80% a drunken clown. Or Mikey. Who can tell?

Senior takes a call from an anonymous rich Middle Easterner who wants a custom bike with a horse theme. They are calling this the Arabian Horse Bike. With absolutely no evidence I am going to call this the al-Qaeda bike.

About 9 minutes in we get a glimpse of Jason’s design with a tank shaped like a horse’s head. I hope that changes because it looks totally stupid.

Nope, at 24 minutes in we see that it has not. It looks ridiculous. They are using horse shoes around the tires for the fender and it just looks cheesy.

Paulie and PJD visit Ground Zero and tour the (agonizingly slow) construction. They are going to build the 9/11 Memorial Bike which you can see above. Just as an aside, I see the Freedom Tower from my office, very close by. No matter what you feel about it or 9/11, ten years later and still no completed tower is a disgrace. Paulie was amazed by the view from halfway up the Freedom Tower. The original WTC was more impressive. OK, end of my soapbox.

Paulie is building some sort of new, never before seen frame for the Memorial Bike, so original that the frame builder had to be on site. They are bending and building a square-shaped tube for the frame, not round. It is also half the weight of a normal frame. The designer says he will never build a frame like that again, that it will remain totally unique. (We’ll see.)

And hey! Senior is making a funky frame this week too! What are the odds of that?

As I said with the OCC 9/11 (lawyer) bike, Senior did nothing to tie the bike’s theme into a memorial. Sure, it had some tribute painted on the rear, but that’s it. Paulie is working the buildings and the transportation hub into the design. You can debate how much or how little you like the final design, but clearly they put more effort and thought into it than OCC. And say what you will about Paulie being lazy in the past, he put a ton of hands-on work into this build.

But the big deal this week is that Senior pulls in Rick to talk about him possibly leaving and working for “someone else.” He’s heard the rumors of Rick being unhappy and wants to know what is going on. Nothing is going on.

“I work here. Things are good.”

End of story. Seriously, did anyone really think Rick was leaving? Was there ever a chance? No, there was not.

Mikey unveils his newest “art,” free Rick t-shirts. Not only do they look like crap, but in the background his art looks like third-grade finger paintings. Seriously. That is no joke. The shirts “seemed to be a really big hit with Vinnie and Paulie.” Ya think?
People on the street seemed to like them too. But of course, they were on camera and the shirts were free. What else would they say? Mikey also mumbled something about the money for the shirts going to charity. He didn’t seem that well thought out.

Senior, who claims to not care about what Paulie does, sits down to watch a video from PJD and amazingly, he doesn’t totally run it down. And much as he says what Paulie does doesn’t matter to his business, he decides to make his own video.

Oh, I mean Discovery showed Senior Paulie’s video and told Senior to make his own video. Sorry about that. Got it right this time.

And later on, he actually said “PJD builds a good bike.” OK, something is off here.

And for you Cody fans, it has been 10 years since he first started at OCC. Wow. Paulie offerd him a full-time job and before the words were out of Paulie’s mouth – seriously, I mean it- Cody said “sure!’

Do any of you know what is happening with V-Force? Cody had been working with Vinnie. Is that business still happening?


Nov. 14, 2011
A three-way build-off is announced  and contender Jesse James throws down the gauntlet by sending vulgar cakes to  OCC and PJD. OCC works on two bikes and Junior unveils the biggest build of his  career at Ground Zero in NYC.

Jesse James. Another guy with a sterling reputation. I guess being a jerk is a bike builder thing.


R.I.P. Andy Rooney: Original Blogger

14 Nov

November 14, 2011

In honor of Andy Rooney’s recent passing, here is my post from last year in which I argue that Andy Rooney was the first and original blogger. I’ve added some new links and edited out a dead link so if you read this the first time, you can still enjoy some new Rooney goodies.

From September 28, 2010

The Urban Dictionary defines “blogger” as a term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives.

It does not, however, speculate on who the first blogger was. For that honor, I nominate CBS 60 Minutes contributor Andy Rooney.

Since 1978, every week near the end of the show, they give Andy a few minutes to talk about whatever is on his mind. Typically, there doesn’t seem to be much going on up there. One week he blathered on about all the plastic bags he has laying around. He didn’t talk about recycling them, he didn’t suggest uses for them, he merely pulled them out of his desk drawers and from various places around his office and showed them to the camera.

“This one is from Waldbaum’s.”
“This bag says ‘I Love New York’ on it. Good thing I do.”
“I seem to have gotten this bag at a Waldenbooks, but I can’t seem to recall when I ever shopped there.”

It went on and on like that.

I think that Andy Rooney clearly inspired a whole generation of observational comedians. Listen to Andy Rooney and you can plainly hear the genesis of Jerry Seinfeld: “What’s the deal with carrying things? What’s the deal with plastic bags?”

And “What’s the deal with modern music”?


I suspect that the real reason he has lost touch with modern music is that he is 91 years old!

According to CBS News’s biography of him, “Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, ‘An Essay on Doors.’ From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with another close friend, the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner – Rooney writing and producing, Reasoner narrating -on such notable CBS News specials as ‘An Essay on Bridges’ (1965), ‘An Essay on Hotels’ (1966), ‘An Essay on Women’ (1967), and ‘The Strange Case of the English Language’ (1968).

Give the man credit for consistency- he hasn’t changed a bit in over 40 years. As the man himself wrote in a letter, “Let’s face it, even on the nights when I’m good, I’m not that good.”

I’ll end now with a question I’m sure we all want answered:





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