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American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: The Build-Off and Chopper Live

5 Dec

December 5, 2011
December 6, 2011

Dec. 5, 2011
In this two-hour special, Senior, Junior and Jesse James compete in a no-holds-barred three-way build-off to determine whose bike reigns supreme. The winner — determined by viewers, in a vote immediately following the show — earns bragging rights as the best bike builder in the world.

Dec. 6, 2011
We reveal — live from Las Vegas — who YOU chose as the winner of the three-way build-off.

Wow, it sounds like Discovery got it right this time.

I plan to do both parts in one post, so after Tuesday’s part I will simply update this entry to include both shows, so check back here tomorrow for part two.

PREDICTION: Paulie wins the vote. I am not saying he will build the better bike, but I think that history shows this is a popularity contest.

(And as I typed those words, Vinnie said “this isn’t a popularity contest, vote for the best bike.”) Senior later, in a clip from the aftershow, even said that he’d get his ass-kicked in a popularity contest. He predicted Jesse James first, Paulie second, OCC third.

Discovery is treating this like a boxing match, a lot of trash talk and video packages. Paulie said that OCC stepped up their game to compete with PJD, and Jason Pohl- who appointed that tool OCC spokesman?- talked some nonsense and total idiocy about an OCC flamethrower. I say let him design the bike, OCC will lose for sure. (“An OCC flamethrower would have at least 10 to 15 foot flames.” Just shut up.)

Jason then said that he was disappointed with Paulie’s bikes, that all look the same and are too dependent on the paint scheme. OK, he has to be trolling the net, that is what everyone says about his bikes. That’s what I say about his bikes! I see references here and there to Jason taking acting lessons, to Jason getting involved on message boards. I have no idea if any of that is true, but I am sure he knows that the internet hates him. And he has not done a single thing to make himself more likeable. He gets less likeable every second of his life.

In the second hour, Jason, in a strange and obviously staged segment, said that “someone told him” there were videos about the build off on the “internet” and if you saw it you know I am not lying- he put air quotes around “internet.” Ugh, give it up, Monkey Boy.

Meanwhile, Jesse James sounds more and more like a complete jerk every time he opens his mouth. His short first  segment involves him talking about thumbs in his mouth and up his ass. I am having trouble listening to him, and not because they have to bleep every third word he says. Does he think cursing makes him cool? Someone please tell him he isn’t 13 any more. And listen to his slow speech. I don’t know him that well. Does he always sound half-stoned? He grunts, he does strange voices, I have no clue what his story is.

All the teams want to be unique, want to be original, want to win. Paulie has a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter plane brought in, Senior wants to ride in on something no one will recognize, Jesse James want to build something the Teutuls can’t even turn on.

Paulie's inspiration

Early indications are that Jason has not designed a motorcycle. It has tractor treads on each side. Do motorcycles have tractor treads on each side? He’s designed it so the driver lays down on it, like the Bat-cycle from The Dark Knight, and yes, I think he is putting flamethrowers on it. At least Jesse James said one thing I like: I’m building my bike based on a  motorcycle theme.” HA! Take that, Jason. (Seriously, I give that quote of the year because it so perfectly sums up all the problems with OCC.)

He also said that his bikes are built to last and OCC (and PJD too, I guess) build show bikes that are good to look at and start-up on TV but won’t stand real use. He may be right.

PJD’s design, at the 9:30 mark, is too early to tell what it will look like but they are making progress. They are going to be running the exhaust through the gas tank and giving it a single-sided front fork to look like landing gear. As the show goes on and it develops, I am really starting to like it.

At OCC, they are talking about a flame cannon and napalm, and the design looks very much like something that is clearly not close to a motorcycle.

Jesse James takes some time out to shoot an assault rifle.  Yeah, he’s cool. Stop trying so hard!

Jason's wet dream

Meanwhile at OCC, Senior- again!- says that Jason’s drawings do not translate well to reality. So I say- again!- why keep letting him design? He doesn’t know motorcycles! Now I am just some guy at home blogging about the show, but I would think that not knowing jack shit about motorcycles would be a problem in Jason’s line of work. Good thing Senior needs his boots licked.

Back at PJD, the Discovery/American Chopper website got its 9,000th plug when Vinnie and Mikey went there to see Jesse James bike pics. They are really trying hard to get viewers to the website and aftershow. And I have to say- not interested.

(It is now 9:50 and I’d usually be wrapping things up but there is still another hour to go.)

Mike gets on the OCC thing for a test ride and while I do think it is going to be cool, I say they should lose automatically because they are not building a motorcycle. (To be fair, I am not sure there are any rules to this, and it is a “build-off,” not a “motorcycle build-off,” but since these guys are all  motorcycle builders I thought that was implied.)

The more I watch, the more I am starting to think that I am going to vote for Jesse.

Jesse tries to repair his image by spending some time with his daughter. Nice spot. Did anyone else think it odd that his daughter is so fluent in German? Maybe I am on the wrong track. Is Jesse James German?

But for all I’ve gotten on Jesse James, I say he is right when he says he is building a bike, that you can’t build a bike by computer, that a motorcycle is more than a fancy paint job.

And I have to give Senior a point. The website is taking votes on the best bike when the bikes are not even close to being built. Why? What’s the point of that? Everyone on the show spent a lot of time telling us this is not a popularity contest (meaning they are afraid Paulie will run away with the vote and turn this into as much of a joke as the Cadillac Build-Off) and then they take votes based only on popularity? C’mon Discovery, you can’t have it both ways. NOTE: I just went to and official voting is not going to start until this show ends.

OCC tests the flamethrowers (sigh, really?) and they have the nerve to talk about technology in the same segment. Yes, a lot of tech went into this build, and yes, it is very high-tech under the hood, but I will go out on a limb and say that they will never build a bike with a flamethrower again.

At the 10:35 mark, Jesse James got a delivery from OCC- a bunch of Paul Senior toys, showing that at least someone at OCC (I’d bet it wasn’t Senior) could take a joke.

And after a short two-minute segment they went right back to commercial. Seriously! A commercial break, two minutes of show, a commercial break. What’s the deal with that, Discovery??? In fact, throughout the show, there were more commercials than usual, and shorter segments with longer breaks, and short breaks popped into the show almost at random.

Senior couldn’t even keep a straight face when talking about how they are about to use their Batcycle thing to blow up a car with cut-outs of Jesse and Paulie in it near PJD. Mikey heard the noise and said “I think it’s Santa.” I got a legit laugh at that.

Anyway, OCC tested the thing and it was very cool but I still say they lose because the other teams built motorcycles. (And yeah, Jason screamed like a mental case again for no reason during the test.)

When the PJD bike was complete, I had a hard time deciding if I liked it. The design was obscured by the highly polished finish. I need to see the pictures online.

Jesse’s bike was cool. It was a good-looking bike, but I didn’t see anything special about it. I feel like I could see a bike like that anywhere. On the other hand, that may be the reason it could win. It is a classic bike, unlike the things the Teutuls built.



The live show starts and your host is Mike Catherwood because Baba Booey was busy at a car wash opening. The crowd was really hot, and not from the flames shooting out of Senior’s not-a-motorcycle. when they were introduced, Senior got pretty good applause, Jess James got more, and it seemed like Paulie got the most but it was hard to tell because the crowd was miked pretty poorly.

As you’d expect- and I am not knocking the show- it began with a long package of clips highlighting the rivalry between the trio. Personally- and again, not a knock, every live show like this does it- they are clearly going to pad a 1/2 hour show into an hour and 2 minutes.

Senior on stage said that “Jason designed something over the top and that’s what we went with.” That’s OCC’s trouble right there. When he said “Jason” someone in the audience yelled out something but I couldn’t hear it. Senior got a laugh out of it.

Jesse James on Jr.’s bike: “I remember when I built my first copper bike with rivets.”
Jesse James on Sr.’s bike: “That’s not a motorcycle, but I’d ride it.”

I haven’t timed it but at 9:20 I’d bet the show vs commercial time is close to 50/50.  A whole lot of commercials.

While I like that they are giving us the result right away instead of making us wait months, we just saw the show last night so the clips all seem boring and repetitive. But again, every show does that.

Jr. on Jesse’s bike: “When I first saw it I was disappointed.”
Jr. on Sr.’s bike: “Senior’s bike isn’t a bike. It has some innovation but it just isn’t a motorcycle.”

Junior had the class to bring all of PJD on stage with him. Catherwood said to Vinnie “you do a lot of the real work.” Yep!

(And after 7 minutes of show, they plug another show and go to a commercial break, then come back to a song by Bush. Thanks a lot for the 10 minute bathroom break, Discovery.)

At 9:43 Senior and Junior hit the stage and, after a package of greatest hits… commercial.

When the show comes back, the Teutuls watch the clip where Senior and Paulie go nuts and Paulie got fired. Senior is smiling,
Paulie looks uncomfortable. At times, listening to his father, Paulie looked grim. And when Paulie spoke, he spoke about his father, not to his father. He clearly wasn’t comfortable, but both Paulie and his Senior hugged and said they loved each other. It seemed real and Senior seemed a little emotional. I’m sure some of you will call me out on this, but it looked real to me.

And then Jessie James joined them. and he talked as much shit to their faces as he did on TV. Neither Sr. or Jr. looked happy and Paulie and Jessie got into it a little.

And finally, there was a winner.

In third place, as expected, Paul Senior.
In second place, Jessie James
And the winner, Paulie, who again brought all of PJD up on stage with him.

Senior walked across the stage and hugged his son, and that was it. Put it in the books.

Spotlight: Jim and Relic Radio

5 Dec

December 5, 2011

One thing that I hope comes through to anyone who spends time on this website is the fact that I have varied interests. While I admit that I have not blogged much about science, I am following the new Mars mission on twitter and if you search the index, you can find my lament that Pluto was downgraded from planet to dwarf planet. However, I do hope that readers have picked up on the fact that I am a fan of Old Time Radio.

In general, and very loosely, Old Time Radio can be defined as radio broadcasts of scripted programming, like TV today, between the decades of the 1920’s and the 1950’s, though the final broadcasts of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense, ending at 7:00 pm Eastern Time on September 30, 1962, are often cited as the end of the Golden Age of Radio.

No week of spotlights would be complete without a site I have talked about before, Relic Radio. For quite awhile Relic Radio was my internet home. Relic Radio presents an amazing variety of OTR for- brace yourselves- FREE, all week-long. And not only are they free, there are no commercials. Comedy, drama, mystery, sci-fi, adventure, and more can all be found there.

If you never listened to a radio show, don’t expect to hear a boring audio book. These are full-cast shows with sound effects. Think TV but without the picture. And with (usually) better scripts.

Here is a breakdown and links to the various programs. And did I mention that they are free? And you can download them straight from iTunes? Listen on your commute, as you work out, in your car, anytime you want some good old-fashioned entertainment.

Relic Radio. The main program. Each week you’ll get two main shows and a short Believe It or Not for a full hour of entertainment. There is a nice variety to this show. This week you can hear Box 13 and The Saint, starring Vincent Price.





The Horror. My favorite show. Each week another classic program from Light’s Out, The Hermit’s Cave, or another spooky, creepy, horror show.





Strange Tales. Odd and mysterious, strange. Not quite sci-fi, not quite horror. This week: The Mysterious Traveler, one of the great anthologies of OTR.





Relic Radio Thrillers. As you’d expect, action and adventure from some of the big names of radio, like Escape and the Lux Radio Theater.




Relic Radio Science Fiction. Home of Dimension X, X Minus One, and more great sci-fi.




Case Closed! The detectives. Sam Spade, Boston Blackie, Dragnet, Phillip Marlowe, Broadway is My Beat, and a lot more.




Orson Welles: On The Air. Was there a more famous, more genius, radio personality than Orson Welles? Probably not. Find all his work here, from The Mercury Theater to Harry Lime.




Suspense Replay. Suspense is considered one of the best anthologies broadcast. It lasted decades and was one of the last two classic shows still on the air in 1962. When it ended so did the Golden Age of Radio. Here they are, rerun in chronological order.




Legacy of Laughs. Looking for a good comedy? Find Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, Our Miss Brooks, My Favorite Husband, and a slew of funny shows in this podcast.




The Great Gildersleeve Replay. My other favorite show. This is a sitcom about the most pompous, most woman-crazy man you’ve ever heard. But Gildersleeve also has a heart and a soft spot for his family. The supporting cast is top-notch and the writing is superb. check this one out.




Radio at War. Just what it says. Old Time Radio tales of war.




But that’s not all. No mention of Relic Radio would be complete without a few words about the man behind it all, Jim. Not only does he work hard to get us these shows, but he also runs the Relic Radio Forum, some of the best message boards around with people like me who talk about everything and anything, including OTR once in a while. Many of the people featured in Mob Week can be found there. Drop by and say Mr. Blog sent you. They members of the board are very welcoming of new members, and that’s hard to find.

Now getting back to Jim, he’s a bit bashful but he runs his own blog which I feature in the sidebar. I grab his RSS feed and while he doesn’t post nearly as often as I do (Did you see all those podcasts? He’s busy!) when he does post it is usually a gem. Find his latest post right here at The Oddments.

I hope Jim doesn’t mind (he has no idea I’m doing this) but here is one of his recent blogs:

Going Back In 4/4 Time

Its been said that smell can trigger memories better than anything else. I’m sure that can be linked to the animal portion of our brains – some survival mechanism whose main purpose is forgotten, long ago replaced by logic and reason. While that may be true, I find it takes a far back seat to music for really dredging up the past.

There’s a CD case that stands against the wall in the other room, one of those glue, sawdust and wood-grain sticker deals, pretty much untouched since it was moved there years ago. It’s an artifact of a bygone age, and I can’t tell you the last time I slid a disc out for a listen. The truth is I’m a bit afraid to. The thing is a mausoleum, each dusty compartment holding a little bit of my past encapsulated with its musical accompaniment. Stacked one atop the other, with just a fraction of an inch worth of space between them, lay the polycarbonate corpses of my lost decade. There are a few happy times in the stack along the left side. Lots of loss on the top right, just above the melancholy. Then there is ‘her’ section. We’ll leave her out of this. The point is, the music was always playing back then, and to listen to it now doesn’t come without a price. It’s amazing what the brain can throw back at you with the proper stimulus, and how an old memory can still make you feel a bit of unease years after its interment.

“Well, certainly memory is a curious machine and strangely capricious. It has no order, it has no system, it has no notion of values, it is always throwing away gold and hoarding rubbish.” -Mark Twain

Anyway, I’m cautious touching the thing for all it might rattle loose. Remember what happened when they cracked the lid on the Ark? Not that all the memories entombed there are bad, but truth be told, the bad tend to be more sticky. At least during that era. I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten rid of the damn thing.

That’s the odd thing about nostalgia, and revisiting the past whether by choice or errant thought. It’s the part people may forget. By its very meaning, there’s some pain involved. In fact, for a time it was considered a disease; one serious enough to lead to death (allegedly), usually afflicting soldiers unable to go home. But I ask you friend, are we all not soldiers at war with our pasts at one time or another?

Back to the front.

This man needs to write more! Follow him and give him some encouragement.

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