Archive | October, 2012

Picture Postcard: Hurricane Sandy

30 Oct

October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy roared into New York. While New Jersey and the Jersey Shore suffered the worst damages, New York had huge sections under water, power losses, fires, floods, and explosions. The damage to property was enormous. The 40 pictures in the slide show below represent a small area of south Brooklyn, mostly along Bay Parkway up to Gravesend Bay, which you may know better as The Narrows, the body of water spanned by the Verrazano Bridge. Many of the pictures were taken in Seth Low Park. I was there Monday night while the winds howled and branches fell and it was not a good idea. Literally, branches fell around me, large branches as you’ll see in the pictures. However, the worst for me came the next day. The winds had died and I went to the water. It was covered in mud. Sections of seawall were broken and tossed around, fence and all. Rubble and wreckage covered streets and parking lots. Sections of building facades were pulled off their walls. Many people arrived, just like me, to take pictures. We all had the same shell-shocked expressions on our faces. These pictures below were all taken by me but they represent only a fraction of the hundreds of photos I took during and after the storm.

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American Chopper: A New Company

29 Oct

October 29, 2012

I am in the path of Hurricane Sandy. If I do not lose power, I will update this as the show progresses, so check back as the program airs for updated content.

The Ninth Season Premiere! I bet you had no idea that last week was the Season Eight Finale. Surprise.

American Chopper (Season 9)
A New Company
Senior and Junior start brainstorming the production bike, but the road is rocky from the start. First, the two bump heads when discussing design workflow. Then, when Junior leaves town, Senior hijacks control of the project.

Sounds like old times.  Paulie drags his feet, Senior takes charge, no one is happy, especially Vinnie, who likens working for OCC to a prostate exam. Why would he be working for OCC? Because that is where the bike will be produced.

“I want to get back to years ago, designing bikes on the lift, before we ever had anyone drawing pictures.” -Paulie, in an obvious shot at Jason. The OCC lawyer responded that they need the drawings for legal reasons. “You don’t build a building without drawings.” Well yes, but a motorcycle is not an office building. PJD now builds, and OCC for years built, just the way Paulie wants to do it. To be fair, as Senior pointed out, this is a production bike meant to be driven and must meet certain legal requirements. Which brings me back to my old point that OCC bikes are generally unrideable and only good (sometimes, when there are no antlers of horse heads mounted on them) to look at.

OCC, led by Skeeter, is still working on the high-performance sportsbike. Jim does a lot of the explanations for the camera, and he (plus Rick, as always) is one of the few OCC guys who comes across in a professional light. A little bland, but professional.

PJD is starting a build for Cre8play, a company that designs and fabricates heavy. Their stuff is very creative. Rachel came up with the idea of building a PJD playground instead of a bike. That kind of blindsided the guys from Cre8play. They came back with an idea for a quick unveil at a trade show. They need it to be done in a month.

As you can see from the picture, the project Paulie shook hands on tonight unveiled less than 2 weeks ago on October 16th. So American Chopper is (at least for that segment) only 2 weeks behind real-time.

9:26 is where the good stuff starts. That’s when Paulie calls Vinnie, fresh off his vacation, to tell him about the co-build. Vinnie’s face showed the whole story. PURE MISERY. “I always hoped they’d get back together as a family, not as a business.” Vinnie swore when he left OCC to never work for them again, and in the little interactions he has had with Senior in the years since, it is obvious he is still angry with Senior. “To be honest I am not happy about this.”

PJD starts on the playground, which will incorporate pieces up to ten feet long and need a lot of welding. In fact, it is really just a lot of steel work, like the old-days of Senior’s steelworks, which he later sold to his oldest son. How different from bike-building is doing the playground? They are using equipment that PJD hasn’t used since they fabricated their workbenches when the founded PJD.

Senior and his legal suit showed up at PJD with food from the OCC Cafe, for a sit-down about their project. Paulie wants to design and fabricate it at PJD, and build it OCC. Paulie wants to design it on the fly, but Senior wants to collaborate with the design. Senior wants it to be an entire collaboration. Not only does he want Jason in on it, but Senior wants to help design it too.

In the end, they seem to be leaning toward something similar to what they built together, just for a younger buyer.

“I don’t anticipate it going this smoothly in the future” -Paulie.

“I think Paulie is kind of draggin’ his feet a little bit.” -Senior, before he decided to get the monkey called Jason involved. “I’m gonna personally get this thing goin’.”

American Chopper (Season 9)
Episode 2
With the Teutul’s new company seemingly at a standstill, Senior takes steps to initiate progress, sans Junior’s approval. Mikey provides much-needed help to his busy brother, and PJD and OCC both stage unprecedented unveils.

Yup. Mikey’s back next week.

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