Tag Archives: Gears of War 3

American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Gears of War

19 Sep

September 18, 2011

Last week PJD was hired to create a Gears of War 3 bike. The tease for this week is that Paulie is looking for help and wants Rick Petko to leave OCC and work for him. Over at OCC, Senior has been meaner than usual and Rick has been talking about how unhappy he’s becoming and hinted he may leave.

This week, brought in some students from Wyotech to work for free- I mean learn from hands-on experience in the shop and I can’t wait for Senior to snap one of them in half. “Everyone here is so laid back,” one of them said. Is he in for a rude awakening.


Vinnie: “We smoked it.”

Mikey and his legally blind assistant brought in snacks and had a mini-celebration and the PJD crew was happy but if it was me, there’d be some serious trash talking.We’ve known the results for weeks but because they film in advance it took these months to catch up. Frankly, after the hype Discovery originally gave it, I expected the build-off results to rate more excitement than a couple of minutes and a bottle of soda. But don’t hold your breath for Senior’s reaction, they don’t show it.

I can tell you all about the Gears of War bike, but since it was already unveiled at the San Diego Comic Con, here it is:

The comments on this blog (especially after the Cadillac bikes) sometimes get split between people who know motorcycles and watch for the bikes and those who don’t really know bikes but watch for the characters and drama. All I have to say is that this build had nothing to do with building a bike but everything about getting noticed by video gamers, comic geeks, and pop culture. As a bike it may run like crap and handle like a rock, but this bike is just about looking cool, like it rode straight out of Gears of War. And those pictures do not do it justice because Nub did an amazing amount of detail work on the paint and it isn’t lit up. And as it rides the guns rotate like they are firing.

In the middle of everything we got a montage of Mikey and he discussed via voice-over his thoughts on not having his father in his life. What it boiled down to is that he was sad his father doesn’t have his family, but he is satisfied with the peace and quiet in his life. My opinion is that he is entitled to his feelings but maybe he should have thought of it before making his father go to a therapist and live up to dozens of conditions before never meeting with him, which I am sure he never really intended to do anyway. He really jerked his father around. Now he is saying that he isn’t ready to meet his father and that Senior has “to prove himself” over a long period of time. Love Senior or hate him, Mikey needs to realize that his father is who he is and that he probably won’t change. He has to stop waiting for his father to “prove himself” and work on a way within himself. Mikey needs to learn how to deal with Senior differently. Should Senior change too? I think so, but Mikey is the one who is having trouble grasping the reality of the situation, and he needs to separate the problems between Senior and Paulie from the problems with Senior and Mikey. Honestly, the answer has to be within Mikey. Over the years, at least with the cameras running, Senior had a much better relationship with Mikey than his other sons. And of all his kids, Senior seems to be most willing to meet with Mikey. Just get it done, guys.

Why did I spend so much time on that? Because next week Senior talks about reaching out to Mikey and says Paulie is keeping Mikey away from him. Is there new drama about to unfold?

We have not seen much of Mikey’s personal life or his art lately. (And I don’t miss the art.) Mikey and Vinnie had lunch together and Mikey admitted he has had a few slips, a couple of drinks, but overall he is doing well with his sobriety.

And speaking of losing people, Rick joked about leaving OCC, and he once actually talked about it with Senior. According to Rick, Senior said “I can’t really tell you what to do, but don’t.” I can totally hear Senior saying that.

However, it is serious to PJD. Vinnie and Paulie both want him at PJD, which is having a little trouble finding good people to work for them. But despite the way they teased the episode, it is clear that Rick is going nowhere and has no plans to do so. (Seriously, did we expect otherwise? I can’t imagine that Paulie could match what Senior must be paying him.)

Senior and the bank came to an agreement, and to listen to him it was the bank that blinked, not him. Sorry, I don’t believe it, OCC had much more to lose than the bank. But wither way, OCC is staying put. Which is too bad because as someone commented here, it would have been great if PJD bought the building.

The Wyotech bike was all red, with chrome accents, and built (thought they didn’t fabricate the parts) by the students. And yes, Senior took a few shots at Paulie talking about how much more they knew than he did. I liked it. It rode very low to the ground despite having a very high gas tank. Like many of the OCC bikes it didn’t look too comfortable to ride but it did look good. And again, Senior complimented Rick. Maybe he really thinks Rick will be leaving. (I don’t.)

The Cadillac Build-Off was high-profile and got both companies a lot of attention, but I think the Gears of War bike trumps it. It brings PJD to a new audience, but more importantly, an audience who will buy PJD t-shirts and hats, and to any company, merchandising is the real name of the game. And the crowd you find at Comic Con are ready to shell out money for anything cool. This Gears of War bike is definitely cool.

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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