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If parker had not been an eager sponge, he would never have come this far, this fast.

If Parker's parents and grandparents weren't in a position to give their kid a mine to play with, he could be all the sponge he wants to be and he still wouldn't be running anything.  I've got nothing against the kid generally but it seems to me that if he wasn't being propped up by his folks and the producers, he'd be lucky to be running a pizza oven.

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The talk goes that the whole thing with the Toad  is a fake.  The equipment was sitting in Hanes before the season opened.  The theory that the mine was abandoned and the "last" site available is so stupid - makes n sense.  Alaska Gold gossip really has good info on this clown.  I'm afraid that Discovery has totally written a script for the viewing audience.

 

I wonder if Parker really wanted to set the 2000 ounces.  Doesn't make sense.  He is young and should be feeling a lot of responsibility of the season.  Instead he wants to buy more equipment?  I doubt that since he was raised in a contracting business family and probably heard concerns of equipment costs, payments, payroll, etc.  I just can't buy it.

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I really do try to accept the script we are given.  I honestly do.  This ep has torn all semblance of suspension of disbelief from me.

 

The issue Parker had at the Farcut was melting ice.  That was entirely consistent with the earlier info.  They showed the muck.  So far, so good.  Then, it was said that the issue was the lack of a 2nd dozer.  Huh?  So, we get Mom coming and supposedly telling Parker he is flat out of cash.  "There is no money coming in!" she declared several times.  Whaaat?  Parker had several hundred ounces waiting for assay on the site.  We even saw a partially filled jar that he later used to add that awesome hot spot gold from the Swamp cut.  What idiot takes out an unnecessary loan?  He had the gold he needed to at least put a bunch of cash down on a new dozer.  But the worst????

 

They then showed us the two dozers stripping/clearing overburden on the Farcut.  It was dry!  There was no muck to be seen ANywhere.  Total and complete shenanigans by TPTB.  So ridiculous.  It's just not right.  Not even a little.

 

OK.  Now we have an amazing cleanout at the Swamp.  Last year, Tony was practically gonna punch Parker for leaving that first low-output tract.  Remember?  He was all about totally extracting every last possible specks of gold on that tract before moving on to any other tract.   So, here we are.  A fantastic clean out on a site that is not close to being completely mined, and he tells Parker to abandon it and go to the Farcut????  Have you known Tony to do 180s?  

 

Penultimate thing.  Why wasn't the wheelhouse loaded onto a flat bed?  What happened to hauling stuff ASAP to the new site?  

 

So....Todd/Dave are now into lien holders for 300 ounces.  Or, did he make his payment to the claim owner and we never saw it?  Yeah, right.  He had to be spending like crazy just to keep his equipment humming.  

 

I would have loved an update on how Parker's grandpa was doing.  Why wouldn't Parker have called him for advice on moving to the Farcut or staying at the Swamp another week?    

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
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Totally agree with you, Lonesome!  And now add to it - Mom being able to get a 300,000 loan from the bank so quickly.  I'm sure Parker had that much in the equipment  so the whole issue was made for TV.  Toad's pushing the truckers over the stream was not worth watching.  Does anyone really think truckers would risk their trucks 'cause of the Toad "got to get it done." 

 

Please Toad  - smear some dirt on your shirt.

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"There is no money coming in!" she declared several times.  Whaaat?  Parker had several hundred ounces waiting for assay on the site.

Sigh - all this so the producers can have Parker line up his jam jars of gold dust at the end of the season for his grandpa to look at.  I do wish the producers would give us some credit and say Parker could borrow against that.

 

And wow, commerce really moves fast in Alaska.  You can go from 'the bank will never give you a loan' to 'your new dozer is out front' in, what, a day or two?  I can't get Amazon to deliver floor wax that fast, and I live near DC and my credit is pretty good.  

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And wow, commerce really moves fast in Alaska.  You can go from 'the bank will never give you a loan' to 'your new dozer is out front' in, what, a day or two?

What about "Parker, the bank won't even give you a Visa card, I asked them."?  I know it's an unusual situation because Parker's not working a paycheck job, and he's working in Canada -oops!- "the Yukon" when his permanent residence is in the U.S., but I'd be mightily embarrassed to have my Mom try to get me my first credit card.

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A general question:  when a claimholder or property/asset holder says he gets "100 ounces," is that unadulterated and pure gold, or is it the gold filled with 15-20% foreign matter right after clean outs???  I know what I would insist on.

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I'm left wondering why, if Parker's so torn on where to mine, can't he mine the swamp cut for one more week to see if he's still on the hot spot.  If it's good gold, stay till it slows down, if it's not, move.  What if he ony got half of what's there?  I don't understand why this is such an urgent decision. 

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At this point I would not be surprised if magical gold fairies (that looked suspiciously looked like the Dodge brothers) came out of the sky riding rainbow unicorns every time the narrator says "how will (fill in the blank) get more gold".  It would make just as much sense as what is going on now.

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So, this has been bothering me (well, not bothering but you know what I'm saying) .... what the hell ever happened to Toad's revolutionary Turbo Trammel ?  Or has that been discarded to the pile of Toad's Failures of Which We Never Speak Again?

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Guess the news about Harness (who Toad has previously tossed under the buss for season's 3 failures) is going to be addressed.

 

Is it wrong of me to hope that the issue of the Turbo Trommel will finally be addressed as well?

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So once again we see Dave running everything to get the new wash plant into operation and Todd doing.......nothing.

 

If it wasn't for Tony Beets (who I don't even particularly like) I would stop watching this show. It's really past it's expiration date.

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So, Parker has grossed over $600K and is a virtual lock to get over $1 million.  So, of course he chooses to refuse going to the assay and he'd rather pay interest on an equipment loan.  Tony has a tract which just yielded 180 ounces in one week and his lessee decides to abandon it and Tony is just fine with this.  Opposite world, y'all.

 

My favorite moment this week, by far, was Gene being a better project manager than Parker and choosing to twist the knife in Parker letting him know about it.  Beautiful.  A long time coming, that was.  

 

It's gonna be fun watching while Christo tries to gin up some excitement in Parker's arc.  There is nothing more for parker and his crew to do than to keep the operation running.  No moves.  No hazards.   No nothing.  Just everyday operation.  ZZZZZZZ  We already got a taste of the narrative in the preview, though.  How MUCH can Parker mine this season??!!!!  Will it be a RECORRRRRDDDDD????!!!!!!!   Ugh.

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I don't care if there isn't drama on Parker's mine, I just like to see him haul in the huge gold.  I don't need him to move his wash plant every week or have money drama.  I'm sure something will happen to make it entertaining (like him breaking the water pipe and them having to fix it while Gene was off, I thought that was a good scene, and actually felt like something that actually happened instead of... well... every single fake thing at the Hoffman mine).

 

I read an interview with Todd Hoffman (http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/index.ssf/2014/12/gold_rush_oregons_todd_hoffman.html), and he says he is getting another show (GROSS) and also that the demise of society includes "people getting their heads chopped off on the news, the crash of '08 and '09, legalizing marijuana,..." Wow, those are three pretty disparate things to point out, and I think we could play the one of these things is not like the other game with that.  Someone needs to move out of Oregon ;-)

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I really liked this episode.  A nice combination of Tony's will overcoming ridiculous odds and Parker working with, not against, Gene to fashion a solution.  Did he have to get another loan for the whizbang pump?  ;)

 

Having Parker observe the dredge parade was fun, too.  There was a nice mix of whimsy and awe.   

 

So, we now have a number:  80 days left.  The biggest question I have is how much paydirt remains in the Farcut.  Will they strip it clean this year?  Would it be an option to return there next year at least for a time?  The other thing I have not understood is just where the dredge is supposed to operate.  They will be constructing it on dry land, how do they move that behemoth into the water??  That is gonna be great TV.

 

So now Todd is only 200 ounces to the bad for the year.  I can't wait to see what rule his site was violating.  

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I know Parker would probably have success either way, but he sure is lucky to have Gene.  That dude is a hard worker, resourceful, and sharp.  I also bet Parker is relieved that Tony has another project going to keep him off Parkers ass.  It appears he shows up for his cut and takes off.  I loved it when he yelled to Parker to get back to work.  Can't wait to see the dredge run, but I imagine we'll have to wait till next season to see it really going.  I really enjoy watching Tony and his team.  I do want to see the Hoffmans be successful, and then be successful off camera after that.

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Yes, this was a super inexpensive episode for Christo to make.  He re-purposed a boatload of tape and recycled the Schnabel family narrative yet again.  Having said that, I absolutely loved this ep!

 

To me, this was a profound peek into the best of an America mostly lost to modernity.  Three generations working the family land.  Watching ancient lessons passed along from Father, to son, to grandson.  None of them expecting a thing they have not earned - except each other's love.  Mama Parker's obvious pride in her men being men!  Not a lot of that remains.  Again, modernity has forced change - for good or for ill.  Still, it is incredibly refreshing to see a mom determined to see her sons man up by taking significant risk and accepting elder wisdom.  It is no coincidence that America rose to its mid-20th century heights when those values were predominant.  No special snowflakes (excepting the extreme minority of the obscenely rich) need apply.  Of course, there was soooo much wrong with America back in the day, but the prevalent humble work ethic was one of the best things about her, in my opinion.

 

I don't have a ton of regard for Toad, but I will always respect him for the risks he chooses to take.  I have enmity for Dakota Fred's ruthless, if not cheating, dealings with others.  Yet, that guy has also worked ridiculously hard and has risked everything on multiple occasions.  He also is a damn fine and capable miner and mechanical engineer.  

 

The most powerful moment for me tonight was Grandpa's deeply emotional pleading that parker never know the all-consuming guilt and pain of having someone die due to decisions you've made.  So powerful.  So real.  I'm not quite sure Parker has really taken this admonition completely to heart, though.  He is still too reckless, at times.  I sincerely hope he is not fated to experience such immense loss.

 

One thing I will forever give Christo credit for is his recognition that John Schnabel and his family are the real deal.  He has done a minimum of fantastical storytelling when they are involved.  Tonight's ep showed that often times, the best of TV is when TV allows events to play out naturally.  That most certainly was proven in this magnificent ep. 

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Wouldn't John Schnabel's story make a wonderful movie?  I've just joined the forum this morning following Gold Rush. I have watched the show since the first season. I have also searched online for information about John Schnabel's wife without finding any success. Is there any information on this woman?

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Welcome, HumblePi I  I've watched since Day 1 myself, and have no shame.  :-) 

 

I'd love to know the Schnabel story, too, but my occasional forays into the Dark (internet) Territories have made me leery, so I'll leave it to my talented fellow posters to answer your question.

Edited by walnutqueen
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John Schnabel is part of my father's generation, so I got a bit misty watching this episode (my dad died 11 years ago this month.) Love Parker, love the family. I have zero interest in Toad and Co., but this family is wonderful (and Parker is a cutie, and Roger isn't bad either!)

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I wonder if Parker really wanted to set the 2000 ounces.  Doesn't make sense.

Is there any way this makes sense except as producer nonsense?  I know businesses set goals for themselves but (if we're to believe the script, a VERY big 'if'), Parker is making decisions based on making that weight, like if he doesn't the season might be considered a bit of a disappointment.  Hence buying a new dozer might or might not be a sound investment if the mine is merely trying to maximize profits this year but if they're gonna make their 2000-ounce goal, then they have to get a new dozer, and right away, no matter the terms.

 

Does any business (save fake ones on tv) run like this?  Incur extra risk and expense just to meet arbitrary goals?  Why not 2005 ounces?  Why not 'mine as much gold as we can given our allowances for fuel and equipment'?

Edited by henripootel
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LiveenLetLive - I am very sorry for your loss.  All the men of that generation in my family have now passed, too, so Grandpa John holds a special place in my heart.

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Businesses set arbitrary goals all the time.  Notably, when it comes to cost cutting.  

 

The massive goal Parker set was based on the results he had in the Farcut last year.  He knew how much dirt he ran and based on that, extrapolated a yield for this year.  One variable for which they could not fully account was the amount of permafrost/ice they would have to deal with, and how long it might take for it to melt sufficiently to mine.  

 

Here's where the monkey edits came in:  He knew darn well he would need a second dozer, or should have known.  He needed to move X yards of dirt to make his millions.  Also, all the narration about the earlier cleanouts and how they would not amount to 2,000 was so much hooey.  It was always about getting to the Farcut and if the yield there would be as great as it was a year ago.  One way or the other, that was going to tell this tale.

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This seems to be the link:

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gold-Rush-Alaska-Gossip/298824030130812

 

There is a TON of inside dope, mostly about the turrible Hofftards.  By all means, click the links you will find on this site.  Read through all the entries.  

 

It appears that Disco ate $12 million in equipment costs for the jungle fiasco.  There's some confirmation as to what the featured miners are getting from Disco per episode, as well - on top of significant operational subsidies.    

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They moved how much dirt?  For 23 ozs?  Hahahahahahaha.  Anyway, new hate for Toad and his utter indifference and dismissiveness when the drivers went to him about the problems.   Then, we see him pretending to try to craft a solution.  Dave's assessment totally affirmed the drivers.  Why on earth did it take them making a Federal case of thing before he deigned to check it out?!  He's proving to not be much better than the slumlord Hoffmans (as another site refer to them). 

 

Two vehicle accident?   Seemed rather suspicious.  There's a pic out there showing beer cans in the back of Parker's truck.  There was no context provided , so they could easily not be his in any way.   Yet, Parker spoke of being in the ditch.  Did TPTB fake the damage on that other vehicle?  It stinks that I believe it as much as I do.  

 

That was nice of the guys to work through the weekend.  Of course, it was also in their self-interest.  Fifty ounces for two days work ain't half bad!  But, I do get a real sense that they've collectively got over their resentment of Parker's youth.  For a fact, Parker spoke much more appreciatively of them in his The Dirt interviews.  I do wonder if they violated Tony's lease by doing a clean-out and weigh-in without notifying him.  

 

It may be a small point, but I absolutely loved that Grandpa John did not call the fellas "family" when he was expressing his feelings for them.  He thought intently for a second or two before he went with "like us."  Still one heck of a compliment...and honest.  

 

That was a great schematic animation TPTB gave us for the dredge plan.  You don't bring the dredge to water.  You bring the water to the dredge!  If that was truly a random sample that Tony panned, there is one helluva lot of gold there.  Wow.

Edited by Lonesome Rhodes
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That was nice of the guys to work through the weekend.  Of course, it was also in their self-interest. 

 

 

are they getting a cut of the gold?  

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Best part of the show for laughs - Toad weighing out 23 ounces!  The whole family burst out laughing.  Will call it a fake right now when Toad comes in with a bunch next week.  Salting the mine.

 

Again with all the cute yellow clean shirts on his crew.  And when the drivers come to the "bosses" to complain about the dangerous road, who is in the trailer?  Big old Toad.  Did they have to wake him up?  What the heck is he doing in his trailer while everyone else is out racing to get dirt to the red monster?

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Two vehicle accident?   Seemed rather suspicious.  There's a pic out there showing beer cans in the back of Parker's truck.  There was no context provided , so they could easily not be his in any way.   Yet, Parker spoke of being in the ditch.  Did TPTB fake the damage on that other vehicle?  It stinks that I believe it as much as I do.

It was suspicious.  I mean it'd obviously happened long before the cameras got there (the other driver was long gone) so the 'rushing to save Parker' part was total bs.  Weirdly, it seemed like there was a large scar in the dirt showing where they'd dragged the other car back onto the road from the left side.  This is consistent with Parker saying he was 'practically in the ditch' when they hit, but the problem is that the ditch on Parker's right looked more like a drop-off.  Like big enough that he'd have rolled if he'd gone off that way.  So Parker was in the ditch on the left side of the road?  How the hell'd he end up there?  If they both hit on the driver's side corner, Parker was way over on the wrong side when it happened.  Not impossible that it still wasn't Parker's fault but it looks pretty bad - I'd hate to have to explain it to the cops.

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I didn't notice, but if both vehicles sustained damage to their driver's side front end, then the left ditch theory doesn't make sense to me ...

 

The extensive damage would suggest that speed was a factor, and it has been suggested that Parker has a lead foot. 

 

I don't give a shit about anything except the puppy.  How the poor little guy wasn't hurt is a miracle.

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I didn't notice, but if both vehicles sustained damage to their driver's side front end, then the left ditch theory doesn't make sense to me ...

It only makes sense if the other guy was much more in the ditch than Parker was, which kinda makes sense as the other guy seems to have hit something in the general front area but specifically in the driver's corner of the front.  Parker's damage was pretty much all in the front driver's corner (if I saw it right). 

 

The only way this makes sense to me is that Parker was coming around the corner cutting into the left lane in order to take the corner close, rather than taking it wide (which would have brought him closer to the right side ditch, which looks pretty steep and deep).  We all do this so no surprise there, but when the other guy came around the corner, he pulled right (his right) into the ditch to try to avoid Parker, wrecking his front end generally.  Parker then clipped the driver's front corner, totaling both cars.

 

There's no doubt that the crash site had been tidied up a bit by the time the cameras officially showed up, and it seemed like the other guy had been hauled out and across the road - look for the long arcing gouge in the road.  The other car also looked like there was a passenger in the front seat who broke the windshield from the inside so I'm pretty sure somebody got hurt here.  There must be a police report somewhere, but I also noticed they were conspicuously absent too.

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Indeed - did a bit of sleuthing, Walnut, which means I ... googled it.  Found this here:

 

Parker's accident. That was an accident scene? Where was the debris, the broken glass and vehicle pieces. What happened to the people in the van? Why didn't the guy who rescued Parker ask for details? It's almost like they hauled the vehicles there, broke the vans windshield with a big rock, and pretended there was an accident. But we know that would never happen, nothing is ever faked on Gold Rush. It looks like Parker went off the road and hit a tree or a big rock, he for sure never hit the van. This whole thing was lame, even for Gold Rush.

 

 

An earlier post hinted broadly that Parker was drinking.  Don't know how solid this guy's info is but he's totally right about the broken glass and whatnot, which should be in evidence even if they just hauled Parker out of the ditch and onto the road.  

 

If you haven't read this site you should have a look - lots of extremely damning info, in the comments too.  Short version: pretty much everything we see is faked.  I mean like super-faked, scripted and staged.  Interesting tidbit: until very recently, the mine Parker works was until recently (and maybe still is) a tourist mine.  They have a camp ground, Parker gives them a song-and-dance, they run a bit of 'pay' through the wash plant and everyone gets to pick out a few tiny flakes of their very own.  This is the 'proud Schnabel legacy' - they run a camp ground.  Which is fine but not at all what we were led to believe.  Better than the Hoffmans though - apparently papa Jack was managing a fleabag hotel when Discovery came calling.  And apparently Todd does NO-THING that resembles mining, like, ever.

Edited by henripootel

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I knew about the Big Nugget tourist mine from the very start - I thought everyone did?  Was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that the Hoffmans were phonies?

 

The only people I take even semi seriously are Freddy Dodge & Tony Beets.  Sort of.  :-)

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I knew about the Big Nugget tourist mine from the very start - I thought everyone did?  Was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that the Hoffmans were phonies?

I didn't know about the tourist mine but then I wasn't paying too much attention early on.  My impression was though that Parker and his family made their living as miners, not from tourists.  As for the Hoffmans, I always assumed that the economics of their operation were complete nonsense and having read it here, I was ever-after amused at how little Todd ever seemed to do, and how clean his shirt stayed.  Finding out though that they're fake from bottom to top - still surprised me a little.  I mean I did assume that the gold they showed us was actually found by them, but that seems to be completely false too.  More fool me.

The only people I take even semi seriously are Freddy Dodge & Tony Beets.  Sort of.  :-)

Beets I find amusing but again, the economics of his business dealings seem odd.  Have they ever made the case that his antique dredge is all that good at gleaning out gold?  Surely the technology has improved enough in the in the last half-century that his dredge will miss tons of gold he doesn't need to.  Doing it the crappy, old-fashioned way reeks of producer BS pure and simple.  But at least his interactions with others seem real.  Ish.  

 

And it was my previous understanding that Freddy Dodge left because the show became less about mining and more about bullshit.  Turns out that Dodge had no problem being a production stooge, he just balked at being a poorly-paid production stooge. 

Edited by henripootel
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My idea is, I don't think Tony Beets paid one penny for that dredge or to move it; I think he's always wanted to try something like that so he got Discovery to pay for it as his fee for appearing on the show.  If it works or doesn't work who cares; all he's out is some time.

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This one may have been the most absurd ep yet.  The claim owner, an actual geologist, who is getting a cit of whatever gold the Hofftards can capture, waits until now  to let them know the real gold is found much deeper?  Is he an actual moron?  Seriously.  of course, it's all a sham.  He isn't that stupid.  He is getting paid to be a character in a TV show.  Beyond that, we saw/heard no mention of his getting his cut of the prior clean outs.  At least with Tony, we see a proper respect and seriousness when it comes to clean outs.

 

Speaking of which...would he really be so sanguine about a bad sluice box?  Remember how he put the screws (properly, imo) to Parker about upgrading his?  Wasting pay dirt is a mortal sin to that man.  I must say, that welder did one helluva job!  I truly am impressed with the engineering ability we frequently see on this show.  I also liked seeing Tony and his daughter having fun with each other.  The man is tough as nails when he needs to be, but he really is a softie.

 

Was there ever any real doubt in Parker's mind that he was going to mine Fantasyland this season?   I asked awhile ago why we never hear about how big the Farcut was.  Now I know why they held that info - they wanted to create phony drama.  They did.  I noticed again that Parker's voiceover about Gene was most generous.  This is a huge contrast to the tone we got all along.  Gene reminds me of the Scotty character on Star Trek.  His grumbling while he was running the crane was classic!

 

It was great to see Grandpa John again.  I hate that Christo made him a part of the ridiculous Fantasyland "issue," though.   

 

The preview was interesting.  I wondered last year why Tony went along with Parker's decision to abandon that first low-yield tract without having finished.  Now, it seems we will have that very issue come up at the Farcut.  I note that Parker is going to blame Tony for putting too many rocks in his processor.  Well, I'll bet that Parker refused to reduce the amount of pay he was forcing through, regardless the fact that there were many more rocks in the pay.   Maybe someday he'll learn that while time is money, downtime is death.

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I wonder how it will affect what has become an obviously scripted 'real' show.

I don't.  I'm pretty certain that if a show contains a single grain of 'truth' in it, this injunction against fakery doesn't count.  Since Todd is a living person and not animatronic like Chuck E. Cheese - close enough, there's all the required 'reality' right there.

 

Not that I believe Disco's moment of clarity anyway.  If the mermaid thing got GR's numbers they'd just hold their nose and do a weekly show.  This is PR only, not an move towards quality programming. 

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Fosca - never thought abut that one.  For a guy who watches every grain of gold being  measured for his percentage, it is hard to believe the million dollar risk he is taking. Let's go one step further.  Discovery stakes him for a percentage of the gold he recovers in the future.  Then Discovery stands next to Tony as he measures out the gold take of the day.  Love to see that one!

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My impression was though that Parker and his family made their living as miners, not from tourists.

That's undoubtedly the impression Discovery wants us to have.. Certainly in the first season that's what I thought as well. But IIRC, John Schnable made his money in timber and construction, possibly road construction because that's the business his son is in. He bought Big Nugget a couple of decades ago as a hobby mine, someplace to go with his son and grandsons and have fun. Parker is the one who took to mining like a duck to water. There have been tidbits of this that have come out in 5 seasons of regular episodes and The Dirt and behind-the-scenes videos, but I don't think they've ever come out and just said it.

 

My idea is, I don't think Tony Beets paid one penny for that dredge or to move it; I think he's always wanted to try something like that so he got Discovery to pay for it as his fee for appearing on the show.  If it works or doesn't work who cares; all he's out is some time.

The problem with that theory is that from what we've been told, none of these guys, not even Toad, makes anything like a million per season from Discovery. While Tony is certainly the most colorful character on the show, I don't see them paying that much money to keep him when they refused to pay a much, much smaller sum to keep Dakota Fred.

 

ETA: We finally got Parker's version of the accident the following week on the Dirt.  He says he was going around a corner and the on-coming vehicle was in his lane and they had a head-on collision.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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