Sunday, November 25, 2018

What is @whatsuptucson worth to you?

Hi. I'm Ken, the @whatsuptucson owner / chief Tweeter.

@whatsuptucson was started as a idea over a decade ago to talk about things going on around Tucson. The follower count has grown to over 88,000 wonderful people in the last ten years.

I estimate that I've spent a minimum of over 10,000 hours in the last 10+ years tweeting, retweeting, and managing the content. It originally featured mostly community events and traffic issues and has grown to include a variety of locally focused content that followers have asked for and contributed.

I handle every tweet and retweet manually (no automation). I check and manage tweets 365 days a year early mornings, middays, and late nights and every free moment I can find. I believe that it's part of the reason why it has had grown like it has and is used by citizens, law enforcement, and news organizations in southern Arizona to get a pulse on what's happening in Tucson every day.

I had an incident occur in October where I lost my full time job of nearly seven years. While people lose jobs all the time, it has caused me to evaluate a few things. The time and effort I spend on @whatsuptucson has been one of those things.

I've treated running this twitter like a job because it is one. It's been a job with zero pay and actually comes with expenses like internet and phone bills and I don't receive anything for the time invested.

My other half recently lost his job in addition to my own challenges and I am currently carrying all of the household expenses in addition to my own employment interruption. Part of what I'm having to figure out is whether I'm making enough money. (everyone has a sad story right?)

I've done the work on @whatsuptucson because I love the community and think the information provided is useful to many people.

Is @whatsuptucson important enough to the people who follow that I should continue investing the time and money into it? Or should I just blow it off and get a job that pays me for the time I now spend on @whatsuptucson and reduce it's level of service or even shut it down? There's my dilemma.

I'm asking you to decide. If you think it's not worth anything to you then do nothing. No hard feelings. I get it.

If you do feel it's worth something to you, then I've put my Paypal link below. Kick in a buck. Or five, or ten, or twenty, or a thousand, or a million. I'm asking for a donation of any size. Whatever you think it is worth to you.

Since it's not really right to make this open ended, my goal is $8,800 -- which equals a buck each from ten percent of followers. If it ends up a lot less than that is donated, I'll likely reduce the time invested into @whatsuptucson accordingly and use the time for some other venture that makes money. If no one donates, then I'll have a clear idea where I stand and I know that it has not really mattered to anybody all along. So there's that.

Thank you for reading this. If you want to know if anyone has donated and how much has been donated, I'll update this page with totals (if anyone donates).

--Ken

Paypal link:  paypal.me/kencarr

Venmo: @whatsuptucson

Apple Pay also available, ask me for my cell number.

E-mail feedback: ken@helloken.com

Number of people who have donated as of Nov. 27, 2018: 195
Total amount donated: $2,617.37

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Brandon's 40th Birthday

I was the surprise guest at my best friend Brandon's 40th surprise birthday party in Stockton, California on May 18.

I say surprise guest because Brandon didn't know I was coming. He didn't know anyone was coming. I had to keep it quiet for six months.

I flew from Tucson to Sacramento on Southwest, rented a car, and drove to Stockton. I stayed for the first two nights at the Courtyard by Marriott and the last night at Brandon's.

Props to Lily for planning out the party and inviting me to come.

I did have a good time and shot some photos.

Tucson airport terminal waiting to fly to Sacramento

Empire Pizza at the Tucson Airport
serves gralic knots.
Probably a knock off of garlic knots

Southwest Airlines flight to Sacramento in the cabin
The guy in the blue hat in front of me it turned out was
on his first flight ever heading to Seattle

Fighter jets taking off before my plane did at the Tucson Airport

Airborne over Tucson

My connection was through San Diego
and it was a little cloudy there when we landed

San Diego Airport
All I wanted was a cookie and it was hard to find

Found a cookie!

I wanted a crowd shot in the very crowded San Diego terminal
and this random girl was staring at me.
Now she's internet famous.

Courtyard by Marriott in Stockton, California
This is where the magic didn't happen but sleep did

The room had a TV and I put on ESPN
so you'd think I was a macho guy or something

Couch in my room and a little table next to it
that I used as a surface to eat some food from Del Taco.
I may be travelling but I still seek out fine dining.

Brandon's surprise 40th birthday party at Valley Brew in Stockton

Beer cake
It's made with beer instead of cake

Party favors

It was fun to see some good ol' Cali friends again:
Neil, John, Kelly, Lily, Liz, Gabe
Other party goers in the background

Lupe talks to Lily and Brandon
I shoot a blurry photo.
The end.

Dancing

More dancing

Brandon and Neil dancing
I wonder who was leading

Brandon, Neil, Kevin, John, and me
I wore a green shirt and silver shoes to the party
I'm sure no one was surprised to see that

Brandon, Neil, and Kevin checking out the food buffet

Silly Kevin.
Mashed potatoes don't go in there

Kelly and Kelly's hand

Yeaaaaaaah boyeeeeeeeeeeee

Lupe and Brandon play "pull my finger"

DJ Frank G (who I have known since 1993 I think)
spins the party jammy jams

A few drinks
A bit o' stupid

A few more drinks
A little more stupid

A lot more drinks
A lot more stupid

Returning to Tucson
leaving from the Sacramento Airport

Mark, the Clark County Historical Society guy that regularly
appears on the History Channel show "Pawn Stars"
was on my flight that went through Las Vegas
to get home.
I'm sure he was tweeting that I was on his flight

Las Vegas strip as seen through my window
on my connection to Tucson

Brandon's 40... going on 20.
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

Anthony and I hosted a little holiday get together at our house. It's starting to become a tradition.

The guests included the two of us, Anthony's aunt JoAnn, his brother Michael and his girlfriend Serena. We ate Italian food, opened gifts, and play games including Cards Against Humanity (a gift that we gave Michael) and the Golden Girls edition of "Clue". We had a ton of fun.

Anthony cooked dinner and served it, too

Om nom nom
Michael and Serena

JoAnn, Michael, Serena

Michael a.k.a. Father Christmas drinks a little wine
while Serena digs into her stocking

Checking out goodies from their stockings

JoAnn with a kit containing everything a woman needs
when she leaves the house

I had mugs made this year with pictures
of Anthony and I on them

Muggin' with the mugs

Cards Against Humanity for Michael, electric teakettle for Serena

Photo frame for JoAnn

Anthony gets a new alarm clock

And to make sure he gets up, he gets a second alarm clock

Sugar skull, salt lamp

I received emoji underwear

Hey! That doll looks just like me

Mmmmmm. Chocolate covered apple.
Chevy Chase photobombs in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"

I open what may be the greatest gift ever....

A giant pen!

Feel free to be amazed because... my pen is huge.