Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Eating tortilla chips with a fork

Anthony rarely likes eating food with his hands.  He prefers utensils.

There's nothing wrong with that.  But there are moments watching him eat where I see foods eaten with a utensil I've never seen consumed that way.

We ate lunch at El Taco Tote on Wilmot on Monday.  He asked me to get him some tortilla chips while he got salsa from the salsa bar.

Then, before digging into his enchiladas he ate his chips.  With a fork.

The first step was picking up a chip.  Sometimes it took numerous tries.  Then, while carefully balancing the chip on the fork he dunked it into some salsa and into his mouth it would go.

He was remarkably good at it.  Very little spilling.

Here's how its done:
Step one:  Anthony picks up a chip with his fork.

Step two:  While balancing the chip, it gets a salsa bath.
Its a talent worthy of America's Got Talent.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas shopping

I had forgotten (until today) that I had taken these pictures with my Blackberry of shopping with Anthony before Christmas.

We spent a couple of hours at Park Place Mall in Tucson. These photos were at H&M and Macy's. Clothes and a new vacuum cleaner.

Merry Christmas to us!

Police officers need cash too

I thought this was fun.

I've gone to the ATM many times in my life but have never pulled in behind a police officer getting cash.

Until now.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Working on Christmas

It seems no matter where I work... I end up working on holidays.

Since I've worked at Fox 11 I've worked on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and today Christmas Day.

I'm not mad.  It comes with the territory.  People expect to see something on their screens when they turn on their televisions.  Somebody has to produce it.  That somebody... is me!

It was a bit lonely in the parking lot today though...

The Ken Carr car.... all by itself on Christmas at Fox 11.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Anthony drove me today - its a Christmas Miracle!

Anthony and I went holiday shopping today.


It is such a rare occurance (we've known each other since May 2009, its the third time he's ever driven while I'm in the passenger seat) I had to capture the moment the best way I know how:  Kenparazzi style.

I didn't realize until I downloaded the photo from my camera that it looks like he's an unsafe driver... drinking water in traffic with no hands on the wheel.  To his credit, its not as dangerous as it looks.  We were stopped at the traffic light at Speedway and Wilmot.

And now, the moment captured...

Anthony driving Ken Carr.
History made on December 21, 2011.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Tucson Winter Rain

I have the day off today.  Its a cold, rainy, yucky day in Tucson.

Rain is kind of an unusual event in Tucson.  The desert is relatively dry.

I did take a few photos today from my apartment balcony to show how much rain we received.

(And, Ridgepointe Apts has actual grass... don't see that much around Tucson).

Puddle in the parking lot.

Drips of water on a tree branch.
My artistic photo for today!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tucson Winter Rain

I took some photos of today's winter rain.

Don't try this at home (I didn't, I took these while I was driving).

Rain at the Ridgepointe Apartments parking lot

Time to turn on the windshield wipers

Puddles on Columbus Blvd

Splish splash - driving south on Columbus Blvd

At Grant Rd and Columbus Blvd.
This truck can see itself on the street!

Grant Rd and Columbus Blvd is wet wet wet.

Anthony made cookies

Anthony made cookies.

Ridiculously good homemade cookies with icing and sprinkles!!

Mmmmmmmmm. Cookies.

Backing dat ass (or car) up is dangerous

I've been producing the news for a couple of months now.  All kind of stories air but one stuck out to me in the last few days.

A woman was killed walking across the lot of the Chevron station at Valencia Road and Midvale Park in Tucson.  The manner in which she was killed was what was caught my eye.

She was run over by a tow truck that was backing up.  She died from her injuries when she was struck.

The story stuck out to me because it reminded me of a class I took a couple of years ago.  I had looked into whether being a cab driver would make a good second job for me.  I spent a couple of days checking into it including taking a class at the cab company.

I learned that driving a cab isn't the best job for me.  A big shout out to anyone who does drive a cab because you're tougher than I am and you're awesome.  I got uneasy about the most remote possibility that someone could try to rob me and that ended that.

I did learn from the class I attended about how to safely drive a cab / vehicle.  There were lessons that included how far to drive behind someone, the importance of driving at safe speeds and paying close attention to your surroundings and what other people do at intersections.  I also learned the least safe driving maneuver there is:  backing up.

The class instruction suggested backing up slowly, carefully, and as infrequently as possible is the best bet.  The reason is you have the least amount of visibility regardless of what you drive when you go in reverse.

I took that to heart even though I didn't end up working for the cab company.  I am super careful when putting a car in reverse.  Then a news story popped up that solidified what I was taught.

The tow truck driver wasn't cited, alcohol wasn't a factor, in all likelihood he just didn't see her and probably backed up too fast.  (I don't know that for a fact.... its just a guess on my part.)

When you're behind vehicles or if you're going to back one up:  Be careful.  Backing dat ass, or dat car up... can be more dangerous than it seems.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The worst job interview I ever had

I'm embarking on another round of job interviews in search of my next job (see previous posts about why I won't be at Fox 11 after January 31, 2012).

I thought I'd share the worst job interview experience I've ever had.

Flashback to 1996:  I had just returned to California from working in Salt Lake City.  The station there had been sold and I was looking for a new career challenge.

I got a lead that an alternative rock station in Sacramento was looking for a new Program Director.  The station had a strong signal and was owned by a local guy.  It seemed like a job I could succeed at so I decided to go for it.

I spent three days putting together a presentation.  I was sure I was going to be competitive for the job so it was worth the investment in my time and effort.

I drove 50 miles from Stockton to downtown Sacramento.  The radio station occupied the penthouse suite of the Renaissance Tower, an ominous looking black skyscraper.  I was excited.  This could be amazing.

I arrived in the lobby and waited almost 25 minutes before the owner came out.

I had a little background on the guy.  Apparently he had a law degree, liked to fix broken equipment in the station himself, drove a purple Corvette, and had been described to me as a bit quirky.  I work in the media business and had encountered plenty of quirky so I didn't think a whole lot about it.

The man I was there to see was a tall skinny man in a cheap suit.  He also had an odd voice.

I got a tour of the station before we ended up in his office.  It was impressive.  There was a remarkable view of not only downtown but a lot of the Sacramento metro area.

The interview started... and the weird started.  He'd ask me a question, I'd answer it, and then he'd proceed to pick apart my answer.  It was quickly obvious he hated everything about my presentation.  I told him how I thought his station stood in comparison to his competition.  He told me that I was dead wrong.  He listened to the audio presentation I brought and told me it was too long.  I suggested ways he could increase revenue and ratings.  He told me that I didn't understand the Sacramento market.

I was in his office for three hours.  He interupted the interview multiple times to take phone calls.  The most memorable was the conversation he had with someone who apparently was a sexual partner he had lined up for later that night.  He asked her on the phone if she had a friend so they could make it a threesome and then requested that she describe in detail how big her friend's breasts were and who would do what.  I felt uncomfortable.  After he hung up from that call he said, "Sorry about that, I have a meeting tonight that I had to set up."

I'm not a prude by any means but it seemed gross that I made the time to prepare, drive an hour to get there, spend an afternoon with this guy, and ended up fighting back the urge to throw up in my mouth picturing him and some hideous woman (or women I suppose) in a hot tub exchanging diseases.

After three hours of being mowed down by this guy I got onto the elevator to make the long trip down to the parking garage and I thought to myself: "I don't care how much money this man would offer, I would never ever work there."

I never heard from him or that station.  I ended up working for a competing station in Sacramento instead.

Its amused me in the years since because he ended up selling the station to Entercom for $25 million dollars.  Then he proceeded to sue that company in an attempt to get his station back and having the sale nullified after he had seller's remorse.  It went on for years in court.  He lost every lawsuit.  He no longer owns that property and now has stations in Palm Springs and Las Vegas.

The lesson I learned:  If I'm in an interview and the person interviewing stops to take a phone call to ask how big the caller's boobs are, it may not be the job for me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shopping trip - Ken Carr style

A few festive photos from around Tucson this weekend:

I found this sheepskin hat at Target.
The ears on top helped me hear better.

A historic moment at Walmart Neighborhood Market at Grant and Alvernon:
I found a Rice Krispie Treat bar that's actually larger than my giant head.
(I got photobombed by the guy behind me in pajama pants!)

A delicous maple frosted donut at Dunkin' Donuts at Grant and Swan.
Bonus: I have a Walgreen's sign coming out of the back of my head.

Anthony's culinary delights

Anthony's been cooking lately.  He asks me to take photos of his food and I never say no to taking a photo!

Anthony's homemade stuffing.
Including cranberries, sausage, chiles, and of course made with love.

Anthony's banana nut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Anthony's double fudge brownies with Nutella frosting.
I hope he was using the knife to cut the brownies.
It could also be a murder weapon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Jury duty update

Earlier this year I was called to jury duty.

I spent one day there.  I was dismissed from the jury pool because I recognized the case being presented.  I had heard the initial call on the scanner and watched the live report on KGUN9.

Fast forward to now:  It turns out the defendant in the case was found guilty.  He had killed someone at the Candy Store strip club (which is called something else these days... located at 22nd and Craycroft).

The Arizona Daily Star just reported that the murderer received twelve years in prison for the crime.

I know that jury duty is important but I'm glad I didn't end up having to serve more than one day.  It would have been difficult to not be biased in this case.  I suppose its the challenge of working in media.  I'm hyper-sensitive to events that occur around Tucson.  It doesn't make me a good jury candidate.

Here's the story of the sentencing from the Arizona Daily Star:  Click here

Friday, November 25, 2011

In the news: Tucson Weekly

I'm mentioned in the Tucson Weekly's "Media Watch" column this week.

The column is about the shared services agreement between KOLD and Fox 11 and the elimination of Fox 11 employees.  I'm one of those people.

Read it by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting help

I have to look for a job (again).  Which means I had to update my resume' (again).

I do a lot of writing but I have always struggled with resumes.  I have experimented with a variety of formats, looks, and ways to do it.  In the earlier days of my career before computers I typed them with my electric typewriter (yes, I owned one!).  After typing it, I'd head to an office supply to run the copies and mail them out.  At one point, I had this brilliant idea to use electric green paper so it would stand out in a stack of resumes on someone's desk.  Looking back, it was a silly idea but it can never be said that I'm not willing to be adventurous.

The radio business allowed for some sloppy resume writing.  If the tape sent showcasing on-air work was awesome the resume could be written in crayon drunk and you could still get a job.

Its a different world these days.

It seems many companies that own radio stations are eager to cut staff and lay people off.  I've always loved the radio business but the business of radio these days seems to be more about how cheap a station can be run than pride in the product on the air.  Finding a quality radio job is becoming a lot like finding a needle in a haystack.

I decided to broaden my horizons a bit.  That's why I ended up at Fox 11.  Unfortunately this job ends in January so I'm looking for another opportunity.

Thanks to one of my Facebook friends (Mr. Eric Cawley), for the first time in my nearly 25 year broadcasting career, I got some help.

I have so much experience that I need perspective.  How do I take a career where I've done so much and put it all into a page or two that means something to a prospective employer?

There's something weird that happens when you get a lot of experience and expertise.  It narrows your job prospects.  Its kind of like wishing for a lottery win.  Sure, you end up having all the money you want to buy everything you've ever desired.  But, it presents an entirely new set of problems that you never thought you'd encounter.

The new version of my resume is the best one I've ever had.  It put my years of hard work into a well organized document.  Its already scored me an interview for next week.  I'm grateful for the help, perspective, and advice.

Here's to my next job.  And, take this advice for yourself:  Solicit advice from others.  Use it wisely.  It can make a big difference.

Friday, November 18, 2011

An article on the Fox 11 situation

A virtual high five to Dave Hatfield of Inside Tucson Business.

He writes a good local media column.  He's also a nice guy.

This is one of the most complete articles I've seen yet about the Fox 11 situation.  I'll write a complete story later after I don't work there anymore.  I do still have a job at Fox 11 and it wouldn't be appropriate to say much until after it ends.

In the meantime, if you want to read the Inside Tucson Business story, click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life can change in the blink of an eye

There's an old saying that goes "Life can change in the blink of an eye".

The eye blinked on October 5 when I was let go from Mega 106.3.  It blinked when I was fortunate enough to land a news producer job at Fox 11.  Today, another blink.

The corporation I work for is going to outsource its newscasts to another company and I have to find a new job by January 31.

Legacy media (radio, television, print) has taken a beating in the last few years. Businesses that rely on advertising revenue always struggle in a down economy.  Companies that operate these types of businesses have been forced to think out of the box to survive.  That certainly seems the case with my current employer.

I believe if I work as hard as I can, learn whatever I'm capable of, and maintain a positive attitude no matter what happens that good things will occur.  This is a setback I was not expecting (just like the last setback I was not expecting) but I'm not going to let it get me down.  I'm upbeat because I have more than two months to look.  I didn't have that luxury at my last job.

I put posts up on Facebook and Twitter today and a number of people expressed sympathy about my latest situation.  I don't have a deadly disease.  I have to change jobs again.  Its a bit stressful but its not the worst thing that could happen to me.

Here's hoping that I am as lucky finding another job as quickly as I found the one I have now.  I'd like to keep the next one longer though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hi / Goodbye Party

I was let go from my last job on October 5.

A custom at my old job is to have a goodbye party.  There was so much work left for my old co-workers after my departure that they just got around to having the party.  I've moved on to my new job at Fox 11 but it was nice to hang out with some of my former co-workers for a night.

The party was at Nimbus Bistro on Tanque Verde.  Its only five blocks from where I live so it worked out great.  I had never been there before and the place is nice.

Now, onto the part you really want to see... the Kenparazzi photos!

Dino (eating a chicKEN wing), Rob, and Leslie

Bianca and Anthony

Jason (hey, nice tongue), Terri, Ina and Holly

Chris, my new sweater, JP, and Jason

Holly, my new sweater, Terri and Ina

My tongue is legendary.
Terri experienced the legend.

Chris, my tongue, and JP.
JP's had my tongue before.

My new sweater, Rob, Leslie, and Jason.
Jason drinking two fisted makes him very very happy.

Holly was annoyed I wasn't paying enough attention to her.
No, you're not high maintenance.

Nimbus makes some bitchin' nachos.

Fresh appetizers, Leslie, Holly and Terri.

Leslie has a little trouble with her appetizer.
Meanwhile, Holly gives me a death stare and Terri points.

Bianca and Anthony with Anthony's birthday eve cheesecake.
If you believe the candle arrangement Anthony is turning one year old.

Blow little Anthony... blow.

Rosemary and Holly.
Hello divas.

My new sweater, cold drinks, and Anthony.
I would have displayed the drink label but they didn't pay me.

Leslie's signature drink move portrayed by Anthony and Bianca.

Will and Leslie as Leslie performs her signature drinking move.

Selena and my new sweater.
I was apparently attempting to keep the counter from floating away.

Anthony sticking something into his mouth.
I took this too early. You should have seen when it was deeper.

I'm an onion ring angel.

Jim, Dino and Leslie.

Leslie and Anthony take their signature photo together.

Leslie and Anthony's signature photo together with a bonus "haaaay" by Leslie.

Rain rain go away

It was a cold rainy day in Tucson yesterday.

There's a fog advisory for this morning.  That's a rare occurance in these parts.

A couple of photos of today's rain from the parking lot of my apartment complex.

Drip drip drip

A puddle.
Kind of an artsy photo!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tucson radio ratings: Down down down

The latest radio ratings came out for Tucson yesterday.

The ratings work on a 90 day rolling average.  Each month a new number is posted.  The oldest month drops off, the newest month is added.

I posted a few weeks ago that it was ironic the last ratings I was responsible for at Mega resulted in the biggest numbers the station had since 2008.

The new number today was a bit satisfying.

106.3 fell from 8th to 11th.  A 3.7 share to a 2.9.  Its a 90 day rolling average so it had to have crashed and burned badly in October for it to fall that far.

I'm torn about it.  Its easy to say things like "See, it was a stupid decision" or "Screw them, that's what they deserve" but I don't think like that.  The decision made was based on research.  Where it went wrong is that the research was poorly interpreted.  I wasn't in a position to influence that.  I may have nearly 25 years of experience in media but my opinion wasn't important.

The station needs to do well so there aren't more people like me that end up unemployed.  There are people that stuck their neck out deciding this was the best course of action.  I don't want anyone else to deal with what myself, Rosemary and Dino did.

Since I don't have responsibility for that anymore I can KENjoy the aftermath.  It makes no difference in my life anymore.  I'm not employed there.  I can just watch the car fall off the cliff.

See the numbers:  Click here

The problem with the Joe Paterno firing

I don't generally comment much on national news stories.  Mostly because I find myself a whole lot more interesting. (That's a joke... I hope you're laughing).

I am bothered a bit by the firing of Penn State coach Joe Paterno.

I'd like to state that I don't think its right that children were allegedly molested, the assistant coach was employed for years after the alleged incident took place, and I don't give a crap about Penn State.  I have an issue with it for a different reason.

If you've ever been employed in management at most any organization there is a protocol for dealing with matters such as this.  That is certainly the case at most every media organization I've ever worked for.  While the order and method in which an issue such as a sexual assault or harrassment is handled varies a little from company to company, its essentially the same in most organizations.

To sum it up in once sentence:  "The shit flows upstream."

I have seen many people suggest on the internet that Coach Paterno should have immediately called the police once the incident was brought to his attention.  That is not how things such as this are handled in most organizations.  There are a variety of reasons why.

From what I've read, and this is all I can base my opinion on, he brought the incident to the attention of his boss(es).  That is what you do when you when you're a manager.  While you may be responsible for the people under you, you are not responsible for how an organization handles a situation like this.

If Paterno had immediately called the police, as it has been suggested by many, he himself would have been in big trouble at the university.  Its usually up to someone in a high ranking position, or in human resources, to make that decision.  The failure in this situation isn't the coach not dialing 911.  It was the people he reported it to for not taking the appropriate action.

The university's reputation has been bloodied at the moment for sure.  A list of people will be standing in the unemployment line as a result of someone in a high ranking position at the university not properly handling the situation.  But, a head football coach may be the face of a football team or at many schools the face of the school itself (at Penn State that's most certainly the case for Coach Paterno), a coach is not in the end responsible for making that decision.

I've had a couple of incidents in my career where a sexual harrassment or similar sort of incident has been alleged.  If I had picked up the phone and called the police immediately I would have been fired long before the employee in question had lost his or her job.  That was not my call.  It was my responsibility to report it to my boss, provide any information I had, and if I was directed to release that employee from his or her duties as a result I had the unenviable task of doing so.  But that decision was not mine.

The reason so many people were fired at Penn State as a result of this incident was due to the fear that if anyone who could have been potentially involved in any kind of cover up was allowed to stay it would be viewed by the public as inexcusable.  They had to do it.

The lesson learned is an ugly one.  If you or I as an employee report a crime as awful as this one was to your boss and they choose to do nothing about it, you can still be fired anyway.  Not very fair but sometimes that's how it works.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ken cooked!

I cook upon occasion.  Not well in my opinion.

I decided to make dinner tonight since I had the day off for Anthony and I.

He purchased ground sausage over the weekend when he bought groceries.  I searched the internet and came up with a recipe for Taco Turnovers.  Which are essentially like taco empenadas except I used biscuit dough.

I had a few problems when I made them.  I thought we had taco seasoning.  We had fajita seasoning.  I also realized I've never chopped an onion before.  I'm now going to buy one of those Slap Chop contraptions from the TV commercials.

Anthony said after eating them that they were ridiculously good.  I was pretty sure they were going to be terrible and in my clumsy yet adventurous nature I nailed it.  They were delicious.

Anthony also mentioned to me something that my friend Brandon told him once about me:  "Ken doesn't know how to fail."  I don't think that's the case at all but somehow I did manage to make something edible for dinner.

Here's the finished product right out of the oven:

(And here's the link to the recipe if you want to try 'em... use a fajitas seasoning packet instead of taco seasoning and ground sausage instead of ground beef and you'll get Ken Carr-like results).

Taco Turnovers - Ken Carr style!