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!

Sunset over Tucson

I promised I'd try to get a photo taken today.  I was thinking I'd take more but I got lazy.  It is my day off work today!

It was the coldest day we've had in Tucson in about eight months.  We didn't make it to 60 today.  Which is unusually cold for November.  It also rained early this morning.

It made for very clear air and the clouds enhanced tonight's sunset.

Tucson, Arizona sunset
as seen from Ridgepointe Apartments
on November 7, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Its the freakin weekend!

Today ended week number two of my new job.  Its my weekend!

As far as the job goes, I'm enjoying the experience.  Learning new things is always good.

I've been totally lame at one of my favorite things to do in the last couple of weeks since I've been concentrating on my new job.  That is taking pictures.

I have two days off.  My goal is to take some photos... of something.  I know that isn't specific but surprises are fun right?

I'll post what I photograph.  Stand by!

Back in the news again!

My career move to Fox 11 got a writeup in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper today!

I didn't know this article was going to appear.  I wasn't interviewed.

But, its always nice to get publicity.  I like publicity.
To read it, click here.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Winter preview today

I was a bit sad today because a winter storm started rolling through.

I love Tucson's weather because most days its warm and relatively sunny.  I don't like winter.  I never have no matter where I have lived.

The wind cranked up very strong in the afternoon yesterday and is still blowing this early morning.  There are rain chances in the forecast and its expected highs will be in the low 60's today.  That's miserable for Tucson standards.

Anthony was kind enough to buy me a new winter jacket a few weeks ago and it looks like I'll be using it sooner than I thought.

Boo hoo.

Friday, November 4, 2011


One of the challenges with living in the desert is the sun.

Its wonderful most of the time.  It also shortens the life of most everything made from petroleum products including windshield wipers.

It doesn't seem to matter how much or how little I spend on a set.  They never last a whole year.

They bake in the sun to a hard crisp and their life is over.

The latest set I had on the Ken Carr car made it 18 months.  That's almost a record.

Replacing them makes me feel stupid.  I can't seem to locate the same type each time so figuring out how they go on is an adventure every time.

I've switched out other people's like a rockstar.  I swapped out Anthony's in August with no problem.  Switching out my own is an adventure every time.

The light above my license plate burned out at some point this summer and I got pulled over for it a few weeks ago.  I had to go to the auto parts store to get a new bulb (by the way, I didn't get a ticket, the officer was kind to me and told me to get it replaced without giving me a citation).  I bought new wiper blades at the same time I purchased a new license plate illumination bulb since I had to make a trip to Autozone anyway.

The replacement of the bulb was easy.  I did a Google search and there was a video that showed how to do it on a Mazda RX-8.  The internet is good for things like that.  I got it done in about five minutes during a recent lunch break at Fox 11.

There is a big storm coming this weekend so I knew I had to get the wipers changed.  I had been stalling because I knew I'd struggle through it.

I got home from work tonight and since it wasn't very cold out I thought this was the best time to do it.  I grabbed a flashlight and screwdriver and headed out to the car in the parking lot of my apartment complex.

Removing the old ones is always easy.  I don't need to have them off in good condition and they come off quickly.  Putting the new ones on is where I always have trouble.

The wipers I purchased this time, Bosch Icon, had a different looking clip and look than the last ones I purchased.  This is how they're described directly from the Bosch website:  "The most powerful wiper blade series ever!  For more than 75 years, motorists have relied on Bosch wiper blades for superior performance, the latest in design and technology, and more great benefits. Beam technology, dual rubber process, Quiet-Glide™ micro-finish wiping edge and DirectConnect™ one-step installation system are just a few of the reasons that motorists prefer Bosch Wiper Blades."

A lot of fancy talk for "we tried to make fancy wiper blades but Ken, you're going to have trouble putting them on".

I couldn't figure out why the driver's side didn't fit flush on the window.  Then I realized there's a second part next to the attachment clip that I had to release.  20 minutes of messing with it uncovered that mystery.

I thought the passenger side would be easier if I pried it up with a screwdriver since it had taken so long to figure out the driver's side.  Not so much.  I ended up breaking the clip that attaches it to the arm.  That was $20 dollars down the drain.  It was unrepairable.  The next part of the adventure was locating an open auto parts store at 11:15 p.m.  I had to get another wiper otherwise the wipers would be totally unusuable and with a winter storm hours away that would have made driving home from work on Friday require my sticking my head out the window in the pouring rain.

I enlisted Anthony's help to search the internet.  He found an auto parts store I could get to within fifteen minutes.  I made it to the Autozone at 22nd and Swan just twenty minutes before closing.  The guy seemed sympathetic to my plight but it cost me 20 more dollars to buy another wiper.  He also asked me why I had trouble.  I told him I broke the clip.  He then asked me if I should be changing wiper blades at night.  I wanted to strangle him.

I got it home, worked on putting it on, had to come back upstairs to my apartment to retrieve a flashlight, and it still took me another ten minutes of messing with it to get it on.

If you ever need a mechanical type to put on a wiper blade I'm a rockstar... on yours.  Just don't ask me to show you on my own car or you'll run away screaming.

Update on 11/6:  Turns out the story wasn't over.  I turned on the wipers yesterday and this weird plastic clip thingy was causing the passenger side wiper to not seat flush on the window.  I have made the executive decision to remove the clip that is supposed to make it more attractive.  Hey people at Bosch, thanks for the lame design flaw.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A shout out to the fallen

Another downsizing in radio.

In early October I experienced what many have in recent years.  The loss of their job in the radio business.

The downsizing has continued.  At Clear Channel in Tucson that has included Rosanna Gaxiola, Jennie Grabel, Carlos Zeta, and Chris Patyk.  I worked with all but Chris while I was at Clear Channel back in the day.  They're all wonderful people.  I know how they feel.

I also know of Steve Jackson in Modesto and my friend Robbie in Birmingham, Alabama who were also let go from their radio jobs.

Here's a shout out to everyone who has lost their job and a giant wish you find a new job quickly that you love.  Its a challenge to find something new that you can pour your passion into.  But, when you're shoved out the door for no reason except you were an expense a company no longer wanted its satisfying to know they'll be worse off without you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween at Boston Market

When you don't dress up in a costume and hit the clubs on Halloween what do you do?

I'll tell you what I did.  Had dinner at Boston Market with Anthony.

He had chicKEN salad.  I had a chicKEN meal.

I've been in dozens of pictures over the years putting food in my mouth.  Now there's one more.

ChicKEN salad.  Tah dah!

Eating chicKEN.