Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Morning Blend behind the scenes: Production meeting

Behind the scenes from the production of a TV show can be interesting to some people.

Working on the Morning Blend can be fun.  But, we're on five days a week for an hour each day and there's a lot of work involved as well.

I tend to find the show itself more exciting than the work that goes into it behind the scenes.  So, most of the photos I take in the studio are while the guests are on and the show is in progress (I post most of those photos to the show's Facebook page.)  Many times I forget to take photos of what happens outside of what is seen on viewer's TV screens.

I was taking photos of the set before our daily production meeting recently, then took a few once the meeting started.

As they say in television, take a look...

The Morning Blend interview set an hour before the show

Amanda, Allison and Ann on set during the production meeting
I stopped taking photos during this meeting after this one because I didn't want them to kill me.

Day moon over Tucson

A photo that I snapped on November 23:  An afternoon moon over the east side of Tucson.

It was pretty large to the eye (the photo doesn't do it justice really) and the sky was very clear.

I included the top of the light post from the parking lot east of the KGUN building to give the photo a little perspective.

This is a much better looking moon than the one that occurs when my pants fall down.

A guide to the most frequently drawn Powerball numbers

A statistics professor at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Dr. Min Su Kim) looked at the Powerball drawings from the last ten years and determined there are numbers drawn more frequently than others.

Maybe this will help you try to win the jackpot.

The five most frequently drawn Powerball numbers (the red ball) are (in order):
20, 37, 2, 31, 35

The five most frequently drawn white ball numbers are (in order):
42, 16, 35, 26, 19

(Source: WAFB-TV)


Update 11/29:  The Powerball drawing last night didn't contain any of the most frequently drawn numbers (for the $570+ million dollar drawing).  Statistics don't seem to have any bearing on matching up with winning.

The winning numbers for the 11/28/12 Powerball drawing were:  5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and the Powerball was 6.

Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot

Here's a bit of perspective if you're hoping to win the Powerball.

Odds of winning the jackpot: 1 in 175 million.

Odds of these other things happening:
Becoming President: 1 in 10 million
Getting struck by lightning: 1 in 1 million
Dying in an on the job accident: 1 in 48,000
Dying in the bathtub: 1 in 840,000
Dying from a bee, hornet or wasp sting: 1 in 6.1 million
Dying in an asteroid apocalypse: 1 in 12,500
Death by flesh eating virus: 1 in 1 million
Dying in a plane crash: 1 in 1 million
Death from being left handed (and using a right handed product): 1 in 4.4 million
Becoming a movie star: 1 in 1,505,000
Dying in a car accident: 1 in 6,700

Good luck winning the lottery! (This Wednesday's jackpot is $475 million)

(Statistics from kmbc.com)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cool Whip Frosting, Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts, and pizza weiners

Sundays are usually when Anthony and I make a trip to Walmart Neighborhood Market for groceries.

Although we go once a week, I always seem to find products I've never seen before.  That's why I always bring my camera.

The funniest thing about the product photos... is that I rarely buy what I take pictures of.

Here's what I spotted during today's shopping trip:

Anthony was looking at cheese and asked me what my favorite kind is.
My answer: "Yellow"
(Every time we go shopping I try to sneak in a photo since he hates having his picture taken...
and this week I successfully got one.)

Johnsonville Pizza weiners / smoked sausage
This may be the greatest invention of all time!

Johnsonville Chili Cheese weiners / smoked sausage
This may be the second greatest invention of all time!

Lofthouse Iced Trees sugar cookies
All these trees need are colored balls

Frosted Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts
Nothing says holiday fun like eating a Pop Tart with a bear in a scarf and hat stamped on it.

Gingerbread Pop Tarts
Nothing says holiday fun like eating a Pop Tart with a gingerbread man who looks like he's bowling.

Bertolli Vodka Sauce spaghetti sauce
Get wasted while eating Italian food... sounds like the third best invention ever!

Cool Whip Frosting
This is an epic idea... and perfect for someone who just got dumped around the holidays
and wants to eat themselves into a depression using only a tub and a spoon.

It won't stay hard

I'm in need of a new set of tires for my car.

Now that I have the car loan finally paid off, I'm going to start saving to buy them.  In the meantime, I have to make what's left of the tires last as long as possible.  A new set of four is about $700.

The passenger side rear tire goes flat every 24 hours.  Fortunately, I have a little portable air compressor that runs off of power from a lighter socket in the car.  I air it up every morning before heading off to work.

I had a good laugh on Friday morning when I sent Anthony the following text while I was waiting for the tire to inflate:

"My poor little tire was completely flat!  I'm blowing it up now and its making me lightheaded!"

There's always a way to make life's tragic moments funny.

The little compressor that airs up my tire each day.
It performs an impressive blow job.

Friday, November 23, 2012

If these shoes could talk

After getting home from Thanksgiving dinner at Coco's, I noticed something unusual near my parking space at Ridgepointe:  A pair of shoes.

Someone (based on what the shoes look like, most likely a female... although you never know) lost a pair of flats.

I wondered, while I was digging my camera out for a photo, what happened that got the shoes there.  Was it a drunk and the shoes magically fell off of someone's feet?  Did a couple fight and the shoes got thrown over there in anger?  Maybe it was a woman who discovered she could fly and when her body went shooting toward the stars the shoes came off.

Its likely I'll never know.  Too bad shoes can't talk.

Discarded shoes next to the parking lot at Ridgepointe.
I would have picked them up but I don't have an outfit to match.

The story behind the SantaKen photo

The photo you see below has a funny story to go with it.

My friend Tim made it for me in 1997.  That's when Photoshop was a relatively new software program and AOL was all the rage.  Its one of several holiday themed photos that he made for me to use as default photos on AOL.

I kept the files and still use them to this day.  Only now they are used on Facebook and Twitter.

I e-mailed my mom the photo in 1997 when it was new.  She didn't check her e-mail every day so I kind of forgot about it.  Several days later, she called me.  Her voice was panicked and she immediately asked if I was ok.  I told her that of course I am.  She asked if I was sick.  Nope, I was feeling fine.

She wanted to know if I was holding something back.  No, I am doing great.  "Why do you keep asking me these kinds of questions?" was my response.

She then admitted she saw the photo I e-mailed her.  I asked her if she thought it was hilarious.  She said, "no, I am upset that you're so sick."

I had to explain that it was a fake.  I e-mailed it to make her laugh.  I then had to take several minutes on the phone to explain how something like that is created and that's the magic of computers.

Tim put my head on a little girl's body who was sitting on Santa's lap.

My mom passed away years ago but I still get a chuckle every December when I designate the photo as my default on Facebook and Twitter.

Tis' the season to be a jokester.

The gift that keeps on giving every holiday season.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: Turkey, Coco's and a heart attack

Thanksgiving 2012 is in the books.

I got the day off work today.  Last year, I was working at Fox 11 and had to work a full day producing the 9 p.m. newscast.  This year I'm at KGUN 9 and we ran a "best of" show on the Morning Blend today so I was able to watch from home relaxing in bed.  Having holidays off are still difficult to get used to.

Anthony got home from his job working at the detention center a little after 2 p.m.  We didn't have any plans for Thanksgiving dinner.

We discovered that he was paid early from his job so we decided to have dinner at a restaurant.  There are a surprising number of restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving.  I thought it was just a few fast food restaurants and I was all ready to have holiday dinner at Jack In The Box.  But, it turned out after making a couple of phone calls that Mimi's Cafe' and Coco's (both restaurants near Park Place Mall) were open today.

Our first stop was at Mimi's.  The parking lot was packed.  They told us the wait would be 45 minutes.  We decided to try Coco's across the street.

The wait at Coco's was 25 minutes.  We decided to stay.  The little waiting area was packed.  By the time our name was called, Anthony was practically sitting on top of me because the woman next to him wasn't giving him any personal space.

The staff was in remarkably good spirits especially since they were working on a holiday.  I ordered the $9.99 Thanksgiving holiday dinner and Anthony got a turkey croissant with fries.  Part of my dinner was 'fresh vegetables' although they were abusively steamed and the picture on the menu showed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots but I didn't get any carrots.  I skipped eating the vegetables.  Broccoli and cauliflower are both yucky.

The back banquet room we were seated in had one other couple and was mostly empty.  It was nice having a pretty quiet dinner considering how busy most of the restaurant was.

One of the things you have to know about me:  Most every experience in my life comes with a story that makes it a little unusual.  Today's experience was no exception.

We were about 3/4 done with the meal when I heard a siren outside.  I saw through the window a Tucson Fire Department truck and I thought it was just going by on Broadway.  Then, it turned into the parking lot.  The fire truck was followed by an ambulance.  Both vehicles pulled up in front of the restaurant and I realized they were coming in.  Someone was apparently having a medical emergency.

Due to the location where we were seated in the restaurant, we couldn't see everything that was going on well although Anthony's vantage point was better than mine.  The paramedics brought a stretcher in to the little waiting area we had spent 25 minutes waiting for a table at the front of the restaurant and loaded someone on.  Then they were doing chest compressions while wheeling whomever they were there to help out to the ambulance.  It was obvious someone had a heart attack in the restaurant.  That is one way to ruin someone's Thanksgiving.  I felt sad for that person's family.  But, Anthony and I had to laugh because this sort of thing is what happens to me all the time.

One thing I did notice is that a medical emergency must not be an unusual occurence at Coco's.  A few people looked, most kept eating their dinner like nothing was happening, and the staff didn't flinch.  In fact, employees were letting people out the back door who had paid and were ready to leave.  It was kind of surreal.

The ambulance sped off and the rest of the paramedics left shortly after.  I hope the person they were rescuing recovers.

I came home, took a nap to recover from eating too much, and that is how Thanksgiving 2012 went.

Next year I'm making reservations at Jack In The Box.

Coco's at Broadway and Wilmot
Home of Ken Carr's Thanksgiving 2012 and somebody's heart attack

Anthony's turkey croissant and fries

My $9.99 Holiday Dinner including turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberries and vegetables.
I didn't eat the vegetables.

Pumpkin Pie
This was the most wonderful part of the dinner.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RIP Mr. Food

Art Ginsburg, the man known as "Mr. Food", has died at age 81 from pancreatic cancer.

He did a 90 second syndicated segment for over 30 years on a number of TV stations around the country before the Food Network and cooking shows were popular.

I remember seeing him on TV in Nebraska when I was a kid.  His signature saying at the end of each segment was "Oooo it's so good".

When I told one of my co-workers about Mr. Food's passing, he said "Mr. Food, meet Mr. Death".  Kind of inappropriate, yet I laughed.  Because I laugh at everything.

For a retrospective on Mr. Food's career watch the video below or click here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Smashburger opens in Tucson

I hope you're sitting down for this:  ANOTHER hamburger chain has opened a location in Tucson.

I just wrote a blog post about my visit to Freddy's a few days ago (click here to read it).  Now, it seems another one of these style of hamburger restaurants is invading Tucson.  By "another one of these style", I'm referring to what is marketed as a supposedly better hamburger eating experience than the legacy chains like McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King.

The newest one of these fancier chain restaurants to join In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, and Culver's is:  Smashburger.  The new restaurant is at Grant and Swan at the Crossroads Festival strip mall.

I looked at their menu online and it seems the Smashburger menu is pretty similar to the other ones.  Burgers, a few chicken sandwiches, a few salads, and malt/shake concoctions... although theirs is made with Haagen Dazs Ice Cream. 

I'll be waiting for a while to go try Smashburger until the crowds die down.  I'll post a review then.

Meeting Mary Black

We had Irish superstar singer Mary Black on the Morning Blend today.

She's performing a concert at the Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson tonight.  And, she has an amazing voice.  I don't know a lot about Irish music (outside of Irish drinking songs, U2, and what celtic music sounds like) but I do know she's a well known name / artist in Europe.

Mary and her band were kind enough to let me stand with them for a photo.

Mary Black and her band with Ken Carr
Once you go Mary Black, you'll never go back.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A tale of two beds

Anthony has decided that the bed is too small.  He wants to get a queen size.

What Anthony wants, Anthony gets.  Mainly because its difficult to talk him out of something when he makes a decision.  He's not unreasonable, just determined.

He found a queen size bed stored at his dad's house that he thought would be perfect.  It was also free.  I am a big fan of free so I agreed to let him get it.

I got some advice many years ago from my parents about acquiring a bed.  Don't buy a used one unless you know who slept on it, how old it is, and what was done on the bed.  I interpreted it as: Know whether the person who had it showered regularly or not, wore the springs out having sex, and whether there were animals (cats or dogs) who used it as their toilet.  And, whether people used it as a toilet.

Anthony and his dad brought the bed over this morning.  It isn't in terrible shape but both the mattress and box spring have some mystery stains, fabric splits, and smells like an ashtray.  Anthony decided tonight to Febreze it to see if that helped the smelling like an ashtray issue and a musky sweat odor presented itself.  The apartment smelled like musky mystery meat that had marinated in a used cigarette.

The bed will be going back from where it came.  Now that I have paid off my car, I'll be saving up the next few months to get a brand new one from a store.  The used bed adventure is over.

I feel bad for Anthony because he had the best of intentions and it didn't work out.  But, sometimes lessons in life have to be learned the hard way.  The smelling like an ashtray / ass sweat / beat up mattress hard way.

The old bed gets a stay of execution.
Its where the magic will continue to happen.

The stale ashtray / ass sweat / used queen size bed that couldn't be fixed with Febreze.

Walmart Neighborhood Market gets into the Christmas spirit

I went shopping yesterday at Walmart Neighborhood Market at 22nd and Craycroft.

The store is getting stocked up for the holidays.  And, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet and they already have Christmas goodies.

A couple of examples:

Here's one of my favorite holiday treats: Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes (in white and chocolate iced).
They come in boxes of five... and they should come in boxes of five hundred.

I've never seen this one before:  Cap'n Crunch's Christmas Crunch
Green trees and snowmen, red stars and Santa hats.
They should have New Year's Crunch with shapes of champagne bottles and drunk people falling down.

This isn't a Christmas treat.
I just wanted to make sure you got to see some Hooters... wing sauce.
A Thrill on the Grill.

The light post is back

I wrote a blog back on July 9 (to see it click here) that detailed the sad tale of a light post at Ridgepointe that fell over during the course of a few days and was then removed.

I'm happy to report that after four months, it has been repaired and is erect again.

In fact, the maintenance staff at Ridgepointe has repaired all of the light posts in the complex.  Its almost magical walking around at night and being able to see the sidewalks.

Miracles really do happen.  Here's the proof:

The light post is as erect as a light post can be... and the light works.
Now I can see where I'm tripping and falling down at.

A visit to Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

Tucson is going through a little phase where one of the trendy things to do is open chain hamburger restaurants that are a little fancier than the legacy restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's.  In-N-Out, Culver's, Five Guys, and now Freddy's all have locations in the Tucson area.

I ate at Freddy's for the first time yesterday because they now have an east side location at Broadway and Kolb (in the old Long John Silvers building there).

I had an original double cheeseburger, fries and a soda.  Anthony had a Chicago dog, fries and a soda.  The total of our order came to just over thirteen dollars.

Their burgers comes with pickles, onions and mustard.  I dumped the vegetables and substituted ketchup for the mustard.

The burger is salty and tasted okay.  Its cooked with a crispy outside which I didn't care for that much.  The bun was fluffy which I liked.

Freddy's fries are the shoestring type.  They tasted good and were crispy.

Anthony had the Chicago dog which he said was spicy but delicious.

They offer Pepsi products.  I don't have a problem with Pepsi, except I like diet soda and Diet Pepsi tastes like cough medicine so I'm always a bit disappointed when that ends up being what is offered.

Overall the service was pretty fast (and the restaurant was busy) and the food was decent.

I have now eaten at all four and these are the order I rank them in according to a combination of service, taste, overall experience, and bang for your buck:

1.) In-N-Out
2.) Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers
3.) Culver's
4.) Five Guys Burgers and Fries

The reason In-N-Out is ranked number one on my list is because they have the best burgers of the four hands down.

(Note: I did my little review for your information and my own amusement, I was not paid for it nor did I receive free food).

A few photos from my visit to Freddy's:

The sign in front of Freddy's at Broadway and Kolb in Tucson

The counter where ordering takes place.
The menu is not too difficult to order from.

The Freddy's dining room.
The guy in the booth right in front of where I took the photo was also taking a photo.

Anthony's Chicago dog and fries

My Original Cheeseburger minus the pickle, onion and mustard and added cheese and ketchup... and fries.

A visit to Michael's Arts and Crafts store

The walls in my office are very plain.  So, I decided to investigate what photo frame options I have at Michael's so I can spruce them up.

I went to the location in Tucson at Broadway and Kolb.  The store is well into gearing up for Christmas.  It smells like a giant potpourri.  And they have aisles and aisles of frames of all sizes, shapes and styles.

Frames are stupidly expensive.  I used to think that medical services were the world's biggest ripoff.  I think photo frames / poster frames are a very close second.  For what they charge, they should come with a handjob.

I ended up buying some 12x12 inch cork squares.  I'm going to try doing something a bit creative.  Now, I just need to go through some of the hundreds of photos I've taken on the Blend show set and pick out some to get printed.

Anthony went with me.  I took a couple of photos of him in the store.

I wouldn't normally post a photo that came out blurry.
However, it was the closest thing I had to getting his face in a shot... hiding behind a family in a picture frame.

Anthony spent eight dollars on two Godiva chocolate bars on display at the cash register.
Hopefully they weren't leftover from last Christmas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Anthony!

Yesterday was Anthony's birthday.

Due to spending most of my paycheck on my last car payment and the cell phone bill, I had a very small budget to work with to get him something.  His birthday goodies ended up being a card, some flowers, and a big piece of cake.

Lucky treated him to what Lucky does best:  Shedding fur on him.  That's a birthday gift that keeps on giving.

Happy Birthday Anthony!


This is some badass cake.
He had dinner with co-workers at Olive Garden last night so he saved it for breakfast today.

Photo art: Guacamole on a counter

Anthony had a sloppy moment with some guacamole and dripped a little on the kitchen counter.

I thought it had an artistic look so I photographed it.

Artistic as in... it looks like giant green boogers that fell on a counter.

Art can be subjective at times.

Guacamole booger art.

Winter is rolling into Tucson

I don't like cold weather.

Morning clouds many times signal a change in the weather in Tucson.  This is a photo of the sky a few days ago at 8 a.m. over Ridgepointe.

Winter needs to go away.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Ken Carr car is paid off

Today is 72 months in the making.  I just made the final payment on the Ken Carr car (my Mazda RX-8).

I also have a new life goal:  Never make a car payment again.  I don't know if that's possible (life is always full of surprises) but after six years of $650 per month car payments, I am pretty sure I can't go through that level of sacrifice again.

Unfortunately, in order to afford the last year's worth of paying car payments, I've neglected its maintenance.  I have bald tires (one of which I have to air up every day), the brakes are roached, and it has some sort of fuel leak.  I'll be spending money that I would have been spending on the car payments getting all of that straightened out.  But, the good news is... if I choose to delay those repairs the car won't be repossessed.  It's progress.

Zoom zoom!

Its mine!  All mine!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apartment Inspection

One of the joys (ok, not joys) of apartment living is the occasional inspection.

Management is doing a 'bank inspection' of the property today.  Apparently whatever bank has the mortgage on the complex wants to make sure its still there.  I have no idea what they look at (or for) when they do these inspections but I made sure I put my dirty underwear in the clothes hamper.

I hope Lucky doesn't freak out when they come.  He still gets stressed and nervous at every little thing and I've been leaving a radio on when I go to work recently in hopes the music makes him feel better.  He seems to get separation anxiety easily.

If I get home from work tonight and there is no food in the refrigerator I'll know the inspectors helped themselves to free lunch.  I just bought a box of Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes and put them in there (the cakes are better cold) so I'll be disappointed if they are gone before I can eat 'em.

I hope my neighbors leave their dirty underwear on the floor during this inspection...
then I'll look like a cleaner tenant.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Anthony's journey to work

Anthony asked me if I would ride with him to work today and bring his car back home.  He's going out with co-workers after work and didn't want to risk driving after have a cocktail.  I was happy to do it.

He drove there, and I drove his SUV back.  Since I was a passenger for half of the excursion, I had the chance to take some pictures. (Click on any photo to see it enlarged)

Here's Anthony... in a rare moment where he couldn't run from the Kenparazzi camera.

Travelling south on Swan Road in Tucson.
Today was really cold, in the 50's.
It is amazing how a 110 degree and a 50 degree day can look exactly the same in a photograph.

The 2012 election was five days ago and there are campaign signs still up.
These were at Golf Links and Swan.
Ironically, Frank Antenori and Todd Clodfelter lost their elections.
It must take longer to take signs down when you lose.

This billboard for 104.1 The Truth is in a good spot to advertise the radio station
to people on their way to the hospital or wanting tacos and carnitas.

Air at Circle K is one dollar for four minutes.
But, checking your air pressure is free and it takes Visa and MasterCard.
Now that is value!

This woman was walking the median near Ajo Way selling newspapers.
In other news, that Cricket store is under new management.
If they need new sales associates, they might consider recruiting out on the median.

This is where Anthony works.

The Pima County Juvenile Court building is relatively large.
It's parking lot is also very empty on Saturday afternoon.

I don't think sign is referring to racquetball.

Side view of the Juvenile Court building.

That dark part above the wall is the roof over the area where juvenile inmates get exercise.
That's much nicer than what I thought they'd get...
a VHS tape of Richard Simmons 'Sweatin' To The Oldies'.

Driving back home... and I ended up following a hearse.
People are dying to ride in this vehicle.